Office design is always evolving, with the modern workplace almost unrecognisable from what it was 20/30 years ago. Today, many office environments are centred around creating a positive experience for those within it, as employee engagement and retention continues to be a top priority for organisations. Here, Coulter’s design team takes a look at the emerging trends for 2019/20 and handpicks the ones to watch.
1. Natural workplaces
More and more organisations are bringing the nature indoors, adding plants, shrubbery and even living walls to the workplace décor. Maximising natural light is another priority, with countless studies indicating its importance to employee wellbeing. Think glass walls, reflective surfaces and open plan spaces.
2. Gaming zones
A growing number of companies are introducing recreation rooms, in a bid to boost employee productivity and happiness. These activity-based areas are not only a great way to instil a sense of fun into the office, but they also enhance morale and nurture interpersonal relationships within the team. Table tennis, pool tables and arcade machines are just three examples.
3. Recharge rooms
Spaces for mental and physical rejuvenation, recharge zones are designed to maximise relaxation at work. Whether you have a designated room, breakout booth or a set of comfy chairs, activities in these areas include mediation, yoga, power naps and electronic-free breaks.
4. Upcycled furniture
A top trend in both residential and commercial circles is upcycling. The introduction of bespoke furniture made out of reclaimed material adds character to any space. Plus, for those environmentally conscious businesses it’s an inventive and attractive way to make your office more eco-friendly.
5. Informal meeting places
As organisations get flatter, informal meeting places are becoming more prominent. Standing height desks are an emerging trend that offer employees an alternative to the traditional boardroom format, while also providing significant health benefits. Likewise, acoustic meeting pods allow teams to collaborate in a semi-private, comfy space.
6. Old meets new
A trend that continues to gain credence is the merging of the old with the new. Antique and weathered textures add character to modern spaces, while contemporary pieces let a building with history do the talking. Picture exposed bricks, dilapidated steel and old warehouses being brought back to life.
7. Colour pop
The use of strong, vibrant colours to enliven the office space is growing in popularity. Splashes of bold colours, such as oranges, yellows and blues, lift an otherwise minimalist colour scheme, injecting fun and interest into the workplace. Bright fabrics, tiles and furniture are key ways this can be achieved.
8. Smart spaces
In today’s digital-driven society, the seamless integration of technology within the workplace is crucial. Tech-enabled spaces are now the norm, with staff able to plug in and work from almost anywhere. Video conferencing capabilities, screens and data sharing solutions are amongst the ways technology is used to help employees work smarter and faster.
9. Creative comfort
With most of our time spent at work, comfort is the key to a happy workforce. Office design is increasingly focused on ergonomics, incorporating comfortable chairs, sofas and booths to allow staff to work with minimal physical constraints. In open plan offices where noise pollution is commonplace, acoustic panels can also ensure the right level of comfort is achieved.
10. The power of pictures
A great way to convey brand identity, feature walls add aesthetic interest to office spaces and provide a chance to impress visiting clients. Examples include vinyl graphics, printed boardroom rules, framed testimonials and story walls, which chronicle the company journey and culture. Both fun and inexpensive, these interesting additions are growing in popularity.
11. Walls not walls
Workplaces are more open and there is a rise in inventive ways to divide up areas without falling into the isolation-trap of traditional cellular office design. Glass screens provide both privacy and transparency, while cupboards and storage planters are separators that make great use of the space. Practical, flexible and attractive, these are must-haves for the modern office.
12. Deofficising the office
The ‘resimercial’ trend uses the best elements of residential and commercial design to create a workplace that feels like a home-away-from-home. Infusing homely aspects into breakout areas, such as residential furniture and TVs, make an office appear less clinical. Striking the right balance between comfort and functionality is key to employee productivity and wellbeing.
If our office designs to watch article has inspired you to revamp your work space, contact us today on 01772 702555.