Promoting wellness is now a driving force in modern workplace design. Office workers spend approximately one third of their waking hours at work every week, and their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing can be positively or negatively impacted by their workplace environment. Forward-thinking architects, designers and manufacturers are striving to create workplaces that have a positive impact on employees’ wellbeing as it effects productivity, health and happiness. This wellness revolution was one of the key themes of Orgatec 2018, where 750 exhibitors, including KE-ZU brands Artifort, Aichi, Andreu World, Emu, Enea, Expormim, Sancal, Tuuci, Vondom, Sellex, presented diverse and innovative products that support and promote wellbeing in the workplace.
As work and leisure time increasingly bleed into one another, workplaces are evolving to have a more home-like feel. Furniture is more reminiscent of residential environments than traditional offices, with comfortable forms, organic shapes, soft surfaces and friendly colours.
Puck is also lightweight and on casters so that it’s easy to move. Lounge chairs and dining chairs, such as ENEA’s Kaiak or Andreu World’s Alya, are now equally at home in a meeting room, offering a softer, more welcoming look.
Inspiring modern workplaces are designed to promote interaction and engagement between employees. Lounge areas, kitchens and informal meeting spaces facilitate socialising and collaboration, with modular seating that can be used in different ways.
Bernhardt’s Colours collection has lozenge-shaped seats for breaking up larger areas into smaller conversation zones, while its Neighborhood collection fosters connections between people. The collection includes high- and low-back designs for privacy, collaboration and casual conversations with a focus on technology integration and sound-absorbing materials.
Acoustics are important in collaborative and focussed work as noise levels can impact concentration and communication. Contemporary acoustics panels can also be decorative additions to the workplace: Sancal’s Beetle is a textile wall sculpture that adds colour and playfulness, and its Tartana has an arcing cocoon-like form that offers a sense of privacy and protection.
Office workers typically spend a large part of their day seated. Sitting for long periods of time is not conducive to wellbeing, so workplaces and furniture are being designed to promote movement. Stairs and open-plan offices encourage people to walk more; sit-stand desks allow workers to transition between sitting and standing; and stools, such as Artifort’s Perching collection, can support improved posture.
Andreu World’s Flex collection includes chairs, armchairs and stools with upholstered shells for comfort and the option of different bases depending on use. ENEA’s LTS collection also includes office chairs, stools and tables, as well as the innovative LTS Tray chair, which has caster wheels, a tray and writing tablet, making it a great choice for meeting and conference rooms.
Lighting and air quality have an important part to play in promoting wellness in modern workplace design, as do the materials used in the architecture, interiors and furnishings. Manufacturers are increasingly using recycled and reusable materials and emission-free products for the benefit of the environment and workers.
Axona AICHI’s Tipo chair is GECA certified, manufactured from 100-per-cent recycled and recyclable materials, including waste containers, car parts and PET bottles. The lightweight, comfortable chair comes with a range of frame options, as well as a writing table or wing arms. AICHI’s newest development, the revolutionary X50 chair, is also ultra eco-friendly, and has a flexible seat and back that forms to users’ body pressure and allows for extremely compact stacking.
Workplaces will undoubtedly continue to evolve as work styles change and new technologies emerge, but the wellness revolution is here to stay. With greater awareness of wellbeing, our brands will continue to develop products that have a positive impact on wellbeing for the benefit of workers, companies and society at large.
For more information about the products that promote wellness in the workplace, drop by the KE-ZU showroom at Alexandria or explore our product collection online.