As January meanders on, your business might be thinking it’s time to shake things up and jolt the year into action with a new office aesthetic and a design that reflects where your brand is and where you’re looking to go. North Group have got vast experience working on projects that feature various design trends. Keeping our finger on the pulse of cultural shifts within office environments, our experienced design team looks to integrate and innovate modern trends from the design playbook.
2022 looks to be another interesting year for office design, with hybrid working and working from home continuing to dominate and question office planning. That shouldn’t put you off the possibility of an office redesign however, in fact, it should do the opposite. With many aspects of traditional office life still up in the air, you should take this as an opportunity to look at your office plans and how you can revitalise them for the benefit of your team. Here are North Groups design trends to consider in 2022.
Before committing to any major or wholesale revamp, you need to work with and develop the space and layout you have. Health and safety, functionality and practicality, and aesthetics are the main principles to consider when looking to revitalise your workspace. Not only is the aesthetic structure of your office important, but so is the internal structure of your business. You need to consider who you are, as well as the space you have to create an environment that is appropriate and convenient for your employees. Look at how your day-to-day operates and how the varying departments and teams interact with one another across the office, you need to find the ideal layout that boosts communication, teamwork and productivity, without sacrificing practicality or aesthetics.
Choosing your office style all depends on what your brand is. A modern style combines practicality and aesthetics, with a more open approach to the office layout that focuses on functionality with minimalistic decoration. Tried and tested is the classic layout that benefits businesses with a stricter hierarchy that has closed off areas and a structured layout. Classic wood features are the go-to here. Heading in the complete opposite direction, lofts or open-plan spaces eschew stereotypes for brands and individuals with creative personalities. Informal style direction featuring modern or 'vintage' furniture provides something different to what these spaces see as banal or boring solutions - solutions that are much more suited to environments with a rigid, subordinated structure.
After two years of moving between being in the office and working from home, it’s not a trend that seems like it’ll be limited to restrictions and the pandemic. A new hybrid formula of working is on the agenda for many businesses across the country so it’s only right your office reflects your employees state of mind. Merging the comforts of the home into your office can help ease the transition of jumping between the two. Many have grown accustomed to their favourite appliances, comforts, and homely features, and as our attitude to what a modern office can become, there’s no reason not to include many of these elements. From natural lighting to cosy textures and colour schemes that create a warmer atmosphere, relaxing and comfortable seating, or a myriad of plant life to create a greener, more ambient setting, comfort will be key. Not only is this aesthetically pleasing and great for design, but it helps promote an overall sense of calm that helps soothe employees. By making your office a haven for well-being, you can reduce stress and help with the potentially daunting transition of returning to work, whilst also boosting their productivity by turning the office into a place they can enjoy being in.
Think about your own habits from working at home. Did you sit all day, or did you like to move between rooms and stretch your legs? Creating environments that promote the ability to move around may seem a distraction but can actually be the opposite. Whether it’s a cosy couch area with comfy seats and armchairs or a revamped kitchen stocked with comforting household appliances and free snacks and refreshments can create a better team atmosphere after 2 years of connecting through screens. Recreating home comforts in your office should be a top priority going forward.
Like welcoming the comfort of the home into the office is the need to create a modern office set-up that promotes and enables hybrid working and flexible routines. After realising the possibilities of different work set-ups, employees are now looking for different options with their workspaces. Being confined to a desk day-in-day-out doesn’t seem so attractive after gaining more freedom in the past couple of years. If you’re looking to utilise your office space and get your employees back on board for returning, you need to find a solution for that. Unassigned workstations, communal relaxed workspaces or pods for low-key team meetings and brainstorming, more formal conference rooms, and relaxed spaces can provide the answers your business needs and energise your surroundings.
Flexible workspaces that promote hybrid working is all about providing options. If you’re offering staff the opportunity to switch between working from home and being in the office, then transformable offices where not every employee has their own personal workspace is a great option to consider. With more organisations looking into hybrid options, catering to it, like bringing in home comforts, is essential. In-office workplaces are the hubs of communication, connection, and collaboration, creating a sense of shared community that has been lacking when working from home for the past two years. Creating flexible environments can provide your workforce with ample reason, and motivation, to commit to life back in the office by boosting productivity and comfort through a hybrid redesign.
Often an afterthought or ignored altogether, introducing a splash of colour into your office can be the secret to boosting productivity, the mood of your employees, and their creativity. Many look for brighter, more vibrant colour options that help them feel more optimistic and efficient in their routines. As is often the case, interior colour palettes are taken directly from the companies own brand identity with the office acting as a key part of that corporate branding. When you’re looking for other options, however, neutral colours are tried and tested which is why they are always so popular amidst office design trends, they are comfortable colours that can feel homely. Where colour positively impacts an environment, the lack of it has the opposite effect. Previous studies have shown that working in environments featuring neutral tones like grey actually increases the risk of burnout.
As a key part of the workplace, colour has the potential to influence how employees feel about the space they occupy and how it affects their mood and by proxy, their productivity. That’s why it’s so important to consider different colour options to make the right choice for your environment. Blue and green are excellent options to promote a calm and efficient workspace whilst improving productivity. Yellow too is a great choice for those in dynamic workspaces as it boosts creativity. Identifying how to use the right colour appropriately within your office will help to transform your creative output and boost morale, stimulating your employees and energising them to help spark creativity.