SEAATS Lists Top Office Design and Furniture Trends for Boosting Employee Engagement

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What's driving today's office design and employee engagement? According to a new trend update from SEAATS office furnishings company, there are 5 key trends in office design and furniture selection that are important for keeping employees happy and engaged.

“Employers realize that the office environment has to be just right in order to attract top talent,” said Alesia Atwood, corporate account manager with SEAATS, a division of Earles Architects and Associates.

Flexibility, Collaboration and Sit-Stand Options Drive Office Furniture Design; SEAATS Details Furniture Trends for Spring 2016

Today’s office tenants are looking beyond trendy climbing walls and foosball tables to comfy furniture, sit-stand workstations and vibrant colors to help attract top talent. According to SEAATS, a Chicago-based commercial furnishings company, the top furniture trends for the spring season are all about making the commercial real estate office environment inviting, adaptable and efficient to help attract and retain employees.

“Employers realize that the office environment has to be just right in order to attract top talent,” said Alesia Atwood, corporate account manager with SEAATS, which is a division of Earles Architects and Associates. EAA works with many commercial real estate firms in Chicago and surrounding areas. “The layout of the office, the flow of work space, and the furniture arrangements all fit together to create an appealing work environment. The goal is to help nurture employee relationships, improve productivity, and develop a strong collaborative culture.”

Among the top office design trends to watch, according to SEAATS, are: 

1.    Furniture that rejuvenates —Today’s office workers are busy and want furniture that can support them through long days and have flexible heights and adjustments. Many desks and chairs are made with ergonomics in mind and are sold in varying sizes to allow customization of work stations.
2.     "Sit-Stand" Desk options -- Research has shown that sitting down in the same position all day can have damaging effects on the body and mind. Adjustable chairs and tables – and those that allow people to work while standing – are big in today’s furniture world.
3.    Open space with some privacy rules the day – Collaborative, open space is great, but employees also need to hold meetings and talk privately with clients. One solution is an office design with nooks separated by decorative panels or partial walls.
4.    Flexible furniture that feels like home—This involves bringing in desks, seating, benches and ottomans that mimic those found in a home. Employers are also adding break rooms with islands and family style seating, and plenty of plants, textured wall coverings, and art work.
5.    Creative use of small spaces—Several office furniture manufacturers are modifying their furniture lines with a wide variety of sizes and shapes in desks, chairs, benches and tables. This allows businesses to use space efficiently, maximize vertical space, and avoid wasted or “dead” space.

SEAATS is a division of Earles Architects and Associates (EAA), a Chicago-based architectural firm. EAA is celebrating 25 years of providing architectural design, tenant build-out, and space planning services for Chicago's leading names in corporate real estate ownership and management. Visit or for more information.

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Allison Millar