Chicago’s office tenants are looking beyond the trendy climbing walls and foosball tables. Employers today looking to rejuvenate their spaces are instead turning to comfy furniture, sit-stand workstations and vibrant colors to help attract top talent.
Like clothes, furniture trends also change with each season. According to SEAATS, a Chicago-based commercial furnishings company and a division of Earles Architects and Associates, the top furniture trends for the spring season are all about making the office environment inviting, adaptable and efficient, and attractive.
Alesia Atwood, corporate account manager with SEAATS, said employers realize that the office environment has to be just right in order to attract top talent.
“The layout of the office, the flow of work space, and the furniture arrangements all fit together to create an appealing work environment,” she said. “The goal is to help nurture employee relationships, improve productivity, and develop a strong collaborative culture.”
The top office design trends to watch, according to SEAATS, include:
Flexible furniture that feels like home—Like desks, seating, benches and ottomans that mimic those found in a home. Employers are also adding break rooms, break rooms with islands and family style seating, and enough plants, textured wall coverings, and art work to create a home styled environment.
Open but private rules the day – Collaborative, open space is great, but employees also need to hold meetings and talk privately with clients. One solution is in an office design with nooks separated by decorative panels or partial walls.
Furniture that rejuvenates—Today’s office workers are busy and want furniture that can support them through long days and have flexible heights and adjustments. Many desks and chairs are made with ergonomics in mind and are sold varying sizes to allow customization of work stations. One example is the various sit-stand desk options. Research has shown that sitting down in the same position all day can have damaging effects on the body and mind. Adjustable chairs and tables – and those that allow you to work while standing – are big in today’s furniture world.
Making the most of technology — Today’s offices have to incorporate the latest in technology, from chairs with built-in charging stations to wifi hot spots. For companies with a mobile workforce, “hot desking,” where employees rotate through unassigned desks, is ideal.
An expansion of “Green”— While office furniture has been focused on sustainability for years, there’s a push to add more recycled materials and use styles that can be repurposed and modified over the years. Greens and grasses are a big hit in many offices.
Creative use of small spaces—Several manufacturers are modifying their furniture lines with a wide variety of sizes and shapes in desks, chairs, benches and tables. This allows businesses to use space efficiently, maximize vertical space, and avoid wasted or “dead” space.
A pop of color—Sea blue, vibrant green, and steel gray are among the popular colors in furniture fabrics, cushions and more.