What’s Trending in Workplace Design

As the new year is upon us, the workplace continues to change in functionality and aesthetics. Similar to clothing and technology, certain aspects of the office “are out” over time and new trends emerge as the way we work continues to change.  There is a lot to consider when designing an office in terms of the work that needs to be done, the type of people who will be doing the work, and the overall image you want to relay to your employees and customers. In order to stay on top of the game, here are some workplace design trends that have developed and continue to grow in popularity going into the new year.

Color, Color, Color!

Splashes of color in the workplace are more popular than ever.  More and more offices we have designed involve more bold uses of color often to match the company’s logo or set a certain mood for the office to keep employees productive and happy.  Lighter and brighter seems to be the new trend, and so this use of color can be seen decorating entire cubicles and office walls or in accent tiles, chair fabrics, and other smaller components of the office that allow for easy change when necessary.

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Unique Organization Solutions

We may have Pinterest to credit for this one, but more offices are incorporating unique desktop and under surface storage solutions to organize their space.  Whether it’s a DIY basket or jar for paper clips or pencils, or large, multi-colored bins with a handmade labeling system, these little projects have been adding a little creativity to personal workspaces.  In addition, mobile storage solutions have taken off as a flexible office solution with the option to be easily moved or removed depending on various storage needs.  

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Wheels Everywhere

Speaking of mobility, more office furniture has made it’s way onto wheels for easy transition purposes throughout the workplace.  This goes hand in hand with the growth of collaborative meeting areas which take on many roles in the office.  These areas now allow for easy reconfiguration, set up and storage as they require different departments and employees to meet for various reasons.  Mobile desks, training tables, chairs, storage units, and tables have become great solutions to the differing needs of businesses, along with foldable tables and chairs to make storage of these pieces easy when they’re not being used.  These collaboration spaces have grown in importance as people more frequently work together.

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Focus on Green

Sustainability is a popular topic for the modern workplace, so more offices are turning to eco-friendly design solutions as they upgrade their space.  These include LED lights which save considerable amounts of energy compared to traditional fluorescent bulbs and pre-owned or refurbished office furniture and parts.  We can attest to this one quite well as a national leader in pre-owned and refurbished office solutions while more and more businesses look to these options to increase their USGBC (US Green Building Council’s) LEED certification points and promote a healthier workplace.  Used cubicles and chairs can be covered with new fabrics and finishes, or new product can be incorporated with various recycled materials to combine for a cost-efficient, eco-friendly work environment.  The possibilities are as numerous as new, but the cost compared to new is much more appealing to companies looking to stay within a budget. 

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Personalized Spaces

As the amount of time employees spend in the office continues to trump their actual time at home, the goal of these employees, as well as their employing companies, is to create a space that they can feel comfortable working in.  “Home” seems to be sneaking into the workplace in the form of lounge areas, coffee stations, outdoor patio areas, and more.  Even each cubicle from one employee to the next now takes shape around the specific needs and work style of that employee.  Herman Miller Ethospace has led this change with a reconfigurable frame and tile system that enables glass, fabric, wood, takable, whiteboard, and open tiles to help create a customized space for each employee.  This personalization of workspaces has enabled employees feel less stress and be more productive throughout the long workday. 

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The Unity of Functionality and Aesthetics

Lastly, we’ve noticed the separation of aesthetics and functionality disappear in the workplace.  Functionality is obviously very important for workers to be productive and efficiently accomplish their tasks each day. But on the other hand, aesthetics keep employees happy and working hard day in and day out.  But now, workplace design and ergonomics have blended the two characteristics in furniture such as adjustable tables, flexible monitor arms, and even chairs that shape the natural curvature of thespine.  Items like these have extraordinary features for employee health and productivity encompassed in a sleek, sleek modern style like never before. 

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To see EthoSource’s inventory of pre-owned, refurbished, and new office furniture for the modern office, click here.