Office Design and Space Planning Trends in 2022
The Covid-19 pandemic affected our lives in so many ways. In the world of work, businesses and employees faced challenges returning to work. Ever since, companies have been adapting their office space planning for the post-pandemic world. With that in mind, in this article we will explore some commercial office furniture trends of 2022. Let’s take a look how you can incorporate this into your office furniture fit out.
Hybrid work is a flexible working model whereby employees work partly in the physical workplace, and partly remotely. This can either be from home, or from another workspace. Around 70% of firms – from small businesses to large corporations – are either hybrid already or else planning to go hybrid in the future. Such changes will entail new design challenges for office space planning. A hybrid work environment requires a much more creative and inventive thinking when planning an office furniture fit out.
More employees now work from home for a good portion of the week. The office has now become more of a destination – a place to go to get specific things done, rather than just being a part of an automatic daily routine. Most offices now have much larger ratios of meeting and collaborative spaces, allowing staff to meet up in person. It makes sense to allocate desks when required, rather than being always used by the same worker.
These ideas have also filtered through to serviced offices. No longer do serviced offices come crammed with as many desks as possible for companies to rent. Serviced office space planning has morphed to offer a more casual, collaborative work environment. Hybrid working is now expected to become and remain the ‘new normal’ for most businesses. It is likely that the office will continue to be a highly adaptable space, catering for the specific needs of employees.
Choosing business office furniture that is flexible is key to a hybrid working environment. A survey of 826 participants revealed that 45% of people wanted to spend 2 days a week in the office. 21% preferred 3 days a week, and only 8% wanted to be back in the office full-time. 27% of those surveyed wanted to solely work from home.
So, hybrid office space planning is here to stay. Post pandemic, people now realize that the kind of work-life balance previously joked about, is actually possible. Spending quality time with family members without disrupting work commitments or reducing productivity.
Collaborative Spaces & Flexible Furniture
Hybrid working has made allocated desks and collaborative spaces popular in offices. It also makes sense to create zones dedicated to creative brainstorming sessions. Employees will come to the office, seeking a change of space and an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues. Days spent in the office now mean socialising with team members, sharing ideas, and engaging with each other. An office furniture fit out should encourage the things they can’t do in person working from home. The hybrid office, therefore, should include more collaborative business office furniture. Collaborative commercial office furniture includes meeting pods, breakout areas, modular seating, acoustic panels and soft seating. This would mean less emphasis on traditional desk and chair set-ups. Rather than having a fixed workstation, employees work in a range of “zones” to suit the task at hand. Such an office can easily become the centre of team building days, a real networking hub, with a sense of belonging and destination.
Another trend of 2022 has been flexible business office furniture – furniture that can move and store away when not needed. This includes tilt top tables, folding tables, modular tables, and stacking chairs. This type of commercial office furniture enables the quick configuration of an office or meeting room whenever needed.
2022 has also seen an increased emphasis on creating sustainable workplaces. Sustainability in design and manufacturing is critical to ensure the future health of our planet. Businesses now seem to be getting fully on board with this idea, and keen to design and furnish their workspaces accordingly.
Employees now expect their employers to be planet conscious and to actively work towards reducing a business’s carbon footprint. The workplace itself naturally forms a core part of any sustainability agenda. Companies are looking for ways to make their offices more sustainable on a day-to-day basis. This has influenced the design and product ranges used in office furniture fit outs. Upcycled business office furniture and materials with high recycled content are increasingly common. There is also a focus on optimising natural light to reduce energy usage. The environmental impact of a product and its effect on the planet is ultimately set into motion at the very first phase of design. The selection of materials, processes and the factors required to bring a complete version of the initial concept to market. It is likely that this trend will continue to grow. It is becoming the standard for new office furniture fit outs. Businesses are considering whether the sourcing, design and manufacturing of commercial office furniture is sustainable.
Technology and the Smart Office
Do your team have the tech they need to work effectively? In a hybrid workplace model, high-quality audio and video tools are necessary to listen and see the other members of the team. Agile workspaces ensure the mobility of employees isn’t restricted. Office space planning should include remote meeting rooms with interactive features and controls. High-quality AV platforms, smart devices and wireless content sharing are features that help employees stay mobile and productive.
Acoustic Pods and Sofa Meeting Booths with monitors are very popular now. New office furniture fit outs are incorporating private booths with power and acoustic pods with monitors. Breakout zones and AV training rooms also support different types of virtual collaboration. More and more, staff need to keep connected regardless of location. Business office furniture features that support technology, such as inbuilt USB and HDMI sockets are here to stay.
BT Office Furniture
At BT Office, we have a variety of commercial office furniture that can help businesses adapt to the new hybrid way of working. Contact us today, to discuss your needs. Let us show you how BT Office can transform your workspace with an office furniture fit out.