Recap WorkTech 2024

WORKTECH is a research platform that aims to create awareness, drive change and provide specialist insight into the future of work and workplace. This year in 2024, Studio DB had the privilege and honor of being a sponsors of WORKTECH AKL 2024. We had our very own Kristie Smart – Head of Strategy and Design, speak on behalf of Studio DB.
25 Mar
Studio DB
Workplace strategy

As a leading workspace commercial interior design firm, we are passionate about making it easy for our clients to create environments that increase people’s well-being and productivity. This recap will cover briefly on what we presented on stage, centred on the pivotal importance of fostering a comprehensive comprehension of the needs of your workforce, facilitating the optimisation of your operational footprint within the workplace.

Delving into the evolution of workplace dynamics from the year 2004 to the present year of 2024, we explored the transformative shifts and emerging trends that have shaped organisational landscapes.

How do you design an awesome office?

Our Workplace Strategies often meet with new clients everyday who are considering the next steps of their workplace. These clients often sense that something isn't quite right - attendance rates are low, and the office environment seems underutilised. Yet, many are unsure of where to commence.That's where we step in, initiating dialogue as the cornerstone of our approach.

Drawing from our extensive research, we've identified the statistic: between 40% and 70% of office space remains vacant for significant portions of each day. This unoccupied real estate, for which businesses shell out substantial sums, represents an untapped resource.


  • Desktop computers dominate desk space, occupying the majority of available surface area
  • Numerous cords clutter the workspace, connecting wired mice and keyboards to computers
  • Landline phones are a staple feature of office communication
  • Brown partitions divide work areas, adorned with personalised photos
  • The office serves as a primary access point for internet connectivity


  • Cubicles have largely disappeared, replaced by more open and flexible workspaces
  • Workplaces feature expansive collaboration areas and meeting rooms equipped with various technologies
  • Bluetooth technology has reduced the need for extensive wiring in the workspace
  • Microsoft Teams has surpassed email as the preferred communication platform
  • Break room walls have been removed, and spacious kitchens now serve as the central hub of the workspace

The main takeaway is that the demands and necessities of an office have evolved drastically since 2004 and therefore we must acknowledge that offices we envision from today require even more radical flexibility and creativity to stay relevant in another 20 years and ensure that there is a return on investment.


Today's workplace designs must be future-proof, adapting and thriving amidst change, with a focus on people.

Office occupancy is rising steadily, expected to stabilise around 75 - 80% by 2044. Despite New Zealand's population growth of 15% - 27%, workforce expansion may be limited, with projections indicating a ratio of 5 new entrants to 10 exits by 2040. Factors such as increased life expectancy, declining birth rates, and purpose-driven career choices influence this trend. Employers must prioritise attracting younger talent and retaining experienced staff through adaptable workplace design and principles.

So let's invest time in comprehending the individuals who make our businesses thrive. Let's create workplaces that resonate with the heartbeat of ourworkforce, fostering resilience, adaptability, and a commitment to embracing the inevitable changes on the horizon.

Chat to us here, we'd be happy to help.

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