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Top Office Design Trends for 2018

Modern office design at a workplace

Office design may seem like a minor factor when it comes to employee satisfaction, but a working environment can have a major effect on how your team perceives their job. This is a place that your team will be spending around 40 hours per week in, so it’s important to create a space that is both comfortable and functional.

Your office doesn’t need to be cutting-edge to keep employees happy, but it does need to feature certain modern amenities that are expectations in 2018. While office design might be slow to change, you can get proactive in your approach to creating a better space with our top office design trends for 2018.

Storage Improvements

Storage may seem like a simple consideration in the office, but it has a massive impact on the clutter that can make your workplace feel disorganized. Not only is storage essential to keeping coats, bags and other belongings out of the way, but it can improve the overall look of your workplace with thoughtful design considerations. Storage is no longer an afterthought, and it’s one of the simplest improvements your company can make to create a whole new feel in your workspace.

Many office designers are turning to homes for inspiration in storage. Islands that break up open spaces are making their way into large offices, serving as a soft seating area for employees to work with storage drawers located just below a working surface. As with an island in a kitchen, these storage islands often feature minimalist designs, handle less opening mechanisms and natural materials to provide functionality without flashiness. Done right, this type of storage blends into your work environment seamlessly.


It can be difficult to accurately predict what 2018 will bring when it comes to the size and needs of your company, so it’s in your team’s best interest to plan ahead for all possibilities. This means creating a work environment that adapts to your team, rather than the other way around. The desks and chairs you put in place now will hopefully last your company many years, so it’s worth going with options that have the flexibility you need to stay productive.

Consider purchasing modular furniture that emphasizes adaptability. Modular desks can be arranged in small, medium and large workstation setups, providing maximum ergonomic benefits while creating just the amount of room you need for a specific job. You can also find desks that elevate and lower with the push of a button. These elevated desks can work in a standing or sitting position, giving your employees a choice for what working style is ideal for them. As your team grows, it’s essential to provide choices like these to attract new talent and keep your existing team comfortable on a daily basis.

Activity-Based Work Areas

For over a decade, open office work environments were the “big thing” in office design. The purpose was to improve collaboration among team members, but many employees find that the open exposure can be more distracting than helpful. On busy days when a team member needs to complete a large plate of responsibilities, office commotion is the last thing that will help them stay productive.

Office designers are increasingly turning to an activity-based approach to office design. Imagine dedicated spaces designed for specific types of work, and you’ll get an idea of this type of work environment. You can incorporate small pods featuring short walls on each side to provide a bit of privacy when your team members need to concentrate. This signals to other team members that the employee is still open to work-related conversation, but they are focused on a particular task. For work that requires even more privacy, set aside dedicated rooms employees can go into to work in peace. Simply being in a space like this has the same effect as a do not disturb sign, yet feels much more natural.

Bring the Outside In

Another trend that is following home design is the push to create more natural elements in the work environment. Nobody wants to go into a space that feels dark or unnatural for work every day, and it can negatively affect an employee’s mood and productivity if they’re not exposed to sunlight and greenery on a daily basis. Humans were never meant to be cut off from the sun and their surroundings for hours on end each day, so designers are taking psychological considerations into account much more than ever before.

The easiest change you can make to affect the feel of your work environment is invest in plant life to surround your employees. Of course, you will need someone to water and care for these living plants, but the change in scenery is well worth the effort. Additionally, sunlight is an essential part of wellbeing, so consider opening up windows on your exterior walls. Not only will this help keep the plants alive, but you may notice your employees are more productive and energized with the added sunlight.

Moving Forward

A great office design can help attract great talent, but there’s more that goes into the process than creating a comfortable space. Check out our blog post, “3 Common Mistakes in Finding Top Talent” to take your recruiting to the next level. With a well-rounded strategy, you will impress your future talent from the moment they step through your doors.

If you’re looking for ongoing advice and support in attracting talent, Darke & Associates is ready to help. Contact our team to see how we can provide you with the insights you need to make your business more attractive to the best employees out there.


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