We get up close and personal with Richard Andrews, one of South Africa’s experts in office furniture. Richard is a Director at ‘Inspiration Office’ ,which is a distributor of international office furniture brands and exclusively designed locally produced pieces.


What are the values that Inspiration Office has been built on?
Inspiration Office is built on the core values of honesty and integrity. We want to build repeat customers and mutually beneficial relationships.

What is the vision behind your concept?
The furniture we offer is inspired by current international trends.
The vision behind our showrooms in Illovo (Johannesburg) and Woodstock (Cape Town), is that they will be places that the wider design community will start to see as an extension of their own offices. A place to which they will bring their clients for meetings and to “play” with our furniture.
Our versatile showroom spaces also lend themselves to photo shoots, product launches and fashion shows.

Where would your dream office be situated and what is the one ‘must have’ piece of furniture in it?
My dream office would be situated in Cape Town (…Cape Town in Summer that is).
A must have piece of furniture….. it would be an ergonomic task chair. For me, it would have to be the Steelcase Please chair or the Charta by Konig + Neurath.

                          Please Executive by Steelcase               Charta Executive by K+N

Do you believe that people are inspired by beautiful design and are thus are more productive in the work place?

I do. To attract & retain talent, employers will need to offer a space people want to be in! Furniture is a key factor in doing this!
People are spending more and more of their lives in the office. In reality work has moved beyond the regular 9 – 5. With this in mind, it is becoming increasingly important to create a working environment where people feel comfortable. If a person is not comfortable in their working environment it will stifle his or her creativity and productivity.
The furniture chosen is a vital component in providing this level of comfort. One’s task chair for example, needs to be something that a worker can identify with and be comfortable in. It needs to offer the support required to complete the daily tasks. We carry a wide range of chairs that are designed to support different work styles and tasks, without detracting from an organisations CI.
The furniture also needs to be functional. If I am needing to store or file documents, I want to do this with ease. Third level storage systems maximise the space above a user’s workstation (thereby maximising the usage of the space) and provide easy access to documentation.
A user’s workstation can have a profound impact on productivity. The ability to access power points, adjust the height of a desk and access cable trays is an important aspect to be considered when selecting the appropriate desking solution. At Inspiration Office we provide a wide variety of such options that can be tailored to suit most budgets.
Employers are naturally concerned with their CI. However, as employers we have a duty of care to our staff. Thought has to be given to how people work. A worker who is able to operate in a well thought out, ergonomic and functional space will not only be a contented worker, but will also be more creative and productive. Research has shown that a well-designed and healthy office space can increase efficiency by up to 36%.
In today’s work environment, 40% of workers come to the office for access to the tools and technology they need to operate effectively. 72% of workers say that the office is the best place to interact with colleagues and mobile (or nomadic) workers spend 60% of their time in the office
Our surroundings and work environment has a profound and measureable impact on our creativity and productivity.

Who is your favourite furniture designer?
My favourite designer is Stefan Brodbeck.
I like that fact that Stefan’s design philosophy is built around 3 key factors: people, the market and the future.
I also really like the Steelcase Forward product range, which was designed by Sir Norman Foster.

If you had to give your office furniture a personality, who would it be?
This is a tough one… I guess Will Smith… Cool, yet sophisticated and a little bit quirky with the ability to re-invent oursleves. I also don’t know many people who don’t like Will Smith…..

Who does the interior decorating in your home, you or your wife?
My wife is responsible for the decorating of our home. She has a natural eye for it!

What springs to mind as your favourite project that you have been involved with?
The recently refurbished Accenture offices are a project we are particularly proud to have been involved with. The final product represents an integration of environmentally friendly, locally manufactured solutions with imported task seating.
We are in the process of installing the furniture in the new Alexander Forbes head office in Sandton and are about to start the process for the Allan Gray head office in Cape Town. These are exciting projects for us and we feel privileged to be involved with both of them.

Where do you see Inspiration Office in 5 years time?

In 5 years time Inspiration Office will have firmly established itself as the leader in office furniture in South Africa. We have some very interesting ideas about local procurement, furniture design and the environment – watch this space…

Inspirational quote that you live by:
Attitude is altitude


For more on Inspiration Office website

Views: 754

Comment by alexandra avgitidis on July 3, 2012 at 16:11

Great interview Richard:)

Comment by Beth Seagal on July 3, 2012 at 17:02

Nothing like a man that knows his trade!

Comment by Elesha Stewart on July 3, 2012 at 22:57

I agree with you Richard, Will Smith is very like-able and so is Inspiration Office!

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