Office Themes And What They Mean To A Workspace

Introduction


The look and feel of your office space sets the tone for how your company operates. Employees spend a majority of their day within their office space and the visceral aspects affect their physiology as well as their productivity. Designers study the client company thoroughly before commiting to a theme which would be harmonious with the work culture, employee age group and field of work, among other aspects. These days a lot of people realized the importance of the design office to make the employees love the place, full of spirit, to motivate for work.


The Theme of an office reflects how the space is to be perceived by users as well as visitors. From the layout, to the accessories and decor items, the theme of the space has an influence on everything. 



Picking the Right Design Theme


Ideally you want a workplace that allows people to focus and concentrate whenever needed, and to collaborate and communicate whenever needed. You also want a workplace that is physically and mentally comfortable so that people can perform and function at their best. There are aspects that need to be considered while deciding on the right look and feel for your workspace. 


Work Culture


The company work flow and work culture probably has the biggest impact on its design. A clan culture based company would look drastically different from a hierarchy based company, a start-up would differ from a corporate background office and a collaborative workspace would vary from an individualistic culture. The underlying reflection of one's work culture can be very prominent in its design. 




Individualistic versus Collaborative


  • Decision maker’s Preference

The decision maker, obviously, has a say in how their office is going to end up looking, and while they will factor in the suggestions and shortlisted ideas from their designer, they do want to have the end decision. The user’s individualistic preference shows heavily in the theme and the materials and finishes they choose. 

  • Field of Work

The field within which the company works in plays an important role in how its workspace would look. The dependencies for this element can include the type and number of visitors, the type of work, and the type and strength of departments. A media company would look rather different from a law firm. 

  • Budget

While this may not be of primary concern, or have a large impact on the decision while choosing a theme. However, if there is a budget constraint, grander themes might not be considered at all. 



Why have a Theme for your Office Design?


The look and feel of a space is often a reflection of what the company is and is a tangible form of communicating the underlying ideologies. Having a theme based design for your workspace could have several benefits. 


  • Balance

A theme can balance out your entire workspace, comprising all your needs, elevating the basic office setup and even adding a layer of accessories, graphics and plants. Having a theme in place ensures that all standard office requirements are made more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable as well as additional elements are added. 

  • Harmony

The elements of a space, no matter how functional and aesthetically pleasing individually, need to work together to create a beautiful workspace. A dedicated theme helps bring about a sense of harmony and coherency to the office. 

  • Comfortable Atmosphere

The theme of the space, which is based on the work culture and the employees using it, creates an atmosphere which would make users comfortable, happy and engaged in their everyday work. 

  • Increased Productivity

When users feel comfortable and engaged within their workspace, a place they easily spend 40% of their time in, their productivity is bound to increase, subsequently impacting the bottom line of the company. 


Traditional Design Themes


Contemporary Theme


Fundamentally, a contemporary style of decorating is defined by simplicity, subtle sophistication, deliberate use of texture, and clean lines. Interiors tend to showcase space rather than things. By focusing on color, space, and shape, contemporary interiors are sleek and fresh. A contemporary palette often used blacks, whites and other neutral tones as a base with punches of bright colours being used as accents. This style also uses clean lines and bold, geometric patterns, resulting in high ceilings, block coloured walls and large glass panels. 

The contemporary theme also heavily looks into every element individually, allowing each to separately stand out while still blending with the rest of the space. In contemporary interiors, less is more. Generous use of metal, stone, and opaque or clear glass works well in a room decorated in a contemporary style. To soften and warm-up space, use heavily textured fabrics in plain colors for window treatments, pillows, or rugs. In terms of plants and flowers, they should be large and dramatic but placed in simple containers. 





Modern Theme


Modern design is a designated time period, from the early to mid-20th century. It originated at the turn of the century, with roots in both German and Scandinavian design, and really gained popularity throughout the first half of the century.Modern is a broad design term that typically refers to a home with clean, crisp lines, a simple colour palette and the use of materials that can include metal, glass and steel. Modern design employs a sense of simplicity in every element, including furniture.

White, beiges, and even some shades of black are the main color palette for modern design, but it can incorporate color as an accent, so long as it leans towards earthy. Modern design has a large emphasis on natural materials, so keeping things in a more natural color palette is key. Modernism leans towards, and traditionally favours in all fields of design, an open floor concept. It uses earthy tones, simple furniture and furnishings and clean looks, opposing the bold colours and geometric patterns of contemporary design. 



Urban-Industrial Theme


Industrial style or industrial chic refers to an aesthetic trend in interior design that takes clues from old factories and industrial spaces that in recent years have been converted to lofts and other living spaces. Components of industrial style include weathered wood, exposed brick, industrial lighting fixtures and concrete. This aesthetic became popular in the late 2000s and remains popular to this day. 

The industrial theme heavily relies on an open floor concept, exposed building material textures, wooden accents, high open-ceiling concepts, metal fixtures and a neutral palette with urban tones such as reds, browns and greys (similar tones to construction materials). The lighting fixtures generally consist of surface fixtures and metal framed hanging fixtures in geometric patterns. A mix of simple and rustic furniture and furnishings suit the style well along with modern and quirky accessories. 


Alternative Design Themes

Biophilic Spaces

Biophilic design is based on the premise that humans have an innate need to connect with nature, and that when this connection is made, it results in better health, concentration, creativity, and work performance. The theory behind biophilic design is that it improves both physical and psychological health. Indeed, biophilic design reduces stress and enhances mood. 

Contrary to popular belief, biophilic as a term does not solely refer to plants. It also emcomposses natural light, water, and fresh air. The use of natural views, not blocking out sunlight, having plants around the space are traditional ways to incorporate the theme. However, adding plants in varied ways, using locally sourced, natural looking furniture, providing a visual connect to water, and having the floor plan setup in an open, breathable manner, also stresses on the theme prominently. 


Tech-Driven Spaces


Digital technologies have impacted businesses across industries and that is leaving a strong imprint on office space design. Creating a new experience for its employees by giving them a collaborative, technology-enabled office space, the office design would focus more on incorporating the required technology, as opposed to creating a standard “pretty” office space. The use of media walls, live-streaming services, interactive boards and virtual office assistants linked to the services of the office, enhance the workspace to engage the tech-savvy employee. 


Case Studies


Modern theme 

  • Office : Modern Craft offices, Vancouver, Canada.


Vancouver-based marketing agency Modern Craft is living proof of what an uplifting workplace can accomplish. With a breath-taking view and an interior space that promotes out-of-the-box thinking, marketing experts from around the world are flocking to this five year old agency.

Playing on the human desire to seek connections with nature, Modern Craft frames its proximity to the ocean and mountains through large windows around the office, strategically placing desks and meeting rooms against the stunning backdrop to combat stressful work and meetings.

Bright, playful colours are used throughout the space as an ode to the creative industry that the agency thrives in. Alongside the constant stream of light and sunshine seeping through the windows, the space promotes the cultivation of ideas and problem-solving.

Work-life balance is important at Modern Craft. The office comes fitted with chill-out and brainstorm areas for employees to get away from the screens. After a long day making magic happen for clients, employees can head to the modern bar corner which features aesthetically pleasing hard-wood, LED lights and matching accents.






Contemporary theme

  • Office : The Line Office, SJA Primecorp., Bangalore, India.


A refreshing and vibrant space that can be inviting, engaging and give the builders customers a sense of warmth that the builder was trying to showcase even with the ready for sale apartments. 




The Line Office’s design is a medley of colour, pattern and form, the balance of which has a striking impact on every user working or visiting, almost making it a conversation starter between the sales guy and the customer. Colours and patterns have an indispensable role, as a highlight of the office stimulating a cheerful vibe across the inhabitants. The 3000 square-foot office boasts a 13′ feet high GI Sheet ceiling and a glass courtyard inviting the outside into the inside along with a glazing view towards the apartment. The office also works as an experience centre to showcase the fixtures/materials used in the apartment units and is built in MS wireframe structure mimicking the apartment layout itself.



Industrial theme

  • Office : Macrokiosk, Kuala Lumpur Offices, Malaysia


The building’s facade bears a distinct characteristic and decidedly monochromatic palette that are seamlessly integrated into The Space, the latter which is coincidentally similar to Macrokiosk’s official theme color of grey, black and white. This striking triptych lends a stylish and high-tech look and feel to The Space, while highlighting MACROKIOSK’s commitment in technological investment and a corporate culture that centres on transparency.


Upon exiting from the elevators, one steps directly into The Space’s private lobby and is greeted by a massive web of steel sculpture – meticulously handcrafted and installed by a local sculptor – that becomes a backdrop to the company’s signage.


One arrives next at the Space Bar, a fully-functional bar that provides all-day free food and beverages with a selection of breakfast and afternoon tea served daily. Situated at the opposite end of the Space Bar is The Garage, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the stereotypical beginnings of many successful IT companies.



Individual workstations are meticulously planned around an open spatial layout occupied by 120-degree work desks for optimized comfort and efficiency. Each of the 10 rooms for the management is uniquely angled and no two spaces are symmetrical in the entire workspace. Breakout pods that are segregated with brightly coloured carpets and seats are planned around the space as open meeting areas. Also available is a dedicated bicycle parking post, which makes cycling to work a viable option for the cycling enthusiast.





Reflecting Macrokiosk’s propensity for embracing efficiency and sustainability in its business practices, every area in The Space’s layout is positioned to leverage on the expansive glass windows for natural lighting to enhance visibility while reducing energy consumption. In addition, the workspace uses zero-VOC paints, flooring made of recycled materials, low voltage lighting and an air-conditioning system that runs on chilled water.



Biophilic design theme

  • Office : Jacada travel offices, London, England


Sustainability and biophilic design were at the heart of the design process and links back to the focus that Jacada put on community, conservation and carbon offsetting in all the bespoke packages they create.



Through careful planning and a collaborative approach with the client and external suppliers, we have delivered a stunning landscape that transports you into a sustainable, authentic and organic workplace. The new 4,500 sq ft office environment focuses on providing a better insight into the way Jacada Travel works and provides enough space to support their continued growth.




Minimalistic design theme

  • Office : Kinfolk Magazine, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Danish studio Norm Architects has taken influences from both Scandinavian and Japanese design to create this pared-back gallery and workspace for Kinfolk magazine in central Copenhagen.

The local studio worked closely with Kinfolk's editor-in-chief Nathan Williams and communications director Jessica Gray to develop the design, which features a gallery as well as an office.

The aim was to create a collaborative workspace where the magazine's staff could meet together but also invite friends and partners to share ideas. A palette of wood and plaster in muted tones creates an informal, home-like environment that is more akin to a lounge than an office.




Workamp’s bit into Corporate interiors 


Workamp being a fast growing co-working spaces and workplace solutions start-up, is youth driven and constantly evolving. We design! We understand your workplace culture, requirements and create bespoke solutions according to client’s needs. 

Workamp takes care of your workplace functioning so that you can focus on your work and need not worry about the administration. We provide workspaces and manage and take care of those spaces. 

Slates are the Workspaces  that compliment your organisation's personality, culture and workflow, designed for 100+ employees. while you focus on what matters. 

While you are busy growing your business, we design kickass workspaces for you. A youthful, interesting and a themed workspace is all that brings us back to the workplace after all. Here are some office spaces by Workamp:


Zillingo, Lower Parel, Mumbai.


With 20 employees situated in Zilingo and the majority being young and experimental minds, Zilingo wanted a space that could not only attract more like-minded talent but also a space that could promote their team-spirited, family culture. Catering to this need required to understand the demographic being targeted at the workspace. Further, having to create an experience that would allow the users to enhance their productivity and overall requirements at the workspace was essential.



Elleys’, Goregaon, Mumbai.


Elleys’ is a reputed brand in India when it comes to switchboards. The brand style is chic and modern. The products are constantly evolving and so is the company. The company has people of every age group working in their office. So the requirement of the client was to have a classy and elegant workplace that every person in their office likes. Be it a person of age 23 or age 60. 

We have tried to use subtle yet cheerful colors and paired them up with classy black and white. You will see a pop of colors through accent walls or furniture pieces or plants and lights. We have followed the modern design theme that fits perfectly into clients requirements with regards to how the office space should be.



Conclusion


Today’s office interior design trends are all about enhancing the productivity, creativity, collaboration, and health of the employee workforce. As competition for attracting and retaining the best employees intensifies, the quality of the workplace becomes an important factor for any company or organization. Since today’s employees spend most of their weekday waking hours at work and not at home, designing an environment filled with physical comfort and stress reduction is a powerfully effective motivational factor for them. The look and feel of the space, thus, makes a big impact on the way your employees work. 

Theme is a most significant idea of the design process. A design theme mixed with the user's instinct, stated problems, and design sensibilities is a unique solution to every different subject and project. The theme of the office space might seem like a trivial matter if not looked into closely. However, it is of utmost importance as it is a prominently visceral aspect of design and accounts for how employees and users perceive and interact with the space. A lot can be achieved through correctly picking and executing a design theme that is in sync with the work culture and brand value of the company. 






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