“Workplaces need both dynamism and calm for free thinking, so the evolution of Hygge with a rocker furthers the range, in the hope that it will add some tranquillity and free thinking space in the modern workplace.” David Fox, designer of the Hygge range.
Recognising the latest workplace ‘resimercial’ trend for more laid-back office environments which draw inspiration from domestic settings, David Fox developed the distinctive Hygge family of chairs. The elegant contours of the oak veneer back envelop the user, creating an inviting space to retreat to in the midst of a busy office. Using high quality materials, solid oak frame and oak veneer back with a beautiful natural grain, the Hygge family are statement pieces that add style to any contemporary workplace.
David has developed this concept further by designing the rocker base version, a beautiful addition to the Hygge range. Striking, comfortable and providing a degree of visual and acoustic privacy, Hygge Rocking is bound to be a future classic.
Recent research indicates that open-plan offices can decrease employee productivity, health and happiness. Ambient noise and other distractions present in open office environments have been shown to reduce productivity.
A recent study by Harvard Business School suggests that open-plan offices actually lead to a 72% drop in face-to-face interaction between employees, with more email use and less productivity. According to another piece of research, conducted by Ipsos and Steelcase’s WorkSpace Futures team, office workers are losing a total of 86 minutes every day to distractions.
So what can we do?
By using good, thoughtful design, the majority of open offices can be adapted to create a flexible, attractive and more productive environment without needing a complete redesign:
1. Create comfortable and versatile breakout spaces, with sofas and coffee tables, for checking emails, taking a break and socialising
2. Encourage employees to leave their desks by providing a variety of areas for different tasks and interactions, designing your space to encourage ‘collisions’ between colleagues
3. Provide private or partially private spaces for meetings away from the desks, such as pods or prefabricated ‘rooms’ within the space
4. Use screens and high-backed furniture such as booths, to provide spaces with visual and acoustic privacy for focused work, meetings and phone calls workers may not wish to share with the whole office
5. Collaboration tables allow co-workers to spread their work out, move around, work together and be creative
These simple inclusions will go a long way to ensuring a productive and happy workplace, whilst retaining and building on the open-plan ethos of communication and collaboration.
It is a question many heads of business & performance analysts must ask themselves on a regular basis when thinking about how they can maximise worker efficiency. Which office layout performs better – the ever growingly popular activity based offices or tried & tested open space offices?
The world of work has been changing for many years, decades now. A shift towards activity-based working - the vision of different working areas for different tasks - has been heralded for improving worker productivity.
But does this new way of working spell the end for traditional open-plan offices?
The Facilities Managers amongst our readers will know that there is a lot involved in ensuring that an organisation has the most suitable working environment for its staff/ students/visitors. They will also know the difficulty of coordinating and the various activities that creative an effect, enjoyable and safe site.
As the person responsible for the ‘facility’, the Facilities Manager is the ultimate organizer, responsible for both operational and environmental concerns. It’s a tough job and we salute them for their efforts! In fact, the whole world can salute them in July. Global FM, the Global Facility Management Association, has set Wednesday 13th July as the date for ‘World FM Day’ 2016.
We have just published a white paper in conjunction with Workplace Insight, entitled “The Boundless Office’, you can access it here on our website, to read as a pdf on screen or to download.
The white paper looks at the profound change in the nature of work over the last 10 years. This change has given rise to ‘the boundless office’, which has altered the way we design, manage and use those spaces. A whole set of themes come out of that and each is in fact worthy of a blog post in itself.
We have just published a whitepaper in conjunction with Workplace Insights, entitled “The changing role of buildings in the UK public sector and the growth of agile workplaces”, you can access here it on our website, to read as a pdf on screen or to download.