Across most vendors common themes became apparent within minutes. Employee wellbeing. New styles of desk are adjustable, computer stations could be configured for standing or to use seated. The entire area can be moved and configured to meet office needs. Making the employee feel more “at home”. But that’s not all, they are encouraged to take breaks, to walk around, grab a healthy bite from an open cafeteria. Gone are the days of vending machines. Why not play a game of Ping Pong with a coworker. A happy employee, a healthier bottom line, pretty simple.
Being a part of something bigger… today’s employees want to take ownership within the company they work for. Personalizing an office is a huge draw for the new workforce, something to be proud of. Surface design is one of the easiest ways to incorporate brand identity. When walking into a space we now take note of the logo, company colors, as well as the emotional feel of the office. One trend that stood out was bringing the outdoors in. Wood flooring with customizable colors and patterns, rustic surface influences of camping, semiprivate acrylic walls infused with items found in nature. All of which make spending time in the office more enjoyable.
However, with the open concepts a problem arises: privacy. No longer is the boss in a closed office but out on the floor with his coworkers. Yet at times one needs to get away, for a one on one, or a small group. There were many movable wall systems that encapsulated a small meeting. One item that stood out was a phone booth looking pod. I stopped for a moment and thought, what in the world… Once inside, The Shape of Silence was a treasure. It was a recharging station, a place to focus without distraction. It was brilliant. Odd shaped but brilliant never the less. Speaking of silence Sound barriers were very popular and colorful. They were designed to be wall or ceiling systems that can be customized on site in a variety of colors and textures.