Workplace design trends are driven by a combination of factors, including how the workplace needs to function for workers, economics and, of course, style will always play a role. A current trend that incorporates all three of these is the rise of the organic workplace.
Workplace Design Trends: Could Your Office Be More Organic?
The organic workplace is one that puts environmentally sounds practices…well…to work. This includes everything from locally sourced and sustainable furnishings, to low-VOC paints and furniture or even composting the office coffee grounds and lunchtime leftovers. Even corporate giant Starbucks embraces eco-conscious workplace design trends with some of its new store locations.
Here are ideas for how you can embrace this trend, whether designing a new interior or slowly re-vamping the one you’re in now.
Increase daylighting. If your office is in a single-level building or lives on the top floor, you have the luxury of adding skylights or solar tubes to your infrastructure. This feature increases daylighting which has multiple benefits. Most importantly, natural lighting has beneficial effects for workers, including increased productivity, health and sleep habits. Secondarily, more natural light means reducing or eliminating electric lighting during daytime hours and a more cheerful, fresh and airy ambiance. If skylights and solar tubes aren’t an option, consult with an architect regarding enlarging existing windows or adjusting the interior design to allow more light to infuse the space.
Choosing sustainable products. If you’re designing or renovating your office or workplace, try sourcing sustainable products – preferably those made as close to home as possible – to reduce the project’s overall impact on the environment. The closer something is made to home, the less fossil fuels are required to transport it to the job site. Programs like LEED can help direct your product and finish choices, and adherence to their program will garner your office or workplace building a “Green” designation, which attracts eco-conscious consumers to your company.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. While most businesses are oriented towards basic recycling tenets, take another look around (or in the garbage cans) and identify whether or not you could go one or two steps further towards reducing your waste. One simple way to reuse and repurpose your waste is to start a compost bin. Bootstrap Compost picks up residential and commercial compost (often using bicycle trailers, the T or hand trucks) from the greater Boston area and delivers it to participating farms year-round.
Start reading labels. At the grocery store, we read labels to make sure our foods are hormone and pesticide free. In the office, you can read labels to make sure your paper is made from recycled materials, that new chairs, desks, carpets and paints are made with low-VOC products to prevent toxic off-gasing and you can speak with your local sanitation company to see where old electronics, computers and tech equipment can be taken and disposed of responsibly.
Is your office ready for an organic office design? Schedule a consultation with Leslie Saul & Associates Architecture and Interiors and get started.