There’s more to office design than colours and desk style. Here are some unusual trends you need to watch out for. Offices are now more than a place to go to work a typical nine-to-five day. They have become about community and form an important part of a company’s brand image. It’s no surprise then that the style of offices across the globe is continuously updating, taking cues from interior design but also different ways of working. While many of the trends focus on colours, styles of seating and the materials used, there are some that are slightly more unusual. These more out-of-the-box trends are usually focused on employee wellbeing, helping to provide a more comfortable office environment that promotes health and happiness. Although these trends may seem a bit odd, they do tend to have a number of benefits. They may not be suitable for every office, but here are some of the trends that have gotten big this year that we can’t help but love: Living walls It may sound a bit bizarre but moss-covered walls are one of the big trends for this year as offices aim to bring a bit of the outside in. While office plants have been a common feature in many offices for years, this trend sees plants incorporated into the actual office furniture. Walls, shelves, storage and desks are being designed with moss sections to add a touch of greenery to workspaces. Experts have even created ceiling tiles and desk dividers made out of moss to create offices that fully embrace nature. So exactly what is the point in moss being added to offices? Well, we all know that plants help to improve air quality, which is a big plus in offices that can easily become stuffy, but moss can also help to reduce noise pollution, cut down on dust, maintain humidity levels and reduce a building’s CO2 emissions. It is likely that the improvement in air quality is a big factor in people’s decisions to bring moss inside, with the drive to improve health wellbeing only to become more important following the recent pandemic. On top of this, having plants in an office has been found to reduce physical and psychological stress, helping businesses look after the mental health of their employees. While there are benefits to this trend, you may be wondering exactly how moss can live in an office environment. Unlike other types of plants, preserved moss doesn’t need an irrigation system, so this doesn’t have to be factored into your design. This means you can simply enjoy the stunning environment your living features create and the benefits they provide. [Image courtesy of @joelogon Flickr] Sleep pods You’ve probably been sat at your desk at some point and thought that you could really do with a nap. Unfortunately, curling up under your desk with a blanket is frowned upon in most offices, which is where office sleep pods come in. We all know that you do a better job when your mind and body is well-rested and a number of companies are taking this idea and running with. As part of the continued push to improve employee wellbeing and health, businesses are looking to provide more than a gym membership or free healthy snacks. Sleep is a common issue, with most people not getting nearly enough of it. This can impact productivity and health, even if you keep yourself caffeinated. A quick power nap can refresh you and leave you ready to face the rest of your workday while feeling revitalised. This has resulted in a number of forward-thinking organisations investing in sleep pods that provide a comfortable, quiet place for employees to catch some Zs when they feel drained. Suitable for sleep or meditation, the pods give people a break from their desk and show that a company is invested in their wellbeing. While many companies may not be ready for this step forward, a fair few have already made the investment and are reaping the benefits. As more businesses hear about and see the positives, it’s likely that sleep pods will start to become a more common feature in offices around the world. [Image via Gensler] Unconventional spaces The chances are you’re used to traditional office spaces that either feature banks of desks or individual cubicles, some designated meeting rooms and a kitchen area of sorts at the very least. While some workplaces will utilising interesting furniture or layouts, most are fairly conventional. This is set to change as offices start to embrace more unusual designs that allow for improved collaborative working and let them make the most of the entire space at their disposal. More offices are now making use of more unconventional spaces within their design. Whereas previously it would have been a case of finding a way around these spaces, now they are being embraced and turned into design features. From breakout areas created in pods, unusual meeting spaces and fun features like swings or tiered seating, those odd-shaped spaces in offices are being transformed into cool and functional areas. For offices that have a fairly simple layout, these unconventional spaces are being created in order to provide a dynamic look and provide options for various ways of working. When combined with the above two trends, you can easily see how this different use of space can create a modern office that focused on staff wellbeing rather than traditional design. What comes next? Just as with any type of design, it isn’t always clear exactly where office design is heading next. There is a definite drive to look after employees – both mentally and physically – which is likely to continue, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic. How this manifests itself into physical office spaces is yet to be seen, but we’re interested to see where it goes. We’ll be keeping an eye out for the latest office trends to help you see where your workspace could and should be heading.