Over the past two years, workspaces have changed significantly in ways that have never been seen before—and have arguably changed for the better. Health and wellness are finding a center stage in the world of interior design. The average person spends more than 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, so workspaces quickly reflect changes in interior design trends.
As trends swiftly change to accommodate wellness and teamworking, and technology develops exponentially faster, workplaces change with them. Let's take a closer look at eight office design trends of the future.
1. Including Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor spaces have long been seen as a 'nice-to-have' benefit that might increase the allure of a workspace for potential employees. An outdoor space might include a courtyard, a rooftop garden, balconies, or even a private communal terrace. As research continues to reveal the connection between nature and wellbeing, having an outside space will be a focal point for future office spaces.
2. Hybridized Teams
'Hybrid team' and 'hybrid offices' were far less common prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now, a flexible work environment has become more commonplace, and office spaces are starting to reflect that. Future offices are being designed to be more supportive of hybrid teamworking layouts. That means they will support both in-person and remote collaboration spaces so that both employees working in the office and those working from home are supported in terms of functionality.
3. Resimercial Design: The Trend for Comfortable Offices
'Resimercial design' is another relatively new design term that refers to the comfort we derive from homely, residential comforts. These comforts often take shape in the form of soft materials, round shapes, and soft lighting features. These design characteristics are helping to shape future offices into spaces where employees can feel welcome and safe, encouraging a positive, creativity-fueled work environment instead of those only fueled by the pressure of efficiency. This includes incorporating comfortable furniture, carpeted spaces, and patterned walls.
4. Sustainable Impact of Naturalistic Materials
Office designers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of their choice of building materials on the climate. Increasingly, employees are demanding environmentally-friendly spaces in which to work as well. Therefore, to attract more employees, employers take their concerns into account by taking responsibility for the materials used in the building and furnishing of an office.
The future of sustainable office materials will largely incorporate eco-conscious products from manufacturers. These might include companies that are B-corp certified or those that can prove their products are carbon neutral. Businesses that produce electrical products should also have information available about their products' energy efficiency, especially since you can use this to market your business better to both clients and potential employees.
5. Collaborative Working Spaces Instead of Private Enclaves
A collaborative working environment is one of the primary goals of future office designs. Working as a team to encourage creative thinking and seeing through a variety of lenses has propelled successful businesses forward faster in recent years. This is reflected in the way that offices get laid out, with more large team-working spaces instead of small office cubicles. Offices with open-floor plans or innovative floor plans that combine collaborative and private spaces are rapidly becoming the norm.
Another aspect of this office design trend is the creation of what's called 'neurodiverse spaces.' These are meant as spaces to encourage mental wellbeing among employees. These spaces cater to psychological and physical needs, such as mothering rooms, prayer rooms, and even yoga spaces to help reduce mental and emotional issues that inhibit employees' ability to work and augment individual employee strengths.
6. Activity-Based Planning
While open floor-plan offices are increasingly becoming the norm, this doesn't mean that offices are forgoing dedicated spaces for common activities that occur within an office. In fact, these spaces are seeing a modern revamp as well.
Many offices are now opting to integrate creative spaces like in-house cafes, libraries, or even creative workspaces with comfortable seating and lounge areas into their office design. This trend can be a great way to both support creativity and productivity in existing employees, and to attract new talent.
7. Integrative Technology to Make Smart Offices
Any discussion about future interior design trends wouldn't be complete without factoring in the impact that technology is bound to have within any industry. This includes office spaces. Integrative technology in offices is rapidly helping to create "smart offices."
One example of integrative technology includes things like private booths with power and data integration to make hybrid meetings more comfortable. These can be used in offices with open floor-plans to provide employees with a quiet place to connect to online meetings or to take important calls.
8. Biophilic Interior Design
Biophilic design isn't an entirely new idea. However, more research continues to pile up regarding the positive impacts of nature throughout the workspace. You don't have to have an outdoor space to incorporate nature, either. Instead, biophilic design incorporates natural effects such as building materials like stone and wood. The interior design of an office might also include water features and often as much natural lighting as can be allowed for depending on the windows in the office.
One of the most important factors in biophilic design is the integration of plants. Whether this takes the form of plants on individual desks or a living plant wall that gives the entire office a fresh feeling, plants can have a very positive impact. They have been shown to improve focus, augment creativity, and reduce stress within work spaces. With open floor-plan and other modern office designs, biophilic elements like a living wall can serve multiple roles, like dividing a space or providing a backdrop for video calls, while also allowing that office to reap the benefits of incorporating plants into their office space.
Moving Into the Future
Are you ready to take steps into the future of the office in your own space? Zauben can help you do just that by bringing in living walls with convenient and affordable installation and maintenance. Moving towards the future doesn't have to happen only in new builds or for heavily funded projects. Instead, start making your existing office feel fresher and more welcoming, one wall of greenery at a time.