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The future of workplace design is bright…and comfortable

The future of workplace

Design is bright...and comfortable

Over the past few years, there’s been something of a cross-over – a merging, if you will. Design elements of the home have been creeping into commercial spaces. A vintage typewriter here, a Chesterfield there. It was so subtle, it could almost have gone unnoticed until, boom! An official term was coined. ‘Resimercial’. The literal marrying of residential and commercial spaces.

Although, we can’t say we’re big fans of the term itself, we are advocates of introducing furniture shapes, once solely reserved for the home, into workspaces and beyond. With a 30-year background in designing furniture for residential spaces, and an unwavering dedication to comfort, we truly believe that plump cushions should not only be enjoyed outside the hours of 9am – 5pm. And we’re not the only ones that feel this way.

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It’s all in the details

A study by Fellowes found that 93% of technology industry employees would stay with a company longer if better workplace wellbeing was implemented, including comfortable seating. But how do designers balance style with comfort? According to Camira Fabrics, one texture is a sure-fire winner.

“One material type that’s difficult to beat when searching for a suitable upholstery fabric is wool. Indelibly linked with comfort, not only is it incredibly soft, it is visually soothing too”, explains Rebecca Hamer.

“A natural fibre, it creates a depth of colour and provides a comforting tactility that is ideal for the workplace – as well as possessing the high durability that is important for many organisations’ seating areas.”

Additionally, wool boasts fire retardancy qualities and a multitude of environmental benefits.

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ONE STEP BEYOND

While the introduction of comfort to the office is recognised by many as being a benefit, some employers are taking the concept one step further by introducing the likes of sleep pods to their offices (yes, really).

Fora in London’s Borough has added an Orrb to its basement. A cross between an egg and a spaceship, the ‘immersive’ space allows users to get some shut eye, meditative time or, simply, privacy.

Brighton-based PR agency Man Bites Dog opted for beach huts in its office, though told the BBC that rather than a gimmick, they actually saw productivity gains: “If we look at hard performance measures such as staff retention, engagement, productivity, quality of work and team satisfaction with their workplace, then it’s a clear winner.”

 

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Small change, big difference

But while these solutions might seem fairly permanent, we believe that businesses don’t need to make vast investments to shake up their surroundings. As trends change, so too can office furniture. Thanks to the increasing move towards loan and refurbishment, even well-chosen, statement pieces can be interchanged depending on the specific needs of users at one particular time.

By choosing a furniture designer that has comfort at its core, businesses can rest assured that they are providing their employees with the optimum conditions for productivity to thrive.

To find out more about creating the perfect personal sanctuary, download our report, Workplace wellbeing: Introducing the ‘personal sanctuary’ here.

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