8 Office Design Trends To Take You Into 2020

by | Feb 25, 2020 | How To, Inspiration, Tips and Tricks

We all know that the modern workplace is continually evolving and becoming increasingly employee-centric. In an effort to improve staff retention and decrease absenteeism in the workplace, more and more companies have put a heightened focus on providing their staff members with a comfortable working environment. A space in which they can prosper and therefore increase overall productivity. This has the added benefit of making the company more cost-effective.

After all, when people spend a good chunk of their daily life at work, it’s important that they feel comfortable. Which is why it is important that brands and companies go that extra mile to create a workspace that not only incorporates the companies brand values; but also one that speaks directly to their employees own personal value. 

After some research on office design trends for 2020, we’ve come up with some easy to incorporate office design ideas that will have you rethink your office’s overall look and that will hopefully inspire you to create a workspace that works for you. 

Use Sustainable Materials

As office spaces continue to evolve – going from sterile and impersonal to inspired and wellness-focused spaces – incorporating sustainable designs into workspaces have been on a rising trend since 2019. It’s a great way to establish a more harmonious relationship between the office and nature.

At its core, sustainable design is the integration of recycled, sustainably sourced, and green building materials into a particular space; something that many millennials workers find admirable and heavily endorse as it is very much in line with their views on being socially responsible. 

When you take this concept indoors (and in terms of office decor), there are plenty of ways to incorporate sustainable designs into a workspace environment.

For example, using old wooden crates to create a chic coffee table or inexpensive storage units that can be tailored to fit any space, turning a flea market dresser into a portable kitchen cart for the office pantry or even incorporating furniture (like conference room tables and reception desks) that have been made from reclaimed wood.

Bring Nature Inside

As humans, we are naturally drawn to nature and the outside. There’s just something about seeing the soft greens of trees and shrubbery, the crystalline blue of sea waters and the dusky hues of desert mountain peaks that allows us to find solace, tranquillity and inspiration. Which is why one of the quickly rising office trends in 2020 is to bring the ‘outside views’ indoors – especially if your office building has a lack of windows.

One of the ways to bring nature inside is to put up travel photos in and around the office. For example, hanging big, beautiful framed prints in rooms that depict gorgeous nature scapes can help ease eye strain, brighten up a room and make the workspace overall more interesting and cosy to work in. Depending on the space available, you can opt for the classic framed prints or mounted wall frames to create an entire wall gallery. 

Alternatively, you can also try using metal prints as they can deliver higher definition in terms of image and colour quality – making it seem like you’re looking out of a window instead of at just a still print. 

Create Quiet Spaces

There’s no doubt that having an open office can bring about plenty of benefits – from enhanced collaboration and teamwork to maximising all the available floor space; but one of the most significant disadvantages to this concept is distractions—the increased level of audible and visual interference – that open concept can create.

While the concept of an open office has quickly become the norm in most workplaces, you will still find that a handful of employees would prefer to seek out small, quiet spaces – away from the others – so that they can focus and conduct their tasks without any distractions from their peers. 

A study by the Journal of Environmental Psychology has shown that a significant number of employees find open-plan offices to be more disruptive in the work environment. This is mostly due to the ‘uncontrollable noise and loss of privacy.’

For example, let’s say a group is having a pow-wow discussion in one area of the office – which unexpectedly increases the overall noise in the workroom – thus causing the surrounding people who are working on different projects to get distracted from their own tasks (which can also result in some pretty unhappy employees)! 

Adopt The Residential Look

Remember how earlier on in the blog we mentioned about how people spend a good chunk of their waking hours at the workplace? Well, then it would only make sense that their workspace environment should be designed in such a way that it is both comfortable and familiar – something the can be done simply by adopting the most underrated aesthetic: the residential look. 

Like the name would suggest, the residential look is a type of ‘design style’ that incorporates furniture and decor that one would normally see in a person’s ‘home’. From plush couches lined with quirky, decorative pillows in the break room, pantries stocked with homey, personalised coffee mugs, or even tiered wall shelves lined with framed photos of every member of the office – these small yet personal touches can add a ton of warmth and personality to any workspace, making it feel more welcoming. 

Create Dynamic Spaces

For those of you who don’t exactly know what ‘dynamic spaces’ in an office environment would entail, it’s basically a multi-functional workspace that was designed to help people better adapt to the increasingly multidisciplinary business world. It’s not exactly a new design trend – having been utilised as early as in the 1990s, but it’s quickly making a comeback in 2020.

Unlike still workspaces where the desk is only one size and height, and the chairs are non-adjustable, dynamic spaces gives more flexibility, and incorporates new ways of using everyday office elements. For example, having portable desks and chairs, investing in standing workstations and moving wall panels that can turn public spaces into private rooms for business discussions. Basically, any piece of furniture that is lightweight, ergonomic, multi-functional, and that can fit in with any space or situation are considered elements that a dynamic space should have. 

Studies have shown that a dynamic workspace plays a significant factor in keeping people motivated, as well as eager to learn and work. In addition, this trend is also very practical as it allows employees to customise their workspaces to better fit their needs – leading to greater productivity. 

Look Into Natural Lighting 

When employees arrive at their office, they want to enter a place that is airy and preferably filled with plenty of bright, natural light. If your workplace is fortunate enough to have plenty of windows, be sure to take full advantage of what nature has to offer and stream in all the natural light that you can.

Why?

The short answer is because natural light can provide your employees with a calm and welcoming environment that can boost their mood, make them healthier and increase their overall productivity. 

There have been numerous studies that have shown that natural in office spaces improves employee’s satisfaction as it can help regulate their body’s natural circadian rhythms (sleep-wake schedules), leading to better sleep at night which also inadvertently leads to greater productivity and satisfaction later on. 

Additionally, it has also been confirmed that employees who have the benefit of having natural light sources within the office experience reduced eye strain, fewer headaches, improved moods, less drowsiness and make fewer mistakes. 

Incorporate Staffs Personality

We all know that being in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere plays a huge part in improving our overall mood, productivity and can even increase the impact on the success of your business.  This is why it’s so important for an office to let employees personalise their own spaces. 

If you take a look at your own office space, you’ll be able to see that each person has their own individual taste and personal style when it comes to decor. By allowing your employees to integrate some elements of their personal styles into the office decor, you’ll be able to keep them more motivated throughout the day.

It can be something simple like allowing employees to display photo prints of their friends, family or pets at their table or if you want to go beyond the ordinary, create a space in the office whereby employees can contribute decorations (like travel photos, funny posters, wall art, etc… ) and create a space all their own. 

Use Elegant Storage To Get Rid Of Office Clutter

One of the biggest enemies of productivity is clutter. Paper, files, loose pens and boxes of all sorts are bound to pile up around the office after a while – something that usually happens when there isn’t enough storage. 

Which is why it’s important that going into 2020, you should ensure that there’s plenty of practical and stylish storage options for your employees to utilise – from cool shelves and coffee tables that transforms into raised desks to rotating storage units and seats with concealed storage so that you can store things that you use regularly (like pens, paper, post-it notes, envelopes, etc..) safely out of sight while also adding some elements of fun to an otherwise mundane aspect of work. 


By incorporating some of these design trends into your office space, you can completely change the way you and your employees work inside it. It can make people feel more energised, motivated and eager to get things done – and done right! 

So, think about every aspect that you think matters, from the type of lighting to the elements used to decorate and furnish your office space – find something that will suit your needs. Once you’ve gotten all that over and done with, you might even be surprised at just how much more you’ll be able to get done – all because you’ve made a few tweaks to your office decor.

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