2020 has been a year to remember, and just as daily lifestyles have changed, so have the ways people do business. Video conferencing and working remotely have been adopted by many companies, and those that are still working in the office are practicing social distancing as best as possible.
While many people are ready to return back to ‘normal,’ we’re not quite sure when that will be. To ensure your business remains productive while you have employees working both in the office and at home, try introducing new technology or consider a few modern office design trends to make working in the office a fun and unique experience.
We’ve done the research and these are the top office design trends you can expect to see in 2021.
Minimalism and Modular Furniture Dominate
Office decor trends in recent years have strayed away from the classic stodgy leather chairs and boring landscaping paintings to something more fresh, fun and minimal, and that trend will continue into 2021. They always say ‘less is more’ and that couldn’t be any truer. With a smaller number of decorations in the office, your employees will be able to concentrate better on the work at hand.
In fact, huddle space solutions actually encourage teamwork and brainstorming. This workplace design provides a less formal environment with an array of unique technology. With an open floor plan and mobile technology, these small spaces offer big benefits.
Open Space Concept Office Design Trends
Modern workplace design is always changing. Many companies are dismissing the traditional cubicle-style office and moving to an open space concept. With this office design trend, employees work side by side with bosses, which encourages collaboration and creativity in a more welcoming and friendly space.
In addition to making all members of your staff more approachable with an open concept office, you can update your company’s desktop solutions. With large screen sizes and advanced ergonomics, new computer monitors help employees to work faster, smarter, and more efficiently.
However, one big factor to consider when designing your office space is social distancing requirements. Current protocol mandates that employees must maintain a distance of 6-feet from one another. It’s important to keep communication open while managing employee safety in the office and there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to this conundrum. So, while open floor plans can be adapted for social distancing, it’s important to take the time to consider all factors and come up with a strategy that will work best for your office while staying compliant.
Hybrid Spaces Combine Work and Home
One way to ease the burden of keeping employees socially distant in the office is come up with a hybrid workplace practices for 2021. Having employees alternate what days they are in the office and what days they are working from home may take some getting used to, but ultimately will help employees feel safer and help your office remain compliant within COVID-19 requirements.
Additionally, many office technology companies offer business solutions to help make workflow practices more user-friendly and efficient. Microsoft, Google, Slack, Zoom, and many other big players have developed chat software, video conferencing, and other collaborative platforms to minimize the distance between employees while maximizing workflow.
For example, software solutions like Microsoft Teams and Zoom also allow for mass participation in video calls, while software suites like myViewBoard, can be ideal for sharing visual ideas in real-time with digital whiteboarding and visual communication options. Project management solutions like Trello and Microsoft Planner can help to organize and manage team activities from a single place and both options are simple enough to implement throughout an entire team. Both of these options can make it easier to visualize workflow and ensure teams are maintaining the required levels of productivity. In terms of printing, there are incredible apps and solutions to connect mobile workers to their office and co-workers, no matter where they are in the world.
So, what’s the takeaway? There are plenty of tools and resources available to help support businesses’ hybrid workplace initiatives.
Video Conferencing Space is a Must-Have
Traditional meeting and conference rooms were outfitted with basic equipment for telephone, projection and flat panel display. However, as more and more people are working remotely, carving out space for video conferencing and setting up that space with the right technology will be crucial moving forward. The types of technology you should integrate into your video conferencing space will largely depend on the size of your space and your needs, but some of the main categories to consider should include:
Creative Ways to Socially Distance and Divide Work Spaces
Whether it’s a barrier of fake plants or glass screens between desks, offices are getting creative about social distancing. Certain parts of the office are difficult to space out and keep clean though. To comply with COVID-19 regulations, it’s important to look into touchless technology solutions such as automatic doors, voice-activated elevators, hands-free appliances, and more.
If you’re an organization that relies heavily on printing, scanning, faxing, and other print-related functions, this introduces a new challenge of keeping these devices sanitized and safe for employees to use. One solution to look into would be mobile printing which allows employees can print from mobile devices, iPads, tablets, and more. Unfortunately, Google Cloud Print is ending this year, but there are other free BYOD solutions available. PaperCut Mobility Print allows users to print from whatever device is at their nearest disposal. This keeps staff socially distanced while making document workflow more efficient. There are also cloud fax solutions available which let you send/receive faxes directly from your email, so there’s no need to use a printer at all (it’s also more cost saving to use a cloud fax solution then to use analog fax).
Get Ready for 2021 with Modern Workplace Design and Technology
While the future is uncertain and we don’t yet know what the next year has in store for us, we can be sure that these five modern office design trends can truly make a difference for your company in 2021. By following these trends and taking advantage of the solutions and resources available to us, we can not only facilitate better business practices and encourage productivity while keeping employees safe, but we can also ensure we’re doing our best to set our businesses up for more success in the new year.