Offices of the Future: Thoughts on Design
The workspace is changing. In a time when WFH culture is center stage, offices are adapting to provide the best experience to their occupants. No, the collaborative workplace isn’t going anywhere, but these large-scale trends shape how we think about productivity and purpose within our office walls. Our creative director, Mark Kaminski, and his team recently visited NeoCon 2022. They noticed a few fundamental changes spreading across the corporate landscape, from office layouts to the materials in their builds.
We see a variety of interconnected spaces supporting various types of work. Flowing floor plans allow easy access to rooms for huddling, team meetings, or private desk space. The future of the workplace looks functional with form.
Bringing the Outside In
This adage of interior design has finally seeped into the office space. Gone are the days of sterile monotone cubicles and fluorescent lighting. Nature plays a vital role in today’s color palettes as moss, plants, tree bark, and more contrast neutral, calming tones. Nature elements can support bright meshes between signage and lighting on earthy backdrops. Spaces focused on natural light bring nature’s energy into the office’s doldrums. Features like social gardens and the use of preserved plants push this trend further, bringing it all together for the epitome of welcoming environments. We’re confident this trend will stay around for years to come.
Where the office of old embraces open-floor plans and little privacy from the eyes of your neighbors or boss, the future office will provide opportunities for appropriate privacy in your workplace neighborhood. Spaces for solitude and rejuvenation will allow associates to control their personal lighting and acoustics while limiting disruptions from their surroundings. Specifically, private desks, corners, rooms, and cubes will enable an escape from the busier hallways to a personal space with a sense of belonging. To allow accessible privacy, we see these separate areas built with modularity in mind to evolve with your team’s needs, embracing change.
Making The Workplace Worth It
The past few years have introduced a revolution in workplace necessities. The challenge now is providing a space that lets associates be themselves and inspires breakthrough moments. The workplace today needs to be better than the home-based alternative. Think coffee bars, free snacks, or convenient markets. We’re not just offering those ideas because it’s part of who we are but because we fully believe in the power of recharging to boost productivity. Other necessities in the new era include lifestyle amenities like on-site gyms, social events, and other simple opportunities to build a community. When your workplace competes with a home office, couch, or 24/7 Netflix, the pressure is on your business to show up and show out.
Colors and Materials
And finally, tying it all together, appearances can make or break the whole experience. Scandinavian design inspires an adoption of light wood tones from species like Birch, Ash, Pine, and White Oak, lending themselves to clean, bright spaces and often contrasting soft black accents. Wood tones continue our exploration into bringing the outside in and compliment abundant plant life. When accompanied by various natural textures, earth tones can create a comfortable, inviting space filled with productive energy.
Aside from neutral tones, exciting colors stand out in new and interesting materials. One material we’re especially interested in is a dense felt made with 60% recycled bottles. PET Felt, as it’s called, can be laser cut into any shape, is strong enough to support certain structures, and provides an excellent opportunity for sound-deadening panels and divider walls. The future office is sustainable in design and materials.
The office is now in a battle against a new era of remote workers. Still, we believe the office of the future utilizes a suitable layout and design, built with purpose in mind, to serve productivity, collaboration, and community in a way that working from home cannot. For more tips and to outfit your space with the best amenities for your teams, contact us today.