The office is often referred to as a second home to workers, spending more time there than with their own family, and furniture is essential for smooth and efficient functioning of a workplace. It makes the office environment comfortable, pleasant and attractive, and the role of furniture in the productivity of workers and the efficient operation of a work environment is more important now than it has ever been. With today’s office furniture ranging from the gimmicky to the purely functional, the style that companies opt for sends visual cues about their brand, not to mention impacting on office ambience and employee productivity. Today it’s not just tech and creative set-ups getting experimental with office furniture in regards to their colour and design choices. More professional services and financial services firms are kitting out their offices with height adjustable desks, soft seating areas, private working spaces and abundant indoor greenery. The right furniture While hammocks and bean bags may prove a talking point in communal areas of some imaginative, eccentric companies, in reality furniture needs to support and reflect the tasks being carried out. But with businesses looking to optimise their space and reduce the overall number of desks, the onus is more on the type of furniture to be used around the office. And there’s more choice than ever before. Getting the right mix of office furniture is an investment in its own right, but while design trends come and go, what’s really important is ensuring the basics like desks and seating meet employee needs and make the most of the available space. There is the risk that companies can get swept along by designs, such as sit-stand desks, that are not used to their maximum benefit, for example if sit-stand desks are consistently used in sitting mode, it simply defeats their intended purpose. Companies need to evaluate which types of furniture best support their employees day-to-day activities. For the employer, it’s about listening to the workforce, trusting their views and accepting that they don’t always have to be at their desks to do their job. Boosting productivity With all the positive effects of installing revolutionary furniture designs, one of the most desired outcomes of such change is the increased productivity of employees. Employees work better and feel situated and happier in their work environment when the furniture is attractive and comfortable. Like a well-oiled machine, healthy employees generate quality output and also commit to working regularly, reducing the absenteeism rate. All this is possible with the installing of employee-friendly and contemporary furniture that breaks away from the traditional norm of workplaces. Multi-functional spaces Furniture can sometimes take up a lot of space, but it can actually make the office look more spacious if arranged properly. Multi-functional furniture is ideal for small offices and can help reduce the amount of clutter. Companies with more limited fit-out budgets need to think creatively about how they use the same furniture for different purposes, for example a multi-purpose chair can be used in a dining setting, and also be used for internal meetings if designed correctly. In larger open areas, a range of flexible settings with different privacy levels turns the space into a vibrant hub where different modes of work can happen simultaneously – collaboration, informal social interactions, learning and even focus work. The addition of open collaborative settings allow people to safely and comfortably connect while moving around easily. However furniture is positioned within the office, ensuring that employees have the privacy and the personal space they need to get their work done is key. And in modern offices, design choices also need to accommodate technology to connect quickly and easily. Today’s office spaces can look good but above all they must be fit for purpose if companies and employees are to get the most from them. Higher productivity levels As the nature of work evolves, office furniture is changing to keep pace, but the basics – a good desk, supportive chairs and comfortable breakout areas are still the essential design elements. The mix of exquisitely designed classic furniture and ergonomically designed modern furniture will give employees a space where they feel welcomed, comfortable and well taken care of, and also give the company a sophisticated and versatile image. A spacious office complemented by space-saving multi-functional furniture can give any workplace an accommodating air. Succeeding in the office requires more than the employee’s hard work. The office needs to be furnished with the latest furniture to give the added motivation. The rewards of creating high quality areas for working, for collaboration or for private working are higher productivity levels.