Think HBR

Interior Design and the Future of the Workplace

Tanya Killen
I attended Sydney Indesign, a two-day event across four districts with 50 exhibitors and 300+ brands which was an invaluable opportunity to gain inspiration and engage with local and international designers, specifiers, suppliers, manufacturers and developers.
Of particular interest was The WorkLife seminar Mobile- Working is the New Agile: How to Design for an ‘Out of Office’ Workforce Remote. Mobile. Agile. Is this the end of ‘the office’? Or, just as we know it?
Here are some of the points discussed in the panel among industry experts and global thought leaders around ‘The Future of the Workplace’.
“The rise of the agile workforce has seen other sectors responding to the design of the workspace, from your local café to airport lounges, hotel lobbies and the family dining table. Technology is allowing for an ever increasingly mobile workforce, the panel discussed how this is affecting workplace interior design and some of the implications.
We need to ensure a sense of culture and community in the workplace has not been forsaken to the kitchen bench or the local cafe. Face to face collaboration and building relationships are still the ideal although raising the importance of wellness and understanding among your workforce can be prosperous. Allowing agility can increase productivity, as well as build trust and employee satisfaction.
To achieve this balance any implementation of change in the work environment should come about as a direct response to the individual business and their objectives. Making sure designers and clients alike are assessing the drive for change and making sure it comes about out of need, function and wellbeing as opposed to trend. As designers, we need to make sure our brief is extensive, all stakeholders are considered and voices are heard to deliver effective solutions. Incorporating change in a work environment is not a ‘fit for all’ template that is implemented and forgotten, it is a continual and evolving process that requires management programs in order to make this change effective.”
For more information contact Webber Architects on (02) 4926 1078, email or visit
Tanya Killen2 Tanya Killen
Tanya Killen’s experience includes residential, commercial, retail and healthcare interior design as well as design and construction of space activation and pop-up installation. Tanya is expert at delivering well-considered, up to the minute design solutions that fully address the brief. Tanya is involved in voluntary design community groups (Out)fit and Pecha Kucha Newcastle.