Furniture can turn heads, transform your workplace and even increase productivity. We look at how four key pieces of office furniture have evolved over time.

Giles Dooley

Head of Furniture

12th Oct 2017

Just like fashion, office furniture has evolved over time. Gone are the days of cubicle life as companies today see the value of tailor-fitting their office furniture to create both purposeful and functional spaces for employees. Using well-crafted furniture can not only turn heads, but can increase productivity and leave a profound impression on clients and visitors. Unconventional meeting pods and mod high back chairs are just some of the furniture runway looks creating a buzz around offices worldwide.

To make your office worthy of a Vogue feature, give it a stylish makeover with furniture and fittings that‘ll enhance your employees state of mind. Here we highlight our favourite show-stopping furniture looks that captivate employees and improve productivity.

Acoustic office furniture

Office design is entering a new era with the introduction of sound-absorbing furniture and fabrics. Acoustic office furniture is favoured in many workspaces as it can be used as a clever way to create intimate meeting spaces, while the upholstered backs absorb acoustics from across an open plan floor.

Not to outdo Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, we helped Lindt create a workspace full of surprises with different types of meeting spaces - all by using acoustic-absorbing furniture. Eye-catching solo chairs (that also look like cocoa beans from behind!) dot the faux grass carpet in the central collaboration area, providing an informal seating space away from the open plan workstations.

In order to provide more meeting spaces outside of a traditional boardroom setup, we used rectangular meeting pods to provide a space for informal meetings. These pods provide sofa-like seating for up to four, with a table and AV equipment in the middle – perfect for smaller presentations or brainstorming sessions over a latte. The high backs on the sofas provide additional privacy for the occupants and also absorb acoustics from the surrounding workspace.

Lindt office breakout space ideas
Suez office design for employee engagement

Ornamental ottomans

Ottomans are an easy way to add colour or shape to liven up your workplace. They can be used as a stand alone piece or grouped together to form a colourful breakout space. Orange and blue ottomans turned out to be the perfect piece of furniture to reflect MotoNovo’s upbeat and youthful brand.

We paid homage to Costa’s product’s origins in their casual meeting space. With tiered seating and projectors, this is a space for large, relaxed presentations or team updates. We designed ottomans to resemble shipping boxes (complete with fragile and coffee bean details), which neatly slide into storage spaces underneath the tiered seating. The out-of-the-box design affords the space with extra flexibility - allowing it to change from a presentation space to a casual breakout area in a matter of seconds.

Personal pods

Smart furniture solutions can quickly transform the way you use a space and provide it with a sense of personality. We used different furniture to create areas for both collaboration and concentration in an unconventional setup at Suez’s Maidenhead office.

Two high-backed sofas provide a semi-private area for up to four people to have a casual meeting. These sofas feature integrated tables which provide a practical space to take notes or setup your laptop, meanwhile the colourful soft fabrics brighten up the room and absorb sound from across the floor.

We also used furniture to create unique private work spaces that staff can use when they really need to concentrate. These pods feature seating and a dedicated desk for one, which provides staff with a private space to work away from the open plan floor. The soft fabrics absorb acoustics from across the floor and the two-tone colour scheme provides the perfect mix of relaxing and invigorating hues.

Flexible furniture

Clever thinking was paramount when designing the furniture strategy for ThoughtWork’s flexible workplace.

Their teams are constantly scaling up and down for different projects, so they needed to move their furniture to create different setups each week. The solution? Nothing short of putting the office on wheels! The desks, tables and whiteboards are all easily movable to enable the office to be transformed into a different setup to accommodate new teams.

Flexibility moves beyond arranging the furniture – just look at the multipurpose ping pong table. This doubles as a communal workplace and shared meeting space in the day before laptops are shut and papers cleared out to make way for an evening ping-pong tournament.

cool modern office interior design