protect your finances while opening a business

5 Furniture Trends For The New Collaberative Office

by Daniel Herrera

Open floor plans are becoming 2015's new normal in modern work spaces. Cubicle walls are coming down, and fixed work spaces are giving way to a fluid environment that's conducive to today's collaborative, interactive work style. Other factors affecting the changes in today's workplaces include the decreased need for hard copy file storage due to increased reliance on cloud resources, the replacement of bulky desktop computers in favor of smaller, portable laptops, and efforts on the part of corporations to increase productivity and retain quality employees in a demanding economic climate. Following are five ways that office furnishings reflect the collaborative style that's evolving in the modern business world.

Bistro Tables and Chairs

Today's relaxed office atmosphere is a natural environment for groupings of bistro chairs and tables interspersed throughout the floor. These make excellent places for employees to come together for brief, ad hoc or planned meetings for the purpose of discussing project strategies. They also provide convenient places to hold working breaks or lunches.

Bench Desks

Bench desks are long, shared desks that provide an ideal working environment for projects where team communication is important. They also take up far less space than their cumbersome counterparts of the past, and employees can easily switch places to more easily communicate with a variety of team members. In workplaces that feature bench desks, management often sits alongside employees, making them more accessible and significantly improving communication.

Hot Desks

Hot desking began to become popular several years ago, basically entails having many separate docking stations and is now a feature of many modern offices. However, the jury is still out on whether its a viable option for certain types of businesses. Although hot desking can have significant value in project-based workplaces, research suggests that some employees may lose motivation when they don't have a specific area designated solely for their own use. Cold and flu germs may also be more easily spread among the workforce when workstations are shared among everyone.

Moveable Work Stations

Moveable work stations are an excellent solution for companies where neither stationary work spaces nor hot desks are desirable. They are generally assigned to one person, providing the benefits of both hot desks and traditional cubicle-style work stations with few, if any, of the drawbacks. They are lightweight fixtures that are moved by wheels that are equipped with locking casters to keep the unit in place once it's moved to the desired location. Another benefit of mobile workspaces is that, because they are generally only used by one employee, they can be personalized with photographs and other small decorative objects in ways that hot desks and bench desks can't be -- and this can result in increased emotional well-being even among employees who work in open office environments.

Quiet Nooks

Quiet nooks are a must for offices with an open floor plan to accommodate those who are working on projects that require significant concentration and focus and for when employees are feeling worn down and need to recharge. Some people simply work better when provided with a more private place to work -- they may be too easily distracted by noise and visual stimuli to perform well when constantly working in an open environment.

Keep in mind that open office layouts are not suitable for every type of business. In fact, studies have shown that working in an open office environment can contribute significantly to employee stress levels. If you've decided against implementing an open office floor plan in your business in favor of keeping it traditional, rest assured that traditional office furniture is still readily available. For more information about the many furniture options available to you, check out