The office environment is changing. With more and more people being mobile and the explosion in social media, the office space has had to change to cope with the shift in dynamics, how people interact, and how modern teams now work.
This means no more working in silos and building office environments that encourage collaboration, co-working and making the most of the new technology that’s available. Here are some of the modern office trends of 2014 which are changing the way we work:
Open Plan – time was when all departments were split up, had separate partitions and, as a result, became insular in their outlook. The move to open plan and ‘hot desking’ has meant that workers can move around much more, collaborate with who they need to, and don’t become so tied to a particular space or office area.
To foster collaboration, office design has seen a removal of partitions, more lounge seating areas, lower workstation walls and areas of desking which are free for anybody to use.
Colour & Design – there has been a move away from corporate blandness and the use of much bolder and brighter colours in the office. Gone are the whites, blacks and greys and in come the reds, oranges and yellows! Studies have shown that colourful fun environments can stimulate more creativity and productivity.
Mobility – ergonomically friendly chairs and workstations, stand up desks, stools and standing height tables are all becoming popular in the modern office environment. People are encouraged to move around and not sit for hours in one place. Having flexible seating and standing options give the opportunity to be on your feet more often and the ability to strike up ad-hoc meetings with other colleagues.
Kitchens and Breakout Rooms – people are being more encouraged to use kitchens and breakout rooms to take their lunches and breaks in a social environment. Eating your sandwiches in front of your computer is being discouraged and taking your lunch in a nicely furnished eating area is being encouraged. Once again, this is with a view to people getting to know their colleagues better, fostering stronger relationships and greater collaboration.
Plants, Balconies and Roof Decks – where the office space allows it more plants are being used in the office environment and access to balconies and roof decks which are adorned with planting is also a design trend. Greenery and the sense of bringing the outdoors in contribute to an employee’s sense of well being and helps alleviate the feelings of being cooped up all day in the office!
These are just some of the trends that are making an impact on office design in 2014. It will be interesting to see how things evolve further in 2015.