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The evolution of office design has been seismic. With workplace wellbeing and interconnectedness taking priority over functionality and capacity, employers are taking a more holistic approach to office design to produce dynamic workplaces where creativity, communication and collaboration reap commercial benefits.
As fit-out specialists, we’re no stranger to highly imaginative design schemes for a number of clients in the office sector.
Looking to the twelve months ahead, here’s our take on the office design trends to look out for in 2019.
The way we work is changing and the blueprint of today’s modern work environment is completely different from what it was a decade ago. New technologies and research are fuelling exciting opportunities for workspaces, where quirky and unconventional concepts are now the norm. Employees are the lifeblood of any business and because of this, there has been a shift of focus from the needs of the business to the needs of staff, with offices adopting innovative designs to improve levels of happiness, wellness, and productivity.
Companies need to recognise that the look and feel of their office is just as important as any other marketing outlet and needs to be carefully thought out to ensure a positive impression is left on anyone who walks through the door.
A company’s office interior is the extension of its values, culture and personality, which when executed well, helps to re-energise employees and boost job satisfaction, productivity and morale. Each detail in the interior needs to serve the specific purpose of supporting a business strategy, accommodating innovative work processes and communicating a particular set of values.
As fit-out specialists, our first priority is to collaborate with the client’s design team to understand the principles by which the company wants to communicate. These are then translated into the design of the space to help enhance the visitor experience and make a strong, positive impact on those who enter the building.
The change in environmental thinking over the last year has undoubtedly influenced office design. With studies showing the inextricable link between biophilia and wellbeing, companies are choosing to take a more environmentally conscious approach to workplace design.
By incorporating a vertical garden, courtyard, or adding plants, greenery and natural light in an office, the mood and energy levels of employees can increase by as much as 15 percent, in addition to improving cognition and overall health. Such spaces allow us to organise more informal meetings, find inspiration and focus on a task that requires concentration.
Needless to say, introducing natural elements to the work environment is a firmly rooted trend that is set to grow in 2019, with more businesses bringing the great outdoors into the workplace. Offices who adopt this green approach are also more likely to see a decrease in stress levels, illness and absenteeism.
In addition to increased exposure to natural light and incorporating natural flora patterns in fabrics and artwork, we predict an influx in the number of balcony and courtyard spaces in the office sector.
Studies suggest that in an eight-hour working day, we should only be sitting for two hours at most to help prevent sedentary lifestyles, mental burnout and bad posture. That said, the days of the office cubicle are very much becoming a thing of the past. 2019 is all about collaborative working and shared space.
Open workspaces help create a sense of community and encourage the exchange of ideas and free-flowing information. Therefore, many office fit-outs now involve the introduction of versatile spaces that stimulate creativity and innovation.
No longer content with fixed desks to carry out monotonous tasks, workplaces are adding features such as lower walls between desks, breakout meeting areas, and mobile workstations with strong colours, to add fluidity and flexibility to a space.
For more introverted types, ‘quiet rooms’ are often installed to give employees the option of privacy. This can come in the form of small, enclosed spaces such as pods and booths, or glass-fronted offices that allow employees to focus on more demanding tasks and collect their thoughts.
By having quiet areas, employees can comfortably take phone calls, conference calls or conduct research without noise or distraction.
Whether it’s a client, employee or job candidate, workplaces need to make a positive first impression on whoever walks through the door. In doing so, visitors are more likely to gain a deeper and more appreciative understanding of the company culture and values.
A survey carried out by YouGov found that the room in which people were interviewed had a major impact on whether or not they wanted to work there, with 50 percent saying it influenced their decision. Reception areas and meeting rooms will be under the most scrutiny from outside visitors, so as a priority, the fit-out of these spaces needs to be exemplary in order to showcase the very best image of the brand and enhance its overall appeal.
We anticipate an increase in demand for dedicated meeting rooms and reception upgrades in 2019 to help leave the desired first impression on both clients and interviewees.
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As we delve deeper into 2019, we expect these trends to flourish as they reflect our ever-evolving culture. We’re very excited to see what this year will bring – watch this space!
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