Making the office a place where people really want to be can prove challenging for many employers in today's hybrid-working landscape. Creating a physical environment where they feel stimulated, will thrive, feel mentally positive and consistently productive can go a long way to achieving this.

A new workplace interior doesn’t have to mean a new building, nor a full top to bottom refurbishment. The floor plane alone can provide the perfect canvas for creating a comfortable environment that looks inviting and functions well for today’s more agile workstyles. Here are some ideas to inspire you.

1. Get creative with colour and pattern

Injecting strong, vibrant colour into the floorscape will immediately lift the mood and elevate the senses. With a carefully chosen colour palette, the vibe can be turned up or down depending on how you want people to feel. For a space dedicated to downtime that needs to feel calm and relaxing, natural, biophilic greens and earthy hues will provide a more tranquil mood.

At the other end of the scale, adventurous use of pattern is perfect for break out zones and brainstorming rooms to really ramp up the creative juices. Moving from a fixed workstation to a more visually stimulating, fun space for collaborating with colleagues, transports you into a completely different headspace, encouraging freer, more creative thinking and bigger, bolder ideas.

Inspiration Floors -  Brainstorming Area
Clerkenwell - Three Corners and Facet at CAE Technology

2. Make the most of modular

Modular floor coverings are now available in an array of formats and sizes making them incredibly flexible when it comes to floor layout. Beyond the traditional square format, carpet tiles can now be found in various sized planks and even rectangular slabs.

The latest generation of luxury vinyl tiles, designed to emulate the look and feel of other materials such a wood, stone, concrete and metallic grids come in sizes, and often textures, that reflect their conventional alternatives.

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Zoning a workplace can transform not only the way it looks but, importantly, how it functions.  With some suppliers allowing orders of as little as one box for a design, the opportunities modular floor coverings offer for getting creative with the floor are limitless.

Modular Carpet Design Flexibility
Coastline -Landscape and Landscape Transitions at BP Agora

Tech can help too. Online visualiser tools and visualisation services allow you to play around with different products and layouts. Here’s some ideas for what to do:

  • Mix it up – install complementary or even clashing designs together in one space for a completely unique, customised floorscape 
  • Visual Signposting – for circulation areas the floor can help with wayfinding or used in various colours/designs to identify meeting rooms or hubs within a larger office area
  • Play with installation – being creative with how you install floor coverings. e.g. off-set/ashlar, random, or herringbone/zig-zag styles for carpet or LVT planks will create a sense of movement and flow
  • Creative cut-ins – getting creative with how you cut designs together will give a quirkier, more interesting dynamic to a space
  • Rug insets – to zone a break-out space can provide a homely domestic feel of adding a rug to the floor
  • Drop in highlights – strategically positioned tiles ‘dropped in’ can usefully communicate messages (remember to 2m distance rule?) or simply add a fun splash of colour!

Creative Flooring Design1
Change Agent - Compound Magic Carpet and Earth Science LVT at SWLEP and Crafted Series - Woven Colour at PEGA

3. Textural shifting

A tactile shift in floor covering can provide a subtle signifier for a change in tone or function of a space. For example, the switch from a robust, hard floor reception to a carpeted area helps denote a change of mood and a feeling of being ‘welcomed in’. Equally, the richer, more luxurious, sculpted feel of a multi-level loop or tip shear carpet for a C-suite board room, for example, will evoke a sense of exclusivity.

Textural Carpet
Arctic Survey - Shackleton at JLL

For more utilitarian areas of a building, a shift from carpet to a resilient floor, such as luxury vinyl tiles, helps delineate these functional areas. Walkways and service spaces like kitchen and dining areas can be visually zoned with a textural shift.

4. Reflect the comforts of home

As workplaces continue to evolve and employers become more mindful of their employees’ mental and physical well-being, creating areas where staff can take time out and relax away from their desks has never been more important.

These nurturing spaces need to feel familiar and comforting. Cushion backed carpet tiles that feel soft and luxurious underfoot, coupled with gentle patterning and cool, calming colours will create the ideal ambience.

A thick cushion backing on a carpet tile will also improve the acoustics within a building. Installed in relaxation areas, this helps to absorb distracting noise and keep spaces quieter and more tranquil. At a time when we are trying to welcome people back to office, isn’t it important to create a bit of home-from-home?

Homely carpet design
Artistic Liberties - Without Reserve at Lähitapiola Insurance

5. Design distinctive, memorable work environments

Brands live or die by being distinctive and different. A workplace that reflects its company’s values and visual identity can be powerful in building loyalty and instilling pride among employees.

In the workplace interior, the overt use of company logos or brandmarks is one approach, and perfectly achievable in carpet with digital colour placement technology.  A more subtle approach is in the use of custom colour palettes, to reflect a company’s identity.

Branded Workplace Lightbox and Preface at WeBuyAnyCar

A company’s culture and values are equally important and can be expressed through the workplace interior. For example, the floor a gaming company’s playful, fun personality can be reflected through creative use of vibrant design and colour.

 At the other end of the scale, where a law firm’s professional integrity needs to be on display, a more measured, restrained look can be communicated through the floor with a plainer style and muted colours. Considered choice of floor coverings can be key to setting the tone of a workplace, not just for its employees, but also for customers and other stakeholders. 

Contrary to the assumption that the post-pandemic work landscape has changed forever, a recent survey by KPMG has revealed that 64% of global business leaders and 63% of UK CEOs are predicting a full return to the office by 2026.

Beyond attracting an existing workforce back into the office, workplaces that truly inspire are generally those that succeed in attracting and retaining the best talent. As the modern office continues to evolve, we must facilitate more agile, flexible, and collaborative workstyles, so its worth remembering - the floor is your friend!

To learn more about how inspiring designs can enhance workplace well-being, visit our related blog 5 WAYS IN WHICH FLOORING CAN IMPROVE WORKPLACE WELL-BEING

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