Today’s workplace is all about offering a more holistic experience to staff and ultimately, office design is now all about designing that experience. In a nutshell, companies are looking to create a ‘home-from-home’ space in which staff are comfortable and relaxed, they attract and retain top talent and achieve maximum staff productivity.
Collaboration has been an increasingly big word in 2017 and this looks set to dominate office design jargon in 2018. Office layouts are going to become more collaborative; architecture shouldn’t be allowed to hinder teamwork and this will be a defining principle that will shape the office of 2018. Having a workspace that’s designed to help build relationships between people and between teams will be key for companies in 2018 and beyond. For example, by having no fixed desks and no individual offices, it results in a reduction in hierarchy and builds relationships.
So what does this mean for LED linear trends? Well, as office spaces adapt to suit collaborative working, lighting advancements will need to reflect this. How these collaborative spaces are used is becoming more flexible, with use of mobile acoustic dividers to create ad-hoc meeting spaces. Maintaining a good level of light on the work surfaces is important but this can vary with the use of the space from an informal cosy chat in armchairs to sharing a detailed drawing on a desk – these scenes can be created by using controllable lighting that we will address later in this article.
As employees wish to move around to make themselves comfortable, tenants want flexibility too. Corporate office design trends show larger enterprises are quickly adopting the shared workspace approach. No longer needing to be a balance sheet liability, office space can grow or decrease alongside personnel changes.
Office trends show property managers acting more like hospitality companies to retain tenants. Co-working spaces are adding amenities such as fitness centres, laundry, vehicle repair, break and entertainment rooms, pet care and more! Cafes and coffee shops are appearing in breakout areas of co-working facilities.
What impact will this have on LED linear lighting? Well, we’re likely to see commercial lighting ranges diversify to include designs more suited to this growing range of space uses. For example, a cosy café or coffee shop space would typically include lower hanging pendant lighting with low light intensity and warm light temperature, whereas an office gym would require relatively high lumen output and cool light temperature.
With the rise of the minimalist office, texture will become one way for a workplace to introduce a playful, sensory side and summons a warmth and nostalgic home comfort in the work environment.
Raw and natural materials have been popular in 2017 and will become more so in 2018, bringing elements of the outdoors into the workplace. Wood, particularly in its raw and unfinished state, stone and metals (especially copper), faux or real sheepskin chair throws, leather and tactile fabrics such as woven rugs and acoustic wall panels.
For LED linear, we’ll be seeing some of these textures starting to be used in the creation of linear luminaires. Wood finishes are a definite one to watch here, but we may well see some unexpected materials being used – stand by for sheepskin LED linear? These developments in finishes won’t just be for large, statement LED linear luminaires either – with advancements in production processes and scalability these natural finishes will be worked into even the more basic designs.
It is a well-established fact that use of different colours can have different impacts on how we feel and behave and this holds true in the workplace. With the trend for unconventional work spaces taking a hold, colour will become all the more important to create different moods in a range of areas, from bars and breakout areas to meeting rooms and collaboration spaces.
Looking into 2018 we’ll see the use of bold colour pallets that celebrate exploration and experimentation, reflecting the rapidly changing business climate of today. LED linear lights will continue to increasingly become design pieces and not just functional fittings. Think bold, statement designs that incorporate key colours from your brand palette. This will become ever faster and more cost effective to custom-design luminaires to the exact colour scheme of a space.
Smart LED linear lighting
Smart control of LED linear lighting in the workplace is very much going to be part of the future and it is going to become an integrated part of the data networks within workspaces heading into 2018. Lighting controlled from your smart phone via Bluetooth as you sit below it will certainly become a possibility, making it possible for users of a space to create a working environment that is closely tailored to their needs.
Smart tech may have a serious impact on energy consumption as well. If rooms are unoccupied the lights will turn off, maybe even sensing occupation via smartphone signals nearby; as you walk into a room the lights connect to your smartphone and turn the lights on to your optimum pre-set level.
In addition, we may start to see systems in use that learn the habits and patterns of when and how the light is used, and use this data to automatically adjust LED lighting to suit your daily routine…which brings us onto the subject of ‘human-centric’ lighting. The conversation around employee wellbeing isn’t going away anytime soon, and LED linear lighting is looking to join the revolution aiming to change the unhealthy office stigma for good.
How? It’s just lighting isn’t it?
Our bodies have what we call a ‘circadian rhythm’, more commonly known as our body clock. If you’ve ever noticed that you tend to feel energized or drowsy at certain times of day, you have your circadian rhythm to thank. So what’s this got to do with LED office lighting? Well, when our eyes register light or darkness (day/night) they send messages to your brain that it’s time to wake up, or go to sleep. This year we expect to start to see ‘human-centric’ lighting being taken seriously, which is lighting that will amongst other things intelligently change temperature (cool/warm) and intensity to replicate the cycle of natural daylight throughout the day. For your body clock, this may have the effect of boosting wellbeing and health. For employers, this could trigger a noticeable increase in employee motivation.
One thing we know for sure is that LED linear lighting is rapidly changing alongside office design trends. LED linear is increasingly becoming a design statement as well as an object of pure functionality, adding it’s own beauty to cool office spaces. The future is bright!
For expert advice on how to use lighting to make your office designs exceptional, please call us on 0845 381 0845 to speak to one of our friendly team!