The workplace has been through the wringer for the past 18 months or so. Back in April 2021, research suggested that approximately 60% of executives didn’t have a plan in place for their employees’ return to work. It’s understandable. With new developments and emerging variants causing many organizations to delay their reopening dates, the “Great Remote Work Experiment” is turning into what many now call the “Great Wait.”
But there’s also good news – and it applies whether you’re opening imminently or at a date TBD. This is the perfect opportunity to redesign your office and to better equip your workers with the tools they need for success when they’re spending time in the physical workspace. With the pandemic forcing many organizations to reinvent what work looks like for employees – both in the short- and long-term – it’s not surprising that many companies are redesigning the office while reimagining the role that it plays.
Trend forecasters expect to see some changes coming in office redesigns, including infusing the office with a more casual, residential flair, and making collaborative spaces the center of the space. Both options work well whether you’re going fully in-person or adopting more of a hybrid work model. Additionally, no matter what type of workplace model you’re planning to use (or already using), your office needs these three key furniture pieces to function smoothly.
Once relegated mainly to reception areas, soft seating is making an appearance throughout the redesigned workplace. It’s still an important element to make your clients and customers comfortable, but it’s also a tool to inspire creativity and to fashion areas ideal for collaboration, brainstorming and meetings. Many organizations are including cozy, homier feel into their design scheme, with soft seating like sofas, ottomans, benches and armchairs.
Texture, color and comfort. Those are three of the main benefits that have kept these plush pieces as popular options for waiting areas and lounges. Beyond that, soft seating can be used in breakaway spaces and areas designed for collaboration. A growing number of companies are including these pieces in personalized or themed nooks that allow employees to choose areas in which to work. For example, one corner might have warm lighting and leather sofas while another has brightly colored armchairs and wild wallpaper. It allows employees to feel some of the comforts they had while working from home while giving them the benefits of being in the office.
Desks and Collaborative Tables
Trends come and go, but one thing that remains constant is the need for desks and collaborative tables in the office. These are unsung heroes, understated tools that set employees up for success in different ways. Case in point: tables. Once the staple in every conference room, these furnishings are beneficial beyond the conference room. While they’re still integral for client meetings, they can also be used for teams to gather to work on projects together and encourage socialization and camaraderie. They’re also a staple for the collaborative spaces taking center stage in many offices and areas set aside for video conferencing.
Desks are still the darling of every office. Ideal for cubicles and private offices alike, these items provide each individual with their own space. Whether that’s part of an open floor plan or areas set aside for head-down, focused work, desks are essential tools that encourage productive work.
In today’s workplace, creating space for differing work styles and offering flexibility by incorporating different types of desks and tables lets you best suit the needs of your employees. In turn, you support improved morale and productivity, fulfilling the goals of any thoughtful modern office design.
Desk chairs come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors and materials. But before you consider the style, it’s crucial to keep ergonomics top of mind because not every chair is well suited to every use. For example, those stackable chairs that you use for impromptu meetings or in the break room won’t provide the support that workers need for good workplace health to minimize stress injuries while typing. Some of the most popular types of desk chairs and their benefits include:
- Ergonomic chairs: These desk chairs are specifically designed to provide support and good posture for anyone working long hours. They help prevent back pain and posture problems while enhancing circulation.
- Drafting chairs: These lightweight, easy-to-move options come both with and without backs. They’re designed for artists, architects and other professionals who stand often in addition to working while seated. They support the upper body and are high enough to encourage a smooth transition from sitting to standing.
- Executive chairs: These desk chairs are typically imposing and opulent in appearance, with ample cushioning in the headrest, back and seat. They’re usually made of leather and fine woods and may include extras like reclining or massage functions.
- Sit-stand chairs: Even if you use a standing desk, you may want to take a break occasionally. These chairs are designed to allow users to lean back, providing support and adjusting to different types of sitting positions.
Why CORT Furniture-as-a-Service™ for Office Redesign?
If we’ve learned anything during the past year and a half or so, it’s this: Flexibility, agility and adaptability are the key to being able to respond quickly to disruptions. CORT’s Furniture-as-a-Service (FaaS) model provides organizations with the ability to pivot quickly, with low risk – allowing you to redesign your office to meet your business goals today and quickly change things up if you need to tomorrow.
There’s beauty in access over ownership. CORT assumes all the risk. If something breaks, we fix it. Need to scale up or down? You don’t have to pay for storage or scramble to get additional furnishings. FaaS provides a combination of high quality and a variety of options both on-trend and classic by design.