2018 Design Trends: The Glass Wall Revolution Has Arrived

Glass sliding doors have revolutionized the workplace. Gone are the days of solid swing doors that block light, separate workers, and eat up valuable space. Welcome instead to the age of openness and collaboration.

Of course, sliding doors are just the beginning. If a glass door can work wonders for an office space, then a glass wall is a modern miracle, transforming a depressing office into a fun, collaborative space.

When it comes to office design, the trends are clear. No more cramped offices sitting at the periphery of a cluttered workspace. No more drab cubicles and dimly lit corridors. Modern workers want light, flexibility, and beauty, and glass dividers are their best hope for achieving it.

Privacy Is Here to Stay

Light-obstructing walls have been on their way out for many years. In their place, open floor plans and shared spaces have become the new norm. Such free-flowing floor plans excel at facilitating collaboration, encouraging socialization and spurring creativity, but they have their limits.

What if you need to make a confidential phone call, brainstorm ideas in quiet, or focus on your work without hearing your coworkers think out loud? What if you’re one of the many introverts who have been left behind by the shift to social workspaces? What if you’re simply tired of smelling your neighbor’s sandwich replete with raw onions?

Enter glass partitions and room dividers, which offer both transparency and privacy. Unlike cubicles, glass partitions don’t cut employees off from light or from their coworkers. They do, however, give them a personal refuge when and if they want it.

Natural Light Is No Longer Negotiable

Over the years, offices have been getting lighter and lighter as designers embrace the beauty of natural light.

It’s not just a matter of aesthetics. A number of studies suggest that natural light in the workplace boosts morale, improves productivity, and even increases wellness. In other words, a well-lit office makes for happier, healthier, more focused employees, and that makes for greater profits and faster growth.

In addition to large windows and cubicle-free, communal work areas, businesses have begun to replace their solid walls with glass dividers, which let both natural and artificial light flow from one end of the office to the other. That not only beautifies the space and lifts the mood; it also cuts down on heating, lighting, and cooling costs.

Space Must Be Open but Organized

The desire for openness hasn’t eliminated the need to define spaces. While office design has evolved, basic business needs remain relatively unchanged—the need to control foot traffic, to reduce noise levels, to separate a meeting area from a private desk, or a break room from a dedicated workspace.

The trick is designing a space that’s flexible enough to accommodate both changing tastes and perennial needs. While designers struggled with the challenge for years, tending toward one extreme or another, they’re beginning to find the sweet spot—that perfect balance between delineation and openness—and they’re doing it with the help of glass walls, which define and control space without breaking it.

Office Design Takes Front and Center

In today’s hyper-competitive economy, it’s harder than ever to attract and retain stellar talent, but the right office layout can go a long way toward creating a work environment that satisfies the needs of businesses and their employees.

In order to stay ahead of the competition, companies need to embrace the design revolution that’s currently underway. They need to adapt their thinking and adopt new approaches. From the arrival of ADA-compliant doors to locks that open with a smart phone, to the to the proliferation of glass doors and walls, there are plenty of innovative solutions to help them do just that.

Space Plus, a division of The Sliding Door Company, continues to lead the way when it comes to modern office design. Ready to get inspired? Check out our high-quality, flexible workspace solutions for more bright ideas.