Personalisation is an important ingredient of the hacker and maker culture. Defining one’s self and one’s group in this new age, where workspaces are fleeting and unstable employment is common, has become more important. The wish for personalisation of our common workspace might always have existed as long as we have had spaces to personalise, yet in the digital era characterised by new technology, transparency and new ways of organising, the way we define ourselves and our group will look rather different than it did in the old industrial society.

By bringing in user groups into the design process, companies can better understand needs and encourage contribution.

Scientific research is in fact presenting evidence that personalisation helps employees overcome memory limitations, creating greater and longer storage capacity and better resistance to interference. At the same time, as we see Activity Based Working, ABW, becoming a universal office trend, people will have less opportunity to personalise their office environment, especially when it comes to desks. In fact, the personal ownership of a desk runs counter to many an agile working strategy. However, many of the first ABW offices, several years on, appear now to be rather sterile and soulless. An example of an organisation meeting this challenge is the communication agency The Truth in Gothenburg, Sweden, are letting their creatives have their personal art on the walls and also sell the art. Thus, the room can be designed or decorated by employees, but desks, tables or chairs will be common property. Creating a shared and personalised workplace culture for a growing number of progressive organisations is the goal.

This article has been taken from the Kinnarps Trend Report 2015. Click here to download the full research paper.