Dorothy may not agree but many of our clients and their employees do. A key trend in office interior design over the last few years has been to create workplaces that feel more like a home than a traditional office environment.
Most of us spend at least half of our waking hours at work – up to 48 hours per week at work, approximately 49 hours asleep, leaving less than 80 hours per week for commuting, household chores, shopping, preparing dinner, school runs, walking the dog, going to the gym, socialising and all the fun stuff.
As a result, progressive employers have realised that staff need a work environment that compensates them for the time they spend away from home and family, and makes them happy.
Many office spaces now have areas for downtime – breakout areas, nap pods, and games rooms are popular additions. The use of softer finishes and warmer colours also makes workspaces feel more like home, and creates a more friendly and relaxed environment to work in. Could the ultra-slick, professional workspace using hard surfaces, metallic finishes, and monotone colour schemes, be on its way out?
Perhaps. We certainly think a more welcoming, friendly and homelike workspace is a positive trend. Health and wellbeing professionals also agree. When employees feel less stressed, happier and valued by their companies: they’re more productive and creative, have higher levels of job satisfaction and morale, and that has a positive impact on absenteeism and employee retention.
Workplaces that feel more like home are definitely helping companies to create a happier environment for work.
Reflecting Culture Through A Family, Homely Feel
Our clients Interact have recently had an office refurbishment. A key factor in their brief to us was to reflect their values and how they think of themselves as being a family. We therefore made the focal point in their large open plan office a lounge area with comfortable sofas and chairs. This is a space for relaxing, socialising and somewhere they can all meet. Whole office meetings feel like a family get together!
We continued this theme in the breakout area, with a more domestic vibe than some office kitchens. Another cool detail is the ‘bike shed’, which is actually an internal wall in the office with mounts for everyone’s bikes. Instead of hiding them in a stairwell or store cupboard, the bikes are a feature of the space and add to the homely feel we’ve created.
Bring Domestic Spaces Into The Heart Of The Office
We’ve also recently designed Harsco’s new reconfigurable boardroom and breakout area in their UK head office. Instead of confining the breakout area to a far corner of the workplace, we’ve sited it right at the heart of the office for use throughout the day.
The breakout area includes kitchen facilities and space to eat, meet and relax. A key feature of this space is that it uses many domestic design details: from the style of the kitchen units, through the work surface and breakfast bar, to the tiles and flooring.
We think this trend towards a more homely workspace is here to stay; there really is no place like work! Contact our design team if you would like to discuss how to create a more homely feel in your office. Call 01344 290290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.