Meeting the needs of today’s workforce

Lee Horsman Design & Marketing Director ACS

As we began to consider the return to the offi ce post-pandemic, there was one particular item or space that really seemed to highlight the development that we’ll need to take on board and that also summed up how ACS hopes to help its clients. T is is what we at ACS called the Teams booth. We felt that the return to the offi ce would include some time working from home or other spaces, creating a dispersed workforce, and so this piece of furniture would really become quite important. Interestingly, smart-working specialists Orangebox, a short time

before, had released a new product called On the QT which is a part of its Campers and Dens range and fulfi ls the structural elements of a Teams booth. Technology has evolved for use from offi ce-to-offi ce and, in the last

year, home-to-home, but we feel this will shift to offi ce-to-home calls when some workers choose to remain working from home, or when diff erent teams are in the offi ce at diff erent times. We also feel that the video barrier had been broken and video calls will become the main medium for this type of call. But whatever medium is used, there’s still a need for cross-departmental working and On the QT enables that.


On the QT comprises personal and phone

booth-style pods for when people need privacy in an otherwise open-plan offi ce. T e taller style proves popular with those wanting to make a quick call in private, rather than moving to stairwells or corridors, or walking round the offi ce disturbing others. T e smaller pods provide a comfortable seating area where users could happily stay for longer meetings of an hour, for example, or could complete a work task which requires quiet and concentration. Both types are designed for connectivity, allowing wifi to work and including power sources so that you just step in with your phone, tablet or laptop and you’re set up ready to go. I believe technology is the ‘grunt’ when it comes

to eff ective working, it’s what makes things happen, but carefully designed furniture is what encourages people to use that technology correctly and feel comfortable when they’re doing so. With this in mind, I spoke to Nathan Hurley,

Research and Insight Manager at Orangebox, and his colleague Mark Partridge, who is Design Manager, to find out more about the thinking behind their innovative product. I started by asking Mark if he thought tech or furniture was the enabler.

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