Offices have clearly changed over the last 50 years (watch any episode of Mad Men and this will be quite clear). But even in the last 10 years we have seen a major evolution for office spaces as companies migrate toward a more open and communicative workspace. “From integrating the latest technology to increased collaboration among coworkers, work environments are changing and so must the way offices are furnished,” said Ann Sennewald, vice president of merchandising at CORT, provider of transition services and furniture rental for businesses. “Offices designed in 2014 must reflect the needs of modern-day employees and invoke collaboration, flexibility, mobility and more.”

Here are the big office design trends we will see in 2014.

1. Open spaces
Cubicles are a thing of the past now. Not it is all about “hot desking” which gives employees the space to move around and work where they want, according to Bris Aluminum.
According to CORT, lounge seating areas are a key furnishing and office design trend that enable collaboration. Lower walls and cubicles foster a team environment. Unassigned tables put between work spaces are also enabling employees to meet and collaborate spontaneously.

2. Mobility
Offices are more mobile in general and so should work spaces. CORT finds that most chairs have wheels, but stools and standing height tables are also becoming popular. Seating that can move with employees is fostering the collaboration and flexibility mentioned above. Today’s employee is also increasingly aware of the health effects of prolonged sitting, hence the focus on ergonomic chairs for employees at all levels and stand up desks.

3. Bringing the outdoors in
People work better when they don’t feel like they are couped up inside all day. Bris Aluminum says greenery and plants will be in a lot more offices as well as access to roof decks.

4. More kitchen and eating rooms
Everyone knows that people commune around food so why not make more spaces that accommodate that? Plus, eating together can bring about more collaboration.

5. Bright colors and designs
No more boring gray or blunt white. Get ready for some colors and fun patterns in offices! So many studies show that certain colors like red and orange stimulate productivity.
Talk to your painting contractor about these ideas and how you can use paint to help achieve them.

Taken from an article in “Design & Trend”, By Meredith Lepore, January 25, 2014

Author Kirsten Ghaster

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