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Office Design Trends for 2016

Office design trends evolve much in the same way as domestic interiors, albeit with different influences and drivers. Designs are primarily directed by business usage patterns, customer interactions and organisational purpose. Culture is also a key driver in office design, and increasingly at Peldon Rose, we are seeing requests for office spaces that reflect a more holistic way of working. Many designs now include flexible desking, bicycle racks, ‘green’ interior spaces and other elements targeted at creating the right atmosphere for productive, creative work.

Here are our top six hot office design trends to watch out for this year:

Kitchens are about to become larger

Once a tiny space containing a kettle and a toaster set somewhere in a small corner, kitchens are becoming more prominent in office spaces as demand for multi-purpose social well-being areas grows. Employers are realising that staff interaction is key to business success, and the kitchen is far more than just a food preparation and social space. It can be a relaxing environment which facilitates useful conversation, networking and very often the spontaneous sharing of ideas. Here, staff are able to – and often encouraged to – make healthy meals, and to chat and socialise with their colleagues to improve mental well-being and thus organisational health. A sizeable kitchen with seating space also doubles up as an agile meeting or working area.

There is going to be an emphasis on fun

Pre-recession, the focus was still very much on productivity, profit and theory X management styles in some larger firms. However, employers have watched with interest as small and nimble start-ups have introduced flexibility, creativity, colour and light into their working spaces, delighting both their employees and the customers that visit their premises. An office is an extension of the brand and should reinforce your brand values, surprising those who visit it. Forward-thinking employers are investing in good design, bright colours, quirky features and unusual meeting spaces in order to create individual, engaging and enlivening offices that foster a culture of creativity and interaction. A great example of this was delivered by the Peldon Rose office design specialists for client Bazaarvoice, and you can see the agile meeting area here for inspiration.

Furniture becomes a focal point

There is a move away from purely functional, minimised furniture and towards ergonomic, impactful furniture that is flexible according to changing business needs. In the absence of small offices and walls, high backed sofas are being used to break up large office spaces and to provide flexible meeting areas. They also offer respite from traditional desks, and are complemented with standing workstations and meeting tables to inject energy and life into the work space. These flexible furniture elements may be modular – such as seating cubes – so that the office interior can be remodelled and refreshed according to the agenda and business needs.

Embracing the outdoors

Nature is having a real moment in design according to experts, Lesizza. Elements that we are seeing more commonly used include installations made from reclaimed wood panels, exposed concrete flooring, office plants and designs that incorporate patterns featuring natural flora and fauna. Some offices are also using living walls to create a sense of nature and well-being. This ties into a wider trend in the workspace, which is to bring that cosy and natural feeling of home into the office. It involves looking at comfort, colour, design and texture to create a comfortable space that facilitates high quality work; a significant departure from the cold and sterile offices of the past. Expect to see office designs with plenty of detail and careful lighting and layouts.

Community tables to bring people together

First we began dining at communal tables in Japanese restaurants; now the trend is coming to work. Teknion is one company which is embracing this trend, with the VP of Corporate Marketing, Steve Delfino explaining that the community table is reflective of a broader cultural movement. People are seeking out meaningful interaction in their homes and public spaces, and the communal table facilitates this in a variety of contexts. Interestingly, these table styles have been around for centuries as a symbol of alliance and kinship, leading to collaborative, relaxed ways of working that can foster innovation.

Multi-functional spaces

And last but not least, multi-functional spaces are a key trend, with rent-challenged businesses using every tool at their disposal to maximise the utility derived from their beautiful new crafted offices, using flexibility of function and working patterns to drive behaviour changes, and ensuring that they achieve a suitable return on their investment.


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