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Adapting Design Priorities for the ‘New World’ Office

The office as we know it has gone. COVID-19 has fundamentally shifted the way we work and as we start preparing for post-pandemic life, 9-5 office working seems to be one of many aspects that businesses and employees are happy to leave in the past. A recent survey conducted by the IoD (Institute of Directors) found that 74% of company directors plan to continue flexible working after the pandemic.[1]

So, with flexible working and hotdesking set to become the new norm, architects and interior designers are now tasked with reimagining the office. Here’s which aspects of flooring design you should prioritise in your new world office...

Hygienic and durable flooring

Needless to say, ensuring a safe and hygienic work environment will be a top priority for businesses as we begin to ease back into the office. This means that gone are the days of carpeted offices. Research conducted by Doctor Gerba from The University of Arizona found that in office spaces, carpets are around 4,000 times dirtier than toilets.[2]

To maintain a sterile work environment, office designers should opt for an engineered lacquered hardwood flooring. Easily cleanable, the glossy coating of a lacquered finished wood helps prevent a build-up of bacteria in the floor.

The additional benefit of a lacquered finished wood floor is that it is renowned for its durability and can withstand the daily wear and tear of office life. Unlike cheaper easy to clean alternatives such as laminate, engineered hardwood can be sanded and refinished time and time again, making it a far more cost-effective option in the long run. We provide a range of lacquered finished engineered hardwood flooring, such as Light Timia Oak which is both durable and easily maintainable.

Functionality and minimalism

As flexi-working and hotdesking start to rise in popularity, offices will need to evolve to cater to these new ways of working. Less private cubicles and more collaborative spaces will ultimately mean that minimalism will become a top priority. Therefore, trends such as ‘Japandi’, which combines the minimalism of Japanese design with the functionality of Scandinavian décor, will soon be reflected in the new world office interior.

Characterised by bright, open and comfortable spaces, ‘Japandi’ makes functionality a priority over intricate décor. Flooring plays an essential role in achieving this minimalist aesthetic. A muted, natural-toned wood, such as Chiswick Oak, will help to achieve a light and spacious look in an office.

Eco-friendly design

As we look forward to life post-COVID, many people are hoping to rebuild a greener and more sustainable society. This priority will inevitably be reflected in interior design trends.

When selecting flooring for the new world office, interior designers and architects must consider the environmental impact of the products they choose. As an incredibly hard-wearing wood, oak is one of the most sustainable flooring options. With UK forest management and protection programs regularly replanting oak trees in woodland areas, it has one of the smallest carbon footprints of all woods and releases fewer toxic emissions during the manufacturing process than other options.

We produce a large majority of our flooring accessories at our own mill in Chirk, North Wales, which massively cuts transport emissions. With a host of environmental and sustainable accreditations under our belt, we are the top choice for the eco-conscious customer.


No matter what your office requirements are, we have a wide variety of finishes and styles to fulfil your needs. To view our full collection, visit: https://akirby.co.uk/shop.


[1] https://www.iod.com/news/news/articles/Home-working-here-to-stay-new-IoD-figures-suggest

[2] https://publichealth.arizona.edu/directory/charles-gerba

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