Today’s workplaces need to do more making it mandatory that office furniture and space design continues to evolve. Big influences on both are the ways we communicate, the ways we work, and the role that technology plays in both of these. There’s also a demand for more “lifestyle” feel to offices and a continued emphasis on an office space being “green”. With that in mind, here are 5 of the top office design trends on our radar:
- Encouraging collaboration
The move away from traditional individual offices toward open spaces continues. The best use of the open spaces is to have furnishings that can be converted to serve multiple purposes and inspire different types of collaboration.
- Respecting privacy
While an open, collaborative work environment can encourage teamwork and creativity, sometimes privacy is needed. Office furniture designers are coming up with creative ways to make furnishings and accessories easily transform to create more private workspaces when needed.
- “Lifestyle” enhancements
Amenities like outdoor spaces or in-office coffee lounges are on the rise. The goal is to make the workspace an enjoyable place to spend time and to encourage cross-team conversations and collaboration. Many manufacturers are making outdoor furnishings and lounge-type seating that are laptop-friendly to encourage workers to sit and stay awhile.
A well-functioning office must have the infrastructure to support the bandwidth and telecommunication needs of the staff. Effective office design also calls for well-planned access points and a layout to support future technology needs. Desks and work areas are being designed to make it ever easier for workers to “plug in” (and just easily “unplug” and work from somewhere else).
Energy efficiency and sustainability are expected features for many office spaces. Office furniture companies like Allsteel, Global, and Gunlocke have an environmental commitment to sustainable business practices including the production of furniture that is longer lasting with an efficient use of resources. Some companies and organizations go even further and promote their earth-friendliness to define their identity and attract talent. They make sure that not only are their spaces and furnishings constructed in earth-friendly ways (such as LEED certified construction), they also offer perks such as bike storage or public transportation vouchers for their employees.
The emphasis for office furnishings and space design in 2016 is flexibility and responsiveness to each workspace’s particular needs. Want to bring your office into the modern age? Visit the Workspace Solutions showroom and speak to our seasoned furniture and design professionals — we help our clients work smarter!