Six Trends in Workplace Design in 2023



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

talented professionals.



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

  mold growth.

(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

and designers.


#office renovation  #office environment design  #hybrid workspaces  #modular design approach  

#hot-desking  #reservation systems  #remote workers  #collaboration and communication