Modern cubicles and office spaces offer plenty of useful design features that help employees work more productively. However, cubicle and office furniture designs, materials, and implementation strategies change all the time, so what can you expect in the future from office furniture?
Look for More Standing Work Stations
A growing number of office workers favor standing desks and workstations that get them out of their chairs for large portions of the day. According to Smithsonian Magazine, standing desks offer numerous benefits to workers, including reduced chance of weight gain and a lowered risk for certain diseases and conditions, such as metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease.
A standing workstation can also save room in an office. Without bulky chairs to get in the way, businesses can house employees in smaller areas, which reduces overhead costs and maximizes traffic patterns through an office. Of course, many workers prefer desks that can transition from sitting to standing.
Expect Changes in Cubicle Design and Function
Bullpen-style office spaces don’t work as efficiently as cubicles and private offices. They create more noise transfer from one work station to another and they eliminate any privacy for workers. However, open bullpens offer several advantages, including the ability to collaborate with colleagues.
Inc Magazine reports on several new and upcoming cubicle design features, including the Bubble desk. It’s a cubicle with a Plexiglas bubble around it – sort of like a workstation windshield – that allows workers to communicate freely when they want and to cut off noise pollution when they need quiet.
The Inc article also discusses cubicle cabanas. They’re more relaxed work-spaces where employees can gather in groups on comfortable seats that allow a wide variety of comfortable positions.
Prepare for Technological Advancements
From smart watches to smart homes, everything is getting an IQ boost – including office furniture. Expect the furniture of the future to incorporate more technological advancements, from furniture that moves according to how the user orients himself or herself to it.
Modular and “hackable” office furniture also await on the horizon. Expect more fluidity in office designs over the next few decades, according the ability to completely rearrange office configurations to suit immediate needs.
Think in Terms of Ergonomics
Over the last several years, ergonomic furniture has risen to the forefront of every office designer’s mind. How can a space become more comfortable and healthy for the people who populate it? That’s the answer that furniture designers will continue to explore in greater depth.
Just as a living room recliner offers the user multiple positions while watching television, the chairs of the future will feature multi-functionality that will allow workers to choose their positions based on the task at hand. As technology changes, workers’ needs change. An employee might need a different position for swiping the surface of a tablet than for typing at a desktop computer, for example.
There is no one-size-fits-all office of the future, but you should see more options appear on the market, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. If you want to keep up with the latest options, browse our office furniture to check out our inventory.
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