By Danni Eickenhorst
At Centerco Office Suites, each one of our St. Louis small business owners customizes their own work space. A growing marketing agency added a community conference table for collaborative work sessions and impromptu meetings. Others add couches for an intimate meeting space that easily converts to an office space resting area while the clients are away. We love to see what they’re going to do next! We’ve noted a few repeat office space design and decor trends as we watch our small businesses customize their office suites. Here are three of the biggest that we’re seeing for small business office spaces in 2016!
Hiding wires & cords in the office
As laptops, desktops, chargers, printers, computer monitors and other electronic devices begin to crowd our office spaces, so do their unsightly cords and wires. According to this article in FastCompany Magazine, one of the biggest office design trends in 2016 is to hide wires and cords using creative office design techniques. One solution we have seen to this problem was created by St. Louis office furniture company Artifox. Their minimalist desks are handmade, and feature special panels to hide cords, built-in and hideable charging docs – and even (BONUS!) a dry erase board built into the surface of the desk for quick brainstorming.
Incorporating healthy living in office design
Did you know that by standing just 2.5 hours more per day, you can burn up to 350 more calories every single day? At Centerco Office Suites we offer our community members 24/7 access to a state of the art gym, but we know that many aren’t as fortunate, or may find that they don’t have the time to take advantage of such a space. Standing desks, cycling desks, and other mechanisms that encourage movement through the day are becoming a staple in modern office decor and design. Check out this recent article in Forbes by Larry Olmstead, as he chronicles his experience and results switching from a sitting to standing desk at work.
For around $40.00, one of our community members was able to buy a clip-on desk from Amazon that easily snaps on to the treadmill and elliptical machines in our gym – allowing her to keep moving during the day when the gym is slower.
Incorporating natural elements in the office space
A recently-released Human Spaces report into the Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace revealed that employees that work in office environments with natural elements report a 15% higher level of well-being, are 6% more productive and 15% more creative overall. As a result of that study, there has been a significant increase in natural elements in the workplace from the addition of indoor plants to sunlamps that mimic natural daylight. In spaces with little or no windows, companies are finding that small swaps – such as lighter colored paints, using LED lights instead of fluorescent bulbs, and adding mirrors to amplify any natural indoor light, can have a major impact on employee moods and stress levels. One creative solution we’ve seen is a fake window box with sunlight LED bulbs and shutters that mimics a window with natural sunlight flowing in – even in a windowless space!
Check out this creative way to recycle old laptop screens – using them to create a false window with “natural light!”
Open Floor Plans
As companies come to value collaboration among team members, open floor plans are becoming a norm. At our office suites at Centerco, many small business owners choose to forego walls or dividers and instead create areas for collaboration and team projects.
One St. Louis company that has embraced this open floor plan concept is Booksource, an online education marketplace for schools. The company’s headquarters off Macklind Avenue feature an open floor plan and literary-themed conference rooms.
“The open concept has proved to encourage teams to connect with one another and serves as a great learning tool,” said Lisa Whealon, Chief People Officer at Booksource. “When you can hear a neighbor discussing a roadblock in a current project or listen to the way a coworker interacts with a customer, you are in an environment that fosters continuous job learning.”
Really? Who wouldn’t want to have a meeting in Wonderland or Hogwarts?
The creative, collaborative office space came as a result of a redesign. The team at Booksource knew from the start that when they decided to redesign the space, they wanted to do more than just update the carpeting and splash some new colors on the wall. It was important to them that employees felt inspired and alive in the space, and that they would find ways to bring creativity and collaboration to the forefront.
Now that you know what other companies are doing to customize their spaces, it’s time for you to create your own office space that helps set the tone for your company as it grows. For more on our customizable Creve Coeur office spaces and suites, click here – or give us a call for a tour at (314) 558-4200!