2022 – Out with the old and in with the new!
As a new year begins, workplace design company Evoke Projects takes a look at the most interesting design trends for 2022.
Hybrid working or work from anywhere?
The pandemic turned traditional ways of working on its head. 2021 saw the growth of hybrid working where employees split their time between the office and home. The ‘who, where and when’ of hybrid working is usually organised by managers, setting a timetable for remote working and bringing the team together for collaborative time.
While it is likely that hybrid workplace solutions will continue in 2022, some companies have gone much further in employee autonomy. Already renowned for their flexible working policies in Australia, PwC has recently offered United States employees a permanent work-from-anywhere option. Given that data suggests online job searches for remote positions jumped 460% in the two years between June 2019 and June 2021, PwC has obviously read the room!1
Resimercial workplace design and fit-out
The blending of residential and commercial life defines our working patterns over the last two years. As a workplace design style, resimercial design is not new but it feels so natural now. However, it is no longer enough to pop a two-seater sofa in reception and call that resimercial design. Add some table lamps, funky drink coasters and rugs. Design your work zones to encourage comfortable movement around the office, emulating the way people move around at home to suit the activity.
Make the office fit-out inviting and engaging to encourage people back to the office, particularly when they have a choice of where to work.
Minimalist office furniture
Sleek storage cabinets and slimline chairs create an open feel throughout the office fit-out. With hybrid working and desk-for-a-day occupancy schemes, desks will be utilised by different people so clean, clutter-free workspaces will feel COVID-safe. The resimercial office design trend can still work with minimalist furniture. Work desks and chairs are kept streamlined while collaborative areas and nooks enjoy the homely touches.
Colour me happy
Colour undoubtedly has an impact on our mood, creativity and productivity. The same colour can be used in the office design for different effect by choosing warm or cold undertones, and pale or bold hues. Think about the different impact of calming pale pastel-blue versus energising vibrant teal-blue.
Dulux is always the trend-setter when it comes to wall colour. For 2022, the Dulux themes are Flourish, Restore and Wonder. Flourish has rich, sensual hues, warm neutrals and pops of gold. Restore will create a calm and reassuring backdrop with earth-based neutrals and natural tones. For joyful, inspiring office interior design, embrace Wonder with its playful, summery, 80s-inspired colours.2
Biophilic and sustainable office design
Biophilic office design remains on-trend for 2022. Sustainable and natural materials are in the spotlight this year, giving every business an opportunity to make a difference. Let employees know about the materials being used in the office fit-out and the positive impact on the environment.
Eco-friendly natural wood is a classic style choice that will not date. Natural wooden office furniture just oozes class and easily complements other commercial interior design choices.
Living walls, peaceful courtyards and panoramic windows to let in natural light are very 2022!
Greater use of monitoring technology
Once upon a time, clocking in and out of the office was done physically. Now, people are just as likely to clock on remotely. In what could be considered a legal minefield, technology provides the opportunity for employers to monitor more of their staff’s activities even when they are working from home. Monitoring emails and social media use is becoming common both to protect the business and measure productivity. As remote working settles in as a normal part of employment, new technology and oversight requirements will see more employee monitoring.
Citing Herbert Smith Freehills’ global survey, David Marin-Guzman wrote in the Australian Financial Review that more than 90 per cent of Australian employers are using software to monitor their employee location when they work remotely. Many executives told the survey that they expect to see a rise in employee activism over the next three to five years, with employee surveillance (40 per cent) topping pay (36 per cent) and vaccine status (15 per cent) as the key trigger.3
If you are exploring employee monitoring, it is important to be transparent. Employees will be more supportive if they know it is happening and understand why.
After the difficulties that workplaces have faced during the last two years, the office design team at Evoke Projects are feeling confident about 2022. It’s time to plan, time for change, time to get back to normal, all at once! For workplace design and fit-out ideas to take your business into 2022 and beyond, please call Evoke Projects on 1300 720 692.
1. Tim Oldman, Founder & CEO, Leesman Review writing about data from Glassdoor: https://www.leesmanindex.com/let-the-battle-commence/