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8 Innovative Commercial Office Design Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2021

Below are several commercial office design trends that are popular in 2021, and that you should consider adding to your commercial office space.

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As employees return to their offices for work in the coming year, many offices are looking to update their spaces to increase productivity while also maintaining room for physical distancing and other safety measures.

Additionally, updating offices to increase comfort may have the ability to make the return to work more desirable for those who might prefer to continue to work from home.

1. Movable Furniture

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Herman Miller - OE1

Incorporating easily movable furniture and tools will allow teams to quickly reconfigure spaces for meetings and collaboration while easily maintaining social distancing and improving overall productivity.

Movable furniture will provide teams with autonomy over their space to choose a set-up that best suits their needs. Movable furniture can also mimic the comfort and familiarity of at-home work and serve as an alternative workspace for employees who need a change of scenery from their desks.

Product Pictured: Herman Miller - OE1 Agile Wall

2. Modular Wall Systems

Completed Project Burgess Design 4

Modular wall systems have a similar premise to the movable furniture mentioned above. Modular wall systems promote fluidity and flexibility in a space, allowing facilities teams to adjust their space much easier over time than traditional construction.

The ability to modify a workspace promotes collaboration and productivity among colleagues and can make spaces much more comfortable for everyone. Modular wall systems are easily installed and will be a worthwhile investment for any collaborative work environment.

Product Pictured: Falkbuilt

3. Biophilia

Herman Miller Group

A popular trend among office spaces is incorporating plants and greenery into the interior design - biophilia. In addition to aesthetics, this has several major benefits:

  • Increased productivity among employees
  • Improvement of air quality and reduction of toxins
  • Noise reduction

There are many options for low-maintenance plants suitable for office spaces, including the peace lily, the snake plant, the spider plant, English ivy, and various types of palm.

Incorporating greenery and plants into your office design will improve the comfort of the office and even make it feel reminiscent of a work-from-home space.

Product Pictured: Herman Miller Group - Bevel Sofa Group, Striad Chairs, Nelson Pedestal Tables, Eames Wire Chairs, Nelson Bubble Pendant Lamps, and Saiba Lounge Chairs.

4. Natural Light


Dark and stuffy offices are a thing of the past. The best office designs are those that allow for plenty of natural light. This makes spaces feel bigger, and the sunlight is known to improve individuals’ mental health. Creating a space with large windows that let in light will increase productivity, make spaces feel comfortable, and improve workplace morale.

If you are concerned about the energy efficiency of large windows in your space, you might consider smart glass windows. These are large windows that are designed to adjust to changing climate conditions. For example, in the winter, the glass is transparent to allow sunlight to aid in the heating of the building, while the windows turn translucent in the summer to block some sunlight and reduce the workload of your air conditioning system.

5. Color and Texture

Herman Miller Group

Many outdated offices are full of neutral tones and boring, uniform design. Today, commercial office spaces opt for colorful furniture, geometric patterns in wall decor, reclaimed wood accents, and even concrete and exposed brick details.

Trendy and stylish design will make an office a preferable workspace and attract younger and more creative employees. It will also improve the experience of returning to the office for those who have been working from home, as mentioned throughout this article.

Product Pictured: Herman Miller - Chadwick Modular Seating, Nelson Pedestal Tables, Nelson Bubble Pendant Lamps, Eames Aluminum Group Conference Chairs, and an Eames Table.

6. Outdoor Workspaces

MultipliCITY Collection from Landscape Forms

During warm summer days, there is nothing worse than being stuck inside. Outdoor workspaces will promote social distancing practices among workers while allowing them to enjoy the sunshine. This may also increase morale and productivity. In light of the remote working practices used in the past year, there is no reason why any employee needs to be stuck in a cubicle for 8 hours each day. So, outdoor work areas are a great idea for your office design.

Product Pictured: Landscape Forms - MultipliCITY Collection

7. Acoustic Office Ceilings

Acoustical Ceiling
Unika Vaev - Ecoustic Sculpt™ Ceiling Tile

Acoustic office ceilings often serve the purpose of absorbing noise within a large space, which can help increase the productivity and focus of employees. While you may think of the outdated style of square ceiling tiles, many modern options offer the same effective noise-reducing qualities. Additionally, some acoustic office ceiling materials can even serve as air filters, creating a safer and healthier work environment for your employees.

Product Pictured: Unika Vaev - Ecoustic Sculpt™ Ceiling Tile, Icon

8. Architectural Grilles

Architectural Grilles

Architectural grilles are aesthetically pleasing applications used for ventilation and exhaust air release while covering unsightly mechanical equipment. Architectural grilles will enhance the overall look of a space while still effectively promoting airflow, which is key to slowing the spread of illnesses. Architectural grilles also provide flexibility in building designs and are available in a variety of styles and colors.

Herman Miller Group

If you have outdated office space, it is time to invest in some upgrades. While these designs may not seem necessary or worthwhile, they are sure to promote the growth and success of your business by allowing your employees to work productively in an environment that keeps their physical and mental health in mind. The past year has changed many business practices and routines, and it is time for office spaces to reflect these changes.

Guest blog post by:
Max Shafer is a contributor to the Innovative Building Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries interested in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and interior design. Max is focused on educating architects, contractors, and homeowners on innovative materials and construction methods that increase property value, improve sustainability, and create a warm and welcoming ambiance.

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