Office furniture and design trends tend to change each year to improve the productivity of employees. This is especially the case since covid-19 and the lockdowns that followed. In fact, offices after the covid-19 pandemic may never be the same.

After more than a year of remote working, businesses are starting to reopen their offices and trying to adapt them to the new normal. This “new normal” is also known as “hybrid working” or the “hybrid office”. It’s an arrangement where team members alternate their time between remote working and office working. For example, some will spend three days in the office and two days working from home.

According to one report, around 70% of firms, from small businesses to large corporations, will go hybrid and these changes will create new design challenges for working spaces that will require more inventive thinking.

So that brings us to the question, what can we expect to see when it comes to office furniture and office design trends in 2022?

  • Office design to support collaboration?
  • Home comforts?
  • Biophilic elements?
  • Flexible offices?

Read on to find out more in depth about the upcoming trends for next year.

office collaboration
1.  Office design to support collaboration

As we have discussed previously in our ‘The Campfire future of the workplace’ article, in 2022, offices will very much have a new purpose. Many offices will turn into spaces that support collaboration and innovative thinking. An associate of Colliers International said the future office will be “designed to support collaboration and accelerate creativity and team spirit.” The idea is that some employees will stay in the office to collaborate and keep the brand spirit alive, whilst other team members will work from home and occasionally come into the office to warm up again and soak up the companies’ culture and have the space to share their newly developed ideas.

According to predictions from Cushman and Wakefield, the future of offices “will no longer be a single location, but an eco-system to support flexibility, functionality, and employee well-being.” For example, Starbucks have said that when their headquarters opened back up in October 2021, many people would not have their own desk. Instead, those employees will work from home and only come into the office when they need to collaborate with others.

office design support collaboration
2. Home comforts will be brought to the office design

Since the pandemic began and we started working from home, people have become accustomed to the comforts of their home during the working day. Therefore, one way to draw workers away from the home and back into the office is by implementing these home comforts into the workspace to make it a more welcoming place to return to.

In 2022, many workplaces will be re-designed to emphasise a sense of cosiness by placing plush carpets and more soft seating options to ensure that employees will sit comfortably throughout the day just as they would at home. After all, ergonomic furniture is in high demand these days as they provide work flexibility and comfort to the user.

At Haiken, we have a wide range of ergonomic soft seating that will influence a relaxing and cosy working environment to entice people back into the office. Some of our favourites include:

  • Mishell Soft: The Mishell Soft collection is designed to provide even more user comfort thanks to the additional and extremely soft quilted layer on the seats. The new upholstery version has given the collection a cosy character that is perfect for any office space.
  • Algo: Especially for offices with not as much space to work with, Algo is a great option for a chair that brings some home comfort into the workspace. This is because it’s a small armchair that occupies little space and is both stable and comfortable to sit on.
  • Nome: An excellent choice for public buildings, the Nome is a small sized armchair that is an instant attention grabber. The distinctive shape of the backrest cushion with a horizontal division enhances the ergonomics of the seat and the comfort of the backrest.
  • Tune: Needing a comfortable seat that also works as a good acoustic solution? Tune is a sound absorbing seat collection that has a clad sound absorbing shell combined with soft cushions. By using the Tune sofa, employees will not only have a comfortable seat but also somewhere they can go to work privately without being disturbed by sound.
  • Gap: The Gap collection is great for office environments as the sofas are exceptionally comfortable and blend in well with a variety of interiors. They can be used as a space for employees to take a break and unwind a little, or alternatively, as a place to go and discuss ideas/socialise with colleagues.
Gap chairs
3. Biophilic elements crucial for office design

Another office furniture and design trend for 2022 will be including natural elements in the office interior. This is because plants, natural materials, and natural light have a positive effect on the physical and mental health of employees and their work performance.

One study showed that the presence of plants in offices can lower stress and anxiety levels by up to 37%, as well as decreasing tiredness by up to 38%. Reducing stress and anxiety levels is beneficial for any company as it will improve worker productivity which will result in happier employees and greater company success.

Biophilia isn’t achieved with repetitive rows of desks, monitors, and ceiling lights. It will take thoughtful investment to increase access to natural light and to strategically place plants around the office in order to see the best results.

Our Zorla is an acoustic mobile floor screen that can also be used as a decorative piece of furniture by filling the top wooden box with natural or fake plants. A great option for adding both plants and acoustic elements into the office to improve employee focus and wellbeing – if we do say so ourselves!

biophilic acoustic solution
4. Office flexibility will enhance performances

Finally, let’s finish with possibly the most important workplace design trend of 2022 – incorporating flexibility into the workplace! Flexibility and the choice to work anywhere – often known as “hybrid working” – is accelerating and this will not change in 2022. According to a Cushman & Wakefield study, 73% of the workforce believes companies should embrace at least some level of working from home.

2022 will be very much about creating a working environment that accommodates different working arrangements. Employees want to feel that their space empowers them, so a good office space will have flexibility for different types of working. This could include different spaces for focussed work, spaces for collaborating, relaxation, lounge seating areas etc. This means that designers will need to make spaces that give workers the freedom and flexibility to choose where and how they work based on the task they are trying to complete. Applying power modules throughout the office will allow employees to charge laptops, phones or tablets in any location, meaning they can choose to work flexibly from different parts of the office if desired.

Wolfe desk

One way to do this, is by implemented the height-adjustable desks Wolfe as there frame is telescopic, so you get the flexibility to change the amount of desk spaces needed in the future.. Next to flexibility for the employer, height-adjustable desks are great for posture and wellbeing, it is said that 47% of people with height adjustable desks reported a significant reduction in upper back, shoulder, and neck discomfort. 65% of people also said height adjustable desks positively impacted their health outside of the workplace! The more you know.

Another way of achieving office flexibility is by creating different zones for the different types of working by using acoustic solutions. Meeting pods provide a practical solution to provide a private space for collaboration in open plan offices. Alternatively, Focus Pods can be used to create a private snug space for more focussed work.

focus pod acoustic
Office furniture and design trends from Haiken

Overall, in 2022 it seems the focus will be on trying to adapt workplaces to be more inviting for workers returning to the office, whilst also ensuring that employees will be kept engaged and productive throughout the day. This will be achieved by adding home comforts to the office, providing lots of natural light and biophilic elements, implementing acoustic solutions and providing flexibility for collaboration and different types of working.

If you would like to know more about the office furniture we provide, please feel free to contact us today and we will be happy to help!