Since the beginning of the pandemic, and with the necessity to introduce remote working practices, office working patterns have changed significantly. Hybrid working has become normalised and the trend is set to continue into 2022 and the future. Even when the pandemic is over, 40% of employers say they expect more than half their workforce to work regularly from home. As a result, employers are looking to encourage new ways of working and increase productivity in creative ways. We’ve put together a round-up of a few of the key trends to watch out for.
One of the key talking points surrounding office furniture in 2021 was sustainability. Providing staff with sustainable office furniture is one way companies can prove they care about the environment and increase their CSR credentials. As awareness of sustainability issues increases, clients are becoming more discerning with their choice of furniture suppliers, actively looking for evidence that their furniture partners are providing them with sustainable and ethical products and operating responsibly.
As a certified carbon neutral organisation, we measure and offset our carbon emissions as we gradually try to reduce these towards Net Zero. Our operation, services and products are all aimed at having the most positive impact on our local community, economy and environment. Our award-winning sustainability process is embedded into our wider company values and we aim to reduce carbon footprint and eliminate waste on all of our projects.
For example, we operate locally to ensure lower fleet miles and emissions whilst also optimising service. We offer a variety of services which help clients extend the lifecycle value of the furniture they already have – repairs, refreshing, reupholstery, reconfiguration etc. We also specialise in sourcing sustainable furniture products with high percentages of recycled content and a high level of recyclability - 100% of our furniture products can be recycled when no longer needed. Timber-based products are sourced from responsibly managed forests to help prevent illegal logging and irresponsibly-sourced materials.
Hybrid working is here to stay, so it’s important that both home and work offices are warm, comfortable environments that are pleasant to work in. Think of how you might encourage your teams back to the office as you need them, with plush, soft materials for seats, soft lighting, ergonomic desks and dedicated furniture for chill out spaces or collaborative work.
A comfortable and ‘adjustable’ working environment will help to increase performance, productivity, collaboration and creative ideas – priceless to any organisation.
Hygiene, social distancing and ventilation are now a higher priority for the majority of office staff. It is therefore essential to make sure that your employees feel safe at all times in the workplace, so well ventilated, open and hygienic spaces will help to make them feel at ease.
Moveable walls and partitions are a great investment as they have the dual advantage of enabling the creation of a range of flexible working spaces alongside extra protection and perceived security.
For staff who are anxious about returning to work, the creation of dedicated safe spaces where they can remain socially distanced whilst also being at work and included.
As the hybrid working lifestyle becomes increasingly popular, there might be some days where your office is at full capacity, and others where there are only five people in the building. This is why it’s essential to consider how the floor space can be used in different ways rather than just being taken up by unoccupied desks. Think hot desks, collaborative agile workspaces, and modular, mobile furniture that can be pushed up against the wall or easily re-configured to dovetail with the evolving needs of your organisation.
It’s important to offer employees different types of workspaces to give them the opportunity to be in an environment in which they work best at any given time. This could be a group-focused environment or a quiet, individual space. Giving staff the option to choose how they work will boost productivity levels and increase workplace happiness.
Plants, flowers and other natural, living elements are going to play a huge role in office design in 2022. To really make the most of biophilic design, ensure that there is lots of natural light and good air quality. Having these elements in the office environment has been proven to increase productivity and creativity, reduce stress and improve employee focus. This is a fantastic initiative aimed at improving workplace wellbeing.
If you are thinking about renovating your office space in 2022, feel free to get in touch to have a chat about our flexible, sustainable furniture solutions.