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Five office design trends that will shape the UK’s workspaces in 2022.

2022 Office Design Trends

2021 has been probably the strangest year in the history of office working. Just when offices across Belfast and the UK were starting to fill up, they quickly emptied again. Now, as we enter 2022, we are still very much in a state of flux, with many employers in the process of determining how their offices will be used in the future.

What impact will this uncertainty have on the office design trends in 2022? Let’s take a look.

1. Comfort is a priority

Gone are the days when employees are content to sit in a stark, soulless workplace with nothing but a blank wall to stare at. Over the last two years, people have become accustomed to working from their own homes and enjoying the creature comforts that brings. Employers that want their staff to work from an office at least some of the time will have to make comfort a top priority to keep their employees productive and engaged.

Some of the on-trend office comforts that we expect to see in 2022 include:

  • Comfortable seating
  • Warm lighting
  • Plush carpets
  • Soft colours
  • Indoor plants
  • Outdoor seating

With 72% of teleworkers regularly working from the couch, we even expect to see many more sofas in UK offices, although with 56% working from bed, a workplace mattress is a step too far! Think of a warm, welcoming and safe home away home and you’ll be on the right track.

2. More flexible spaces

Another consequence of the rise in remote working over the last couple of years is that workers have become accustomed to moving around while they work and taking more breaks from their desks. This is something employers will be looking to incorporate into their workplaces in 2022.

Introducing non-bookable agile areas, bookable open-plan spaces and task-focused work zones will give your teams more choice and help them to thrive. By accommodating different working styles, then with all things being equal, you’ll have more efficient, more engaged and more productive employees.

3. Easily adaptable offices

Whatever industry you operate in, remote working is here to stay. While some workers are calling for full-time remote working situations, the most popular approach seems to be a hybrid workforce,  with 72% of office workers preferring a hybrid way of working to a full-time return to the office.

To accommodate that, you need offices that can easily adapt, where not every employee has a personal workplace and remote workers can come and go. Picture movable dividing screens, modular furniture to accommodate a fluctuating headcount and transforming desktops that can adapt to suit whoever is in the office on a given day. There are plenty of benefits to this approach, as it allows employers to downsize their office space and reduce their costs at the same time.

4. Disguised hygiene solutions

The coronavirus is here to stay, so hand sanitiser is going to remain an important commodity in 2022 and beyond. Rather than employees having to trek to the bathroom every time they want to wash their hands, employers should incorporate hand sanitiser stations into their office designs. And instead of the clinical stations that we often see, hidden dispensers, recessed wall compartments and aesthetically-pleasing signs can all be used to help the stations blend in with the rest of the workplace.

5. Sustainable spaces that retain talent

Social responsibility is going to be a major theme in 2022, and that goes a long way beyond putting plants in your office. The great resignation triggered by the pandemic means that people are reassessing their professional lives, with many putting social responsibility, sustainability and environmental goals at the front and centre of their career aspirations.

 

Research shows that the largest working demographic, Millennials and Gen Z, care more about what happens to the planet than they do about money. You can reflect this in your office design by sourcing products locally, recycling and reusing materials you already have to reduce waste, and thinking about design in a more holistic way, even if it’s more expensive initially. That means buying high-quality materials that will stand the test of time and can be repurposed over the years to meet your changing needs.

Is your office ready for 2022?

Offices in 2022 will be homely, prioritise flexibility and be able to adapt to different headcounts and working styles. Now you know what you can expect, it’s time to get your office in shape. No matter where you are in the office design process, the team at Calibro can help. Just get in touch to discuss your project and we’ll deliver it on time, on budget, and on trend.

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