How to future-proof your office

Thinking of giving your office a redesign a 21st century reboot?

If you want to nail your new office design today, you’ve got to focus on tomorrow.


It’s going to take more than just a new office plant or a feng shui book to get your office not just looking great but encouraging greater movement, productivity and efficiency.

We often buy new office furniture without thinking about it in a holistic sense. It might be great value for money, it might look good - but how does it affect the people who use it? Is it going to keep them safe and comfortable?

It starts with furniture but 'active working' spans all areas of company life. Changing your workplace culture to become more active and focused on staff wellbeing will inevitably result in happier employees, which equals more productivity and ultimately - a healthier bottom line.

Workplace design trends are changing, so thinking ahead is crucial for any employer. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking of giving your office 21st century reboot:

Think of the future of your staff

To start looking to the future of office design, you need to first think of your staff and the changes happening in the modern working world.

An interesting thing to consider is that Millennials are starting to enter the world of employment (sorry if this makes anyone feel old!). Those born during the past 20 years and under have grown up with technology all around them. Their attitudes about work, and knowledge of new technologies may also represent one of the biggest challenges that many organisations will face. This is because they've grown up with technology and may therefore expect more flexibility. It’s definitely worth thinking about when creating your new office design.

Create environments for team meetings

meeting space - office environments

Whilst the traditional office is functional, it doesn’t really serve as much of a creative space for meetings.

Try to create a comfortable and bright environment that your staff will enjoy using for meetings to get those creative juices flowing.

Providing private places for collaboration in small teams, open areas for discussion, or quiet places for your staff to focus alone, are also great ideas.

Comfortable places to sit are also needed. Why not pick out some great meeting chairs such as the HÅG Sideways or HÅG Capsico? the great thing about HÅG chairs is that they're not just comfortable but they also allowing freedom of movement whilst sitting. The HÅG Capisco can be set between low and high working positions - all the way up to standing - enabling you to be more dynamic in your movements while still balanced. Both chairs are stylish and modern and would look great in any meeting or conference room.

Some companies love a modern homey feel to their offices. Bean bags and faux grass have been the way forward for some companies such as ThinkGarden in Milan Italy, or Big in Japan in Dallas.

Make your workplace equality friendly

We also need to be considerate about our employees' needs.

There are still many workplaces that are not wheelchair friendly, or haven’t considered dyslexia screening.

The Equality Act 2010 states that it is the employer's legal responsibility to make 'reasonable adjustments' for a disabled job applicant or employee. Not doing so is one of the most common types of disability discrimination. If adjustments are 'reasonable', an employer must make them to ensure its workplace or practices do not disadvantage a disabled job applicant or employee already within the organisation.

Go for an active design – in both office furniture & culture

You may have seen our recent active working campaign.

active working

Active working refers to a policy that encourages movement at work as opposed to simply sitting for long periods of time.

Active working is key for future-proofing your office as it will encourage your staff to be think about their health and how they work.

Your office doesn’t need to be a battery farm for humans. You can start up an active office simply by kick-starting this as part of the culture in your workplace.

Make simple floor changes by encouraging staff to use the stairs instead of the lift, or move coffee/water or vending machines to the other side of the office to get staff walking to them to use them.

If you are looking to go for a total overhaul and want to get your office staff on their feet, sit-stand desks are ideal as they give your staff the option of sitting or standing.

Embrace new technology


Offices are becoming more flexible than they were over a decade ago. For example, many people now work on the go or from home, with it not being unusual for staff to have laptops, mobiles and tablets in place of desktop PCs.

The rise of mobile technology has allowed many workplaces to start introducing this as the norm. But does your office reflect these new modern changes? Are you doing everything you can to encourage an active, agile working environment?

Hot-desking could be an option if you are in a small office and have some staff members out of the office on different days.

Technology has its upsides and downs though. On a positive side it allows your employees to work more freely, giving them the ability to work in varied locations. It can also help your business save money.

Downsides are that we are now hearing reported more than ever that people are suffering from various musculoskeletal disorders due to using mobile devices.

Whether you have staff using tablets and laptops in the workplace, or out of the office it's important we also make sure we protect our employees to ensure that staff are not injuring themselves.

Using a separate ergonomic mini keyboard and mouse, a stand to raise the screen, a stable base on which to work, taking regular breaks to relieve upper body tension, and a backpack to carry the device around will all help to protect against musculoskeletal problems.

Ready to design your future-proof office?

Want to find out more about how you can make the best of your office space?

Our Office Environments team are experts at creating productive and creative workplace spaces and would love to hear from you, whether you're interested in getting your office active working, or going for a full office refurbishment.  Contact us today.

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