Modern Workplace Trends

Top 8 Modern Workplace Trends of 2023: A Year of Transformation  Top 8 Modern Workplace Trends of 2023: A Year of Transformation  Top 8 Modern Workplace Trends of 2023: A Year of Transformation  

Top 8 Modern Workplace Trends of 2023: A Year of Transformation  

Last modified on : 11 september , 2023

Here’s our roundup of the workplace design trends that really made an impression this year. 

1. Workspitality: Bringing hospitality into workplace design 

One significant revolution in modern workplaces has been the rise of the experience economy. Taking from the hospitality industry, workplace design now looks to create experiences that employees do not get at their homes. The workspace interior layouts and amenities of the best hotels and resorts are designed for optimal convenience, comfort and fun to offer a memorable experience in every aspect and it is the essence of these elements that are becoming a part of workplace design. By leveraging the same strategies for the workplace, companies can ensure their employees don’t perceive coming to the office as a ‘cost of work’ rather than as it being ‘worth the commute’; thereby capturing a greater share of their employees’ ideas and creativity while also boosting the company culture.  In an era of experience, employees have choices and workspitality is about the way employees engage with the office. 

WGS’s office space in Singapore - Bringing hospitality into workplace designThis trend is effectively translated into WGS’s office space in Singapore. The office design concept reflects WGS’s innovation and passion as a forward-looking company while also paying homage to the legacy of the brand. Innovation, Craftsmanship and Uniqueness became the three pillars of our design concept that overlaid the legacy of the brand, local heritage and infusions of hospitality into the space. Resulting in a destination-worthy, hospitality-influenced office workplace with a variety of ‘themed spaces’ that were visually immersive, technology-driven experiences, and greater collaboration. One can also spend their downtime in arguably one of the best bars in Singapore while enjoying spectacular views of the Straits of Singapore. With luxurious surprises at every turn, this workplace turns a regular workday into an experience worthy of being documented on one’s social media feed.

Licious’s office in Bengaluru - workplace that is designed to understand the way people workThe newly done Licious’s office in Bengaluru boasts a design that is workspitality inspired. A vibrant, spirited workplace that is designed to understand the way people work. Flexible and dynamic, this office has work zones and fun spaces that allude the energy and vision the Licians stand for. The focal point of the workplace are the beautiful custom artworks lining the walls of the office space. These artworks mimic Licious’s ethos and love for meat and feature the same art. Highlighting the key brief of the community, an incredible breakout space, The Kebab Corner, was designed to be at the heart of the office. Employees look forward to trying out new recipes at the Gastro Studio, while scrumptious meals wait to be devoured at their very own Copper Chimney. Step seating and lunch huts together create the perfect space for socializing and celebrating. Understanding that this was still a busy working environment, our concept experts created functional workspaces and silent work zones, as well as multiple private meeting rooms to ensure that there were still concentration and collaboration areas for employees. The combination of the different spaces resulted in an office that was both functional and fun - making for an unmatched experience, one that employees will look forward to every day as they walk in.

2. Consciously Designing for inclusivity in the workplace 

Globalization and diversity go hand in hand. It’s not only the diversity of people but the way that technology and culture combine to increase the array of experiences available to us - impacting the ways we learn and communicate. Diversity — of people, ideas and talent is what makes workplaces vibrant, and more innovative. These workplace design trends seek to build an inclusive space for employees, and this is reflected in the way spaces are designed. The idea of embracing diversity and different cultures has seeped into the fabric of brand philosophies of companies worldwide. It not only encourages a progressive mindset at the workplace but also improves performance, attracts talent, and creates a positive work culture.Netflix workplace strategy

Netflix set up their biggest post-production studio in Mumbai with the same idea. Every nook of the office has been designed to foster inclusivity. Collaboration areas and work zones are given an energetic vibe with a warm colour palette and cluster seating. Meeting rooms and conference spaces on the other hand have a charged atmosphere - cool colors, soothing lights and acoustic panels to create a calm, peaceful atmosphere. The variegated colours and textures help differentiate the purpose of each space. The design ensures there is a space for everyone. The interiors focus on the movement and connection of collaboration spaces throughout. We balanced the space with a series of playful meeting rooms, collaborative spaces, focused areas and seating options to promote innovation. This project is our statement of belief that modernism has the latent capacity to convey warmth and to engage the users in an experience filled with profound emotional meaning.

Zonkd’s Shanghai’s workplace - corporate office design

The new L’Oreal APAC and China headquarters in Shanghai has a workplace design that’s truly ‘worth it’. We designed the space on a campus concept that celebrated the DNA of L’Oreal - a canvas of beauty, beauty for all - that celebrated the fact that there is one L’Oreal that celebrates diverse beauty, that one size does not fit all. The design therefore enhances the dynamics of the campus by creating choices through modular spaces, personalised functions and customisable feel. We created a kit of parts to enable the users and departments to express their individuality. Unique ‘beauty spots’ through the campus unify the identity of the space and bring a healthy balance of celebrating individuality and diversity while also being tied to one purpose.

Dream11 headquarters in Mumbai - A workplace that connects people to the brand’s unique positioning and purpose

Zonkd’s Shanghai workplace expresses a refreshed culture, identity, and brand with a contemporary vibrancy and excitement intended to generate enthusiasm among employees and guests as the company continues its rapid expansion. The project was an IA-Space Matrix collaboration and within weeks of engaging with Zonkd to understand its objectives and requirements, IA and Space Matrix proposed a 100% open plan, pivoting away from the traditional layout previously proposed. The corporate office design offers contemporary, open, multi-functional, and fluid, design that encourages activity-based work; almost half of the space allows for hot-desking or collaboration. In addition, there are phone and collaboration duck-in booths along with specific areas for focused work. Assigned seating and a variety of meeting rooms that cater to a range of user preferences are also available. Reconfigurable furniture provides flexibility and accommodates future growth. The welcome area, replacing a traditional reception, links directly to the product showcase space and pantry, the latter’s transparent design intended to facilitate informal conversation. Together these spaces create a large social hub as a buffer between client-facing and private work areas.

3. Highlighting brand values 

To bring the brand alive for employees, the most obvious, but most underutilised tool, to express their ethos is the company’s physical workplace. At Space Matrix, we believe the brand becomes the catalyst for magnifying the relationship between people and creating an environment where everyone is welcome. Every space at the workplace can help people interact with the brand in meaningful ways. It helps build a sense of belonging for employees. A space that syncs the colour palette, graphic language and typography creates a unique brand image and fosters a sense of place. A branded environment tells a story therefore supporting a common vision and mission. It also serves as a reminder to the internal audience and as an introduction to the visitors about what the company does and what it stands for.

Stanza Living’s new workplace
For Dream11, a cutting-edge and rapidly evolving gaming company’s playful headquarters in Mumbai, we took the challenge of translating the built environment to communicate and activate their brand stories in the workplace to create a space that is uniquely theirs. And  ensured an output that fosters creativity, enhances collaboration and improves the overall workplace performance. Our approach integrated the brand strategy, graphics, artwork, accessories and interactive digital experiences, however the design in itself is inherently ‘Dream 11’ - a company that lives and breathes sports. This approach helped the Space Matrix architects deliver meaningful messages through the physical space, connecting people to the brand’s unique positioning and purpose - with features such as themed rooms and even use of astro-turf in place of carpets ensures all employees are constantly reminded of the Company’s ethos Dual functioning design elements, including writable glass walls increase productivity and serve as creative tools throughout the space, while dedicated collaboration areas promote interaction and the steady exchange of information and ideas to help people innovate and support future business success to #DreamBig. 
Taikoo Li Qiantan - spaces for work and relaxationFor a fast-growing start-up with an evolving business, client base and brand, how can the workplace be a reflection of their journey while aiding organisation culture and creating a sense of belonging for their employees? Our vision for Stanza Living’s new workplace was to build a flourishing community and realise the goals set for the workplace. At the core of space planning was a vertical campus that provided connectivity from within. Elements of Stanza Living’s work have been integrated into the space for example a scaled version of the property experience is created for the employees to experience the #lifeatstanza and external stakeholders alike. To create a sense of belonging it is essential for employees to feel a part of the company, particularly in a new-age start-up, to get insight into the role they play in the growth and development of the business. We designed a running ticker that maps real-time milestone achievement in the central space for maximum visibility and impact. To create a buzz and infuse life in the workplace of a young brand, the floorplate has a central work cafe that serves as a micro-level community space. 

4. Creating spaces for work and relaxation

After more than two years of working remotely, some of the spaces and amenities in a workplace are now baseline expectations, others like foosball and gaming rooms are even less valued. Simply providing a work café for employees is no longer enough. Today’s workforce wants amenities and tools that foster community, connection, and collaboration, and that support their overall health and well-being. This shift has led to offering  a variety of people-centered amenities such as impromptu huddle rooms, scrum spaces, community-focused event spaces, respite rooms and multimodal spaces that doubles as a place to socialize and network or relax and focus. 

Kinaxis office Chennai - a workplace with focusing on both work and relaxation

Taikoo Li Qiantan, located in the Qiantan International Business district is a truly unique retail development that focuses on wellness and sustainability. The new space proved transformative - an open, agile, interactive and lively office that empowers employees to choose from a variety of work environments to accompany  a range of task oriented needs,  facilitates employee interaction and collaboration. The open, flexible, sustainable design employs best practices and incorporates the most innovative interiors, furnishings, technologies that support employee productivity and physical and mental well being. The facility boasts of areas specifically designed for down-time - including areas where you can work-out and work at the same time as well as meditation rooms to relax recoup during the work day. The new space, through the "naturalistic" design concept, creates a dynamic, future focused workplace while honouring the firm's history of excellence boasting WELL and LEED certifications. 

Nestle's modern office interior design

Kinaxis, a supply chain management and sales and operation planning software company’s new office space in Chennai meant to promote a culture of work communities focusing on both work and relaxation. One is  immediately inspired to explore upon arrival, thanks to large interactive media screens in the lobby. Flexible workspaces consist of standing workstations, informal amphitheatres and seating areas. These spaces are entwined with recreational zones that allow for collaboration in a relaxed setting. The design concept where work and relaxation co-exist has also been made possible with a work area that can be converted into an events space. 

5. Inspiring conversations that change the world

The single-purpose workplace is a thing of the past. The future of the workplace incorporates a great diversity of uses in one place. With conversations becoming an important part of the work culture for many companies, modern office interior design evolves to cater to this shift. A formal boardroom or two are no longer enough — offices today need to make space for spontaneous interactions and water-cooler conversations too.

Ceridian new workplace - office space with a fresh and innovative representation of the brand and its growth.
Nestle, a global food and beverage giant wanted an inclusive,  community-oriented workplace to express its brand values and embrace its culture with an aim to cater to the different working styles and offering various elements in one space itself. Space Matrix envisioned a space re-attributed to activities that enables individuals to be more effective rather than a one-size-fits all open office solution. We expanded on Nestlé’s 4Cs (contemplate, collaborate, communicate, and concentrate) to create a meaningful work environment.  

The reception area's architecture consists of a circular column that thoughtfully mimics a huge gigantic tree, amplifying the height and core ethos of Nestle's "tree of life." Moving to the workfloors, a Machan, an extension of the work floor structure, has been created for a balcony experience to the triple-height business garden and serves as a viewing gallery for the large screen at the backdrop. The business garden is designed so that it acts as an oasis built around greenery on each workfloor, embracing mindfulness while blurring the lines between inside and outside. The greenery surrounding the area promotes mindfulness. The business garden also serves as a Town Hall for collaboration, with nature-inspired elements providing a sense of serenity and choice of iconic furniture, allowing for maximum freedom of interaction and comfort while working. Well equipped with everything one might need, the business gardens are strategically planned at the end of the workfloor with a variety of seating options such as swings and fluidic shape tables for it to become a melting pot where people from different verticals have the opportunity to connect, spark conversations, an absolute essential for innovation and growth. The modern office interior design certainly manages to provide a great ambience for creative and exploring minds to relax and connect with each other. 

American Express Bangalore office - workplace that encourages informal discussionsCerdian, a global human management company, enlisted our design help to make their vision come to life. Their new workplace needed to embody the brand’s forward-thinking mentality, flexibility, and functionality and was meant to provide a space where people from different walks of life can partake in constructive dialogue, considering the space was an effort to consolidate their scattered offices and functions . The workspace interiors are hence built around the themes of convergence, contrast, creativity, energy and versatility. Ceridian also hoped for a more bright, airy, and vibrant environment with more variation in workspaces and more features that promote wellness for their employees.  Our design creates a warmer and more welcoming experience for employees and guests. From the reception, branching to the break area, an open office, and the lounge, a blue ceiling creates a tie to the brand, while connecting those key areas.

The new space features natural materials such as wood tones, pops of green and blue, and concrete to bring in hints of the outdoors and create a sense of support making the new office space a fresh and innovative representation of the brand and its growth. 

6. Looking at work-life balance through a new design lens

Office design architects believe the next evolutionary phase of work-life integration is to introduce work-life considerations as ongoing business practices and standard employment operational approaches.

The idea of creating a workplace that encourages informal discussions is key to the fluid design trends we are seeing in modern office environments. However, today۪s workforce wants more from the workplace; they want choices. At the heart of agile working is the choice to move around the office and work in areas that are specifically designed to support the activity employees are working on. With the changing times, an increasing number of companies are providing amenities that aid employees in managing their work-life balance a lot more efficiently.Scor’s new workplace in Singapore - workspace to foster meaningful interactions.
American Express partnered with Space Matrix to create a premiere employee experience for their Bangalore office. Work-life balance moments include a variety of settings where employees can choose to work at reservable desks, collaborate in multi-purpose rooms, or work from pantries or any of the amenities. Thoughtful design and furniture selection, access to charging locations throughout, and the firm’s suite of technology tools, amenities like a gym, a day-care centre for employees who bring their kids to work, a cafeteria, etc., all within an accessible distance from the work desk come together to create a workplace that truly enables “work-life-balance.” ServiceNow office in Hyderabad - Experiencing cultural heritage at the workplace

Scor’s new workplace in Singapore had four main objectives - an enhanced employee experience, fostering collaboration, a space that supported their workstyle and design that had flexibility built in. The space that emerged as a result of our design is ‘An adaptable landscape where mindfulness + inclusion meet technology + innovation to foster meaningful interactions. The space nudges employees to have a more AGILE mindset supported by new space types to enable COLLABORATION & FOCUS and connecting people. There was a move from a larger variety of ME work settings to a much larger array of WE work settings. This is to support Scor’s ever increasing need for collaborative work in the future office. The varied choice of ‘WE’ work settings are designed to support all personas who would largely come into the office to undertake collaborative work and thereby facilitate pathbreaking conversations. 

7. Experiencing cultural heritage at the workplace 

Companies are partnering with design-and-build firms to add local flavours to their offices. Localisation has been a well-entrenched business strategy of global companies, from product development and service design to marketing and brand building. Now, we're seeing that strategy being extended to even the look and feel of the offices of most companies. Until recently, there was an expectation that each facility of a company, irrespective of where it is located, would be a strong reflection of the company's global brand and follow its universal commercial office design guidelines. Though global branding and design guidelines continue to be important, companies now display a keen inclination to infuse some local flavours into the office environment. Such office spaces are in line with the 'glocal' (global+local) identity that these enterprises want to imbibe.

Coca Cola’s Singapore headquarter - Encouraging employee engagement through workplace strategy

ServiceNow, a software company that streamlines the workflow of other companies to make work easier for its employees, took a similar approach while designing its office in Hyderabad. ServiceNow wanted its office in Hyderabad to encapsulate a new approach to design that would humanise technology while incorporating their brand philosophy of improving the working experience of the employees with spaces in the office to increase efficiency and accessibility. The office also has design bits that pay homage to the cultural heritage of the city in its design. Flashy signs and wall paintings, for example, are reminiscent of the local culture. In order to accommodate a range of functions, formal and informal spaces have been introduced so that employees can have the best of both worlds. These spaces include a mix of seating options and surface heights to cater to different working styles. The use of greenery and communal spaces also helps to create a homely atmosphere that is immediately apparent to visitors.

8. Encouraging employee engagement through workplace strategy (Understanding the user)

The future has always been fluid, fast and abstract. Without a doubt,  the pandemic has accelerated the speed of change in the context of work and the workplace. With the traditional work environment and ways of working changing fundamentally, clients are turning to designs that support their organizational transformation and supports the ever-evolving work patterns. 

Coca Cola’s Singapore headquarter - Encouraging employee engagement through workplace strategy
Coca Cola’s Singapore headquarters underwent a recent overhaul to cater to the evolving needs. What emerged was the concept of a ‘Living Lab’ - a workplace designed around modes of experiences. The design of the Living Lab begins with the individual’s needs - understanding changing work practices, new work rituals and workplace experiences; how these needs translate and escalate to elevating team dynamics; and how the organization as a whole embraces the new hybrid workplace solution. The design focuses on providing an equitable experience for all staff in the future of the workplace. Wellbeing and creating social moments take precedence in the design leading to the evolution of the new space that embraces people, - a space that is ‘uniquely The Coca-Cola Company’s’.
Legato's office - workspace that upholds their culture of diversity and inclusion, amalgamates latest technologies

A long standing symbol that specializes in digital transformation and defines the future of healthcare technology, Legato turned to us to conceptualize a state-of-the-art workspace that upholds their culture of diversity and inclusion, amalgamates latest technologies, focuses on sustainability and pays homage to local craftsmanship.  

Space Matrix architects charted a workplace strategy that steers flexibility and agility into the company culture while investing in the right workplace technology to build an office experience that keeps future growth in mind and is a cohesive ecosystem that caters to the requisite of every user. Every nook and corner is meticulously thought of and reflects the company’s culture and values in the very high-performing, employee-focused workspace. The office features a hospitality-focused entry zone, a large work cafe, a variety of meeting rooms, and open office space, completed with pockets of flexible collaboration zones making it extremely choice-driven whilst keeping in mind the modern workday requirements.

Thinking of updating your office in 2023? Let's discuss workplace design concepts that can transform your organisation.