Instead of creating a work environment centred around desks with soft seating on the periphery and collaboration areas more of an after-thought, a new trend has emerged that explores how hotel lobbies, cafes, airports and even parks are becoming the new areas of work. With that in mind, furniture that was once considered as unsuitable for the office, is now becoming the preferred choice.
Office furniture of the future needs to focus on the diversity of today’s workplaces and should include co-working space for nomadic (or hot-desk) workers, a flexible office that can transform overnight and place that focusses as much on wellbeing as it does on productivity.
The office of the 21stcentury is constantly changing, and increasingly merging with the public realm. Employees are working wherever they happen to be – in hotels, cafes, at the beach, on the bus, in an Uber. These developments are increasingly turning public space into a productive workspace.
In other words, people are working in areas they have no permanent attachment to and in this type of setting, the traditional desk has become almost redundant. The nomadic worker can just as easily take a laptop and work from a couch or from an armchair.
Formal work rules are dissolving, regardless of where and how we work. As a result, the desk is no longer at the centre of our work life.
But, what type of environment will the work culture of the future need? This was the question posed at Orgatec 2018, Cologne’s biannual workplace future fair which took place in October. While the buzzwords were still collaboration and creativity, work is starting to move into airports, cafes, hotels and beyond.