Reflecting on 2023: Key Modern Office Design Trends

Image courtesy to NeoCon

The anticipation for new trends and innovations in various industries remains constant, regardless of the time of year. As we approach the end of 2023, the world of office design is buzzing with excitement. The NeoCon exhibition held in Chicago this June showcased some exciting new trends that have the potential to be game-changers in the world of workplace design. If you're a CEO, CFO, HR Director, or Facility Director, this article is for you. In this post, we'll take a closer look at the top 5 modern office design trends that were on display at NeoCon2023. These trends are set to shape the way we work in 2023 and beyond, so keep reading to find out more.

Flexible Workspaces

Flexible workspaces have been around for a while, but it's clear that they are here to stay. This trend has continued to grow in popularity, as it's clear that employees appreciate the freedom to move around and choose the environment that best suits their needs at the time. One such concept, known as "Activity-based Working" (ABW), provides employees with a variety of work settings that they can select and transit through depending on the work tasks they have to accomplish. Modern ABW office designs cater to this trend by offering a variety of furniture options that can adapt to different needs and purposes. This could include things like adjustable desks that can be raised or lowered, standing desks, and modular seating arrangements that can be rearranged to suit different needs.

Flexible workspace
Image courtesy to NeoCon

Biophilic Design

Incorporating natural elements into the office design is another trend that has been gaining in popularity. Biophilic design goes beyond simply adding plants to your workspace and incorporates natural materials and colours to create a connection to the natural world. The thinking behind this is that by surrounding ourselves with natural elements, we feel more relaxed and energized, leading to increased productivity and creativity. The use of wood, stone, and natural fabrics is becoming increasingly prevalent in modern office designs which more and more are being infused with residential and hospitality design elements.

Integrated Technology

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern workspaces, integrating technology into office design has become a game-changer. Occupancy sensors, room and desk booking systems are at the forefront of this digital revolution, and they offer a host of benefits to support the emerging trend of hybrid working and enhance the overall user experience.

Occupancy sensors, for instance, are invaluable in optimizing space utilization. These smart sensors monitor real-time occupancy levels, enabling organizations to make informed decisions about space allocation, which is especially critical in the era of remote and hybrid work. This not only promotes cost-efficiency but also ensures that employees have the freedom to choose when and where they work.

Moreover, room and desk booking systems streamline the process of reserving workspaces, making it easy for employees to find available areas quickly. This not only fosters flexibility but also improves collaboration as colleagues can easily coordinate their schedules and book shared spaces. This kind of adaptability is crucial in a world where remote work and office presence often intertwine.

Ultimately, the integration of these technologies not only optimizes space management but also enhances the user experience. It empowers employees to have a more personalized and efficient workspace, leading to higher productivity, satisfaction, and adaptability in the ever-evolving landscape of work. In a time when flexibility is key, technology-driven office design ensures that businesses can thrive in the face of change.

Integrated Technology Office Design
Image courtesy to NeoCon

Focus Pods

Office design is evolving to meet the dynamic needs of today's workforce, and this evolution is marked by a heightened demand for dedicated 1 to 4 person focus pods. These spaces are essential in a modern office setting, catering to the growing trend of collaboration and remote work. Focus pods which are ideal for Teams and Zoom calls offer a private and focused environment for small groups, allowing for effective brainstorming, project discussions, and video meetings. They address the need for seamless virtual communication, providing soundproof and well-equipped spaces for virtual meetings, interviews, and presentations. In the post-pandemic era, these design elements not only promote productivity and collaboration but also contribute to employee well-being by offering flexible and functional spaces tailored to different work modes.


Sustainability is a growing concern for many people, and it's also becoming a significant trend in the workplace. This means that office designs are being tailored to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable. This could include things like using recycled materials in construction and installing energy-efficient lighting systems. By creating office spaces that are designed with sustainability in mind, companies are not only reducing their environmental impact but also sending a positive message to employees and customers alike.


The world of office design is constantly evolving, and it's important to stay up to date with the latest trends and emerging concepts. The top 5 modern office design trends that we've highlighted in this article are set to take the world by storm in 2023 and beyond. From flexible workspaces, biophilic design, integrated technology, personalization, and sustainability, each of these trends has the potential to make a significant impact on the way we work. By incorporating these concepts into your office design, you can create a workplace that is not only visually appealing but also functional, productive, and sustainable. By staying ahead of the curve, you can ensure that your office is a space where your employees can thrive both personally and professionally.

Explore the latest office design trends shaping workspaces in 2023 with Sennex. Gain insights into modern office design for enhanced productivity and employee well-being.


How to Promote Wellbeing in Your Workplace with Good Office Interior Design and Office Space Planning – Our Top 6 Tips

When it comes to creating an atmosphere that is conducive to productivity and employee well-being, office interior design and office space planning can play a crucial role. A well-designed office can not only enhance productivity but can also improve the overall health and well-being of employees. Set against a backdrop of "silent quitting" and a "war for talent", progressive employers in Singapore are paying close attention to employee wellbeing within their HRM strategy mix. If you’re looking to do the same, here are six tips that will help promote well-being in your workplace with the help of good office interior design and office space planning.

Wellbeing in Your Workplace

Focus on Ergonomics

One of the most important things you can do for employee well-being is to invest in ergonomic furniture such as 'sit-stand' desks which enable people to regularly change position and move between sitting and standing. Height-adjustable sit-stand desks are an effective intervention for well-being at work. 

Behavioural research carried out at University College London (UCL) in 2018 suggests that sit-stand desks make employees feel happier and can sharpen traits such as decision-making and problem-solving. According to Professor Walsh of UCL workers using sit-stand desks were "twice as competent in their decision-making, and their problem skills improved by 64%. They also completed tasks measuring concentration and vigilance 10% faster and made 45% fewer mistakes. Their creativity also improved by 28%.

Promote Wellbeing in Your Workplace - Focus on Ergonomics

Use Natural Light

Natural light is an excellent way to promote well-being in the workplace. Not only does it help regulate the body’s circadian rhythms, but it can also boost serotonin levels and reduce stress. Office space planning in Singapore should seek to prioritise employees’ access to natural daylight wherever possible.

Moreover, the presence of natural light in an office can save energy and lower utility costs. Therefore, integrating natural light into office design not only promotes well-being and productivity but is also a sustainable choice.

Promote Wellbeing in Your Workplace - Use Natural Light

Incorporate Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is a design approach that seeks to connect humans with nature. Incorporating elements of nature in your office design can help reduce stress and improve well-being. This can include simple things like plants which improve air quality and artwork inspired by nature or more elaborate designs like living moss walls. It may also encompass natural analogues, which are patterns and design styles that imitate nature such as honeycomb patterns and the incorporation of natural elements like wood. Research studies conducted by Exeter University concluded that employees were 15% more productive when they had exposure to workplace planting in comparison to spaces devoid of biophilic elements and colour which increases anxiety and stress levels.

Promote Wellbeing in Your Workplace - Incorporate Biophilic Design

Create Zones for Different Activities

Different work tasks require different environments. Activity Based Working (ABW) is an innovative approach to office space planning that prioritizes flexibility and adaptability. Instead of assigning each employee a designated workstation, ABW provides a variety of different spaces optimized for specific tasks, whether that be focused individual work, collaborative teamwork, or relaxation and recovery. Office space planning is integral to the successful implementation of ABW. It involves strategically organizing the physical layout of the office to optimize usage and promote productivity. Furthermore, good office space planning can significantly enhance employee well-being by promoting a sense of autonomy, diversity, and adaptability in the workspace.

Encourage Movement

As has already been noted sitting for long periods of time can have a detrimental effect on health and wellbeing. Integrating elements that encourage movement in the office's interior design is an investment in employee health and productivity. A design layout that includes centrally located common areas, remote printers, or scattered water points can subtly prompt employees to stand and move during the day. Moreover, breakout areas with spaces for quick games, or even a small gym within the office can encourage exercise and stress relief. For the employer, this leads to healthier employees with fewer health-related absences and sparks creativity and collaboration. When employees move about, they interact more with their colleagues, often leading to spontaneous idea-sharing and team bonding: team bonding is a vital component of workplace well-being. It fosters open communication, nurtures a sense of belonging, and reduces stress by creating a more relaxed and enjoyable work atmosphere. Strong bonds among team members can also lead to increased collaboration and creativity, as employees feel more comfortable sharing ideas and taking risks. Additionally, team bonding activities can boost morale and job satisfaction, which can in turn improve productivity and employee retention.

Promote Wellbeing in Your Workplace - Encourage Movement

Control Noise

Noise distractions in the office can significantly impact productivity and employee well-being. Constant noise interruptions can cause stress, decrease concentration, and lower work efficiency. Effective office interior design can manage noise distractions by incorporating sound-absorbing materials such as acoustic panels, carpets, and ceiling tiles to minimize sound reflection. Additionally, strategic space planning can segregate high-noise areas from quiet zones, creating a balanced environment that supports productive work without compromise. This is the foundation of ABW.


Creating a workplace that promotes employee well-being is essential to maintaining a happy and productive workforce as well as combatting staff attrition. By following the tips outlined above, you can create a workspace that supports employee health and well-being and enhances productivity and creativity. Remember to consult with your employees when designing your new office space, as they can provide valuable insight into what works best for them. By investing time and effort into good office interior design and office space planning, you can help promote workplace well-being and achieve better business results.

Promote workplace wellbeing with effective office interior design and space planning. Discover top 6 tips to create a productive and healthy work environment.


Office Renovation Singapore

To move or to stay

Not every commercial office interior design project in Singapore that Sennex undertakes involves fitting out a brand new office.

We have over a decade of experience in working with client’s to successfully deliver office renovation projects in Singapore that transform and reinvigorate their existing workplace. Sometimes we work within the existing tenancy envelope to reconfigure the space or within a reduced footprint when downsizing however; in many instances clients lease additional space and use the opportunity that this presents to re-appraise existing office space allocations and create a better office space planning to increase efficiency and to have a consistent corporate image across all tenancy areas.

Improve Productivity

A good design for commercial renovation in Singapore can have a direct positive impact on employee’s productivity. Design factors like acoustics, temperature, lighting, layout, air quality, furniture and temperature plays a huge part. With good office space planning in Singapore, companies would be able to provide a range of flexible working spaces for their employees and therefore improve employee’s collaboration.

Technology Era

As technology is growing at an exponential rate is it important for businesses to understand what needs to incorporate into the office design right from the start to avoid reverse engineering. A good office interior design would be able to incorporate all the technology requirements to deliver a maximum performance.

Consistent Corporate Image

To attract and retain talents, it is important for a company to have a positive work culture and image. The culture should be consistent across all medium, including office design. For example, an open workstation layout would promote a culture of transparency and collaboration while corner offices may reflect a hierarchical organization.

Office renovation often makes financial sense as this obviates the need to shoulder the renovation cost of re-instating their office space back to the base building condition which is a requirement when vacating office space at the end of the lease term. Commercial renovation in Singapore also saves on the relocation costs associated with an office move.

Case study: Scoot
Case study: NTUC


Having successfully completed many complex office renovation projects in Singapore for many multi-national companies throughout the years, Sennex has an enviable reputation for planning and executing office renovation projects where the off ice remains occupied over the entire refurbishment programme.

Understanding our Client’s concerns on business continuity during the construction phase of a project and the potential risks associated with renovation works allows us to develop a practical master-programme comprising of a detailed schedule of works for our projects.

Working with only proven and trusted suppliers and office contractors in Singapore combined with meticulous planning ensures that your office renovation project will be completed on time and on budget with minimal disruption.

The Sennex team, which is a fully accredited and respected interior architecture, design and build firm in Singapore, has completed complex and large-scale office renovation projects for leading global companies such as Amazon, ABN Amro Bank, Philip Morris International, Boehringer Ingelheim, China Navigation and International SOS. We continue to provide post-occupation services to our Clients and our office design team can assist with layout and space planning reconfiguration should the need arise for expansion to accommodate additional headcount or re-stacks your office.

Talk to us to figure out how to develop a practical and actionable office refurbishment plan.

We have over a decade of experience in working with Client’s to successfully deliver office renovation projects in Singapore that transform and reinvigorate their existing workplace. Sometimes we work within the existing tenancy envelope to reconfigure the space or within a reduced footprint...


Activity Based Working In Singapore (ABW)

Activity based working is a catalyst for many companies to reconsider their working style and culture. This business and workplace strategy empowers employees with the autonomy to physically locate themselves in a best-fit location to complete their tasks instead of forcing them to undertake all their work at a fixed desk or designated cubicle. It provides freedom of choice for employees in where, when and how they work, thus helping them to become more effective and efficient in their work.

A dynamic workplace with a fresh, varied working environment would enhance creativity, interaction and well-being, and encourage freedom of movement for employees. It would also create a positive impression to visitors, as compared to the traditional ‘cubical’ and walled-up office. Good employers who desire an office space where talents are most likely retained and attracted would want to provide their staff a workplace that meets both their personal and professional needs. And that’s our forte. Sennex’s creative designers have the experience and capability of creating work spaces that fit all occasions and purposes – ranging from intense and focused work, to formal and opulent receptions and boardrooms, as well as to cater for informal & impromptu discussions.

The latest buzzword – Activity Based Working (ABW)

Selecting office desks is often a cost driven solution with little regard for the work typology to be undertaken. The one desk fits all approach is common in Singapore office design ideas and solutions. A single office desk size certainly aids space planning but may not necessarily deliver the most efficient results in terms of space usage nor, yield the most productive or creative work.

Companies readily accept that status dictates workspace size allocation but, are seemingly reluctant to allocate work space and office desks based on activity. Activity based allocation of office desks & types of work space based on functional needs may result in different types of work space and office desks being provided.

Benefits of Activity Based Working

Research suggests that this is particularly appropriate for knowledge workers who work both independently and collaboratively – by providing a range of work settings to transit through during the course of a day that is designed to support the specific work task at hand that this increases individual effectiveness, workplace productivity, creativity and collaboration but also enhances employee well-being. With a modern and efficient office design environment not every person may need a permanent desk which may mean a reduced real estate footprint which is another potential benefit.

Hot Desking

One common Misconception about Activity Based Working, which is a subset of Agile Working, is that it is all about Hot desking. A good understanding of your company is integral to understanding what model and degree of Activity Based Working is best for you.

As a Workplace Design Consultant, with competencies in both Workplace Strategy Consulting and full Design Capabilities, Sennex will be able to advise your company on how to properly evaluate the potential for introducing an activity based working model. Sennex uses cutting edge Space Utilisation Technologies to gather and analyse occupancy data thereby promoting informed decision making that ultimately could provide your Company with a competitive edge.

Case study: Hubspot
Case study: Turner Hong Kong

Activity based working is a catalyst for many companies to reconsider their working style and culture. This business strategy empowers employees with the autonomy to physically locate themselves in a best-fit location to complete their tasks instead of forcing them to undertake all their work at a fixed desk or designated cubicle.

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