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The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to rethink their workspaces in 2020, allowing some teams to work remotely while also working quickly to create a safe and healthy environment for those who remained on site.
The impact of this shift is expected to last far beyond the global health crisis. And with many teams still slowly returning to the office in 2021 and 2022, organizations must find new ways to make their workspaces attractive, inviting and productive.
Here are 4 office design trends we're seeing that help to achieve those goals.
Less is more. Businesses are increasingly gravitating to minimalist office spaces, which help to eliminate distractions and encourage focus.
For example, instead of bulky cubicles and closed-off meeting spaces, offices are incorporating more glass walls and low-profile partition systems to make the environment feel more "open" (without necessarily adopting a full "open-office" design).
Colors inside an office can also have a huge impact on employees' focus and mood. Minimalist palettes, incorporating simple and neutral, help to eliminate overstimulation and make the space more inviting.
Now more than ever, organizations must be able to adapt quickly to an ever-evolving work environment. Whether for health concerns or business objectives, offices need to remain flexible, so that teams can make the most of their work day and adjust rapidly to new requirements.
As an office design trend, flexible workspaces can incorporate elements such as movable partition systems that allow for quick rearrangements as needed. Equally important is a varied layout to accommodate the different demands of the workday, for example: open workspaces in one area for task-focused or agile work, huddle rooms circling the open space and soundproof conference rooms furthest away.
After the pandemic, more employees want their work environments to be as touchless and automatic as possible. So they can stay healthy and stay on the go, with little "friction" from their surroundings.
Numerous technology integrations are making this a top office design trend for 2021-2022. From automated lighting systems to touchless entry systems and conference-room gear, these high-tech offerings are creating the office of the future.
Today's smart workspaces are also using digital sensors to automatically monitor and respond to changes in the office, including occupancy, natural light levels, air quality and more.
Biophilic design is the concept of incorporating interior elements that are inspired by nature, with the goal of creating a more natural environment to improve mental wellbeing and comfort.
Biophilic design is now a top trend in office spaces, as organizations are incorporating more plants, wood, textures and fabrics to create a serene, inviting workspace.
This is another area where glass walls can have a significant impact, allowing more natural light to fill the space. Wood accents and panels, incorporated into partition systems and cubicles, can help to complement other biophilic design elements throughout the space.
An area of remote work that’s significantly lacking is its social possibilities. After 18+ months of Zoom meetings, virtual game nights, and an unprecedented increase in Slack bombing, office workers are ready to see people in real life again.
With an increased desire for sociability, office designs need to accommodate these types of areas.
Humans are particularly social around their food, so water-cooler talk has easily evolved into coffee talk and then lunchroom banter. In keeping with this trend, many designs will feature kitchen/lunchroom areas with comfortable social seating to create socially active spaces.
This trend also moves away from the tradition of large corporate offices having multiple smaller kitchenettes where workers could quickly grab the sustenance they needed before getting back to work. It also brings people who might not normally interact together because the convenience of popping to the lunchroom for a quick bite is gone.
Contact us today to learn more about incorporating these office design trends into your workspace. Rampart offers a wide range of glass walls, modular partition systems and other flexible workspace solutions for any office.