Upcoming trends in office furniture
When you conduct an office fitout, there is so much to consider. From the floor plan to where partitions will go, all the way through to what colour to make your cupboard handles or which plants will work best on employee desks – the decisions to make seem endless. Keeping up with current trends is an excellent way to make sure you are on top of what employees want, and this applies to all of these separate components of the interior design of an office.
Working with A1 Office is a fantastic way to get ahead of the curve on this. We have the expertise and experience, and we keep up with the latest design trends to help your SME remain streamlined and productive – all while working within your clearly set brief.
Today, we will have a look at some current and upcoming trends in office furniture. IBISWorld research indicates that in the USA alone, the manufacturing industry for office furniture alone is worth $25 billion in revenue – so what are the pieces coming out that could benefit your workplace?
According to an October 2014 Wiesner-Hager piece, “innovative energy needs social friction in a creative environment”. This was in the context of upcoming trends, which included a push for office design that fosters creativity . The article cited Google and Microsoft as examples of this done right, with comfortable couches and social environments used for talks and meetings.
While this does not foster creativity alone, it does create the social conditions that can be conducive to productivity. Moving office furniture in meeting rooms towards comfortable couches, larger chairs and even cushions could be what your meeting rooms need to gain that extra spark that the competition lacks.
Through the wires
It’s no secret that we are moving towards a more mobile workplace. Gensler’s design forecast for 2015 saw collaborative spaces and mobile workstations as the future for a huge range of industries, especially those traditionally constrained to a standard office format.
As we become more mobile, even within the office, cable management will become an issue that needs to be addressed. Mobile desks that have the attachments to keep these in check, enabling quick plugging and unplugging from power points and internet access cables will become a necessity for certain offices. If yours is one of these, then office furniture that can adapt to the mobile workforce should be on the cards when you conduct an office fitout.
Through the eyes of pod
We recently took a look at design ideas for nap areas inside the office, and one part of this that crosses over nicely with upcoming furniture trends is the sleeping pod. Going beyond a simple couch to a designated sleeping pod might seem like something out of a science fiction film but given the extensive research out there that shows the productivity benefits of a short nap, it could be worth looking into.
According to a paper from the European Sleep Research Society in 2008, a nap as short as six minutes can improve your declarative memory, which benefits your ability to recall important information without a prompt.
If your floor space and office layout allows for it, you may want to consider such an item, or a rough equivalent. Economy of space is crucial, but keeping productivity high is also a must for the Australian employer.
Larger desks and tables
As the workplace moves towards more open plan layouts and collaborative spaces, the traditional cubicle and desk format will have to adapt with it. While private areas will remain crucial for calls and meetings, the furniture in the main area of an office is likely to change so that more people can share work and ideas in one space.
This could mean lower tables to go along with the lounge-style furniture that we mentioned earlier, desks that can be split apart and rearranged for groups of different sizes, and furniture without partitions, allowing for simple face to face communication.
Items like Ophelis Docks create low-sitting creative spaces within an office, allowing people to sit an collaborate in a setting that almost resembles a cafe – without having to stray from the desk. Smaller coffee tables and self-contained seating lends itself well to this design.
Get the right designers
Of course, creating a space with the right office furniture is never going to be easy. You have to take on board what your employee’s preferences are for the work space, what sort of message you want to convey with the workplace brand, and what fits in the budget.
When you know what you want out of your fitout, contact A1 Office. We have years of experience working with SMEs right across Australia, collaborating on beautiful, efficient designs that enable great productivity, creativity and efficiency in a wide array of office settings.