Working Hardly

Identifying trends in office design is easier said than done – they seem to change so fast, it’s impossible to stay on top of it. That said, one thing I’ve noticed is that offices are beginning to look more and more like homes. I’m referring to elements like leisurely layouts, desk-free workstations, soft furnishings, soft colours and soft couches. 

I do sort of wonder how people are expected to get anything done in this type of environment, given how much it seems to invite napping (or at the very least, noodling about). But then, I’m no expert on the psychology of commercial office interiors. Sydney, for all I know, might be undergoing some kind of work-life renaissance that enables the home and workplace to blend seamlessly into an undifferentiated whole. Maybe that’s where all this is going.

All I can say for sure is that, if I was a commercial fitout specialist close to Sydney, I’d be starting to get worried about my area of expertise being sucked into a whirlpool of all-purpose interiors. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t be worried, especially if this is what I’d been building up to all along. Maybe everyone in the design world has been secretly collaborating on a project to turn the planet into one big quirk warehouse conversion, complete with communal zones and chill pods. 

And, hey, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. The only risk I can see is falling into the trap of thinking you’re having leisure time when you’re actually not. That seems like a recipe for work-life collapse, if you ask me. Trying to do rest and relaxation at the same time as doing work never works out well – trust me. 

But then, maybe it’s all just a trend, a passing affectation that will be over before you can say ‘converted grain silo’. Like I said, it’s hard to identify trends these days.