So Long, Cubicle Refugee

Trend Whisperer – A blog by Sherri Scheck-Merrill

In a recent Tech Trends Check List, a micro-trend appeared and it’s affecting all businesses regardless of how big or small. As shared Office_high chairspreviously, integrating the latest technology is crucial but just as important is the trend of adding specific furnishings that partner with the new method in which we work. A revamped workspace improves productivity, recruitment, retention and the general culture of a company or business, especially where multi-generational demographics are involved.

office_newcubeOver-sized desks and chairs pushed into dark corners and high paneled cubicles that isolate employees or guests are disappearing. Instead, lower walls, open environments with unassigned workspaces, community tables for impromptu meetings, smaller desks, private modules or pods strategically placed around stark, enclosed spaces for traditional meetings are the biggest trends being implemented in workspaces.

Following is a categorized list of tips on how you too can provide a space to adapt to the new method in which most are working today.

EMPLOYEE WORKSPACE(S): Please note “cube farms” departed back when benches and open office concepts started entering the Office_bikeworkspace. With most roles and positions today being “multi-task generated,” offering a variety of spaces your staff can comfortably complete different tasks is crucial. The key point driving this particular space trend is about providing options.  

TEAMWORK SPACES: Collaborative workspaces need to be open and welcoming. Today, there is a strong desire to share and learn from each other, so sourcing comfortable lounge-like seating and community style high tops are also key. Offering nooks, modules or pods wherein groups can work together comfortably is very appealing.

office_deskDESKS & MOBILITY: With so much of today’s workforce being mobile, offices should be as well. Unassigned workstations configured for the latest technology are also becoming commonplace for employees who telecommute and just occasionally come into the office. Even in hotel rooms, desks are beginning to shrink yet Office_hotel2they are equipped with plenty of plug-ins, excellent lighting and comfortable seating.

SEATING: Mobile seating, chairs with easy-to-move wheels, and plenty of stools around high-top tables are definitely on trend. Employees are increasingly aware of the health effects from prolonged sitting so there is a popular need to provide ergonomic chairs.

In summary, change is indeed the ticket for workspace designs and furnishings today.

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DSC01025Sherri Scheck-Merrill is a hospitality industry professional with a passion for excellent hotels and resorts. She is passionate about hotels, interior design, fashion, and beauty. As Vice President of Amenity Services Inc., she focuses on hotel business development and guestroom product design. She distinguishes herself by researching, teaching and reporting U.S. trends for her own fashion and export business.

She is a three-time nominee for Businesswoman of the Year by California’s Orange County Business Journal. A UNLV student-athlete/Harvard Executive Education Consumer Marketing graduate, she licenses popular retail brands for hotel guestrooms.

After spending several years on a tennis court, followed by the role of head buyer at the largest West Coast-based sporting goods and fashion apparel export company, her knack for predicting trends landed her a columnist position at Orange Coast Magazine. She is also the author of the biannual trend-forecasting report for a major retailer in Osaka, Japan, and writes a popular blog about trends for Hotels – the magazine of the worldwide hotel industry.

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