Kimball International offers thoughtful design and product solutions that make employees, clients, and guests feel like they are a part of something bigger. Through research, we examined healthcare, workplace, and education experiences. We learned that, more than ever before, employees are craving connections. From connecting to coworkers and mentors to having a connection to the space they occupy, this feeling can’t be underestimated. By acknowledging that the workplace has a greater purpose, employees can show up as their authentic and unique selves.
During the course of the pandemic, Kimball International conducted research to better understand employee needs. With our research partners, we found that one message was consistent. No matter the end market, design must be responsive. When we took a closer look at the spaces, we discovered four trends. The 4 Ps - Pliability, Performance, Power, and Placement - must be considered to develop spaces that can be truly responsive to users' needs and provide an optimal experience.
By leveraging design-thinking, informed by what our research presented, we developed 6 Space Types which are based on the 4 Ps and support responsive design in workplace environments. This comprehensive approach allows us to create purposeful settings that work for a multitude of spaces and a variety of users. From 100% working from home to flexible work schedules to those desiring a return to the office, organizations have been challenged with accommodating ever-changing needs. Kimball International is here to help navigate this evolving landscape and help enhance employee experience, engagement, retention, and satisfaction.
More than flexibility and adaptability, pliability encompasses a wide variety of changes. From micro changes (such as adding a screen for safety) to macro changes (like reconfiguration for improved workflow) a pliable environment is one that is intentionally designed to change and adapt to the unknown future.
Safety, durability, sustainability, and protection are key indicators of performance. Both designers and owners expect products that are better for the interior environment AND the planet, and recent studies have shown that Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is a critical factor in attracting top talent in all industries.
It goes without saying that power is now a requirement. Perhaps in the future, power and data will all be a part of the metaverse, but today (and the foreseeable future), power reigns supreme. Tied closely with flexibility, lack of easy access to power and data, both wireless and wired, can be an incredible dissatisfier in an environment.
Furniture placement can appear haphazard and inefficient if not fully thought through. Tied directly to placement, our live design charrette tool, Elevate, provides a measured approach to intentionally designing for change, incorporating performance factors, and integrating power and data. Our Elevate process minimizes time and increases opportunities to improve the user experience.