How Remote Workers Are Changing the Face of Office Furniture

In the old days, most offices looked somewhat alike. They had a few private offices and conference rooms, and then either a bunch of cubicles or a few rows of desks in a central, bull-pen area. Buying office furniture was pretty easy, too: you just figured out how many people were working for your company, and planned accordingly.

But the workplace is changing, and offices are changing along with it. More and more companies are offering flexible schedules, or hiring workers who operate out of their homes on a full-time basis. Fortunately, office furniture has evolved to suit these new needs.

No More Desks

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Probably the biggest shift has been from private offices and cubicles to open plan offices. With fewer workers in the physical office, and greater need for collaboration when everyone is in the building, open plan offices seem like a natural fit for many companies. They’re often cheaper to set up, and offer more natural light and space for employees. Organizations that want to adopt an open office plan often skip the desks and buy either specialized workstations or seat workers at long tables in a large open room.

Outlets Everywhere

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Hotdesking is one of the newest fads for modern offices. These days, workers are more likely to use mobile devices than static desktops, and can therefore sit just about anywhere there’s a plug. To maximize flexibility, companies need to make sure there are as many outlets as there are workers. A lot of newer office furniture accommodates this need by placing outlets right in the middle of the workstation or table.

More Planning

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There’s a lot we don’t miss about the bad old days of rigid 9-to-5 schedules and old-school cubicle farms, but there’s no denying that the planning stage was somewhat easier. Nowadays, it’s a good idea to hire a specialist who can help figure out your company’s needs and make a plan that will work for you. There’s no point in wasting time and money on office furniture you don’t need.

You Can Get Anything Online

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It’s really true: You can get anything on the internet these days, from the mobile devices your workers use, to the office furniture they use in the office, to the planning services that will help you save a buck on your hot new office.

More Home Office Furniture

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Finally, the biggest change in the office furniture landscape is probably the increased demand for home office furniture. Gone are the days when “your office” was really a place to hide from your family and play solitaire on the computer. Now, you really need to get work done in there. As a result, home office furniture has become simultaneously more decorative (because you’re going to be spending so much time in there) and more functional (because ergonomics are the friend of the 10-hour-a-day worker.)

Images: Charles & Hudson/Flickr, Rennett Stowe/Flickr, adactio/Flickr, wiennat/Flickr,
Jeremy Levine Design/Flickr

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