Think office furniture in the future isn’t very different from the furniture of 100, 50 or even 20 years ago? Think again. Technology is quickly evolving and industries are keeping pace. Office furniture is not immune from this evolution. Here are a few trends to watch for over the next year.
The New Cubicle
Today’s office set-ups aren’t one-size-fits-all. In fact, the 21st century workplace is all about creating environments that meet your specific needs in an innovative way. And there’s no better place to see this trend in play than with cubicles.
While cubicles of days past may have been uniform, today’s cubicles offer a breadth and depth of options to accommodate each individual’s work process. From task lighting to overhead storage, cubicles offer more than privacy, they offer enhanced functionality — the ultimate commodity in today’s fast-paced workplace.
Green is Good
According to research from the Nature Conservancy, 72 percent of U.S. adults believe their actions can influence the health of the planet. It’s no surprise, then, that eco-friendly measures are important in the workplace. Not only will your employees appreciate the effort, but so will your customers. How much so? A full 66 percent of consumers prefer to buy products and services from companies which give back. And because this new breed of socially conscious consumer is willing to pay extra for these features, green design and sustainable office furniture selections are a worthwhile investment.
Nearly every worker is familiar with height adjustable chairs, but height adjustable desks are coming on strong in the workplace. Any type of adjustable feature, in fact, offer beneficial ergonomic advantages.
And with so much recent research indicating the profound health hazards of sitting for long periods of time, sit-stand workstations/computers are also on the rise.
With less than 20 percent of jobs involving physical activity and most workers spending more than nine hours daily in the office, occupational sitting is increasingly under fire. Savvy employers will find ways to counter this problem — both to promote employee health and happiness and for their own bottom line when it comes to preventing absenteeism and keeping healthcare costs low.
The contemporary workplace prioritizes the spirit of collaboration and flexibility now more than ever thanks in part to the rise of mobile technology. Because workers need to be adaptable, work spaces must be equally dynamic.
While cubicles will always be an essential part of office life, open space — which helps promote creative teamwork and enhanced productivity — is also on the rise.
As the 21st century continues, also expect to see an increase in collaboration rooms and quiet zones along with the mindful furniture which goes along with them.
While Jetson’s-era technology may not quite have arrived just yet, the world is well on its way to a new-looking future. Changes in the way people work — along with changes in the world around them — will continue to have new and deeply relevant bearing on contemporary office spaces as we move into 2015 and beyond.