2018 is the year for office designers to start looking at the bigger picture. Design is no longer about minimised décor or rigid layouts.
Designers look to align with ways that will improve the morale of the office and create spaces that rejuvenate and inspire individuals in the workplace.
Welcoming in the Outside
Replacing walls for dividers such as bamboo walls and shell embellished partitions is likely to be big in office design this year. Incorporating nature was a big trend last year as biophilic design was thought to connect individuals with the natural world, creating a more relaxed atmosphere. This was found to increase workers’ moods, wellbeing and productivity.
The increased level of personal improvement biophilic design generated, means biophilic design is going to be pushed further in designs this year. For example, indoor greenhouses, locally sourced food for the kitchen and renewable energy sources are all ideas that are likely to be integrated in the office.
A Place to Read Your Textures
Working different textures into office design stimulates the mind and works as another way to intertwine nature with the workplace. Using a variation of different materials parallels the outside world, giving individuals the feeling of being outdoors, rather than confined in an office space. A combination of metals, wood, stones and textiles also kindles the senses and resembles a homely interior. Office floors could be embraced by faux fur rugs and the walls may be decorated with fabrics, woven tapestries and wooden dividers.
The break room is also getting a makeover with the idea to chill and relax in mind. This year it is set to become more than just a place where an employee can go to unwind when working becomes too much. The plan is to make the break room resemble a social space like a café or communal kitchen, but with added private areas that allow staff to re-energise.
No More Colour Chaos
In keeping with the new trends of the year, colour palettes are also taking a more environmental aesthetic. For example, metallics pair well with the variation of textured materials and lively tones suit the ‘outside, but in’ theme. However, colours should still match the personality of the company. If a business is bold, then the colours should coincide with the bright disposition of the brand.
When designing an office, every single individual in the workplace must be considered. As technology develops to improve people’s wellbeing, so should an office. For example, new devices and systems are being introduced that help people with physical disabilities such as hearing impairment. Designers need to look at ways of fitting these new kinds of features into an office. An office needs to cater for those who may need a higher desk or adjustable chair, workers who cannot focus unless they’re in a quiet area or individuals who are affected by others easily.
The end of 2017 began to welcome more and more A.I. technology into the world and artificial intelligence is slowly making its way into every industry. An office needs to prepare for devices that use augmented reality for tours of the workplace or meetings. It’s time to prepare for the future, and 2018 is bringing lots of advanced technology that an office should be ready for.
Every office should be personally designed to suit the business. There’s no overarching design that suits all companies, so a layout shouldn’t be forced on an office that doesn’t fit its brand’s personality or workers’ requirements. 2018 calls for a more holistic approach to office design, with the idea that each time a member of staff is in the workplace, they are having a creative and relaxing experience, rather than an uncomfortable day at work.