With today’s office furniture ranging from the gimmicky to the purely functional, the style that companies opt for sends visual cues about their brand, not to mention impacting on office ambiance and employee productivity. The global office furniture market, including computer desks and swivel chairs, as well as workspace storage units, is growing with companies expected to spend US$84 billion by 2021, according to Statista. Getting the right mix of office furniture is an investment in its own right, says Thomas, but while design trends come and go, what’s really important is ensuring the basics like desks and seating meet employee needs and make the most of the available space. Even the use of no furniture can help in certain office scenarios, says Thomas. Companies with more limited fit-out budgets need to think creatively about how they use the same furniture for different purposes, says Thomas: “Kitchen furniture, for example, can be used for internal meetings if designed correctly”. “If an office is configured correctly and furniture is not so rigidly arranged, then quarterly update meetings, as well as evening presentations, can be held in-house,” Thomas says. As the nature of work evolves, office furniture is changing to keep pace but the basics – a good desk, supportive chairs and comfortable break-out areas are still the essential design elements.
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