by Keeney’s Office Supply & Interiors
The workplace is evolving.
Over the past twenty years, we have worked through and beyond some trends and reached a sense of the elements that create a supportive, efficient, and happy workplace.
Open workspaces – benching, mobile tables, desks with privacy screens, or panel defined workstations with lower walls – are here to stay. These elements create environments that allow better light and air flow, more collaboration, and less collection of dust and toxins than the high, enclosed cubicles of the past. Lower panels also foster more collaboration, communication and a greater sense of community in the workplace. Lower panels also save money.
Similarly, more companies are providing very small, single surface hoteling stations to be shared by employees who are in the office from time to time, but do not need a permanent, large, private workstation.
Open, collaborative workstations have their downsides – the office becomes a louder place, and it is more difficult to have a private conversation. We moderate these conditions through sound abatement with sound-absorbing fabric screens on walls, or hung from ceilings or sound masking systems that sonically hide background conversation and allow comfortable conversation between workers.
Designers encourage residential-style lounge furniture, and lounge furniture that is built to create private spaces for work done away from the workstation, but in the office. Sofas with high backs and arms, tablet arms and integrated power are fixtures in a modern office, adding visual interest to the work area, comfort, and the space to have a comfortable, private conversation away from the workstation, as well as providing a different setting for working on a laptop or tablet.
The most important development, supported by these other changes, is a recognition that workers should not be static – that out of every hour, at least some time should be spent standing, walking, moving or stretching. We provide height adjustable, sit/stand tables for use within the workstation and encourage employees to stand for 15 minutes out of every hour. We encourage employees to move out of their workstation to a lounge area or private telephone room several times a day.
While the first tech boom led to furnishings like pool tables and trampolines, designed to impart a sense of fun and play – today we are seeing a more mature approach, yet with the best principles of the dot-com era preserved: movement, worker engagement, and health and well-being are all key considerations when furnishing an office.
For more information, or to schedule a visit with one of our furniture specialists, email firstname.lastname@example.org.