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How To Make An Old Office Look Modern

August 10th 2021
How To Make An Old Office Look Modern

How To Make An Old Office Look Modern

Let’s face it, we don’t all work at Google or Facebook. Their huge offices resemble a glimpse into the distant future of what our working day could be like. Google’s main workspace features a rotating collection of themed cafes serving up free food, two swimming pools, volleyball courts and a bowling alley. It’s a world away from the regular offices and workplaces we have come to know.

We also see a number of trendy, hip, modern offices on social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram featuring cool looking workspaces and colorful breakout furniture. These ideas should inspire us but sometimes can leave us a little ‘meh’ and flat.

So, it looks like we need to manage our expectations when comes to bringing our office up to date and modern. So, let’s stop scrolling and start creating! With a bit of creative flair and some sensible investments we can up the style dial in no time at all.

Read on to find out how to make an old office look modern.

1. Tidy Up

Boring maybe but, cleaning and organising your workspace is the simplest way to improve the look and feel of your workplace. Start by clearing all the clutter and junk that’s no longer required and then clean primary surfaces like the floors and the windows and, of course, your office desk. This will create a clearer canvas for you to add those modern touches and objet d’art. It pays to remember that clean is a connotation of “modern.”

2. Loose the Corporate Art

We’ve all seen those motivational posters with eagles soaring, or sunsets with life affirming quotations. Although it’s ‘nice’ to have these positive reminders of why we should be positive, we are too familiar with them, they don’t give us anything new or exciting to talk about so loose them!

3. Connect with your local arts community

Now you have taken down the motivational posters you may be wondering what to do with the blank walls. Why not involve artists or street artists to help you out? Check out galleries and tags in your area to find artists that fit with your office style, they may be able to customise some pieces for you?

We previously supplied office furniture to young bright a marketing company based in Bristol who commissioned two street artists to help them out. They created a large graphic of their company name Indicia smashing through a brick wall reflecting Bristol’s interesting and diverse graffiti scene.

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4. Consider Acoustic tiles

If you’re not quite ready to bring Bansky and his team into the Monday morning meeting then you could jazz up your walls with acoustic tiles? There are many modern designs to choose from such as the futuristic Niva Ecound wall panels or the Tri wall panels. Other wall tiles are hexagonal, triangular or circular and when combined together can create some visually interesting patterns. Why not incorporate your company brand colours in to the mix as there are a number of acoustic fabrics to choose from.

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5. Knock down the walls

If the wall suggestions above don’t appear to be the way forward then you could consider taking them down. Removing walls removes barriers and opens up space. It’s proved that an open-plan office will encourage a more collaborate and engaging environment for employees. There are of course some cons of an open office but if you’re looking for that modern vibe it’s definitely the way to go!

6. Add a few surprises

Your office should reflect your personality and company values. Mix in some vintage touches, a kitschy accessory, an antique, or something handmade. When done right, bringing these quirky elements together can transform the aesthetic of your space a bit like out with the old and in with the new. Visitors will see what’s important to the company and ask ‘Why is there a skeleton holding a snowboard in reception?’ You may not even know, but it reflects personality and is fun!

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7. Add Texture

Texture is a subtle component of subtle interior design. In offices it can add a visual interest and dimension. Texture is readily present in old office spaces – it just needs accenting in a modern way. Create focal points with brick walls, exposed architecture, or original features. Accent brick with a subtle carpet pattern or offset exposed steel with some designer breakout furniture.

8. Buy office chairs

Old style basic office chairs do nothing to help the plight of modernising the office and they do nothing for employee’s health and wellbeing. There are a number of different styled chairs which will help modernise the workspace, such as mesh backed office chairs and affordable Scandinavian styled chairs for your breakout and reception areas.

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9. Sit stand desking

A modern office not only looks good but should feel good too. Employees should feel comfortable and be able to adjust their chairs and desks to suit their ergonomic requirements. Sit stand desks are commonplace in today’s workspaces because they are scientifically proven to improve productivity and creativity. The reason for this, is whilst your standing some of the body’s largest muscles are working, which increases blood flow to the brain which in turn improves the way we feel and improves the way we work.

It’s definitely worth ditching fixed office desks for height adjustable or sit stand desks because it shows that the company is looking out for their employees wellbeing. Think about how your office may be perceived by potential new employees who have previously been used to sit stand working in a modern office. They may find it a challenge to revert back to sedentary ways of working if they have been used to movement throughout their working day.

10. Bring in greenery

Biophillic design is a major element now in modern offices..people love plants. Plants immediately bring life to an otherwise plain office environment and purify the air that we breathe. Living walls are also one of the hottest office interior trends to emerge in recent years. A living wall is a vertical structure fixed to a wall that have different types of plants and greenery attached to them. Because the walls have irrigation systems built within them which keeps the plants watered they can be quite maintenance heavy. A suitable alternative is to use moss panels as they do not need any maintenance, allowing you to stay focused on your work whilst keeping the green theme.

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11. Decompression Zones

Stress and burnout can stem from anywhere and it’s important to identify as because it can cost a company a loss of productivity and lost work hours. This can be minimised or avoided by modernising a workspace where decompression areas are available for employees to use any time they feel overwhelmed or mentally bogged down.

Decompressions zones are essentially recreational rooms where staff can play pool, ping-pong, darts, table football or similar leisurely activities. We supply ping pong tables, table football tables and a cool range of bean bags for staff to kick back on.

Take a look at some of our wellbeing pods, they can be assembled quickly in your office space and provide a welcoming place to retreat and relax.

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12. Add Outdoor Spaces

Don’t forget outdoor spaces when planning to modernise your office. If you have access to a patio, balcony, roof or other open-air-environment, furnish it with chairs, small tables and maybe some outdoor games? These outdoor spaces give your team members a change of scenery and allow them to get some fresh air and recharge their batteries. They also make for great meeting and collaboration areas.

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Making an old office modern is not necessarily a huge undertaking, it just takes a little time and effort. Try and avoid clichés, spice it up (elegantly) with your own personality, add a surprise or two and minimize the clutter. With a few simple steps, you can change not only your workspace, but the quality of the work you do in it.

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