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    The Workplace Evolution

    The office has change a lot over the last several decades.  These changes go beyond the simple style and décor one would expect to change with time.  We no longer just sit at a traditional desk or in a traditional cubical.  The office has gone modern and activity is the new trend.  People now work standing or sitting, in open style collaborative settings, and people now focus on having an active day.  These changes has inspired some new designs in office furniture, these designs not only focus on style but also focus on function as well.

     

    Desks Height

    Desks have been around for centuries, although the styles have changed.  Most original desks were made of solid wood and had a very traditional style to them.  As modern times arrived, the desk evolved to include synthetic materials such as metal and wood laminates.  However, these desks still were designed to be used while sitting.  As the modern business era developed, we saw a rise of cubical style offices which allowed companies to put more desks in a smaller area.  Then not too long ago people started to experiment with the idea of working while standing.  This led to the creation of higher desks that could be used standing or sitting in a higher stool style office chair.  This brings us to the final evolution of technology and desk solutions; the sit/stand desk.  Most furniture manufacturers now feature a desk that can be raised or lowered, either manually or electronically, to allow users to work sitting or standing based on their preference at any given time.  This new style desk has taken the office place by storm and is growing in popularity.  Many companies even feature products that can adapt a traditional desk to have some sort of standing option as well.  So when it comes time to upgrade your office don’t get stuck in the past and consider a modern sit/stand desk.  It will allow you to be more active throughout the workday and will help modernize your workplace.

     

    Collaborative Office Design

    When American business entered the 20th century, the industrial revolution slowly turned into the technology revolution.  The rise of telecommunications and the now globalized economy meant less people working in factories and more people now working in offices.  This change led to the development of panel systems better known as cubical style offices.  These offices allowed a lot of people to work in a small space but still ensured these employees had their own personal space.  This was very useful for an era where mail and phone calls were the cutting edge of workplace technology.  However, as times changed and e-mail and computers became the primary tools of business, the office evolved to a more collaborative setting.  People spend more time sending e-mails and less time on the phone, this meant that privacy was no longer a top concern.  Offices became more open spaces and allow teams of people to work together with fewer barriers preventing interoffice communications.   Styles and furniture designs now focus on less walls and barriers and more spaces to encourage team work and collaboration.  So if you are thinking of modernizing your office, make sure to consider removing the cubical walls and opening things up through a more collaborative style design.

    Seating Changes

    Chairs have been around for as long as anyone of us can imagine.  People have always sat to relax and to take some pressure off of our legs.  However, the chair has evolved and changed a lot over time and especially the office chair.  Office chairs were nothing special early on, but as technology and the office modernized, so did the chairs.  Mechanisms with all sorts of different adjustments started to be invented and more and more adjustment levers and nobs started to appear on chairs.  Then as soon as things got too complicated, manufacturers started to develop smart mechanisms that adjust to our posture and movements automatically.  Not too long after these chairs made their appearance, the modern office changed once again and standing desks became a popular item.  This led to an increase in higher office stool style chairs.  Finally sit/stand desks started to appear and this led to people only needing a chair sometimes.  Taller chairs took a back seat to traditional height chairs which the user would only use part of the time.  This brings us to the modern day where a new style of chair is starting to emerge; the active seat chair.  These stool style chairs are great in offices, waiting rooms, conference rooms, and many other settings.  They are backless and force the user to have good posture.  They are designed to promote activity throughout the day as well.  There is no right or wrong style office chair, just different ones.  When it comes time to make a change in how you sit during the day, make sure to look at all the options and know what features you are looking for.  Do not be scared of something new and different, they likely have benefits you have not considered.  

    Conference Rooms

    Office conference or meeting rooms have been around for quite some time.  They can be small spaces with a small round table for smaller meetings or large rooms with huge board room tables.  These spaces have always been designed with the idea of bringing people together to work toward a common goal.  However, technology has changed the purpose of these rooms and how we use them in the modern business world.  Collaborative offices have changed the need for large conference rooms in the traditional sense of interoffice meetings; instead, technology now brings a conference room to life.  Many conference rooms now feature video phones or traditional phones that allow multiple satellite offices or multiple companies to work together.   In addition, the internet allows for live meetings so multiple people can view a slide show at the same time at different locations.  This modern technology now gives conference room’s new purpose and new life.  They have become a place to collaborate with others from across the world with a wide variety of technological means.  If you are using your conference room less consider giving it new life with technological upgrade. 

     

    The way we design and use offices has changed.  Technology and style have had an impact in how we do business.  The economy is now a global economy and our offices need to be up to the challenges that the world brings.  Make sure to spend some time to look at how you are working and if an upgrade is needed to maximize your company’s performance.  The office and the global economy is always changing make sure you are on the cutting edge.

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