Our interior designers are carefully watching and attentively addressing the new trends that are coming down the “office furniture design pike” to plan for 2023.
In Office Trends 2023 – Part 1, we explored two popular and trending directions for the office furniture industry. The first is the continued post-pandemic need for partitions and privacy. The second direction is a prioritization of workplace minimalism, stemming from the introduction of temporary or hotelling desk solutions and a desire for calm.
In Part 2, we continue the conversation about the final two primary trends that are key to office environments and planning. According to our leading design team, making spaces minimal, private and segmented is not enough. Office spaces need to encourage connection, enhance comfort and expand on the ergonomic issues facing office work circumstances such as remote, hybrid or shared spaces.
Casual, Cozy, Connection
New office environments are being planned to increase the enjoyment of the space and in some cases the desire to return to the office from remote work at home. One of our designers described the new office as serving employees like a shelter. It is a cozy and comfortable place to come together, connect and check in. Refreshed offices can offer lounge spaces, faster “get right to work” drop-down areas and stand-up tables in refreshment areas that promote casual conversations with others.
Biophilic design solutions continue to be a key part of office trends, connecting staff to sunlight, designing with in-office plants and a view of nature or natural elements. Employees want to feel less trapped and that they can voluntarily come and go. They embrace the notion of being able to move around in a casual atmosphere that welcomes them in a natural way.
Game-changing additions this year? Areas such as balconies and patios for working outside in good weather, accented with pergolas or awnings, and attractive outdoor furniture.
In addition, lounge areas with end tables, work cafes and health and wellness rooms are giving people a reason to return to the office. Today’s office focuses on connection, and coziness, offering a refuge, beneficial for the overall well-being of clients, teams and leaders. The goal is to make the office a place to be exciting to come to, and that offers a sense of comfort and relaxation that traditional offices typically lack.
Ergonomics more than ever!
While trying to navigate new office trends, one trend that continues to need priority is the ergonomic needs of workers. Many people are still working from home AND now combining it with time at the office, so it is important to meet the ergonomic equipment needs at both. Supporting remote work with ergonomically proven essentials is a must for today’s employment needs. Remote work is happening in less-than-ideal spaces (bed, kitchen table, lap), and the proof is in the waitlists for wrist, back and neck pain management throughout the medical world.
Offices will see more standing desks – even in reception – to allow for healthy movement. And comfortable ergonomic office chairs at home and in the office continue to be a priority for people who care about sitting comfortably for long hours.
The atWork team is excited about the trends hitting the office furniture industry in the coming year. If your office space needs updating or refreshing, we would love to help you.
Connect with us for ideas that will work for you. Our design team can make your office spaces work for your employees, clients, and leadership teams. There is no better time to welcome the world back to the office.
Contributing writer Kim Hussey is the creative energy behind The Write View, Cambridge, Ontario.
You can find her enjoying nature or writing from her heart. Go to kimhussey.com to read ways The Write View supports your writing needs.