As preconceptions about what an office ‘should’ look like continue to disappear, we are seeing some of the most innovative and exciting modern office design workplace history.
The rise of the open space office may have been the largest turning point, giving architects and desires a nearly blank canvas with which to work.
Today, the driving force behind many trends is not as much what the office space looks like, but rather how it can best be used. The goal is to help employees work as efficiently as possible while supporting their health & well-being.
After all, a happy employee is a hard-working one!
Some of these trends may seem unusual or even counter-intuitive. But considering the positive employee feedback and mounting evidence through studies, the following office design trends are definitely some that your company should consider implementing.
This basic idea of ABW has been around for nearly 4 decades. However, thanks to advancements in technology and understanding of work patterns, it has begun to come into its own in the past few years.
In short, an activity-based working (ABW) environment consists of multiple ‘settings’, each of which supports particular tasks. To do this, each setting must utilize the right equipment, and importantly, the right design or layout.
The care that goes into the creation of ABW spaces is what differentiates them from a conventional office that simply has a printer room and a conference room.
An excellent example is the Zenbooth line of privacy booths. These eco-friendly phone-style booths allow employees privacy for that all-important phone call or task that requires a bit more concentration. When placed inside an open office environment, it gives people a chance to work in two very different habitats.
Acoustically treated walls, a variety of built-in connections and electric adjustable desks make these far more effective than stepping into the break room or hallway. Office meeting pods can fit 2 to 6 people, so you can always find the right Zenbooth to fit your needs.
2. Biophilic Office Design
This design trend is all about employee wellness. The goal of biophilic design is to make individuals feel more connected with nature through the use of natural materials indoors as well as direct or indirect contact with the outdoors.
An example of this would be the generous use of real wood furniture in an office with glass walls and ceilings.
Today, biophilic design welcomes more unique utilization of natural surroundings. Living green walls are more and more commonplace, as are workspaces located partially or completely outdoors.
Numerous studies continue to show that this design trend has a positive effect on the productivity and creativity of employees while lowering their stress levels.
3. Incorporating Retro Touches into Your Office Design
As humans, our fascination with the old is nothing new. However, this preference was used sparingly for a long time in the workplace.
A vintage piece of furniture or décor might be included in office design. Another common motif would be to retain some part of an older building's outer façade (e.g. an old bank’s stone masonry sign) but completely renovate the interior of the building.
Lately, designers have proudly been mixing the old with the new.
One of the most interesting ways this is done is the repurposing of building materials. Large and sturdy wooden pillars that initially acted as supports are turned into furniture or even entire booths.
Retro touches may be more décor oriented – e.g. using vintage color palettes or retro-inspired furniture.
Perhaps the biggest change is the willingness to open combine vintage design cues with highly modern ones. Previously, designs would lean appreciably one way or another.
Many new designs equally embrace vintage designs and antiques alongside modern office furniture, equipment and building design.
4. Patterning & Bold Palettes
Just a few decades ago, you could guarantee that any office you walked into would have a conservative, solid paint scheme. This was considered to be the ‘businesslike approach’ and straying from this style would likely be detrimental to your organization’s reputation.
That has all changed – now one of the hottest design trends is the adventurous inclusion of bold colors and unexpected designs.
Like the mixing of old with the new, it is now common to see warm and muted colors contrasted with bold choices like pastels and the like. This is especially common in areas of relaxation or spaces where creativity is encouraged. Bold colors are often used sparingly so that they ‘pop’ and create a unique focal point.
One trend you may have noticed, and that is only now becoming more popular, is that of abstract and geometric designs being included in office décor.
These could be added into the paint scheme, as metalwork or even in window framing and glass separators. The accents give a memorable personality to the workspace, as well as a more invigorating atmosphere for employees.
Design Trends That Will Energize Your Office
Many business owners have the impression that design trends and changes are simply an egotistical or aesthetic pursuit that has no effect on the productivity of their business. However, this opinion could not be more wrong.
Most importantly, new office trends seek to create a workplace that feels supportive and positive to employees. Through increasing their comfort levels and reducing stress, their output increases considerably.
These design trends also increase employee retention. Your top talent will be offered similar salaries and benefits wherever they go, so an office that feels welcoming and easy to perform in can be the deciding factor.
Adopting new design styles can also attract desirable clients. Your prospective customers want to know that you are on the cutting edge – and as we all know, first impressions last.
Seeing a modern (even if that means modern-retro!) workplace with fascinating design cues can help secure new clients. Also, they will likely make the correct assumption that an organization that treats its employees with care and respect is going to do the same for its business partners.
To find out more about how a Zenbooth can improve your employees’ productivity, have a quick read of our FAQ. For further inquiries about our products, promotions, shipping methods and more, contact us today.