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Office Design for the 21st Century

March 2020

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The modern workspace is almost unrecognisable to what it was just a decade ago. Just as trends change in home decor and within the clothing industry, so does office design.  The days of maximum head count are over, today we are looking at the ‘workplace experience’. We are not just becoming more conscious of sustainability, it is now the norm to incorporate sustainable furniture which will connect areas creating a flow rather than acting as stand alone items.

Today we are far more aware of the importance of the wellbeing of workers which is reflected in how designers are creating spaces for the modern office. Specific attention is paid to enhanced lighting, which can have an enormous positive impact on mental health when designed correctly.  Areas can be designated by contrasting designs so that break time for example, will feel like genuine time away from the work station; a place to socialise and relax.  Areas for fitness, where possible will be incorporated into indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Living or green walls on the external of office buildings are becoming increasingly popular and it’s easy to see why. Apart from the aesthetic reasons, they create green spaces in concrete cities, absorb pollution and attract insects and other wildlife, all of which are good for our environment. But why restrict green walls to the outside? Offices can harbour air pollution, created by various toxins in certain types of furniture. One wall can contain up to 1000 plants which filter the air and create energy-rich oxygen.  Living walls can also create acoustic barriers. Many of todays offices are open plan and the noise levels can be high but the plants absorb some of this sound which would otherwise bounce off hard surfaces. The physiological benefits can also be huge with green walls being seen as having relaxing and calming, therapeutic effects. This can result in higher productivity which ultimately improves business. 

The main theme we are working to is that well designed, thoughtful and sustainable office space retains staff for the simple reason that they enjoy being in their place of work which ultimately increases productivity. It’s actually a very simple concept which can be adopted in different measures by small and large businesses alike.

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