At the end of 2015 Leading Office Design and Fit-out Specialist Area Sq predicted the trends that would influence and shape the decisions organisations make in the coming year. Read the full article here:
A strong theme linking their predictions, is the importance that planting and nature will play, both aesthetically and to improve wellbeing in the work place. We take a look at their forecast and how it links to corporate planting;
Organic, biophilic and biomimetic design
Businesses have begun waking up to the idea that the relationship between people and nature is worth exploring. Simple offerings, such as natural light and fresh air, can have a dramatic effect on employee wellbeing. Access to such necessities will not only improve morale, but also concentration. Any office interior that reflects an element of nature in its design can expect to yield instant results.
Plants and floristry make a huge impact at a relatively small cost. The options are endless. From floor standing planting to living walls, there have never been as many solutions for any space or environment. Use planting to enhance your scheme, adding colour with the imaginative use of planters with in huge variety of choice available.
Agile working, co-working and the gig economy
‘Work’ is no longer a fixed place. Work is everywhere. Organisations are no longer bound by the restrictions of traditional hours and a cellular office setting, and nor are employees. Along with this new approach to work, a ‘gig economy’ is emerging. The idea of a 9-5 working day has been replaced by a culture that embraces an individual’s need to work whenever, wherever and however to get the job done. This is driving the boom in co-working spaces where employees can consume rather than occupy an office for a set period of time.
Use planting in the workplace to create informal break-out areas where important networking can be done, and private spaces conducive to discussion, negating the need for individual offices.
Wellness and wellbeing
The health and safety of employees has always been and will always remain of paramount importance. However, the idea of ‘wellness and wellbeing’ is now taking over; it’s not as simple as ensuring the workforce is safe. Office design can have a profound impact on employee health, happiness and productivity, and organisations’ that seek to help staff improve their physical and psychological wellbeing will reap the associated benefits.
Add plants, living walls or create green spaces such as a roof-terrace or garden area. Being in view of plants is proven to enhance wellbeing, improving mental health, concentration and productivity.
A few years ago, the word ‘office’ would probably conjure a particular image – perhaps a cellular, grey space, filled with fluorescent lighting and row upon row of cold and clinical desks. These days, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a coffee shop and a workspace. The lines between our various worlds – family, work, and social – are blurring. The design of a workspace should reflect the fact that modern employees are used to working in all sorts of environments.
Make the office more like home, we’ve seen a growing trend for ‘domesticating’ the workplace. Create a more relaxing, homely environment with houseplants and floral arrangements. Living pictures adorn kitchen / dining areas where staff mix like family.
Beyond ticking the green building box
More organisations now consider a wide range of factors when assessing environmental performance – it’s not just about meeting the minimum requirements anymore. Companies are beginning to look at the supply chain, the wellbeing and environmental strategies of suppliers – and, despite the complexity of embracing standards and accreditation, organisations that utilise these effective tools when it comes to meeting the specific objectives of a building’s design and management can expect to save money and reduce their carbon footprint as they do so.
Adding a green roof, using peat free planting, including environmentally enhancing outdoor plants such as wild-flowers, bee boxes and insect hotels area are all excellent ways to make a positive impact on the environment and make you greener as a company.
By creating different types of space within an office and empowering people to make decisions about how to use them, organisations are able to meet the needs of groups of people who work at different times and in different ways depending on their job function, age, personality, working relationships and personality.
The office isn’t just a place to work; it is also a driver of competitive advantage. By embracing these current and future trends, business leaders will be able to meet the varying demands of the millennial workforce, Area Sq says.
An effective and low cost way to maximise the use of an open plan office space is to use planting to screen off areas for other uses. Give a feeling of tranquility and privacy in areas for multi-purpose use – meetings, socialising or coffee breaks.
Let us help you with your office design. We work in collaboration with designers, working from mood boards and floor plans to make your vision a reality. Offering bespoke options and partnering directly with office fit-out companies to deliver a one-stop solution. With contracts for maintenance, beautiful plants are guaranteed for years to come.