Equipping Employees for Both the Corporate Office and Home Office

Equipping Employees for Both the Corporate Office and Home Office

Today’s corporate and home office environments will remain dramatically changed in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Are you seeing it in your work setting?

Expect a hybrid trend to continue. Employees will work up to a few days each week in the corporate setting and then put in the remaining hours each week at a home office or other remote location.

Savvy executives and office managers will plan and design their spaces so employees will be properly equipped at home and in the work setting.

Read on to see how you can create spaces that are productive and also meet expectations for workers and the company.

Why Employees Want to Work at Home

Surveys shows that office workers have a lot of practical reasons for working remotely at home or another location.

Reason 1: Plenty of quality furnishings are available for home offices like height adjustable desks, ergonomic chairs and accessories to create a professional setting.

Reason 2: They don’t face stressful commutes and they save money by not going to the office. You know the stories of what it’s like battling traffic every morning and late afternoons on freeways like the 405 through West LA and the 210 into Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley.

The people surveyed estimate that savings in gas and other personal expenses saves them up to $ 5,000 a year.

Reason 3: Concerns about Covid—and this comes in a distant third.


Photo: OFS Aptos Private Office

Here’s a breakdown from a survey of 2,000 adults that Flexjobs, an employment agency, did in April 2021:

  • 84% of people didn’t want a daily commute
  • 75% personally saved money
  • 32% still had Covid concerns
  • 26% enjoyed being closer to their pets and home responsibilities
  • 15% said a home office made childcare easier

Another reason workers like their home office is they don’t have to wear face coverings. Physical distancing and mask requirements are easing up in California beginning mid-June. But according to updated guidelines from the state’s department of public health, masks are supposed to be worn in indoor settings:

“In indoor settings outside of one’s home, including public transportation, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status…”

Exceptions are made for people working alone in a closed room or office.

The on-going regulations may sway people to work from home.

What CEOs Want for the Corporate Office

Not surprisingly, CEOs and other executives surveyed wanted their people at corporate workstations, although they understood that workers got used to remote locations. In a survey conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers in January 2021, most corporate leaders agreed that a hybrid office model can work.

Here’s the breakdown of how many days the CEOs want their employees to spend in the office:

  • 5 days a week—21%
  • 4 days a week—18%
  • 3 days a week—29%
  • 2 days a week—15%
  • 1 day a week— 5%
  • Only 1 – 3 days monthly—6%

The most pressing concern for executives was keeping their teams aligned with company culture. Too many days spent working remotely would lead to drifting and a loose association with the company’s goals and values.

Companies can attract employees by offering quality settings that can’t be duplicated remotely. The other draw of a corporate setting is the social interaction. Make the office a positive place to be.


Photo: HON WestHill Lounge

The Power of the Flexible Office

A property management authority was commenting on commercial office leases in Long Beach and remarked “that a lot of tenants that don’t really know what the world looks like — don’t have a good grasp of, once we’re out of this pandemic, what their office space needs are going to look like.”

Products made for a flexible workspace design are more important than ever.

If you need more workstations, or fewer, then consider solutions like the DeskMakers TeamWorx Open Plan Desking. It’s easy to configure and comes with many different privacy options.


Photo: Deskmakers Teamworx Workstation

The Attraction of Ambiance in the Office

A popular office trend in workspace environments is known as Resimercial, which means combining the best of a home office and residential setting with the durability and demands of a commercial space.

The lines between work and home are more blurred than ever.

It’s acceptable for office lounges to look like living rooms when they’re properly furnished and arranged well.

You can also create an upbeat office setting where people want to be. Use primary colors and furniture with clean lines. Triangular shapes and circles add depth and intrigue.


Photo: Arcadia Contract Domo Benches

Add plenty of indoor plants to bring in the best of nature and make sure a maximum amount of natural light is flowing into the space.

The Support of the Healthy Office

Show employees that they’re safe and well-protected with mobile glass screens and an array of space dividers. Private and semi-private office cubicles are useful for distancing while still offering a sense of collaboration.


Photo: HON Ignition Chair

Get the Ideas You Need for the Corporate Office and Home Office

Smart space planning is essential to laying out an office setting for maximum productivity and employee engagement. The team at 2010 Office Furniture has over 50 years of combined experience working with office managers and executives at the most distinguished companies in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

Contact them with your project needs and questions.

Read Also: How to Help Protect Workers in Open Office Floor Plans from Covid-19
Main Photo: Arcadia Contract Avelina Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Arcadia Contract, Deskmakers,HON & OFS

(IMPORTANT NOTICE: The recommendations on this article are NOT from health experts, and have not been medically tested nor proven as an effective cure or prevention for COVID-19 or any other diseases.)

Designing a Healthy Office

Designing a Healthy Office

Designing a healthy office is important in fostering an environment where morale is high and people are productive. Employees are motivated to work as a team and focused on their tasks, instead of how to handle their aches and pains.

But what is a healthy office setting and how do you achieve a place where people are comfortable and productive?

Let’s start with the basics, like how you sit and do your work.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics in designing a healthy office refer to the equipment designed to help people accomplish their tasks in a way that creates minimal stress on the body. Today’s height-adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs allow users to sit with proper posture so their eyes are focused on the screen at the right level while at the same time the joints in their bodies endure as little stress as possible.


Photo: OFS Impulse G2 Private Office

The strain on the wrists, elbows, knees and lower back is greatly reduced.

Ergonomic chairs come in an array of colors and shapes. But you should always look for quality lumbar support that adjusts easily to body weight and movement.

Since office workers sit for hours per day, a quality chair promotes physical health. But so does getting up at regular intervals.

Ergonomics applies to other areas, too, like talking on a cell phone.

Promote the use of speaker phone or the use of headphones to avoid cradling the phone on the neck and shoulders for prolonged periods. Tilting the head too much toward a computer screen or to one side of a shoulder gradually causes misalignment.

Designing a Healthy Office with Movement

Movement is key in design a healthy office. Humans are built to be active and if we remain sedentary for hours on end, then our bodies and minds are going to pay a price. After a couple of hours working at a desk, encourage your team to get up and move for about 10 minutes to 15 minutes.

This can be taking a brisk walk down a hallway, getting a drink of water, or taking a laptop and continuing to work at a lounge area.

Height-adjustable desks can be useful to promote movement as well since they make it easy to go from sitting to standing.


Photo: Humanscale eFloat Standing Desk

However, the main reason to get up and move around the office isn’t to burn calories but help the blood circulate. Don’t overlook this aspect of having a healthy workforce.

When blood is flowing well through the body, it also means that it’s circulating in the head, and that reduces foggy brain syndrome. And a clear head increases productivity.

An article in Harvard Health, “More movement, better memory,” notes that the center of learning and memory in our brain is the hippocampus. It’s located in the medial temporal lobe, a region that benefits from exercise.

Participants in the study were an average of 65 years old and enrolled in an aerobics class for 20 weeks. There was no change in the body mass index, but researchers “found that those who exercised showed a greater ability to rearrange and reconfigure nerve connections in their brain. This allowed them to better learn and retain information, and then logically apply that information in a new situation.”

Movement is healthy.

Indoor Air Quality

If you’re concerned about the smoggy air outside, then you’ll want to clean your indoor air. According to estimates published on Allwork.space, we spend about 90% of our time indoors where offices with poor ventilation will have air that is two to five times more toxic than outside.

  • Regularly clean the vents used for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system
  • Open windows occasionally to boost indoor air flow
  • Rebalance or adjust HVAC systems to increase total airflow to occupied spaces when possible

You can also bring nature inside and use indoor plants. They do their part in cleaning pollutants and freshening the air, and definitely help in designing a healthy office.


Photo: OFS Yelly and Kasura Seating

Light and Color

Designing a healthy office means creating an environment that’s good for both our physical health and mental well-being. There’s even a discipline known as chromotherapy, based on findings that color and colored lights can help treat both our physical and mental health.

Colors have their own traits:

  • Blue signifies the intellect
  • Red impacts courage and strength
  • Yellow is an emotional color that represents creativity
  • Green is for harmony, representing nature and balance
  • Orange creates a sense of comfort because it blends the physicality of red and the emotional trait of yellow

In addition to colors, natural light is a proven mood booster.

Assess how you use colors in your work environment. Where can you maximize the flow of natural light? Are there barriers in the way of windows?

Using cubicles and clear modular walls in place of solid walls or other barriers can brighten the office space.


Photo: OFS Skara and Saven Rocker Seating

Now get some inspiration for how your office can look—make it more modern and bright, or tone it down and give it an industrial look. You can even make it appear homey and warm with a resimercial approach.


Photo: Source International Lore Lounge

Morale

The goal of planning office space and creating an upbeat look is to boost morale and guide your team in working at their best levels. This is good for the company’s bottom line, but it also leads to professional satisfaction for team members and keeps them engaged with your brand.

We’re Here to Help you in Designing a Healthy Office

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than 50 years of experience equipping Southern California’s leading corporations, centers of higher education, and small-to-medium sized businesses.

Contact us and share your space planning and office furnishing needs. We’ll be glad to share solutions.

Read Also: Energize Your Office with Movement
Main Photo: Humanscale Ergonomics
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Humanscale, Source International & OFS

Resimercial Office Designs and Trends

Resimercial Office Designs and Trends

When looking at resimercial office designs, it’s important to go back and remember where it all started from.

Remember when all work was performed in the corporate office?

Then came use of the home office.

Third spaces then evolved as popular alternatives between home and work that helped avoid the grind of commuting in Los Angeles.

As coffee shops went from being grunge and turned fashionable, they became acceptable places where professionals could work on their laptops or have one-on-one client meetings. Co-working spaces attracted freelancers and employees who didn’t want to make the drive from their homes in places like the foothills to their employers near LAX or Long Beach.

The coffee shops came with a relaxed informality. Co-working spaces had perks added like coffee, snacks and even professional development seminars for the monthly fee of renting space.

Of course, the table and chair arrangements were nice as well.


Photo: OFS Rowen, Bistro, and Elani Seating

Boundaries between work and home continued to grow blurred with the popularity of urban villages. Retail stores and professional offices on the first floor with living quarters on the upper floors meant you could take the elevator down to the office or step outside and walk a few blocks to work.

You’ll see this trend anywhere you go in Southern California. The urban village concept drew young professional families to neighborhoods along Hollywood Boulevard.

Live-work spaces and third spaces are common in Irvine, Pasadena, and in Ontario or Rancho Cucamonga.

The trend has had enough of an impact to result in a new term: Resimercial.

What is Resimercial Design?

Resimercial design brings personal elements of home into the commercial office space. Think of it as an approach that respects the personalities of employees and their various moods and mindsets.

A mixture of familiar and business-like elements creates an atmosphere that’s less sterile and more welcoming to our senses.


Photo: OFS Rowen Lounge

The Upbeat Contemporary Office is a nice example of resimercial. Splashes of comfortable colors with soft fabrics have a personal appeal.

Resimercial doesn’t mean sloppy or random. Instead, the use of workstations and lounge areas with circles and triangles give structure with an inviting look.

Resimercial’s Growing Popularity

Policies and practices like implementing family leave for spouses after the birth of a baby was another way that private lives and occupations intertwined. Telecommuting had already been a widely used term and practice since the mid-90s, but when Covid-19 hit it became a forced reality.

The majority of companies let their employees work from home, and now, many will continue to work remotely. According to the National Association for Business Economics, only 11 percent of companies in the U.S. expect to have all their employees returning to the corporate office.

Tech giants Twitter and Facebook are currently letting all their employees work remotely while Google will likely go to a hybrid model of office-home later in 2021.


Photo: SitOnIt Reya Table

How Resimercial Benefits Employees

Evidence exists that resimercial design has a positive impact on wellbeing, collaboration, creativity and overall productivity in the workplace. Work Design Magazine describes how this arrangement means more “than merely placing residential objects in a commercial setting.”

Products and materials are used that are especially designed for the unique purpose of bridging the familiarity of home with the professionalism of workspaces. Doing so allows for more comfort for employees to work how they want instead of staying cooped up in sterile cubicles.


Photo: Stylex Still Screens

Resimercial and the Impact on Office Layouts

The look and feel of resimercial doesn’t have to affect the physical placement of departments in an office. However, the fabrics, colors and style of furnishings can reinforce a company’s brand while defining specific areas of an office.

Re-imagine the finance department. Instead of a traditional desk, there could be a comfortable use of open benchingthat has partitions with an attractive color. Lamps and tables with a wood grain finish can add personality.

A manager’s meeting space can be transformed from the inflexible looking cubicle into a more casual feel using modular furniture.

The furnishings can be budget friendly. The payoff can come from an atmosphere that boosts creativity and productivity.


Photo: SitOnIt Novo Chair, OFS Rowen and Wyre Lounge, OFS Staks Benching

If your office needs a refreshing, or you need to plan new space, then the team at 2010 Office Furniture has nearly 50 years of experience to share. They’ve worked with Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and growing small businesses.

Contact 2010 Office Furniture with your project needs.

Read Also: Developing a Supportive Office Work Environment
Main Photo: Arcadia Contract Delen Meeting Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers:  Arcadia ContractOFS, SitOnIt & Stylex