Our Top 5 Office Design Trends During 2020

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2020 has been one for the history books, for better or worse. In a year where a lot of us were forced to work alongside our children and pets, how did office design adapt to our environment?

As we wave goodbye to 2020 and usher in 2021, the overwhelming office design trend is keeping employees safe from health risks whilst promoting productivity and employee wellbeing.

In fact, a spoke-person for the HOK Design Firm said:

“What all companies will be sure to have in common post-COVID-19 is a renewed focus on creating spaces that are safe, healthy, and embrace wellness principles and practices.”

Natural Office Design To Improve Air Quality & Circulation

Offices have been going greener in recent times with employees opting to work outside if possible. This can help employees with stress, anxiety and it promotes employee wellbeing.

It's important to note that even if you don't have the room for an outdoor space, a lot of offices are doing their best to bring the outdoors, indoors.

Employees still spend most of their working time indoors, so adding plants & living walls to your office space will improve air quality and lead to a healthier quality of life for your employees.

Hands Free Office Technology

A huge office trend in 2020 was the implementation of hands free technology to limit surface touching thus slowing the spread of the virus.

This ranged in use cases from touchless check-in solutions for visitors using QR codes or things like wireless presentation spaces.

2020 was also a big year for artificial intelligence in the office. Workspaces opted for smart assistants to control lights, air-conditioners and heaters without touching a thing.

Hot Desking For Everyone

Hot desking does away with the traditional personal working space, and instead makes employees choose where to sit every day on a first-come-first served basis.

Hot desking disturbed old-fashioned office designs by including different working zones such as think spaces.

While assigned seating and keeping to one's own space would seem to be a sanitary option, research indicates that offices with assigned seats usually have desks "proven to be dirtier than many toilets." Thats because cleaners are often told not to touch objects on people’s desks. In offices with unassigned seats, desks can be deep cleaned each night and are therefore more sanitary.

Strict Sanitisation Everywhere

One of the biggest trends in 2020 was making it easier for employees to keep up with proper hygiene in the COVID-19 era. In practice, this ranged from installing additional sinks to promote hand-washing or putting multiple hand sanitising stations at key points in the office.

Remote Work Is Here To Stay

Remote working undoubtably is the biggest office design trend of 2020. In fact, it became essential to running a business during the COVID-19 health crisis. However, once businesses reopened having the flexibility to work from home (or from anywhere) seems to be a continued preference. However, it's important to note that the office is here to stay too.

Remote working allows your employees to find a balance that works for them; some may find they prefer only coming into the office a few days a week.

The winning solution seems to be having that flexibility to skip the commute, as well as the opportunity to work face-to-face with colleagues. This helps with work-life balance and overall employee happiness.

Regardless of how this balance is determined, work environment sociologist Tracy Brower recently wrote in Forbes that “the office is here to stay”: working in an office strengthens humanity and innovation, purpose, energy, wellbeing, talent, culture, and beyond.

So there are our top 5 office design trends of 2020. If you are looking for somebody to revamp your office so it promotes employee wellbeing, or maybe you have an outdoor space for your employees to use, contact us for expert advice.