Office Design Trends for 2018

Office Design Trends for 2018

Office Design Trends for 2018

Office design is getting more and more intricate, and no doubt some people find it all a bit unnecessary. But these naysayers disguise an important fact: we live in an age of unparalleled technological advancement, and office design is benefiting massively because of it. Innovations in furniture and accessories are helping designers reconsider the spaces they sit within, letting us evolve our idea of what an office should look like. Five key trends are likely to take shape in 2018:

Green is the New Black

Green is in this year. By that, we don’t necessarily mean the colour green – instead, we mean the concept. Sustainability is becoming more and more important to businesses, as environmentally aware CEOs realize that they can care for the planet and cut costs in their business simultaneously. Last year, we saw nature enter the office – with rooftop gardens, nature-based wall dividers, a plethora of foliage – and this year it will grow. Being in nature has proven health benefits when it comes to staying calm and creative, and it will continue to have an impact on office design in 2018.

Texture, Texture, Texture

Minimalism is returning as an office design trend, meaning once-cluttered offices are now spartan rooms painted in neutral tones. One way around the fact that, this can get a little boring, is to experiment with textures that can add sensory depth to an office space. Some of the tactile materials you can expect to see in offices this year include faux sheepskin chair throws, woven rugs, and beach shell wall dividers.

Colour is Making a Comeback

2017 might have bought us minimalist designs and neutral tones, but 2018 promises to be a year where colour returns to workspaces around the country. Pantone’s recently released “eight trend palettes for 2018” has something for every type of business imaginable, from striking blues and oranges to neutral metallic shades.

Offices Become More Accessible Than Ever Before

There are new ways to improve office accessibility for disabled workers coming in 2018! From devices that can help hearing-impaired staff members hear their colleagues in meetings, to a wider range of adjustable furniture to take every body type – including those with a physical impairment – into account, this year holds some big things in store when it comes to office inclusion.

AR and VR are on Their Way

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR and VR, respectively) are making waves all around the world. In 2018, those waves will be felt in offices. The technology could be used to demonstrate product development models, conduct “face to face” meetings with clients in virtual space, or offer virtual office tours to prospective employees. The only question is how they will be deployed: functionality at every desk? Dedicated areas? Time will tell!


Why invest in specialist back care chair?

Many of us spend more time sitting on an office chair than anything else – often upwards of eight hours a day. So a well-designed, comfortable seating option is essential, both for improving posture and performance, not to mention keeping a bad back and other types of pain such as neck ache at bay.

According to Mark Steel, Managing Director of Streamline Office Services, there are three things to be mindful of when buying one. “Ideally, look for a chair with lumbar support, seat depth adjustment and a free float tilt mechanism, as these ensure that the chair can be adjusted to suit you as well as encourage movement. And for the same reasons, although it may cost you more, it’s also good to choose one with armrest adjustability and different size options. Second, find a supplier who will show you how to use your chair and fit it for you on delivery. Third, remember a good ergonomic chair should have a warranty of at least five years and should last well beyond that.”

While you can find office chairs that are classed as ergonomic for as little as £45, one of the most common mistakes people make is buying cheap, he says. “It’s a false economy, given how vital a good quality ergonomic chair is for your work. Another easy mistake is not using a chair correctly – the most ergonomic chair in the world is of little value if you are not using it properly.”  Never buy on looks alone, he adds. “Some of the most stunning office chairs aren’t designed for the way we work now in the digital age.”

In order to position yourself correctly in your office chair and avoid back pain either now or in the future, you need to first adjust the height, back position and tilt to ensure your back is well supported, with your bottom pressed against the back of your chair, your lower back slightly arched and well cushioned and your knees slightly lower than your hips. Ideally, your feet should be flat on the floor – or you could use a footrest if you find it more comfortable.

Your wrists and forearms shouldn’t tilt up or down – but instead go straight out in front of you – which helps prevent RSI (repetitive strain injury). And your screen should be an arm’s length away, with the centre of the screen at eye level, which helps prevent neck pain. Your keyboard should have around four to six inches at the front of the desk so you can rest your wrists when you’re not actually typing and your mouse should be as close as possible.

Adjust the armrest of your chair so that it lifts your arms very slightly at the shoulders. This will take some of the strain away from your upper spine and shoulders, as well as helping to prevent slouching. Finally, move around and take as many short breaks as possible so that your muscles get a chance to relax from time to time.

Looking After Your Employees

We all come in different shapes and sizes – and just like clothing, there is no magic “one-size fits all” office equipment that is suitable for long-term use. While people might make jokes about health and safety regulations, there can be little doubt that some of the basic policies regarding posture, computer screens and physical health have changed offices for the better.

Employers should embrace this new, happier, healthier, workplace – but ultimately, however they feel about it, they should remember that they have an obligation to their employees to provide appropriate measures.

Amongst the simplest tools in your arsenal as an employer when it comes to health and safety is the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) workstation checklist.

This self-assessment form lets workers assess the risks posed by their current workstation and surrounding area. It is a useful way to guard against the most basic mistakes people make when it comes to considering safety in an everyday office environment.

At Streamline, we are more than happy to offer our services in regards to the health and safety process. Our many years of experience, and in-depth training, in this area means that we’ll be able to quickly and efficiently ensure you are sitting correctly, and that your environment is conducive to good postural health.

We can also supply a wide range of products that are perfect for helping people who require different types of seating, desking, accessories, and more.

At the end of the day, helping workers to maintain a healthy mind and body at work is more than just an obligation – it’s good business sense.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders account for 39% of all health-related absences from work. These could be bad backs, or some other type of joint, muscle, or tendon pain that is caused by unhealthy posture at work.

When you realise that 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point, you realise how likely you are to sacrifice productivity through poor health and safety.

Luckily, with Streamline, you can avoid becoming another statistic – we’ve got your back.

Is Your Office Designed to Catch Millennials?

The Millennial generation includes people born between 1980 and 1994, give or take a few years, and now they’re all grown up.

That means that they’re out there looking for jobs, bringing: fresh eyes, youthful optimism, up-to-date computer and social media skills, and the “new blood” that will drive companies further into the 21st century.

All well and good – but is your office set up to attract them?

Baby Boomers and, to a degree, the cohorts that came after them, grew up with a very different view of what constitutes a good company to work for. While smoke-filled offices with mandatory brown suit-and-tie were standard 40 years ago, they would be massively out of place today.

Of course, everyone knows this – but knowing what’s out of place is not the same as knowing what is in place.

Millennials know about Facebook, Google, and Apple. They think great offices are “cool” offices.

They think discipline and hierarchy take a backseat to relaxation, when it comes to building a productive working environment. They want open floor plans, “chill out” zones with beanbags and maybe an iPad or two. They probably want facilities like Ping Pong or Pool.

They also want their surroundings to look, well, the way that companies they admire look. They like cool, interesting, office-furniture. They like bright colours and white-board walls to scrawl ideas on.

Of course, there’s no need to go pandering to Millennials’ every whim. Ping Pong tables aren’t going to be sensible for most small businesses.

But it is worth taking their opinions into account: one more difference between Millennials and earlier generations is that Millennials don’t want, or expect, to work for the same company for their entire working life. You need to reel them in, and keep them!


Streamline – Offers more than you think

Streamline Office Services has evolved dramatically over the last few decades. We started out supplying office stationery and furniture for offices – and that’s still a big part of our business – but the services we provide to our customers today goes far beyond selling them the right chairs and desks

We offer full consultations and assessments to determine exactly what it is that your workplace needs. That includes looking at the whole layout of your employees’ working lives.

We can also redesign your office for you, enabling an optimised workflow. We use 2D and 3D CAD drawings to create these models of office efficiency, and have a trusted network of contractors to help us make it a reality. That includes builders, electricians, plumbers, decorators… everything you could need if you’re looking to renovate your office – or open a new one!

We’ve always been a supplier of high quality and speciality office supplies and furniture, and that hasn’t changed. Whatever your office needs, Streamline can find it – from stationery and canteen chairs to bespoke boardroom tables and ergonomic “back-care” chairs.

Our in-house team of experts installs everything we sell, guaranteeing that our customers’ furniture gets the full Streamline experience. That way, you know a genuine expert has taken responsibility for it.

And last, but by no means least, we provide a project management service to make sure everything gets done how it should, when it should, and to the right standards. That’s indispensible, and it’s the kind of service only a real industry veteran can provide.

So don’t delay – whatever you need to get your office operating to its maximum potential, pick up the phone.