For some time offices have not been traditional in that each person has a room which provides complete privacy when he closes the door. Open plan offices are more practical and more suited to the way in which business has evolved a sense of social responsibility both within the organization and towards the general community. The large desks, heavy cabinets for storage and several chairs that furnished the conventional office are not appropriate in open plan spaces. Office furniture has changed with the change in the working environment.

Open plan working areas are not new. Typists who worked in a typing pool sat in a single room where a rather strict head typist managed their work flow. In nineteen fifty, the possibilities offered by arranging a large work space to accommodate the job to be done and to improve engagement and communication between employees. In the past fifty years, every conceivable way of utilizing space has been explored.

Office furniture landscapes the work environment and functions as a tool for creating work stations and walkways. It creates the space workers need to complete their tasks and to store their documents and equipment. It is also used to create an atmosphere of collegial occupation where people do not impose on the personal space of their colleagues.

Furniture needs to create a corporate look that denotes a particular organization, its principles and philosophy, but must also be designed to promote the business that has to take place in that particular location. It must retain the communicative and collaborative atmosphere of the open plan working place while at the same time providing the privacy and relative quiet to ensure that individual work can take place.

Office furniture for open offices is not sold in suites. One does not choose a cherry wood finish for a desk and cabinet with a deep red leather chair. There is a need for uniformity in an open plan arena so that it does not take on the appearance of a junk shop. A corporation will select modular furniture that can be adapted to the nooks and crannies of the space available and the needs of individuals.

The practical advantages of saving space and ensuring that employees do not slack off while there is work to be done should not make workers feel that big brother is looking over their shoulders at all times. The benefits of a more sociable and communicative environment must be advanced. The needs of people can be addressed by creating recreation and refreshment stations.

Office furnishings play a particular role in creating the ambiance and mood within the business. Color, fabric, design and even placement of furnishings can turn a staid office into a buzzing center of creativity.

Modern work spaces, with appropriate and cleverly designed office furniture, provide great scope for developing the right setting for a business and for those who work there.

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