Changing Trends in Office Design


Workplace data from the Gensler Research Institute, compiled in late 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, offered a reckoning on the way offices and workplaces are viewed and disproved common narratives surrounding the open office debate. The data, in fact, uncovered the right way to invest in work-focused amenities, including coworking, that result in higher employee engagement, business performance, and profit.

In today’s diverse workforce, employers are challenged by competing expectations of five generations of workers. In the war to attract and retain top talent, the research found that employees want and expect a great experience at work – spaces with mostly open environments combined with the right amenities and on-demand private space are the ones that deliver this best. The five top-performing amenities with the greatest impact include innovation hubs, maker spaces, quiet/tech-free zones, outdoor workspaces, and focus rooms.

For employers looking to create a great workplace experience to entice and retain top talent, there are three things companies can implement to optimize employees’ performance in the workplace, according to the data:

Design open environments to include private space, too. Open environments with on-demand private space are the most effective and offer the best experience.

Create amenities that are about optimizing work, not escaping it. High performers work everywhere – both inside and outside the workplace. Amenities are central to a successful workplace, but some offer significantly more value than others.

Use coworking as a part of, not a replacement for, a great workplace experience. When large companies offer employees the option to use a coworking space it is associated with a better work experience and higher performance, but it loses its luster if used more than one day a week.


This article caught my interest because most offices probably did not think about changing their office space until the covid-19 pandemic hit. The idea of having an open office space could be distracting but having closed off cubicles may have seemed like you were not allowed to socialize. Each office space will be different, but the business models vary company to company. The more productive employees are, usually, the better the company does. Having an open space, like a coworking area, can be a great experience because it tends to be associated with better work experience and higher performance.