Corporate Culture & Productivity

Cubicles Are Out (and Other Office Layout Trends We’re Glad to Say Goodbye To)

David Spence
March 8th, 2016

Like most other aspects of the modern workplace, principles of a good office layout are constantly evolving. In order to truly compete and remain innovative, you need an office space that can keep up. Instead of filling your office with items that suggest your company is stuck in the past, you want a dynamic, forward-thinking space that inspires your employees, as well as anyone who walks through the door.

If you recognize any of these five outdated office layout trends in your workplace, it’s time for a change.

1. Isolated Working Environments

office layout trends

The old-school cubicle is slowly being phased out of most modern workplaces. These isolating work environments that don’t do much to promote worker happiness (if you’ve ever seen “Office Space“, you get where we’re coming from). Cubicles discourage communication and collaboration, which is detrimental when you consider that in today’s workplace, a social and connected worker is happier, more productive and more creative.


Depending on how you work and focus best, there’s still a need for work areas free from interruption. These spaces can dedicated quiet rooms or configured with movable walls that can be used on an as-needed basis.

2. Waiting Rooms

No More Waiting Rooms

In older offices, dedicated waiting rooms and lobbies were meant to be a comfortable place where clients and customers could wait until their scheduled appointment. Today, they’re seen as a waste of space more than anything. Now, foyers are often integrated into the office and allow the client to feel like they’re truly part of your company’s culture the minute they step inside.

When you have a strong company culture and a physical office setting that illuminates this, be proud and show it off!

3. Reception Desks


Just like how waiting rooms are becoming integrated into office settings, so are the reception desks that come with them. Receptionists used to do little more than schedule meetings, answer phones and redirect calls to the appropriate person. Now, these jobs involve much more and often are referred to as Office Managers. Rather than simply field calls, workers in this capacity have become integrated into the larger office setting. The growing focus on developing and deepening customer relationships has caused the focus of this position to expand, ending the need for reception desks altogether.

4. Bulky Filing Cabinets

Flexible Filing Systems

New digital storage technology is making bulky filing cabinets and their corresponding systems a thing of the past. No longer is there a need to hold onto years of paper documentation. Instead, you only stow away the things you absolutely need and use the cloud for the rest

For businesses that require certain forms of printed documentation, you can utilize movable filing cabinets that can also be used as desks or side tables. These are particularly useful for offices that are low on space.

5. Uninspiring Cafeterias

New Workplace Cafeterias

Uninspired cafeterias and lunchrooms do nothing more than encourage employees to eat as quickly as possible, then head right back to work. Thankfully, these aged lunchrooms are giving way to a whole new kind of eating arrangement.

Innovative companies are experimenting with personal chefs, food trucks and cafeterias that cater to worker happiness, as well as those with dietary restrictions. Some offices are even having upscale food delivered directly to the office. It’s important for workers to be able to relax and socialize on their lunch breaks. After all, worker health is incredibly important for productivity.

Evolution and growth are always good for your bottom line. By ditching these office design trends, you’ll prime your company for the future and ensure your employees feel excited and happy about working at a cutting-edge company. Now let’s say good riddance to bad office design!

Photos: bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock, Michal Kulesza, liber, bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock, StockSnap, Vicky Gu