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The pandemic has changed the modern office. Here's how you can create a more inviting space
These days, employees want flexibility and a sense of purpose in their work—and many are willing to leave their jobs if they don’t feel inspired. Design can be a powerful tool in creating a more welcoming, dynamic office environment that boosts creativity and company culture. Furniture and accessories in particular can help transform a dull space into one that is truly enjoyable to work in.
Lucia De Olazaval is the founder and president of allSPACES, a design-build firm that creates stylish modern offices for a range of corporate businesses. She shares how design and furniture can help make an office more fun, comfortable and inspiring in 2022 and beyond.
No two companies are alike. How an office is designed will depend a number of factors, including industry, type of business, size of the office space, brand colours and more. A young tech startup may have a different aesthetic than a large law firm or a bank.
Whether you hire a designer or opt to furnish yourself, get clear on your brand ethos, colours and company culture. This way, when your team walks through the office, they will immediately feel connected to the unique identity of your brand.
These days, lounge chairs are more popular in offices than the standard sofa, both for social distancing and as a trendier alternative. In fact, there are a number of more creative ways to incorporate seating in your office, whether for the reception or common areas. This Outline Highback Sofa pictured above is a great example.
Compared to residential spaces, office furniture needs to be a bit more durable and able to withstand wear and tear, but comfort and style are just as important as durability.
Fabrics and textures are where you have an opportunity to add warmth, style and character. Opt for high-quality fabrics that speak to your company’s identity, whether it’s through fun, lively patterns or bright brand colours.
Lucia and her team love this stylish and comfy-yet-durable lounge chair by Muuto, or this Cashmere-Pasadena Armchair by Fern Living. Don’t forget seat cushions! Swap out conventional square cushions for plush round ones, and explore colour-blocking if possible.
The most important areas of an office are where work gets done. Depending on your industry and company, your office might consist of open-concept spaces, individual offices, cubicles or a mixture of all. Since employees have spent the last couple of years working from home, the trend going forward will be for offices to feel as homey and comfy as possible.
Adding whiteboards or bulletin boards to individual workstations is a great way to let employees brainstorm, jot down ideas and personalize their work area the way they would at home.
Nowadays, especially with desk jobs, employees want to be as healthy and comfortable as they can. In lieu of a standard desk, some offices are opting for electric standing tables and more ergonomic chairs for added flexibility.
Speaking of cubicles, why not add some versatility to where you work with detachable panels in between desks? These add privacy to an open concept work area where needed and can be removed when you want a more collaborative environment.
Artwork and accessories are easy, creative ways to personalize an office, showcase your unique company culture and make it a fun place to work.
If your office is more minimal, use unique, colourful artwork to brighten the space and add character and charm. Tabletop pieces, colourful paintings, sculptures, area rugs and even throw pillows are all excellent accessories that can help create a warm and inviting office space.
Lucia’s recommendations: Hem Storm Cushion Medium by Sylvain Willenz, Knot Cushion by Design House Stockholm, Quill Rug by Nani Marquina.
There you have it! When designing a beautiful office, think outside the box. What does your company specialize in? What are your brand colours? What vibe do you want to create? You want to leave a strong visual impression when employees and guests first walk through the door.