The trends shaping work in 2022: experience design

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As offices evolve into hubs for creativity and collaboration, greater effort will need to be made to create environments that are stimulating and optimistic for employees.

From beige to biophilia, boardrooms to breakout zones, tomorrow’s offices will have fun, wellbeing and conviviality at their heart. In the hybrid world, where attending a central HQ is no longer enforced on a daily basis and employees also have the option to work from home or a local flexspace, offices are becoming places that people look forward to spending time in. This shift has kick-started a new trend for ‘experience design’, with a view to creating workplaces that enhance communication, collaboration and productivity.

Tech giants such as Google and Facebook have famously been forerunners of this trend, splashing cash on enviable facilities ranging from restaurants serving high-quality free food to on-site gyms, Lego zones, slides and bowling alleys. Facilities at Google’s forthcoming HQ in London, for example, will include a 25m swimming pool, indoor basketball court, massage rooms and a roof garden.

There will also be the La La library, a quiet zone with peaceful areas for individual-focused work and an ‘ocular interactive art installation’ that features a window to the passing clouds to support wellness of staff. In the US, Google is piloting an outdoor concept called the Hive. “Our focus remains on creating flexible workspaces that foster innovation, creativity and inclusivity,” says a spokesperson for the company.

The continued expansion of Regus’ flexible workspaces across suburban and rural areas will also mean more vibrant places to work in the heart of local communities. Each and every Regus location is designed to meet a variety of workstyle needs, with coworking zones for collaboration, breakout areas for brainstorming and private meeting rooms. For members that who their own Regus office, there is even the option to customise the design and layout of cubicles, as well as build in bespoke technology solutions.

The rise of the ‘workplace experience manager’

Although hybrid workers will only be going into an office or coworking space part-time, when they do, the aim is for them to have a highly motivating experience. But who will be in charge of delivering this? In the coming months, ‘workplace experience managers’ will become important new hires – their job will be to ensure that employees get everything they need to work effectively when they come into the office.

Companies such as Netflix and Jaguar Land Rover are leading the way by employing workplace experience managers to ensure that their offices are places where staff are happy to spend time and to help to build a positive culture. Responsibilities might include creating an events programme, scheduling extra-curricular activities for teambuilding, providing a user-friendly desk booking system and creating a digital community where employees can share ideas.

“In many ways, a workplace experience manager is a hybrid role between an HR manager and a facilities manager,” says Chad Smith, Vice President of Product Strategy at workplace and facility management software company iOffice. “They are responsible for the overall employee experience and the elements that influence it, including the physical workplace, technology and policies that shape the company culture.”

Experience design is one of ten trends identified in IWG’s white paper, The Future of Work: a trends forecast for 2022.

With locations in thousands of neighbourhoods all over the world, find out how Regus can help your business thrive in the new, hybrid world of work.

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