To keep up with newer developments in technology, the constant need for increased productivity, collaboration and a reduced carbon footprint, companies are creating conducive environments. Office architecture has become an important part of nurturing a workforce.
Manufacturers, like Featherlite, have been constantly innovating newer products that are ahead of the design curve in keeping with market demands. They are also retaining superior ergonomic standards that are currently setting new benchmarks, while keeping the affordability quotient intact. Featherlite Group’s MD, Manohar Gopal shares, “Besides comfort, modern workplaces need to encourage other factors. A workplace must be collaboration-friendly; it must inspire innovation and also have certain informal elements. While minimalism is the key — the right balance of colours and the right differentiation between open and closed spaces is crucial.”
Highlighting the latest additions in the company’s portfolio, Gopal adds, “We offer Agile workstations, which helps decide the solutions that best suit their needs and requirements.” The new ‘height-adjustable table’ promotes comfort and productivity by allowing users to alternate between sitting and standing postures; while the ‘Liberate’ chair is built with health-orientated ergonomics features, underlined by the unique DynaFlex system. Featherlite also incorporated this technology into a range of products that seamlessly blend in modern office environment. The company’s most recently launched seating solution, Tango, is a waterproof, washable and strong cafeteria chair that can be used indoor or outdoor.
As part of Steelcase’s ideology to produce innovative workspace solutions based on human needs, the company’s ‘Series 1’ matches the vibrancy and diversity of Indian workspaces with a variety of colours. The chair’s USP is that its available in several mix-and-match options, with a wide range of seat and fabric finish options, giving clients an abundance of choice and customisation.
Praveen Rawal, MD, Steelcase India & Southeast Asia, explains, “India is rapidly transforming from a low-cost labour destination to a vast knowledge hub. The concept behind Series 1 is to support various work modes and provide a resonance with every employee persona. It is not just a chair but a tool for employees to express their individual persona.” The chairs are also integrated with LiveBack technology, adaptive bolstering and 4D adjustable arms to deliver dynamic performance without sacrificing attainability.
New technology has profoundly impacted the treatment of office arrangements. Today’s offices require more aisle space for mobility and seating that eases portability and movement. Different segments of the office need to be aligned such that every cabinet is smoothly functional. Time- and energy-saving models are now being introduced and innovated constantly to customise arrangements.
Ami Shah, director of Amardeep Design India, a leading manufacturer in seating and desking solution, says, “After catering to seating and desking for commercial setups like offices, cafes and food courts, institutes, auditoriums, hospitality, etc, we have added the ‘Signature Series’ in our range of products. It features a free-flowing curvy design that can be placed as per one’s requirement and individual taste. It gives an aesthetic appeal to any kind of setting, with the additional advantage of colour coordination.” To further enhance its existing range of products, Amardeep introduced ‘UGO’, an exclusive German technology brand that consists of an intelligent seating and desking system to offer optimum comfort and luxury.
Another player in the industry that has been at the forefront of addressing every set trend in the industry is Transteel Seating Technologies. The brand’s MD, Shiraz Ibrahim, elaborates, “We deliver innovative solutions for break-out as well as touch-down spaces with emphasis on vibrancy in design and finishes to liven up spaces. ‘Oyo’ chairs cater to this category of requirement, while ‘Mellet’ is our latest innovation that features patented Synchro Technology mechanism, which offers movement of back and seat with unprecedented seating comfort. The chair provides unobtrusive ergonomic support with consistent lumbar support for the spine, regardless of the backrest’s angle.” It follows five lock backrest positions for different levels of reclined sitting.
Whether for a big or small office, one cannot ignore the significance of an efficient seating plan, since it increases comfort levels, productivity and collaboration at work. FineGrace is one of the leading designers and manufacturers of office furniture, providing a broad range of customisable office, modular, hotel, cafe and lounge furniture as well as interior solutions. The company believes that to organise any office productively, one must consider how the business works and its aim. Jitender Yadav, director, Fine Grace Office Systems, states, “How one organises an office space should never be an afterthought. In fact, the layout is a major factor in influencing outcomes. Have a good physical structure and things just flow; have a poor structure and you stumble. Software or sales companies, for example, with a culture and output that are more dependent on concentration and individual completion of work benefit from a comparatively less open office layout; by facing colleagues away from each other or carefully utilising and placing office partition screens. This should reduce the compulsion for distraction, though collaboration is still easy when necessary.”
The ever-growing business competition requires companies, young and old, big and small, to develop a working environment that boosts collaboration. In return, the fruitful collaboration will help boost the overall productivity of the office as well as the workforce. Organisations are now focusing on workplace design as a means to attract and retain talent in an increasingly competitive market. Therefore, business leaders should emphasise the need for an employee experience that will inspire and motivate them to work.