Trend report: Interior designers at Perkins+Will discuss how offices will blur life and work in 2018

Trend report: Interior designers at Perkins+Will discuss how offices will blur life and work in 2018

Design trends 2018, Office design trends, Perkins + Will, Trends

Commercial Interior Design and designMENA asked Dubai-based interior designers to contribute to this year’s trend report that looks at themes and socio-economic events that are set to shape interior design industry in the coming months of 2018. 

The office of the future isn’t an office at all. At Perkins+Will, we believe that research is the basis for all great design, and design has the power to transform lives. By 2025, millennials will actually make up more than 75% of the workforce. The impact of this generation’s wants and needs has already made a difference in workplace design today.

One of the largest changes has been work and life converging into one. With today’s employees using an average of three different devices throughout their daily routine, we see that work no longer has a ‘start’ and an ‘end’. Today’s workers will check emails before they get out of bed, or work on reports while commuting from one place to another and an ‘office’ isn’t a place you go to anymore.

Adriana Graur, Perkins + Will


Desks are no longer the building blocks of offices. With the advent of latest technologies, your office now moves with you, which means that today’s workers can work anywhere – and want to. Since the lines are blurred between work and life, we have seen that more of the ‘lifestyle’ elements are popping up in offices. Lounges, kitchens, game areas are now being introduced as part of the office landscape. Technology transforms any environment into a working environment today.

Laila al Yousuf, Perkins + Will


We are creating a new kind of reality – one in which physical and digital environments are woven together throughout our daily lives. Cyberspace is not a destination. It’s about seamless integration.

What if you never had to look for parking anymore, because you could digitally reserve a spot before your next meeting? Or if you didn’t need a reception anymore because guests would automatically be received upon entering a building? And wouldn’t it be great if minutes were automatically transcribed and sent out immediately after a meeting? What if office supplies automatically reloaded themselves as required? Or if you could virtually connect with a colleague in Paris and have your conversation translated?


Sustainability is the most relevant trend. Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Carbon will be a minimum standard as well as specifying restorative products. Technology will be our tool to create smarter environments that adapt to a space as we do. Today’s approach only slows the ecological decline, but we need to actively reverse the current situation, to create a regenerative environment.


WELL building standards and LEED are guidelines for sustainable and healthy design. The WELL building standards focus on the health of staff, but it has a real and measurable impact on the bottomline too.

Absenteeism costs companies billions of dollars each year and absenteeism is 27% lower for employees who eat healthy and exercise regularly.

This, alongside offices transcending from the conventional to a blurred work-life setting, means that healthy work environments are actually fundamental to workplace design. Healthy food choices, incorporation of gyms, sit/stand desking, good ergonomics, employee health benefit programmes all now need to be must-haves within an office.

Our recently completed Adidas office incorporates several of these ideas. A space built around health and wellness for staff, there is a gym, full café with healthy food choices, and even a running track that is used as wayfinding around the office.

Adidas’ new office also gives staff several choices of areas to work from, with integrated technology that seamlessly connects them to their colleagues in their offices worldwide.

LinkedIn’s (read full case study on Perkins + Will’s LinkedIn office) office that features a games room is an example of the Work Casual trend, blurring the lines between life and work and still giving staff alternative locations to meet and work from.

By Adriana Graur and Laila al Yousuf, Interior Designers at Perkins+Will

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