IKEA Teams Up With STEPS To Design “Inclusive Office”

IKEA has teamed up with STEPS to create an “Inclusive Office” model, hoping to promote a universal design for all and motivate society to accept people’s differences.

With the project, IKEA and STEPS, an organization that provides access to job skills and employment training to neurodivergent youngsters, reaffirm their commitment and determination to make the world a home for all.

The “Inclusive Office” designed for all can be created in five ways. In the first one, companies should zone their offices’ spaces by activity to define responsibilities within each area and make them clearer for everyone.

The second way involves providing individual lighting options, including smart lighting or uplighting and downlighting lamps, to allow each employee to control their environment as needed and perform better.

In a third way, organizations must provide a wide variety of seating options since users should be able to choose their own chairs according to their preferences.

As a fourth way to create the Inclusive Office, employers must provide desks that can be adjusted in height to suit each person’s body type and activity. Also, it should be considered that some people prefer to work standing or move with more freedom.

The fifth and final way requires companies to keep spaces organized and adapt areas when the environment’s needs change.

IKEA Thailand’s Inspiration & and Communications manager, Waranthorn Tachakunakorn, spoke about the collaboration to create the “Inclusive Office,” explaining that the manufacturer believed in diversity and wanted to make the world equal for everyone.

Over the years, IKEA has created products with different designs, prices and functionalities to improve people’s quality of life and support customers with different needs. Therefore, the company’s representatives are proud to be part of the program.

“We are aware of the potential of neurodivergent people, including those with autism. They all have the ability to work and live effectively. We, therefore, have to design a work environment and accommodations that incorporate the diversity and differences of users,” Mr. Waranthorn added.

STEPS Community’s CEO and co-founder Max Simpson described IKEA as an organization that shared its vision of creating accessible work environments for people with disabilities. He also said that working with the manufacturer was an opportunity to build an inclusive community and empower others to use inclusive office models in their environments.

In the organization’s environment, the “Inclusive Office” model has been applied to a 100 m2 room to accommodate up to 25 employees. However, Mr. Simpson explained that it could be adapted to any space.

Those who want to create their own “Inclusive Office” can learn more about STEPS’ recommendations and choose office members at IKEA online or any physical store.