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

Five Benefits of Using Plants in the Office

Why We Need Plants in the Office

Concerned about office stale air?  Thinking about creating a positive mood? Check your office greenery and consider the five benefits of using plants in the office!  Studies have shown that indoor plants refresh breathing and rejuvenate the spirit. Read on and discover all the great health contributions of having plants in the office.

Plants Tackle Hazardous Materials

In the 1960s, swamp plants in Florida were shown to clean up the devastating effects of Agent Orange, the chemical that the U.S. infamously used during battle in Vietnam. An environmental researcher working with the military, B.C. Wolverton, Ph.D., made the findings and soon worked with NASA to counter-act indoor air pollution.

Sending astronauts to the moon and into orbit for long periods of time in a space station led NASA to clean up the effects of “off-gassing,” the slow release of chemicals from synthetic materials.

Buying quality furniture is important and near the end of this article are easy-to-follow tips to minimize off-gassing.

Plants Aid Office Wellness

By the 1980s, a new term came into being called “Sick Building Syndrome.” Wolverton released a full study by the end of the decade that focused on “energy-efficient buildings” and how both furniture and computer and electronic equipment would “off-gas hundreds of volatile organics.”

Here’s where plants became important. More research from England showed that buildings with the highest levels of microorganisms had the fewest symptoms. And the opposite scenario was true. People who had more ill symptoms worked in mechanically ventilated buildings containing low levels of microorganisms.

Plants Create an Indoor Ecosystem

How do plants work their magic? Water vapor they emit pulls the air’s contaminants to the root levels. The plant then converts it into food and microorganisms in the potting soil do the cleaning work.

Pollutants from the air are absorbed into the plants while they’re taking in carbon dioxide. That’s then turned into oxygen through photosynthesis. Here’s where the microbes come into play. They’re in the potting soil and they do a lot of the cleaning.

Plants Boost the Spirit

A home or office that has nicely placed greenery has a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a way to spruce up the look of industrial grade gray. A 2014 study from the University of Exeter that was noted in Science Daily stated that a green office can boost productivity levels by 15%.

Plants also improve the air quality by raising humidity levels which benefits employees who have naturally dry skin and eyes. Dry air can also be troubling for asthma sufferers and spread germs leading to colds and flu.

Plants Absorb Sound

Air contaminants aren’t the only thing that plants absorb. Leaves and stems can capture sound waves and reflect them. That helps boost concentration levels.

In the open office, plants can act as green dividers in many creative ways. Open plan benching workstations could have small plants that are placed every several feet to create personal space.

In spaces with solid walls, plants on shelving can add color.

Recommended Indoor Plants in the Office

The following are some of the recommended plants for a healthy office:

  • Spider plants – known for purifying the air
  • Succulents – easy to care for and work well in small containers
  • Peace Lilly – are good for creating more moisture in the air
  • Aloe – a type of succulent; easy to grow and care for
  • Philodendrons – are popular as hanging plants

Tips to Reduce Off-Gassing From Office Furniture

  • Buy tables and desks that are well crafted.
  • Remove packaging outdoors since that’s where the largest concentration of gas is released.
  • Filter and circulate the air
  • Use plants as noted in this post

Image Source: Storyblocks

Checklist of Wellness Activities for 2019

Mission: Wellness Activities

Make wellness an office priority with this checklist of wellness activities for 2019.

1. Move Often

Benefits:

  • Regular movements keep blood circulating well and prevent joints from stiffening. Movement can also clear the mind.

What to Do:

  • Stretch every 20 minutes while sitting at the desk
  • Use height-adjustable desks and tables to alternate standing and sitting throughout the day
  • Go for a brief stroll every few hours
  • Play games like ping-pong or have a magnetic dart board set up in a break area
  • Use ergonomic chairs that allow the body to move naturally

2. Drink Water

Benefits:

  • Water lubricates the joints, flushes out toxins in the body and helps battle tooth decay by maintaining saliva production. It also helps the immune system and delivers oxygen throughout the body.

What to Do:

  • Provide small bottles of water in break rooms and near lounge chairs
  • Place reminders in departments encouraging the team to “stay wet”
  • Provide packs of sugarless gum to chew and stimulate saliva production

3. Eat Well

Benefits:

  • Food is a personal issue for many. Don’t throw out doughnuts for every meeting but realize that eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits boosts energy, reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, and promotes healthy bacteria in the gut.

What to Do:

  • Have a vegetable tray with dip for office meetings
  • Invite departments to take turns providing something like apples or grapes as snacks in the breakroom
  • Ask a local store to provide a discount if enough employees buy their produce there
  • Have a local chef do a healthy pop-up lunch with the staff seated comfortably

4. Go Green

Benefits:

  • Plants provide a visual break in an office while refreshing the air. They can also raise humidity levels to soothe workers with dry and itchy skin.

What to Do:

  • Have employees bring in a favorite indoor plant
  • Use plants in hanging baskets or potted plants on tables as area dividers
  • Place small plants every several feet on open bench seating to provide personal boundaries
  • Use ficus trees to define departments in an open office

5. Offer Exercise Incentives

Benefits:

  • Staying active outside work becomes part of a healthy lifestyle. Moderate walking or running reduces stress and is foundational for those managing their weight.

What to Do:

  • Offer small rewards for those who have the most creative walk or run in a month
  • Provide up to 10% off gym memberships or yoga classes (not to exceed a certain amount)
  • Offer aerobics or yoga on-site
  • Install a multi-use conference table for ping-pong breaks

6. Evaluate Company Culture

Benefits:

Work by its very nature is challenging. Competitive environments come from companies striving to be their best and please their clients. Providing ways for people to decompress is important. Leadership plays an important role in this by:

  • Listening
  • Allowing time for constructive feedback
  • Adjusting as necessary

7. Wellness Activities for 2019 – Designing a Healthy Office

Many factors contribute to a healthy workplace.  Now that you’ve read the checklist for wellness activities for 2019, consider that a well-designed and furnished office space also promotes success.  Looking to design an office workspace that promotes health and well being?  Let our experts help you!  2010 Office Furniture has more than 45 years of experience working with some of the most prominent companies in Los Angeles and Orange County, including Southern California Edison, Irvine Chamber of Commerce, The Honda Center, UCLA, Bunim Murray Productions, Hollywood Park Casino, Living Spaces, W Hotels, Sony Pictures Studios, Dignity Health and more.  Share your project with us today and talk to us about a complimentary space planning consultation.

Image Source: Storyblocks

Get More Work Done with a Green Office

Benefits of a Green Office

If you want a more productive office, then create a workplace that is as green as possible. Creating a surrounding that’s green and welcoming is really an investment in people. People have an innate desire to connect with the outside world, literally. Natural light and thriving plants can keep moods up and thinking sharp. Achieve fewer yawns and droopy eyes while using workstations and dividers that have a pleasant appearance and make room for greenery at work. Read on to see how the interior environment becomes more conducive to feeling fresh and alive, especially with a green office.

Natural Light

Want to give your team a competitive edge? An article in the Harvard Business Review referred to natural light as “The Number One Office Perk.” Natural light and outdoor views were more desired as an office benefit than onsite cafeterias, fitness centers and fun events like bringing dogs to the office, according to the HR advisory firm Future Workplace.  Also, survey opinions from 1,614 employees in North America found that 47% of workers felt they didn’t get enough natural light and 43% felt gloomy. Why the craving for light? Future Workplace’s survey linked it to the use of smartphones and other electronic devices. People spend up to four hours a day on mobile devices in addition to working in front of computer screens. Outdoor scenery offers a much-needed visual break throughout the day.

How to Let the Light Flow

Install large size windows, skylights, or solar tubes if possible. In southern California, west-facing windows in the hottest months of the year can get uncomfortable so use a lighter type of fabric that allows light to pass through while blocking the heat.  You can also place desks within 20 feet of windows and use workstations with partitions that are translucent or clear. A frame and tile cubicle system like the Friant marks personal space while offering openness.

Office Plants in Your Green Office

Put living “green” into a green office for even greater productivity. A person’s need to connect with other living things that include plants is called biophilia. The design of workspaces is now taking this need into account. One or two well-placed plants create a visual break just like outdoor scenery. In open bench seating, a small potted plant will change what could otherwise be a monotonous view.  Hanging plants like philodendrons can act like a divider. Walls can also be decorated with succulents. But don’t overdo the concept. Too many plants can create a feeling of being crowded.

4 Benefits of Office Plants

  1. Provide color: green comes in various shades and can add a variety of colors when blooming.
  2. Refresh the air: plants look like they’re sitting in one place, but there’s activity going on that you can’t see. They take the pollutants out of the air and microorganisms at the root level do the scrubbing action.
  3. Aid in Wellness: refreshing the air means there are fewer airborne germs and plants can indirectly aid in the fight against colds and flu. They raise the humidity level which can make the office more comfortable for people with dry skin.
  4. Absorb sound: broad, leafy plants can minimize distracting conversations or music. The buffer is minimal, of course, but leaves and stems redirect sound waves.

Image Source: Storyblocks

Update: Office Technology Trends 2019

Leveraging Smart Office Capabilities for a Worker-Friendly Environment

What the smart office looks like and how it functions depends on the company’s purpose and objectives. Today’s technology and current office trends supports an array of industries:

  • A financial planner wants new insights on a client and uses a smart CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
  • A manufacturing firm streams data to schedule equipment maintenance and conserve energy consumption.
  • A local school district troubleshoots connectivity issues
  • A warehouse uses autonomous robots to pull customer orders off shelves.
  • A video game firm and police department can use a technology like Virtual Reality to create simulations for completely different purposes.

What is the Smart Office?

A smart office gives employees the technological tools needed to work effectively in support of what the company wants to achieve. Office trends today strongly exhibits that working smarter isn’t just based on human intellect anymore.

Today’s technology is amazing, but the end game is meeting the needs of people. A well-planned smart office is responsive to the needs of workers and customers.

In the world of online retail and logistics, companies that deliver packages quickly make customers happy and are positioned to compete well and win future orders. Making it easy for a customer to place an online order is an important part of success in the supply chain. Warehouses use autonomous robots to quickly pull items off of shelves and package them for quick shipping.

Technology can work at a personal level, too. In a school, imagine a student who suffers from the fear of mathematics using a device equipped with Artificial Intelligence to map the student’s learning patterns. It can offer feedback and take the student through a step-by-step process to gain confidence and answer correctly.

Technology is made to function for an established purpose and fit within a workplace strategy.

Smart Office Benefits

The tech start-up coming out of one of the nation’s robotic hubs will certainly use the latest connective technologies, but mature industries like life-sciences, financial services, and education are sending and pulling from the Cloud.

Sensors have dropped in cost along with vision systems to collect constant streams of data in split second intervals to make decisions. Think of a self-driving or autonomous vehicle. Australian mining giant Rio Tinto uses self-driving trucks weighing 46 tons to transport iron ore. They can operate safely 24 hours a day if necessary and use a myriad of sensors to gauge the shortest distances to save on fuel.

Technology is responsive and unifying. Los Angeles has used a “centralized business intelligence system” to create efficiencies among more than 500 datasets spread across multiple city agencies. The data is accessed to work with private businesses, nonprofits, and universities.

Office Trends Point to Smart Office Furniture

Chairs and desks are no longer static objects. Estimates say that 26 billion “Internet of Things” devices (every day objects with embedded computing devices interconnected via the Internet, enabling them to send and receive data from one another) will be connected to office furniture in the next five to six years.

Offices already have access to innovative furniture. Height-adjustable desks are a reality and promote health by allowing staff to change positions while working. How about getting a reminder to stand now and then by a Bluetooth-enabled desk? Some desk models now have touchscreens embedded in the table to prompt workers with reminders for lunch and tasks to complete.

Sensors can also be implemented to determine the temperature and humidity at a desk for maximum comfort and energy efficiency.

Wireless charging panels will grow in popularity, too. Place a smartphone on a desk or table to power it up with no wires required. This can eliminate trip hazards like extension cords.

Stay up-to-date on office furniture innovations with the experience of 2010 Office Furniture, totaling more than 40 years in planning office set-ups and working with management teams to furnish entrepreneurial start-ups and established corporations.

Read Also: Digital Workplace Trends for 2019

Image Source: Storyblocks

Green Campaign Ideas for the Office 2019

Being green at the office does more than conserve the planet’s resources. Employees also benefit from cleaner air and better lighting. Here are some easy ways to create your very own green office and promote a sustainable office environment.

Start with the Walls and Office Divider

Replace gray and brown cubicle dividers and make them come alive—literally. The easiest solution is to use hanging baskets filled with plants that grow well indoors, literally helping to create a green office. Succulents are low maintenance plants that come in a variety of shapes, and they only need watering every one to two weeks.

Also consider these plants that help purify the air: peace lilies, small potted cactus, bamboo, English ivy and the heartleaf philodendron.

While it’s possible to use partitions, shelving and bookcases work well for displaying the plants.

Office plants act as a natural air purification system, keep humidity at comfortable levels, and reduce airborne bacteria.

Find the Light

Natural light reduces electricity usage while promoting positive moods, alertness and assisting with metabolism. Workers with adequate sunshine also slept an average of 46 minutes longer per night than those who didn’t, according to a 2014 study by Northwestern University medicine and the University of Illinois.

Workstations should be within 25 feet of walls that have windows. Natural light practically “vanishes” after that distance. Consider using solar tubes or skylights in areas that don’t have windows. Quality solar tubes allow maximum light while keeping out hot air.

Use a smart office control for electric light to adjust lighting levels as the usage varies.

Use Ceramic Instead of Throwaways

For meetings and open houses, if your company has them, use ceramic mugs instead of styrofoam or other types of disposable cups. Use an energy efficient hot water pot to quickly heat water to boiling so employees can easily sterilize their own mugs during the workday.

Shout it from the Rooftops

Schools around Southern California have covered their parking lots and installed solar panels to harvest the abundant sunlight as renewable energy. Consider this for your office if the parking lot is currently open air.

Solar panels for commercial grade roofs may also be a solution, but study the options carefully.

Look to the Trees for a Truly Green Office

Offices can also reduce their energy output by planting trees strategically. Trees have additional benefits such as covering unsightly concrete walls, reducing traffic noises and making an area look appealing to attract customers, as noted by Treepeople.org.

Be Encouraging

Encourage walking, biking to work, and the use of public transit when driving to the office. Ask people to share rides to meetings whenever possible.

Sustainability is an important concept for all aspects of a professional and personal life. 2010 Office Furniture helps create office designs and layouts that are efficient and can sustain a company’s workflow needs and personal employee preferences.

Check our Services page in addition to our Products page and see how we’re able to lay out a workable solution.

Read Also: Great Ways to Encourage Better Employee Health

Image Source: Nevins

Digital Workplace Trends for 2019

4 Tech Office Trends 2019 to Follow

We’re seeing the future of work around us every day — automation in its different forms while bringing the comforts of home into professional environments. Look for these four technology office trends 2019 that will shape the workplace in the upcoming year.

1. Artificial Intelligence in B2C

A customer phones a call center to complain and an agent on the call is watching prompts with reminders on being empathetic and keywords to guide the conversation. It’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed by Cogito that company reps can use to improve a customer’s experience and ensure that they’ve been heard.  And while AI is still relatively in its early stages, we’re seeing it everywhere. Our everyday smartphones that complete our text messages by suggesting specific words and phrases are an example of how AI is developing and learning user behaviors based on algorithms. But some say that true AI learns on its own, without depending on us — which is no doubt soon to be seen in the near future (if not already).  In the meantime, we also are now benefitting from smart sensors that can help employees and home-based businesses set comfortable temperatures based on learned preferences and use tools like Alexa to offer reminders, play music and conserve energy.

Among other advances in technology, make sure to look for features built-in to office furniture such as desks with touchscreens that can remind workers when to go to lunch or prepare for appointments. This is definitely something to watch out for in office trends 2019.  Also, expect mobile devices to be in the fore of machine learning capabilities.

2. Robots in Industrial Automation

The automotive and electronics industries have used robots for many years, but automation is becoming common across all industries including food and beverage manufacturers as well as distributors and the transportation-logistics sector.  Imagine an autonomous vehicle leaving a distribution center to deliver goods to a construction site. On board are smaller robots equipped with vision control to locate customer-specific packages and complete the unloading process.  

It’s important to note that robots are no longer just built as a combinations of wires, metals, plastics or other hard mechanical parts.  Soft robotics is a concept on the rise making robots flexible enough to handle items like shirts and basketballs.  Also as we advance further into AI technology, look forward to robots connected to the cloud for more computational power that will be able to communicate with each other more effectively.

More and more, we’ll see huge advancements in robot technology as part of this year’s office trends 2019.

3. Automating Office Security

From face recognition to mobile robots, we look forward to seeing continued changes in office security. Government offices, universities and high-tech firms have traditionally had security plans that include key-card access systems, closed-circuit monitoring devices, and secure storage cabinets.

How about a roving robot as security guard?

A start-up firm founded by a former Google X employee is creating a robotic security force. As noted in this article on CNBC.com, Cobalt raises more than 16 million to bring security robots to the office, that can identify intruders and find maintenance problems like water leaks.  The robot “learns” how a secure building should appear so that it can spot something that’s gone wrong. A human security force can be alerted and sent in to patrol as needed.

4. Integrating Tech with a Human Touch

The office isn’t going away anytime soon. Not long ago, telecommuting was seen as the future while diminishing the importance of an office workspace.  Yet, Apple invested $5 billion in its spaceship-style headquarters and can house 12,000 employees under one roof. On a micro-level, freelancers who can work from home are flocking to co-work spaces to toil away alongside other gig contractors.

An office is a desirable place and though technological breakthroughs are fascinating, even the most tech-savvy companies work to keep humans comfortable.  Smart sensors to adjust lighting and temperatures to optimal levels exist alongside dividers made with succulents and other green plants. Drab gray is being replaced with more lively colors. Bean bag chairs and comfy lounge seats are an alternative to work stations when breaks are needed.  And it’s not all about work. Open air kitchen and snack bars provide desirable amenities with ping pong tables and tread mills giving exercise options.

No doubt, the modern office will continue to be a high-tech environment with space designed for a human touch.

2010 Office Furniture can configure new workspaces and those office spaces that are being re-designed. Click here to submit a project and request expert guidance that spans more than 45 years working with businesses of all sizes across Southern California.

Read Also:  Device Free Work Sones: Is This Still Possible?

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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.

CREATING A COMPANY STORY DRIVEN OFFICE DESIGN

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.

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