Jul 28, 2021

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Sponsored By: Axis Lighting Inc.

Ever-changing office configurations require flexible lighting

By Howard Yaphe

Architects and designers have moved away from using drop ceilings in offices because they don’t allow for design freedom, and they make a space feel smaller. Instead, architects and designers are opting for open ceilings that permit design creativity, flexibility, and the perception of a larger space. These open ceilings, coupled with the need for flexible office space configurations, present an opportunity for innovative and dynamic lighting systems.

Office Design Trends
The growing trend in office designs is to accommodate ever-changing and future-proofing configurations, whether a person is working alone at a desk, in a small pod in a lounge area, with a group in a conference room, is rejuvenating at the coffee bar or taking a break in the exercise room. Present and future offices must be transformative and flexible to address these different work environments and work styles. This is supported by a study conducted by Knoll, which provides compelling evidence that workforce performance and well-being considerations are largely driving the form and use of the future workplace. The study also emphasizes the need to support business continuity strategies through flexibility. Based on responses to the survey, Knoll concluded that the next two years will see an acceleration of an existing trend away from individual workspaces and a reallocation to meeting spaces, social spaces and outdoor spaces…Further supporting flexibility, the average percentage of unassigned workspaces will more than double…1

Companies with easily reconfigurable space that can align with constantly evolving needs will be at an advantage. Flexible workspaces provide employees the opportunity to choose the area of the office that best suites the type of work they need to do at particular times and can also be easily rearranged to accommodate changing business objectives or quickly scaled up or down to fit teams of different sizes.2

Work environments that facilitate a sense of community but also offer individual, private spaces have proven critical in building workplace satisfaction across the board. Nimble floorplans, modular furniture and practical flexible lighting are tools available to meet employers’ current and future needs.

StencilFlex render office layout1 white emerald-slate

Adaptable and Innovative Lighting
Since lighting is essential in every built environment, lighting designs must be adaptable to office reconfigurations and future changes in site layout. Dynamic lighting not only supports resilience, flexibility, and well-being, it also provides a future-proof solution to deal with changes. Flexible designs—and lighting—necessitate the increased mobility of people and facilities.

A study conducted by the American Society of Interior Designers showed that 68 percent of employees were dissatisfied with the lighting situation in their offices.  However, when flexible lighting is incorporated with an innovative workplace design, employee performance and productivity increase. Research has shown that workplace lighting, colors and flexibility all impact employee productivity, engagement and happiness.3 When businesses demonstrate commitments to employee satisfaction through upgrades in technology and design, workers are more likely to be loyal and productive.4

Forward-thinking luminaire manufacturers are rising to this challenge by designing and engineering solutions that can respond to whatever the future brings, while being human-centric enough to provide comfortable, productive, and engaging environments. If tasks, furniture and people can be moved around in a space, why not the lighting?

That was the question Axis Lighting engineers asked when developing StencilFlex. This new flexible lighting system allows designers to integrate different, ever-changing lighting requirements in an open space, while remaining creative and relevant. It provides an innovative framework and flexible lighting inserts to meet challenges and address evolving needs. StencilFlex is based on a minimalist modular approach. Lighting power density is kept to a minimum without the need for external devices. This feature, combined with the system’s unmatched adaptability, scalability, and simplicity, makes for a highly efficient solution. StencilFlex components can be added, extended, or adjusted at any time.

StencilFlex render Small-office collaboration area

Just as the flexible office design presents lighting designers and architects with limitless opportunities, so too must a lighting system.

Intrigued to learn how this revolutionary new lighting framework can meet your aesthetic and design goals? Get more information at www.axislighting.com/families/stencilflex or reach us at www.axislighting.com/about-us/contact-us


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Howard YapheHoward Yaphe, CEO Axis Lighting, has over 35 years experience in the lighting industry, previously working at Philips Lighting North America and Genlyte. While serving as Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President at Phillips, Howard led the Philips North America R&D effort for LED luminaire technologies. Howard has over 120 patents and patents pending in a wide variety of lighting and lighting controls technologies.

Howard Yaphe has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario. He is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers.


REFERENCES
1 Chad Brooks, “When designing a new workplace, flexibility and lighting are crucial factors,” business.com April 26, 2018.
2 https://www.asid.org/news/asid-releases-comprehensive-research-study-on-the-impact-of-design-in-the-workplace (accessed July 20, 2021).
3 https://www.knoll.com/knollnewsdetail/thriving-workplace-case-for-a-thriving-workplace
4 https://www.wework.com/ideas/workspace-solutions/flexible-products/what-is-flexible-office-space-workspace (accessed July 20, 2021).