With 2017 now safely behind us (though we’re not sure how that happened!) we thought it only appropriate to look to the year ahead at the exciting office design trends tipped to be big in 2018.
Wellbeing was a big feature throughout 2017, with employee health and happiness top of the agenda. With our roots set firmly in the world of ergonomics, we always let wellbeing inform our project design. We truly believe that what you invest in your staff and business will reward you long term in employee satisfaction, retention and creativity. With the International WELL Building Institute leading the way in people first building design this trend looks set to continue.
With the workplace evolving, creating dynamic and flexible spaces is becoming ever important. We think that the next year will continue to see an increase in changeable workplaces which will support different ways of working collaboratively and embrace advancing technology.
Flexible working practises inevitable means that acoustic products are likely to come to the fore, especially those that can be moved around to shift spaces, creating fluid meeting rooms and quiet areas. We love the BuzziCactus, BuzziBlinds and Naughtone’s Cloud range, which are both adaptable in their usage. Other products tipped to do well are tables such as Allermuirs’ Silta range or Connections Co.Table; serving as meeting tables, co-working spaces or (with added power and data modules) a hub of connectivity. With an endless range of colour options, these can also become a centerpiece of the office and a real design feature.
From left: BuzziBlinds; Silta Table; Cloud Quilt; BuzziCactus
Creating a home from home
Employers are also reaping the reward of another workplace trend – bringing the home to the office. By offering soft furnishings and break out spaces, employees feel more comfortable and a by-product of this is that they are likely to spend longer at the office.
Building a more welcoming office needn’t be expensive either, with research showing that something as simple as the colours you choose effecting mood and boosting productivity. With so many fabrics and paints available, gone are the days of the drab and impersonal office. Why not even transform a wall with a mural or create a collaborative art work using IdeaPaint.
This is a giant leap from the days of sharp lines and unfeeling interiors of the traditional corporate office, and whilst not everyone will be painting their office pink, softening the office environment has its rewards.
The other big trend for 2018 which looks set to continue is biophilic design; enhancing the connection between design and nature. This includes more plants and greenery but also light, texture, patterns and views of the outside. The Human Spaces report on biophilic design showed that workers in offices including natural elements reported a 15% higher level of well being and are 15% more creative.
Not all buildings can be adapted to increase natural light levels or include a living wall, but even mimicking natural elements with lights that simulate daylight, using artificial plants or the use of organic materials can improve wellbeing.
Natural Fabrics & Recycled Materials
Often products using natural textures have a greener footprint and designers are constantly finding innovative ways to re-use or recycle previously overlooked materials. We’ve written before about responsible design and the ways in which we work closely with suppliers to help us make informed choices about the furniture we specify.
With new partners to work with and exciting events to attend, we’re looking forward to seeing what 2018 holds and learning about any new trends we didn’t expect!