Studio Insights: Exploring the Top 10 Trends in Corporate Interior Design
Corporate office design is always evolving to meet employees’ changing needs and accommodate technology advancements. As expectations shift over time, the demand for design strategies that create comfortable, connected and adaptable workplaces is rising — and the pandemic has only intensified the popularity of these trends.
Here are today’s top 10 trends in corporate interior design.
1. Technology Integration
Technology is an integral tool for most office workers, and as remote work and hybrid schedules become common, integrated technology is vital. From seamless wall systems with speakers and microphones to video conferencing technology throughout a building, integrated technology allows employees and guests to collaborate easily no matter where they’re located.
Technology is an integral tool for most office workers, and as remote work and hybrid schedules become common, integrated technology is vital.
2. Flexible Work Environments
The ability to collaborate from anywhere is also extending into the actual layout of corporate spaces. Businesses are incorporating varied working environments beyond cubicles and offices, providing lounge spaces for collaboration, private spaces for focused work and open areas for socializing. These options allow employees to change physical locations while still working within the office environment.
3. Comforts of Home
During the pandemic, many office workers found themselves at home for months, if not years. Corporate interior designers are turning to a home-like aesthetic to ease employees back into the office. With lounge seating, bars and islands, along with lots of warm lighting, natural wood and soft materials, current design is mixing residential and corporate/commercial styles to give employees the comforts of home while at work.
Corporate interior designers are turning to a home-like aesthetic to ease employees back into the office.
Encouraging and enhancing collaboration in the workplace has been a long-term focus for most companies. Today’s design trends are creating collaborative spaces through a variety of seating and room options. For example, including lounge seating in traditional, enclosed conference rooms or a mix of seating options in an open area so employees can sit or stand. The flexibility helps employees find the right space to get comfortable and collaborate effectively.
5. Healthy Workspaces
Organizations are increasingly looking for ways to help keep their employees healthy. To encourage employees to move throughout the day, designers are making stairs easier to access and more inviting, as well as incorporating sit/stand desks or treadmill workstations. Beyond movement, today’s corporate design also maximizes natural light to support employee mental health. And when natural light isn’t accessible, circadian rhythm lighting can be added so the intensity of the light within an office adjusts based on the time of day.
To encourage employees to move throughout the day, designers are making stairs easier to access and more inviting, as well as incorporating sit/stand desks or treadmill workstations.
6. Branded Design
A trend with immense popularity right now is branded design, where the core of what defines a company — whether its values, mission, or motto — is showcased throughout corporate office interiors. From branded graphics on interior walls and integrating a company logo on a conference room ceiling to layering brand colors throughout the space, this design approach subtly immerses employees and guests in a consistent vision of the company’s brand.
As a result of the popularity of open areas and industrial aesthetics that can amplify noise, creative acoustic design elements are trending. Studies have shown that quieter work environments have a positive effect on employee production and wellness. Rather than closing off spaces, though, designers are using special ceiling materials, strategically placed carpet, furniture with built-in acoustics, and even acoustic light fixtures to diffuse sound while still maintaining open, collaborative spaces.
Studies have shown that quieter work environments have a positive effect on employee production and wellness.
8. Working Hubs
Working hubs are a newer trend influencing corporate office layouts. Unlike previous layout trends that encouraged rows of bench-style desks, working hubs are small groups of workstations with an adjacent collaboration enclave within a large open area. The move toward working hubs simultaneously increases privacy while encouraging small-group collaboration in a more comfortable work environment.
Though a common trend for a while now, the inclusion of amenities within corporate design shows no sign of disappearing. Adding amenities such as fitness facilities and outdoor spaces can help employee engagement, recruitment and retention. And as some businesses reduce their office footprint post-COVID, including moveable, modular walls so one space can be used in many ways has become an important feature.
Adding amenities such as fitness facilities and outdoor spaces can help employee engagement, recruitment and retention.
10. Biophilic Design/Natural Lighting
Bringing the outdoors inside is not a new trend, but its use has grown exponentially since the pandemic. Biophilic design, or the practice of connecting people and nature within buildings, has been shown to create healthier, more productive and more creative work environments. This design incorporates plants and abundant natural light through exterior window walls and interior glass walls.
While these are the top corporate interior design trends right now, it is important to understand that trends fluctuate as generations enter and exit the workforce. Therefore working with an experienced design firm, like Hoefer Welker, is essential to determine if design aspects are simply the current trendy choice or truly the right choice for the unique needs of each company and its employees.
Partner | Design Manager
Michael works with clients and project teams to translate a client’s business vision into a design that works to achieve their objectives.