At Henning Larsen, we are working on revitalizing our workspace, making it even fitter to support our workflows. In this process, we are testing different furniture. This because the right furniture can stage human interaction in the workspace in ways that support your strategy – and ultimately contribute to the financial baseline.
To make sure you have the right furniture for your company, you need to figure out how people work. What processes occur in your daily routines, how do you interact with each other and what are your needs and wishes?
At Henning Larsen, we want people to interact more and better. We want to make sure that people talk to each other, on business matters, but also very much on private topics because it creates trust between colleagues – a trust that people will bring into their projects. Without spaces for talking, this will not happen.
That is why we need the right furniture in our workspace. The right furniture can make talking happen, create informal meetings and support the trust building, that we cherish so much.
+Halle is a furniture company with an ambition to create furniture that changes the way the end-users work and interacts. They have been kind to lend us a lot of furniture to try out. This because also they are interested in researching how their products are used and can be improved – and our workspace-revitalizing project created an obvious test arena.
All companies are different and so is work routines. I like to call people via Skype, but that annoys my colleagues, so I book – and block – a meeting room for a simple phone call. What if a furniture can provide a space for calling people while blocking the noise?
Well, it can. +Halle has one of those, and we’re testing it. It is a small example. But imagine if you mapped your entire workday and found out that your needs in the morning are significantly different from your needs in the afternoon. Why would you sit in the same chair all day? A workspace should support the change in your routines, and thus, so should furniture.
Furniture should also support the fact that the workforce is changing. With millennials entering workspaces, nothing is the same as it was when our parents were going to work in the morning, sat in their cubicle or office until late afternoon and went home to their families. Today, we bring our work home, which blurs the line between what is work and what is personal life. Should we then also be able to bring personal life into the workspace? I say yes! Should you have a living room in your workspace? Why not! You have to create a workspace that supports the future, and furniture is everything in this equation.
Rooms can change us. That is what architecture is fundamentally about, at least to us at Henning Larsen. We always aim to stage interaction, and with interior design, a lot of this comes with strategic use of (the right!) furniture.
This takes research, both I and Martin Halle from +Halle agree on this. Interior design is not about placing a chair in the corner – at least that would be a huge waste of furniture potential.