Office Trends for 2021

Ewa Wojtowicz

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Many of us are craving some of the structure (and socialising!) that we miss from working in the office. We would all love to jump back in, even if the office environment was dingy and tired! 

But an updated office aesthetic for 2021 could make the prospect of that return all the more exciting. With that in mind, we’ve covered our predictions for this year’s office trends below. Hopefully they’ll get you raring to return, and give a bit of inspiration for any office updates you’re considering!


Looking Down: Office Carpet trends for 2021

Resilient flooring in an office is a must, but those tired old grey nylon tiles can be more than a bit depressing. We’ve been talking to our partners at Interface, and the trending colours they’re seeing for 2021 are: mustard pastels, golden ochre, subtle blue, and classic blue.

Those mustards and ochres are a slightly more user-friendly nod to the brilliant and cheery yellow “Illuminating” that is Pantone’s co-colour of the year, whilst classic blue and subtle blue give the feeling of pulling the outside in, through bright and cheery sky-and-sea hues.


Collaboration and Socialising

Our office habits were torn apart overnight when the pandemic hit and we suddenly had to work from home. It’s unlikely we’ll see a return to the ‘same old office’ space, where employees sit in rows in partitioned cubicles.

Our ways of working were all overhauled almost overnight, as so many industries had to redesign how they work, and take it all online. 

What we do miss from the office setting? The chats whilst you make a cuppa. Those informal updates that bond you more closely to colleagues. The cohesiveness of a meeting where you can observe the social cues of others, bouncing ideas easily back and forth. And this, the social element of work, is what we predict will redesign the way offices function when we return to a “new normal”. We predict that “owning” a desk may become a thing of the past, as employees choose to work from home several days a week, and more space will be given over to collaborative thinking and conversation spaces.


Most offices cannot both welcome back all of their staff and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Whilst we predict that individuals will be less likely to have their own individual work stations, we predict space between employees will be maximised, especially over the first few months during which we see a return to the work environment in the shadow of the pandemic.


Expect “work” to emulate “home”

“Resimercial design” is when your office space mixes features from residential and commercial environments to make employees feel ‘at home’ when at work. Expect softer touches, like rugs and windows, more ambient light when spaces are being designed, and nature being brought in, through plant life and natural materials. We expect less office spaces to be designed with identical cubicles, and more offices to be designed to make you feel comfortable and unique.

Sustainability is prioritised

A FastCompany survey recently discovered that more and more employees, mostly the millennials, are prioritising a company’s sustainability status when considering applying for job roles. We predict that being unsustainable will be, well, unsustainable, for credible businesses in the near future. Companies will spend more time advertising their eco-friendly credentials (such as within waste disposal, office cleaning, and power usage) rather than installing quirky office fixtures like slides. We expect offices to be purchasing greener, higher-quality electricals and other products to minimise waste and turnover, companies to be focussed on reduce>reuse>recycle and renewable energy sources, and more aesthetically obvious considerations like installing greenery, going paperless, and making the office well-insulated and ventilated to reduce air conditioning and heating usage.


Are you looking forward to returning to the office in 2021? If you are an office owner looking to redesign your space for a new working world, get in touch today to see how Building Interiors can help you.