By Penketh Group Insights Team
19th October 2018
With so many products on the market and developments being rolled out continually, it can be difficult to know how to pinpoint the perfect furniture for your office.
These days, commercial furniture extends way beyond a dedicated desk with a castor chair and some under-desk storage – the modern working world is all about putting the user first in order to squeeze the most out of their potential.
If you’re currently in the process of updating your furniture portfolio or looking to replace it completely, there are some core objectives that you need to keep in mind when making your choices.
Whatever commercial furniture products you choose, they need to:
- Offer choice and control to facilitate agile working and professional autonomy
- Cater for a diverse range of work modes from collaborative to private focus
- Consider modern concepts such as touchdown work, hot desking and the WorkCafé
- Provide comfort and improved usability to accommodate a variety of postures
- Make the workplace somewhere employees are happy to come to as private and working lives continue to merge
- Optimise use of space and encourage multifunctionality throughout the workspace
So, now you’ve got a better idea of the targets your office furniture needs to be hitting, let’s look at the categories of products that will help you achieve this…
Ergonomic office furniture
Ergonomic design and furniture is all about putting human need before design and creating user-centric workspaces which cater for the operators’ needs rather than the other way round.
Improving comfort levels for staff will not only improve health and mental wellbeing, it will also lower rates of absenteeism and boost productivity by fostering a working environment which supports multiple devices and a wide selection of physical postures.
After discovering 9 new postures in their well-cite Global Posture Study, Steelcase developed the Gesture Chair which has been designed to mimic human movement. Including ergonomic seating like this, along with some sit-stand desking is a great idea for a modern working environment.
Click for more on how ergonomic furniture can improve health in the workplace.
Commercial soft seating
You might have heard of the current trend for resimercial office design, which involves introducing softer, more domestic elements within commercial work settings… This is a great way to make staff feel more at home and more relaxed in a working environment which might otherwise be too formal and therefore hinder idea-sharing and collaboration across teams.
Social spaces, breakout spaces and welcome areas are the perfect place to introduce resimercial design and soft seating should be your first port of call.
Creating this type of laidback setting will encourage collaboration, improve communication lines by breaking down the professional hierarchy and give staff chance to rejuvenate or get away from their desk at regular intervals.
Modular office furniture
The main benefit of modular office furniture solutions is that they are reconfigurable and therefore easily manipulated to facilitate different tasks and requirements as and when it is needed.
Incorporating this type of furniture into your workspace will not only enable impromptu modes of work such as spontaneous touchdown meetings, it will also allow you to make better use of office space and resource.
As staff become more mobile and freedom of movement around the office becomes more commonplace, the need for more accessible power and connectivity is something business owners can no longer ignore.
Include technology-integrated furniture within your design scheme to improve communication between resident and mobile workers, as well as ensuring staff have access to the tools they need when working more flexibly.
Acoustic office furniture
Last but not least, it’s essential that while you’re picking out products to inspire collaboration and communication, you also consider privacy, individual focus and the ability to concentrate without noise distraction.
Focus pods, booths, acoustic space dividers and furniture enhanced with acoustic fabric are all great ways to keep excess noise in check and ensure concentration, metal wellbeing and confidentiality aren’t being compromised.