The world of office design moves fast, so if you are eager to know what the most exciting ideas for inspiring teams, boosting productivity and creating better workspaces are, then you need to keep up to date with trends and see what the latest thinking is. Luckily, you have Flow here to do this for you!
Great office design can help us get more done, boosting physical and mental health at the same time. Re-imagining the way your office looks and functions can improve your business fortunes considerably with key benefits including better focus, greater ability to cope with stress, reduced absenteeism and greater staff retention. In this article, we explore some of the main themes that are influencing office design in 2019…
More and more employers are now experiencing the benefits of adding facilities such as espresso bars, meditation areas and games areas to their business premises. It’s also becoming common for companies to offer snacks including fresh fruit to their staff as an alternative to vending machines to boost workplace nutrition. Many employers are now seeking to create a home-from-home experience, making workplaces cosier and inviting. This technique termed resimercial design is being achieved with the use of comfortable sofas and chairs, soothing wall art and cushions.
Interestingly, in a study by Hassel and Empirica Research, 37% of job candidates said that they would accept a job with a lower salary if the company offered an appealing culture, workplace facilities and technology. Creating an experience-based work environment for your staff certainly ticks these boxes.
Biophilic design has been one of the most talked-about trends recently. This form of design draws on human’s innate attraction to the natural world and the physical and psychology benefits being surrounded by nature brings. It involves incorporating natural elements into a building, including plants and flowers, textures and patterns mimicking natural elements, and plenty of natural air and light. For example, living walls are now a popular way to bring the outdoors in without taking up valuable floor space. Textured wallpaper imitating bark, wood or straw can create that ‘close to nature feel’ within the office space, as can images of trees.
It is well-documented that plants can boost air quality and energy levels, keeping staff healthy and happy. In fact, in a report by the World Green Building Council , 69% of businesses that implemented healthy building features reported improvements in employee satisfaction and engagement.
75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as very important so its little wonder that creating collaboration spaces or agile working environments is proving to be highly popular. With hot desks, soft seating and informal breakout areas, agile workspaces complement the spirit of collaboration perfectly and provide the versatility that every modern office needs. Making the workplace a more democratic environment where managers freely mix with staff, tends to foster better connections so designing the workspace to allow this is something that many companies take onboard.
In a report by REBA, 23.8% of businesses said they planned to introduce a wellbeing strategy over the next three years. Today, employers are doing much more to help their staff win the battle against stress, anxiety and depression. Breakaway areas for meditation are becoming an increasingly common sight in offices across the country and beyond. Staff can visit such areas to find the sense of calmness they require to fulfil their duties effectively. Many companies are now bringing in external suppliers to provide meditation, relaxation techniques and even massage sessions for their staff. It’s a far cry from the office environment of the 1980s when ‘lunch was for wimps!’
In a 2017 survey by a software expert, 54% of people found their office environment ‘too distracting.’ Whilst many workers prefer to carry out their duties in close proximity to their colleagues, some feel they work more effectively in isolation. This is particularly true for staff who can become easily distracted by what is happening around them. Private cubicles are now a regular feature in the office environment and are expected to become more commonplace over the coming months.
Increasing in popularity is the development of co-working spaces. The number of flexible office centres in the UK has risen to 5,320 over the last 12 months. Ideal for start-ups, self-employed freelancers and entrepreneurs working independently, co-working environments can boost morale, enhance productivity and deliver strong profitability. A high-functioning co-working space might include a central hub featuring facilities such as a cafe, bar, games tables and more, allowing staff from different organisations to network and inspire each other. The ideal co-working space can create a great sense of community, allowing companies, freelancers and others to pool their talents and achieve more.
Strong office design can make employees up to 33% happier at work and creating greater comfort for your employees is at the centre of that. Increasingly, people want to work in a ‘home-from-home’ environment, making the workplace a more comfortable place to be. There’s also an increased emphasis on ergonomics, with more and more companies investing in specialist furniture to boost productivity and maintain a happy, comfortable workforce.
It may seem counter-intuitive but creating more places for people to stand and do their work, with the introduction of standing desks is also producing greater comfort for staff. We all know how sedentary a life, working in the office can be, so giving people the chance to stretch their legs and work at the same time is paying dividends.
The global wellness economy is now reaching £2.8 trillion with the emergence of ‘well buildings’ being one of the defining trends of this decade. All the factors outlined above contribute to this with key factors such as the amount of natural light and good quality air being integral to its development. But there’s more to it in than that. Creating a ‘well building’ for your employees is about adding value for your staff such as offering ways that your team can be more motivated and stimulated in their environment. Providing things such as healthy food and ways to battle stress are starting to tackle wider areas such as obesity and depression, and that can only be a good thing.
Get in touch
These are just some of the trends that are shaping the office space today so keep tuned in to our blog throughout 2019 to keep up-to speed with all the latest developments. At Flow Office, we can come to your assistance if you require office design and fit-out services. Reach us today by calling 01922 453488, completing the form on our website or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.