Device Free Work Zones: Is This Still Possible?

With technology wrapping itself to every possible type of business you can imagine, living and working in a world that is device free seems to be impossible. Calls can be conveyed through interoffice phones, Skype, Facebook Messenger and other online or smart device applications without having to leave your office, or in some cases, even your bedroom door. Sending files, converting data, billing and other day-to-day activities in the office can be done with a few clicks of the finger.  In this generation, is it still possible to work without technology?  Do we need device free work zones?

No matter how helpful technology can be to the workplace and the individuals that makes up an organization, too much technology can be bad for your employee’s emotional and mental health. Hundreds of unread emails on your inbox, missed calls on your phone, your messenger on your computer and Google Hangouts can be as equally stressful as it is convenient for you. Working relationships also suffers as employees begin to glue themselves to their computer screen.


It is time to unplug and enjoy digital detox to be able to boost creativity, reconnect with other people and develop deeper working relationships with the rest of the organization. Although it may be impossible to unplug completely from technology, creating unplugged device free work zones in the office where employees can simply relax and escape from all this technology is a good practice that has long term benefits, both for employees and the business itself.

So how can you create technology free spaces in your workplace? Here are some tips you can follow.


Recreation can be in different forms and you do not necessarily need technology to enjoy a few minutes of relaxation with your colleagues. Create a Wi-Fi Free area in the office such as the employee lounge where employees can talk face to face and communicate with other members of the organization. Incorporate an arts area or an area where they can meditate, do yoga or catch a quick nap. There are a lot of physical and emotional benefits in depriving yourself of technology occasionally.


Banish phones and tablets in meeting areas, the office gym, the pantry or the office garden. Occasionally, try to experience the feeling of going into a meeting without a smartphone or a laptop. Creative meetings would be more creative if you bring a pen and paper to the meeting instead of your geek tools. Encourage to go back to the simple things in life, or in work, in circumstances where it is deemed possible.


You can build a yoga studio or simple and attractive office garden to create a sanctuary that’s free from technology. Here is where your employees can have time away from those demanding emails, non-stop phone calls or online Skype meetings. Give your employees a place where they can run, hide or simply escape from the modern technologies and stress that comes together with your work.

Read Also: Office Design & Employee Satisfaction: Is Your Modern Office Modern Enough

Office Design & Employee Satisfaction: Is Your Modern Office Modern Enough

Let’s face it: there are a lot of employees who are not happy with their jobs. Of course, the reasons will vary limitlessly — from inadequate pay rates, to terrible working hours, to disagreeable bosses or co-workers, to horrible locations and unbearable commutes — and so on and so forth, etcetera, etcetera.  We got it. When it comes to dealing with meeting employee satisfaction the list can pretty much go on and on.   One way to somewhat help any office scenario, however, is office design.  Believe it or not, a well-designed professional environment can do wonders. It not only addresses key aspects of the workplace in terms of comfort, health and well-being, but it also drives employees’ moods, creativity and overall productivity.


Office design is definitely one of the important elements that both Human Resources and CEOs should be paying attention to. No doubt acknowledging what employees need will help employees function better and work more productively. Here are a few office design ideas on how companies and organizations, big or small, can make smart designs choices that will help boost their employees’ efficiency and productivity at work.


An employee spends at least 8 hours a day, 5 to 6 days a week. Better working stations make the workplace a pleasant place to go to every day. Modern office trends encourage open space layouts as the go-to design for companies looking for a more collaborative and friendly working environment. An open space office layout makes brainstorming, engaging with colleagues and collaboration much more favorable.


Sitting for long hours everyday in your work area is a serious danger to your health. Some studies even suggest that sitting for long hours at work is worse than smoking. Promote movement at work by encouraging breaks or starting  a healthy program like YOGA poses every 2 hours of work.


Upgrading to more comfortable, ergonomic chairs that are suited to the height, size and health needs of your employees is critical. Granted, finding just the right chair to meet the ergonomic needs of every person in the office can be quite challenging. But with incredible new technology that’s now available out there, and countless of seating solutions to choose from, there has never been a better time to be healthier and happier while seated at the office.


Modern office design is all about speed, mobility, and relaxed resimercial setups, which means stiff and stuffy conference rooms are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Companies are now implementing clever touchdown spaces instead for colleagues to catch up and quickly collaborate on projects or brainstorm ideas. Smart technology and acoustic furniture make these informal touchdown areas the perfect go-to for everyday office get togethers.


When it comes to office spaces, lighting is essential.  Make sure your office areas are not only adequately lit, but lit well.  Any place that’s too dark to work in typically will have a negative impact on the energy of any office and thus cause employees to be lethargic.  Natural light is best, but keep in mind that having any space too bright can also be distracting and difficult on the eyes.  The key is to find the middle ground where your office is bright, cheerful, energetic and comfortable all at the same time.  Color temperature also comes into play.  Warm light temperatures (amber/yellow) will tend to look moody, and make an area feel relaxed, while cool light temperatures (white/blue), on the other hand, have been known to increase concentration and productivity in the office.  So make sure to tailor your lighting design accordingly, depending on the general type of space and activity that goes on in there.

Read Also: Leveraging a Professionally Designed Workspace for Long-Term Gain

Why Height Adjustable Desks Are Good For Your Office

As we all know, the well being of your company depends on the well being of you and your employees. Staring at your computer screen or answering phone calls all day at work eventually will have negative effects on you. Lack of movement at work drains you physically and mentally. While there are several ways you can help this, there really is only one best solution to solving this problem: Height adjustable desks.  Getting a height adjustable desk will allow you to set your desk height to what best fits you. Depending on your mood or specific work scenario, your work surface can be adjusted to lower or raise for a sitting or standing position. That’s why most people call it “sit-and-stand desk”.


Just as most regular desks, height adjustable desks provide you with many options. Of course, every office has different needs.  Whether you’re looking for an individual desk or even several long connected work surfaces, height adjustable desks can be the solution. For the hard work of your employees, they deserve something in return. Providing them with comfortable, ergonomic desks at work will not only help their overall health and well-being, but certainly increase make them more happy. As a result, they will show a higher level of performance and be more productive.

But still the all-amazing height adjustable desk also have its drawbacks. You should be careful how much weight you put on the work surface of the desk, as the desk may wobble and shake especially in a fully extended standing height. Higher end brands will absolutely eliminate this issue, as long as you’re willing to pay a little bit more.


The great thing about having a height adjustable desk is that you don’t have to wait long to feel its benefits. A recent study in Cornwell University suggests that office staff under observation noticed vast improvements on their musculoskeletal strain and discomfort after using height adjustable desks in just 4-6 weeks. As a matter of fact, 4 out of 5 respondents preferred the standing desk than the old stationary ones.

In addition, there have been studies which prove that stationary chairs and desks create a blood pool in the thighs and quadriceps area which leads to sore muscles and poor blood circulation. If you want the best performance out of your employees, it is best to make sure they are not only comfortably working, but also healthy overall. Giving them them the freedom to break away from the sedentary position at work will no doubt result in more satisfied employees and improved productivity.

It’s important to understand that your employees are different from one another. They have different ways on how to be efficient at their given task. Some like to work low in a more moderate pace, while others may be more energetic and like to work standing up. It also depends on the nature of their work load. That’s why height adjustable desks are a fantastic option for every office because it offers the solution of ergonomics, health and flexibility to various office cultures.

Read Also: 8 Best Open Plan Systems for Your Office

Leveraging a Professionally Designed Workspace for Long-Term Gain

When it comes to setting up an office arrangement the strongest opinions usually dictate the final outcome – although they may not necessarily be right. That is why it’s important to consider letting professionals in office design do the work. Achieving productivity while keeping morale high requires the assembling of important details so the layout supports your company’s mission.

Anyone can move office furniture around, and for a while people may like it. But achieving a flow requires more than operating on hunches and Internet searches for the latest trends. Start-ups putting an office together for the first time and those in established environments can get lost in details like where the plugs are and who wants to sit near a window.

As professional designers, we consider the important elements like personal preferences just like an office manager will talk to people and take their desires into account. Pulling the whole picture together, though, requires know-how gained from designing offices across industries, listening to needs and providing solutions.


Operational goals aren’t just for flow charts and board reports. We look at how goals impact the office layout and how the existing space lends itself best to efficiency and productivity.

An area where an office manager might veer off course is by following existing trends and fads. Cubicles are still a popular image when the “corporate” workspace is talked about. However, about 70 percent of employees in the U.S. now work in open offices. The objective was to achieve collaboration and transparency, but do you know what’s happened?

The impact of partitions coming down has met with mixed results. Distractions have increased according to findings by the International Facilities Management Association. Noise levels are proven irritants and researchers have found that employees get sick more often in open settings.

An open design may work in your company’s best interests, or it may work for one team while another segment requires a different setting. We can determine if your workflow needs fit or don’t fit with the latest and greatest trends.

Customized solutions work best. Our 45 years of experience, gained from interacting with executives and office managers with Southern California’s most distinguished companies, gives us an excellent high-level view of how one design can work in one setting, while other offices will benefit from a completely different design.

Read on to find out why.


Consider all that happens in an office. The sales pipeline is developed and client projects are completed. It’s a place where people skills are merged with technical talents to achieve brand recognition and profitability. We approach each office design assignment strategically so that the variety of moving parts will work together as smoothly as possible.

Take this into account as you weigh the work it takes to set up an office. You’re pulled away from your core mission. Our business is all about designing a space that works for you. We’ve learned valuable lessons in workflow needs, knowledge of equipment, and the human element.

We’ll look at the complete picture including the best use of lighting schemes and how sound is contained. The storage needs you have today may change in the next year or two. We tie all of this together using our interior design skills.

Now there’s another benefit to a well-designed office. You’re showing your team how much you care.


Good talent is worth securing and retaining. Having an office designed by professionals is a smart investment in human capital. We’ve seen how an office has to support people working and give them space to catch their breath.

When your employees walk through the door each morning, they want to get to the task at hand—whether that’s an important client project or prepping for a sales call. If they stop and think about the office environment, then they’re being distracted from what they do best. That’s when frustrations pile up.

A write-up from Bloomberg’s Bureau of National Affairs, Employers Should Consider Office Design to be Part of Employee Retention Strategy, noted that “even the smallest aspects of a work space mean a lot to employees.”

Quiet spaces to focus and open spaces to foster relationships will meet different needs at different times in a day or throughout the year.

The old saying, “Measure twice, cut once” applies. If you have to set-up, tear down, and rearrange, you’re losing valuable time that can be used better for serving clients and winning new business.

An office set-up requires an understanding of present needs and future considerations.

Tell us about your project and we’ll be glad to provide input that will give your team the right environment needed for being productive and profitable.

NeoCon 2018 Best Products

Even when you have the winners, it’s difficult to ignore all of the other thousands of brilliant new designs and innovations showcased at this year’s NeoCon 2018. From office desks, tables and seating, to textiles, accessories and flooring materials, top manufacturers delighted and inspired the event attendees with their latest offering — especially those considered as one of NeoCon 2018 best products. Selected from Interior Design Magazine’s list of standout products, here are 25 of our favorites.


(Please click on an image to enlarge and show information) Read NeoCon 2018 Winners

Top 5 Commercial Office Furniture Trends – 2018 NeoCon


Over 50,000 attendees squeezed into Chicago’s Merchandise Mart a couple weeks ago, among a dizzying array of showrooms and overwhelming elevator lines, on the first day of NeoCon 2018 on June 11th. As the most important event of the year for commercial office furniture, NeoCon celebrated its 50th anniversary this month, maintaining its reputation as the world’s leading platform for commercial design innovation and networking. This year, the event showcased the industry’s newest and greatest in product designs and technological innovations. Over 500 leading companies were represented in areas of furniture, textiles, building materials, lighting, wall coverings, floor coverings, outdoor products, accessories and more.  Every year, we look to NeoCon for the newest wave of commercial design and technological trends as we move forward to the future. Here are this year’s NeoCon’s top commercial office furniture trends 2018.


Greenery is everywhere, especially at NeoCon 2018. Studies have shown that biophilic design, which embraces a love of life and the living world, improves productivity and happiness in the workplace. And this trend, which has sprouted in recent years, continues to gain popularity and bring the outdoors in.


Our love for rich, vibrant colors seems to have broadened, even into the brilliant radio-active and fluorescents hues. From seating and lounge furniture, to accessories, panels and acoustic media, there is definitely no fear of color in our bright future.


The shift from the traditional office workspace to resimerical in the past few years to create more comfortable, collaborative areas to work in welcomed luxuriously soft and plush materials back into the scene. From quilted fabrics and faux fur, to velvet and mohair, the work environment is definitely moving toward a softer feel, especially in lounge furniture and acoustic features.


As we continue to break down walls to create a more modern open plan for our offices, ambient sounds and noise become a top priority to tackle to promote continued productivity. More and more, we’ll be seeing exciting innovations in acoustic panel solutions and designed private spaces.


A refreshing trend against the backdrop of biophilic design, natural wood finishes and textured fabrics at NeoCon 2018 was back painted glass. Glossy and vibrant back painted glass surfaces gleamed in festive colors and patterns, especially in sleek conference table tops, hinting of a more modern or contemporary design aesthetic we may be seeing in years to come.

Read Top 9 Commercial Office Furniture Trends – 2017 NeoCon

NeoCon 2018 Winners


The Best of NeoCon is Contract Magazine’s annual competition, sponsored by NeoCon and The McMorrow Reports. The competition surveys the best of the best in commercial design and this year, the NeoCon 2018 winners were announced on Monday, June 11 at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago where an awards breakfast was hosted by Contract Magazine. 81 awards were distributed from 374 entries in 41 product categories, including eight Innovation Awards and a Best Competition Award. Drumroll please!—Here are the Best of NeoCon 2018 winners:


Gold: Unika Vaev: ecoustic™ Sculpt Ceiling Tiles
Silver: ROOM: ROOM One
Innovation: Scandinavian Spaces: Pixel


Editors’ Choice: Skyline Design: Linework Glass Collection


Gold: Clarus Glassboards: Glide
Silver: Carvart: glassENCLOSE


Gold: Tarkett/Tandus Centiva: Velvet Fringe Series
Silver: Bentley Mills: The Drawing Room Collection


Gold: Mohawk Group: Heathered Hues


Gold: Shaw Contract: Haven
Silver: Patcraft: Dichroic
Editors’ Choice: Milliken: Textured Sky


Gold: Three H: Woodstock
Silver: Gunlocke: Silea EH


Gold: Okamura: Traverse Satellite
Silver: Tuohy Furniture Corporation: Duende Tables


Gold: Allsteel: Rock Chair
Silver: SitOnIt Seating: Movi


Gold: Tarkett/Johnsonite: Pentagonals
Silver: Shaw Contract: Natural Choreography


Gold: Knoll Inc: Rockwell Unscripted Sawhorse WorkBench
Silver: Knoll Inc: k. bench


Gold: Boss Design: ATOM
Silver: Keilhauer: Untucked
Innovation: Steelcase: Mackinac


Gold: KI Furniture: Tattoo
Silver: Humanscale: Humanscale Monitor Arms


Gold: Designtex: Surroundings
Silver: KnollTextiles: Between the Lines Collection


Gold: Tarkett/Tandus Centiva: Garden Walk
Innovation: Mohawk Group: Healthy Environments


Gold: Steelcase: Embold Collection
Silver: Herman Miller: Palisade Collection


Gold: Spec Furniture: Hardi Rocker


Gold: Barbican: WEV Collection
Silver: BuzziSpace: BuzziHat


Gold: Fräsch: Lysa
Silver: Humanscale: Nova


Gold: Keilhauer: Untucked
Silver: Studio TK: Borough
Editors’ Choice: Geiger International: Reframe Lounge Furniture


Gold: Bretford Manufacturing: Juice Mobile Power
Silver: Teknion: tn Desktop Accessories & Personal Storage Collection


Gold: Andreu World: Duos Barstool
Silver: Allermuir: Axyl Stool


Gold: Keilhauer: 141
Silver: Leland: Back Bench


Gold: Keilhauer: Orign
Silver: Andreu World: Flex Armchair


Gold: Herman Miller: Cosm
Silver: Nienkämper: Trench
Innovation: Steelcase: SILQ


Gold: Sandler Seating: Flat
Silver: JANUS et Cie: Nodi Armchair
Innovation: Allermuir: Axyl Chair
Editors’ Choice: Davis Furniture Industries: Tango


Gold: Davis Furniture Industries: Ginkgo Ply Lounge
Silver: Andreu World: Dado
Innovation: ICF: Land Lounge Chair


Gold: SitOnIt Seating: Movi
Silver: Groupe Lacasse: IO by United Chair


Gold: Carnegie: Xorel Vue
Silver: Spacesaver Corporation: Day-Use Lockers


Gold: Formica Group North America: Formica Infiniti® ColorCore®2
Silver: Crossville, Inc: Convergence


Gold: Nienkämper: Vox Solid Wood Table
Silver: Nucraft Furniture: Preston


Gold: Watson Furniture Group: Tia Collection
Silver: Nienkämper Gateway Movable Workstations


Gold: Andreu World: Reverse Stone
Silver: OFS Brands Inc: Roo


Gold: Nucraft Furniture: Myne
Silver: HALCON: SkillSet


Silver: Naava: Naava Active Green Wall
Innovation: Teknion: Cerebro


Gold: Designtex: Celliant
Silver: Luum Textiles: Tactility
Innovation: Luna Textiles: Endless
Editors’ Choice: Designtex: Designtex + Coalesse Collection


Gold: ALUR: ALUR Duo
Silver: Maars Living Walls: AXES


Gold: KnollTextiles: Atmosphere Collection
Silver: NappaTile: Elodie Blanchard Collection


Gold: Jabbrrbox: JabbrrX
Silver: Smartblock Oy: Smartblock FD

See NeoCon 2017 Winners



Los Angeles Friant Showroom at 2010 Office Furniture

Friant’s complete collection of office cubicles, open-plan benching and workstations is now on display at the Friant Showroom at 2010 Office Furniture. 2010 Office Furniture is the only dealer in Southern California exclusively housing Friant’s comprehensive full line of products. From the versatile frame and tile system Interra, to the robust panel system System 2, to the ergonomically height adjustable My-Hite workstations—we have it all. All customers and guests are now welcome to visit and experience first hand Friant’s full line of industry-acclaimed products that have over the years solidified the brand’s prestigious reputation in commercial office furniture and equipment.


2227 N Merced Ave.
South El Monte, CA 91733
Telephone:  (626) 444-2010
Toll Free:  (888) 618-2010


Monday – Friday:  8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Saturday:  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday:  Closed

All of Friant’s products are available to order and purchase through 2010 Office Furniture. While we feature only a select number of them on our website, we’ll be happy to assist you with anything specific you may be looking for. Please email or call us at 888.618.2010 and one of our specialists will contact you within 24 hours.

Company Story Driven Office Design: How Well Do They Work?

In the earlier eras of the professional world, office spaces were once designed to look formal, and oftentimes as a result looked cold and impersonal. In contrast, today we’re finding ourselves basking in a different office climate: a softer, warmer, more welcoming office design that feels more residential in many aspects.  And then there’s company story driven office design.  The modern office today is story driven and presents an office design that stirs conversations and draws the attention from clients and future recruits. Current trends in office designs tell an interesting back story, for example, a rustic conference table or a uniquely vivid entryway light piece.


One best example of a story driven office is from a company based in Kansas that specializes in furniture design for private and government sectors. In order to creatively redesign their 7000 square foot office, they brought a hammock from Brazil and used a tree in front of their campus as a wooden bar countertop. They also made use of the beautiful artworks made by the artist who occupied their space previously. This Kansas based company also reused old wooden doors from a local post office being converted as a glass storefront, helping make this project environmental friendly.

As with any huge project, this requires a huge amount of time and creativity. The challenge is to have a company story driven office design while still maintaining a productive and professional office space. Here are some tips to help you achieve it:

  • Less is more. It’s better to have one good large piece of furniture rather than smaller pieces that don’t really match together, especially if you only have limited space. Put a distinct conference table or a reception desk that has presence, instead of modular tables or work surfaces that are hard to match and cost more. Having only one big furniture in a room will also certainly draw focus and attention. So it should be creatively designed and should be unique in a good way.
  • As shown in Neocon 2018, gravitating toward warm colors with your design feels more inviting. Mixing this with nature-inspired walls and work surfaces will also add a friendly appeal. For example, a brightly colored hand crafted lamp will look well with a wooden wall covered with plants.
  • All of us are creative and artistic in our own way. Use your employees’ creativity to your advantage. Come up with special days for your employees to bring their art pieces to be displayed at the office. Even better, give them the freedom to design their won unique individual spaces.
  • Use your imagination, and draw from the story of your company. You can fill your office floors with eclectic artwork, furniture pieces or memorabilia that has significant meaning to your brand. This will help remind you and your employees, as well as your visitors about how unique and creative your company is, and more importantly what sets it apar.

It’s simple to create a story driven office design, though you do have to roll up your sleeves and put in your due diligence. You just have to always make sure that whatever you do would clearly represent your company — its ideals, culture and brand image. Remember, the look of your office is a direct reflection of you, your employees and company.

Read Also: Art Friendly Office Spaces: Art for Art

Los Angeles Maverick Desk Showroom at 2010 Office Furniture

Maverick Desk’s impressive full line of laminate desks, workstations, conference tables and more is now on display at the Maverick Desk Showroom at 2010 Office Furniture. 2010 Office Furniture is the only dealer in Southern California exclusively showcasing Maverick Desk’s comprehensive collection of products. From the incredibly modular Apex Series, to the beautifully innovative Napa Collection, to the ergonomically height adjustable Maverick Training Tables—we have it all. All customers and guests are now welcome to visit and experience first hand Maverick Desk’s complete line of industry-acclaimed products that have built their reputation as a top contender in commercial office furniture and equipment.


2227 N Merced Ave.
South El Monte, CA 91733
Telephone:  (626) 444-2010
Toll Free:  (888) 618-2010


Monday – Friday:  8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Saturday:  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday:  Closed

All of Maverick Desk’s products are available to order and purchase through 2010 Office Furniture. While we feature only a select number of them on our website, we’ll be happy to assist you with anything specific you may be looking for. Please email or call us at 888.618.2010 and one of our specialists will contact you within 24 hours.