In 2021, designing a forward-thinking office is far from easy. Business practices and technologies are changing every day. It can be difficult to plan for all the changes coming in the next decade.
Today we’ve decided to help by breaking down some of the most important office layout changes coming into focus in 2021. Many of these trends are designed to flow with a variety of work styles and technologies, or to promote wellness regardless of work changes.
Some of these trends, like monochrome color schemes, are micro trends that we recommend using if the aesthetic match your company. Others are long-term-oriented macro trends that every company would do well to emulate, such as natural lighting and division of space.
As you plan for the coming decade, try incorporating some of these trends into your office.
1. Multipurpose Workspaces
In today’s world, square footage comes at a premium. It’s more important than ever to make the most of the space you have. As a result, multipurpose workspaces have become the new normal.
With contemporary office equipment like flexible panels, mobile walls, moveable frames, and adjustable technology, employees can transform their space to suit different tasks in less than a minute. You’ll never go back to a traditional layout after seeing the time and effort you save with a multipurpose-friendly space.
2. Wood Furniture
Wood is making a comeback in office furniture. Now that the largely pro-environment Millenials are the largest generation in the workforce, property developers are encouraged to incorporate sustainably designed woodwork and natural accents into their interiors.
We see more and more wood used in walls, floors, countertops, accents, and furniture. Designs in homes and offices alike are becoming more organic, with showpiece coffee tables made from preserved tree stumps and plenty of slated wood patterning.
If you can’t afford wood, you may want to consider manmade materials that look like wood, such as luxury vinyl. These can preserve the appealing appearance of wood, though they lose the advantages of a natural material and may not last as long.
3. Community-Building Features
One of the biggest 2021 office layout trends is the trend toward more inviting spaces. Many companies are working to improve employee satisfaction by incorporating community-building features like game rooms, coffee areas, bars, fitness areas, or even just fireplaces with comfortable furniture.
With 70% of professionals working remotely at least one day per week and 53% working remotely at least half of the week, it’s vital for companies to emphasize team-building and community during the limited time employees spend together.
4. Resimercial Furniture
An important aspect of the community-building trend, resimercial furniture is popping up in more and more offices. It turns out that one of the best ways to make the office more community-friendly is to make it feel homey. Many offices choose to create that feeling by literally incorporating residential-inspired furniture.
Resimercial design often includes comfortable seating, soft ambient lighting, durable upholstery, and residential-inspired rugs and lamps. Sofas, comfy chairs, and plush rugs are all fair game.
If you want to create a more comfortable office, we recommend focusing on the tactile experience. Materials and accessories that evoke a sense of warmth and comfort are key to good resimercial design.
5. Sustainable Materials
Sustainability is continuing to become more popular in office furniture and beyond. We see more companies asking questions about sustainability even as furniture makers integrate more recycled and sustainably sourced materials. The most environmentally-focused organizations are pursuing building certifications such as LEED, WELL, and the Living Building Challenge.
Many believe that sustainability is more of a long-term movement rather than a momentary trend. A recent survey of 1,000 CEOS from around the world found that roughly 80% did not believe their businesses were doing enough for sustainability.
If you are looking to invest in your company’s (and the planet’s) future with your next office redesign, sustainability is a good way to go.
6. Biophilic Design
Biophilic design is a framework inspired by nature. It includes sustainably sourced, natural materials like stone and wood, live plants, and innovations like biodynamic lighting, which mimics the cycle of natural daylight.
Plants and hanging horticulture create a nature-friendly vibe. We are seeing more office environments with living walls and moss walls, meaning that plants are literally rooted in contemporary office design.
A prime example of the biophilic trend is The Spheres, Amazon’s downtown Seattle workspace which allows employees to work surrounded by plants. This innovative workspace is home to more than 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of over 30 countries.
7. Monochrome Interiors
In contrast with macro trends like sustainability, monochromatic colors are predicted to be a micro-trend in 2021. We’ve been seeing more office color schemes that use spades of a single color, such as yellow or white. Depth is created with different materials and shades of the color.
If you love the monochrome trend and choose to work it into your office, remember to include a few small pieces in a neutral accent color. You can supplement an all-blue office with a few pieces of black furniture or spice up a white office with plants and a blackboard.
8. Natural Lighting
Natural or at least modern lighting is an important but often underlooked component of every office. In a recent survey, 47% of employees admitted they felt tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office.
In response to this problem, many companies are creating spaces that emphasize natural light and views of the surrounding area. For example, the Airbnb Call Center in Portland, Oregon is designed to be an open space with access to natural light, as well as standing desks and wireless technology that promotes health.
9. Division of Space
The open office plan has a major downside: lack of privacy. Many employees complain that an open environment is too distracting and resort to wearing headphones or working from home more often.
Space dividers are in vogue as employees work to recreate some personal space. With office partitions and similar tools, employees can get the privacy they need without giving up the visual of an open office.
Build a Better Office in the Puget Sound Region
Everett Office Furniture specializes in high-quality used and repurposed office furniture. Our in-house design team provides customized consultations, computer space planning, and ergonomic evaluations. Contact us today to begin working toward a better office.