If you didn’t invest in quality office furniture for the home in the early months of the pandemic, it’s likely your body (and mind) are feeling it now. It’s obvious that the work-from-home lifestyle isn’t going anywhere any time soon: that’s why some companies, like Salesforce and Google, are proactively issuing their employees allowances to outfit their residences with more ergonomic furniture and fixtures. These businesses are aware that the better equipped their employees’ workspaces are, the more productive, efficient and healthy they will be. After all, an uncomfortable chair or creaky table indeed has the power to make or break one’s focus and flow.
Perhaps you have already transitioned back to spending few days at the office. But the reality is that the home office is losing its commodity label and, whether one’s space truly allows for it or not, is becoming a necessity. Now is the time to embrace this mass evolution in work and swap makeshift set-ups for more intentional ones. Your internal wellbeing meter will thank you.
What if you could find a whole new way of sitting? This is the intention of Citizen, a lounge chair imagined in two versions by Konstantin Grcic and Vitra. Suspended on three cables affixed to a tubular steel frame, Citizen’s upholstered seat upends conventional ideas of comfort with a backrest that envelops and supports instead of allowing the sitter to slouch. ‘Citizen combines familiar elements with an entirely new type of construction,’ explains Grcic.
Photo: Marc Eggimann
TOUCH DOWN UNIT
Consisting of a rectangular worktop placed atop a small, closed volume, UniFor’s Touch Down Unit is a self-contained, mobile touchdown station. Studio Klass conceived the unit for ‘people constantly on the go’, according to UniFor – it can easily accompany people around the office, adapting to a variety of layouts and spatial configurations and accommodating a range of uses and working styles.
Making it possible to section out spaces efficiently, Ondarreta’s Ola room divider can be used separately or with multiple fittings linked together. Its upholstered structure provides acoustic comfort while an accompanying accessories collection makes the dividers adaptable to any area. Ola was developed by Spanish designer Silvia Ceñal.
WORK FROM HOME PROGRAM
Office-equipment brand Poppin has collaborated with senior HR, facility and procurement leaders at the likes of Adobe, Netflix, Salesforce, Oscar Health, Snapchat, Dropbox and Match.com on establishing a Work from Home Program for each company. Through these programmes – which were crafted in response to the COVID-19 crisis – employees can purchase discounted office essentials via a custom Poppin portal.
Due to the lack of an ergonomic work setting for so many at home, the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI) or back pain from work is higher than ever. Humanscale seeks to help address this problem with Quickstand Eco, which ‘can turn any surface into a sit-stand solution’. The new design is suitable for users of varying heights, is able to hold up to 16 kg and can be configured with laptop, single-monitor and double-monitor settings.
Have papers floating everywhere around your desk? Yes? That’s precisely why Danish furniture company Montana came up with the organizational system Montana Mini. The series of versatile storage modules makes it easy to ‘hide away documents’ and is targeted at helping users stay on top of their tasks. Montana Mini’s modules come in open, closed and shelved variants, designed by Peter J. Lassen.
Created by Patrick Jouin for Pedrali, Ila is an armchair that combines comfort, softness and a bold look. ‘During the design phase, we wanted to include some “unexpected” elements,’ says Jouin, ‘capable of providing rhythm, yet surprising and able to interpret a space.’ A rigid polyurethane exterior is paired with a seat and backrest of flexible polyurethane foam, while a cone-shaped swiveling base or four-leg steel-tube frame can be selected.
A stool and side table in one, Aaron champions comfort and functionality. Designed for La Palma by duo Pio&Titotoso, the conceptual piece was born from research about how people use the stool as an object today. ‘Aaron was designed as a creative impulse for a project that makes everyday tasks and activities easier,’ explain the designers.
MINI STACKED STORAGE SYSTEM PFS
Julien De Smedt’s Mini Stacked Storage System for Muuto has gotten a new update, now available in a midnight-blue hue. The system can be installed in countless configurations, and can serve as a bookshelf, general shelving and sidetable, as well as sideboards and more. When the set-up doesn’t suit you any longer, it can easily be rearranged.
‘Working from home must meet the same requirements as working in the office,’ says the director of innovation at the Biomechanics Institute of Valencia, Rosa Porcar. Actiu’s TNK Flex chair functions upon that notion. The chair moves with the body, not against it, supporting one’s posture throughout a workday. Furthermore its versatile design means it can adapt to each task a user should need to complete.