Over the past 15 years, more and more companies have been looking for ways to boost the 3 “Cs” at work: Creativity, Collaboration and Comfort. They’ve tried almost everything you can imagine to achieve these goals.
- Design open plan offices that do away with cubicle panels and let everyone see and hear everyone else all the time
- Eliminate assigned desks and let employees choose where to work (including hot locales like the company cafeteria)
- Install sit-to-stand desks that allow workers more vertical mobility to change positions throughout the day
- Incorporate increasingly ergonomic seating with more knobs and twiddly bits for adjustment (or features that automatically adjust to the sitter)
- Encourage personalization of the individual workspace with tools ranging from Slatwalls to cubicle wallpaper
- Build or install “pods” and other cozy spaces for dynamic teaming with small groups of employees
- Put in a game room with ping pong tables, video arcade games and other pleasant distractions to engage body and mind
All these trends are exciting glimpses of the “office of the future”. But the latest trend is more of a throwback to groovier times.
The Coolest Offices Apparently All Have Comfy Sacks
Do you remember bean bag chairs? They were all the rage back in the 1970s. Now, they aren’t just for kids and college students anymore. Companies like “Comfy Sacks” are marketing them to businesses that want to cater to generation Y. The idea is that “rigid designs yield rigid thinking” The bean bag certainly represents office furniture that conforms to youthful bodies and new ideas about the casual, social workplace. Lovers of the bean bag refer to traditional office chairs as uncomfortable and “mass produced”. (That’s an amusing assertion given that bean bags aren’t exactly handmade and they offer zero lumbar support.)
Proponents tout the relaxing effects of lounging while you brainstorm. As a bonus, the “chairs” are readily reconfigurable. Just pile them in a corner or a closet when they aren’t in use. Big names like Apple, Amazon and Zappos are all buying into this idea of the new, slouchier office furniture. What about you? Would you enjoy going to a meeting and finding this was the preferred seating option? Let us know in the comments.