As we’re a couple of months into 2018, it’s time to take a look at the latest trends in office, hospitality and retail fitouts across Australia and give you a glimpse into what you can expect from new spaces and refurbishment projects as the year progresses.
More innovative ways of integrating technology into office design is high priority for companies in 2018, to ensure productivity gains, given Millennials are now filling a greater percentage of the workforce and the first batch of Generation Z university graduates are embarking on their careers.
This is expected to include an increase in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) workspaces utilising wireless/Bluetooth connectivity including wireless charging points.
This year we also expect to see the introduction of more unconventional elements incorporated into the design of new offices and office refurbishments, with the intention to increase employee wellbeing – including greater use of sit-to-stand desks for better posture – and to strengthen bonds between team members.
Following on from Google’s lead in integrating pods, egg chairs and gaming rooms into their office design, such items are likely to feature more widely in Australian offices. Recreational rooms, social lunch rooms, meditation zones and other relaxation spaces are also in the mix.
In a push to make workplaces more dynamic, flexibility of space utilisation is also increasing. One example is enabling seldom-used conference rooms or boardrooms to be easily reconfigured, as required, into smaller breakout areas for collaborative teamwork or private spaces serving to provide improved concentration.
In a further effort to ensure staff members are happy – and improve their concentration levels – the 2017 trend of incorporating more greenery and environmentally-friendly elements into workplace fitouts will continue this year. Think rooftop gardens, water features, living walls (vertical dividers filled with pot plants) and the use of recycled materials.
To help create more harmonious and uplifting spaces, rich earthy tones are also expected to be popular throughout the year.
More and more, hotel, restaurant, cafe and bar fitouts are all about “the experience”.
A rise in accessible technology means hospitality venues are increasingly shifting to automated services – enabling them to cut staff costs and do away with paper dockets – such as enabling diners to order at the table via a tablet linked directly with the kitchen.
Dynamic spaces, rather than static environments, are also being preferred for retail use.
Pop-up shops have never been more popular and retail development is also trending towards trendy alleys, market-style streets and similar dynamic spaces where people can shop and socialise, as opposed to massive shopping malls.
With change being embraced more by society than ever before, the personalisation of the shopping experience by regularly refreshing the look of the store is a sound strategy for retailers. Flexibility within a store’s design, to enable easy layout changes, assists with this.
Being able to innovate and offer memorable shopping experiences is key. A shop’s fitout must also seek to encourage greater human engagement, as service and experience is what differentiates bricks-and-mortar shopping from online shopping.