Why are glass office partitions important for interior design?

Offices around the world have experienced drastic shake-ups over the last couple of years – but how is this affecting office interior design? Let’s take a look at the future of office design for today’s discerning employees.

Most importantly of all, let’s find out how glass office partitions fit into employee-centric office interior design.


Employee priorities for office design

The key to keeping your employees happy and productive when working for you is to simply listen to them. Consider what your employees want and the best ways to fulfil these requirements when redesigning your optimal office space.

As we already discussed in our blog on the health benefits of glass partitions, one of the top concerns for office workers is the amount of natural light. The same survey of North American workers found that air quality, comfortable temperature and acoustic levels, and connection to nature were also important.

These were all in the top 6 aspects of workplace wellness that matter most to employees. Ignoring things like this can only lead to increased employee burnout and decreased employee retention as a result. No successful company wants things like this to impact the growth of their business!

·         What employees want from offices in 2021/2022

Creating a productive place to work that meets employee needs is more necessary than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rise of remote working and hybrid working models means that employers have to make significant changes to attract people back into the office.

With all this in mind, the key considerations for employee-friendly office design include:

  • Good ventilation and air quality
  • Open spaces with increased natural light
  • Flexible and adaptable workstations
  • Multipurpose collaborative areas
  • Biophilic design (bringing nature into indoor workspaces)
  • Noise management and quiet zones
  • Adequate technology for mobile working
  • Lounges and leisure areas (e.g. ‘breakout spaces’ or ‘chill-out zones’)
  • Unique amenities (e.g. gyms, snack bars, recreational rooms)

According to tech company SonicView, offices in 2021/2022 and onwards should expect to have more modular activity-based spaces, with a greater focus on employee wellbeing. Whether it’s beanbag chairs or a coffee bar, creative office design is crucial for improving employee engagement.


Office design trends for 2021/2022

The desires of employees today inform the design trends of tomorrow, but don’t miss your chance to make a difference now. In line with the office elements discussed above, here are some popular design choices that you should consider for your own revamped workspace:

·         Multi-functionality

Rigid single-use spaces are a thing of the past. After being in lockdown for large portions of 2020 and 2021, people want to be able to move around and socialise while making the most of the facilities available to them. This means that clever storage and convertible furniture is a must.

·         Minimalism returns

Maximalism had its moment, but when it comes to work, a cluttered space only leads to a cluttered mind. Minimalism is back, which means keeping spaces open, clear, and airy. Adaptable spaces with clever furniture as described above can help with creating a stress-free atmosphere.

·         Decorative mirrors

Mirrored glass is a smart method for making spaces seem bigger than they really are. They can make offices brighter by reflecting light, which also means that you have to invest less in artificial lighting. However, consider their placement carefully to prevent causing headache-inducing glare.

·         Curves and waves

Square cubicles, rectangular banks of computers, lines of strip lighting – it’s time for them to go. The future says softer shapes are better for cohesive and collaborative environments. Sharp lines aren’t soothing, but undulating contemporary furniture offers a comforting break from harsh structures.

·         Biophilia

This is the big one. We spend so much time shut up indoors working that we miss out on the clean air and pleasant aesthetics of nature. The solution? Bringing the outdoors in. Biophilic design caters to our innate need to be close to nature for the sake of our physical and mental health.

The usual manner is to simply incorporate more indoor plants and living things, but it’s not just about flowers and shrubbery. Biophilic design also covers trends like neutral colour palettes – featuring light and earthy tones – and sustainable materials like wood, stone, rattan, and linen.


How do glass office partitions fit into workspace design?

Nobody wants to go back to the old days of dingy cubicles and ugly felt partition walls. When thinking about the future of architecture, most of us envision great structures with plenty of shining glass panels. Interior glass office partitions can help to bring this modern look to life.

Innovative open-plan-style layouts are still popular, but partitions are still necessary for privacy in the workplace. Transparent or semi-transparent glass partitions are the perfect solution to dividing space without making employees feel cut off from everyone else in dark little cells.

Here are some of the ways that glass office partitions contribute to employee-centric design:

·         Sectioning spaces

Even if areas are multi-purpose, such as a lounge area that can also double up as an informal meeting room, you still need to delineate different areas according to their uses. There needs to be a logical flow, with areas for downtime, collaborative working, and individual working.

Glass partitions are ideal for breaking an open-plan space up into smaller specific zones that don’t feel entirely separate from each other. Additionally, demountable glass partitions and free-standing glass screens make it easy for growing companies to rearrange the workspace as needed.

·         Balancing privacy and interaction

Yes, people want to feel like they’re part of something, but they also want to put their heads down and get on with their work sometimes. Acoustic glass office partitions with sonic insulation can prevent distractions from sounds spilling over from meeting areas or conversations elsewhere.

Glass partitions can help you to achieve the coveted balance between open collaborative spaces and private quiet areas. Where visual privacy is required in addition to reducing noise, the glass can also be frosted or have graphics applied, which still allows light to shine through the glass.

·         Boosting brand identity

Company culture is just as important as physical design in making employees feel welcome and comfortable. Workers want to feel like valued members of a team. As mentioned above, glass partitions facilitate this by allowing privacy without closing people off from each other too much.

However, they also provide the opportunity to inspire employees with brand-related graphics on the glass (known as manifestations). Whether it’s images or words that represent your company’s values, a visually stimulating space is likely to inspire employees into being more productive.

·         Letting the light in

Did you know that natural light is also a part of biophilic design, arguably the biggest interior trend of the decade? Glass office partitions are effective as space dividers, while still allowing natural light to diffuse throughout the entire room. Of course, sunlight also helps plants to grow!

Even if your indoor greenery is limited, glass partitions will allow most workers to still have a view of nature. According to design experts at TSK Group, increasing natural light and greenery can increase employee wellbeing and creativity by 15% in turn, and boosting mental function by 10-25%.


Transform your office with custom glass partitions

Ready to modernise a dated office and motivate a weary workforce? Bespoke glass office partitions by Glass Interiors can enhance your office design in all of the ways that matter. From materials to finishes and manifestations, all of our glass office partitions are fully customisable.

Browse the selection of glass office partitions we offer on our website, or get in touch with the Glass Interiors team to discuss our comprehensive design and installation services. Simply give us a call on 0203 7935455 or send us an email at info@glass-interiors.co.uk and we’ll gladly assist you.