Office Design Trends 2024
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/ Office Design Trends 2024

Office Design Trends 2024

Dr. Greg Dooley - Design and Build Specialist

Dr Greg Dooley

Digital Marketing Manager

Content Specialist in Office Design & Build

Office design trends in 2024 will be influenced by at least three principal factors: the ongoing adaptation to the post-pandemic return to the office, the growing importance of workplace well-being, and a real commitment to environmental sustainability.

Our top eight trends for 2024 bear on these factors including changes in office desk utilisation particularly where staff are now returning to the office, use of modular collaboration spaces for maximum use of space, and more of the home and 3rd place comforts being brought into some office spaces like barista-style reception areas, bars & drinks areas, informal auditorium spaces, private dining areas, biophilic design elements, and hybrid-friendly Office Layouts.

Each trend is a response to the evolving needs for adaptability, employee wellbeing, and ecological responsibility and sustainability in the workplace. Through these trends, office spaces are being reimagined to not only enhance their visual appeal but also to promote a work culture that is engaging, productive, and in harmony with environmental considerations.

Top 8 Office Design Trends

  1. The Return of the Office Desk
  2. Modular Collaboration Spaces
  3. Barista-Style Reception Areas
  4. Bars & Drinks Areas
  5. Informal Auditorium Spaces
  6. Private Dining Areas
  7. Biophilic Design Elements
  8. Hybrid-Friendly Office Layouts
The Return of the Office Desk
Merging hybrid spaces and individual desks

1. The Return of the Office Desk

Recently, we’ve worked with some clients who had moved to hybrid offices – to best utilise the space following the impact of home-working –  now wanting to get people back into the office, and requiring more desks as staff return. We expect this trend to continue as the Return To Office gains momentum, and the need to bring back the office desk becomes apparent.

In the years following the pandemic, there were significant changes in office desk utilisation in line with remote and hybrid work patterns and employee preferences. Initially, the scales were titled strongly toward hybrid and flexible workspaces as a reaction to the pandemic. This transformation was partly driven by the need to make offices more appealing and adaptable to encourage employees to return to the physical workplace. Recent data, however, hints at a potential swing back towards a greater need for traditional office desks.

A recent report by XY Sense Workplace underscores this shift. The data reveals that while there is still a preference for collaborative spaces, with a 32% utilisation rate, the need for personal workstations remains substantial at around 26% utilisation. About half of the office desks are used for less than one hour per day, but crucially, 30% of individual workstations are utilised for more than 3 hours per day. This suggests that while employees value collaborative spaces, they also require personal desks for focused work, especially as they begin returning to the office more regularly.

This data points to a critical balance that companies must strike in their office design. While the hybrid model offers flexibility and has been well-received, there’s a clear indication that the elimination of personal desks in favour of a fully hybrid environment might not adequately meet employee needs. Companies must consider the varied workstyles and preferences of their employees, recognising that while collaborative spaces are important for team-based activities and meetings, individual desks still play a vital role in supporting focused, independent work.

Award winning office fit out company
Ergonomic chairs and dual screen monitors, accented by indoor greenery
What is Ergonomic Office Furniture
Workspaces complemented with plush soft seating areas
US Investment Firm
Sit-stand desks enhance workplace ergonomics

2. Modular Collaboration Spaces

Current reality shows that trends move quickly. Modular collaboration spaces offer that degree of flexibility in changing times. Modern office environments are essential for fostering creativity, teamwork, and efficiency. These adaptable areas, equipped with flexible furniture and cutting-edge technology, are becoming increasingly vital in the workplace.

A key aspect of these spaces is their flexibility. Modular collaboration spaces are designed to be easily reconfigured to suit different tasks and team sizes. This adaptability is achieved through the use of movable desks, modular seating, and configurable layouts. The aim is to provide teams with the ability to customise their environment according to the specific needs of their project or task at hand.

Technology is another feature. Modern collaborative spaces are often outfitted with high-tech audiovisual equipment for presentations and video conferencing, along with tools like digital whiteboards and project management platforms. This integration facilitates seamless communication and efficient sharing of documents and ideas.

Modular Collaboration Spaces
Integrating diverse seating arrangements, from sketch to 3D render
Relaxation Area with Hanging Plants
Breakout areas with modular tiered seating and soft seating
Incorporating Biophilic Design Elements
Easy to move chairs and soft stools in a collaborative workspace setting
Adobe Communal Space
Tiered seating at Adobe
Netflix Office Furniture Project - Netflix Madrid - K2 - Marek Sikora Photography - Large-34
Modular software soft seating at Netflix

3. Barista-Style Reception Areas

While renowned as a nation of tea lovers, surprisingly our preferences are quite balanced with 70-80% of Brits drinking either tea or coffee. While tea and coffee machines in the workplace are nothing new, integrating Barista-Style Reception Kiosks into office spaces is a step change in how businesses approach their working environments, merging hospitality with traditional office functions into a hybrid working environment. This trend not only transforms the reception area into a more welcoming and hospitable space but also adds a unique touch to it.

One of the key benefits of this concept is the creation of a more inviting first impression. The presence of a barista station at the reception area transforms it from a purely transactional space to one that exudes warmth and hospitality. This not only benefits visitors but also boosts employee morale. Easy access to quality coffee and refreshments is a simple yet effective way to make employees feel valued, potentially increasing productivity and job satisfaction.

Another benefit is social interaction. A barista-style reception area naturally fosters social interaction and networking among employees. It becomes more than just a place to get coffee; it’s a social hub that encourages informal communication and collaboration, strengthening the sense of community within the workplace. This setup also reflects positively on a company’s brand and culture, showcasing a modern, employee-centric approach. It can be particularly effective in attracting and retaining top talent, as it demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being and comfort.

The image below shows how we transformed DTRE’s office from ideation in the form of a 3D visual sketch up, to a 3D colour concept, all the way through to a CGI visual and final realisation by the construction team. You can see how closely the idea matches the reality and this is indicative of a design and build approach where the design team and build team work closely together with the same objective – in this case developing a fabulous barista-style reception.

DTRE London, Mayfair | 11,000 sq. ft.
An Exquisite Marble Topped Barista-Style Reception Area at DTRE, London
Criteo New York Office Design - Reception
Criteo New York Office Barista-Style Reception Kiosk
Criteo Singapore Barista-Style Reception Area
Criteo Singapore Barista-Style Reception Area

4. Bars & Drinks Areas

Reflecting a modern trend in office design, the concept of incorporating bars or wine bars within the workspace is gaining popularity. These dedicated areas serve multiple purposes – from casual staff gatherings to more formal client meetings, fostering a blend of leisure and professionalism in the office environment. The design of these spaces emphasises sophistication and relaxation, making them ideal for networking events or as a unique setting for discussions.

Key to this trend is the integration of the bar area into the existing office layout without disrupting the professional atmosphere. For instance, sleek, modern bar counters can be complemented with high stools, offering a spot for quick coffee breaks or evening drinks. The inclusion of wine coolers or discreetly designed storage for glassware and beverages maintains functionality while preserving the office’s aesthetic.

Lighting plays a crucial role in these areas, to create a warm, inviting ambience. Adjustable lighting options can transform the space from a bright, energetic spot during the day to a more subdued, intimate setting in the evenings.

Furthermore, these areas can be designed with versatility in mind. Movable partitions or retractable elements can transform the space according to the needs of the event, be it an open networking space or a more secluded spot for private conversations. This approach not only adds a touch of elegance to the office but also reinforces the idea of a dynamic, adaptable work environment, where relaxation and productivity coexist harmoniously.

DTRE Bar and Drinks Area
Designing an elegant wine bar for DTRE, from sketch to 3D Render
Netflix Office Furniture Project - Netflix Madrid - K2 - Marek Sikora Photography - Large-29
An exquisitely designed bar setting with plush seating
K2 - DTRE - Office Curator - LARGE-8
Complex office fit-out for Bericote Properties in London
Platinum Equity - K2 - Marek Sikora Photography - Small-4
K2 - Criteo - Office Curator - LARGE-32

5. Informal Auditorium Spaces

There several styles of types of corporate auditoriums, from the traditional theatre style to outdoor auditoriums utilising open-air spaces for presentations.

Informal auditoriums with tiered seating are particularly on trend in modern office design, aligning with the evolving needs of contemporary corporate environments. This approach goes beyond aesthetic considerations, focusing on functionality, comfort, and efficiency. Tiered seating, commonly seen in theatres and lecture halls, offers an array of benefits suited to the dynamic nature of today’s workplaces.

Firstly, tiered seating enhances both visibility and acoustics, crucial aspects for effective presentations and meetings. By ensuring that every attendee has an unobstructed view and can hear clearly, these seating arrangements foster a more inclusive and engaging environment. Additionally, the use of vertical space in tiered designs allows for more efficient use of office areas, accommodating larger groups without requiring extensive floor space. This is particularly beneficial in urban office settings where space can be limited.

Furthermore, tiered seating adds to the versatility and adaptability of corporate spaces. Modern designs often feature foldable or modular components, enabling quick reconfiguration for various events and purposes. This flexibility is essential in multifunctional office environments, catering to a range of activities from large-scale presentations to smaller, interactive workshops. The aesthetic appeal of tiered seating also cannot be overlooked; it lends a sophisticated and professional ambiance to the workplace, positively impacting both employee morale and the impression made on clients or visitors. In essence, tiered seating in office auditoriums reflects a deeper understanding of the intersection between space design and organisational culture, emphasising comfort, collaboration, and continuous learning in the corporate world.

Design and Build Approach vs. Traditional Procurement Route

6. Private Dining Areas

The integration of private dining areas into office spaces aligns closely with current trends, particularly the focus on creating versatile and exclusive environments for both formal and informal gatherings. These spaces are designed to accommodate a select number of guests, offering a secluded setting for events like C-suite lunch meetings and dinners with important clients. This concept challenges the traditional notion of dining out by bringing the same level of privacy and exclusivity into the office environment.

Private dining areas are particularly useful for offices as they are often required only occasionally. Therefore, their design incorporates retractable features that seamlessly blend into the office when not in use. This includes elements like voile curtains, retractable or movable tables, and benching systems, all designed to be effortlessly assembled or retracted. The focus is on ease of transformation, allowing for a swift conversion from regular office space to an elegant dining area whenever necessary.

In addition, the furnishings in these areas are chosen for their flexibility and functionality. Expandable tables and foldable seating options cater to different event sizes and types, ranging from large group lunches to smaller, more intimate team meetings. The use of multifunctional furniture not only saves space but also adds a modern, streamlined aesthetic to the office. The overall design is characterised by a balance between functionality and style, ensuring that these private dining areas are not only practical but also contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the workplace. This innovative approach to office design reflects a growing desire for workspaces that accommodate diverse needs, from professional tasks to social engagements, all within a single, cohesive environment.

Private Dining Area at DTRE
What are Voile Curtains
Elegant voile curtains create a seclude private space
retracting crittall glass doors allow for multifunctional space

7. Biophilic Design Elements

Biophilic design in office spaces, a concept that aligns with our inherent need to connect with nature, is rapidly gaining traction in modern architectural and interior design. This approach is not merely about aesthetic enhancements; it’s deeply rooted in improving communal wellbeing and social integration within the workplace and has been shown to improve employee productivity by 6%, increase creativity by 15%, and enhance overall well-being by up to 40%​​.

By incorporating elements such as plants, natural light, and organic materials, biophilic design creates an atmosphere that supports both physical and mental health. It has been found that work environments which include these natural elements can significantly boost productivity, creativity, and overall employee wellbeing.

The presence of plants, for instance, not only enriches the air quality but also plays a crucial role in reducing the symptoms associated with sick building syndrome, a condition often exacerbated by poor air quality and inadequate lighting. Moreover, natural light is a key component in this design philosophy, given its profound impact on our circadian rhythms and psychological state. The use of natural shapes and forms, alongside the inclusion of elements that reflect the local culture and history, further enhances the sense of connection to the environment.

Biophilic design is versatile; it can be implemented in various degrees, from simple additions like potted plants to more extensive integrations such as green walls and maximization of natural light. This approach offers a way to create more inviting, productive, and sustainable work environments that resonate with our innate affinity for the natural world​

8. Hybrid-Friendly Office Layouts

In 2024 we see hybrid-friendly office layouts, designed to blend remote and in-office work, becoming a standard in workplace design. Office design layouts, which cater to the increasing adoption of hybrid work models, are characterised by their flexibility and integration of technology. The design of these spaces is a direct response to the diverse preferences within the workforce, accommodating the approximate 60% of employees who prefer the flexibility of remote work and the 40% who value in-office work for enhanced collaboration and resource access​​​.

The layout of hybrid-friendly offices includes various types of spaces: social areas like lounges and kitchens to foster community, collaborative zones for different types of group work, and focus areas for individual, concentrated tasks. These designs reflect an understanding that physical office space is best utilised for interactions that benefit from face-to-face communication, aligning with the preferences of employees who favour onsite work.

Additionally, concepts like hot-desking are implemented to adapt to fluctuating office attendance and maximize space efficiency. The incorporation of balance spaces, such as meditation booths, underscores the importance of mental and emotional well-being in the workplace. This holistic approach to office design aims to enhance both productivity and well-being, accommodating the needs of a multi-generational workforce in a dynamic, flexible work environment​​​.

Hybrid-Friendly Office Layouts
Designing an elegant wine bar for DTRE, from sketch to 3D Render
Hybrid areas for hot desking at Reef House
What Your Office Says about You
A comfy nook filling the empty corridor space at Extreme
VoucherCodes Chill sofa area
Soft seating at Vouchercodes

How Do you Integrate these Office Design Trends?

Integrating these innovative office design trends requires a blend of creativity, functionality, and an understanding of your unique organisational needs. At K2 Space, we specialise in bringing these concepts to life, tailoring each design element to align with your company’s culture, operational requirements, and aesthetic preferences.

Our range of services includes:

  1. Office Fit-Out: Transforming spaces into functional and inspiring workplaces.
    Office Design & Build: Offering a seamless process from initial design to final build.
  2. Office Refurbishment: Upgrading and revitalizing your existing office spaces.
  3. Office Furniture: Providing ergonomic and stylish furniture solutions.
  4. Sustainability: Ensuring eco-friendly and sustainable design practices.

With our expertise and your vision, we can create an office space that not only looks great but also boosts well-being, fosters collaboration, and meets the evolving demands of the modern workforce. To learn more about how we can help you integrate these trends into your office space, contact us at or leave us a message and one of our team will respond to you shortly. Let’s create a workspace that’s not just functional, but a true reflection of your company’s ethos and future aspirations.

The Design and Build Approach

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