It has been a tough few years for business owners across the country, but all the signs are pointing to economic growth and renewed optimism in the commercial sector. This positive outlook has spawned several significant new trends in the world of office design. 2015 looks like it’s going to be an exciting year for the workplace environment in Britain.
Environmentally friendly design
The move towards energy efficiency and eco-friendly office environments in 2014 has been astonishing, and this particular trend is expected to gather pace throughout 2015. Energy-saving light bulbs, automatic lighting and low-energy monitors are just a few of the measures that are expected to grow in popularity over the coming months. Other eco-friendly design features that modern offices are expected to incorporate during 2015 include dedicated recycling stations, the utilisation of skylights to capture natural light and the use of solar panelling.
As consumer technology continues to give people freedom and flexibility, design in offices is expected to change. Fewer and fewer office employees are being assigned their own desks, as many roles can be performed equally as well in the home, or in the local coffee shop. Larger, communal areas for group work are going to be significant design trends in 2015 - as the way in which we work continues to be revolutionised by modern technology. Offices are downsizing workstations in favour of meeting zones. Many carpet suppliers are reporting an increased demand for commercial carpets and carpet tiles, as they are ideal for creating warm, inviting environments for group discussion, as well as for creating quieter workspaces.
As more and more people choose to spend a significant proportion of their working week at home, flexible workstation arrangements are replacing the classic ‘desk, computer and chair’ set-up. The height of workstations can be altered by electrical or gas-operated systems, giving workers the option of standing while on the phone or carrying out their daily duties.
Office design is inextricably linked to workplace productivity and employee well-being, which is why an increasing number of employers are taking the view that investing in refurbishment and design projects can be cost-effective. Who says a desk should permanently site a PC monitor? Indeed, some businesses in the UK have already made the switch to laptops and tablet computers. Workers can move around a building and work in different locations throughout the day. Areas previously used for rows and rows of office desks are making way for catering areas, kitted out with high-quality commercial vinyl flooring. Studies suggest that flexible working arrangements, and a comfortable office environment, can increase employee productivity and morale significantly.
There is also a widespread move towards bespoke office furniture. No two office environments in the UK are the same, yet the vast majority buy chairs, tables, desks and storage equipment off-the-shelf. However, a growing number of businesses are realising the benefits of buying custom-made furniture - based on a particular office’s dimensions and layout. Moreover, orthopaedic adjustable chairs are decreasing the incidents of chronic back injury in the UK workplace.
2014 saw tremendous advances in office design, and 2015 is expected to be every bit as ground-breaking. With the expert advice of commercial carpet suppliers and office design specialists, you can ensure your workplace is conducive to staff productivity and morale.