2017 is all about having workspaces that are flexible and able to meet the ever-changing requirements of your workforce.
With hierarchal structures becoming blurred and company dynamics shifting more towards collaboration and connectivity, the office environment needs to be diverse enough to accommodate the needs of both employees and clients.
Here at Euroffice we have put together our top 5 design trends that are taking off in 2017:
1. Integrated Technology
As integrated technology becomes a focus in many workspaces, wireless charging devices, built-in power adapters and workspaces that provide multimedia capabilities can help create a space that is not only efficient but provides a solution.
Hot desking and contract workers are now the norm for many offices across the UK, so having flexible and smart technologies that don’t tie people down is the best way to maximise this environment.
Many workspaces now incorporate:
- Workstations with wireless charging abilities
- Office furniture with built-in multimedia capabilities
- Wireless connections for AV equipment in meeting rooms
- Meeting rooms with interactive smartboard screens
Give your workspace a more flexible and dynamic atmosphere by looking for office furniture that improves efficiency and fuels connectivity.
2. Open Plan Proof
Whether you are trying to adapt to changing requirements in your workforce or you want a quirky office location that doesn’t come with meeting rooms – getting the right design for an open plan office is a big focus for 2017.
Designing and furnishing your office space can be one of the highest expenses for a business, so making the most of your available space is essential when looking to expand or create multi-purpose areas.
Some design tips for open plan offices are:
- Use glass walls for meeting rooms to make the space feel open while still allowing for privacy
- Use open sided pods as collaboration spaces for smaller groups or clients
- Create breakout areas in one space by using colour or furniture themes
- Keep desks clear by offering under desk storage
- Keep noise from travelling in high traffic spaces by using carpets to absorb the sound
3. Fun Breakout Areas
With many employees spending a considerable amount of time glued to their desks and staring at computer screens, it is important to have a space where people can socialise and unwind. It isn’t all about the size of space you have; selecting the right breakout furniture, lighting and colours can make a world of difference.
Your breakout spaces can make a difference to how people feel about coming to work each day.
Here are a few popular items we are seeing in office breakout spaces:
- Game areas, incorporating fun activities such as table tennis, offer a great way for people to blow off steam and socialise
- Community areas that feel different from the working spaces, in which people eat lunch, for example, help to break up the day
- Blackboard/whiteboard walls allow for creative collaboration and ideation in meetings
- Colour and texture differences are must for an area to impact energy levels
- Quirky furniture that typically belongs in a home can help change how a space feels
- Hanging picture frames that feature staff photos from work events can help foster a community atmosphere and create a personal feel in an office space
4. Keeping it Colourful
Including bright, bold, and vibrant colours in the workplace can be a great way to showcase a sense of identity. Colour has been known to have a powerful psychological impact on behaviour and decisions, which can positively or negatively impact your work environment.
Things to keep in mind when choosing your office colours are:
- The colour wheel is a great reference point through which to understand which colours are complementary and which are clashing Studies have shown that offices painted in beige, bland grey or white can generate feelings of sadness, depression and boredom
- Colours such as mellow yellow, calming blue and restful green are thought to trigger innovative thinking and encourage cooperation
- Feature walls painted a different colour are great for defining breakout spaces
- Inspirational messages or company values painted on a wall can help to reiterate a brand’s personality to visitors and employees
- Lighting changes the impact of coloured walls, so consider overhead lighting as well as desk lights
5. Bringing in Nature
Adding plants to your office generates physical and phycological benefits for both your employees and clients. A study by Dr. Chris Knight from Exeter University found that employees were 15% more productive when their workplace contained a few household plants.
When looking to bring plants into the office it can be tricky to know where to start. Here are a few things to consider:
- Pick low maintenance plants that don’t need much natural light or watering; this is bound to increase their lifespan in a busy office. Plants like the Yukka are attractive but also easy to keep
- Individual succulents on desks can give a modern and attractive look to your space but also bring the benefits of having plants indoors
- Consider plants that are great at air filtration and purification such as the Boston Fern. This will help ensure a healthy office environment
- Think about where to place your plants and how to match design with practicality. Use vintage containers or quirky vases to help create a unique style.