Category: Office design trends

Pandemic-proofing offices

Pandemic-proofing offices could involve short-term fixes, new working patterns and long-term design upgrades that put hygiene at the heart of workplace planning.

Mitigate the risk 

The biggest priority and challenge for post coronavirus offices is controlling the infection.
How can we control contamination in open plan high density offices?
How can we control infection in hot desking environments?
Or communal and social spaces?
The challenges are many. We have to respond to COVID-19 crisis and mitigate the infection risk by introducing new safety features and measures and improving sanitisation and disinfection processes in our offices. It’s a big change that will create new work styles and build new working culture which we need to be prepared for.

2M rule

We have created some illustrations showing ways of changing office desk configurations to create greater space between your team members.

Here are some points to consider when you are thinking about re-configuring your office:

  • Can you turn back-to-back desks currently in the centre of the room around, so the operators face the walls?
  • Reducing density: Can you separate banks of desks so there are gaps between each set of two or four?
  • Can you spread workspaces around, so people are at least 2 meters apart?
  • Consider moving pedestals so that they are in the centre of the desks between two users, so they are physically unable to come together side by sideIf you have mobile pedestals, consider moving them out so they sit between the desks, increasing the space between the users
  • Consider moving filing cabinets/cupboards between desks to increase the space between the users
  • For face-to-face users, consider introducing additional barriers on top of desk top screens to increase protection from coughs or sneezes. Add screens beside and behind office workers, the higher and wider the better
  • Hot desking: Eliminate or introduce a strict clean in and clean out measures

Meetings and social spaces

It’s likely that before we start welcoming visitors to our workplaces, we can expect to spend much time meeting virtually with our customers and suppliers rather than sitting face-to-face around the meeting table.

With that in mind, we would recommend to thin out the meeting rooms to safely accommodate smaller groups with greater distancing. It’s important to remove alternative chairs and ensure there is always a 2m space in every direction between the chair positions.  There is also the potential to use these rooms to create working space for members of the team thus allowing us to provide greater distancing in office areas.  If meeting tables are modular and can be separated, do so to increase the distancing further. It’s recommended to even meet standing up in the open areas of your office. By using flexible tools, movable furniture solutions and screens you can easily create a safe and productive meeting area.

Floor plan ideas

  • Decrease density by staggering lunches and breaks in cafes or other staff areas
  • Incorporate higher space division to naturally encourage distancing by introducing barriers such as screens, storage, large plants and partitioning
  • Introduce cubicle style office to protect personal desk space with higher screens
  • Adapt an owned desk space approach and reduce shared desking
  • Reduce guest seating in reception areas and introduce individual seating in lounge spaces
  • Easy access to disinfecting stations

Office design trends for 2020

The dawn of the new decade is a good time to give your outdated office interior a makeover.

Here at Millennium Storage and Interiors we expect 2020 to see the rise of eco-friendly, multi-functional office interiors.

Offices are no longer sterile white environments, instead, businesses are seeking sustainable and environmentally-conscious designs that prioritise employee wellbeing as well as productivity.

Here are our top four office design trend predictions for 2020.

Environmentally friendly

Businesses are becoming more conscious about the environmental impact of the materials and products used in their office interiors. In 2020, we expect to see a surge in businesses requesting office interiors that incorporate recyclable and natural materials and practical and cost-effective energy-efficient products and designs.

Privacy

Open plan offices have had their day, and in 2020 we’re expecting to see more businesses embracing office interiors that offer employees quiet and private spaces to work in. Over recent years, numerous studies have found that open plan offices can have a negative effect on both employee productivity and wellbeing as they tend to create a lot of noise and can be very distracting and stressful. Office partitioning, pods, and booths are all expected to make a comeback this year.

Collaborative spaces

Whilst employees often perform better and feel more relaxed when given their own private space to work in, collaborative workspaces that encourage communication and idea sharing are also very important in the workplace. Formal meeting rooms, cosy huddle rooms, and trendy break-out spaces all allow employees the space they need to share ideas, inspire each other, and interact socially when they need it.

Bold colours

In 2020 we’re expecting to see more businesses opting for bold and clashing colours to create daring and contemporary interiors.

For help or advice regarding your office design, speak to our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors about our office refurbishment services by giving our team a call on 01942 603 344.