What do effective modern offices look like?
When you picture the office, what do you envision? A stale, white environment filled with curly-corded phones, desktop computers, phone books, and filing cabinets? Let’s get real. It’s 2016. And that means there are new technologies and accessories being introduced all the time — especially when it comes to modern office design.
Today’s dynamic workplaces need to do more and be more to ensure that employees are productive, engaged, and happy with where they spend most of their day. Workplace solutions teams should constantly explore office furniture trends, defining best practices, conducting research, and compiling and interpreting the latest industry findings.
In that spirit, here are some of workspace design developments you need to know about to bring your office firmly into the 21st century:
One of the best things office managers can do for their employees is set up ergonomic equipment to help them navigate through their workday. With ergonomics, your workers will feel better, brighter, and more comfortable, allowing them to better focus on tasks and projects.
First step: use modern, ergonomic chairs – and adjust them correctly. Workers should set the seat height so that feet are firmly on the floor, knees are bent to 85–110 degrees, and hips are at or slightly above knee level. Seat depth should be adjusted to include 2–3 inches of clearance between the front edge of the seat and the back of the knees. Chairs should have proper lumbar support, and armrest height and width should be adjusted to support forearms, allow the shoulders to remain relaxed, and encourage a neutral postures of the wrists during tasks on the computer.
In addition, a keyboard tray should be employed when there is mismatch between the height of armrests and a keyboard, and a monitor arm can easily adjust the position of a monitor to avoid eye, neck, and shoulder stress.
Today, more attention is being paid to the problem of noise in the office — but many office managers haven’t yet considered how this affects their employees. Have you considered the acoustics of your environment? Office designers and architects are testing and studying the effects of acoustics in the workplace to design comfortable solutions with these findings.
One suggestion: make sure to “zone” your office and add private work areas. Another? Use absorptive materials that control the reflection of sound, and design the office so that sound waves are blocked from certain areas. Accommodating the varying needs of employees for quiet or collaboration will spur satisfaction and performance.
Lighting used to be no big thing in the workplace. You’d slap a few lamps on the desks and install drop ceiling lighting. But now there are a multitude of options you and your employees can choose from. Of course, there’s the classic desktop lamp, but you can improve upon the concept with adjustable “task lighting” so your workers can always light up exactly what they’re working on. Wand lighting provides similar functionality with the added beauty of a classy look. And under-cabinet lighting offers an entirely new experience for those hoping to light the office in a creative and noninvasive manner.
4. Tablet Holders
As hardware continues to progress and miniaturize in the office, so office furniture and equipment should adapt. One piece of equipment in heavy use today is the tablet holder. It allows your employees to properly present organized materials or presentations in front of a group, while allowing their hands to be free from holding the tablet they’re using. Holders are taking offices by storm as iPads and other tablets become ubiquitous in the modern workplace.
Technology and design keep moving — is your workplace keeping up?
It’s important to make sure your office design, furnishings, and accessories are keeping pace with modern technology and best practices. Thanks to Compass Office Solutions, keeping the office up to date is easier than ever before. We are your one-stop shop for effective, efficient workplaces, providing technical design, workplace advisory, project management, installation, reconfiguration, and prefabricated construction solutions for businesses. Ready to design the perfect office? Contact us today to get started!