Why furniture is integral to office design

14 Sep 2018  |  People  |  Design

Current workplace trends combined with the ever-evolving technology requirements of business are transforming offices into modern, versatile, high-tech spaces designed to promote employees’ wellbeing and boost productivity. And so, office design continually advances and is now, as it should be, increasingly approached in a holistic manner, with careful consideration given to layout, look, feel and building services.

However, all too often, one crucial component is left to the last minute: the furniture. It’s like paying top dollar for the right theatre, lavishing care on a beautiful stage set and then recruiting the actors as an afterthought…

Furniture is vital to the overall effectiveness and impact of any design scheme. People can understand the importance of a stunning reception or ‘front of house as the public face of the organisation, shaping visitors’ perceptions. But the spaces beyond, where the employee’s sit and work gets done, are just as important – maybe even more so. Three key factors demonstrate this…

Firstly, the effect on people. Employees interact with furniture more than any other physical element of the workplace. They sit on it, work at it, lean against it, store things in it. It is critical to their comfort, their convenience, and their health. Employee engagement and staff retention are increasingly driving many office refurbishments and re-designs and righty so – your staff are your advocates and ‘silent’ sales force.

Secondly, furniture helps to focus a design. Without it the most stunning office is still basically a shell. Furniture adds substance to the space, characterizes the different settings, draws the eye and increasingly defines the space itself. It can also act to re-enforce a brand – the look, feel and quality of the furniture should align with the company’s culture, market position and business aspirations.

And finally, furniture is a vital piece in the flexible, agile modern workplace. In today’s evolving business landscape, new and changing ways of working cannot be implemented without the right furniture to support them. Touchdown spaces for mobile workers? Stand up workstations? Soundproofed booths? Furniture is integral to the success of such concepts.

No business can be sure of what might happen beyond the next few years. No organisation remains the same. Whether it’s a buyout, an expansion, a relocation, the workplace is highly likely to change -  and investment in a fit-out needs to reflect that. Furniture with staying power, able to adapt to new environments and configurations, could save a lot of time and money.

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