With news of a vaccine on the way, there is a glimmer of light ahead in what has been a dark 2020. After a false start already, this is certainly encouraging for the many businesses that have had to close, then adapt to the 'new normal', before having to close all over again. Clarity was needed and hopefully, now, we have it. We can now make a solid plan for whatever the future of work may look like.

As an office design company, the Active team have already been working with firms who have had to change their workplaces to abide by the new COVID-safe regulations. As many people may feel uncomfortable returning to the workplace after spending much of the year working from home, it's important for the business to understand the measures they need to introduce to ensure them that they're being looked after. In this blog, we've listed a number of design trends that will be prevalent in COVID-safe office environments in the coming months/years.

Office Design Trends In A COVID-safe office

More comfortable 'homely' design.

An advantage that homeworking has over the traditional workplace is that it offers the ultimate in comfortable surroundings. As comfort evokes feelings of relaxation, it's better suited to meet any incidences of stress that are part-and-parcel of working life. This is why the post-COVID office design should be a comfortable environment with more homely, non-corporate styles, to create the stress-free effect.

Considerations should also be given to small, aesthetic touches, such as plants, natural light and access to open spaces. Biophilic design, thanks to its positive effects on mental and physical health, has already been a growing trend in workplace design in recent years – and there has never been a more appropriate time to introduce it than now.

Despite concerns about things like social distancing, hygiene and anxiety, businesses cannot ignore design basics. Employees need all the support they can get (especially at a time such as this), so thinking of them as individuals rather than as a collective, will further help to place comfort at the heart of the office's design.

Helping employees back to work.

Many offices will look quite different from how they were pre-March 2020 – it may take some time for people to get used to them as they ease themselves back into that environment. Being able to communicate any major adaptations to employees is the first step; a virtual tour of their design with any updates via photos or a video call is perfect to use to remove any anxiety they may have.

The use of floor coverings also play an important role in helping people adapt to new workspaces too – a mix of comfort and practicality always being popular. This can be seen within the rise of resimercial office design – this is a design method that sees elements from the home and works mixed together to create a 'home from home'.

Rethinking collaborative spaces.

A massive factor in the productive and enjoyable atmosphere of a work environment is the ability for people to communicate and collaborate within close quarters. Obviously, this will need are think for the foreseeable future; influencing the experience of the workplace from a practical and psychological perspective. Those small collaborative spaces that have been vital in bringing people together will be out of bounds, thanks to social distancing – rooms that have been equipped to host 10 people will be hosting half that number, for example.

The upside to this is that the design slate has been effectively wiped clean. A business will be able to redefine all of its spaces to better suit its people, as well as COVID-safe measures. So if you're in need of some office spacing planning, why not take this as an opportunity to update your interiors for the future?

Choose Active For Innovative Office Design Solutions

For the last 20 years, the expert office the design team here at Active have been designing and building workplaces for a wide variety of businesses. No matter their industry or personal requirements, we have built up a strong portfolio of office design, relocation, furniture procurement and storage solutions – why not take a look for yourself to see how they align with your own ambitions?

To learn more about how our team can create your idealCOVID-safe office design, feel free to get in touch with us today. Give us acall on 0845 130 9066 or send ane-mail to info@activeworkplacesolutions.co.uk and we'll be in touch as soon as we can.