The top workplace design trends to watch out for in 2018


Be it unconventional breakout zones, home-like comfort, or co-working spaces, these new trends are poised to break the monotony of the office in 2018.

From cubicles to open-planned settings, workplaces have come a long way. Large and small companies have started to invest and create employee-friendly work environments. With millennials and Gen Z entering the workforce, office interiors have been constantly evolving with trends like ergonomics, multipurpose furniture, collaboration etc. Modern design techniques have been incorporated in present-day offices to improve efficiency, enhance productivity, and inspire innovation.

In 2018, contemporary offices will continue to promote some of these trends as well have an inclination towards human-centered design and vitality as a theme.

Unconventional work areas

With a huge millennial and Gen Z population, workplaces need to cater to their working style and requirements. Open-planned concepts with privacy pods shaped the perfect office layout of 2017. In 2018, offices will merge eccentric and modern designs into their premises. The idea behind this is to bring colleagues together, help improve employee productivity and attract younger talent through vibrant themes and fun elements. Similar on the lines of breakout zones, unconventional spaces can comprise right from casual meeting spaces to bean bags, yoga mats, board games etc. Seating arrangements and desks will be agile and flexible with an addition of multipurpose furniture. This will ensure adequate storage and smooth functioning of work as well as declutter the area. Addition of quirky colours and informal environment will be incorporated to promote synergy.

Bringing home to work

While home offices will continue to thrive in the coming years, 2018 can bring the addition of home-like elements in a workplace design.

This idea blends in with unconventional work areas aiming to make the working environment casual. Offices can add comfortable and relaxed seating arrangements, cafeterias, game rooms, third places, and restrooms for expectant mothers etc. This trend is all about creating an atmosphere where people want to be themselves without the stress of being in a competitive environment.

Co-working workplaces - an inspiration

This form of the workplace has been considered as a paradigm shift in recent years and will endure and emphasise the value of collaboration. Co-working spaces will continue to boom in the near future with unique design elements in an open planned layout. These offices are comfortable, quirky, and loved by all, especially the younger generation. Taking inspiration from this, larger companies in 2018 can follow their footsteps by using flexible office designs, encouraging a relaxed culture, and more social interactions. Offices with larger spaces are also expected to invite smaller organisations to use their space to stimulate fresh thinking as well reduce floorplate costs.

Colours and textures

The new working generation requires a newer look and feel at their workplace. Taking a cue from last year, 2018 will continue to focus on functionality. A minimalist office with lack of clutter, streamlined layouts and more smart furniture is a trend that is here to stay. With neutral office layouts, one can experiment with textures and colours to make the area look more playful. Brand colours will always be preferred, but a dash of something new definitely helps to spruces up a space. Pantone’s colour of the year, ultraviolet, might not please everyone but one can definitely find some creative combinations from their recently released eight-trend palette. There can always be a pop of colour with unique chair fabrics, colourful storage furniture, or quirky accessories.

Green is the new black

Inside is the new outside – this concept is here to stay. Biophilic designs will continue to be the choice of the year. Investments in air units to improve air quality and larger window panes will be promoted. Offices can also add splashes of green with living walls, and water curtains to bring in the natural look and boost light levels. Overall, elements that will add greenery in a space and reduce the carbon footprint will be preferred.

Tech-driven design

Millennials and Generation Z are tech-loving people. The offices of tomorrow will invest in cutting-edge technology to provide more efficient working techniques.

Smart furniture with inbuilt electric sockets and charging ports will boom. Sensor technology, cable management, and wireless screen-sharing options will allow workers to switch their traditional working approach and boost a sense of collaboration amongst fellow employees. Another major development in workplaces can be the introduction of virtual reality and augmented reality.

The new generation is entering the workplace, and their expectations vary from their predecessors. To maintain their interest and commitment, a workplace design is critical. This can help shape any organisation’s performance. The year 2018 will aim to harmonise the environment, promote wellness, and experiment with unique techniques to instill a sense of togetherness.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)