Does the Office of the Future Still Have Desks?

CORT office furniture
CORT office furniture

What does all the talk about the shrinking office mean for office desk trends? And how does that translate to the evolving business center model?

According to a recent survey commissioned by Vodafone and conducted by YouGov, business leaders don’t expect flexible working to see a great reduction in office desk numbers. In other words, most don’t believe businesses will lead employees on a mass exodus away from desks. Specifically, only 20 percent of business leaders believe flexible working will see a reduction in the number of desks in their office space.

Ann Sennewald, VP Merchandising at CORT, sees changes in desk styles as an indication of how businesses are becoming more efficient with their workspace. “The traditional style of desk is not longer about pedestals and multiple drawers,” says Ann. “Work spaces are becoming smaller, and manufacturers are responding to these trends with work stations that have multi-functional components, such as a file cabinet that fits under a desk surface that doubles as a small seat.”

Also in response to the survey, Margolis Office Interiors predicts office desk trends will adapt to suit the changing business environment – but the fundamentals of good, flexible, desk design remain.

“Ergonomics, the basics of having a desk that is comfortable to work at, and one suitable for your tasks, will remain the core principles for office desks. However, office desk trends have responded to the move towards flexible working and one of the things that may become increasingly popular is the use of bench desks, as they are more suited to ‘hot-desking’ and can accommodate a greater number of employees over a smaller floor area,” Margolis says.

In another finding, 37 percent of businesses leaders in the survey claimed they had not even considered flexible working as a way of reducing costs. The result suggests modern workplaces have not seen a vast shift to home-based employees. And that means the best days for business centers, virtual office users and other forms of alternative workspaces have yet to come.

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