The office design trend for 2015 continues along the current trend to integrate a variety of mixed work-spaces and improve flexibility of office layouts. Cost cutting solutions through research and innovative design will continue to be top on the agenda. And sustainable design is being adopted by more architects, builders, designers and manufacturers as they realize the important role design has on creating a healthy environment for our workforce and protecting our environment.
MIXED WORK SPACES
Open Office continues to be the office design trend to encourage collaboration and communication, but the need for private and focus zones is still important. Different generations and different personalities work better in different ways, and on any given day, certain tasks individuals and groups may choose a different environment to be more productive. Office furniture companies are continuing to design furniture for a varied work ecosystem. Comfortable and casual lounge furniture are used in huddle or shelter areas while bench style workstations are used in the open creative areas. Open seating areas, prominent cafe areas, wider hallways, and even games rooms are being embraced by some companies to encourage chance and impromptu meetings.
FLEXIBILITY on DEMAND
Office furniture manufacturers are continuing to design furniture that offers options for their clients. The standing desk is still popular office design trend since ‘sitting has become the new smoking’. From standing to sitting, now there is more of a focus on having options available to work in a variety of positions. Also, there is an importance on having the ability to move the furniture around to reconfigure the arrangement to meet the needs of the group using it at that time. Using lightweight materials, wheels, and unique designs furniture companies can accommodate on-demand custom office layouts. Room dividers are trending. They are used for privacy and can be moved around to change the layout of the floorpan as needed. These dividers are made of noise reducing materials to help modify the acoustics, and reduce noise, in an open office design.
COSTS On the RISE
The cost of commercial real estate continues to rise, and companies are reducing the amount of office space per person. It is predicted that by 2017 many North American companies, on average, will allocate only 100 sq. ft. of office space per person  . The challenge to manage real estate costs without compromising the health and wellness of its tenants will continue to be a challenge. Organizations are looking for office designs that will encourage energy efficiency solutions, such as optimizing the use of natural light, in addition to solutions that promote a healthy work environment. Because space is limited, furniture must be able to adapt to a variety of tasks o utilize the space most effectively. Ergonomics and traffic flow to encourage mobility will also continue to trend in the upcoming year. When purchasing office furniture, companies are going to have to consider all the costs including the time it takes for delivery of the product; minimizing downtime in setting up or moving an office.
Consideration of the environment in office interior and furniture design will continue to increase in importance. More regulations are now in place than ever before, to ensure environmental best practices in sourcing, manufacturing and identifying the type of materials and processes being used. A recent survey revealed that a large number of companies are prepared to invest more in return for environment-friendly information and communication technology . Environmentally conscious manufacturers of new office furniture are now considering sourcing local woods from a sustainable forest, choosing formaldehyde-free glass, varnishes and waxes sourced naturally and treat surfaces with environment-friendly herbal oils.
But there is an even more environmentally friendly alternative to buying new office furniture. Remanufactured furniture is an option that extends the lifecycle of office furniture. It is reclaimed furniture (such as cubicles, traditional workstations, seating, etc.) that can be customized to meet the design needs of a modern office. Remanufactured office furniture is completely dismantled, moving parts are fixed or replaced, and only new materials added when needed. Remanufactured office furniture is trending as an environmentally friendly option but also because it is cost effective. The cost is less to purchase, and it can be delivered more quickly than purchasing new furniture. The choice to purchase remanufactured office furniture is a ‘Better than New’ option that will continue to increase in demand; in 2015 and years to come.
-  Press Release: Office Space per Worker – www.prnewswire.com
-  2014 The Making of the Intelligent Office – Orgatec
- www.modernindenver.com – The Modern Workplace (Nov., 2014)
- Workplace Design Trends 2015 – thearchbiz.biz