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Digital work, or a bit about how design can support the efficiency of hybrid work

17 of February '21

Digital work
is a term we created from the words "digital" + "real" to try to define the contemporary situation of the world of work. Write to us if you have other naming suggestions that come to mind after reading this article.

Hybrid model of work - present and future, that is... nothing will be the same anymore

Accelerated by the pandemic , the trend of working "from wherever" has taken hold of organizations around the world regardless of industry or scale of operation. It has brought many gifts such as freedom, flexibility, mobility and better integration of life and work, but also quite a few challenges. One of the key ones is the skillful creation of conditions for combining offline and online work, i.e. cooperating and achieving business goals in a new, mixed model called hybrid.

With so much complexity, what can be done to best support teams and organizations in doing business?

What to pay attention to and what to put first when planning an office modification?

Remote work - some statistics

We found the answers to the above questions in the results of research conducted by our two international partners, Knoll and Wikhahn, which are famous for having the comfort and efficiency of workplaces around the world at the center of their concerns. The data collected shows that:

  • 74% of companies plan to move some of their employees permanently to remote work - Gartner
  • 20% of employees said that collaboration and communication require the most effort when working rem otely - Buffer
  • 25-30% of employees will work remotely from home by the end of 2021 - Global Workplace Analytics


Digital work - the new normal

Anew era and a new normal actually means reorganizing the work environment forever. This is a unique opportunity to build a new, more flexible environment that supports employees holistically, taking care of four key spheres: personal, social, mental and physical.

Offices yes, but in a new form

Now that geography has stopped limiting our work, why then bother with offices in general? In a nutshell: because of the many benefits that professional offices bring in the area of organizing work and achieving business goals.

And also because no matter how professional a home workstation setup or ideal personal conditions might be, none of them can quite create the atmosphere that is created when working together in an organized office.

The emergence of digitally enabled offices is essential to foster identification with the organization and influence the maintenance of team spirit. The identity and innovation of a company or organization are more than ever dependent precisely on our ability to influence them appropriately. So what should digital workplaces look like?


A human-centered workplace

Despite the diversity of industries, cultures and markets found on the planet, global megatrends such as digitization, sustainability and the desire for healthy workplaces will increasingly influence how future office environments are shaped. According to experts, attention will have to shift to people's requirements, talents and skills.

Neurobiologists believe that our behavior is largely driven by our environment. If behavior patterns are to change, the environment should follow suit to prevent a return to old habits. This is the best way to effectively manage the global change in which we are all taking part.



Modern workplaces that facilitate digital collaboration are well-equipped spaces designed for remote and in-person interactions that support the work flow and other activities of incumbent participants, but at the same time improve collaboration with remote participants.

Hybrid work comfort

When choosing the right equipment, the priority should be to think about the comfort of work for teams working hybridly (digitally) and the ability to flexibly adapt it to the needs of meetings of different composition and nature (desk work, meeting, project team meeting, etc.). The dizzying pace of development means thatlifelong learning will become a standard not only at the level of individuals, but also at the level of organizations. Therefore, in spaces dedicated to hybrid work, it will be necessary to properly design integrated areas for training and learning.

In a healthy body a healthy spirit

Today's digitized office work is very demanding on our minds, but not demanding enough on our bodies. As a result, it has become crucial to encourage movement during work duties, and investing in professional office chairs that allow us to maintain a healthy posture and productivity in front of computer screens has become a priority.


Modern office chairs are also important because they allow employees to lean, at different angles, facilitating better reception of content from different sources (screen, laptop, tablet, etc.). Knoll universal chairs, equipped with a counterbalance mechanism that automatically adjusts to the user, are ideal for this role. There are as many as three models to choose from: Life, Generation and ReGeneration. Investing in office chairs from Wilkhahn will also be a very good solution. The most popular, due to the use of advanced ergonomic solutions - are the models: AT, ON or IN.



In the era of digital work, you can forget about traditional conference rooms, equipped with large, square and not very mobile furniture, focused on face to face information exchange. Instead, think about solutions that allow you to easily and flexibly adapt the space to a wide variety of needs and situations, and facilitate the reception of content regardless of where someone is performing business duties.


Smaller sized, trapezoidal or round tables, such as the KEI modular table system from Bulo, MAX from Wilkhahn or tables from BLOG, will work well in newly designed work spaces. They can seat more participants in front of the camera more easily, and are also easier to manage. The Rockwell Unscripted® Sawhorse table from Knoll helps adjust the room/space to accommodate the various needs that arise during digital (digital + real) collaboration. Another flexible piece of furniture that facilitates hybrid work is the Scope Team Table from Knoll. It's one piece of furniture where people can work as a team (with the conference table option) or individually. The table can be divided into separate hot boards at any time using specially designed Universal screens.


Wilkhahn's Timetable collection can be used to create the right conditions for working in the digital age. It's a mobile furniture system that includes tables with tilting tops and Foldscreen panels that allow all models in the Timetable collection to be transformed into more intimate, individual, sheltered workspaces. The panels are lightweight and easy to install, and can be placed on the table or attached with clamps, without any additional tools. Separation of desks, tables from each other can be facilitated by designer furniture, screens and mobile walls from the BLOG collection.


Miliken acoustic linings

Used in spaces dedicated to hybrid collaboration , interior and design elements should, in addition to mobility, provide adequate acoustics. Therefore, in modern digital coworking spaces, where suspended ceilings are rarely used, it becomes particularly important to choose appropriate carpets with high acoustic insulation and absorption. The American manufacturer of carpets for commercial interiors, Milliken, in response to the growing needs in the area of acoustics, already 20 years ago patented a substrate made of polyurethane foam, the so-called Comfort Plus substrate, which is used in the manufacturer's tile car pets.


The sound insulation of Milliken carpets is at the level of - as much as 36 db!!! They absorb up to 50% more noise than other hard floor coverings offered on the market. The use of Milliken carpets allows not only to create acoustically optimal conditions for work, but also to create the impression of smaller spaces, without putting up additional walls, (thanks to the multiplicity of patterns) and, just as importantly, to mark them appropriately. For this purpose, tiles from the unique Social Factor collection, dedicated to office work in the post COVID era, are often chosen.


Acoustic booths

Skillful use of equipment elements allows adequate soundproofing for potential echoes and absorption of sound waves, as well as raising the comfort of work, positively influencing concentration and quality of communication. To raise it even further, many companies equip popular open spaces with so-called acoustic booths, designed to work in safer and more sterile conditions. There are many models available to customers at various prices, but we recommend those that, in addition to their obvious acoustic qualities, have additional features such as the Bosselino booth. This is not only an example of beautiful design, but a technologically advanced health-promoting capsule. The manufacturer has installed in Bosselino, a one-person acoustic booth, an ionizer with a power of up to 60 million negative ions /cm3 - 1 ION, (such is found around a waterfall such as Niagara). Ionizer with such parameters allows to inactivate pathogens (influenza A H1N1 virus, feline coronavirus and staphylococcus aureus) in the air and has the potential to reduce infectivity by up to 95%!!!



Another important factor affecting the efficiency of hybrid work is technology. The quality of collaboration is influenced by a good Internet connection, convenient access to power places (preferably installed in tables and furniture) and also devices that allow easy and reliable presentation of interlocutors, content, presentations and guarantee clear sound and images. It's a good idea for them to take into account different levels of intimacy (1:1, 1:4, 1 for more people) and to provide the ability to adapt to particular types of meetings. It can help to mount the camera at eye level, which creates opportunities for more natural interactions. For meetings with more people, it's a good idea to have more than one monitor at your disposal so you can have better contact with participants regardless of the content being presented.

It is very important to have professional lighting that allows you to receive content without additional shadows. Models that are very popular are: AQ01 from Fritz Hansen and Leaf from Muuto.


Variability with constancy

With the skillful use of know-how and design, we have a chance to create standards that facilitate collaboration in distributed teams and push companies toward achieving adequate collaboration efficiency in the hybrid model, which promises to become commonplace.And while, as recent times have shown, it is impossible to predict everything, skillful use of the opportunities presented by the knowledge and experience of experts can provide tangible support for the creation of digital workspaces.

We already know that properly designed offices are essential to encourage people to dialogue, interact and collaborate. Through them, organizations have the chance to support distributed teams in achieving business goals and creating innovation. New offices also have the chance to positively influence the level of energy to respond to a range of further challenges and changes that are sure to come.

For more information, visit the company's AQINA page on the A&B portal and

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