You want to work ware?
It is obvious that technology is having a greater and greater impact on office environments, and at Orgatec it is easy to see how many different solutions and technical tools are becoming available. A short walk around the fair exposes the visitor to interactive screens that you can write on, screens integrated into the fabric of partition systems, and of course Haworth's workware solution.
Our booth experts are the designers of workware, Steffen Lipsky and Ryan McClymonds, who are on hand to explain the application of this collaborative solution.
You would imagine that connecting and sharing 4 different laptop displays on a single screen would be complicated, or would require a lot of messy cables, but Ryan quickly showed how simple the system really is.
Evidently the most simple option is to slide open the desktop access and pull out a cable directly to your laptop. However, Haworth has a focus on clean design and an eye to the future, so workware also works entirely wirelessly, and it is not that much more complicated.
The initial setup does require a short software installation. This is accessible from the network, or could be installed from a USB stick. Once this is on the machine you only need to be connected to the wifi network, and the software automatically shows you a list of monitors to which you can connect.
A very simple interface allows you with one click to put your laptop screen up onto the main screen. To my eyes it took about 1 second for the display to appear, and I was impressed with the speed, yet Ryan said that it would be much faster in an office space instead of at a huge fair like Orgatec where there are hundreds of competing wifi signals.
The software interface consists of very few buttons that are instantly intuitive to use, and allow you to share your display fullscreen, on just one quarter of the screen, and of course to stop sharing your screen. A simple drop down allows you to choose alternative displays connected to the same network.
The booth has several different installations of workware, to be sure that it is available for different demonstrations, but within a real office environment there would usually be a single united system, meaning that from your 2nd floor sales bench you could wirelessly broadcast your screen to the 10th floor executive conference room to quickly share your ideas with an entire boardroom.
I actually spoke to Ryan for much longer, as he fielded questions from booth visitors.. and workware offers much more and is an incredibly well designed system for integration into a range of environments and is future proofed for advances in technology, but workware has to be seen to be believed.
Frankly I was impressed, and have another tool on my list of things to add to my office back in the UK.
Calm space on a busy booth
After a brilliantly succesful first day, the challenge was to top it. On Tuesday, the booth was so busy it was hard to see from one side to the other - even though the space is beautifully open and welcoming.
So on Wednesday, after Michael Kaiser, Director of Sales and Marketing for Germany, once again gave his opening speech, it was good to see that the footfall to the booth does not seem to have abated. Within the first half an hour the booth was full again.
The French teams have several of their dealers visiting today, and Alexandre Bouchard, Product Manager, took a moment out of his busy schedule to tell me about (Calm)space, a prototype that has been tested in France.
(Calm)space was designed by Marie Virginie Berbet and it is easy to picture the benefits this could have once you have experienced it. From a booth flowing with visitors, I stepped through the curtain into the semi darkness, and settled onto soft cushioning, realising how much the sounds from outside had been muffled.
Alexandre demonstrated the touchscreen LCD where you can choose the length of nap that you think you need. Apparently the maximum is 20 minutes, since otherwise you go into too deep a sleep and would not awaken refreshed.
As he started the cycle, a red light filled the booth and calming sounds of the sea filled the space. The colour of the light has an effect on your melatonin, which is the body's natural chemical to induce and regulate our sleeping and waking cycles.
Calming sounds and red lights help you drift off, while a blue light towards the end of the cycle reverses these effects and serves to bring you gently back to full consciousness.
Unfortunately for me, (Calm)space is generating a lot of interest on the booth, so I could not take a 20 minute nap, but it should be available at the start of 2013, so hopefully soon there will be one in my own office.
A trumpet call has become the traditional way of starting Orgatec on the Haworth booth, and 2012 is no exception. Werner Burose played as our Chairman, Matthew Haworth, arrived, and then he and Michael Kaiser, Director of Sales and Marketing for Germany, took turns to speak and welcome members.
The first day saw a vast number of people arriving on the booth. The reception team greeted visitors from all over the world, and across the social working hub a few steps would take you from a Chinese conversation to one in Dutch.
The Dutch team were certainly out in force, and Erwin Kremers, Sales Manager, was even honoured with a Dick Haworth award for his long standing contribution to the excellent ergonomic knowledge base Haworth enjoys.
Of course the German contingent are always a large percentage, and this day was the German Dealer Day, with a large networking event in the evening. At this, Henning Figge, the new European Vice President, presented his vision for the future.. echoing the booth themes in expressing the importance of collaboration between Haworth and our dealers.
Of course in the spirit of Haworth, it wasn't long after an incredible meal that Members took to the dance floor to shake off the weariness of a long, busy day. Indeed Ann Harten, our Global VP Human Resources got a big cheer from the German team as she joined in.
Haworth values Orgatec
Tuesday 23rd of October marks the start of the Orgatec fair in Cologne, but for many Haworth members, it began much earlier with the construction of the stand. The international team has been hard at work to create a space that Haworth can be truly proud of.
The day before Orgatec begins is always a chance for Haworth members to delve into the space, really absorb the Organic Workspace story behind it, and of course receive direct updates from product managers about the latest developments in the portfolio.
At the Member welcome dinner on Monday night, Franco Bianchi asked all those involved in bringing the booth to life to stand up and take their deserved applause, of which there was plenty. Matthew Haworth continued, making the point that Haworth is not tethered to a building, or even a country or a continent. Haworth is a family, so Haworth is wherever we are grouped together.
The evening certainly felt like a family reunion, as Haworth members from all departments and all countries mingled in a German beer hall, seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
Haworth's values are what binds us globally, and these were celebrated in a series of awards to long serving, or particularly dedicated members. These awards come from our Chairman Emeritus, Dick Haworth, in recognition of truly living the values.
As the evening drew to a close, Members could retire happy at having reconnected with colleagues, and feeling fully trained and ready for the excitement of the start of Orgatec the next day.