10 Workplace Furniture Trends That Increase Productivity

Aside from advertised apps and extensions, what can be done to help increase productivity? The office furniture trends are something with a little more lasting impact and help when it comes to improving productivity across the whole office.

Here’s the list of office furniture trends that help increase productivity and further down below is more information about each one of them:

  1. Standing Desks
  2. Height Adjustable Desks
  3. Working and Sleeping Pods
  4. Multi-Purpose Breakout Areas
  5. Hot Desking
  6. Greenery
  7. Vibrant Colour Schemes
  8. Room Dividing Furniture
  9. Booth Seating
  10. Collaboration Tables

1. Standing Desks

Standing desks are great for improving productivity levels. The simple fact that a person is standing as opposed to sitting means that they are physically working harder. This means that your heart rate is slightly more raised and you are essentially more “active”. This keeps a person more mentally stimulated compared to sitting in a comfortable chair for their 8+ hours in the office.

 

2. Height Adjustable Desks

But, as great as standing desks are for productivity, standing relatively still for hours at a time is physically draining. It’s also as likely to cause back and joint problems as sitting constantly is too. The solution is to use height adjustable desks which can be used with a regular office chair, a stool and as a standing desk.

 

3. Working and Sleeping Pods

Originally created as a means of catching a quick bit of shuteye pre or post commute, sleeping pods have been developed and improved into becoming solo working pods. They have all the amenities a person would need for some uninterrupted time in the office, including power ports and headphone jacks.

The surrounding visual and noise distractions are removed once inside the pod, so a person is free to work productively and without interruption.

Google sleeping pod in an office

4.  Multi-Purpose Breakout Areas

Firstly, a proper breakout space is beneficial to increasing productivity when only used during lunch times. A proper rest in a non-work setting energises staff and improves output.

A multi-purpose breakout space has the added benefit of being suitable for use during core office hours too. As in, outside of lunch time, the breakout space is used for working. This could be on individual work by employees who enjoy working in a less formal setting, to groups of employees working on a collaborative task in a more conducive environment rather than gathering around one person’s desk.

 

5. Hot Desking

An emerging trend for 2017, based on our own findings and what was popular at the late 2016 design shows, was a move towards a 7:10 desk to employee ratio. This means that hot desking is growing in popularity.

This is an option due to improvements in remote working technology meaning that staff don’t always needs to be based in the same office. But it’s also because agile working layouts and seating plans are great for productivity.

Agile working, fluid layouts, or whatever you may know them as, is an office which doesn’t have a rigid seating plan. It lets employees choose where to work depending on what mood they’re in, what task they’re working on and who they’re working with.

Hot desking helps make this the norm by encouraging people to move seats.

 

6. Greenery

Besides being Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017, greenery is another productivity inspiring trend. For the very reasons that “Greenery” is Pantone’s colour of the year, you can improve your productivity by having some natural elements of greenery and plant life around the office.

Plants and greenery are soothing, visually stimulating and improve air quality. All of these factors combine to make a more productive atmosphere.

Greenery in an office

 

7. Vibrant Colour Schemes

But back to colours. The popularity of the “trendy Google office” shows few signs of slowing – even though, personally, we think that offering choice and flexible working spaces is the correct way to layout a new office.

Whilst slides and fireman’s poles might be a gimmick best left alone (which even Google employees don’t see the point of), what can be learned from the 00s wave of trendy tech/startup offices is the use of vibrant, life filled colour schemes.

 

8. Room Dividing Furniture

Another big trend is one which helps facilitate offering staff different work environments and atmospheres in the same office; using furniture to divide rooms into different zones and spaces. This can be as divisive and clear cut as a glass partition of full height storage wall, to a change in floor finishes and seating styles.

One side could have traditional desk and pedestal set ups, whilst the other could have collaborative tables and soft seating instead. The change of setting offers workers different environments in which to complete different tasks, each holding their own ambiance and “feel”.

But furniture is the only change from one space to the other.

Orgatec wall storage

9. Booth Seating

Another option, which achieves the same result but with nowhere near the same amount of work, is to use booth seating.

Just like how booths in your local restaurant offer more privacy and noise seclusion than a table in the middle of the floor, booth seating in the office has the same effect. Those working in the high-backed booth are working in a semi-private space, but aren’t completely isolated from the rest of the office.

It helps to create a productivity fueling work station which has just the right amount of background noise but none of the visual disturbances. It also tacitly tells other employees, “I’m working on something, please don’t disturb me”, which is a common annoyance of open plan office workers.

 

10. Collaboration Tables

Another simple furniture trend which can really help employees work more productively is the installation of collaboration tables. These are shared tables which are large enough to house a handful of employees’ laptops, notepads and other documents, allowing them to work on a group task without having to book a meeting room or squeeze around one person’s desk. It also keeps the noise contained to that one table (mostly) so does not distract from the other employees, even though the table is still within the same space.

 

A Truly Productive Office Needs More Than Just Cool Looking Furniture (But That’s A Start)

Getting impressive and useful furniture is a great start to making your office great. But there’s other things like tech and layout changes which will wow your staff and clients – whilst also driving productivity.

We’ve looked at several studies and  visited the leading trade shows and tech fairs to put together this free guide to what your office needs in 2017.

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