With the pandemic enabling many of us to work from the comfort of our own homes, companies are looking for ways to keep their employees engaged and motivated on their return to the office.
A key concept here is the idea of designing a “destination office” – a highly attractive workspace that staff want to come to rather than being obliged to attend. A place where healthy interaction is encouraged.
There are distinct processes to designing a “destination office” – these include: conduct occupation studies, consider future hybrid workspace requirements, and look in greater detail at space planning.
1) More collaborative spaces – now a “destination office”
A key aspect to a “destination office” is being able to facilitate collaboration. The following are key considerations – variety between zones, an immersive experience, a seamless flow and private places.
With research showing that teamwork and collaboration are essential to a company’s growth and success, companies are opting to put forth more money into office spaces that facilitate diverse opinions and ideas. Open spaces with different areas and furnishing options where employees can interact (tables, seating, and booths that facilitate this) are not new. The importance however being placed on creating the right environment, is taking more of a role, as one of the main purpose for having an office in a post 2020 era.
Flooring is a great enabler of zoning and a consideration when it comes to noise levels. There are multiple benefits to transition cues given by changes in the floor covering, as you move to different environments, within a fully opened space office. A move from a breakfast bar area to a more resimercial setting within the same office can stimulate creativity for example. Moving from Looselay Luxury Vinyl Tiles such as Espressa to Carpet Tiles is a perfect example of how that can be achieved.
2) Increased use of natural light and plants continues in 2022
Companies continue to implement more open floor plans with lots of natural light streaming through the windows. And office designers will continue to optimise space by including plants throughout their office structure. These living pieces help reduce carbon dioxide levels in the confines of an office while also helping employees relax.
It is also likely that employees will be looking to feel they are in a more healthier environment, as a result of the pandemic. Plants and natural light as well as virus mitigation measures being in place, all sit well with making an office feel safer and healthier.
3) Minimalist design
In recent years, it has been shown that customers prefer simple yet fulfilling designs. With a majority of consumers now being extremely tech-savvy and ready for innovations through minimalism, office designers have been forced to play catch up with this new trend. Gone are the days of flashy chandeliers and loud colours, as new office designs incorporate cleaner furniture that is easier on the eyes with high tech gadgets integrated into every possible space available. Hygiene considerations also now play a part in this.
4) Technology-driven spaces
As more employees turn to tablets and smartphones for their day to day work, companies have had to alter the layout of their client spaces in order to accommodate these changes. Instead of having many outlets installed at various locations throughout an office’s landscape, designers are now more keen on installing wireless charging stations or power outlets at centralised locations which will require limited cords strewn about conference rooms or other public areas.
Office Trends of 2022
In summary the above isn’t referencing anything new in terms of options available to designers, but the function of the office is seen to have changed quite dramatically for many companies. The number of people working from home has been accelerated, technology has enabled a higher degree of project working, but there still is a vital role for the office, and companies that embrace this are likely to reap the benefits.