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The office isn’t dead (but it is furnished better)

As many organisations navigate the complexities of their back-to-the-office strategies, it’s worth pausing for a second to consider some of the things people have adjusted to when working from home during the past 18 months.

We’ve outlined 4 key trends that are bringing people back to the office.

The workplace should combine the best of work and home

Interaction have long been on a mission to #banishboringoffices. The global pandemic has certainly put an end to the days of uncomfortable chairs lining rows of too-low tables in badly-lit desk farms. People will only come into workplaces which offer them better working experiences than they’d get at home; better chances for collaboration and inspiration, better facilities and better furniture.

Progressive organisations have realised that in order to make people desire to come back to the office they need to combine the best of both worlds – welcoming, comfortable furniture that wouldn’t feel out of place in a stylish home, an ethos widely known as Resimercial.

It’s here that interior styling can help by bridging the gap and enticing people back to the workplace by creating welcoming, comfortable and desirable spaces.

We’ve outlined 4 key trends that are bringing people back to the office:

  1. A variety of work settings
  2. Modular workspace solutions to maximise the space
  3. A workplace filled with natural light and biophilia
  4. Ergonomic workplace furniture and accessories

Varied and flexible work settings

A variety of work settings is vital. Solo and independent work settings must be balanced with accessible communal spaces and collaborative hubs, contributing to an environment that’s flexible enough to accommodate all working styles.

Working from home has made it easier to complete deep focused work and take video calls without distractions. Providing solo work stations can be a life saver for office days when individuals need peace and quiet.

Here are some of our favourite solo work stations:

Featured images left to right: Orangebox on the QT, Senator Haven pods, naughtone Pullman Chair.

Maximised workspaces

Adaptability and flexibility is also key; modular furniture allows moment-to-moment reconfiguration, depending on what it’s being used for. Modular furniture can also scale as a company grows, easily expanding to accommodate new spaces or employees. Similarly, a refreshed furniture strategy can revitalise an existing space and make it feel entirely new.

Below are some example of modular furniture configurations from naughtone and Frovi.

A selection of the best modular workspace seating solutions:

Featured images: naughtone Symbol
 
Featured images: Frovi Colony

Natural light and biophilia in the workplace

For many, home still feels like the safest place to be. Clever use of natural lighting and biophilia combined with top-quality air ventilation systems can recreate that feeling of safety in the workplace. Beautifully-designed planters, living walls and spacious shared seating areas can add levels of sophistication most people don’t get at home. Many organisations have also toned down their branding when it comes to the workplace, opting for a more homely, subdued look and further dissolving the often stark lines between the office and the home.

Here are some great examples of workplace biophilia:

Featured images left to right: Bishop Fleming by InteractionOrangebox, The Distillery by Interaction

Ergonomic office furniture and accessories

Additionally, the best workplaces have furniture which combines pleasing aesthetics with all the benefits of ergonomic design, increasing employee wellness by helping reduce the accumulated effect of being stationary and seated for large amounts of time.

2022’s best ergonomic workplace furniture and accessories:

Featured images left to right: Flokk HÅG Capisco, Sedus se:fit, Moventi Tia

Conclusion

The office isn’t dead, it’s just furnished better. Pay attention to these key trends and entice people back to the office.

Find out more about our Furniture Consultancy services or contact us to find out how Interaction can help your business. Call us on 01225 485 600 or email us at [email protected] for a friendly chat about your office design.

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