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Top 5 Global Workplace Design Trends for 2023

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Top 5 Global Workplace Design Trends 2023

The world of work is changing fast. For the better. Here are the Top 5 Global Workplace Design Trends for 2023 for offices and workplaces all over the world, from Contour Interiors.


Sustainable office design seeks to minimise the negative impact of buildings on our environment. It does this through the use of energy-saving technology, sustainable materials, recycling, repurposing and eco-friendly construction methods.

Best-practice sustainable design, however, focuses on more than just saving energy and our precious natural resources. It also positively impacts the well-being of those who work in the spaces we design by improving their comfort, enhancing their workday experience, boosting productivity, and improving the overall quality of lives for all. All whilst reducing demands on the environment.

A truly sustainable office should also grow along with the business, avoiding unnecessary and expensive changes that could lead to additional waste. Designers with a close eye on sustainability should always take into consideration tomorrow-land and their clients’ growth projections.

Making the right sustainable design choices can transform a normal, everyday workspace into one that saves money by lowering energy costs as well as helping improve employee productivity, engagement, and retention. Positive action leads to positive outcomes.


Every person is different. They generally work differently too.

Workplace neurodiversity purposefully designs for difference – and choice – whilst fully recognising that not every person performs certain tasks in the same way.

Designing for neurodiversity means making small but intelligent adjustments that benefit everyone, with each being derived from the overall culture of your firm and an in-depth understanding of how you – and your employees – work.

Neurodiverse design combines a range of preferences with a variety of spaces to achieve a universally desirable outcome where each and every person can work optimally and effectively.

Neurodiverse design can incorporate many things. For example:

  • Low-stimulation environments for hyper-focus
  • Collaborative hubs to support extraversion, group work and fun
  • Active zones to encourage movement and group interaction
  • Social spaces
  • Quiet rooms
  • Low traffic areas to alleviate social anxiety
  • Carefully selected materials and lighting to cue behaviours
  • Layout and furniture that indicates and invites a specific purpose

The overall objective? To create different combinations that meet people’s varying workday needs and preferences for the benefit of your business and your entire workforce.

Biophilic Design & Well-being

Environmental factors can fundamentally impact our work experience. No matter how your office looks, people will under-perform if the conditions are not optimal. They may also be unhappy.

These are just two reasons why the principles of biophilic design are gaining increasing prominence in office design all over the world.

Biophilic design builds upon the fact that we humans have an instinctive bond with nature and our natural surroundings. It can make us feel better, and it can make us work better. Numerous studies have shown that introducing elements of nature into the workplace helps to increase staff productivity, collaboration, creativity, well-being and morale.

Even at a very basic level, biophilic design principles can be easily incorporated into any workplace design. Among them are:

  • Increased access to natural light and views of the outside world
  • Optimum utilisation of all available outside areas
  • The liberal use of colour to razz up the mood of your workplace
  • The use of natural features like wood and stone
  • Inclusion of plant life within your workplace
  • Space and choice: Quiet, peaceful areas for concentration; others designed for in interaction and collaboration

As nature continues to move indoors into the workplace, we are also seeing some innovative biophilic designs and products entering the workplace to counter the fact that some workplaces cannot provide views and the optimum amount of natural light to all staff.

Flexibility & Hybrid Working

The concept of a flexible, hybrid office is not new. However the Covid-19 pandemic fast-forwarded the dynamic to a situation where an ideal office design works to seamlessly integrate face-to-face collaboration in the office with remote working. With employees moving – and working – between their home and office work environments.

Workplace design plays a big role in helping to achieve this objective. For example by the reconfiguration of existing office space and furniture to create more collaborative and flexible workspaces so that staff can work the way they wish and make themselves ‘at home’ when in the office. For new staff, in particular, the physical office environment provides an opportunity to network, to engage with the office culture, receive mentoring, share ideas and engage in conversation and social activities with other staff members and workplace leaders.

Hybrid design should also include:

  • Wi-fi and screen-enabled spaces for quick and easy connection with staff working from home
  • Smart technology allowing staff to book meeting rooms and private spaces
  • A combination of work spaces for team-working, meetings large or small, and private spaces

Creating a great hybrid office environment is not just about flexibility or smart technology, it’s also about inclusion and creating a sense of belonging and team spirit for all staff, no matter where they are working.


Technology forms a critically important part of modern office design.

Today’s ‘smart technology’ for offices continues to develop exponentially, as a result of the pandemic and the rise of hybrid working.

It’s about more than just communications and zoom conferencing. Smart office technology improves the efficiency, productivity, safety, and comfort of its occupants and can incorporate things like automated lighting, temperature control and air quality, smart appliances and furniture and touchless technology, in addition to lightning-fast connectivity and collaboration tools.

Smart offices may also use sensors and data analytics to gather information about the use of individual spaces to optimise operations and space utilisation.

The goal of a smart office is to use technology to help create a desirable ‘destination’ for your staff that’s efficient, pleasant, and comfortable, one where they can be more productive and innovative, and one that can easily and flexibly respond to all evolving ways of working and collaboration.

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