Office furniture is a reflection of the workplace as the interior design directly impacts how office staff interacts with each other. Headquarters of major companies are designed to resonate with the theme, colours and symbols which form a part of their brand’s identity. This is a major reason company invest heavily in designing and decorating the interiors of their workplace, and no matter where in the country you visit that brand’s office, you’ll find similar design and furniture settings.
As companies adopt new practices at the workplace, new trends around office furniture and interior designs emerge to reflect that. In 2019, it is expected that many new office furniture trends will emerge and become popular in the culture leading to wider adoption in the society. Here are the top five office furniture trends that are set to follow this year-
1. Integration of Smart Devices to Create Smart Furniture-
As offices turn into corporate parks and as parks turn into smart cities, the need to track population density and area usage is becoming increasingly important. To keep a track of this, companies are coming up with a small but powerful step wherein the office desks are customised and integrated with occupancy sensors which keeps a track of the occupancy percentage per floor or in a conference room. Basis this information which generates reliable usage statistics, the management can make energy-saving decisions such as clubbing two floors together or converting a conference room into smaller meeting rooms. Implications of such a step are seen when the numbers directly correlate with the impact on employee productivity, better collaboration among team members and savings in overhead costs.
This is just one example of how smart office furniture will impact work life. Today, there is an increasing demand to provide IoT integrated furniture. In a few years, how such a development will impact the workday of an average Indian will be an interesting exploration.
2. Shared Office Space Furniture:
Open, shared workspaces are gaining favour among small businesses, freelancers, remote employees and in some cases even big brands. This model allows for a convenient, low-cost option to invest in the workspace. Traditional co-working spaces, popularized by tech start-ups, bring multiple companies under one roof. However while earlier, there was a demarcation in operations and different entities would remain closed off from one another, in the new cohabitation spaces, these walls are coming down, allowing companies to share the same space, resources, and sometimes even talent.
3. Open Plan Desking:
Along the same lines, a new trend is emerging wherein the traditional cabin walls are breaking down among the workforces within the office environment. This transition from segmented individual work stations to more open plan office areas is expected to develop an increased sense of community, boost collaboration and reinforce social relationships.
4. Adding Green to Work:
With the benefits of having plants in workspaces gaining appreciation in the popular culture, many companies are investing in building infrastructures like roof-top gardens, water features, nature-based wall dividers using bamboo or wood, and among others to drive better employee health as well as boost productivity. It has been proven that being in nature is beneficial on many levels for the office staff to feel calm, creative, happier, and healthier. Now, companies are going to dive deeper, beyond the vertical garden or chic grass sidewalk, to apply the idea of ‘green’ to all of their processes. Offices, hotels, malls, etc. have started adding living green walls, air-purifying plants, colourful flowers and bonsai trees, to their interior and exterior landscapes.
5. Using Geometric and Abstract Patterns:
One single monotonous monochrome colour adorning the walls of offices was the stereotypical pattern in which most companies used to design their workspace. However, now most companies hire professional interior designers to map out the office landscape. Due to this, evocative and abstract patterns and geometric forms are making their way into the hallways, meeting rooms, and lobbies of offices everywhere.