If you have been in a long flight which did not have proper in-flight entertainment systems, you would understand the agony of the fact – no matter how interesting something is, after a point, you will get bored looking at it.
People get bored looking at clouds in the sky, so, it should not come as a surprise that they also get bored by the office furniture.
Now, that poses a fundamental question – is the process to buy office furniture only limited to the looks of it all? The answer is a resounding no. Design is more about solving problems and less about pure aesthetics and that is where design thinking comes into the picture.
Researchers at Stanford University have devised a very comprehensive and practical design thinking process: Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.
Here how each of the design thinking steps can help you with office planning:
What stands between a good writer and a bad writer, or a good designer and a bad designer – is that degree of empathy. Mind well, you are not supposed to sympathize with the person because sympathy in itself may not induce any actions. Empathy, on the other hand, will give you a first-hand experience on what is the ground problem.
The best way to get the empathetic perspective is by interviewing your team members – what are the problems they are facing with the office furniture? Keep pondering till you can yourself sense their issues and can relate to them.
2. Define the problem.
Once you have a bucket full of issues that you have accumulated with the help of your colleagues, it is time to put it all together and focus on the high level concepts. Is everyone talking about the uncomfortable chairs whereas the chairs are the best in the industry? Maybe, there’s an issue with the long working hours and you should experiment with office design ideas.
What you are trying to do in this step, is looking for the common grounds between the separate problems your employees have given. For instance, imagine a scenario where employees have complained about lousiness in the office, uncomfortable desks and lower productivity levels. Maybe it’s an issue of the working style and not about the furniture, and yet you can solve it by getting sit-stand desks in the office!
After having defined the core problem, you can focus on two things – look for office furniture consultation in Australia, or go for taking things in your hands. Go for brainstorming or idea-mapping and come up with a set of solutions you can apply to the problems you have discovered.
4. Prototype and Test.
The very last step here also happens to be the most exciting one. Now that you have a set of ideas you want to apply, why not have a test run with them? If you are working with a professional, you can prototype things and put them to test. If not, you can apply the ideas at a small scale and then make adjustments as you scale them up.