During the pandemic in 2020-2021, employers saw the benefits of alternating office days and working from home days. They also realised that their office spaces need to be more than just a place to get a job done. They need to attract workers, act as safe spaces and give perks that working from home can’t compete with.
The ‘Working from home survey’ reported that the office was the workplace of choice for 40% of the people surveyed and that 84% of UK employees reported that they would want to sit and talk with their team daily. Almost half claimed they would like to meet once or twice each week.
With that in mind business owners are now turning to office and wall art specialists for inspiration on how to create a space that employees find creative, relaxing and want to spend their time so they can create inspiring ideas that will also help to improve the businesses bottom line.
To give you an idea of how to create a space that you can get the best out of yourself and any employees, Squark Design look have taken a look at the top 5 office and work space design trends to help you to create a space that will benefit you.
1. Living walls and plants
Bringing more greenery into the workplace isn’t a new trend – we’re no strangers to biophilic design, but with studies showing that office workers surrounded by natural elements reported a 15% higher level of wellbeing and a 6% higher level of productivity, businesses are looking for new ways to use greenery in their office spaces.
Added to this, 50% of workers from Bloom & Wild’s ‘Flower Power’ experiment said they felt more productive when they had flowers in their workspace. With flowers boosting productivity and doing wonders for the brain and mental wellbeing, employers are turning to flowers over general office plants to spruce up office spaces. With flower walls on the rise in the hospitality scene, designers are introducing them into workplaces to help attract new talent and boost staff wellbeing. You could even have a flower room for a pleasant break time for staff – blooming marvellous!
2. Corporate art
Another way to attract employees into your office is to make them more arty and appealing. Working from home has allowed people to work in comfy settings surrounded by their own art, so offices can compete by offering beautiful workplace scenery and spaces. Wall design that reflects corporate cultures, values and brand story is a great way to create and engaging and inspiring wow factor within the work place.
If your office has a lot of wall space, why not help your local community by offering your wall space to local galleries and artists and even staff members to display their art.
3. Create personalised spaces
Allowing employees to share desk spaces on rota systems rather than assigning each individual with their own desk is falling into the shadows. With office hygiene being the highest priority, employers are swapping hot desks with assigned work stations so that each employee can have more control over their own work area.
Individual, assigned desks also allow workers to personalise them, by adding their own unique touches. Employers are seeing the benefit of allowing workers to add their own individual styles to their work areas as we’ve gotten more used to working around our own comforts. Expect to see more casual vibes and designs to attract and retain workers.
A poll of 1,000 UK workers, conducted by EY as part of its 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, found that four in five wanted flexibility where they worked, and 47 per cent went as far as to say they would consider changing their jobs if flexible working wasn’t an option.
4. Better mobility with sit-stand desks
Even though we’ve been warned time and again about the dangers of prolonged sitting, many employers and employees often forget. However, with us being more aware of our health these days, employers are recognising the importance of mobility in the office. Expect to see a rise in the use of sit-stand desks, which can help staff break up unhealthy sedentary positions as well as improve productivity
5. Showcase company individuality
Gone are the days of clinical colours – the greys, whites and beiges. Offices are brightening up their workplaces to attract and retain staff. Neutral tones may suit some brands and workplaces, but businesses are looking to inject more life and more of their brand into their office spaces with the best use of colour. And especially when flexible working has gone up, bringing workers back into the workplace with dreary surroundings over their own homely surroundings is going to be a turn-off. Think quirky on brand wall art, more cosy areas and niche perks being brought into offices.
“Business owners are understanding more seriously that they need to update offices and workplaces to better accommodate their staff with safety and wellbeing in mind. It’s more about personalisation – with both the brand and its employees – and assigned workstations to reassure workers that hygiene is a priority and that the office can be just as comfortable as working from home, with the added benefits of increased productivity, communication, focus and social interactivity.”
Nick Pollitt, Managing Director of Diamond Interiors
As you can see, simple steps can be made to create a better working environment that will benefit everyone. Just think, if you don’t do it – how will it effect your business?
Images: IA Interior Architects, Oasis, Kararo Architect & Interior Design, Wework, Squark Design, interiordesigner.net, toma studio, etsy.com and ukbusinessinsider.