Workplace Design Trends for 2017

The first step to creating a workplace you love is recognising the importance of office design. A recent survey by Office Genie found that when it comes to workplace happiness, design has the most significant effect on employees. So if you want to make sure staff are happy and engaged in the new year, these are the trends you need to know:

Start with sustainable

In recent years, more emphasis has been placed on the need to be environmentally friendly. Businesses have (generally) followed suit and become more environmentally minded when it comes to what the company creates and what the workspace contains.


Recycled and ‘upcycled’ office furniture has therefore seen a soar in popularity. Gone are the days of grey, impersonal offices, now people want to work in environments that are feasts for the senses. This is where recycled and upcycled alternatives come in: they usually have more character, they’re more environmentally friendly, and they’re often cheaper too!

Sustainable workplace design
Graffiti art in the office

Add art and colour

Motivational posters have long been in offices and many business leaders are still fond of them, yet modern company walls are increasingly showcasing ‘proper’ art instead. Introducing artwork has recently been linked to improved productivity and reduced stress levels. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it can also be inspiring.


To a similar effect, colour is being better utilised in the workplace. No longer are office walls and furniture dull and drab, they’re bright and cheerful. Red, blue, yellow and green can prove popular choices due to their calming and, contrastingly, engaging effect.

Put in plants

There has been lots of talk recently of a ‘biophilic approach’ to office design. This essentially means making the most of nature in your workspace - or adding plants wherever possible! Exciting alternatives to regular potted plants include: living walls (entire walls covered in plants), herb gardens, and floral centrepieces.


Plants come with a range of benefits - as well as looking interesting, they also help to improve the air quality and prevent the claustrophobic feeling sometimes associated with being stuck indoors. Healthier air has been shown to double cognitive scores so it’s definitely worth adding at least a plant or two (peace lilies and dracaena are good office plants).

Plants in workplace design
Breakout spaces in workplace design

Break up the office

Despite their wide adoption internationally, open plan office have recently come under heavy fire. Charged with being unfriendly to introverts, people are beginning to find ways to improve this. One such way is to add breakout areas to the space.

Breakout spaces are essentially sections of the office to which workers can retreat in they’re in need of some relief from their usual working routine. These areas tend to include such items as sofas, coffee tables, sound-proof booths, and sit-stand desks. It allows staff to tailor their working environment to varying tasks throughout the day.

A new year brings new opportunities and when it comes to workplace design, there are a whole range of possibilities! Why not try a few of the above trends and ask your team what they would like and what they feel they need from their office – this can be the best place to begin.

Author Bio

Lilli Hender writes for the desk and office space marketplace She primarily covers workplace design, wellbeing and employee engagement. 

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