By nature, trends are bound to be continually evolving and changing to suit our varying needs over the years. Despite this, the trends for office refurbishment are actually based on anthropological considerations. That is, they relate to how humans adapt and work. They are based less on aesthetics, and more on functionality and effective design. This means they aren’t so quick to move on, allowing you to design functional spaces that remain on-point for the future needs of your business.
However, it’s always essential that you stay on top of your game and adapt your workspace to suit these slow-changing trends in the office refurbishment industry. Keeping your workforce’s changing needs in mind, we’ve developed a list of the top 20 office refurbishment trends you should consider for 2023. Each trend may have a varying degree of importance with relation to your specific business needs or goals, so enlisting the help of a reputable refurbishment company such as Office Workspace can help you to identify which you should pay attention to.
1. Biophilic design
The word ‘biophilic’ might not be one we’re all too familiar with, as it’s only started gaining more credence in recent years. It basically refers to anything related to designing with the natural world in mind. This can involve taking inspiration from natural sources, such as implementing the colour green throughout your offices or installing wooden surface textures. Or, it can involve actually using natural elements in your office refurbishment designs – such as by adding real plants and utilising natural lighting in your office workspace.
On the other hand, it could also pertain to how we should consider the impact we have on our environment more when implementing new office refurbishment techniques. This can be achieved by installing more eco-friendly equipment, such as solar panels that generate electricity, or providing clear waste recycling facilities that the workforce can utilise with ease.
2: Enhancing the employee experience
2023 is all about improving the experience for your employees, so they can enjoy their time in the workplace, fostering better performance and results from the workforce. Those who have a positive relationship with their working environment have been found to become more engaged with their tasks at work, suggesting that improving employee wellbeing can substantially increase productivity levels. This is one top trend that is certainly on the rise, and it appears to be in everyone’s best interests; from the employee to the bottom line and profits for your company.
Improving the wellness and job satisfaction felt by your employees can have great potential for you and your business. It helps to retain the employees you have already allocated assets towards training and nurturing their talents, so that such efforts don’t go to waste. Those who are most familiar with your company and how it operates become more likely to stick with it after a successful refurbishment project, so you don’t have to be constantly using up resources on hiring new talent. Providing a positive working environment can also help you to secure the best in top talent for your company. The youngest graduates with the freshest new ideas are likely to be more enthralled by efforts to maintain employee wellbeing throughout your office refurbishment, and this can give you the edge over another potential company they’re looking at building a career with.
3: Comfortable communities
Workspaces are beginning to feel more like places where employees aren’t limited to putting in 100% effort at all times. In break times, new trends have ensured they’re provided with comfortable relaxation spaces where they can unwind and chat to co-workers about everyday life. Not everything is so work-focused, with the new idea that employees need their own time to feel comfortable in their environment and don’t become too stressed about trying to main 100% productivity at all times. Comfortable furnishings, such as soft seating areas and plush fixtures, is one way this office refurbishment trend is taking hold of the industry.
This also helps generate a community feel, as employees become more inclined to take the time to chat to co-workers. They’re less likely to want to rush out of the office at the end of the working day, and instead prefer being given the option to take their time and work in ways that suit them and their varying productivity levels best. Of course, the workplace is still the workplace, and there should be some line between work and comfort; however, offices are certainly becoming more comfortable places for employees to spend their time, and this is one trend that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. As we try to keep employees in the office beyond expected opening hours, or embrace new ways of working such as flexible or agile working, providing comfort is a great way to embrace the changing needs of the workforce.
4: Great first impressions
We all know how much first impressions count, particularly when trying to secure a deal with a client or potential partner. Those visiting your office for such reasons, such as to attend business meetings, should therefore be greeted with amazing refurbishment and interior design efforts that will impress them for days to come. Doing so can make all the difference when it comes to selecting between you and a potential competitor in the same market.
Your reception or lobby area is the first place that people stumble upon when entering your office workspace. Many top refurbishment companies are therefore focusing on these areas as being central to the company’s reputation and brand image, naturally. Despite this, if you don’t concentrate on implementing consistent and coherent design choices throughout the rest of the building, this can give the impression that you have simply built up a façade that doesn’t follow through with its intentions or couldn’t afford to finish a project. This may actually have the opposite impact on potential clients, implying that you don’t have the foresight necessary in order to carry out tasks to their full potential.
5: Elevated communication efforts
Communication within any office environment is key. While the rise of the internet and similar technological advancements continue to grow, refurbishment efforts are making conscious decisions that allow the successful implementation of various technologies.
This means a lot of refurbishment companies are taking an alternative approach to office design. Providing spaces that employees can visit at any given time allows them to maintain that physical level of communication necessary in order to feel a bond with others, ensuring they don’t become too isolated from the physical elements of the workplace. Open hours collaborative areas are a trend that focuses on meeting this need, along with open plan office layouts that enable co-workers to move and communicate freely with those they need to speak to. It’s always important to remember that while email and other forms of technological communication have given rise to great possibilities, humans perhaps perform at their best when they can remain in touch with the physical aspect of the workplace when they wish.
6: Reinforcing team ethics
Teamwork plays no less of a role in today’s ever-changing workplace, as it remains essential to communicate and collaborate with others to get jobs done. A lot of new refurbishment trends focus on securing these team ethics in a way that promotes successful collaborative work. This is primarily done by implementing a strong sense of company culture throughout the workplace. Refurbishment efforts focus on not only the ‘work’ aspect of the environment, but also on adding elements that reassure employees they’re part of a community – almost like a corporate family.
This can be done by utilising areas in certain ways. An otherwise empty wall in the break room, for example, can be re-designed to include a community noticeboard, or somewhere that displays key brand goals and slogans. When positive, motivational inputs are dotted around any office refurbishment project, the whole company brings together its brand ethos to create a community feel that can greatly enhance work outputs and strengthen team bonds.
7: Mixed materials
Depth is added to modern workspaces by using a variety of mixed materials in new office refurbishment projects. Offices aren’t still the sterile, stripped back spaces they used to be. Intriguing natural textures add a biophilic atmosphere to your workspace, while also keeping areas pleasing on the eye and providing inspiration to your employees. Being able to simply look around a room and gather visual cues can have a great impact on employee motivation, stimulating the mind.
These materials can also be carefully chosen in ways that relate to your brand. For example, if your company provides clients with unique tilework, this can be incorporated into the workspace itself, building the very DNA of the brand into your physical office space. Showcasing your own company’s products wherever possible is a spirited way to motivate employees; seeing the final output of their efforts can inspire them greatly.
8: Branding throughout the workspace
We’ve mentioned the importance of branding throughout more public areas such as the reception or lobby, however branding should remain a key consideration throughout the rest of your refurbishment, too. It’s important that employees have the ability to look around and be reminded of exactly who they’re working for and the goals they’re trying to achieve throughout their workday, as this can help generate more intriguing and relevant ideas. It also spurs creativity and enjoyment, as these employees are reminded of the values that made them want to join your company in the first place.
Implementing elements such as brand colours, motifs and even using materials that remain on-board with your company ethos and philosophy can help to unify the workforce. They feel more as though they’re part of a brand community that’s working together to achieve the same goal, and this can help foster a greater sense of collaboration, creating a harmonious working environment.
9: Space utilisation remains key
Space is increasingly becoming a hot commodity in office spaces, so refurbishment trends tend to concentrate on how we can best utilise what you do have to achieve more. Space utilisation works with your current existing layouts and facilities in order to determine what could be placed in a more strategic and effective manner. It involves looking at how your employees are interacting with certain spaces, and whether they are being used to reach their full potential. This could be done through workspace consultancy, a popular choice for many undergoing office refurbishment projects who wish to tailor the project to meet specific criteria or business-led goals.
Office Workspace offer expertly-designed workspace consultancy and space utilisation services, both of which go hand in hand to ensure you are provided with the best office refurbishment solutions possible for the space that we are given to work with. This is a step you shouldn’t be skipping when it comes to your office refurbishment checklist!
10: Creative corners
Creativity is on the rise for office refurbishment projects. One new trend that embraces the need for stimulating spaces is to dedicate an area to showcasing creative outputs made by employees. Whether you set a team brief where employees collaborate to create a piece of art that relates to your company ethos and brand colours, or you simply allow the workforce to hang their own pieces of inspiration on the walls of the office, this can foster a budding network of inspirational materials while also enhancing community spirit.
11: Adding homely touches
The trend of making employees feel more at home in the workplace has been shown to be effective in particular office scenarios. While you won’t want to go overboard with this one, adding thoughtful home comforts to certain areas can really go a long way in making your employees appreciate their job and the environment you have created for them. In break rooms, new technologies that are seen in the home, such as modern coffee machines and even unique cooking devices, are being used.
Providing facilities that allow employees to bring their pets, or even young children, into the workplace is another way you can stop them from rushing back home at the end of the day – however it’s important to consider the distracting impact this could have amongst the workforce.
12: De-cluttering with smart storage solutions
Office design has come a long way in recent years, particularly with the innovations brought about by furniture options such as smart storage solutions. Having a de-cluttered workplace can have a great impact on employee focus, as they aren’t distracted by those little things that get in the way or need to be constantly re-organised in order to remain effective. New trends such as Marie Kondo’s organisational methods have given rise to this productivity-enhancing trend.
While adding small design details that add to aesthetic mood is important in any interior design project, having overly cluttered workspaces does have a negative impact on performance. It’s important to be able to differentiate between the two, and to be able to stipulate which design elements play a function or are simply distracting. Of course, offices always need equipment such as stationery, technology and other provisions that help us get the job done. However, there are increasingly innovative ways being thought up by various office refurbishment companies that help us to store these utilities in effective ways.
Space saving solutions such as multi-functional furniture that doubles up as a storage unit (think liftable coffee tables, movable shelving units and hanging wall fixtures) are all ways that your office can remain organised without looking too chaotic or out of balance. You’ll be saving time and effort with these space saving solutions, as employees won’t be spending precious time trying to find utilities. When everything has its designated space, even on a personal level in desks and individual offices, stress is reduced and productivity can prevail.
13: Bright or textual influences
Say goodbye to flat surfaces and dull, plastic fixtures that lack character. Vibrant colours are increasingly in, and being used to stimulate the mind while adding aesthetic impact. They can be worked with in a variety of ways in order to add personality to your office refurbishment. These can be mixed and matched or combined with an array of textural inspirations that fuse together to make old spaces feel more contemporary and refreshing.
The psychology of colours becomes important here, so it’s useful to read up on how much of a particular colour can become overwhelming. Each colour has a different effect on physical abilities or mood. For example, the colour red can be energising and increase competition to a certain effect. However, dousing a whole room in red can lead to feelings of anger and frustration.
14: Focusing on agile working abilities
The rise of agile and flexible working means that physical constraints relating to communication efforts are no longer as much of a hassle; we can email anyone, any time, from almost anywhere. Similar to flexible working, but without overly focusing on the physical limitations of having to be located in the actual office to work, agile working involves taking a unique approach to working techniques that better suit the modern workforce.
This means people can work from home or wherever they see fit, visiting the office only when it suits them or becomes wholly necessary in order to perform a task. Despite this, the importance of physical communication within the workplace should never be overlooked. Those who do work on an agile basis can often feel isolated or distanced from their workplace, while lacking in social interaction with co-workers can hinder collaborative efforts.
Office refurbishment trends are changing to adapt to agile working methods, saving both time and money for the companies that choose to adopt these ways of working. Desks are no longer set fixtures that we are allocated to, as hot-desking becomes increasingly prominent in such workforces. Open access collaboration rooms or table spaces allow work where and whenever they wish, while remaining in touch with employees and feeling the positive benefits of company culture boosting techniques.
15: Healthy workspaces
Health is one of the key words of the decade, and the workplace should be making provisions that help employees lead healthier lifestyles. Many offices are including new elements that target the idea of healthy living, such as adjustable-height desks that allow employees to switch between seated and standing to work. This also has an array of other benefits, such as allowing for increased diversity in the workplace, and providing accessibility for employees that may have disabilities or other considerations.
Some offices are even including exercise or mindfulness rooms in their refurbishment projects, running company classes that strengthen teamwork and get everybody involved. This also means that employees are provided with exactly what they need right on-site, saving time and resources.
16: Productivity boosters
The workplace is all about productivity on many levels, so many trends are geared towards boosting productivity throughout the workforce. Plenty of natural lighting throughout any office space has the benefit of awakening the mind and allowing us to remain in touch with the outside world, having a much more positive impact on productivity than artificial lighting. Adding plants is another way to add interest to any area, while stimulating the mind and refreshing the senses. This can be done in increasingly unusual ways, from creating intriguing wall displays to simply adding plant pots to a bare space.
Ensuring there is enough break time materials to keep employees entertained is another way to refresh the mind and allow people to return to work feeling more productive than ever; providing reading materials, coffee machines and even games facilities such as pool tables can be a great way to ensure break times are used effectively.
17: Sustainable solutions
Sustainability in the workplace is now more important than ever. Refurbishment projects are increasingly considering the environmental impact that certain choices may lead to, and efforts are being made to implement a level of sustainable consideration into every area of office design. This has the ability to ensure that your refurbishment choices remain relevant for the future of your company, while retaining the element of corporate responsibility that we all strive towards achieving in today’s modern world. This can also give you the added edge over competitors that can secure deals with potential clients!
You may wish to work with refurbished materials while undergoing your project, or install new lighting fixtures that require much less energy. Heating options can be regulated with the careful planning of room sizing and open plan layouts, while indirect considerations such as commuting emissions can be reduced by adapting the workspace to suit agile working options.
18: Custom-created furnishings
We’re no longer limited to boring, ill-designed office furniture that is overly uninspiring and repetitive. We want our offices to stand out against the crowd, and buying the run of the mill furniture from the biggest office furniture suppliers simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Our offices are becoming increasingly refined to suit our industries, as personalisation of the office environment grows steadily, resulting in hyper-individualised spaces that suit tasks perfectly. These furnishings are specially formulated to work with your employees, not against them, and to benefit them in ways that may never even cross their mind as they’re trying to maintain peak productivity levels.
This trend has led to an array of various companies offering custom furniture design and manufacturing services, meaning every last detail can be specially formulated in a way that suits your office workspace seamlessly. At Office Workspace, we actually work with partners to provide our very own custom furniture service, carefully designed with your specific office-related needs in mind. We can get inspired by any request, working closely with you and your teams to evaluate their needs and design the furniture that works best for you.
18: Workspace flexibility
We’ve mentioned the growing trend of working flexibly, however the physical workspace is becoming increasingly flexible itself, too. As people work more flexible hours, it becomes important that the physical workspace becomes increasingly adaptable. These lifestyle changes are often the catalyst for office refurbishment trends. Flexible, adaptable furniture is one of the biggest trends coming for 2023 and beyond. Modular components and furnishings can quickly be switched around with ease, allowing greater possibilities for the workforce to adapt and change with the coming times. We no longer have to be stuck with immobile partitions, stationery desk spaces or restricting layouts. Innovative designs allow us to move fixtures in ways that suit our individual or team-related needs, leading to a whole new range of potential when choosing how we prefer to work. It also gives us the possibility to mix up collaborative and individual working spaces, as understanding that every employee has varying working standards and preferences is becoming increasingly important as we open our minds concerning how we can improve employee wellness and boost productivity and morale.
For example, an unused meeting room can double up as a hot-desking office with the simple re-arrangement of a few items of furniture. Other aspects such as temperature, lighting and overall atmosphere can be carefully adjusted with just the switch of a button, allowing individuals to choose how they prefer to work and set their own mood for the day. New technologies shouldn’t be overlooked in this area, however creating a flexible workspace doesn’t have to be overly focused on smart equipment. Simple touches to furniture such as adding wheels to otherwise stationery chairs can give you the ability to quickly transform an area.
19: Effective ergonomics
Ergonomic furniture is specially selected or designed with the final user in mind. This means it takes into consideration the employee’s own body and physical strain that tasks may have on them, while also thinking about how this employee can use the furniture to interact with the space around them in ways that keep productivity levels high and reduce discomfort.
When employees are made to work with furniture that is ill-suited to their tasks, they can develop long-term repetitive strain injuries or chronic pain that can further impact their ability to perform well. This can cause an increase in sick days taken, reducing the flow of productivity and taking its toll on overall company performance. Looking after your employees by providing them with effectively thought-out furniture will make their lives much easier, while also reminding them that their needs are at the forefront of your mind, enhancing job satisfaction rates.
20: Thinking for the future
Your office space should not only be welcoming to your employees but to your clients too. Offices are often known for their formal, sterile environments, which don’t seem particularly welcoming to those visiting your premises. Clients are essential to your company’s success, so it’s vital that you work on designing your office in a way that will appease them, too. First impressions are always a crucial consideration when securing any business deal. While it may not be the most essential space in the office, your reception or lobby area should always be designed to make a lasting first impression.
Sprucing up your old office environment by adding small details such as plants, artwork or flowers is a great way to do this. Relevant coffee table reading material is another idea; you don’t want clients waiting around with no stimulation or inspiration, particularly while trying to make a good impression. All of these little touches go a long way in making the office workspace feel like more of a comforting environment for your workforce, too.
There are a whole host of ways that businesses are improving the way their workspace support their people, going into next year and beyond – but getting it right requires a bit of experience and expertise. At Office Workspace, we harness proven, data-driven methodologies to understand what’s right for your business, so we can provide a workspace that optimally supports you and your people over the long term.
Call us at Office Workspace today, on 020 8309 0000 to hear more about how we can help you with our comprehensive office design and fit-out services.