Office Furniture 2016

Office furniture trends are constantly developing and changing to fit the needs of today’s workforce. Functionality and better ways of working are becoming increasingly important, and are being incorporated into furniture by every designer worth their salt.

It’s always been common knowledge that having an office chair with decent ergonomics is paramount, and that being comfortable at work can increase productivity no end. Gadget Review recently published a list of the top 9 office chairs to fit any style and budget, and their number 1 pick was… *drum roll* …the Herman Miller Embody Chair. It’s full of clever features, including a “dynamic matrix of pixels” in its back, that is designed to stimulate blood and oxygen flow by reducing the pressure on your body when you’re sitting down. It automatically adjusts to the user, even when they make the slightest movement, and is apparently so effective that it reduces blood pressure and stress.

In keeping with our theme of a healthier day at work, standing desks are in -  as if you didn’t already know. All the studies have come back with the same answer; that standing up is better for you, so furniture designers have taken full advantage of the hype, and come up with some really clever solutions. Heading back to Gadget Review, you can check out 10 of the best standing desks, with the top spot going to the NextDesk Terra Stand Up Desk. It boasts a smooth electrical mechanism that controls the height and an eco-friendly bamboo and aluminium frame.

Now for the science. When you sit for hours on end, your calorie-burning power slows to a third of its usual rate, and your metabolism drops, increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes. However, don’t think that standing all day will make you healthier – it’s movement that’s the key. Go for a little stroll in your lunch hour or have a little dance to your favourite song when it comes on the radio to burn off those excess calories consumed at lunchtime.

Now, I know we’re not supposed to be encouraging sitting, but when you need to have a quick chat with a colleague, or show them something at your computer screen, it’s quite inconvenient if they have to drag their chair across the office, and office furniture designers have come up with a way round this by introducing desk pedestals that double as stools. Hear us out – we’ve got them in our new offices, sourced from Nowy Styl Group, and they work a treat! It’s simple really; each pedestal has a comfy cushioned top, and can be rolled out from under the desk when needed.

There’s much less focus on privacy in office design at the moment, and although the meeting room will always be a necessary part of office life, the way it’s being incorporated is changing. The word ‘pod’ is being thrown around a lot in the design community, and it’s easy to see why. These innovative structures can look like anything you like, and be completely multifunctional. There are individual pods for private phone calls, pods for conference calls, pods in the shape of greenhouses, beehives, rockets; the list is endless. With clever acoustics and soundproofing, they can be built slap bang in the middle of a busy office and still maintain a level of privacy.

Office design is now far more employee focused, and companies are trying their hardest to provide an enjoyable working environment. Better ways of working lead to higher productivity, and happier people, which are both key to a business’ success.