Design Trends: Innovate and Inspire


Workspaces have been proven to have a direct influence on motivating employees. According to multiple studies on workspace design and productivity, the most significant element that determines employee productivity and creativity is their physical environment. 

Increasingly businesses are striving to make their premises ‘work harder’ in order to motivate employees and nurture innovation and creativity, which can ultimately assist company growth. Businesses are achieving a ‘harder working’ space by modifying the design of the office and implementing certain features and ‘tricks’.

As Life Hack writes in an article about office design tricks that can innovate and inspire workforces:

“Where you work has an enormous impact on how your work – on your ability to focus (and stay focused) and your overall ability to be productive.”

From creating state-of-the-art office fit outs in Manchester to designing and building a new shower and bike store for a leading serviced office provider in Liverpool, Amspec has been involved with helping businesses craft a more innovative and inspiring place of work for their employees.

Take a look at some of the ways modern businesses are modifying their office interior design so it helps inspire and motivate staff.

The demise of the ‘White Box’ office

The White Box office interior is essentially characterised by white walls and ceiling planes and a neutrally-coloured floor. In an office environment, the White Box is often the ‘container’ for an open plan office in which workspaces and furniture is laid out systematically.

Research conducted as far back as the 1980s found that the white walls of the White Box design were harsh on the eyes and not particularly human-friendly and pleasant for workers.

In the quest for more inspiring, innovative and human-friendly office designs, the outdated ‘White Box’ office is being replaced by more innovative designs and features. For example, the unflattering fluorescent lighting of old is increasingly being replaced by more natural, energy efficient and less dreary forms of lighting. As are working spaces that lack colour and comprise of monotonously-coloured carpets and walls and uninspiring furniture. Instead office interiors are becoming much brighter, vibrant and exciting.

The traffic flow and interactivity of an office is now considered with greater detail. The ‘White Box’ environment of an open plan office design with little collaboration or creativity is being replaced by a more collaborative layout and ease of traffic flow, filled with inspiring art work, comfortable seating and more ‘cosy’ features.

Thinking about lighting

Lighting is a crucial feature when it comes to motivating and inspiring staff. Despite being one of the most important factors in helping employees stay focused and feel inspired, the lighting of a workspace often goes overlooked.

As bad lighting can create a whole host of problems for the occupants of a building, such as eyestrain, headache, fatigue and irritability, the savviest of businesses are installing better lighting features to help motivate employees.

Office space with plenty of windows letting swathes of daylight to flood into the room is favourable in order to nurture employee creativity and motivation. However, if natural daylight isn’t an option, exchanging drab fluorescent lighting with more vibrant and modern alternatives such as LED lighting, can prove to be a shrewd move in crafting an office space designed to motivate staff. 

Introducing task lighting into the design of an office, which is used to increase the lighting of a specific area, can also help employees stay focused.

Creating a buzz with a more contemporary stylish look

Amspec’s work on Hardman Square, a grade A office development in the heart of Manchester’s blossoming new business district, was centred on creating a fresh and contemporary office interior design. The Amspec team completely outstripped the old office space, including a meeting room, canteen, outdated suspended ceiling, floor and finish.

We exchanged this outdated and lacklustre office design with a more modern look, including a contemporary suspended metal ceiling with integrated services and lighting. The net result was a stylish and visually pleasing office with a bright décor designed to lift spirits at work and nurture creativity and productiveness.

Making the workspace fun

In keeping with Google’s philosophy that “life at Google is not all work”, more and more businesses are introducing a fun element into the interior design of their office, which helps keep staff motivated and inspires creativity. With facilities for wall climbing, bowling, volleyball and personal creative sessions, Google could be described as being one of the forerunners in creating fun workspaces designed to encourage employees to take regular breaks and stay motivated throughout the day.

Blending the old with the new

Office interior design that blends a building’s original features with modern décor and design is another popular way to create a more inspiring and motivated workforce.

For example, when Amspec was commissioned by the International Cotton Association (ICA) to design their new offices in Exchange Flags, we were striving to create a synergy between the old and the new. The challenge to enhance the traditional features of Exchange Flags buildings with stylish and contemporary modern features was achieved by Amspec, as we successfully installed new partitioning, lighting, flooring, furniture and decoration.

If you want to discuss how to make your existing work space ‘work harder’, get in touch with Amspec, office interior designers in Manchester. We offer bespoke design and build solutions in Manchester, Liverpool, the whole of the North West and beyond. Get in touch today to discuss all your commercial building design and construction requirements.


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