The last few years have made the office more of a variable space. A lot of workers are no longer chained to their desks and a more casual approach to working means a unique approach to office interior design and aesthetics. With this revolution in the workplace, how do you keep things low maintenance and simple?
There’s a lot to be said for minimalist design and keeping things simple. The straight forward clean approach to office interiors is one that’s been followed since the 1990s. The plain, clinical whites of that decade have gone but the idea around keeping things tidy still prevails.
As hybrid working and hotdesking has become more popular, there has been more of an emphasis on shared workspaces. This of course means that work stations need to be kept clean, functional and in good working order.
The clutter that comes with the traditional desk setup is therefore gone. Personal items tend to be stowed in drawers and as a result, offices can feel less busy and cluttered which can improve productivity.
Cleanliness is a hugely important aspect of office maintenance and due to COVID this is even more of a concern. Germs and bacteria can of course live on surfaces and office furniture for longer than you imagine so keeping surfaces clean is the best way to combat this. Generally, desks, kitchens and bathrooms have safer surfaces.
When considering initial concepts and surfaces in particular it’s best to pick sealed surfaces, avoiding material that might hold onto moisture or absorb potentially harmful bacteria or germs. Avoid wood with open grains for example or rough, uneven stone surfaces, even if they look superior.
You might already be using some degree of automation at home, your robot vacuum or self-cleaning oven saves you time and money, so why not introduce some degree of automation in the office?
Pairing tech with design choices can also work wonders when it comes to tackling office interior solutions. There are a few solutions available if you need to keep floors tidy at all times and experience heavy footfall. Setting off vacuums and choosing a low-maintenance carpet or floor surface can make a huge difference.
Selecting carpet that doesn't require much upkeep can often mean a sacrifice in aesthetics. However, you can seek out options that offer both style and ease of cleaning.
Ventilation and heating can also be something you can automate and manage flawlessly. Automatic vents and heating sensors can ensure a comfortable temperature is achieved depending on the season, the outside temperature and how many people are in the building.
Automatic windows and heating vents can also make things easier and can save incredible amounts of money.
Lighting is something that can be automated easily, every area of an office can be on movement detection and for areas where people will be working for extended periods, this can also be overwritten. This saves on both lighting bills and light pollution, which is becoming more of an issue in densely populated cities and towns.
A simple detection system can be installed at the point of refurbishment, or retrofitted to provide a perfect way to keep an office’s lighting running efficiently.
Having office plants doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice time and valuable resources on keeping them in order. There’s a whole host of options when it comes to low-maintenance plants and having them in the office can create a calm, serene environment. It can also promote a more creative office. Biophilic design is something that is having a profound influence on many interiors, bringing the calming parts of nature inside.
Remember, there are many health benefits to having plants in an office, including as humidity boosters, air purifiers and stress reducers in general.
Look into plants that need minimal care such as cacti, succulents and other plants that thrive on low water levels and can survive both direct and indirect light with ease. Options can include bushy ferns, spider plants, larger leafy varieties and much more.
Avoiding plants that need pruning, daily watering or flowering varieties can mean you can take advantage of their best properties without worrying about looking after them too much.
As well as environmentally friendly options there’s a whole lot more you can do with hygiene and convenience facilities in a bespoke office design.
For example, rainwater harvesting to flush toilets, water-saving taps and even waterless urinals can all feature in an office design to ensure there’s no waste and cleaning is much more of a simple task. Automatic flushes also mean cleanliness and hygiene are also promoted effortlessly.
In kitchens, instant boiling water taps and smarter surface choices can all make a difference too. There are many options available here for what are high-traffic areas.
Feeling inspired to look into low-maintenance office design? Take a look at our design and build services here.
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There's been a shift in the way businesses use their offices over the last 18 months, shaping office trends for 2022.