Blog - Lifestyle

01 May 2019

Seven Workplace Design Trends to Watch for in 2019

With modern workers becoming increasingly conscious of their work environment, keeping up with current workplace design trends is crucial.

It can also be quite difficult. Commercial interior designers must balance attractive, inviting design with functionality – creating a productive workspace that’s also comfortable.

Today’s employees want to feel proud of the company they work for. And that starts with a well-designed office.

So whether you want to completely change your office’s look or make a couple of changes, here are some of the most important design trends for commercial interiors that you should be aware of in 2019.

Seven workplace design trends to stay aware of in 2019

1. Multifunctionality

Now more than ever, businesses are paying close attention to their use of space.

This is in part for efficiency, as multifunctional spaces mean you need fewer square metres to comfortably fit your business into a space – saving a lot of money in the long run. But it’s also a trend born out of necessity.

Employees expect more out of their offices. And businesses are adjusting to create healthier working environments for happier workers.

More than just meeting spaces and cubicles, today’s offices also need spaces for quiet time and relaxation. For preparing meals, for socialising, and much more. So, rooms often pull double duty.

All of this means that the furniture needs to be flexible, too. Chairs will have fold-out arms for placing laptops on, seats might include storage, and much more.

Multifunctionality is an important factor to consider when designing a commercial interior for today’s business world.

2. Collaborative spaces

Gone are the cubicle farms of decades past. While some are questioning the efficacy of completely open office designs, the trend of including open elements remains strong.

When it comes to open, collaborative spaces, employees may still have a dedicated workspace. However, they won’t be chained inside drab carpet-covered cages. Instead, many office designers choose to create wide spaces full of large tables with plants or partitioning to encourage collaboration and communication between employees.

The trend began in Silicon Valley. But it’s taken the rest of the business world by storm. In fact, many CEOs value the open exchange of ideas collaborative design allows for.

3. Industrial elements

Two employees working on their laptops in front of a brick wall

Bricks. Mortar. Graffiti. Caged lighting.

All this is strongly associated with urban, industrial settings, which has become a trend in terms of modern office aesthetics.

Certainly, many businesses opt for sleek, chrome-like looks for their offices, filling spaces with metal and glass like a skyscraper brought indoors.

But the gritty, edgy, and raw feel brought by brick walls and exposed ceilings is especially popular today.

Many designers who incorporate industrial elements and different textures can help prevent those oh-so-dreaded feelings of drab monotony.

Industrial elements can also work in small quantities. For instance, by adding in a brick wall as an accent to an office with an otherwise sleek appearance.

However it’s employed, the industrial aesthetic is decidedly trendy in today’s office interiors.

4. Biophilia

Over and over, you’ve probably heard advice to add plants to your office to improve worker morale freshen the stale office air.

Today’s offices are going much further than a few potted plants, though.

While potted plants are great for breaking up greyscale colour schemes, people have become increasingly aware of the time we spend indoors for work – creating a disconnect from nature.

Modern commercial interior designers have taken note of this, and they’ve begun incorporating bolder natural elements into their designs.

Water features are one popular way to do this, as well as increasingly catering to natural light sources.

Rather than simple carpet-covered dividers, a particularly trendy way to split rooms is use a nature-inspired divider, such as a rough wood wall covered in vines or other plants.

Many office buildings don’t have direct access to the outdoors, making these biophilic elements that much more valuable in design – and especially trendy.

A man working in an office with a plant in the foreground

5. Residential inspiration

Workspaces need to be productive spaces – but they also need to be comfortable.

Striking that balance can be difficult for commercial interior designers, yet one popular emerging trend has been to incorporate more residential elements into office spaces.

The more collaborative and open areas of modern offices are featuring more sofas and fewer office chairs, and low coffee tables instead of bulky, business-y conference tables.

Well-equipped kitchens are also a popular trend, encouraging and helping employees to eat healthy and complete meals even while at work.

In more “out there” cases, some workspaces even include napping pods for exhausted workers to catch a breather amid their long days in the office.

These trends aren’t quite making the “office home” equivalent to the home office, but they are finding new ways to balance efficiency and durability with comfort.

6. Active working

With employers coming under increasingly heavy scrutiny from potential employees, they’ve had to pull out all the stops to promote health – right down to office design decisions.

Open office designs aren’t just trendy for their free-flowing ideas. Many designers use more open layouts as a way to keep workers moving around throughout the day rather than staying at their desks.

Speaking of their desks, these are often adjustable, allowing for work to be done standing up or sitting down.

Workers today have become much more aware of the dangers of the sedentary office lifestyle, and employers are catering to this in their design – finding new and creative ways to promote health, more of which can be seen here.

The crux of the matter when it comes to office design …

Businesses must stay on top of current market trends to stay competitive – to get ahead (and stay ahead) in their industry and to attract and retain top-notch employees.

With today’s workforce caring more about their work environment than ever, the difference between a new hire accepting an offer or not could come down to amenities and aesthetics.

But if you stay on top of current workplace design trends and incorporate them into your commercial interior design, you’ll have a better chance of attractting the best employees and keeping them happy for years to come.

A table and chairs in an office with a modern workplace layout

7. Experience-driven rooms

Now this movement is particularly interesting …

Ambius recently released a report showing a new macro trend in office design – experience driven spaces. Here, designers are starting to include functional amenities – like yoga areas, espresso bars, gaming areas, walking/jogging tracks, rockclimbing walls and gyms – to improve the overall workplace experience. That is, to boost the health, wellness and morale of employees.

Such additions promote a holistic experience and help create spaces that people want to go to (and stay in/at).

About TGC Sydney Property

TGC is a boutique commercial real estate agency that services the Sydney CBD and greater metropolitan property market. If you are looking to buy or lease with a space with a modern workplace design. Or your looking for someone to manage your commercial asset, get in touch with the team today.

Date: 01 May 2019 Author: Isaac Church

About the author:

Isaac Church

Guest Author Isaac Church, lives in New Zealand, originally from Cornwall in the UK. He’s a bit of a geek who helps businesses grow and succeed online and occasionally makes bits of awesome software. When he’s not working, he spends his time exploring New Zealand or traveling overseas. Isaac’s other interests include cycling, photography, and reading.

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