By Rachel Houghton, managing director, Business Moves Group

At the end of 2022, I made predictions for the year ahead in the relocation and workplace change industry. My main takeaways were a rise in ethical furniture management, with more strategic decisions for workplace configuration and a better understanding of physical assets.

Throughout 2023, we have seen elements of the above in our work with clients. There has certainly been a greater focus on the impacts of their decisions on their teams and the environment.

I expect to see these trends develop in 2024, along with a greater appreciation of the role of the workplace in people management.


When it comes to clearance and removal projects, more clients have been partnering with us for our sustainability and ethical disposal work. There has been an increased interest in these services as more businesses prioritise their Scope 3 emissions and their sustainability portfolio in general.

In 2024, we will continue to see greater conscious procurement from businesses when purchasing new assets and making better use of what they already own.

We are also anticipating that clients will want to know more about the lifecycle of their assets after they are disposed of, with more in-depth reporting to evidence this. The embodied carbon in furniture is shocking to clients, and it is encouraging to see better choices being made as part of stronger ESG commitments across different sectors.

Workplace design

Workplace configuration has taken centre stage with the push for a return to the office from business leaders. Changes to how an office is used have informed these designs, with more emphasis on collaborative and shared spaces. However, the importance of individual, proper desk space cannot be underestimated.

In 2024, I think we can expect to see more office design that centres around keeping people close together. Sometimes in big offices, several employees can be spread out across different rooms and floors, and therefore not even interact with each other all day. To create a community feeling, leaders are redesigning office layouts to keep people closer together and help make the office sociable and engaging. As occupancy data continues to dictate the size of space we use, facilities managers are finding new ways to support social cohesion in their buildings.

People management

There was certainly a focus on people in 2023; the people that make a business what it is, and how they are valued. Last year, I predicted an emphasis on how the office can better serve its people, whether this is from a comfort or neurodiversity aspect, a workplace experience direction, or simply the quality of the office.

We still have a way to go to fully supporting neurodiversity in the workplace and creating spaces that complement those needs. We are, however, seeing an increase in the use of biophilia with a greater wellness focus across workplaces, including more inclusive design involving light, acoustics, and textures. We are also predicting more emphasis placed on the use of booking systems, not only to ease anxieties but also for better workplace management. The FM industry is still in a learning phase, and it is positive to see this evolution and open-minded approach.

2024 and the future

I am excited to see the developments of 2024, with the aspects listed above all bidding for the most attention in the workplace. With many businesses looking to encourage team members back to in-person work for more days, and some going for an enforced approach, how will these changes impact recruitment and employee retention in the long run? How will these cultural workplace changes impact the physicality of the office? I will revisit these questions at the end of 2024 with a new perspective.

For now, as we prepare to embark on the new year, I and all the Business Moves Group team wish you a happy and healthy holiday break.

To find out more about our services and how we can help your business, get in touch with our regional teams.


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