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There are constantly new up-and-coming office furniture design and layout trends. Besides looking good, they can help to improve the productivity and efficiency of an office by promoting collaboration and conversation.
Here are 15 trends that you should consider if you are looking to redecorate or reshape your office.
1. Open floor plans
Individual office rooms are on the way out, and the large open-plan office is in. Everyone, from the CEOs to the interns are out in the open!
From an employee point of view, the lack of walls in an open floor plan makes it easier for staff to interact with each other. Furthermore, from a business perspective, the increased collaboration resulting from an open-plan workspace can lead to business innovation and advancement.
2. Collaborative office furniture
Collaborative office furniture creates a relaxed and creative environment where employees can come together for a brainstorming session or impromptu meeting filled with buzz and ideas. You can create a dedicated collaboration or lounge area to make the working environment more enjoyable.
Another great way of bringing everyone together at work to brainstorm while working is with community tables. They are ideal for the new human-centred workplace and will facilitate better social interaction as people seek more meaningful connections at work.
3. Flexible seating
Open office environments also mean the elimination of assigned seating. Companies and organisations are starting to allow their employees to work from any available workstations. This is also known as 'hot desking'.
An additional advantage of this practice is cost reduction through space savings—up to 30% in some cases (CBS NEWS, 2014 ¹).
4. Standing desks
Research has shown that sitting for extended periods of time can have adverse effects on an individual’s health.
Why sit when you could stand? More people are beginning to realise the importance of standing up during the working day. It helps to promote a healthy office environment, and many find themselves to be more productive standing rather than sitting.
5. Whiteboard Walls
Modern workplaces have very few walls, due to the open floor plan, but the walls that do exist can feature whiteboards or glass writing boards. The whiteboard or glass wall can be used for brainstorming sessions, strategy meetings or development meetings. Anytime you need a collective space to write down your ideas, it’s there to be used. Plus, it means the use of less paper in the office!
6. Less storage room
Organisations and companies are transferring physical files to the cloud. Cloud-based storage reduces the amount of space necessary for filing, printing, copying and storage.
7. Glass-enclosed conference rooms
Many companies are building their conference rooms with glass walls to preserve an open office layout. This keeps the open floor plan vibe while providing a quiet place for the meetings. Another great benefit is that it lets more people see windows and get natural light while working at their desks.
8. No more wires and cables
From wires, laptops and other electronic devices, to docking stations, paperwork and personal items, many things can make an open room full of desks appear very disorganised. Reduce the cable clutter under the desks with a practical cable tray. By collecting all the cables in the tray, it becomes easier to clean under the desk and staff are less likely to pull the cables out when they move their feet.
9. USB ports
In a modern office USB charging ports can now be found on desks, task lights and wall outlets. This way employees can recharge from every possible area of the office.
10. Open breakout and kitchen areas
Happy employees are more productive employees. Comfortable break and chill out areas, often with games and activities, and a full kitchen are becoming more common.
11. Branding to promote company culture
Branding has become a way of telling the company's story, what the company is about and what its core principles are. Conveying this through the office environment is increasingly popular.
12. Comfortable workstations for laptop work
More companies are creating comfortable areas of their office full of couches and bean bag chairs to give employees a place to relax and work on their laptop.
13. Office organised by colour
Some companies and organisations integrate pops of colour in unexpected ways, striving to be at the forefront of offering a broad colour spectrum of accessories and furniture.
If the staff is separated within the office space by a department, give each work area its own look and feel. This could range from painting the walls to coordinating the office furniture.
14. Fitness centres on-site
Employee health and well-being have become such an important focus, with numerous larger companies building an on-site gym. If space permits, it's an excellent way to keep your employees happy and healthy. Alternatively, companies can offer employees free gym membership to a nearby gym.
15. Bring the outdoors indoors
With employees spending around eight hours a day inside, bringing more natural elements into the workplace is beneficial. Plants create an element of nature that also helps with air purity.
Start with what trends and features you want to change in your workplace, and go from there. With so many ideas you can embrace in the workplace, you and your colleagues will be busy this autumn being more productive and collaborative.
1. CBS NEWS (2014) Why companies are doing away with assigned desks [online] accessed from: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-companies-are-doing-away-with-assigned-desks/ [accessed August 2017]