FM trends in workplace design focus on occupant satisfaction


Several factors are inspiring designers to “up the ante” in the creation of office designs today. One factor is that CEOs and upper management are electing to sit and work among their employees, in order to eliminate hierarchies and spur more democratic collaborations among departments and between individuals.

Another factor is the need to provide flexible work environments for individual and shared work, while ensuring the technology required at these workstations is mobile, invisible, and where possible, wireless. Finally, in order to attract and retain new generations of employees, and keep them healthy, productive, and happy, facility managers are seeking out new inspired and imaginative approaches to workplace design. Here are two strategies that address all of those factors.

Redistribution of space

The days of the large conference room are gone (along with their large conference tables). They’re simply underutilized in an era of more mobile and smaller, shared workspaces. There’s a widespread realization that open office plans, with low panels between workstations, generate more distractions than productivity…

Multipurpose circulation space

For decades, companies have viewed circulation as a necessary evil, as space required to get employees from one area to another. As a result, designers would program in a 35 to 40 percent circulation factor. Today, designs are increasing that to upwards of 50 percent, driven by the evolution of circulation into multipurpose experiential spaces essential to creativity and collaboration…

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