Beanbags were the epitome of chic and cool in the 1970s. Their flexibility, mobility, affordability and comfort made them great favourites, especially among the young.
Now, four decades on, they’re back – but this time in the office.
We look at how workplaces are using beanbags for the most creative of meetings.
More and more executives are exploring new weird and wonderful ways of breaking the ice at meetings. Few items will break down stranger delegates’ inhibitions more than a giant beanbag.
The oversized Mondo KloudSac, for example, at 152 x 90 cm, can sit two – or even three if staff are feeling particularly adventurous.
Guaranteed to evaporate that often stultifying English starchiness out of an attendee at an instant – freeing them up to be more open and setting those creative juices flowing.
Because their shape can be moulded like fluffing up a pillow, such flexibility makes them easier on the back. Older, taller and plumper employees with defective backs must have waited years for the beanbag to surface in the office after eons of sitting on stiff, posture-ruining, upright hard chairs.
Beanbags leave meeting attendees free to brainstorm rather than clock-watch, agonising about their aching joints.
Your office can get some mid-morning aroma-therapy by placing a coffee-scented beanbag in your dining room/kitchen/informal meeting place, we kid you not. The Johanna Hansson-designed Coffee Fellow model is constructed from recycled sacks of coffee beans.
More and more bosses are being won round by the concept of power naps for their staff. This is especially catching on in the Far-East. More than one in three Singaporeans, for example, cite a stressless location to snooze as top of their wishlist, according to a LinkedIn poll.
What better place to do this than curled up cosily in a beanbag, leaving you totally refreshed for the remainder of the day ahead?
A Big Maxx and large shake, please
It’s the beanbag equivalent of the La-Z-Boy recliner, the Lazybag, perhaps. But instead of watching football with a beer, the Big Maxx model allows you to rest in work-time, perhaps over lunch.
It does this with the help of extra container space for items such as magazines, iPods and MP3 players. The music or the read should put you in an inventive mood for your upcoming meeting, shaking out all the inertia in you.
Show you mean business
Why not use your beanbag as an office chair? The Solo has a high enough back to cushion your spine for countless hours sat at your desk. It’s uber-comfy and its versatility means that it can also be easily transported into the meeting room for a conference too.
The feng-shui fantastic
Any advocates of feng-shui will argue that a colourful working environment produces colourful results. Few beanbags come more vibrant than the Fatboy Marimekko, with a choice of vivid hues designed to inspire equally bright minds.
Unlike their 1970s forebears, today’s beanbags don’t come that cheap. But they’re still cheaper than most sofas. You may have to pay around £369 for a top-of-the-range, durable one. But, hey, if it sparks the odd eureka! moment, then it’s all bean well worth the investment …
Posted by Ashleigh Sharp