We've done some work recently that got me thinking.
It got me thinking about some of the furniture we supply as an asset and how customers can ensure they get a long working like out of those assets ? One thing we notice is that organisations change over time. They grow , they shrink - they take completely different forms. Teams get broken up and reformed into completely different teams.
But a lot of buyers of these assets are treating the business as though it is going to continue exactly as it is - when it never does.
Desks for instance are required in different formations for different teams. They are required to be different sizes for different types of work. They are often moved and they are always being moved up and down ( even non-stand sit desks).
So flexibility of use and mobility are really important because they preserve the value of the asset.
You may need one piece of furniture here today and over there tomorrow.
By adding a simple lockable castor to many of our pieces we build in flexibility. All our storage units are on castors. Our breakout area lounge furniture is on castors and our meeting tables and desks are increasingly also as well.
But in the move towards move movement in the workplace - furniture on castors is a huge advantage.
You can move it to the side to "create space to move". Office chairs can be moved under a standing desk to allow room in front of the desk. Mobile cabinets can be moved out to allow room for feet when sitting. If we are going to create workspaces where people can move - it'll help alot to have furniture that is easily moved to make room for people.
We've also applied a modular approach to these furniture assets.
A breakout area we recently designed used 4 x 2 person sofas to create 2 booth areas with a partition down the middle. But if could also be broken down into different formations - simply by removing the partition (see image below)
The combined principles of flexibility and modularity mean that furniture assets have a longer life because they can be shaped to meet the needs of a changing organisation. And regardless of what you think now - your needs will be different in the future than what they are now.
Change can't be avoided because people and their needs change. Static office set ups will be fine for now but when the inevitable change comes they won't do the job they are required to do.