You might be asking yourself, how can I bring modern office design to my workplace? If you are in charge of procuring new office space, setting it up, or re-imagining your current space, this is the question echoing in your head. And it’s one that can be answered by not thinking only about office décor, but also about space and functionality.
Out with the old office
To get started in thinking about the design of a new modern office space, you first need to dispense with all your old notions of what an office has to look like. Your traditional view of an office might include bad overhead lighting and a lot of dreary cubicles or workspaces in dull earth tones, surrounded by closed-door offices occupied by the bosses.
But there is no reason an office space needs to be like that. You can completely re-imagine the colors, style, layout, and types of furniture used in your space, based on YOUR company’s and employees’ needs.
Embracing the new office
Initially you might be a little intimidated by the thought of modern office design ideas. Perhaps you’re expecting weird, abstract, or awkward designs that won’t make your office seem like a serious business. You may also be thinking a cool modern office space is a high-cost endeavor reserved only for big tech firms. But, really, modern office design is very practical—it’s about allowing your needs, brand, and even constraints dictate your office décor and layout.
If you have a fun, upbeat brand, it may be important to you to have furniture that is in bright colors. If your workers would prefer doing their work on a couch with a laptop, you may want to provide staff with lots of comfortable seating and ditch some of the desks. If your company culture prioritizes the idea of giving employees play time to let off steam, you may want to make room for a ping pong table or a community table for eating.
How to design a modern office with limited space
Many companies, especially start-ups, have to figure out how to design a modern office with limited space. This is an area where modern office design really shines. Flexible, modular furniture is ideal when you need to make the most of a relatively small amount of square footage. If you utilize a lot of easily moveable tables and chairs, you can then rearrange items as needed for different purposes. For instance, an open office space can be transformed into a conference room on the fly.
When seeking modern office design ideas for small spaces, Ikea is often a good place to start, as the company is known for manufacturing affordable pieces that appeal to people who are doing their best to maximize their space. Pinterest can also be a resource for gathering creative ideas to draw inspiration from.
Modern office design trends
Office design trends are always evolving, but remember that your goal is not just to be “cutting-edge,” but to create a modern office space that best meets your workforce’s needs. Here are a few interesting current trends to consider:
* Technology-enabled furniture: With laptops, tablets, and smart phones being indispensable work tools, items like conference tables with built-in outlets make it easier to conduct business.
* Nature-inspired designs: Wood floors, furniture made from natural materials, soothing fountains, and large picture windows that let in natural light can create a calming atmosphere for workers.
* Glass-partitioned meeting rooms: Glass walls can still allow for conversational privacy while making the office space feel more open and inviting.
* No assigned seating: Some offices now supply an array of desk spaces, couches, and chairs that are open to be claimed, offering employees flexibility to select their preferred workspace for the day.
* Cafés: Traditional employee lounges are replaced by coffee shop-style cafes that are inviting environments for a lunch break, as well as for small meetings throughout the day.
* Lounge areas: A place with foosball tables, arcade games, and even a hammock or two for napping can give employees a chance to refresh themselves with a needed break before returning to the grind.
Getting help with modern office design
Not everyone is comfortable with taking on the challenge of employing modern office design trends, or dealing with any kind of office design at all. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to do it alone. There are designers and specialists out there who can assess your office’s needs and make a plan accordingly. Increasingly, some office management companies are even offering these services. Knotel, for example, provides office décor customized to their clients needs.
Whatever path you take, just remember that there is no perfect formula for designing the modern office. Start by determining your company needs and goals, and then create the workspace that will help you fulfill them.