Off-white walls, forgettable carpeting, a utilitarian desk – if you’ve worked an office job you are probably familiar with the typical design hallmarks of the average corporate space. However, in the past two decades workplaces have been creeping out of corporate sterility. Glass walls and more open floor plans have become increasingly popular. And the most design forward spaces have been bringing in more playful elements like custom wall coverings. Bold colors, graphics, unusual materials and more are increasingly incorporated to bring life and personality into a space. Basically, interior designers are bringing the joy into office aesthetics.
The Reasons Behind This Trend
There are many factors contributing to this trend. Here are two major reasons:
1. Minimalism Falling Out of Fashion
There is an overall trend in the design world away from stark simplicity. All white interiors and clean minimalism are losing popularity. Once beloved neutrals might be “safe,” but they can easily feel sterile and boring. Especially when used as a cautious default rather than thoughtfully executed. And who wants to spend time in a sterile office?
2. THE RISE OF REMOTE WORKING
Which brings us to our next point – in the years after the pandemic enforced emptying of offices across the world, who wants to be in an office period? Although vaccines and falling Covid numbers have made remote working no longer a necessity for most people – at least in terms of health risks – a lot of these workers are reluctant to return to the office. If you want to attract talent to your office, the classic cubicle farm isn’t going to cut it. That is why commercial interior design has been increasingly bold, colorful, and creative to create an attractive space that is both inspiring and desirable to work in.
Because incorporating joyful interior design isn’t about following a trend, it’s about creating a space that people are happy to work in. A space that inspires positive energy is a space where employees are creative, collaborative, and productive. And in this new era where the lure of remote work is strong, it’s a workplace that is competitively attracting top talent in your industry.
How Wall Coverings and Glass Graphics Come Into Play
Wall and glass graphics are the perfect opportunity to inject a bit of fun into a space. Wall coverings are easily incorporated into an existing space, and depending on size only need an hour or two to install on an existing wall or glass office. It’s a very minimal disruption to operations. No construction necessary. Nor are there lingering disruptions such as fumes from fresh paint.
On the design side of things, their high customizability gives you endless options. “Joyful” after all is extremely subjective. What it means for your company as well as what works with your space needs to be considered. Because custom wall and glass graphics are created custom for every job, you have endless options. There are after all many approaches to take even with just these two material types. So how can you add some fun to your office?
Color Psychology in Workplace Design
The average office space is awash with whites and grays. It’s neutral, unobtrusive, inoffensive…. Boring. Ok, when done right and carefully (and how many offices truly do this?) they can be a lovely design. But not if you’re resorting them because you’re scared of a little color.
Color can powerfully evoke emotions and change the atmosphere. It can calm or revitalize, evoke focus or energy – even lower blood pressure. And of course, with bold and bright colors, bring joy. Greens inspire creativity and new growth, yellows inspire optimism, and reds wake us up and boosts blood flow. Maybe you don’t want to paint your whole space in these colors, but their limited use in wall and glass graphics can have a powerful psychological effect in creative spaces. Use them in collaboration spaces or meeting rooms where high energy and inspiration is the goal. Leave the neutrals for the quiet focus rooms.
For businesses just stepping into the world of wall covering graphics, their instinct is usually to go for the more “serious” look. Logos, company timelines, professional photography. There is a certain fear of looking unprofessional by being too creative.
Illustrative and other artistic styles don’t necessarily need to mean unsuitable for a work environment. Rather they give a lot of freedom to convey abstract values. Breaking free from the limitations of concrete imagery – photography of events or logomarks, offers an opportunity to communicate the heart of your company. Conceptually you can think much bigger – what is the cultural impact of your work? What is your vision of the future? What kind of workplace atmosphere do you want to create?
Furthermore, greater stylization creates higher emotionality. Therefore they can connect more strongly with employees and visitors. Too often workplace graphics can come off as a more sterile marketing piece. It may convey interesting information about the company, but it often doesn’t go deeper than that. Illustrative styles provide a memorable artistic impression
The Truly Fantastical
Let’s take a more fun and artistic to the next level. Nothing brings joy like a bit of magic right? Consider embracing the grandiose and fantastical with your workplace graphics. Admittedly this might be a little too much for some companies – you know your brand best. If you’re a law firm maybe skim over this paragraph, but this strategy can be a perfect fit for entertainment or other creative industries. When done well, the effect is truly impressive. And cements visitors’ impression of your brand as bold and imaginative.
Let’s Get Started
The average person will spend 90,000 hours of their life at work. It’s important to invest in the spaces that we are spending such a large chunk of our lives in. 90,000 hours in a soulless gray office is a miserable fate. Incorporating joyful design in your company’s offices is about so much more than aesthetics. Bringing in color and art creates an environment that energizes and fuels creativity and collaboration. And unless you’ve got a full remodel in the budget, incorporating wall coverings and glass graphics is a great strategy to add some joy through design. Talk to a MetWest Rep today about how we can transform your space!