HOW FURNITURE ENABLES POSITIVE EXPERIENCES
The theme of today’s Global FM Day is ‘enabling positive experiences’; getting to the hub of what workplaces are about… people. So, for our part, here are a few thoughts on how furniture and the related office design adds to the holistic picture of an enabled positive experience in the workplace.
Put simply… feel good–work well–feel good.
- If you create a working environment that makes people feel good about themselves, they’ll perform to their best, which completes the circle by giving them the buzz of a great day’s work. Sounds simple but behind that modest theory lies the professional expertise of Facilities Managers understanding good ergonomics, clever use of space, great use of colours in appropriate styles and the beauty of a well thought through design that matches the needs of the staff.
Ask, don’t preach
- Talking of needs of the staff – the FM that understands that engaging employees in their workplace design is a good thing and will equally result in a happier outcome are the ones forging ahead with the new frontier of office design. The key drivers for a more agile workspace may be cost driven but there’s no need to be prescriptive when it comes to cutting back on space or growing your business with no added costs. Asking staff how they would like to work, what settings best suit their needs and researching the frequency and size of settings required is the best way to deliver the positive experience to agile working.
One size does not fit all
- From the early stages of school we soon learn that not everyone is the same and we all come in different shapes and sizes. And yet we often design offices presuming that the opposite is true and one style will suit all. The introduction of height-adjustable desking – something that’s been commonplace in Scandinavia for years – a move to softer work settings and the vast range of adjustability in a good task chair are all ways to celebrate the differences and not compromise on them.
Keep it clean
The awareness we now have of harmful chemicals in our everyday lives is far beyond the generation before us. But there’s a clear lack of associated knowledge when it comes to the place we spend most of our lives – the workplace. Just what is your furniture emitting? Why should we be worried and how do we avoid the risks. Responsible Facilities Managers know the value of good provenance and thorough examination of suppliers’ sustainability credentials and manufacturing standards. More importantly they understand the link to a better working environment and positive experience for their colleagues.