In December 2022, the country lifted pandemic control measures, and society entered the post-pandemic
era. In 2023, office environment design is facing significant changes, with the following six major design
1、Modular Design Concept for Hybrid
By 2022, the percentage of employees adopting hybrid work models increased from 13% in February to
24% in May. Meanwhile, the proportion of fully remote workers decreased from 22% to 14%. Research
indicates that companies implementing hybrid work models have seen a 22% increase in employee
satisfaction compared to full-time office work. Office environment design should align with this trend by
adopting a modular design approach that helps employers attract and retain top talent. In other words,
future office spaces need to be multifunctional and modular, allowing users to easily combine and adjust
them according to their needs.
The flexibility of office spaces should not be limited to hot-desking or reservation systems, but should
also ensure that remote workers can collaborate and communicate seamlessly, while providing a more
comfortable way for in-office employees to interact and collaborate.
While there is some debate about whether open-plan office spaces truly enhance communication and
collaboration, the issue lies not in the open-space layout itself, but rather in whether it truly solves the
challenges of office space.
In 2023, employers realize the importance of allowing employees to choose their preferred work
styles, but this requires the help of designers. Designers can only create a flexible space that
satisfies both employers and users by addressing the following questions:
（1） Does the office layout you plan provide enough space for employees to collaborate?
（2） Have you considered the differences between agile workspaces and hybrid workspaces? For
example, how should meeting spaces be designed and equipped to accommodate remote
（3）Do you think the internal technological applications of the employer's company align with the
current work modes?
（4）Have you adequately provided seamless integration devices that meet the needs of remote
workers, including technologies for seamless remote meetings?
（5）Can the collaborative spaces you design inspire creativity and foster innovative work?
（6） Does the workplace design strike a balance between users' need for privacy and the need for
communication and collaboration?
2、Creating a Non-Office Atmosphere in the
Things that seemed unimaginable during the pandemic are now becoming a reality as the end of the
pandemic approaches. Office workers no longer need to be remote work nomads because in the future
physical office spaces, they will find the unique experiences they need.
More and more designers are drawing inspiration from hotels and commercial spaces, transforming
offices into social club-like environments or creating cozy atmospheres similar to hotels, cafes, or
homes, reducing the traces of formality in the office.
To create a non-office atmosphere in the workplace, designers need to consider the following issues:
（1）Imagine how it feels to drink coffee in the workplace.
（2）Can you transform one of the partitions you designed into a brainstorming area, a meeting space,
a training area, or a dedicated social space?
（3）Are the interior furnishings comfortable and cozy enough to make users feel relaxed as if they
were at home?
（4）Does the dining area have good hygiene conditions that make people feel comfortable?
（5）Have you planned any fitness facilities or game rooms in the workspace?
（6）Have you considered that some employees might bring certain things from home to the office, such
as pets? In recent years, many people have brought pets to the office, considering them as a way to
relieve stress and anxiety. Allowing employees to bring pets to the office is a good way to encourage their
return and some employers see it as a perk for their staff. Therefore, designing the workplace to be
pet-friendly is something designers should prioritize.
Starting now, designers should make changes to ensure that the work environment does not become
outdated due to future new demands.
3、Balanced Workplaces Have Greater Value
In 2022, the NOAA Fatigue Survey found that approximately 37% of employees (around 4,500 people)
participated in the survey. The survey results indicated that employees are facing increasing demands
without sufficient resources and flexibility to meet those demands. 49.5% of respondents answered
"always" or "often" when asked if they frequently experience fatigue at work, and fatigue significantly
affects their job performance.
As a designer, when designing office spaces, it is essential to consider creating a balanced working
environment as an empowering tool for employees. This can be achieved by considering the following
（1）Does it enable a work-life balance?
（2）Does it strike a balance between team collaboration and individual work?
（3）Does it achieve a balance among different functional areas?
（4）Does it strike a balance between employee well-being and company operational costs?
（5）Does it strike a balance between indoor and outdoor workspaces?
（6） Does it achieve a balance in the choice of work locations?
（7）Does it achieve a balance among individuals of different genders and ages?
After the pandemic, there is an even greater need for balanced workplaces that provide comprehensive
support to employees. Companies that fail to adapt and provide balanced spaces may face the loss of
4、Increasing Focus on Air Quality
The World Health Organization and the UK government consider air pollution to be the greatest threat
we face today. Poor air quality in the UK causes 36,000 deaths annually and negatively impacts 12.7
million people with respiratory diseases.
However, this issue is not limited to the outdoors. According to data from the US Environmental
Protection Agency, indoor air pollution can be 2-5 times higher than outdoor pollution. Therefore,
high-quality indoor air is crucial for office workers.
In the future, it is expected that more and more workplaces will undergo air testing and certification,
with indoor air quality ratings. In addition, air conditioning systems and design strategies are effective
ways to improve indoor air quality. Designers should pay attention to the following points:
（1）Ensure proper circulation of fresh air indoors: Consider the number and size of windows to allow
for more fresh air circulation.
（2） Maintain clear ventilation openings: Avoid placing furniture and other items near ventilation
openings to ensure proper airflow. Regularly replace air filters every 6-12 months to prevent clogging.
（3）Maintain proper humidity levels: Use dehumidifiers and air conditioning to control indoor humidity
(maintain it between 30% and 50%).
（4） Clean up air conditioner condensation promptly: Excess water or residual moisture can promote
（5） Keep the office clean: Ensure fewer pollutants mix with the air to avoid compromising air quality.
Ventilation ducts should be regularly inspected and cleaned.
Implementing these practices not only benefits the health of employees but also brings numerous
advantages to employers. Clean indoor air has been shown to increase workplace productivity by 11%.
Another way to improve indoor air quality in the office is through biophilic design. Plants not only help
purify the air but also enhance work efficiency by 6%, increase creativity by 15%, and improve overall
well-being by 15% in spaces with natural elements such as greenery and sunlight. Additionally,
incorporating natural elements into the office space enhances its aesthetic appeal and attracts employees
back to the office.
Designers should consider incorporating plants and biophilic walls to enhance employee well-being
and foster a connection with nature.
5、Sustainable Fashion Taking Root
Sustainable fashion, also known as eco-fashion, refers to products that are created with reduced
negative impacts on the environment and society. Its goal is to establish a system that supports
environmental and social responsibility. It is an evolving design concept and a part of the trend
towards sustainability in design, which will continue to gain prominence in 2023.
From the perspective of office environment design, sustainable fashion encompasses several aspects,
including reducing resource consumption, extending the lifespan of buildings, improving working
conditions, minimizing energy consumption (such as maximizing the use of natural light), reducing
pollution, and utilizing environmentally friendly materials with a smaller environmental footprint (such
as recycled wood, bamboo, cork, etc.). It encompasses the entire supply chain and requires designers
to commit to achieving carbon neutrality, embracing the circular economy, responsibly conserving
resources, and collaborating with suppliers who have a strong environmental consciousness. The aim
is to design a sustainable office space built upon achieving zero emissions.
6、Meeting the Desire for Belonging
When employees are asked why they want to return to the office, the most common answer is to be
with colleagues, indicating that most employees are seeking a sense of belonging and social interaction.
In other words, employees hope to find a sense of belonging in the workplace.
Designers should respond to this need by creating diverse spaces that integrate work and life, business
and art, and foster a vibrant and inclusive office environment. The office should become a community
hub where employees can not only accomplish their work but also enjoy social interactions with different
A workplace with a sense of belonging is a place where everyone feels recognized, supported, and loved,
helping to alleviate or reduce loneliness and isolation. When individuals' sense of identity, dignity, honor,
and value is fulfilled within an organization and space, it generates a strong team consciousness, leading
to increased engagement and innovation. This holds great value for employers as well, as employees with
a strong sense of belonging yield the following benefits:
(1) 56% increase in job performance.
(2) 50% reduction in turnover risk.
(3) 75% decrease in sick leave.
In the future, more employers will need to use office spaces as a narrative tool to tell their brand story.
They will need to showcase the personality of their brand, including its goals, characteristics, and values,
through the office environment. Achieving all of this will require collaborative efforts between employers
#office renovation #office environment design #hybrid workspaces #modular design approach
#hot-desking #reservation systems #remote workers #collaboration and communication