Interior designers need to balance style with practicality, creating an inviting space which employees feel safe to work in. In this blog, we have gathered the biggest commercial interior design trends for post-lockdown and beyond.
Reinventing the individual workspace
The individual workspace has become even more important due to the pandemic. Although the individual cubicle has fallen out of fashion in recent times, social distancing means that there could be a revert to this style of working again. Before the pandemic, many offices operated on an open-plan basis, with free address seating. However, designers will now have to draw clear lines between individual focus space and social areas. These boundaries will need to become more distinct, to give employees the option to distance or collaborate. Clever space division will be used alongside higher partitions for users’ peace of mind. This article is packed with suggestion on how to arrange office space.
Workplace social spaces will simplify
Before lockdown, many offices sported large social spaces, such as kitchens with mod-cons and spaces for activities such as yoga. These spaces will undoubtedly change post-lockdown. Many interior designers will have to rethink office kitchen spaces. Instead of wide-open space, kitchens may have to be divided up, with individual seating rather than large tables. Clever and innovative design is essential, as some kitchens may have to operate a one-way system for staff. Offices that contain large canteens will have to be completely rethought, with seating moved to be socially distant. By using flexible tools, movable furniture solutions and screens you can create a safer meeting area.
Collaboration spaces are essential
Video conferencing from home is just not quite the same as seeing people face-to-face. Although interior designers should place a large emphasis on individual workspaces, they should not neglect collaboration spaces. Staff need to be able to communicate and work together again, and therefore effective collaboration spaces are needed. We may see a rise in comfortable furniture such as sofas, and the use of warm-toned colours, to invite staff back into these spaces. Conference tables may become larger to accommodate social distancing, with hand sanitising stations placed around. Important decisions regarding flooring will also need to be made by designers. A durable floor which is easy to clean will be necessary for any office reopening after the pandemic. Our survey showed there is a strong belief that we will see more vinyl flooring moving forward as the covering of choice.
On the theme of Collaboration there is a belief that offices will become collaborative/creative spaces, perhaps visited twice a week – the article we found by the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine (Oxford University) also predicts companies might choose to have more local, suburban and smaller offices nearer to where the majority of their staff live.