January 19, 2023 | 7 minute

3 flexible workspace topics to watch 2023

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We’re now nearly three years into a new business and corporate real estate landscape forced on us by the COVID pandemic. The initial shock is gone and we have enough time and experience behind us now to objectively evaluate the pros and cons of the fundamental shifts that have changed the way we work.

And while opinions may be split on, for example, the future of remote work or the importance of corporate office space, there is no doubt that a number of aspects of the modern workplace that were previously largely ignored now play a central role in any conversation about how we work.

Going into 2023, it feels like a lot of these topics are at an inflection point. This is the year when those differences of opinion will be settled. We’re going to learn which way we’re headed — closer to something we recognize from before 2020 or something even more radically different.

These are some of the most important topics surrounding flexible workspaces and the trends that are influencing the reality of the modern office. Watch them as they develop over the coming year for a sneak peek at the future of the way millions of people around the world work.

Table of contents:

Which way will remote working go?

This topic may be more complex than you think. After what we’ve seen over the last three years, it’s easy to believe that the trend will continue but in fact there is now a strong movement towards getting people to come back to the office. In fact, many would say there is a strong trend towards going back to the office among people who want exactly that.

When remote work quickly became the “new norm” in the middle of 2020, the benefits for employees were clear. No more time spent commuting work, more comfortable surroundings at home, a better work-life balance and more. Millions of us discovered that we liked the newfound flexibility and adapted quickly to our new daily schedules.

Employers saw the benefits as well. In most cases, happier employees become more productive employees. Talent could be hired from anywhere since an internet connection replaced having to occupy a desk. Very significant amounts of money were saved after companies right-sized their real estate commitments to align with their real needs. Even more was saved on top of that in the form of associated costs like utilities, insurance, furniture and other expenses related to working in physical offices.

For many employers, these savings offset any perceived loss in productivity or smooth operations. Today, however, the hidden costs of remote work are more well known and many employers are encouraging or even forcing employees to return to the office.

Will they go or will they resign and seek employment with more remote-friendly organizations? Are millions of employees ready to return to the office after a break from the norm or have they become too used to the new norm? By the end of 2023, we will know who has more leverage in the workplace — employers who want an office-based work culture or employees who won’t give up their recently discovered flexibility.

More smart offices and data-driven decision making

Office spaces of all kinds have become a cutting-edge testing ground for any number of applications of smart technologies. Many would say that you cannot truly consider an office space to be modern unless it is “smart” workspace.

The technology is within such easy reach, the benefits are clear and anyone who isn’t leveraging the power of connected workspaces is falling behind. This coming year feels like the last chance to join the crowd for any facility manager that hasn’t already implemented smart services and solutions.

In 2023, data-driven decision making will become even more of a driving factor within the modern workplace. Businesses are utilizing data analysis techniques based on location tracking to design better office spaces, organize workflows and improve overall efficiency based on an accurate understanding of how people and assets move in their spaces.

Most often, the insights gained from digital tracking are applied to better space management. This involves making adjustments in physical spaces to better align with the needs of employees, making their days more productive and reducing bottlenecks where possible.

Beyond space management, smart office technology will continue to be applied to new ways to automate and simplify office life. Smart office technology includes devices such as smart lights, thermostats, air quality sensors and cameras which all help create a more efficient workspace by automating processes such as energy usage monitoring, temperature control, lighting adjustment and security surveillance.

Over the next year, look for smart office technology to become an expected standard that helps reduce energy costs while maintaining a comfortable work environment for employees which leads to higher productivity levels overall.

Office makeovers to fit needs

Employers need to make workspaces more comfortable to entice employees back to the office but they also need to make changes that enable productivity while they’re there. This means fewer rows of desks and spaces meant for different sizes of groups with different kinds of tasks.

Setting up flexible seating options is a good place to start for any office that hasn’t already done so. The move away from traditional cubicles and desks towards more flexible seating options, such as standing desks, couches and more is easy to spot. These changes allow employees to move around during the day in order to stay comfortable and productive. It also provides a chance for businesses to add some personality into their workspace with brightly colored furniture or a unique touch of style.

Different kinds and sizes of collaborative spaces are becoming a must-have in any modern office setup. These areas provide a place for teams to come together for both formal meetings and informal conversations. They can also help foster creativity by providing plenty of space for group brainstorming sessions or team-building exercises. Many companies have found that these collaborative spaces are essential for creating a healthy workplace culture where employees feel connected and valued.

All in all, these trends point towards a workplace that is geared towards helping employees feel connected while still maximizing efficiency within the organization itself.

2023 will be an exciting year for workspace trends

As we move into 2023, it is clear that flexible workspace trends are continuing on an upward trajectory with more companies embracing remote working solutions and utilizing advanced technologies like virtual reality and data analytics tools within their workplaces. By understanding these trends now, managers can prepare themselves for future changes and ensure that their business remains competitive within an ever-evolving landscape.

The workplace is constantly evolving and flexible workspaces are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes due to their cost-effectiveness and convenience factors.

As the world continues to adapt to a new normal, it is important for businesses to stay up-to-date on the latest flexible workspace trends. With the workplace becoming increasingly digitalized and distributed, managers need to understand how best to optimize their environment for maximum efficiency.

The future of work is changing rapidly, and the office environment is no exception. With more companies embracing remote work, flexible workspaces are becoming an increasingly popular option for businesses. As we look ahead to 2023, there are several key trends that managers should be aware of when considering how to best utilize their workspace.