What Will 2017 Bring to the Workplace?

Millennials will soon become the largest generation within the workplace, and with generation Z now entering the workforce, there will be a much greater need for certain accommodations such as integrated technology in the workplace. Employers are just beginning to accommodate millennials’ wants & needs; and the demands will increase as Generation Z – the people who depend on & have only known a life with constant access to technology – enters the workforce.

Company culture is becoming more important as we see a surge of companies realizing the impact their actual office design makes on employees and their productivity. Thus, many companies will be calling Ethosource for our help redesigning their office! 😉 Young employees today value the type of work they do and hope to make a difference when they break into the workforce. They want to feel accepted, valued, understood, and part of the “work family” however big or small that “family” might be. A modern office design approach is more crucial than ever in the up-coming years and is going to help companies with employee attraction & retention in a big way.


A few specifics for 2017:

Office design as a whole:

During the past few years, companies have made rash attempts to appeal to younger potential employees by adding “recreational features” to their offices. While it may catch their attention that you have a ping-pong table next to their work space, the important thing moving forward is that that ping-pong table fits in to your company’s culture. Don’t just plop a Foosball table in the middle of the office – make sure it makes sense for your company.

Furthermore, as your company grows and changes, new positions will be created. With changes in technology and shifts in working culture, new ways of completing your companies’ work will also be created. Because of this, office design will become more flexible to allow for these new strategies, technologies, and equipment. Once a flexible design is implemented, the need for a complete office makeover every few years will decrease, as equipment & furniture can simply be added or removed to change the space. (source)



Clunky office storage/filing cabinets/drawer units are becoming less prominent in office design & are being replaced with sleek, small storage solutions, that may also double as additional seating. Cushion top mobile pedestals and storage units that include cushion tops are taking place of traditional storage. Check out our mobile pedestals and our low height storage. Lockers are making their way into the workplace, as less storage offers less space for personal belongings.

headlessguy sitting Low-Height Storage w Cushion

Integration of technology

USB ports and power blocks are becoming more prominent in furniture design as office spaces adapt to employees’ ever-changing needs. Your company may not be ready for virtual reality and augmented reality just yet, but in the up-coming future these will be used to better show what a finished project will look like. Built-in displays are gaining traction too, as the need for increased mobility becomes prominent. (source)


Bring the outside in:

We covered this topic in our “6 Benefits to Nature in the Workplace” article.

This point is increasingly important as we spend more and more time inside, in enclosed spaces with little access to natural light or greenery.  “A recent study has suggested as much as 95% of our time is spent in enclosed spaces. When such a large portion of our lives are spent inside, bringing the outside inside is important.” (source)

I think about our daily lives and realize that’s true – my own day typically consists of 8 hours of work, an hour or two at the gym, and home for some down time before bed. We don’t get out much!

The most interesting way to be sure to incorporate greenery in your office is a “living wall.”

We will see some big chances in office design throughout the next several years, all of which are pretty exciting!