What is with office furniture? Black, leather, ergonomic chairs. Mahogany, glossy, formal tables. Melamine, sterile, cold shelving. I mean, is this what the world has come to? Is this what we have to look forward to greeting us everyday at the job? It is for many people. I wonder if that is a good thing or a bad thing. This article explores the dynamic that office furniture plays in our day to day lives.
On the up side, office furniture that conforms to my stereotypical description is nice. It is clean. It lends itself to an environment that is easy to think in. It promotes efficiency and dutifulness. After all, the office isn't necessarily supposed to be a playground. It is a place to focus and get things done. To do lists, task groups, points of importance, serious business. These things just don't have the same tacky tack and clickity click as they would if they were other than what they are.
Then again, there is a down side. A case could be made that office furniture that is too formal stifles the imagination and clamps down on creativity. I imagine I would feel a little more pep if my office desk was painted tie die or something just a little whacky. If instead of a leather chair, I lounged comfortably on a large bean bag I might feel a bit more energy and pizzaz. Then again, I might just fall to sleep.
Can you imagine what it would be like if your office furniture were less formal? For example, I wonder what it would feel like if you went into the office supply room for some tape or printer paper, and instead of nice uniform shelving units that matched, there was a makeshift collection of cinder blocks and unfinished pine boards and other mishmash shelving. Hmmm, not quite the same confidence distilled on the soul in terms of how you feel about management. Let's face it, the right office furniture does make a difference.
But that is not to say that office furniture has to conform to some set standard. Some people simply like to surround themselves, and their employees with modern glass desks, black leather chairs, uniform cubicles, and other functional items that are more formal and arguably more classy. Others go for a warmer feel that only hardwoods and beautiful glossy finishes can give. Some prefer metals and a stiffer, more sterile environment to work in. Some don't really care and sort of throw together whatever they can.
No matter what the preference is in office furniture style, it certainly does impact our day. If we feel comfortable in and around it, then it doesn't matter what color or texture it is. Likewise, if we feel uncomfortable, irritated, or annoyed by our surroundings we simply aren't going to be as effective as we could be. I used to try to work in a place that had orange shag carpet and sort of light brown furniture that didn't match. It drove me crazy. What a blessed day it was when we replaced both the carpet and the mismatched furniture. I cannot overstate the importance that these changes made on my attitude as well as my effectiveness and productivity. The right office furniture does make all the difference.
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