Modern office furniture design has come a long, long way from the Mad Men days of old. Gone are the days when an employee would come into the office and sit at their desk from 9-to-5. In today’s hybrid workdays, employees work flexible hours, often working from their kitchen or living room, and come into the office specifically to meet and collaborate. Work may happen in a coffee shop, on a patio, or even at the beach in our technology-driven world. Offices have shifted to hot-desking instead of dedicated workstations, as employee density changes daily, and it makes no sense to have empty dedicated desks. Even full-time office employees want the option to move around, socialize, get creative and focus on work in various places. Because offices are designed to attract the highest level of today’s employees, the businessman of your grandfather’s generation wouldn’t recognize today’s workplace.
Beyond the basic needs for a place to sit and storage of work products, the artistic dimension of office furniture has evolved dramatically over time. More and more, the furniture’s design depends on its functionality, adaptability, and aesthetic appeal. In addition, as furniture is a touchdown point for employees, they require secure internet access and mobile-friendly features such as charging ports.
The corporate sector is also increasingly shifting its attention to resimercial furniture. Although office design has employee productivity at its core, a more casual and social look will also give the workplace a modern culture-enhancing appearance. Thus, while we recognize the importance of furniture as an integral part of interior design, we’ve also come to realize this significance extends beyond just décor…
Contemporary furniture is now exploiting the potential of the “Internet of Things” phenomena that combining fashion with function and digital technology, such as with employees’ lockers and Smart desks. The creativity and innovative capabilities of the furniture designer and software developers is the only limitation here! However, modern technology is highly dynamic, and fast-paced and technologies are becoming outdated quickly. Therefore, workplaces have to be keenly alert to constantly changing trends. Keeping up with these changes and understanding trend volatility demands agility, flexibility, and adaptability of the furniture.
Some workplaces now have five generations of employees as the American employees live longer and work well into their retirement years. While this presents an opportunity for increased learning and mentoring, each generation prefers working, communicating, and collaborating in their own manner. Therefore, develop a plan to understand what each employee group needs from the workplace and what furniture they require. A Workplace Strategy Plan is an excellent first step.
The silos of the workplace have become more aligned, and the team members are increasingly collaborating with other departments. As a result, office design must accommodate a more flexible workspace that allows casual and spontaneous interactions, multi-team collaborations, and heads-down focus work. Therefore, more and more innovations are needed, such as the sofa that vibrates when the employees have been gathering too long, sound-dampening pods and dividers, or the height-adjustable table that tells you when it’s ideal for sitting and standing at intervals.
If possible, it’s always better to avoid on-site construction work. In addition to the permits, landlord approvals, and expenses, the ever-changing workplace dynamics do not adapt well to the permanence of a construction project. Modular wall and desking systems, on the other hand, help maintain fluidity in the workplace. Layout changes are more straightforward with fewer framework changes. Also, demountable glass walls are easy to assemble or disassemble, and they also have a consistent finish and superb quality. If you like that custom built-in look, add millwork to modular furniture for a fraction of the cost of a custom-built construction project.
Office décor and interior designs are directly related to employee productivity. Therefore, comfortable and adaptable office furniture is nothing short of a necessity. Office furniture with innovative framework engineering is in high demand. However, they also have to be available economically.
These challenges are just a few of the significant issues that furniture makers and designers have to face to meet modern customer expectations and stay competitive. The very best furniture designers thrive on addressing these challenges to create new innovative, functional, acceptable, and aesthetically pleasing designs!