Monday 3rd June 2024

35% of workers spend at least half their week in the office.  

Although workers in other countries spend more time in the office per week, this is a lot of time to invest in commuting, desk-booking, and several other factors attached to in-office work. And motivators to ‘earn the commute’ are becoming entrenched in hybrid office models for employees demanding autonomy. Whether it’s a work-from-home day or a morning spent in a favorite coffee shop, employees want the freedom to choose where and how they work. 

But the office and work itself are actively evolving. Today, there are many different types of office layouts, from the traditional to the creative, as brand-new office spaces and systems are being designed to meet the needs of a workforce with fluid and changing needs.  

Our patented survey data from 2023 revealed that employee demands for workplace facilities have become erratic and difficult for managers to navigate. It mainly highlighted a wave of workspace returns. We found that workforce policies among respondents fell into one of six categories:  

  • 35% are split week  
  • 24% are at-will  
  • 12% are office-first  
  • 12% with designated teams for hybrid  
  • 8% are remote-first  
  • 4% work week-by-week   

Hybrid working trends in recent years have prompted a rise in more shared, flexible workspaces, and a move away from every employee having a dedicated, traditional desk working in a traditional office. 

Companies looking to retain and attract the best talent for their organizations are now urged to offer workplace options that prioritize and balance employee flexibility.  There’s also a growing need to optimize workplaces to cater to in-person collaboration and social bonding. Our survey also highlighted an interesting post-pandemic pattern: Once meetings start occurring in person, steadily larger segments of the workforce begin to get back into a rhythm and ritual of going into the office for connection, which then has a knock-on effect of attracting even more people into the office. This is also reflected in our worktech solutions, where we see that it’s no longer enough to just know what workspaces are available within an office, but it’s become essential to know who else will be in.  

Unispace’s 2023 Global Workplace Insights report supports this sentiment, detailing that 76% of the participants — made up of 9,500 employees and 6,650 business leaders from 17 countries worldwide — would be more inclined to head into the office on a regular basis if they had an assigned desk. 

Modern office environments have become increasingly digital and mobile-friendly, offering various features to enhance employee productivity and collaboration. Many offices now have easy-to-use platforms for: 

    To divert employees away from frequent work-from-home days in favor of face-to-face time in the office, organizations are increasingly adopting scheduling software for multi-room booking and to plan collaboration in the workplace. Integrated software such as Microsoft Places are introduced to support productivity at work, too. This is all part of the drive to streamline and optimize the employee experience. But diversity of work environments is still essential to the workforce, so here’s the various types of workplaces that exist today: 

    Office spaces

    1. Assigned workspace

    This is a dedicated workstation for an individual employee in any workplace, generally a traditional desk. 

    1. Breakout spaces

    Breakout spaces are informal spaces open to everyone, including visitors and business partners. This area is separate from the usual working area. Designed for quick chats and spontaneous meetings, it’s also usually an area for employees to relax, socialize, or eat lunch. 

    1. Co-working space

    A working environment which provides office facilities for various people, from different businesses. They may be salaried employees working out of the office, or freelancers and contractors. Co-working spaces offer great flexibility, with many creating an atmospheric community among those who choose to work there.  

    1. Coffice

    A coffee shop where people (generally remote or flexible) can work. The components of this environment are simple: Half coffee shop (café), half office = coffice. Initially a workspace mostly frequented by millennials, it’s now more a result of the shift to flexible working for all.  

    1. Conference room

    In North America, a conference room is a traditional meeting space set within an office environment. In Europe and Asia Pacific, the space is more likely to be called a meeting room 

    1. Connected offices

    A connected office is usually part of a smart building environment. It’s a space that’s tailored to employee needs, allowing workers to easily perform tasks such as finding meeting rooms or managing office facilities, in a quick and functional digital capacity.  

    1. Creative spaces

    Like breakout spaces, but usually more functional for creative endeavors, they allow side-by-side work between colleagues, clients, and communities. 

    1. Cubicle farm

    This is the slang term used to describe offices made up of individual cubicles. This is a more common design in the US than in Europe.  

    1. Desk booking

    Also known as desk hoteling, desk sharing, or shared desks. 

    These are all terms for the same concept — a flexible workspace, where desks aren’t permanently assigned, but rather shared between employees, to allow for agility and increased collaboration between teams. A desk booking system usually facilitates desk sharing and can often be tailored to specific business needs.  

    Flexible work and the office 

    Flexible work enables workers to be given the choice over where, when, and how they work. Employing a range of different workspace types provides employees with greater options and control over the best place to get work done.  

    1. Focus room/huddle room

    A small space, meant for one to four people, generally informal, and most importantly private.  

    1. Fun zones

    These can also be a gaming area or a de-stress area. 

    These are dedicated workplace areas which incorporate relaxing or fun activities like ping pong, pool, or other communal games. They’re meant to be a pleasant environment to help boost happiness and mood and can be good for business. 

    1. Home worker/working from home

    Someone who’s home-based only. This is different to a remote worker, who can work from various locations.  

    1. Meeting spaces

    A space, typically within a business environment, provided for singular events like business conferences and meetings. These can be either internal or with clients and visitors. 

    1. Nap pods

    Specially designed chairs, which are sometimes used in corporate environments and universities, allowing people to get some rest safely and comfortably during the day.  

    1. Neighborhoods or zones

    The practice of grouping employees, departments, or teams in the workplace 

    1. Pet-friendly workspaces

    This concept is exactly as it sounds — workspaces where employees can bring their pets in! It may sound distracting, but it’s been adopted and championed by major brands, such as Google and Amazon.  

    1. Phone booths

    A more fun and dynamic working space, which is typically small and meant for one to four people, generally informal, and most importantly, private.  

    1. Pods

    These are stand-alone units that come in all shapes and sizes and are designed to create a sense of privacy and boost concentration. Available in a variety of materials, some are even portable.  

    1. Private office

    A private office is a workspace with partitions or walls separate from the open office. Private office space can be provided to an individual or group that is working on a special project or undertaking work of a confidential nature. 

    1. Remote-working

    Remote-working allows professionals to work outside of a traditional office environment. It’s sometimes called telecommuting or teleworking.  

    1. Smart office

    A smart office is a workplace where technology enables people to work better, faster and, of course, smarter. Beacons, sensors, and mobile apps help employees perform menial tasks, so they have enough time to focus on innovation and growth.  

    1. Workstation

    Generally, a desk, but this can be any area in which you carry out your work.  


    Learn more about today’s flexible office and a smarter workplace experience with Eptura. 

    Research report: Attitudes to Hybrid Working.

    Attitudes to Hybrid Working Report

    The impact of hybrid work on employees and employers.

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