The trendiest office spaces in 2019 may be unrecognizable: in lieu of cubicles and shades of gray, modern office spaces are full of vegetation and vibrant colors. Cutting-edge companies want to avoid stagnation. By updating your office space, you can promote creativity and establish a welcoming atmosphere. Redesigning an office to be more contemporary demonstrates your business’ dedication to innovation. Below are the biggest office space trends of 2019.    

Make Room for Generation Z

Generation Z is the generation that is younger than millennials (also known as Generation Y). Born between 1995 and 2010, Generation Z are known for their staunch entrepreneurship, globalized activism, and adversity to risk-taking. As the oldest members of Generation Z join the workforce, 2019’s best office designs are keeping in mind this new generational cohort. Many of 2019’s biggest office space trends are being driven by Generation Z’s appreciation for corporate responsibility within the office. 94% of Generation Z believe that environmental and social issues are a responsibility shared by both consumers and companies. This is why innovative offices are embracing biophilic design.

Biophilic Design and Its Benefits

In the 1980s, biophilia was a proposed belief that humans inherently seek connections with nature. Biophilic design is a philosophic approach to architecture and interior design. It seeks to integrate natural light, natural materials, and plant life into the modern office. Some offices are renovating to ensure that there are more opportunities to introduce natural light into the space: not only by creating more windows, but also by installing skylights. Biophilic design supports removing as many fluorescent lights as possible and replacing them with LEDs. LED lights are better for the environment, as they last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting, while using 75% less energy.

Nature Paths Boost Health and Happiness

Biophilic-positive offices are creating nature paths outside of their buildings. This creates an opportunity for employees to stretch their legs and be present in nature. The benefits of nature paths are not exclusive to rural or suburban offices, either. Even in urban settings, spending just 20 minutes in an urban nature setting will boost one’s happiness. These benefits will occur regardless if someone is exercising or remaining inactive during their visit. Another reason nature paths are a growing trend is because biophilic design is not limited only to seeing nature. Research has shown that smelling wood and hearing the sounds of running water can improve heart rates and blood pressure, as well as minimize stress.

Plants in the Office

In 2019, integrating plants with an office’s architecture is an increasingly popular design aesthetic. Plants have numerous benefits in the office. Vegetation can naturally filter out toxins and pollutants in the air. In some cases, air purification can help reduce the amount of airborne illness-causing pollutants. Because plants also offer a biophilic connection, employees are more likely to be less stressed. In a long-term study, it was found offices that incorporate plants see a 15% productivity increase. Including plants in an office’s biophilic design is a worthwhile investment. Healthcare costs from stressed employees can cost a business up to $190 billion annually. Including plant life in an office will keep costs down while improving health and morale.

Nature-Inspired Materials

2019’s office spaces are replacing gray office furniture with wood and stone elements. Oxidized oak is fashionable, because it can provide comforting biophilic elements while still looking sleek and stylish. Aged wood and upcycled wood are becoming increasingly popular as well. This is, in part, inspired by biophilic design; however, it is also popular because Generation Z employees expect their employer to engage in environmental responsibility. Including upcycled materials in an office design demonstrates a dedication to environmental awareness.

Various kinds of stone are trending as well. Granite and quartzite – materials traditionally used in kitchens – are increasingly being used in offices for meeting tables and countertops. Terrazzo is coming into vogue as well, often being installed as accent walls or as coffee tables. Stone elements are popular because they are durable and can withstand the wear and tear of an office, while also offering biophilic benefits. In addition to being durable, stone can create visual texture in an office. Biophilic design will inspire office space design throughout 2019.

Resimerical Furniture

Employees no longer want to work in offices that feel sterile and bland. Resmiercial design has become a fast-growing trend that addresses a desire for creative and comfortable offices. Resmerical is a mix of residential and commercial furniture design. By assimilating furniture designs that are reminiscent of “home” into the office, employees can feel more relaxed and comfortable at work. Resimercial furniture is known for being brightly colored and less restrictive. Instead of hard, rolling office chairs, resimercial offices are opting for armchairs and sofas. Resimercial furniture is minimalist in design, and it is taking inspiration from the aesthetics of the 1970’s.

70’s Retro Returns to 2019

From fashion to interior design, aesthetics in 2019 are being heavily inspired by the 1970’s textures and palettes. Modern resimerical furniture is often a single color without patterns. Suede and velvet are becoming increasingly popular textures in resimerical design. This is because they provide color and texture to furniture while still maintaining a minimalist appearance. The 70’s also inspires modern silhouettes, which are leaning towards asymmetrical and abstract.  

Art is Essential

Asymmetry and abstract art are replacing neat designs from the mid-2010s. 2019 is embracing design elements that are messy and loose. Modern, trendy office spaces are including art in their design. Resimercial art comes in many forms: accent walls that are tiled with geometric patterns; metal sculptures in the round that are mounted for display or hung from the ceiling; and, abstract paintings using bold colors. A study conducted by Cass Business School found that 64% of employees believe that art in the workplace increases their productivity, and 78% of employees believe that seeing art helps reduce stress. Installing trendy art will not only create a more inviting office space, but also it will help boost employee morale.

Experience-Driven Activities

Employee Engagement

Retaining employee engagement is a major topic within the human resources industry in 2019. Ensuring that employees feel rewarded at work is vital to a healthy and successful business. It is vital to keep employees feeling valued and engaged at work. Employees who feel disengaged at work can cost approximately $450-$550 billion. Conversely, employees who are engaged at their office are more likely to have less accidents, more productivity, and offer better customer service. One of the best ways to keep employees engaged in 2019 is offering strong fringe benefits in the form of experience-driven spaces.  

Trending Experience-Driven Spaces

Almost 9 out of 10 employers believe that employees leave their position for a higher-paying position; however, only 12% of employees are motivated by higher pay. The reality is that employees want creative fringe benefits. Over 70% of employees reported that fringe benefits are one of the main reasons they consider a new job offer. Additionally, 80% of employees would rather remain in their current position  if it has fringe benefits, rather than leave for a higher paying role that does not offer comparable benefits. For these reasons, many offices are updating their spaces to offer experience-driven activities to employees as a fringe benefit.

An experience-driven space promotes employee wellness. These spaces are created to offer experiences for employees that are not all related to their work. Offices are converting conference rooms into yoga studios and meditation rooms. Other offices are renovating to include small gyms. Including physical wellness opportunities at work promotes employee wellness and makes an office more appealing to prospective employees.

Game rooms are becoming increasingly popular in 2019. Many Americans enjoy playing video games as a hobby. As the largest generation in the workforce, many millennials play video games: 57% of millennial women and 77% of millennial men engage in video gaming. Millennials are not alone, either. Of people aged between 30 and 49 years old, almost 60% play video games. Game rooms include video games, board games, ping pong tables, and even puzzles. Providing employees spaces for play promotes stronger inter-office relationships.  

Another trendy experience-driven space is a relaxation space. Relaxation spaces are private areas that provide solace for employees to work or decompress in a quiet area. Some offices are installing booths that are furnished with sound-absorbing foam pads. By minimizing the amount of noise in the space, it is easier for the employee to concentrate. Because these spaces are multi-functional, they are an efficient use of space. Creating a variety of spaces that promote fun and relaxation in the office will create a space that is modern and inviting.

As designs shift towards biophilic and resimercial elements, office spaces in 2019 are blurring the lines between work and home. Offices that invest in their space’s design will ensure that both current and prospective employees feel welcomed and valued. Including art and brightening up an office’s color scheme will boost creativity and productivity as well. While renovating an office space may seem like a difficult task, the benefits are overwhelmingly positive.