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 major new trends in the world of office design. 2015 looks like being a very 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 are expected to be incorporated into modern offices 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, the way in which offices are designed 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. Office workstations are being downsized 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 work spaces.
As more and more people choose to spend a significant proportion of their working week at home, the classic desk, computer and chair set-up is being replaced by more flexible workstation arrangements. The height of workstations can be altered by electrical or gas-operated systems, giving workers the option of standing whilst on the phone or carrying out their daily duties.
Workplace productivity and employee well-being are inextricably linked to office design, 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 that a PC monitor should be permanently sited on a desk? Indeed, some businesses in the UK have already made the switch to laptops and tablet computers. This means 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 exactly the same, yet the vast majority of chairs, tables, desks and storage equipment are bought 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 huge 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.