Lighting solutions specialist Philips believes lighting design should accommodate the needs of modern workplaces, moving away from conventional schemes.

A common perception of an office is that of a conforming, homogenous and somewhat soulless environment. With the role of the humble office shifting, there is a growing need to change standard designs to accommodate modern ways of working, meet the diverse needs of its occupants, and reflect the values of the organisation.

Current trends are encouraging a far more vibrant and inspiring approach to the design of the modern workplace with lighting playing an important role. Philips is well placed in the industry to deliver lighting solutions that positively affect people as well as their environments.

Marc van Aken, Philips Lighting Insights and Marketing Intelligence, explains that the trends are a direct result of the changing role of the workplace. He listed out the three main factors influencing new office design: ‘new ways of working’, ‘workplace diversity’ and ‘the office as a brand experience’.

Each of these factors is helping to shape the office of the future to make it a more enjoyable place to spend the working day as well as a space that can stimulate productivity by its design.

Architects and designers now understand the advantages of the ‘adaptable office’, recognising that all work in the office is not necessarily best achieved sitting at the same desk. The ‘new ways of working’ concept embraces the fact that a diverse range of working environments better enables different tasks.

The modern office design introduces more relaxed areas with couches to better suit informal meetings, as well as standing tables to promote more dynamic interaction between employees. Brainstorming or group ‘think-tank’ activities are facilitated with areas featuring whiteboards or flipcharts.

van Aken adds that employees can actually adapt better to different assignments when provided a selection of settings different from the normal ‘desk-and-monitor’ space, helping them refocus on the new task at hand.