As the architecture and design industry begins to return to the workplace after months of working from home, recognising that the challenges presented by the transition in fact also represent opportunities to advance workplace design, “we’re excited to be adapting to the new normal,” says Alex Hopkins, design director of Studio Tate.
A significant change that Studio Tate has already made to their own workplace is setting up two teams working across separate areas within the studio, which has resulted in a shift away from hot-desking. This has been an opportunity to ensure that every team member has a workstation tailored to their individual needs. “In the past, people may have come into a hot desk and simply just sat in the chair that’s at the hot desk and it wouldn’t have been tailored to them,” Alex says. “You actually need good ergonomic practices for it to really work at its optimum.”
When it comes to designing a workplace, Studio Tate draws on the research and development that Herman Miller undertakes to ensure they are engaging with the latest thinking in this area. “Herman Miller is an organisation that’s at the forefront of research and development,” Alex says. For Studio Tate, “when we think about Herman Miller, we think about leading design, a company that has a really rich history, that pushes the boundaries, is not only about product –it’s also a really great resource. Knowing that we’ve got that resource readily available to assist us with our return to work is great.”
With work now taking place across both the traditional workplace and the home, ergonomic design in both settings is key. “When I personally was working from home, it made me realise the importance of having a great task chair, that made a real difference in terms of the work setting and my work practices.” While working from both home and the studio is “certainly a real shift” Alex says that “from our perspective, we’re very fortunate to have Herman Miller task seating at home and here in the studio as well.”
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