We have to embrace change, take employees’ needs seriously, and work with them to grow the company.
2020 has been a year of obstacles to overcome for many companies. 2021 is seen as a year of change and renewals.
A rethinking of the way we work and the design of workspaces was necessary. Now a new normal has to be applied in many office spaces.
Working as a Team in a Redesigned Office
Despite the advantages of working from home, most employees hope to return to the office after the pandemic or at least find part-time remote solutions that let them work in the office and from home. Many miss the contact with their co-workers, especially since social connections build trust and bonds in teams.
Digitalization became even more important, and many organizations developed great solutions to connect teams. Socialising cannot happen from the home office or through video calls only, and the office experience finds new value.
During the lockdown, companies had to find ways to have a proper workflow and processes while working remotely. For many, this led to an optimisation of work processes that can easily be adapted to the office’s work. This also means that offices need to be redesigned in order to provide the right working spaces for team meetings, collaborations, and efficient working in privacy.
Three Advantages of a New Office
The design of a new office is connected to many advantages you will have as a company and especially for your employees to work effectively without being stressed and being under mental pressure.
1. More Privacy
Working in a large office space often takes away privacy and the possibility to work in peace. Many employees struggle with productivity and efficiency in shared areas. But new offices in 2021 will be different. With the right steps and measures, companies will be able to create privacy and develop a sense of psychological comfort and security. Ideas can spread when people feel at ease. Privacy screens or a further distance to colleagues help with the acoustics around you, and protect you from noises in adjacent workspaces. Solutions like acoustic pods will give you the ability to focus on your work and hold uninterrupted meetings.
Space XL for the biggest brainstorms
Space L Meeting for a project meetup
2. Less Working Stations More Co-working
New offices will provide more than just some desks, chairs and the usual office environment. They will be collaboration spaces. As per Workspace Utlization Index by Density 76% of the time meeting rooms are occupied by maximum 4 people and 86% of the time by maximum 6 people. This is why companies will more often choose pods instead of building conference rooms. Teams need a place to work on a large scale and complex projects without sending mails around to communicate. Sitting together they will be able to move forward with their project way faster and more efficient.
The JLL’s Global findings on workplace re-entry during COVID-19 research has shown that organizations have been increasingly allocating less square footage to individual desks. It’s clear that safely re-entering the workplace will require a reversal of that densification trend, at least for the near-term.
Space L Double for long project sessions
Space M Double for quick one-to-ones
3. Flexibility and Mobility
Future work spaces require more flexibility. Furniture and acoustic solutions you choose need to be easy to adjust to individual requirements and situations. The number of people using it may vary, so agile solutions are needed. With our pods you can change the setup and the purpose or move them around to easily rearrange office according to your needs.
Wall on coasters with whiteboard stimulates the creativity
Agility and Flexibility for a Better Work Environment
Adaptability, agility, and flexibility define the office spaces of the future. We have to embrace change, take employees’ needs seriously, and work with them to grow the company. In 2020 companies were in a short period of hibernation. This year many are working full speed on new solutions to adapt to the new needs of employees and a work environment that is important for our mental and physical health.
We have taken the time and gathered all our creativity and effort to proudly present not only a new collection to our customers in 2021 but way more.
Every two years, Mute publishes a new catalogue. 2021 is going to be special, though. We will show you not only new solutions for making the most of your office or commercial space with our pods, acoustic lighting, or other acoustic solutions, but we will also present a new colour and fabric palette for the latest season.
Space XL for the biggest brainstorms
Space L Double for a project meetup
New Spaces and Mobility
2020 has shown companies clearly that the way we are using office spaces is changing. Conference rooms that can hold 20 people are becoming history in offices. Teams work closely together and need spaces to seclude themselves for one on one conversations or meetings. Therefore, our Space family has expanded.
Our Space S will not only be available in the standard version but also as the model Video conference so that video calls can be more goal-oriented without any distractions from outside. The new Space L Double comes with even more space for two for video conferences and focused working. Additionally, Space XL will join the pod family in 2021 and provide sound-absorbing space for up to six people.
No worries, our previous versions and sizes of our pods will still be available as we aim to meet all our customers’ needs.
At the same time, flexibility has become a huge must in offices. Therefore, we improved the functionality of our pods to the extent that will surprise you. You can now easily rearrange your office with only two people by moving the pods wherever you like, thanks to additional casters. This will help to optimise your office for a better co-working environment. Tweak the office space and the location of your pods and learn what works best for you and your company.
Why stop with widening a product range we already have and not add a new one to the Mute family? To bring even more comfort to commercial spaces, we brought acoustic solutions and lighting into symbiosis by designing a collection of acoustic lamps. These will provide comfortable lighting or bring coziness and modern design to spaces and create a noise-resistant environment due to their high sound absorption. We will offer four acoustic lamps – Bell, Loop, Line, and Mist – all pioneering in acoustics and beautiful in the craft. Bell and Loop come in three sizes, three and two light source options, and dozens of fabric possibilities. Line comes in six sizes and two light source options, with a wide upholstery selection, while Mist has two pendant and two-floor sizes and a dedicated selection of fabrics to bring an element of the mysterious for every room.
Bell and Loop are available now and will be joined by the offer by Mist and Line in March 2021.
We all know that we calm the atmosphere in the space not only through high-performance acoustic products but also through well-balanced colours. Therefore, we decided to bring also a new colour palette for our products. Our new selection of earthy tones meets warm yellow, dusk blue, and ceramic red to bring a wide range of choices and bring harmony to every space.
Are you curious to have a closer look at our products for 2021? Don’t wait and see our acoustic solutions that will help you create the space of your dreams and spread an elegant and cozy atmosphere in there, and order your sound solutions in January 2021 already.
Tired eyes, a cracked psyche, mood swings, headaches – these can all be effects of the wrong lighting.
The lighting of a room influences us in our work and concentration and has a decisive effect on our productivity and well-being. Tired eyes and headaches can be consequences of wrong lighting in a room.
The right light, therefore, has a big impact on a pleasant working atmosphere. So while designing an office, thinking beyond desks and technical equipment is required. We will tell you how companies and organizations can ensure the right light environment in their offices.
The Effect of Daylight and the Right Desk Set-up on Our Health
There is no denying that daylight is important to our productivity and the efficiency of our work. But it’s not just professionally crucial to work in the right setting – our health will thank us for it too. Tired eyes, a cracked psyche, mood swings, headaches – these can all be effects of the wrong lighting. As Philips makes clear in a report, sunlight and natural light, in particular, have an impact on our well-being and work performance. To support employees in their work, companies need to create a pleasant lighting atmosphere in the office.
Bell with GOLF LED creates warm ambient lighting
Line with double LEDs emits bright beam
Different Types of Lighting to Create a Perfect Environment
Different types of lightning can support employees in the way they work and help companies to provide an atmosphere that will contribute to their well-being at the workplace.
Task Lighting vs. Ambient Lighting
Ambient lighting is the general lighting of a room. It substitutes as natural light and provides the overall illumination of a room. Chandeliers, ceiling lights, and even wall lights that lighten up more than on spot create an even lighting level and a relaxing environment in offices and public areas like restaurants, receptions and hotel lobbies.
The use of task lighting is already included in its name as it is light at a specific spot that is used to be able to do certain tasks like writing or reading. This type of light helps to stimulate our brain and supports us when we have to concentrate and focus. Therefore, light sources like pendant lamps above desk areas, desk lamps and swing arm lamps, fall under the category of task lighting. They are great solutions for work stations, conference rooms and open-plan offices.
While designing spaces, companies need to ensure the necessary illumination levels for each possible area. To do so, they have to consider “Lux” and “Lumens”. Lumen is the total amount of light emitted in all directions from the source. Lux is a measure of illuminance – a total amount of light that falls on a Surface. The same lamp will deliver different amounts of luxes depending on how high it is hung. At the same time different areas require different numbers of luxes. Workstations and meeting rooms need to ensure 500 lux, and reception desks need 300 lux. Entrance halls, on the other hand, only need 100 lux.
Light Colour 3K or 4K
LED lamps and luminaires are available in several colour temperatures. Lamp colour is often a personal choice that is made depending on the environment that should be created. However, most common in office and public spaces are 3000k and 4000k lights. 4000k is a cooler and whiter light that helps to keep people focused. It is mainly used for task lighting. 3000k light, on the other hand, brings a warmer light to a room but may make people a little sleepy after working in this light for a few hours.
Added Options For an Even Better Light Set-up
Additional functions of lightning can provide even more comfort. Very bright light can be dimmed thanks to a Dali dimmer. That way, you can enjoy a little break or adjust the light according to the room and the setting. The microprism diffuser provides a high level of visual comfort. It is ideal for lighting workplaces with its special prismatic structure, as it has low glare due to its special design. With it you can ensure perfect lighting conditions, especially in the workplace.
The right lighting is essential in modern offices. Therefore, you should focus on designing an environment that supports creativity and productivity and increases everyone’s well-being. The right lighting solutions not only bring comfort and a pleasant atmosphere but are also flexible and smart and can be adjusted to individual needs easily.
When you’re creating something new, it’s good to ask yourself if you are adding something interesting to the surroundings without taking too much from the environment.
– Maja Ganszyniec
Meet the figure behind our Mist family, a virtuoso of product and furniture design – Maja Ganszyniec from Studio Ganszyniec. Maja is a designer with a comprehensive approach to the design process, graduated from Design Product at Royal College of Art and Interior Architecture on Cracow Academy of Fine Arts.
Over the last ten years she has been working across Europe on projects for leading brands such as: IKEA, Leroy Merlin, Amica, Mothercare, Orange, Dupont, Camper, Comforty, PayPass, Touchideas and Bellamy. Her works had been shown on recognised exhibitions in Milan, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, and published by Domus, Icon, Abitare and Wallpaper Magazines.
Mute: The past years have been busy for you. You’ve been working on few collections for IKEA, developing your own brand and delivering projects for your long-term clients. What was the most interesting and inspiring aspect of creating Mist lamps? How do they complete your work?
Maja Ganszyniec: It’s my first project that combines two very interesting sides – acoustics and light. Until now my projects mainly focused on more classical interior design elements. However, the concept of acoustic comfort was always very close and personal to me, because noise reduction becomes a more and more challenging issue, mostly in open space offices.
M: Do you have a theory why?
MG: Partly because open space concept became so popular and has been implemented almost in every bigger office. The general idea of open plan office, developed in 50s in Germany, was meant to foster communication within the company. But lately it went the other way around. Several studies discovered that open office plan decreases number of face-to-face interactions between employees. Plenty of workers sit in a headphones or in conference rooms. It’s simply because open offices are full of noise and people observe on a daily basis that it has a negative impact on their work. On top of that people’s work is becoming more complicated, requiring more time for a focused work. Recently I’ve observed many new solutions for noise reduction in business spaces and I’m happy to add something innovative to this emerging trend.
M: So why did you find designing the acoustic lighting an interesting project if there are so many solutions already on the market?
MG: In my opinion, they are effective, yet very similar to each other. From an aesthetic point of view, they often lack of something unique that could make them an acoustic tool and also a piece of decoration. To me, it was a chance to create one of the first decorative acoustic products that could look great in modern-designed offices, in fancy restaurants, or a glamorous hotel.
M: So, the goal was to create something unique but also practical and useful?
MG: I believe that in modern interior design, every inch and square meter has to be used effectively. I’ve observed that in some offices plenty of space is taken by acoustic products with only one function. In my opinion, the era of one-function products is coming to an end as we have less and less space, and we’ve got to make the most of it. That is why the Mist Lamp is multifunctional: sound absorber, space divider, and lamp.
M: Only three functions, nothing more? 🙂
MG: On top of it, there is an inductive charger or USB A+C port on the surface of every Mist lamp, so we can call it a device charger as well.
M: What’s behind all these functions? What was your big idea?
MG: I wanted to create something that could be a practical space divider but with some subtlety to it. That’s why the context of light is so important. Most of these kinds of products are just walls. I’ve observed that every traditional space divider makes a place a little bit darker and more gloomy. I chose a delicately transparent fabric because I wanted to allow the light to shine through and penetrate the room. During the day, semi-transparent curtains ensure the lamp’s translucency, letting in the sun. After dark, a pleated curtain ensures a comforting, understated light that works beautifully in every surrounding, creating a comfortable atmosphere. On top of that, thanks to the fabric we’ve used, MIST creates a magical visual effect – when you turn on the light, it seems like the top cover of the lamp is floating gently in the air.
M: What was the main technical challenge with creating the product?
MG: The hardest part was to find a proper solution to make it look soft and transparent and, at the same time to obtain a high level of blocking and sound-absorbing quality. With cooperation with Mute’s product technologists, we’ve done that using invisible wall made of plexiglass that also creates acoustic cavities on both sides of the product. Part of the soundwaves are “caught inside,” and because of that, the lamp limits reverberation.
MG: Finally, what are the key features of well-designed products, in your opinion?
M: Lovability 🙂 Shape, function, ease of use. And, of course, sustainability. When you think about it, the world doesn’t necessarily need more chairs or lamps. So, when you are creating something new, it’s good to ask yourself if you are adding something interesting to the surroundings without taking too much from the environment. I am glad that Mute looks at that issue the same way.
7 most commonly used concepts that you may be unfamiliar with
Every world has its jargon – and the Lighting world is no exception. This article is meant to help you cut through the noise of lighting industry’s tough-to-decipher acronyms and expressions so that you can discover the true value behind the buzzwords. Take a look and see what’s the difference between strength of light and light output, what does UGR stand for and what the hell is Microprism Diffuser. Here we go!
Strength of light – W (Watt)
Traditional way of measuring the light showing how much energy is consumed by lighting source. This way of measurement was working well with traditional lighting bulbs, where the higher the wattage lamp is, the brighter it is. However, after LED lighting emerged, it became ineffective. Why? Because now it doesn’t necessarily show us the real brightness of light – LED lighting consumes a lot less energy while providing more light than incandescent lamps. Classic bulb is not effective as professional LED Lighting, because it changes most of its energy into heat, not in light.
Light output – LM (Lumen)
The real unit of light used in lighting measurement. Basically, Lumen is the total amount of light emitted in all directions from the source. The higher the lumen rating, the “brighter” the lamp will appear. It is a way more effective and practical solution to measure lighting because with low energy LED lamps, more Light Output can be achieved with much less power consumption. For example, a 6.5W LED lamp will give a similar light output to a 50W bulb lighting. That’s 87% less energy (Watts) for the same light output!
Lux is a measure of illuminance. It’s the total amount of light that falls on a certain surface. The same Light output can provide different Lux levels, depending on the place we want to measure. For example, if you hang a lamp which gives 2500 lm. only 0,5 m. above the surface you want to illuminate, you will get a lot higher level of LX than when you place the same lamp few meters higher. LX level has a direct impact on the comfort of work.
Bellow you can find recommended Lux levels in different interiors:
→ Office, meeting room – 500 lux
→ Reception desk – 300 lux
→ Lounge – 200 lux
→ Entrance Hall – 100 lux
Color temperature – K (Kelvin)
It is a scale for measuring color of light on a warm-to-cool spectrum. It is measured in Kelvins – higher number means “cooler” tones, while lower numbers reflect “yellower”, lighter tones. Cooler or neutral tones (for example 4000 K) are believed to have a positive influence on work efficiency. That is why they are recommended for working spaces and open offices. Warmer colors, like 3000K, will work well in social areas, creating more cozy atmosphere. On the picture below you can see that it is possible to create completely different atmosphere using different color temperatures in the same room.
Color Rendering Index (CRI)
CRI index measures the ability of a certain light source to reveal “realistic” colors of objects in contrast to a natural light source. The range of Index is between 0 and 100. A CRI of 100 represent maximum value of natural sun light. Lower CRI value indicates that some colors may appear unnatural, not sharp enough and mix with each other.
Professional lighting products for restaurants, offices and other places, where we spend more than 4h every day, should be at least CRI 80. Bellow you can see that the color of the apple changes from most natural to a way more artificial and pale, depending on the level of CRI.
UGR – Unified Glare Rating
UGR determines if light source blinds us or not. This classification ranges from 5 to 40, with low numbers indicating low glare. A good parameter is below 22, but workstations in offices need UGR level below 19. Inappropriate, too sharp and excessive lightings cause excessive brightness to be bounced off reflective surfaces like computer screens or whiteboards. This can create a serious disruption for employees – headaches or eyes troubles. As with lux, a real UGR can be measured only on spot.
It is a tool used to scatter light and to create more soft lighting experience. It’s installed on the light source to reduce glare and to provide extremely high visual comfort thanks to its characteristic prismatic structure. That is why Microprism diffuser is ideal for the illumination of workplaces. Allows to reach optimal UGR level in offices spaces.