If your office space is starting to look and feel more like a 2 p.m. slump than a morning sip of coffee, the time may be right for a much-needed interior design revamp.
While there are countless styles and office design ideas to use as inspiration, a contemporary office design implements a perfect blend of form and function—long gone are the days of tightly packed cubicles in dimly lit rooms. Now, employees favor open floor plans and offices that offer exclusive amenities, such as wellness respites, fitness rooms, ergonomic seating, and healthy food options.1
Our interior design team will run you through the basics so that you can create a contemporary workspace that speaks to your employees’ needs and modern design.
What Is Contemporary Office Design?
Technically speaking, the definition of contemporary office design is constantly evolving.
The workplace design term first originated in the ‘70s and alludes to the popular aesthetics and design concepts of the present period. With the progression of the decades, what that looks like changes year to year.
Currently, contemporary office design draws from the aesthetic of the ‘50s and ‘60s. These workplace design elements pull heavily from mid-century modern models, which provide timeless adaptability and comfort through:
- Clean lines
- Natural materials
- Graphic shapes
- Vibrant colors
- Comfortable seating
- Indoor-outdoor concepts2
Luckily, mid-century modern design doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. When asked about the staying power of mid-century modern, Cara Greenberg—the woman who coined the term—wrote:3
“It seems to appeal anew to each rising generation of young people. Mid-century design hasn’t been bested by any other movement since, so it remains the style of our own time, not of some antique past. And it still looks cool!”
Elements of Contemporary Office Design
If you’re curating an office space with contemporary design to your office, you’ll want to focus your attention on ergonomic furniture, employee-centered design, comfort, and greenery.
Although this is a relatively new addition to the contemporary umbrella, ergonomic design should take precedence to elevate worker comfort, health, and productivity.
With employees staring at screens for several hours each day, proper ergonomics helps ensure that the body isn’t stressed or injured by awkward postures or repetitive movements, which can cause fatigue, discomfort, and pain—all of which can be signs of a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD).
Whether it’s height-adjustable sit-stand desks, ergonomic office chairs, or mounted monitors, a contemporary office design prioritizes worker health.
Advantages of ergonomics in modern office design include:
- Increased savings due to fewer injuries, and fewer workers’ compensation claims
- Increased productivity by reducing primary risk factors for MSDs
- Greater job satisfaction when employees have the tools to operate in a healthy manner
- Better morale when employees know that their employer is taking purposeful steps to make the office layout safer and more comfortable
Similarly, contemporary office design emphasizes the specific needs and preferences of your employees. It’s created to help them be as efficient and comfortable in their workplace as possible.
As a result, the optimal office layout can differ significantly from business to business. It could mean open spaces with bean bags and private pods, or individual offices catered to each person's ideal setup.
Modern design trends aim to curate dynamic spaces that can be easily adjusted to suit your team’s evolving needs and size, with elements like meeting pods, focus pods, phone booths, and desk pods.
That said, ideally, you should first consult with your team to see what type of work environment they favor to maximize employee wellness and productivity.
Bringing Home to Work
Recent years have added a unique twist to contemporary design. With many employees working from home, there’s now a move to create a sense of comfort within the modern office space through domestic interiors.
These types of design elements may include libraries, lounge spaces, relaxation rooms, or entertainment break rooms. You may also want to incorporate couches, armchairs, throw rugs, and other cozy basics.
Whatever you decide on, the point is to create common areas that are just as useful for decompression as an off-the-cuff business meeting.
Biophilic Office Design
There’s been a concerted effort to move away from the office drone aesthetic so popular in the ‘90s and early 2000s. One of the best ways you can do this is by incorporating greenery into offices and common spaces. This could include:
- Living walls
- Hanging plants
- Small trees
- Herb gardens
But this isn’t done simply to bring some life and color to a room. It can also have a positive impact on employee health and behavior. According to researchers in a 2015 study:4 “Simply enriching a previously spartan small space with plants served to increase productivity by 15%—a figure that aligns closely with findings in previously conducted laboratory studies.”
Design the Best Contemporary Space for You With Juniper Office
Does a contemporary design align with your plans for your future office space?
If so, Juniper Office provides free office design space planning. Simply send us your floor plan in a PDF or AutoCAD along with your ideas or inspirations for a contemporary design. Within 48 hours we’ll turn your vision into reality, providing a photo-realistic, 3D rendering of your optimal layout with recommended contemporary office furniture options.
From design and planning to installation, Juniper makes it easy to create your dream workspace.
Start your project today!
- Forbes. How Your Office Space Impacts Employee Well-Being. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2019/01/24/how-your-office-space-impacts-employee-wellbeing/?sh=49af0b0764f3
- Master Class. 4 Characteristics of Mid-Century Modern Design. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/mid-century-modern-design-guide
- House Beautiful. Everything You Need To Know About Mid-century Modern Design. https://www.housebeautiful.com/design-inspiration/a22877276/mid-century-modern-design-explained/
- Science Daily. Why plants in the office make us more productive. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140901090735.htm