We have all pondered how the office will change in the next ten or twenty years. Even in the last decade alone, technological advancements have transformed the way the traditional workplace is set up. And in the last year in particular, Covid-19 had again altered the hybrid needs and functionality of our everyday work set-ups.
At Meridian Interiors, we are used to hosting and accommodating a whole range of weird, wonderful, wacky, and outright cool features and designs. But we had asked ourselves what kids and the next generation would request if they were the ones to design their workplace of the future… so we did exactly that. Our design team have since mocked up the official workplace of the future taking into account all the bespoke requests and popular features.
Paul Dawson, Director at Meridian Interiors, comments:
“It’s really interesting to see what features make up the office of the future! Our most popular feature, interestingly, has been garden space and flowers in the office. Over the last year, we’ve all spent more time outdoors than ever. Couple this with the psychological benefits linked to greenery and outdoor spaces, it’s no surprise to see this become prominent in everyday working life.
Similarly, some more modern features like pet facilities, wellness areas and YouTube rooms cropped up in the children’s designs. Not only is this reflective of the changing workspace skill sets and environments, but also developing rooms alongside school and educational settings that this next generation of office workers currently spend their days in. It has been really fun designing this and listening to children instead of clients; we’re intrigued if we’ll get a real-life request with slides and pet pens in the next decade!”
Here is how offices will look according to the next generation:
Meridian Interiors asked children around the UK to send in their ideal workplace for when they grow up, and here some of the best designs that featured in the final office of the future design.
With permission from families, we share with you the winning sketches…
Harrison, aged 9
Maddy, aged 10
Harvey, aged 5
Harrison, aged 8
Alyssa, aged 9
A big thanks to everyone who created sketches! We hope you like some of these fantastic concepts as much as we do!
This article looks at the office design trends in 2021. According to trend forecasters, ‘Resimercial’ design, video conferencing provisions, workstation neighbourhoods and sustainability will all play a key role in the office of 2021 and beyond. We take a closer look at some of the office design trends for 2021 below.
This post covers:
What are the best concepts for designing an office?
What are some great features of a new office design?
What is the future of office spaces?
What are the best concepts for designing an office?
The best concepts for designing an office are concepts that consider longevity, flexibility, productivity and employee wellbeing. The workplace should be as inviting as it is stylish, and comfortable as it is practical. A comfortable office can transform the way employers see their office; a modern space that considers their needs will be appreciated by employees, and will be reflected in the quality and level of work output. Happy workers are often far more productive, will be more inclined to work hard, and will enjoy coming to the office and get more out of their workday because of it.
We are starting to see some great concepts being introduced to workplace interior design for 2021.
Check out this case study, which features small office design concepts to create an inviting chill out space for a previous client.
What are some great features of a new office design?
One of the best office design features for any modern workplace is greenery. Our working environments should not be any different from the other places we inhabit. The relationship between individuals and their environment can be crucial to how your teams feel, perform and collaborate with others. Office layout designs that inspire, energise and support the people who use them is an important first step to workplace interiors design. People’s connection to nature can help organisations meet that goal.
What is the future of office spaces?
Open-plan offices and fixed bench style workstations have proven popular in recent years. Remote working and more recently working from home means office designers have the challenge of designing the offices of the future, with the very best workplace design trends.
Acoustic issues with more video conferencing, managing demarcation for social distancing, screening areas off and hygienic considerations will all play a part in the office in the future.
More flexibility and multi-functional areas to aid social distancing measures with a focus on improving the employee experience will be a key feature of tomorrow’s workplace. At the start of 2021, companies were not thinking about social distancing as a workplace priority but in a short space of time, it has become central to office design.
Increased space to hot-desking areas and collaboration meeting hubs will be important to make employees feel safe, whilst still maintaining a practical and productive working environment. Of course, every office environment has its own constraints, but this is where our Workplace Consultancy plays such a crucial part in the first steps of the process.
What are the office design trends for 2021?
There are many varied ways trends can become a reality in your office. Working with your current environment to make those all-important tweaks will increase wellbeing, productivity and promote staff retention.
Cellular meeting rooms
Larger cellular meeting rooms can be arranged into different shapes and sizes, while making sure adequate services for connectivity solutions are provided to let users ‘plug-and-play’. Varying heights and types of furniture that ensure users feels comfortable and engaged.
The creation of collaboration spaces and break-out areas, with comfortable seating that both encourages distancing and allows for the productive use of personal devices. Creating energetic settings that encourage professional or informal connection among colleagues. It is vital that employees can find a retreat to focus and work with colleagues in an environment that puts them at ease.
Working remotely or from home has been forced upon many teams over the past 12 months, and office design is changing because of it. The term resimercial, combining residential and commercial, does exactly what it says on the tin. Resimercial design is becoming far more popular ever since people have started working from home and combines many features from the home office back to the commercial office environment.
As we begin to welcome the workforce back into the workplace, how can office interior design begin to incorporate the many features we have around us at home?
Some key concepts of resimercial design include:
Softening of tones and colours used on walls and floors.
Introduction of plants or living walls.
Comfortable seating and quiet spaces to break for lunch.
Aesthetically pleasing features.
Simple things like table lamps, faux fireplaces or even bookcases, that you may have at home can easily be incorporated into the workplace environment.
Meridian Interiors’ recent project completed for The Parks Trust at Shenley Pavilions Milton Keynes demonstrates how we have achieved this perfectly!
In conclusion, our endeavours to incorporate as many of the previously mentioned office design trends to your office, we hope will provide us with many exciting challenges for the year ahead.
One of the advantages of good office design is that offices can help ensure your workplace maximises the space available in a way that works for everyone.
In this article, we provide industry insight and guidance on how you can achieve an office that promotes good workflow and space-saving techniques.
Within this article we cover the following:
How do you make a good office?
How to design an office space
Maximising the space in your office
Office layout types
How do you make a good office?
Creating a good office involves good office design that creates a welcoming and productive workspace. Workspaces should be comfortable for employers; a productive space where that can feel comfortable, and carry out their work effectively.
The long term benefits of good office design include employee wellbeing and increased productivity; so you may be asking, how is this achieved?
The type of furniture used
The colour scheme
The amount of natural light
The way the space is divided
Spend time thinking about how you would like the office space to be used, and how it could most benefit its users. Ask yourself how you would like to define the space, how can you improve collaboration between colleagues, consider employee habits and well-being, what could you improve and how could you future-proof the space.
How to Design an Office Space
At Meridian Interiors, we operate an office design process that flows from conception through to completion, exploring options and solutions throughout the process. We find this system enables our expert designers to develop the best workplace to maximise the workspace.
The use of effective layouts within an office design will help to ensure footfall flows efficiency throughout the space, air and light moves effectively and collaboration between staff and departments is possible.
Depending on the space available, it is advisable to divide the space up into functional areas with office partitions, in the most appropriate way. Within a modern working environment, popular options for areas to consider including, to maximise your office are:
As well as creating dedicated ‘work’ areas, employees benefit from a well-designed break out space.
Using partitioning is a great way of creating functional areas and good airflow.
Partitioning does not have to mean solid walls though. Dividing up the space to maximise its use by employees can be done with any form of partition, such as:
Green living walls
Good storage is a key element of good office design, whether you are a very small start-up business or a larger more developed company. Focussing some energy on keeping an office space organised, can help to make it an enjoyable place to work, helping to create a more efficient working environment and providing a positive impression to visitors.
Storage can form part of a partition, be located above desks, within pedestals, cupboards, shelving, storage wall or filing cabinets. Most office layouts incorporate a selection of different types of storage, to ensure the best use of the available space, buying furniture that best suits the design style.
Utilising floor to ceiling height, space above and under desks, creating privacy and reducing noise pollution throughout the office are all ways to get your storage to work for you and maximise your office space.
Furniture can bring style, colour and personality into an office space. Using different sized furniture to best reflect the size of the working environment can be useful.
A good idea is to experiment with different furniture layouts, as different employees with different roles may work best with different desk layouts to each other. Small groups of desks can be used to encourage teamwork, but ensure there is enough space for each employee.
Office furniture is not all about desks and task chairs, however, and it is equally important to invest time into researching how employees will get the most out of the workspace. More modern agile and flexible working practices mean that employees may work remotely much of the time and simply come to the office as a place to collaborate and meet with colleagues and visitors, and therefore need a hot desk and meeting area.
Other staff may work most of their time within the office, but need a quiet space to hold conference calls or deal with personal admin.
You may even find that having a pool table in the office enables staff to have a break from their screens, clear their heads for a few minutes, develop better relationships with colleagues and as a result improve their productivity!
One size most certainly does not fit all and developing the best office layout design can really help to maximise your space.
Office Layout Types
During the 19th century, office cubicles were very prominent, with everyone partitioned into their own office or cubicle space. This way of working changed at the turn of the 21st century to an open plan style layout in many workplace environments, these designs could minimize costs within the office, such as reduced construction fees, the ability to squeeze more people into less square footage and fewer cubicle furniture pieces to purchase.
This trend started to change around 5 years ago, as people started to realise that the open-plan layouts can be rather noisy and a more chaotic place to work, especially for businesses that require quieter working environments, confidentiality, and concentration, such as accounting firms, financial planning agencies and law firms.
Many companies are therefore now opting for more flexible office spaces, tailored towards their employee’s needs, to ensure employee wellbeing and to create more productive environments. This has been possible through both the advances in technology and the flexibility this promotes as well as the awareness of mental health within the workplace.
Who? Pallotta Teamworks | What? Charity Event Company | Where? Los Angeles, California
Hidden away from the glitz and glamour of the Hollywood Hills is situated the warehouse which houses Pallotta Teamworks – a charity event company which creates multi-day event concepts aimed to challenge participants to work hard for a charity they deeply care about.
Pallotta’s ethos is centred around doing good. Doing good whether it be to people or to the planet, and this ethos was central to creating an eco-friendly, efficient yet exciting office workplace.
In 2002, after years of working in cramped, chaotic and cut-off office spaces a new 47,000 warehouse was sourced located in the northeast neighbourhood of Los Angeles – Atwater Village. The proposition for the project was to create an inspiring and exciting headquarters, created on what can be described as a shoestring budget – $2 million dollars, as equivalent to $40 per square foot. Projects of similar dimensions and degree would cost on average $80 per square foot.
To go ahead and design and build the space Pallotta hired the firm Clive Wilkinson & Associates. On the firm receiving the preliminary budget, it was concluded that the budget was so insignificant that air-conditioning and heating in the space was simply not an option. Not letting budgeting complications regarding heating and air-condition disrupt CWA’s extreme creative flair, a design was proposed which created ‘breathing islands’ or which can be best described as seven white tented villages which contain air-conditioning systems that help to reduce the cost of cooling down the whole area.
The main office areas, breakout areas and conference rooms were placed into large shipping containers painted in bright colours to stimulate and energize employees. The aim of the design was to stay as natural, sustainable and unconventional as possible, therefore the design showcased raw exposed lumber, stainless steel pipes, large sky lighting and incorporation of a small yet effective ‘pond’ area.
Though the project was reliant on a shoestring budget for the work required, the project demonstrates an incredible representation of the company’s ethos – doing good. The noteworthy scheme is a true representation of the company celebrating responsibility, sustainability and eco-friendliness. Pallotta has received honour and attention, not just through media outlets but also through a variety of national awards.
Discover the secrets to mastering office partitioning from office experts, Meridian Interiors Ltd
Not all offices will be built in line with your company’s departments, teams and functions. Fit the space around your business with office partitioning. These cost effective walls can be quickly deployed to create an organisational layout that suits your needs.
Use this quick guide to assess what types of partitioning is best for your workplace to help maximise efficiency, reduce noise between departments and generally provide a non-disruptive flow of foot traffic around the operational areas.
This is the most basic type of partitioning, consisting of a poly-plastic or metal frame, secured to the floor. This forms a skeleton structure that is subsequently covered with panels to create physical partitions. Plasterboard is typical used in the construction of these partitions.
Glass partitions are like stud partitions, however instead of solid, opaque panels, glass sheets are added to the structure, creating transparent barriers. This type of partitioning is especially useful when an area of a workspace suffers from a lack of natural light. Glass can be double glazed to create insulation or frosted with the company logo.
Extending curtains or concertina partitions are one way of creating a temporary barrier between different areas of your workspace. This type of partitioning is often found in hotels or conference rooms, allowing the business owners to scale the space in accordance with client’s demands.
Timber partitions use an all wooden construction, from the structural supports through to the panels. Creating an elegant and classic profile, timber partitions, particularly those made from hardwood are a stylish alternative to conventional stud systems.
Smaller, individual partitions are available to mark out individual booths or working areas in open plan offices. This type of divider allows for employees to control their immediate working environment, whilst also promoting communication and collaboration through members of the team.
Creating Functional Areas in the Business
The principle reason for partitioning is to delineate space within the office or workplace environment into rooms and sections for various purposes. Separating each individual area promotes a focus on specific business activities, allowing a more ordered and structured organisational framework. Some of the more common uses include:
If you have a busy outbound calling floor this can often create quite a large amount of noise, commotion and energy. Whilst this is great for the salespeople, this can prove disruptive to other functions in the business and partitions can dramatically reduce this issue.
Partitioning can allow individual spaces to be created for company directors, offering a degree of privacy for important calls and operational discussions with the business leaders.
Every large business needs a boardroom. Even though such rooms often now function as meeting rooms for different teams and important client presentations, the large table, set seats and chairs create a sense of purpose and presence.
Keep clients separate from the functional areas of your business with a designated reception area. Here they can drink coffee and wait for taxis to pick them up following meetings without having to leave the building.
If your business is large enough to have dedicated departments, then partitions will allow all the members of each individual team to congregate in a set area. Customer service, IT support, finance and HR can all be given their own domain, promoting team cohesion and understanding.
A simple guide to increasing productivity at work through the use of colour in office design.
Whether you are an employer, or an employee you may be looking at methods to increase productivity within the work place. Did you know that it could be as simple as adding colour to your office space?
Colour is a powerful tool to not only increase productivity, but also to stimulate, engage and excite those in the workplace.
To choose the right colour for your office space, follow our simple guide!
Blue – For the Mind
Blue is a colour known universally as the colour of peacefulness and serenity. When used in both living and working spaces, it can create a sense of calmness and order. Science has proved that blue aids in lowering heart rate and blood pressure – not only calming the mind, but also the body.
The colour blue is also a leading colour used within the corporate world. Companies such as Dell, American Express and HP all use the colour within their logos. Blue is so widely used corporately as it is a colour consumers perceive as safe, trustworthy and honest.
In a workplace where productivity levels need to be high to complete daily tasks and various tasks – blue is the perfect colour to adopt into the office theming.
Green – For Balance
Green – the colour synonymous with nature and the environment is the perfect colour to aid in creating balance between the body, the mind and emotions. When the body and mind feel balanced, innovation and creativity are heightened.
For workplaces where innovation and creativity is a key component of the business, green is the ideal colour to use within the theming.
Red – For the Body
Red is the most physically stimulating colour; increasing the heart rate and raises blood pressure. Its attention grabbing, which globally is known as a colour to portray warning. The stimulating nature of red makes it the ideal colour to use within offices where employees are highly detailed-orientated.
Within office design, it is recommended to use red as either an accent colour, or use warmer tones such as burgundy.
Yellow – For Positivity
The radiant and uplifting nature of yellow creates greater confidence and positivity, which in turns increases productivity. It’s a fun and cheerful which not only grabs attention, but can create intensity which in turn creates a welcoming and warming environment to work within.
Similarly to red, yellow is best placed within office design as an accent colour. Painting a single wall yellow is just enough to enforce the cheery and optimistic nature of yellow. Yellow is the ideal colour to incorporate in a space which requires energy and stimulation.
This week sees the launch of Meridian Interior’s Floor to Ceiling campaign. Offering website visitors insight and techniques associated with office planning, fit-out and refurbishment, the campaign will feature a series of comprehensive on-site articles each profiling an individual area of interest.
Paul Kyriakou, Operations Director for Meridian Interiors made the following statement about the campaign: “over our years of working with businesses we have developed established systems of office planning. By providing potential and existing clients with access to our knowledge we hope to help strengthen our existing connections and attract new business.”
He went on to add “in 2017 we are placing a greater focus on utilising the internet as one of the primary tools in our communication strategy. This is why we have opted for an approach that centres of using our skills and ability to provide visitors to our website with an insight into the real value of our service”
The first topics of the two articles are key considerations that companies should review before moving into a new property and a closer look at deploying partitions within an office environment to aid efficiency. The business produces the content in a raw format and then using the services of a professional content expert to style the information into an engaging and intriguing article.
Not only is the campaign intended to assist SMEs in effectively planning office layouts and understanding the furniture options available, it also forms part of a larger web strategy for the business. Through content marketing Meridian Interiors hopes to widen their audience base on popular search engines including Google and Bing.
Meridian Interiors has been in business since 2002. Operating in the commercial sector, they provide clients with a fully comprehensive office interior service. This includes initial design consultations, furniture supply and managing the installation of essential services.
An office refurbishment can seem like an expensive and daunting prospect but sometimes it is exactly what your company needs. If your office and reception areas are drab and tired then it is likely your staff will feel the same. This has a knock on effect on productivity and on the first impression of your business your visitors receive.
Your office and reception area are the first places that potential clients and customers see. If the area looks dull and uncared for then they are likely to be left with the impression that people don’t really care about the company or their customers.
In contrast if the reception and office areas are full of bright, funky furniture and well-designed then the client is much more likely to remember you in a positive way.
If the office refurbishment has been given lots of thought and consideration then you can guarantee your employees will be thankful. A new environment is likely to inspire them, creating new ideas and also boosting their productivity. If you don’t believe that an office refurbishment can boost productivity then just look at the research. The Abius Report was completed in 2009 and reported that 62% of US workers said they would be more motivated to work if their employers made an effort to improve their work surroundings.The facts back this up as the study references research that found enriched work environments improved productivity by around 15%. Involving your employees in the plans was another key in increasing productivity as productivity doubled to 30% when they were involved in refit plans. The British Council of Offices produced a similar study in which they found that office workers prefer funky fit outs rather than traditional ones with 60% of people stating a funky office refurbishment increased their productivity.
It is clearly important to consider an office refurbishment project from all angles and if the research is correct then get your staff involved. Ask what they would like to see or what would be helpful for them.
Specialised office refurbishment
An office refurbishment project may seem quite daunting which is why it is often best to entrust it to a specialised office refurbishment company such as Meridian Interiors. We would like to be able to take the project from its initial concept through to completion.
If you want to leave your office refurbishment project to the professionals contact Meridian Interiors and see your business productivity grow.