Trending Office Designs

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Salesforce Tower & Salesforce Park, San Francisco CA

The COVID-19 pandemic, among many other things, created a major shift in how we work, whether we wanted it to or not. Even years on, there is still a flow-on effect occurring that is influencing office design trends along with many other global issues, such as the climate crisis and mental health.

While 10 years ago, you may have been able to say there was a common theme among office trends, this is no longer the case. It’s now become more about finding ways to match the wants and the needs of the workplace and creating an environment that empowers workers, and a change of guard is helping influence this shift. No longer is the workplace somewhere we clock in, clock out and get paid. There is now a much larger focus on human interaction and providing employees with experiences they don’t get when working from home. A change of guard also bringing a shift in focus with the younger upcoming generation more environmentally conscious than other generations and more concerned about the sustainability of the workplace and the impact it has on the world around us.

As we begin to find our feet in this now ever-changing office environment and start to update our office layouts to suit the current environment, we are now seeing many emerging trends surrounding sustainability, biophilic design and third spaces that are changing the working environment, and some may say for the better.

 

Sustainability

With the ongoing climate crisis, a lot of people are starting to think about the impact they are having on the environment, and this is translating into their office spaces.

When you think of sustainability in the office, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely going paperless. While, yes, this is one step in creating a sustainable office, sustainability can also be incorporated into the office furniture you use.

We now live in a throwaway society. When something no longer suits our needs or is no longer fit for use, we throw it away rather than finding ways to reuse it, which negatively impacts the environment.

It’s worth investing in top-quality office furniture that will last longer than cheaper alternatives. Melamine desks are a sturdy desk option that are designed to last for years without the need for replacement. While some may argue that they are not environmentally friendly due to the use of a resin contains melamine-formaldehyde, but aside from this, they are made from environmentally friendly materials that are often recycled materials. While the melamine itself is not recyclable when no longer in use, it can be repurposed for other things around the office. Many of our desks feature melamine and Enviroboard, which is an eco-friendly wood option, making them the perfect sustainable desk option.

An eco-friendly alternative to paper is whiteboards. Adding whiteboards to your office spaces can eliminate the need for paper to take notes or jot down ideas in meetings or brainstorming sessions. Electronic whiteboards can also be used to display important information that you need to be visible, saving you from having to print out multiple copies and wasting paper.

You can help encourage sustainability around your office by switching your essential office items to sustainable options, such as those made from recyclable materials or reusable options, helping eliminate things such as single-use plastic and paper waste. If you do still have a high need for paper usage, you can also place signs around the office that encourage recycling, and you can also place a scrap paper tray by printers for people to place their unwanted paper that can be used again.

Combine all these simple steps and you’re on your way to creating a sustainable office environment and helping your employees reduce their carbon footprint.

 

Biophilic Design

Biophilia: A love of life or living things.

Many definitions get thrown around with the word biophilia, but essentially the term is used to describe the connection humans have with the natural world.

 

Many office workers are stuck in office spaces that sometimes have no widows or are 10, 20 or even 50 floors above the ground, which creates a barrier between them and the natural world. While to many this may seem like not such a big deal, but that little bit of extra greenery can actually have a big impact on workers. Adding nature into your office space can help create a pleasing and greener environment which can then improve mental health, enhance productivity, increase people’s creativity, and reduce stress, which are all major benefits.

Completed in 2018, the now Salesforce Tower, formally known as the Transbay Tower, a 61 floor office building in the heart of San Francisco, has a great biophilic design. Opened in the same year to the southeast of the building is Salesforce Park, a 5 and a half acre inner city park built on top of the Salesforce Transit Centre. While the goal of this park was to serve the greater San Francisco community, it has become an integral part of the office buildings surrounding it, especially the Salesforce Tower. The park entices people down out of their offices into the fresh air, providing them with the intrinsic natural connection they are longing for, helping them return to the office rejuvenated. The bridge between the building and the park has made it easily accessible for all employees, and many have taken up working and hosting meetings in the outdoor space to get a break from the confines of the office. The tower itself has a predominantly glass construction, which allows for lots of natural light and creates unobstructed views of the park, helping to bring that biophilic design inside the building.

Not everyone has the capacity to do what Salesforce has done. While the complete build did cost well into 3 billion AUD, there are simple and cost-effective design elements that can be taken from this and incorporated into your office to create the perfect biophilic design. Ensuring windows are uncovered and unobstructed to allow for plenty of natural light to enter the space, opting to use natural woods over man-made counterparts can help make spaces feel more natural and warmer and the introduction of plants through the use of feature walls such as vertical garden walls or vertical garden tiles can help create that connection to nature while also helping to reduce carbon emissions and purify the air. Following these simple little steps to help add biophilic design elements into your office space can have a big benefit to the overall feel and productivity of your office space, helping to create a space where people can thrive.

 

Third Spaces

Typically in our lives, we have three places where we spend most of our time. A first place (home), a second place (work) and a third place that is a neutral space that helps foster social interaction that we frequent regularly. Examples of these third places can be seen throughout pop culture, from Molly’s Pub in Chicago Fire to Central Perk in Friends and the Comic Book Store in The Big Bang Theory. While fictional, the sticking point of all these places is that they are a home away from home for people. It’s somewhere they can interact with others in a comfortable environment that is easily accessible and accommodating that they know and love. This can be anything from bars to cafes, social clubs, libraries, and anything in between.

With a shift in working culture, these third spaces are now finding their way into the office. Now, this doesn’t always mean that it’s an actual bar or cafe in the office but spaces that make people feel more at home, helping to fight burnout and induce creativity. These third spaces help bring that working from home vibe that many people got used to during the pandemic into the office while allowing it to merge with common office social interactions such as unplanned hallway encounters and instant collaboration. These spaces allow people to mingle and share ideas, helping to bring back a lot of what was lost during the pandemic.

Google at their many offices and campuses across the world have been able to seamlessly incorporate third spaces into their workplaces. From slides to nap pods, basketball courts, cafes, gyms, and much more, they have been able to create an extraordinary user experience that entices their employees to the office.

While yes, Google is an extreme example and not everyone has their space or budget, there are simpler ways to create these third spaces in your workplace. This could be adding lounges, ottomans or bar stools into the lunch room or spaces where your employees gather to help create spaces that users can feel good in and are proud of, spaces where they actually want to work that are more than just a desk and chair.

 

If you’re looking to incorporate these trending office layouts into your office space, look no further than All Storage Systems. We have an expert office fitout team that can help you create the perfect office space that incorporates these trends and more. To discover how your team can help you, contact them today.

Commercial & Corporate Office Furniture Fitouts Melbourne

We’ve worked with clients across a range of industries to create inspiring workplaces. Let us help you transform your office or retail space. Request a consultation now. We’ve worked with clients across a range of industries to create inspiring workplaces. Let us help you transform your office or retail space. Request a consultation now.








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