What to expect from your office space in 2018

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We often see trends, for home, fashion and interiors but the majority of people spend most of their time within their work place, so we ask…what trends are happening there? Should we be expecting bulky furniture, stuffy offices and corridors overpopulated with bookcases? I think not! Of course we need to be realistic here, not every office is going to be a mini Google HQ style however, there are choices when re-designing an office and stereotypes from years gone by are long gone.

Businesses want to get the most out of their teams, they want to look professional in front of clients and they want to provide a space to inspire – great office design can do just that. The focus now is on our ability to improve the space for everyone, to recognize the individual’s value in the work place. The theme for 2018 office design is “vitality:” taking the office space beyond being a place we simply tolerate to becoming a place where we feel re-energized and full of possibility. Here are five trends to look forward to:

Green, Green, Green!

Biophilic design elements within the office really started to take off during 2017 and this trend is showing no signs of slowing down just yet, quite the contrary, companies are taking ‘going green’ to the next level. Boosting employee health and wellbeing from moss filled company logos to rooftop gardens to water features to nature-based wall dividers using bamboo or wood, nature is the name of the game. It has been proven that being in nature is beneficial on many levels for staff to feel calm, creative, happier, and healthier and all-in-all more productive. Companies are now diving deeper, beyond the vertical garden or chic grass sidewalk, to apply the idea of ‘green’ to all of their processes: renewable energy sources for powering the office, grey water systems, air purification renovations, carbon offsets, green web hosting, locally sourced food and beverages for the lounge or cafeteria, bike and electric car rental benefits for commuters, and more. Don’t be surprised if more companies get creative with their outdoor surroundings by building “walking meeting” paths, or introducing an indoor greenhouse or park.

Texture

Texture is becoming a big trend within office interiors, texture adds interest without having to go crazy with colour. Texture adds an element of sophistication and often items with the same colour palette but different textures works really well. Textures can be soft or hard surfaces, often when we think of interior textures we think of cushions, fabrics and carpets however exposed brick walls, concrete floors and 3D laminates work just as well, these are often subtle but create a real impact within an interior space.

A splash of Colour

At the beginning of the year Pantone released their eight trend pallets for 2018, and it offers something for everyone, from the young tech start-up businesses to the classic heritage brand or the established professional services firm.  Pantone’s “Resourceful” palette offers a blend of blues and oranges that play with opposites on the colour wheel while keeping things bright and fresh. If your brand is bold, go for it. Other companies may be drawn to the “Intricacy” palette with its neutral metallics…a perfect fit for a polished yet future-forward look. The”Far-fetched” palette is ideal for a company culture with globally-inspired hues that offer a warm welcome. These colours do not need to be plastered everywhere adding a splash here and there works wonders such as wall art, seating fabrics and particular storage units – a little can go a long way!

Office Inclusion and Accessibility

More and more we are asked for office products that are more flexible to individuals needs, we no longer live in a world where one desk fits all. Height adjustable desks, adaptive chairs and quiet ‘library hours’ floors are just a few examples. Companies want their employees to thrive in their environments and by adding these accommodating, flexible furniture and seating pieces, employees can feel comfortable and accepted within their work environments.

Going forwards accessibility for all is only expected to improve with drive through lifts, preventing wheelchair users from having to-turn around, small design elements such as small tactile knobs on railings so that visually impaired people know which floor they are on. These small changes can give so many people much more confidence and independence within their place of work it can only be a good thing that accessibility is being addressed and acted upon.

An Advanced Medium Will Be Introduced For Work

Augmented reality and virtual reality are beginning to make their way to the front line. While we haven’t reached the tipping point on a wide acceptance of VR or AR, it is showing itself to be a great resource for employees that want to demonstrate models in product development, overhaul the boring pitch deck, and hold immersive meetings with stakeholders in other states or countries. For marketing or sales teams, VR and AR can help close deals with a “face to face” call, a test drive of a product or service, or a “feel like you’re really there” lead generating campaign For talent recruitment, a virtual tour of the office will eventually become the standard. The next question is: will spaces be dedicated solely to VR and AR activity, or will they be seamlessly integrated at each desk? We’ll have to see.

Exciting changes are happening within the workplace, and this is just the beginning!