Making the office cosy with resimercial design
Social changes have an immense influence on design. We have seen this time and again – and especially over the past two years. The pandemic has sparked many new directions and trends. One of the biggest is the home office. The post-corona era is slowly dawning, and many people are returning to on-site work. But after all the changes they’ve experienced, how are they supposed to fit back into old structures? We’ve taken a closer look at how the world of work needs to evolve and how these changes are reflected in interior design.
Offices have to be more than just purely functional. What’s needed now is interior design that makes the office feel like home. (Photo: Maro Office Furniture)
Working from home: the new normal
Over the past two years, the home office has experienced unprecedented growth. What many companies had long seen as unthinkable suddenly became the new normal. Social distancing made it impossible for employees to come together in the office. The result: Many organisations whose activities lent themselves to remote working switched to it.
Overnight, meetings on Microsoft Teams, Skype and similar platforms replaced face-to-face gatherings in the office. Communication within companies underwent a rapid transformation. But as much as the home office trend posed new challenges for companies, employees welcomed it. According to a study published in 2021, more than 70 per cent of respondents said that they saved time by working from home because their daily commute was removed and that they found it easier to balance family life and their career. What makes remote working so attractive for many is the freedom it offers. If you don’t have to go into the office, you have a much wider choice of places where you might live. City dwellers in particular long for more green spac e and would like living in the countryside to be an option.
The benefits of working from home outweigh the downsides for many employees. Some 87 per cent say that they would like to carry on working remotely for either all or some of the time when the pandemic is over. This raises a question for companies: How can they design their offices so that they represent an attractive alternative to working from home for their employees?
Resimercial design: the foundation for a healthy work-life balance
Smart technologies don’t just make working from home possible. Using the whole world as an office is also no longer a rare thing. Digital nomads combine travel and work. All they need is a laptop and an Internet connection – things that once only the traditional office could provide. The expectations of the workplace have risen. An ergonomic desk or chair is now a long-established standard, and a football table or a fruit bowl don’t cut it as fringe benefits any more. The crucial thing is the well-being factor that the office provides. Today it’s all about finding harmony in daily life and a healthy work-life balance and embracing a mindful approach to personal well-being – and this is reflected in interior design.
The boundaries between business premises and living spaces are becoming increasingly blurred. The goal is to reduce employees’ stress levels and foster their productivity. As a consequence, resimercial design is rapidly emerging as an influential trend in interiors.
“Resimercial” is a fusion of the words “residential” and “commercial”. It refers to the integration of elements of home interior design into commercial spaces, such as offices.
Large corporations like Apple and Google have already been following this approach for some time. From rooms with games consoles to relaxation lounges and wellness areas, the tech giants offer their employees many benefits that foster a relaxing work environment and a healthy work-life balance. But resimercial design can also work on a smaller scale.
Comfort meets functionality: Resimercial design injects colour into the office. (Photo: Balma)
Giving the office a cosy interior design
The idea is to furnish office spaces so that they feel like home. Among the key features of resimercial design are soft lighting , comfortable seating, flexible spaces and accessories that give a touch of home. These elements convey a feeling of warmth, comfort and familiarity – similar to the sense of well-being that the home provides.
The trend for open-plan offices was celebrated for many years for the expansive, communicative design it inspired. But what these large spaces often lack are places for quiet retreat on the one hand and areas for focused get-togethers on the other. Room dividers such as the shelves by MARO Office Furniture create a visual separation and small private areas in large spaces without detracting from their openness. Spaces can be made to feel even more like home with a large sofa and a rug in warm, cosy colours .
The resimercial trend is all about creating spaces for interacting and exchanging ideas. Large, comfy seating furniture, such as the modular sofas by Viasit , are ideal for this. They can be flexibly positioned in the space and extended as desired. The conference tables by Balma create colourful accents.
Alongside accessories with a snug, cosy feel, such as rugs , sofas and pictures, light also plays a key role in creating a homelike ambience. Dazzlingly bright, cold fluorescent tubes bring a hospital to mind and have had their day. Especially in quiet areas and breakout spaces, warm lighting and decorative lamps should be used.
Good acoustics are a decisive factor for focused work. In these times of digital connectivity and meetings, often everyone is talking at once. Green or moss walls can counteract this. Not only are they stunning features; they naturally absorb sound. With resimercial design, comfort and functionality always go hand in hand.
The office of the future is cosy and comfy
As organisations prepare to bring their employees back into the office, they need to create workplaces that are comfortable, inspire creativity and feel like home. Conviviality and warmth are the key values of the office of the future. The requirements for the 21st-century workplace have changed, and companies must address this.