Flexible work environments need to provide more flexible products. Since we are relying more and more on our mobile electronic devices, so does the need for keeping mobiles, laptops and tablet devices charged. Consequently, a good portion of the furniture manufacturers have answered the call and are incorporating charging points into upholstered seating as well as desks and tables.
Let’s take a look at some of those options:
Knoll | Power Cube
Knoll | Power Cube
Knoll | power Cube
Kimball | Jolt
Kimball | Jolt
National | Arms Power
≡ The PowerCube by Knoll is a lounge table that does double-duty as a digital charging hub and an analog communications tool, with whiteboard writable surfaces on all sides.
≡ Jolt by Kimball Office has a USB charger and a wireless power-charging surface that seamlessly integrates technology vital to connection, collaboration, and productivity.
≡ The Pairings Lounge Collection by Kimball Office merges simple sofa/lounge collections with the more informal space where people work, team up, and gather, creating adaptable, lounge-based work settings that host teams and technology in comfort.
≡ The Power Up Arm available in the Fringe Lounge Seating Collection by National Office offers extreme flexibility. It features two power outlets and
two USB ports.
Is Your Office Attracting Them?
The economic conditions and technological advancements with social media have not only changed the way we do business, they have changed us as people. Our priorities. Our motivations. How we communicate. This could not be more true than for the millennial generation born between 1976 and 2006, also known as, Gen Y
With 80 million of these young adults expected to comprise more than 1/3 of the U.S. workforce by 2014 and nearly half by 2020, company leaders who choose to understand both how to attract as well as how to retain these individuals, will most likely surpass those who do not.
The INFOGRAPHIC below, produced by MBA@UNC and the Young Entrepreneurs Council, is chock full of statistics revealing the differences in past generations (those most likely making hiring decisions now) and Gen Y (those who will define the companies of the future.)
Check out just a few of the findings about “Gen Y”:
- they prioritize “meaningful work” over high pay
- 64% ask about social media policies during interviews
- 1 in 3 said “social media freedom” is a higher priority than salary
- 43% are very confident they could find another job if they left their current one
- 70% are planning to change jobs once the economy improves
- 30% started a business in college
- 80% said they prefer feedback in real time rather than via traditional performance reviews
- 65% said personal development was the most influential factor in their current job
As well as insight on to how to keep them working for you:
- Flatter them
- Motivate them
- Collaborate with them
What changes are you making within the office to inspire the workforce of the future?
Via MBA@UNC Online Business Degree & The YEC
“A good office can solve problems, but a great office can invigorate a workforce.”
–Paul Kelly, head of marketing for Morgan Lovell, a leading office interior design firm in the UK.
Kelly is one of three experts from whom Mashable Business garnered some great office design tips, highlighted below.
You Can Never Have Too Much Light Or Space
According to Edin Rudic, creative director at MKDA, “Because limited exposure to natural light can negatively impact mood and productivity, both employees and their employers would greatly benefit from more exposure to sunlight.”
Create Break-Out Spaces
Designed well, designated spaces away from the desk can actually further the creative or thinking process within the office because:
- • They take down barriers to communication and encourage spontaneity in the office
• Great ideas come from inspiring casual spaces
• Employees can gather to establish and build the corporate community based on shared values and beliefs – kind of like a watercooler.
Keep things tidy
According to Isabelle Glinka, principal of LUX Design, “It’s crucial to keep your workplace free of clutter, organized and tidy.” A few quick tips include:
- • No food at your desk
- • No garbage can at your desk to collect clutter
- • Often an afterthought, storage is actually key to keeping an office in order.
Invest in furniture
It’s easy during difficult economic times to think in terms of skimping, but be careful not to create more costly long-term problems. “Proven to stimulate worker productivity and to reduce the number of sick days, ergonomic office chairs are where wise business owners invest when designing an office space” advises Rudic.
Brand your workplace
Your office is the perfect place to reinforce who you are to clients and guests. Whether it is through color palettes, your logo on the wall or furniture styles, you have opportunity to communicate your core beliefs and philosophies beginning when someone first enters the door.
For more from these top designers see the full article here.
The answer is – a great deal.
Can you imagine being able to simply lay your laptop or phone on a desk and it automatically begins to recharge your battery if needed? Well, the technology for wireless charging embedded into furniture is here and being manufactured, now.
So, why do we need it?
As noted in a recent whitepaper from KI, titled Charging Ahead: Intelligent Wireless Power for Real World Environments, the explosive growth of the portable electronics industry has helped to reinvent the way consumers and businesses work, play and communicate.
• According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average U.S. household owns 25 consumer electronics products
• It is estimated that by 2013, the average U.S. household will have 2.5x as many digital media devices in use as in in 2008.
• These portable devices are being transported into the workplace, community spaces and campus buildings and the number of these electronics continues to increase daily.
Now, imagine an office environment having to support all of these devices when it comes to recharging the batteries. The cord clutter alone becomes a bit overwhelming doesn’t it? Not to mention the number of wall sockets that will be required to accommodate the increasing number of portable electronics. Hence, the push for wireless charging.
Some furniture manufacturers such as KI are already looking to the future by partnering with Fulton Innovation and embedding wireless charging into their furniture with eCoupled technology. The results include flat surfaces such as desks and counter tops that will have the capability of charging batteries simply by laying your device on the surface. This intelligent technology will not only know if your device needs charging, it will immediately begin the charging process.
IMS Research projects that over 900 million devices will be in the market by 2019 using wireless charging and over 50% of the market will use embedded solutions.
How do you feel about wireless charging? Will you consider purchasing furniture with this capability?
For more information on how the technology actually works when embedded in furniture check out this video be sure to read the KI pdf listed here.