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Writing about the future I tend to focus on the workers and the nature of jobs. But as work is changed by the future so will the nature of the workplace change. I came across an interesting article in StationaryNews.com.au that described how furniture in the office is going to change in order to meet the demands of how the nature of work is going to change. Their list of ten things that are going to change is a good reflection of the changing nature of work. Here is their list.
Ten things changing the future of work
As a result of the fact that more and more businesses are trying to create a culture of collaboration furniture designers are emphasizing modular desks that can be moved and hooked together to facilitate that collaborative effort.
#2 Everyone gets their hands dirty
More and more CEOs are doing their secretarial work, because of technology. As a result, executive chairs are being designed to facilitate a CEO working with a cellphone and tablet.
#3 Everyone is always working
As a result of everyone working all the time the furniture is being designed to be more comfortable, even in the breakroom. The breakroom chairs will have arms to make them more comfortable.
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#4 More creativity
Many companies focus on their intellectual property, and that requires creativity. Offices and furniture reflect the attempt to foster creativity by being more colorful and stimulating.
#5 There are a lot of different technologies in use
Many workers today work across multiple platforms. It is not unusual to see someone working with a laptop, a tablet and a smart phone all on the desk or table top at the same time. Furniture is being designed to accommodate and organize multiple devices.
#6 Companies are trying to be spontaneous
There is a general hatred of meetings in many companies. Trudging off to the conference room to sit at a big table is disliked. Today furniture is being designed to facilitate ad hoc meeting by having desks built into the arms or on some aspect of the chair so the desk can be swung into place and then put back in place when the meeting is over with.
#7 Everyone is important
Today we find workers leaving companies because of the outdated technology that is being used. Companies are also starting to lose employees if they do not pay attention to the comfort of the workers. Therefore, much more comfortable furniture is being designed to make the work experience that much more delightful.
#8 Everyone works longer hours
As a result of working longer hours, you can get “seat sore” if your chair cannot adjust to allow you to work in different positions throughout the day. Some chairs have been designed to allow you to adjust it to 16 different positions. Of course many of have you have heard “sitting is the new smoking” referring to the deleterious effects of sitting all day. As a result, more designs for standing desks have been created.
#9 Valuing the environment
More and more employees want to work for a company that values the environment. Therefor more furniture is “eco-friendly” and made from recyclable material.
#10 More people are working from remote locations
As more people work from home, the types of furniture that is available to them has improved in quality, comfort and ease of use. Now if we can just get all the coffee shops in line, we will be getting some place.
Many readers would be tempted to pass over an article on furniture. But if you pay attention you may find another vision of what the workplace of the future may look like and get some clues on how you may have to adapt your workplace.