Have you ever thought about how amazingly solution-focused we humans are? The pandemic has significantly speeded up the power of innovation. Long periods of working from home, new travel patterns, rather shopping from local businesses and lots of discovering. A shift for many in how we live, work, and socialize. The average worker in the western world spends up to 225 hours a year commuting, which Forbes has seen drop by as much as 50%. In the professions that allow it, people have found new alternative spaces to work from in their vicinity as an option to their homes. According to a survey by Accenture, as many as 79 % in Sweden expressed a desire for a third workplace – a space that is neither the office nor the home. Examples given were coffee shops and hotel lobbies. This is driven by the desire to commute fewer hours, to improve work focus and the possibility to network with other people, not necessarily colleagues. At least a few days a week. At the same time, other studies have concluded that working “on site” at the office is more inspiring, productive, and healthy.
The number of co-working spaces and offices is increasing as they provide flexibility, high level of services and facilitate cross-border collaborations. As many as 42 % of the working British population prefer such an office. In England and in the USA, local shopping malls and travel centres, left empty due to the Covid-pandemic, have been converted into co-working and pop-up offices. But of course, this has led to completely different and much higher demands on furniture quality and flexibility as more people use the same space at different times. Rooms, technology and sitting areas should suit and adapt to each and everyone’s desired settings – not compromising with design or creativity. An example is Vasakronan’s Arena Segel in Stockholm, to where we, Horred’s, have delivered both meeting and workplaces. https://vasakronan.se/arena/arena-sergel/
“The 15-minute city” – a concept of a long-term and sustainable urban planning model introduced by Carlos Moreno. The idea is to divide cities into districts in which citizens can access their daily necessities within 15 minutes’, challenging the conventional city planning. Something that has turned heads of several decision makers and urban planners around the world. Why waste time going to the far other side of town for your errands or work? Time that interferes with quality of life. Why are cities built for traffic rather than for us humans? You should be able to go to work, have a homelife, exercise, buy groceries and enjoy culture and leisure activities in your near vicinity. Does a street need to be noisy and polluted? Why not having garden-streets, lined with trees and local trade? The concept promotes ecology, social neighbourhood life and participation. Cities are places for economic dynamism, but we need to rethink and make them far more comfortable. Mayor Anne Hildago in Paris encourages the concept on a broad front. Bogotá, Portland, and Melbourne have also created their own local versions. It is also about making optimal use of already built square meters, such as schools that in the evening open for externally organized activities or manufacturing premises that transform into sports clubs after daytime operations closure. Cities are divided into neighbourhoods designed for living, working, and thriving.
The 15-minute life requires flexibility, high quality and adaptation based on the human being. In the small mill town of Horreds, we have long-term production of tables, chairs, and conference furniture that will last a lifetime. They are provided with the Swedish quality label Möbelfakta and as many as 90% are Nordic Ecolabelled.
If you want to know more about how we meet people and the modern workplace, feel free to contact us!
// Per-Ola Johansson, CEO of Horreds AB