Blog image

5 Workplace Design Trends for 2018

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Last year brought us new and exciting technological and manufacturing advancements that will undoubtedly affect our workplaces. Year on year, new trends emerge and we’re seeing progressively more and more dynamic workspaces as a result of generational change – a wider range of ages sharing office spaces, with as you would expect, very different requirements. We discuss what trends we predict to continue from our 2017 design trends, and some new developments, reacting to changing technologies.


1. Biophilic Design

Biophilia is described as the inherent link between man and nature. It has long been known that mother nature can have extremely positive effects on both physical and mental health and is no longer viewed as a luxury but an important consideration. Biophilic Design is an innovative way of using elements of nature to create a positive impact on your workspace.

Biophilic Design started to grow at a steady rate last year, and doesn’t look like it’s slowing down. There are a number of simple ways to introduce elements of nature to your environment including furniture, finishes, layout and accessories.

Take a look at some of our biophilic design solutions below…


The “On-Point” table from Swedish design house “Offecct” is an innovative way of bringing mother nature to the forefront of your environment. Incorporating vegetation into the centre of the table creates a unique piece of micro-architecture that echoes the theme of outdoors within an indoor space. We used this creative product in a number of projects last year, and are already specifying the range on our 2018 projects. Check out University of Bristol’s Nature inspired “Innovation Centre” below…


The “Huddle Shed” by British manufacturer Frovi, is a whimsical, fanciful way of incorporating notes of the outside world into your office. Although the product doesn’t directly incorporate nature; the outdoors inspired design is sure to transport you straight out of your office and into the great outdoors.


BuzziFalls by Buzzispace, is a playful approach to acoustic screening. These strips are made out of BuzziFelt with cut out shapes in various patterns from organics to geometrics to city skylines. The tree inspired shapes shown below create an immersive, enclosed nature themed area.



Elements of nature can be brought into the office in a number of ways including through colour, texture and pattern. Using materials like wool, wood and stone build a natural environment, whilst using textures and patterns found in nature help to create an immersive outdoors experience. Take a look at some of our favourite outdoors inspired fabrics, finishes and materials below…

Consumers are becoming more and more aware of sustainability and are starting to demand that suppliers take more consideration for the environment. Back in 2005, leading fabric manufacturer Camira started developing fabrics made from wool and nettle fibre. After success with nettles, Camira then started experimenting with making fabrics from wool and hemp. Now one of BOF’s most popular ranges, with a wide variety of colour options, Camira Hemp lives up to its 100% wool counterparts, while being significantly better for the environment. In 2018, we expect to see more and more manufacturers developing and suppliers planning, environmentally aware products for clients.



Multiple studies confirm that workers who get sunlight are likely to be more active, sleep well and are generally of better mental and physical health. In turn artificial lighting, including office lighting and light from electric devices can be disruptive to our system and can result in poor sleeping quality. Poorly designed lighting can also result in eyestrain, headaches or can affect our vision. Big windows that allow plenty of daylight are key to a well-designed workspace.

2. Materials/Finishes/Textures

As we’re sure most of you are now aware, Pantone’s official colour of the year for 2018 is “Ultra Violet (18-3838). Expect to see this colour popping up a lot more in 2018, whether that’s in Branding and Logo Design, Web Design and of course, furniture and interiors.

“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

We’ve outlined some simple ways that you can incorporate this year’s hottest colour into your office interior in our blog article here.


3. Technology

As with most years, Tech giants released a number of innovative, revolutionary mobile devices in 2017. Some of which have changed the way in which mobile devices interact with the static world around them. As a furniture provider rooted in working and learning environments, not a day goes by that we don’t specify or supply a piece of furniture with integrated power. This could be a worksurface with sleek, concealed power in the surface or a comfy sofa with power and charging facilities included in the arms. The technological advancements in 2017 will force the industry to reconsider the specification of power provision.

Samsung and Google and many other mobile device providers made the switch to USB C in 2017; a new digital connection that provides a better way of charging that also has started the process of removing the headphone jack from handsets (Which a lot of people are still unhappy about). It’s not just phones too! A lot of laptops and tablets are now using USB C as their primary data port.

Our Verdict? Expect to see leading electrical accessory manufacturers introducing USB C to their portfolio throughout 2018. Sooner rather than later! Some manufacturers have started this process already, take a look at the Pluto with TUF A+C from Office Electrics below.


4. Virtual Reality

The process of communicating interior design schemes and furniture layouts is changing, and very quickly. As technology advances and Virtual Reality becomes more common in every day life, from advertising, gaming and shopping; expect to see a huge shift towards Virtual Reality being a viable and affordable communication tool for architects, interior designers and furniture providers alike.

In 2017 we invested heavily in Virtual Reality and used this innovative, exciting process to demonstrate creative projects to some prestigious clients. To view some examples of our VR capabilities, grab yourselves a VR headset (Something like Google Cardboard will work fine) and click the link below!

If you would like any more information on VR and our capabilities, or even if you’d like to request some BOF branded VR headsets. Leave a comment at the bottom of this article or drop an email to


5. Your home away from home – Resimercial Spaces

“Part Residential, Part Commercial”

Throughout 2017 we saw a rise in the number of domestic inspired products being brought to the forefront of working and learning design. We all know work is a major part of our lives and bringing some home comforts with us into our working lives has a positive impact. More and more workplaces feature casual working environments with an added focus on comfort to aid collaboration whilst the relaxed atmosphere helps bring people together.

Expect to see this trend really take off in 2018 with more and more manufacturers and designers switching their focus to products perfect for Resimercial spaces. Take a look at a few of our favourite domestic inspired products below.


Frovi ILK 2 Seater Sofa

Thanks for reading! We hope this article gives you into an insight into the 5 major trends we expect to see in 2018. If you enjoyed this content, and would like more information delivered straight to your inbox; make sure you subscribe to our mailing list below!