- Human-centric design is here to stay, but how does this impact workspace amenities?
- Lighting, workstations, furniture, whiteboards: they all have an important role to play in improving workplace wellbeing.
- Following the 2019 Paperworld Conference in Frankfurt, we run down 5 innovative workplace products that are beginning to appear in workspaces around the world.
Paperworld 2019 took place February 26 to February 29 in Frankfurt, Germany, and it had an entire section dedicated to the Future Office. The event featured special programming about the Future Office, with renowned architects and designers sharing insights on how the future office will look and feel.
From the conferences we learned that the modern workplace should combine function and emotion; it should ‘activate’ spaces in order to support greater collaboration; and it should strike a balance between “me” and “we” spaces.
One thing is clear: the future of the workplace is human and flexible. Speakers and exhibitors presented insights and products that aim to enhance the workplace experience. The main takeaway is that human-centric design is here to stay.
An interesting concept that emerged from the event is that the modern workplace is agile and provides people with choice. Workplaces should offer professionals a variety of work environments, like biotopes, in order to cater to different types of work (meetings, brainstorming, focused work, presentations, communication, etc.).
One of the presenters argued that the products and furniture within a room don’t need to be flexible, but the experience of that room should be. In order for this to happen, however, the furniture and products must also enable that room flexibility. Just as technology should enable us, rather than drive us; the same can be said about furniture and workplace products.
Some of the event exhibitors understand this and they are making headway in creating and designing workplace products that can enable different types of experiences within one same room.
Human-centric design isn’t, however, just about creating unique and different experiences; it’s also about enhancing those experiences by improving a person’s health and wellbeing; some of the most innovative products in the event tackled both issues: flexibility and wellness.
There was a plethora of products available in the event; however, some struck us more than others. Below are our top 5 workplace products presented during Paperworld’s Future Office.
1. LUCTRA – Lighting Products
Current wellness trends are advocating for increased access to natural light or artificial light that positively impacts our circadian rhythm. LUCTRA’s lighting options can be customized and personalized through an app; one can adjust the lamp’s light intensity and color depending on your personal light curve. LUCTRA lights contribute to a person’s circadian rhythm by simulating the natural course of daylight within their lamps.
2. Wilkhahn – Timetable Lift
This table / whiteboard is perfect for meeting rooms or brainstorming areas. The table is electrically adjustable and it can go from table to presentation board in a matter of a few seconds. The table can be used as a whiteboard or a projection screen and it’s fairly easy to move around. They can also be used for hot desking or during larger workspace events.
3. Wilkhahn – AT Chair
Wilkhahn’s free-to-move family of chairs addresses the growing concern of sedentary behavior in the workplace. The design encourages movement even while people are sitting down. Wilkhahn offers three main models: AT, ON, IN; each designed to help people go from posture-based seating to motion-based. Depending on a person’s movement, this chair makes it extremely easy, and even pushes, people to stand up and take breaks between long-sitting periods. The chairs also flow with a person’s sideways, backwards, and forwards movement, which can contribute to spine stability.
4. Sigel – Agile Boards Meetup
Whiteboards are great collaboration tools, and their power can be maximized when they can be easily moved around from one area to the next. This means that the whiteboards can be used anywhere throughout the workplace, which makes it easier for people to take their ideas with them and copy them down without rushing out of a meeting room.
5. CEKA – NeoTex
Noise is the primary cause of inefficiency at work. It’s also the main reason why many hate open plan offices. Luckily, noise is an issue that can be tackled by using the right materials and furniture. CEKA created NeoTex for sound optimization. It’s an acoustic solution that can be easily integrated into doors, roller blinds, rear panels, and storage compartments. The best part? They are available in different colors and can also serve as a decoration tool.
The material NeoTex stands for a completely new acoustic solution. The lightweight yet dimensionally stable material makes it possible to manufacture integrated sliding doors, cross roller blinds and rear panels in the “through and through” storage compartment made of NeoTex. The material is environmentally friendly, it was pollutant tested according to OekoTex.