I have been working in an office for a couple of months now. I used to wear contact lenses in my former job as a sales rep, but since I work in an office and stare at the screen all day my eyes become dry and the lenses start bothering me. Despite regular pauses, looking away to rest my eyes, I become tired more easily and my eyes start itching. I think it is because of the office air conditioning and the problem becomes worse when I work at my height adjustable desk standing up. This is why I had to give up my contacts for glasses during office hours. I bought a new funky red frame to match my office chair and uniform at the call centre, which hasn’t come unnoticed by the floor manager and my fashion obsessed colleagues – I am hopping that wearing the company colours will show my commitment and affect my next pay review. It’s all about perception and image. Fingers crossed.
The workplace has been changing over the decades from office rooms, to partitions and cubicles, moving on to open space offices, and now going towards hot-desking areas used by executives with their own lap-tops. Even the home office users are on the verge of converging their home office with home living with new high-tech devices and trends such as integrated home cinema and home automation. Computer usage such as Internet and email is now diluted between mobile phones, blackberry, miniature laptops and giant desktops and is now making ground through our TV screens as some of the main Internet websites can now be browsed on your super thin / flat / sharp latest hd tv screen.
At the same time tv is also bleeding into the Internet ever directing us to a web-page after a program or prompting us to watch the next episode on the tv channel website. Everything is merging, tv , computer, mobile devices, telephones. Everything is converging, work life and home life. Everything is one: entertainment & communication. The telephone is now on the Internet with Skype and voice over IP, the music is now accessible on TV and on the Internet in the form of downloads. Games can be played equally on computers and play stations wired to your TV.
So I ask myself in this ever-changing environment what will be the home office furniture of the future. It sure will need to be as versatile as our lifestyles. An office chair will have to be convertible in a lounge chair or a game chair, a desk will need to be modular (adjustable and extendable) as well as mobile (desk with wheels) and ergonomic. You can’t have an ergonomic desk without and ergonomic chair and that would be an Ergohuman
Any idea what tomorrow’s home office will look like?
In branding and marketing colours are carefully chosen according to the psychological effects they may have on people. There is no doubt that the colours surrounding our daily life have a direct influence on our mood and behaviour. Some years ago when I was at University I was renting a room in a superb Victorian flat along Battersea Park. The room was very spacious but the owner had painted the walls in a dark deep red, which was unusual but did not put me off from moving in. However this year I became depressed and I am ashamed to say, lethargic, I think the colour had a negative influence on me. On the contrary my flatmate who had the yellow room was always happy and energised, the girl renting the blue room was relaxed and cool headed and the guy renting the dark green room was never there!
Equally, influence by colour can be used in the workplace. Companies with old and tired furnishing tend to look quite dull, compared to some of the new modern office designs, boasting bright ergonomic office chairs , modern desks and colourful office partitions . The positive use of colour is well-known in young internet companies as well as design and PR agencies – this goes beyond benefiting the company’s image, it truly promotes a creative environment. Google’s offices are well known for their coloured gym balls and funky office furniture, and even one of the first on site crèche. The psychology of colour is perhaps best measured in call centres where a buzzing/fast-paced environment is best stimulated with energizing colours rather than calming ones – expert advice from an experienced office fit-out consultant will do the trick to revamp a site.
As for me, as soon as I have finished the plastering, I am off to the paint shop to buy some bright yellow paint for my home office! Watch this space!
It can be challenging to plan an office lay-out. Sometime a great number of desks have to be fitted in and all this requires planning and foresight. It’s not just about fitting the furniture, one should consider what type of work the office workers will have to perform so as to shape the office space to suit the purpose. Work that may require concentration such as IT programming or creative jobs are well performed with a desk position along a white wall. A white wall is a blank canvas that helps liberating your mind for imaginative thinking.
For dynamic team-work, pro-active and reactive tasks, cluster desks lay-outs are fantastic. Everyone facing one another creates a synergy and unity of the team that encourages communication between the workers. I once worked of a Chinese owned company and I remember how the office space planning was excellent, most workers had a clear view of the open space work-place and managers had their own private office behind glass partitions to keep an eye on staff. The customer service team of 4 were all facing one another in a cluster of workstation desks and working very hard indeed, most of the time with a jovial attitude. There is no doubt that the lay-out of an office can influence employees and company performance or spice up your home office so if you’re in charge of designing the new office lay-out, think carefully!
I am now working from home part time and now its time that I need to look at the layout of my own home office furniture so that I can also have a clear view..
Before being a mum, I never quite realised how much it takes out of you. Of course it is hugely rewarding and I enjoy it a lot but with three small children, it is almost impossible to keep an eye on all of them at once. Then the most peculiar things are part of the daily routine: a Marmite toast in the video player, Lego in the dishwasher, crisps in daddy’s slippers and our cat wearing the latest Barbie hairpiece. I had just bought a brand new computer workstation and I was holding back from opening the box until I could find a computer desk/ workstation.
That is exactly what my friend bought, it seems to work a treat: she tucks the children in bed and then she opens the out-of-bound computer armoire and magically a small home office unfolds, free from finger marks and peanut butter. Also this way all the computer cables are hidden and non accessible. Of course forbidden areas are the most attractive to children, but luckily some of these computer hideaways are fully lockable. My computer should be safe for the next couple of years, as long as my kids don’t see the Chronicles of Narnia! The other solution is a electric height adjustable desk that can be raised up above inquisitive eyes and little fingers. The cables can also be managed with something like Cable Tidy