Get More Work Done with a Green Office

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.

Read Also: Five Benefits of Using Plants in the Office
Main Photo: OFS Brands Roo Planters
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: OFS Brands

New VS Used Office Furniture Checklist Revealed

New VS Used Office Furniture

Choosing Between Buying New Vs Used Office Furniture

Buying office furniture is a cost of being in business. When faced with purchasing new vs used office furniture such as desks, chairs, tables, cabinets, etc., make sure to use strategic thinking to make decisions. Money isn’t the only benchmark that determines the value of a purchase.

Other key considerations include how furniture reflects the company brand in addition to how it supports the staff in getting the job done. Do a cost-benefit analysis of buying new versus used by laying out key parameters.

Money

Let’s face it. Managing cash flow is critical for business success so the idea of buying used furniture at prices much lower than new is tempting. Money can be spent on other, more important things like bonuses or marketing to promote goods and services.

But wait. It’s important to define new and used.

The cost of new quality office furniture isn’t that much greater than used quality office furniture. New is backed by warranties while used comes under the warning of “what you see is what you get.”

New office furniture products like chairs and shelving that are found in the Big Box retail outlets may actually cost less than used furniture that’s made with care by a reputable manufacturer. The reason is that Big Box items are made for a limited life.

Plus, new furniture may have innovations that the old doesn’t, such as seats that adjust to a person’s weight and movements.

Functionality

Purchasing new office furniture can make it easy to plan work spaces with pieces that are clearly related and fit together, a benefit for employees who work in collaboration with each other. Buying used doesn’t lend itself to an enhanced design.

Workstations can be put together in logical fashion with new furniture and height-adjustable desks properly selected.

Productivity and Employee Health

New furniture is designed to enhance productivity. A chair is not just a chair. Ergonomic chairs, and workstations that place a computer at a proper eye level reduce the strain on the neck and shoulder muscles.

Which staff may be susceptible to bad backs or already have aches and pains? An inexpensive office chair that’s picked up for forty or fifty dollars could aggravate the situation and lead to missed time at the office.

Brand

Buying new can enhance a company’s brand both internally and to customers. It shows a commitment to excellence and can foster a positive attitude, while buying used furniture can look put together one piece at a time and display a “reactive” approach versus a “proactive” approach.

The decision truly does go beyond merely comparing the price tags of buying new vs used office furniture.  Understanding what’s behind a lower price tag is key. Less money may be spent on the purchase, but there are no real benefits while leading to other, unseen costs.

Determine your needs, browse the product categories, and invite 2010 Office Furniture to share their experience of more than 40 years, selecting furniture that enhance the office experience for major corporations and start-ups throughout Southern California.

Read Also: Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience
Main Photo: Stylex Free Address 2.0 Open Office
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Stylex

How To Set Up An Office Space

How To Set Up An Office Space

How to Arrange Office Furniture for Comfort and Productivity

Comfortable and efficient office spaces happen with proper planning. Ones arranged most effectively are adaptable for the future. Facility managers tasked with office space set up or reconfiguring a floor space can follow these steps to choose the furniture that meets the needs of staff and serves the company’s goals.

Plan for the Right Amount of Public and Private Space

An open office plan compared to spaces divided by cubicles and individual desks changes the type of furnishings used. It’s possible to strike a balance between the two and that means choosing a third option.

Open plan benching gives employees the chance to communicate and share ideas while giving an office an open and airy look. However, private spaces can’t be ignored or forgotten. Those can be created with private enclaves such as co-op lounges or can be configured by putting together individual lounge chairs for the appropriate office space set up.

Dividing the office into work areas using cubicles allows for greater personal focus on tasks. Distractions are reduced or removed and allow for a feeling of ownership of spaces. Cubicles today don’t have to be the same traditional shade of gray. Translucent panes of glass and panels with a myriad of earth tones allow for many inviting options. Employees can then feel like they’re walking into an area that has personality.

Desks that are clustered in sizes of about four users can have privacy panels that provide a mix between totally open benching and the cloistered look of cubicles. An office area still has a light and open appearance while each worker has their clearly defined work and personal space.

Offices can also be divided up among small teams, so that four people are together in one area and perhaps six or seven in another with cubicles creating boundaries.

Modular desk systems make future adjustments easy and minimize disruption.

Plan for Health and Wellness

Ergonomics should rank high as a consideration for choosing furniture. Employees who use chairs that adjust to the body’s natural weight and movements are less prone to aggravate lower back muscles and hips.

When desk surfaces are at height that allow for computers to be at proper eye level then strain is reduced on shoulder and neck muscles.

Its important to note that ergonomics isn’t just a passing fad. A guide from the Mayo Clinic details the importance of the office environment on the health. For sitting, a person’s neck shouldn’t be bending forward to see the computer screen. A monitor should be about an arm’s length away while hands should be at or just below elbow level.

Keeping furniture clean should be a priority. Purchase items that don’t have small cracks and tiny places for bacteria to build.

Plan for Adaptability

The days of one desk size fits all is long gone. Now it’s realistic to give employees the option for sitting, standing, and adjusting surfaces for someone’s height and comfort. Look for height-adjustable tables to use with teams and height adjustable desks for single users.

Knowing these preferences shows the staff that the company is invested in them and can result in a nicely productive atmosphere. The little things that keep people happy can add up to offer a large competitive advantage.

Finding Help for Your Office Space Set Up

Don’t go it alone when setting up an office. 2010 Office Furniture can provide expert guidance based on over four decades working with executives, managers, and purchasing agents in a variety of industries throughout Southern California.

Have particular ideas and want a quote? Click here to call in, email, or submit your needs online.

Read Also:  Leveraging a Professionally Designed Workspace for Long-Term Gain
Main Photo: AMQ 3F Hanging Panels
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: 
AMQ

Green Campaign Ideas for the Office 2019

Green Campaign Ideas For The Office

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
Main Photo: Nevins Bio Canvas
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: 
Nevins

First Impressions of Your Office Explained

First Impressions Of Your Office Explained

3 Tips to Welcome Visitors in the Reception Area

Businesses with regular walk-in traffic can enhance their customer connection by paying close attention to the first place that’s noticed—the reception area. First impressions do count. Furnishings in the reception area that meet the following guidelines will enhance interaction and create a positive brand experience.

Tip 1: Provide Color

When we meet another person, the science of first impressions is at work. Their eyes and smile can create a connection and reveal something important like their confidence or nervousness. A sincere smile that reflects a caring attitude wins over hesitant customers and creates a strong bond among allies.

Furniture in the reception area can act the same way. A sofa, chairs, reception desk and walls that are color coordinated can put questioning customers at ease and calm the nerves of top talent job applicants wondering if the company is the right fit.

Vary the colors depending on the type of business. A financial planning firm can have a business casual look while a graphic arts company can experiment with bolds and pastels.

It can be a refreshing and inviting area after an elevator ride or walking in from off a busy street.

Tip 2: Offer Comfort

Reception areas don’t need to be ostentatious but rather comfortable. Someone who has to wait for several minutes before their appointment should be able to sit on chairs that support their weight evenly and on sofas that make it easy to sit on and aren’t an embarrassing struggle to climb out of.

Attention to comfort is tangible evidence of caring about the needs of others. Businesses and non-profit organizations operate to meet needs and solve problems of paying customers and clients and program recipients. A reception area that’s comfortable for all shapes and sizes creates trust and goodwill.

Add one or two small tables and even a small appliance to chill water bottles.

Make the reception area a brand statement.

Tip 3: Ensure Quality

Investing in quality furniture for the reception doesn’t have to bust a budget. There are mid-range pricing options for products that are durable, comfortable, and innovative in their design. Sleek and curved desks have a different aura than heavy desks that act like barriers.

Selected furniture should be easy to care for and clean. Chairs or sofas with small cracks and openings can be hiding places for bacteria that creates odors.

All About First Impressions

A reception that shows thought and care in planning and decorating makes a subtle statement and first impression regarding an organization’s capabilities.

Purchasing furniture for a reception area or offices frequently raises questions and needs around space planning. 2010 Office Furniture provides expert planning services along with an array of products. Browse the site and then click here to describe your needs.

Read Also:  Practice Makes Perfect in Office Design and Planning
Main Photo: OFS Elements Reception Desk
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: OFS

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

Company Story Driven Office Design

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.

Read Also:  Art Friendly Office Spaces: Art for Art
Main Photo: OFS Rowan and Wyre
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: OFS

What Make’s White a Good Color for Your Office

What Make’s White a Good Color for Your Office

What Make’s White a Good Color for Your Office

White walls always feel clean and crisp. It is so versatile, and it can work in various ways. White offers so many opportunities and ideas in terms of design and productivity. This leads to the several reasons why painting your office walls white is a great idea for your organization.

White works with a lot of colors

Painting your office walls with white is a good idea because it is versatile and can adapt to other colors very wall. Highlighting a certain color, say gray, red or yellow would be easier with a splash of white in the surrounding areas. White allows you to recuperate from the stress, confusion and the fast-paced environment brighter colors offers. You can never go wrong when you use white as a base or primary color for office design.

The color white is a great base color for decorating

Some may see the color white as too boring, sterile and would not be enough to promote creativity in the office setting. This is true if you forget to decorate and accessorize. To create a calm, relaxing but enticing area for work, incorporating decorative pieces that will stand out against the pristine color of the office makes it look interesting. You can play with colors in terms of your decorations, furnishings and office furniture with white as your base color. You can also add a few splashes of colors unto your walls to boost the mood in the work place.

White creates a feeling of peace and comfort

Serenity is hard to achieve in a stressful and competitive environment. Thus, you will always need a few minutes of peace and comfort even while at work. This is what white walls are for. You can simply divert your focus on a serene plain wall in the office to escape all the chaos your work may bring. White is not stimulating, it is plain and simple. The calmness of the color radiates and allows you take a breather in between stressful days at work.

White walls are easy to maintain

White walls are easier to maintain, especially the glossy ones. Re-painting is also less costly compared to the other hues. Changing the mood of any room is also easier with white as a base color. A blank canvass always makes it easier to create something new and exciting.

White walls make an area look brighter and feel cooler

Dark hues can absorb heat, making rooms feel crowded and humid. For employees to be able to work comfortably, sufficient ventilation and lighting is needed. White walls make walls cooler and brighter. You can save a few dollars in ventilation and illumination costs, especially during the day with white-colored walls compared to dark-painted ones.

Painting your office completely white may not be a good idea. But, incorporating white walls in different areas in your office brings improvement, both in terms of aesthetics and productivity at work.

Read Also: Design Your Office Space for Residential Comfort and Professional Results
Main Photo: Rouillard Ply Chair
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Rouillard