The distinction between home and office interiors has become increasingly blurred in recent years. For at least a few years, people have been working a lot from home due to the pandemic. Therefore now, in an effort to bring workers back to the office and to make them feel comfortable, more and more elements that used to belong exclusively to our homes are appearing in the working environment. Video calls while lying down, Instagram-worthy meeting rooms, plants, soft furnishings, cosy lounge areas with a great focus on privacy and well-being are just some of the latest office requirements.
A sense of home
People now expect aesthetics and comfort not only from their homes but also from their working environment. We are used to doing our work at our desks or in the comfort of our armchairs. Thus, when returned to the office, we also want to find multi-purpose spaces for cosy breaks, better concentration or socialising with co-workers. Interior designers are already setting up new offices with a sense of home in mind. They adjust the lighting and flooring and plan the premises a little differently.
“We have recently renovated the IKEA Vilnius office. Thus, we’ve tried all these tips ourselves. It’s the simple things that make the office cosy, such as interior accessories, rugs, and different lighting solutions. Perhaps you don’t need as many desks as you used to, and some of them can be replaced by a few extra sofas or floor lamps that spread a warm glow. We also encourage you to play with colours that create variety. For instance, in the IKEA office, one meeting room is blue, another one is pink, the third one is chequered, etc. With such easy-to-implement solutions, your working environment becomes even more inspiring.”
Eimantė Nemantė, IKEA interior designer
Cosiness and a feeling of being at home are also increasingly emphasised when designing meeting rooms and office kitchenettes. They are becoming less formal and serve both for their immediate function and as a place to simply change the working environment.
Meeting on the sofa? Why not!
Upholstered furniture such as sofas and armchairs are also appearing in the meeting rooms. These pieces of furniture are no longer just associated with seating or resting areas. In the new IKEA office in Vilnius, we have small rooms furnished only with soft furniture, which we call huts. Employees can come here for a break, a change of scenery, or to lie comfortably on the sofa while taking part in the meeting or having some remote trainings.
Co-workers also enjoy our single working rooms, which have just two pieces of furniture - a sofa and a laptop stand. Certain tasks require concentration, so these rooms are ideal for exiting the common area.
Kolegos džiaugiasi ir mūsų vienviečiais darbo kambariais, kuriuose yra tik du dalykai – sofa ir nešiojamojo kompiuterio staliukas. Tam tikroms užduotims reikia susikaupimo, todėl šie kambarėliai puikiai pasitarnauja, kai norisi atsitraukti iš bendrosios zonos.
Green spaces and natural light
When furnishing the office, it is also important considering proper lighting and assessing where you need the most of natural daylight. We decided that daylight is much more important when sitting at your desk, so we moved the meeting rooms further from windows. Clever lighting and textiles provide the meeting rooms with necessary cosiness.
Having plants in the office is another simple solution to make it feel like home. Not only do they create a cosy atmosphere, but they can also help reduce stress levels, increase concentration and creativity. When furnishing offices with plants, you can also see less conventional, attention-grabbing solutions such as green walls, flowerpots hanging from the ceiling, plant terrariums, etc.
“The focus on well-being and plants goes hand in hand with another trend: companies are increasingly focusing on sustainability in their office design. This trend is also coming to workspaces from home interiors. With many people thinking about greener lifestyles, both businesses and employees are looking at how they can reduce their environmental impact. We are witnessing increasing popularity of furniture and accessories made from natural or recycled materials, such items as recycled plastic furniture or rattan armchairs.”
Eimantė Nemanė, IKEA interior designer
Sustainability and ergonomics
Attention to the environment and care for the planet often translates into direct concern for the company’s employees: their emotional and physical health at work. Having spaces that suit different needs, or workspaces that colleagues share with each other, not only helps us use resources wisely and sustainably, but also reduces the need of buying new items. For a workspace that is both versatile and ergonomic, it is best to choose height-adjustable desks and chairs that can be used by several employees.
Free interior for business
Whether you‘re looking to renovate your office or furnish a new one but don‘t know where to start, ask IKEA business interior designers for help. They will take a professional look at your space and suggest the best suiting solution. If you decide to implement the proposed project and to purchase at least 70% of IKEA furniture and accessories, you will get the interior design service for free.