Technology and increased connectivity have been the drivers of massive changes workplace layout, regardless of industry or location.
Keeping abreast of these improvements can help an organization dominate, but to truly outclass the competition, they need to know how to implement the right office design trends.
Thanks to the increased flexibility technology has given us, the ultimate workspace should be adaptable. It should give employees the ability to work to their full potential in an environment that is comfortable and makes each and every one of their tasks easier.
Truly cutting edge companies have quietly been revolutionizing the idea of office furniture for some time. Here are some of the most effective furniture trends that your company should be using.
Modern Office Furniture With Added Tech
It only makes sense that we start this post with the technologically advanced types of furniture commonly known as ‘smart’ furniture. Just like a smart TV or smart appliance, smart furniture is easily adjusted through controls right at your fingertips.
Smart desks may be one of the most popular examples. Their height, angle, and other physical aspects can be quickly repositioned through onboard controls & integrated apps. Many of these products are also standing desks, which are proven to have positive effects on workplace performance.
Advanced versions of smart desks even have built-in workstations, including monitor arrays, keyboards, and CPUs.
Smart lights are an inexpensive addition to the workplace that can have a considerable effect on staff output.
Conventional fluorescent light results in eye fatigue over time, and negatively affects the mood and motivation of your employees. Smart lights can be adjusted, not just for brightness, but also ‘warmth’ and even color.
As a result, lighting can be set that is best suited to the task at hand. The ability of these lights to be personalized by employees not only improves productivity but gives them a sense of control which lowers their stress.
Office Chairs That Are Also "Smart"
One of the most important pieces of furniture in the workplace is, without a doubt, the chair. Sitting for hours a day at a desk, employees are at risk of injuring their backs and other body parts if their seating does not provide the proper support.
The design of more ergonomic chairs has been an excellent step in the right direction, but now even more advanced options are available. ‘Smart’ chairs are designed to recognize your posture and help ensure you are seated in an ergonomically healthy way.
Simpler types of these use special materials and design in order to adapt to the individual’s body and adjust without the use of conventional manual controls. Some of the more advanced types, meanwhile, actually provide feedback.
They will point out unhealthy sitting habits you're exhibiting and allow you to electronically adjust the chair to correct these.
Office Furniture Designed for Activity-based Working
This design trend has been gathering steam for quite some time and is considered by many to be superior to the popular open office concept.
In an activity-based working (ABW) environment, there are multiple ‘settings.’ Each of these is meant to support specific tasks, and as such is carefully designed with unique technology, furniture, and other considerations.
At some point or another, an employee will need a quiet, secluded place to make an important phone call or focus on a challenging task.
Previously, this was often out of reach for non-executives without an office. Now, there are purpose-built work areas where any employee can enjoy this luxury. An industry-leading example is Zenbooth’s 1-2 person phone booth.
With all the telecom, internet and wiring connections one could possibly need, this sound-treated booth can be used for any task that requires an escape from distraction.
Collaborative Office Meeting Pods
Just as you’ll sometimes need complete privacy, employees often need to work together.Using team software or moving back and forth between desks can be tiresome & inefficient.
The conference room is not always available, nor is it necessarily the best layout for a few team members to work closely. ABW encourages the use of tailor-made collaborative spaces, which promote person to person connections.
Zenbooth's Executive Room model is just the right size and portable. It also comes with:
- 3.5" thick acoustic wall construction containing recycled cotton/denim sound insulation to ensure meetings remain private
- Twin high-powered ventilation fans powered by occupancy sensors to keep you cool & smelling fresh
- Self-closing aluminum door with accessible handle, tempered glass & magnetic latching system
Active Office Furniture
Another popular furniture trend that your company should certainly look into is active office furniture.
We all know that a lack of physical activity can put us at risk of disease, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular issues and even some cancers.
However, studies on ‘inactivity physiology’ are suggesting that independent of exercise, the act of excessive sitting can have negative effects on our health as well. With both of these considerations in mind, active office furniture has become a popular sight inside forward-thinking companies.
The first type of active office furniture that comes to mind is the standing desk. These desks are usually electronically adjustable, allowing you to sit for periods of time and then stand while still comfortably working on your computer, writing, or other tasks.
However, there are many more examples. There is also the treadmill desk and even the biking chair! Other seating options like special ‘medicine ball’ chairs and spring-loaded balance chairs allow those who are up to the challenge to actively work on their posture and core strength while staying on top of their day job.
Nature-Feeling Office Furniture Trends
‘Biophilic design’ is a design technique that seeks to improve the well-being and comfort levels of individuals by having them feel more connected to nature.
The design cues used in this concept are many, but one important aspect is the addition of natural furniture elements. One of the most common is real wood furniture.
Of course, not every workplace can afford solid teak desks for each employee. However, more cost-effective alternatives like wood veneer and wood laminates can have similar positive effects.
Water elements such as small fountains, and of course, plants are all considered to be natural furniture elements excellent for the overall health and happiness of employees.
Improve Workplace Performance With Innovative Office Furniture
To stay competitive, it’s important to make sure your employees are happy and able to work efficiently. Furniture that improves their well-being, as well as their ability to work comfortably, is, in the end, excellent for your bottom line.