8 Key Office Furniture Trends for 2023

Office furniture trends are constantly changing, especially now that more people are working from home than ever before. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at eight key workplace furniture trends for 2023 that seem here to stay.

1.       Hybrid Working

Except for a small minority, before the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of hybrid working wasn’t really in our day-to-day vocabulary. Now it is one of the most important trends of the 2020’s and, according to all accounts, here to stay. A recent ONS survey showed that 85% of UK working individuals now favour a hybrid approach, splitting work between home and the office. Other interesting figures show that the number of searches for jobs offering remote work has increased year by year since the pandemic.

Hybrid working is associated with better work-life balance, well-being, and greater job satisfaction. Studies continue to show that employees being offered opportunities to work across multiple locations benefits both productivity and profitability. This has been a new challenge for many companies. Mainly because they have been forced to take hybrid working seriously and address practical issues through their office space planning.

Hybrid office space design involves the reconfiguration of existing workplace furniture to create more collaborative and flexible workspaces. The key principle of hybrid design is to create spaces that transcend physical and social barriers. But that doesn’t have to mean less space.

To create as many opportunities for collaboration and innovation as possible, your workspace design needs to have a variety of zones designed for specific activities. This will encourage employees to move around throughout the day. Moreover, to meet new colleagues and remain mentally refreshed and inspired.

Office space planning considerations for a standard hybrid working model might include:

  • The creation of open collaborative spaces
  • Team huddle areas for sharing ideas
  • Areas for white-boarding sessions
  • Quiet zones, booths and library areas for focused work
  • Worktables for large team sessions and collaborative work
  • Small informal areas for one-on-one meetings
  • Hybrid town halls equipped with screens for hosting Teams meetings
  • Wi-Fi enabled spaces for connecting with staff working from home
  • Technology to book meeting rooms and private spaces, such office booths, telephone booths and office pods
  • Flexible workplace furniture solutions – these are often the perfect addition to a hybrid workplace. They help to provide some much-needed solitude for those who want to come into the office for focused work. Workplace furniture can include Folding Meeting Room Tables, Tilt Top Meeting Tables, Training Meeting Chairs, etc
  • A combination of team-working collaborative spaces alongside private spaces

Team sits in a collaborative office space with one team member logging in remotely

2.       Biophilia

Biophilia was defined in 1965 as “love for life” or “ love for living things”. Biophilic design is all about incorporating nature into the workplace, often bringing the outdoors indoors. Being in nature supports human health and well-being; it releases stress and positively influences our mood.

Our modern lives, however, no longer seem to allow us to spend much time in nature. This is where a biophilic approach to office space design can really come into its own. It could mean anything from adding planters and greenery to your office, purposefully using natural materials like wood and stone, or having whole office gardens and ‘living walls’.

Some benefits of biophilic offices include:

  • Better air quality, as they absorb harmful substances and toxins
  • Better employee health – plants release water vapour into the air which in turn makes people less susceptible to allergens and respiratory illnesses
  • Staff can relax with lower blood pressure
  • An increase in employee concentration levels
  • Reduction of employee stress
  • Generation of feelings of peace
  • Greater staff retention
  • An increase in learning abilities

Biophilic office space with modern workplace furniture and breakout area

3.       Hotelification

As more businesses adopt flexible or hybrid working, the ‘hotelification of office spaces can make returning to the office more attractive. Hotelification refers to the incorporation of hotel-like amenities and features into the design of an office space. The aim is to create a more comfortable, welcoming and relaxing work environment. With the end objective of improving employee enjoyment and productivity.

Features might include:

There is much to learn from the hospitality sector in terms of creating attractive, compelling spaces built around collaboration, flexibility, and social interaction. Hotelification is one of the exciting new directions for office furniture trends this year. Businesses should look to incorporate this approach within their office space planning to better improve the look and feel of their workplace.

In the future, we could well see workers pre-booking a range of other facilities and services from their mobile devices. In order to support hybrid workers’ flexible lifestyles, this must be part of a streamlined experience. These, of course, will also aid in encouraging greater office attendance.

Large open office breakout space with plants surrounding high-back soft seating

4.       Sustainability

Sustainability has quite rightly risen in importance over the last few years, and 2023 will see an increased emphasis on creating sustainable workplaces. Sustainable office space design means designing furniture for minimum impact on the environment. One of the most direct ways of reducing the carbon footprint of a piece of furniture is to design it so that it uses less raw materials and less energy.

There are many areas where design can have a positive sustainable impact. So, your office space planning could include:

  • The use of up-cycled furniture
  • Materials with high recycled content
  • A focus on optimising natural light to reduce energy usage

Employees now expect their employers to be planet conscious and to actively work towards reducing their carbon footprint. Workplace furniture itself, therefore, forms a core part of any sustainability agenda.

BT office furniture team member finishing and checking high quality workplace furniture piece

5.       Smart Technology

A smart office is a high-tech hybrid workplace with a human touch. Designed to improve an overall office space with the best management tools, they make employees work smarter, better, and faster. Ideally, a business’ office space planning should include smart office technology. Smart technology should be designed to maximise comfort in the workplace. This is to help leaders get the most productivity out of their staff.

Technology is key to unlocking collaboration spaces. As such there has been an increased shift towards the use of smart technology within the workplace. Efficiency makes workplaces more secure, practical, and smart.

A key office furniture trend for 2023 and what we expect to see in the future, is all technology being interconnected and controlled by a central system. This will make it easy to adjust lighting, temperature, and other environmental factors based on the needs of the people working in the space.

Benefits of smart offices:

  • Employee Productivity:
    If some repetitive tasks can be automated, employees can focus on what they do best.
  • Energy Saving:
    Automatic lighting and temperature control can help utilize power resources more efficiently and reduce power consumption.
  • Convenient Environment: 
    This can be achieved by a good control of temperature and humidity.
  • Workplace Security:
    Can include the use of smart cams, connected sensors, access to control systems.

Must haves for a smart office:

  • Smart conference rooms:
    Here employees can host real-time meetings with staff and clients both in the office space and remotely. They can also record these meetings to revisited later.
  • Smart security:
    A robust system with high-quality cameras, microphones, speakers and screens to enable better conversation from all parties involved.
  • Video conferencing:
    Video conferencing software to be used to accommodate remote workers and travel schedules. Modern conferencing solutions are designed to pair with popular software solutions, such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom and Skype. With unlimited scale-up freedom, participants can be brought into the room physically, or even remotely using IP streams and cameras.
  • Smart mood settings:
    Businesses now often adapt their office space plans to include intelligent climate and lighting control.

Modern office space design with clear office pod controlled by smart technology on mobile device

6.       Managed Offices

Managed offices is another office furniture trend for 2023 that seems here to stay. If you want a private office space, you have three options. Opt for a serviced office, a traditional office, or a managed office. All are able to provide good solutions to different businesses.

Manage offices give you the ability to create your own space whilst also promoting your corporate identity. The process usually involves working closely with the office provider to achieve a personalized look and feel which they will deliver for you.

You can use corporate colours and logos, tailored furniture and breakout spaces, or executive offices. They often offer flexibility in term length (1-5 years) and you can still enjoy the usual serviced benefits, such as daily cleaning, a stocked kitchen and an all-inclusive rent.

Managed offices also offer more privacy and security than serviced offices. Here, you don’t have to share your spaces or amenities with other businesses. Like a serviced office, managed spaces are delivered for you, as a service. This means your rent is all-inclusive, paid monthly, and there are no upfront costs.

Managed office space with comfortable seating options and bench desks in background

7.       Wellbeing

Employee well-being has been an upward office trend for a few years now, one that was heightened by the pandemic.  Well-being in the workplace refers to the physical, mental, and emotional health of employees within a business or organisation.

It’s now the responsibility of the employer to create a workplace environment that has a positive impact on their employees. For physical, emotional, social and mental health. When carrying out any office furniture fit out, you should be considering the effect of your designs and layout on your team.

Below are some considerations proven to improve well-being:

  • Ergonomic office furniture:
    Ergonomic chairsand furniture, standing desks, adjustable desks and chairs
  • Natural light:
    Natural light, ventilation, and temperature control are very important to ensure comfort for staff
  • Green spaces:
    Adding plants
     can improve air quality that creates a more enjoyable environment
  • Collaborative spaces: 
    Add worktablesbench desks, a variety of both standing and sitting options, access to whiteboards, office supplies, and technology. Communal spaces will provide the opportunity to interact with those from other departments.

To find out more about well-being in the office, check out our blog on creating a relaxing work environment.

Large open office space with new office furniture in variety of colours and styles

8.       Movement

Many people still spend a considerable amount of their day in the office. Often, in the same physical space. The encouragement of movement can enhance both productivity and the quality of social interactions. Movement avoids isolation. One of the main reasons employees like to come into the office is the chance to meet and interact with other people.

Movement is crucial to promoting cross-disciplinary interactions. When it comes to office space design, one strategy can be to purposefully pull people away from their designated areas. Allocating interesting amenities further away, for example, would incentive people to move through the office. This helps to force encounters and therefore improving collaboration and socializing. There are special workplace furniture pieces that can help you achieve this. They might include: standing office desks, collaboration tables, and working tables.

Busy office space with collaboration areas with large table and soft seating section

BT Office Furniture

Looking for a new office furniture fit out, or to maximize your current office space? As commercial office furniture suppliers, we are here to help. AT BT Office, we have a specialised team that can take your office space planning from start to finish. From designing your new office to advising on how best to implement the latest office furniture trends. Talk to us today on 0800 298 7033 or email [email protected] to get in touch.