Many office furniture firms remain confused about social media and online communication

Many office furniture firms remain confused about social media and online communication

At Watson King we surveyed the websites of the Top 100 European manufacturers of office furniture products, the results showed that 13 percent use no form of social media at all and 25 percent use less than three types. There are also some surprising results on which the most popular channels are. There is evidence to suggest that companies are unsure about the most effective way to use social media channels and which ones are the most appropriate to select. Also, there appears to be fundamental issues on how to integrate social media and communication channels to get the best results.

More →

Promotion: Humanscale launch Quickstand Eco to lead next generation of sit/stand workstations

Promotion: Humanscale launch Quickstand Eco to lead next generation of sit/stand workstations

Humanscale, has launched its next generation of portable sit/stand products. The QuickStand Eco claims to unite function and sustainability at an accessible price point to improve employee performance and encourage a more active workplace. This new height-adjustable solution is sleeker, easier to install and comprises more sustainable materials than ever before. QuickStand Eco utilises minimal parts and pieces, limiting it’s environmental footprint and maintaining a minimal, clean aesthetic. It features simple setup and is easy to transport, making it a flexible option for both corporate and home offices. The instant height adjustability encourages users to sit and stand more often and the product can also be integrated with Humanscale’s OfficeIQ software, which sends periodic alerts when it is time to adjust one’s position.

More →

New intellectual property protection initiative launched for workplace and interior design

New intellectual property protection initiative launched for workplace and interior design

The Society of British and International Design (SBID) has launched the SBID Intellectual Property (IPP) initiative to mark the new campaign to prevent IP theft in the interior design industry. Developed in association with TM – Eye, with the aim of assisting the industry to obtain objective evidence of design ownership, the venture updates the archaic discourse on intellectual property in design and will raise awareness of what designers need to do to properly protect their work. The issue is one of stolen ideas after a commercial presentation, without consent or a fee, a problem that has plagued the interior design industry and left owners/creators feeling like they had no legal support to refer to. This could typically be the theft of ideas created in an interior designed space or product. This has not only been an ongoing problem for business investors in all creative sectors of design and manufacture, but also a problem for consumers who are put at risk, completely unaware when they purchase a look-alike product, to find a poorly manufactured copy without tested safety marques that could cause untold damage to property.

More →

Traditional department-based office layouts reduce efficiency and collaboration, say bosses

Traditional department-based office layouts reduce efficiency and collaboration, say bosses

Eliminating traditional departmental office seating improves efficiency say bosses

Nearly two thirds (64 percent) of senior executives say their offices are still structured on a traditional departmental basis, despite the fact that the majority of those polled in a recent survey (94 percent) believe project efficiency could increase significantly if they simply re-arranged their office seating plans to promote cross-departmental collaboration between team members. The new report Agile Ways of Working: The Great Leadership Disconnect from digital consultancy, Red Badger, claims that not only do these senior decision makers believe in the promotion of collaboration, but four out of five (81 percent) digital leaders in organisations who were additionally surveyed, strongly believed that an inflexible office layout actively led to delays in launching a product or service into the market or to customers. “Waterfall” ways of working (62 percent) and teams working on multiple projects at once (51 percent) were also among the most cited reason for delays in the past.

More →

Convergence of work and life defines September London workplace design shows

Convergence of work and life defines September London workplace design shows

It has always been a characteristic of the 100% Design exhibition that it has segmented along the demarcations of workplace, home, interiors, kitchens and bedrooms. This used to make perfect sense as the same distinctions existed in our lives, reflected in the form and function of the products we allocated to those spaces. This is no longer the case to anywhere like the same extent and consequently, the workplace section of the show is full of products that could make the crossover into a domestic, cafe or hotel setting with not an eyebrow raised. That is not to say that the mainstay products of the workplace – desks, task chairs, storage, screens – are no more. They are still specified in vast numbers. It is just that the interesting aspects of workplace design are to be found in its shared and public spaces. It is here where we witness the convergence that characterises modern working life. We might still talk about work life balance (too much) but there is a growing realisation that the distinction grows more meaningless with each passing year.

More →

KI helps to create agile, flexible workspace at Paramount Pictures’ UK HQ

KI helps to create agile, flexible workspace at Paramount Pictures’ UK HQ 0

KI has helped film production giant Paramount Pictures create an agile, flexible new workspace at their stunning new UK headquarters. Drenched in natural light, the offices offer staff and visitors views over the adjacent green space and lake, as well as sweeping views across London. Spread across two floors at Chiswick Park, the offices also accommodate the team of Paramount subsidiary United International Pictures. Working alongside office furniture supplier Rapid Office, Paramount Pictures selected KI’s UK designed and manufactured workstations, tables, storage, workwalls and breakout screening, enhanced by a palette of 12 colours from Camira’s Lucia fabric range. The vibrant combination of blues, purples, greens and beige have been used to differentiate departments.

More →

Bisley’s classic MultiDrawer recognised with a Design Guild Mark

Bisley’s classic MultiDrawer recognised with a Design Guild Mark 0

Bisley’s iconic MultiDrawer, one of the office’s most recognisable products for 60 years, has been awarded a Design Guild Mark, recognising its timeless qualities in design, functionality and quality. Now approaching six decades from its launch, the MultiDrawer has never lost its appeal, becoming an icon in storage. Almost 2 million of the diminutive cabinets have been sold, helping the brand name Bisley become part of the lexicon in the German language to describe storage cabinets, such is the reach of this British born icon. Created by Freddy Brown, founder of Bisley and an experienced metal worker, the MultiDrawer was first made in 1958. The Bisley factory was expert in metalwork having evolved from car body repairs, then making metal waste paper bins and, during the war, designing and making the large metal containers that were dropped by parachute into war zones to deliver supplies. The Design Guild Mark is awarded by The Furniture Makers’ Company, the furnishing industry’s charity, in order to drive excellence and raise the profile of British design and innovation.  The award recognises the highest standards in the design of furniture in volume production, by the best designers working in Britain or British designers working abroad.

Whether you choose order or chaos depends on what you want to achieve

Whether you choose order or chaos depends on what you want to achieve

Chaos gets a bit of a bad rap when it comes to running a business. Yet as Greg Lindsay highlighted in his interview with Insight a while back, chaos is something that many organisations should actively try to harness as a way of fostering the creativity they claim to desire. Certain structures, be they cultural silos, traditions, professional demarcations or the physical walls and storeys of a building inhibit chaos and so restrict interactions and creative processes. So, if you want to achieve what many businesses say they want to achieve, they need to introduce a little anarchy. We’ve known about or suspected the links between harnessed chaos and creativity for a long time. In his 1883 novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, writes, “I tell you: one must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.” The same idea has been expressed in many ways, but few of them quite so poetic.

More →

RSA welcomes clients and brokers to new office in the heart of Birmingham

RSA welcomes clients and brokers to new office in the heart of Birmingham 0

ki-birmingham-preedit-19Located a stone’s throw from Snow Hill Station in Birmingham’s min business district, insurer, RSA’s new Trading Site puts its employees at the heart of the customer experience. Rather than separating support functions from front of house, the new space combines client-facing areas and open plan benches to create an open, collaborative and flexible environment. The office features assigned workstations for staff including brokers and underwriters, who will benefit from the enhanced collaboration and communication across the clear, unobstructed workspace. In addition to open plan benching, the office features, meeting rooms, lounge areas and a multifunctional kitchen that can transform into an intimate client event space.

More →

Perils of sitting + Meeting change with resilience + Root causes of stress 0

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s Newsletter; Gary Chandler argues we are witnessing a new era for office design; Neil Franklin wonders who fares best when working remotely; Mark Eltringham unpicks the facts from fiction on the dangers of sitting; suggests the ways we can break ourselves out of groupthink and delves into a report which suggests order and disorder are perfectly functional ways for firms to operate. The overwhelming majority of UK employees are working beyond their contracted hours; employers’ views on the causes of workplace stress differ from employees; managers struggle with the fall-out from crises; and despite the prospect of a female PM, the boardroom remains out of reach for many business women. Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

What happens when you take transparent office design to extremes

What happens when you take transparent office design to extremes 0

133-wai-yip-street-5A rigid and unswerving adherence to a principle is rarely a good thing in the long run. This is perhaps doubly so when it comes to office design because the end result is often something that overlooks what offices are really for; namely giving human beings a place to go to be with one another. So, when you take a design dogma to extremes that ignore the human being that should be your core concern, you end up getting something like the office with no chairs, because ‘sitting is the new smoking’. Or you get the office made completely of glass because ‘transparency generates trust’. While it’s true that the Dutch firm MRVDV responsible for the refit of the building in Hong Kong has included some genuinely successful features, not least in the use of natural light and the environmental performance of the building, the interior itself is clearly the end product of meetings in which nobody felt comfortable telling everybody to knock it off.

More →

Productive workplaces + Long hours link to ill health + Coworking rise 0

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s Newsletter; Mark Eltringham says we must question the idea that there is one ideal form of office; and argues events such as Clerkenwell Design Week wouldn’t function unless there was some consensus on what constitutes good and bad design. The supply of flexible workspace in London outstrips conventional office space; emerging technologies will create more organic workspace; and employees thrive in a workplace that is sensitive to their needs and well-being. Women who work long hours could be damaging their health; the UK remains in the grip of a digital skills crisis; people welcome the idea of robot help and the IEA says cities can contribute to a cut in carbon emissions. You can download our Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, on the boundless office; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.