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As we wrap up the first quarter of 2021, we've looked back at the past few months and analyzed the top trends surround HQ design that were taking hold. After looking at hundreds of retail institutions, specifically focusing on those in the financial institution industry, we were able to identify 5 leading trends.

Read on for the top 5 HQ design trends for banks and credit unions in 2021...

Virtual Collaboration Spaces

With more than half of executives expecting to offer remote working in the near future, it is safe to assume that there will be a regular need for collaboration between in-office and remote workers. That’s why it is critical to convert your meeting rooms into virtual meeting rooms, capable of video-conferencing. How do you do that? 

  • Placing screen(s) that can easily be seen from anywhere in the meeting space
  • Providing cameras and microphones for easy, clear communications
  • Equipping the room with smart, interactive whiteboards
  • Reconfiguring the space for better acoustics, or adding sound-dampening materials

You should also look at converting other spaces into virtual collaboration stations if you don’t have multiple meeting rooms. As teams become more dispersed, more and more of these spaces will be needed. One of the best spots to convert? Unused office space that was once filled with now-remote worked! 

A Variety of Workspaces

The modern worker can’t spend 8 hours a day working from the same space. Oftentimes, employees will take breaks and walk around the office to fight this fatigue. You too can help them fight this fatigue, and stay focused on work, by providing a variety of workstations to break up their day. Some of the most popular include:

  • Hoteling Stations (or Flex Spaces) - An untethered workstation that does not belong to one person, this space can be leveraged by any employee whenever they need a space away from their desk to complete some work. 
  • Comfortable, Private Work-pods - With having the experience of working from home, some people have become accustomed to working on their couch, or in another more comfortable working environment. Providing a living room space or break-room-styled space that is still meant for productive work is a good place to meet in the middle.
  • Creative Work Zones - Outside workspaces, nooks under the staircase, creativity is the name of the game here. The more unique (but still fully-functional) the workspace, the more creatively-inspired your staff will find the space. 
  • Collaborative Spaces - Well-distanced workspaces that allow for group work that is both engaging and safe! These spaces normally have technology like screens and other sharing tools.

Flexible Furniture

With the COVID-19 virus came the need for flexibility: in schedules, locations, and even the layout of the office and the furniture used. And while plexiglass is flexible, we are not referring to placing a few easily removable barriers between desks when we say flexibility in design. That’s so 2020! There are now more design-friendly options that enable physical distancing while being visually appealing and offering a more long-term solution. One of the most common of these solutions being modular cubicles that can be configured to create space between employees when needed, or convert into smaller workstations when more people return to the workspace. 

Pro tip: don’t just google “flexible workstations” and place an order online. You should work with an interior designer to identify which are best for your style, needs, space available, etc. Getting this right is important as this is a long-term investment.

Digital Signage

Walking the line between technology and design, more and more financial institutions are adopting digital signage displays in their headquarters. Why? Because employees want to be kept in the loop to feel involved, and regular communication via dynamic displays is the best way to do that! So now instead of taped up posters and a whiteboard with a picture of the ‘Employee of the Month’ taped to it, you can incorporate signage into your branch to:

  • Share important announcements or company messaging.
  • Highlight employees, success stories, and other feel-good content.
  • Provide entertainment in the breakroom.
  • Offer wayfinding solutions to new staff or visitors.
  • Display moving graphics or videos that accentuate your design or brand.
  • Create an overall more modern and engaging environment.

Eco-Friendly Design Choices

Renewable energy; recycled, upcycled, and reusable products; organically-made furniture and decor; hide and leather-free materials; etc. The modern employee cares a lot about the environment and they want their employer to care too. That’s why sustainable design is one of the hottest trends of 2021. In fact:

  • 79% of all employees say they would choose a job in a LEED-certified building over a non-LEED building. (U.S. Green Building Council)
  • 93% of those who work in LEED-certified green buildings are satisfied on the job, compared to 83% non-LEED workplaces. (U.S. Green Building Council)
  • Nearly 70% of employees say that if a company had a strong sustainability plan, it would affect their decision to stay with that company long term. And 30% of respondents say that they’ve left a job in the past because of the company’s lack of a sustainability plan. (Fast Company)
  • More than a ⅓ of people say that they’ve given more time and effort to a job because of their employer’s sustainable workspace. (Fast Company)

Looking for more HQ trends? You've got a few options...

1. Learn more about HQ transformations and everything that goes into it with these blogs and these resources

2. Look at some real HQ projects, as well as other types of project by clicking here!

3. Check out how DBSI can help you transform your HQ by clicking here!

4. Schedule a meeting with a strategist by clicking here or calling 1-855-ASK-DBSI.