Introduction to Work Furniture
Help people get their top priorities done. Furniture supports the body, tech, and stuff that we all use most of the day. It can be moved out of the way and pulled back in when it is needed. It sets the tone for the space and adds to the overall feeling of the building. People feel this for good or bad. We don’t all work at the office anymore, we set up shop where ever we can and use the furniture that is available. Supportive chairs can be taken with you (I have done 1,000’s on-site demos) and can make a huge difference. There are also small adjustable tables 30″+ wide, about the size of a small cafe’ table, and height adjustable. Work is still getting done all over the world.
Yes, furniture was grudgingly bought to support equipment needed for workers to produce whatever their job was. Also, to show the status of managers, executives, and company presidents. Some things have not changed, ego is still very big, and like the false bragging sawhorse/door desk of Bezos.
What drove the development of modern furniture was the equipment and business machines that it supported. The study of ergonomics, body mechanics, OSHA laws, all-day computer use, and insurance claims gave the monetary justification to improve furniture for the office worker. Things have kept going up, the computer worker has become more valuable and so the importance of great chairs to support them. The equipment has become more valuable, and complex, and requires more power/data support. The Dot Com $$$ and the coolness of geek-dome gave rise to some high-end Silicon Valley Style furniture. Cubicle life- fat bundles of data cables, heavy power requirements sent cubicle panels from 1″ to sometimes 4+ inches and taking up more real-estate than ever. More coffee shop style, with collaborative areas to work on a lounge chair or small sofa.
Then Tech changed work life again with smaller lighter, lighter equipment that IBM could never imagine. Laptops, I-phones. I-Pads and mobile mobile mobile. Many people did not have their cubicle or office and logged in when they got to an office. Yes, maybe not ever their office, maybe a coffee shop or co-working space. The Dot-Com burst, the bean counters were having fits, work still needed to get done and Dilbert was even out of a job.
I moved east to The Central Valley and was selling old metal desks again, but to agricultural companies. New product prices came down and the electrical height adjustable table/desk became the “must have” for attracting new talent. The financial controllers in Silicon Valley adjusted to the new equipment needs and implemented the “open plan” workspace. This drove down the size of each employee’s work space and drove even more people to work remotely. Think about the gym, how not everyone can be there at once and people figure out when it is not crowded. You may have realized that the open plan office was like working in a cafeteria. Cheap real estate, high distraction, and poor air quality. The tech workers were younger, more expensive, and needed more “toys” at work and playgrounds. Work Furniture adapted again.
The Covid DAM-DEMIC that is still changing how people work, 10-2021.
How To: traditional commercial furniture process
Can we work together?
Space- what is the space that we will be working in? On-site measure, DWG, PDF, Viso, or pencil sketch on paper. Let’s get on the same page and define the walls, columns data/power entry.
People- how many and what will they be doing? What type of work needs to be supported, company culture, cafe’ style, manufacturing shop, or cocoon coding? Most likely there will be a variety of work areas, meeting spaces, and alcoves. Also, plan ahead for the next stages of growth.
The hard and soft of it – Furniture Specification? Basic follow-up from the above, let’s help the people produce. At this point, we should have a pretty good idea of what and how to accomplish the project.
The main drivers- style, time, budget? What will filter out the endless options? The lead time might cut right to the shortlist. The budget and style need to be balanced. There are endless images to look at. Take a look online and see what you like.
Nuts & Bolts- parts list anyone? I am still a fan of Excel and use it for job costing. Let’s figure out power, cabling, lighting, monitor arms, adjustable work surfaces, keyboard trays, and chair mats.
Logistics- schedule subs? Who is going to what when? Plan moving or selling of existing items.
Are we still getting along? Let’s load the deposit and pull the trigger.