In 2015, we’re seeing an acceleration of the trends of the last decade. Advances in technology mean people are less tied to physical desks and bulky PCs, and more employees are working from home or on the move.
Increasingly, office workspaces are being viewed as places to meet up, share ideas and give or gain direction, rather than as the primary spaces for knuckling down and getting work done.
For office décor and design, this is having some welcome effects. One of the main ones? Corporate spaces are becoming more human.
More meeting spaces and “quiet zones”
From the early 1990s on, the concept of open-space planning spread like wildfire. In homes everywhere, people gleefully bashed down walls to create larger, open spaces with better “flow” and more natural light.
Somewhat less gleefully, employees pretended to be excited as their comforting walls were torn down and they were moved into large open areas with fluorescent lighting, drab blue-grey carpeting and desk arrangements reminiscent of a Pink Floyd album cover. Typically these areas were (and still are) overlooked by managers in fishbowl-like offices with glass walls.
Open-plan office designs have significant advantages for employers, so they’re probably here to stay for some time. What’s changing, however, is that there’s a move against completely open spaces.
Employers and designers are beginning to acknowledge that many employees struggle to concentrate due to high noise levels in open-plan offices, and that the sterile look and feel of these spaces is hardly conducive to creativity and information sharing.
So along with open-plan areas, offices are incorporating more private niches and comfortable, quieter zones where people can meet and exchange ideas.
Décor and design as corporate advertising
Years ago, large companies began recognising the potential of their workspaces for advertising their corporate cultures. Modern, innovative or unusually appealing office designs and décor could play a role in attracting top talent for recruitment, along with making a good impression on clients and the public generally.
With today’s greater focus on using workspaces as meeting points, this trend is once again picking up. Even smaller companies are making their workspaces more original and attractive, to promote positive images of what they do and how they do it.
Bolder, more individual décor
In keeping with other trends, offices in 2015 are incorporating more artwork, more colour and texture and more individual “statement pieces”, like modern furniture in very bright colours or with bold quirky designs. The focus is on standing out and being different, as well as on making spaces more personal, comfortable and inviting.
Another 2015 office décor trend is the addition of luxury elements – and not just in the boss’s office either! Today it’s common to include soft furnishings and homely sofas and armchairs, especially in office “quiet zones” and meeting points. There’s also a boom in office wall coverings and geometric prints, which are an easy way to add striking visual elements to office rooms.
K-Mark stays ahead of the trends with its attractive office furniture and upholstery.