March 11, 2021
The furniture industry has started to experience a marriage of residential and commercial furniture, resulting in a new setting known as resimercial. The style has been growing in popularity in the past couple years, but, it was at NeoCon 2017 that resimercial went from being just another trend to a legitimate movement.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the resimercial trend was primarily about bringing the comfort of home into the work environment through inspiring spaces and using furniture and furnishings to create a sense of calm in the workplace.
To adapt to that shift, manufacturers started developing office furniture with a residential sensibility in mind.
While some companies were embracing the resimercial design in their workplaces, a parallel shift was also allowing flexible ways to work, i.e., working from home. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend in favor of home office needs and required a much larger percentage of the population to work from home.
These shifts have motivated the furniture industry to evolve and go after new markets, including the hybrid resimercial market. While many benefits of resimercial furniture exist, such as comfort and flexible spaces, the new market trend also comes with a unique set of risks. In addition, the resimercial furniture demand has grown quickly, leaving less time to consider safety hazards.
As part of our innovative safety approach, we have designed a solution to help mitigate the resimercial furnishings needs by executing a gap analysis of your products for the residential requirements and vice versa.
Hidden Risks of Resimercial Furniture
Furnishings are utilized in several different settings. As mentioned, these settings are mainly broken down into residential and commercial environments. Each of these environments presents a particular set of risks to users and the surrounding environment. Manufacturers need to be aware when they want to leverage to the resimercial furniture market.
A couple of practical examples will help you quickly understand what those risks are. In a residential area, it’s likely children don’t understand the potential hazard of moving furniture. They may remain unsupervised and may play with the furniture. Due to the presence of children, it is crucial that the product presents no mechanical risks, such as pinch points or protruding parts, nor shock hazards due to handy receptacles.
In the commercial environment, it is unlikely that you will have children present, but people will use the products much more than in a residential setting. Residential sofas, armchairs or tables brought into a workplace must be safe from a durability perspective. Most residential furniture isn’t designed for the high levels of traffic and use. Due to the commercial space demand for flexibility, manufacturers need to be able to offer lines of residential-inspired furniture with commercial quality, including durable fabrics as upholstery tends to be the first thing to wear.
Expert understanding of resimercial furnishings safety
In North America, the furniture industry standards and safety requirements vary depending on each furniture type. Namely, UL 962, the Standard for Household and Commercial Furnishings, and UL 2999, the Standard for Individual Commercial Office Furnishings.
Due to the major differences between the applicable standards and market requirements for products evaluated and initially intended for the commercial market, UL wants to provide brands, manufacturers and retailers with a clear and transparent path forward to help ensure products are compliant with these new hybrid settings of furniture.
As part of UL’s innovative safety approach, we have designed a solution to help mitigate the resimercial furnishings industry needs by executing a gap analysis of your products for the residential requirements and vice versa.
With a focus on safety, UL has designed a gap analysis that will help mitigate the resimerical furnishing needs. The continued focus on furniture safety will hopefully help manufacturers provide evolved hybrid furnishings for many years to come.
Download the gap analysis
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