Even though collaboration is a vital ingredient for productive brainstorming, quiet spaces are at a premium in today’s office. As productivity guru Barnaby Lashbrooke points out, “In sociable, bustling workspaces, the quiet corners are always in use.”
To boost productivity, modern office furniture ideas in 2020 and beyond should include both collaborative and peaceful work areas. Indeed, we concur with Lashbrooke’s view of the future.
Variety in office furnishings is a must for businesses that want to outpace their competitors.
Statistics confirm the need for diversity in office accessories. Nearly 5 million American workers, Lashbrooke points out, want a workplace in which they can move about freely, depending on the task they need to accomplish.
Here are some of the office must-haves to maximize workforce efficiency over the coming years.
Office Furniture Pods for Concentration and Confidentiality
If your office is like most, space is at a premium. However, you need both a space for quiet concentration and one for confidential chats, such as interviews or performance evaluations.
Its see-through door ensures that one-on-one meetings remain professional. That kind of transparency also discourages employees from using work time to conduct personal business while they’re on the clock.
Its small footprint also makes it perfect for solo work. With room to stash everything an employee needs to focus on the task at hand, ideas come faster.
Dedicated Technology Tables
Often, collaborative work requires online research, slide presentations, phones, or other technology. Technology tables provide built-in cable routing that runs through the center of the table. Many of them also allow you to add on USB ports, pop-up power strips, and other conveniences.
Some tables even feature modular add-on sections. With today’s emphasis on eliminating departmental silos, these flexible furnishings allow your teams to bring diverse perspectives to solve problems.
For brainstorming sessions, be they impromptu or scheduled, there’s nothing like a huddle room to encourage sharing ideas. Designed for small groups of four to six people, these small rooms allow teams to shut out the rest of the world and zero in on the challenge at hand.
With a noisy environment surrounding them, your teams will likely lose their concentration at some point.
For open space offices, a great furniture idea includes this type of huddle room to combat the distractions.
With a small, portable meeting pod, your teams can meet in a quiet space without leaving the office. Its smaller, more intimate environment facilitates sharing, unlike a huge formal conference room.
Zenbooth’s Executive Room is the ideal size for team huddles. With electrical outlets, USB charging stations, and phone cable grommets, teams can have all the information they need at their fingertips.
With those connections, teams can take advantage of tools such as:
- Videoconferencing equipment
- A/V projectors and large-screen viewing equipment
Unlike a conference room, an Executive Room is cost-effective and movable. When you remodel your office, all you need to do is disassemble it, move it to its new location, and set it up again.
Using an Executive Room instead of a built-in huddle room requires no construction and no permits. Even though they are more like booths than actual rooms, they can accommodate up to six people comfortably.
Interior ventilation and a Plexiglass ceiling provide a natural, relaxed atmosphere. With a maple interior and your choice of neutral white or maple exterior, it will blend in well with your office décor.
An Executive Room can even double as a confidential meeting pod for smaller client meetings. Its seamless, elegant appearance will impress even the choosiest of clients.
Not only is it versatile, it reduces the square footage you need for your office. Since it doesn’t require construction – only assembly – it costs much less than a built-in huddle room.
Flexible Spaces for On-the-Move Inspiration
Today’s workforce is no longer content to stay put inside an office or cubicle for hours on end. Neither should you want them to be.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, psychiatrist Edward Hallowell contends for more flexible workplaces. Not only does freedom of movement stimulate the production of brain-healthy chemicals that jump-start innovation, but it also allows employees both the power of human connection and the need for privacy, both necessary for maximum productivity.
In fact, organizing one’s workspace into a place that works for each employee is the best way to encourage innovation, Hallowell points out. WiFi-enabled spaces all over the office – even in the break room and designated outdoor spaces – allow employees to work wherever they feel most comfortable.
Other accommodations, such as height adjustable desks and earphones, allow employees to get into their work comfort zone. Whether they prefer to stand at their workstation or listen to their favorite music as they work, these perks can all help your teams to get the most out of every day.
If you have dabbled with the idea of taking the leap into Agile transformation, having the right environment can facilitate that change. An agile workplace is one that can adapt deliverables on the fly from customer feedback, arriving at a finished product or service faster than ever before.
Agile workspace principles mean inspiring collaboration among various teams to achieve goals. With no departmental silos to hold them back, work goes faster.
Here’s how it works. Let’s say your client hired you to create a new website for her company.
In a traditional workplace, the design or copy teams might have sketched out the initial concept. Then they send it off to the development team, who decides that the concept is unworkable. Back to the drawing board they go.
At an agile workplace, your graphic design, user experience, copywriting, and development teams will all put their heads together to get the website up and running. To do so, they meet to brainstorm ideas.
Wall Space for Whiteboard and Post-It Notes
Often teams use a whiteboard onto which they sketch out ideas or attach Post-it notes as they make progress. That strategy helps keep everyone who works on the project aware of what they have accomplished and which tasks they still need to do.
Naturally, they will need a designated wall space to post their progress. As you plan your move toward an Agile methodology, make sure to set aside such a space in your office design.
Small Rooms for Small Group Stand-up Meetings
After they come up with an idea that all the teams can sign off on, they create a prototype to show to the client. To keep everyone on track, they have frequent small group meetings, called “stand-ups,” coordinated by a facilitator called a “scrum master.”
When they have a working prototype that passes muster with everyone, a go-between, called a “product owner,” meets with the client to get feedback. With that feedback, they go back to the drawing board. The process continues until the customer gets a website that checks off all her boxes.
All these meetings and brainstorm sessions go better if the workspace suits its purpose. For stand-ups, a smaller space, such as a huddle room or our Executive Room, will give your project teams a place to innovate and share ideas without interference or distractions.
Using Modern, Collaborative Furniture Ideas Will Help Grow Your Company
With a variety of spaces to accommodate diverse tasks and employee preferences, Lashbrooke says your staff can “curate their environment to the specific task they are trying to accomplish.” Having control, he points out, inspires employees to become happier, more productive, and more engaged in your company’s mission.
In fact, 88 percent of highly engaged employees cited that very factor as one of the reasons they were so happy on the job. Happy, productive employees, in turn, are more likely to stay with your company, allowing you to spend less on recruiting and training new people.
Engaged employees take ownership of their work – driving their productivity through the roof in the process. Many of them even become brand advocates, spreading the word about your products and services to their friends and colleagues.
To get there, though, you must create an environment that transforms the way they work. Our Zenbooth team can help you get there.
With a set of multi-purpose booths and larger yet private spaces, we can give your employees and teams the space to think, to dream, to innovate. Innovation, after all, is the currency that the coming decade’s business leaders prize most.
Take the lead in your niche this coming year. Discover how Zenbooth can transform your office into a hive of innovation. Get in touch with us today.