What Are the Design Trends of Workplace 2021?
As the long-existing outbreak of coronavirus triggered out many issues of working in a public workplace such as the safety of adequate distancing. The pandemic has immediately changed the design trends of the workplace in 2021, in which people started to consider more about workplace design involved with healthcare for both physical and mental. If the pandemic didn’t outbreak this year, an open and shared workplace will probably still be one of the main workplace design trends in 2021. Hence, how to keep safe and protect public health in an open and shared workplace becomes the core of design for the workplace in 2021. Several ideas would be involved in the main concept of trends that helping to achieve the aim of staying safe and healthy in a shared open workplace.
Shared Open Workplace
Most enterprises are always committed to creating the best working environments for their employees to socialize and collaborate closely as a strong team, that is because teamwork becomes more and more important in the operation of an enterprise’s business. A shared open workplace could more likely fulfill this achievement that the connection between each member is much closer instead of working in the independent office individually. In the open space, team members could communicate immediately face to face rather than simply text or call someone, which would raise the level of efficiency and help save time. As we mentioned, a shared workplace makes people easier to socialize, they could have a strong relationship with their colleagues rather than staying in an individual office alone and finding it difficult to integrated into the team. Nevertheless, a shared open working environment raises the risk of public health and safety issues, as people working in a shared space together, then we need to solve the issue of adequate distancing for safety.
Adequate Social Distancing
Adequate social distancing is extremely important in the situation during this special period, which might continue existing in the future workplace for the prevention of any other virus transmission. This distancing not only means the length of distance, but it could also be the shelters between people. For instance, a private panel could play a role in protecting employees’ health when seating face to face with somebody else. You might query that the panel will resist the communication that it becomes difficult to see others outside the panel. At that time, a transparent design of the panel could solve this problem which could keep a safe social distancing meanwhile you can still connect to your team members face to face. As you can see, workplace design for keep distancing in a shared workspace will possibly become one of the trends in 2021 because we need to guarantee the safety of our employees, but the connection between each team member cannot be obstructed. For guaranteeing adequate social distancing, the design of flexible and modular furniture can’t be ignored to a certain extent.
Flexible/ Moveable & Modular Furniture
Furniture is often more flexible in a shared place, which helps to arrange the modularity of an opened space when the working environments are required to change for different types of works. The moveable equipment is much easier to move and rearrange onto the new position in the workspace. For instance, a moveable screen TV cart in the shared workspace is convenient for a group meeting, employees could move it to any place that they don’t need to always stay in the meeting room even just for a simple conversation. The modular furniture might not be easy to move, but its structure improves the communication of the team. Modular furniture often makes people getting closer to each other in the office, and it could keep an adequate distance with your team members due to the current health safety issues under pandemic. Besides, modular furniture brings comfort to working from home, which allows people to have different postures when using.
Concept of ‘Home Office’
As described above, ‘Comfort’ is one another thing we need to pay attention to for the design trends 2021. A concept of ‘Home Office’ has been led out under the definition of comfort. During the outbreak of COVID-19, people stayed working from home for a long time that we start realizing how to make employees feel comfort as working from home when they returning to the workspace. A multifunctional shared lounge could be a typical example to define the ‘home office’. In this lounge, employees could take a short break, meanwhile, the informal meetings could also take place here. The flexible and modular furniture is used in the lounge to raise comfort and convenience. Using the moveable screen cart as an example again, you can easily position it in the lounge area during an informal meeting, and take it out when it is not in use. A real ‘Home Office’ doesn’t only mean it decorated like a home, it’s emphasized on the sense, a sense of comfort as staying at home.
We’re not only aimed to construct a ‘Home Office’, but an outdoor workplace probably will also become the trend in 2021. One of the main advantages of the outdoor workspace is adequate distancing because people could access fresh air immediately. For the outdoor space, the range of group sizes is available from one individual to four people per group in each separated area. The biophilic elements help to relieve the working pressure and protect the eyesight of employees that achieve the goal of future design to a certain degree for solving the healthcare issues in both mental and physical.
A healthy workplace would be the non-neglected and concerned subject for future workplace design. The recent pandemic made us starting to be conscious of physical healthcare. Many researchers have pointed out we need to wash our hands frequently, and prevent the hands from touching our faces. Hence, the hands-free workplace will certainly become an important design for the workplace. Hands-free doesn’t mean you won’t use your hands anymore in the office, it means the reduction of indirect touching with others’ hands, like using the same touchable screen without cleaning. For example, employees could reserve the meeting room through their phone directly, so that they don’t need to book a space by using common equipment. COVID-19 accelerates the development of a hands-free workplace that requires the higher technology used for design.
Privacy in Opened Environment
The independent offices protect employees’ privacy, but in an open workplace, how could the privacy be ensured? This might be the question for many people concerned before working in future new environments. Small lounges are one of the best ways to solve the problem that the touchdown workspace for individuals with the high back of sitting or desking protects the privacy of workers. For the private meetings, a small pod with an enclosure could resist the sound and sight from the exterior and protect the meeting privacy. The half-transparent enclosure could be used if the enclave will bring a dense and heavy atmosphere.
As shown above, the design trends for workplace 2021 is mainly about how to create a comfortable working environment in an opened and shared workspace with moderate privacy, that safety and healthcare need to be seriously focused on. The awareness of public health in the workplace will continue to exist even after the pandemic is disappeared.
Gazetas. B (Unknown) The Crown Estate. Available at: https://archello.com/story/63461/attachments/photos-videos/2 (Accessed: 22nd September 2020).
Workplace Insight (Unknown) No Name. Available at: https://workplaceinsight.net/preparing-ourselves-for-the-era-of-the-boundless-office/ (Accessed: 22nd September 2020).