Over the past year, workers have spent more time in their home offices than at their work buildings. As things start to reopen and return to normal, businesses are incentivizing workers to get back to the office. However, if there’s one thing the past year at home has illustrated, it’s that the traditional office environment is more than a bit depressing.
So, how can you improve office interior designs for the new normal? Here are some of the best office design trends for 2021 into 2022.
Open Concept Continues to Reign
The age of the cubicle, one of the absolute worst office design trends in history, is dead. Modern offices focus on open layouts and flexible arrangements. Rather than confining workers to small cubicles, recent trends in office design move towards “pod” setups.
These pods allow workers or teams to set up shop in their own corners of the office. Since mobility is a desired feature of the pod setup, office furniture in a modern company should have flexible purposes and be easy to relocate.
Make Work Feel Homier
Since employees have spent the last year or so working from their homes, the prospect of returning to a barren office can seem depressing. When was the last time you enjoyed sitting in cheap office chairs? Or a cheap leather couch, surrounded by builder-grade flooring and fluorescent lights? Chances are, the answer to that question is, “Never.”
If you’re wondering how to decorate an office that people will want to return to, you need to take your cues from living room designers. Think of the comfortable seating, low-sitting tables, plants, and intimate lighting you see in well-made living rooms. Focus on creating an intimate, cozy setting.
This can be done even in an open-concept office. All you need to do is be intentional in your furniture arrangement. For further assistance figuring out how to match a homey environment with an open-concept workspace, contact the experts at Austin Office Space.
Bringing the Outside In
Working in a building with few windows or any view of the outside can have disastrous effects on employee morale. So, as part of modern office design, many businesses try to bring the outside in. This can take the form of living office plants or a greater emphasis on natural lighting.
However, another way to bring the outside to your employees is through clever use of natural color schemes. Greens, browns, dark oranges, and wood tones can accomplish the same effect, while also having a calming effect on employees.
Light Up the Room With Lighter Colors
Darker, more dramatic colors are having a moment in interior design for the home due to their ability to create a smaller, more intimate feeling. However, for offices, darker colors can feel constricting and smothering. So, many office interior designs incorporate lighter colors for an open, airy feel.
Plus, light, neutral colors like mid-toned greys and whites can allow brand-relevant colors to pop. Especially if your brand uses attention-grabbing shades like orange or red to excite and entice customers.
Textured Elements to Bring Comfort and Interest
One of the main reasons why office interior designs of the past looked and felt so depressing is their homogeneity. The spaces didn’t look customized, lived-in, or have any real visual interest. You had the same wall paint, the same carpet or plank flooring, the same non-treated windows all throughout.
Part of this was due to the previous big office design trend of minimalism. Now, however, people crave more visual and textural interest in their workspaces. You can do this by layering patterns of rugs or testing out interesting prints.
Clear Signage Remains Important
If there’s one thing the pandemic rendered clear, it’s the importance of clear signage on company policies. Any ambiguity in terms of what’s expected of workers or consumers leaves the door open for all manner of arguments. Businesses need clear, concise signage to reflect not only their COVID policies but their general rules as well.
Constant, consistent reminders make your employees more likely to internalize the messages and follow the policies. This can avoid repeated policy reminder emails, reducing office frustration levels.
Connectivity Is Key
Most businesses these days are pursuing a hybrid model with some of their workers in-office and the rest going remote. As such, improving the connectivity of the office is crucial. So, modern office interior designs focus on reducing barriers to office connectivity. This can include sleek, hidden wiring. Alternatively, it can mean furnishing employees with dedicated work technology to keep them from being chained to their desks.
It also means reducing the number of hard walls to interfere with wireless connections. Or, running cloud server solutions to make work more accessible and more portable. The ability to move your work with you is the future. Don’t miss out on it.
The last important office design trend that we should discuss is improved acoustics. More businesses than ever are holding teleconferences and video conferences. As such, open concept offices can grow noisy and muddled in a hurry. So, modern businesses need to invest in flooring and windows that reduce noise and echo.
After all, if only the IT department holds a meeting, the rest of the office does not need to hear their itinerary. Plus, there’s no more annoying sound than a climate control unit whirring in the background while you’re trying to pay attention to the meeting.
Looking for More Office Interior Designs?
There are many cues that modern office interior designs can take from the past year of working from home. Workers value comfort, safety, consistency, and freedom. If you’re willing to invest in making your office feel more like home, you’ll have more motivated, productive workers who want to return to the office.
Did you find this article about modern office design useful? Would you like to read more about this or other interior design needs? If so, then check out the Lifestyle section of our blog. We update each day with more helpful and informative content like this!