Category Archives: Office Furniture

Office Seating Trends 2019

There has been an increasing demand for flexible office space over the past few years, and that demand is predicted to grow by up to 30% annually for the next five years. This year alone, one 6th of all new commercial property in London has been taken up by flexible workspace operators, and the take up has tripled outside of the capitol, with Manchester and Birmingham recording the fastest growth.

Along with the change in how many people are working comes a change in design trends, and one trend we at 20six are seeing is in office seating, particularly in communal areas.

Office Seating Trends 2019: The Rise Of Stadium Seating

Amusingly also referred to as the stairways to nowhere, stadium seating, (or bleacher seating in the US) has made a big entrance into both co-working office spaces and more progressive businesses, making a bold statement in any shared meeting space.

Of course, this type of tiered seating is far from new - go visit any Roman amphitheater and you'll see ancient versions of stadium seating. More modern versions started appearing in commercial premises in the 1960s and 1970s in American schools. It was an immediate hit with the children, being inherently social and climbable, and with the tutors for being able to see and therefore communicate better with all their students. And this may be in part why stadium seating is becoming popular with modern office space designers. This set-up facilitates productivity, communication, and embraces an element of fun.

One of our favourite examples of stadium seating in the UK is in the London offices of Morgan Lovell who say that they have used an "anti-corporate approach" in their office design to create "anything but a normal office space". Utilising recycled timber for their stadium seating, the space is inviting to all who want or need to come together to collaborate.

We predict seeing a lot more examples of this type of commercial seating and are looking forward to seeing what else 2019 has in hold for office furniture and design.

The Desk Is Dead

Has The Office Desk Had Its Day?

The 2018 Orgatec furniture fair in Cologne had as its theme "visionary concepts for a new work culture". Focusing on new design ideas for office furniture, here at 20six we were keen to see where designers were heading. And the takeaway sentiments that we noted the most were about office desks.

The desk has had its day” cried designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

"The desk is dead," declared designers Thomas Bernstrand and Stefan Borselius.

These are bold statements, ones in which we read whilst sat at our desks – so what are they alluding to here?

The theory behind the demise of the traditional desk is based upon modern ways of working, most notably mobile working and hot seats. We are no longer tied down to a desk top computer but can take laptops and tablets to any area of the working space. Echoing the idea of Activity Based Working, these designers see us moving between the different zones within the office and working in temporary, comfortable, communal places.

Barber & Osgerby are promoting their concept called Soft Work: out with swivel chairs, in with swivel tables that are situated between soft seating enabling you an option of working positions. This type of office furniture has been designed specifically for laptop users, and the addition of partition screens can be used to segregate areas for more privacy.

Borselius & Bernstrand have also embraced the idea of soft sofa seating that has a multitude of options for set up. Mobile tables can transform the sofa system into a desk, and wall partitions are again an option to allow for private conversations and face-to-face meetings.

The Desk Is Dead - Long Live The Desk?

Consensus at 20six HQ is that there were some fantastic, and exciting, new office furniture concepts showcased at Orgatec 2018; but we don’t agree that the demise of the desk is imminent. Yes, technology now allows us far more mobility and flexibility; yes, we are embracing Activity Based Working more; yes, more interaction and collaboration amongst employees fuels creativity and productivity. But for most of us there are still times where we just need to get our heads down and work on a project, and this is still done best with a dedicated ergonomic desk and chair.

Standing Desks For Office Workers

As a company who supply top-end office furniture we practice what we preach. We have been using height adjustable desks for several years now and have found them to be both practical and efficient at improving our working days.

The experience that we have had in our offices has been backed up by scientific research at the University of Leicester. Publishing their findings recently in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the researchers found that office workers spend up to 85% of their workday sitting in a chair. So the research team decided to see what difference it would make to provide some sedentary office workers with a sit stand desk and compare them to workers who continued to have their usual desks.

Of the 146 NHS staff studied, 69 continued to sit at their desks and 77 were given height adjustable sit-stand desks with the research being carried out over the space of a year. The average sitting time at the beginning of the study was 9.7 hours each day,  and the amount of time spent sitting was measured at the start of the study and again at three, six and 12 months.

The results? When the workers swapped out traditional office desks for sit-stand versions, the time spent sat at their desks was reduced by more than 82 minutes per day.

As further proof that adjustable desks are good for workers, the researchers also found that the workers who spent less time sitting also experienced lower levels of anxiety and job fatigue, less back pain and more engagement in work.

Sit stand desks are not a miracle cure for office wellbeing but this research demonstrates that as part of an overall approach to putting employee’s health and happiness at the centre of office design, getting the right office furniture can improve productivity for traditionally sedentary workers.

3 Zones Of Ergonomic Design

The Three Zones Of Ergonomic Desk Design

Your office desk is your primary work space –  one unit with your computer, your phone, your pens and paper and anything else that you may need to work, including little personal objects to help you distinguish your space from that of colleagues.

A desk is just a desk – it is one space where you carry out your daily requirements.

To try and design better work stations for employees, studies have broken down the work station into three distinctive areas. Your desk is used in different ways throughout your working day, with some elements used all the time and some seldom or very rarely used.

The Three Zones Of Office Desks:

Primary: Also referred to as repetitive, this is the area that you are likely to spend the majority of your working day. Within your dedicated desk, office chair and workspace, your primary zone is the equipment that you use most frequently such as your computer screen, keyboard and mouse.

Secondary: This is the area of your work station that is used occasionally – this may be influenced by whether you are right or left handed. Your secondary zone includes occasionally accessed items such as your phone, paperwork, and reference documents.

Tertiary: The last zone, this refers to the areas which are beyond reach with an extended arm. This will cover things like reference books, physical files, spare staples and paper clips, things you may not use on a daily basis.

Why Divide Desks Into Zones?

Good question – should we really be concerned about dividing our office desks up into three zones? Simple answer, yes, we should.

With so many of us leading a sedentary lifestyle due in part to the amount of time we spend sat at our desks, the more ergonomic the design the better for our overall health. Ensuring that there is minimal strain when you are working in any of the zones will have a positive impact and therefore you need to identify what falls into which zone and arrange all the objects so that they are more comfortable to use. And by reorganising the items at your workstation you can help to create a more comfortable work space.