Having an office in the city comes with many perks and is often an attractive feature for prospective employees. But with those perks comes a few downsides, as inner-city workspaces commonly feature smaller spaces at higher costs. Luckily, there are many modern urban office design ideas to combat these downsides, and they’re not too costly to implement either. We take a look at some of the modern urban office design trends we think we’ll be seeing more in 2021.
Modern Urban Office Design
Bring the outside in
A green office space offers numerous benefits to workplace culture, including boost in productivity, cleaner air, and reducing sickness and absenteeism. If you work in the city, chances are there’s not much foliage to see. Adding in some office friendly plants is a relatively cheap way to give your office a more natural feel to it and is especially effective in windowless office spaces. You can even incorporate greenery into your office wall design with a living green wall. These walls make a fantastic focal point and can make an environment look more inviting. Green walls can be passive (require someone to water them) or active green walls with their own irrigation system. If a green wall seems a little high maintenance, wooden feature walls surrounded by foliage are also an easy to create a more natural office space.
For a small office space
For a small office space, minimalism is key. By favouring simple design elements and neutral colours, you can help create the illusion that a small space is bigger than it really is. Comparatively, cluttering a space with furniture or incorporating loud, bold colour schemes can make a space appear enclosed. Other decorating tricks include sticking to one floor material, incorporating LED lighting, and keeping furniture to the minimum.
The open office is on its way out
Though the open office space was deemed the best type of office space for many years, COVID 19 and the 1.5m rule that comes with it have cast an unfavourable shade on the open space. This is good news for small office spaces, as many don’t have the luxury of a large, expansive space. On top of making it much easier to pass germs around, an open office space has several disadvantages – with the number one being disruption. Many employees report that the loud environment makes it difficult to work, and that they usually resort to wearing headphones to get work done. This completely nixes the ability to collaborate, which is why the open office span was popular in the first place. Given that an office space typically involves both focussing on individual work and collaborating with team members, an open office design makes satisfying both needs difficult. Though it’s unlikely we’ll ever return to the stark, unimaginative cubicles made popular in the 90s, there’ll likely be a shift to a more traditional style, where employees of the same work function are housed together.
Mixed office spaces
One of the biggest perks of working in the city is having access to a wide range of amenities within walking distance. Some business owners are shortening this distance even more by mixing office spaces with amenities such as restaurants, gyms, and rooftop gardens. Coworking spaces have become increasingly popular for this reason, as they commonly feature large event spaces and fun communal areas complete with beer taps and table tennis. Companies from various industries can easily harmonise by sharing real estate in multi level buildings, and even add to the attractiveness for prospective employees. Similarly, more and more offices are taking advantage of unused areas above shops, which has previously been used for storage. For example, Melbourne’s bustling night life Brunswick street has many businesses operating unseen above bars.
The pandemic has seen more people working from home, and businesses are quickly adapting to the empty office space. The option to work from home, whether permanently or on day on/day off basis, proves favourable to both employers and employees, as it offers flexibility and helps keep office costs down. With an estimated 98% of businesses in Australia being classified as small business, large commercial office spaces can end up quite costly. To combat this, business owners are allowing more employers to work from home or implementing staggered work schedules. Like hot desks, a staggering work schedule allows employees to alternate the days they come into the office, swapping the desk space with a co-worker with an adjacent schedule.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our article on ‘Modern Urban Office Design for City Workspaces.’ If you’d like to discuss ways you can improve the look and function of your office space, contact Future Fitouts today. You can call us on 1300 368 46 or request a proposal online and one of our fitout professionals will be in touch shortly. Be sure to check out some of our work online or read more tips on effective office design on our blog.