As businesses adjust to the post-COVID / Hybrid world, we are seeing a shift in design and architecture trends that reflect the new reality of how we live, work, and gather. Here are the top 10 trends of the new workplace to watch out for:
Employees are used to the quiet and solitude of working from home. To reduce the shock of workplace activity, architects and designers are paying more attention to sound quality and dampening in office spaces. Acoustic solutions include using sound-absorbing materials, such as acoustical ceiling tiles and wall panels, to reduce echo and improve communication.
The pandemic has reminded us of nature’s importance and benefits for our mental and physical well-being. As a result, we see more incorporation of natural elements such as plants, natural light, and outdoor spaces in office design. Biophilic design aims to connect people with nature, provide color and life to drab offices, and promote a sense of well-being and calm.
Clear, consistent branding and signage are more crucial than ever to promote brand awareness and guide people through spaces. Hybrid employees, who are unfamiliar with the office space, rely on floor decals and directional arrows to help find neighborhoods and areas to meet with colleagues. Branding helps communicate company culture and energy for in-house employees.
With the focus on physical and mental well-being, designs prioritizing health and wellness are trending. Comfortable, secluded areas to provide rest and calm are in demand. Telehealth is also on the rise, as 2020 proved it was possible to get medical advice without going to a Dr’s office. While it is no longer the only option, telehealth is highly convenient for many people.
As people return to the office, they are used to eating when and what they want while at home. Therefore, the demand for sophisticated space for storing and preparing food and drinks in the office has grown. The Cafe is also a place to spontaneously interact with coworkers. More than just a place for soda and snack machines, pantries include all appliances you would find in a high-end kitchen. A big trend right now for having more than one microwave, so there is less waiting for food during break time.
Without dedicated workstations, storage space for personal items is in high demand. Employees need a place to lock-up their mouse, keyboards and headsets when not in the office, as well as a place to leave their personal belongings, such as bags and coats, while in the office. Work areas incorporate built-in storage solutions, such as lockers around desk clusters or by designing separate storage areas.
In conclusion, the pandemic has brought about a significant shift in design and architecture trends, emphasizing safety, wellness, and flexibility. As we navigate this new reality, architects and designers will continue to innovate and adapt to meet the evolving needs of businesses.