Importance Of Office Furniture In A Workplace

Abhijit Sarkar, Country Head-Corporate Real Estate, Administration & Facility, SharekhanA member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, London, Abhijit has over 25 years of experience in the Indian corporate realm, working with companies such as HDFC Bank, Bombay Dyeing, ICICI Securities, Piramyd Retail, and many others.

We have seen that with the changing work environment, furniture design is also constantly evolving to give employees a better office space to work in. There has been a major transformation, as organizational culture takes precedence and leaders look to provide better amenities to their employees and differentiate themselves from the competition. There's a powerful movement going-on in workplaces. Employees today spend more than one-third of their day at their workplace. Contrary to a time when offices required only cubicles, lately, companies are increasingly opting for modern and interactive workspaces. The interiors play a very important role and reflect the company's culture, vision, and more importantly, encourage collaboration. Over the last few years, there has been a paradigm shift of workplace furniture designs owing to technological advancements among other dynamics.

Office spaces have come a long way since the cubicle takeover of the 1980s and 1990s. Interior design is at the forefront of the workplace now and with it, a renewed sense of self, purpose, and spirit. As job markets grow, demand from the workforce means competitive employees and talent are looking for premium offerings, and companies recognize the need to deliver on this ask.

Today's workforce believes in working smarter, faster and more efficiently. It is important that the furniture design of the office is in harmony and complements these elements for better productivity. The fact is, today, our way of working is much faster, efficient and flexible. We have learnt to live with a nomadic approach, shedding our expectations of a daily routine that is becoming ever more fluid. In such scenario, furniture plays a very significant role in every organization's ability to drive success and change.

Furniture is an integral component of every office. Besides being a must for utility purposes, office furniture also adds to the aesthetics of the space, and overall, the visual brand, whether large or small. The right type of office furniture sets can improve the workplace culture manifold and even help retain employees. This is because employees who actually like their work desks are more motivated to be productive, which in turn bodes well for the organization.
Functional, attractive decor has a positive impact on employees and helps them stay focused. When employees look forward to coming to work every day, it will reflect in the quality of their work as well. Every piece of furniture is going to play an important part in boosting employee's productivity, as well as potential. With the inclusion of great furniture, every organization will have the ability to take the employee productivity to an entirely new level. It's the reason why nearly all office spaces in the world are providing a makeover to their boring and old furniture by including stylish, as well as new furniture within their offices.

What your employees are sitting on, looking at, and walking through could have more impact on employee performance than you think. Poor workstations can negatively affect employee health, mood, focus, and productivity. Work spaces today are designed to suit the needs of employees, who will eventually be spending a large chunk of their time at the place. Therefore, one of the important aspect that should be considered while designing an office is Ergonomics, which plays a major role in the modern office.

The integration of principles of human well-being into workplace design has become critical for ensuring the workers perform to their best abilities

Ergonomics is a popular catchphrase nowadays; it is also truthfully a very important component to office furniture. As working styles become habitual, movement becomes scarce and our posture can affect productivity. Ergonomic furniture is essential to a healthy workplace, and with countless studies performed spanning several decades, ergonomics has been shown to increase both productivity and health.

Ergonomics is a science related to the suitability of an office design to people. By taking into account people's capabilities and limitations, an ergonomically designed workplace design strives to be effective in fulfilling the functional requirements of users and also has a profound impact on the productivity of workers. The integration of principles of human well-being into workplace design has become critical for ensuring the workers perform to their best abilities.

Ergonomics helps provide the tools necessary to see that there is no undue strain on the body parts of an individual. The use of good ergonomics is considered as critical in modern-day office designs. The best workplaces are designed for people and around people. An ergonomically designed workplace will go a long way in creating a positive difference in the attitude of workers while maintaining an atmosphere that is conducive to meet organizational goals.

While smart furniture is making waves in modern workplaces, sustainable furniture is slowly garnering attention. It is interesting to understand how both these concepts fit together. Sustainable furniture is the need of the hour, not just in India, but globally. There are furniture items available that are made from waste and leftover materials. This allows for a marginal greener carbon footprint and reduces the cost of certain products. Architects, designers and manufacturers are imbibing the concept of sustainability into their projects. However, this requires a lot of R&D and will take some time to gain traction.

Furniture is the heart of office design. If you've ever sat in bad furniture, you know that it makes a huge difference in how you feel. Choosing the right furniture for your office can be as crucial as selecting the right office. Thus along with giving your office a distinctive look, furniture also plays an important role in maintaining the well-being of your employees. It also boosts their productivity and acts as the perfect bait for prospective employees and clients.