Executive office spaces are changing as organizations move away from the rigid and structured workspaces of the past.
The world’s high-performing companies, from global giants like Apple and Vodafone to startups like Duolingo and Vital Proteins, are using flexible & inspiring office design to keep their executives focused and motivated at work.
The reality is, we know more than we ever have before about how office design and workplace features impact productivity – and the overall success of a company.
Incorporating natural features in to your design and offering dedicated quiet spaces in the layout can transform a workplace.
Companies are turning their offices into an inviting environment that people actually appreciate spending one-third of their lives in.
We also know that a poor office environment can be a deal-breaker, especially for well-educated executives. They have the skills and expertise to work for the most attractive employers, so they can be choosy.
One recent study found that an open office layout alone – which is notorious for a lack of privacy and chronic distractions – pushed 13 percent of workers to consider leaving their job.
Losing employees that help the company is rough financially – the Center for American Progress estimates the cost of replacing a midrange worker to be about 20 percent of their salary.
But, when it comes to executives, neglecting office design trends and risking turning your most valued employees away is just not worth it. The cost to replace highly educated executives is enormous – an average of 213 percent of their salary!
Let’s take a look at how executive office design is changing in 2019 and the trends that are forging a whole new understanding of the relationship between our environment and they way we work.
Adding More Natural Features to Calm and Inspire
Spending time in nature helps to calm the mind and boost creativity. It's exactly why natural features are a popular executive office feature.
While setting up a laptop in the middle of the woods may sound idyllic, getting our mental health boost from natural surroundings at work doesn’t have to be that impractical.
Furniture made from natural materials like timber and bamboo are a start. Natural flooring, and lots of greenery with potted plants, living walls, and rooftop gardens can cultivate a more tranquil workspace for overstressed execs.
Slack – a company run by a nature-loving CEO – incorporates live trees, wall moss, wilderness photography, and plenty of earth tones.
They also sport wooden furniture to capture an outdoor adventure theme in the office. The aim of their workplace aesthetic is to inspire fresh ideas and a sense of excitement.
Taking a few nature-inspired design pointers from a business that reached $1B in value in just two years isn’t a bad idea.
Executive Offices Should Be Designed With Natural Lighting for Better Health & Focus
Smart companies are also utilizing features like skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows in executive offices. These provide a huge boost of natural lighting in the workplace.
Why does that matter? The Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell found that working within 10 feet of a window can lead to a decrease in common modern-day work-related health problems like headaches and eye strain.
Good lighting is also one of the seven concepts for a healthier building, as set out by the WELL Business Standard, today’s gold standard in healthy building design.
Let's face it – being in natural sunlight just feels good. So give your executives their daily dose of vitamin D and make sure you have plenty of windows or skylights in their office.
Offering Flexible Seating for Greater Comfort
No longer are executives planted at their desk for eight hours a day. Today’s top performers require a variety of seating – and standing. They need spaces that help them adjust their physiological position and comfort-level based on the work they’re doing.
From hammocks to height-adjustable tables, busy executives need places where they can relax and unwind. Doing so helps them think clearly.
Execs also need stimulating furniture such as standing desks and ergonomic kneeling chairs so they can focus undisturbed on intensive tasks.
Creating Wellness Spaces for Executives to Combat Stress
Wellness and striving for a better work-life balance are major trends for workers, and it's impacting modern office design.
High-functioning offices are starting to supply their employees with spaces to restore and recover from grueling hours in order to promote wellness.
This trend can help reduce burnout among executives with heavy workloads. Yoga rooms, massage rooms, meditation spaces, and quiet rooms are all becoming a staple of executive workplace design.
Cultivating Versatility with Activity-Based Offices for Execs
Instead of confining executives to one type of workspace, today’s businesses are offering versatility in order to attract and retain top talent.
This practice is known as activity-based working. It's a style of office design that is more conducive to an Agile work approach – a methodology that 71 percent of organizations say they use at least some of the time.
It gives executives the freedom to choose how they want to get their work done, at any point of time during the day.
With Zenbooth office booths, your executives have the option to use a dedicated quiet space for small meetings, phone calls, or simply to get the privacy they need to truly dive into their work.
Each booth comes with thick 3.5-inch acoustic walls to ensure conversations are kept private. The Zenbooth Executive XL and the Executive Room can hold between two and six people, offering a practical, flexible meeting space for your company's leadership teams.
By incorporating spaces for collaboration, quiet research, creative brainstorming, and other modes of work, employees have an entire ecosystem of environments at their fingertips.
Executive Office Design Trends Include Using Mobile Features for Greater Adaptability
In the post-digital era, business growth can happen quickly. That’s why adaptability is becoming essential for office layouts.
Businesses need to be able to scale quickly & adjust their offices as they bring on new employees, which requires more meeting room space and private work stations.
Mobile meeting rooms, such as the Zenbooth Executive Room, ensure your offices have the right furniture to meet any growing demand for collaborative sessions.
In an open office layout, a portable phone booth can be a much-needed solution when your executive employees need a quiet space for a phone call or are having a virtual meeting with a co-worker across the globe.
Investing in Smart Office Furniture for Smarter Work
Today, there isn’t much work that goes unplugged. That’s why another executive office design trend is the use of smart office furniture.
Adjustable desks that are Bluetooth enabled, air-charging ports stationed throughout the office, and meeting rooms that are equipped with all the right outlets and ports are a must.
In the next few years, expect innovations to make executive workspaces even more seamless.
This includes voice-activated standing desks that adjust at your command, smart seating that adjusts to promote better posture, and workspaces that use machine learning to automatically set the temperature, lighting, and other ambient features.
Modern Executive Office Design Also Incorporates Eco Features for a More Sustainable Future
As both consumers and employees expect a higher bar when it comes to sustainability and eco-friendly practices, companies are thinking green both inside the office and out.
People like to feel like they are a part of something positive. When it comes to executive office design, using sustainable materials and incorporating energy-efficient elements such as passive solar heating and energy-saving lighting can go a long way in attracting eco-minded employees.
Reclaimed and up-cycled materials can create a welcoming, earth-friendly vibe at the office. As a bonus, using more natural materials can also ensure a healthier environment for your employees.
Give your executives an office space they can feel good about. Imagine having a workplace where your high-performers are excited about coming to work!
From nature-inspired design to flexible workspaces and wellness rooms, your executives will have more to give when they work in an environment that supports them.