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Does Your Office Furniture have Integrated Technology? Maybe It Should

July 31, 2017 / by Tommy Twardowski

Self-driving cars and trucks, package delivery via drones, "paying with your face" (systems that use facial recognition technology to authorize payments for goods and services) -- the future has arrived. We're living in it! Cool gadgets aside, office spaces are also evolving to make it easier for companies to take advantage of innovative technologies useful for business.

The sooner companies take steps to integrate technologies directly into their facilities, the sooner they'll reap the benefits: increased productivity, improved functionality and improved workplace morale. If you're planning an office remodel, relocation, or simply an office update, that is the ideal time to research available technologies, identify the ones that your business can benefit from the most and talk to your office furniture installer about how best to incorporate them into your new space.

A Collaborative Office Space Requires Smart Design

A huge trend in office design is creating spaces that encourage collaboration. Office layouts that incorporate elements such as open floor plans, movable partitions, adaptable furniture and community gathering places help achieve this goal. A physical floor plan that encourages employees to share ideas is critical. But even more critical is a floor plan that allows employees to seamlessly use and add technologies.

Technology: An Office Move or Redesign Is the Ideal Time to Lay the Groundwork

Cloud-based storage tools such as Google Drive and Dropbox allow employees to share, view and revise documents collectively - without leaving their desks. Technologies such as Barco's ClickShare allow authorized users to quickly and easily transition between viewing information stored on various coworkers' devices. Interactive whiteboards and audio visual screens possess simple laptop connectivity. Automated meeting room booking systems are here, in the present. These are all technologies that encourage collaboration and promise to boost technology. But, offices must be set up with the framework that makes it easy for employees to use these technologies.

For example, smart office design incorporates built-in power adapters and multiple charging stations. With the more fluid, open floor plans many employers are embracing, it's becoming more common for employees to move throughout the office, bringing their tablets or laptops with them. This fluidity encourages collaboration and creativity, but it's only feasible when there are plenty of outlets and docking stations.

Additionally, more furniture manufacturers are developing technology-integrated furnishings. For example, exSteelcase's media:scape line integrates workplace technology directly into tables, seating, and other furniture and Philips Office Solutions builds seating with power and data ports.

And those interactive whiteboards, multimedia technologies and even security cameras that can be monitored remotely? The electrical framework must exist before they can be installed and used.

From the Conference Room to the Break Room

In the collaborative work space, don't forget to integrate technology accessibility into the break room! After all, it's an extension of the workplace. Perks like televisions, coffee and espresso machines and music all enhance employee morale and encourage employees to stay onsite during their lunch hour and breaks. Downtime can be effective team-building time when the break room is set up thoughtfully - as opposed to being an afterthought.

Whether your office is woefully outdated or you are in the process of moving into a brand new office space and planning your strategy, it's essential to incorporate technology into your space if you want to remain competitive. The best way to achieve this is by partnering with a company with expertise in office space planning. Houston Installation Services has more than 39 years of experience in office furniture installation and corporation renovations and relocations. Contact HIS today to begin the process of upgrading your space so your team can take advantage of the vast array of technologies in the marketplace.

Save time and money on your next office move

Topics: Office Furniture, Office Design, Managers

About The Author

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy began his career in the office furniture installation business in 1978 and started his full-time career in 1981 with Houston Installation Services. Starting as a furniture installer, he developed a passion for the process of installation and learned to install all major manufacturers’ lines.