Alternative Office designs that let you work remotely + productively for everything the new normal brings!

COVID-19 completely transformed our office culture! Work from home became the new norm, and we often find ourselves reminiscing the good old workplace days. In an ode to great office spaces and the time we spent in them, we’ve curated a collection of innovative and unique office designs. From tiny office spaces for your backyard that are perfect for these pandemic times to futuristic floating office pods – every one of these architectural designs is a far cry from the conventional offices, we are so used to. Some of these designs make suitable home offices, some are far better suited for the future, while some are even sustainable! But all of them provide unique solutions, immense value, and are a conducive space for productive and efficient work. These are ultimate office goals!

The company behind this work shed has been acing the game when it comes to well-designed office furniture like flexible desks and ergonomic chairs. The Zen Work Pod was a culmination of their furniture design mission clubbed with the need of the hour. The minimalist backyard structure is a stark contrast to the existing toolsheds, it is a modern workspace equipped with all essentials needed for a ‘zen’ workday. “It provides a fresh solution that completely redefines the home office, providing maximum focus during every working hour,” says the team who especially kept creators and freelancers in mind while designing it. The pod features floor-to-ceiling windows and an angular roof all wrapped in a sturdy oak, walnut, and aluminum structure. It is compact but the minimal build and sweeping windows make it feel spacious.

Forget waterfront offices, what about an office literally on the water? Think of Enclaves as office meets lazy river (productivity levels not included with the structure). Remote work and flexible lifestyle have seen a boom thanks to the pandemic which has led to a lot of innovative designs like this floating office pod which is a low-impact concept offering the best of views with maximum privacy for focus. The architectural structure has soft, curved edges and a contemporary look which is a contrast to the natural setting but still complements it. Since the pods are floating on the river, it reduces utility requirements to almost zero and there is no soil degradation. Enclaves look like bubbles on the river – the natural foam creates floating, geometric shapes that grew into a larger version for the project. Like lily pads, the pods are anchored to the river bed and also attached to each other like a network which makes it modular in nature.

The team at aux box offers four different models of prefabricated units, each of which provides an array of functions– their most versatile being Model 240 – a tiny office workspace! Dubbed “the pinnacle aux box product for versatility in small living,” Model 240 is comprised of two distinct rooms and a small outdoor patio area. Like the rest of their models, the team at aux box constructs Model 240’s structure from pre-finished pine wood, which is then reinforced with pre-painted metal siding, enhancing the unit’s durability and overall look. Thinking about even the smaller details, each aux box model comes with a few open crevices as possible so that residents can enjoy the beauty and peace of the space without worrying about any future cleanup job.

The Livit Studypod is a futuristic black-box style cube that you can place anywhere you want and focus on your work, study, or even health! This composite cube structure works as your bedroom, home office, or study table and is designed for outdoor use. Easy to place on your backyard, garden, or anywhere with a view, the black-tinted hardened glass window gives an unobstructed view of your scenery. Since the cube is a closed structure, it keeps you safe from the weather across the year. Measuring 2.15 x 1.8 x 2.1 meters, this cube is perfectly sized for you to style it for your comfort, improving your headspace and keeping you stress-free. The pod does weigh 700 kilos but it also comes with optional wheels that let you move it and settle down for a quick change of scenery! The pod has oak flooring, a detachable desk, a power outlet, four downlights, and natural ventilation to keep the place airy.

CABI’s new headquarters in Wallingford hones in on passive sustainability as its main focus. The building’s location and orientation were specifically chosen to minimize solar gains, allowing for shade in the warmer months and plenty of sunshine during the colder months. To achieve natural air ventilation, the building dons a perforated facade, allowing cool air to flow throughout the interior day and night, and then heat recovery ventilation pre-warms fresh air during the winter months. While this means for maintaining natural airflow is energy-efficient and passively sustainable, it also works to keep office workers comfortable in the age of COVID-19, allowing for fresh air to enter the building throughout the day. While all the energy-efficient practices take place inside the building, CABI headquarters’s exterior promotes biodiversity through a living roof, attracting insects and birds to its sprawling green hills.

Nooka calls these sheds ‘proximity office space’ that people can lease or re-rent, Airbnb-style, to others. Believe it or not, Nooka was developing the concept pre-pandemic after noticing that people who used coworking spaces ended up spending a lot of time working from home in less-than-ideal conditions to avoid commuting or upgrading their coworking space plans. “Even before COVID hit, we saw that a lot of people were working from home, and most of the time, they’re just working from their kitchen table, their sofa, sometimes their bed. The work-from-home experience hasn’t really shifted at all. Nobody’s really innovated on that,” says Leanne Beesley, CEO of Nooka. The smallest office rents for €299 a month and the two-person size for €399. It can be easily installed in your backyard and comes fully equipped with a desk, chair, closet, high-speed WiFi, power, lighting, a smart lock, heating, and cooling. The team is working on versions that also come with a bathroom. They can be rented out for a few hours or for a few weeks if you are traveling.

‘Bureau Agreste’ is a modern shipping container office that provides professionals with a dedicated working space. The contemporary aesthetic masks the fact that it is an eco-friendly space. It has two levels with an open floor plan that makes it feel roomier and encourages productivity. It also features solar panels on the roof along with a rainwater harvesting system which makes it perfect for off-grid locations – this way businesses can save on the high rent they would usually pay in big cities. The container suspension frees up the ground space for organizing recreational outdoor activities (or even parking!) and gives the elevation needed for natural light. The first floor is organized concentrically around the central point of arrival, from the collective space (exchange and debate) to the intimate space (concentration and introspection).

My Home Office is a standalone workspace situated anywhere with a paved surface for remote, isolated working. Initially, My Home Office was designed and created by Cosmas Bronsgeest to have a workspace stationed in his family’s yard that could remain a place where he could retreat for quiet and concentration amidst all the chaos of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. The all-season prefab office is clad with FSC-certified larch wood and stands fully insulated with an RC value of 5.4. As currently designed, My Home Office features one larger model that comes equipped with everything from a fold-out bed to a sit-and-stand desk and a smaller model that comes complete with a fixed desk and outdoor lamp.

R-IGLO are new office zones that resemble the shape of igloos and are 3D-printed using the waste that comes from Rotterdam’s local ports. In making R-IGLO, ArchiTech Company joined arms with Royal 3D to create igloo-like workspaces that are made from recycled PET plastic, a material that can be reused plenty of times over. Currently undergoing redevelopment, an important harbor in Rotterdam called M4H is where the team behind R-IGLO sources all the material used during the 3D printing process. Once the materials needed for printing are acquired, the construction of each R-IGLO workspace takes place in M4H as well. The R-IGLO units are built by linking together 3D-printed panels that can later be disassembled, stored, and transported just as easily as they were put together. Since each R-IGLO structure comprises several modules, owners can decrease or increase the size of their R-IGLO by swapping out different sized modules.

The main appeal of a tiny home remains privacy and mobility, both of which are answered by the DROP office. While most tiny homes focus on setting up the place for a single owner, DROP provides two comfortable and fully equipped home offices. The dimensions of the cabin match that of a shipping container, the design is built and ‘dropped’ onto the site of your choice, reducing the environmental impact of construction! Need a break from work? The outdoor deck and fully openable windows allow you to immerse yourself in your surroundings. With one fair-sized panoramic bedroom, three-piece bathroom, and fully-equipped kitchen – the cabin is yours for rest as well as work.