5 DO’s and DON’Ts in office interior design

Offices have moved beyond providing a mere workspace and are now social destinations meant to foster collaboration, togetherness, and fruitful interactions.

As this shift in office interior design is unfolding, new needs arise both in terms of how the working environment looks and how it helps the teams form, perform, and thrive.

Here’s a list of DO’s and DON’Ts to consider when designing your office:

✔️ DO: put people first. DON’T just focus on the space.

There is no universal recipe for success when it comes to office design, so it all comes down to engaging the teams in designing a workspace that works for them. A space that fits their individual needs all while preserving the company’s culture.

If a few years ago it was enough to install a ping-pong table and a PlayStation in the kitchen to give the office a cool vibe, today the expectations are much higher. Creating a unique work experience for employees requires a deep understanding of their needs and how the workspace can meet them.

Change management programs are now an important service offered by many office interior design companies, meant to drive teams engagement through people-oriented processes: focus groups, brainstorming sessions, surveys, design workshops. The teams’ engagement in such major processes as the company’s space transformation will generate a sense of pride and belonging, while boosting their productivity, collaboration, and work life quality.

✔️ DO: budget well. DON’T compromise quality.

Getting caught up in an alluring office decor often leads to costs that exceed the designated budget of an organisation. Aesthetics and functionality don't always go hand in hand. While it might be tempting to choose form over function, there are some essential pieces the quality of which should never be sacrificed:

  • Comfortable furniture is a must as employees spend a significant amount of time sitting at their desks. It is essential to invest in high-quality ergonomic chairs that provide support and reduce the risk of back pain and other health related issues;
  • Technology is what drives most businesses today, so every modern office should be equipped with the right digital solutions and high-quality equipment that works flawlessly. Advanced digital solutions are a necessary investment that will pay off in the long run.

Undertaking a complex office redesign typically requires substantial financial resources; however, this pales in comparison to the financial losses associated with a dysfunctional design, which can lead to stress, frustration, inefficiency, wasted time, and unhappy employees.

✔️ DO: keep company's brand identity. DON'T just copy the trends.

Trends may come and go, but your company's culture and identity is what makes it unique. Maintaining consistency with your brand identity across all aspects of the business is essential, and your office is no exception.

The physical environment should accurately convey the values, principles, and vision of your brand, going beyond just colours and logos. It's all the small details that create a unitary story about your brand. Patterns sculpted in furniture pieces, local artistry, meaningful mural paintings, a photo wall, greenery, flooring details. Things that may not be common or trending, but personal and specific only to your organisation.

It is perfectly acceptable to follow trends, but the best way to do so is to put a unique spin on them, rather than simply copying them. Incorporating trends into the culture of your company in a meaningful way can be the way to go.

✔️ DO: take sustainability seriously. DON’T do it just because it’s popular.

Many companies have sustainability policies in place, but to be frank for most they’re usually just on paper. We get it. Designing a sustainable workplace is more costly than starting everything from scratch. You can’t just discard the old things and buy new, shiny ones. You’ll have to dedicate time and money resources to reusing, repurposing, reconditioning, and reviving the old stuff. But sustainability is more than just a popular concept. It is a matter of personal and social responsibility. Ethically sourced and certified materials, energy-efficient lighting and climate control systems, eco-friendly furniture and fittings are just a few resources companies can use to promote a healthy, sustainable, and comfortable working environment. Moreover, meeting ESG standards has become an increasingly important factor for both companies and landlords in terms of attracting and retaining talent and tenants.

✔️ DO: think agile. DON’T underestimate the power of a future-proof office interior design.

Change is inevitable. The world of work is evolving constantly and the need to create agile interiors that enhance organisations’ ability to adapt quickly to the market changes is greater than ever. So, if you decide it’s time for a space transformation in your office, consider these three important factors: agility, flexibility, and multi-functionality.

Furniture on wheels, easy to move, stackable, modular, mobile room dividers are just some of the solutions that can help companies create an ecosystem of hybrid and flexible, easily reconfigurable spaces. In an open plan layout, you can contour different types of spaces by using dividing panels, on wheels, with sound absorbing properties and writeable board surfaces.

Alternative working areas that allow employees to move, switch up their surroundings and choose where and how they work every day are an important component of agile offices. Some items we usually find here are sofa booths, modular pods, bean-bags - mostly pieces with a timeless and ergonomic design that offer optimal sitting comfort and maximum flexibility.