5 workplace trends that will change the office world in 2020

The office world is constantly evolving, and the coming months especially will be a challenge for landlords. For some employees, home office will be a welcome long-term alternative, so office building owners must think about the benefits they can offer to tenants. The ability to adapt to new trends and put them into practice will be even more important than before. If you want to keep up (or ideally stay one step ahead), draw inspiration from the following overview of five workplace trends for 2020.

1. Accessories for healthy movement in the office

Design open space office with a natural barrier in the form of ropes at Seznam

Ergonomic chairs should be the standard today. It turns out that comfort in front of the computer and throughout the office is gaining a lot of attention, especially in an era when not everyone has similar equipment at home.
The amount of time employees spend passively sitting can be minimized with smart furniture and accessories. In addition to standing tables, balance pads and monitor stands, options include wearables that straighten the back or the presence of a physiotherapist directly at the workplace.

Shot of fruit bowls in the premises of the MITON company kitchen

Employee health care is also important in terms
of benefits and HR
. The result is increased loyalty and reduced absenteeism. After all, mild illnesses cause up
to half of all unplanned total absences from work. Not to mention that taking an interest in employee health improves the company's image even among competitors. According to a forecast by the Chamber 
of Commerce
, as many as 43% of companies in the Czech Republic considered introducing additional health benefits in 2019. The year 2020 is a great opportunity
to put these benefits into practice.

2. Connecting employees

Armchairs with tables where you can enjoy coffee at 100 Towers Holding

In 2020, companies should primarily focus on collecting feedback and tailoring work processes to the needs of employees. What does this mean in practice? Clearly greater emphasis on workplace culture and employee interaction. According to the experience of a number of companies, such as Deloitte in Amsterdam, hot desking, i.e. the sharing of one workstation by several employees, can significantly improve productivity and connectivity in the workplace. 

Millennials and Generation Z are looking for a way to connect with others at work. It is important for these generations to know that they are part of a whole. Hot desking contributes to socializing and optimizing space for higher productivity. Of course, when using hot desking, it is extremely important to ensure regular disinfection of the workstation. It is crucial to adapt the workplace based on your employees' suggestions. Right now, with most people working from home, it is the perfect time to ask what your employees are missing
at work and what they will appreciate when they return.

3. Employee wellness

A relaxation zone at Spaces Holding BV is available for individuals and entire teams

Employees achieve the best results when they are satisfied with their workplace and when they are properly rewarded for their work. In the last few years, concepts such as stress or burnout syndrome have become a negative and all-too-common part of working life. At the end of 2018, the General University Hospital in Prague published statistical data warning of the fact that one in five Czechs suffers from burnout syndrome. Unsurprisingly, the most vulnerable groups are top managers.

Design large meeting tables for business club meetings

 In 2020, minimizing the negative impacts on employees' mental health plays a key role. A helper on the way to balance is a nice working environment, which can offer, for example, the opportunity to play sports and relax and other work-life balance conveniences. Ginger, a mobile application that promotes mental health, concluded in
a 2019 report that over 80% of employees in the workplace are negatively affected by stress leading to obesity, anxiety and other health problems. When looking for a new job, 85% of people will consider the benefits associated with mental health, from workplace equipment to the possibility of flexible working hours.

4. Social responsibility

Shot of glowing lights and mossy image

A sustainable lifestyle is brought into offices and companies by individuals. It's not enough to offer sorted waste bins. It is hardly a surprise that one of the topics being addressed is sustainability, and not just in the work environment. On the one hand, efforts are being made to use sustainable materials in the construction and design of offices, and on the other hand, to educate employees. Smart and modern offices can automatically turn off lights, regulate heating, filterthe air, adjust shading and save water. In 2020, employees want to work in a place where sustainability is not overlooked.

5. Robots, virtual reality and modern technology

A shot of modern technology from Apple

When the presence of robots in the workplace was first mentioned, there were concerns among employees that modern technology would reduce the number of available job positions. Even today, however, various cloud assistants and robots are easily used for routine tasks. An example is the Czech start-up Rossum, which automatically processes invoices without the need to rewrite data. According to Tractica, the use of virtual digital assistants will become the standard. Datamation forecasts that by 2025 nearly 1 billion users in the workplace will rely on virtual assistants.

Minimalist style desk

At a time when people are meeting through a monitor, virtual reality glasses are slowly being transformed from
a gaming device into a work tool that helps visualize conference calls, for example. 2020 should be the year when virtual reality becomes part of offices on several fronts. Thanks to VR, you can move to an environment that you find relaxing, where you can learn various work tasks, educate yourself or just communicate with colleagues on the other side of the globe (or the other end of town).

Healthier and more productive employees in 2020

Modern work background with large comfortable armchairs

In summary

The five workplace trends revolve around healthy, sustainable and technologically advanced offices. The well-being and health of employees is paramount in 2020. The right approach can increase satisfaction and productivity, which is a good reason to pay attention to these trends.

Photo authors: Petr Andrlík, Martin Šlechta a Zuzana Benešová (Everbay.co), Tadeáš Seidl

Published April 29, 2020

Got interested by this article? Share it.