Top 10 Corporate Office Design Trends in 2022
5 Min Read
Written by: Parcel Pending
The current data suggests that with COVID-19 becoming an endemic vs. pandemic disease, employees might be back to the office in strong numbers this year. If so, here are the latest commercial office design trends and ideas to note:
#1 More Informal Conversational Areas
Since remote work demonstrated that many office jobs could be completed successfully at home, the goal of going into the modern office is often for informal discussions, collaboration, creativity, and culture building. As a result, you’ll soon be seeing more café-type seating areas than meeting rooms. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that 60% of companies are redesigning their offices to accommodate the shift to hybrid work, with many eliminating private offices spaces and devoting more space to café-like seating and open space work areas1.
As the authors adroitly observe in writing about the hybrid office in The Harvard Business Review2: “The latter will become primarily a culture space, providing workers with a social anchor, facilitating connections, enabling learning, and fostering unscripted, innovative collaboration.”
#2 Modern Offices that Feel Like Home
Knowing that we got comfy and cozy in our elastic-waist pants over the pandemic, 2022 offices will reflect a home office-like atmosphere. Other office design ideas include plush carpeting, cushy couches, warm lighting, and even curtains!
#3 Office Designs with Health Considerations
Recognizing that COVID has become endemic, designers are incorporating health considerations for the interior space in new offices. What will those ideas look like? Expect to see office layout changes, such as more space between desks, surfaces that are easy to clean, and elevators installed with ultraviolet lighting that disinfects automatically. Buildings are also upgrading their HVAC systems to improve indoor air quality.
#4 Flexible Workspace and Flexible Furniture
Hot desking has taken center stage as an office design trend. Simply put: hot desking is the term for non-dedicated workspaces; employees have a different desk or space each time they visit the office. Of course, then, look to flexible furniture such as rolling whiteboards, file cabinets that double as a stool, height-adjustable desks, and mobile storage units to create “on the fly” workplaces. Google, for example, is experimenting with Team Pods to embrace this philosophy3.
Flexible workspace also means that a room can easily be converted from one purpose to another. A conference room might quickly turn into an after-hours lounge area or an innovation zone.
#5 A Green Office Offering Plants & Sustainable Materials
Designers and management have recognized that plants are good for you and for them. Research suggests that a green workplace boosts employee productivity by 15%, helps clean the air, increases airflow, lowers toxins, and turns down the noise quotient4.
As Manasa Kovvali Rao, Sustainability Data Manager and Researcher at WAP Sustainability Consulting explains: “Adding plants to an office space has multi-faceted benefits. Taking a break from stressful work and tending to plants can have a calming effect on the mind. It also brings workers closer to understanding seasonal variations and their effect on vegetation.”
Biophilic design will also play a key role in office design in the new year. It simply means incorporating elements of nature into the workspace. A modern office design will include natural woods, bamboo, stone, waterfalls, and even fish tanks.
#6 Turning Down the Volume
Employees today are looking for a quiet and productive office space. Of course, noise reduction starts from the ground up, with carpeting acting as a good sound absorber. Certain vinyl flooring also works to mitigate noise. Phone booths have also emerged as a soundproofing lifeline for noisy co-workers.
#7 Embracing Smart Lockers
Smart office features are shifting from amenities to necessities. Without permanently assigned desks or cubicles in the corporate space, there’s a need for safely and securely transferring documents, badges, laptops, and other physical resources. Enter Campus Hub™: a delivery model that leverages smart lockers to allow for safe storage and retrieval of items within 10 seconds using a unique barcode from a users’ mobile phone. “Everyone wants to control their personal effects,” explains Jeffrey Gay, an architect and designer for MOI5. “With the open office colliding with the hybrid workplace, you don’t always know who is in the space. You want to know that your things are safely locked away.”.
#8 Neutrals with Pops of Color
Beige and off-white aren’t going away as a design idea, especially in offices. Instead, they act as the neutral base layer for offices with bright pops of color added to doors, chairs, and window treatments.
#9 More Natural Lighting
Similar to employees racing to find outdoor space during the height of the pandemic, today, they’re looking for bright, natural light in the office environment to elevate their mood. Numerous studies demonstrate that natural light fends off depression, improves sleep, and overall improves health6.
#10 Wallcoverings that Add Color and Texture
Say goodbye to the old image of wallpaper and hello to innovative ideas in wallcoverings for the modern corporate office. As noted by Paint & Color Trend Report7: “Wallpaper can really liven up rooms. It can create a design focal point, add character to a space, and set the tone for the entire room.”
Office wall murals are popular and often represent elements of nature. Art deco wallpaper is a rising trend, and we expect to see more of it this year.
Hybrid work is here to stay. When employees enter the workspace, they need flexible, yet comfortable space. Most importantly, they also need a dedicated space to stash their property, documents, or files which is where smart lockers play a pivotal role. To talk to a representative about how to design lockers for your office, contact a Parcel Pending representative today!
- Nohria, Nitin. The Wall Street Journal. The Post-Pandemic Office Should Be a Clubhouse. (2022, January 6). https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-post-pandemic-office-should-be-a-clubhouse-11641482830.
- Fayard, Anne-Laure, et al. Harvard Business Review. Designing the Hybrid Office. (2021, March). https://hbr.org/2021/03/designing-the-hybrid-office.
- Delgado, Rodolfo. Forbes. The Impact Of A Hybrid Work Environment On Real Estate. (2021, July 19). https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesrealestatecouncil/2021/07/19/the-impact-of-a-hybrid-work-environment-on-real-estate/?sh=651ff89d2058.
- Drake, Sandra. Parterre. Corporate Office Interior Design Trends . (n.d.). https://parterreflooring.com/latest-office-design-trends/.
- Proctor, Carolyn M. Washington Business Journal. Post-Covid offices are bringing in welcome design changes. (2021, July 16). https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2021/07/16/post-covid-office-design-changes.html.
- Boubekri M., Cheung I., Reid K., Wang C., Zee P. Impact of Windows and Daylight Exposure on Overall Health and Sleep Quality of Office Workers: A Case-Control Pilot Study. [(accessed on 23 February 2022)]; Available online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4031400/
- Miguelez, Cristina. Fixr. Paint & Color Trends 2022. (2022, January 21). https://www.fixr.com/painters/paint-color-trends-2022.