There’s no denying that workplace design is currently in the midst of an overhaul. Today, cramped cubicles and private offices are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, with more and more companies making efforts to create more stimulating, smart spaces designed to improve worker engagement, boost morale and increase productivity. However, with new trends appearing and disappearing all the time, it can be difficult to know which design direction to go down. Luckily, we’re here to help. So, if you’re planning a renovation and looking for ways to improve your work environment, here are five office design trends that are actually worth following.
- Designated breakout areas
One of the growing trends over the past few years is incorporating designated breakout areas. While some people believe that having casual spaces where employees can get away from their desks slows down performance, a rising number of bosses are switching onto the idea that many of the best business ideas are born during downtime. In other words, when staff have the chance to get a change of scenery to de-stress and relax, it can actually stimulate creativity and enhance productivity – not to mention make the working day far more enjoyable. Whether it’s a casual business lounge, a games room or a simple seating area away from the main workspace, providing a spot where employees can escape the daily grind, re-charge and socialise with co-workers can work wonders for morale. It can also help employees to relieve stress and increase concentration levels, which can in turn increase productivity.
- Flexible layouts
Many offices are now beginning to shun permanent layouts in favour of more flexible design solutions. After all, the way in which we work is constantly changing, and forward-thinking companies are beginning to recognise the importance of having room to grow and expand. This calls for a more dynamic, future-proof workspace. One way to do this is to use adaptable office furniture. For example, modular furniture is now becoming an increasingly popular choice for many offices as it has been specially designed to promote flexibility. The main advantage of modular chairs and tables is the fact that they can be arranged into a number of different configurations to suit specific layouts and fluctuating requirements. Collapsible and portable furniture is also being used more to create temporary meeting spaces, canteen areas or breakout spaces as and when they are needed. When they are no longer being used, the furniture is designed to neatly fold away so it can be easily stored without taking up too much space.
- Less is more
In recent years, minimalism has become a bit of buzzword in office design circles – and it’s unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Workplaces are now becoming more clean, simple and streamlined, with the aim of creating more efficient spaces. Companies are opting for sleek, ergonomically designed office furniture to minimise obstructions and create a seamless working environment. For example, many modern workstations and conference tables are now designed with technology in mind and include cable management systems that neatly conceal the wires within the table. Another way to streamline your surroundings is to use space-saving storage solutions. Under desk pedestals, for instance, can transform an unused area into a productive one and help you to make the most of the room available without intruding too much on the floor space. Not only can clearing the clutter help to make your workplace more practical and organised, but it also projects a sleek, professional image that is good for business.
- Bringing nature indoors
Another developing office design trend is bringing the outdoors in. Sterile, synthetic workplaces are becoming a thing of the past, while more rustic, environment-inspired designs are here to stay. When you consider that most office employees spend the majority of their working week indoors, bringing elements of nature inside is important to promote wellbeing. Whether it’s using more natural materials, adding some greenery or providing desks with outside views, introducing environmental aspects into your office design can be incredibly refreshing. As well as creating a more pleasant environment to work in, it can demonstrate your company’s green credentials and it may help to stimulate creativity and boost focus. For example, one study suggested that exposing employees to natural elements increased efficiency by 12 per cent due to improved concentration and productivity. You don’t necessarily have to install a giant living wall either. Simple changes, like using bulbs that replicate natural light rather than bright, strip lights or adding a few potted plants around your workspace, can make a big difference.
- Multi-purpose spaces
Technology giants like Google and Facebook are known for designing highly collaborative, multi-purpose workspaces. Rather than having designated work areas, conferences rooms and private offices, design experts are now beginning to see a shift towards open plan spaces which can be used for a variety of tasks in a bid to encourage interaction, collaboration, innovation and creativity. For example, rather than the traditional desk setup or designated conference rooms, many companies are are now opting for large, oval shaped work tables and benches that can accommodate multiple people and can be used for a variety of activities, such as group projects and meetings. Office canteens have also taken on multi-functional purposes and are now being used not only as a space to eat lunch, but also as somewhere for co-workers to socialise and relax. These shared workspaces help to foster a sense of community and aid the development of ideas through increased communication and collaboration.
These are just some examples of popular office design trends you can expect to see more of in the near future. With the chance to create a more productive, motivated workforce, increase productivity and improve your bottom line, these design ideas are definitely worth considering when revamping your workspace. For more ideas on how to create the perfect, on-trend office space, why not browse our collection of quality furniture here at Furniture At Work™? You’re bound to find something to suit your needs.