The office design industry experiences an ebb and flow of trends over time, thanks to changes in style, practicalities, and technologies. Sometimes trends change for no discernible reason! However, we’ve seen great shifts in office design over the past decade, as technology has exploded in recent years.
It’s essential that office-based businesses keep up with trends, so that they can ensure their workplace is as effective as possible. Organisations also need to keep up with appearances, as this can impact their standing in the industry… an old, dated office isn’t going to impress anyone.
Let’s take a look at some of the best office design trends of 2022, so far.
The term ‘smart office’ is quite a broad term. Generally speaking, it refers to a workplace that utilises the latest technology and analytics to make work more efficient and the workplace more comfortable for your employees. A lot of it has to do with user experience, meaning the better the experience for your workers, the happier and more productive they will be.
Some common features of the smart office include:
- Exceptional connectivity (wifi, Bluetooth, charging)
- Smart meeting rooms, with exceptional technology
- Entirely cloud-based storage
- Gamification of the employee experience
- Voice control
- Smart lighting and temperature control.
Ideally, features like these will increase employee engagement, creating an environment that your people truly enjoy working in. They make processes easier, meaning less time spent on each task and a stress-free environment for your people.
Fluidity and flexibility in the office is more important than ever, with changing employee numbers, more people working from home and different attitudes to working. Flexible spaces can be made up of rooms that have multiple uses, such as meeting rooms. Alternatively, partitions can easily be used to create pop-up quiet areas and meeting spaces on the office floor.
Different kinds of spaces suit different types of workers. There may be people in your office who prefer to work in a quiet environment or those who would rather be in the midst of a loud, collaborative and creative space. Offering spaces that are fluid means you can quickly and easily adapt to your employees’ needs.
Workstations and desks, partitions, and meeting areas that aren’t static are the key to fluid spaces. Designing with movement in mind will make it much easier to adapt quickly.
Bringing nature inside
This trend is evergreen because humans simply must be in regular contact with nature… so why not while at work? What’s more, numerous studies have shown over the years that plants have a hugely positive impact on the well-being of office workers.
The benefits of plants in the office include:
- Stress reduction for your employees
- Sound absorption (plants are excellent for acoustics)
- Cleaner air in the office
- Fewer instances of illness
- The colour green promotes relaxation
- They look fantastic!
There are also other natural elements that can have a wonderful effect on your staff. For example, using natural materials when fitting-out your office, such as wood and stone, can have a similar impact.
These days, we’re more aware of neurodiversity than ever before. The definition of neurodivergent is ‘differing in mental or neurological function from what is considered typical or normal’. It has been reported that about 17% of the population has a condition that makes them neurodiverse. This includes:
- 4% with ADD/ADHD
- 1% with Autism
- 10% with Dyslexia
- 1% with Dyspraxia
- 1% with Tourette Syndrome.
Identifying these conditions and they way they impact people’s working styles is the key to neurodivergent design. It allows us to design and fit-out offices that cater to the needs of those who are not neurotypical. This can be done by designing and implementing spaces for quiet working, with minimal distractions.
The key to this is carefully selecting the right colours, ensuring that light is at the right level (and adjustable) and the acoustics are just right. Utilising these features ensures your people always have a place where they feel comfortable to work productively.
Create a homely environment
There’s a good chance that most of your employees have been working from home for the past couple of years, thanks to the pandemic. And if your business is returning to life as it was beforehand, the transition back into the office can be a jarring experience for your people. However, creating a truly homely environment for your employees can make this experience an easier one… and it can come with a bunch of other benefits too!
Homely office design centres around the comfort of your employees, while of course, ensuring that productivity improves. Quality furniture, soft lighting, and relaxing spaces are key features of a homely office environment. And more and more businesses are utilising this trend, including Airbnb. The benefits have been clear, so we expect this trend to continue.
Working with the professionals
If you’re considering redesigning your office or commencing a fresh fit-out, you should be working with the best there is. A professional Sydney office design and fit-out company will have immense experience to draw upon and will be up to date with the latest trends. That means that your workplace will be as functional and aesthetically pleasing as possible.
At Niche Projects, we utilise our experience, design nous, and understanding of design trends to deliver exceptional offices for our clients. If you want to refurbish or redesign your office in Sydney, get in touch with Niche Projects today.