Setting up breakout spaces, getting rid of the clutter, updating your fixture, and some other tricks will make an old office look modern. I will cover all of them in this article.
These simple tricks will not require a lot of time and money, and you will get fast and impressive results. If you’re trying to discover in the UK how to make an old office look modern, you’ll need to achieve the perfect balance between classic feel and modern appeal. Bridging the gap between the antique and the modern can be a daunting task. However, with a bit of research and a lot of careful planning, you’ll be able to pull off a modern-looking workplace that you and your employees will be proud of.
What is Modern Office Design
With its roots traced back to the early twentieth century, modern UK office design prioritises form and function more than details. It gets rid of unnecessary elements and incorporates metals, crystals, and concrete into its overall style. Modern office design favours strong, clean lines and straight shapes, the pieces of furniture that complement it are steel tables, chairs, shelving, and cabinets.
Moreover, a modernised office uses plenty of neutral colours with vivid accents. It also features whites and greys that you’ll mostly see at the top since the modern workplace tends to feature simple and uncluttered spaces that project comfort and radiate a sense of calmness, closely associated with minimalism.
Expert Tips for Modernizing your UK Office
Since modernising your old office requires redesigning efforts and renovation, getting a few ideas from modern design experts will lead you closer to your goal. Antiquated workplaces can be challenging to remodel. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if you feel like there’s not a lot you can do to make it look more modern. However, if you focus on the design elements you have control over, you can successfully modernise your old workplace.
Once you transform your office into a well-designed, functional, and modern workplace, your employees, prospective clients, and visitors will be much impressed. To get you started, check out this compilation of expert tips to help you turn your old office into a modern one:
Think about going green
Sustainable living is modern living. Use biophilic design to effectively bridge the old atmosphere of your workplace and your modern design theme. Going green in terms of office design goes way beyond the reduction of your carbon footprint.
Research suggests that there is a strong link between nature connectedness and employee health and productivity. Furthermore, when you adopt an eco-friendly UK office design, you will not only modernise your office’s look, but it will also reduce your energy bills, improve your brand’s reputation, and establish loyalty with your company’s stakeholders.
One of the best ways to green up your interiors is to place some floor or table plants in your rooms or office cubicles. While you’re at it, you may also want to hang baskets of non-flowering plants. Addling live greenery will lighten your colour palette, balance the mood, and improve your indoor air quality.
Adopting a sustainable office design also involves placing recycling bins around your office to promote waste reduction and using natural light rather than a traditional one. It also means enriching your office interior with lighting systems that are both smart and energy-efficient. These are the ones that have lighting modes and sensors that you can pre-set to save energy.
Set up some breakout spaces
Decide to set up casually-designed breakout areas within the UK office where your team members can de-stress. Older office spaces are not comfortable and inviting. Shifting to the modern design would mean putting comfort on top of your list of priorities.
If you’re not aware, sitting in the same working for long periods can seriously affect your employees’ health. A breakout area will encourage them to move away from their desks and do their brainstorming sessions or social interactions in a relaxed environment. Since this area designed to reduce stress levels, it also boosts employee productivity and creative thinking.
Get rid of the clutter
If you don’t get rid of clutter, any changes you make to modernise your workplace will have little or no effect. Since “clean” is the distinct characteristic of “modern,” a disorganised office will only make the older elements stand out.
Update your fixtures
Your antiquated UK office would look more modern if you ditch your worn-out fixtures and replace them with minimalist accents. Get rid of your fluorescent bulbs and install softer LEDs that will seamlessly complement your workspace. If you want to use your exposed HVAC ducting to enhance your modern office design, consider powder coating.
Roll out your technology upgrades
Nothing screams “modern” than adding technology upgrades! Anyone who steps inside your office would know that it’s inching toward modernisation when they see mounted video screens, a tablet or laptop charging dock, and digital wayfinding. To achieve a full tech effect, consider adding your exposed network cabling overhead.
What’s more, you might want to think about throwing more interactive media into your conference rooms – from whiteboards to plexiglass that can be mounted on walls. Using these tools will enable your employees to express and illustrate their ideas right off the bat freely.
While you’re at it, why don’t you use a digital image wall covering? This will allow you to convey what your brand is all about. For example, suppose one of your company’s main advocacies include sustainable living. In that case, showing digital images of nature at your office’s common areas will give everyone a clear message of what your business believes in.
Pick an art theme
Your UK office makeover won’t be complete unless you pick an art theme and fill the barren white walls of your workplace. It doesn’t matter if you choose surreal, classical, eclectic, industrial, or modern art – once you put these pieces of art on display, your office will instantly look more modern and stylish.
Knock your walls down
If there’s one thing you need to know about modern workplace aesthetics, it’s the fact that it embraces transparency. You’ll gain square footage, and your workplace will look more stylish if you decide to open up your floor plan and lose the walls.
Instead of using closed conference rooms and cubicles, today’s office features collaborative spaces that are open and friendly to encourage teamwork, honesty, and transparency. To ensure privacy and reduce distractions during your important meetings, you can choose to add removable or permanent glass partitions.
Give window treatments a try
In case you’re not aware, window treatments can add a modern touch to your overall design. You might want to install cellular shades or blinds to make your older UK office look more current.
Go the minimalist route
As mentioned earlier, modern design is closely identified with a minimalist theme. This means that you shouldn’t go overboard with your choice of decorative or furniture pieces.
For instance, when it comes to picking office furniture, choose the modular ones that feature clean lines. Although simple decorative accents are always preferred, you need to make sure that they help you build a cohesive theme that doesn’t feel cluttered. Make sure that the elements of your design aligned with your brand aesthetic and identity.
Combine and accent textures
Since old office spaces have a lot of texture, the best way to bridge an old-looking workplace with modern concepts is to combine and accent these textures. Do this by creating focal points with the building’s original features, including exposed architecture or brick walls. For example, you can throw in a subtle carpet pattern to accent brick.
Choose colour schemes wisely
Choosing a suitable colour scheme is a significant factor in modernising an older workplace. While you can always choose to integrate your brand’s colours to establish consistency, you also have the option to use an entirely different palette that consists of warm neutral tones and vivid hues that can be used to accent them. To give you an idea, a beige carpet would go well with your blue furniture, and a red art piece on a cream-coloured brick wall would promote cohesion.
Although aesthetic largely influences your choice of colour scheme, keep in mind that the colours you choose can impact your employees’ mood and productivity. For example, green represents balance, growth, and optimism, while yellow emits positive vibes and stimulates creativity. Furthermore, blue hues represent depth and stability while it sets the tones for focus and clarity.
Use different types of flooring
Try a different flooring material in common areas so that you can bring more emphasis to the visibility of your brand identity and culture. For instance, most businesses prefer to add carpet tiles to their reception areas because this flooring solution provides ease in installation and versatility in terms of patterns and designs.
Why Do You Need to Invest in the Right Kind of Furniture
If most of your employees spend a large portion of their time at their desks, you’ll need to get the right kind of office furniture that supports healthy postures while promoting a better safety culture. Furnishing your modernised office requires a careful selection of ergonomically designed furniture.
You’ll be glad to know that modern UK office furniture comes with adjustable features that will help your workers steer clear of musculoskeletal disorders. Check out these examples:
Adjustable desks and chairs
This practical solution to posture issues allows your employees to freely lower or raise their worktops and chairs according to their comfort levels. You can find desks and chairs with adjustable frames that offer both mechanical and electrical features.
Filing cabinets and metal drawers
You can maximise your office space using filing cabinets and metal drawers that feature a clean and straightforward look. Aside from the fact that these come with matching central locks, you also have the option to incorporate practical accessories into your drawers.
If you want to maximise your UK office space without spending more cash on additional furniture, then integrating workbench systems into your open space rooms would make a wise decision. The fact that these systems feature several tops mounted to a large structure will allow you to eliminate the need for more desk frames and legs.
Conversational pieces of furniture
Since you’ll be setting up a break space, don’t forget to add conversational furniture pieces that define the area and create a cosy and inviting atmosphere that promotes collaboration.
Modernise Your Office Today!
Whether you like it or not, your workplace says a lot about your brand. Its appearance can have a dramatic impact on employee morale, organisational productivity, and your company’s overall bottom line. If you’re still not convinced that your old office needs a major makeover, why don’t you walk around the area to see if you can spot any of these red flags?
It looks outdated
Did you know that an outdated office can seriously affect your company’s image? If you still have those boring beige walls or the pieces of furniture that you purchased in the ‘90s, then it’s about time you modernise your workplace.
Keep in mind that your prospective customers wouldn’t want to do business with an organisation behind the times. Likewise, your employees would like to associate themselves with a company that’s moving ahead.
Your employees are constantly complaining.
Your office environment can either motivate your team members to succeed or cause well-being issues. If your employees constantly complain about their work environment, don’t be surprised if they quit their jobs anytime soon and seek employment elsewhere. Since you wouldn’t want to lose your skilled employees, you’ll need to redesign and remodel your office space.
Determining how to make an old UK office look modern can be overwhelming. However, with a little bit of research and artistic flair, you’ll be able to create a conducive and aesthetically pleasing working environment for your employees.
Mila Design can help you bring your outdated UK office into the modern era. Our expertise lies in designing and creating modular office furniture, cabinets, and other individualised projects that seek to meet our clients’ needs.