The modern office is becoming more transparent, capitalising on mobility and flexibility.
Where there used to be high-walled cubicles, now stand workstations with no, or low, walls. The removal of barriers stimulates collaboration between colleagues, which is being recognised as a valuable factor of business development rather than office chatter.
“What we’re seeing the most is the need for lots and lots of flexibility and for teams to be regrouped or moved around on a daily basis,” said Irene Pujol, director of interior design of H2L2, a Philadelphia architectural firm.
“And the only way to achieve that, especially in some cases if it’s that often, is to have flexible workstations or a one-size-fits-all concept. For those who need to team up, furniture must be on casters so it can be rearranged by the workers themselves.”
According to Michael Shannon, marketing manager for Herman Miller Associates, office furniture manufacturer, the ongoing trend is open environments. “It used to be that everyone had their own cubicle,” he said, “but now it’s more common to work in twos or fours with a shared conference table. Many of the new furniture designs feature a quarter of a round table for each of four persons, which can be pushed together to make a round conference table.”
The furniture manufacturer Bene also notes: “Reflection, sustainability and flexibility are the need of the hour. Companies must be agile. Ideally, offices should be flexible enough to adapt to changing departmental requirements without a great amount of effort. The new generation office landscapes are able to achieve this; it reacts to change and offers individuals everything they need.”
Tom Lloyd of London design studio PearsonLloyd said: “The need for personal exchange, quick discussions, meetings held at short notice and fast presentations is becoming more intensive and differentiated. Where people run into each other by chance an informal, spontaneous exchange of information takes place.”
By domino effect, the open office concept has translated to “greener” office designs with sustainable finishes continuing to be at the forefront.
In this month’s issue, CID covers the Corus Entertainment office in Toronto, Canada that provides a perfect example of a modern day office.
The space contains no closed offices. “Staff work from desks divided by brightly coloured partitions…Moving from a cellular office to an open workstation environment meant that many meetings and conversations needed a private location other than someone’s office. A wide variety of meeting options now support the change in culture.”
Okamura Tell us about your company? We’ve been in business for nearly seven decades. Some of our main focuses are office furniture, facilities for public space, healthcare and laboratory. We have a dozen of production plants and around 70 dealers worldwide that continue to expand.
Tell us about your projects? 2013 was extremely exciting for us. The Kabuki-za Theater at the heart of Tokyo installed our tailored seats in April. Kabuki is Japanese classical dance drama with over 400 year-history. In May we invited Ms. Susan Cain for a two-day presentation. We hosted this special event for our clients and business partners to spread the importance of pursuing personality diversity. In June we featured the Choral chair and the Cruise type C workstation at NeoCon in Chicago. Okamura Grand Fair in November welcomed nearly 10,000 visitors both from domestic and overseas for our presentations and other fun events.
What are your best selling products? In Okamura’s global business, the Contessa series remains the best and long selling product in the world since its first launch at Orgatec 2002.
What are you most looking forward to in 2014? After being introduced at 100% Design London and Okamura Grand Fair last year, 2014 is the year we will eagerly push the Sabrina series, the fourth addition to our collaboration lineup with Italy’s Giugiaro Design. The series has two sisters: Sabrina Smart Operation and Sabrina Standard. You can’t go wrong with Sabrina Standard as it has design, comfortability, and above all, affordability.
Where do we find you? Okamura Corporation Dubai Representative Office PO Box 127024 Business Atrium 304 Oud Metha, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 04 3575 197 Email: email@example.com For full locations, please visit Okamura.jp for Global Netowrk.
SAS International Tell us about your company? With over 40 years of experience, SAS International is a manufacturer of high performance interior fit-out products including acoustic performing metal ceiling systems and architectural metalwork solutions. SAS International has had the privilege to work on new build and refurbishment projects across the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait.
The sustainable and practical solutions SAS International delivers provide considerable benefits and savings whilst exceeding design briefs.
What are your recent projects? SAS International has supplied many commercial office fit-out projects in the region including the International Tower, Abu Dhabi and Dubai Electricity & Water Authority office building (DEWA). The company works with clients and specifiers across the GCC to ensure suspended ceilings meet design and acoustic requirements. In addition to specialist design services, SAS International’s warehouse in the UAE stocks and supplies acoustic metal ceilings to projects across the region. The company also offers onsite training and supervision for their products available direct from the Dubai depot.
How does it compare to previous projects? We are finding that there is still an increase in demand for higher quality finishes. Demand for materials for commercial interior projects which meet LEED environmental credits or Estidama’s Pearl Rating System is increasing.
SAS International’s metal ceiling solutions provide building tenants with value, offering a high quality, long lasting sustainable finish. They offer an inert and inherently hardwearing surface, making metal ceiling systems both hygienic and requiring little ongoing maintenance. They allow for service integration and accessibility for ongoing maintenance and cleaning.
What are you looking forward to this coming year? SAS International is due to launch new products over the course of the next 12 months for the commercial interior market.
The company’s ongoing investment in manufacturing facilities and processes ensure we provide value-engineered solutions across the built environment.
Where do we find you? SAS International Office No. 1, Sun & Sands Building, Dubai Investment Park 2 P.O. Box 450575 United Arab Emirates T: +971 (0)4 8855 545 F: +971 (0)4 8855 546 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.sasint.ae
United Office Systems Tell us about your company? United Office Systems is a company that falls under the United Furniture Group. United Furniture was established more than 35 years ago in the UAE and is now one of the leading home furniture companies in the country.
United Office Systems has fully entered into office furniture and interior decoration, designing, project, contract furniture and more. Recently, United Office Systems renovated its showroom and now has a well organised and professional showroom where the company can nicely display furniture that is sourced from Europe, USA, the Far East as well as United Office’s own exclusively produced collections.
Tell us about your projects? We have been involved in turnkey projects and we are specialised in banking turnkey jobs. We also do specialised jobs for various clients as per their requirements. Our project team has worked with airlines, studios, and also high-end retail stores.
What challenges have you faced? We see challenges as the stepping stones for us to give our best service to our clients. Hence, whatever challenges we face, we face them with confident smiles so that our team will put in 100% effort to satisfy the customers. We are always prepared to meet challenges.
What are your best selling products? We are here to provide quality service for the customers and clients and we will give them the best products for their office, like high quality chairs and work stations. Additionally, other best selling products include the office sofas and desks.
What sets you apart? We believe that service is the key to the success of any business. “Henry Ford did not become famous by selling the car, but by the service he gave to people by selling the car,” is a popular phrase that we strive to work by. So we believe that by selling good products, we not only give the client value for the price, but we also provide outstanding service.
Anything special in 2014? We look forward to becoming one of the best office furniture and services company in the UAE by supplying quality furniture for offices and projects. We will also be introducing corporate art, sculpture and corporate gifts in 2014. Thus, United Office will become a total solution company for the corporate and business world.
Where do we find you? United Office , PO Box: 7410 Zabeel Road Karama , Dubai U.A.E T: +971 4 3370131, 3370268 F: +971 4 3344117 E: email@example.com
HumanSpace Tell us about your company? HumanSpace is primarily a mid to high range furniture distributor and installer with showrooms located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. We carry brands from the USA, UK, Italy, Germany, Finland, Thailand and the Far East, in addition to local manufacturers. Most of the companies we represent are part of the Green Building Council and furniture supplied by them can help your LEED credits.
What are your best selling products? The multiple award-winning Martex range from Italy was a great success for us in 2013. They have created innovative products that are functional with a focus on sustainability and offer options that would suit most budgets.
What’s been your favourite project? Through working closely with the A&D community we have won two large projects in the Aldar HQ building in Abu Dhabi, which is the first upright circular building of its kind in the Middle East. Stunning buildings always create an extra level of excitement and drive you to deliver a solution to match the architecture. We also enjoy the challenge of a large project, which normally involves blending various manufacturers and offering flexible options to ensure the right solution is delivered for clients.
Anything special in 2014? We are looking forward to continuing the expansion of our company. We have added some great new manufacturers to our range as well as employing a number of new key people to our staff. We will also commence implementation of ISO certification. We deliver a high quality service throughout and ISO will help us to further improve our operational processes, our in-house training and development and ultimately the client experience.
What are the key challenges facing your industry? We see two challenges for us. Since our director of sales Liam King joined the company in November 2011 we have doubled our turnover each year. The first challenge is to continue to recruit the right quality of personnel to ensure our growth continues at the same pace whilst delivering the same standards. The second challenge is that of low cost imports from the Far East which can appear interesting from a photograph but may be of a lesser quality than a European brand.
How do we contact you? Please contact or visit our main showroom in Dubai and quote “Suppliers You Should Know”. PO Box 115033, Ground Floor, Spectrum Building, Oud Metha T: +971 4 3574393, E: firstname.lastname@example.org.