Corporate Office Furniture Trends in 2021

conference room with small table and plants

Although working from home has become the norm since the beginning of 2020, it’s looking like people might be returning to the office before the end of the year. During this transitional time, creating a plan for your corporate office furniture and office layout is important. 

Even if your office is only going to operate at limited capacity, a functional office space with stylish design can increase happiness and productivity among workers. A larger focus post-COVID should also be keeping employees safe from health risks. 

Space, sanitation, design, and health factors should all be taken into consideration when choosing corporate office furniture and designing a layout in 2021. 

Here are some corporate office furniture and design trends we think we’ll see a lot more of this year.

Sinks and Sanitation Stations

In order to decrease the risk of contamination and to keep employees’ health at the forefront, offices in 2021 are going to be seeing the addition of sinks outside of the restroom. 

Adding sinks to break rooms and conference rooms for hand washing as well as sanitizer dispensers in key places around the office can help keep the office safe and clean.

[Related: Choosing Comfortable and Functional Nursing Home Furniture]

Open Floor Plans and Individual Workspaces

If your corporate office opens this year, chances are it will be at a limited capacity. With the lingering concern of COVID and employees’ health at the forefront of everyone’s mind, spacing is key. 

Instead of large shared tables for communal workspaces, corporate offices should opt for an open floor plan with singular workspaces, each spaced out to allow for easy movement without having to get too close. 

These types of layouts are also easier for custodian and janitorial crews to move around in order to clean and sanitize. Things like lockers or cubbies should also be assigned to specific individuals rather than shared.


Individual workspaces mean we might be seeing a comeback for the cubicle. 

Cubicle workspaces with movable partitions can allow employees to create their own shape and space while separating themselves from others. These types of flexible workspaces also allow for safety screens, shields, curtains, or other protective barriers to give privacy and protection from the viral transmission. 

[Related: Creating an Office Environment for a Safe Reopen]

Easy-to-Sanitize Lounge Seating

Lounge seating as found in a lobby or gathering spaces should be chosen based not only on comfort, but also on upholstery material that is easy to clean and sanitize. Leather and vinyl are two options that look nice and can also be wiped down frequently with CDC-approved disinfectant.

Smaller Conference Rooms and Tables

In 2021, less is more. Rather than furnishing big conference rooms with tables that can fit 20 or so people, smaller gathering spaces are going to be the trend. 

With so many employees working remotely and fewer nonemployee guests entering the office, smaller tables and rooms with easy video connectivity to touch base with remote workers via virtual conferencing will be something we see a lot of this year.

Mobile and Movable Furniture

Flexibility is key. Chairs with wheels, desks that are small or that can be taken apart, and partition cubicles are all essential for an open, flexible workspace. An open office space should embrace evolution, and be ready to move around based on a company’s specific needs at any certain time. 

If we’ve learned one thing from 2020, it’s to be ready to adapt to anything.

Environmental Awareness and Updated HVAC

Many offices are putting eco-friendliness and environmental impact on the top of their values list, especially when it translates to corporate office furniture and layout trends. 

More recycling and compost bins, upcycled furniture in lobbies and lounges, and smart materials that are easy to maintain and resist mold are just a few things that can help a company’s sustainability. 

Quality ventilation that includes outdoor air to dilute airborne contaminants and lower transmission opportunities as well as an updated HVAC system are going to be essential for air improvement in the office and a healthier workspace. As always, bringing elements of nature — such as desk succulents, hanging plants, or a living plant wall — indoors is going to lead to a happier (and aesthetically pleasing) environment.

Contact JH Carr today

JH Carr has been taking care of custom commercial furniture needs for offices in the Pacific Northwest for over 80 years. Whether that means providing the highest-quality commercial furniture or top-notch commercial upholstery, refurbishing, and installation services, you know you are in the right hands.
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