Inclusive blog

Inclusive office design – a workspace for all!

People, Product, Ergonomics

Inclusive office

The workplace as we know it has evolved, and many organisations are facing new challenges to ensure that their office provides choice, flexibility and practicality while ensuring that no demographic is overlooked. The modern office should cater to all users with no exceptions and provide equal access regardless of variables such as age, gender, race, physical ability, and mental health. Moreover, with hybrid-working becoming mainstream, offices are taking further steps to accommodate both home and office-based workers, while attempting to maintain essential employee-interaction.

Inclusivity comprises of mental and physical health in their entirety; utilising a workspace where users feel comfortable, supported and have flexible working options.

Of course, this is not to say that the workplace should be intricately designed to meet every user-requirement, this would be both an immense and costly task. Instead, forward-thinking organisations research the target group of their workforce and make intelligent choices based on their employee demographic. Organisations now hold a corporate responsibility to ensure that employee-wellbeing is a prioritised discipline.

Colony
Colony

The needs of users should be reflected in the overall design of their utilised space, and that begins with an accessible, open plan office. In addition to promoting wellbeing, collaboration and overall interaction, open plan spaces are easier to navigate for users of all physical abilities, particularly those with limited mobility. Though it’s fair to assume that open plan offices are not for everyone, when intelligently designed they can be used to your advantage, impressing the most unlikely of candidates. With the introduction of agile furniture, smaller zoned areas can be designated accordingly and used to create spaces that focus on collaboration, teamwork, meetings, and training. Private and semi-private work booths are also a wonderful solution for organisations that want to place an emphasis on the wellbeing of their staff; utilised for focussed work while eliminating any distracting background noise.

On a practical note, an inclusive design should feature corridors that are wide enough to accommodate wheelchair users; multi-height surfaces, adjustable chairs and tables, plus ramps and lifts, should all be suitably available where necessary. U-shaped door handles, push latches, side-hinged doors and accessible switches that can be operated with an open fist or elbow make for a highly functional and diverse space.

Many inclusivity issues can be overcome with the intelligent use of ergonomic furniture, pieces that can be easily adapted and manoeuvred to accommodate all needs. Ergonomic chairs and tables are specifically created to offer support and comfort and can be designed to provide adjustable features that enable users to alter settings to suit their individual needs.

A perfect example of this is Frövi’s Relic Project Table. Designed with diversity in mind, the table height can be electronically adjusted at the flick of a switch. Whether the user requires desk or standing height, the table adjusts accordingly without compromising its sleek style. With hotdesking a new norm in any modern office, easily-available technology points are vital. Our Relic Project Table features smart technology with app compatibility, and 3 set power module options to choose from. Further options for Task Light integration are also available for improving concentration and relaxing ambience in any lighting condition and environment. Available in 4 sizes and a wide range of top colours, it’s the ideal furniture piece for a flexible, co-working, inclusive office.

Naturally, inclusivity is more than the mere height of a desk, or table. It also refers to creating a sense of belonging for your employees in a space that appeals to all. This might mean relaxed areas with ambient lighting for those that thrive in quieter areas, and busier, collaborative spaces for the more extrovert of workers. Introducing biophilia in the form of indoor plants is also a recommended addition to any space to help aid wellbeing and productivity, a proven productivity and wellness boosting addition for all types of employees!

Relic at Work Table
Relic at Work Table
Image

Relic at Work is a co-working system that can be adjusted to suit the busy demands of the modern, inclusive office. Highly efficient as a collaborative area that is ideal for hybrid-workers, Relic at Work can easily evolve into a personal working space with the use of magnetic accessories and castors. Offset seating and a variety of chair styles can support further flexibility for a variety of users, offering a choice of comfortable, functional seats for any situation. Users can further enhance and customise the Relic at Work with a range of warm lighting options, foliage canopies and hanging planters - a great way of reducing stress levels and creating a supportive, inclusive, comfortable work space!

With workplace stress as a significant issue within many organisations, it is of little surprise that workspaces around the world are taking measures to reduce risk factors. Encouraging employees to voice concerns is an integral aspect of the employer/employee relationship, and providing social areas where employees can interact is equally as important. Inclusivity relies greatly on positive interaction with individuals from varying cultures, backgrounds and abilities, so providing spaces and furniture that promote this is vital to promote inclusivity.

Scrum Sofa

Comfortable seating areas are a great way of bringing together your team. It may be over a working lunch, a collaborative brainstorming session, or simply chatting over coffee, but relaxation is essential for a little time out from the busy office.

The Scrum Sofa fits perfectly into a zoned flexible space that epitomises the modern, inclusive office. With its eye-catching, modular design, it can be customised with a combination of straight and 45-degree bend seating options to comfortably fit any workspace. Suitably contemporary with a zig-zag webbed back design for added comfort, the Scrum Sofa is a beautiful, unique, and practical addition that can bring workers together in a comfortable, relaxing environment.

There are tremendous benefits involved in creating an inclusive workplace, particularly when considering that the correlation between employee satisfaction and engagement is a well-established fact. Flexible working arrangements that cater to all have a profound and positive impact on users, maximising productivity and vastly reducing stress levels. In turn, employees are more likely to remain loyal to inclusive employers.

The design of your office is more important than ever before, and as specialists in the field of flexible furniture, Frövi can provide endless recommendations. As highly knowledgeable professionals that care greatly for the work we do, we can advise how to make the most of your office space and create productive, comfortable, and attractive spaces that positively boost inclusivity.

If you would like to know more about our flexible, inclusive furniture, please get in touch with one of with one of the Frövi team.

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