October 27th, 2021 | Best Office Furniture
Offices after the COVID-19 pandemic will never be the same.
After more than a year of remote work, several businesses are starting to reopen their offices. Some of them are opting for a hybrid work arrangement—one where team members alternate time on-premise with remote work; three days in the office and two days at home, for instance.
Today, about 21% of employees continue working remotely due to the pandemic. But, as more and more organizations discuss reopening dates, what kind of office their employees will return to is in question.
What Office Design Trends Will Look like in the New Normal?
Some workers have returned to their workplace, some may be dropping in occasionally, and some others may have not come back at all yet. But, one thing that’s certain is that things will not be exactly as you remember them when you come back to the office.
In the post-COVID era, organizations will have to create a new work environment that will keep employees happy, productive, healthy, and safe. They will also have to accommodate changes to work patterns—and that’s saying something given that we have become accustomed to the comfort and flexibility of virtual work. Continue reading as we predict how organizations will rethink their office spaces and set the tone for the office furniture trends for 2022.
Comfort & flexibility will be prioritized
As the workforce gradually returns to the office, future workspaces will prioritize facilities and amenities that will replicate the sense of coziness that came with working from home. But perhaps the watchword of the future workplace will be flexibility. Whereas past office design trends focused on ergonomics, 2022 will be more about creating a working environment that accommodates different working arrangements.
Workstations will be spaced out
The pandemic has heralded the end of open-plan workspaces—where employees sit, partition-free—and the return of cubicles and dividers between desks to maintain social distancing. However, it strikes a difference from the past when these workstations are spaced apart to thin out the crowd. Some businesses may have even converted conference rooms to additional workspaces.
Businesses will move to multiple smaller workplaces
Additionally, you may also see a distributed approach to offices. Instead of one central location, organizations move their operations to multiple smaller workplaces, probably in areas closer to where their employees live. This proves more favorable to their staff as it could mean less commute time and reduced risk of coronavirus exposure.
Bringing the outside in will be more important than ever
Businesses are also taking a thoughtful investment in adding more plants into their office spaces in an attempt to reduce the risks of virus transmission by improving air quality. Other than that, another solution they are turning to is moving their workspaces outdoors where the risks of virus transmission is almost 20x less than indoors.
Health and safety will become a top priority
More than a year ago, our idea of staying safe was limited to wearing masks, avoiding physical contact, and thorough cleaning and disinfection. But, fast forward to today, our efforts have gone as far as creating a touchless environment with installing fixtures like door sensors, automatic soap dispensers, and the likes. Other organizations are also pushing to build spaces with more durable materials that could withstand frequent, deep cleaning.
What Types of Office Furniture Will Trend in 2022?
Pre-pandemic, office design trends have always emphasized style, comfort, and functionality. But, these days, the workplace should also be flexible as organizations embrace a hybrid work model. It should promote engagement and productivity even as team members alternate in-person with remote working. How exactly should that influence the choices for office furniture?
The trend towards less formal workspaces has been around for years. But, it wasn’t until recently when it was given further emphasis to create a homey atmosphere—the feeling of being at home—in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture plays a key piece in creating an increasingly comfortable workplace.
Some examples include a high-quality chair that keeps your arms at the proper height and your screen at eye level. It should also provide adequate back support, preferably with features like a wide seat height range, an adjustable headrest and backrest, and a footrest. Meanwhile, the best ergonomic table is one with adjustable height. In addition, it should have enough surface area for a monitor, keyboard, documents, and other office essentials.
Offices are now undergoing continuous disinfection. Therefore, the finishing of your office furniture should be durable and easy to clean. This is particularly true for common use areas.
As said above, you should opt for materials that will not easily show signs of wear and tear after frequent and several cleanings. Think of leather chairs, which not only look cozy and luxurious, they tend to have a tougher finish and are easier to clean than fabric, too. If your space allows, you can also introduce more textiles through furniture. But, make sure that the timely cleaning of these materials are in place.
Color changes can be as prominent as new wall paint or as subtle as a new art to your clinical white wall. However, if you wish to go somewhere in between, we suggest adding color to your rather dull workspace through furniture. But, which color should it be?
Considering the workplace trend of bringing the outside in, think of earth tones like greens, yellows, and oranges. Green, in particular, is believed to be stress-relieving. It aligns with the timely goal of transforming offices from places of overt technology into spaces where employees can relax, re-energize, and be inspired to reach new levels of growth.
How Offices Will Change Post-Pandemic
Office design trends for 2022 are geared towards creating a homey vibe emphasizing comfort and functionality. These can be reflected through your choice of office furniture—particularly chairs and tables, to name the bare essentials.
The question of reopening workplaces and updating them to adapt to today’s situation should be approached as creatively as possible, taking into account your preferences and factors that promote creativity and productivity. However you wish to do it, the objective is to bring all the things we came to love about remote working to the traditional workplace while also rekindling connection and doing collaborative work.
Gearing up for the reopening of your workplace? Discover a wide range of office furniture at Arenson Office Furniture today!
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