Last year we looked at 9 vital workplace design developments for 2018. It’s now time to look ahead and see what’s new for this year.
Workplace design has become a huge part of office culture and an increasing focal point for employees. Appealing office designs are said to boost office morale as well as improving employee wellbeing. Happy employees make happy customers so they say which therefore can impact on revenue.
With this in mind what workplace designs and trends can we expect in 2019?
A popular trend in recent years has been bringing nature and aspects of biophilic design into the office, connecting the inside world to the outside world. Research has shown a positive effect of having features such as plants, natural light, and views of nature have on employees.
A Norwegian Study monitored the effects of indoor plants over a long period of time in offices. They found that they can significantly lower issues such as headaches, and skin irritations. Read more about it here.
In essence it not only makes a positive impact in the office but also looks great!
Free-Range working space
2018 saw a big shift in design towards more open plan offices and this looks set to continue into 2019. Walls are being torn down and alternative materials are being put up such as wooden slats, plant walls and shelves.
Open space working gives people the choice of where and how they work depending on the task and their work style choice. It offers them a chance to work collaboratively on projects or just simply brainstorm ideas together. It also encourages different teams from across the business to mix and collaborate and helps remove any sense of corporate hierarchy. Areas such as open plan Kitchen spaces are becoming very trendy in not only homes but offices also. They are been used for working and meeting space as well as a lunch spot.
Even though offices are becoming more open plan they have the ability to be more acoustically private due to the addition of soft furnishings and the layout been structured into zones. Lot’s of different zones are considered but having a quiet zone is seen as essential so that employees have some level of personal space and an opportunity to concentrate.
With open plan being in fashion employees may not necessarily have assigned desks these days and hot desking might be the norm for some. Letting employees choose where they work requires a rethink of personal storage and centralised locker systems will become the norm.
Office design is not only to make best use of the space and to give its employees a home away from home but also to provide the workplace with a sense of identity. Clever designs incorporate company values, culture, brand colours and in general the brands image.
The right office culture needs to be developed alongside the business plan and goals. Companies need to identify, implement and support the right culture for their business. The focus should be on things like employee engagement, innovation and collaborative working. A working environment should be built around motivating people and allowing them to collaborate and thrive, basically getting the best out of employees. Sub-cultures within your company need to be considered, for example a designer may work very differently to someone working in accounting. All departments needs to be considered when looking at creating an office space.
Heritage meets modern trends
Many spaces now often balance the old with the new. These “old meets new” spaces often balance the heritage of an old building with modern furniture and décor, connecting the past with the present.
As much as open plan and agile working is in fashion there is still a need to have private meeting spaces. This could be your average box or glass meeting room however, some choose spaces that says something about their company culture.
This camper van is a meeting space that is both quirky and modern but most importantly serves the purpose as a meeting space.
Technology is forever changing. Having an open plan office with lots of different work-spaces makes it easier for people to move around and work off a laptop/tablet in different areas. Adaptable furniture will become a popular choice for many offices. Sit-stand desks are becoming the norm, which enables you to move between sitting and standing throughout your working day.
Screens are becoming thinner, bigger and lighter and with more people working collaboratively and bad desk posture a hot topic, the requirement for a flexible screen arm is increasing. Our Arc monitor arm is award winning that has been designed to move like its user. By marrying ergonomics and style with the evolving demands of technology, the Arc monitor arm is a perfect partner to any modern office.
Many companies now are driving lighting innovations in their designs. Lighting in an office has always been an important factor but lighting design by an interior lighting architect is another level of lighting design. The space and ambiance are things to consider. Brighter lighting will be needed in certain areas of the office whereas softer lighting could be used in areas like the chill out zones. There is also a move towards trying to create a feel for natural light through artificial lighting. An interesting concept is artificial skylights by CoeLux. With multiple settings these are impressive to see in action as they can change from night to day and imitate the sun with the timings of the day.
These factors can play an important role in improving performance as well as bringing aesthetic advantages to your workplace. In essence intelligent lighting design and smart office designs help towards keeping workers happy and healthy.
Designing for Physical and Psychological Well-Being
Well-being has been one of hottest topics of the past few years and will continue. Many businesses are becoming more aware of issues such as mental health, work related stress and well-being and because of this companies are even beginning to promote their well-being strategies.
With work being named as one of the biggest causes for mental health issues it’s only right that action is taken to help tackle this. Even though office designs and decor have proven to help, small things like offering fresh fruit in the kitchen and yoga at lunch breaks can have a huge impact on increasing productivity and reducing sick days.
Social interaction and friendships with colleagues contribute to a positive attitude towards work. Areas where employees can eat together or relax, will become more important in 2019.
For a long time now dogs have been our working partners, be it a guide dog or police sniffer dog. Dogs have proven to lower stress and anxiety therefore more and more offices are including dogs into the work family.
Mental health and well-being have become such an important factor that companies can now gain a certification in it. The WELL Building Standard is focused on enhancing well-being and health and is becoming increasingly popular. It looks at factors such as air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
Many of us spend a huge part of our lives at work and working hours are no longer 9-5 (for most anyway) so it’s inevitable that office design and décor will change. Workplace design not only looks at how to use the space but if budget allows, to look at new office spaces where fuller visions can be fulfilled.
The modern workplace seems to be all about its employees and their experience interacting in the space. After all you want them to love where they work! Just be sure that your office designs fit in with your company values and not just simply following trends.