With 2020 and 2021 giving us a massive shift in our priorities and culture in the workplace, it’s also shown us that in 2022 there will be some different trends in office design and furniture. Social distancing has become the new normal, and workplaces have to continue to adjust their office spaces to accommodate the new guidelines.
Creating an optimal office design isn’t an easy task. There is a lot to consider when it comes to space and how you want it to function, and you also have to have an idea of how you’d like that space to look to visitors and employees once complete. With the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, we have even more factors to consider as the changing office structure is pushing the office 9-5 boundaries more than ever.
In 2022 we’re going to see a shift towards new ways of working with a wide range of priorities. There’s going to be a greater focus on the employees’ well-being, and making sure social distancing in the office is not just safe but comfortable, too.
To keep you up to date with the things to come in office workplace design, let’s take a look at some trends coming forward in 2022 for office design and furniture.
1. Wide Open Spaces
Open concepts have been prominent in the housing industry for the last few years, but more recently, we’ve started to see this shift in office spaces, too. Even though this open concept in the office started to trend before COVID-19, it’s become an even hotter trend for 2022.
Open spaces are ideal for creating a free-range area and helping to facilitate collaborative workspaces. Open spaces encourage social interaction, and they can increase the social interaction between multiple departments – something that can’t be done with closed office doors or even cubicle spaces.
Encouraging the office staff to interact with each other aids in skill growth, company culture, and productivity. These larger spaces allow you to move away from rows of desks by enabling you to put desks in patterns best suited for your staff.
The best part about wide-open spaces is that there is enough space to practice the social distancing rules without taking away from the room’s overall flow and design, giving them great flexibility in practicality and design.
2. Bring the Outside In
Plants, plants, everywhere, plants. While bringing plants into the workplace is nothing new, more companies are taking the green thumb to a whole new level. Bringing the outdoors inside has been shown to improve employees’ sense of wellbeing. In fact, in a recent survey, respondents cited indoor plants as their second most desired element for a desirable workspace, right after natural light.
This trend means that more companies will start to experiment with different ways of incorporating plants into their designs. Don’t stop at succulents, but take some time to consider indoor koi ponds, living walls, fish tank tables, and plant partitions.
Plants improve air quality, which is a big plus for those offices which tend to get stuffy. Plus, when practicing social distancing, it gives employees something calming to look at instead of the empty space where their officemate once was. Considering the 80-90% of waking hours we spend indoors as a species, bringing a little nature into the office goes a long way to improving morale and our sense of wellbeing.
3. Leisure Areas
Just like children get playground time, adults should get leisure time. While periodic breaks and daily lunches are a given, the truth is that many of these are actually spent working. Leisure areas in the workplace are not a new idea, and many high power companies like Google encourage them.
But leisure areas have become a newer trend that small to midsize companies are using office space for. There are many health benefits to giving your staff the ability to step away from their workstations and take a proper break. Leisure time breaks can improve creative thinking, allow for better communication, and result in much lower workplace stress levels.
When thinking about your office design and where to put the leisure area, this trend needs to be function over design. You don’t want the leisure area to be the focal point of your office because this would be counterproductive and cause disruption and distractions.
Focus instead on creating a space that encourages your office staff to move away from their workstations but in an area that doesn’t disrupt those who are continuing to work. If you’re using an open concept design, placing the leisure area off in the back away from the workspace is ideal. If you’re not using an open space design, consider creating a closed-off leisure space to reduce noise disruptions.
4. Mobile Barriers
An open concept design isn’t going to work for all offices or industries. And while the trend for cubicles is on the decline, there is still a need to create a single space for employees without creating offices. That’s where mobile barriers come in.
Mobile barriers are on the list for office trends in 2021 because of their dual functionality. Whiteboards on wheels seem to be the most popular sellers because they are professional, sleek, useful, and can divide office workers’ space. Whiteboards are great to use in staff meetings, brainstorming sessions, and as an organizational tool.
Officemates can use a whiteboard as a temporary wall, create a quick door for a cubicle or other space, or use multiple boards to create a safe, socially distanced workstation. When you’re ready, just roll your notes and ideas on into the meeting.
Another useful mobile piece is a partition wall. These can be incredibly useful when keeping with social distancing regulations or if you simply want to change some of your workstations around. While you can’t write on them like a whiteboard, you can use them to tack papers or hang up a cork board.
Putting Your Design Together
Choosing the right furniture for space can be an overwhelming job – and for a good reason! That’s a lot to decide on and pick out.
MMT Furniture Designs offers a wide range of office furniture, made for every office. With functional and sturdy designs for office desks and robust office storage in several colors, we have designs for every space. Check out our online store today, and get your office outfitted with everything you need, complete with free delivery on everything in our shop!