Office design trends are driven by the ever-changing way we work and the emerging needs of a transitioning workforce. Employees and clients expect current office spaces to be innovative, exciting, and inspiring.
Terms like biophillic design, free-range cohabitation, and experience-driven space might seem abstract, but they are the ways savvy businesses are attracting, retaining, and inspiring their talented staff and signaling innovation to their customers.
Here is a breakdown of five leading trends to anticipate in 2019:
This trend, often referred to as experience-driven space, is all about giving staff amenities like coffee bars, massage therapy spaces, meditation areas, yoga studios, outdoor terraces, game rooms, child care, and even concierge services.
Check out this year’s Canada’s Top Employers list and you’ll see a wide variety of workplace innovations designed around improving the employee experience. Everything from relaxing spaces that resemble high-end cafés to gyms with a spa-like shower/change rooms offer employees breaks that refresh them and send them back to work ready for more. Employees are easier to retain and more productive when they can complete daily routines efficiently without leaving the building.
Sounds a bit out there, right? But at heart, this is a simple idea: creating spaces that can be used many ways to allow co-working, innovation through collaboration, and the breaking down the barriers between different work teams. Free-range cohabitation is achieved with a combination of an open plan, movable furnishings, easy-to-move wall dividers, shared workbenches, comfortable seating, and technology hubs.
Something Old and New
Like everything else, office design is influenced by reuse, renew, and recycle culture. More and more, corporations have a desire to maintain the intriguing original architectural features of buildings they are refitting. Not only is this approach cost effective, but it also has the added bonus of placing newcomer businesses as restorers and revitalizers of the spaces they inhabit.
Designers achieve this by exposing and sprucing up distinictive, existing architectural features of repurposed spaces – think the iron structure of a mill, refurbished doors and moldings, or revealing the brick walls hidden behind worn drywall.
Think moss and plant walls, natural materials, loads of natural light, well-planed ventilation with a focus on thermal comfort, and organic shapes or motifs as subtle visual cues and relieving variations throughout the space.
Abstract and Geometric Aesthetic:
This trend sees unique geometric shapes repeating through wall art, flooring, furniture, and soft furnishings. An engaging and exciting way to bring corporate branding to a new and subtle level – pulling close-up logo elements into designs or quietly echoing a company’s personality and character through representative colour themes.
Think warm bold colours, high contrasting black and white pieces, and statement elements, which give the space a signature feature.