Creating a functional office space in which employees can be productive and social can be difficult, but modern workplaces have come to understand it is no longer a choice. Companies now realize they must create a visually appealing and inviting space for a new generation of employees who expect it. Fortunately, office furniture has come a long way in a very short amount of time, and the following design trends can help you make your office more modern and beautiful.
1. Open Office Plans
The concept of an open plan office may be unappealing to some, but in reality, they can help workers collaborate and exchange information more effectively and efficiently. These spaces may be surrounded by offices or cubicles, but they still function as a central meeting place for everyone in the office. Many working spaces include comfortable furniture, whiteboards, office supplies, and other items office workers frequently need to perform their jobs.
2. Collaborative Cubicles
Historically, walled partitions meant extensive rows of cubicles with high walls. These walls often prevented collaboration between workers and hindered workers’ ability to form meaningful professional relationships. Office cubicles are still the norm in many workplaces, however, many employers prefer to use cubicles with shorter walls or coworking cubicles, which place two to four workers in a shared space like the bullpen or boomerang formations pictured below. Other offices use bamboo walls, cabinets, or various forms of shrubbery to partition office spaces. These partitions are far more slightly, and they do not cut workers off from each other.
3. Recreation and Relaxation Areas
Most workplaces have always allowed employees to take a break and have meals in certain areas, but now, some employers are taking things a step farther. Beautifully designed cafes, breakrooms, and even napping rooms are becoming the norm. Napping rooms are quickly becoming popular, primarily because studies show individuals perform better and work harder if they have a brief nap in the middle of the day.
In additional to napping areas, some companies are now dedicating spaces to recreation and socialization. Recreation rooms featuring ping-pong tables and even video games are all the rage in Silicon Valley, as are rooms for employees to simply talk and relax with each other. Many companies even report a spike in productivity and employee happiness once such rooms are added.
4. Natural Light
No one wants to work in a drab, poorly lit dungeon eight hours a day, and that is why many employers are now beginning to see the benefits of natural light. Traditionally, employees were forced to toil for hours under fluorescent lights that did a terrible job of imitating actual sunlight. Under such conditions, employees were more likely to fall asleep and lose interest in their work.
By incorporating lots of natural light into work spaces, not only does the space feel larger and more open, employees may get more work done. The human body naturally craves sunlight (it is an important source of Vitamin D), so a well-lit workspace is better for the health and happiness of an employee.
5. Green Spaces
Like natural light, natural greenery is becoming all the rage in 2019. By incorporating plants into the workplace, employees can bring a bit of nature indoors. More dedicated workspaces have even begun adding living, moss-covered walls for employees to marvel at. Plants are an important source of oxygen, and believe it or not, they actually help to purify the air around them. Plants also have an immense amount of aesthetic value, primarily because they can turn a dull, lifeless setting into a more inviting and natural environment.
6. Bright Colors
In the 20th and early 21st century, offices were often painted bland shades of white, gray, and beige, but things are beginning to change. By adding bold colors throughout an office space, employers can create a more lively, energetic, and youthful atmosphere. Even with dull walls and dark, lifeless office furniture, adding yellow, blue, red, and orange accents can turn things around and make a workspace more aesthetically appealing. Brighter colors also have the ability to stimulate creativity in the left side of the brain and lift workers’ moods.
7. Incorporation of Technology
Modern workspaces have started incorporating technology into the environment. This allows employees to work faster and more efficiently, since there is no need to carry around multiple devices and cords or search for a different height workspace throughout the day. It’s simple to integrating technology into the physical workplace by adding USB charging ports, smartboards, and video presentation screens. If considering an office furniture refresh, electronic sit-stand desks are a great option to promote employee wellness and comfort. When employees have access to modern technology, they are more content with their working environment.
Start With the Right Furniture
Designing a workplace that is both functional and attractive should be a priority for every employer. The right furniture can unlock workplace potential, creating a space where employees can become more productive, cooperative, and happier. Furniture can make all the difference, so don’t be afraid to play around with your current design scheme.