The 2000s were a decade that saw a massive paradigm shift in office design trends. Companies began migrating away from the stuffy and regimented office spaces of the 80s and 90s, and began focusing heavily on creating environments that would maximize employee engagement and enthusiasm, while attracting new talent, and wowing major clients.
Suddenly, the office space became its own individual character, serving as the face of the company’s brand image and corporate culture. By taking advantage of certain design trends, these office spaces continued to transform into the multifunctional, versatile and aesthetically pleasing workspaces of today.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF COLOUR
Colour has played a vital role in creating office spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, but their functionality goes far beyond that. By utilizing certain colours for different areas of the workspace, companies have learned to tap into the psychology behind them. It’s not enough to simply paint the walls a certain colour. Nowadays, companies are leveraging colour to boost employee morale, while avoiding other colours that may have a detrimental effect.
For instance, green has become synonymous with relaxation and vibrance, as it taps into humanity’s enthusiasm for nature and the environment. Red, by contrast, should be avoided in certain areas due to its intensity, but it can be advantageous for areas of the workplace meant to inspire confidence and drive. Purple is a colour that inspires creativity and out-of-box thinking, while orange promotes the concept of communication between team members. By spicing up a workspace with appropriate colours, companies have turned their office spaces into efficient and inspiring environments for their employees to enjoy.
Company workspaces are no longer the utilitarian areas where work simply “gets done.” Nowadays, they’re a direct reflection of the company’s distinct brand image and distinctive qualities. Walking into a modern workspace should be a story all its own, where employees and important clients can gain a unique perspective about the company as a whole.
This is very advantageous when it comes to establishing a strong relationship between company and individual. Different areas of the workspace should blend functionality with design philosophy that links right back to the company’s inherent brand image and philosophy. Even office furniture plays a role, which means companies need to take a bit of time to figure out a cohesive approach to their office design style. When in doubt, it’s always recommended to hire an office design firm – such as Sensyst – to accurately identify what story you wish your company to tell, and how best to achieve that through your workspace design.
It’s no secret that the environment is on the minds of most people, regardless of where they stand on the issue. It doesn’t take a radical environmentalist to appreciate the benefits of sustainability in the workplace, not to mention cleanliness and responsibility. Biophilic design has become a major hit with many offices, thanks to its nature-based approach. By installing plants, living walls and skylights, while taking advantage of as much natural lighting as possible, companies are refreshing and rejuvenating employees who love feeling as if they’re in touch with nature.
On the responsibility side, many companies are now moving away from traditional things like fluorescent lights, heavy use of stationery and older furniture choices in favor of environmentally friendly LED lights, paperless workspaces and recyclable furniture made with cleaner materials. The best part is that many of these environmentally friendly office design trends can save companies a bundle in the long run.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The recent pandemic thrust companies into the very uncomfortable position of having to deal with employees working remotely, probably for the first time. Now that the threat has largely subsided, more employees are headed back to work, but that doesn’t mean the remote option is going away.
Many companies realize that some employees are still too apprehensive to go back to work and mingle with others, especially while Covid variants like Omicron, albeit far less dangerous, are still around. However, those same companies have discovered a hidden benefit in allowing some employees to work remotely. Many have adopted the use of “hot-desking,” which allows workstations to be used by many different employees, depending on whether they are in the office or not.
For instance, some employees may enjoy the work/life balance of remote work, but may still need to be present in the office once or twice during the work week. On those days, employees can utilize hot desks when other employees are not, thereby cutting down on the number of desks required in the workplace. This frees up space in a big way, which is especially handy for companies with smaller square footage.
Similarly, many companies have ditched fixed workspaces and desks in favor of modular and mobile office furniture that can be moved around and redeployed for any situation. The use of glass and plastic dividers helps employees feel a bit safer when it comes to the spread of viruses, while still allowing them to see each other and communicate. Also, companies have realized the benefits of allowing employees to work from many different spots around the office – even the break room. Health and safety goes far beyond the threat of pandemics. The modern office space takes into account employee well-being, which means the office space should be a constant source of inspiration that allows workers to move around and work according to their needs.
These office design trends are going to accelerate as we move further into the 2020s, and may undergo more evolution as time ticks by. Rest assured, the corporate world has caught on to the benefits of focusing inwards, and turning the workspace into a functional, vibrant and safe environment where employees can do their best work. The dividends for each business should not be underestimated.
For more information on how to transform your office space into an area that accomplishes these goals, we’d like to hear from you. Contact Sensyst today, so we can learn more about your company, and transform your workspace into a model of modern, trendy efficiency.