Office furniture trends for 2019: what’s hot and what’s not
The modern office must evolve constantly to accommodate new ways of working, incorporate greater flexibility and look its best in order to attract clients and staff. We take a look at the office furniture design trends expected to be popular in the year ahead.
1. Natural elements
The rising popularity of biophilic design will see more natural elements finding their way into offices. Plants and natural materials, such as stone and raw wood, are thought to help reduce stress by making people feel more connected with nature. Research published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied in 2014 found that the presence of plants increases feelings of well-being by 40% ¹.
2. Dark wood colours
Following several years during which white has been the most popular colour for new furniture, 2019 will see a growing trend for dark furniture colours, such as oxidised oak and wenge, as well as black painted finishes. Dark office furniture is elegant and sophisticated, with the colours a natural complement to greenery.
3. Casual areas for individual work
Thanks to the growing trend for remote working and hot desking, employees have grown to appreciate the flexibility to work away from their desk. As technological developments continue to support this change, offices must adapt to accommodate new ways of working. Incorporating relaxed work spaces, such as lounges, cafés and even outdoor spaces in the summer months, provides staff a wider range of options for individual work. For the most successful implementation, designate quiet areas with separate social spaces for team work.
4. More breakout spaces
The modern workplace accepts that work should not be a daily grind. Rather, the office should be a pleasant space that motivates and encourages employees, making the job more enjoyable and helping to boost morale. To this end, offices are incorporating more breakout spaces to give employees a chance to take a breather and return to their work renewed. Breakout areas featuring bright stimulating colours and exciting design will be a trend for 2019 with more and more businesses following the trend set by large corporations, such as Google and Facebook, by creating lounges and even games rooms for their staff to improve employee satisfaction and wellbeing.
5. Healthy workplaces
2019 will continue the growing trend for health-focused workplaces and active office furniture. Businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the important role they have to play in creating a healthy work environment that encourages more active lifestyles amongst employees. Sit-stand furniture encourages greater levels of activity, helping to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as musculoskeletal problems, such as back and neck pain. This improvement in wellbeing has been shown to boost motivation, productivity, creativity and job satisfaction, which has a positive effect both for the individual and the business.
6. Multifunctional spaces and furniture
There will be an increasing demand for spaces and furniture that can adapt to different needs in the office, creating a more flexible workspace. Rooms that can be used for small team meetings, presentations, conference calls, quiet work and more maximise the use of valuable space in the office and encourage more innovative ways of working. The same trend will be seen with the furniture itself, with an increased demand for multi-purpose pieces, such as sofa pods with built-in tables and conference tables that can also be used as bench desking.
As we can see, the biggest office trends of 2019 will focus on giving employees more flexibility in how and where they work, encouraging greater levels of activity and providing for relaxation time at work. Style will be characterised by dark wood colours complemented by natural materials and plants to help create a stress-free work environment.
¹ Freeman, K. (2018) "Enriching The Workplace With Biophilic Design" Work Design Magazine [online] https://workdesign.com/2018/09/enriching-the-workplace-with-biophilic-design/ [accessed January 2019]
Interior Décor Trends (2018) Office Trends 2019-2020: Best Interior Design for Offices [online] http://www.indecortrends.com/office-trends-2019-2020-best-interior-design-for-offices/ [accessed January 2019]
Valeris, M. and Tonelli, L. (2018) "These Are 2019’s Top Furniture Trends" Elle Décor [online] https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/trends/g23694152/furniture-trends-2019/ [accessed January 2019]