The design trends of commercial spaces are shifting focus away from traditional office spaces and moving more towards contemporary and innovative planning in design. There is a growing exploration of open floor plans, multifunctional spaces, and gathering & breakout spots. Along with these trends, we are also witnessing an increased emphasis on employee well-being, sustainability, flexibility, productivity, and digital technology, as the recent trends have highlighted the importance of agile work environments that are conducive to focus on relaxation. Hardesh Chawla, Principal at Essentia Environments, lists down the recent commercial design trends, in this article, to revamp your office spaces.
The construct of traditional workplaces, accommodating every occupant at any given time, had been evolving over the years but the pandemic accelerated this trend with a majority of offices now embracing Hybrid Work Practices as the new norm. This trend impacts interior design for office spaces, resulting in a growing emphasis on designing and decorating a workplace to act as a social anchor, a space where human interaction is encouraged through efficient planning and layout. Rethinking spaces to transform the typical journey through a workplace and optimising them to stimulate conversation such as social/breakout spaces and gaming zones, become more crucial with hybrid working. There is also a need to entail a variety of work settings within the physical workplace, offering flexibility at work, which also enhances productivity.
There has been a growing shift towards the use of smart technologies within the workplace. A smart office is a modern office space that uses technology to improve the productivity, work efficiency, and comfort of its occupants. It includes technologies like automated lighting and temperature control, smart appliances and furniture, and connectivity to the internet and other devices. Smart offices may also use sensors to gather information about the use of the space and to optimize its operation. The goal of a smart office, as per the interior designers of offices is to create a more efficient and pleasant work environment that allows employees to be more productive and innovative.
Office environments increasingly seek to share an instinctive bond with nature, leading to the evolving trend of biophilic office design and decor. From living walls to office gardens, modern workspaces are becoming more in touch with the environment. Incorporating biophilic design can enhance office aesthetics, through natural organic shapes and colours. Green plants are proven to improve mental health and reduce psychological & physiological stress. Plants absorb C02 and help to remove toxins from stale office air. However, it is not just the interior of workspaces where greenery is becoming a trend. Some architects and designers are maximising the use of greenery in outdoor spaces and rooftops, when it comes to office spaces. As well as being beneficial for employees, of being in touch with nature, it also provides for productive Wifi-enabled meetings on lavish rooftops. Raising spirits in the workspace and feeling connected with nature also brings new ideas and inspiration.
Sustainability and wellness
Sustainability has risen in importance and 2023 will see an increased emphasis on creating sustainable workplaces. An office design can have a positive sustainable impact with the use of up-cycled furniture, materials with high recycled content, and/or a focus on optimising natural light to reduce energy usage. Coupled with emerging technologies that act to monitor building and space usage, it will become efficient to implement data-driven changes to improve energy efficiency and sustainability. Millennials are becoming more eco-conscious and actively work towards reducing the carbon footprint, and their workplaces form a core part of any sustainability agenda.
Neuroscience is also playing a larger role in design and decor for office spaces as people started realising the benefits of planning neurodiverse spaces. This refers to workspaces designed with the needs of people with various neurological conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more. Design elements like colour choices, lighting, soundproofing, noise levels, and furniture can all play a role in determining the inclusivity of those with neurological conditions. Many offices are now prioritising neurodiversity, ensuring that their offices are accessible for everyone working there. Neurodiverse spaces are proven more inviting and comfortable for neurotypical employees as well, allowing them to concentrate on their work without distractions.
Today’s office spaces are evolving to become more than just places of work. They are transforming into hubs for productivity, creativity, and well-being – therefore keeping up with the trends becomes significant in envisaging a better work environment.