If you are a regular visitor to our office interior design blog, you may recall that last year we published a blog in which we predicted 5 Commercial Office Design Trends for 2020. Suffice to say that none of us could have predicted the events of 2020 and the huge shift in trends (and requirements) it has caused surrounding commercial office design over the past few months.
Taking these changes into consideration we have compiled a list of office design trends to keep an eye out for in 2021.
Two trends predicted for 2020 which we feel will come into play even more so in 2021 are using more plants within office spaces and sustainable designs. Bringing the outdoors inside is more important now than ever. With so much uncertainty surrounding employees, it is important to keep morale up. Countless studies have shown that nature can have a huge impact on an individual’s mood, so giving employees lots of greenery in their office to take care of will boost morale, productivity and even allow for a fresher atmosphere with more oxygen flowing through the space. Whilst the shift toward more sustainable office design was already in motion during 2020, recent events have only emphasised the importance of environmentally friendly design. People are more conscious than ever about their impact on the environment, and pressure is mounting on businesses to have a more environmentally friendly ethos including within their office interior design choices. With this in mind, we feel that greener office design, including using more sustainable materials as well as incorporating elements which encourage sustainability within the workplace will be a huge trend in 2021.
With more of an emphasis being placed on flexible working, the workspaces for employees will need to reflect this. Over the past few years there has been a gradual shift towards flexible working as demand for flexible working policies increased, yet employers remained hesitant to introduce them. However, the past year has shown that people can work effectively whilst working flexibly. It is evident that a good balance should be reached when introducing flexible working arrangements, and your office space will need to reflect this also. Whilst you may not necessarily require a complete office renovation, we would certainly suggest a workplace refurbishment to accommodate this change. Introducing spaces where people can take part in ‘hot desking’ and general work spaces which are not allocated to anyone specifically are some great examples of how you can adapt your office space to the new way of working. We certainly think that this trend will be a priority for most businesses in the coming months.
For those who got used to working from home, returning to working within the office can be rather daunting. To allow for an easier transition back to the office we think a popular office design trend will be spaces specifically designed for relaxation and other forms of breakout spaces throughout the office, particularly once the restrictions that have been introduced in 2020 are a thing of the past. Adding in fun seating such as beanbags and suspended chairs create a more relaxed atmosphere, which will help with transitioning back to life within the office. Since the past year has been riddled with uncertainty, causing many to feel overwhelmed and stressed, then providing spaces for people to relax or have fun is certainly recommended. Many struggle with a work/life balance, and offering breakout spaces enables them to have some much needed downtime.
In addition to adapting the workspace to accommodate for flexible working and adding in breakout spaces, we’re predicting that large open spaces will be a huge trend in terms of commercial office design trends in 2021. With many having been crammed within their own homes in recent months, limited to how much time they can spend outdoors and often with little work space around them, it will soon become vital that the office space should offer the opposite. With large open spaces, high ceilings and as previously mentioned, breakout spaces. Alongside this, we see floor to ceiling windows being a huge trend in office design in 2021. Large windows allow as much natural light to flow through the office space as possible. Natural light is a great way to boost the morale and productivity of your employees. Fluorescent lighting has often been noted to have detrimental effects on an employee’s ability to work, harsh lighting can cause glare on screens as well as eye strain. To counter this glass wall partitions will prove popular, to enable natural light to flow through the office.
This is a trend which we have seen exponentially grow in recent months, and only assume it will grow even more so in 2021. Whilst solid office partitions can be considered dated, glass partitions allow for an open office plan with measures in place to ensure the safety of staff. In addition to this, glass is also easy to clean, making it the perfect choice for partitioning the office space without segregating the team from one another. These glass partitions do not compromise the existing layout and design of an office, allowing for light to flow through the space and doesn’t clash with the existing interior.
After such a hectic year, whilst we predicted the return of bold colours to the office in the year 2020, for 2021 we think that more neutral and calm colour palettes will be favoured when choosing how to decorate the office space. To allow for the more relaxed atmosphere, calming colour choices are a must. Some are hesitant to make this choice through fear of losing the company’s identity, and to counter this we think that the addition of minimalist accents of bold colour throughout the workspace to maintain the company’s branding is the perfect solution. This may be through the use of coloured desk chairs, bold soft furnishings or bright artwork.
The final trend we are predicting for 2021 is a return to minimalism. With an emphasis on complying with current regulations, office spaces should be free from clutter. This will result in a high demand for bespoke fitted storage solutions to maintain a tidy and easy to clean workspace. In addition to this, minimalist furniture is likely to be popular, with an emphasis on functionality and the ability for it to be easily cleaned, thus allowing for flexible working spaces and hot desking. Whilst we do expect some sort of revival for minimalism, we think that this will be in a less clinically designed way than previously. Instead, this trend will most likely see minimalism with an emphasis on creating a cosy and warm environment thanks to the use of natural materials such as wood. People returning to work in the office will have enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere from working from home, so it’s important to reflect this in your office design. So we predict a return to a variation of minimalism, one which is also warm and welcoming rather than clinical in design.
If you’ve been inspired by any of the above, then why not get in touch with a friendly member of our team today to see how we can transform your office space, ready for whatever 2021 may bring. Our office design experts will always listen to your needs, and create bespoke office design solutions tailored to your exacting requirements. Get in touch to start your next project.
The Forum and Blue Space have developed an excellent working partnership over a number of years with projects or varying sizes and complexity. We’ve always been impressed with Blue Space’s ability to deliver innovative design solutions through projects that are on time and within budget.