As professional designers, planners and creators of the most innovative and functional office spaces, we are always looking for new and exciting design trends. In 2013, we saw collaborative workspace design really take off and more spaces being designed for the mobile worker. This year, while we see some of those trends continue, it is really about adapting a workspace for the employee – from colors, to nature and of course, open, flexible and scalable design. Here are the “Top 5 office Design Trends for 2014”.
The Mobile Office
It all comes down to this: Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever. Many workers telecommute several days a week; many are on the road and seldom come into the office. In addition, most workers want to be more mobile in their office setting, coming and going as they please, fostering true collaboration. In order to create a true, mobile office, consider these tips.
Chairs, stools and tables on wheels are a must. Seating and work surfaces that can move with employees foster collaboration and provide employee’s a sense of freedom to create a productive workspace wherever they want. We feature HON flock seating & tables that provide excellent mobility.
Consider height adjustable workstations. These allow employees to work from a seated or standing position, getting the blood flowing again and simply providing a change of scenery.
Create a non-assigned workstation environment for employees who are not in the office every day, allowing them to change their view once in a while.
Purchase office workstations that allow the mobile worker to easily plug in their laptop, phone and other tech devices. We love these chairs to the right by “arcadia” with built in outlets. Instant meeting space!
Paying Homage to Mother Nature
We believe the saying “Get Back to Nature” doesn’t always have to mean taking a hike after work or camping on the weekends. There is no reason why we cannot bring the outdoors in! Many of us strive to do this in our homes and now we are bringing Mother Nature to the office. Consider these tips:
Create and use natural light whenever possible.
Add plants everywhere. Some plants even know to help scrub the air we breathe like English Ivy, Boston Ferns and Red-Edged Dracaena.
Take advantage of textures patterns and colors that resemble nature. Think slate walls or floors, blue that mimics the sky, etc.
Have access to a roof deck, patio or a nice outdoor space? Use it! Place comfortable seating out there too, creating yet another impromptu, collaborative space.
Bright & Bold
Bright and bold colors actually boost productivity. MordeDays.com wrote a great article on Color Psychology. We loved what it had to say and here are some of our takeaways we will be using in 2014.
Red: This color can provoke faster breathing and a faster heart rate and is used by designers everywhere for furniture since it attracts attention. Note: We would not recommend painting your office walls red, use as an accent color.
Blue: Use it on the walls – it is shown to increase productivity.
Green: Consider green walls or green furniture in common areas or break rooms, as it represents nature and provides a feeling of peace and relaxation.
If you want a full write up on Collaborative Workspace trends, then checkout our previous post on the topic. Needless to say, 2014 will continue the collaborative and informal workspace trend. A few ideas we are adding into the mix include:
Cutting down on the cubicles, or at least lowering the walls. Open spaces foster collaboration.
Adding tables in between designated workspaces which allow employees to meet and collaborate spontaneously.
Create lounge spaces instead of formal meeting areas. Ideas tend to flow better in informal, comfortable environments.
Last, but not least, is flexibility. Many of the trends we discussed above, from design to specific types of furniture lend themselves toward a more flexible space. You want to include a variety of “gathering areas” for employees to meet, use furniture that can be easily moved or rearranged, and consider informal meeting spaces or wi-fi lounges. We love what Ernst & Young is doing in creating flexible office environments, or what they call the “Workplace of the Future”. Simply ask yourself…am I providing my employees with a flexible workspace that can foster productivity and promise collaboration? If the answer is no, it may be time for a reconfiguration.
Questions on any of the trends mentioned above? Or are you ready to get started designing that new space? If you are in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, contact us today to get started!