The Resimercial Movement

May 31st, 2018By: DIRTT Posted in: CheckThisOut

They say home is where the heart is. Luckily, homes are the new inspiration for office design.

Over the past two decades, there’s been a shift in what we call the “office”. Telecommuting from home or from cozy coffeeshops has become a popular alternative to traditional office space. Companies have caught on and are revamping their offices to emulate those comfortable spaces. The theory?  Employees will be happier and, yes, even more productive. “Becuase the world is so techy, we crave more homey and residential designs,” says DIRTT Designer Debbie Carruthers. “We want things to be softer.”

The Ceo of the Happiness Research Institute, Meik Wiking, argues that hygge is a key ingredient in happiness.

Research shows that people crave inspiring and uplifting aesthetics. In fact, a company’s work environment could make or break talent retention. In a 2017 Staples Workplace Survey, 21 percent of employees said they would take a 10 percent pay cut to work in a nicer office space. Research by coworking company Mindspace revealed that poorly designed workspaces can affect productivity and mental health. Clearly, the look and feel of the workplace is one determining factor for company success.

With the evolution of technology, we literally carry our careers around in our pockets. Weekend e-mails and late-night report writing means the grind doesn’t stop. Companies are trying to make those long hours more productive (and appealing). Design trends are blurring the lines between home and office to create a more inviting and enjoyable space.

So, what does that look like? At its simplest, residential design inspirations can include:

  • Colourful themes
  • Patterns and textures
  • Nature (plants, living-walls, windows/skylights)
  • Local artwork
  • Millwork and bookshelves
  • Comfortable lighting
  • Mirrors
  • Cozy furniture

The resimercial movement is bringing hygge to the office.

Residential homes are made up of a variety of rooms and spaces. Each room is designed to be comfortable, inviting and functional. And each room has its own purpose. That is exactly where resimercial office design is headed. Businesses have tried using different layouts over the years. From cubicle farms to wide-open concepts, one thing is clear: There is no one-size-fits-all.

A residential inspired design combines open space, private offices, phone booths, and common areas. When each space has its own unique aesthetic and functional aspects, it provides an environment for employees to thrive.  “It’s all about comfort and being creative,” says Carruthers. “Creating energetic spaces where people can get inspired.”

Along with the change in layout comes a drastic change in visual design. Residential inspiration affects everything from lighting and flooring to accessory and colour choices.  Carruthers notes, “Lighting is everything in design. You can create the most beautiful space, but without the right lighting it’s nothing.”  Traditionally, commercial spaces use one type of light: bright white overhead fluorescents – as far as the eye can see. Resimercial design adopts the warmer and more varied lighting found in homes. We value windows and natural light in our homes, so it’s no surprise that natural light is also being integrated in office space.

Area rugs and plants are also used to five spaces a more lived-in feel. We’re seeing more eclectic design through pops of colour, different types of chairs (Including stools and loungers), varying types of light fixtures and lamps, plant pots, bookshelves and artwork.  Despite what they might look like, resimercial offices are highly functional workplaces. Large LCD screens are built into flexible walls or wooden bookshelves. Coffee tables are equipped with multiple plug-ins. “The technology aspect hasn’t gone away. it’s just softened,” says Carruthers.

If hygge makes people happy, it makes perfect sense to fuse residential comforts with commercial design. While the definition of the “office” will continue to change, the connection between employee happiness and productivity will remain a top priority in interior design.