Rounding up some of the industry news

Published on 28/10/2016

Office furniture industry news 2016

Here at Calibre Office Furniture, we like to stay abreast of the latest industry news, as well as opinions and views of those who have an interest in offices and office furniture. Here’s just a few of the most recent things we’ve read…

The office desk is now more than just your everyday piece of furniture

We read this blog on the increasing popularity of bench desks and the benefits they can add to a space and we think the writer raises some very valid points that are actually true of most types of office desk.

The office desk, whilst being a fundamental and irreplaceable part of any office environment, can no longer be viewed as a standalone furniture piece. With square foot costs of office spaces being at the forefront of most companies’ minds, effective use of space has taken priority. As a result, furniture manufacturers have adapted the concept of a desk to include integrated storage, formal and informal meeting areas, movable elements to allow for individual and collaborative working and 3rd level, or desk mounted storage options. The concept of “hotdesking” has also adapted so that workers no longer require a fixed working space and can move freely around offices.

With more and more open plan spaces furniture can be more relaxed whilst becoming multi-functional. Breakout seating with higher backs for privacy can include desk / meeting areas with power and data connectivity, allowing a number of different uses at the same time. Just look at the above image, for example. This is more than just a desk; it’s got a desk with a combined seating area and TV screen, making it supremely multi-functional, further increasing its versatility and popularity.

What your office says about you

We also read this interesting piece on what your office says about you. It talks about the design of an office and how it reflects on your business. For example, having a communal area to share with visitors can encourage a more informal atmosphere for meetings, and, if you’re the boss, having pictures of yourself everywhere doesn’t promote harmony within the company.

The reality in business is that first impressions count. Your office or workspace can have an immediate positive or negative impact on both visitors or colleagues. Understated quality will usually impress visitors but for most people the first thing noticed is mess. If the office is covered in mess then it really doesn’t give off a good impression, particularly for any visitors. If you’re looking to seal the deal with a big client and they see your office covered in clutter, then it might just be a dealbreaker.

In terms of storage, modern storage ideas can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing and as a part of the furniture range allowing a continuity to the way a space looks. The above desk is very simple but is very effective, not only in how it looks but also its function. There’s plenty of room for people to work, lots of storage space and no divisions preventing people from communicating.

Colour can also play a vital role in an office, even if it’s just small amounts used here and there. With subtle uses of colour via desk mounted screens, seating and wall mounted art, a plain space can be brought to life and made more vibrant or informal. This all goes towards making a more productive office where people enjoy coming to work and therefore work to their maximum capabilities.

How can a good workspace boost boost productivity?

Finally, we read this excellent article on boosting workplace productivity through how the space in which people work is configured.

Experts are virtually unanimous on the opinion that a well thought out workplace will improve productivity. Ergonomics is at the forefront of most architects’ and designers’ thoughts when planning a new workspace. From ideal working temperatures, room and workspace lighting, to noise reduction, colour choice and worker comfort; all elements of the standard workspace can be looked at to improve conditions. Even small changes can have a large impact and by making these changes in stages, the financial impact on businesses can be staggered to avoid affecting cashflow and your employees will be able to see that you’re committed to making a positive working environment.

Just some of the ideas put forward in the aforementioned article include having no assigned seating, which has become known as ‘hotdesking’, and having moveable office furniture so different spaces can be created for different requirements. Try talking to your employees and finding out the kinds of things they want to see in terms of office furniture and layout, and then see if it’s practical. If you’re employees are happy where they work then there’s more chance of them being productive.

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