Wood you believe it

Ian Brough

Wood has been a staple fixture in office environments for forever and a day. The material synonymous with wealth and prestige, though one of the most widely used in the industry, is becoming a backup choice for many businesses pursuing an ultra-modern aesthetic to their office interior. However, don’t write off this timeless classic just yet, new research by Knoll reveals the multiple benefits of using wood for your office interior which are food for thought for anyone looking to freshen up their office.


Lasting Aesthetic

Rather than be subject to the one in one out design trends, wood has a classic, timeless aesthetic that lasts meaning that your office design stands the test of time as opposed to becoming obsolete once the trend slips out of fashion. Wood also adds texture and warmth to areas that can become cold and stark when pursuing modern and minimalist designs.

Another benefit of wood furniture is the ability to rework and revitalise. Unlike man made materials wood furniture can easily be restored meaning that though up-front costs can be high, the benefit of not having to replace the furniture when damaged can mean substantial cost benefit in the long-term.

Health & Productivity Benefits

Where in the past businesses have taken a ‘what you see is what you get’ approach to providing office environments for their employees, modern businesses approach office design with the emphasis on maximising employee experience and wellbeing.

A HOK study demonstrates that the textural quality of wood adds both visual and tactile sensory stimulation which has been shown to improve alertness. The study also indicated that wood can provide warmth and comfort elements which correlate with workers enhanced productivity in comfortable working environments. Wood in office environments has also been linked with stress reduction further adding to the package of health & productivity benefits for businesses and their employees.


Environmentally Friendly

Environmental concerns have become ingrained in business mentality with organisations pursuing sustainable practices and the reduction of their carbon footprint. Referencing a report undertaken by the United States Forest Service (2011), the environmental benefits of using wood products is two-fold:

  • Average reduction of greenhouse gas carbon of 2.1 tons
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by up to two-thirds

Broad Appeal

One of the key results that came from the Knoll research was the ability of wood to transcend generations and carry a broad appeal. The associated characteristics of wood furniture conveying cost, wealth and achievement is something that meets the feeling of achievement strived for by baby boomers, the feeling of job security desired by Generation X and the image and wealth driven desires of Generation Y.