How Office Design is Shaping Up this Year…
…this year office design is moving away from open plan areas and incorporating more personal and enclosed spaces. Designers are also bringing the outside, inside, giving workers a taste of nature, and creating a home from home feel, rather than a clinical office environment – team this with pet friendly workplaces and all you need is to be able to rock up to work in your PJ’s!!
Let’s take a closer look at what’s happening and the benefits for employees…
Let’s face it, open plan offices aren’t practical. It’s not easy to remain totally focused on your own tasks when there are so many things going on round about you. So what is the solution if a company simply does not have the money or space to offer everyone their own individual office? Glass partitioning, solid partitioning or purpose built cubicles. There are many advantages of an employee having their own specifically partitioned space. The privacy element is important, but it also helps employees feel as though they are not completely cut off from the rest of the office. Giving an employee their own space can also give them a sense of self importance, feeling appreciated and respected by higher levels of management. Also, there is certainly lesser distraction in separate cubicles that automatically enhances the focus of people working in the office. Finally, when employees work in private cubicles, they get freedom to personalise the space to how they like (within reason) and secure their belongings without any fear of loss.
Although having your own personal pod for free rein is great, it is also important to have a place where you can break away from your work for some down time or a place to socialise and chat with colleagues. Interiors within offices will continue to become more like a ‘home away from home’, as there are spaces where you can break away from your desk and feel less like you are in an office. The idea is that these spaces with less ‘office like’ furniture should reflect more aspects of home interior design, allowing people to completely relax.
Humans have an innate attraction to nature. Called biophilia, it’s not only instinctive but also healthy. When humans connect with nature it has been shown to reduce stress, enhance creativity and improve wellbeing. Biophilic design is a means of achieving this in spaces where nature wouldn’t otherwise be available e.g your office or workspace. Plants and greenery are a lot more appealing to look at than a bare wall!
With the ongoing trend for the workplace to become more work-life balanced, there is perfect evidence to predict that we’ll we see more companies encouraging pets at work. Research has suggested that pets, particularly dogs, can help relieve stress, encourage movement & exercise and improve job satisfaction. If offices just now can have slides, swings, and even ball-pits, it’s probably not so crazy to suggest that companies will encourage the above and even start to incorporate it into their office design. In fact, one company has already taken this approach. Kurgo, based in Massachusetts, make dog travel supplies and accessories. They took over a 4,000 square foot warehouse and created a workplace that was designed for their staff and their dogs. There’s fake grass on the floors, low water fountains and baskets of dog toys.