Office Interior Design Trends 2021

Although working from home became an unexpected trend in 2020, many of us have been able to return to more traditional offices in 2021.

The appreciation of a well-designed office space continues to rise - especially after being linked to increased productivity and wellness among employees. Following this period of working from home - that continues for some - we’ve had to reevaluate what we want and need from office spaces and how their design can best serve us.

Here are some of the top office interior design trends we expect to see throughout 2021.

Adapting Office Design for the ‘New Normal’

As we continue to live with the challenges posed by COVID-19, the design and practicalities of corporate and commercial spaces have had to be reinvented to ensure that workplaces are not only pleasant to be in but are also as safe as possible for employees.

This has meant offices that are designed to be more open and spacious, allowing for efficient social distancing, are now essential. Ensuring all areas are well ventilated and can facilitate a safe flow of people is also a necessity.

An open office with work pods
Orlando Wire Cage Wall Light - 4 Inch - Brass, £49, by Industville (Image supplied by Kinetic Workplace Limited)

Biophilic Office Design

Bringing the outside in has been a popular trend in our homes over the last few years and is also becoming a staple in offices.

Incorporating greenery and houseplants into the workspace not only helps to improve visuals and aesthetics but can also boost employees' moods and productivity. Plants will also encourage a fresh atmosphere, helping to create an overall more pleasant space to be in.

As employee wellbeing and reducing stress become more prevalent conversations in the workplace, the benefits of including biophilic design in offices cannot be ignored.

Many organisations are choosing to bring biophilic design into their workspaces with living walls that include various plants attached to interior walls.

Greenery hanging by an exposed light bulb
Brooklyn ES E27 Bulb Holder - Brass, £10, by Industville (Image supplied by G&T Interiors Ltd)

Light Colour Palettes

To complement the calming effect that plants are known to have, we also expect many offices to incorporate lighter colour palettes in their interiors. A neutral base with pops of lighter colours helps to create a relaxing space where people can work in comfort.

Some organisations may be hesitant to change their colour scheme for fear of erasing the brand colours and identity. However, brand colours can still be incorporated into a space via eye-catching accents and highlights that stand out against lighter base colours.

Pale woods and hues of beige, white, grey and blue are great places to start when seeking to achieve a calming feel that takes some of the edges off more severe office designs.

Desks and chairs in an open office space
Brooklyn Flat Wall Light - 8 Inch - Copper, £89, by Industville (Image supplied by @thirdway_do)

Natural Light

Going hand in hand with the idea of using a lighter colour palette, making the most of natural light is also an important trend for office design.

Like the incorporation of plants, natural light can help improve employee wellbeing and productivity. Maximising natural light and reflecting it with mirrors or light wall colours will make a space feel bigger, brighter and airier.

Installing lights that work with natural light is also something that will benefit office spaces. Choose industrial lighting that casts a subtle glow and provides the perfect ambience rather than opting for harsh fluorescent lights.

An industrial-style office space
Brooklyn Dome Pendant - 8 Inch - Pewter & Copper, £79, by Industville (Image supplied by @thirdway_do)

Office Partitions

As we continue to be conscious of the spread of COVID, temporary partitions are a common fixture in workplaces of all kinds.

Functionality and social distancing remain the primary reasons behind the presence of partitions and divisions in the office, but we are beginning to see more design-led options that help encourage a stylish and attractive-looking space as well as being safe.

Choosing partitions that complement the existing design of the space creates cohesive, adaptable interiors. Glass partitions are particularly popular in new offices as they ensure the space stays open and employees can feel connected while remaining apart.

Glass partitions in an office
Retro Large Pendant - 17 Inch - Black, £89, by Industville (Image supplied by @thirdway_do)

Home Comforts

After working from home, the idea of the ‘office’ and what we need from it has changed for many of us. Current office design trends involve a less rigid feel, with many spaces incorporating home comforts to create a place that feels comfortable while still being productive.

Comfortable elements that we might associate more readily with the home than the office are rapidly making their way into workspaces. This includes things like:

  • Cosy armchairs
  • Beanbags
  • Unique rugs
  • Statement lights that give a soft, warm glow
  • Warm-toned wood furniture
  • Houseplants
  • Characterful art

Designers are dubbing the trend ‘resimercial’ - a combination of residential and commercial. This gravitation towards warmth, comfort and familiarity at work is something we can expect to see more of as people transition from working from home to returning to communal offices.

Armchairs and coffee table next to wooden slat wall
Sleek Edison Pendant Light - 1 Wire - Brass, £29, by Industville (Image supplied by Kinetic Workplace Limited)

Boho Office Design

In previous years, many offices have prioritised modern designs, with that trendy tech startup look probably coming to mind; however, with this shift towards more comfortable workplaces, we’re seeing a rise in creatively-designed, bohemian spaces.

More frequently, we’re seeing offices that combine old and new design styles to create unique but functional areas. This might include combining retro patterns and antique furniture in an otherwise sleek, technologically advanced office.

An unconventional mix of new and old is a great way to bring that sense of personality and character that many office workers are starting to seek.

Wooden desks and chairs in a office meeting space

Brooklyn Balloon Cage Pendant - 6 Inch - Pewter, £69, by Industville (Image supplied by @gandt_interiors_)

Many of the office trends of 2021 are being driven by responses to COVID-19, but that does not mean there needs to be a compromise on style! Throughout the rest of the year and beyond, we expect to see office design become more employee-focused, with employers directly asking what their workers want and need from their space.

To discover more interior trends for your business or home, take a look at our Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook pages.

Header Image Credit: @chalkstreetest
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