As we say goodbye to winter, people are gearing up for the spring clean. And your office environment should be no exception. If your office is looking a little tiresome and you’ve become a little complacent during the winter slump, now could be the perfect time to revitalise and bring a new lease of life into your office. We look at the top office design trends of 2020 to give you fresh inspiration and to help your employees have a spring in their step.
Current office design trends
Collaborative office furniture
As employers work on more ways to improve staff retention, they are seeking innovative ways to make the office environment a more comfortable and inviting one. One of the trends we’ve personally noticed from our clients is collaborative spaces. They are starting to see the benefits of providing better workspaces to help retain valuable staff rather than being in a constant state of recruitment. Companies are making the office their biggest perk with more social spaces. Providing more collaborative office furniture allows employees to interact more easily, be more productive with teamwork projects and helps improve staff morale. From inventive, curved desks to away-from-the-desk modular units, offices need to answer the changing needs of workplaces.
We’ve heard of how offices are opting for more open-plan workspaces, but more and more employers are taking design seriously as their companies grow and employers want to provide more autonomy and flexibility for their staff.
As agile working grows more popular, workspaces can be updated by providing movable furniture such as drawers and chairs on wheels. Multipurpose furniture is also an asset for the open-plan workspace as it can increase productivity and efficiency in work zones.
Ergonomic design is a key feature for most office plans. Combine this with other design features like multifunctional, lightweight and movable, and employers will soon see the benefits of providing a more flexible workspace as staff can manoeuvre more easily and adapt productively. Take sit-stand desks, for example, these office desks allow staff to have more autonomy and flexibility in how they approach work as well as giving more space.
Sustainable office trends
Sustainability and ethical approaches have been on the back of people’s minds for a while but this year is set to bring them to the forefront. With more pressure and accountability being placed on business owners and governments worldwide to become more environmentally friendly, and according to the latest report by Ambius on upcoming office trends, sustainability easily makes the list.
Here are a few ways to be more sustainable with office design:
- Switch to recycled and sustainably-sourced materials. Think ‘Green Friday’ as opposed to ‘Black Friday’. Opt for reusable and recycled goods instead of always going for brand new
- Bring more plants in to help oxygen and air circulation as well as improving environmental wellness
- Go for suitable wooden or earthy materials in place of plastic or metal
- Have energy-efficient appliances and lighting
Human-centric office design
Mental health and wellbeing are climbing higher on the list of considerations for workplace designs. This is why we are seeing a big increase in breakout areas, social spaces and rooms for leisure, like pool tables, ping pong tables, office bars and gyms. Recent findings show a positive impact on employees’ work and wellbeing when providing more social spaces.
Providing offices with more room to walk around is a great way to improve wellbeing and physical health as employees benefit hugely from being able to break up the day of sitting at desks with movement. Having a breakout area or room with comfortable furniture that is made for more social dynamics can give employees productive, casual team meetings.
Biophilic office design
Bringing the outdoors in is a growing trend for workplaces and biophilic design is inspired by the natural world and to make human-nature connections stronger. Linked with sustainability, biophilic designs include features that are ethically sourced, earthy materials like wood, stone and live plants as well as wall features that act as vertical gardens. It is very much about letting nature inspire the workplace as well as opting for biodynamic lighting and increasing natural lighting.
As technology grows faster with smarter devices helping with our home lives, another office trend is using smart technologies for the office. Smart office design lets technology improve workers’ productivity by getting tasks completed faster. Automated systems are being integrated more to improve efficiency and to bring down operating costs. Sensors, beacons and mobile apps are all contributing to smarter offices by helping employees perform menial tasks quicker and better as well as providing valuable data that colleagues and employers can use in real-time.
Sleep and meditation in the office
What once would have got you fired is now something that is being encouraged as some employers are starting to allow naps in the office to improve productivity and wellbeing. Companies like Google are installing sleep pods for their tech employees to take some short naps during the long working day. Whilst this may be more apt for bigger companies and for those in tech, it’s inspiring for workplace designs to think about staff wellbeing and nap areas. Cosier sofa beds or recliners could be placed in quiet rooms or companies may want to add their own ‘nap rooms’. These quiet rooms could also be used for meditation or for when any issues arise that mean some staff may benefit from a quiet time out.