Reading Time: 5 min | May 2021

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Editorial

Items For A More Creative and Productive Home Office

The trend towards work-life fusion is gaining more and more acceptance. iF award-winning products give tech-solutions on handling stress associated with working from home.

Many of the design solutions responding to the coronavirus around the world are tied to rethinking home and work which seem contradictory at first glance. The fusion of these two areas can be seen as a step towards a new future. And especially in times like this people crave normality and they accept the circumstances of being required to work remotely from their homes in order to reduce the high number of new infections.

iF AWARD-WINNING DESIGNS 2021

Handset JCHT35M6 | Manufacturer: Zhejiang Jiecang Linear Motion Technology, Xinchang, China
This remote control is the industry’s first touch screen hand control that can adjust the height of the adjustable desk by just rotating it.
SPOT Mini | Manufacturer: Hangzhou Lifesmart Technology Co., Ltd., Hangzhou, China
SPOT Mini is an intelligent infrared remote control that supports infrared signal learning and multi-angle signal emission.
HUAWEI CLOUD Meeting | Manufacturer: Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Hangzhou, China
HUAWEI Meeting System is an intelligent and professional meeting software which provides cross-region and cross-enterprise communication and collaboration services.
Remote Co-Creation Culture | Manufacturer: Sartorius Stedim Biotech GmbH, Goettingen, Germany
This service design story is about the smart establishment of a fully remote co-creation culture in the emerging biotech industry. The focus: scale and communicate a “home-office and distance” training-system and hybrid-online framework.
A1 Pro | Manufacturer: Shenzhen Dangs Science and Technology Co., Ltd., Shenzhen City, China
A1 Pro is a disruptive product that integrates TV Box, AI voice, AI camera and conference system.
Invisible telescopic charging device | Manufacturer: Shenzhen Chengyue Innovation Technology Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, China
When the desktop becomes messy because of using too many charging cables, replace the idle outlet holes with this charging device, and it will be integrated with the desktop.
TAKEoSEAT | Manufacturers: KRETHO, Dogern, Germany and Sedus Stoll AG, Dogern, Germany
TAKEoSEAT is a simple, lightweight folding stool pressed from just one piece of PET felt.
Altos | Manufacturer: Woodenshark LLC, Wilmington, DE, United States
Altos is a unique portable CO2 sensor giving a clear understanding of how healthy indoor air quality is and whether it adds to productivity. It measures the CO2 level and shows how effective your brain is with a simple Brain Fuel scale.
PAPERANG | Manufacturer: Xiamen Paperang Technology Co., Ltd., Xiamen City, China
PAPERANG is the first portable study printer that is completely independent of mobile phone use. Also, it allows users to take photos to search for questions and their analysis on the Internet with the support of the OCR technology and an image-text analysis system.
Orbitkey Nest | Manufacturer: Orbitkey, Melbourne, Australia
Orbitkey Nest is a portable desk organizer to help you declutter and be more efficient – wherever you work. It organises work accessories not only when you move from one place to another, but also during work activities at the desk.
Monto | Manufacturer: Colebroook Bosson Saunders, London, United Kingdom
Monto makes sit-to-stand working possible. The sit stand riser is portable and can be retrofitted with ease without tools or installation.
OfficeX | Manufacturer: Compal Electronics Inc., Taipei City, Taiwan
This laptop itself mimics a desk partition so it can be freely positioned as close or far apart as the space demands of privacy. Built-in voice AI adds to productivity, but everything can be put away so the unique space becomes utterly clutter-free.
Double rotating power strip | Manufacturer: ELECOM Co., Ltd. Osaka, Japan
This power strip makes it possible to neatly connect power cables. It allows the user to change the socket direction 360 degrees according to the installation location.

Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. Offering more flexibility and time for family, the home office also blurs the lines between work and life, as there seems to be no end of things to do. But it doesn’t have to be like that: there are many ways to set up a home office for a creative and productive workday.

The key to success? A calm work environment with minimalistic items to focus on the task at hand. Especially in urban areas, the trend of minimalism continues – not least because of exploding housing prices and smaller living space in city centers. What is more important: Focusing mainly on deliberating restriction to the bare essentials brings structure and soothing calm to living and working. Whether it’s a room of one’s own à la Virginia Woolf or an alcove in the hallway – the main thing is to be able to concentrate and be creative.

iF DESIGN AWARD 2021 GOLD-WINNING DESIGNS

Philips B1D5000 | Manufacturer: TPV Technology Group, Hangzhou, China
The 2021 Philips B1D5000 home & office monitor combines a monitor and E-Ink display. The geometric stand archetype is designed with a unique tilt, swivel, height-adjustable, and pivot system that provides maximum user flexibility; this is a 360-degree design approach for home and office.
RoWrite2 | Manufacturer: Royole Corporation, Shenzhen, China
RoWrite2 is a smart notebook that captures your handwritten ideas, notes, and drawings digitally with accuracy and imperceptible lag.
Collaboration Pro | Manufacturer: Compal Electronics Inc., Taipei City, Taiwan
This convertible laptop features a patented twin hinge system that lifts the keyboard up for standard ergonomic typing, brings the display forward to enable typing in tight, narrow spaces like on airplane tray tables while making edits directly on touchscreen LCD.
Google Meet Hardware - Series One | Manufacturer: Google, California, United States
Users of this videoconference system can join meetings touch-free with their voice and enjoy studio-grade audio through enhanced TrueVoice™ noise cancellation.

The great interest in office design is also reflected in the iF DESIGN AWARD statistics: The number of entries submitted in the category Office has increased over the past 5 years. This year’s iF awarded products in the category Office show that designers’ minds have been on cutting-edge AI and smart technologies with which you can make the most of your home office. It must be remembered that remote working and home office currently still catches many professionals unprepared, especially when residential circumstances prevent you from setting up your own study. 

Designer and iF Juror Ana Relvão recommends: "With such small boundaries between professional and private, resist the temptation and do not multitask. Our brains are simply not able to perform two conscious tasks at the same time. Avoid frustration and exhaustion by planning your day doing one task at a time." 

Short interview with Ana Relvão

iF: How can we get the most out of a home office space?

AR: For most people, working from home means that the boundaries of private and professional life no longer exist. This creates an atmosphere surrounded by visual cues and reminders of tasks that don’t usually exist in the office environment.
A good thinking environment is crucial in order to get the most out of a home office space. It's important to set up a space, whether permanent or temporary, that provides enough comfort for uninterrupted thinking time.

iF: What's your ultimate productivity tip for the home office?

AR: With such small boundaries between professional and private, resist the temptation and do not multitask! Our brains are simply not able to perform two conscious tasks at the same time. Avoid frustration and exhaustion by planning your day doing one task at a time.

Addressing the stress associated with working from home is what lots of iF award-winning products have in common. Creative home office solutions like the "WEAR SPACE" headset block out noise and visual distractions. The smart notebook "RoWrite2" digitally captures your thoughts. The gold awarded "Philips B1D5000" combines a monitor and E-Ink display. The all-in-one meeting space of the "Huawei CLOUD Meeting" makes it easy for you to get things directly with a single click. Another all-in-one solution offers the intelligent infrared remote control "SPOT Mini". The smart TV terminal "A1 Pro" has an integrated AI with which makes it possible to video call. The touch screen hand control "Handset JCHT35M6"responds to the question of how to adjust the height of your adjustable desk by just rotation.

About the Whitebook

Editors: Christoph Böninger, Fritz Frenkler, Susanne Schmidhuber
Text: Ph.D. René Spitz
Year of publication: 2021
Languages: German / English
No. of pages: 312
Format: 21 x 26 cm
ISBN: 978-3-89986-341-3
Price: €49 (D), $60

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