Furniture Trends & Office Designs for 2014
Office space and furniture trends have clearly changed over the last number of years. However, in the past 10 years, we have noticed a major evolution in office furniture as companies have migrated toward a more open and communicative workspace. Communication has been identified as the hub of any organization. This is exactly what has impacted the office furniture arrangement. Other factors include the need to enhance collaboration among coworkers, effective work environments as well as changes in how businesses operate nowadays.
Current office furniture design in 2014 must reflect the needs of modern-day employees and invoke collaboration, flexibility and mobility. Therefore, the choice of which furniture to purchase is highly dictated by the nature of the work and the kind of office space available.
Different office spaces demand different furniture choices. Lets have a look at the 4 major factors that should influence what kind of office furniture to use.
1. Open spaces
Initially, offices were demarcated into cubicles requiring the workers to be condemned to their confined work place, a strategy that worked well and was used to separate them. However, cubicles are now of the past as open space has taken the “hot desking” technique which gives employees the space to move around and work where they want. This means that gone are the heavy nailed to the wall tables and cabinets and in comes portable yet appropriate furniture. According to CORT, lounge seating areas are a key furnishing and office design trend that enable workers collaboration.
When doing open office, lowering the walls and cubicles fosters a team environment. Also, a trend embraced in this arrangement sees unassigned tables put between work spaces to enable employees to meet and collaborate spontaneously.
The ability to move and consult in an office is quite important. This translates to having furniture that is movable. In most offices, mobile working furniture has been embraced. This is evident where we find most chairs with wheels. These kinds of chairs mean that one can move freely in their working area without having to keep on standing. Seating that can move with employees is fostering the collaboration and flexibility that was earlier mentioned. Today depending on the nature of the job, more office spaces have become mobile with more companies opting to use movable stools and tables.
Most space planners see the top trend being mobile device diversity and management. As employees become more mobile and workplace design more flexible, a seamless integration of technology tools and usage policies are essential for success. This ranges from provisioning the employees with the right tools to work wherever, whenever they need it, as well as including the right furniture within their place of work.
3. Bright colors and designs
Formal has taken a different twist, gone are the boring gray or white furniture of old. Brightly colored office furniture has been studied showing that certain colors like red and orange stimulate productivity.
4. Bringing the outdoors in
Many young professionals are occupying these offices and their energy needs to be harnessed. A number of studies conducted recently revealed that a great percentage of young workers are open to sharing desks with their co-worker and they would prefer to hold meetings in informal areas instead of formal. In general, young workers are also attracted to a “bright and open working environment.” Findings like these all weigh on future office design and choice of furniture as young professionals begin to dominate the workforce.This is another strategy being employed nowadays and it entails the incorporation of the outdoor furniture designs to indoor activities. People work better when they don’t feel like they are couped up inside all day so to break the boredom, greenery and plants have been incorporated in more offices around the country. Access to roof decks and outside spaces where employees can breath a bit of fresh air has also been a key consideration of many companies. Of course, you can always add large windows for more natural light, too.