The modern workplace has evolved over the decades. Even if you look back at the last decade, workspaces look very different today. As we move into a new decade, we’ll see increasing changes in the way businesses use their office space. For example, the cubicle is long-gone (or should be), while today’s office designs are focused on creating a comfortable environment for employees, with a focus on an open, inspiring, friendly workspace.
In this article, we’re going to review some of the office design trends that will be popular in 2020. We’ll take a look at design concepts that are geared to creating the most harmonious and healthy work environment for you and your staff.
Macro Design Trends
1). Dynamic Flexibility: gone are the days when offices were filled with bulky, heavy office furnishings. These days the trend is toward flexibility and environments that can be transformed. For instance, one space could be used as a meeting room, and then transformed into a quiet, semi-private workspace.
This trend makes use of movable walls, lightweight furniture that’s easy to move around, adjustable lighting and more. An entire room can be transformed quickly and easily, making workspaces more flexible and usable. This trend is predicted to become the new normal, as collaborative, human-centric workspaces become needed.
2). Wood is coming back: with an eye toward keeping the office as environmentally friendly as possible, wood is fast becoming a choice in many offices. The key here is wood that is sustainably sourced. Sustainably sourced wood is being used as a way to show employees and clients that a company is environmentally friendly. This is a huge draw for Millennials who want to make sure the businesses they work for align with their sustainability and pro-environment ideas.
Wood is not just for floors, instead it’s being used in creative ways. In an office space, wood can also be used as a design element, while making the space feel more friendly and comfortable. The idea here is not rustic, but rather modern and authentic. You’ll find wood used for moss walls, coffee tables made of tree stumps (that are preserved), used as natural accents, and more. Reclaimed wood is also becoming a popular in businesses focused on sustainability.
3). Creation of inviting spaces: businesses are finding it necessary to create office spaces that meet the needs of their employees. Workspaces are becoming more inviting and comfortable in order to foster a sense of community and shared values. Businesses have finally come to realize that the needs and preferences of their employees need to be met. As a result, offices are including fireplaces, comfortable furniture, fitness areas and more all in an effort to please employees.
Businesses are finding that these additions help to boost morale, improve communication and relationships, and more. Office spaces are beginning to offer more for those employees that have increasingly worked remotely. Vibrant work environments are a great way to bring these employees back to the office.
4). Environmental wellness: is a relatively new concept in office spaces. This trend is focused on sustainability and wellness. Sustainable design works to incorporate recycled and sustainable sources, including green building materials. The idea is to create harmony between our office spaces and nature.
Environmental wellness includes such certifications as LEED, WELL Building Standard, FitWell, and the Living Building Challenge. These all work to create a healthier, more natural work environment that creates a more positive environment for workers.
Biophilic design is another element of this trend, which works to incorporate organic patterns and forms into the office environment. The goal is to strengthen the connection between humans and nature. Materials such as stone and wood, live plants, vertical gardens, biodynamic lighting and more are used as design elements.
As you can see, the overarching concepts for offices are environmental sustainability with an eye toward creating a more natural, inviting workspace for humans. Positive spaces combined with the right design elements can work to make a workspace more inviting and healthier, while contributing to productivity and building relationships in the workplace.
Next, we’ll take a look at micro design trends for offices spaces.
Micro Design Trends
1). Monochromatic design elements: monochromatic color schemes, which make use of shades, tones and hints of a specific color are becoming a new trend in office design. This trend works to convey uniformity, but with pops of color saturation throughout. The overall concept creates a holistic environment that appears more unified, while also conveying a company’s brand and personality.
Micro chromatic colors make use of one color done in various shades, patterns & textures, tones, bold hues and more. It makes use of matte finishes that incorporate plants, moss accents, flowers all accented by light.
2). Ceiling hanging gardens: plants are becoming an increasingly important design element in office spaces. This trend incorporates living green walls, moss walls and more. In fact, this is one element of biophilic design, and it’s become very popular with employees.
With valuable floor space needed for furniture and office tech, designers are now making use of ceilings to integrate plants in the office. Hanging plants from the ceiling helps to close the gap between outside and inside, making the business environment more natural. Ceiling plants can include moss balls, birds’ nest, Boston ferns, air plants, different types of ivy and more.
The effect is more natural, creating the impression of being out in the woods. These highly designed elements work to make the office healthier, while providing a relaxing green environment.
3). Modern modular: open office spaces are wonderful; however, there are times when employees need personalized, private spaces to work in. This is where modern modular design comes into play. Functional furniture is the main design element, which works to keep employees creative, active and productive.
This design trend makes use of ergonomic and exercise furniture, dynamic workstations, insulated phone booths and pods, keeps modular pieces lightweight, etc.
4). Comfortable workspaces: cozy work areas are another important design trend for offices in the coming year. The idea behind this trend is to make work areas that are comfortable and home-like. Design elements make use of area rugs, throw pillows, flowerpots and more. The environment takes on a welcome and relaxed feel for employees.
These are the macro and micro design elements that will become more important in the next year and over the next decade. The emphasis is on creating an inviting, comfortable office space that is environmentally sustainable and brings nature into the workplace. This combination creates office spaces that are provide the right combination of elements to ensure employees are comfortable, happy and more productive in their work.