COVID-19 changed the thinking of many companies when it comes to the purpose of corporate offices. With the improved ability to work from home, what is the compelling reason to come together in an office space? It’s the ability to collaborate in a way that can’t be accomplished virtually. What are some of the perks that people enjoy when working from home, and can you incorporate them in your office to entice people to come in?

Outdoor Offices

Expanding outdoor spaces can improve happiness and productivity, whether that’s an area for meetings, tables for individual work, or simply space to have lunch outside on a nice day. Employees enjoy the opportunity to be outside and get some fresh air, although in the Midwest that’s not an option year-round. So bring the outdoors inside by adding windows, incorporating natural light and creating green spaces. It’s been shown that having a nature-inspired workplace can increase productivity, air quality, and oxygen flow and reduce noise and toxins.

Office Layouts

Changing the design aesthetic of your office to make it feel more homie and comfortable can help employees feel relaxed – more like they’re working at home. Consider adding comfortable furniture and soft lighting in common spaces. Or upgrading kitchen spaces by installing new refrigerator, dish washer and microwave to make your office more convenient and your employees more efficient.

Making an investment in your office layout can offer a big return as well. Desk pods can accommodate employees who may be in the office a few days a week and are working from home the rest of the time, and they can be placed in an open workspace. Acoustical Ceiling systems help to balance and control sound, while smaller conference rooms can inspire innovation among work groups. These spaces also can be used to conduct virtual meetings.

Design Trends

Creating a modern atheistically pleasing office space can promote an effective work environment for your employees that they look forward to coming to everyday. An interior design trend for 2021 is the use of light and neutral colors with light wood grains and pops of color, allowing you to incorporate brand colors without having them clash with other colors in your office space.


When it comes to designing a better sound environment, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring can reduce traveling noise and is ideal in commercial settings. Acoustic underlayment adds cushioning, improves sound absorption and is an alternative to carpet,  which can get built up with dirt, moisture, and bacteria.

Wallcoverings such as a wood design with absorption paneling can add worth and make these surfaces easier to clean. Automatic doors, motion lights and AV systems controlled by smart phone can be optimal for sanitary environment.

Commercial Building Renovation Checklist

Here is an overview of the checklist for your next office remodel:

  1. Planning
  2. Conceptual Design
  3. Schematic Design
  4. Drawings
  5. MEP
  6. Bidding
  7. Scheduling
  8. Procurement
  9. Construction

Your office space plays an important role in learning opportunities, training for new employees, and promoting collaboration that cannot be done virtually. FoxArneson had the privilege of building our own office space and we found it was essential to have warehouse space in the back and an open floor plan with desk pods and smaller conference rooms. Get in touch with us today to discuss the changes you would like made to your office space.