How to Keep Your Office Design from Becoming Outdated

Updated 30/08/2023

Does your office look dingy and outdated? Not only does this harm your company’s professional appearance and reputation, but an outdated office can also decrease productivity and employee happiness. When employees are in an office that’s comfortable and attractive, they feel better and have better focus. So, an outdated office can affect all areas of your business.

We’ve put together some tips on transforming your office from outdated to modern! And it doesn’t have to break your company budget to update a tired office design!


1. Update Your Office—Where to Start

The first place to start is by cleaning and decluttering the entire office. Yes, you read that correctly. The entire office update starts with an old-fashioned spring cleaning. The goal is to clear away dirt, clutter, and junk that can make any office look drab and uninspiring.

Be sure that all workstations go through the spring cleaning process, too. Shred or file paperwork, ensure all trash is emptied from each workstation (drawers, shelves, and all), and more. Don’t forget the breakroom in this cleaning process.

Once everything has been cleared out and cleaned off, it’s time to start deep cleaning. Everything from the windows to the floor must be thoroughly cleaned. That includes the walls, too.

When all the cleaning is done, you may be surprised at how much better the office looks already! Now you have a clear canvas to start your modern office update.


2. Get Rid of Corporate Art

Many offices have long used corporate art. These pieces were once new and inspiring. Today, they’re outdated and old hat. They no longer inspire, and most employees ignore them.

While positive and inspiring art is needed in the office, corporate art no longer works. So, remove everything that falls within this genre. You can donate these old pieces to local second hand shops or even artists who love to create unique pieces from existing artwork.


3. Consider the Office Acoustics

With the office cleaned up, it’s now easier to check the acoustics of the space. Do employees complain about noise and distractions from people talking? Do they find the office equipment too noisy? If so, you may want to consider updating the office with acoustic tiles and more.

Acoustic tiles can be added to walls and ceilings. These work to absorb sound and keep it from traveling around the office. In addition, you can find flooring and office furniture that is built to reduce and mute sound.

When sound is controlled and reduced in the office, employees feel less stressed and anxious. And they’re better able to focus and get work done.


4. Do Some Painting

Another inexpensive fix for an outdated office is to paint the walls. Paint can do wonders to drastically update an outdated office space. It covers dirt, marks, and other issues that can really make an office look drab and worn out. What’s more, painting is a cost-effective way to make the office look cleaner, brighter, and more modern.

As you consider the colours for your office, don’t forget to think about using branding colours, too. These can be used to add splashes of colour and interest in different areas around the office. When these colours are combined with neutrals, your office will appear modern and professional at the same time.

Painting with neutrals is a great idea for a professional office environment. Neutrals are peaceful, tranquil, and don’t distract. They also work well with other colours (such as your company’s brand colours).


5. What About Office Furniture?

Does your office furniture look drab and old? Does it need to be repaired? If your office furniture is worn out and dated, it’s time to replace it or update it through repairs and other modifications.

Furniture repairs should be considered for your updated office. Repairing furniture costs less, and it’s more sustainable. And if a piece is still usable, why throw it out when it can be updated? This is much better for your company’s budget and the environment.

However, if the office furniture is in really bad condition, it’s definitely time to replace it. Look for modular furniture that’s ergonomic and can be used in different ways. For instance, you may want to consider desks that can be pulled together to create a conference or meeting table. These are a great solution for teams that regularly collaborate with one another.

That’s only one example, but there are many more. Modern office furniture that’s flexible is a much better investment for the company. When buying furniture, look for pieces that are well-made and will last for several years before they need to be replaced. One more note—be sure to buy office furniture that’s also ergonomic and adjustable to make the office more accessible and inclusive for all employees.


6. Update Technology

While your office is going through an update, remember to check whether your company tech needs an update, too. Old, outdated technology may be holding employees back. They may not have the devices and infrastructure they need to be more productive. Not only does this keep them from getting work done, but it also adds stress to their jobs.

Today, employees need apps and collaboration tools that work whether they’re in the office or working from home. That’s especially true if your company uses a hybrid work model.

So, ensure that all devices and your company’s network are modern and will make employees’ lives easier. You’ll soon see productivity increase, along with employee satisfaction.


7. Use Plants

Another way to update your office is to use more plants and greenery. Plants are a great way to bring nature indoors and bring life to office spaces. But plants can do even more!

With strategic use of plants, it’s possible to improve the acoustics in an office. Not many people realize that plants have a natural ability to absorb sound and keep it from bouncing on the hard surfaces in the workplace. Each part of the plant, including leaves, stems, branches, and more, can absorb sound.

In addition, plants are also able to improve indoor air quality. The more plants, the more they’re able to clean the air. For example, a green wall filled with plants adds a beautiful touch of nature, while the plants work to clean indoor air.

Plants can also be used as accents of colour in different parts of the office. They improve the ambiance of the space and add a touch of nature that everyone needs.


Summing It Up

Updating your office doesn’t have to break the company budget. There are ways to make your outdated office more modern. What’s more, the update is well worth the effort of time and money. When your employees feel comfortable and proud of where they work, they’re happier and more productive.

Your entire business can thrive and scale when you bring your office out of the dark ages!


Q: How often should I update my office design?
A: There’s no fixed timeline, but consider updates every 3-5 years to incorporate new trends and technologies.

Q: What’s the importance of branding in office design?
A: Branding reinforces your company identity and creates a cohesive atmosphere that resonates with both employees and visitors.

Q: How can I balance open spaces with privacy in my office?
A: Utilise modular dividers, quiet zones, and well-designed spatial layouts to strike the right balance between collaboration and focused work.

Q: Why is biophilic design beneficial for the workplace?
A: Biophilic design connects employees with nature, promoting well-being, creativity, and a sense of calm in the workplace.

Q: What role does lighting play in office design?
A: Lighting influences mood and productivity. Well-planned lighting that incorporates natural and adjustable sources creates a dynamic and inviting atmosphere.

Q: How can I ensure my office design is sustainable?
A: Choose eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient appliances, and incorporate sustainable practices like recycling and reducing waste.

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