Throughout the pandemic, many companies had to find innovative ways to ensure that safety in the workplace remains a top priority, while still maintaining corporate culture, securing high levels of productivity and efficiency, and promoting a much-needed sense of employee well-being.
It has been a challenge for many offices to adapt to the numerous changes over the past two years, so it comes as no surprise that top office design trends have also shifted with the times. Although these trends came to prominence with the pandemic in mind, many offices are finding these trends are better for productivity and the bottom line. Here are a few key trends that will revolutionize the office environment in 2022:
Create dynamic office layouts
It’s official: cubicle farms and rigid partitions are out. Modern design elements are beginning to feature more dynamic spaces that can be easily adapted to fit the needs of an ever-changing workforce. Since many people have spent at least part of the last two years in social isolation, the best way to foster more collaboration and teamwork amongst employees is to ensure that your space is versatile enough to accommodate a variety of interactions with colleagues.
Add pods to your office space
As many businesses adopted an open concept office design, flexible workspaces and “pod” style layouts became more popular. In the times of social distancing, they proved to be especially useful, but they are also perfect for adding an element of privacy to open spaces.
As remote workers return to the office and the number of employees in the workforce continues to fluctuate, employees may find themselves without a sense of belonging in their office. This is where pods come in. Many of these pods feature small private spaces with enough room to work alone or with a small group, as well as soft seating and outlets for laptop charging. Some pods are even soundproof so that employees may hold meetings and talk to one another in a convenient, secure manner.
Create more natural light
Exposure to daylight has been scientifically proven to increase our well-being, mood, productivity, and morale. It also brightens rooms and makes the office feel bigger and more spacious. Sometimes, it’s as simple as moving furniture away from windows to allow for more sunshine to illuminate the space. However, in commercial spaces with fewer opportunities to embrace the daylight, you can create the illusion of natural light with well-placed mirrors or a warm color scheme.
Use technology to create safer office environments
New technologies have certainly improved our outlook on office design. By adopting some of the technology trends that made work possible during the pandemic, you can make your employees and clients feel more at ease about returning to the office. Investing in automated light switches and taps in new office space was already a key feature of modern office design before the pandemic, but now this technology has become essential for health and safety. Make sure you are limiting the number of surfaces that your employees and customers need to touch to interact with your space.
The pandemic has definitely shifted our perspective on office design trends. In these times of change, the spaces that we work in every day should work for us, too. If it’s possible, try to survey your employees to figure out what they want and need from their workplace as they return to their offices. This will give you some ideas to improve your office design. Whether you have decided to do a complete overhaul of your work environment or make only a few minor adjustments, keeping these design trends in mind will enhance your workplace and maintain the happiness and healthiness of your workforce.