Office interior design is constantly evolving, hopping from one trend to the next. More so than other trend-based industries such as fashion, commercial interior design has always been driven by the need to improve employee productivity and wellbeing. With that in mind, office interior designs are typically a reflection of the working class’s values and beliefs as well as the type of work required in the economy.
On the other hand, offices are not freely created without restraints or limitations. After all, it takes resources such as money and space. Depending on what is available, the ability of an office to fully implement a trend would be naturally impacted.
Before we dive into the future of office interior design in Singapore, it is useful to first look at the brief history of evolution of office design.
Major Past Interior Designs
Believe it or not, the first major interior design to be adopted was a version of the open office concept. Back then, workers would sit in uniform rows in an open space. Typically, all desks would face the front, thus giving a seamless block feel. This fitted the repetitive work that was commonplace during that era.
Shortly after, cubicles made their way to the forefront of office spaces. Cubicles afforded individuals a form of personal space and helped them to block out any distractions that could be happening in the office. Given the increase in difficulty of problems, cubicles were highly useful in enabling individuals to concentrate on solving them. However, it also meant a highly isolated existence with limited communications between team members.
As the complexity of the world increased, there was an increasing need for teamwork based projects or discussions. To aid in this, offices made the switch back to open concept offices with a slight twist. Rather than solely facing a single direction, co-workers were now seated across from one another in a single space.
This promoted communication between team members at all times during the day. Unfortunately, an unintended side effect arose in the amount of distractions that would take place given that the barriers to both sights and sounds were now removed.
The Future of Office Interior Design
A number of modern office interior designs are set to take off in 2020. Some of these trends have already taken root in smaller implementations. However, 2020 will see a more complete installation of these trends, with parts complementing each other and giving users increased value.
Minimalism & Transparency
In recent times, you would have seen offices incorporating glass doors, transparent panels and larger windows. All of these implementations were in a bid to make the office appear more transparent. Transparency is a tool in office interior design that makes the office appear large, more fluid and communicates the value of transparency in the business as well.
Accompanying the transparency movement is minimalism design that reduces the number of elements in the office. Rather than having furniture, furnishings or general clutter, minimalism looks to have as few visual elements in a space as possible. Instead, clear focus is directed to feature objects in the space.
Supporters of minimalism claim that it helps to reduce fatigue in the office as more breathing space is given to individuals. Additionally, with less clutter around the office, employees suffer from fewer distractions.
Wellbeing & Bibliophilic Design
With the ever-increasing amount of time that employees spend in offices, a push for health & wellbeing elements has rapidly taken root. People are more conscious now of how their health fares when kept in a single space for long hours each day. As such, offices that successfully boost the wellbeing of employees are looked upon favourably while also reaping the benefits of a productive workforce.
One trend that interior designers are fully embracing is that of bibliophilic design, or the incorporation of natural design elements in a space. This comes in two forms, one being the incorporation of natural features and materials, while the other being elements shaped in the image of nature.
As part of bibliophilic design, many offices now have carpet grass, potted plants, green walls, rooftop gardens, natural plant partitions and even water features. Beyond actual natural features, the usage of wood for benches, swings and even tree trunk shaped seats can be found along side bee hive shaped book shelves. All of these designs served to help the human mind connect with nature which in turn reduced stressed and improved the overall health of employees.
Other than natural features, offices are also increasingly introducing the comforts of home. Taking cues from coworking spaces, corporate offices now include the likes of beanbags, private pods and fully stocked pantries. By incorporating the homely comforts, it is believed that employees will feel more relaxed and less stressed out at work. Moreover, it provides a myriad of alternative working environments for employees to thrive in.
Business leaders have acknowledged that the increasing complexity of modern day real world problems call for inter functional or inter department collaborations. As such, interior designers are actively looking to facilitate such collaboration. This has been found in the use of mobile furniture as well as collaborative spaces around the office.
Mobile furniture such as rolling whiteboards, chairs and tables allow groups to quickly set up discussion areas without the need for an advance booking of a meeting room. Instead, team members can quickly gather around an area to get fast discussions or checks done.
Meanwhile, collaborative spaces such as transparent partitions that double up as marker friendly boards help team members to visualise ideas or to brainstorm. By having such amenities sprinkled around the office, it encourages constant innovation rather than only innovating when in catered meeting rooms.
Rely on Visual ID’s Expertise
Visual ID is an interior design services firm in Singapore, specializing in interior design for commercial. If you want to revamp your office to make it look more professional but you have no idea where to start, we are here to help!
Contact us to find out more about how you can make your office a vibrant workplace for everyone. A lively workplace will definitely contribute to your business’s growth.