The office-as-home concept is a trend office design will see in the future, according to Andrew Sibley, regional sales and marketing director, Desso.
In the USA, there are already over 20 million people regularly working from home, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
“Some office designers have already embraced that office-as-home concept, designing innovative workstations that are entirely flexible, with moveable walls and partitions, and with designated break-out areas with an accent firmly on collaborative informality,” said Sibley.
He said the office of tomorrow is being built with the user in mind, rather than the functional use of the office space and this trend has created a new breed of interior designer who uses observational and interview methods derived from psychological research to find out how people really use space.
“That move from use to user is actually good business. A report, Impact of Office Design on Business Performance, found that the workplace environment is responsible for nearly a quarter of job satisfaction. That can affect employee performance by as much as 5% for individuals and 11% for team workers,” he added.
Now the once featureless office is developing colour and character, because user philosophy is all about creating workplaces that are fun, aid productivity, keep employees happy (for however long they’re actually in the office) and help retain the best staff, said Sibley.
“It’s about using interior design – colour, furniture, layout, flooring, lighting etc – to also add competitive advantage,” he added.