The average Joe spends, roughly, one-third of their lives at work. We can hear the chorus of groans from here! But that’s why when we are making our deliveries across Dublin city and come across some top-notch office design, we take a moment to appreciate it. If you’re going to spend so much time in a place, you would hope it is at least a pleasant and healthy environment to be in.
Luckily, we live in a time when this kind of health-conscious, human-centric approach to design is popular. If you have been keeping an eye on changes in the world of office design, you’ll know that cubicle farms are long gone (thank God!) and the open plan office is en vogue… or is it? Scroll down to see 5 office design trends that are rocking in Dublin right now!
1. The traditional boardroom is dead
The dauntingly oversized table with people positioned across from each other like pawns poised for war while their leader sits at the head in the role of the omniscient king lounging in his throne… yeah, that’s not a good look anymore. Instead, the modern office aims to facilitate genuine teamwork and recognises that excessively rigid hierarchical structures undermine open communication. For this reason, boardrooms are out and collaborative meeting spaces are in. Now team meetings can be held around a whiteboard with a mixture of couches and chairs or perhaps in a quiet alcove dedicated to brainstorming sessions.
2. The resurrection of the workstation
Don’t worry; cubicle farms are not about to come back anytime soon, so you can breathe a sigh of relief! However, the open plan phase that has been stealing the show in office design for the last few years is now taking a bit of a U-turn. Everyone thought open plan sounded like a good idea because it engenders ad-hoc collaboration and transparency, which surely would translate into fantastic teamwork, right? Well, yes it does, but what about when people need to work on their own? Collaborative spaces have their purpose, but when conducting independent work, people tend to be more productive if they have their own workstation.
3. Champion biophilia
Biophilia is the theory that humans feel naturally connected with other life forms and, in fact, have a lot of love for them. This doesn’t just refer to animals, but also plants. According to research at Exeter University, by just adding a few houseplants into your office design, employees can end up being 15% more productive. Biophilic design takes this a step further by using nature as an architectural framework. Once you keep an eye out for it, you’ll begin to notice biophilic design in all kinds of places. In fact, cities, such as Singapore, are actively geodesigning for a greener urban landscape. The great thing about this trend is you can get really creative, with floor to ceiling greenery, indoor trees extending between floors or wall mounted collages of framed air plants.
4. Hoffice is where the heart is
Hoffice, as you may have guessed, is a combination of the words home and office and is used in the context of someone working from their home. But we’ve noticed the trend is now going the other way too – work offices are beginning to look like home. Designers call this resimertial, the combination of residential and commercial design, but hoffice is so much nicer, don’t you think? So, why is it happening? Well, if you’re in a job long enough, your team does become a second family in many ways. But more to the point, the home-office look ties in well with the push towards collaborative spaces. Modern office design begins from the human perspective, and people usually feel most comfortable at home, where they can stretch out or curl up. The overarching theory is that if you create a space people want to be in, they are more likely to be productive.
5. Technology integration
This is less of a trend and more of a necessity. Nonetheless, office design is changing to embrace innovations in technology. Sophisticated business software stored in the cloud is streamlining processes and, with everything becoming increasingly integrated, you don’t have to be at your desk to work. You can now sign-in from anywhere. Wireless technology is no longer a luxury but expected, and with it comes flexible spaces where you can work on your laptop, smartphone or tablet from any corner of the building.
So how does your office shape up? Remember, you don’t need to gut the building and start all over again just to make an office a friendly place to be. A few carefully selected adjustments can do the world of good. For example, a box of fruit delivered to your office every week could be just what the doctor ordered. Order a free trial today and take the first step to a healthier office!