The Vicenza-based company ALU, active in the world of shop furnishings, creates a mobile workstation for “the office anywhere”
Since smart working has become part of everyday life in domestic spaces, “remote work” requires adequate spaces, which in one’s home can also be difficult to obtain without occupying tables or rooms intended for other activities, and therefore compromise the work-life balance.
“Complex situations spur unexpected inventiveness” underlines Abramo Manfrotto, CEO of ALU, an Italian company with international experience in the design and development of modular display systems, specializing in the creation of products for setting up shops and shop windows. “During a Covid-19 forced lockdown, ALU entered creative mode in which everyone was asked to think outside the consolidated business schemes and come up with useful, applicable ideas that could leverage the company’s many assets but expose it to new scenarios. Nothing was off-limits. A series of remote thinking sessions, involving every member of the team, generated hundreds of ideas, some foolish, others trivial, many interesting and a few approachable.”
The retail sector was particularly affected by the effects of the pandemic. For ALU, the months of lockdown represented a moment of a forced block of activities, which however did not compromise the creativity that characterizes the company.
Amongst the selected ideas, there was an office-in-a-box, which inspired Covert, the portable workstation that can be closed in a suitcase equipped with wheels and handles, which facilitate its movement. Compliant with UNI EN 527-1 and patent-pending, Covert has room for a computer, a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, and plenty of storage space for supplies and personal items.
“We’ve all learned during these times how valuable the space in our homes is and that we never have enough of it. Having to create an office in one’s home perhaps in a corner of the dining room table is undoubtedly a source of stress which both compromises people’s well-being, and limits productivity” highlights Mr. Manfrotto.
Built from high-quality materials with design and functionality in mind, Covert is easily configurable with customized stylistic and technological solutions according to specific business needs. Without missing the issue of health and safety, that is the need to recreate an ergonomic workstation wherever you are that guarantees comfort and protect people’s well-being.
“Covert is our bet on the office of the future, not only within corporate environments but everywhere. For some professions, an office meaning a physical place to go to each day was already outdated but the pandemic has made us see that an office in that sense is not necessary for most of our jobs. Still, every company has the duty to give its workers the tools they need to do their job successfully. Whether at home or anywhere else, people should be put in the best conditions to work and have everything they need to do the work at hand. With Covert all this is now possible“, concludes Abramo Manfrotto.
ALU, from photographic world to retail
Coming from the world of photography, ALU is an Italian company with international experience in the design and development of modular display systems. The origins date back to 1987 when someone pointed out to the photographer and entrepreneur Lino Manfrotto that in New York some retailers used Autopole, a telescopic pole with vertical expansion invented by Manfrotto himself and his partner G. Battocchio, in shop windows and interiors. Shortly after, to differentiate itself from the photography business, ALU was founded and opened its first showroom in New York dedicated to products for outfitting shops and shop windows.
Over the years, the company has rapidly transformed one of the most popular products in the photographic world into one of the best-selling accessories in the retail sector, making it a market standard. In November 2009, the Committee of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) of New York added Autople (and super clamp) to their permanent collection.