Kickstart: The future hybrid office
The future hybrid office
Herman Miller Inc. knows that you’ve been working at home a lot, and that you expect you’ll still being working at home — at least part of the time — in the future as more firms embrace hybrid office work strategies.
So the office furniture maker is also embracing change, with a podcast that will examine “the future of work.” Ryan Anderson, vice president of global research and insights at Zeeland, Mich.-based Herman Miller, is hosting the Looking Forward podcast, which is available on most streaming platforms. The first guest for the podcast is an executive from Slack, a network that has seen a lot more use during the pandemic.
Obviously the company’s bread and butter has been the traditional office, but as Anderson notes in a short introduction to the series, it is also seeing some employers try to improve home work settings for a future “new normal” that will allow people to work from home at least a few days a week.
“If an employee spends two days a week working from home, that’s 40 percent of their work week when they’re not able to benefit from the ergonomic work settings that their office provides,” Anderson says.
Beyond the podcast, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out this story on how Herman Miller reengineered the Aeron chair to use ocean-bound plastics.
‘Rich vegan leather’?
If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the actor Ricardo Montalban talking about “rich Corinthian leather” in car ads.
The material was really just a marketing term, created to make the Chrysler Cordoba sound more exclusive than it was.
Now another marketing term is making the rounds: “vegan leather.”
The term has been used on occasion to sell vehicles using urethane or thermoplastic polyolefin for interior trim. Now Dow Inc. is using the term for the trim on a vehicle made using liquid silicone rubber as a leather alternative.
The material is being used in vehicles made by Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Human Horizons for seat upholstery.
Four out of five dentists recommend bluetooth
There’s big business in toothbrushes. Or at least in the high-end toothbrushes marketed with bluetooth connectivity that sell at prices “starting” at $25.
New York-based Quip recently announced it had raised $100 million in new financing. The biggest new investor, Cowen Sustainable Investment, was partially lured by Quip’s stated goal to reduce plastic and packaging through its oral care products.
The funds will help build the company’s sales channels and design new products that will build on its line of refillable floss picks, mouthwash containers and smart toothbrushes, our sister paper Crain’s New York Business writes. Quip expects to sell 1 million units this year.
The company’s bluetooth-enabled toothbrush can be paired with a smartphone app to track your brushing routine. I suppose that’s a better way to track if your kids have actually brushed their teeth than just checking if the brush is wet. No word on if the app can make sure your other family members put the cap back on the toothpaste, however.