The last few years have possibly been the most significant for office design since the invention of the computer!
Globally, millions of people were suddenly plunged into home working – many having never experienced it before. After such a seismic shift over such a short space of time, businesses were forced to react. Skip ahead to nearly 3 years since the beginning of the pandemic, and office life has changed dramatically. With such change comes a change in opinion, a change in structure and a change in ideas. Office design in 2023 is shaping up to continue that change. As we leave the pandemic behind, its effects on how we live have remained. Now, as we look ahead to 2023, you need to know how your office can be specifically designed to facilitate a post-pandemic workforce, the tools they need to operate effectively and to realise a building’s full potential in this new way of working.
Managing hybrid work
Having experienced the benefits of hybrid working, millions of employees now want to spend at least some of their working hours from the comfort of their own homes. With technology able to keep us connected wherever we are – this is now more streamlined and efficient than ever. One of the most important points to stress is everyone has a unique way of working – and in 2023, one of the biggest trends will be learning how to manage that.
Increased use of Booths
2023 will see workspaces become more open and collaborative – but that doesn’t mean that more private working areas are out of the question. It’s always important to have quiet working areas. While encouraging collaboration is always a positive, dedicated booths offer moments of privacy and space to work quietly away from noise and distractions. And with hybrid working becoming the new norm, work pods make it easy for staff in the office to catch up with remote team members without interruption.
The rise of Resi-mercial
Your office can offer the best of both worlds. A separate space, so that work and home don’t blend into one. A space without distraction or the temptation to put the TV on. But it can also provide a few home comforts such as facilities to take a break, relax and even prepare lunch. Hybrid working can be optimised with a hybrid office. Sure, have some rows of desks or quiet spaces for those who want to get their heads down, but don’t underestimate how valuable open-plan and collaborative areas can be too. Although for some businesses, getting staff back to the office is important – others need to lean into the hybrid way of working. Your office should ideally have everything your people need to encourage them into the office, along with the latest connective technologies so everything works seamlessly wherever they are based.
A Brighter Future with Brighter Colours
If we look at interior design trends, the last few years have seen popular colours on the more toned-down, muted end of the scale; discrete greys, greens and neutrals. But, with Pantone’s colour of the year for 2023 being Viva Magenta, this year looks set to see more offices adopting brighter colour schemes. It doesn’t have to look like you’re working in a Rubik’s Cube, but have you considered using your brand’s colour palette, or simply a bright flash of colour on a feature wall or two? Colour can really change the mood of your workspace – and has been shown to have a significant effect on employees. A more vibrantly decorated space can encourage staff to be more energetic, collaborative and can even improve well-being! See how a splash of colour can really bring a space to life in our Trethowans and Blake Envelopes case studies!
More break-out areas
No matter whether you’re the CEO or the intern, everyone has experienced ‘the wall’. That moment when you feel like you just can’t look at a screen anymore. That’s why, in 2023, break-out areas, soft seating and open spaces are now hugely popular when it comes to office design. To get around that burnout feeling, it’s important to understand it. When working from home, workers may have felt more able to take a break from their laptops to work out, grab a snack or just relax for a while. It’s vital your office can provide those same comfort breaks, or better still – harness them. This break-out area, complete with pool table and communal seating at Glenigan, is a great example!
Open Plan Environments
In an open-plan office space, you have the scope to include areas for relaxation. Soft seating and break-out areas offer your staff the chance to chill, touchdown with colleagues for 10 minutes or even do some yoga. Providing fun elements like a pool table not only encourage your workforce to take a well-earned break but also strengthen colleague relationships.
Natural lighting and large windows continue to play a huge role in beating burnout and improving wellbeing in 2023. A view of the outside world and the sun (hopefully) shining will have a positive effect on not just how your office space looks, but also on how employees feel while they’re working in it. Discover this project at Blake Envelopes to see how bringing more daylight into an area really lifts the ambience.
Office Design Tailored to All
Furniture is a foundational element office design. As one of the essential components to any office, it’s important to ensure that anything you bring in is accessible for all. We’ve worked with some of the biggest businesses in the UK and one thing that is always high on the list of priorities is inclusivity. The last few years has seen a big push on the importance of ergonomics – something your furniture plays a big part in.
The best way to make your furniture and fittings accessible is to make them adjustable. All employees will have different needs – and 2023 sees more of them being accommodated. Ergonomic seating and adjustable desks are set to be increasingly popular this year. Research has shown excessive sitting slows the metabolism – which affects our ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and metabolise fat – and may cause weaker muscles and bones. Providing sit/stand desks means staff can change their working environment throughout the day, which can have a surprisingly positive effect on their effectiveness. Careful workspace planning (link to this service page on the website) will evaluate and accommodate all your team’s needs.
Statistically, you’ve more than likely had experience with staff members asking to work from home because they have a special chair for their bad back. Ergonomically designed chairs are essential for workers with back-related trouble and help teams work more comfortably in the office. Research suggests that over 40% of the UK’s population suffers some form of back pain – so it’s certainly something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Sustainable Office Design
Companies worldwide are consciously moving towards more sustainable designs and systems, and this will only continue to be more significant in 2023. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to combat the climate crisis facing our planet – and how you design your office can play a big part in reducing your impact on the environment. By choosing AXIS House, you’re making sure your new space is brought to life in the most environmentally conscious way possible. We are ISO14001 certified and committed to sustainability as a core value. We know how to create beautiful spaces that limit your impact on the planet; assessing and designing fit-out projects to BREEAM and SKA rating schemes. Take a look at our impact page to find out more.
Office Design in 2023 & Beyond
The next few years are set to be an exciting time in the office design world. As employers push to have employees return to the office on a more permanent basis, the scope for change is exponential. Hybrid working won’t go away, but an office where staff want to come, goes a long way to achieving a more effective workforce. Employers will seek to create special places to attract and retain their most valued asset – their people. Transforming your space can upscale your business while creative designs have been proven to improve staff retention. If you are a business looking to upgrade its commercial space or a landlord that wants to add value to your office portfolio, AXIS House can help. You can rely on our expertise and experience in designing grade-A spaces with the latest trends and technology while being kind to the environment. If you’d like to know more – get in touch to find out how we can consult, design and deliver on your perfect space.