Office Design Trends 2020: What’s in, What’s Out, and What’s Making a Comeback

We may be experiencing tough times right now and most governments have imposed a stay-at-home order in most cities. But the thing is, it’s not going to last forever. Eventually, everything will stabilize and it will be business as usual.

Though working remotely may seem to catch on, experts believe that offices would remain relevant. The crisis will have an impact on office real estate and space designs will be reimagined but it’s very unlikely that offices will become obsolete.

A few years back, office design trends placed employees at its center. Designs were focused more on promoting wellness (nutrition and activity), building a community, and sustainability. The best performing buildings had large windows allowing natural daylight in, open spaces and flexible workstations, and activity centers where employees could schedule group meetups, yoga, or even nutritional education. 

However, some of these ideas, as fun and creative as may seem, have had a backlash. For example, open offices are not as collaborative as we all thought they would be. Standing desks are a great idea at first but can now cause back and feet problems. Height-adjustable office chairs are not always a great fit after all.

So what office design trends are we looking at this 2020 and beyond? Here’s a quick list that would help you plan out your next redesign and renovation project.


Cubicles are Making a Comeback!

The open office concept may seem so modernistic but it actually predates the cubicle idea. 

In an effort to further cut down on expenses and save space, companies took the cubicle idea to the extreme. What’s meant to minimize distractions and boost productivity has been shrunken down to a cramped, anti-social box. 

And when we tried to bring back the open office concept, companies again took the idea to the extreme ‘no walls, no privacy’ design, which didn’t benefit much in terms of employee productivity.

So this 2020, businesses are bringing back the cubicle concept but reimagined. Instead of the soulless image of cubicles we have been acquainted with, designers are introducing the idea of privacy pods.

Privacy pods will offer a distraction free and sound-proof space where your employees can focus on their work. Do note that these pods won’t be replacing open workspaces but rather, they are meant to complement them.


Bolder Office Furniture

Offices will bid farewell to monotonous furniture and will sport furniture that will show personality and color. 

In the past, companies focused on function alone. Today, employers are looking into furniture that will help inspire their employees – something that keeps them motivated and excited to come to work everyday.

Studies show that if this design was executed properly, the combination of furniture bolder styles can help maintain higher levels of focus, and effectively curbs the feelings of fatigue and boredom.


Going Green Becomes Bigger

Going green this 2020 goes beyond adding a plant on your employees’ desks. Businesses are looking into integrating vertical gardens and incorporating more natural elements in the office. Adding more greenery in the workplace helps breathe new life into team spirit and boost productivity. Landscaping and outdoor spaces also help employees feel rejuvenated.

To become more eco-friendly and cost-effective, consider adopting energy-cutting practices. If your office consumes a lot of power, install motion activated light switches or maybe start looking into renewable energy as a power source. You could also install intelligent view glass for glare, heat and daylight control which helped make our renovation project on the El Camino Real building a LEED Platinum building. 


Flexible Spaces for Balance 

The year 2020 is the best time to perfect flexible office design. This year, experts are looking into designs that allow employees to choose when, where, and how they work for you. 

Studies prove that employees do not have the same work routines everyday. As humans, as individuals, we work differently. There are so many factors that may affect the way we work which may include the weather, moods, fatigue, boredom, etc.

By creating different zones and investing in furniture that can adapt to different moods (think modular workstations and non-standard chairs), you can expect the same level of productivity from your employees on a daily basis regardless of how they plan on meeting their daily goals.


Instilling a Work-Life Balance

Everyone needs a break after tackling a mind-challenging load of work. And the best way to spend that break time is to have a little fun. 

In the past years, we’ve seen offices creating spaces for relaxation and physical activities like napping stations, gyms, table tennis spots, etc. Bringing some of the comforts of home into offices has seen a lot of improvement in terms of productivity levels and employee retention rate.

This 2020 achieving work-life balance will still be on top of trends. Not only does this have a positive effect on employee health but it also changes the way work is perceived. Instead of something that they have to do, work becomes something that they enjoy doing, which definitely benefits the business’s  bottom line.


These are just a few office design trends we believe would take off this 2020 and beyond. Interested in reinventing your office space? Talk to us!

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