The last decade has seen drastic changes in office design. The old style of office cubicle, grey and bleak, keeping workers forcibly apart in neatly packed rows is out. Styles that encourage teamwork, camaraderie and productivity are in, and these are 2013’s hottest office furniture trends.
Multifunctional furniture is one of the biggest trends of the year. It combines style with practicality; coffee tables with storage, spaces with multiple uses, tables made of several smaller desks arranged together. It’s all about maximising the potential of the space you’ve got – creating larger areas with fewer items to make your office feel less claustrophobic and make your workers happier.
With the march of technology, your office has to remain at the forefront of the latest developments – especially in furniture. Take the tablet, for example; you need a chair that provides a space to rest the tablet so it can be used comfortably. Products with wireless charging docks, built-in speakers and hidden areas to keep wires out of sight (and out of trip zones), not to mention the possibilities of wireless technology and touch screens, can revolutionise your office.
Your office has got to look good and feel good to work in. Working in the same position, sat at a computer desk, eight hours a day, seven days a week… it’s draining and can have a negative impact on your health. Ergonomic designs aren’t just fashionable; they’re crucial to the working life of the entire office.
Offices are no longer about isolation, but about discussion. Communication is one of the most important aspects of office work now, and having an elegant and welcoming space to hold company meetings or to meet with clients, is vital. These spaces are capable of having their environments changed depending on what you need; from cluster groups of tables and chairs to encourage talking, to an impressive business atmosphere, designed to wow potential customers/business partners.
Companies and offices this year are seeing the need to modernise. Glass is back in fashion; metal can make a room seem clinical and cold, but glass gives off the impression of transparency and honestly, giving the room a light feel that raises the mood. European styles, combining classical looks with modern trends, are definitely in vogue.
Social responsibility is a key issue for many of us, and a huge amount of business are incorporating environmentally-friendly practices to reduce their impact on the world. LED lights, furniture made of sustainable materials, sourced from producers with eco-friendly production methods, and electronics that reduce your carbon footprint – with designers making ergonomic pieces that take advantage of recent technological innovations, your office space is going to be stylish, functional, while still helping save the planet. Not too shabby for a computer desk and chair.
The biggest change in office design is the official retirement of the office cubicle. Employees don’t want to sit in cubicles, with no social interaction and no exposure to sunlight. Collaboration is the key word, and many companies are working to create open and cooperative workspaces. Low or transparent panels between employee desks, break areas, and circular workspaces are all very popular. This all works towards increasing productivity and creating a culture of communication, where employees feel comfortable working with each other, and that they are working in a fun and engaging environment.