The pandemic has caused a drastic shift in office design. Although some are still working from home, many have officially returned to the office and found their spaces to look entirely different.
Current trends aim to prioritise on safety and comfort but also focus on other elements such as colour, textures, and sustainability, which we can see continue into 2022. From design aesthetics to sustainability, trends are now shifting to a more open and homey workspace focusing on satisfying the workers’ senses and level of convenience as well boosting productivity.
So what does 2022 have in store for the workplace? Here is the full scoop from our designers:
Resimercial design is a post-pandemic term that combines residential design with commercial design. For those of us who spend more time in our offices than we do at home, it’s important that our workspace provide elements of the same comfort we tend to experience in our home, to inspire productivity.
Recent studies show that Resimercial design aids in employment happiness giving them not only physical comfort but feelings of warmth and familiarity with the workplace. Several offices are now tweaking their office spaces to give a sense of a home-away-from-home feel. Here are a few tips;
Get comfy with couches
Couches in common areas are more than just a place to take a break. Team members might find themselves brainstorming ideas over a coffee break, or using it as a more relaxed setting to get some work done.
Coffee table & books
From a design point of view, table books add colour and style to any setting. It also provides a dedicated space for waiting guests, employee breaks, phone calls, and an overall different area to work.
Open and flexible layouts
Over the years, there is a high demand for flexible, more open spaces where employees have better options in work settings.
Now when employees are in the office, they are often seeking private spots or enclaves. These open-office environments also include smaller, private areas and “pod areas” with enough workspace, seating, and outlet access so employees can make phone calls, attend client meetings, participate in video conferences or work on research.
This is especially useful for those employees who are in the office three too four days a week or travelling between multiple branches.
Natural light in a workspace is hugely important. A recent study conducted by Dr. Alan Hedge of Cornell University’s Department of Design and Environmental Analysis confirmed that exposure to natural daylight has a direct impact on mood and sleep quality as well as improving employee health and productivity.
Research from the World Green Building Council has found that office workers with window seats sleep, on average, for 46 minutes longer each night than their colleagues who don’t sit near windows.
This translates into improved productivity and creativity, with businesses reporting anywhere from 3% to 40% increases in productivity. Natural light can also improve creativity and reduce stress. More office spaces are now adding floor-to-ceiling windows, diffused lights, and artificial lighting to mimic natural light in their workspaces.
Sustainability is much more than a trend, it is a principle of modern design. Designers are focused on using materials from renewable and recycled sources, as well as non-toxic/non-polluting products.
A great element to watch out for in 2022 is wood flooring, which can bring a sense of warmth to a space. Engineered hardwood and wood-look LVT are frequently used to create a home-like atmosphere in the office. Timber, in particular, provides natural beauty and is sourced from FSC-certified suppliers. Other design aspects look at upcycled furniture and a focus on natural light to reduce energy waste.
2022 office trends also showcase an increase in the number of living walls (green walls), adding plants and fresh flowers to transform a common area into a lush & reducing space to create a more soothing setting to work. And for a smaller office, embracing more plants around the office desks, receptions, and other common areas.
Incorporating greenery helps to add a bit of nature and bring the outdoors in! Numerous studies have shown countless other benefits:
- A 15% jump in employee productivity ( 2014 research by the University of Exeter )
- Significant reduction in stress, tension, and anxiety (2010 study by the new University of Technology, Sydney)
- a 15% higher well being score and a 6% higher productivity (2015 Human Spaces report )
- Employees feel more relaxed and are able to concentrate better when around nature (Attention restoration theory)
The Grand Millennial look
in 2022 we are definitely seeing a lot more of this trend. From floral wallpaper to chintz fabric and wicker furniture, this trend has been dubbed as ‘the grand millennial look, and it is all about uniqueness.
Taking the old aesthetics with a twist, designers are now adding popular grand millennial accents and accessories including pleated lampshades, botanical prints, monogrammed linens, and classic wallpaper. Furnishings often showcase traditional design elements, like tufting, skirting, cane or wicker detailing. Antiques are also essential to this well-collected aesthetic. The key here is melding old and new for a timeless look
An office that caters to the sensory experiences
Sound – Some employees opt for soundproof rooms to work in more quiet settings, others want a social setting for group meetings. Designers are looking to incorporate a mix of both. Other factors include soothing background music playing boost the mood. In addition, interior designers and interior architects may also look at the perceived merits of high ceilings as well.
Smell – People are using different scents in different spaces as a method of inhabiting each area of the office with an additional layer of sensory stimulation. Scented candles or the addition of flowers & plants gives employees a positive atmosphere to work in.
Sight – based on the work by Robert Plutchik called the ‘Wheel of Emotions’. We’re immensely influenced by colour, so getting the right hues in your office is an important building block. Touches of yellow and orange stimulate creativity and joy, while blue and green creating a calming atmosphere. If you can’t paint walls, displaying art that contains these colours is a quick and easy way to tap into the power of colours and boost productivity
Giving you a smart office
The shift of working from home has aided in an enhancement of emerging technologies to support the hybrid working style. Smart office technology gives employees more control over their schedules, communication methods, and work environments.
This technology allows scheduled meetings, allocations of meeting rooms, sensors to monitor air quality, control over natural light levels and space utilisation, and much more. This in turn not only improves hygiene and reduces energy costs, but also helps in retaining staff and creating an organised workspace where employees can work with ease. Smart technology is ever-changing and developing, and this is just the beginning!
Ready to get your office space redesigned? Contact us today on 04 501 4888.