Researching Trends for your Office
If you’ve been involved in an office re-design in the last 5 years, you’ve probably heard the term “benching.” This term generally refers to a long table configuration that serves several users without cubical partitions and often has a track or tray of technology components run down the center spine of the table. About 2010 this was the new tool that all the furniture companies were scrambling to produce a version of.
This past year I’ve seen a dozens of furniture companies in the commercial world scrambling to put out a sit-to-stand table or desk. This hot trend gives a user the choice to push away their chair and work at a standing or bar height as they see fit to stretch their legs. It’s not actually a new idea (I’ve spent my far share of time at a drafting board at standing height) but the power and pneumatic controls are what make this trend really appealing, because it’s not easy to adjust the older versions of these sit-to-stand tables.
Every few years there is a new furniture idea that needs to be evaluated for whether or not its adoption is appropriate for your clients, or your work style. I find one of the best repositories for researching these trends and all the new ones (they will only come faster in our technology-driven world) is Haworth.
Haworth, as well as being one of the many large and fine commercial office companies in the US, also devotes a great deal of energy to research. If you’re interested in what’s coming next, what is affecting workplaces now, then the following link is a home base to exploring technologies, theories and thought-processes affecting the office world today.
They also have their White Papers readily accessible and on topics of strange, but serious significance. I’ve just added this one to my “to read” list:
Work 2020: The Effect of Higher Oil Prices on the Future of Work
As a final resource, I will include an excerpt for Gensler’s 2014 Design Forecast: a quick, graphic read discussing those factors in 2014 affecting office trends today (technology, health and wellness) and very applicable considerations for all your office design considerations: