From a bean bag to a high bar stool and bold colours to artistic work, office décor has undergone a sea of change. The office furniture market alone is estimated to grow to $13.58 billion by 2021 in India. As more startups and co-working office spaces take birth in the office culture, demand for vibrant, lively office spaces and office furniture is gaining steady momentum, writes Shwetha Satyanarayan
Do colours of office desks and chairs, and work productivity have direct correlation? “Completely true and yes,” says Ashish Aggarwal, chairman of Indo Innovations, a global player in manufacturing and supplying of office furniture.
In fact, an in-house survey by Indo Innovations even revealed that good office décor to could optimize work potential and increase the productivity by 50 per cent.
For millennials, who like to work in uber-cool places and open spaces, everything from the colour of the walls to the floors of the lounge and working chairs makes a huge difference. And its little wonder that the office furniture market in India is projected to grow to $13.58billion by 2021, at a CAGR of more than 20 per cent between 2016 and 2023.
While the furniture market has been largely an unorganized sector in India, the office furniture segment has been one of the major revenue generators of the overall furniture market, accounting to more than 25 per cent market share. A few years ago (in 2015), the furniture market alone was estimated to be $ 17, 922 billion market.
Commenting on how the market has changed over the years, Aggarwal, observes, “Earlier, the demand for office furniture was mostly common. More or less, everybody wanted bulky furniture with antique chairs and huge desks. They wanted employees’ spaces to be private enough so that it didn’t encourage conversations at work or interrupted with quality of work. Now, times have changed.”
With changing times, the need and expectations of employers too have changed, it seems. For, Aggarwal shares that while a decade ago each employee was allotted a desk space of 100 sq.ft per person, now not more than 40 sq.ft is given due to increased high-cost real estate rentals.
“Space optimization is the key requirement of any employer and modern furniture that will suit collaborative arenas are in high demand,” he says.
Informal setups, colourful vibes
From bean bags to high bar stools, many startups including even biggies like Flipkart and Xiaomi have adopted the modern, vibrant office culture. “The whole feel of office spaces have changed and managers work with their teammates in open lawns and informal meeting spaces are set up. Colourful laminates and fabrics have taken over working spaces,” Aggarwal says.
The demand for good office space is beyond cubicles and nice chairs, observes Sameer A.M, founder and CEO of Bonito Designs. He says, “Office spaces are seeing an overhaul in how they are being approached. Never before has interior industry seen such an upsurge in the demand of design of office spaces. All of a sudden the employers have come to establish the importance of how a space is designed and how it could indirectly affect the productivity at the workplace.”
According to a report by Technavio, apart from office furnishing systems and office table furniture, office seating furniture will be the fastest-growing section of office furniture market.
The report says, “The office seating furniture segment is both the largest and fastest-growing section of the market, driven by the surge in sales due to increase in workforce and product innovations. This includes products such as stacking chairs, ergonomic chairs, stool and benches. Innovations in seating furniture, such as ergonomic designs which enhance the comfort of the users sitting for prolonged periods of time will also propel the growth of the seating furniture market during the forecast period.”
“Open collaborative spaces that has reduced cubicle heights, ergonomic seating that ensures that postures of employees aren’t put to risk, lounges and low seating arrangements are on the rise as these spaces offer an informal ambience for people working wherein they can get together for an open conversation over coffee and engage in work during time offs too,” says Sameer.
He adds that sleeping pods and rest area is also seeing steady demand as office spaces are becoming harder to reach because of increasing traffic congestion.