Office design goes through plenty of different trends, just like any other area of design. There have been clear fads over the decades, such as the shift to open-plan offices and the introduction of adult playgrounds on campuses like Google’s. Here are the big trends that you can expect to see in 2020.
Green office design has been around for a long time, but with groups like Extinction Rebellion making sure that climate change stays at the top of our minds, it’s becoming more popular than ever. Green design involves eco-friendly elements, and the reduction of waste as much as possible. This might include the use of different materials, including recycled furniture; responsive lights that are connected to motion sensors; and a focus on natural light. Not only does this reduce the use of electricity, but it also helps workers feel happier and more productive.
Plenty of companies are also going for a focus in the past in their office design. This often includes repurposing old spaces, and maintaining them to create a modern office space in a classic setting.
It’s on trend also to include nods to the past in the office furnishings. This can include the use of items from the past of the company itself – but if you’re running a start-up, that might not be an option. A better idea in this case is to incorporate the history of your building. For example, the tenants here at Adelphi Mill might like to find vintage equipment that would have been used in the cotton spinning industry to add that retro style.
The modern office in 2020 has to be flexible and adaptable, and also efficient. That means using every inch of the space to its fullest potential. The boardroom is a key area that is no longer really useful in its traditional format: meetings are becoming less formal across industries, remote working is now more common, and having a whole room set aside just for big meetings seems wasteful.
Retractable walls are a great way to make the boardroom earn its keep. They allow a large space to be subdivided into smaller, temporary workspaces that can be changed and moved at a moment’s notice. Got the whole board together for the annual meeting? Great, use the whole space. Need to work in small groups on different parts of a project? Cut the space down into small areas and you can all have your own private offices. It works for everyone.
There are plenty of ongoing trends which have also carried through from 2019 and earlier, so if none of these ideas appeal to you or feel like they would revitalise your space, you can still try some other, longer-lasting trends. These include open-plan offices and the removal of private rooms for managers and executives, allowing more free collaboration; the use of every available space to create function, including areas that would once have been ignored; and the dedication of space to company culture.