Co-Working and the Future of Office Design

September 25, 2012

With the emergence of new technologies and changes in the business structure, the way in which we go through our workday has changed drastically over the past few years. While the traditional office space with cubicles is still the norm, we see an opportunity for a major change in the style of design within office spaces in the coming years. This includes spaces that are more open, that foster creativity, and encourage teamwork – as well as furniture that incorporates technology and offers more comfort.

More and more new office spaces are being designed with an open feel meant to promote community and collaboration. Employers look to create more exciting places where workers can take a break, get inspiration, and support creativity. Companies like Google have paved the way for future office spaces who want their employees to attain a better life-work balance and encourage productivity.

Google Office Space and Lounge (photos from (left) and (right))

“The trick today appears to be to try and design different zones for different functions; the reason you go to the office is to collaborate and the office should promote that. It is not about hiding in the private office and going to the board room for endless meetings anymore; those rooms are both changing and disappearing. Even the old office system walls are disappearing; so many people use headphones now while they work that as Jo said, Headphones are the new wall.”
– Jo Heintz (from

Future office furniture design will pay greater attention to ergonomics and comfort. With technology being ubiquitous, we see it playing a large role in furniture designs of the future. We came across some futuristic designs that include workstation pods that cater to a worker’s every need. Last year, Kogan revealed their office of the future. The chairs, much like gaming chairs, have a foot rest, desk space for a laptop, a large monitor, and built in speakers.

Kogan "Gen Y Chair" (images from

In addition, London-based Japanese designer Shin Azumi created a modular semi-enclosed office environment that consists of multiple components that can be mixed and matched to create your perfect workspace – whether it is an open space or one with more privacy. It’s a very simple design that can be easily modified. You can read more on the design here.

"Cacomi" Office Environment (photo from

With this change in office environments, “co-working” office spaces, leasable by the day or month, are multiplying in cities all over the country. Demand is predicted to expand by as much as 40% in 2013 (source: This environment gives people from different generations the opportunity to blend together, ask questions, share experiences and skills, and learn from one another.

In 2011, Sampleboard offered 15 Predictions for the Future of Office Space Design. You can check those out here and see just how many came true and/or might happen in the near future. You might also want to check out Will the Office Go the Way of the Phonebooth and Mailbox? for another outlook on the future of office design.

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