As business evolves, so does style. At Environments, our office design consultants focus on staying ahead of trends and looking for the next emerging ones. These are just some of our observations for design trends you might see more of in 2018.

Unique & Unconventional Areas: First spearheaded by tech companies like Google, this trend has been adopted by millennials with their preference for fun, open spaces. These areas lend to collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking. Plus, they’re easy to create; no rules really apply, because it’s here where business casual meets very casual. The area can be a living room, meditation space, edgy conference room, or simply a space for sofas and bean bag chairs with a twist of vibrant color. Add some fun on-break activities like a ping-pong table or putting green, and you’ll have a hip environment to help attract fun, energetic young talent.

Biophilic Design: Biophilic design seeks to express through architecture and workplace design our innate connection with nature and outdoor natural elements. Because people spend roughly 90% of their time indoors, this trend to incorporate natural, outdoor-like elements into the workday is continually on the rise. Biophilic design trends have been a common theme for so many years that they are now considered best practices for building engineers, architects, and interior designers. Institutions are also engaged with this philosophy using WELL Building Standards and LEED certifications.

Biophilic design is not simply about adding a few plants to your office; it actually uses nature itself as the architectural framework by weaving it into building textures and patterns, and embracing the use of natural lighting and live plants. This trend is even more popular in areas where nature is less present, such as large cities or densely-populated campuses.

Homestyle Design: The growing use of homestyle design is another signal that employers have become increasingly sensitive to the comfort and well-being of their teams during the workday. The objective is to create offices and spaces that feel “closer to home” and help employees enjoy their time spent in the office. Homestyle design can be a hybrid of entertainment, style, and necessity. In addition to “homey” furniture and accessories, elements can include:

  • On-site cafés
  • Food trucks
  • Small bars with stools
  • Beer fridges
  • Fireplaces
  • Showers
  • Gaming (foosball, video games, pool tables, etc.)

These design elements can transform the workplace into an oasis of family-like comfort. Like other current design trends, the approach is popular with millennials and the up-and-coming workforce.

Stay tuned for additional trends to watch in 2018!