Decoding sustainability A look at sustainability trends in the commercial design space-Kunal Sharma

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Sustainability in commercial design determines the effective and efficient use of space which has a low impact on the environment.

How sustainability trends are redefining the commercial design space

Incorporating sustainability trends into business design is no longer something a company strives to achieve. It has become standard practice for companies to go green and embrace the environment. Multiple research data confirms that a working professional today spends around 40 percent of active time in their workspace, whether in offices, hotels, healthcare organizations, ‘educational institutes, etc. Additionally, the worsening COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the work culture across the world that has transcended the design of retail spaces from functional to ambitious.

Sustainability in commercial design determines the effective and efficient use of space which has a low impact on the environment. Additionally, the emerging need for resilient work strategies increases the demand for holistic wellness, smarter employee experience and optimization of space which further play a huge role in the design of workspaces. sustainable.

Flexibility in spaces

Designing workspaces in a normal new world comes with several considerations to improve long-term profitability and meet space use goals. Based on resilient work strategies, companies make real estate decisions based on the work culture. The onset of the pandemic has led to the rise of the remote work culture. This has prompted commercial design players to focus on taking a hybrid design approach to creating activity-based offices. Including collaboration zones, social points, well-designed smoke zones, etc. are considered the key to flexible office design. Additionally, with the accelerating decline of one-on-one meetings and business travel, commercial design players are focusing on redesigning meeting rooms and integrating technology to create an environment for virtual meetings. To achieve this, commercial design companies are harnessing the potential of the VR application in the design of office spaces and real-time visualization to generate a simulated virtual tour in a virtual environment. In addition to this, technology plays a vital role in the display and merchandising of properties, offsite control, operations and project management.

Smarter, safer, technology-driven workplaces

Technology in design is the need of the hour. In the design of commercial spaces, it is no longer seen as a segment of smart office design. According to recent estimates, the global smart office market size was USD 34.81 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.11% to reach USD 69.12 billion by 2026. With the rapid adoption of digitization, players in the business design space embrace new age technology trends such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, etc. to create futuristic smart office designs.

Smart office designs enable collaborative workspaces, inclusiveness and enhance productivity. It includes – a smart user interface, temperature, lighting and mood controls. Given the need for social distancing standards, business design players are focusing on harnessing the potential of IoT by integrating contactless technologies for employee presence, automated doors, a heat shield, smart disinfection practices, sensor taps for drinking water and hand washing. All initiatives aimed at transforming a conventional space into a smart office space are linked to ensure the well-being and productivity of employees.

Workplace reflecting the values ​​and commitment of the brand

A successful, sustainable office design depends on the values ​​of the brand. Before starting the project, modern commercial design firms seek to prioritize brand values ​​to improve the employee experience. The commitment to keep the brand promise is becoming the focus of design companies. It starts with incorporating brand-centric designs and tailored elements to reflect culture and ethics.

The brand is worth it with the approach of judiciously used elements of the internal branding. It establishes a positive bond between employees and increases their dedication to the organization as a brand. For example, a company that has open workstations without private cubicles reflects an inclusive and collaborative work culture for employees.

Much of the demand for new post-pandemic spaces comes from layered organizations in which mid-level workforce, retail, healthcare, educational institutions, etc. returned to normal in terms of occupancy of workspaces. This is primarily driven by their need to leverage one or all facets of culture, collaboration, tactility of engagement, which makes communication eye-to-eye.

Holistic employee well-being

In a competitive business landscape, the emotional and mental well-being of employees has become a major concern. According to a recent report, at least 7 in 10 workers experience stress at least once during the working week in India. Thus, work-life balance and mental well-being are considered the priority when it comes to designing commercial spaces. Given the scenario, there is an increased need for social spaces in offices where employees can connect to achieve a better result. Apart from that, modern office designs incorporate relaxation areas and other areas where teams can experience mindfulness and meditation for their peace at work.

In summary

Workplace design is a powerful tool for expressing brand culture. There has been a long road from the simple renovation of the workspace to the transformation of the workplace. There is an increasing emphasis on modern design aesthetics combined with technology to bring sustainability. So, now is the time for companies to strike the perfect balance in achieving a hybrid and holistic approach to office design.


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