Home is where the heart is! This is undisputedly true for us all. There’s no place more comfortable than that sloppy couch in your drawing room, that easy chair right beside your bed, or the warm downlight above your reading table. These are but a few of the elements that collectively make a house a home.
Recently, you may have noticed a trend away from purely efficiency-based workplace interior designs in favor of ones with a far more human-centric focus. With work-cultures becoming less hierarchical and more casual, workplace designs are similarly evolving toward a residential feel. Designers are now exploring different aesthetics in workplace interiors to fill the gaps between traditional and new age offices.
The Trend towards a Lighter Work culture
We no longer see work solely as a means to bring bread to our home; today, we are involved with our work in a more personal way. We are not about 9 to 5 jobs anymore — we are instead about working late nights over several cups of coffee. From relaxed dress codes to informal work environments, we have witnessed a remarkable transformation in how workstyle has been redefined. This paradigm shift from traditional work life to a more casual and lighter one is the reason modern office interior design is also changing.
The Advent of Residentiary Design Elements
With a shift in work life and culture, workplace interior design sensibilities have had to go through a major change too. We are at the dawn of a new era where the distinction between residential and commercial real estate design aesthetics is converging. There is open space seating in place of cubicles; modern soft lights in place of harsh office lighting — residential aesthetics are making their way into our offices. Here are some principal modern office interior design elements that are transforming the home-like workplace:
a. Warm Light Fixtures
Lighting has a tremendous impact on our mood and creativity. Historically, workplace lighting was often an afterthought. Today, several studies validate the positive effect lighting has on an employee’s productivity. Optimal performance is achieved by maximizing the use of natural light and augmenting with artificial light from a variety of light fixtures. Many contemporary workplaces conspicuously use pendants, wire lamps, and downlight fixtures in collaboration and reception areas to promote a homey vibe. The use of under the table lights and LED lights has also increased.
The use of warm downlights and brick-clads add a homey vibe to Traveloka’s reception
b. Comfortable Furniture
Gone are the days of rigid chairs and dull tables at the office. Collaborative work culture has brought new, residential-inspired furniture elements to the commercial space — termed ‘resimercial’ furniture. These include lounge seating, wooden chairs and tables, coffee tables, bar stool chairs, leather couches etc. These blur the distinction between work and play, making the “office-only” work vibe fades in favor of promoting a “work hard and feel at home” vibe. Moreover, this modern and modular furniture is ergonomically designed to maintain the physical well-being of employees.
The inviting drawing room couch and lounge chairs bring an element of home to the collaboration area of 2gether‘s office
c. Homelike Textures and Finishes
Today’s offices also feature vivid colors and comfortable textures. From natural fibre rugs and wood-panelled walls to inspirational wall-art and paintings, office interior designs are becoming more about storytelling and comforting than about creating an austere, regimented space. These warm finishes foster creativity by making offices look and feel more vibrant and less restricted.
The cool design palette provides contrasting background for the warm wood-floored informal meeting area in Noodle.ai’s new office, imparting comfort in every sense
d. Sustainable and Flexible Elements
Another evolved design aspect in today’s office interiors is the arrival of sustainability and flexibility. Just like our home allows us to be flexible and free, workplaces are following suit. Sitting in front of computer screens for hours on end has become the new-age side-effect of knowledge workers. Employers are responding by adding sustainable design elements in the workplace. These include improved office ventilation, and flexible work-hours, well-connected workstations, & healthy food pantries.
Ecolab’s office cafeteria defies the traditional industrial canteen by creating a casual restaurant aura, featuring counter seating, wooden tables, and warm, earthen tones.
The office is no longer a place to accomplish rote tasks but an environment to innovate and create — where you feel a sense of affinity, connection and inspiration. With the distinct lines between home and work blurring, designers are increasingly exploring different ways to make offices more people-centric and homelike. Incorporating residential design elements will become a major trend in future workplace interiors. This marks the dawn of bringing home to work.