Amid the pandemic, the world of office interior design is moving faster than ever before. Trends that were slowly catching on a few years ago are now accelerating, resulting in widespread changes to working styles and, in turn, workspace interior design schemes.
With buzzwords like inclusivity, wellbeing, agile working and resimercial, it looks like the overarching trend for 2022 is that business are putting employees first. Whether it be through creating a comfortable space that replicates the home environment, investing in elements that support physical and mental health, or encouraging skill sharing through interior design, there appears to be a shift in the way businesses are approaching their workplace transformations.
As far as employees are concerned, this can only be a good thing. For businesses, they will surely reap the rewards that come with building modern environments that foster happy, productive workforces.
A “VERY PERI” COLOUR SCHEME
For 2022, Pantone has unveiled the elegant Very Peri as it’s Colour of the Year. This sees a return to a single colour following last year’s double selection of Illuminating and Ultimate Gray.
With its lively combination of blue and violet-red, Very Peri displays a carefree confidence that encourages personal inventiveness and imaginative expression. This makes the colour ideal for creative companies with a forward-thinking ethos, such as those working in tech, architecture or interior design.
For an interior design idea, consider introducing it to a creative collaboration area to help get the ideas flowing!
GREEN DESIGN SCHEMES
With more companies embracing sustainability, the trend for nature-themed office design has evidently been on the rise.
Indeed, those with green corporate social responsibility pledges have taken to introducing a workplace interior design schemes that reflect their values. The benefits of this are twofold: projecting a positive company image to clients and staff while creating a vibrant space that reconnects people with nature.
Popular nature-inspired features include moss feature walls, carpet tiles with textures and colours that reflect the great outdoors, and natural materials such as wooden slats. Combined with energy-saving elements, businesses can really make a positive impact on the environment while reflecting a green ethos through their workplace aesthetic.
Simply put, bleacher seats are the mark of a cool, modern office space. With their tiered, sports stadium-like design, they offer a fun, outside-the-box alternative to closed meeting rooms.
Those who operate with agile working are particularly fond of bleachers due to way they bring employees together for ad-hoc collaboration, but they aren’t exclusive to that kind of environment. Many companies use bleacher seating to bring teams together for presentations and announcements, while coworking companies use them for training and networking events.
If you’re unfamiliar with agile working, it’s where an employee isn’t given a fixed workstation but offered a range of work “zones” to suit the task at hand.
An alternative to the traditional office layout with banks of desks, agile workspaces are modern, practical, and fun! Typically, businesses that operate with agile working get creative with the design scheme, introducing everything from laptop lounges to acoustic booths and gaming areas.
A HYBRID APPROACH
The forced experiment of working from home has seen some companies adopt a hybrid approach, where some employees split their time between the office and home.
This has resulted in some of those companies making changes to their office to accommodate the change.
One obstacle of hybrid working is maintaining clear lines of communication between those in the office and those at home.
Typically, employees aren’t allocated a fixed workstation in hybrid offices. Rather, they’re given the freedom to hotdesk, meaning robust locker systems are essential.
This kind of office is a great way to make use of space that’s been left vacant due to a reduced workforce. This may also require some intelligent space planning and furniture procurement to safely optimise the area for a new team.
CREATIVE BRAINSTORMING AREAS
Collaboration is key to the success of every company, so it makes sense to create zones dedicated to creative brainstorming sessions. This can be a simple case of introducing a portable or suspended whiteboard alongside a selection of office furniture, but there are plenty of outsidethe- box options available on the market.
For example, at the 2021 Workspace Design Show, Logovisual introduced its unique whiteboard system called ThinkingWall. Made specifically for visual thinking and planning, ThinkingWall is made from acoustic properties to help cancel noise, making ideal for ad-hoc collaboration sessions in open offices.
Resimercial interior design has been around for some time now, but it’s more relevant than ever given the shift in working styles due to the pandemic.
A cross-pollination of “residential” and “commercial” design, resimercial aims to replicate the comfort of the home in the workplace. This means introducing homely elements such as soft seating areas with pillows and throws; living-room decorations like rugs, plants, coffee tables and photo frames; and warm wooden finishes on floors and walls.
Support diversity, inclusivity design takes into account age, gender, technical literacy, physical and cognitive ability and culture.
The space will be fully accessible to support the needs of those with mobility, sensory, mental and neurological issues. It will also provide hundreds of “unassigned” workstations to fit different work and personality preferences and include a hub where the older generation can teach younger generations and vice versa.
This is perhaps more of a future prediction than a trend, but nonetheless gives a fascinating insight into how the office interior design world is evolving to meet the needs of a diverse workforce.
According to research, the number of coworking spaces worldwide is set to grow by 116% by 2024 and reach a projected 41,975 spaces. That will mean around five million people will be using coworking spaces worldwide.
While coworking spaces are typically associated with freelancers and start-ups, a recent research suggests that this isn’t necessarily the case. Some coworking operators provide private spaces for these teams in addition to single workstations for individuals and smaller groups.
Technology has taken over to the extent where coworking offices may no longer require a manager to oversee them. With new technology like access cards, booking systems and digital visitor management machines, it’s possible coworking offices will largely run by themselves.
Niche coworking spaces target a certain sector, meaning the design will cater to a specific demographic. For example, that could mean tech-centric spaces for coders and developers.