When talking about furniture for the office, it’s not that so easy to find inspirations and information.
Most of what is shared online on blogs and social media in fact is about home furniture. But why – if actually we spend most of our time at work? Or, anyways – we spend most of our time working, even if from home?
I guess the reason is that office furniture in our mind is a bit standard, not colourful, not decorated, a bit boring. So it’s shared much less on websites and social media. By researching on trends I’m actually discovering that instead there is a big research and development in the office design, with many new interesting innovations happening.
I found a confirmation on this by visiting the HQ of German furniture company Sedus, where I got to know more about the next trends in the office design. I will show you them in this article.
4 Office Design Trends
Office design trend #1 / ergonomics matters
Many innovations about the office design comes from the need of reaching a better well being when working. In fact, as I was mentioning before, we spend most of our daily hours working – therefore, the way we spend them is crucial for our whole quality of life.
A very first aspect to consider when talking about well being at work is for sure ergonomics – that is, the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they fit the people who use them. We often forget that the very first thing to consider when choosing an office chair is this – even before than its aesthetic appearance.
A poor workplace ergonomics can cause in the long term bad physical pain and injuries, other than of course decreasing productivity at work. At Sedus I learnt that ergonomics is individual – there are some general rules but at the end everyone has an unique body and unique preferences, therefore is super important to test your office furniture before choosing it.
BTW: Did you know that the first swivel chair has been invented by Sedus, back in 1925?
To create an ergonomic office, the first element to consider is for sure the office chair. Researches show that approx 50% of people will suffer at a point of back pain because of a bad seating an posture – and that especially when working from home the chairs we use are not suitable for spending lots of time seated on them.
When choosing an office chair the elements to consider are a lot: height and seat depth, backrest height, armrests position, but also the lumbar support and the possibility to recline or tilt it in order to change position during the working hours.
Second key factor to consider when certain an ergonomic office is the desk and especially its height: the best desk height is the one that you can adjust during the day, for example also by working while standing up.
Office design trend #2 / Colors also matter
Another key point to keep in mind when thinking about well being at work and which has not often been taken into consideration in the past is the study of color psychology.
In fact, as it happens in all other environments ( for example at home ) the colour palette and the tones we select have the power to affect our feelings – some might enhance more relaxing and calming emotions, others instead enhance creativity, interaction and productivity. Therefore, also the different tasks in a workspace should be designed by using different color schemes: collaborative areas and functions call for more vibrant colors, while functions which requires more concentration can be enhanced by using calm and soft color schemes.
Other than this, when choosing colors we should also consider our different personalities at work. Sedus has created an interesting system to define colors by starting from the different personalities called “The Limbic Office“, which is very helpful to choose the right colors for you.
The Limbic Office method puts together 12 different personalities, each part of three main groups (Type A Balance, Type B Dominance, Type C Stimulus ) and according to these there are different sets of colors. The new Sedus smart office we visited is all designed according to these color principles.
Sedus HQ smart office
Office design trend #3 / sustainable solutions
When talking about office design trends we also should always consider sustainability. The topic is really big and luckily there are many ways to help creating a more sustainable workplaces.
As a start, by being aware of the environments impacts that the furniture we choose has on the planet, of the materials it is made from and by knowing if it maybe recyclable in the future. Companies should be fully transparent on all these points – for example, by providing eco factsheets for the products they sell. Another important aspect to consider is the quality of indoor air – therefore, making sure we choose products that do not contain compounds which may affect the quality of the air in a bad way.
Sustainability in the office design also means encouraging the choice of recycled materials.
One example is PET felt: in fact, it consists of a mix of different fibers including also ( approx in the 60%) PET bottles waste, which is shredded and recycled into a totally new material. The material is then consolidated in an industrial oven and pressed in different molds to create the different shapes needed for furniture components – to create many different products at Sedus.
Office design trend #4 / the evolution of the home office
The last trend I’m mentioning when talking about future office design is for sure the home office design. Even a post pandemic world, smart working is an option which is still adopted by most of the companies – because it is more sustainable, affordable and also preferred by the working professionals.
Of 2000 working professionals and 1000 hiring managers 82% of workers want to work from home at least one day per week, and 57% want to work from home at least three days per week ( source ).
The downside of working from home is that our houses are not ready to become workspaces. Because often there are not spaces fully dedicated to become home offices – and when there is some space or maybe a room fully dedicated to become an office, the chairs we have at home are not suitable for spending many hours on them. So that smartworking can lead to several issues such as back problems, eye issues, hand and wrist problems – that’s why it’s so important to understand ergonomics and make it a fundamental point not only for offices, but also for home office spaces.
In our new house+studio project we are also incorporating a small work from home corner in the living room.
In fact, we will have our separate office but also a small dedicated area in the house, so we can work comfortably also without the need of being “in the office”- for this area, we choose the Se:desk solution from Sedus.