Office design and ambience is finally garnering the attention it rightfully deserves. For many employees, the office is their second home, where they spend more than 40 hours of their week working. Hence, creating a comfortable and uplifting environment is also a key factor in retaining talent. Gone are the days of boring furniture and claustrophobic office designs that dampen company culture and morale.
Given the spatial and budgetary limitations that many offices face nowadays, innovative designs have burgeoned to provide solutions for the most basic of problems. Ultimately, a modern office design can boost employee morale, performance, and improve the bottom line of your company. According to a recent report, only 55% of workers say that the design of their workplace enables them to work productively. Thus, we can see that there is still a gap between acknowledging the benefits of an office makeover and implementing it to reap these benefits. Here are the hottest office trends to watch for:
1. Flexible office spaces
Flexible office spaces allow for dynamic arrangements that allow the office to become non-restrictive and transformative area for any kind of job. Adjustable, mobile furniture and desks allow small meeting areas to become effortlessly accessible. Nowadays, height-adjustable desks are popular, allowing employees to create a custom stand up desk should they need to stretch from staying in the seated position for long hours. Furthermore, the flexible arrangement gives employees the freedom to change their environment by exploring different sections of the office. Who said being desk-bound was boring? Should an employee require a secluded, peaceful place to really focus on their work, they can move to a quiet area or a sound-proof meeting room. Giving employees to freely move about is not only good for their health, but it also motivates them to become more productive.
2. Collaborative furniture
Collaborative workspace furniture would always be a vital part in any company. What could be more important than furniture that facilitates open communication, the exchange ideas in shared spaces and supports creative teamwork? Impromptu brainstorming session, informal meetings or interactive presentation, whatever the need collaborative furniture can provide that conducive environment.
There is a wide variety of collaborative workspace furniture, including freestanding media units where employees can quickly gather around a screen and display their work, acoustic pods where soundproof, private meetings can be held, and large meeting desks that are fully equipped with power sockets, tailored lightings, adjustable height options, and data sockets.
3. Biophilic design
Ah, mother nature! The major inspiration for all things creative. Cue the advent of biophilic design, which is a concept created to increase occupant connectivity with the natural environment. By integrating natural elements into the office space, such as vegetation, flowing water and sunlight. American biologist Edward O. Wilson first popularised the term “biophilia” in 1984, referring to the idea that humans have an innate attraction to nature and living things.
Light and transparency are crucial to create a more optimistic ambience. The most popular way that companies are introducing this concept is by inputting many large ceiling-to-floor winders to allow natural light to pour in. This is actually a proven way to boost productivity and create an environment conducive to execute work in. Natural design choices, like fish tanks and vegetation, not only create a more comfortable environment that sets people at ease, but it also satiates employees innate desire to connect with nature. Placing plants in the office provide fresher air for everyone, plus it boosts productivity and well-being amongst employees. Thus, modern offices are incorporating natural décor and elements into their design to create a calming ambience. What a cost-efficient way to help reduce stress levels and heighten focus and energy.
4. Integration of technology
Technology has been integrated into almost every part of our lives. So there’s no surprise here that it would play a crucial role in modern office designs. With everything being migrated to the online space, offices need to attain highly advanced technological equipment to keep up with the advancements. Hence, employees can work smarter, faster, and increasingly efficiently.
Not only are flexible working spaces important, but flexible hours are too! Companies now opt for laptops instead of desktops, to give employees the freedom to work from anywhere. These work-from-home arrangements mean that offices need to dynamically evolve to meet the demands of a flexible workforce. For example, power sockets need to be readily available around the office, video conferencing technology, screens for presentations, wireless charging stations, data ports, smartboards, and any other devices that facilitate smart working.
5. Comfortable work areas
If your employees are happy and comfortable, they will be able to give their best at work. Spaces that foster creativity and increase overall employee satisfaction are musts. Warm tones and woody furniture can be considered, to create a more homely feel uncomfortable chairs should be modified so they are more comfortable for employees.
When the grind hits, employees look forward to comfortable seating areas, where they can lounge on a sofa and accomplish their work. Recreational areas can also be created, to give employees a change of pace and bond over sports like pool or video games, or even sleep pods for them to take a quick power nap.
Office design has undoubtedly shifted away from the traditional norms of functionality and maximising headcounts to becoming an increasingly staff-centric affair. The workplace experience needs to create a place where employees feel valued, productive and happy. First impressions matter a lot. Especially if you want to impress clients who are visiting the office for the first time. Hence, besides accounting for the comfort and stylish nature of your modern office design, always remember that your office should reflect the values of your company. So that as soon as clients set foot in your office, they are immediately cognizant of what the company stands for and be convinced that they would want to work with you. Having a beautiful office creates an ambience that completes the visitor experience. Your office design is a crucial element that make or break your brand image. So, are you ready for that office makeover now?
Cover Image credits: Photo by Cadeau Maestro from Pexels