Pictured Above: BAUX Acoustic Tiles & Panels (Image: Baux)
The way that we work has changed. The workplace has changed as well but some office features will always be required. From acoustic panels to power requirements these features provide employees with the function required to effectively complete day-to-day tasks.
Function doesn’t have to be boring though. These 6 features have been reimagined and are more important than ever. Don’t overlook them on your next project.
Acoustic controls are essential for any new office design. In the world of the open office, workers report being distracted by noise. It’s one of the biggest distractions at work and it effects the entire workforce. In fact research by Oxford Economics found that “Millennials were especially likely to voice concern about rising decibels, and to wear headphones to drown out the sound or leave their desks in search of quieter corners”.
Open layouts can’t be completely avoided but these reimagined acoustic panels provide as much aesthetic to your design as they do benefits for employees.
1. Adam Goodrum X Cult Bower Screen
From Australian Designer Adam Goodrum, the collaboration with Cult for the Bower Collection is the designers first commercial offering. The Bower Screen provides an acoustic screen in 3 sizes that allows for multiple configurations.
The beauty of the collection is that the screens are light and easy to set up for an open office to add privacy for small meeting rooms or even private work areas.
2. Baux 3D Pixel
There are a ton of design forward acoustic panels available now. They reimagine what the traditional dull acoustic panel can be. The Baux 3D Pixel tiles provide full acoustic suppression functionality but also look great. The Swedish designed acoustic panels are environment-friendly and recyclable and made from wood wool, cement and water.
The 3D Pixel collection features tiles with 3 different thickness levels. It comes in a variety of colours that actually add to a design and can serve to add highlights to a space.
Walls are essential even in the most open of spaces. But increased function is now available when enclosing spaces with the availability of moveable walls. Moveable walls save clients cost and time. They also allow for ongoing tweaking of a design as an organization changes.
3. Haworth Enclose
Haworth’s frameless walls from the Enclose collection provide more flexibility in your design. Modular components allow you to create a variety of layouts. Additionally, mechanical fasteners are used only at the slab level which makes moving or reconfiguring the walls easier at a later date, if required.
The wall panels work in multiple set-ups with sliding, pivot, or butt-hinge doors.
4. LOFTwall FRAMEwall
The FRAMEwall by LOFTwall is a simple way to add privacy to open office spaces. The collection is good for breakout areas, private spaces or even separating different divisions. These types of more easily movable walls also serve well for brick and beam type buildings and layouts where adding conventional walls may be an issue.
The modular design consists of interchangeable panels and a recycled aluminum frame. This means that you can change colours to complement design or company colours. Different heights also allow for varying degrees of openness to be maintained throughout a space.
When it comes to adding function to any workplace, providing power is essential. Yet power has traditionally been an area in office design where there has been little to reimagine or change. This is despite dramatic changes in the capability and number of devices we use daily. In fact, Steelcase looked further into power in the workplace and found that “Seventy-three percent of workers use three or more electronic devices to perform their job”. They noted that the number of outlets in many office and academic buildings has not kept pace.
Today new solutions are providing more robust power infrastructure within the office. Workplace designs are able to add a great deal of functionality with some of the simple features.
5. Steelcase Thread
Steelcase’s Thread is a way to add power to carpeted areas without core drilling. It provides up to 6 outlets and can be installed under carpet. It’s a new offering from Steelcase and a demonstration of how important power in the workplace has become.
The Thread hooks up to existing electric services from within a space, either on or behind walls and comes in 2 different heights. Different track lengths, from 2 to 12 feet also allow for a variety of configurations.
Moving beyond outlets, ChargeSpot allows workers to charge their phones wirelessly. Even when outlets are available, a charging cord might not be. ChargeSpot locations are marked with decals or etchings and users simply place their phone over a decal to wirelessly charge it.
The units are seamlessly installed underneath a table and are useful for employees who are in meetings often or on the go. The solution allows you to add function to any surface area without impacting design with unsightly wiring, or breaking the surface.