2014 saw the continued innovation of open office layouts, one of the most popular office layouts in today’s business world. Open office layouts are famous for promoting collaborative interactions with employees, leading to industry innovations and more productive working relationships. Open office layouts are also space efficient, making them a leading choice for startup companies hoping to save money on office real estate.

Open office seating

It is this emphasis on productivity and communication, coupled with smart design, which has led to the continued popularity of open offices. However, traditional open office layouts have struggled with some unfortunate downsides. Large open spaces full of people tend to be noisy, making it difficult for employees to find privacy and work on independent projects. Businesses also have come to rely more heavily on employees who telecommute part-time, and come into the office part-time. This trend can be space inefficient, leaving a great deal of office space unused on any given day.

In 2014, modern commercial furniture trends addressed some of these problems head-on, while still maintaining the collaborative nature of traditional open office layouts.

Lounge Seating Areas
Lounge seating areas, delineated by moveable screens, were increasingly used in 2014 to help to break up the space in open offices. These lounge-seating areas provide a natural sound barrier that lends more privacy to the employees who may be working in the immediate vicinity. In addition to creating a natural waiting space for visitors and clients, lounge seating areas also provided a natural gathering space for office employees, encouraging spontaneous employee meetings, and helping to reinforce the collaborative nature of the open office layout.

Unassigned Seating
With the growth of the Internet, telecommuting is increasingly common. In many cases, employees who work part-time from home come into the office only once or twice per week. Companies that rely on these employees have begun to provide sections of unassigned, team-space seating, to be offered to telecommuters who stop in on a part-time basis. These unassigned desks provide less storage space than other desk types, emphasizing instead a flat workspace for whomever comes in to the office.
For this reason, bench desks were hot in 2014. Functional and flexible, bench desks can be assigned to one, two or several employees at one time. As the number of employees in a business changes, bench desks can be repurposed to accommodate more or fewer employees.
Bench desks also easily serve a variety of purposes, depending on the need. From busywork tables to private workstations, bench desks can do it all. This multipurpose nature is another attractive feature to small startup companies that need to get the most out of their office furniture.

What’s Next for Modern Commercial Furniture?
2015 is almost here and the future is looking good for open office layouts. Fortune magazine just published an article that declared “office cubicles will be a relic of the past” and that office trends in the future will emphasize open “campus”-like layouts designed to encourage face-to-face interactions between employees.

In other words, office trends of the future are predicted to continue on the current trajectory of interactivity, collaborative innovation and open communication among coworkers. To update your office space in 2015, contact Hyperspace for quality office furniture solutions.

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