NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends

TRENDS BLOOM AT NEOCON – 2019 OFFICE FURNITURE TRENDS

Tens of thousands of guests from around the globe were dazzled at NeoCon 2019 a couple of weeks ago at Chicago’s historic Merchandise Mart, as top industry names such as Herman Miller, Vitra, Steelcase and more lead the world’s biggest manufacturers in showcasing their most impressive and newest products.  As the single most important event of the year for commercial office furniture, NeoCon is the world’s leading platform for commercial design innovation and networking.  Hundred of brands were represented in areas of furniture, textiles, building materials, lighting, wall coverings, floor coverings, outdoor products, accessories and more. 

Every year, NeoCon gives us a special glimpse into the future.  From the most popular colors, fabrication and materials to progressive shapes, structures and cutting-edge innovations, here are the top trends we found at the show.

LIGHTING STEALS THE SHOW

Manufacturers definitely pulled out all the stops inside their showrooms–and it was oftentimes difficult not to look up.  Fabulous lighting displays were everywhere this year at the Merchandise Mart, attracting guests to each of the beautifully designed rooms and vignettes.  Lighting was no longer there just to complement, but instead wow the guests and lead them in.  Maybe–just maybe–it really is all about the lighting..?

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 1) BUZZISPACE 2) HUMANSCALE 3) STEELCASE 4) STEELCASE

PASTELS & NEONS LEAD A RAINBOW CAST

Among the dizzying display of rainbow colors, 2 types were no doubt up front and center: pastels and neons.  Pastels came in all different hues, but there was definitely a love affair with dusty pinks, magentas and salmons this year (probably trickling down from Millennial Pink’s fading popularity, and Pantone’s 2019 hot color of the year, Living Coral).  Neons were also very much in your face, especially with highlighter yellows and greens.  But one thing’s for sure, the colors didn’t stop there.  There was a bold experimentation with geometric color-blocking and mixing-and-matching of everything–from neutral palettes to bright, cheerful hues, and to darker, brooding tones such as burgundy and teal.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 5) OM 6) HAWORTH 7) STEELCASE 8) GLOBAL

DECADENT TEXTURES & FABRICS

One universal theme that was clear and very much present at NeoCon 2019 was comfort.  And nothing says comfort more than fabrics and materials that draw us in and make us feel good.  From luxurious fur, velvets and felt to exquisite leather, chenille and quilted surfaces, this is the era of rich, decadent textures and fabrics. And we all want to be enveloped in them–not just at home–but at the workplace.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 9) ARCADIA 10) INDIANA FURNITURE 11) STEELCASE 12) HAWORTH

REAL FURNITURE HAVE CURVES

Falling under the comfort theme, we were shocked at how much curves there were in many of the furniture design displayed.  It seemed as though there was a unified, conscious effort to make sure everything was rounded off, softened up, and cushioned.  And when you saw something that was hard-edged or sharp, its starkness was minimized with blunt edges and organic textures.  Gone are the days of sharp and sleek. For now, it’s bye-bye furniture anorexia and hello furniture with curves.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 13) DAUPHIN 14) OFS BRANDS 15) JASPER GROUP 16) BOSS DESIGN

THOUGHTFUL GREENERY & BIOPHILIA

Biophilia in recent years have taken root and flourished into our offices, reaching its peak in 2017 when Pantone announced Greenery as color of the year.  Now, a more refined way of introducing the outdoors indoors was seen throughout many of the showrooms.  It was no longer trees, plants and leaves galore.  Greenery was tastefully pulled back and incorporated in more thoughtful, inventive and even quirky ways.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 17) GLOBAL 18) STEELCASE 19) KRUG 20) AIS

ALL ABOUT PRIVACY

We all knew it was coming.  When office walls started to disappear around the early 2000’s to make room for collaborative open-plan layouts, our privacy went along with them.  Now, there is a much stronger need and demand for private, secluded spaces for quiet, concentrated work.  We were excited to see many innovative solutions that were offered at this year’s show.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 21) NOOK 22) STEELCASE 23) SILEN SPACE 24) JASPER GROUP

RESIMERCIAL COMFORT TO RESORT BLISS

Resimercial design, which was huge in last year’s show,  helped bring the comforts of home to the office.  It provided professionals comfortable, informal workspaces where they can be productive, collaborative, and dynamic.  This year (as though feeling at home wasn’t enough) we saw a lot of rich, natural, soothing wood finishes, parachute chord details, light and airy curtains (serving as room dividers) and wicker weave applications–all reminiscent of being at a 5 star island resort.  It was as if resimercial design is now giving way to hospitality design.

NeoCon 2019 Office Furniture Trends: 25) OFS BRANDS 26) HERMAN MILLER 27) HERMAN MILLER 28) HAWORTH

Read Top 5 Commercial Office Furniture Trends – 2018 NeoCon
Main Photo by: Global
Resources & Special Thanks to: Respective Product Manufacturers
Photos by: 2010 Office Furniture

 

NeoCon 2019 Winners

NeoCon 2019 Winners

CONTRACT MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES NEOCON  2019 WINNERS

Every year, Contract Magazine hosts the Best of NeoCon Competition which surveys the latest and greatest in commercial product design and highlights standout entries in various design categories.  The 2019 winners were announced during an awards breakfast on June 10 at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, where eighty-three awards and recognitions   were given, including six Editor’s Choice awards, eight Innovation awards, and a Best of Competition prize.  Below are all winners from this year’s competition. Drumroll and envelopes please!—Here are the Best of NeoCon 2019 winners:

Acoustic Panels & Solutions

Gold: Snowsound: FLAT
Silver: Luxxbox: Linea Acoustic LED Lighting System

Acoustic Privacy & Modular Solutions

Gold: OFS: Leant To
Silver: Framery Acoustics: Framery 2Q


(Image Source – OFS: Leant To)

Architectural & Decorative Glass

Silver: Skyline Design: Oblique & Chevron

Architectural Products

Gold and Best of Competition: OFS: Obeya
Silver: Connectrac: Flex


(Image Source – OFS: Obeya)

Carpet: Broadloom

Gold: Tarkett: Tatami System
Silver: Mohawk Group: Textural Effects

Carpet: Contract Area Rugs

Innovation: Mohawk Group: Connecting Neurons Definity

Carpet: Modular

Gold: Patcraft: Deconstructed Felt
Silver: Shaw Contract: Suited

Case Goods

Gold: HALCON: HALO Office
Silver: Herman Miller: Geiger One Casegoods

Conference Room Furniture

Gold: Nucraft: Alev
Innovation: Tuohy Furniture Corp.: Meich Tables
Silver: Andreu World: Reverse Wood

Education Solutions

Gold: VS America: JUMPER
Silver: Keilhauer: Buncha

Flooring: Hard Surface LVT & Planks

Gold: Patcraft: Handloom
Innovation: Metroflor Corp.: Metroforms with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology
Silver: Milliken & Co.: Change Agent LVT

Furniture Collections for Collaboration

Gold: Steelcase: Flex Collection
Innovation: Teknion: Bene Box
Silver: STYLEX: Free Address


(Image Source – STYLEX: Free Address)

Furniture Systems & Enhancements

Gold: Watson Furniture Group: Cloud 9 Rail
Silver: HALCON: HALO Office

Furniture: Benching

Gold: Innovant: Cross Benching

Healthcare Fabrics & Textiles

Gold: Designtex: Biophilia 2.0
Silver: CF Stinson: Chiaroscuro Collection

Healthcare Flooring

Gold: Teknoflor: Coordination Collection
Silver: Mohawk Group: True Hues

Healthcare Guest & Lounge Seating

Gold: Kwalu: Prizzi Lounge
Healthcare Patient Seating
Silver: Spec Furniture: Tailor HD

Lighting: Decorative & Hospitality

Gold: Eaton: Shaper Sense Acoustic LED Luminaires
Silver: LightArt: Acoustic Wing

Lounge Furniture Collections

Gold: Haworth Inc.: Cabana Lounge
Silver: Andreu World: Rap Sofa

Movable Walls

Gold: Teknion: Tek Vue
Silver: Allsteel: Beyond Pavilion

Office Accessories

Gold: Allsteel: Radii
Silver: Watson Furniture Group: Cloud 9 Cart and Garage

Seating: Bar Stools

Editors’ Choice: Martin Brattrud: Cumbia
Gold: Davis Furniture Industries: Muse Barstool

Seating: Benches

Editors’ Choice: Nienkämper: Heartbeat
Gold: Green Furniture Concept: Nova C Perch
Silver: Allermuir: Axyl Bench


(Image Source – Allermuir: Axyl Bench)

Seating: Conference

Gold: OFS: Kasura
Silver: Davis Furniture Industries: M75

Seating: Ergonomic Desk/Task

Gold: via seating: Younique
Silver: Nightingale Corp.: NLC


(Image Source – Via Seating: Younique)

Seating: Guest

Gold: Allermuir: Kin
Silver: Andreu World: Gala

Seating: Outdoor Contract & Hospitality

Silver: Andreu World: Nuez Outdoor

Seating: Sofas & Lounge

Gold: Andreu World: Rap sofa
Silver: Green Furniture Concept: Nova C Recliner

Seating: Stacking

Gold: Sandler Seating: HDS 1.1
Silver: SitOnIt Seating | IDEON: Mika


(Image Source – SitOnIt Seating: Mika)

Signage & Wayfinding

Gold: Takeform: Lucid Refined Interior Signage
Silver: 2/90 Sign Systems: SafeCare Signs

Space Dividers/Partitions/Screens

Gold: Clarus Glassboards: Flex Wall
Silver: Naava: Naava Flow

Tables: Communal & Task

Gold: Nucraft: Epono
Silver: Davis Furniture Industries: Inform


(Image Source – Nucraft: Epono)

Tables: Height-Adjustable/Training/Work

Editors’ Choice: Versteel: Sky
Gold: Watson Furniture Group: Cloud 9 Desk
Silver: Senator International: Array


(Image Source – Senator International: Array)

Tables: Occasional

Editors’ Choice: Studio TK: Freehand Occasional Tables
Gold: Nucraft: Alev
Innovation: Davis Furniture Industries: Lift


(Image Source – Studio TK: Freehand Occasional Tables)

Technology-Integrated Solutions

Gold: Steelcase: Roam
Innovation: Connectrac: Flex
Silver: National Lighting: Revive

Textiles: Upholstery

Editors’ Choice: Wolf Gordon: VEER
Editors’ Choice: Luum Textiles: Future Tense Collection
Gold: HBF: Lost & Found
Innovation: Haworth Inc.: Haworth Knits
Silver: Momentum Group: Architectural Textures Collection

Wall Treatments

Innovation: Momentum Group: Woven Silica
Silver: Designtex: Metallic Wallcoverings

Workplace Technologies

Gold: CF Stinson: designMix with colorAI
Silver: FreeAxez: Gridd Mobile

See NeoCon 2018 Winners
Resources: www.contractdesign.com

Workstation Solutions in Los Angeles for Maximum Office Productivity

Workstation Solutions in Los Angeles for Maximum Office Productivity and Industry Growth

Looking at Industry Growth

A company’s growth and daily operations impacts the office design and workstation solutions so employees work as efficiently as possible. In Los Angeles County, there’s an upbeat forecast for professional services.  Equipping staff in managerial and executive positions requires an understanding of desking solutions and how to maximize their use for industry growth.

Office and Industry Outlook

Professional services in the greater Los Angeles area is “promising because it supports many occupations that pay well in component industries” whether or not they benefit from automation. That’s according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Council (LAEDC).  The LAEDC also states that a “looming workforce shortage” exists since there’s an undersupply of about 2,000 workers to fill job openings. The LAEDC did a supply and demand study and came up with the worker shortage data based on data from regional community colleges.  There may be an “oversupply” in programs for paralegals, architects and engineers but a greater demand in administrative support, veterinary science, along with computers and design.

Office Planning – Industry Growth

Companies are more than statistics so space planning and design becomes essential when choosing the best workstation solutions. Height-adjustable workstations like the My-Hite Workstation by Friant allow individual workers to customize their own workspace experience.  The E5 Open Plan Benching by Mayline is a space saver while offering “expansive power capabilities.”  Know individual preferences and how departments can function well to select the right benching system.

Office Workstation Summary

Desking and benching solutions allow for customized workstation systems. Select a look and feel that reflect the company’s brand and provide the best support.  Open plan benching and desking solutions such as the Aptos Open Plan Desking by OFS can come with storage so each person has a place for their own work and personal items.

There are plenty of workstation solutions to accommodate offices in any industry in Los Angeles County. Base decisions on:

  • The number of employees
  • Possible future growth
  • And how departments or individuals communicate internally and with outside clients and vendors

A well-planned office — from the reception area to the breakroom — is an asset that helps employees work well and feel supported.

Image Source: Global FreeFit

Benefits of Benching Cubicles

Benefits of Benching Cubicles

Benching cubicles merge the desire for close collaboration among employees while offering the personal space needed for focused work. An office can still have a friendly, open feel while defining work space.

Selecting Benching Cubicles

A variety of flexible configurations are available for benching cubicles. Guidelines for selecting a design that best fits an office can take traits into consideration like:

  • Collaboration Versus Privacy
  • Personal Storage Needs
  • Interaction With Clients and Vendors
  • Use Of Height-Adjustable Workstations

Benching cubicles can be configured in many different ways. Arrangements are flexible to accommodate either a few people or several employees working in close proximity.

Some cubicles have a minimal design like the Razor Cubicle Height Adjustable Table by Open Plan Systems. Others, like the Initiate Workstation by HON, maximize personal space while using translucent partitions that allow light to filter through the office.

Reasons to Use Benching Cubicles

Setting up and installing a benching cubicle is easy. As a company grows and changes occur, new configurations can happen in a way that’s fluid—no tearing out walls or displacing lots of workers.

This system is a good example of mass customization. The partitions and use of height-adjustable workstations can be customized for just a few employees or dozens of people. A company can use specific styles and office layouts to reflect its brand.

Flexibility and quality materials are one and the same. Today’s systems are designed to last and withstand heavy use.

Secondary Benefits of Benching Cubicles

A clean, well-designed office attracts the best talent on the market and makes workers from all generations feel comfortable. Benching cubicles can provide a logical flow in the workplace while allowing for workers to personalize their space. The feeling of a shared, positive experience or sense of community is important for younger hires.

Benching cubicle partitions, plus accessories like plants and attractive storage units, can absorb sound and create boundaries so private space and workspace is respected. If someone is walking from the front door to a back area, they don’t have to feel like they’re stepping on someone’s toes or invading a personal boundary.

Benching cubicles along with modular lounge chairs can also give workers the freedom to take business calls or work on their laptops in different locations. People don’t have to be tied to a desk. Every workplace has a style that’s unique to the corporate culture.

Image Source: OFS

Get Moving to Promote a Healthy Office

Get Moving to Promote a Healthy Office

Promoting wellness for a healthy office is as simple as stand, stretch and walk. Office wellness programs should begin with a focus on common sense and lifestyle tips. All of them should be budget-friendly and many don’t have to cost anything at all.

Why Movement is Important

Healthy people move regularly. That doesn’t mean you need strenuous workouts or need to arrange an office killer hike. But getting up to walk briskly for about five minutes each hour will get blood circulating and reduce strain on the body’s joints. Movement also promotes blood flow to the brain so foggy thinking is cleared up.  Consider walking or stretching in the office with a colleague. Have a chat about a client account or professional goals while on the move – at least on occasion. A write-up in the Harvard Business Review, How Simply Moving Benefits Your Mental Health, describes that moving in sync with someone else boosts self-esteem, and overall healthy office.

Now, get moving.

Standing

For someone working on an intense project, it’s tempting to sit at a desk and gradually slump over a computer screen. Gravity begins pushing on the head and straining the muscles along the shoulders. Eventually, the spine becomes mis-aligned from the pressure since an average head weighs from ten to fourteen pounds. A height-adjustable desk or height-adjustable workstation offers a standing break. This isn’t about burning calories since standing won’t burn many at all. A new perspective, though, can generate new ideas and reduce strain on the lower back. Adjustable desks are flexible not just in their movements, but also in their configurations like the G2 Height Adjustable Desk from OFS. This allows each office to be arranged based on personal preferences.

Walking

This is one of the easiest ways to move and promote a healthy office. At the top of the hour, or once every 90 minutes, get up and walk briskly around the office for about five minutes. Improvise by going up and down a staircase or taking a walking break outside.  Brisk strides can burn the calories that standing won’t. It’s a good way to chat with a colleague over important issues, too.

Stretching

Gently stretching the arms, legs and torso is an easy way to promote movement and maintain a healthy range of motion. The goal with stretching is to reduce or eliminate musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The most common MSD complaints center around lower back, neck and shoulder pain.  Some industries and occupations are more at risk than others for MSDs, including nursing, workers in light manufacturing facilities and warehouse and construction operations.

But sitting in one place without moving is also a problem for a healthy office. Here’s why: have you ever seen a RV sit in a driveway for a long period of time without being driven?  Problems occur. Tires start going flat because air isn’t properly distributed. Hoses crack from lack of use and the Southern California sun beats down on seams.  The principal of movement is the same for our bodies. Inaction leads to various health problems and challenges while regular movements keep the staff limber and healthy.

Image Source: Global Terina Tables

Creating a Great Office Design to Boost Employee Potential

Creating a Great Office Design to Boost Employee Potential

Creating a great office design that appeals to the people who work there is a recent, and important trend in office layout and planning. Does your office provide an environment that’s productive and comfortable? Have you taken a holistic look at it?  Interestingly enough, past design principles that rolled out in the 1950’s are still very strongly in play today.  Read on and learn how to evaluate your workplace to help create a great office design that can help boost employee potential.

When Offices Started Shifting

The layout of offices from the industrial era of the 20thcentury were usually set up in a hierarchy. Employees were meant to come in and serve the company with little thought given to the employee experience. Heavy manufacturing of automobiles and steel, along with aerospace, fueled much of the nation’s economy and provided high-paying jobs for executives and for laborers.  Office design and planning usually reflected the rigid patterns needed to produce the end products. The workplace was typically “rote and uninspired” as author Nikil Saval describes in his book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace.  A new view came along during the mid-century, wrote Saval, when two German brothers who worked in the furniture business with their father started a consulting company. They saw an office as “an organic whole, made up of finely interlinking parts and an enormously complex network of paper flow.”  Their work, roughly translated as “office landscape,” led to the start of the break room and gave an early model for an open office design with limited use of mobile partitions and plants to create sections.

Questions to Ask About Your Office

The digital revolution has changed the world as much as the industrial revolution and has led to new office layouts. Flexibility, comfort and employee wellness are key. Workstations with height-adjustable surfaces and modular lounge chairs offer creative ways to meet employee needs.

Consider this to evaluate your own office styles and needs.

  • What phase is your company in: start-up with funding, a mature corporation or somewhere in between?
  • Do you have an open office arrangement, cubicles, or a mix?
  • Does the space seem cluttered or not used effectively?
  • If a new employee comes onboard, how do you decide where the new hire will work?
  • Do you have many project or freelance workers who only need occasional spaces?
  • Are your office workstations and chairs ergonomic and promote wellness?
  • Are there designated focus or concentration zones?
  • Do you use plants effectively?
  • Are wires exposed and risk being trip hazards?
  • Have you maximized the flow of natural light?

Future Proofing for a Great Office Design

Future office trends are happening right now. They include: maximizing natural light to boost morale and productivity, using energy smart devices and downloading apps to make mobile communication as seamless as possible.  In addition, designating collaborative work areas as well as separate zones set aside for personal focus will continue to put emphasis on employee well-being.

Remember, in a competitive marketplace, a well-planned office environment provides an advantage. Create an organic flow in an office layout and employees become more engaged, than if they feel they’re just showing up to a haphazard arrangement of desks and chairs.  Employees see their working environment as an extension of the company’s brand. They perform the tasks that attract customers and clients, and they’re the first to know if the brand promise is authentic or not.

Image Source: OFS Obeya

Designing Your Office for Better Inter-Office Communication

Designing Your Office for Better Inter-Office Communication

Communicating well in an inter-office setting is more than just having a conversation or written memos exchanged between two or more people. Well-designed and planned spaces promote collaboration and sharing ideas.  This leads to an in-depth understanding of goals and objectives and how to reach them boosts productivity and morale. The end result leads to satisfying outcomes for customers and for employees.  Read on below and keep key furnishings in mind that impact inter-office communication.

Re-Imagine Office Walls

Walls are barriers. They define space and through much of the 20thcentury, walls stood between executives and the rest of the company.  The open-office concept has brought the walls down, but sometimes they’re necessary. For large open-office spaces, the right kinds of architectural walls can provide quiet zones where teams can pore over documents and plans without disturbing other workers.  Manufacturer Trendway has three distinct types of easy-install walls: the Clear Wall with options related to clear glass or glazing; the Trendwall, a solution that’s more sustainable than drywall; and the Volo Wall which features attractive movable panels.  Remember to use walls to guide inter-office communication, not prevent it.

Replace the Traditional Cubicle

Cubicles now offer personalization and customization that are more appealing than the old-school, traditional gray ones. Today’s office cubicle options define space, allow for privacy, but invite collaboration. In addition, many have removable panels as the need for privacy changes.  A plus is choosing cubicles that maximize the flow of natural light, which is known to be a morale booster.  The Friant System 2 has attractive colors and styles that are easy to configure and reconfigure.  Initiate Workstation by Hon offers durability and long-term value. It provides an appealing space for individuals and yet offers room for quick huddles and conversations, contributing to improved inter-office communication.

Create Conversation Spaces

Open, informal spaces can encourage conversation and flow of ideas. Or they can be areas to delve into topics that are mission-critical.  A wide variety of creative seating arrangements are available to meet the personality of any office.  Coact from First Office fits in offices that have flexible seating arrangements or structured private offices. It balances structure and freedom.  Supportive and cushioned chairs are available with the Domo Lounge by Arcadia. Tablet and power port accessories are also available to power your electronic devices.  You can also customize tables to accommodate spreading out charts and supporting documents.  Remember to match furnishings with your company’s communication style to encourage collaboration and positiveinteractions.

Inter-Office Communication

Checking off these items above will surely contribute to better inter-office communication, and can help integrate it into your company culture — all in all promoting an office that his more productive, successful and happy.

Creative Office Layouts that Engage Employees

Companies with unique and creative office layouts based around their brands, as a result, inspire and engage their employees to live out their brands’ promises on a daily basis. The following companies have unique office décor and settings to make employees feel a part of the mission and core strength.  Remember not to try and copy them. There’s only one Google and one Dropbox. But instead, adapt their ideas to inspire creativity, enhance collaboration and create your own engaging workplace experience.

Edmunds

Edmunds.com is all about cars and you see it immediately when stepping into their Santa Monica office that houses a couple of hundred employees. Edmunds launched in the 1960s with paper car reports at newsstands and remain recognized as the Car People who make car buying easier.  Their mission is clear once you walk in the door. A classic Corvette is suspended above the reception desk and the extensive coffee bar is decked out in chrome wheels.  The office space is flexible with mini-meeting rooms that are easy to duck in and out of. Departments are arranged with workstations in open areas and there’s plenty of room between them.  Edmunds has been rated as one of the best places to work in Southern California every year since 2010.

Dropbox

Having spiral bound rings above your desk gives a mix of closure and openness. Dropbox has a unique approach to office design and is aware of the drawbacks of the open offices. The file-sharing tech firm has described how providing various types of spaces for employees can allow people to come together in teams to work on a problem and then disperse to work on the details.

Google

Spaces for work and places for play describe in general how Google offices are designed and laid out. The company logo is always present and is integrated into the design. In its relatively recent Pittsburgh office, Google in white letters is neatly painted across a red brick wall to pay respects to the original building.  Google offices include pool tables and foosball games with a design that reflects some of the local flavor.  The innovative and now legendary search firm gives a local, at-home vibe for its employees no matter where they work.

AirBnB

AirBnB’s international offices show that the reception desk represents more than an afterthought. In its London, Sao Paulo and Singapore locations, the reception area is modeled after a front porch. The offices are created in tandem with local design firms and pull on the mission of living anywhere.  The headquarters in San Francisco have work rooms that are modeled after actual apartments and in Singapore there’s bleacher-style seating to hold informal meetings.

Urban Outfitters

In Philadelphia, Urban Outfitters pays homage to a 125-year history of shipbuilding with the layout and look of its design studios. An old navy yard feel is integrated with today’s technology and office comforts.  The office design has been honored by the National AIA Honor Awards Jury for its “tension between old and new … indoor and out … all of this while holding in character with the corporate image.”

What About Creative Office Layouts for Your Company?

You’re probably not trying to make headlines or win awards with your office layout, but does it serve your employees well and represent your brand effectively?  Planning a creative office space that also supports the company’s goals and objectives well takes deliberate thought, but the result is a boost in productivity and office morale.

Consider ways to refresh your workspace. Contact 2010 Office Furniture for expert input based on many years of experience helping corporations, universities, and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

How to Create an Experience-Driven Office Wellness Program

An effective overall office wellness program goes beyond checking blood pressure and office exercise to fight work-related illnesses or weight gain. Let’s take a holistic look at making an experience-driven employee office wellness program that’s right for your office.

Office Wellness and the Ambiance

Provide value to your employees in the same way that you offer value to potential customers and existing customers.  Look at the overall atmosphere in the office and find ways to make large or small improvements. Provide an espresso bar and baskets in a break area filled with healthy snacks like granola, fresh fruits and vegetables.  Natural lighting has been proven to boost morale and is a desirable perk. Maximize the flow of outdoor light and green up spaces using indoor plants. In our tech-heavy world, a connection to nature becomes more important than ever for an overall sense of well-being.  Bottom line: create a satisfying and nurturing experience that your employees will love.

Office Wellness and Workspaces

Give employees the freedom to work where they’re most comfortable, or to stay put in one place. An office design should bring out the best in people so they can be as productive as possible. Structure and habit work well for some while other staff may like more of a free-range office concept.  There are now a huge variety of desks and chairs that are available to meet a variety of needs. It’s possible to have assigned workstations and more flexible areas where someone can move to and work.  Don’t require someone to sit in one place and work on coding or do market research. If they’re achieving what they need to do, and they have the furnishings to support their work then let them take responsibility for their outcomes.  All in all, provide an atmosphere that keeps stress to a minimum and rewards quality.

Creative an Office Wellness Program

Find ways to integrate wellness into daily work. Do postings on an attractive cubicle partition or architectural wall that encourage fitness and good health.

Food is a major ingredientin a person’s approach to wellness.

  • Post recipes of easy-to-make salads.
  • Arrange employee discounts with local stores on produce and organic lunches.

Exercise is another key to staying healthy.

  • Set aside an area that’s no more than 8 feet by 10 feet and have an exercise ball and free weights.
  • Install a treadmill.
  • Post pictures of favorite walks and hikes that employees like to take.
  • Bring in a personal trainer once a week to give ideas and answer questions on topics like staying in shape despite a busy lifestyle.

You’ll see that an investment in a holistic office wellness program will yield to a payoff that will translate to a healthier, happier and more productive company.

How to Foster Better Office Communication

How to Foster Better Office Communication

A lack of better office communication leads to many workplace challenges. Misunderstandings arise and employees are often admonished to get a job done, “no excuses.” That shuts down problem solving dialogue as people retreat to their desks. Here’s how to set the stage and create a culture for better office communication and create a confident and cohesive team.

Communicate Clearly

Think of office communication as a process that flows top-down and then flows from the bottom up. Communication top-down means making sure the staff knows organizational goals and how those fit the company’s mission and vision. This brings employees together and gives a feeling of significance if they see how they’re contributing to a clearly set goal and mission.  Bottom-up office communication is also important. Listening to the challenges that impede progress from sales personnel to those in production or in customer service definitely contrubutes to better office communication and can help troubleshoot and improve internal functions.

Communicate Specifically

In a department meeting or in a one-on-one setting, communicating specifically is best, and helps better office communication. It’s easy to deliver good news like record sales and zero customer complaints. When delivering tough news or when uncertainty is in the air, being specific is challenging for leaders and for employees.  Executive leadership is supposed to “know everything” and, for legal reasons, may have topics that can’t be fully discussed like why a specific person had to leave or if merger talks are in the works.  It’s best to say when an issue can’t be put out in the open since being vague sounds like something is being hidden.  Ask individuals and departments for their feedback to give them responsibility for their outcomes. If a department is falling behind on something like production, then ask them to come together as a team and identify reasons. Then have them present those specific reasons. This way, they don’t feel they’re being blamed.  Ask them to include challenges that may prevent them from achieving improved outcomes.

Communicate as a Culture

Set the stage, or lay the foundation, for a positive communication experience in the workplace. Just like customers have “touch points” during their buying journey, think of employees having “touch points” in their workplace experience. It’s more than motivational sayings taped to the wall.  The environment sets the stage for a culture of better office communication. Furnishings define workspace areas, places to have focused conversations and areas to take a break.  Here’s an idea. Walk in the door. How inviting does the reception area look with the existing desk and chairs?  Do workstations support people in their tasks, allow for privacy and for collaboration? Remember that areas that are supposed to inspire interaction and flow of effective communication is key. Set up meeting areas where an exchange of ideas and discussions can take place by using co-op meeting spaces and architectural walls.  Investing in the right equipment and furnishings shows the commitment to each employee’s well-being.

Achieving Better Office Communication

By tackling office interactions clearly, specifically and with purpose, it opens the door for better office communication flow as a culture — all in all promoting an office that his more effective, productive and happy.