Modern Office Design: Features and Trends in 2021

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modern office design

Modern Office Design: Features and Trends in 2021

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modern office design
Home » Design Ideas & Inspirations » Modern Office Design: Features and Trends in 2021

Modern Office Design

Modern office design can result in works of art.

Gone are the days of lifeless, eggshell-colored walls and cubical mazes packed tight under the hum of flickering fluorescent lights.

Instead, open, sunlit spaces with splashes of color fostering creativity and boosting morale are the norm in modern offices.

If you’re curious about the benefits of a modern office look, or you’re just looking to spice up your boring workspace, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll explore the elements of modern office design and showcase the latest trends to inspire your next interior design upgrade.

Read also – Best Office Interior Design Ideas

What is modern office design?

Modern office design is a workplace design movement acknowledging the needs and desires of today’s workforce.

Nowadays, workers aren’t exactly gushing at the idea of spending 8–10 hours a day in a soul-sucking cubicle.

Instead, they want spaces that feel homier and human. They want to ditch the 9-5 prison look and work in areas that feel more inviting.

modern office design

And above all else, the modern employee wants more flexibility in how and where they work.

You’ve probably felt this way before, too.

Maybe you were working at the same desk for hours — your creativity waning and your back starting to ache.

But you needed to motor through and get whatever you were working on done.

So, you figured a change of scenery might help — maybe somewhere with more natural light, a few plants, and a really comfy chair.

And help it did.

That change of space got you back on track and gave you the atmosphere you needed to get your work finished.

When you boil it all down, this is the essence of modern office design:

  • Aesthetically pleasing and flexible workspaces
  • Promoting employee wellness
  • Integrating natural elements, tasteful decor, and comfortable furniture into the design

We’ll expand on these ideas in a bit, but first, let’s compare modern vs. traditional office spaces.

What is the difference between a modern office and a traditional office?

tradition vs modern officeTraditional offices usually have a combination of the following characteristics:

  • Assigned work areas (cubicles or a private office)
  • Partition walls everywhere
  • Gloomy colors
  • Plain office furniture
  • Outdated office decor (picture a painting with a boat on it)
  • No recreational or lounge spaces
  • Minimal windows and natural light
  • A clinical or institutional feel

Modern offices usually have a combination of the following characteristics:

  • Varied workspaces (coworking spaces, “hot desks”)
  • Use of color psychology
  • Natural and eco-friendly elements
  • Ergonomic furniture
  • Integrated technology
  • Modern decor (like artful light fixtures or attractive wall coverings)
  • Recreational and lounge spaces (nap rooms are also an emerging trend)
  • Lots of natural light
  • A homey feel

Read also – Traditional vs Modern Interior Design for Law Offices

Top 5 Benefits of Modern Office Design:

As you may have guessed, the beauty and practicality of modern design deliver some exciting benefits.

Up next, we’ll show you exactly how modern office design achieves certain advantages that both employers and employees love.

1. Increased productivity

Interior designers realize that varied workspaces can boost productivity and focus.

In other words, workers need private spaces just as much as they need coworking spaces.

When you think of a modern office, you might picture open spaces, glass walls, and workers huddled around tables collaborating to get the job done.

But this is only part of the story.

Modern office design includes collaborative space; however, not every task is a total team effort.

People also work solo and need quiet spaces for concentration and focus.

Read also – 11 Best Ways to Create a Home Office Design that Maximizes Productivity

maximize employee productivity

2. Healthier employees

Natural light is a staple of modern office design.

But letting in all that light isn’t just about saving a few bucks on the power bill or showing off the size of the windows.

A study from the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University concluded that workers in offices with optimized natural light has 63% fewer headaches, are 56% less drowsy, and have a 51% reduction in eyestrain.

A little extra light goes a long way.

3. Attract top talent (and keep it)

Millennials and Gen-Z are rejecting the traditional office environment in favor of flexibility and workspaces with a homier feel.

Who cares, right?

Well, businesses should because by 2025, Millennials and Gen-Z will make up the majority of the workforce.

Put another way, Millennials and Gen-Z will be the talent businesses are trying to attract.

So, offices with a home-like atmosphere and flexible workspaces will have an edge up on the competition when attracting — and retaining — top talent.

Read also – Best Office Partition Ideas

4. Stress and anxiety reduction

About 83% of U.S. employees experience some level of job-related stress.

Stress can be a nasty thing — especially in the workplace. It impacts productivity, strains co-worker relationships, and can also bleed into workers’ personal lives.

Although an office design can’t reduce workload stress, it can create a more relaxing atmosphere to help workers cope.

For example:

A modern office that integrates more natural elements — like plants, green space, and water features — can help to soothe the stress and anxiety of your workers.

The fusion of natural elements into buildings and office spaces is called biophilic design — something we’ll cover in detail later.

For now, remember that biophilic environments reduce stress and anxiety and are a rising trend in modern building and office designs.

5. Leave lasting impressions

Office design speaks volumes about a company’s identity.

It’s part of how a business communicates its culture, ideals, and vision to clients (and potential recruits).

Modern office design intentionally integrates a company’s personality into its workspace.

For example, a tech company might have a futuristic design concept, or an environmental non-profit might opt for more eco-friendly elements in its office layout.

modern office influence impressions

A sharp-looking office design is also instrumental when it comes to first impressions.

For example, picture a company as a candy bar. The office design is the wrapper, and the product and services are the candy bar itself.

Inside that wrapper might be the most incredible candy bar in existence, but if the wrapper itself is unappealing and gaudy, potential customers might get the wrong impression.

The same goes for office design.

If an office looks like a gloomy, messy dungeon, clients might question a business’ ability to deliver quality work.

Read also – Best Office Decor Ideas To Design Your Workplace

Modern Office Design Trends: What's Hot in 2021?

1. Ergonomic and active furniture

If you’ve ever sat in uncomfortable, rickety old office furniture, you know how much of a distraction it can be. It’s hard to be productive when your back and hips are killing you.

Studies have shown that workplace ergonomics can increase employee engagement and boost productivity.

More importantly, ergonomics helps reduce time lost to musculoskeletal injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, sore backs, and repetitive strain injuries.

This is a big reason modern office designers promote ergonomic and active furniture like:

  • Adjustable-height desks
  • Sit-stand chairs
  • Chair balls
  • Bike chairs
  • Standing mats
  • Sit-stand desks
  • And even treadmill desks

furniture for modern office

Giving employees various ergonomic sitting and work-surface options is a shining example of modern office design in practice.

It proves that modern design isn’t just about aesthetics but a science-backed way to enhance employee wellness.

Read also – Best Furniture Design Software

2. Integrated technology

The seamless integration of technology into every nook and cranny of the modern office space isn’t only convenient; it’s also necessary.

Smartboards, wireless chargers for cell phones, and electric outlets built into every workstation and meeting room are just a few of the little things that help make office life easier.

With remote and flexible workspace options on the tip of everyone’s tongues, more companies are acknowledging how technology improves the workplace and are starting to embrace modern office design.

3. Biophilic designs

Biophilic design is a powerful trend popping up in the office design community.

The idea behind the biophilic design is that human beings have become too disconnected from nature.

We live in concrete jungles instead of real ones, with our eyeballs glued to the blue light from digital devices instead of embracing the big blue sky above.

In essence, modern life has crippled our relationship with the natural world.

As a result, we’re more irritable, depressed, and unhealthy than ever before.

So, the biophilic design attempts to sprinkle a bit of nature into our lives by incorporating natural elements into office building design.

Here are a few common examples of biophilic design you’d find in a modern office:

  • Water features, like fountains or waterfalls
  • Using natural materials like wood and stone
  • Decorating spaces with real plants
  • Green walls
  • Color schemes emphasizing earth-tone colors
  • Pictures or textures that evoke the feeling of nature

Read also – How to Design Your Virtual Office During COVID-19?

biophilic office design

4. Rec rooms and lounge spaces

Say goodbye to drab break rooms or eating lunch in your car, and say hello to foosball at lunch or taking a break with co-workers on a big, comfy couch.

Now, lounge spaces and rec rooms might sound counterproductive — work is for working, right?

But creating that homey feel is one of the mainstays of modern office design — and workers are digging it.

As far as rec rooms go, what better way to build morale and unleash some tension than unwinding with a game of air hockey?

Plus, spaces like these are sure to wow clients and attract potential recruits.

5. Hot-desking

Hot-desking is the ultimate example of mobility inside an office.

With hot-desking, most employees don’t have a permanent workspace.

Instead, workers have the option of using different workstations depending on their needs.

For example, if teams need to collaborate, they’ll use a meeting space. If a worker needs to concentrate, there are private thinking spaces.

Because mobility is highly requested by modern workers — and leads to better collaboration — hot-desking isn’t going anywhere.

What’s more, hot-desking has certain sanitary advantages, too. In the coming post-Covid world, we’ll probably see sanitizing taken more seriously.

Believe it or not, offices with assigned seating typically have desks that are dirtier than most toilets.

Most decks are cluttered with a worker’s files or personal items, making it difficult for cleaners to sanitize the area effectively.

With hot-desking, once workers are finished with a space, they clear out, making it easier to clean the area thoroughly.

Read also – 7 Expert Tips To Design Your Modern Home Office

6. Color psychology in modern office design

You’ve probably heard that certain colors can make a person cranky, kickstart their creativity, or help them get in the zone when they’re working.

This is a concept called color psychology. It’s part of the reason interior design makes us feel things.

In general, color psychology is a theory about how different colors influence different emotional responses.

For example, blue and green colors are calming, whereas orange and red ignite passion.

color psychology

Color is also an important factor in modern office design.

It’s something interior designers carefully consider when planning an office space.

Everything from the colors of the walls to the decor will influence the thoughts and feelings of workers.

When you consider the number of hours workers spend in the office, color psychology should always be woven into your designs.

Create Your Modern Office Designs with Foyr

Now that you’re armed with the theory of modern office design, it’s time to put it into action.

Any savvy interior designer knows that seeing is selling.

So, having an uncomplicated, all-in-one interior design platform that generates detailed designs in the blink of an eye can be pretty handy.

With Foyr Neo, layout and dimension your designs in a snap. Draw your floor plan in 2D mode — or upload your own — then switch on the fly to our 3D sketch view to add more details and create the feel of your space.

create modern office design in Foyr Neo
With thousands of pre-modeled, render-ready products at your disposal, you won’t have to wait hours for a rendered view.

Just drag and drop a product model from our library into your design and generate gorgeous photorealistic views in minutes.

If you need a little nudge, import a premade modern office design from Foyr’s Inspiration Hub and modify it to suit your client’s needs.

office design inspiration hub
So, if you’re ready to cut your design time in half and deliver smiles to your clients’ faces faster, let Foyr Neo be the engine that drives your creative, modern office design.

Add Some Flavor To Boring Spaces With A Spicy Modern Office Design

Times are changing.

Boring office designs are a relic of a business culture gone by.

The modern worker doesn’t want to work in a space that feels like another Dunder Mifflin clone.

They want offices with character and functionality — spaces that accommodate their modern style of work.

Modern office design is merging health, science, psychology, and aesthetics to give workers the homey, flexible workspaces they’re calling for.

Ready to wow your clients and sprinkle some extra flavor into your next modern office design?

Then try Foyr Neo free for 14 days.

Foyr Neo Free Trial

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