Evolution Of Workspace




Introduction


People typically spend more than one-third of their day at their workplaces. Contrary to a time when offices required only cubicles, lately, companies are increasingly opting for modern and interactive workspaces. The interiors reflect the company’s culture, vision, and more importantly, encourage collaboration. Over the last few years, there has been a paradigm shift of office furniture designs owing to technological advancements among other dynamics.


Today’s workforce believes in working smarter, faster and more efficiently. It is important that the furniture design of the office is in harmony and complements these elements for better productivity. According to research by Steelcase – a company modernising workplace dynamics through design solutions – employees prefer spaces that enable informal interactions and focussed work. The research also indicates that about 38% seek access to private spaces while 37% desire better ergonomics. Two elements of collaboration have fundamentally changed, both from the perspective of employees and their organizations. 


First, employees increasingly desire social connection and engagement as part of their collaborative experience. Second, organizations need both operational excellence and innovation to succeed. Operational excellence is related to process efficiencies such as the speed of group decision making. 

Fig 1: Evolution of offices over 3 generations


Innovation is nurtured through informal, social, creative interactions. This combination of shifting employee expectations of group work experience and emerging enterprise needs is driving the charge towards a greater variety of collaborative workspaces.

The apparent need for innovative spaces cannot be ignored by stakeholders as seek to create a positive working space to get the best from their clients.


Fig 2: Layout variations that best suit offices today





Understanding Office Design Development 


Commercial Areas of the Industrial era


It goes without saying that the workplace has evolved rapidly over the past couple of decades with more inspiration taken from the home, as companies strive to create comfortable spaces so staff can be as productive and creative as possible. This has also led to an increased significance being placed on the creation of collaborative and quiet zones, as staff spend less and less time at their traditional desk. These developments have had a major impact on the furniture selected and has in our opinion led to a revolution in office furniture design.


In the 18th century, as the notion of a dedicated building where commercial activity took place took hold, the furniture used is far removed from what we use today. The earliest offices were represented by rows of tables and chairs with management situated in adjacent private offices which were typically furnished to a higher level. In the latter half of the century, fancy roll top desks with innovative filing systems became popular, and the must-have for any discerning workplace.


As new technology emerged such as the typewriter and telephone and office design moved towards a rigid ‘Taylorist’ approach focused on maximising efficiency and output, office furniture design in turn adapted. The furniture used in a Taylorist inspired workplace were long rows of very basic desks and chairs with staff afforded very little space and unfortunately, as little comfort as to be frank, workplace wellbeing wasn’t a major focus for employers of the time.


It wasn’t until the emergence of the skyscraper, designed to accommodate multiple companies in one building, that office furniture design began to advance. As companies moved to these new buildings, the popularity of typists, receptionists and admin personnel increased and invariably led to the rise of open-plan working. The office now became a mix of open plan and private offices with many now also including kitchens or canteens.


In relation to office furniture design, this development led to a much-increased demand for more attractive, functional office furniture for both private offices and the open plan. Private offices typically contained elegant desking solutions and space for visitors to meet, usually accompanied by a view. In the open-plan, staff were now afforded a more spacious workstation to accommodate a telephone, typewriter and space for paper files. Comfort became more of a concern and consequently, the quality of the furnishings used improved.


It wasn’t until the 1940s that designers really started to pay attention to the workplace and office furniture design. One of the pioneers was George Nelson, a designer at Herman Miller, who recognised that there was enormous potential to create a marketplace dedicated to office furnishing. In fact, his ‘Home Office Desk’ launched in 1947 is still considered an iconic office furniture design classic, and the first modern workstation.


The office consequently became a much more vibrant active space and furniture was placed at the centre of this transition, as teams were grouped together in zones and faced towards each other more than ever before. Office furniture design kept pace with these changes by introducing bespoke workstations such as the Executive Office and Steel Frame ranges that facilitated greater interaction and that could be adapted to different layouts.


Fluctuation of the Office Trends


As technology advances revolutionised the workplace, with Fax machines becoming commonplace and PC’s replacing typewriters, the office landscape was required to alter dramatically. Over time, workplaces became less rigid and as the partitions came down in an attempt to encourage collaboration, office furniture design played a major role in radically changing how the workplace not only looked but also how people worked.


Office furniture design focused on creating products that were not only ergonomically conscious but that also facilitated increased collaboration amongst staff. Long bench style workstations with dividers became the norm as employees once again began to be sat beside and facing one another. Workstations and seating emphasised posture and used new features to ensure correct posture in the use of new desktop PC monitors.


The dot com boom in the ’90s coincided with the arrival of more open, laid back workplaces with the traditional neutral colours deserting the workplace, and bright, vibrant tones up to then associated with home interior design, became commonplace.

The mid-1990s also saw the launch of the ground-breaking Aeron chair from Herman Miller, which used lightweight, form moulding textiles for lumbar support. This period witnessed great advances in office furniture design with the introduction of monitor arms for PC’s, sofas and soft furnishings in the workplace (until then only seen in the private office) and importantly, the inclusion of dedicated staff breakout areas where they could collaborate, relax or simply work from.


Designs of the 21st century


The dot com boom in the ’90s coincided with the arrival of more open, laid back workplaces with the traditional neutral colours deserting the workplace, and bright, vibrant tones up to then associated with home interior design, became commonplace.


The mid-1990s also saw the launch of the ground-breaking Aeron chair from Herman Miller, which used lightweight, form moulding textiles for lumbar support. This period witnessed great advances in office furniture design with the introduction of monitor arms for PC’s, sofas and soft furnishings in the workplace (until then only seen in the private office) and importantly, the inclusion of dedicated staff breakout areas where they could collaborate, relax or simply work from.


Moving in the new century, office furniture design was entering a golden era as advances like Wi-Fi and lightweight laptops allowed for radical changes to be introduced. Wi-Fi, for example, meant that cable management solutions were no longer as important as they once had been for furniture designers, while thinner, lightweight technology meant that workers needed less space. Together these advances increased flexibility and allowed workers to work from anywhere in the workplace (and beyond), meaning that office furniture for other areas of the workplace became increasingly important.


Benches were introduced, designed to allow workers to log on anywhere and to collaborate effortlessly, while meeting rooms were in many cases revised with inspiration taken from the home. Although the traditional large meeting room is still a necessity, innovative furniture design has allowed for flexible spaces, with folding walls, foldable tables and stackable chairs all becoming popular.

The reception area was given greater attention with the increasing emphasis on the visitor experience and leaving a favourable first impression. Guest seating in reception areas and lounges became increasingly important with beautiful options.


Conclusion 

New innovative products continue to penetrate the workplace including sit-stand desking, tall meeting tables, collaboration furniture and furniture with technology embedded. This trend is set to continue as the multi-generational workplace continues to be used as a tool to reflect the brand and to attract the very best talent. The dawn of the aspirational workplace is here as is evidenced by the fact that over 20% would opt for a salary reduction to work in a ‘better’ workplace. This conclusively attaches value to the alterations of office spaces.

 

Ergonomics and promoting movement in the workplace is now seen as the main challenge for the office furniture design industry and while sit-stand desks and tall meeting tables help, there is much work to be done. In addition, office furniture has a key role to play in encouraging increased collaboration and facilitating greater interaction among staff, with a  wide range of high back sofas and booths now available, customers have a wide range to select from. A social office promotes a creative and coordinated workforce. With advancements in technology, the perception and use of space are constantly changing. However, the ever needed human contact is necessary for mental health.


As humans, we have an intrinsic curiosity that always needs to be nurtured. Now that we live in an ever-present touch-focused world and the Internet of Things, to users, nothing is off-limits when it comes to exploration and connectivity. Users are demanding more and more out of their interactive experiences, and we have more opportunities to reach them in personal ways than ever before. According to Gallup's 2014 State of the Global Workplace report, 51% of workers said they weren't engaged with 17% saying they were actively disengaged.


Thinking past the boundaries of mobile or desktop interactions alone and into the physical world opens up potential possibilities to create new immersive experiences. If we are able to expand upon recent installation and exhibition artists’ experimental concepts with multi-sensory environments, not only will our spatial designs be visually appealing but we can even stimulate our users with all senses to invite them to become more immersed in their work and environment.


Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the fact that office furniture design has increasingly embraced the use of sustainable products with many products now comprised of mostly recycled materials and produced using sustainable practices.

In conclusion, the design trends seen over the many generations have simply been reactions to the growing needs of the everyday offices. With the introduction of new electronic equipment, like printers, laptops and even copiers there has been a significant change in work culture over the years. Specialised furniture and planning pertaining to the exact needs of offices have been focused on creating innovative spaces for the whole office to enjoy.



Employee Culture


    At Home Live-in Culture


In India, the family is the most important institution that has survived through the ages. India, like most other less industrialized, traditional, eastern societies is a collectivist society that emphasizes family integrity, family loyalty, and family unity. C. Harry Hui and Harry C. Triandis (1986) defined collectivism, which is the opposite of individualism as, "a sense of harmony, interdependence and concern for others"


 In India, families adhere to a patriarchal ideology, follow the patrilineal rule of descent, are patrilocal, have familialistic value orientations, and endorse traditional gender role preferences. The Indian family is considered strong, stable, close, resilient, and enduring. This cultural paradigm extends to the traditional mindset of Vedic India. The tough hierarchy system follows a strong father figure who dictates the houses with the families best in mind. Though simplistic, this ideology is considered backward by modern standards. Gender inequality and restrictive thinking have been identified as the cause of cultural change. However, many families in urban and rural setups follow this paradigm to date.


With the advent of urbanization and modernization, younger generations are turning away from the joint family form. Some scholars specify that the modified extended family has replaced the traditional joint family, in that it does not demand geographical proximity or occupational involvement and does not have a hierarchal authority structure. In spite of the numerous changes and adaptations to a pseudo-Western culture and a move toward the nuclear family among the middle and upper classes, the modified extended family is preferred and continues to prevail in modern India. This can be considered as retention to an older value system that has been embedded in the fabric of Indians. Through houses in close proximity help and assistance is readily available without much intrusion. 


Apartments in urban setups and huts in rural setups are the most common houses in India. Apartments involve confined spaces leading to a lack of privacy. This lack of privacy can be considered a blessing as this involves a close-knit family structure that can itself be collaborative. A team of sorts is established which cohesively help one another while pursuing their own individuality. This dual role established brings about adaptability, comradery and growth amongst families. Apartment furniture and layouts are important as they influence the behaviour of users as every second. Larger spaces, access to gardens and plants are amongst the few architecturally benefitting components that balance attitudes.



Work Culture


People in many workplaces talk about organizational culture, that mysterious term that characterizes the qualities of a work environment. When employers interview a prospective employee, they often consider whether the candidate is a good cultural fit.


Work Culture is the environment that surrounds you at work all of the time. It is a powerful element that shapes your work enjoyment, your work relationships, and your work processes. However, this culture is not something that you can see, except through its physical manifestations in your workplace.


An organization’s culture is made up of all of the life experiences each employee brings to the organization. Culture is especially influenced by the organization’s founder, executives, and other managerial staff because of their roles in decision making and strategic direction. Still, every employee has an impact on the culture that is developed at work.


Ideally, organizational culture supports a positive and productive environment. Happy employees are not necessarily productive employees, and productive employees are not necessarily happy employees. It is important to find aspects of the culture that will support each of these qualities for your employees.


The higher management takes responsibility for the culture they seek. Through memos, events, food,  office spaces and employee treatment the higher management of any company creates an atmosphere which benefits the company. 


Alterations in culture are usually initiated to maximize productivity as the company's market value and potential changes. HR departments of companies coordinate exercises that are pivotal to each employee's growth for this very purpose. 



 Inference


The cultural fabric of Indian homes and workplaces mould future generations while advancing the countries goals. The mutual exclusivity of the workplace and one's home bear a universal benefit to society.


As a workplace, the primary function is work. The work being the end goal helps create a definitive path for designers, shareholders, employees in their mission to develop an office. All other functions remain auxiliary in nature that benefits the primary function directly or indirectly. 


Like a home, a home serves a multitude of purposes. Functions can include day to day living, working, resting, leasing etc. This creates the need for complex services that serve one or more functions simultaneously.


The Indian household has been defined by research over many years. Analysing the culture has led designs to create user-friendly houses that serve societies interests. 


The commercial sector seeks a healthy environment which preaches practices that complete work efficiently. The culture which best suits the work in hand should be the culture adopted. A corporate culture maintains a “serious” “ no-nonsense”  ambience which is usually seen in law firms and banks. Businesses and offices which require strict confidentiality and trust are associated with such cultures.


Offices that are associated with fun-loving and positive spaces are usually design-oriented and or startups. The need for creative and critical thinking is promoted. Open spaces, brighter colours, installations and even innovative furniture are characteristic of these office spaces. These offices consist of a younger demographic that need open spaces and innovative spaces to develop new ideas and solutions for their respective companies.


Factors Affecting Office Culture and Design


When choosing between an open office, private office, and combination office layout, assess which design would best suit your industry, employee preferences, and job functions.


Open offices place colleagues within close proximity to each other, giving them the chance to communicate freely, which can be both good and bad for the company. Private offices allow workers a better chance to focus on their work without distractions; however, collaboration is limited, and company culture is often lacking.


Competitive Attitude of Offices


Creating opportunities for cross-functional collaboration creates value for not only employees, who will expand their internal networks, but can help organizations solve tough challenges facing the business. In recent years, more and more companies have assembled teams that bring people from across the organization together to brainstorm on issues and leverage their diverse perspectives to come up with new ideas that will benefit the business.


Consulting firm Protiviti hosts a Global Innovation Challenge, to encourage a culture of innovation, build teamwork and solve specific challenges set out by leaders. Each Challenge begins with a question that the leadership team poses. Leveraging their Innovation Champions network, each local office conducts a working session to collaborate on an answer for the question. Ideas generated by the team are logged in the company's internal idea-sharing platform, so the ideas from that local team are listed alongside ideas generated by offices across the globe. 


Financial services company Credit Acceptance has Collaboration Teams, groups of team members who gather monthly to share best practices and review existing procedures to identify areas for improvement. The roster for each Collaboration Team is comprised of volunteers who have been in their role for at least six months and typically consists of one to two team members for each role. 


To keep new ideas flowing, team rosters change each quarter. Once the Collaboration Teams are formed, each selects a chairperson to facilitate monthly meetings and update a tracking spreadsheet with notes. Recommendations generated in these sessions are reviewed by a supervisor, then presented to a senior leader for approval and resource allocation.


These special tasks cry out for a fresh design philosophy that triggers creativity and innovation. Restructuring the way people interact is the most important aspect of collaborative design work. The way people interact can be influenced by their surroundings. For example, a sofa set can be oriented in a way that makes people sit somewhat facing one another. By not allowing employees direct view of one another the amount and intensity of communication is passively lowered. This can allow people to work by themselves and interact momentarily.


Advances in Furniture Design


The significance of furniture design innovation in redefining the workplace is unparalleled. Sundar S, Co-founder and MD of Dovetail Furniture – a pioneer in retail fixtures and furniture design and manufacturing – believes that furniture design helps in building stronger connections, collaboration and engagement among employees.


According to a research by Steelcase – a company modernising workplace dynamics through design solutions employees prefer spaces that enable informal interactions and focussed work. The research also indicates that about 38% seek access to private spaces while 37% desire better ergonomics. 


Fewer desks serve the same number of employees. With many offices becoming activity centred--using furniture such as large presentation tables, or small groups of armchairs where employees enjoy portable devices--if all the actual desks are in use, there are plenty of other places to find comfortable workspace. Studies have also shown some employees--particularly millennials, who are the first generation to grow up with smart technology--don't like being tied to an assigned seating arrangement, and are more productive flowing from space to space as the work dictates.


If a workforce of 100 has, on average, only 80 people in the office on a given day, those 20 empty desks take up space and are not being efficiently utilized. A hefty portion of the office overhead is dedicated to office building space and maintenance. By trimming furniture and hardware costs, some of that wasted space can be better used as a meeting room or project development space, saving money and benefiting the bottom line.


This being said the need for clear spaces in offices is very important for the mental and physiological health of its employees. The constant change of space introduced by movable workstations creates a stimulation that keeps the mind fresh and agile. A study shows that spatial reconstruction of rooms and spaces stimulate users by 18%-20% and can further benefit their mood if they are involved in these changes. 

Employees who sit beside someone different every day interact more, converse with a greater number of departments, and can find inspiration where it wasn't possible before. More socialization with a wider variety of people can lead to greater company cohesion and a realization of better collaboration.


Advancements to the Technology being used.


Modern advancements continue to accelerate, disrupt and otherwise rewrite how we connect, communicate and collaborate today. Additional challenges ensue from the unrelenting pace of business, forces of globalization, changing demographics and escalating economic, political, social and environmental pressures. The confluence of these changing dynamics gives rise to dramatic shifts in the way we work, profoundly impacting today’s workplaces.


As the highly process-driven, task-based workstyle of the 20th century has faded away, so too has the deskbound worker, hierarchical leadership and staid workplace model. A spirit of collaboration characterizes the modern environment. Highly connected workers with multi-layered responsibilities work within self-directed cross-functional teams— meeting, ideating, relaxing and performing tasks and activities that keep them in motion throughout the day. Priorities have shifted as well. In the new economy, where knowledge and experience are highly valued, immediacy, information and innovation are the most highly prized currency.


Fig 3: Technology affecting design




Innovations in designs


An Experience-based Workplace


Changing dynamics call for a new, “Immersive” workplace planning approach that is as fluid as teams themselves. As workspaces become defined by an individual’s actions rather than job function, the lines between space types diminish; enhancing interaction, inviting connected experiences and radiating a sense of hospitality at every exchange. 

Comprised of three fundamental elements— Improvisational, Communal and Dimensional —the model cultivates an environment of dynamic flow, constant movement, meaningful interaction, creative group effort and innovation within a gracious and welcoming setting.


Fig 4: Immersive Planning Venn Diagram



Studies from the Knoll Research group 2019 concluded the following from the modern-day office:


1. Group-based work is the norm. 


2. Hospitality and residential influences enter the workplace. 


3. Despite new alternatives, the office is still home base. 


4. Empowered by choice, employees make the workplace their own


 5. Management of the real estate asset is tighter than ever.


Most companies surveyed anticipate greater and broader connections throughout their organization as hierarchies flatten and leadership fans out to a greater number of individuals. Two-thirds of organizations predict increased connectivity (versus siloed departments) within their workforce over the next 5 years, and one-quarter feel leadership will further disperse among individuals across various levels and locations.


As more and more mainstream companies adopt the group-based work model that has powered many startups to well-documented success, group work is increasingly becoming the standard across many industries. Companies report that more than half their firm’s work is group-based, produced primarily by teams of 3 or more, with 5 to 8 the most popular size.


Fig 5: Evolution of offices over 3 generations


Fig 6: Departments restructured for collaboration



Creating a holistic, engaging customer experience is one strategy companies use to differentiate their brands in a competitive global marketplace in which goods and services are highly commoditized. Eliciting a powerful sensory or cognitive response produces a lasting experience that builds greater loyalty. Some firms are adopting the strategy of creating memorable experiences to keep their own employees engaged and happy. In the workplace-as-experience scenario, organizations address the physical, emotional, intellectual, virtual and aspirational elements of work in an approach that inspires and engages employees.


Fig 7: Percentages of spaces being utilised by the number of people using it


Some firms are adopting the strategy of creating memorable experiences to keep their own employees engaged and happy. In the workplace-as-experience scenario, organizations address the physical, emotional, intellectual, virtual and aspirational elements of work in an approach that inspires and engages employees and is on point with their brand’s mission.


Inspired by the success of technology firms and creative agencies, established companies from myriad industries are reinventing their culture to model startups. They hope to foster a similar level of innovation and productivity to generate the growth that will propel their firm to new levels of success and market leadership. Introducing a more casual atmosphere, providing abundant choices for places to work, and integrating social spaces and a wealth of amenities are among the ways mainstream firms support engagement, teamwork and creativity.


Fig 8: Shift in Office Requirements


As more and more mainstream companies adopt the group-based work model that has powered many startups to well-documented success, group work is increasingly becoming the standard across many industries. Companies report that more than half their firm’s work is group-based, produced primarily by teams of 3 or more, with 5 to 8 the most popular size.


While numerous studies have documented that the work output from groups is more creative and innovative, our study revealed that from an individual standpoint, the group work is more satisfied with both their company and physical workspace than their counterpart who spends less than half of their time in a group. 


Fig 9: Popular opinion



As mentioned in the picture above, most of the younger employees demand a fun work environment from their office space. According to research by Ernst & Young, about 75% of the global workers will be millennials by 2025. This is a statistic that simply cannot be ignored by designers who look to create office spaces with longevity in mind. 


Inspired by the relaxed environments of their founders’ very recent college days, in which crews seamlessly shifted from work to play, technology startups were among the first companies to have offices that resembled rec rooms, garages, basements or other variations of living spaces. 


While a ping pong table or hovercraft on-site in a former factory loft is not appropriate for every office, today most organizations do embrace a more casual workplace standard with an overall relaxed, open environment. 


Organizations had a similar outlook as far as furnishings within their interior environment. Nearly 70% of executives expect their company to install even more adaptable architecture and furnishings over the next 5 years; while less than 1% expect their interiors to become more static.


This includes foldable chairs, bean bags, low-lying tables and cushions that can be shifted and arranged at will by any individual. Breakout spaces can and should be placed alongside generic workstations to provide alternate seating options.


Another advantage of varied furniture is the ability to provide a different workplace for a different sort of project. This is a common trend, as the use of technology and mind frame vary with the usage of such space. An informal task which might require only the use of a mobile phone is an ideal example of such a situation. Since no other device is needed these tasks are preferred in comfortable, lax environments as opposed to the traditional cubicle.


Smart Products and Furniture 


Technology has influenced every aspect of human life and workplace design is no exception. Smart furniture is the next big thing and will redefine how people work. These days, there are devices that help in making energy-saving decisions with occupancy sensors. Burosys is one such company that offers these devices. Steelcase too has made design innovation with its SILQ Chair that responds to your body movements, offering a personal experience to each user.


Smart products are another up and coming trend in offices today. With employee efficiency and welfare in mind, many offices are investing in intricate products which positively affect human behaviour. The alteration of a user’s activity is pivotal in moulding an office culture. The decision of using a space can also be influenced by adjoining products.


Fig 10: Product Designs



The Steelcase Campfire footrest is a shining example of productivity building products available. This footrest utilises ergonomic bends and creases to allow people to be even comfier and relaxed on sofa sets. This directly enhances their longevity and work efficiency. The need to walk around is eliminated since calf muscles are caressed comfortably and constantly. 


This simple and lightweight product can be kept standing to help the calf muscles if one is left to stand for long. This allows people to stand for longer without exhaustion. This product is used with standing desks ensuring their use in most places.


Fig 11: Product Designs 2


Mobility is key to the younger generation who look to coordinate and work with others at every point. The idea of movable desks serves that purpose by allowing tables to be joint at any time. The versatility makes this table a highly demanded furniture piece in office spaces. Another variation to this existing model is a height-adjustable one. 


With impatience and restlessness amongst employees, height-adjustable seating is key to helping employees move around and work without hindrance. 


Fig 12: Movable and height-adjustable desks


Eco-friendly Concepts


Eco-friendly practices are a growing phenomenon in offices to the extent that it attracts philanthropists to join a company. This is a good and responsible way to attract and inspire employees to work. 


Biophilic offices are examples of these practices. Having natural elements to create a healthier living which can be appreciated is a smart way forward for offices all around. 


Waste disposal and eco-friendly foods are amongst a few innovations in this space as offices look to outdo one another. These practices are growing as the sustainability of the environment comes more into the picture. Increased costings and maintenance remain the only hindrance towards zero carbon emissions.


While smart furniture is making waves in modern workplaces, sustainable furniture is slowly garnering attention. It is interesting to understand how both these concepts fit together. Namrata Shetty, Co-Founder and Design Head, Da Namah Design Studio – a company known for breaking design norms and creating timeless spaces and designs – believes that sustainable furniture is the need of the hour, not just in India, but globally.


Fig 13: Furniture made of reclaimed wood


Dovetail Furniture has introduced a project which designs and manufactures furniture items from waste and leftover materials. This allows for a marginal greener carbon footprint and reduces the cost of certain products. These practices provide the company with bragging rights while addressing the bigger issues of society. This duality is an interesting factor that helps shareholders in their decision to endorse these kinds of practices


Integrating and Interactive Components


This scene is all too common in offices with outdated office floor plans and wayfinding signs. New and remote employees, clients and visitors unfamiliar with the office layout have no way of knowing where to go and end up wasting time circling the floors looking for the right space. Not to mention the time they take out of existing employees' days constantly asking how to navigate the office.


For a long time, traditional floor plans taped to a wall worked just fine. But with a growing need for companies to provide flexibility to their employees for the best possible workplace experience, outdated office floor plans don’t cut it anymore. 


Movable interior office walls and relocatable glass front walls offer the flexibility and reliability needed to replace static drywall construction. Solid movable office walls and glass front walls will easily integrate with existing building walls and office furniture. Additionally, if you are relocating to another building or remodelling, the walls can be moved and reused.


Using movable interior office walls and relocatable glass front walls offers designers and architects a wide range of surface material options, including veneer, trackable/fabric, laminate and faux veneer, tempered and decorative glazing, and writable/magnetic back painted glass in a wide selection of colours. And with solid or glass panels (clear, patterned or translucent), the right amount of privacy and natural light won’t ever be an issue.


Fig 14: Movable Glass walls


There are also many door options that can be combined with the interior office walls and relocatable glass front walls. Depending on your needs, you can choose from solid doors, doors with windows,


To ensure flexibility within the office space, much of the contents also need to be mobile. Allowing elements such as writable or magnetic boards to merge or separate creates a dynamic working space which can be transformed as per the business needs. Static non-changing spaces are transformed into ever-changing spaces that encourage each to step outside of their comfort zones and quite regularly into a new perspective.



Fig 15: Movable Partition walls


With smart furniture on the rise, the alteration of space is also vital. With mobile desks and chairs patterns of use immerge. The redefinition of space as per these patterns is a need of the hour. Moreover, inputs for layout changes are now coming from employees and staff members making movable walls an ideal selection for tomorrow's office.




WorkAmp Spaces 


With the growing need to improve a workforces capability to reach new heights, WorkAmp Pvt. Ltd looks to make that dream a reality. Attention to detail is amongst a few of the undertakings that bear significant fruit for the company over the years. Through constant innovation and efficient management, the company has developed a profile which best suits the up and coming generation that is looking for such change.


The complexity of office designs is another aspect that WorkAmp looks to streamline. With the introduction of innovative spaces, furniture pieces and zoning the idea of offices is in constant motion. Furthermore, sourcing materials and fabrics for the best possible performance is vital to the products developed at WorkAmp Pvt.Ltd.


Fig 16: Coccoon Designs


The open floor plan has been the base of innovations in the workspace. With younger demographic employees demanding social spaces, privacy has suffered. Private cocoons have been developed as a result, to allow employees to perform intensive tasks with suitable privacy.


WorkAmp has taken this idea of cocoons and has developed its own set of cocoons for their clientele. With the need for collaboration on the rise, these cocoons have been designed to allow collaboration as well. With foldable and notably longer desks these cocoons can serve as a meeting space as well. With additional chairs being added to the equation this space can add value to the cocoons. WorkAmps product designing has led to the addition of frosted glass to allow natural light to enter the cocoon without any disturbance.


Fig 17: Innovative Breakout spaces


Columns are necessary structural elements of RCC buildings. In commercial buildings, they span from 6-9 metres depending on the construction of the building. Their size and positioning are usually hindrances to designers and people alike. Their enormous size and height are an eyesore that obstructs views and disrupt layouts.


At WorkAmp these space-consuming members have been utilised to provide alternate seating to employees. Their apparent presence has been deemed as a challenge rather than a problem. By adding seating this member actively becomes a part of the design while acting as a positive space for people to view. As a breakout space, this column serves as a much need relief to the adjoining workstations.


Fig 18: Foldable Wall


Another breakthrough in office design has been the use of foldable partition walls. WorkAmp FutureX is a coworking office that provides meeting rooms on demand. These meeting rooms need to be booked prior before use to prevent any sort of problems between companies. However, two meeting rooms are divided with a foldable wall which collapses onto itself whenever required. This is specifically designed to cater to large team meetings and company exercises.


Fig 19: Varied Seating


Interaction and integrated designs are a large part of WorkAmps designing identity. Kinetic seating has been developed in order to render new thoughts and perceptions to employees using these spaces. These spaces have not been created or positioned to necessarily do work. Their ambiguous locations are attempts by WorkAmp to provide work free areas where people can relax and escape work-related stress.


Fig 20: Breakout Spaces




Conclusion


While few now doubt that offices will exist in 2050, digital and cultural shifts are fast changing the fabric of the office.


Ranks of desks in open spaces are already giving way to features that enable the environment to adapt to workers’ needs. Shared office groups such as Knotel offer moveable furniture, including phone booths and modular walls.


Connected buildings learn how a worker uses them and will tailor the air, light, desks even the coffee to each member of staff. Offices look to become smarter and more human at the same time. With evolutions in research methods anticipated each aspect of human interaction will be monitored by neighbouring devices.


Tech developments will enhance the tools available to office workers. The fluctuation will see changes in offices like never before. Alteration to spatial requirements and furniture is inevitable. Seamless virtual meetings with real-time language translation will become routine and replace the awkward conference call. Movable desks will be made more mobile and cheaper making functional zoning a difficult task for designers as the lines between areas diminish further.


The constant need for innovation drives office design to come up with a more user-friendly office that makes working in offices easy and efficient. With work as the focal point, cultural structures and office management look to maximize efficiency with advancements of technology at the forefront. 


Technology seems the inevitable change that cannot be accounted for. The proper use of technology will open doors to better collaboration and planning of offices in the near future.







List of References



1. How furniture design is evolving in the workplace, Suman Prasad, 6th February 2019 https://www.architecturaldigest.in/content/how-furniture-design-is-evolving-in-the-workplace/


2. Flexibility for Volatility, 2017 https://www.knoll.com/document/1356131234669/wp_Flexibility%20for%20Volatility.pdf



 Immersive Planning, 2018 https://www.knoll.com/document/1353022081997/Immersive-Planning_wp.pdf



3. Collaborative Workspace, 2017 https://www.knoll.com/document/1352994554274/CollaborativeWorkplace_wp.pdf



4. Whitespaces, 2008 https://www.thercfgroup.com/files/resources/Collaborative_Spaces_Whitepaper_C2.pdf



5. A HISTORY OF OFFICE FURNITURE DESIGN, January 2012 https://k2space.co.uk/knowledge/history-office-furniture-design/



6. Office Furniture,2020 https://bene.com/en/office-furniture-concepts/office-furniture/



7. Adapt Furniture, 2020 https://www.smartfurniture.com/products/adapt-height-adjustable-table-by-smart-furniture.html



8. Movable offices, Richard Gill, 2017 https://www.southwestsolutions.com/movable-walls/why-use-movable-office-walls-divide-partition-space



9. How Interactive Office Floor Plans Improve Workplace Experience, Danielle Alini, January 2020 https://robinpowered.com/blog/benefits-interactive-office-maps/



10. Offices in 2050: smart, interactive and fully personalised, Judith Evans, 5th November 2019, https://www.ft.com/content/798f67ca-8c3e-11e9-b8cb-26a9caa9d67b



11. Open Office vs. Private Office, 10th July 2019 https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10689-open-office-vs-private-office.html



12. 5 reasons why serviced office is a leaner alternative for modern businesses, 2019  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/249805













12 views

Defining the
New Normal of work

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

PRODUCT

Slate

Pod

Homework

Broker

Landlord

QUICK LINKS

CONTACT US

Call us on: +91 98332 87975

Email us at: growth@workamp.co

We are at: WorkAmp 59
                    Road number 10,
                    Wagle estate,

                    Thane West-400604