Office Furniture Trends
Office design usually has different tenets or requirements than when you are designing a room in your house. Above all, an office needs to be functional, as the purpose of an office space is to get your work done successfully. That being said, this does not mean that your office cannot be stylish or aesthetically pleasing, too. A good designer will be able to balance the need for functionality within an office with the desire for aesthetics within the space.
Read on for a roundup of some of the different office design trends we are seeing, especially those trends as they pertain to your office furniture!
One of the first office trends that we are seeing for office furniture is the choice of implementing modular furniture. Essentially, modular furniture is furniture that is designed to be easy to move around and reconfigured. Some furniture is even able to be resized and expanded to be either bigger or smaller, depending upon the need of the team and of the office space.
Modular furniture can be a great way to consolidate space, especially with the rise of hybrid work schedules or remote workers. For instance, if the company works on a hybrid schedule, modular furniture would allow for desks, chairs, or other furniture pieces to be moved or stored when they are not needed or not in use. That way, the furniture of a hybrid employee is not taking up extra space while they are working from home. This can also be beneficial because many companies are downsizing offices to save space and money, especially if they have many employees now working remotely. Modular furniture can help companies to have more flexible offices while still saving space.
Standing desks are a style of office furniture that have gained popularity in the last few years. Many people were incorporating them into their own offices at home, but this is now something that we may see more companies springing for in their corporate offices, especially because they can help to promote employee health. A standing desk is, essentially, basically what it sounds like. Instead of sitting in a chair at your desk, a standing desk is taller so that you are able to stand up with your desk at about chest or waist level while you work.
Standing desks were designed to get workers moving more, instead of sitting in their chairs all day while in the office, as this can be bad for their health. They are great choices for workers who do not like sitting for long periods of time, or for people who need movement throughout the day. Those who have chronic injuries or back pain, for example, can also greatly benefit from this kind of desk. There are ways to personalize a regular desk to the individual, too, such as desk stands that can help raise the desk up farther instead of purchasing a new standing desk.
Monitor Arms and Stands
When someone is in the office and sitting at the computer all day, or hunched over papers on their desk, there are some adverse health effects of this. These types of positions, when held for long amounts of time, can be rough on our necks, backs, and even our eyes. This can translate into posture issues, back pain, stiffness, tension, and more— and it can persist even when you go home for the day! Luckily, we are seeing lots more in office design that works to prevent this before it even occurs. The products that are typically incorporated to deal with these issues are called monitor arms.
Monitor arms are pieces that can be attached to the monitor of your computer and help you to move the monitor so that too much downward gaze or movement can be avoided. This will help to prevent tension and muscle fatigue or pain. They also come in many different materials and colours, so that they can match the monitor or the office aesthetic. Monitor arms are ergonomic products that are being implemented into the office to improve worker comfort and therefore increase their productivity during the day as well!
Reimagined Conference Tables
Ah, the conference table. The first thing that comes to mind is likely a long wood table surrounded by a bunch of stuffy men in suits. Not necessarily so for the conference tables we are seeing today! We are seeing a resurgence of conference tables being placed in office spaces, but these conference tables are new and improved. Of course, the value of having conference tables or conference rooms has not changed, as it is an important way for teams or the company to come together and to share strategy and ideas. They encourage conversation and collaboration.
One of the conference table designs that we are seeing are conference tables on wheels. This trend harkens back to that of modular furniture or adaptable furniture. When it is needed, it can be rolled out for meetings, and when it is not, it can be put in storage so that it takes up less space— especially in a smaller office. The table can also be moved around the room during the meeting if needed! There are also multipurpose conference tables these days, which can be more flexible and be used for other things in the office instead of being relegated to meetings only. Some of these have hinges so that the tabletop can flip to a nesting position for better storage and creating more functional spaces.
Ergonomic furniture Options
What does ergonomic mean, you may wonder? When something is ergonomic, it is designed for the efficiency and comfort of the worker in the working environment. Ergonomics are also linked to the productivity of a worker, as, of course, when they are more comfortable, they will be able to focus better and get things done! We are seeing many more ergonomic furniture options in the furniture design world, and many offices are choosing these options for their spaces.
One example of ergonomic office furniture is an ergonomic desk chair, or task chair, as they are sometimes called. These ergonomic chairs will promote movement, rather than being stiff and inflexible, and also comfort, of course. Some ergonomic design elements that you may see in such a chair are adjustable arms, or a cushion that will reduce leg pressure when sitting for long bouts of time. Certainly preferable to the stiff and unmoving desk chairs of years and offices past! Stable backs are also an important feature of ergonomic office chairs. If your office sees clients coming in for visits, then ergonomic chairs and furniture in the waiting room may also be a wise addition. Ergonomic furniture can certainly play a positive role in both your physical and mental health.
Smart technology is a trend that we have seen making its way into many sectors. At home, it can be used to control temperatures or turn on the oven, but it can have some different uses in the office, too. While smart tech has made its way into some offices, especially for temperature control and other such practical uses, we are now seeing it make its way into furniture design, too. Some of this smart furniture is then being implemented into office spaces.
Many predict that the offices of the future will all have interconnected technology that is controlled by central systems. Smart furniture is a step in that direction, though of course it is more expensive so not all companies will spring for it or deem it to be necessary. Smart furniture technology can be as simple as furniture, like desks, with integrated USB ports or speakers. Integrated touchscreens can be another hallmark of smart office furniture. Smart furniture can also be furniture that connects to a network or a device, like the smart tech that we mentioned above.
Materials That Affect Acoustic Design
Acoustic design is, by definition, the study of sound in spaces and buildings, as well as the design of these spaces for optimal sound performance. For example, in an office, you would not want sound to travel too much because it could be distracting to employees. This is something that could be beneficial in a concert hall, for example, but can be detrimental to productivity in a work space. Sound can travel much more when there are lots of hard or slick surfaces, as well as in open layouts and floor plans— which are common in offices these days. This makes paying attention to the acoustics of your office more important than ever.
One of the ways that acoustic solutions can be addressed and controlled through furniture choice is by using materials that can reduce or increase the acoustics of the space. In an office, we would want furniture materials that reduce acoustics. Soft materials do this best. Many of the office furniture choices being made these days are pieces that are designed with acoustic elements in mind. This can include soft, upholstered chairs, like cushioned leather desk chairs. It can also mean that a rug is placed in the waiting area or entryway to reduce the acoustics as well. Materials that reduce sound include those with lower densities, like foam, cork, or fabric, versus solid wood, concrete, or tile.
There are plenty of new and emerging office design trends and office furniture that we are seeing specifically for the office space. These often differ from home furniture trends, as an office, overall, still needs to carry out a function— so these office furniture trends make sure this is achieved. Some of the trends we see address collaboration and focus in the workspace, such as the implementation of reimagined conference tables and using materials that affect acoustics. Worker comfort is also key, and we see this focus in the design of ergonomic items and accessories such as monitor arms.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the design trends for 2023?
When it comes to interior design, this is a world very similar to apparel fashion, where trends can come and go just like that! Some of the design trends that we are seeing for interiors in 2023 include natural stone surfaces, a return to bold colour after the minimalist and neutral colour schemes of years past, and 60s and 70s influences in furniture choice and furniture design.
What are the new trends in offices?
Furniture is a key part of the design of a space, and especially an office space. After all, you will want to choose office furniture that is comfortable, makes you feel productive, and is stylish, too. Some of the office trends for furniture is furniture that helps to encourage productivity and movement. Offices are also seeing certain layout styles becoming more popular, like open floor plans as these help to foster collaboration in the workplace. Natural light is another important office trend, as it is believed to help increase the mood, mental health and employee well being of all workers in the office! Also this includes adding natural elements, like indoor plants which helps to create spaces employees like being in, and helps with the office environments.
What is the future of office design?
The focuses of office design are not always the same as those focuses for home design in interior decorating or design. This is because, of course, the office serves a different purpose than the home does! Looking towards the future of modern office design trends, there are a few forecasted focuses and trends. One of these is the open floor plan and layout conducive to collaboration between teams. We are not expecting to see this go away anytime soon. With the rise of hybrid, remote working, and flexi work models, we will also see more of the hybrid office layout. This is where there are different zones or environments in the office based on different needs. Some of these zones can also be unassigned desk space for workers who also work from home part time and are not always in the office.
Which is the newest office design type?
There are different office designs, floorplans, and layouts, and which one your company chooses will be largely based on their individual needs or requirements. One of the newest types of office design is called the hybrid office floorplan. This consists of different zones or environments, which are located throughout the office to target the different needs of a company or of the different teams.
Are private cubicles still considered and office design trend?
Private cubicles have been a popular office design feature for many years, but there has been a growing trend towards open office layouts in recent years. However, whether private cubicles are “out of style” depends on the specific industry, company culture, and individual preferences.
While open offices are popular in tech and creative industries, some companies, especially those in finance, law, or healthcare, still prefer private cubicles due to the need for confidentiality and privacy. In addition, some employees may prefer private cubicles over open offices because they provide a sense of individual space and can help minimize distractions.
Ultimately, the decision to use private cubicles or open offices depends on the needs and preferences of the company and its employees.