The all-encompassing use of technology in today’s office is driving more mobile, social, collaborative—and less predictable—patterns of work. Organizations recognize that technology is central to work effectiveness. Employees must be able to easily interact with their technology tools in order to collaborate, share information and adapt to changing work and business needs.
Whether intended or not, workspace planning and furniture decisions greatly impact workers’ abilities to use their technology and, thus, ork effectively. However, in the planning process, often little consideration is given to what technologies will be implemented, how individuals and groups will use them, and the furniture capabilities required to support their use. This disconnect between workspace and technology can lead to poor office design and reduced employee performance.
In order to facilitate effective work, furnishings must offer a flexible platform for the use of technology that helps employees connect with each other, display and share information, and adapt to ever-changing work processes. However, office planning and furniture selection decisions often fail to consider furniture that works well with technology components—or anticipates the impact of shifting technologies over the long term. As a result, the work environment may be less effective than desired and offer constant frustrations to workers within these technology-rich settings.
Employees increasingly supplement their desire to connect with others by using technology, starting with the fundamental need for basic power and online access, to use of sophisticated videoconferencing tools. Collaboration now frequently involves displaying and interacting with information using a range of small handheld to large mounted screens. Finally, changing technology, coupled with a fluid business climate, requires employees to unpredictably adjust their work style—requiring adaptability of furniture and technology.