Wondering How To Ensure Your Office Interior Design Is Future-Proof? Read On…
Scientific research and technological advances mean that most workplaces are in a constant state of evolution, adapting to new evidence, new machinery and even new fashion trends. This is something that business owners and facility managers need to be aware of before they invest in an office interior design project.
Indeed, the changing nature of the workplace is the reason why many companies try to create designs that are fit for the future, not just the present. So what does the office of the future look like, what trends can we expect to see and how can you ensure your interior design is ‘future-proof’?
Truly Flexible Working
One of the best ways to future-proof your office design is to focus on putting the infrastructure in place for flexible working. Flexibility is already an important part of modern working life and that will only increase in the future. In particular, office designs need to allow for concepts like telecommuting and working on the move.
Research carried out by TinyPulse found that remote workers are not only happier than their office-based counterparts, they are also, contrary to the concerns of many employers, more productive. Although the nature of certain businesses and job roles will prevent remote working, it will be more common in general.
With that being said, the level of happiness drops considerably among those who have been forced to work from home by their boss. This emphasises the need for flexibility and choice. Offices still need to operate as places of work, but should provide workers with options of how to work. This may mean offering staff the flexibility to move between quiet areas and collaboration spaces as they wish, or to work half a day in the office and half at home.
Bringing Nature Indoors
In terms of the visual appearance of office spaces, the biggest future trend will be the introduction of ‘nature’ into the workplace. This may include natural colour schemes and materials, a greater number of natural decorative elements like plants, and an increase in the amount of natural light allowed into work areas.
A recent Human Spaces report found that introducing the concept of ‘biophilia’ into the workplace can positively affect employees. In fact, office workers in environments with natural elements like sunlight an greenery report a 13 percent higher level of well-being, while their productivity is increased by 8 percent.
“I would guess that in 10 years what is currently in the office will look much more like what is outside,” Scott Lesizza, co-founder of Workwell Partners, told Plusnet’s Office of the Future study. “By increasing natural sunlight, we are replicating what is naturally a less stressful environment.”
Emphasis On Well-Being
Lastly, the office spaces of the future will place a strong focus on well-being, and this is something you can start to put in place now. In particular, one of the trends predicted by experts is the rise of chair-less workplaces, in response to research from the likes of the British Journal of Sports Medicine and Active Working CIC.
Too much sitting down has been shown to contribute to a number of health problems, ranging from back problems and muscle degeneration to heart disease and dementia. It is already becoming more common to see sit-stand desks in the workplace, but with wearable technology and heightened flexibility, chair-less designs are coming.
In addition, companies like Google have introduced sleeping pods into the workplace, allowing employees to take short naps, while standing meeting rooms, workplace gyms and adjustable desks can all provide well-being benefits. Improved well-being can then lead to productivity increases, reduced absenteeism and greater staff morale.
Reno is a founder and director of a leading exhibition and office design company Enigma Visual Solutions, specialising in retail designs, interiors, graphic productions, signage systems, office interior design, event branding, conference set design and much more. He specialises in experiential marketing and event productions. He enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. Feel free to follow him on twitter.