Julie Hargrove: office design becomes multifunctional | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record

By Julie Hargrove | Market Manager, Armstrong Flooring LLC

Today’s design trends for the office are influenced by what we’ve come to appreciate working from home.

We have learned to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors and certain personal spaces, but also, we want to be with people.

We want our work environments to be clean and inspiring; we recognized holistic health, both physically and mentally.

Returning to the office, we bring inclusiveness to accommodate everyone through the flexibility of our environment. Although job duties have not changed, the environment may look and feel different.

Providing a variety of workspaces for people is the biggest trend in space planning.

Many spaces are now multifunctional. The open space for collaboration is, with the addition of a movable vertical element, also space for a pod for downtime or a private call.

Flexible furniture offers the ability to not only be inclusive for a disabled occupant, like an adjustable table, but also to adapt to the function of the space.

Sofas and comfy rugs are another alternative for providing workspaces that we have grown accustomed to at home and can provide another meeting space in a less traditional environment.

Using LVT – luxury vinyl tiles – instead of carpet provides a more intimate feel and biophilic enhancement by bringing a natural element inside. It is perceived to be cleaner and an identifiable design element.

Biophilic design is a practice of connecting people and nature in built environments.

Plants are another trend that can be transferred from the home to the workplace. Adding biophilic elements such as botanicals has been proven to reduce stress, improve concentration, and boost creativity and overall well-being.

Access to outdoor spaces is another element with similar effects. Natural light via outdoor travel or an accessible window is essential for improving our mood and productivity.

Color trends include beiges or warm whites when windows bring exterior color into the work environment, or bright colors when natural light is not available.

Focusing on flexibility, inclusiveness and holistic health in the workplace are the most important trends in the workplace.

Julie Hargrove is the Chair of the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s Northeast Florida Chapter Committee for the 2022 Awards Gala.

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