CHICAGO - Business furniture manufacturer Teknion says its latest office settings borrow from the comforts of home with warm wood elements paired with soft seating, to give remote workers a sense of home when they end up being in the workplace. Developed in conjunction with computer IT giant Cisco, the furnishings - to be shown at NeoCOn 2015 - allow employees to connect with others through Cisco's compact single-camera video unit that turns a standard flat screen display into a high-definition collaboration screen.
The effort is part of a broader initiative by Teknion and Cisco to create new workspaces with modern, adaptable workplace furniture and Cisco collaboration technology to support needs of a highly mobile, flexible workforce.
"Our work with Cisco is clearing the path for us to unify technology with design in a way that's never been done, rather than having to work around it," said Joe Regan, Teknion, senior vice president of Design & Marketing.
At NeoCon Teknion will feature several examples of such work environments that address three key trends in the evolution of workplaces: a focus on health and wellness, the uptick in demand for flexible workspaces, and the rise of the remote worker.
"Companies are consistently looking at ways to drive new levels of engagement and collaboration in the workplace," says John Hernandez, Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Collaboration Market and Solutions Development. "Tighter integration of technology and interiors is critical in making that happen."
Teknion is also showing concept designs by PearsonLloyd, the upStage workplace furniture system, Livello Height-Adjustable Bench, Variable HybrED seating, and an extensive new laminates program. New lounge seating and tables from Teknion Studio include Cover, Cavu, Qui, and Infinito + Massalla.
The new partnership with PearsonLloyd studio and the unveiling of the first workplace projects from that collaboration at NeoCon, draws on the London-based design studio's efforts across the workplace, aviation, urban design and healthcare sectors with a goal to identify and respond to the shifting patterns of behavior in contemporary life.
Hat Rack expresses the idea of mobility, that people are moving through a space and across the landscape of the workplace and need a place to hang a coat, a hat or a backpack. The hat rack is a light, minimal structure made of three bent wood components fitted together to create a branched form of poetic simplicity.
The Love Seat creates an intimate space for conversation, one that enables users to make eye contact and facilitates engagement through physical proximity. The love seat only fulfills its function when more than one person is using it.
Conceived as an antidote to high-density systems furniture, the High Table bundles a table, seat and coat rack, creating a simple touchdown space for a single worker to concentrate. Executed in beechwood,
Meeting Spaces of the Future
Teknion has designed a new workspace setting that leverages mobile, height-adjustable and light-weight furniture that can easily be reconfigured to support a number of different work activities, including decision-making, brainstorming and training. This new workspace also includes Cisco's dual screen, dual camera video endpoint, which has the ability to find, zoom in on, and switch between active speakers in the room without the need for manual camera controls, regardless of how the space is arranged. This powerful combination of customizable furniture and video technology will drive increased space utilization and provide employees greater work style flexibility.
Bringing the Comforts of Home & Functionality of the Office to the Remote Worker
Nearly one-third of knowledge workers work remotely, creating demand for a new way to better engage telecommuters. Teknion has created an office setting that borrows from the comforts of home with warm wood elements paired with soft seating to give the remote worker a sense of home when they're in the workplace. Employees can connect with others instantly through Cisco's compact single-camera video unit that can turn any standard flat screen display into a high-definition collaboration endpoint in less than 10 minutes.
Open Floor Plan Private Workspaces
With the increased popularity of open floor plans, this workspace showcases how an individual workstation can enjoy privacy amid a crowded open space. The design features Cisco's touchscreen desktop video collaboration unit, an all-in-one endpoint that makes the most of desktop real estate by combining best in class HD video with voice and enhanced collaboration capabilities from a single screen. This endpoint is built for open spaces, with intelligent audio that eliminates background noise and noisy neighbors by triangulating on the person seated in front of the unit to reduce disruption.
Video enabled Huddle Spaces
In today's fast-moving work environment, decisions are increasingly being made in smaller groups. To address this need, Teknion has created innovative video-enabled open huddle spaces with furniture like swing out benches that can comfortably accommodate additional participants or transform back for more intimate gatherings. This setting shows how employees can collaborate in small groups for impromptu meetings, using a Cisco video endpoint designed for smaller spaces to connect with team members across time zones and countries when decisions need to be made on the fly. The result of this marriage of casual, comfortable furnishings and technology is an approachable ad hoc meeting space for three to six people that will encourage quicker decision-making, foster team collaboration and increase employee engagement across the organization.
"Research has proven there's a direct link between job satisfaction and flexible workspaces," says Regan. "Job satisfaction is 60 percent for workers who have high access to flexible workspace, compared to only 22 percent who say they have little / low access to these environments. This underscores the critical need for increased collaborations like ours with Cisco to solve for these kinds of challenges that are clearly vital to today's worker."
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