“Some of the latest design trends on display at Stockholm Design Week signal that wellbeing and privacy are growing in importance. They are now becoming essential aspects of office furniture design and could be seen everywhere at the furniture fair. One of the massive trends that is becoming apparent for office furniture is the need for soundproof spaces with a surge in pods of all shapes and sizes. We run through some of the biggest upcoming trends in office furniture that were on display at Stockholm Design Week 2019.
Soundproof Work Pods
One of the biggest problems in open-plan office environments is increasing noise levels that come from a more informal and creative working environment. This can be both good and bad for staff morale, as many people will enjoy chatting and working with colleagues, whereas others will be frustrated by the lack of quiet time to really focus. This trend has seen design companies come up with creative ways of getting around the problem by providing mini pods for one person to work from and get the quiet they need to focus or make calls.
Pods have been around for some time in the workplace but these often involve larger and more expensive fixed spaces that provide meeting spaces. But large meeting spaces, like this one from Orangebox, don’t always meet the versatile needs of a business. Companies like Into the o4i Design Studio and Martela have introduced pods that are able to easily roll between locations and used as and when they are needed. The PodBooth can be used by an individual for a range of activities that need some quiet time and concentration such as phone calls or crunching numbers.
Saddle Stools and Alternative Seating
Another emerging design trend that was hard to ignore at Stockholm Design Week was a large number of saddle stools from various brands. One of the biggest concerns in the office environment is the health of employees with long hours spent sitting at a desk. As a result of this, we have seen a wider range of seating options when it comes to office furniture. One great way that you can avoid back problems and improve posture is with a saddle stool. The shape of these seats ensures that the user must engage their core muscles due to the fact that they are unstable. It is important to have movement in the body even when seated, so alternative seating can help.
With movement becoming an important part of your working day, there is a rising trend in alternative seating options for the office, which range from stools to specially designed office chairs. The HÅG Capisco has surged in popularity recently with a saddle seat design that encourages the user to move throughout the day and provides different options for sitting. The Sedus Height Adjustable Ergonomic Stool is also a great choice for providing employees with different options during the day. Although alternative seating might not replace office chairs altogether, a different option for employees to use occasionally can help with health and posture.
As another form of alternative seating options, you can also find a range of companies presenting balance boards at the Stockholm Design Week. These allow employees the choice between sitting and standing and allows them to keep their body active. Balance boards are a platform that rocks from side to side to ensure that the user has to engage their muscles. A number of designers are now including balance board as the base for their stools. This aims to help improve posture for employees and help to reduce pain related to back problems. The Backapp ergonomic chair is designed to help with back pain.
It is clear from the Stockholm Design Week that one of the biggest things workplaces will need to work towards is creating flexible working environments. In order to make sure that you cater to all of your employees, it is important that you provide flexible working options to ensure people work to the best of their capabilities. You should consider putting flexible office furniture in places such as sit stand desks, stools and even acoustic pods. These spaces can provide a great breakaway spot for your employees and provide a great option for occasionally changing their working habits. Offering the possibility to use a sit stand desk once a week means people can improve their posture and take a break from regular standing.”
By: Richard Edwards
Published: 19th February 2019