Gone are the days of sterile, uncomfortable office furniture that sacrificed style for the sake of uniformity. Commercial office design has greatly evolved over the past decade, incorporating ideas for greater worker efficiency and more pleasing aesthetics. Some offices have even taken ideas from home decor in order to make employees feel more comfortable, and ultimately, more productive.
Today, interior designers are incorporating features like acoustic tiles, bright colors and more natural lighting to make offices feel more pleasing. Here are 13 ideas for your next office design that will make employees happier and more productive.
1. Innovative Acoustic Ceiling Solutions
This solution counteracts an issue found in a major trend in commercial office design: big, open spaces. While open spaces increase worker collaboration and make a space seem more expansive, they can have negative effects on the atmosphere of the office due to their poor acoustics.
Sound could bounce all around the sleek surfaces of the modern breakroom in this example image. However, the innovative use of commercial office acoustic tiles dampens the reverberation and ensures everyone has a pleasant experience in this room. After all, you don’t want employees feeling like they are sitting in a loud mall food court.
2. Add Colorful Lighting
Though many offices are designed with bland color schemes to avoid evoking too much emotion, some mood lighting can actually be great for office morale and engagement. Different colors can inspire and motivate people in your office space. Research from Money magazine shows that blue light increases productivity and alertness, while red light may improve the mood of night shift workers.
The lighting in this example feels more like an upscale restaurant than an office and makes employees feel like they are in a positive, modern space.
3. Experiment With Paint Color
This commercial office design idea is borrowed from home design, where accent walls and colors are encouraged. Painting big swaths of your office space in bright colors might not be allowed or could be found distracting. However, adding a small pop of color, like in this photo, can make your office seem like a warm, creative environment with positive energy while not being overwhelming.
4. Or Try a Minimalist Color Scheme
Some companies want to keep their workspaces neutral and are not open to bright colors, even in small doses. Muted colors can also be stylish and functional, and can make chips and scratches less noticeable.
This lobby waiting area uses cool neutrals to play up the warm wood accents around the room for an upscale office design.
5. Glass Walls Create Open Separation
To break up a commercial office into distinct areas, while still maintaining an open feeling, use glass walls. These can be used for conference rooms, hallways or even elevators. Glass lets in light and gives a more collaborative feeling than opaque walls, but still blocks sound for privacy concerns.
In the room above, glass walls were used on both sides to give the small, narrow room a much more expansive feel.
6. Use Unique Lighting
A simple commercial office design idea for a renovation or revamp is to switch up the overhead lighting options. Compared to traditional, stark fluorescent lights, using a mix of recessed and pendant lighting, like in the example above, adds both style and warmth to the office.
7. Install Acoustic Slatted Walls
If you need to improve an office’s acoustics without adding full walls, try installing acoustic slatted panels. These can separate areas while also dampening sound, and can easily be added to existing wall space without major renovation being required.
The slatted walls in this example add flair to the room while minimizing echoes in the hallway and lobby.
8. Opt for Lighter Furniture
Though many associate comfort with heavy, substantial furniture, this room proves you can still achieve comfort with a lighter look.
Opting for slimmer, sleeker furniture takes up less room in the space to make it feel larger. The furniture above still looks and feels comfortable, but the light, thin legs on the couch and chairs let the eye see past the furniture, making the small space open and inviting.
9. Go Bold With Architectural Patterns
Sculptures are ok, but adding architectural patterns and detail to your wall treatment creates striking focal points. And the best part is, it helps the room’s acoustics too.
This pattern is actually made with acoustic panels, so it serves double duty as both an art installation and functional piece. Having artistic elements around the office have been shown to boost productivity, lower stress and increase wellbeing.
10. Add Color Through Furniture
If the office lease doesn’t allow painting or major architectural additions, consider adding pops of color through the furniture. Adding a bright accent color to an otherwise neutral color scheme gives the space a fun, modern look.
In this example, only one side of the chairs has a bright color, keeping the freshness of the mostly white space. Plus the brightly colored couch cushions can easily be switched out for a change of pace or if the company’s brand colors change.
11. Experiment With Open Shelving
Here’s a commercial office design idea inspired straight from a major residential trend: Utilizing open shelving for easy-to-access binders, reports or office supplies. This also encourages employees to keep an organized and clean office environment, since supplies are always visible.
The example above experiments with a zig-zag shelf unit, adding playfulness to the sleek, modern design.
12. Showcase Artwork
Commercial office spaces are no longer uniform and boring. Modern commercial offices should showcase artwork to inspire creativity and imagination in employees. Artwork gives workers a mental and visual break throughout the work day which can inspire new ideas and increase productivity.
Sourcing from local and independent artists to your area can also help you keep to your artwork budget while supporting the local economy.
13. Incorporate Natural Materials
Incorporating wood and other natural materials into an office space can influence the well-being of employees, as nature has been shown to have a calming effect on people.
Now that there are so many options for modified and easy-to-clean wood, it’s easier than ever to incorporate natural materials into the workplace. Though the example above uses wood that might come across as “folksy” in another setting, with the right decor, you can achieve a refined, updated look when it is combined with modern shapes and finishes.
These 13 commercial office design ideas will not only add to the aesthetics and functionality of your office design but will also lift the spirits and productivity of employees.
To add efficiency and effectiveness to your office design, contact Decor Systems to enlist the experts in acoustic design.