Modern Office Design – The Ultimate Guide to Office Design in 2022

Over the past few decades, we’ve learned much about how the design of an office can impact workplace productivity, morale, and overall employee wellbeing.

Gone are the days of overcrowded rooms, sprawling office cubicles, and lifeless interiors. Designing a modern office has become an art form. One that’s able to inspire team productivity, while improving collaboration and producing better results for businesses.

In this helpful guide, we’ll introduce you to some of the new office trends of 2022, as well as ideas for how you can design a more comfortable, practical, and efficient office environment for team members, stakeholders, and clients alike. We’ll also explore some cheap modern office ideas for maximizing small office spaces when on a budget.

Modern Office Design Trends 2022

The way we work is changing, and the contemporary office will need to change with it to cater to the shifting needs and priorities of the modern workplace. Post-covid, office trends have undergone a big transition, and the future of the office seems to rest on the ability to design a comfortable, flexible, and safe environment for all.

Read on to explore the modern corporate office design trends of 2022.

What is Modern Office Design?

Moving away from the static and lifeless design of a traditional office, modern day offices are much more considerate of the humans working in them. Acknowledging that a happy and comfortable team means a more productive and successful business, modern offices prioritise the needs, wants, and comfort of the modern workforce so that teams can perform at their best. 

Combining a range of factors to create a more efficient and productive environment, contemporary office design can typically be broken down into three key elements:

  • Workspace: Optimising the physical design of the room. This includes layout, decorations, furniture, lighting, and acoustics.
  • Technology: Enabling greater collaboration, data access, and opportunities for remote and flexible work arrangements, technology should be seamlessly integrated into the modern office area. 
  • Culture: Encouraging a healthier and more respectful environment that values employee choices and preferences in the workplace.

The Benefits of Designing a Good Office

Balancing the needs of your team with the needs of your business – without exceeding your budget or space restrictions – can seem like a daunting task, but you’ll quickly find the end results are well worth the investment. 

Here are some of the benefits good office design has to offer:

  • Inspires creative thinking and problem solving
  • Enables better collaboration
  • Helps minimise stress and anxiety
  • Increases morale
  • Maximises floor utilisation
  • Enables easy movement throughout the space
  • Reinforces company culture and brand identity
  • Shows employees that they’re valued
  • Creates a sense of ownership over the space, encouraging staff to take better care of their work environment
  • Attracts top talent
  • Makes a good first impression on visiting stakeholders and customers

Commercial Office Design Trends 2022: What’s Hot and What’s Not

With shifting values and the rise of hybrid work arrangements, businesses are finding it increasingly more important to create offices that meet the needs of the modern workforce. So what are the new trends in offices this year?

Modern offices are fast becoming ‘human-centric’ spaces, meaning they’re specifically designed to meet the needs of the people who keep your business running: your employees.

While the future of office design will continue to shift and grow, here are some of the commercial office design trends of 2022. 


Moving away from traditional cubicles in favour of a more flexible design that empowers employee choice, the modern commercial office is a diverse and varied space that caters to a range of activities and work styles. 

Many companies are turning towards designs that allow teams to enjoy greater autonomy over how and where they work. A flexible workplace can take many forms, from ‘zoned’ spaces to open plan offices. For greater flexibility, you may wish to consider purchasing mobile furniture and rolling office partitions that allow you to reconfigure the layout of your office at any time.

Integrated Technology

The seamless integration of technology is a defining feature of most contemporary office design concepts. These days, access to data, power outlets, and electronic devices isn’t just convenient, it’s an essential element of running a business. 

With the rise of hybrid work models, offices also need to provide sufficient access to technology and tools that enable staff to work at home and in the office.


In January 2021, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released the findings of ‘The Peoples’ Climate Vote’. With 1.2 million respondents across 50 countries, this was the largest survey of public opinion on climate change ever conducted. 

The results found that 64% of people considered climate change a global emergency. It also found that investing more in green businesses and jobs was one of the most popular policies for change around the world. The survey demonstrated an increasing belief that businesses should be part of the solution when it comes to climate change and the environment. 

Sustainable design starts at the procurement process. That means purchasing from ethically and environmentally responsible suppliers, sticking to low-emission and renewable materials, and actively striving to minimise your carbon footprint with every purchase. Better for the environment and your budget, making more responsible choices such as installing more efficient HVAC systems, using LED lights, and abandoning the ‘throw-away’ culture in favour of reusing and recycling can also help businesses save money while increasing staff retention.

Modern Biophilic Office Designs

In this ‘concrete jungle’ we’re living in, the human race is becoming steadily more disconnected from the natural world. 

Disconnection from nature has been found to impact physical and mental health, cognitive function, productivity, and the ability to perform tasks. That means, enabling better connection to nature isn’t just a win for employees, it’s a win for businesses as well. For this reason, many businesses are beginning to incorporate natural elements – known as biophilic elements – into their offices. 

Ideas for a modern biophilic office design include:

  • Water features such as fountains
  • Using natural materials such as wood or stone
  • Placing real plants throughout the building
  • Windows with views of nature
  • Using green or other earthy tones throughout your office
  • Pictures, textures, and artwork that emulate nature
  • Natural light sources


From treating people of every gender and race with respect to providing spaces for neurodiverse employees, inclusivity should be at the heart of your business culture, and the core of your contemporary office design. 

The design of a modern office area should provide a range of spaces that give employees choices as to how and where they work. An inclusive workplace may also supply mothering rooms, prayer rooms, yoga spaces, gender neutral bathrooms, and quiet work areas. Creating spaces with sound and light control, and carefully considering the fabrics and materials used in furniture is also an important step in supporting employees with touch sensitivities such as those on the autistic spectrum. 

Hot Desking

An excellent example of mobility and flexibility in the office, hot desking is an organisational workspace system in which desks can be used by anyone at any time. Instead of tying staff to a permanent desk all day, hot desking enables employees to use different workstations according to their needs and the tasks assigned to them. 

Hot desking is best paired with defined work ‘zones’ that are dedicated to different types of work. For example, when collaboration is required, staff may move to a meeting space, or they can move to a more isolated and quiet study area if they need to focus on independent work. 

Colour Psychology

Studies have found that colour in the workplace is much more than just aesthetics. In fact, colour has been linked to:

  • Mood and emotion
  • Physiology and wellbeing
  • Work performance and productivity
  • Creativity

In-line with these discoveries, your modern office decor should take colour psychology into account. To make use of this knowledge in your design, start by considering the kind of atmosphere you wish to create (calming, energetic, fun etc.) and then choose a colour palette that best matches those goals. 

Traffic Flow

With fewer staff tied to assigned desks all day, movement and traffic flow is becoming an increasingly important factor for contemporary office design concepts. 

Before you start purchasing new furniture, you may first wish to plot out your space, and plan how you want your staff to move through it. Perhaps begin with an image of your office layout, marking down the high traffic areas. This can help you determine the direction of flow and identify spots that are prone to bottlenecks and congestion. Once you’ve mapped out the most efficient pathways through the office, you can begin planning your design and furniture placement in a way that facilitates this new flow.

Office Furniture Trends

Workers in an office setting spend most of their time sitting, which is why ergonomic furniture is an important aspect of designing a modern office. 

Ergonomic furniture refers to furniture that’s been specifically tailored to the human body for greater support, comfort, and movement. Purchasing ergonomic furniture can help minimise the risk of joint pain, musculoskeletal problems, back issues, neck pain, restricted organs, and poor blood pressure, while also easing the strain on existing conditions such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and injuries. 

Furniture is considered ergonomic when it:

  • Doesn’t restrict the natural movement and flow of the body
  • Supports the natural ‘S’ shape of the spine
  • Is highly adjustable and customisable
  • Minimises stress on bones, joints, and muscles

Active Office Furniture

Another growing trend in the workplace is the use of active office furniture, which is designed to encourage healthy movement and activity throughout the day, even while seated. Below are some suggestions for active office furniture that you may wish to introduce to the workplace.

  • Sit-stand desks
  • Gym balls
  • Bike chairs
  • Treadmill desks
  • Wobble stools
  • Rolling chairs

Bear in mind that an active workplace need not mean continuous activity. A little bit of movement can offer all sorts of benefits to employee health, wellbeing and productivity. Enforcing constant movement, on the other hand, may lead to stress, pain, discomfort, and unhappiness in the office. 

A low impact example of active furniture may be something as simple as placing an office foot rocker at every chair, encouraging staff to move their feet around to improve circulation while seated. 

Modern Office Design Ideas for Small Spaces

With limited space and a tight budget, many of the commercial interior design trends of 2022 may seem like a distant dream, if not an outright impossibility. Thankfully, small offices can still incorporate many of the same modern design elements without sacrificing too much floor space or drawing too heavily on the budget. 

Here are some design ideas for maximising your small office space.

Small Office Design Trends 2022

With a little bit of tweaking and careful consideration of the space, many of the commercial office trends that work for larger corporate buildings will work for smaller offices as well. Here are some of the small office trends of 2022 to inspire your next design.

  • Enhance flexibility and efficiency: Make the most of your space with flexible furniture and mobile partitioning solutions that can be packed away when not in use.
  • Offer noise reduction solutions: Acoustic partitions and headphones can help improve privacy and minimise noise distraction when people need to sit in close proximity to one another. 
  • Utilise technology that enables hybrid work models: To reduce clutter and overcrowding in a small office space, consider installing technology that allows teams to work remotely. This minimises the number of people who are physically in the office at any one time. 
  • Clear pathways throughout the space: Maximising small office space starts with maximising movement throughout the room. Try pushing desks and other furniture against the walls, and placing communal tools and resources – such as printers – into the corners to prevent roadblocks and congestion. 
  • Maximise natural light and air: Be careful not to block airflow or natural light sources when arranging your furniture. This will make the interior feel brighter and more open.

Small Office Interior Design Concepts

Different classroom seating arrangements can have a big impact on student behaviour and learning. Some arrangements are better suited to interactive classroom designs, while others are ideal for independent work. This is where rolling chairs and tables can really come in handy by creating a more dynamic space that you can rearrange at any time.

Perhaps you’d like to map out multiple layouts using a classroom design program such as FloorPlanner. This will enable you to quickly switch between layouts according to the subject and activity.

Below are some popular classroom seating arrangements that can be effective in stimulating productivity amongst students.

Feel at Home in the Office

After the Covid pandemic, many staff found it difficult to transition back to a traditional office setting. Try incorporating some ‘homie’ elements that make the office feel less formal and more comfortable. This might be a comfy sofa, bean bags, or even workspaces personalised by staff using photos and decorations from home.

Green Up the Place

Bringing plants and elements of nature into the office has been connected with a range of benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved air quality, enhanced creativity, and greater productivity. Office plants have even been connected to a 60% reduction in how often staff call in sick.

Brighten Up the Office with Artwork

Brightening up the space with art can add a bit of personality to any contemporary office space. Art – especially realistic scenes of nature – can help staff relax and reduce stress levels, while acting as a talking point that may help strengthen interpersonal relationships. Art in the workplace has also been linked to improved staff creativity and reduced levels of anger. 

When selecting art for your small office space, it’s best to choose pieces that capture your brand identity. It’s also important to select art that your staff actually like. After all, they’re going to be spending a lot of time with it. 

Visually ‘Expand’ the Space

Clever use of mirrors, windows, and natural lighting can help make a small room seem larger. The bigger the mirror or window, the more open the space will appear to be. 

Bear in mind that mirrors and large windows can have some drawbacks, including increased glare and excessive heat, so be sure to position mirrors in a way that won’t reflect direct sunlight at any point of the day. It’s also best to fit windows with blinds so they can be covered in the heat of summer.

Emphasise Vertical Lines

One trick many interior designers use to make a small room look bigger is emphasising vertical lines in the space. Whether it’s tall shelves, wooden panels, or hanging features on the wall, vertical lines can enhance the feeling of movement and flow, creating a greater sense of openness 

Low Budget Small Office Interior Design

When money’s tight and you’ve only got a small area to work with, modernising the office doesn’t need to be difficult. There are plenty of design options for small offices that allow you to maximise your space without breaking the bank. 

So how can you make your office look modern on a budget? Here are some cheap office design ideas to get you started.

Tidy Up

Regardless of how modern your design might be, mess and clutter is an easy way to make the office seem dingy and unwelcoming. To modernise the interior, start by clearing away the mess. It’s amazing how much even a little bit of tidying can make a space seem fresh and new.

Flexible Dividers

Adapt your space in moments with mobile partitions and office dividers. Rather than committing to any single layout, office partitions can be used to customise your space, and can then be packed away when not in use. 

Due to their flexible and highly configurable design, even a single partition can serve a multitude of purposes throughout the day, minimising your costs and maximising space utilisation in the office.

Adopt a Minimalist Design

Not only can a minimalist design be better for your budget, it’s also a great way of opening up the space in a small office. By reducing the amount of physical ‘stuff’ you have in the room, you’ll be able to get a lot more out of the area. 

Keep it light

White and light coloured walls can help make a room seem more open and airy, as opposed to dark or more energetic colours which can feel overwhelming or even claustrophobic. 

Consider pairing a light colour palette with one additional colour that flows throughout your design – including the furniture. This will help your space feel larger and more open while creating a sense of visual cohesion. 

Utilise Existing Features

If you’re working out of an old building, your office may already have some unique design elements such as an old fireplace or vintage light fixtures. Rather than ripping these out, consider cleaning them up and making them the centrepiece of your space. 

Antique features can add a lot of personality and charm to a modern office interior.

Design a Comfortable Outdoor Area

A clever design is about getting the most out of your building and its facilities, and that goes for the outdoor ones as well. Try zhooshing up an outdoor area so it can be used during breaks, or when working collaboratively.