Office Design

4 Things You Will Find in (Almost) Every Office Around the World

David Spence
October 27th, 2016
coworkers in a shared office space

While cultural and geographic differences mean companies around the world have their own definitions of work and expectations of an office, many workplace trends have gained international appeal due to changing worker priorities and the need to adapt to new technologies. Organizations are making major office changes to stay competitive in order to attract the best talent to their teams. As a result, these four trends are present in almost every workplace across the globe.


Communication technologies

workers in conference room on video call

Companies are increasingly using communication technologies like teleconferencing, mobile apps and online sharing tools to allow their staff to collaborate in a highly mobile world.

According to Herman Miller’s Global Workplace Trends Survey, video conferencing is one of the three most prevalent tools around the world, but other means of communication differ in popularity for each region.

What’s more, at least 45% of companies in each region stated that they support remote working. For offices across the globe, communication tools enable flex-work policies and collaboration between remote teams.

Collaborative spaces

coworkers meeting in a collaborative space

Many firms have established team spaces as the largest components of their offices. However, they differ in their implementation of these spaces. Some places opt for more flexible furniture and open office layouts while others use private rooms for meetings.

In an effort to improve employee engagement, workplaces around the world are making collaboration a key focus.

Though these office designs vary, the emphasis on productive group work is a global presence.

Sustainability practices

sustainable office desk with lighting and plant

As found in the World Green Building Trends 2016 study, while regions vary in implementation, obstacles and overall impact of sustainability, offices around the world cite operational savings (such as lower energy and lifecycle costs) as a key driver to go green.

Organizations are establishing sustainable practices like energy tracking, green retrofits and efficient office design.  

This shared motivation has made sustainability a common focus in most workplaces.


leather chairs around table in an office

Though chairs are an obvious workplace staple, they’re ubiquitous in offices around the world for a reason: physical comfort. Innovations in ergonomics, utility and style have all developed as a result of the chair’s necessity, with offerings ranging from low-cost mass-produced pieces to well-designed ergonomic options. Chairs have remained a consistent worldwide presence, more so than recent office trends like standing desks and exercise balls.

While chairs are considered fundamental, office managers need to take care when choosing seating for employees—no matter where or how they work, an employee requires a basic level of physical comfort in order to be productive.

Many global office elements are a result of a changing economic landscape. Companies across the globe use communication tools, green technology and flexible furniture to increase employee engagement, retain strong talent and create office spaces that are more adaptive to changes down the road.


Photos: Mooshny /, Magnetic Mcc /, /, ninabobo88, Nirzar Pangarkar