Every entrepreneur’s vision is different but they all need a few things to make it happen: top talent, employee wellbeing, productivity, and high employee retention. There are many ways to achieve them but having an office that employees love is key. So what workplace design trends will we see employers go for this year?
‘Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.’ – Robert L. Peters, designer and author
Flashing office perks on Instagram has become the norm, with many brands spending big on lavish workplace designs and gadgets to show off. But focusing on just ‘Instagram appeal’ sets you down the wrong path. It’s not about quirks. How does your workplace design actually make people feel?
An environment with a thriving atmosphere, filled with the right tech and tools, is a top asset for an entrepreneur. It fuels everything! Thomas Watson Jr, second president of IBM, said it best – ‘Good design is good business.’
Our workplace designers recently sat down together with some coffee to look at the hottest workplace design trends we expect to see in 2020.
Google’s name always comes up when talking about workplace designs. They may have a cool and quirky look but they’re extremely bold; maybe too bold for some! We expect to see smoother, sleeker and more sophisticated design trends in 2020 – smooth tones, more black, brown, and bursts of timeless patterns and furniture pieces.
That may sound more ‘avant-garde hipster coffee-shop’ than ‘office’ but that’s ok! Who said that your office needs to look like an office? Do what works for your team.
The Scandinavian style inspires many clients’ dream office designs. And rightly so, they look fantastic. Companies today look to give staff a smoother work-life integration by giving them access to showers, spacious kitchens and a welcoming homely feel all around.
Scandinavian workplace design trends have an uncluttered feel about them that just seems to make for a great place to work – a large part of that is down to the fact that they don’t feel like a typical workplace. Light, airy, minimalist, sharp and simple – if that sounds good to you, this might be the way to go.
Companies have been spraying their walls with fist-pump-worthy motivational quotes for a few years now: ‘YOU ARE AWESOME!’, ‘PUNCH TODAY IN THE FACE!’, ‘MAKE IT HAPPEN’, etc. They’ve become a little cliche, so we expect 2020’s workplace designers to leave these quotes on Instagram.
Traditional art gives you more variety. Go for bold art of something more subtle for employees to admire – and they’ll have a much longer shelf life than motivational quotes. Plus, when your culture’s thriving – fuelled by a beautiful working environment – you won’t need motivational quotes on your walls.
Studies show that autonomy in the workplace positively affects people’s well-being and job satisfaction. So the more autonomy you can give employees, the better. Providing plenty of places to work lets employees find what works for them on any given day.
‘Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.’ – Steve Jobs
We expect to see more offices with a mix of desks, pods, sofas, phone booths, meeting rooms, and even more to ensure staff have the flexibility to feel great at work. Light, adaptable furniture lets you mix it up – changing rooms for meetings, social events, and other ad-hoc function you need.
‘Biophilic design’ is gaining popularity, with industry leaders such as Apple and Amazon paying more attention towards it in their workplace designs. But what does Biophilic design actually mean? Summarised by Wikipedia, ‘Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.’
...Sounds good to us!
Natural designs create a more people-centric environment, providing welcome respite from heavily urbanised environments and hectic commutes. We all know the benefits of sunlight, and being out in nature, so bringing them into your workplace can only be a good thing.
People are becoming more aware of the impact that they’re having on the environment. The fashion industry has been shaken up with sustainable materials recently, and now the same thing’s happening in the workplace.
More sustainable materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, jute, and recycled woods and plastics are on the rise. These are better for the planet and they don’t compromise on looks or quality. Employees expect to see great Ska ratings and Breeam (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certification from their employer to show that they’re doing their part.
Veganism has been a hot topic in the mainstream media lately as more people across the world are adopting a vegan diet and lifestyle. A few years ago, it was hard to find quality leather alternatives but that’s no longer the case. You’re spoilt for choice with vegan furniture. There are loads of quality sofas and chairs to choose from that are 100% leather-free.
Out of all the workplace design trends, the simplest is the most effective. A recent research poll of 1,614 North American employees found that natural light is the #1 office perk.
Employees feel more awake, inspired and energised when their office is filled with daylight. You can’t have too much of it. And employers are clocking on to that fact and making changes to let as much natural light flood into their office as possible.
Employers are asking their workplace designers for variety. Different tasks suit different headspaces: if you’re writing a report, you might want alone time. But if you’re having a meeting, and need to bounce some ideas off the wall, working amongst the energic buzz from your on-site cafe makes more sense.
Distraction-free zones, huddle zones, traditional work desks, bean bags, big cushions, and a cafe all under one roof is a sure way to satisfy everyone. You can’t overdose on variety in the workplace.
Stepping outside is a quick and easy way to perk up. So when the sun’s out (or at least, it’s not pouring down with rain), it pays to have an outside area to let employees work or relax. Whether it’s just a few working benches or hammocks set up, it’s a guaranteed mood booster that many employees are bound to snap up when they need a break.
The trend of loud, multi-coloured rooms with sharp, contrasts between colours seems to be winding down. That’s just one style and it can be off-putting for some who prefer a more serene setting to work in. So, rather than blasting big, bold colours everywhere – we expect 2020 to contain a richer look that can be admired from up close and afar.
Do you fancy seeing these workplace design trends in your office in 2020?
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