February 02, 2022

Sorry Dolly Parton; looks like working 9-5 just isn’t how it’s going to be anymore. At least, not in the conventional way. Say goodbye to working in a cubicle desk in the same spot, every day of the week, and hello to a brand new way of working. And with this comes a host of office design trends that - when combined - are set to create the very best office environments an employee could want.

Here are the top 5 office design trends for 2022.

1. Flexible spaces.

All of us have been in a state of constant change for the past 2 years. So what has the one constant been? Change. Adaptability. Flexibility. All core components should be woven into the very fabric of office design going forwards.

We’re talking about adaptable areas that can change from a meeting room to a yoga class to an event space, all in one day. If you’re moving into a brand new office and starting with a clean slate, then consider keeping one large place that can quickly and easily be divided up at a moment’s notice. Whether that’s built-in, such as configurable moving walls and panel systems, or invested in more affordably with items such as flexible accordion-like room partitions, the point is that one large office space can be transformed into 1,2,3, or even 4 smaller areas.

So how does furniture fit into this office design trend? Furniture should be agile too. Flexible furniture that’s light enough to be moved, wheeled, and offers plug and play options. Booths and pods are great examples of this.

2. Sustainability.

It might sound insincere to call it an office design trend. When we say sustainability is a key office design trend for 2022, we mean that environmental initiatives are going to really be taken seriously this year. Hopefully, every year thereafter.

Every year, the UK throws away around 22 million pieces of furniture (source: North London Wate Authority). Office design trends are often seasonal, suggesting that furniture will be used for less than a year. Smart office design means reusing, repurposing, and recycling materials so that they don’t end up in landfill. Sustainable design means choosing local manufacturers or manufacturers that offset their carbon emissions. It also means making considered purchases from reputable suppliers, as well as using more environmentally friendly materials such as bamboo, cork, and recycled materials.

3. Home-like decor.

Rugs, coffee tables, floor lamps, wall art and comfortable lounge chairs – all items that will create a relaxing and welcoming environment to work in. Why is this an important office design trend to pay attention to? Because 41% of people would be likely to resign if they were forced to return to the office against their will (Source: Owl Labs, 2020). In fact, the data from Tech Crunch showed that a quarter of Americans chose to quit their job this month alone.

If people enjoy working from home, then a clear office design trend will be to recreate the safe, relaxed feeling we have at home. What’s more, home-like décor can be used to define areas that are distinctly ‘non-work’ related; if the desired office floorplate is still open plan, then designating breakout areas with plush sofas, coffee tables and art on the walls will indicate that there’s a place that encourages workers to relax – just like they do at home.

BOOM Kapstok Coat Rack Ambiance 1

4. Neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity as a visual office design trend is harder to pin down, but it’s perhaps one of the most important ones in terms of workplace culture. It’s estimated that between 15% of the UK population are neurodiverse (Source: Local Government Association), which includes autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia.

To provide a more inclusive workspace, offices should provide a variety of spaces to accommodate people that are neurodivergent, introverted or perhaps more extroverted. If you look closely, you’ll be able to see the companies that have adopted this office design trend which – like sustainability – will hopefully become a regular component of professional working environments.

Simple and subtle ways to make offices more welcoming include encouraging workers to choose the space they want to work in. Many workers hate open-plan offices; they feel exposed and vulnerable if people are constantly walking past their desks. An alternative that might suit neurodivergent workers are seats with their backs to the wall. Another popular and important office design trend focuses on office acoustics; neurodiverse people are more likely to work better, and therefore be more productive, in a quieter environment with acoustic panels. Specific quieter areas won’t cost you much in terms of finance but neglecting to think about different people’s needs could cost you your staff.

5. Smart technology.

Perhaps the office coffee machine has an app so in the time it took to leave your desk and reach the kitchen, your drink is ready and waiting for you. It could be an increase in touchless connectivity – whether that’s smarter doors or fewer handles – smart technology can enable us to be more hygienic and more fluid with our movements. Smart tech is an office design trend that will grow momentum, especially with the rise of hybrid working. Sensor technology can alert facilities managers to the most popular areas, but also disused areas which can then be repurposed, so every inch of real estate is being maximised to its potential. Hybrid working also increased video conferences, which means that modern offices are investing in better audio-visual equipment within meeting rooms.

Overall, it seems that the office design trends of 2022 are more human-focused than they’ve ever been before. With ‘the great resignation’ saturating our news feeds, it’s important that all offices are smarter, more welcoming, and provide healthier environments for everyone.


Many companies have mentally adjusted to hybrid working, but does their workspace reflect this as well? We’ve delved into the best furniture for a hybrid working model. We touched upon office acoustics earlier in this article, so you might also be interested to explore the 5 reasons why all offices should have an office phone booth.

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