2020 has seen a huge shift in workplace culture and priorities, which is resulting in some interesting office design trends emerging ready for 2021.
Creating a great office design isn’t the easiest of tasks. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to functionality, but you also want your workspace to look the part. Following on from this year’s Covid-9 pandemic, there are even more factors to take into account, as changing office culture is set to push the boundaries of the traditional 9-5 working day more than ever.
In 2021, there is likely to be a shift towards new ways of working with a range of different priorities. A greater focus on employee wellbeing, safety measures – such as social distancing – and flexible working routines means that office design trends in 2021 are on track to reflect these changing standards.
To keep you up to date with what to expect when it comes to workplace design in order to inform your offices, we’ve taken a look at what trends are likely to be big throughout 2021.
Open space in offices has been a growing trend over the last couple of years and now it looks set to be one of the most important design features for workspaces in 2021.
Beyond allowing for better social distancing – which is likely to be an ongoing concern for some time – open space offices are ideal for creating collaborative workspaces. By encouraging social interaction, open space can increase communication across departments, helping reduce the negative impact of individual silos.
Encouraging individuals to collaborate can aid with productivity, skills growth and company culture – all of which deliver improved wellbeing and business results.
Larger, more open spaces also allow you to move away from a traditional office that only features banks of desks. You can utilise the space to create breakout areas, different types of meeting rooms, social spaces and to include custom design features that reflect your brand.
Bring nature inside
Office plants aren’t a new thing but more companies are taking greenery to the next level and the drive for improved employee wellbeing will likely only push this trend further. Rather than the odd desk plant or artificial plants to add some colour, offices are fully embracing the idea of bringing nature inside and 2021 is set to bring with it plenty of green workspaces.
This trend will mean that more companies start experimenting with different ways of incorporating nature into their offices. Features like living walls, plant partitions, seating with fish or plant life incorporated and indoor office gardens are gaining popularity.
As well as looking great, bringing nature inside can help improve the health and wellbeing of your staff. Plants improve air quality, which is a big plus in offices that tend to get quite stuffy. This can help to reduce illnesses associated with poor air quality, while greenery can have a positive impact on employee mood.
Plants have also been found to help reduce mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and can help to keep stress at more manageable levels.
The ways we work have become more flexible than ever due to necessity, with Covid-19 resulting in a higher rate of remote working. This flexibility has to be reflected in office design going forward in order for companies to be able to react to changing employee requirements.
As a result, 2021 is set to see a shift away from more structured office spaces as more informal workplaces become the norm.
Working with the trend for more open spaces, this increased flexibility could mean a mix between permanent and ad-hoc workspaces as companies utilise hotdesking in response to people working from home. This will help to encourage employees to find a place and way of working that suits them and so improves productivity and collaboration.
Enclosed meeting rooms are giving way to more open breakout areas that provide space for smaller or large meetings. Temporary partitions are being used more to create individual spaces as when they are required rather than permanently breaking up offices.
Modular office furniture is also seeing a resurgence as companies recognise the adaptability it provides. High quality, statement furniture that has multiple uses and can easily be moved around is the key to flexible workspaces in 2021.
Workers have seen that flexible working provides a better work-life balance, along with improved health and wellbeing, so businesses need to bear this in mind when it comes to the design of their offices.
Leisure areas in workspaces isn’t a new idea but it has been newer companies and business styles that have utilised space for entertainment within their office design.
Entertainment or recreational areas in an office can include relaxed seating, games consoles, books, pool tables and more. All of these can help you create an interesting office design that shows you as a modern brand but also helps create a casual work environment.
This is beneficial for staff as having the opportunity to step away from their computer and take a proper break can improve creative thinking, lead to better communication and result in lower stress levels. With employee burnout being a big issue at the moment, looking at how you can reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace through design, as well as policy changes, could improve the health of your staff.
While leisure areas are a great idea, you need to ensure that they are practical. Too many workspaces fall down because their ‘fun’ area has been placed front and centre to make a good impression. However, this can mean that people are unable to utilise the space without impacting the work others are doing.
You may want to showcase your leisure area, but this trend needs to be function over design. Creating a separate part of your office that encourages people to move away from their typical workspace and means that people aren’t distracted when working will ensure your company enjoys the benefits of this office trend.
Sustainability is more important than ever as consumers increasingly choose companies that showcase their sustainable business practices. This is bleeding into workplace design and is set to be a very important factor in 2021.
While sustainability should be at the heart of everything your business does, eco-friendly office design is a good way of displaying your commitment to looking after the planet. Reclaimed wood, sustainable materials, reducing energy consumption and waste management are all becoming more common features of office design.
If you are looking for sustainable office furniture, all of our wooden furniture is made using FSC-certified wood, meaning we only use wood from sustainable forests that are exempt from felling and that we are able to track our wood from forest to store. This ensures that we can support your drive to create an eco-friendly workplace
After 2020, anything that 2021 has to throw at us should seem easy! When it comes to office design, you’ll need to be sure to factor in the changing workplace culture, flexible working styles and employee wellbeing in order to create a functional office.
If you’re planning on transforming your office in 2021, get in touch to see how we can help you create the perfect office.