After the festivities of Christmas have passed, it’s all too easy to come back and see a workplace that looks tired, dated and uninspiring. But there’s a simple and effective way to beat the office January blues: incorporating principles of sustainability, wellbeing, and flexibility into your office design will help create an environment that you and your colleagues can’t wait to get back to. We’ve rounded up the top focus areas for your workplace in 2020.
With the climate crisis being one of the world’s most pressing issues, environmental consideration is becoming of increasing importance every year, and 2020 looks set to be no different. Not only is sustainability important as a design principle in your workplace, but it is becoming of increasing importance in attracting talent, as experts find that rising rates of climate anxiety mean that the younger generations are expecting their workplace to share their concerns and are less likely to work for companies that don’t reflect their values.
With that in mind, there are some easy ways to ensure you are making the shift to a ‘green’ workplace. Incorporating eco-friendly brands like Humanscale and Edsbyn into the workplace proves that great, functional and beautiful design can and should be sustainable. Most importantly, choosing furniture that will last (both in terms of durability and aesthetics) is perhaps the most responsible thing you can do, avoiding a throwaway culture that contributes to landfill, and instead focusing on a long term approach to office design that will last long past the new year.
Employees should always exist at the centre of workplace design, and this means putting their wellbeing at the forefront. January can often be a time where wellness and wellbeing are a focal point, and it is also important to incorporate these principles into the workplace. By focusing on wellbeing in your office design, you can create a workplace that optimises productivity, energy levels and employee morale throughout the year.
During the drearier winter months, make sure your office is well lit with good lighting systems and is getting as much natural light as possible to avoid S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and keep workers feeling focused and energised.
Incorporating biophilia into the workplace is also another way to enhance wellbeing and beat the winter blues. Natural materials such a wood and stone bring the outside in and plants have been proven to stimulate creativity and create a positive, calming effect on your mood throughout the day.
Moving into the new year, flexibility still stands as one of the most crucial elements of office design for businesses, as the future of the working day becomes harder to define. Employees and employers alike are seeking workplaces that aren’t just nice to be in, but that work for them and their busy lives. Moreover, it is increasingly difficult for companies to accurately predict how much space they’ll need in the future, but there are some simple and effective ways to manage the increasing demand for flexible workspaces.
Open-plan offices and desking solutions are becoming increasingly popular in order to help companies adapt. ‘Hot-desking’ wasn’t just a buzz word of 2019, but having several desking areas in an office space where employees can choose to work at any given time means that they can feel more comfortable working in both the office and at home.
Creating a variety of workspaces – from casual, more relaxed areas with lounge seating and coffee tables, to quiet, sealed off desk pods – promotes a democratic culture where there is something for everyone, from those who need to discuss ideas freely to others who need more private space to concentrate or conduct business. A balance of spaces for concentration and collaboration ensures the work people are doing is catered for.
If you have questions about the future of your workplace, we’d love to help – contact us here. Wishing you a happy and productive work life in 2020!