The demand for office interior design and fit-out that emphasise innovation, sustainability and technology is on the rise as regional offices and global companies expand into Saudi Arabia looking to attract a younger and tech-savvy Generation Z into the workplace.

With regional headquarters looking to enter the Saudi Arabian market, workspace designers, fit-out and architects are finding themselves at the forefront of efforts to rethink traditional office space, opting instead for designs that incorporate technology, wellness and sustainability for enhanced productivity, according to findings from dmg events’ Workspace Industry Report: Insight into the ever-changing workplace environment.

Designing inclusive and collaborative workspaces in Saudi

The report reveals that the demand for smart office space and interiors that promote wellness and environmentally-friendly designs is on the rise, as business leaders rethink the role of the office.

Pallavi Dean, Founder of ROAR, and speaker at this year’s INDEX Design Talks, part of INDEX Saudi Arabia taking place from the 10th – 12th September at the Riyadh Front Exhibition and Convention Centre, says that global innovations and best practice when it comes to workplace strategy is naturally being integrated into all the commercial projects that they are working on in Saudi. “The global workforce is diverse and we can’t design for one particular generation or culture. Instead, our designs focus on an inclusive and collaborative space which appeals to a broad demographic.”

At the INDEX Design Talks, Dean will be tackling the five ways to design and plan the best workplace for companies in Saudi Arabia, covering productivity, wellness and generative AI.

Gen Z: Designing for Saudi Arabia’s new workforce

It is estimated that Gen Z will make up around a quarter of the global workforce by 2025, while in the Middle East, Millennials and Gen Z account for more than half of the workforce population, leading organisations and fit-out designers and interior architects to invest in designs that appeal to a younger workforce.

“We’re witnessing a complete overhaul of the entire landscape of workspace as companies move to a more mindful, technologically-powered, and aesthetically attractive office spaces. And they’re doing this with a new generation of workers in mind; the Gen Z’s rising influence in the Kingdom’s workforce means that companies have to incorporate innovation and wellness into their design strategies to attract and retain this new workforce,” says Elaine O’Connell, Vice President Design and Hospitality at dmg events, which organises INDEX Saudi Arabia.

Co-located with The Hotel & Hospitality Expo, and the Lighting Design & Technology Expo, INDEX Saudi Arabia will feature a dedicated workspace and office sector zone on the show floor with innovative technology and products from some of the biggest brands in the commercial interiors market.

Speaker at this year’s INDEX Design Talks, Joakim De Rham, CEO & Co-Founder, Swiss Bureau Interior & Design & Build says that a socially-conscious and tech-savvy Gen Z is reshaping global workplaces in Saudi Arabia and as a result they are creating spaces that resonate with Gen Z’s ideals and multi-faceted needs.

“From quiet corners for introspection, and meditation zones, to dynamic collaboration areas, the emphasis is on flexibility and wellness, infusing workplaces with amenities like gyms and nutritious food hubs. Comfort meets functionality with ergonomic designs, and tech isn’t just an add-on it’s central, while prioritising energy-saving solutions and sustainability elements,” he said.

For De Rham, offices in the region are not solely about functionality but is a hub of technology and wellbeing and with the accelerated embrace of these shifts – especially in Saudi – it mirrors the nation’s rapid development and global alignment.

Future of office furniture in Saudi Arabia

Mohamed Mabrouk Gamea, Retail Business Manager at Office Hub by NMG – an exhibitor this year, which specialises in adaptable office furniture and workstations, says the future of offices and office furniture is poised for continued growth over the next few years. “With the country’s focus on economic diversification, the development of new business hubs, and the increasing importance of creating modern, productive workspaces, the demand for high-quality office furniture will remain strong.”

Looking to spotlight the evolution of the workplace are the INDEX Design Talks, which takes place across the three days with the region’s leading architects, interior designers, fit-out companies, and global experts. Topics include: Creating tailored hospitality experiences for the Gen Z market, Unveiling the latest trends in interior design and architecture, and Generative AI for Saudi Arabia – The future of work.