We live in a post-cubical era in the workplace. The cubicle farms of yore have been replaced with open plan layouts, shared workspaces, and flexible work arrangements. Likewise, the rigid office furniture that lived inside those cubicles has been upgraded to ergonomic models that are height-adjustable, sync up to smartphones, and not only support physical comfort but assist in building better habits at work (and beyond).
At the 50th anniversary NeoCon event in Chicago this past June, evidence of height-adjustable innovations and integrations was everywhere. NeoCon is ground zero for trends in commercial design, so we can expect to see this trend taking off in workplaces, design firms, and manufacturers in the coming months and years.
What was once a niche market within office furniture will come to the forefront. Employers and consumers will no longer settle for stationary models. Companies need to start thinking ahead now to accommodate the increasing demand for height-adjustable options.
The Height-Adjustable Trend
It all started with sit-stand desks. They have a long history, but have really ramped up in popularity in the past decade. Their growth in popularity has coincided with increased public understanding and attention given to healthy lifestyles. More and more, people are appreciating the long-term consequences of poor health, poor behaviors, and poor lifestyle choices. With that knowledge, they’re looking for ways to prevent those long-term consequences with upfront behavioral and environmental changes.
Many employees and employers now understand that spending 8-10 hours a day sitting in an uncomfortable chair at a desk not appropriately fitted to your height can wreak havoc on a person’s health. The consequences are lost productivity, lower employee satisfaction, and higher healthcare costs charged back to both employee and employer. The upfront cost of investing in ergonomic, height-adjustable office furniture is nothing in comparison.
The shift to open, flexible workspaces has accelerated the height-adjustable trend. With multiple people using the same office furniture over the course of a day—and dozens over the course of a week—it’s essential that furniture be highly adjustable in order to accommodate the needs of each individual who uses it. Open plan workspaces and flexible work arrangements aren’t going anywhere, and neither is the demand for height-adjustable furniture.
The Future of Height-Adjustable Office Furniture
In the past, height-adjustable functionality was something of an afterthought in the design process. That’s no longer true. Now, it’s a consideration from the very beginning—and not just in the product design process, but in interior design. Clients will ask not just for one single product or one solution. They’re asking for their vendors to identify a whole system of height-adjustable solutions that will work together to furnish a private office or an entire open plan workspace.
That means we need to expand the scope of how we’re thinking about height-adjustability in furniture. It’s not just desks and chairs anymore. Here are some the height-adjustable solutions coming to market and on the horizon:
- Height-Adjustable Media Wall – As technology becomes increasingly portable and increasingly integrated into work life, furniture needs to work alongside it. Height-adjustable media walls promote collaboration by allowing you to wirelessly project your smartphone, tablet, or laptop screen during meetings and presentations. The walls are portable, making them versatile for flexible workspaces.
- Height-Adjustable Meeting Tables – Impromptu meetings and collaborative work sessions are a hallmark of the open plan office. Small height-adjustable meeting tables give employees the option to sit or stand during these spontaneous discussions.
- Height-Adjustable Shelving – Those who do get private offices these days are seeing their square footage shrink. Companies are seeking to make better use of smaller spaces, and height-adjustable shelving systems can help by making even the highest shelves accessible for anyone.
- Adjustable Monitor Mounts – The number of remote workers is growing by the year. Video conferencing is going to become a daily routine for many companies. Adjustable monitor mounts provide flexible options for projecting video conference calls on the big screen, making it feel more like a face-to-face meeting. Monitors will be installed in every conference room and private office for this purpose.
Lifting Column Technology
At the core of all height-adjustable design is the lifting column. Lifting columns make the smooth vertical motion of height-adjustable furniture possible. Our LoctekMotion lifting columns are top-of-the-line. They feature smooth, stable, and silent adjustment, with competitive weight capacity. Our shelving solutions can safely hold up to 330 pounds.
Contact us to learn how height-adjustable furniture powered by LoctekMotion lifting columns can transform your outdated office into an ergonomic workspace of the future.