Furniture and CRE Workspace Trends 2022
By Manhar Khurana,
COVID-19 has been a game-changer for office spaces, probably for the foreseeable future. With the “new norm,” also known as hybrid working or the hybrid office, the work culture has started seeing a shift. As for office spaces, elements such as functionality, aesthetics, sustainability, and focus on health, safety, and comfort are likely to influence the future. With the emergence of open-plan offices with design aesthetics such as acoustics and natural lighting and several connected free-flowing zones to improve employee safety, companies aim to create healthy and productive working environments.
In the year 2022, the workspaces and furniture will undergo some significant changes due to new trends brought on by the pandemic:
Hybrid work has changed the idea of the design and aesthetic of the office. Ideally, employees should feel relaxed and at home in their work environment; hence providing comfort and safety to employees in the office is the key. To create a comfortable and safe feeling of home, elements of the home can be introduced, such as comfortable couches, soft lighting in common areas, and wood flooring that give a warm, welcoming feel. Ergonomic furniture is highly sought after in the modern workplace since it provides users with flexibility and comfort.
Creating an open workspace and fostering collaborative spaces will be crucial in the modern workplace in 2022 as businesses and organizations seek to make their office spaces safer and more comfortable. For companies with open structures, using large tables with appropriate social distance will enable them to serve multiple employees, especially those who work flexible schedules. Companies can also add “workstation enclosures” like transparent plastic or glass panels, for social distancing while still allowing the employees to watch each other and interact. Additionally, implementing the height-adjustable desks with telescopic frames will help with the employee’s posture and wellbeing.
People have become used to working alone during the pandemic and may have a hard time returning to shared offices. As a result, employees in the office tend to seek out private nooks or enclaves, where they can have enough workspace, seating, and outlets to work safely. Acoustic pods with monitors are an excellent idea to help the employees retreat to improve their well-being and increase productivity by offering uninterrupted work.
Another office furniture and design trend for 2022 will include natural elements in the office interior, such as plants, natural materials, and natural light, which will positively affect employees’ physical and mental health and work performance. Adding greenery is a beautiful way to bring nature inside an office that lacks windows or adequate lighting. An office with greenery has many benefits, including increased productivity, healthier air, improved oxygen flow, and reduced toxins in the air from carpets and other office furniture. Organizations can take advantage of landscaping for natural light by incorporating large panoramic windows or installing skylights, diffused lights, or artificial lighting that mimics natural light to address natural light challenges. Biophilic elements make spaces feel calmer and warm, thus improving employee satisfaction.
For 2022, the emphasis will be on transforming workplaces to create an inviting environment for workers returning to the office while also keeping them engaged and productive. To achieve this, organizations will have to incorporate home comforts, provide abundant natural light with biophilic elements, and provide flexibility for collaborative working.