Red Dot Award: Product Design

Being productive in the home office

The power of design: working efficiently in the home office with Red Dot winning products

The Corona pandemic has turned millions of employees into home workers. The current situation forces companies in which the home office has previously only been a marginal phenomenon to rethink. Thus, more and more employees can now appreciate greater flexibility in everyday life, digital communication channels and concentrated individual work in a familiar environment. This rapid change can be seen as an achievement of the crisis, which will certainly leave its mark in the long term.

Against this background, the design of the domestic workplace is becoming increasingly important, as it is a decisive factor when it comes to the productivity of employees. From office furniture and desk lamps to technical equipment – the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020 has honoured numerous products that promote concentration and health when working from home. They all impress with their first-class design quality and convince with self-explanatory functionality as well as outstanding aesthetics.

Technical equipment as the basis for work in the home office

In order to fully exploit the potential of work from home, the technical equipment is essential and the laptop is it’s heart. Lenovo's first notebook with a foldable display, the “ThinkPad Fold”, represents an ideal solution for the home office. The 13.3 inch screen, which is complemented by a wireless keyboard, can be reduced to 7.2 inches by folding. Lenovo has thus created an all in one system that allows users to interact with the device as a tablet, laptop or e-book reader. The product received a Red Dot: Best of the Best.

Lenovo's “ThinkVision M14 Mobile Monitor” also received the highest distinction in the Red Dot Award: Product Design. In the home office, the product complements the laptop or smartphone and connects with the help of an extended USB-C port. The monitor impresses with its low weight of 598 grams and the 4.4 millimetre thin as well as 14 inch display.

The “Cisco Webex Desk Pro” offers a good alternative for all those who increasingly communicate via video conferencing in the home office. The AI supported, interactive monitor provides a variety of innovative functions, such as the “Webex Assistant”, automatic face recognition or a digital whiteboard. Thus, the Red Dot winning product facilitates the cooperation in projects from the teleoffice. The “AirPods Pro” from Apple, which received a Red Dot: Best of the Best, can also be used complementarily. The in-ear headphones suppress external noise and consequently promote concentration while working.

Office furniture for a homely atmosphere and ergonomic working

The choice of furniture also plays a decisive role when arranging the workplace: It should create a homely, comfortable atmosphere and support effective, healthy working. A classic office chair variant is “Occo Conference, 224 range” from Wilkhahn, which received a Red Dot. It convinces with its discreet appearance and high level of seating comfort. Available in two sizes and six different frame versions, for example with legs made of solid oak or shiny chrome-plated tubular steel, the chair designed by Jehs + Laub adapts flexibly to the needs of the user.

The “Marca Table” from Okamura also catches the eye with its flexibility. Thanks to its filigree design and the thin tabletop of only 15 millimetres, it can be folded up effortlessly and stored compactly, making it ideal for those who do not have a separate bureau. The surface of the table is hardly susceptible to fingerprints due to the melamine used. An ergonomic alternative is the height-adjustable desk “HighONE” from LEUWICO. It is characterised by a low-noise, manually operated single-column lifting technology with an adjustment range between 60 and 130 centimetres in height. The lifting column makes all cables disappear. In addition, the seemingly floating tabletop can be individually configured, as different materials are available. Both tables were awarded a Red Dot by the jury.

“The modern appearance of this furniture system is characterised strikingly by its modular design, customisation possibilities and versatile use,” said the jury about the Red Dot winning shelving system “Nodum” from JG Open Systems and Ovicuo Design BCN. The office furniture’s clear and minimalist basic module, which can be individualised with open or lockable elements, enables practical storage of office materials. The mounting system makes Nodum particularly easy to install.

Ideal lighting for a better view

In addition to ergonomic, homely furniture, the right lighting is also important in the home office. This primarily ensures a clear view, but also lends the office its individual charm. The Chinese manufacturer “Jiangsu Tian Tian Xiang Shang Smart Home” scored points in the Red Dot Award with the LED desk lamp “Nova”. It follows an elegant design language as the luminaire head can be flexibly adjusted via two inconspicuous joints. The touch control panel allows infinitely variable dimming and thus easy switching between different lighting scenarios. The brightness and colour temperature can also be adjusted via voice control.

The Red Dot winning luminaire “Stay Table” from the Danish manufacturer “Nordlux” is more classic. The swivel mechanism of its lampshade allows flexible alignment, while the integrated LED technology ensures good lighting conditions. In the base of the lamp, which serves as a storage surface thanks to a border, there is a charging station with USB connection and a discreet on/off switch. The product was designed by Maria Berntsen Design Studio.

The coordination of the lighting in the room can be handled by Niko’s intuitive “Touchswitch” control screen, which was awarded a Red Dot: Best of the Best. The product allows the control of up to twelve different functions, all of which are relevant for concentrated work – these include not only the lighting mood but also the ventilation, music or shutters. The touch screen is no larger than a light switch, is easy to configure and has an excellent image quality that adjusts to the brightness in the room.

Useful products for more order in the home office

It is not only large purchases that make it easier to work from home. Small Red Dot winning helpers also support managing everyday life: The modular, easily transportable organiser “MagEasy” from Dongguan Solution 33 Electronic Technology and LHiDS Creative is particularly suitable for this. Equipped with various holders and tabs, it enables the organisation of numerous objects and documents with the help of magnets. The “ETERNAL NOTEBOOK” from nuka is also an ideal companion. The tickler is made of synthetic paper as well as a cover made of silicone rubber and is therefore completely rewritable as well as waterproof. Each page can be digitally transferred and synchronised with an app. In addition, the stable document compartment “Levo Tray” from Litem L&C simplifies the storage of important analogue documents. The height of the elements can be adjusted using a simple plug-in system.

Publication of the products in the online exhibition on 22 June

From helpful products for the home office to household appliances to robotics, cars and drones – the Red Dot Award honours objects of all kinds. An overview of the variety as well as the design quality of the individual products is provided by the online exhibition, which will present all of this year's winners from 22 June. The date also marks the beginning of the Red Dot Design Week, during which the winners will be duly celebrated with extensive social media activities.