Contemporary offices are lowering—or altogether dropping—the walls and partitions that once separated workstations, thrusting employees into open-plan spaces where the sights, smells, and sounds are communal. These tables are designed to help workers manage the chaos with noise buffers, integrated power, and modular components that offer an easy switch from solo work to collaboration.
Antenna Simple, Knoll
This basic, rectangular table by New York-based Antenna Design for Knoll comes with privacy screens, modesty panels, and power components to support individual needs in open work-spaces. The tables can be arranged solo or discreetly linked while outset legs add room beneath the unit. The legs contain up to 45% recycled steel content, and the entire table is Greenguard certified for Indoor Air Quality and Children and Schools.
Side by Side Work, Arco
The fabric walls of these modular workstations from Arco block noise while their open backs and sides encourage arrangement in collaborative groups or as one-off hideaways. Offered as a bench, a desk, and a high table, with a solid oak or veneer top.
Hexa, Resource Furniture
Movable trays make this table a dynamic work surface and storage unit. Hexa is offered in 15.75” and 28.75” heights and with three-, four-, and six-panel tops, allowing it to be used in applications such as desking, meeting rooms, and as a dining table. Laminated panel tops add punches of color while a solid-wood frame improves durability.
Research on the adverse health effects of sitting too much has encouraged designers to craft seats and desks that let their office-based users change position without uprooting their work. One Dutch startup is building on this approach with a Web-enabled desk that, in addition to being raised and lowered, also syncs with a users’ smartphone to tell them when they've been in one position for too long. Perhaps even more beneficial to its user: integrated LED lighting can be set to let colleagues know when the user shouldn’t be bothered. The only catch? Prices start at €1,987.85 (about $2,475.66).
Jobs Meeting Table, Poltrona Frau
Rectangular, leather-upholstered MDF panels top this table from Poltrona Frau, adding a layer of texture and dimension to conference rooms. The table’s brushed-steel frame is interrupted by a wooden column used to hide cables and wires, which can be accessed by users from a central panel atop the desk. The table is part of the company’s Jobs office furniture line.