One aspect that has always been important for office furniture is the aesthetic. The furniture is part of the corporate image of the office and therefore has to be complemented with architectural elements and decoration.
On the other hand, the aesthetic characteristics of the furniture also tend to be useful as a differentiating element of office areas. Especially in the open plans, in which the different spaces are not limited by walls that clearly differentiate where one begins and the other ends, these can be distinguished by the appearance of the furniture.
Another important factor is the symbolic properties that are wanted to be transmitted (warmth, innovation, simplicity, privacy, etc.), and what characteristics of the furniture can represent more or less said properties. Such properties are global, transmitted by the whole furniture, but ultimately are determined by their design and construction characteristics.
And although providing a design of this type of property is a creative activity that has its own professionals, it has also been quantitatively studied which are the most important symbolic loads in furniture such as tables and chairs, and how they can influence certain physical characteristics of the product in these properties.
In the selection of a piece of furniture for the office, these criteria can be taken into account, as well as methodologies such as the so-called Kansei Engineering, which allows the quantification of subjective perceptions, to decide which one is aesthetically most suited to the needs of the company.
Likewise, it must be considered that aesthetics has a technical value, since perception influences functionality. The worker who finds himself in an environment that, due to his aesthetic characteristics, seems comfortable, and in which order is favored, feels more at ease and performs his task better.
According to various studies (Helander and Zhang, 1996 and 1997) the perceived properties of furniture can be clearly classified into comfort properties and discomfort properties, the second related to fatigue that the user feels when using them for a long time, and the first dependent largely on aesthetic aspects, rather than on biomechanics.