Are you planning to make it out to NeoCon 2013 next month to see the latest office furniture design ideas? This year’s theme is about taking the office outside. The work of noted furniture architect Jonathon Olivares will be on display for all to see and experience. The Outdoor Office offers insights into what it would take to open up choices for where employees can work. Coffee shops and park benches both fail to provide an ideal work environment for many kinds of white collar tasks. There are too many distractions and not enough comfortable/functional furniture to support the way people really work.
More About the Collection
What coworking spaces are doing to replace the “Starbucks” workplace, Olivares intends to do for the open air workplace. He’s envisioned a set of furnishings that recreate the best of indoor working conditions (except for air conditioning) in the great outdoors. The furniture itself is quite rugged. According to the Art Institute of Chicago, “The designs are made with recycled rubber flooring, wood-plastic composites, UV resistant shade cloth and cast and extruded aluminum.” In addition to tables and seating, the collection includes structures to shield employees from the sun. This is one workspace where there’s actually a surplus of “natural light”. It’s an open plan office we can really feel enthused about.
Benefits of Outdoor Office Furniture
- For those businesses that have been wondering how to get some ROI on their landscaping, placing usable and comfortable office furniture outdoors may be a valuable option
- Workers will enjoy the fresh air and daylight as well as the sense of “playing hooky” from the office while still getting stuff done
- An outdoor setting in itself may tend to promote more physical activity since there’s more space and less sense that one is supposed to sit still
- Collaborating in an environment rich in natural stimuli may spark greater creativity among team members
Of course, there is also the matter of additional distractions in an outdoor workspace. We see Olivares’ vertical panel that looks like a section of tennis court fence as a giant version of our desk divider.
If you had the choice, would you go outside to work? Let us know in the comments.