From Korea to the work floor: the rise of privacy as wellness
With many of us returning to the workplace after a long period of enforced isolation, it's inevitable that our ways of working having changed significantly in the interim. While some people desperately missed the hustle and bustle of office life, others actually thrived in the quieter, less distracting surroundings of home.
As employers seek to provide adequate 'workspace wellness' for their returning staff, we're seeing this reflected in exciting innovations in office design.
Inspired by traditional Korean 'hanok' houses, which feature low partition walls, designers have developed soundproof pods and grid-like partitions that can be brought into an open plan office to create pockets of privacy.
ADAPTING OFFICE SPACES TO CATER FOR THE 'NEW NORMAL'
FibreGuard's easy clean fabrics are a familiar sight in offices around the world thanks to their high performance properties and durability. But a newcomer to large, open-plan offices are soundproof 'focus pods' that aim to ease the transition back into a large, noisy office.
While collaboration is still a vital part of productive working practices, an element of purposeful isolation has been shown to be beneficial for focused tasks. This has been particularly useful for employees who found they were actually more productive while working from home because of the lack of distractions.
Related read: COVID-19 shapes the open-plan office of the future >
"While workplace design before Covid stressed the facilitation of collaboration, the future will need more emphasis on 'focus spaces' for the large percentage of the employee base that’s thrived in the pandemic’s quieter surroundings." – Jeffrey Steele, writing in Forbes
Qworkntine is an office pod system for post-quarantine workplaces which provides Covid security along with a private working space. Designed by architect Mohamed M Radwan, the innovative pods fit together in a variety of configurations thanks to their intriguing hexagonal shape.
Another office pod designed to encourage productivity in an enclosed workspace is the soundproof Focus Room which can be equipped with a desk, chair and power sockets to allow employees to work in peace.
Related read: Office design is transforming in the new now >
A WELCOME DIVISION
Once a familiar sight in offices in the 70s, partitions are making a comeback as a way of creating private workspaces within a larger, open-plan office. Dutch Design Week saw the launch of 3D-printed room dividers and partition screens from Amsterdam-based design company Aectual.
Related read: How FibreGuard’s digital fabric twins drive sustainability >
Reimagined for the 21st Century, these grid-like screens are both beautiful and functional, and come in a range of colours and patterns. They also bring with them impressive eco credentials, because once they are no longer in use, they can be returned to the manufacturer for shredding and recycling.
Swedish company Zilenzio brings a light touch to the world of partitions with its gently curving Focus Floor collection.
Echoing the work from home environment, these elegant, wool-clad screens come in a range of soft, muted colours and are available in both full-length and tabletop versions. Offering excellent sound absorption qualities, these partitions work equally well in a hospitality or office setting.
Office-ready furnishing fabrics
Of course, contemporary office partitions make the perfect partner for our stain-resistant fabrics. Especially as our anti-microbial FibreGuard Pro fabrics offer a unique moisture barrier which makes them ideal for demanding office environments.
Interested in upgrading office spaces? Contact us directly today to set up a FibreGuard fabrics presentation or find your nearest stockist.