(Fourth of a four part series on Office Furniture Trends for 2012)
During 2012, we’ll be designing more open offices than ever before, with fewer cubicles, and more common work areas.
Cubicles sales peaked in 2000, when they accounted for nearly 37 percent of all office furniture sales. That’s fallen to about 26 percent. Companies now prefer more open spaces that make it easier for employees to work together.
Workers used to spend most of their day at a desk or cubicle, report to a conference room for meetings, then tread a familiar path back to their workstation. Now, companies are setting up more gathering areas in “in between” spaces, where workers can hold informal conferences, chat with colleagues, or plop down with a laptop. Workers like the flexibility, and companies encourage the collaboration.
More and more employees aren’t even in the office most of the time. They may be outside sales people or they could be working from home. Why waste precious office space on people who are rarely actually in the office. Common work areas and tables provide these workers with what they need to be productive during those rare times they are physically in the building.
The equipment we use and the way we work keep evolving, and so must our office designs. 2012 promises to be a year when we will see many of these changes take place.
As usual, we here at Workspace Solutions will keep you up to date on our “What’s New” blog.