For Accent, 2018 is already shaping up to be a very special year. We were pleased to reveal earlier this month that our office design expertise will be employed in an 18,000 sq ft design and build scheme in Hamburg for an international client. Closer to home, we are delighted to have been appointed to work on a flagship project in Milton Keynes, on behalf of the fast-growing fitness club, énergie Group.
So, with 2018 set to be a very busy year here at Accent, we thought we’d look ahead at some of the key office design trends that will be informing the creation of our workspaces in 2018.
The Millennial Workspace
The demographic makeup of the workforce is changing, leading to an evolution in the design of the workspaces themselves. As more baby boomers retire in 2018, people born between the early 1980s and the mid-2000s, otherwise known as ‘Millennials’, are set to become the dominant demographic in the workplace.
This fact is leading to a shift in the work environment. Millennials are often thought to have a different attitude to work than the older generation and see it as much as a social space as a place where they come to work from 9-5. The Millennial Workspace will incorporate open social spaces, and collaborative work areas. The design will be unconventional, including alternative office furniture, such as sofas, bean bags and armchairs, while dedicated spaces for wellness and relaxation will become increasingly common.
Biophilic design has been rising in popularity for some time now, and is set to be one of the hottest office design trends of 2018. With people now spending as much as 90 percent of their time living and working indoors, biophilic (meaning love of nature) design, aims to restore our connection to the natural world through the use of natural patterns, forms, materials and objects in the workspace. A workspace designed with the physical and mental well-being of its workers in mind will account for this in the use of natural lighting, greenery in the form of hanging baskets and plants, and warm, natural colour schemes.
Increase in Collaborative Spaces
A recent study by Office Genie found that many workspaces are unsuited to the needs of the modern employee. In particular, as many as 45% of people surveyed felt that the design of their office was not conducive to collaboration.
With the rise of Millennials in the workspace, collaboration is increasingly a priority for many workers, and is set to be a feature of many 2018 office builds. Traditional offices were rarely created with collaboration in mind, and were often focused on maximising desk space, rather than setting aside dedicated space for collaboration. However, open-plan offices are increasingly becoming the norm, and many employees are thriving in an environment where they can work flexibly, whether that be in a quiet space for solo work, or in a space dedicated to inspiring teamwork.
The Colour of 2018
Following on from 2017’s Greenery, colour experts Pantone have revealed their refreshing pick for the 2018 colour of the year. which we expect will be seen in some form or another in modern workspace design. Ultra Violet, or Pantone 18-3838, is a vibrant and deeply evocative purple shade, which feeds into the current wellness and mindfulness workspace trends.
Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, revealed that “It’s often associated with mindfulness practices, so it has that spiritual or mystical quality that’s attached.” In terms of how we can expect Ultra Violet to be utilised in the office designs of 2018, Eiseman explains that “Because it has both warm and cool temperatures that are inherent in it, it has more versatility than people might think it has. Not only do purples mesh together marvellously, they also serve as strong complementary colours — perhaps paired with last year’s Greenery.”
Thanks to technological innovations, scientific advancements and changing demographics, the way in which we work is in a constant state of evolution, and our workspaces need to evolve in tandem to ensure the wellbeing of our employees, and to maximise the productivity of your business as a whole.