2020 has been an unpredictable year from start to finish and I think it’s safe to say no one really knows what 2021 has in store for us. One thing we do know for sure is that businesses have had to adapt rapidly to keep up with the changes in government guidance and the health and wellbeing of their employees.

The past few years we’ve seen many organisations making the move to remote and agile working, something that the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly accelerated for the rest of the industry. With social distancing, working from home and Teams meetings becoming the new norm, we asked our in-house team of designers what they expect to see in commercial interiors in 2021…

Our head of design, Kevin McIntosh said: “It’s been a really tough year for everyone. I think a lot of us have really seen the value in protecting our mental health and I believe that workspace design will really take this new appreciation on board, with a more honest approach to design.

“In order to evolve, employers need to seriously consider wellness principles and biophilic design in 2021. A lot of our recent designs have looked to bring the outside in with planting and exposed natural finishes including brick, concrete and steel and muted tones. With the thought of returning to the office causing anxiety for a lot of people, this approach creates a space that people actually want to spend time in – and inspires higher levels of concentration and productivity with lower levels of stress.”

Kevin added: “I’m noticing that more manufacturers are using recycled ocean plastics and environmentally conscious materials in their products, which is really encouraging to see. In a ‘nothing is lost, everything is transformed’ trend, upcycling or repurposing office furniture is something designers should always consider when creating a ‘new’ space.”

“I’m hopeful that next year, we’ll see a real commitment by companies to create sustainable workspaces designed for the future.”

Fiona Thornham, interior designer said: “This year was a huge wakeup call for a lot of people in the industry. Designing for people, not only a pandemic, with long-term sustainable considerations and a proxemics-based approach is certainly the way forward – into what will hopefully be a more stable 2021 for us all!”

“With many of us spending so much of our time at home this year, I definitely expect to see a shift in commercial interiors towards a more domestic feel, becoming commonly referred to as ‘resi-mercial’.” continued Fiona.

“The pandemic has reminded us of the benefits of coming into an office: the opportunity for collaboration, human interaction and idea-sharing. But our workspaces now need to give employees the freedom to work in a way that best suits them.”

 

Thinking of transforming in your workspace in 2021? Get in touch with us here!

 

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