Following a day spent exploring the workplace designers’ showrooms in Clerkenwell, Central London, a few recurring themes were clear. Workplaces are changing, especially the way in which we use them and how we want to feel when we’re at work. After the pandemic, many are reluctant to return to their offices after getting used to the many benefits of working from home.
Following a day spent exploring the workplace designers’ showrooms in Clerkenwell, Central London, a few recurring themes were clear.
Workplaces are changing, especially the way in which we use them and how we want to feel when we’re at work. After the pandemic, many are reluctant to return to their offices after getting used to the many benefits of working from home. So what are workspace designers integrating into their new year office projects to try and encourage staff to return?
HOME FROM HOME.
Workspace designers are integrating a “softer” look and feel to their workplaces through rounder shapes and softer colours and fabrics. Following the work from home initiative, many designers have found that their clients are looking to create a “home from home” feel to their workplace to make staff feel more comfortable in the office. Think armchairs, reading nooks, and comfy sofas in social spaces, and elegant artwork covering plain walls surrounding desks. Soft furnishings like draped curtains and tapestries can add texture to blank spaces and create a cosier environment to work in.
Mental health has become an indisputable influence on workspace design, especially after the pandemic, as people want to be social and safe while at work. Interior designers are trying to reduce stress using colours and textures, opting for calming colours over harsh and bright tones, and many are looking to create “mind hubs” where people can go and take time away from their desk in a quiet and reflective environment. Cosy corners and welcoming social areas will become an apparent addition to the modern workplace.
Following insistence from clients and the wider social community, designers are integrating more sustainable tactics into their designs through recycled/recyclable furnishings and carbon neutral manufacturing techniques. Designing a sustainable workplace that reduces waste and uses responsible techniques is the future of design, and this spreads into construction too with many new buildings being erected in a sustainable fashion.
Plants, greenery, and even moss walls are becoming increasingly prevalent in the workspace due to their air filtering properties and other positive connotations. Having an office filled with plants can promote healthier working habits and can help aid the aforementioned mental health and sustainability movements.
HYBRID HERE TO STAY.
As we at TenAV are well aware, hybrid working is not a passing covid phase and is instead becoming a cemented part of the modern workplace. Interior designers and space planners have also cottoned on to this new way of working, and are finding new and innovative ways to make hybrid working as easy and accessible as possible for those in the office and those at home. From collaborative VC rooms and scrum rooms, to covid safe work pods, to BYOM & BYOD becoming integral pieces in the workspace puzzle, it is safe to say our workplaces have changed forever. The goal is to make those at home still feel close and included with those in the office, no matter what platform they use.
DATA AND MONITORING.
The topic that got all the interior designers we spoke to excited was data and monitoring. The idea that data and analytics can aid space design and utilisation, and even give an idea of ROI based on space usage is aground-breaking movement in workspace design and that trend will only accelerate as new technologies become available to the wider public.