Now’s the Time for Inspired Office Designs Ideas Post Covid

Office Designs Ideas Post Covid OFS Rowen Lounge

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article on how to help protect workers 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.)

The 2020 covid pandemic have drastically changed the ways we work and live.  If there’s ever a time to look at office design ideas post covid, it’s now.

We now know how much work can get accomplished remotely. Employees can easily flourish in their home offices, and numerous surveys show how the majority of office workers feel just fine not coming into the corporate office.

So is the workplace finished?

Hardly.

Take a clue from big corporations. In September 2020, Amazon Music signed a lease agreement for a 40,000 square foot space in Brooklyn. That’s in addition to leases in Seattle and other tech companies signing leases in other cities. They must be expecting workers to show up again in real life.

Companies have an opportunity to break away from the same old approach using typical desks and chairs, or simply setting up workstations without much thought to the surroundings.

The corporate office can’t just be about functioning and completing tasks, because many functions can be done in home offices.

“It’s not a time to design a workplace of the future that looks a lot like the past, only more spaced out,” writes David Schwarz on Workdesign.com. “[Create] interactive, multi-sensory experiences that put collaboration and culture at the center.”

A positive office setting will bring people together to share an experience.

Creating the New Office Experience

How do you envision new office design ideas post covid? It’s more than just bodies occupying desks and ergonomic chairs.

Think through colors and furnishings that reflect your brand and foster an atmosphere of creativity and problem solving.


Photo: HON Concinnity Desk

The 2010 Office Furniture Office Inspirations Gallery reveals settings that combine home décor with the work environment; minimal and abstract design; industrial and open office design. Offices support company goals, but the trend is bringing people together and is really an extension of ergonomics—making sure the environment is equipped to help people do their best.


Photo: Rouillard Lead X Chair

But there’s another key to an office that’s designed effectively: flexibility.

Why is that important?

It’s one of the traits that keeps top talent engaged so that they feel a part of the company’s culture and want to stay put.

Look back to the Gensler 2016 Workplace Survey that links innovation to office design:

“The most innovative companies provide their organizations with a diversity of well-designed spaces in which to collaborate and to focus, as well as empowering employees with the ability to work when and where it best suits their work needs.”

Designing a Community

What kind of spaces are needed in today’s office?  These are key when planning and gathering office design ideas post covid:

  • Individual spaces to focus
  • Conference rooms to brainstorm
  • Social spaces to interact with co-workers over coffee and lunch

Does the office have to be all things to all employees?

Evaluate your expectations for your workers. Do you grumble if they don’t come into the office? You can decide if you want to hold them accountable or trust them to do their best and deliver so that corporate benchmarks are met and exceeded.

Top talent doesn’t stay put in one place.

The Gensler Survey that was conducted five years ago reports that “innovators report spending only 74% of the work week at the office.”

They were twice as likely as non-innovators to use “cafeterias, coffee shops, and outdoor spaces.”

Don’t design a workplace to keep people in one place, but aim to link people together in supportive relationships.  This is very important and at the heart of office design ideas post covid.

Aligning with Nature in the City

Los Angeles is a sprawling urban center and yet it has amazing natural elements—the beaches and cool breezes from the South Bay and Playa Vista, north to Malibu. Then there’s the ever-present Mount Wilson, visible throughout the year from downtown Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley, and other cities to the south.

Bring in the sunshine that bathes the region and make the office green to boost morale.

An example of a unique office setting is Second Home, a co-working company based in London with a two-acre campus in Hollywood. The website makes a bold claim—they’re “LA’s healthiest work space.”

There’s plenty of greenery inside and outside in a space that was formerly a parking lot. Fresh air is pumped into offices. They make use of the comfortable climate with working areas that are “60% outdoors, 40% indoors, and 100% clean.”

Second Home maximizes the use of sunshine with light wells that were cut into the two-story main building to bring daylight to the bottom floor. Breezeways were created to circulate fresh air.

The lead designer on the office space, Diego Cano-Lasso, told the Los Angeles Times that “How architecture relates with the environment is crucial to our well-being.”

Second Home is an office experience that’s not easily copied, or can’t be copied, in a home office.

What if you’re in an office tower in a city like Irvine, near the John Wayne Airport, and it isn’t possible to create a lush outdoor garden and none of the windows are designed to open?

Plan a Green Office with plenty of plants, natural light, and organic fabrics. It’s highlighted on 2010 Office Furniture’s Office Inspirations.


Photo: OFS Grow Up & Roo Planter

Design indoor-outdoor spaces for trainings or other uses.

The sheriff’s department in Contra Costa County has a conference room that seats up to 175 people. If that space fills up then “the back wall can be opened up entirely to a shaded patio via a glass garage door, to accommodate another 100 people,” as described in Metropolis Magazine on Post-Covid outdoor workspaces.This creates flexible multi-use work areas.


Photo: Nevins Bio Canvas Divider

Imagination and Resources

Covid created challenges that forced companies to reimagine how they’d get work done. Now the future is here, and it’s the best time to reimagine your office space.  With 2010 Office Furniture’s space planning expertise and wide array of office furniture products, it’s easier more than ever to create a workspace that reflects the times as well as your brand.

We Can Help You With Office Designs Ideas Post Covid

Our team at 2010 Office Furniture has worked with some of the most recognizable brands around Los Angeles and Orange County, plus leading nonprofits and small businesses that are expanding. Through it, we’ve gained more than 50 years combined experience and knowledge on the furnishings that build brands and help keep employees engaged in their work.

Contact us for a consultation on your next projec.  We can help you with suitable office design ideas post covid.

Read Also: Work From Home Office Furniture
Main Photo: OFS Rowen and Wyre Lounge
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: HONNevins, OFSRouillard

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article on how to help protect workers 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.)

Your Guide to Office Feng Shui for the Best Office Environment

Your Guide to Office Feng Shui OFS Riff Table

Creating the best office environment isn’t only about arranging furniture and equipment, it’s also developing an ambiance that has a positive flow of energy. Consider laying out your workspace using office feng shui.

Imagine the benefits:

  • Having a workplace with reduced stress
  • Using appealing natural elements
  • Maximizing employee comfort
  • A cleaner and organized office

What is Office Feng Shui

The word feng shui means “wind” and “water,” and is based on the concept that we’re impacted by our surrounding environment. The most productive offices are planned and laid out with purpose and aren’t arranged in a haphazard manner.

Office feng shui design is meant to bring harmony between people and their surroundings. Nature plays an important role.

Finding Balance in Office Feng Shui

Feng shui incorporates five elements that create a balanced atmosphere when they’re used well together. This can be accomplished in an individual home office or in a corporate setting.

See how each element plays a role and blends with the others for a balanced and harmonious work setting.

Wood

Wood represents creativity and includes growth, birth, strength, and flexibility. Trees, plants, or green objects can represent wood. Feng shui practitioners don’t define wood as hard surfaces, but they look at what flows out of wood like greenery and flowers.


Photo: Nevins Leaf Living Wall

Now, let’s add boldness and energy into the mix.

Fire

As you might imagine, fire represents passion, energy, boldness and change or transformation. Natural light, candles, and the color red bring the fire element into a space.  Feng shui practitioners say this element promotes leadership.

Now think about combining this leadership with inspiration.

Your Guide to Office Feng Shui Stylex Metrum Lounge
Photo: Stylex Metrum Lounge Seating

Water

The element of water is linked to emotion and inspiration. Colors in shades of blue represent water. The incorporation of water in office feng shui balances personalities and temperaments, and encourages ideas and inspiration.


Photo: Stylex Free Address Table 2.0

Certainly so far, each element has a universal quality. Let’s look at strength as a foundation to build on.

Earth

Stability and strength are found in the earth element. Rocks, carpets, old books, decorative pottery or other items that are brown or tan in color capture the tones of the earth and provide stability and strength. Now, let’s focus and bring everything together with the next element.


Photo: Source International Lore Lounge

Metal

Metal is a unifying force with all the elements. It promotes focus and order. The colors of metal are white, silver, or grey.


Photo: Arcadia Worksmith Meeting Tables

Ideas for Using Feng Shui in Offices

Feng shui identifies and eliminates stress points and is compatible with biophilic design, or using natural elements at work. Basic initial steps are to get rid of unnecessary clutter and have good air circulation.

Browse ideas from 2010 Office Furniture’s Office Inspirations for ways to use colors and furnishings so you reach a result that promotes well-being among your team.

Discover how the elements blend together in green offices with an emphasis on nature. Or, combine the properties of residential and commercial spaces with a resimercial layout. The industrial space promotes strength while a minimal office lets you use the elements in subtle ways.

You can also decide how many of the feng shui elements already exist in your current layout and decide how many of each are needed.

If an office feels lifeless or drab, then use office feng shui elements to generate freshness and vitality. Is there an overabundance of one element, like wood and not enough of fire or water? Too many elements related to earth can create a sense of boredom or dullness.

Too many bold designs can be overwhelming.

The Use of Elements in Offices

If fire is related to leadership, then use red tones in specific workstations and executive offices. Blend with the needed strength and flexibility.

A graphics department, marketing, or other area needing a creative boost can decorate with blue and teal.


Photo: Source International Lore Lounge and Clever Plane Tables

If the office space has plenty of natural light but creates glare, don’t use heavy draperies or dark shades to block the light. An idea from Workplace Design.com is to use material that diffuses light so it shines in but reduces the stress of glare.

Feng shui will impact how furnishings are arranged. Desks have a power position when facing a door from the furthest spot in the room. Workers also need support. In feng shui, this can be conveyed behind a desk with  solid wall and plants.

The elements of feng shui can also be found in the furnishings and brought together in one space. A helpful summary from Work Design.com shows a conference room with a large communal table that represents Earth.

A variety of light fixtures and natural light from the windows can bring in fire. Wood can be represented by using the material in communal table and chairs. A glass top on the table will introduce water, along with any blue chair, bench or sofa seating. Also, wall coverings that depict the image of gentle rain evokes the water element.

In the conference room, metal may be represented in the furniture finishes of the table, chairs, light fixtures and other objects. Wall treatments and art or photographs can represent metal, as well as the other elements.

Bring in Plenty of Plants

Plants contribute greatly in office feng shui.  It’s said that bamboo conveys health, happiness and long life.  Peonies help soothe emotional problems.

Succulents are seen as power plants, as they collect water in their stems, leaves, and roots. Feng shui practitioners believe the best places to set them are on desks, sunny terraces, and near windows.

Get Expert Input on Office Feng Shui

For further advice and input, contact our team at 2010 Office Furniture about feng shui and its benefits for your office.

The team members are experienced in office designs and space planning for corporations, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. 2010 Office Furniture also serves the Inland Empire.

Contact us with your questions and project needs.

Read Also: Checklist of Wellness Activities for 2019
Main Photo: OFS Riff Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Arcadia, Nevins, OFSSource International Stylex

6 Reasons to Use a Resimercial Design for Your Office

6 Reasons to Use a Resimercial Design for Your Office

There are many benefits to resimercial office design like boosting employee creativity and retaining your talent. If you’re looking to refresh an existing office or plan a new office layout, consider blending the look of a residence within a commercial space.


Photo: OFS Rowen Lounge Sofa

Resimercial Design is a Lasting Trend

Designing a commercial office with elements of a residence is a lasting trend. It certainly isn’t a fad. Think of the aptly named Residence Inn by Marriot as a good example. There are many spread around Southern California in cities like Rancho Cucamonga, Arcadia, Long Beach and throughout the Los Angeles area.

The name speaks volumes.


Photo: HON Westhill Lounge Sofas

Customers aren’t just guests for a night or two. They’re residents. The lobbies have the relaxed feel of a living space within a corporate environment. The rooms are smartly partitioned with decorative glass and have enough wood décor so that they don’t seem sterile. Each one has a personal appeal and looks as much like a living room as it does a hotel room.

And that’s a good way to think of office resimercial design—an office that uses the best elements of a home brought into a commercial office space.

Since so many employees are working remotely, you can also reverse the situation. It’s possible to have a home office with ergonomic chairs and commercial grade desks that are durable. A home office can reflect the brand of the corporate office.

The boundaries separating professional and personal lives are more integrated than they’ve ever been. And that’s a trend that will last. Resimercial has been called the defining office design trend for the 21st century. Nearly 90% of all companies expect to continue having remote workers in the aftermath of Covid-19. Of course, the widespread use of digital communication reduces the need to be physically present in the corporate office.

Useful for Employee Retention

An attractive office resimercial design that has plenty of natural light flowing through it is a pleasant place to work. It can boost overall morale and act as a way to retain your most talented workers. The days of gray cubicles are gone.

You can plan an office space to maximize workflow, but you can also make the space comfortable to boost productivity.

Using modular workstations and quality desking solutions shows that you’re committed to your employees’ well-being. This helps employees become more engaged in their work and motivates them to share in the company vision.


Photo: HON Solve Task Chair, Astir Lounge Chair & Mav Lounge Chair

Resimercial Design Appeals to All Ages

Each generation brings a unique world view to bear, yet a design that blends the best of a professional office setting with the warmth of a personal residence is accepted by all ages. Implementing ergonomic resimercial design standards to support the people working is a timeless principle.

Who doesn’t want the best possible environment?

Boosts Creativity

Fighting foggy brain syndrome gets old. Knees and elbows under pressure from sitting in the same position begin to hurt. A stale environment slowly drains energy, but a work setting that’s laid out well provides a morale boost when the day gets long.

Here’s what a resimercial office has:

  • Soothing color choices
  • Furnishings that are sturdy, yet comfortable
  • Fabrics that have a homey or personal appeal
  • An office layout that allows for employees to work at their desks or lounge areas

When you’re stuck on a problem, you feel free to take a walk or huddle with co-workers in a comfortable common area to find a solution.


Photo: National Delgado Seating


Photo: HON Preside Conference Table

Encourages Movement and Well-Being

Sitting in one position for several hours at a time hurts. A home office is inviting because you don’t have to be stuck in one position for hours. No one is looking over your shoulder so you can feel free to get up for a brisk walk or quick exercise to get the blood flowing.

Companies should encourage workers in corporate offices to do the same. Movement gets the blood circulating and that promotes oxygen flow to the brain.

An office resimercial design that uses ergonomic chairs, height-adjustable desks, and other equipment that workers can adjust to their specifications is another way that companies make an investment in office wellness. Customizable equipment in settings that are well lit reduce strain on the eyes, neck and lower back.

Your team is able to think more clearly, become less fatigued and in the process can remain productive.

Resimercial Offices are More Comfortable than Remote Offices

An office that’s designed to support the people working there and a space that’s aesthetically pleasing can be more desirable than a home office or a co-working space. Employees may get tired of home offices and want to work in the corporate setting at least a few days each week.

Companies today know that employees can have options for where they do their work.

What’s important is that employees believe in the mission and value statements so that they feel a part of the company’s overall success. That builds loyalty, employee engagement, and becomes a subtle, yet important, competitive advantage.

Plan and design a resimercial office space that works for your company’s brand. Consult with the team at 2010 Office Furniture. They bring more than 50 years of combined experience to each project and have worked with Southern California’s most distinguished companies.

Read Also: Planning Office Layouts for Today’s Workplace Needs
Main Photo: Stylex Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: HON, OFS, National Stylex Seating

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.)

Design Your Office Space for Residential Comfort and Professional Results

Design Your Office Space for Residential Comfort and Professional Results

An office is a place to tackle your work, and the office environment impacts how well you’ll do your job. This is important to note when you design your office space. The trend in resimercial design is a way of making employees feel comfortable, boosting their creativity and creating an environment to increase productivity.

But how do you know a new design can work?

Let’s look at the science behind the merging of commercial and residential design.

Look around your office and what do you notice?

How much natural light flows through the space? What colors are used?

These elements have been proven to be important in different ways when you design your office space.

In the mid-1980s, a researcher, Roger Ulrich, wanted to see if there was a relationship between the environment in health facilities and patient well-being. He was exploring if beauty, including the design and mood, affected emotional well-being and physiological stress.

He separated participants in two groups with some participants staying on one floor of the hospital and the other participants staying on another floor. One group looked outside their room and saw trees while the others had windows facing a brick wall.

Patients who saw the trees and not the wall needed fewer medications and reported a greater feeling of well-being than those who had the brick wall for their view.

Various elements in your surroundings will impact mood and energy levels.

Design Your Office with Colors

Colors play a key role when you design your office space.  There’s subjective opinion about which colors affects moods, but there are also universally accepted colors. Blue is one of the most popular colors around the world. So if you have an office with a diverse cultural mix, then blue can be a unifying color.

The London Image Institute provides a useful color chart and describes the emotions that the colors evoke. Blue is the color of trust, serenity and peace, while green evokes harmony and nature. Red is associated with emotions ranging from love to anger.

Photo: Friant Dash Workstation Table

Design Your Office with Lighting

Lighting is key in both corporate and home offices.

In a garment factory, improved lighting led to a 10% increase in production and one-third fewer errors. When you design your office space, let your team have as much access as possible to natural light. Lamps and other lights at workstations should have their light focused properly so there’s no glare or feedback.

Another benefit of letting natural light flow throughout the workspace is that it actually helps people sleep better at night.


Photo: OFS Tangent Lounge

Design Your Office with Layout and Movement

At home, rooms or areas are clearly designated for specific purposes. A kitchen has an obvious purpose and so does a bedroom. Some rooms don’t have clearly defined purposes. There are dining spaces but not as many formal dining rooms as there once were. And in today’s world, living rooms and family rooms blur in their use as well.

The home office is for doing work, especially if an employee is using the space to work remotely.

Yet, we also move naturally from one room to another depending on what we need. You can take calls in the office portion, but you may feel more comfortable sitting on the sofa while reading a report.

Traditionally, in an office setting you’re expected to sit and work at a desk for several hours a day. You do your work in one place and you remain stationary except for eating lunch and taking restroom breaks.

An office setting can be planned to have home-like qualities so that the environment is inviting and motivates people to do their best.


Photo: Friant My-HiteWorkstation, Allermuir Kin Chairs and Source International Laze Chair

When you design your office space, Consider the Abstract Modern Office with a variety of bold colors. Everything from a touch of mid-century modern to the newest décor can fit with this design. This is great for playful brands and companies that want to infuse a touch of energy.

More subdued colors are possible, too, even in an office that has open benching and cubicles since modular furniture comes in a variety of colors.

Layout options are flexible. Consider having workstations for each department in one area while lounge seating is available in a central area. Or, depending on the office size, there can be a lounge area in a central space like the hub and workstations on the perimeter.


Photo: HON Empower Height Adjustable Workstations

If you’re going to re-design your office or make substantial improvements, then let employees know and ask for their feedback since they’re the ones being affected.

Architect Donald Rattner, author of “My Creative Space: How to Design Your Home to Stimulate Ideas and Spark Innovation,” says address issues of durability and safety. Use products that have the residential appeal but are made with commercial manufacturing standards.

Let 2010 Office Furniture Help

Get your questions about office space planning and layouts answered by 2010 Office Furniture. The team has more than 50 years of combined experience, serving corporations, universities, and growing enterprises throughout Southern California.

Contact them with questions about your potential projects.

Read Also: Resimercial Office Furniture
Main Photo: OFS Ani Soft Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, FriantHON, OFS Source International 

Office Trends that Keep Employees Engaged and Productive

Office Trends that Keep Employees Engaged and Productive

When surveying current office trends, one must consider that life is now much more open in Southern California with fewer health concerns surrounding Covid-19. But the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health still has restrictions on office space capacity as of May 2021. Up to 75% occupancy was noted in the guidelines for re-opening.

This makes the hybrid office a model that’s here to stay for months and possibly years to come.

How do you make it continue to work?

Plan your spaces, set expectations with employees, and stay true to your brand.

Office Trends to Accommodate Remote Workers

How many of you have used Zoom, or even knew about it, before March 2020?

“Let’s Zoom” became a verb phrase as widely used as “Google it” – making it one of the biggest office trends that blew up in 2020.

The need for online interaction with remote workers is a reality. If you need to video conference with staff or clients, then use the latest in architectural walls to have a pleasant atmosphere and reduce distractions for others working in the office.

Check office furnishing solutions like the OFS Obeya Architectural Structures for a nice business casual feel.


Photo: OFS Obeya Architectural Structures

Trendway makes an appealing line of modular walls to define your meeting spaces where you can place monitors and tables.


Photo: Trendway Clearwall Space Divider

If employees are working remotely, recommend the use of ergonomic chairs and height adjustable desks to reduce physical strains.

When your team knows that they’re supported then they’re going to be more engaged and invested in creating positive results.

Form Workstation Neighborhoods

One of the strongest office trends that still continues to evolve today is to make the office a destination where people want to be in. One of the benefits of working in the office and not just at home is that employees can socialize. After all, even though people need privacy and personal space, we don’t want to be alone.

Consider this analogy. Visualize the corporate office as a city and departments as neighborhoods.

What do most neighborhoods have in Southern California?

Their own parks, grocery stores and restaurants. They have a unique identity.

Depending on the company’s size and floor space that’s available, consider each area having:

  • Modular workstations or work pods with individual spaces
  • Digital or moveable whiteboards
  • A dedicated video conferencing room

Each space can even have its own small refrigerator, a little perk that can be used to keep drinks cool.

Creating identifiable workspaces can help your team have a feeling of ownership in their area.

De-Centralize Decision Making

During the months of Covid when office spaces were mostly closed, many executives took decision making into their own hands. After all, leaders need to lead. Key decisions were often made without feedback from stakeholders.

Plan your office space so decision-making can be delegated.

Use cubicle workstations designed for smaller meetings or define meeting areas with modular walls or accessories like whiteboards and a bit of nature.


Photo: Nevins Leaf Living Wall

Design to Boost Morale

Take to heart the lyrics from the former pop group the 5th Dimension: “Let the sun shine, let the sunshine in.”

They’re wise words for office managers and executives planning layouts. Natural light boosts moods and productivity, in light, airy spaces that people crave and love.


Photo: OFS Eleven Wood Table and Bistro Chair

Bring in as much natural light as possible to improve morale and create a pleasing workspace.

Other ways to bring in nature includes using a variety of office plants. This is especially useful in open office plans where cubicles divide individual workstations.

Use wall panels that hold succulents or other appropriate plants.

A study quoted on CNBC.com notes that, “People who kept a small plant on their desk had lower levels of anxiety and stress at the end of a four-week period. Researchers instructed 63 participants who worked a full-time desk job to take a three-minute break when they felt ‘fatigued’ to tend to, water and gaze at a desk plant.”

It was a Japanese study and the most popular plants chosen were Japanese Kokedamas and succulents.

Office trends in fostering little morale boosters can go a long way in easing stress, improving office relationships, and increasing productivity.

Office Trends with the Corporate Personality in Mind

Your company has a brand, or personality, just like the people who work there. Use a cohesive design for a unified appearance that’s fresh and sets a positive tone.

There are plenty of office trends options to make an office space have a look and feel that fits with your goals. Our moods are certainly influenced by our environment.

Look for a variety of shapes in available lounge furniture and use a family of colors on panel dividers.

Office designs have their own special histories.

Office Trends: The Abstract Modern Office
This interior design style became popular in the 20th century. It seems to break rules but provides plenty of comfort and functionality.

Office Trends: The Modern Industrial Office
This design approach is minimalist and is fairly neutral with subdued colors. It honors the transition from handcrafted goods to mass manufacturing.

Office Trends: The Open Plan Benching and Desking
The goal is promoting collaboration in an office without permanent walls while at the same time allowing private spaces.


Photo: OFS Eleven Workspace

Get Expert Input on Office Trends

See if your office is ready for office trends that accommodate remote employees for the long term while equipping in-house employees. Get input from the team at 2010 Office Furniture.

The company has more than 50 years of experience working with the most distinguished corporations, centers of higher education, and growing small businesses throughout Southern California.

Contact us with your questions and needs.

Read Also: 6 Reasons to Use a Resimercial Design for Your Office
Main Photo: National Alloy Workstation
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: National, Nevins, Trendway & OFS

Ways to Make the Workplace More Kind and Caring

Ways to Make the Workplace More Kind and Caring

You matter. And so do others who work near you.  That is why it’s important to make the workplace more kind and caring.

Companies that foster a sincere approach to caring in the office will find a lasting payoff through employees looking out for each other’s best interests:

  • talent will stay engaged
  • workers will be more relaxed than tense in a pleasant atmosphere
  • you’ll create a shared experience to look back on fondly

It’s tough to bring genuine altruism into a competitive work environment, but fostering the attitude that “if one succeeds, we all succeed” can lead to healthy collaboration.

Create a best practice that centers on caring.


Photo: AMQHumanscale & The Senator Group

Why Caring and Kindness Matter

Stress is a known presence in any work setting.

Why?

Outside forces are constantly battling and making us feel like we’re swimming upstream against a rushing current: competitors are trying to win market share, technologies change, and new government regulations can impact ways of doing business.

Inside the company, executives who are climbing the ladder may quietly compete for the same position. Mid-level managers who are good at what they do might decide to change companies or careers.

These variables create stresses, uncertainty and can snowball into suspicion among staff.

So how can you combat the negatives? By giving recognition where it’s due and opening the channels of communication.


Photo: OFS Lounge

What Do People Crave When Making Workplace More Kind and Caring?

Working with a purpose is an essential element in our overall well-being. If we know that our work matters to customers, and that we matter to the company, then we see the importance of who we are and what we do.

We like recognition for a job that’s done well.

The simple act of recognizing others and doing small acts of kindness is critical to reassuring and positive office space.

The Tested and Proven Results of Kindness

Nothing’s proven in our day and age until it’s tested, right?

That may be an overstatement but University of California researchers, in conjunction with Madrid University in Spain, studied small acts of kindness on the job. They recruited 88 workers at a Coca-Cola plant in Madrid to participate in a happiness study for a month.

Workers were divided into receivers, givers, and a control group. Givers were told to perform small but noticeable acts of kindnesses towards co-workers in the receivers group. The only qualification? Givers were told to do their good deeds quietly and not brag.

Who got the greatest benefit? The givers. After two months, givers said they were more satisfied with their lives and jobs and reported fewer depressive symptoms.


Photo: National Marcelo

Encourage Caring and Kindness

How do you make the workplace more kind and caring? How do you reach this place of caring and kindness?

Think of attitudes and actions that flow organically and aren’t forced.

Leaders in the organization can make sure they find a reason to thank someone each day. Saying thank you creates a connection and shows that you acknowledge the other person’s efforts.

Some individuals will have a difficult time being verbal if it’s not in their nature so they’ll need to be more deliberate. But be patient and continue the practice.

It’s helpful to know your team and their preferences.

If an employee comes up with an idea that helps solve a problem, then show your appreciation with a cup of coffee from their favorite shop.

If people have been working hard, bring in a fruit tray or something else special to the breakroom.

Leave an upbeat greeting card at someone’s workstation who came in early, stayed late, or was helpful with a customer or other employee.

Business owners and operators need each other. Suggest your team leave a note for the office cleaning crew. Sure, they get paid but they work almost anonymously after hours. Treat your other vendors with kindness, as well. Your positivity can have a lasting impact and they could turn into referral sources.

Since we often separate our personal lives from our professional lives, being kind at work could help someone cope with difficulties at home.

Create a Positive Interior

Another act of kindness is planning and designing an inviting office space. Employees feel valued and so do the clients who walk in.

Space planning, using soothing and inspiring colors, and installing quality furnishings work together to improve the quality of life at work, just like interior design does at home.  This is key in making the workplace more kind and caring.


Photo: National Alloy

Our moods and attitudes are influenced by external forces like colors and light. An office interior doesn’t have to be bright, but it should be well-lit with as much natural lighting as possible. For individual workstations there are specific lighting options which let employees chose the amount of light that’s most comfortable for them.

Equipment that doesn’t work well and needs constant repair has a subtle way of lowering expectations. Conversely, bringing in modular workstations with pleasing colored panels. Add height adjustable desks for extra comfort and versatility.

Choose an office style that reflects the company’s brand and personalities. It could be upbeat contemporary or a modern-industrial look.

Think and act ergonomically. Use screen protectors to control glare from computer monitors. Invest in quality chairsthat support and move with a person’s weight and shape. This reduces stress on the knees, lower back and elbows.

Encourage motion like stretching at desks and making sure the staff gets up on a regular basis to walk and get the blood flowing. This is also a great stress reliever.

Design an inviting entrance and use modular furniture in a lounge area so staff can pull the pieces together and visit or have personal space when needed.

Get Proven Input to Make the Workplace More Kind and Caring

Start the road to a refreshed office with input from 2010 Office Furniture. The team has nearly 50 years of experience in working with Southern California’s most distinguish corporations, non-profit organizations, and successful small businesses.

Contact them with your questions and project requirements.

Read Also: Designing Your Office Space from Top-Down to Bottom-Up
Main Photo: Arcadia Contract
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQArcadia Contract, Humanscale, National, OFS & The Senator Group

Designing Office Spaces for an Engaged Workforce

Designing Office Spaces for an Engaged Workforce

Designing office spaces to engage your employees is critically important. Businesses that have engaged employees have a competitive advantage over companies that struggle to boost morale.

Imagine your office as a hub where your team is comfortable, equipped and energized. Today’s office can be designed for both full-time in-office staff and those choosing remote locations.

Here are a few quick tips:

Toss out what’s drab, plan for a maximum amount of light and use quality furnishings that promote well-being.

Take a fresh look at your space with these office inspiration ideas and tips.


Photo: OFS, National & Stylex

Consider Clarity and Color When Designing Office Spaces

Say no to clutter by using sleek designs and workstations with plenty of work and personal storage spaces.

Create well-defined spaces for team meetings, personal work areas, and inviting break areas and allow plenty of natural light to flow through the space while using colors to freshen the spirit and liven the mind.

Color influences our impression of the surrounding environment. That’s why nature is often so pleasing with vibrant greens, blue skies dotted with white clouds and sunsets painted with pastel colors. Even gray skies can have appeal.

Bring a cohesive sense of color into the office.


Photo: National Mabel Seating

Care

Employee well-being and safety has taken on new dimensions. Look at the changes. In years past, office wellness programs encouraged employees to exercise and get their blood pressure checked. Ergonomics was another part of office wellness, making sure workers were properly supported at their workstations with ergonomic chairs and height adjustable desks.

Then employees were encouraged to physically move at work: get up from their desks at regular intervals and get the blood flowing by walking and stretching.

In 2020, Covid stay-at-home orders brought a whole new focus on health. As companies have returned to the office environment, social distancing became the watchword.

Now it’s important to instill a healthy confidence in employees. Use covid office essentials for the workplace like desk and counter shields, freestanding panels, and space dividers. Use ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable desks to promote good posture and reduce stress

Your employees will know that you’re investing in their physical well-being.

But overall health is more than physical—it’s pleasant surroundings that lift the spirit.


Photo: Scale 1:1 Hot Spot Table

Comfort

A comfortable office environment keeps stress low so people can have the support needed to focus on their work. If your office has a contemporary design, then use colors that blend well together. Blue and yellow create a “vibrant yet welcoming atmosphere” as noted on The Upbeat Contemporary Office.

Give employees a range of motion, meaning, let them work from places that work the best for them. That may be at their assigned workstation for a few hours and then in a common area with comfortable seating.

Comfort goes a long way in making an office a welcoming space to work and sparking imagination.

Creativity

Your business, in principle, is similar to every other business: you exist to solve a problem for your customers, help them meet their goals, or achieve a special dream and milestone in their lives.

Remember when designing office spaces though, that how you go about your operations can differ considerably from your competitors. The way your team creates solutions requires creativity and innovation. Plan and design the office to support the creative problem-solving skills that your team brings to the marketplace.

Today’s furnishings allow you to take what was once mundane, like cubicles, and make them a welcome tool.

Enjoy making each office space come alive with its defined purpose.


Photo: Stylex Yoom Lounge Sofa

Collaboration

An office space that’s filled with positive energy enhances collaboration.

You know the setting well. People filter in for team meetings, have a dialogue, share ideas constructively, listen politely and arrive at a consensus where they take action together. Then they return to their remote locations.

Okay, slam the brakes on the fantasy.

The reality is that collaborating can be a necessary but messy business.

Just because you’re working together doesn’t mean that all parties agree with the direction that the ideas are flowing. Bringing different perspectives together can lead to disagreement because that’s a natural part of arriving at solutions.

Healthy teams learn how to work through those disagreements while respecting each other’s input.

Your office setting should support collaboration and the need to talk through tough issues.

Make sure to define areas when designing office spaces, such as where gatherings take place and make the atmosphere conducive to a discussion that flows. You can have different defined meeting spaces even if the office isn’t large and sprawling.  Use the latest in architectural walls for meeting spaces where heavy discussion is needed, and have a separate space that’s more of a lounge vibe for a less stressful atmosphere.

Use quality ergonomic chairs to support each person’s movements. Provide tables that are sleek, yet offer places for taking notes and setting up laptops without getting in the way.

Getting Started in Designing Office Spaces

Leadership sets the tone for a positive culture and the tone of communication that happens between departments and individuals. Planning your office well is part of the culture that you establish.

The team at 2010 Office Furniture is ready to guide you in making and implementing a plan.

Read Also: Ways to Make the Workplace More Kind and Caring
Main Photo: Stylex
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: OFS, National, Scale 1:1 & Stylex

Designing Your Office Space from Top-Down to Bottom-Up

Designing Your Office Space from Top-Down to Bottom-Up

If you’re looking to create a new office design when designing your office space, an effective way to begin the process is to consider how different layouts will benefit the workflow. The goal is to help your company function efficiently. After all, work needs to get done.

Now consider the human element and how your team can work at its best.

An office isn’t just about placing workstations and then fitting your people into slots. Social and psychological dynamics matter as well.

Designing Your Office Space from Top-Down to Bottom-Up
Photo: Allermuir, Arcadia Contract & OFS

Chart Your Basic Workflow Needs

Analyze the different functions in your business, ranging from your core function—the reason your business exists—to the support functions like sales and marketing, finance, and customer care. The principles of laying out an office are timeless. A write-up from 1995 in MIT’s Sloan Management Review noted that “technological innovation and creative space design together make solutions possible.”

Here are the “tactical initiatives” highlighted in the article that benefit an organization:

  • Ergonomic planning
  • Defining group and personal workspaces
  • Offering shared workspace
  • Accommodating remote workers

This is the top-down approach that relies on higher authority figures who see the wider goals and filter decisions down to the tasks of lower-level employees. In contrast, the bottom-up style gathers staff input and gives everyone a voice.

Ergonomics works well based on employee input since the concept is to fit the workplace to the needs of people and how they function. Their suited to say what’s comfortable and what works or doesn’t work.

That’s what co-working spaces have done. They’d set up shop, sign up freelancers and remote workers who wanted to use the facilities, and took feedback on what the users liked or didn’t like. Then they’d make adjustments as necessary.

A “bottom-up” approach when designing your office space can fine-tune plans to arrive at a satisfying solution.

Create an Invitation—Not a Maze—When Designing Your Office Space

When you design or freshen your office space, imagine that you’re working with your team to make a space that’s inviting. You’re not creating a maze of modular workstations, so let your employees know that you’d like their thoughts on what makes an office welcoming.

Some may not have much of an opinion while others may want to share what works for them and what can be changed. If they’re recent hires then they may have positive or negative opinions about their previous office environment.


Photo: OFS Height Adjustable Workstations 

Take the approach used in the book Life of Work, What Office Design can Learn from the World Around Us. The authors, Jeremy Myerson and Imogen Privett, undertook a major research project and concluded that while “most contemporary offices satisfies physical and functional requirements, it seldom supports the psychological comfort and individual needs of the people who use them every working day.”

Get ideas for how people relate to design by doing what the authors did: looking at diverse spaces like theater layouts, newsrooms and medical offices.

Take a look around and adapt what works for your people within the physical space available.

Select from Different Office Styles

2010 Office Furniture’s Inspiration page reveals several different layouts and their aesthetics. Each layout makes a statement and can easily be tailored to reflect your company’s brand and enhance the office atmosphere.  It’s a great resource for inspiration when designing your office space.

A modern, abstract office uses bold colors and fascinating shapes. Modular lounge furniture can work well.


Photo: The Senator Group Mote Lounge

Contemporary industrial style offices pay homage to a city’s past while bringing comfort and functionality into present times. Google’s office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania brings in original brickwork into a space that’s “unconventional and inspiring.”

Use your surrounding city to spark features. A space in Irvine may be sleek and modern while an office in Ontario or the San Dimas area can harken back to local history.

How about an upbeat, contemporary look? You may have a traditional accounting firm but why not add splashes of color? Should pediatric dental offices have all the design fun?

In an open office plan, use different styles of workstations and colors to differentiate teams with their distinct responsibilities.

For private executive offices, choose between elegant designs or more casual ones, with both options being able to integrate technology in the desks and cabinets.


Photo: AMQ Work-From-Home Workstation

Health and wellness is a major consideration in this age of Covid-19 precautions so consider accessories and layouts for a social distancing workplace.

Don’t forget the breakroom. Create a small gathering place with chairs and tables that are easily moved or create a lounge near a kitchen space. Offices aren’t just about desks and cubicles so invest in plenty of healthy snacks and drinks that people enjoy.

Consider the Types of Work

Different functions are needed to make a company hum along the road to profitability. People with unique skill sets can have different personalities. It’s not your task to please everyone with a layout, but you can take into account the various needs that people have when designing your office space.

A graphic designer, computer programmer or engineer will need hours of quiet to focus while a marketing and sales team is going to be more collaborative and creative.

Make the office a positive social environment and don’t hesitate to experiment with new trends and refresh a look every few years.

Know your goals. Do you project growth in the near future using staff who are on-site or through remote workers? You can be nimble to provide for current needs and still plan for what can happen in the years to come.

Need Help Designing Your Office Space?

You don’t need to go it alone in office design. The team at 2010 Office Furniture has nearly 50 years of combined experience helping leading companies and nonprofits in Southern California lay out office spaces and provide furnishings that promote employee well-being.

Contact them with your project needs and questions as you undertake designing your office space.

Read Also: The Best Office Spaces are Responsive to Employee Needs
Main Photo: Groupe Lacasse
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, AMQ, Arcadia Contract, Groupe Lacasse, OFS & The Senator Group

Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience

Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience

Corporate branding usually focuses on the customer, or user, experience (UX). But what about the employee experience? Planning and furnishing your office spaces properly can lead to engaged employees who are champions of your brand.

Planning the Current Work Environment


Photo: Friant Novo Workstations

Remember when the open office came under criticism for its distracting noise and lack of personal space? Office managers purchased quality benching solutions, but then critics noted that employees needed personal space. Privacy screens were made part of the design, like with the ODS Artiv Open Plan Benching.

Modular cubicles became another way to create personal workspaces within the open office.


Photo: Friant Interra Cubicles

Then Covid-19 hit and completely upended the open office. Companies immediately adjusted to accommodating remote workers, a term once given to graphic artists and other freelancers. Now, finance departments, marketing and a host of others were in their homes or parks logged on to Zoom meetings instead of having in-person huddles.

The debate between fixed walls and the advantages of an open office were no longer important.

But offices in Southern California are re-opening as the rates of infection have dropped. Counties are in different phases of opening so how will your current work environment change?


Photo: HON Abound Cubicles

Which employees will work in the office full-time, and who’s splitting their office presence with remote work?

Traditionally, emphasis was placed on the need for individual work areas and one or more meeting spaces, but now areas designated for group meetings or huddles may outweigh the importance of space for full-time individual work areas, even in a time of social distancing.


Photo: HON Chicago Showroom

Why does the topic deserve attention?

Plan your office space as a strategic part when you plan your office branding. Make a commitment and investment for your employees. As you do, they’ll believe more firmly than ever in your brand and your mission. As they feel more comfortable in the work environment and know what’s allowed, the messages about your brand’s promise will flow organically to your customers.

Merging Top-Down, Bottom-Up Strategies

Listening and gathering feedback from employees is essential, but, let’s face it, at the end of the day, leaders are held accountable for the decisions they have to make.

Planning an office space and creating employee engagement means gathering the individual perspectives from people who have different learning styles and shaping them into a cohesive whole. A final outcome won’t always make everybody happy. But rather than overriding their opinions, respect each person’s voice and you’ll create goodwill.


Photo: Loftwall Desk Shield

Getting input from the experience of employees is similar to listening to your customers and what they experience. It’s an inside-outside approach to creating a strong brand.

Make the Office a Community Destination

Work has to get done. We know that. Marketing, sales, production, and customer care all aim toward one goal—satisfied customers who are ready to buy again and talk positively about the corporate brand.

As you scan the office setting, consider the work area as a community destination and not just a functional location where people must come in to get work done. Companies who have experienced Covid-19 know the need for offering employees flexibility.


Photo: Friant Shield Screens

A reason that a main office and its physical space will remain is because people need a rallying point in their work, or a community destination spot. That’s how you can re-think your office space. So even if you have employees who split their time between the office and a remote location like home, having a comfortable space to come to can work well.

As you plan your office, keep the following key areas in mind:

  • Workstations
  • Meeting areas, like a dedicated client space
  • Personal space
  • Break areas

Use the necessary shields and protective equipment so your team feels safe.

Photo: Loftwall Desk Shield

Do you envision fewer daily workstations and a greater use of meeting areas?

Personal office space in the traditional office setting and at remote settings can get cluttered and uncomfortable. Your office can be a place for the team to come meet, or stop in to do work and get away from the distractions of home.

This type of set up is normal for professionals like real estate agents who are out meeting people and only stop into the office to do paperwork.

Tips for creating a community gathering spot include:

  • Having the essential tools that employees need
  • Attractive lighting with as much natural light as possible
  • A contemporary look and comfort that they can’t provide on their own like quality ergonomic chairs and workstations

Employee Experience as You Plan Your Office Branding from the Inside Out

A welcoming office promotes employee engagement.

Employees who believe in the brand are a catalyst to a better customer experience. When your brand means a lot on the inside, then it’s more likely to get noticed on the outside.

Read Also: The Best Office Spaces are Responsive to Employee Needs
Main Photo: HON
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: FriantHON and Loftwall