Of­fice Fur­ni­ture

Of­fices are shift­ing from per­son­al­ized work­sta­tions to shar­ing workspaces, ob­serves Manohar Gopal, Feather­lite Group

MGS Architecture - - Contents -

Tra­di­tion­ally, workspaces were fo­cused on the in­di­vid­ual, with every em­ployee in the com­pany hav­ing an al­lo­cated work point, which be­came a sym­bol of his/her sta­tus and iden­tity in the com­pany. Although some­times used po­lit­i­cally, the al­lo­cated work point ul­ti­mately served a pos­i­tive pur­pose, al­low­ing in­di­vid­ual em­ploy­ees to ex­press who they were and sup­port­ing how they worked. Pro­mot­ing the hu­man in­stinct within us all to mark our ter­ri­tory, work point own­er­ship contributed to em­ployee en­gage­ment and mo­ti­va­tion by help­ing em­ploy­ees cre­ate a sense of place and be­long­ing in ad­di­tion to help­ing them form emo­tional at­tach­ments and con­nec­tions.

As the fo­cus of to­day’s work­place shifts away from the in­di­vid­ual and more to­wards the team, the workspace is fol­low­ing suit. With workspace shar­ing ap­proaches such as hot­de­sk­ing and ac­tiv­ity-based work­ing, the in­di­vid­u­ally al­lo­cated work point is dis­ap­pear­ing and the broader team owned spa­ces in­cor­po­rat­ing shared work points are pro­lif­er­at­ing.

The phys­i­cal work­place needs to sup­port em­ploy­ees on var­i­ous lev­els (phys­i­cal, func­tional, and psy­cho-so­cial). Sup­port­ing the psy­cho-so­cial needs of em­ploy­ees be­comes more dif­fi­cult in workspace shar­ing ap­proaches, which change the fo­cus from ‘me’ to ‘we’ and take away some fa­mil­iar com­forts in­clud­ing know­ing where your friends and team mem­bers are, tai­lor­ing your workspace to suit your per­son­al­ity and work style, etc.

With­out in­di­vid­ual own­er­ship of work points, the in­te­gra­tion of em­ploy­ees into the cor­po­rate cul­ture and the main­te­nance of en­gage­ment are al­tered. To sup­port this change, em­ploy­ees, and most im­por­tantly their lead­ers, need to go through com­pe­tency train­ing to sup­port dif­fer­ent be­hav­iors and at­ti­tudes: a change

from ‘me’ to ‘we’. An in­di­vid­ual no longer owns/claims the same work point every day, a group now owns a space and a team mem­ber can claim a dif­fer­ent space for sev­eral hours every day de­pend­ing on what they are do­ing, what their team is do­ing, how they feel, and who they are work­ing with.

This tran­si­tion from ‘me’ to ‘we’ needs to be sup­ported by the phys­i­cal work­place and even the prod­ucts within the work­place. Team des­ig­nated ar­eas in the neigh­bor­hoods where lock­ers now re­side be­come im­per­a­tive, as th­ese ar­eas present the only op­por­tu­nity for em­ployee per­son­al­iza­tion and ex­pres­sion. Em­ploy­ees can per­son­al­ize and ex­press who they are in them. So­cial ar­eas must be uti­lized to pro­mote a com­mu­nity and lead­ers need to help em­ploy­ees con­nect – from a work and per­sonal per­spec­tive – while tech­nol­ogy needs to as­sist in knowl­edge shar­ing and translating in­ter­ac­tions into pos­i­tive col­lab­o­ra­tions.

In a sce­nario where busi­ness com­pe­ti­tion is be­com­ing fiercer, com­pa­nies both young and old, need to de­velop a work­ing en­vi­ron­ment that boosts col­lab­o­ra­tion, which in turn, is likely to help boost over­all pro­duc­tiv­ity. Every work­ing en­vi­ron­ment has dif­fer­ent needs and re­quire­ments, so the work­sta­tions must be de­signed to suit var­ied needs. Th­ese in­clude ag­ile work­sta­tions that can be con­fig­ured eas­ily to be­come a place for hold­ing small meet­ings and dis­cus­sions rather than go­ing to the con­fer­ence hall. An of­fice/ work­place can be ef­fi­cient, flex­i­ble, and ef­fec­tive if it pro­motes a dy­namic am­biance rather than a static one. Work­sta­tions should be cre­ated to give the ad­van­tage of hav­ing nu­mer­ous and dif­fer­ent places for dif­fer­ent pur­poses within an area. This will max­i­mize the of­fice place while sav­ing cost.

New Gen Fur­ni­ture

Ag­ile work­sta­tions en­able a pro­duc­tive work­ing en­vi­ron­ment. Height ad­justable ta­bles en­hance com­fort, and thereby pro­duc­tiv­ity by al­low­ing users to eas­ily al­ter­nate be­tween sit­ting and stand­ing pos­tures through the day. Reg­u­lar switch­ing be­tween th­ese two po­si­tions is a proven method to keep lower back and neck pain caused by poor blood cir­cu­la­tion and keep se­ri­ous ill­nesses like obe­sity, heart dis­ease, and di­a­betes at bay. Th­ese new gen­er­a­tion work­ta­bles of­fer flex­i­bil­ity to users who sit glued to their work for more than eight hours. Stud­ies show that peo­ple who al­ter­nate be­tween sit­ting and stand­ing de­crease mus­cu­loskele­tal pain af­ter four to six weeks of us­ing height ad­justable ta­bles. Feather­lite’s Lib­er­ate chair, for in­stance, is de­signed to re­spond to the user’s every move­ment to pro­vide sup­port at any an­gle. The chair is built with health ori­en­tated er­gonomics, and fea­tures the Dy­naflex sys­tem that pro­vides in­tel­li­gent feed­back to the user. This unique sys­tem of­fers un­prece­dented flex­i­bil­ity and free­dom to the user, putting items on ei­ther side within easy reach. It also fea­tures a spe­cial flex lum­bar sup­port that syn­chro­nizes per­fectly with the user’s back in all po­si­tions of re­cline. While in the up­right, locked po­si­tion, Dy­naflex pro­vides a com­fort­able cush­ion­ing that stim­u­lates the spine and ab­dom­i­nal mus­cles to pro­mote a healthy pos­ture and back.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.