Offices to go green for the new decade

The Yorkshire business community are very aware of the importance of office interior design and its impact on productivity and employee wellbeing. We were delighted to see that our Ben Johnson Interiors office design predictions for 2020 and beyond were given almost half a page of coverage in the Yorkshire Post Business in January. Here’s a glimpse at what the item covered. Image by Chris Brockbank


Offices to go green
for the new decade

Sustainability design to have “huge” impact in 2020

Sea Blue: SharkNinja’s new workplace at Thorpe Park Leeds. Emma Dodsley, left of Ben Johnson Interiors with Jon Wright and Barbara Rodi Dadasis of SharkNinja


Lizzie Murphy
Business Reporter

Sustainability and anti-establishment design will have a huge impact on office interiors in 2020 as Generation Z and Millennials start to seriously influence every aspect of business and living, according to a Yorkshire interior design expert.

The momentum to save the planet is influencing a range of office design features including indoor gardens and patterns and colours inspired by the natural world and the ocean.

Living walls have been a growing trend in Yorkshire’s commercial property market in recent years, including inside the offices of CPP and Savills in Leeds. The city is also home to one of Europe’s tallest living walls, the 28-metre tall wall at the Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility – a vertical forest that incorporates over 100,000 plants and over 700 habitat boxes.

Emma Dodsley, Marketing Director at Ben Johnson Interiors, said bringing the outdoors indoors was an increasing trend for 2020 but it’s about more than putting a few plants around the office. The firm is currently working on an office design for a Yorkshire firm which incorporates an indoor garden.

“Wellbeing is an important part of office life now,” she said. “From the type of office furniture used as well as colours, textures, and bringing the outdoors indoors, it all has a vital role to play in the productivity of a business.”

Home technology firm SharkNinja went a step further than most, employing a Feng Shui consultant for the fit out of its 16,500 sq ft European head office at Thorpe Park in Leeds. The end result features lots of deep sea blues and greens, another key trend for 2020 as patterns and colours become inspired by the natural world and the ocean.

According to the Human Spaces Global Report, published in 2016, nature-inspired changes can have a dramatic impact in the workplace. In a survey of 7,600 workers in 16 countries, it found that the top five elements people want in their offices include: natural light, indoor plants, quiet space, a view of the sea and bright colours.

Ms Dodsley added: “Environmental concerns mean that all shades of blue – from sky blue to indigo tones are set to become very on-trend over the next three to five years because blue conveys sustainability. Greens have become popular in interiors over the last few years, but soon we will see these becoming richer to reflect the sea and the rainforest.”

Meanwhile, Brexit and the recent political turmoil is further cementing a move away from traditional corporate design.

Ms Dodsley said: “Offices have been quite stark in the past. Now we’re seeing bold prints, mix and match furniture and a move away from the traditional corporate setting. It makes sense because people are coming through the workforce and influencing their environment.”

She added: “Offices are becoming more fun to create a nicer environment for people to work in and by doing this, businesses can get more out of their employees.”