You are a supplier for the office furniture industry. Their products can be found in office furniture, among other things. How have you experienced the year 2020 so far?
2020 is a very mixed year for us, with lows and short periods of recovery, but overall rather subdued. There is an upward trend in incoming orders, end customers are waiting to see how the situation develops and are postponing investments until the new year. Uncertainty about how the working environment will be shaped in the future is clearly noticeable.
With your product YOYO smart ergonomics you promote healthy working, but you can also use a booking system to coordinate the occupancy of office space. So you were practically ahead of your time. Can you explain how this works?
Imagine a smart home: Here is the driving idea that I can digitally control as many devices and applications as possible from a central location at home. We have transferred this concept to the office.
With YOYO smart ergonomics, office workers can set up and control their entire workplace from table and chair to ergonomic workstation lamp or personal locker from the YOYO app, exactly according to their ergonomic needs.
These features are embedded in YOYO Booking. This is a smart reservation tool for workstations and meeting rooms. YOYO Booking enables users to find exactly the right workstation for the tasks they need to perform, for example, within the framework of a shared desk policy, and to set and control this workstation according to their ergonomic needs. In addition, YOYO also provides a precise overview of how many people are actually in the office space or the occupancy in certain areas conflicts with the applicable rules of the game.
To pick up on your introductory question - yes, one could say that YOYO was perhaps a little ahead of its time at the beginning of its development. But if a company has to guarantee safe working, a sensible combination of office, home office and all the variants in between in the current pandemic situation, then I would rather say that we are right up to date with YOYO.
The range also includes a height-adjustable and therefore flexible table frame with a currentless drive. Does this frame stand a chance at all compared to the electric motor drive?
You are actually talking about my favourite. I was impressed by this currentless drive right from the start. The height adjustment is triggered by a compression spring, similar to the gas spring on the boot, via a kind of handle. It's so quick&easy that anyone who tries out a table like this for the first time is quite amazed at how easily and silently the table can be adjusted in height.
The advantages: the table moves with me, as fast as my natural motion sequence when I get up and sit down. I do not have to wait for the table. This simple and quick handling naturally encourages a much more frequent change between sitting and standing, thus promoting the dynamic of sitting and standing.
I also like the environmentally friendly and sustainable aspect: I do not need electricity or any maintenance or service - the pneumatic table works for a lifetime. We have embedded a video of the product on our ambista profile.
What do you think in general, how will workspaces and offices change in the coming years?
I think the large office suites with umpteen newly furnished workplaces will be a model that will die out. Existing working environments must be reassessed and changed accordingly. Now it is important to really make things better and to bring about really sustainable changes in the world of work.
In the future, work will be even more project-based, with different activities and tasks. This will require more collaborative spaces and more multifunctional rooms - this can look very different from one sector and user to another; there is no such thing as THE blueprint.
In any case, I wouldn't want to do without the office altogether, because it naturally also fulfils an important social function. In the meantime, it is also possible to work independently of assigned rooms and fixed hours. That is precisely why the office should be a place for meeting, inspiration and exchange, my emotional and spatial home base.
Can you tell us what you are working on right now? What will your new solutions be?
Indeed, we have used the last six months to push ahead with some interesting product developments which are close to market maturity. The topics speed, load and service will certainly play a decisive role in our new drive system and secure us a great competitive advantage - I can already tell you that much.
In the field of pneumatic table frames, we have succeeded in developing a three-stage table frame with a stroke of 600 mm, i.e. the table now reaches a height of 1.25 m upper edge of the table top. This has never been seen before. Large people finally have a choice when it comes to the type of height adjustment. Under "Green Line" we will now combine all currentless models, from the small single-column frame for the home to the frame with a particularly large stroke, as a series.
An exciting story is our new product "Gravitydesk" which will be launched at the beginning of November and will reach a whole new market and new target groups. True to the motto "Do your thing with GRAVITIYDESK. Your table. Your design, you can design your own table in our shop or choose from 20 motifs. Your table top will be personalised, so to speak, and printed for you in edition 1.
A unique piece is now in your home office, if you were creative yourself and have uploaded a successful holiday photo, pet, family crest or favourite logo. There are no limits to your imagination. Ergonomics and design are finally no longer mutually exclusive. As you can see, we have exciting projects underway.
You have also used ambista for yourself from early on. Where do you see advantages in digital networking and presentation on digital platforms for yourself?
I was immediately convinced by the networking idea of ambista. As a customer of Koelnmesse I really appreciate this global business platform for us exhibitors. The world meets here in a concentrated form, visitors and exhibitors, whether manufacturers, suppliers or dealers, come together.
This is where the pulse of the furniture industry beats and you can look beyond your own nose. ambista is agile, constantly expanding its functions, I like that, and of course it offers us many opportunities to present our products.
I can also warmly recommend the magazine: Well-researched articles and interesting stories alternate with informative opinions and trend contributions. I have the impression that you always keep me informed about the latest developments and trends. Really worth reading!