2021 Office Furniture Trends


2021 will see office furniture trends push the envelope. 2021 will be a year of creativity, flexibility and sustainability.  

Our work habits and lifestyles were dramatically changed during 2020, and trends are catching up to reflect that.

This article will cover the 3 trends we expect to be dominating the office furniture environment in this new year.

TREND: Hybrid Workplaces

Office space is no longer a place for just focused and solo work. In 2021, many people will be working a combination of at home and in the office. Due to this shift, we see the traditional role of the office space evolve. This is the evolution of hybrid workplaces. 

As a society, the role of an office has shifted. Office space in 2021 will be a gathering place for innovation and collaboration rather than a place primarily for independent work. Workers have largely embraced their home offices and have grown comfortable completing solo work in their own space.

Large offices will be reframed as a place where creativity and collaboration thrive. The office is no longer space where employees should just be required to go but rather a place that draws them in and keeps them inspired.

One way of updating your current space is to incorporate a wide range of spaces within your office. Different areas should accommodate different work styles, such as room for impromptu meets, room for brainstorming and room for focused breaks. 

Workers have grown comfortable working from their home offices and the luxury of facing their own space. They won’t want to abandon their more comfortable home furniture and decor.

Resimercial or residential-commercial design will continue to grow in popularity in 2021. 

This concept offers a home-like atmosphere that is softer and more comfortable than traditional commercial furniture. However, it still retains the practicality and durability that commercial furniture embodies. 

Ultimately, it’s about finding a way to blend the best of both the workspace and the home space. 

TREND: Flexible Furniture

In 2021, office furniture will have to be prepared to tackle changes and evolve quickly. Not only will workers need to be flexible, but their furniture will need to keep up. 

Quickly adaptable workspaces are a must in the modern office because it allows for flexibility. There are three main types of flexible office furniture that are growing in popularity:

  • Moveable office furniture
  • Modular office furniture
  • Movable walls

Moveable office furniture will is by far the most flexible solution. This furniture can quickly reconfigure and move about as needed. People recognize that impromptu collaboration between 2 or 3 people can be just as, if not more, productive than formally scheduled meetings. Their office space should match this flexibility, and by implementing moveable furniture, people can create an adjustable work area. 

Modular furniture, on the other hand, is designed to give your organization long-term flexibility with the primary goal of using your valuable office space as efficiently as possible.  One way we like to explain modular furniture is by thinking of modular furniture as a lego kit for your office furniture.

Trained installers can reconfigure workspaces quickly and inexpensively; it’s an on-demand solution as your organization grows and your needs evolve. If long-term flexibility and long term return on investment is your objective, modular furniture is the way to go.  To get a more in-depth exploration of modular systems furniture workstations check out this video!

The third and final type of flexible office furniture we’re going to cover often is not considered furniture. Moveable walls are a modular system that allows you to treat the internal walls and doors of your space as you would your furniture. Just as with systems furniture workstations, a team of trained installers can tear down and reassemble an office in just hours rather than the days or weeks a similar drywall construction project would take… all without sending anything to the landfill or filling your space with dust and debris. 

Moveable walls provide a flexible and cost-effective long-term solution to designing a workplace that can adapt and grow along with your organization.  If you would rather watch than read more about moveable walls, you can check out our explainer video here!

TREND: Sustainability 

Both consumers and potential employees are demanding that Business Owners ensure their office spaces promote sustainability and eco-responsibility.  One easy way to improve your space’s sustainability is to look for eco-friendly materials when buying new furniture. 

Ask potential suppliers about their green initiatives! The best manufacturers have all started offering sustainable options and have green programs in place. 

For example, one of our partners, Haworth, is now offering a yarn for their seating upholstery called SEAQUAL.  SEAQUAL yarn is Upcycled Marine Plastic made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, from debris found floating discarded in our seas.  

A burgeoning sustainability sub-trend is biophilic design. This is an effort to reconnect nature with our modern indoor life by bringing nature indoors. 

The core premise is that people have spent millions of years living in natural spaces and these spaces can have a pronounced effect on our psychological well-being.

One great example of biophilic design is the surging popularity of “green walls” or “living walls.” They are panels of plants grown vertically on structures that can be either free-standing or attached to walls. Other simple methods are to add more potted plants and trees to your office space and ensure your team works near windows that have a view of the outdoors.

An additional benefit of bringing more plants into the workplace is an improvement to the air quality in your office. Plants do an excellent job diffusing oxygen, and many studies have shown that looking at plants and the outdoors both reduces stress and inspires greater creative thinking. It seems like a win-win solution to us!

With hybrid workspaces, flexibility and sustainability, 2021 is sure to be a year of growth and creativity in the office space.

If you would like to learn more about incorporating some of these concepts into your office space, reach out and request a free no-pressure consultation, or keep reading about the latest research in office productivity in our Learning Centre.

Emily Adams
Office Interiors
Digital Content Specialist 

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