Your employees spend a lot of time in the office on any given working day – maybe even more time than they do at home. That said, having a sense of convenience and comfort while working in the office are primary concerns for many. This puts your company on a mission to provide an office design that encourages all things positive — happiness, productivity, collaboration, and well-being in the workplace.
According to Forbes,
employees who enjoy and like the environments they are a part of end up being more engaged, productive, happy, and healthy.
As you plan for a new or refreshed office design to spruce up your workplace, you could get some inspiration from these trends that are seen to dominate in 2018.
1. Flexible and Dynamic Spaces
Dynamic office spaces are still hot, now that more and more companies are integrating flexible work areas in their office layout. Minimal restrictions are the distinguishing feature of this type of office design, where employees can suit themselves as to where or how they want to work.
In this office set-up, furniture can be moved or rearranged easily. This is very appealing for employees as they don’t have to be confined in traditional work stations. You could have office couches that can sit employees working on their laptops, as an example.
2. Biophilic Design
Biophilic pertains to the love of life and the living world (derived from the word “biophilia”), particularly elements commonly found in nature. The biophilic design thus uses nature as a backdrop where nature-inspired patterns, forms, and components make up the overall look and feel of your office.
This is especially helpful if you’re located in areas where access to nature is not readily available. A biophilic office design might include glass panels to let more natural light in; artificial or natural plants to bring out a sense of calm, focus, and energy; or natural colors and patterns to mimic the outside world and bring it into the office setting.
3. Technology Integration
No doubt, technology is a driving force that changes the way people and businesses operate. With a technologically enabled office setup, your employees can work smarter and faster, both of which are equally beneficial for your business.
As you integrate technology into your office design, make sure you include screens for presentations, video conferencing capabilities, wireless charging ports, smartboards, data sharing, and similar conveniences. The key is for you to use technology to help your employees address potential issues related to collaboration, communication, project management, and other critical business areas.
4. Home-Inspired Setup
The home-away-from-home concept is basically what this office design idea is all about. If you want your office to feel homey for your employees, infuse homely aspects into the workplace. Have a sleeping area, bar, lounge, TV or gaming room — you can be as quirky as you want!
Adding all the homey feels is meant to create a work environment that combines a good balance of comfort and functionality. It will be an unconventional workplace your employees would love to go to every day!
5. Innovative Areas
This office design will be welcomed by millennials who make up a large number of the current workforce. As a group, millennials share the propensity for an out-of-the-box work setup that could go from a living room type of space for collaboration to a casual meeting room with bean bags propped on the floor or a meditation room where employees can retreat when too much office stuff bogs them down.
It’s equally important for millennials to be able to form social circles within the office, and having more open spaces makes it easy to bring everyone together either for friendly or professional interactions.
6. Collaborative Meeting Spaces
Collaborative spaces are yet another office design driven by millennials. Millennial employees tend to move away from their desks and prefer to converge in communal areas for brainstorming sessions or for less formal meetings. They prefer an office design that encourages collaboration, learning and strong culture.
Meeting spaces also no longer need to be encased in glass doors as it’s important for office areas to be convertible (e.g. a meeting room to breakout or quiet nooks) enabling offices to make good use of space.
7. Privacy-Friendly Workstations
Despite the popularity of open spaces and flexible layouts, there’s still a compelling reason not to drop private spaces in offices altogether. If you should enclose some part of your floor plan, you could do away with traditional dividers or booths and instead go for more semi-enclosed settings that still let your employees work with as little distraction as possible.
You could even greenify your office through stand-alone, makeshift green walls that work just like regular dividers too, but with a more ecological and fluid touch to it.
8. Branded Workplace
This design concept is based on the idea that companies have a story to tell, and the way you construct your building or facilities can help you share that story to inspire your employees or the community. Your office architecture could be representative of your company’s humble beginnings or core principles – expressed in the fabric of your office furnishings, color palettes, imagery, and other design elements used in your work environment.
Which Office Design Trend Should You Go For?
All things considered, here are some pointers to apply in your office interior design hunting:
Don’t just settle for aesthetics. While you might think an aesthetically designed workplace can motivate your employees to no end, the truth is it’s not the be-all and end-all of employee productivity or employee happiness.
Take time to reflect on the kind of culture, values, talent, and processes that defines your organization and incorporate these factors into the overall look of your office.
Go for flexibility in employee and organizational levels. With an increasing shift toward flexible working conditions, you could focus on utilizing your office space to serve both the needs of your employees and your company.
For your employees, having flexible working areas means they can easily move into a spot that supports the type of activity or task – whether it’s something that involves collaboration or isolation – they’ll be doing at any given day.
For your organization, a flexible office design means carefully choosing your furniture, equipment, and technology to help your company suit up for potential changes in business units, priorities, or strategies as well as staffing needs.
Work with experts. Figari’s Design & Fit-Out principles are based on the premise that office design complements staff productivity and a successful workplace culture. Our services are highly personalized and reliable as we envision our partnership to bring office innovation at its finest.
Jen spent eight years in real estate, with six years in commercial leasing and facility management. She is now the leasing director of Figari handling leasing and business development. Her charisma and dynamic attitude certainly make her the life of the party. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and getting a tan.