Making Spaces Work for People
Published 21st February 2019
The office environment is evolving – with more focus on collaboration than ever before. The activity-based workplace (ABW) concept is about creating a fluid environment that makes work more enjoyable and productive. Recently we have talked to three leaders in the Malaysian furniture industry to discuss innovative ABW furniture designs that not only enhance productivity but well-being as well.
The Evolving Trend of ABW
Euro Chairs Manufacturer, a leading office furniture manufacturer in Southeast Asia, has been supplying products to fortune 500 companies around the globe for many years. According to company CEO Melvin Chay, ABW is not a new office wok concept, but rather it has evolved through the years since the 1980s.
“We have been involved in ABW products ever since we became an office furniture manufacturer. We feel that ABW furniture will keep evolving in line with the working environment, technology and office culture,” said Mr. Chay. “In the early days, the working culture and pattern was based on the industrial age, which emphasized efficiency and speed like a factory. Today, the working culture has evolved to emphasize on ideas creation and sharing, human connection, and collaboration. I can foresee that ABW furniture will continue to grow tremendously in the next 10 years.”
Euro Chairs Manufacturer
PWTC, Booth 2B03
Work How and Where You Want
To Oasis Furniture Industries, a provider of dynamic spaced for the past 20 years, their ABW philosophy is derived from human needs and wants for higher satisfaction based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
“Typically, when a company sells a product, it only touched the physiological and safety level, while the Oasis’ ABW solution delves into one’s sense of belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization,” said managing director Ralph Ong.
According to Mr. Ong, a fundamental way to integrate a sense of belonging into the workplace is to make it easy for people to connect, to enhance the flow of movement from individual to group activities and to move from private to shared spaces – features that make up the core of the ABW concept.
“Offices today are experiencing an on-going revolution towards an ABW environment that focuses on the relationship between people, places and technology. The Oasis ABW solution aims to enable people to work in a state of immersive flow experience that boosts their performance, efficiency and innovation while ensuring their well-being by reducing stress and tension, and increasing trust,” he said.
“ABW is about making spaces work for people. When it comes to ABW, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Each organization will have their own culture and requirement.”— Mr. Ralph Ong, managing director, Oasis Furniture Industries
Oasis Furniture Industries
PWTC, Booth 2B23
Your Office is Your Playground
Meanwhile, Zenith Projects (ZenPro) has been an active and progressive system furniture and workspace solution provider for the past 15 years, serving mainly local MNCs and overseas corporates.
According to ZenPro’s Director Emily Wong, the ABW concept first came to their visits to trade shows like Orgatec. Such visits motivated them to try to understand and research more on the direction of workspace requirements based on people’s behaviour.
“Being appointed by Steelcase Inc. (the world’s largest furniture provider in terms of volume) as their authorized dealer in Malaysia escalated our understanding about ABW and helped set a stronger direction, thanks to their extensive research and study material, as well as the training provided. We strongly believe that ABW is definitely the way to go,” said Mr. Wong.
“Ultimately, ABW is the recognition to provide freedom of choice in terms of how, when and where the people of today work, when and where the people of today work, which would cause them to be more effective and engaged while working. As a result, both the employee and employer will benefit – the employee from being happier at work and the employer from better results,” she explained.
Zenith Projects Technology
PWTC, Booth 2C31
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