Top Three Influences for 2022 Office Design Trends

We kick start 2022 with one of our favourite topics – office design trends.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of aesthetics and layout, it’s important to recognised that there are three major influences when it comes to 2022 office design. These top three influences dictate our work culture, the way we communicate and the materials we use.

Number 1 Influence: Covid-19

The number one influence for 2022 office design trends is obviously the pandemic. Undoubtedly, Covid-19 has caused the biggest change in office design and layout since Google decided that a slide should replace stairs. But let’s face it, a global pandemic is a far bigger deal!

The surge in staff working from home and social distancing measures quickly changed the office landscape back 2020. To continue operating, companies had to adjust very quickly. Business owners had to protect their staff from catching the virus, while also ensuring they could protect their jobs. There was also the matter of ensuring the virus didn’t spread around the entire workforce. An outbreak of Covid-19 among a workforce can be catastrophic in any operation.

Over the past 18 months, office design has done a U-turn. Before the pandemic, open plan and bench style seating arrangements enabled businesses to fit in more desks and more people into the office. But, with staff encouraged to work from home and social distancing measures, we’re seeing:

  • Less people in the office
  • More space between desks
  • Changes to work patterns
  • Less travel
  • Increased health and safety measures
  • Increased technology

Number 2 Influence: Climate change

There is no question about it, we all need to act now to save our planet. Every business needs to consider how they can reduce their carbon footprint across their company. One place to start is the workplace – how it is designed and how it is used.

As an office refurbishment company in London and the South East, we are making it our priority to examine our own sustainable policies based on how our everyday working life affects climate change. This year, we’re looking to adapt how we operate and the products we use to reduce our carbon footprint to deliver sustainable office refurbishments.

As a result, we are planning reduce our waste and increase in the use of:

  • Recycled and recyclable products and finishes
  • Products with a lower carbon footprint in terms of how and where they are made
  • Planting in offices to improve air quality
  • Good quality reclaimed items, such as fire doors
  • Products with less unrecyclable packaging

Number 3 Influence: Technology

Technology has enabled the business world to change, adapt and continue operating throughout the hardest 18-months imaginable. It therefore deserves a place on our top three influences in 2022 office design trends.

Tech in the office is more than just about computers. It’s a means of:

  • Communicating and engaging face-to-face with a global audience without the need to travel
  • Reducing energy consumption with smart building technology
  • Promoting and influencing behaviours to create a work culture
  • Optimising cyber security as a we continue to ‘work anywhere’

The term ‘Technology’ is so broad, it would be impossible to list the different ways it may influence office design in 2022. However, we can expect:

  • More media rooms for meetings and live broadcast suites
  • A range of spaces to satisfy a ‘work anywhere’ culture
  • Office décor designed to increase/improve/influence brand exposure and behaviours via digital media

Now that we covered the Top 3 Influences on how we work, communicate and the materials we use, let’s take a closer look at the 2022 office design trends.

Extra Measures to Divide the Workforce

Companies are taking extra preventative measures in a bid to contain any outbreaks of coronavirus in the workplace. As a result, office portioning installations are on the increase. The theory is that by dividing open plan spaces, departments can be bubbled to prevent unnecessary exposure to the virus. This means if there is an outbreak, it makes it less likely that the whole workforce will be out of action.

Layouts are Fluid

Changes to the office layout don’t stop at office partitioning. The 2022 office design trend is a fluid workspace, where the workforce work partly from home and partly from the office. This not only prevents the spread of Covid-19, but enables a better work/life, reduces travel – and therefore pollution – improves productivity and reduces overheads.

In 2022, the office will be more like a work hub, with staff coming and going throughout the working week.  Consequently, we’re going to see more meeting rooms, breakout areas, pods, and independent work zones. There is no one office design and layout that fits all for a fluid workspace, but having space to meet will be crucial, as will having a place you can work as part of a team or independently.

Media Rooms and Video Conferencing Studios for Broadcast

While business travel remains at a minimum, video conferencing continues to be the sole means of face-to-face communication for many businesses, who have long distance or overseas clients and colleagues. Therefore, a media room or dedicated conference suite has become a necessity in almost every office.

Depending on your organisation, the media room varies from a small meeting room with a wall-mounted monitor, integrated data and electrics, to a complete video conferencing studio. The latter is a growing office design trend that larger London organisations and brand agencies are adopting to present regular online broadcasts.

Video conferencing studios – and indeed meeting rooms – require either permanent branding as a backdrop to the main subject, or a plain background for a digital image. A green screen is perfect for a virtual image or video, while a white background is great for projection.

The technical equipment in a video conferencing studio should be specified and installed by professional technical production experts, who can either hire the equipment to you with a maintenance plan or provide the kit as part of a complete fit out. At JBH Refurbishments, our technical production partner can advise on the type of equipment that will most suit your broadcasting needs.

Branding is More Important Than Ever In Office Design

Enter a video call and whoever is on the other end is bound to pass judgement on your backdrop. We all do it! If you’re taking a video call at your desk, or in a meeting room, it’s important that your office décor gives the right impression.

To provide a fully immersive brand experience while on a call to client or customer, ensure your décor mimics your branding. From painting the walls to implementing influential images, wording, symbols and artwork, your office décor should be carefully planned and considered to give the right impression when taking a video call. This also applies when the time comes for welcoming visitors to in person meetings.

Hygienic Surfaces Offer Aesthetic and Practical Cleaning Solutions

Heightened hygiene levels and the implementation of hygienic surfaces that are easy to clean are also on the rise. Hygienic cladding is being used as a design feature in washrooms, kitchens and high footfall areas, such as corridors. Hygienic cladding is both practical and aesthetic. It’s impervious and hardwearing surface is easy to clean and comes in an array of designs, patterns, and colours. It can even be printed you’re your own bespoke design.

Other hygiene-optimised office design features for 2022 are washable flooring in all public areas, practically kitchens, corridors, and washrooms.

Talking of washrooms, although most modern commercial bathrooms feature automated taps, flushes, and hand dryers, we do expect to see a rise in these items in 2022 office fit outs.

Clean air is good for our general health and for our minds. Indoor air pollution is caused by cleaning products, perfumes, sprays, allergens, heating, cooking and more. So, to keep a healthy office in 2022, good quality ventilation is top of the agenda.

There are several ways to improve your office air quality. Air conditioning is obviously one option. As well as heating and cooling the workspace, air conditioning cleanses the air efficiently. If it is maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidance and FGas compliance, air conditioning is the ideal ventilation solution.

But why not go even further to improve your indoor air quality? In a world where fresh air in an office has never been so important, here are some other ideas for optimising air quality.

UVC Air Purifiers

UVC air purifiers cleanse the air as it passes through UVC lights, killing 99.9% of germs, bacteria and viruses – including Covid-19. UVC air purifiers are available as stand-alone items that can either be plugged into a normal socket (this option is ideal a small office space), or as a large unit (wall mounted or portable unit) for a larger office or event space. Alternatively, UVC air purifiers can be installed within a ducted ventilation system, or as part of an air conditioning installation.

Office Planting

Green walls and office planting are an entirely natural way of purifying the air. Plants thrive on the carbon dioxide that we produce, while giving us much needed oxygen to keep us healthy and productive. Planting in the office is not only a natural air purifier, but it looks awesome too!

Our planting experts create schemes for clients that are truly bespoke. From green walls featuring your logo to framed pictures and office furniture with inbuilt planters, there are so many options, we are bound to find one that suits your office design.

Smart Office Technology is just as Important as Design in 2022

While smart technology doesn’t directly affect the aesthetics of an office interior, it should be considered part of a design and build project.

Smart buildings use technology to:

  • Reduce unnecessary energy usage
  • Manage security and fire safety systems
  • Automate appliances and systems
  • Connect a workforce
  • Monitor air quality, water, HVAC, odours and more

For example, when a room is not in use, the lighting, heating, sound system and air conditioning can be automatically turned off.

Final Thoughts

As we enter 2022, the business world continues to change and find new ways of connecting, but one thing remains constant; the office is still the heart and soul of an organisation. A workforce needs a hub, somewhere to thrash out ideas, bond, concentrate, collaborate and feel part of a community.

At JBH Refurbishments, we are here to help you realise your 2022 office design and fit out needs. Our design and project management team will work with you to create an office that meets your needs now and in the future.

To find out more about our office design and fit out services for London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, please contact us on 0333 207 0339 or email info@jbhrefurbishments.co.uk.


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