Top Office Furniture Manufacturers Rely On E-Commerce Acquisitions To Stay Relevant Through The Pandemic

The business model for office furniture manufacturers and their contract furniture dealers must evolve as a result of the changing workplace in the wake of the pandemic. Will cubicles with high walls return to the workplace or will the WFH model shift purchasing decisions from facility managers, architects and interior designers to the employees working from home? In the short term, home offices will surely be upgraded to more ergonomic, height-adjustable desks, purchased by employees with reimbursements funded as expenses by their employers. In the long term, we are likely to see a combination of remote workforces operating from home offices, together with downsized office spaces, remodeled with more expensive workstations with high panels and socially distanced layouts, funded as capital equipment expenditures which can be depreciated over time. In the meantime, the manufacturers who had the foresight to acquire established e-commerce channels, will gain a larger share of the market. Rather than considering e-commerce the enemy to the manufacturers’ survival, some companies have bolstered their range through strategic acquisitions such as Kimball International / Poppin.com, Herman Miller / Design Within Reach and Knoll / Fully.com.

Read more about these trends at: https://www.workwhilewalking.com/open-office-layout-covid-19-impact-on-future-design-of-commercial-office-spaces-and-home-office-accommodations

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

Steelcase Identifies Division, Density And Geometry As Key Elements in Office Reconfiguration

Steelcase has designed their Munich Learning and Innovation Center with screens around and between open plan workstations to create a division between workers facing each other. Density has been reduced by increasing distances between desks and pulling apart seating in collaborative spaces, in order to meet social distancing guidelines. Geometry has been altered by positioning workstations at 90 degree angles to each other.

Learn more about the new design elements Steelcase proposes for a safe return to offices at:
https://www.steelcase.com/eu-en/research/articles/topics/post-covid-workplace/welcome-back/

(Image credit: Steelcase)

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

People with masks working in a socially distant open plan workplace

Hallway of an office - cover of a report entitled: "COVID 19 AND THE FUTURE OF FURNITURE" from CBRE

CBRE Publishes Insightful Forecast For The Future Of Office Furniture In The Workplace

CBRE, the largest commercial real estate services company in the world, has published an excellent study of measures required to combat exposure to Covid-19 in the workplace. The study includes detailed graphics explaining how furniture and layouts can be reconfigured in the short, medium and long term.

Read the full report at:
https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/e894f327/files/uploaded/Future%20of%20Furniture%20post%20COVID%2019_CBRE%20Furniture%20Advisory.pdf

Open Office Space with 2 Windowed Conference Rooms

Office Design Likely to Come Full Circle From Private to Open Space and Back To Private Space

The workplace has evolved from an emphasis on private office suites, to open-plan workstations, to free-flowing collaborative open spaces. In the post-pandemic universe, we are likely to see a return to private spaces with micro private offices, larger workstations with barriers to transmission, fewer large conference rooms, elimination of small huddle spaces and a new functional style integrating tech-based solutions with social distancing and enhanced digital interaction.

Read more at:
https://www.workdesign.com/2020/04/what-people-can-expect-from-the-return-to-the-workplace/  

(Photo credit: Work Design)