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Which Office Design Style is Best For Me?

Updated: Sep 25

The Importance of Office Design

A recent study found that although British people are working harder and faster than ever, their productivity continues to stagnate. Workplace design’s role in staff productivity is often overlooked, but their environment is a crucial factor in their output. Research has shown that a well-designed office can increase staff productivity levels by 20%.

If you’re looking to redesign your office to help improve the performance of your company and staff, then one of your biggest questions will be “which is the best office design style for me?”. To get the best performance out of your staff, your design needs to match the way they work. It should also improve their wellbeing and help them work together with colleagues. An on-brand, collaborative workspace can not only boost personal productivity but help make your workforce more productive as a whole.

We’ve been helping companies across the UK improve their workspaces for nearly 15 years. In that time, we’ve designed and delivered hundreds of office projects. In this article, we’ll explain 5 of the most popular office design styles. We’ll also explain some important factors you’ll need to consider when choosing your office design style.

Popular Office Design Styles


Modern office design is clean and uncluttered, with a focus on minimalist shapes. Brand is communicated artwork and brand graphics. While it is a popular and flexible design style, it can become very bland if it doesn’t reflect your company’s personality. This will dampen creativity and innovation. With a muted colour scheme predominantly featuring cool, neutral shades along with a pop of brand-based signage and furniture, this is an undistracted design that enables focus and clear thinking.


While modern workspace design is cool and uncluttered, rustic is contrastingly warm and worn. Rustic designs feature a natural colour palette of creams, greys, and browns. They also use natural leather and aged wood to warm up space and set that comfortable but professional tone. With a welcoming rural feel, this design trend can recreate a domestic atmosphere. It makes your people feel comfortable and secure.


Industrial design has become popular over the last few years. Companies have used this style to move away from generic corporate office designs. Featuring exposed brickwork, concrete and bare metal, industrial office design has a utilitarian style. This creates an aesthetic that can be harsh if it’s not softened by plants or feature colours. An industrial design that creates the feeling of an old-fashioned factory will leave a trendy and quirky impression.


The warm brown woods, ornate panelling and nail-studded leather of traditional design give office spaces an elegant style. This could appear overly elaborate in a large open plan space and is generally used for smaller boutique spaces and executive suites. However, the classic combination of dark leather, warm wood, and ornate detailing gives an impression of luxury and quality.


Nearly every workspace is a combination of 2 or more of the above design styles, rather than a single theme. The most popular combination is between traditional and modern, known as transitional design. The understated colour scheme of the typical modern office could not be more different from the luxurious tone of the traditional office. Transitional design brings the two together with some eye-catching results. Common examples are as bold block colours with warmer wood side-by-side.

How to Choose Your Office Design Style

Just because the above design styles are popular, it doesn’t mean one of them is right for you. A combination of 2 or 3, or even something completely different may be more appropriate for you. Here, we’ll talk you through the 3 most important factors to consider when choosing your office design style.


Possibly the most important factor when choosing your office design style is your brand and culture. Branding is often thought of as a logo in the reception and a few walls in the company colours. However, workspace branding goes a lot further than that. It includes the entire experience your people have whilst they are in your office including finishes and furniture, right down to the coffee. By choosing a design style that reflects and enhances your culture, your people will produce work that aligns with your brand.


When choosing your office design, an important consideration is your company’s working model. If all your staff are in the office all day every day, you will have very different requirements to companies adopting a hybrid model. This will affect your design style choice because you will need your workspace to reflect the way you want your people to work.


Another important factor is the way your staff use your office when they are on-site. For example, hybrid working requires a much more collaborative space than fully-in-office working. Modern and industrial designs lend themselves to more open-plan layouts, while rustic and traditional design schemes are more suitable for smaller spaces.

Choosing Your Office Design Style

There is no one best office design style. While the offices of technology companies and big brands may look stunning, chances are, those designs won’t get the most out of your staff. The best option for you depends on your brand, as well as how you plan to use the space. No two companies are the same, and no two workspaces should be either. To maximise the performance of your people, your office should bring your brand to life, and match the way they work.

To learn more about the layout aspect of office design, read this article. It breaks down the 4 most popular office design layout types, and gives you 5 key factors to consider when choosing which is best for you.

Want to learn more about making your next office design project a success? Check out our top 6 office design tips. We’ve collated our top office design ideas, including both evergreen and on-trend ideas, to help keep you on track during your next office design project. Get the tips here.

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