August 7, 2019
This Furniture Collection Reinvents Work Through Play
OM’s award-winning Werksy® collection provides a multitude of options for different work styles—even for those who like a bit of whimsy in the office.
The office can often feel like a very serious place. We go in, try to be our most productive selves, finish our tasks efficiently, go home, and repeat. But seating company OM believes that work shouldn’t be without a little play. “People are not robots. People need to have a little bit more fun and the ability to be more creative to relieve the pressure and nervous energy that we experience at work,” says Wilson Chow, president of OM. Additionally, studies from leading think tanks such as McKinsey and Company, best practices shared by top-rated workplaces, and evidence from a slate of articles in leading business media all point to an evolving awareness that workplaces that encourage playful attitudes might have an advantage in attracting and retaining talent.
Based on these insights, OM’s new collection, Werksy, challenges the norms about what constitutes work and what a modern office chair can be or should look like. Recognized with a 2018 Good Design® Award, the Werksy Collection has expanded to three chairs inspired by the diverse (and often unconventional) ways in which people work today. “We wanted to create something not only for “formal” workspaces (individual desks) but for the informal workspaces that surround and permeate the formal work environment,” says Chow. Partnering with designer Henner Jahns of Gecco Vision, OM created a variation of a classic shell form with three base options—a stackable “visitor” chair, a “hoteling” tasker chair with a tilting seat, and a height adjustable, self-centering swivel rocking chair. Depending on the base, Chow explains that the chairs can be used for “listening and learning, sharing or studying, or creating and collaborating.”
Chow is sure the rocker, in particular—which is launching this August at ErgoExpo: National Ergonomics Conference—will bring some much needed lightheartedness to the modern office. “When you’re sitting at work, but are rocking in a Werksy rocker, how can you not unleash your inner creative thinker?” he asks. What sets the Werksy rocker apart is its auto-return swivel and its height adjustable base. These features exemplify OM’s intention to bring more movement into the workplace but also help encourage more creative interactions in collaborative settings. “We want our furniture to help people interact with each other,” explains Chow, “by creating different items for different tasks and workstyles, we can empower workers and recognize their individuality.”
If the individual is utterly relaxed while also being productive, work is made easy—which is what the name of the collection implies. OM believes that despite the increased interest in standing at work, most of our days are spent in some kind of seating device. “We can’t stand all day. But we don’t think you should sit statically in your chair all day either.” So Chow asks, how can we push the boundaries of being both productive and healthy in a chair? “We want to encourage creative sparks, freedom, and spirit—something as simple as the chair you’re sitting on can unlock things for you.”