The Big Question March 2018

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Which product do you feel has changed the workplace landscape?

BECKY POLE, TARKETT

Flexibility is key for today’s workplace landscape and the development of acoustic furniture has helped interior designers to satisfy this requirement. High back acoustic pods, that allow for private ad hoc meetings, for example, and armchairs that create breakout areas for workers to focus and relax, are great examples of how adaptable furniture can be used to transform open plan office spaces to cater for workers’ changing needs.


Stephen Johnson

STEPHEN JOHNSON, STEPHEN JOHNSON DESIGN

Without wanting to sound obvious, I’d have to say the PC – or my iMac, to be precise. Ever since my first original model back in the 90’s, they’ve been with me at every stage of my creative output, from emailing to 3D modelling, Skyping to rendering. My iMac is my workhorse. A kind of best friend. It’s embarrassing, but when I go on holiday I miss him a little.


Linzi

LINZI COPPICK, FORME UK

The workplace landscape has quite literally been changed by the height-adjustable desk. Being able to alternate between sitting and standing during the average day addresses today’s awareness on health and ergonomics within the workforce. It is said that this active working style encourages staff productivity and reduces absenteeism. Higher end models, Bene products, for example, have electronic versions, which are progressively adjustable, catering for various height requirements. Additional memory functions address the ever-popular hot desking situation.


RK

RAINER KALESSE, RAINER KALESSE DESIGN MANAGEMENT

The table. A table is universally applicable and has definitely changed the workplace landscape significantly – and will continue to do so in the future. The table is becoming more and more a multifunctional item, which, in size and height, with seats or even without, can individually adapt to the number of users and their current requirements. The table can be a conference table, a kitchen table, sometimes a work table or even a workbench. It becomes a user-friendly communication and work platform. Thus, in the long term, it becomes the most important piece of furniture.


CJ

CLARE JOHNSTON, ROYAL COLLEGE OF ARTS

The computer had the biggest impact – and now it is the ubiquitous laptop/tablet/smartphone, which can make any space a ‘workspace’. This has changed the landscape of the office to the point that you can no longer tell what people do – we have the homogenised workspace. The question is, does it make for an effective working space?


Kirsty

KIRSTY ANGERER, ERGONOMIC CONSULTANT

What has changed the workplace landscape is the laptop (and WiFi). Designed to be used for short periods of time, this has now become the standard for most organisations and allows you to work from anywhere, at anytime. And because of this we have seen the increase in collaboration spaces, agile working, working from home schemes and the rise of digital nomads. It’s going to be an interesting time, as I don’t think employees are being sufficiently educated as to how best manage their time, use their tools to avoid musculoskeletal disorders and consider mental health.