Design Means Business: Office Trends for 2018

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By Katie la Kapro / Published by Katie la Kapro
Corporate offices don’t have to be all work and no style.

Most companies are getting the idea that if they want the best and brightest working for them, their office needs to be a living space as much as a work space. Nothing says this more than great design. 

As we move further ahead in 2018, trends are emerging that show great promise in both aesthetics and productivity. After all, when we look good, we work even better. This applies to office buildings as much as employees. 

So, whether your business is large scale or a side hustle, you’ll need a corporate or home office space to match if you want your sales to be more than spectacular this year. 

Not Your Average Work Space

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Not everyone does their best work at a desk. Most people’s idea of an office is antiquated, and people won’t necessarily be more productive if confined to a cubicle. That’s why many companies are investing in alternative work spaces with comfortable seating and framed pieces of art decorating the walls. 

Some have even gone the Harry Potter route and utilized unused pockets of space to set up workstations with plush armchairs and beanbags to promote a cozier environment while also being efficient with layout. 

Wide Open Spaces

The couple's firm specializes in illustration and photography for the advertising industry. The framed art is by Anthony Burrill and the wall calendar is the work of Crispin Finn. The Ikea office table is ringed by Fritz Hansen Butterfly Chairs and Herman Miller Aeron Chairs. The lighting is by Artemide.

The couple's firm specializes in illustration and photography for the advertising industry. The framed art is by Anthony Burrill and the wall calendar is the work of Crispin Finn. The Ikea office table is ringed by Fritz Hansen Butterfly Chairs and Herman Miller Aeron Chairs. The lighting is by Artemide.

Two heads are better than one, but some office layouts discourage the collaboration among employees by isolating them in their own separate workstations. However, times are changing to much more open floor plans. 

Although open office spaces have been around for awhile now, they’ve been implemented on a larger scale only recently. It may be time to say goodbye to some open office layouts, but improvements have been made as issues arose. 

By grouping desks together instead of having everyone in a centralized area, distractions are limited while still fostering collaboration. Open layouts also make a space seem larger and can make people feel less cramped when they’re at work. 

No More Walls Between Us 

Plant Wall Design created a custom, self-sustaining vertical green wall for the show.

Plant Wall Design created a custom, self-sustaining vertical green wall for the show.

This trend is closely related to the one mentioned before. Transparency has become an important component in the company culture of many corporations. So solid walls are beginning to be replaced with more transparent dividers instead. 

Dividers made out of natural materials such as wood, bamboo, and green walls bursting with lush plants provide workers some privacy while still giving the office a modern, open feel. 

It’s All About the Texture

It is all very mindful. "We proceeded with a philosophy and a vision," says Chamberlin. "All of us understood that the poetry of what you look at is very important."

It is all very mindful. "We proceeded with a philosophy and a vision," says Chamberlin. "All of us understood that the poetry of what you look at is very important."

Like the wall dividers mentioned before, natural materials like wood, metal, and stone are making big waves in companies. This is due to the rise in popularity of biophilic office design. Biophilia is the notion that we as humans have an intrinsic connection to nature and feel more at ease when surrounded with things that remind us of it. 

Businesses have taken hold of this idea, furnishing their offices with appliances, fixtures, walls, and floors made out of materials found in the outdoors. This trend also encourages the use of natural light and potted plants to revitalize both rooms and employees. 

Give Me a Break

Common area

Common area

It’s hard finishing strong at work when you’re running on empty. That’s why it’s so important to have a space for employees to unwind. Although break rooms are nice, recent trends are pointing to entire areas dedicated to the recharging of workers. 

This can range from quiet areas to take a quick nap to game rooms that help build rapport with others in the office. People are known to do their best work when they’re rested, so by having a space to disconnect and take a break, employees will be far more productive than if they had stayed at their desk the whole day. 

Business as usual can always be more stylish. Open spaces, natural textures, and rest areas are hallmarks to this year’s office design trends. As we know, bad design is bad business, so if you want this quarter and beyond to be productive, it’s time to put interior design to work.