Office design used to be all about functionality but thankfully modern office design is just as likely to feature hi-tech cutting edge design as a Shoreditch nightclub or Thameside art gallery might be.
Of course, function should always play an integral role in the best examples of all kinds of design and when it comes to anything to do with business that is doubly important. Despite this, modern office design is becoming much more high-tech.
With a growing emphasis on creating productive and creative environments for workers across the whole spectrum of office employment sectors, using cutting edge ergonomic approaches and eco-friendly principles is now becoming the norm rather than the exception.
Finding the right balance can have the dual effects of impressing customers and increasing staff productivity, so here are some of the best examples of why London is out in the lead when it comes to modern office design.
Skype’s offices in Chancery Lane were designed by Steve ‘Buzz’ Pearce and as you would expect from a tech company there’s plenty of forward-looking thinking going on.
The Microsoft-owned internet giant has equipped their London outpost with all the toys and gadgets you would imagine and then added some more in the mix for good measure.
The centrepiece of the building is an impressive spiral that is both a meeting place and breakfast bar and meeting space and a bold statement that reflects the nature of the company and the business sector it operates in.
Up the road in Shoreditch gaming company Mind Candy has turned their offices into a concept space that ties in with the work they do. Essentially their place of work is like one big play room where office toys rub shoulders with the latest computer games so that staff can relax without straying too far from the job in hand.
Further west along the Thames in Hammersmith designer Peldon Rose has created a brand new HQ for international brand networking site Bazaarvoice.
Here retro interior design features include chandeliers and colour coded Victorian terrace doors. The quirk factor is evident, with meeting rooms modelled after a monopoly board, which is a fun way of reminding workers that moneymaking is the goal of every business. It is done, however, with enough tongue-in-cheek to bring a smile to your face while you are working toward this goal.
Of course, a company and brand as famous as Nike would be expected to be at the front of the queue when it comes to making their office a standout statement. In London’s rapidly changing Soho, Rosie Lee has redesigned the company’s HQ to feature heritage by incorporating hand-painted illustrations that use iconic landmarks to highlight milestones from Nike’s history.
Why does London lead modern office design?
With so many great examples of forward-thinking office design in the UK’s capital city, you could be excused for wondering why London is so far ahead of the curve.
Of course, one big reason is that it just so happens to be the centre for continued high levels of overseas investment, especially when it comes to property and high profile architect-led projects.
Another factor is the number of multinational corporations that choose London as their main European base or at the very least have a significant presence in the city. This means that the financial sector, in particular, is heavily represented, and often this goes hand in hand with the resources and ambition needed to create something truly unique.
However, any business at whatever size or level can make the most of good, affordable design to achieve significant results. That does not mean you have to create your building from the ground up, but any space that is owned or rented can be transformed by using ideas, imagination and the right approach.
Getting it right
The key to getting a bespoke design approach to give your business its own unique office image is to pay attention to detail. This can be something as simple as choosing the right office furniture, such as 24 Hour Posture Chairs, or even just going with a colour scheme that fits the overall branding of the company and ensuring it is used consistently.
Of course, with a bigger budget, there are plenty of choices whether that means remodelling a building interior to create an entirely different layout or starting from scratch and building a brand new construction that can reflect your ambitions both inside and out.
Future trends for modern office design
One thing is for sure, and that is London will always be at the forefront of office design trends.
With an astonishing array of new buildings currently joining existing recent project such as The Shard, the London skyline is rapidly changing and transforming itself into a futuristic vision that might have been unthinkable only a few decades ago.
With office life now being seen as an important part of a more general life/work balancing act, you can be sure that the examples we have shown you are only the tip of the iceberg of what’s yet to come.