There’s no place like home – The rise of Resimercial design in the office space
As the world of workplace design continues to change and adapt to modern ways of working, a broad new trend has been growing in prominence: ‘resimercial’ design. But what is it? Where did it come from? And more importantly, what are the benefits to a business? Read on to find out more…
What is Resimercial Design?
As the name suggests, resimercial design is a concept that merges the aesthetics and principles of both residential and commercial design. The term ‘resimercial’ was first used in the architectural engineering industry and was used to describe the link between residential and commercial architecture, and this has filtered its way into modern workplace design. The idea is that bringing in some of the comforts of home will lead to a more comfortable environment where employees can relax, collaborate and work more freely and naturally.
The design trend celebrates the creation of comfortable, yet functional, environments in the office that help to turn the space into somewhere employees actually want to work. It gets rid of the sterile and standardised design of lots of workplaces and creates a comfortable and inviting space.
The main driver behind resimercial design is the fact that by combining these two types of design, the result will be a workplace offering the optimum level of comfort, with multifunctional areas to facilitate collaboration and the right tools to get the job done. This, in theory, leads to a happier workforce, and makes employees more productive and creative. Research has shown that a happy workforce leads to a more productive and profitable business with higher employee retention rates, so ensuring your employees’ wellbeing is looked after is vital. Workers are tuned in to the design and functionality of a workplace and the appearance of an office can play a big role in the satisfaction, productivity and engagement of an employee.
As younger generations are starting to enter the workforce, companies are starting to alter the way their workplace is designed to better reflect the wants and needs of Generations Y and Z. It’s estimated that by 2020, almost half (46%) of the workforce will be made up of millennials, so firms risk being left behind if they don’t start making changes. Millennials have grown up with technology at their fingertips. Speedy WiFi, smartphones and the increase of flexible working mean we can work from any place at any time, from coffee shops to third spaces and everywhere in between. This mentality of being constantly connected has led employers to realise they need to prioritise employees’ wellbeing or risk burnouts, so introducing elements of relaxation and comfort into workplace design has become the norm.
What employees expect from their workspace is wildly different to even a few years ago, and expectations will only continue to shift and move with the times (click here to read what we think the future of the office will look like). In order to retain the best talent, your workplace experience needs to be top notch. Your team need to be engaged to allow them to work at their best, so for many, this brings them to resimercial design. The main objective of resimercial design is to create a welcoming, comfortable workplace where employees want to spend time, rather than it feeling like a chore. Effective resimercial design introduces employees to more natural daylight (read our blog on creating a healthy workplace to find out why this is so important), gives them more freedom to move around and flexibility in where they can work. The functional side of a workplace, including lighting and meeting rooms, is still absolutely vital, but a more “homey” feel can really help with employee engagement and retention.
A Space to Relax
Changing working habits, such as freelance work, remote working and flexible working, and the growing research into the effects of employee wellbeing means that more people expect a good work/life balance. Introducing resimercial design is a great way to achieve this in the office. Adding “third spaces” to the space, with comfortable sofas and great coffee, encourage your team to take breaks and chat over a coffee, and this can be a fantastic driver of creativity and collaboration. The importance of a well-designed workplace that works for your employees should not be underestimated. In a recent workplace survey carried out by Staples, it was found that a well-functioning, happy and attractive workplace is vital to help team members achieve their goals at work. Another study found that 1 in 5 employees would take a pay cut in order to work in a nicer office, and a massive 23% would seriously consider quitting if their workplace was out of date.
Choosing the Right Office Furniture
In order to make the most of resimercial design, a focus on durable furniture is essential. Office furniture was once an after thought in the design process, after all, surely it’s just a few desks and chairs? In fact, resimercial design relies heavily on the furniture used in the space, and architects and designers are more frequently seeing the benefits of high-quality, well designed furniture on not only the environment but the employees as well. Most residential furniture simply isn’t built to withstand the same levels of use as the workplace, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to buy what you need from Ikea. However, furniture designers like Orangebox are responding to this trend and produce lines of residential-inspired furniture built with commercial quality.
Top Tip: Work closely with your architect or interior designer to ensure resimercial design is being used appropriately to provide your entire staff with spaces to accommodate their individual work style and needs.