Remember the times, when an office looked like something straight out of a factory assembly line - rows of tables with aligned rows of creaking chairs, either set straight up against the wall or in the middle of a hall. There’d be cabinets and cupboards bursting at the seams, ‘In’ and ‘Out’ baskets overflowing with paperwork, and a smelly canteen serving tea and snacks. And here we are today, with stylish, trendy workspaces defining the norms!
An element that governs the style and productivity quotient of any workplace is the furniture used. From space utilization and design to an employee’s comfort and productivity - choice of furniture goes a long way in determining the atmosphere of a workspace.
Furniture For An Awesome Workplace!
So, how do you choose furniture that makes an office cool and efficient? Let’s make a list... And there's a quick downloadable visual guide at the end as well... to help you keep this list handy!
1. Adaptable Desk Systems:
To suit the ongoing workplace trend of having a ‘flexible layout’, there is a need for adaptable furniture to meet the changing requirements. Adaptable Desk Systems offer the required flexibility, being built specifically for technology integration, as well as future-proofing the workspace. They can accommodate staff changes and can be used across the work floor without any glitches.
2. Collaborative Furniture:
‘Work Zones’ are in. The interior design style for office spaces has graduated from open layouts to a more balanced approach to space utilization by combining collaborative and private spaces. Collaborative furniture like pod sofas (high back, compact sofas which can be used to create a more private space for meetings on the work floor), office booths (fully-equipped special booths designed to accommodate two-three persons), modular workbenches, modular soft seating, meet point tables, etc. support an adaptable office space.
3. Ergonomic Furniture:
Productive well-being is an aspect of workplace design that has just found attention and acceptance. Sit-Stand desks, with height adjustment options and storage shelves, are ideal for employees with sedentary jobs that require being in front of the computer for the major part of the day. Saddle chairs are specially designed to give a more erect posture and avoid cutting blood flow to the legs.
A well-designed breakout area not only provides employees a space to relax or conduct informal meetings but also helps to break up the workspace and improve the flow of the office. Soft seating furniture, like tub chairs, work well even for the reception area since they are a great combination of comfort and versatility.
4. Unconventional Furniture:
A trendy office is incomplete without unconventional furniture, like bean bags in a meeting room. Seating options like motion stools and backless saddle seats allow for height adjustments, reduce pressure on the sitz bones, and rectify posture.
5. Acoustic Furniture:
Acoustic furniture refers to furniture designed specifically to create private and social spaces within contemporary open-plan offices. They are used to define areas of relaxation, concentration for brainstorming, having informal team working sessions or meetings. Furniture elements found within this category can include high back acoustic sofas, acoustic baffles (construction or device that mounts up on the ceiling, used to reduce the strength of airborne sound), privacy lamp shades, sound absorbing wall panels, work bays and many more innovative acoustic furniture designs.
6. Flexible Partitions:
‘Softwalls’ are modular, free-standing, acoustic, flexible partition structures made of paper or textiles. They can be used to create sound-proof demarcations anywhere in the office space.
7. Storage And Filing:
Although most companies are trying to take all their records to the cloud, the need for storage and filing is impossible to do away with. Tambour cabinets with sliding doors are excellent space saving techniques without compromising on style. Steel mobiles are under desk storage suitable for any workstations and office desks. Multifunctional furniture not only provides storage space but also creates zones in the workspace.
It's great to be in tune with the latest trends! However, it is also necessary to be practical and evaluate if the trend complements your workspace.
Things To Consider While Choosing Office Furniture:
Here are a few things to keep in mind, before jumping on the bandwagon.
#1 Don't jump on the 'trends' bandwagon if it doesn't suit your employees!
Start with an audit of your employees' daily work activities to choose the right furniture for your office. An effective commercial workspace is one which is designed in accordance with the types of tasks that need to be done. You may not be able to incorporate every trend into your office space, simply because it may not suit the flow of your work.
#2 Don't forget to measure your workspace!
Account for employee movement, how many people are passing each other in high-traffic areas, where groups tend to gather, how many people take breaks at the same time in the breakout area, etc. The workspace has to be measured accurately to make sure that is efficiently utilized.
#3 Don't sacrifice your brand identity for discounted furniture!
Your employees put your furniture through a lot every day. With less frequent repairs or replacements, a higher initial investment saves in the long run. Also... don't forget about the warranties!
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As mentioned above... here's the quick visual guide for you to download!