At Axiom, we’re excited to see the office interior design trends sweeping offices across Australia. These trends show we are clearly well into the era of “people power” – businesses are putting their most valuable asset, their employees, at the heart of their designs, and they are reaping the benefits in terms of more innovation, better productivity, and improved talent attraction and retention.
If you’re looking to outfit your office in the near future, these 5 office design trends will ensure you get maximum bang for your buck.
Blurring the line between home and work
When it comes to attracting the best talent, how a workplace looks and feels can make a world of difference. Businesses are bringing the comforts of home into the office in order to make them more appealing spaces to be, in what some are calling “resimercial” design.
Google’s headquarters in Sydney, for example, offer hammocks, a tyre swing, a Lego room, and napping pods, so employees can relax and enjoy their time at work.
Today’s businesses have to be agile – and so do their offices. Companies are therefore providing a wide variety of functional spaces in order to help their employees perform at their peak – think cosy, quiet nooks for deep concentration; standing meeting rooms for quick-fire discussions; comfy lounge spaces for informal chats and open-plan areas for teamwork.
The new KPMG office at Barangaroo, for example, was designed with flexibility in mind, featuring dedicated zones for concentrated work, casual areas to engage informally, collaborative zones for teams and mixed areas for sharing information.
Collaboration is a key component of innovative businesses. According to a report by Deloitte, companies that prioritise collaboration are five times more likely to experience a considerable increase in employment, twice as like to be profitable and twice as likely to outgrow competitors.
For this reason, more businesses are cleverly using workplace design to foster collaboration between their employees, using features like open-plan areas, large communal desks and flexible breakout spaces.
Some companies are taking an even more unconventional approach. Located in Melbourne, the Moose Toys Headquarters use a Jack and the Beanstalk cubby house for meeting rooms, with whiteboard walls so employees can scribble down their ideas. During lunch and breaks, staff are encouraged to mingle with other colleagues, play table tennis or shoot some hoops on the basketball court outside.
Companies are starting to take sustainability seriously, designing energy-efficient office spaces that reduce costs while increasing employee satisfaction.
The winner of the 2016 Sustainable Building Awards for Office and Retail Fitout was St George Barangaroo, which was Australia’s first 6-Star Green Star (interiors rating) retail project.
Sustainable elements of the project include the use of building materials with a reduced environmental impact over their entire lifecycle, reduced internal air pollutants, reduced water and energy consumption via energy-efficient lighting selection and programmable controls, and innovative options for community usage of the space.
Promote health and wellness
Businesses that actively promote health and wellness in the office not only means healthier employees, but a healthier bottom line too – a study by Medibank found productivity gains of up to 15% can be achieved by upgrading the work environment.
There are many ways environments can enhance the wellness of occupants, whether that’s with improved air quality, access to natural light, or areas for relaxation and exercise. In Westpac’s new digs at Barangaroo, for example, there’s a wellness centre for massages and other spa treatments, as well as a medical centre.
Ergonomic design is also important, with height-adjustable desks becoming ever more popular. While the cost of overhauling each workstation with new furniture was once prohibitive for many office managers, there are now flexible solutions that alter existing furniture to allow for this versatility. As the popularity of standing desks has increased, so have the aesthetic considerations, meaning height-adjustable desks look right at home.
Smart workplace design can also create spaces that promote wellness and wellbeing at work. Learn more in our eBook: The fundamental of wellness and wellbeing in workplace design.