Bring home to the office with the resimerical design trend
Resimercial design has fast become the latest rising office design trend since the start of the pandemic in 2020. The name, coined from the intermingling of ‘residential’ and ‘commercial’ design, refers to the cultural shift that sees innovative businesses adapting an increasingly flexible attitude towards their office spaces, with employee comfort and wellbeing taking centre-stage.
Sparked in part by the spike in homeworking, resimercial design sees the overlapping of cosy, residential designs with the traditional office environment. In practice, this presents a shift from individually assigned desks and office chairs to flexible workspaces with sofa areas and ‘caves’ for secluded, collaborative working spots.
The implications of resimercial design
Community-focused design is at the heart of the resimerical trend. It creates flexible zones that enable staff to move between different spaces that best meet their needs when both working and relaxing.
This imposes a series of benefits as well as challenges to the future of businesses and their employees. On the one hand, employers are increasingly under pressure to create innovative and flexible working environments to attract the best talent and promote employee satisfaction throughout their workforces.
On the other, the introduction of designs historically used for lounging, such as ‘working’ sofa areas, presents a challenge of its own. In introducing these spaces, businesses need to make sure that the added comfort and range of choice will encourage productivity, instead of a distraction from the job at hand. However, research is increasingly showing that creating comfortable environments that people enjoy spending time in, helps to reduce stress and promote focused working in the majority of cases.
How to design a resimercial office environment
An office redesign inspired by the resimercial trend isn’t quite as simple as swapping a few desks for a comfortable breakout area. Office refits need to take a more consultive approach with their workforces in order to examine what solutions would work best for the individual working styles of their employees. Designs also need to reflect each unique brand – the final product should project the essence of the business’ identity.
In this sense, resimercial designs should be tailored, unique and versatile. A business may opt for zones with proper chairs and sit-stand desks to accommodate those working on longer tasks without interruption. Meanwhile, it may also integrate relaxed ‘huts’ that allow small groups to work collaboratively on creative projects.
In each case, the design should capture the fine balance between its staff’s needs and those of the wider company.
Key aspects of resimercial-inspired designs
No matter the chosen functionalities of each zone, there are several key elements that define a resimercial-centric space. At their heart, these elements come down to creating a sense of familiarity and homely comfort, which can be achieved using patterns, materials and furnishings typically found in the home.
One aspect to consider is the durability of the chosen furnishings. Residential-targeted products tend to have a much wider range of desired colours and textures to fit the trend, however, they are typically not designed to withstand the higher amount of wear and tear likely to occur in the office environment.
Adding multi-sensory elements to the design is also recommended. Things like wooden floors, house plants and large glazed elements help to forge a stronger link with nature and the outdoors. Similarly, canteens and break areas that evoke the smells and comfort of our kitchens at home result in multipurpose areas that encourage both informal socialising and meetings over lunch.
Examples of successful resimercial design
Before resimercial design had been coined, one of the most famous figures that embody its values is the Google offices around the world. Their brand-wide focus on innovation and creativity is embodied in unique workplace offerings such as climbing walls and video gaming spaces, as well as cosy seating areas as an alternative to desks.
Now, start-ups and fully-fledged businesses alike are starting to follow suit across the UK. Zoopla’s London offices are one such example of taking the trend to the next level, with multiple levels of employee ‘living spaces’ that encompass a dining room, games room, gym, showers and outdoor terrace space. Their unique office ties into their brand as a home property group, as well as providing employees with a wide range of facilities that promote a homeworking feel.
Rethink your workplace
IQ Projects have enjoyed years of experience working on all kinds of bespoke and challenging commercial projects, including office design and renovation. Get in touch with the team for more information on how we can help transform your commercial space, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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