As offices evolve to suit the modern worker, it’s inevitable we would see the rise of ‘trendy’ office design. As with most trends, these seem to shift year-on-year, and it can be difficult to know if the impact claimed for each trend is genuine, or simple marketing hype. Today, Angel Shack has gathered all the latest office trends and the facts supporting them, empowering you to make smart decor and furniture decisions for your office space.
- Bringing the outside, inside
Nature has boomed into our offices, from using a wider range of shapes and materials to make office furniture, through ‘living walls’ and plants, to adding natural light and water features to enhance the look. Many claim this has positive impacts on the attitude of workers, encouraging more efficiency and a better corporate mindset.
The verdict: Yes, this trend has the science to back it. The human mind responds well to an environment rich in natural light and with less sterile, more naturalistic design elements.
- Multi-purpose working and encouraging rest areas
These two trends go somewhat hand-in-hand. ‘Hot desking’, multi-purpose spaces and a drift away from the idea of one worker, one desk, have all boomed recently. This has consequently led to focusing on recreation areas and encouraging a mindset of pleasing aesthetics in break areas, rather than trying to force people back to work with sterile decor.
The idea is sound- take the focus away from how you are working and put it back on the work itself. It allows staff flexibility to be productive as they need and fosters a play hard, work harder mentality.
The verdict: Adaptable spaces and versatile furniture helps companies keep budget down and style up. Flexible working and a mindset that acknowledges staff as human rather than automatons tends to boost loyalty and staff retention, too.
- Colour, pattern and texture
Gone are the days of indigestion-medication pink and sickly green being the only corporate colour palettes. Not only is the bold and intriguing use of colour encouraged, but it’s been expanded to include bringing different sensory textures, patterns and more.
The idea is both to influence the mind with the power of colour as well as making spaces more exciting to inhabit.
The verdict: Colour does have a profound effect on the human psyche, and can be smartly used to boost mood, calm irate clients and more. Don’t get so caught up in the pain on the walls you forget about establishing your own brand presence too, though… deviating too far from your corporate colours can just confuse people. Texture and pattern aren’t strictly necessary to make a great working environment, but they do add a stylish and sophisticated touch to any space and encourage you to establish your own unique identity.
- The open floor plan
There’s been a strong drift from the cubicle farm and executive offices of yore to the open floor plan. Modern open plans typically take away rigid screening and set layouts to encourage more modular space use, making them more easy to alter and adapt day to day.
The verdict: This one is perhaps the most controversial on the list. Open plan certainly helps breach the executive/worker divide and can encourage collaboration. However, providing no screening and privacy for workers who need this, or forcing workers who spend a lot of time on the phone to shout just to be heard can actually diminish productivity. Use smart planning, modular furniture and overall versatility of spaces geared to activities to compensate for possible disadvantages [as well as ensure you have ‘quiet spaces’] to make the best of this idea.
So, does office design really matter?
Will a slick office discourage staff turnover, keep them happier, and make clients want to use your services? According to a few independent studies, yes. People want to work- and work better- in a well-designed, pleasant space that matches the needs of their job.
Don’t get caught up in things like wall colours, however, before addressing the basics. Workers need good lighting to work productively and avoid health complications like headaches and eyestrain. Noise levels need to be reasonable for their tasks. They need their office furniture to work with, not against, them, and they need to have all the tools to do their job. After that, getting a little trendy can boost their productivity even further. Why not solve one of these basic needs today, and trade in your tired office furniture for the Angel Shack difference?