Interior design in commercial areas is often an underappreciated aspect of employee engagement and productivity. Approximately three of all four workers are struggling to work in an effective, productive and innovative manner, due to the lack of optimal workplaces. When an employee feels uncomfortable in their office space, they are unlikely to perform in an effective manner; therefore, becoming flight risks to the company.
What Drives Office Interior Design Trends?
In the recent years, especially in big cities such as office decorators London have found that mobile technology is one of the largest trends currently available in the office interior design area. This trend unfetters employees from their desks allowing them to operate on a mobile basis anywhere and at any time. The increased flexibility in these working arrangements is beneficial for the employee because it allows him or her to come and go at different times of the day or week. Evidence shows that staff that is able to perform functions remotely, potentially from home, are more effective. Employees who are working in the office, however, will find themselves operate alongside independent contractors, freelancers and consultants.
A second driver of trends is the exception that office designs should foster creative and collaborative working styles. The millennial employee prefers to operate individually and does not place a large emphasis on staff collaboration. This is potentially due to the fact that millennials grew up using mobile technology; therefore, they did not need to make divisions between the workplace and home or even third areas such as coffee shops and parks. Using mobile technology, it is possible to work from any location at any time and reject the notion of spending all time in an office.
The Top Three Major Office Design Trends
1. Home Offices
One of the primary objectives for millennials is to be comfortable when working. Taking this into account, a trend has developed to create a workspace where the office feels as if it is a home area or college dormitory. Snack areas, particularly fully-stocked areas at the company’s expense, are essential in these offices; as are couches used for lounging with plants and natural lighting. Social areas are useful to emphasise relaxation during the work day, such as a pool table or a ping pong table.
Any business offering their staff flexibility regarding working onsite or remotely needs to understand the benefit of having a home office design. This makes the area attractive, comfortable and more productive for employees who choose onsite working.
2. The Multi-Purpose Workspace
Based on the minimalist approach, commercial office designers are working to adapt physical office space to increase the diversity of the workforce within small areas. For example, a small project team may need a conference table for six people to work together and have meetings. White boards should also be available in the office for brainstorming sessions. Snack and lounge areas can be beneficial for both socialising engagements, but also one-to-one mentoring sessions – a cross-disciplinary collaboration. Multi-purpose office spaces offering the staff transparency in the equipment with support for different functions ranging from individual usage to large group meetings or private reflection.
Just as workspace should have a collaborative function, it should provide support for privacy when required. For example, if a sales person is negotiating a large contract with a new customer, the interaction should not take place in an open space but in a private area. The area could be a small conference room or a phone booth space with a closed door. Multi-purpose office spaces are particularly beneficial in balancing the ratio between collaboration with teams and need for individual attention.
3. The Modular Layout
As space and the function become increasingly interchangeable, the use of modular layouts is becoming more popular as compared to fixed layouts. This type of layout allows businesses to relocate furniture without the workspace quickly in order to meet the particular need of the moment. A workspace with a modular layout office design is customisable with multi-purpose functions almost eliminating the need for workstations.
Final Words On the Matter
Regardless what one may think, office designs do matter. With working relationships becoming more flexible and mobile technology allowing staff to work from any location, the workspaces need to match the changing flexibility. As employee productivity is entrenched in sharing information with collaboration, it is essential that the office space support the objectives and allow for creativity.