Re-shaping the Landscape of Office Interiors
Re-shaping the Landscape of Office Interiors
Post written by Paragon Interiors   November 16, 2018

Baby boomers: Liked their own space, office and privacy. Now considered too formal, stifling and well, redundant.

Millennials: Like mobility, flexibility and interaction.

Unsurprisingly, a shift in workplace priorities is being determined by the Millennial workforce. They are, after all, the future of global commerce. They’re currently reshaping the landscape of office design to suit their priorities and working methodology. The concept of marrying creativity and pragmatism is so darned clever, sensible and relevant, why would anyone want to resist this transformation?

Companies contemplating a change in office interiors should be aware of how an office environment’s physical design, colour palette and décor influences the state of mind of the people it affects. Probably more Millennials? The design needs to create a sense of positivity and wellbeing so that the workers are happy to be at work, relaxed and productive. ¹

The trend driven by Millennials is about convenience and effective use of space. The concept of ‘lavish’ is eschewed, it leans more towards less conventional workspaces with fewer cubicles. It needs to be interesting and more conducive to casual impromptu meetings without compromise to concentration and focus.

They perceive primary colours and office playgrounds as distracting and prefer a more ‘restrained design that is flexible and sustainable’. Google recently opted for this new design direction. They sought to create a more modern and functional aesthetic that would mitigate the waste and cost issues inherent in having to continually update spaces. Simpler, less formal office environments have become highly desirable, interiors that are comfortable from an acoustics and ergonomics perspective and in which creative collaboration can thrive and drive productivity. ²

Functionality and flexibility are found in practical furnishings that can easily be moved around, converted or removed to accommodate different applications; modular meeting rooms that can be constructed, deconstructed and reconfigured in multiple ways to suit changing requirements. These are constructed from plywood panels that can easily be bolted together, taken apart and packed away until needed again elsewhere. The panels offer tactile and fragrant benefits, they’re purposefully kept neutral in the event that personal partitioning may be required. Personalisation options come in the form of different fire-resistant cladding and shelving with a manual to assist and inspire. The textures, naturally, enhance acoustical performance.

Exterior glass walls have also become increasingly important for accessibility to natural light.

Slick technology is not negotiable. Technology underpins work and play and influences the footprint and construction of work zones. Millennials are used to personal laptops, wireless keyboards, mice and headsets, netbooks, tablets, smartphones, dual monitor set-ups, smartboards and game consoles. In fact, mobile technology has facilitated a less centralised workplace and shrunk the need for office space.²

Millennials expect to be mobile in the workplace so there is no ownership of a particular work station. Many prefer to stand at a work station (better for posture as well) as it keeps them more alert and makes it easier to for them walk over and chat to a colleague or manager for professional input.

Google’s revolutionary design boasts an atrium lobby with an hotel-like ambience with soft pastels and angular chairs. When viewed from the upper levels, it reflects a fresh dynamic of colour, geometry and movement while blackened steel and bridges provide textural and visual contrasts that are both modern and practical. They also introduced a cafeteria that has healthy snack fridges and a salad bar with ingredients labelled by their nutritional value to help employees make healthier food choices so that absenteeism is reduced and positive energy increased.

Biophilia is also gaining décor momentum as research is showing a correlation between the connection with nature and improved cognition and output. So much so, that Apple has called its Head Quarters in New York ‘Apple Park’ with no fewer than 10 000 trees integrated into the workplace. Employees move around and take full advantage of the park for inspiration, contemplation and a little privacy if necessary. ³

Prepare to toss the rule book out the window! Interested? Paragon Interiors will show you how.

Sources:

  1. Forbes, Sarah Landrum 2017
  2. Allford Hall Monoghan Morris associate director, Ceri Davies.
  3. Forbes, Andrea Loubier 2017