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5 Office Design Trends to Make Your Workplace Awesome in 2018
in Architecture, Business, Interior, Interior Design, Uncategorized

5 Office Design Trends to Make Your Workplace Awesome in 2018

Great office decor takes a bit more than just a functional mindset that focuses on where the desks go and what the reception area looks like. In this day and age, modern workplace design is all about creating a welcoming space that is conducive to growth, optimises work performance and is comfortable for employees who, in a cosmopolitan city like Dubai, are likely to be from different cultural backgrounds. It’s also crucial to remember that physical surroundings have a huge impact of morale, efficiency and psychological well-being, so your office decor needs to reflect that while keeping the organization’s core values at the forefront. Without further ado, here are 5 office design trends to keep in mind when planning your workplace decor.


Open seating office
Activity-based working (AWB) involves unassigned seating so employees can work where they feel most productive.

Adding a bit more flexibility to the traditional workspace layout, activity-based working (AWB) is a combination of open, private, team and breakout spaces, and ‘unassigned’ workstations for employees. This modern office design concept allows people to move freely without confining them to one particular workstation in the office, especially if the work is executed with nothing but a laptop (as is the case with most jobs these days). This not only improves efficiency by giving people the freedom to work where they feel most comfortable, but also allows for seamless co-working and exchange of ideas.

Moving with the times, the ‘one size fits all’ approach to work environments and office furniture is long gone. Creative organizations understand that everyone is unique and keep this in mind when planning workstations for employees. Instead of open vs closed workspace layouts, a combination of fixed, standing and group desks is ideal, creating an agile work environment that is conducive to collaboration and growth.


Steelcase work units
Private workstations provide a partly enclosed space for work that requires a high level of focus and concentration. (Image credit: Steelcase)

And no, this has nothing to do with stuffy cubicles or glass doors. A fluid work environment incorporates open and flexible office design layouts; however, some organizations also include partly-enclosed private workspaces within the office. If you feel like some of the job functions within the company would require more concentration, contemporary (and chic) private stations might be a great addition to your office furniture. Not only do they give employees private space for individual work, but also add a sense of flexibility within the work environment.

This is also part of the activity-based work concept, which involves planning workspace layouts to reflect key activities that are part of your business. Private stations work best for job functions that are creativity-oriented, need undivided attention or require more individual, focused work.


Living walls
Living wall features are a great way to go ‘green’ with your workplace decor.

Going ‘green’ has been one of the most prominent office design trends over the past couple of years. Apart from being eco-friendly, incorporating biophilic or ‘green’ office design elements go a long way in providing an inspiring work environment for employees. ‘Green’ elements in office design are known to promote health, happiness, creativity and well-being, while also adding a natural aesthetic appeal. Living walls or hanging gardens are one way to spruce up the reception area or a meeting room, while planters around the office always make a welcome change from laptop screens.

Taking the ‘green’ movement to a whole new level, you might also want to introduce eco-friendly ways to recycle at the office, helping the natural environment as well as fostering a sense of responsibility amongst employees.


Office design
Include group seating areas apart from meeting rooms, where employees can brainstorm ideas and socialise.

Gone are the days of watercooler chats. In addition to flexible and adaptable spaces, 2018 office design trends include collaborative brainstorming areas to induce a creative exchange of ideas and seamless teamwork. An innovative approach to this could be breakout ‘bleisure’ (business + leisure) areas with recreational activities like a snooker table or table-football. Or a comfortable coffee-break area with couches, armchairs and colourful walls that evokes a sense of being at work but, at the same time, away from work. This ‘break’ from the workstations encourages free-flowing ideas and social interactions with colleagues leading to a more positive environment.


Modern office
Steer away from plain walls and ‘greys’ – add colour and textures with statement furniture pieces or wood panelling.

It’s easy to get a little carried away with the brand colour when planning office décor, but avoid overdoing it with one single hue and introduce a balanced palette that represents the different core values of your organization. A quick search on colour psychology will help you identify the main colours to include, depending on the sentiments you want to foster in your office. For example, yellow evokes happiness and positivity, while grey is the “colour of conformism”. No points for guessing which one is a better pick!

Pantone’s colour of the year is usually a great starting point for the interior design of any space for that matter. The 2018 pick is a beautiful Ultra Violet, a rich shade of purple, which “communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” Isn’t that a nice intrinsic value to guide your approach to workplace decor?

Similarly, try and play around with textures to reflect your work personality. Most office interiors usually have a combination of walls and glass windows (or doors). Mix this up by introducing natural textures like exposed-brick walls or some wood panelling. Textures can heighten the sensory experience and introduce a playful, comfortable aspect to the work environment.

Both colours and textures don’t necessarily have to be limited to walls or flooring. These can be infused in smaller ways around the office like in office furniture (a bright-coloured couch), chic accents (comfy chair throws) or even contemporary artwork to spruce things up.

Planning your office interior can be an exciting project, especially if you’re a start-up. Although, a lot of it depends on your core values and unique set of requirements based on industry, work personality and organizational culture. When finalising your office decor, it is important to consider what elements would maximise productivity, build the most value and reinforce the culture of the company. We hope these office design tips help you spruce up your existing or new office in the UAE to make it a happy, positive environment that your employees love coming to!

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