Two Office Design Trends to Consider for Your Fitout

Whether you're planning a new office space or overhauling an existing workplace, you need to consider both aesthetic and practical factors when putting the design together. When planning your office fitout, consider the following two trends.

Biophilia: Connection to Nature

The world's major tech companies are on board with the trend to create a connection to nature, termed biophilia, in the workplace. Such a connection is meant to increase staff productivity and well-being. You can forge a link to the natural world in various ways within an office design. For example, expansive windows let employees see the sky and possibly natural scenes of a garden, depending on the location. Even if your office is surrounded by concrete and tall buildings, large windows will flood the space with daylight, so you won't have to rely on artificial globes, saving money also. You can bring nature into the office via indoor plants that add a feathery softness to the decor. Some species also purify the indoor atmosphere. If you're not situated in the centre of a polluted city, you could improve ventilation and let the outdoor breezes flow in.

Consider also other more indirect ways of bringing a natural element to the office design. For example, hang paintings or photos of a lush rainforest or an orange and pink setting sun. When selecting the carpet and wall colours, choose earth-toned hues found in the natural world, such as subdued blues, greens and browns rather than cold greys and whites. You can also install furniture pieces consistent with the trend. For example, what about a knotty timber table and granite bench in the break room? Organic materials display the effects of weathering and transformation over time and provide a connection to nature.

Standing and Sitting

The catchphrase 'sitting is the new smoking' captures how it's thought that sitting for long periods is detrimental to health. Sitting for many hours in a day increases the danger of developing diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and dementia. For example, people who sit for more than 8 hours a day double their risk of heart disease over those who sit for less than 4 hours a day.

When planning office fitouts, you can help keep workers and staff healthier and avoid possible future litigation by incorporating height-adjustable desks and computer stands. That way, staff can alternate between sitting and standing during their day, which also increases productivity. And because these desks are adjustable, they suit people of varying heights.