With the cost of payroll, the challenge of retaining the best staff and the increasingly competitive culture of business, having an efficient office has never been so important. Office design can make the difference between the success or failure of a company. Leading businesses understand this and spend a significant amount of time and money ensuring their workplaces support and enhance their company.
At Open Workspace Design, as an independent workplace furniture provider, our designers are able to approach new manufacturers and gain access to the most innovative furniture on the market. We work closely with our clients and ensure that we find the most efficient solutions to suit the style and functionality of the office. Here are some of our favourite examples of innovations in office design and furniture.
Hive Meeting Pods
Separate meeting rooms away from office distractions are usually required for formal business meetings, but for informal in house discussions this can seem a little unnecessary. There is however, still a need for space where workers can come together to discuss ideas in a quiet and concentrated environment.
Hive Meeting Pods could be the solution. The multifunctional beehive-shaped space can be used for informal meetings for around 2 to 3 people or as a quieter space to do concentrated work. The secluded pod can be positioned anywhere in the office so that you are away from any distractions despite being sat in the middle of the workspace. Aside from the extra functionality it can add to your office, it is also a stunning addition to an ultra-modern design.
The Living Wall
Plants are valued in the office for their ability to lighten up a dreary workplace, but they have so much more to offer other than aesthetic value. Many studies have found plants have an extraordinary effect on the health of office workers.
Plants absorb toxins from the air and release oxygen back into the atmosphere so office air quality is improved with the addition of a few plants. A NASA study into air purification found that certain species absorb harmful compounds commonly found in offices including benzene and formaldehyde. Employees in offices with a few houseplants are also 15% more productive.
An ingenious way of introducing plants to the office is by adding a living wall. Living green walls are panels of plants, grown vertically using hydroponics, on structures that can be either free-standing or attached to walls. They create a striking visual centrepiece in a workplace and by removing toxins can improve the air quality and efficiency of staff.
One of the biggest business phonecall faux pas is to ask the person at the other end to repeat what they’ve said over and over again. Many office workers find themselves in that exact scenario because of disruptive noise coming from around the workplace.
In what is one of the simplest yet most intelligent innovations, the solution could be the phone hood. Essentially an acoustic cocoon that can be attached to walls, the phone hood allows a user to answer the phone in noisy surroundings without their hearing of the phone conversation being deterred.
Stand Up Desks
One of the latest office trends is to work standing up. Office work is notorious for being predominantly desk based as employees sit and stare at a computer screen for hours on end. Sustained periods of sitting down is not good for health and can increase the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, chronic inflammation as well as resulting in a 20% drop in “good” cholesterol. Standing up while working can help to offset some of these health risks.
There are several companies that have developed desks that are specifically adapted for working while stood up. Varidesk have developed a series of models that can be used for both sitting and standing. Varidesk is a retrofit adjustable platform that sits on top of another desk and is an affordable and practical alternative to buying an entirely new desk.