The Open Office Environment in 2017

The Open Office Environment in 2017

By: Rhonda Wessel

The open office as we know it is ever evolving and changing to meet the needs of today’s employees.  More collaboration is taking place in the office.  What makes the design of the open office different in 2017 than 5 years ago or even 10 years ago?

Technology has evolved to make our work spaces more flexible.  Most of us are currently creating mobile open office spaces and a most recent project we are working on involved what is now being called a Maker’s Space or another word for studio.  This combined an open office space with the Maker’s Space to provide an area for more focused and collaborative work.   As I was doing some research I came across Knoll’s “Open Plan Environments” and they have broken it down into four categories of types of open office plans being used today.


Focused Planning

“Today’s office requires individuals to concentrate on their work, while not being isolated from their colleagues. Focused Planning achieves that blend with a mix of panels, storage, and work space placement.”

Shared Planning

“Collaboration in the workplace continues to increase in importance and frequency. Shared Planning offers table and desktop solutions for both planned and spontaneous collaboration.”

Team Planning

“Larger groups need collaborative space that are woven into the fabric of the office, enabling team work without leaving primary work spaces.”

Open Plan Activity Spaces

“In the evolving workplace, Activity Spaces are ‘go to’ spaces accessible to everyone for everything from focused, individual work through large community gatherings.”

What trends are you finding today as you plan new open office environments for your customers?  To learn more about what Knoll has to say about today’s open office planning check out the link below.


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