Wood in the Workplace

Seeing the continuing trend to bring the warmth of timber and natural products into the workspace raises questions as to the deeper why.

Certainly trends circulate, but the warmth created through the use of natural timber, domestic textiles and textures and soft furnishings speaks of more than just a trend. The beauty of our natural environment visually, emotionally and energetically draws us to it. The recharge and calmness we absorb from the natural environment transfers to the office with the addition of natural products and finishes.

As we work longer hours in an indoor environment, inspiration is taken from the natural, warm, and comfortable surrounding (certainly more than that of steel, glass or man-made finishes), resulting in a more productive, collaborative and creative mindset.

Does it also go to another level, this addition of natural elements? The need for a traditional office is receding and ‘collaboration’, ‘quiet’ and ‘agile’ buzz words are infiltrating our workplace design.  Perhaps this encourages a blurred boundary between the office and the home. The timber table and chairs that mum and dad had and the timber sideboards and cabinets that grandma littered throughout her home hold memories of warmth, comfort, and inspiration. They are subconscious triggers of more relaxed but still productive times.

A home day or out-of-office day for many can incorporate a garden view, a laptop in the park or a note pad by the water. Perhaps these themes of wellness and longevity are what wood really allows us to bring in to workplaces.  It’s surely more than a passing trend – what are your thoughts?

– Adam Taylor, UCI QLD

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