Equipping the Flexible Office for Maximum Productivity and Professional Experience

Flexible Office 9to5 Seating Aria Chairs

With COVID, flexible office work arrangements are more popular than ever. Digital technology has kept employees so connected for the past couple of decades that many need reminders to unplug during vacations and long weekends.

Going through the COVID-19 shutdown made remote working mandatory and now companies are reimagining how doing tasks in remote locations can remain compatible with working in a corporate office.

Making the office a destination spot is a strategy to create a positive office experience that will draw workers back is a trending strategy. But what are you bringing them back to?

Let’s look at flexible office spaces and their use as a competitive advantage.

Flexible Office for Deliberate Flexibility

Corporate offices today are adjusting their defined work areas. It’s not just a matter of placing the names of departments on different doors like accounting, marketing, or production. Instead, they’re doing what CBRE in their 30,000 square foot El Segundo office is doing: designing spaces as lounges, single-person work pods, and equipping outdoor areas with wi-fi, comfortable seating, and shade umbrellas.

In 2018, community design firm Stantec unveiled a re-design of its 60,000-square foot space in Irvine. It’s a diverse company of scientists, architects, and project managers. They have “Four non-traditional collaborative spaces take the shape of breakout rooms, lounges, and hubs.”

A training room has space for 50 people and a retractable wall that can separate the room into two if needed.

Personal interaction is planned and designed into the floor plan with a collaboration café that’s “purposefully located where office circulation paths meet to foster quick planning sessions and conversations.”

A central lounge with reclaimed barn wood paneling, a coffee bar, computer stations, television screens, and contemporary lounge furnishings, serves as the flexible office’s central meeting place and social focal point.


Photo: ERG International Tivoli Lounge

Flexible Office Productivity

Planning office spaces for flexibility that leads to greater productivity is important because different people have different ways in which they work best. Just like learning. Some people learn better with a hands-on approach while others may be more visual or more auditory.

Some work best from home and 2010 Office Furniture understands this so we equip the remote workers, too, with work-from-home flexible office suites and accessories.

Creating a flexible office space that allows your team to feel comfortable respects their individual needs while bringing them together in a unified mission of meeting corporate goals.


Photo: SitOnIt Seating Glove Chairs

Flexible office spaces let employees work in areas that suit them best.

Physical Flexibility

There’s another type of office flexibility that’s important for a person’s overall wellness. Sitting for long periods of time strains the elbows, wrists, knees, and lower back. If the height of a monitor or desk isn’t right then posture is off and sitting for long stretches is a gradual strain on the entire body.

Promote physical flexibility with quality ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable desks.


Photo: DeskMakers Hover Workstations

Common Needs

A headline from an agency recruiting remote workers in Los Angeles proclaimed on its website, Productivity doesn’t need an office.

That’s not 100% accurate.


Photo: DARRAN Chameleon Workspace

Everyone has different needs for a flexible office. Some people work best at one specific workstation with occasional meetings or chats in lounge areas.


Photo: OFS Tangent Lounge

Others prefer remote work over full-time in-office work.

However, there are common needs that everyone has despite personal preferences:

  • Social interactions
  • Natural lighting
  • Pleasing environment

Even the most ardent remote worker is best served with in-person meetings and not just all-virtual gatherings, all the time. We like interacting with others or we begin to feel alone, even if we’re digitally connected.

We have an abundant amount of sunshine in Southern California, so make sure your team has plenty of light filtering in. Sunshine boosts morale in the office and helps people maintain a circadian rhythm so they sleep well at night.

Colors matter, too. You don’t need bold, splashy colors in every room, but you also don’t want dull and drab. Plenty of cubicle solutions use attractive fabrics and come in easy-to-configure arrangements so you can plan for both privacy and personal conversations.

The 2010 Office Inspiration page gives options that show you how today’s flexible office can make the best use of color and space to reflect your brand and show your employees that you have their needs in mind.

Plan and design a space for minimalists or create a resimercial space that reflects both personal lives and professional pursuits.


Photo: Allermuir Mozaik Lounge Seating

The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice quality when designing a flexible office space. An array of durable options exists to help you get the most from your workspaces so your team is as productive as possible.

Find Flexible Office Solutions that Work Best

Turn to 2010 Office as your solution for space planning and office furnishings that help you create the modern flexible office. The team has more than 50 years of experience working with clients who rank among Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and small businesses.

Contact them with your potential needs.

Read Also: Your Guide to Office Feng Shui for the Best Office Environment
Main Photo: 9to5 Seating Aria Chairs
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: 9to5 Seating, Allermuir, DARRAN, DeskMakers, ERG International, OFS & SitOnIt Seating 

Leveraging the Benefits of Informal Workspaces in Office Planning and Design

Informal Workspaces Edge Collaboration Spaces

Informal workspaces are a strategic use of your existing office space.  They are much more than having a ping-pong table available for team-building exercises.

It’s an important step in ergonomics.  Furniture equipment should meet the needs of the worker instead of making the worker use the equipment at personal expense.

Planning and designing informal office workspaces will:

  • Accommodate remote workers and accommodate staff who work full-time in the office
  • Encourage collaboration among a diverse workforce
  • Promote transparency
  • Utilize spaces that would otherwise sit empty for hours on end

Why should you refresh your work environment and plan to use informal spaces?

With informal workspaces, you can make your office a welcome destination by using space that “will reflect the organization’s purpose, vision and culture … and inspire a workforce,” as Blake Searles, senior managing director for Jones Lang LaSalle in Los Angeles, said.  Jean was addressing attendees during a panel discussion of Navigating Workplace Needs, hosted by the LA Business Journal in 2021.

How Informal Workspaces Emerged

Google and tech startups in the early 2000s did more than change how we access information. They changed the standards of a professional office setting. Programmers and other tech creatives, who were often recent college grads, showed up in jeans and T-shirts.

The idea fit into the California lifestyle of beaches and mountains, and led the way for informal workspaces.

Informal offices turned into beanbag chairs with programmers glued to their laptops.  They played foosball or ping pong during break times or problem-solving discussions.

Tables like these are fun—and can help reduce workplace tension which is why 2010 Office Furniture carries the Scale 1:1 Nomad Conference Table. You can gather a team around it for planning, use the surface as a whiteboard, or have a robust ping-pong match during breaks.


Photo: Scale 1:1 Nomad Conference Table

Many white-collar companies never adopted the hip tech approach, and many stayed with the traditional, closed-wall settings of individual executive offices. That is, until open office plans with freshly designed cubicles and bench seating became the go-to trend, a nod and step toward informal workspaces.


Photo: DARRAN Honey Workstation

The need for privacy and personal space remained and thanks to the widespread use of laptops and cell phones, companies began setting aside dedicated areas like lounges for employees who wanted time away from being elbow-to-elbow with others.


Photo: ERG International Hetfield Table

Ideas for Office Informal Workspaces

See how a variety of office settings are arranged on the 2010 Office Inspiration page.

Here are a few ideas for creating an atmosphere that’s unique to your company’s brand and workflow—allowing for both structured and informal workspaces:

Each of the many office plans meets specific needs and builds on trends of earlier years like open office floor plans. Critics said one of the downsides was that concentration was impaired. 2010 Office Furniture provides Open Plan solutions with many open plan desking options that also allows for personal space.


Photo: Friant Dash Workstation

When COVID-19 led to mandatory remote working then employees found they could be in an informal setting of their homes or coffee shops yet remain productive. Virtual meetings kept staff tuned into the corporate office.

Getting employees back into an office that truly supports their work was a concern.

The colorful Upbeat Office, or the minimalist office in the Scandinavian style, and the use of nature in the Green Office show how the work environment can be pleasing and even preferred over remote locations.

But nothing truly replaces face-to-face interactions.

So it’s out with walled individual office space, all-day tasks done only at the cubicle or workstation, and in with informal workspaces. A key benefit is that more office space is used throughout the day.


Photo: Stylex Free Address Tables

How Informal Workspaces Maximize Office Usage

When workers were expected to stay at their desks several hours a day, portions of offices, like breakrooms and conference rooms, sat empty for hours at a time. Spur of the moment or planned meetings were held at desks, which could be intimidating in certain work relationships. And other times, important meetings might be postponed while employees waited for a conference room to be available.

There’s less need to step into a designated conference room. Common areas can be used for small group meetings away from workstations. And minimal tables for monitors and online meetings can be set up so they remain unobtrusive.

Informal Workspaces Source International Scape Seating
Photo: Source International Scape Lounge Seating

Stepping out for a working lunch can be a nice change of scenery, or a meeting at a coffee shop can meet the same need. But a breakroom where lunch and coffee are available can serve a similar purpose in the mornings, during lunch, or in the afternoons.

Encouraging mobility makes the office more functional and dynamic than only having specific desks where all the work is expected to be handled.  This is why informal workspaces accessible to everyone works, and make good use of otherwise unoccupied office spaces.

Informal Spaces are Professional Spaces

Informal spaces can certainly serve collaborative efforts and meet the needs of individual employees. Planning your space is essential so your team has room for those important spur-of-the-moment ideas that lead to greater productivity and professional satisfaction.


Photo: Scale 1:1 Nomad Conference Table

In today’s world, boundaries are blurred between personal lives and professional careers.  Informal spaces help employees relate to each other and meet the need for social interactions.

Rely on Expertise and Experience

Contact the team at 2010 Office Furniture for help to create your informal workspaces.  Get trusted advice from their combined half-century.  They’ve provided solutions for distinguished clients throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Design and Plan Your Office for Collaboration and Inspiration
Main Photo: OFS Edge Collaboration Spaces
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: DARRAN, ERG International, Friant, Scale 1:1, OFS, Source and Stylex

The Benefits of Touchdown Spaces in Office Space Planning and Design

Touchdown Spaces Global+ River Lounge

Your employees are more than workers—they’re consumers of the office experience you provide.  And for them in today’s professional climate, touchdown spaces have never been more important than now.  Let’s break it down.

Here are two factors impacting your office:

  • Hybrid work arrangements
  • Personalities who seem to have conflicting needs

Many companies in Southern California allow for a hybrid model of remote work where employees plan to work in the office a few days per week.

A range of different personalities expects the office to meet their needs like focused privacy and open meeting areas. Differing expectations can co-exist without competing against each other.

How do you make your office space a positive destination?

Plan flexible areas called touchdown spaces and use furnishings that support diverse needs and desires.


Photo: Global Drift Table

What are Touchdown Spaces?

Touchdown spaces are informal spaces where you can settle alone with a laptop, pad of paper, or smartphone. Or, where you can collaborate in a small group setting.

Plan a touchdown space that comes with fast internet access where your team can quickly answer emails, have a virtual meeting, or check in face-to-face before moving elsewhere to complete tasks.

The goal is to help your employees handle their tasks in a supportive and comfortable environment.

Benefits of Touchdown Spaces

Companies that depend on knowledgeable workers can benefit greatly from touchdown spaces.

Collaboration is needed to troubleshoot issues related to production and client management, while individual focus is essential for uninterrupted stretches to deliver actionable items. Touchdown spaces maximize the use of office space and give employees the opportunity to be as productive as possible.

In a hybrid work environment, defined space is as necessary as ever. In pre-Covid days prior to 2020, companies often assigned one desk or workstation per employee. You were assigned a seat and that was the end of the matter.

Special accommodations were made for employees who wanted flexibility and shared tasks. Employee A came in 15 to 20 hours a week to a specific workstation and shared it with Employee B who worked on the same task.

Now, people are coming and going on different days of the week, but they still expect defined spaces.

Touchdown spaces are community areas where you know you can either take a private phone call or meet with co-workers in an uninterrupted huddle.

Touchdown Spaces Encore Chirp Lounge Seating

Photo: Encore Chirp Lounge Seating

Practices and Furnishings that Support Space Needs

An article in the LA Business Journal states that the end goal for the office is a place to “provide an experience–much like hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers do–that not only helps in recruitment of new hires but also entices employees to gather and collaborate there.”

Here’s a key first step in providing positive touchdown spaces.

Managing the flow of employees who come in and out at different times. Develop an app that allows workers to reserve workstations, specific conference rooms, video conferencing rooms, or even lounge areas.

Take the next step and provide furnishings that work well for a flexible office touchdown space like:


Photo: Snowsound PLI Acoustic Panels

Plan to Furnish Spaces Wisely

In a flexible office setting, you need to direct sound and activity to keep group spaces separated from private spaces.

How does furniture help?

Acoustic furniture absorbs sound waves from distracting conversations, ringing phones, and other noises.

Look at the 2010 Furniture inspirational web page, Modern Conference Room. There’s an example of a small meeting area that doesn’t have a door. A clear architectural wall encloses one side, and the opposite side has a wall for writing and diagramming. An attractive covering encloses the top.


Photo: Trendy Volo Wall

Check the 2010 Office Furniture Inspiration page to get ideas for workstations and meeting areas and how they look in various office settings and designs.


Photo: Allermuir Haven Lounge Seating

Many lounge seating options are designed with privacy in mind, like the Allermuir Haven Lounge Seating where one person could stretch out and concentrate or two people could meet beneath the high backs.


Photo: ERG International Laguna Lounge Seating fr Touchdown Spaces

A similar look is available in the ERG International Laguna Lounge Seating arrangement. It has many customizable options using privacy panels and is highly functional in common areas like cafes and lobbies.

Touchdown Space Example

In the South Bay, commercial real estate brand CBRE opened a 30,000-square-foot office this summer and equipped it with 14 different types of workspaces because people work in different ways on different projects.

The El Segundo location is using a concept called neurodiversity.

They range from what the LA Business Journal describes as “acoustically enclosed, single-person focus pods for individual work to huddle rooms for small teams” to “residential-style living rooms for casual meetings, a library for quiet work, and an outdoor patio equipped with WiFi, seating and shade umbrellas.”

Spaces are equipped with interactive whiteboards and some project rooms have large horseshoe couches and large video screens.  These make for good touchdown spaces.


Photo: National Bio Conference Media Table

Plenty of options exist to design an office of any size that’s flexible and satisfies the users.

Get Pro Help on Touchdown Spaces

Contact 2010 Office Furniture and get input for your space planning and furnishing needs to create touchdown spaces or any office environment that’s right for your company.

The team at 2010 Office has a combined half-century of planning spaces and sourcing furniture for Southern California’s most distinguished companies, universities, and small businesses.

Share your questions and projects to get trustworthy advice.

Read Also: Using Resimercial Office Design as an Employee Retention Strategy
Main Photo: Global River+ Lounge Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, Encore, ERG International, Global, National, 
Snowsound & Trendway