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DATE: 07/06/2015

Focus. Determination. Will power.

As much as the typical office employee prides himself on possessing the above qualities, there IS a limit. Put simply, you can only “put your head down” for so long –– and for good reason. According to a University of Illinois Study, brief diversions from tasks can dramatically improve our ability to focus for prolonged periods.
“Constant stimulation is registered by our brains as unimportant, to the point that the brain erases it from our awareness,” said research coordinator Alejandro Lleras. “Deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused.”

Considering breaks help us curb boredom, retain information and reevaluate goals, it’s safe to say they’re fairly important! And, as numerous studies have shown, the more pleasing the environment the greater the increase in productivity (and the greater the decrease in absenteeism).

But providing comfortable furniture, is just the “tip of the iceberg.” Here are 4 design trends to consider for freshening your office space and providing a better break environment for your employees:

1. Bring Nature Indoors

According to Ron Friedman, author of The Best Place to Work, an employee's overall job satisfaction may be the result of very basic needs, such as an abundance of natural lighting and beautiful landscaping.

You can bring more greenery into your office with the addition of potted plants, vertical gardens and nature-inspired photographs. As reported by Inc.com, Twitter and Facebook are two of the many organizations that have embraced this idea, introducing massive green walls and other environmentally refreshing office trends to their redesigns.

2. Play With The Unexpected

One of the year’s biggest design trends is incorporating surprising colors, textures and furnishings into “clean” spaces. A neutral color palette – taupes, off-whites, grays – offers the perfect backdrop for showcasing amazing finds, allowing accent colors and furnishings to really “pop.” If appropriate, consider placing a select number of antique furnishings in your office to add feelings of warmth and luxury.

3. Introduce Metallic Finishes

As witnessed at the Fall 2014 High Point Market Showcase, metallic finishes are also a BIG trend. Gold, silver, bronze and pewter are increasingly being used by furniture designers and manufacturers, and it’s easy to see why. Sophistication. Elegance. Modernity –– all words that come to mind when we lay our eyes on a beautiful metallic finish.

4. Use Blue

As reported by Veranda.com, blue is the color of the year in furniture and accessories for the home. Blue has long been appreciated for the cooling and relaxing feelings it induces, but it can also add elements of depth and maturity. Why not introduce some vibrant blue accents into your office space to capitalize on these feelings? Additionally, indigo and azure jewel tones all nicely add interest to the neutral color palette mentioned above.

Bring any, or all, of these 2015 design trends into your office space and your co-workers will surely thank you for it.