The office of the future: The trends shaping our lives at work
The digital transformation has revolutionised the workplace. Now, our office can be anywhere where we have access to an internet connection and a smartphone. As a result, flexibility and individual choices have become important factors for shaping future office design. Interior architects and designers are responding to the changing face of the workplace to devise new and creative concepts for working environments.
More space for flexible collaboration
Even though video conferences and cloud technology will become commonplace, the office of the future will still require physical spaces for people to come together and collaborate.
The traditional open-plan office, that is so common today, is likely to become less of a fixture in the future office design. New room concepts aim to retain the openness of a space while also providing dedicated areas for individuals to work as well as retreat. Partition walls could be used to separate working areas without inhibiting communication between colleagues. Many interior architects already use room dividers, such as noise-absorbing panels and screens, to act as a visual barrier, to create a sense of privacy and to keep areas quiet. These kinds of solutions allow people to work individually without being completely cut off from others.
Modular furniture that adapts to the situation and requirements
To create rooms that can be used for different purposes or to meet a range of needs, interior designers are coming up with new ways to kit out workplaces. Modular and multifunctional desks, office chairs and seating systems support flexible and mobile working.
The extended modular Kiik sofa collection by Arper is a great example. It offers seating that can be adapted to suit the environment and the situation – covering everything from single seats to benches with individual spaced-out chairs. In the future office design, we can expect to see more of this kind of seating in freely accessible shared spaces such as lobbies and break areas.
Dividers from the Paravan Mood collection can be used to create individual soundproofed working areas in open-plan offices. For co-working spaces and conference rooms, movable sofas and chairs with integrated tables and surfaces can be used to create distinct individual working areas. These kinds of mobile furniture solutions also enable companies to hold meetings in a relaxed atmosphere while still maintaining an appropriate distance.
Biophilic design: Boost wellbeing by bringing nature into the office
A lunchtime video conference on the balcony, a walk in the park during your break and a glass of wine on the patio after work – working from home undoubtedly brings us closer to nature. And thanks to the new concept of biophilic design, we can still enjoy the positive effects of plants and fresh air even after we return to the office.
The biophilic design invites nature indoors and could boost employee wellbeing in the office of the future. Biodynamic lighting can be used to recreate daylight, while indoor plants and natural materials, such as wood, are key to creating a natural look in offices, co-working spaces and conference rooms.
The home office as a permanent place of work
At the moment, many of us are spending much more time at home than we used to. Home office working and “cocooning” – which means staying at home as much as possible – are rapidly becoming established as long-term trends. People are increasingly creating permanent home-working areas, and improvised desks are being replaced by fully equipped home offices. Alongside ergonomic, flexible furniture, modern technology also has an increasingly important role to play in ensuring productive and efficient future office design.
A handy piece of kit for any home office is the Gira USB power supply, which enables you to charge mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets without an additional power supply. With two ports for the USB A and USB C standards, the unit can supply power to two devices simultaneously with its fast-charge function. For even greater functionality and flexibility, the socket can also be combined with other inserts from the Gira System 55 design line.
It’s not just technology that enables us to work efficiently. A carefully planned and ergonomically designed environment helps us to relax and work more productively. Timeless original pieces, like the elegant Gira E2, combine form and function, bringing exceptional design, tried-and-tested functionality and long-lasting quality to the home office.
The developments and trends for the future office design are all pointing in one direction. From now on, we will all be working more individually, with more space around us and more places to step away from the action. However, with new room concepts and flexible furniture, we’ll be able to retain the face-to-face element of collaboration, thus ensuring that the office of the future is something we can all look forward to.
How are you using design to enhance your home working experience? Let us know in the comments!