by Lisa Cunningham
Prior to the pandemic there was an influence to have a work environment that was softer, quieter and an enticing place to work. People no longer enjoyed working in a “battery Hen” scenario, with rows of workstations that were noisy and hard to focus. The onset of Covid, and the need to work from home, has accelerated the change to workplace environments to be more focused on the people working in them, to be “Human Centric”.
Interior designers and architects are creating office environments that are more like home, with the kitchen area becoming an informal meeting space. Recently, Metricon has moved from North Geelong to new head office in Fyans Street. The lunchroom provides the ultimate café feel, and is conducive to the staff gathering both formally and informally to conduct meetings.
The furniture and acoustics play an incredibly important part in the office design. There are clever designs that now incorporate acoustics into feature lighting in meeting areas to reduce noise reverberation.
A very successful way of working is the collaboration model. When teams gather, they want to be heard as equals, and a great way to achieve this is to use a 900mm high meeting table. This provides a workspace where people can choose to stand, or they can seat on a comfortable stool. At this height they can all see eye to eye, and can contribute on an equal level. When Barwon Water completed their headquarters in Ryrie Street, they incorporated a number of these collaboration spaces. Providing the furniture solutions that support these working models is often underestimated, and the investment of working with a Furniture Specialist will contribute to the performance of the staff in the working environment.
Scandinavian brands are well known for their beautiful design detail and timber craftsmanship. The furniture from these designer brands perfectly reflects the Human Centric approach to creating a workspace. This ideology can be applied to education, health care and office environments.
There is also a leaning to incorporating break out spaces with lounge seating for a more casual meeting, and small meeting tables for teamwork. This environment can be enhanced with booth seating.
Last week a Furniture Showcase was staged at the Gordon Gallery. Over the span of 3 days, designers, architects, and clients were invited to come and experience these various work scenarios. There was an acoustic tree, and an acoustic hut on display which demonstrated the impact of purpose designed furniture. These solutions demonstrated that our furniture improved remote meetings and created a focus hub.
Lisa Cunningham lives in Geelong and is based at her home office 3 days a week. K5 Furniture showroom is located in Smith Street Collingwood and can be visited by appointment. Lisa is not only a Furniture Specialist, she is also a qualified Interior Designer and is an Accessible consultant. She can provide a wealth of expertise and assistance in providing the most suitable furniture solution unique to the client and their needs
With thanks to our guest author:
Furniture specialist and interior designer
K5 Furniture have supplied furniture to many, many clients in Geelong including Deakin University, Barwon Water, VIVA, LBW accountants, TAC, Geelong City Council, Geelong Football Club, Metricon and many of the Secondary Colleges in the region.