Top 10 Interior Office Design Trends in 2022
Each year, subtle changes in the business world create shifts in the most recent trends in office interior design. In 2022, the return to a more comfortable, inviting workplace that is safer and more homelike drives many of these trends. By incorporating some of these trends, your workplace becomes more enticing to new recruits, welcoming to returning workers and comforting to those who have worked for years in the space.
1. Collaborative Office Design
A key factor in modern office interior design is the openness of workplace plans. Having fewer dividers between workers stimulates interactivity and collaboration on projects. Improved collaboration is essential for research and development departments and other creative teams that require face time with others to discuss ideas spontaneously.
Collaborative offices tend to avoid including multiple private office spaces and closed-off conference rooms. Instead, a centralized planning spot for meetings puts brainstorming sessions amid work areas. This allows for easy access to the people and ideas discussed. Anyone can chip in with ideas, enriching the discussion by bringing several opinions to the session.
However, not everyone will want to work in a completely open office. To make the most of the workplace, open office spaces require flexibility for workers who need private places to work. A collaborative office design includes individual work areas within the plan, such as workstations or pods located in quieter areas of the office, away from the discussion sites. These smaller spaces for solo work included in an open office plan ensure a balance between ways to work together and alone.
The added benefit of an open plan design is reduced construction costs for the office. With fewer private, walled-in offices, the floorspace requires less drywall, reducing overall construction costs and time.
2. Active Workplace With Ergonomic Interior Office Design
Ergonomic interior design reduces strain on workers and can lower the chances of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries examined the cost to benefits of adding ergonomic elements to the office design. From 40 reports of offices using ergonomic design, the study found a decrease in injuries from WMSDs by 61% and a drop in turnover by 87%. Absenteeism and errors also fell while productivity increased.
Ergonomic design ensures the support of the body in its most natural position while working to reduce strain on muscles. However, remaining active is also vital while at work to lower the strain caused by sitting all day. Therefore, active and ergonomic furnishings are increasingly popular in modern office interior design.
Active options include elements that keep workers moving. These include treadmill desks, ball chairs, bike chairs, sit-stand chairs, adjustable height desks for use while standing or sitting and standing mats.
Active elements keep workers from sitting still or in the same position for too long, which can cause muscle stress and strain. Options such as bike chairs and treadmill desks promote movement even while working on a computer to reduce the impacts of a sedentary desk job and improve overall health.
By reducing WMSDs in workers and encouraging movement through ergonomic and active furnishings, offices can keep their workers healthier and lower the time taken off for injuries.
3. Flexibility at Work
One thing that many workplaces discovered in 2020 and 2021 was the need to be as flexible as possible for workers to contribute from home offices. Flexible work locations appeal to people who may want to cut childcare costs or reduce commuting expenses by working from home. Part-time remote working still keeps employees connected with others at the office several times a week, so they gain collaboration opportunities while benefiting from working from home.
Working From Home
Even with many offices reopening and welcoming workers back, other workplaces are increasing their offerings for working from home, either part or full time. For example, Zillow, an online marketplace for real estate, announced that 90% of its workforce would have the option of working from home. Many other companies are following suit, providing remote work as a permanent option for the new and existing workers.
Offices that offer remote work still need to consider how those employees will connect with others at the office, either through online meetings, phone conferences or visiting the office in person occasionally.
Making Work Look More Homelike
For the transition from remote working to going back to the office, many workers want a more homelike atmosphere at work. Softening the atmosphere with residential design elements can help to make employees more comfortable. Sofas, lounge chairs, artwork, softer lighting and wood flooring can add warmth to a workspace and make it feel more homelike.
Adding Hot Desks
Hot desks are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Workers who work remotely part-time can use these unassigned desks while at the office. Because the schedules of part-time remote workers will differ, several employees can use the hot desks during the week.
Other uses of hot desks for full-time in-office workers include providing workspaces for employees based on their use. Each hot desk is a communally available site for working. During collaborative efforts, workers may choose to sit at hot desks in an open work area. If they need privacy, they can relocate their materials to a hot desk in a pod for a quiet spot to focus.
What sets hot desks apart from traditional desks is that no one worker can claim the desk as their own, so personal effects never accumulate on the surfaces or in the drawers, maximizing the productivity of the space.
4. Architectural Interiors Using Pods or Booths for Privacy
Interior office furniture architecture may include installing booths or pods to create private areas for quiet working. These pods may have walls or dividers to enclose the workspace, but they are typically not as large as private offices or as open as cubicles. They may have comfortable sofas and coffee tables to encourage small group collaboration or a more homelike place for a single employee to work privately.
Pods should have enough desk space and seating for a single worker or a small group. They must also have outlets for laptop charging and good Wi-Fi connectivity. Some pods will provide even more privacy by offering soundproof spaces for confidential meetings or phone calls.
An alternative to pods is using wheeled desks and small seats that easily move together for meetings or pull apart to quieter spaces for individual working. You could also incorporate moveable walls and room dividers to create smaller booths or meeting areas.
5. Wallcoverings and Living Walls
Walls in modern office spaces are no longer stark white. Wallcoverings may display colors or images that reflect the values and features of the company. Accent walls turn a single white wall in a room into a colored one, providing a burst of color without overwhelming the eyes. These accent walls can use color psychology to excite workers or encourage concentration.
Another way to enhance walls and add a softer touch is by installing living walls. These interior gardens bring indoor office plants away from potted ficus trees in corners and turn them into visual focal points for rooms. Green walls integrate into biophilic office design and are perfect for workplaces that don’t have views of the greenery outside.
Whether using a single color, corporate image or green wall, adding color to workspaces with wallcoverings can improve the visual aesthetics of a space and enhance worker morale.
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6. Nature in the Office and Sustainability
Living walls are only one example of the ways nature appears in biophilic workplaces, which include natural elements throughout the building’s design. Water walls or fountains, green walls, plants and natural building elements all enhance the feeling of bringing nature inside.
Living plants require care, and workers can take needed breaks from their tasks to tend to the plants. Caring for plants can break up the stress of work and benefit employees’ health and mental wellness. Having living plants in the office improves air quality through plant photosynthesis, reduces noise by softening hard walls and floors and boosts productivity.
Green building does not mean including only plants around the office. Sustainable office design practices start with the materials used in the site’s construction. Choosing materials from local sources reduces the impact of emissions created from transporting the building goods to the site. Other sustainable practices include maximizing energy efficiency, increasing the use of natural lighting and choosing low-emissions furnishings and construction materials. Sustainability reduces the office’s impact on the environment while saving money on utilities and operations.
7. Light Colors and Natural Lighting
Lighter colors, such as grays, neutrals and greens enhance the natural feel of an office. The colors used in a workplace can also impact productivity through color psychology. For example, grays connect to impressions of style, sophistication, productivity, functionality and simplicity. Green colors bring to mind nature, peacefulness, serenity, calmness and comfort.
Color psychology can also create different zones for different types of thinking. For instance, an orange accent wall in a collaborative working area can promote creativity. Blue is a good color for lounge areas as it encourages relaxation and calmness.
Natural lighting from skylights, windows or other sources allows for more growth of indoor plants. Natural light also can reduce energy use for lighting and provide a softer alternative to harsh indoor fluorescent lights. However, not all offices have large windows or access to natural light, especially sites in the interiors of office buildings. For such spaces, using diffused light, choosing natural-looking artificial lighting and using non-reflective surfaces can lower the glare of indoor lighting and make the light in the area feel more natural.
8. Mixing Old With New
Combining old and new materials and elements creates a balance between the comfort of classic design with the trendiness of modern styles. For example, using wood office furniture in a modern space can integrate the trend of blending old and new without dedicating resources fully to either. Another way of mixing old and new is using a retro-inspired patterned area rug on top of more modern-looking concrete flooring. Old desks or tables can pair with brightly colored accessories, such as chairs or sofas.
Balance when mixing old and new is just as important as it is when combining open office design spaces with individual workstations. This careful consideration for using two different elements is critical to many aspects of modern office interior design.
9. Technology and Data Connectivity
Technology is the cornerstone for many offices today. Whether integrating additional outlets so workers can use their laptops in various locations or allowing greater flexibility to access online meetings from home, upgrading technology and data connectivity is essential to overall office design and worker morale.
Adding or expanding wireless network connectivity and including several contactless options for operations make workers feel safe and more productive after spending years social distancing. The technology in office spaces needs to allow those in-office and working remotely to collaborate effortlessly. Such connectivity may require special conference rooms for online meetings with electronic equipment to enhance discussions online. For some offices, upgrades may include spaces for using augmented and virtual reality equipment.
10. Lounge Spaces Reflecting the Company
Lounge design trends include creating spaces that reflect elements of the company’s operations and values. Instead of sparse places for workers to microwave frozen dinners, today’s offices have lounge areas that more closely resemble rec rooms.
Foosball tables, air hockey or table tennis provide much-needed breaks from the day’s tasks and give workers’ eyes a rest from screen time. These active games also allow employees to socialize with each other naturally and can ease stress by burning off tension.
Other elements of modern lounge areas include spaces for workers to relax. Couches or even nap rooms give employees places to find calm during their workday. Quiet lounge rooms with reduced lighting and noise can also benefit employees who may need such spaces at work.
While providing a place for fun and relaxation, lounge areas are also places where the company can use its main color scheme or put images on the walls. These elements may include information about the history or culture of the company to create an impression of belonging for current employees or build excitement for prospective workers touring the facility.
Contact WB WOOD to Incorporate These Trends Into Your Office
A better-designed workplace makes the office a more pleasant place for full-time in-office workers, remote workers and those with flexible schedules. Upgrading an office interior design with the latest trends may improve productivity and employee satisfaction. Get the latest trends incorporated into your office. Contact us at WB WOOD to set up a consultation for our office furniture procurement or office interior space design services.