The modern workplace is quickly evolving. It’s now not just an area where numbers are crunched, or deadlines met; today’s office design trends are centred around creating a positive workplace experience for staff and clients alike.
The following are some office interior design trends for 2019:
Biophilia is making its way into modern architecture and interior design. Coined by American biologist E. O. Wilson in the 1980s, the movement consists of incorporating nature into architecture, helping office workers and homeowners connect to nature. According to Wilson, human beings have an innate and genetically determined affinity with the natural world. A Norwegian study reports that employees who have indoor plants at their workstations had a decreased amount of self-reported sick leaves.
Other than plants, some elements of biophilic design include the following:
- Natural light coming from windows
- Full-spectrum artificial light sources
- Exterior views
- Water sources such as fountains and ponds
- Natural fibres such as timber, stone and leather
Several studies have been conducted on the effects of sitting at desks the whole day. A CNN report confirms that prolonged sitting, done between eight to ten hours a day, can lead to increased rates of heart disease, cancer and chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Also, sitting for extended periods burns very few calories, linking this phenomenon to increased weight gain and obesity. Other concerns regarding sitting all day include neck strain and back pain,
The recent trend of height-adjustable desks aims to address this concern. Standing desks give employees the flexibility of sitting or standing while they work.
The Take-a-Stand Project was a 2011 study conducted during two months in the United States. Through the initiative, participants who utilised standing desks had minimised neck and back pain by 54 per cent.
Office fit-out companies, such as Zircon Interior recognise the need for office furniture which promotes a more health-conscious culture. The Melbourne-based interior design firm states that height-adjustable desks make office workers more attentive, energised and less likely to waste words in team discussions.
Free-range co-working spaces maximise collaboration, creativity, flexibility and promoting innovating ideas. When an office lacks physical barriers, colleagues are more likely to communicate with each other and work as a team. Collaboration efforts are enhanced as a result across all levels in the workplace.
The open-format office spaces often share the same design tendencies of upstart and dynamic corporate tech offices. Open-plan offices are now integrated into businesses in a range of markets. Through the use of dynamic and multi-use meeting spaces, wider desk areas and technology-friendly hubs, workers have increased opportunities for ideation and collaboration.
Old meets new
Combining old and new elements have gained more credence in recent times. Designing is much more than adding old furniture or other items; the trend focuses on working with older buildings and spaces, giving them a new charm through modern furniture and decor. The challenge is balancing the old and new elements together. This way, workplaces receive a boost and are revitalised without completely changing the work culture.