If the last few months have made us question the need for professional workspaces, then it’s clear that they’re in need of a makeover. A new era is upon us and we should strike while the iron is hot. Expansions and relocations may seem like the best solutions but remodelling and renovations are also popular. Think functionality, creativity, and efficiency: the ideal corporate workspace!
Our experts have compiled a list of office trends in 2021 that’s practically guaranteed to convince your boss to renovate your office space.
1- Resimercial design: Feeling at home at the office
Who says you have to work in a traditional office with soulless cubicles and swivel chairs? A combination of residential and commercial, resimercial design creates the ideal setting: a casual comfort reminiscent of a trendy living room in a professional workspace. Resimercial design reflects a new labour market ideology that advocates for flexibility and offers tools adapted to employees’ needs during the day. Maybe you’d like to start work in your office and find yourself on a communal sofa at the end of the day?
A well-designed resimercial office includes different textures to create an authentic and human style through carpets, sofas, and ambient light (instead of blinding fluorescent lights). Particular emphasis is placed on using tasteful decor to give a space personality. Resimercial design is a wonderful choice for companies wanting to improve employee well-being, which in turn improves productivity and creativity.
2- Sustainability is the top priority
Environmental awareness is more than a trend – it’s a way of life! It’s natural to apply it to the workplace, but how do we get it right? Our first suggestion is to consider introducing compost and recycling bins. It’s getting easier and easier to take advantage of compost collection services in cities, making it less of a hassle to include this practice in your daily life. Next, consider decorating your office space with low-maintenance plants. Not only can they boost morale and purify the air, but they are also simple decorative elements that everyone loves. Lastly, if your office space lacks natural light, consider replacing regular bulbs with LEDs; they’re just as powerful, last longer, and consume less energy.
Of all of this year’s office trends, this one gives employees the tools they need to participate in eco-friendly practices and have a long-term impact on the environment. Through collaboration, they can also bond with their colleagues.
3- Ergonomic furniture
Numerous studies have reported how difficult it is for the body to sit at a desk for eight hours. In his TED talk “Why sitting is bad for you,” Murat Dalkilinç noted that people often sit with curved backs and slumped shoulders, which can cause wear and tear in spinal discs, overwork certain ligaments and joins, and strain muscles. He also stated that this position restricts blood flow, causing numbness and swelling.
What’s the solution? You can opt for adjustable desks that allow you to work sitting or standing. Herman Miller carries several models of smart desks, and each employee has access to a wellness app that tracks their activity level and alerts them when it’s time to change their position from sitting to standing or vice versa. You can also install standing self-serve desks. Companies could also designate a room for physical activities led by professionals, such as fitness training or yoga, to encourage employees to exercise before they start work in the morning or during their lunch hour.
4- Productivity bubbles
Fans of open-concept offices can rest easy: it’s still going strong in 2021’s office trends. However, there is a drawback to this type of setup – a lack of privacy. Team meetings can disturb nearby employees focusing on their individual tasks. This issue is easily remedied with designated brainstorming pods, also known as office pods. They’re like mini conference rooms that can accommodate small groups and are equipped with everything needed for productive meetings. Though the pods are enclosed, you can make them feel more open by using glass walls.
5- Colourful bathrooms
Bathrooms are often overlooked in corporate design. In 2021, they’re being redesigned to be practical, inviting, and full of personality! Since these are often windowless rooms where little time is spent, a more dynamic colour palette can be applied. Go bold with colourful ceramics, wallpaper, more extravagant lighting… in short, let your imagination run wild!
6- Convenient bike storage
There are a number of reasons why employees would swap their cars or transit passes for a bicycle – it’s an environmentally friendly form of transportation that’s faster than traffic during rush hour and supports an active lifestyle. That said, an increase in bicycle transportation can also make it more difficult to find the perfect place to store it during work hours. Outdoor bike stands fill up fast and propping it up against a wall at the office isn’t really a viable option.
Providing a designated area where employees can leave their bikes shows that you’re in tune with their needs and their lifestyle. If you’re not able to designate a room for this purpose, a wall of bike racks or hooks to hang them on works just as well. In addition to being practical, bike storage accessories like this also do double duty as stylish decor!
7- We’re showing our colours!
Gone are the days of the simple corporate logo on the wall behind the reception desk. In 2021, current office trends embrace concepts that integrate the brand image as a whole. The logo is still there, but company colours are now scattered throughout the office. The aim is for employees, clients, and visitors to sense brand consistency and identity in the most frequented areas.
This year, the colours of the company logo are being incorporated in more creative ways than in the past. It’s not enough to simply hang a few posters that match them; instead, consider the colours integrating into some architectural elements for a more subtle approach. The environment should encourage concentration and not be covered wall-to-wall in garish colours. If the company colours are too intense, it’s better to opt for lighter or darker tones that balance them out.
8- A reception area that makes an entrance
Reception areas used to be separate from the rest of the office, serving simply as a transition from the outside. Modern offices have ditched this concept in favour of a more open one. This approach offers an overview of the entire space, allowing visitors or clients to see employees going about their workday. Such openness also creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for people in the waiting room; instead of having their face buried in a magazine, they can take in the energy of the space.
9- Relaxing at work? Absolutely!
A happy and well-rested employee is a productive employee. To reduce turnover rates, you’ll need to keep employees motivated and in shape as well as integrate elements that encourage them to take breaks to manage stress. For example, designated relaxation spaces can give colleagues a chance to connect with one another and develop synergies. They can also stimulate creativity.
Many companies are now providing spaces dedicated to activities such as yoga and meditation, which have a positive effect on concentration. Some are also adding green spaces and even nap areas to promote relaxation!
10- Tech savvy
These days, it’s impossible to escape technology. When it’s running smoothly and efficiently, all is well!
If you’re looking to integrate one of this year’s office trends, consider investing in good tech to improve your team’s productivity. The current professional market is a knowledge economy dedicated to innovation and creativity – anything is possible when you have access to fast internet, high-performance computers, charge ports, and the tools needed to work remotely. A connected office supports powerful and proactive communication!
Bonus: Health measures as stylish accessories
The gradual return to corporate offices should be accompanied by radical shifts in employee health habits. For example, face masks and cleaning products such as hand sanitizer and disinfecting surface wipes should be made available. And while open areas can make social distancing easier, companies should consider installing Plexiglas® panels to provide additional protection for occasions such as face-to-face meetings.
What Does Your Office Look Like?
Is it time to adapt your work environment with the latest trends? If you would like to know more about office trends in 2021 and learn how to get up to 3 free quotes from 53-point Verified Contractors, we invite you to visit our Office Space Design & Planning page or fill out our form — one of our Commercial Renovation Advisors will be happy to help!