Office Acoustics: How to Soundproof Your Workspace

Office Acoustics Snowsound Baffle Ceiling Acoustic Panels

The challenge of office acoustics is something architects, interior designers and space planners and have been wrestling with since the office became a central place for work. What are office acoustics?  Office acoustics refer to the way sound behaves in the work environment, ranging from small background noises to regular speaking volume. Throughout the many forms and evolutions the office has taken, noise has been a consistent factor viewed in different ways, especially in recent decades when open-plan office layouts have become more popular.  Are workers distracted by poor acoustics and can’t concentrate? Or do they find themselves ready to sacrifice peace and quiet to be immersed in collaboration and desire to be surrounded by others?

How do we find the perfect balance?

Use office acoustic solutions.


Photo: Loftwall Parallel Desk Divider

The Great Variety of Office Acoustic Solutions


Photo: Nevins Ariel Acoustic Hanging Panel

Office acoustics solutions are products that absorb and diffuse sound waves and vibrations to reduce noise in a workspace. They can also improve sound quality and are typically made of lightweight materials such as polyester fibre, mineral wool, or biophilic elements like wood, cork or moss. These materials come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, and oftentimes may serve as decorative objects. There are various types of acoustic products. They can be integral parts of the office, like ceiling tiles, panels, carpeting, and double-paned windows.  They can also serve a combination of aesthetic and functional purpose like dividers, planters, and ancillary furniture and accessories.

The Hybrid Schedule 

Now that more people are coming back to the office, many businesses are turning to a hybrid work model that allows employees to work at a fixed schedule in-office and remotely for the sake of flexibility and better work-life balance. Harvard Business Review and Stanford’s research shows that the hybrid work scenario where workers go to the office for at least three days a week is 50% more effective at completing tasks, boosting motivation and increasing engagement with their work. Individuals are using this work model to their advantage; working remotely in privacy and isolation to concentrate on their assignments, and coming to the office in person to be immersed in the company culture, foster connection, and spark creativity through collaboration.

Office Acoustics in Open-Plan Spaces

The hybrid schedule led to the return of open-plan layout and industrial office lofts: environments known for being flexible with space and capable of supporting different work styles while encouraging communication and innovation. But the open office comes with potential issues too. Collaborating together creates noise that can serve as a distraction for others who needs to focus. Now, companies are very much invested in looking for a solution that would resolve their sound issues and help divide spaces into designated areas. That’s why with the reemergence of open-plan spaces, office acoustic panels that function as space dividers are now becoming increasingly popular.  Many are being used not only to dampen noise and optimize sound quality, but to divide spaces and create separate environments for different applications and purposes. 

The Right Balance of Sound

One should never underestimate the power of office acoustics, especially in the workplace. Office acoustics can have an enormous effect on the overall working environment, dictating how well people communicate and perform they daily tasks. It’s all about finding a good balance. Instead of swinging between two extremes of isolation and noise, acoustic solutions can restore equilibrium in the workplace and come with many benefits. By absorbing sound and reducing noise, these products can significantly improve the overall sound quality and help achieve the best acoustics for office environments with the additional perks of boosting concentration, effective communication and worker productivity.

Multi-Functional Office Acoustics


Photo: Nevins Bio Canvas Wall

Best of all, acoustic solutions can be multi-functional. Why clutter your office space with too many products that only serve one purpose when you can save space with just one? Today, there’s an endless array of products in the market ranging from space dividers, desk shields, wall panels, suspended ornaments, planters, shelving, soft furniture, cubbies, ceiling tiles and more.  It also comes with the added bonus of offering clients a strong, favorable impression the moment they walk through the company doors, especially now that corporations have taken more initiative to create and present stronger, identifiable brands.  All in all, office acoustics solutions not only optimize the overall sound quality of your office environments but also add immense value by elevating the look and feel of the entire office space, ultimately enhancing overall mood, productivity, creativity and employee well-being. 

As our needs in the office evolve, our offices evolve with them. And the key to answering the challenge of balancing collaboration and productivity with privacy and concentration: office acoustic solutions. 

Recommended Office Acoustic Solutions

MERGEWORKS ECHODECO BEAM BAFFLES – Office acoustic ceiling panels like the MergeWorks EchoDeco Beam Baffles can be hung horizontally and add a pop of fun texture and color while ensuring noise levels stay low. Acoustic baffles are great for controlling reverberation in spaces with high ceilings and give a sense of privacy in an open space. 


Photo: MergeWorks EchoDeco Beam Baffles

SNOWSOUND SI SBOCCIA – When sound bounces off hard surfaces and amplifies unwanted noise, wall panels are extremely helpful in office soundproofing and can even double as art pieces. The Snowsound Si Sboccia panel takes inspiration from rosebuds and can be wall-mounted or suspended from the ceilings as decorative design elements.

SCANDINAVIAN SPACES PIXEL AND PIXEL FRAMED – The Scandinavian Spaces Pixel and Pixel Framed panels are made of organic materials such as wood and moss.  They are excellent as office acoustic wall panels because they can absorb a range of frequencies with little-to-no maintenance, and provide great color and texture to your office walls. 

AMQ’S 3F WALL TILE – AMQ’s 3F Wall Tiles are another artistic office acoustic panels solution that can improve sound quality with its wide array of subtle and bold panels made from felt—a fibrous material with excellent sound-insulating properties. 


Photo: Snowsound Si Sboccia, Scandinavian Spaces Pixel and Pixel Framed, and AMQ’s 3F Wall Tiles

LOFTWALL ROOMS WALL SYSTEM – Office acoustic solutions can take other forms, too. The Loftwall Rooms Wall System is a quick and easy way to carve out your separate office spaces using a demountable partition system that has sound absorbing and sound dampening benefits.


Photo: Loftwall Rooms Wall System

MERGEWORKS URBAN WALLS ROOM DIVIDER – Similarly, the MergeWorks Urban Walls Room Divider makes perfect office acoustic partitions that can construct meeting rooms, huddle spaces, or private areas in a blink of an eye without the added expense. Its acrylic wall panels are an effective sound barrier that keeps noise contained where it needs to be, and also provides tack-boards and dry-erase boards for even more use and functionality.


Photo: MergeWorks Urban Walls Room Divider

MAVERICK PLANTERS – Maverick Planters reduce noise pollution because vegetation naturally absorbs and diffuses sound. Planters can also be used as partitions to divide the space in the office and come with additional benefits like providing privacy, increasing productivity and improving air quality. 


Photo: Maverick Planters

LOFTWALL SHIFT SHELF AND SPACE DIVIDER – Loftwall’s Shift Shelf and Space Divider combine necessity with privacy. Shelves are extremely useful for storage and organizing in the workplace, and Loftwall adds their own ingenious take on office essentials by creating a modern shelving solution that carves out spaces, offers storage, and uses stylishly clever panels to control acoustics.


Photo: Loftwall Shift Shelf and Space Divider

Read Also: Stylish Noise Reducing Office Furniture Trends for 2024
Main Photo: Snowsound Baffle Ceiling Panel
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQLoftwall, Maverick, MergeWorks, Scandinavian Spaces, Snowsound

Life’s a Peach!…with Pantone 2024 Color of the Year

Pantone 2024 Color of The Year OFS Coact Lite Lounge Seating

Ring in the new year with Pantone’s pick for the color of 2024: “Peach Fuzz.”

Every year, Pantone chooses a color that they believe reflects the trends and sentiments of the upcoming months. The color of 2023 was “Viva Magenta,” a vibrant purple-red that forecasted a year of exuberance and empowerment. After a tense year of adjusting to life post-pandemic and social unrest, “Viva Magenta” heralded new beginnings and “celebrated coming out of the malaise of the last year,” according to Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.


Photo: OFS Coact Lounge in Peach Fuzz Drenched Reception

In contrast, Pantone’s 2024 Color of the Year is more subtle and intimate. Pantone 13-1023 “Peach Fuzz” is a warm, cozy hue with a unique mixture of white, orange, and yellow, meant to evoke peace and mirror our desire to nurture ourselves and those around us. “Peach Fuzz” is a softer color than “Viva Magenta” because it serves as a reminder to slow down and get in touch with our compassionate side after a tumultuous year with stressors in multiple aspects of our lives. 


Photo: Global FreeFit Height Adjustable Tables for Semi-Private Workstations

“Peach Fuzz” encapsulates delicateness. It calls to mind the mellow shades of the sunrise, the cosiness of a warm blanket, velvety, ripe peaches, and luxurious silks. Eiseman points out that these impressions place an emphasis on health and wellness, telling TIME magazine, “It’s important we recognize the need to foster our inner selves and find moments of respite, creativity, and human connection.”


Photo: Arcadia TOOtheLOUNGE Banquette Seating

What is Pantone’s Color of the Year Program?

The Pantone Color Institute created the Color of the Year program in 1999 to engage the design community in a discussion of color and to unveil the relationship between culture and color. Experts look at many aspects before deciding on a defining color for the forthcoming year: color trends, fashion, marketing, social media and even politics and significant worldwide events. It’s not decided based off one isolated meeting at a specific time; it’s a continuous conversation among Pantone Color Institute team members that come from an extensive range of design, cultural, and geographic backgrounds. They discuss the results of their color trend research and color psychology to define the spirit of the upcoming year and narrow down the shade from there. The program has influenced the development and purchasing decisions of nearly every existing industry and country around the world with its acknowledged authority on color.


Photo: Allermuir Indoor/Outdoor Crop Chairs

With this program, Pantone determines the atmosphere of the year and sets the ball rolling for businesses everywhere.

How are Industries Using 2024 Color of the Year Peach Fuzz?

Because Pantone analyzes numerous facets of society before narrowing down the color of the year, they have the edge in predicting consumer trends. Once they announce it, brands will typically start designing products with the Color of the Year.

Pantone anticipates that “Peach Fuzz” will appear in apparel and accessories in the form of suede, velvet, quilted, and furry textures to highlight the snug, pleasant hue and convey the feeling of tangibility and affection. Keep an eye out for blankets, coats, scarves and more in muted coral; this Pantone 2024 Color is more approachable than last year’s vivid magenta and will be easier to style.


Photo: Global Noetic Ergonomic Task Chairs

If you’re worried that peach isn’t your color, don’t worry! Peach is versatile: if the orange-pink hue isn’t for you, companies are turning to peach-inspired graphics and subtle designs for shirts and jewelry.

Other industries are putting their own spin on “Peach Fuzz,” too. Tom Ford recently released their latest scent called Bitter Peach Eau de Parfum, while makeup companies are celebrating the shade as a soft, warm universal hue that is flattering on all skin tones. Motorola launched “Peach Fuzz” versions of their latest phones, the Razor 40 Ultra and Edge 40 Neo. Polaroid collaborated with Pantone to create exclusive peach-colored frames for their films. 

Peach Fuzz In The Office


Photo: Nevins Connor Occasional Table

The 2024 Pantone Color will fit right in with interior design. Current trends in this industry have been focusing on the comfort and wellness of employees by blending elements of the office and home. “Peach Fuzz” is the perfect addition to that as a message of community and collaboration; creating a welcoming ambiance by promoting gentle warmth. Peach will make an appearance on painted walls, accented furniture, decorated objects, or textiles. Try color-drenching, a technique that involves painting all aspects of a room—from the walls to ceilings to doors—with one color to give a space an airy and harmonious ambiance.

If color-drenching sounds intimidating, introduce a peachy pop of color as an area rug. That would serve as a focal point to your space without clashing with neutral tones like light browns or soft whites.


Photo: Nevins Peach-Infused Lounge with Stem Planters

Play with light using pastel peach curtains or other accent pieces of furniture in the form of sofas, chairs or cushions. Natural light is making a comeback as an essential part of interior design and subtle peach hues infuse a sense of coziness in the room.


Photo: OFS Kasura Chairs and Round Beck Table

2024 Color of The Year: Life’s A Peach!

Last year, “Viva Magenta” was a vibrant red shade rooted in strength that inspired us to live boldly after putting our lives on pause during the pandemic. Now, Pantone’s 2024 Color is calling for a change of pace, emphasizing human connection and kindness. Take a moment with your loved ones; we have a lot to look forward to this year.

Read Also: Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Main Photo: OFS Coact Lite Lounge
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, Arcadia, Nevins, Global & OFS

Offering Freedom and Flexibility with the Dynamic Office Design

Dynamic Office Design SitOnIt Seating Quiz Chairs

We are seeing something unprecedented in the office—the freedom to choose.  With the dynamic office, employees can enjoy office flexibility, fluid workspaces and a work/life balance they didn’t have before.

A Change in Office Culture and Design

As we say goodbye to 2023 and ring in a new year, we’re seeing profound changes in the office that delivers more of a balance between the needs and wants of the company and those of the employees. Productivity and efficiency remains the goal, but now companies are taking more initiative to be considerate of employee wellbeing and satisfaction when designing the spaces in which they work in.

Why? 


Photo: Friant Novo Workstation

Recent years of the pandemic aftermath showed us that less rigid work schedules and flexible hours are not only a viable option for many — but possibly the best solution. A contradiction to the traditional work model, post-pandemic times reveal that people don’t necessarily have to be in the office all the time in order to do their best work. According to research conducted by the International Workplace Group, a company dedicated to helping others embrace hybrid working, working in their preferred spaces and having flexible work schedules even increased employees’ productivity. 

So how does this progressive work-style change the landscape of our modern office spaces? A lot.

From Traditional to Dynamic

Conventional 9-to-5 hours and 5-day work schedules have in the past shaped our offices to be the traditional workspaces we’ve come to know.  This relatively regimented work culture was very much reflected in the way offices were designed. 

Before, a company would have specific rooms for very specific purposes.  Guests were welcomed entering through a formal reception and sitting area.  There would be one or two main conference rooms that everyone would need to schedule to use.  Desks and workstations were strictly only in designated work spaces.  Usually, there was one appointed training or multi-purpose room. And all employees took their breaks inside the company lounge or break room.


Photo: Scale 1to1 G Series Workstation and Lounge is perfect for the Dynamic Office

In dramatic contrast, the offices we’re seeing today are much different.  They’re being designed and furnished as self-sustaining “neighborhoods” if you will, working more fluidly and organically to not just optimize worker productivity, but better serve employees via an office experience they never had before. 

This is the Dynamic Office.  And we’re going to see a lot more of it.

A Closer Look at the Dynamic Office

What is a dynamic office? A dynamic office is designed to be intuitive to the employee’s natural way of working, offering them choice, flexibility and freedom in choosing the environments that cultivate their productivity and bring out their best work. It’s multi-faceted and multi-purpose.  It provides workers various types of settings to concentrate and work in; connect and collaborate with others; and thrive as modern professionals. 


Photo: Snowsound Snowpouf Sound Absorbing Chair

The idea behind the dynamic office meaning is to spark enthusiasm and engagement by accommodating employees in the ways they live and work today.  A combination of private, semi-private and open spaces, dynamic offices consist of various functioning environments that can facilitate different types of activities.

Private offices can double as a space for focused work, as well as impromptu meetings or one-on-one trainings.  Mobile workstations nested together are ideal for team projects, but can also be separated and sectioned off for individuals needing to concentrate.  Work-pods and private booths may also be used for focused work, especially as touch-down stations for those on-the-go or on hybrid schedules.  But they can also be used for smaller groups to meet, share ideas and collaborate.  Formal conference rooms can double as training rooms, and training rooms as employee breakrooms with kitchens.  The office reception area may also be used as an employee lounge, touchdown area or training room. 


Photo: Scandinavian Spaces Deli Chairs

Dynamic offices are designed to be flexible, adaptable and reconfigurable.  They’re meant to accommodate multiple work styles, interactions and schedules. But most importantly, they’re designed with the employees’ wellbeing and satisfaction in mind.

The Dynamic Office for Hybrid Work

HON Office Furniture said it best: “[We need to shift] into a hybrid way of thinking about our environments.” Hybrid work is ongoing and is definitely here to stay.

To many, splitting time between being in the office and out is the healthiest equilibrium we’ve seen in the workplace since the office was a concept. That’s why hybrid work is in the heart of the dynamic office design.  It provides flexibility for employees to choose the most effective way for them to work and enables a healthy work/life balance that not only accommodates diverse work styles, but for some, optimizes productivity and efficiency.

Hybrid work also has the side effect and benefit of downsizing office spaces. Since less people have to come in on a daily basis, companies don’t need to invest in or lease huge buildings for office space any more, helping them save money. This is why the dynamic office works so well, being able to accommodate multiple types of work styles in multiple types of adaptable and reconfigurable settings. It’s a leaner approach to office space management, and smarter way for companies to downsize and save on capital. 

The Dynamic Office for Hot-Desking

A particular strength of the dynamic office is its inherent ability to accommodate hot-desking. Hot-desking has been around for many decades, mostly to accommodate freelance or contract workers, but is now even more popular with the surge of hybrid work.  It’s an office organization system where workers do not have their own individual workstations anymore.  Instead they choose where and how they want to work from available desks, tables and workstations within the designated rooms and common areas that day.

Hot-desking also carries the key characterization of employee autonomy. It’s one of the many benefits, along with improved collaboration and better employee relationships, as hot-desking gives people the opportunity to work alongside coworkers they may not see otherwise.


Photo: Arcadia TOOaPICNIC Work-pod

Making Your Office Dynamic

How do you design and create a dynamic office?  Implement ergonomically flexible furniture, office accessories and technology to your workspaces so that they can adapt to different work styles. They should ideally be modular, portable and easy to set up. 

Think Global River Lounge or Rouillard Block seating to configure various lounge arrangements in your reception or lounge area.  Add DARRAN Bota, Encore Particles or OFS Strap pull up tables for people who want to work on their tablets or laptops. Lounge areas are infinitely versatile and can be repurposed into a cafeteria or training room with mobile tables like the AMQ Concur tables. 


Photo: AMQ Concur Training Tables

Scandinavian Spaces Deli seating is the perfect dynamic office chair, with its casters and stackability for ease-of-use and storage.  For other environments, you can set up private or semi-private workspaces with Arcadia’s Co-op work-booths or OFS Heya Lounge seating.  Carve out quiet spaces using architectural walls like Loftwall Rooms Wall System and Trendway Clear Wall.  Sound-absorbing technology from Snowsound optimizes acoustics and help to dampen noise to facilitate focused work and concentration.

Photo: Arcadia TOOtheLOUNGE Seating & Work-pods

Work-pods are great for spontaneous meetings and for people to collaborate, such as Arcadia’s TOOtheLOUNGE or TOOaPICNIC.  For workstations, the Scale 1:1 G Series Workstation is an excellent work-desk/lounge solution that encourages connectivity and sharing of ideas.  And Global Terina or Global Bungee tables are great for nesting together for team work or breaking apart for individual work.

A Dynamic Office That’s Works for You

The dynamic office gives freedom, stability and choice back to the employees. It is a stark contrast to the past, when office spaces mirrored a work culture that was more rigid and regimented.  But as people, we have always been dynamic. And now there’s finally an office design that reflects human nature and is a wellspring of innovation and creativity. 

Thank you dynamic office.  We’re glad to finally have you.

We’re Here to Help

Ready to change up your office space? If you’re looking to make your workspace more dynamic, 2010 Office Furniture can help. With over 50 years of combined expert experience in commercial office furniture and space planning, we’re one of the top design and retail providers to some of Southern Californias most recognizable corporations, universities, non-profits and more.

2010 Office Furniture can show you how to optimize your office space and provide a dynamic office experience to help keep your employees engaged and happy.  Contact us today with any questions and let us know of your potential project needs.

Read Also: 2024 Office Trends to Create an Engaging Office Environment
Main Photo: SitOnIt Qwiz Collaboration & Training Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQ, Arcadia, Friant, Scale 1to1, Scandinavian Spaces, SitOnIt Seating & Snowsound

Planning for Happiness and Productivity in the Office

Happiness and Productivity in the Office OFS Heya Table
Cultivate strong morale and you’ll have more employees who are happy and engaged in their work. But is happiness in the office really important? Shouldn’t people just buckle down and do their work?  Read on to learn how to plan for happiness and productivity in the office.

Let’s think it through and see how to turn happiness into something that’ll fuel a competitive advantage in your company.

What would you rather have?

An employee constantly daydreaming of splashing in the surf off Malibu or skiing in Big Bear while wondering how they can rage apply for jobs at other companies? Or an employee who’s happily focused on finishing their tasks to the best of their abilities?

Happiness matters. Employees who are upbeat and positive will deliver.

In the book, The Happiness Advantage, author Shawn Achor concludes, “A decade of research proves that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality of life improvements.”

Think of high job satisfaction as a competitive advantage.

But can companies do anything to affect an employee’s happiness?

Create a Destination Place for Happiness and Productivity in the Office

In September 2022, a discussion on the social media platform Reddit surveyed what makes people happy in Los Angeles. Attractions like the Greek Theater, Hollywood Bowl, and Sunset Strip ranked high as did food, like the variety of ethnic foods—from Mexican and Peruvian to Thai and Ethiopian.

You’re not expected to turn the workplace into a resort, but you’re making the office a desired place to settle in and work. In the age of hybrid work schedules and remote work possibilities, create an upbeat atmosphere where people want to be. Make it part of your internal branding.

And as far as food, once or twice a year have entrees brought in that reflect the diverse tastes of Los Angeles.

Here’s what matters.

Plan Spaces

An office with an effective workflow isn’t just a random collection of desks. You need to think of who the users are and how they need unique spaces:

  • Executive decision-makers
  • Managers
  • Full-time in-house employees with specific functions
  • Remote workers
  • Temporary employees


Photo: Enwork Cayman Height Adjustable Desk

An executive may spend hours at her desk, but could her office, or the area just outside the office, also serve as a strategic planning center?


Photo: Friant Anza Lounge Chair

How about creating touchdown spaces? These are more informal lounge areas where remote workers coming into the office for a meeting can sit and prepare. They also serve as meeting areas for in-office workers with an atmosphere that’s more relaxed than conference rooms.

Use Supportive Equipment

Ergonomics is key to achieve happiness and productivity in the office. Keep in mind the benefits of ergonomics and that they set the tone for happy employees. A range of products can help you achieve your goals.


Photo: AMQ Tizu Work Chair

Quality ergonomic chairs that adjust to support the lower back, elbows, and knees reduce the stress of sitting.


Photo: DeskMakers Hover Workstations

Height-adjustable desks make it possible for computer monitors to be at a comfortable eye level so any strain on the neck and shoulders is minimized.


Photo: Snowsound Corner Desk Panels

Ergonomic accessories like proper lighting are a necessity to reduce eye strain. Good lighting is more than lamps. Maximize natural light since it’s proven to boost moods and aid in a person’s natural cycle of waking and sleeping.

Physical discomfort is a distraction and results in much higher rates of absenteeism. Supporting your workers with ergonomic solutions is part of an overall wellness strategy.

Make Clear Communication A Priority

When people know what’s expected of them, then they can handle their work confidently and feel like they’re moving forward with work that matters.

Clarify your vision, mission, and goals.

Listen and address the challenges that arise.

What you’re doing is building a community where people trust each other and believe that management values them.  This will lead to happiness and productivity in the office

This effort “improves processes and procedures and ultimately creates greater efficiencies and reduces costs,” as described by the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) in an article, “Managing Organizational Communication.”


Photo: Friant System2 Workstation

Make communication areas part of your office design. Managers can use cubicles like the Friant System 2 Workstation which can accommodate one to three people for meetings.

Use videoconferencing with remote workers. Everyone can hop on a call using their own laptops, but there could be advantages to having a media space with architectural walls.

Or, use a media table in a compact area. 2010 Office Furniture carries several models.

The Scale 1:1 TeleMeet Connect Table can be expanded to accommodate anywhere from six people to a few dozen staff gathered.

Install a “designated island of productivity” with the OFS Intermix Collaborative Table.

Get Help on Boosting Happiness and Productivity in the Office

Plan for a sustainable and profitable future by fostering happiness and productivity in the office. Trust input from the team at 2010 Office Furniture who have a combined half-century of helping notable clients throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

Planning your office space and using furnishings that bring out the best in your team will give you an edge in retaining employees who are engaged in their work.

Contact 2010 Office Furniture with your project needs and questions.

Read Also: The Best Office Spaces are Responsive to Employee Needs
Main Photo: OFS Heya Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQ, DeskMakers, Enwork, Friant, OFS & Snowsound

NeoCon 2023 Trends: Lighting the Way to a Better Workspace

NeoCon Trends 2023 Stylex Seating Luna Lounge Seating

NeoCon has been setting the tone for commercial office furniture trends since 1990, and lighting the way for revolutionary designs of the commercial industry as a whole. Every year, NeoCon hosts more than 40,000 attendees and 400 companies to exhibit their latest furniture solutions, as well as keynotes, special events, and workshops for entrepreneurs and design professionals to connect and educate each other.  And this year is no exception.  With the best and brightest minds brought together, what are the NeoCon 2023 trends that we saw last month in June?

One thing’s for certain: the pandemic has heavily impacted the way we see the workplace, and the design industry has been significantly changed.

Trend 1: Sustainability

Sustainability is a rising concern in production. Consumers are increasingly aware of where their products come from, and it’s become one of the main factors they consider when buying furniture. This makes “green” furniture attractive to manufacturers from an ideological perspective. But not only that – sustainable furniture reduces carbon footprint, lengthens the lifespan of the product, and creates a circular economy that utilizes recycling and repurposing.

NeoCon Trends 2023 Via Seating Vooom Chair
Photo: Via Seating Vooom Chair

Via Seating’s Vooom chair won the Sustainability Award with their sustainable seating solution. Vooom has a distinctive wing arm design and is made up of 60% recycled PET bottles in its chair shell and is 100% recyclable.

Trend 2: Wellness

Wellness goes hand-in-hand with sustainability. The world today is fast-paced and full of uncertainties, leaving many stressed and stretched thin. As a result, designers are now leaning into the human aspect of care to facilitate relaxation and gain balance.  More and more, furniture these days are made with the environment and the people who use them in mind. No longer are workers expected to act like drones; designers are responding to changing needs in workspaces for people by using natural materials to enhance wellbeing. Materials like wood and soft, soothing colors create a sense of warmth and comfort and ties into other trends like sustainability and biophilia.

NeoCon Trends 2023 Darran Dove Lounge Seating
Photo: DARRAN Dove Guest, Lounge & Rocking Chairs

DARRAN’s Dove guest, lounge and rocking chair series is welcoming with its molded PET shell that is custom made to fit the perfect ergonomic shape for seating. It combines natural and recycled materials for extra stability and comfort.

Trend 3: Technology

Technology has come a long way from computers and copy machines when it comes to the office. The influence of technology on furniture design has become increasingly prevalent especially in the past few years, when we were forced to rely on it and find new ways to integrate it to our work culture during the pandemic. During NeoCon 2023, smart furniture is seeing a rise. Smart furniture has made its way into the workforce in the form of furniture being equipped with technology to adjust height, collect data on comfort preferences and more, to create an interactive space. Media tables are also frequently used as a flexible area, as an easy way to gather groups for quick online meetings and break apart for individual work. Technology has become a crucial solution to issues like ergonomic optimization, hybrid workspaces and productivity. It’s an irrefutable game-changer that is here to stay.

NeoCon Trends 2023 Via Seating 4-UP Chair
Photo: Via Seating Ergonomic 4-UP Chair

Via Seating’s 4-UP chair is an excellent example of technology at work with its focus on providing incredible ergonomics and comfort. The upholstered backs have adjustable lumbar standards and advanced control mechanisms that use single rotation adjustments for back and body options.

Trend 4: Flexibility

As the next generation heads into the workforce, productivity changes appearance. Nowadays, workplaces are willing to be more flexible, capable of working with their employees to find a space they can concentrate in. This was a trend this year in NeoCon 2023 because it allows for employees to have more adaptability and personalization in their workspaces, and are easily reconfigured to accommodate different needs. Flexible furniture consists of modular furniture, adjustable desks, collaborative seating and more. Optimization and fluidity is the objective of flexible furniture.

NeoCon Trends 2023 Senator CoLab Worspaces
Photo: Senator CoLab Modular Workspace Series

Senator’s modular furniture series, CoLab, is the personification of flexibility. It was created to accommodate changing approaches to work, so whether you need to sit, stand, or perch – feel free to pick the posture you need to inject fresh energy.

Neocon 2023 Trends Deliver For the Future

As always, NeoCon never disappoints. With the latest trends pointing towards a more health-oriented workplace, it is guaranteed that the future of the commercial industry is looking bright.

What are some trends you would like to see?

Interested in More NeoCon 2023 Trends?

Interested in learning more?  Stay tuned for our upcoming article on our NeoCon 2023 trends favorites, and winners of the coveted awards won each year.

With a combined 50 years of experience, 2010 Office Furniture is always at the forefront of the latest trends in office furniture and equipment.  If you need help and guidance on planning and furnishing your office space, we can help!  2010 Office Furniture has worked with clients who are among Southern Californias most distinguished corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses.  Contact us with your office furniture planning and design needs.

Read Also: NeoCon 2022 Trends: The Future of Office Furniture
Main Photo: Stylex Seating Luna Lounge Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: DARRAN, SenatorStylex Seating and Via Seating 

Editor’s Top Picks: NeoCon 2023 Winners

NeoCon 2023 Winners Senator Enwork Koncept

As NeoCon 2023 wraps up, we’re seeing the frontlines of the future emerge with cutting edge products from over 400 companies that attended the event. As the single most significant show in the commercial design industry, NeoCon attracted over 50,000 attendees over the course of three days, and named this year’s Best of NeoCon 2023 winners from more than 54 product categories.

NeoCon 2023 Winners

There are 6 available awards: the Gold Award, Silver Award, Innovation Award, Sustainability Award, Best of Competition Award and the new Business Impact Award. Each entry can be given one Gold Award and one Silver Award, defined by the top winner and second-highest performer of its category. The Innovation Award is given to products that offer a fresh solution through either the introduction of new goods or an improvement of an existing product while the Sustainability Award ensures the product has an environmentally-friendly manufacturing process. The Business Impact Award was just introduced this year to recognize impressive solutions that contribute to business productivity.

Every year NeoCon sets higher and higher standards. Every year there are an exceptional few who meet them.

So what are the latest outstanding designs in the world of furniture?  Here our our favorites!

Cayman by Enwork

GOLD WINNER / FURNITURE SYSTEMS – Enwork earns the Gold Award for the furniture systems category with their Cayman case-goods collection that redefines conference and private office landscapes. Cayman offers top-of-the-line aesthetics with a soft touch to revolutionizing the user experience in private offices and conference settings. Most notable, Enwork brings the comforts of home to the workplace, while elevating traditional design, with Cayman’s striking and iconic cantilevered work surface – along with a height-adjustable return, storage spaces and other customizable features.

NeoCon 2023 Winners Enwork Cayman Private Office and Conference Casegoods
Photo: Enwork Cayman Private Office and Conference Casegoods Collection

CoLab by Senator

SILVER WINNER / COLLABORATION – A leading company all on its own, Senator achieves greatness once again with their latest product: CoLab Modular Workspaces. CoLab is a result of 2 years of research into global pedagogy trends. With a focus on higher education models and changing approaches to work, Senator created CoLab to be an adaptable, durable, and recyclable working and learning environment that can support every mode of work. Learning plays a crucial role in shaping who we are and by recognizing that, Senator has been awarded the Silver Award in the collaboration category.

NeoCon 2023 Winners Senator CoLab Workspace
Photo: Senator CoLab Modular Workspaces

Dove by DARRAN

SILVER & INNOVATION AWARD WINNER / LOUNGE SEATING – DARRAN won the Silver and Innovation Award in the lounge category with their Dove Lounge Seating. Dove is designed to be soft and inviting, merging natural and recycled materials for sustainable means. Its hardwood frame and recycled PET ergonomic shell creates a chair that allows people to sit for hours without discomfort. Visually distinctive, Dove sparks a connection between natural and built environments.

NeoCon 2023 Winners DARRAN Dove Lounge Seating
Photo: DARRAN Dove Lounge Seating

Luna by Stylex

GOLD WINNER / MODULAR SEATING – Stylex stole the show with their Luna Banquette Lounge Seating collection. Luna is designed for collaborative use, equipped with rounded edges and ergonomic support. It’s innovative, modern design is available in high or low back models and with optional planters. Luna pairs well with Still screens, Stylex’s acoustical privacy walls, and allows further freedom to create separate workspaces within a larger space. With a clean, streamlined look and premium luxe materials that surpass others, it’s no wonder that Stylex won the Gold Award for the modular seating category.

NeoCon 2023 Winners Stylex Luna Lounge Seating
Photo: Stylex Luna Banquette Lounge Seating

Elara by OFS

GOLD WINNER / SOFA SEATING – OFS is a longtime contestant at NeoCon. With many awards under their belt, the Elara Lounge Seating is just the latest of their achievements. Derived from the Greek word for moon, Elara’s soft curves and wide frame is crafted as the perfect solution for the workplace and healthcare environments. The frame is made of durable powder-coated steel, while the seats and back are upholstered in customizable fabric and leathers. OFS designed this product to offer comfort, durability, and easy cleanability, winning the Gold Award for the sofa category.

NeoCon 2023 Winners OFS Elara Lounge Seating
Photo: OFS Elara Lounge Seating

4-UP by Via Seating

BUSINESS IMPACT AWARD WINNER / ERGONOMIC DESK & TASK – Via Seating has one goal: to make the world greener with the 4-UP Ergonomic Task Chair series. 4-UP is designed to add ambiance and sophistication to any environment it inhabits. With its range of backs and two seat options, 4-UP embodies great design, function and comfort. It’s also made of Via Seating’s signature comfort foam: a proprietary blend of high-density, injection-molded comfort foam so durable that Via Seating swears by a 12 year warranty. This attention to detail earned Via Seating the Business Impact Award for the ergonomic desk/task category.

NeoCon 2023 Winners Via Seating 4-UP Chair
Photo: Via Seating 4-UP Ergonomic Task Chair

Ooty by Allermuir

GOLD WINNER / STOOLS SEATING – Allermuir is a veteran at NeoCon, submitting many award-winning entries over the past few years. Their latest product, Ooty, won the Gold Award for the stool category. Allermuir’s objective was to create a stool with one component to eliminate waste and prove a sustainable solution. The result was Ooty: a multi-use product that could double as a stool or side table. This piece is lightweight and stackable, allowing for the ultimate ease of movement. Ooty is a functional, versatile and fun piece to add to commercial and residential settings.

NeoCon 2023 Winners Allermuir Ooty Stools
Photo: Allermuir Ooty Stools

Yurei by KONCEPT INC.

GOLD WINNER / TASK LIGHTING – Koncept has always focused on bringing the best creative lighting solutions to the industry. The Yurei Co-Working Light can fit in with any unique decor decisions you make with its sleek and modern design. The table lamp version is multifunctional, featuring a built-in USB-C charging port and warm white light with up to 3000K light color and 60,000 hour lifespan that allows users to stay connected. Koncept’s Gold Award for task lighting category is well-deserved.

NeoCon 2023 Winners Koncept Yurei Work Lamp
Photo: Koncept Yurei Work Lamps

Susu by DARRAN

SILVER WINNER / OCCASIONAL TABLES – DARRAN Furniture has many stand-out designs and the Susu Occasional Table series is one of them with its beautiful simplicity, embodying the idea of “Beauty in Small Things.” With sleek design lines, elegant architecture, sustainable materials and beautiful finishes, Susu is sure to fit right in with the future of furniture. This table is made with pressed PET shells to create a two-tone visual, and support the table surfaces with robust metal bases for commercial use. The Susu collection incorporates an unexpected softness and hybrid texture that differentiates this collection from the rest in the occasional category, winning DARRAN the Silver Award.

NeoCon 2023 Winners DARRAN Susu Tables
Photo: DARRAN Susu Occasional Tables

Tibo by Allermuir

GOLD WINNER / OUTDOOR SEATING: Allermuir’s Tibo Bench and Table System follows the latest trend in multi-use furniture. Capable of seating people indoors and outdoors with its combined bench and table system, Tibo’s objective was to allow natural interaction and spur collaboration between people. Tibo comes in 3 sizes and is engineered around an aluminum frame for strength and lightness. Encourage creative collaboration and interaction with one of Allermuir’s latest innovation, the Gold Award Winner of the outdoor seating category.

NeoCon 2023 Winners Allermuir Tibo Bench
Photo: Allermuir Tibo Indoor/Outdoor Bench and Table System

All NeoCon 2023 Winners

For a complete list of Best of NeoCon 2023 winners, please visit the official NeoCon website here.

Interested More in NeoCon 2023?

Looking for more info or inspiration?  Explore all the latest office furniture possibilities with the specialists at 2010 Office Furniture. Our team has nearly 50 years of combined experience working with Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and small business from Los Angeles and Orange Counties to the Inland Empire.

Contact us and let us know about your potential project needs.  We can help you create the modern office that fits perfectly for you and your employees.

Read Also: NeoCon 2023 Trends: Lighting the Way to a Better Workspace
Main Photo: NeoCon 2023 Winners – Senator CoLab Workspaces, Enwork Cayman Desk & Koncept Yurei Lamps
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AllermuirDARRAN, Enwork, Koncept, OFSSenatorStylex Seating and Via Seating 

NeoCon 2023 Countdown Begins!

NeoCon 2023 OFS Zero Chairs

NeoCon 2023 is fast approaching, and with it the chance to see the latest innovation in furniture.

NeoCon is the most important event of the year for the commercial design industry since 1969. It takes place at the famous Merchandise Mart, also known as “The Mart,” in Chicago and is only open to trade professionals. They divide their entries into categories, ranging from Furniture, Fabrics, Flooring, Interior Building Products, Interior Finishes and Technology to markets such as Workplace, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Education, Public Space and Government. NeoCon is an event of creativity and growth that allows professionals to see the latest the furniture world has to offer and attend educational programs to make connections, learn, and offer their insight and expertise on important topics in the industry today.

A Look Back at NeoCon 2022

Typically organized by Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., the most recent NeoCon was held in 2022. For three days, from June 13 – 15, the exhibit hall was the heart of NeoCon, where over 500 exhibitors showcased the latest products and trends in commercial design. The key themes that emerged from them were sustainable design, the increased use of technology to enhance the workplace, adaptable, flexible spaces in a post-pandemic world, and a focus on employee wellness.


Photo: OFS Heya Table

KONCEPT INC. won the Gold Award for the lighting section with their Focaccia Desk Lamp and Silver Award for the Combi Pendant Light while OFS  presented a new series of seating products that won the Sustainability award with their natural materials.


Photo: Koncept Focaccia Desk and Floor Lighting 

Scandinavian Spaces also won the Innovation award in the furniture category with their Yarn chair for its environmentally-friendly textiles and organic design.


Photo: Scandinavian Spaces Yarn Chairs

NeoCon 2022 offered a glimpse of the future where design can be used to create more productive, comfortable, and green workplaces.

Looking Forward to NeoCon 2023

This year, NeoCon is going to take place on June 12 – 14. It will feature 56 product categories that will be evaluated onsite by a diverse panel of juries that consist of renowned architects, designers, and others with a mastery in commercial, healthcare, education, and hospitality sectors. While there are typically 5 awards available, as of 2023, NeoCon is also announcing that the best entries will be granted a Business Impact Award as recognition of outstanding solutions through industry-oriented lens.

What Will NeoCon 2023 Trends Be?

What key trends can we expect to see at NeoCon 2023? Many of the post-pandemic trends are still prevalent today.


Photo: OFS Denro Table

Sustainable materials continue to be popular; consumers are now more aware than ever of their impact on the environment and are seeking green materials. Long-lasting, environmental-friendly furniture solutions is a trend that’s here to stay.


Photo: Allermuir Various Seating Collections 


Photo: OFS Roo Planters

Wellness is another trend expected to extend into 2023 and beyond because designers have finally found the balance between motivation and relaxation. The importance of wellness is also backed by studies that show how flexible office layouts lead to more productive and happy employees. Wellness-focused design include features like ergonomic furniture, natural light and fresh air, thermal comfort and biophilic design.

We can look forward to further technology integration; technology is growing increasingly advanced and is taking the workplace with them in the form of touch-screen displays, smart lighting, and integrated audio/visual systems.


Photo: Stylex Underline Seating

Bold and colorful interiors influenced by the 70s are also making a comeback—designers are all about channeling the exuberant energy and innovation from that decade to the present.

Curved furniture is another rising trend in 2023; adding a soft touch to the straight lines and clinical design of spaces. In tandem with sustainable design, color palettes with a focus on green, brown, and cream shades are popular throughout this year for its calming effect.

2010 Office Furniture Knows the Latest Trends

What are you looking forward to seeing from NeoCon 2023?  Stay tuned for upcoming updates covering the much anticipated event taking place next week.

With a combined 50 years of experience, the team at 2010 Office Furniture is committed to always being at the forefront of the latest and greatest in office furniture and equipment.  If you need help and guidance on planning and furnishing your office space, we can help!  2010 Office Furniture has worked with clients who are among Southern Californias most distinguished corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses.  Contact us with your office furniture planning and design needs.

Read Also: NeoCon 2022 Trends: The Future of Office Furniture
Main Photo: OFS Brands Zero Chairs
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, Koncept Lighting, OFS Brands, Scandinavian Spaces and Stylex Seating

Best Uses of Flexible Office Spaces

Flexible Office Spaces OFS Hex Seating Ottomans and Tables

Flexible office spaces are necessary for today’s office environment and they have benefits that help employees get the work done while keeping them engaged. Flexible office spaces are orderly and structured—not scattered, chaotic, or haphazard.

Plan the areas needed for focused work and spontaneous interactions since both are needed.

Modular office furniture solutions make it easier to meet the needs of your employees and show them that you’re committed to supporting their efforts.

You’ll also see advantages to using modular office furniture, especially in contemporary office designs.

The Need For Flexible Office Spaces

In recent decades, thinking has switched from “workers must produce no matter how tough the environment” to an emphasis on ergonomics and supporting employees with the best possible tools. Productive offices with good morale have the equipment and well-planned spaces that support employees.  

Companies face the challenges of accommodating staff with different types of needs in today’s hybrid workforce. Employees can accomplish their tasks in different locations thanks to communication technologies.

In past decades, outside salespeople were the ones coming and going from the office. Now, members of finance teams and production teams can do their work remotely or in the corporate office.

Today’s flexible office spaces accommodate ever-changing needs. A variety of furnishings are made to be completely mobile in multi-use spaces.

Flexible Office Spaces Stylex Verve Chairs
Photo: Stylex Verve Chairs

Flexible Office Space Planning

Planning your space well is essential. Here’s what’s happening:

You’re laying out the office so the workflow moves logically and your employees feel supported.

No easy task, but 2010 Office Furniture has over a half-century of experience helping clients determine the best office layouts for productivity.

Each client receives custom solutions depending on their size and how many employees are full-time on-site; remote; or temporary.

The hybrid office is an ongoing reality where you can create flexible office spaces clearly defined by tasks and departments, and other spaces that can be arranged to meet any specific need.

Who Are Flexible Spaces For?

Full-Time Staff

Your full-time, in-house staff who endure commutes along freeways like the 405, or the 55 in Orange County, need their dedicated workspace. Flexible office spaces for them mean giving them the freedom to move from one place and relocate with their laptops and cell phones, or pen and paper pads, to a comfortable area where they can get away from the confines of a workstation.

Give your team the freedom to move around the office with:

Photo: Source International Repeat Seating

Remote Workers

Team members who work from home or other remote locations need to stop in periodically for briefings and other types of updates with in-house staff.  This is where flexible office spaces are extremely useful and beneficial.


Photo: ERG International Brighton Modular Lounge Seating

Architectural walls provide flexible office spaces for meetings and so do certain types of lounge furniture like the ERG Brighton International Modular Lounge Seating, designed so users can make multiple configurations.

You can also provide workstations for remote workers, especially those on a hybrid schedule.

If your area is sectioned off by departments, then each department can have a specific place for the employees who stop in two or three days per week.

Temporary Workers

Modular cubicles help with flexible office spaces.  Thanks to modular cubicles, you can easily put workstations and certain models of tables in storage until you need them.

Maybe you need to hire a temporary worker for a month or more to catch up on data entry or create new marketing materials.

It’s easy to take cubicles out of storage, set them up, and then take them down again as needed. Choose from traditional-looking cubicles like the HON Accelerate Workstation or a unique design like the DARRAN Honey Workspace.


Photo: HON Accelerate Cubicle Workstations


Photo: Darran Honey Workstations

Clients

Flexible spaces accommodate clients as well.  You don’t need a conference room for a meeting area. An enclosed conference room may seem too constricted. Create a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere using modular furniture that has color schemes and fabrics with a homey feel.


Photo: ERG International Laguna Lounge Seating

Consider the ERG International Laguna Lounge Seating which has numerous customizable options and fits in personal and public spaces such as common areas, cafes, and lobbies.

Nesting tables can be used for a pop-up workspace and returned when finished.

Vendors

People who you contract with will occasionally want to stop in and show you new product lines or give you ideas on how you can improve some part of your operation. So now, you’re the client and they’re the supplier.

Arrange modular and acoustic furniture for flexible office spaces as a solution or take them inside a space that’s defined by architectural walls.


Photo: Trendway Volo Architectural Walls

Plan Your Office With 2010 Office Furniture

Refresh your office and create flexible office spaces to meet your existing needs. The team at 2010 Office Furniture has helped Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses function more effectively with customized and modular furniture solutions.

Contact 2010 Office Furniture with questions related to your needs and possible projects.

Read Also: Using Mobile and Nesting Desks for Your Office
Main Photo: OFS Hex Seating & Ottomans
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Darran, ERG International, HON, Source International, Stylex & Trendway

Equipping the Flexible Office for Maximum Productivity and Professional Experience

Flexible Office 9to5 Seating Aria Chairs

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

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

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

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

Flexible Office for Deliberate Flexibility

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

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

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

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

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


Photo: ERG International Tivoli Lounge

Flexible Office Productivity

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

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

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


Photo: SitOnIt Seating Glove Chairs

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

Physical Flexibility

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

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


Photo: DeskMakers Hover Workstations

Common Needs

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

That’s not 100% accurate.


Photo: DARRAN Chameleon Workspace

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


Photo: OFS Tangent Lounge

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

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

  • Social interactions
  • Natural lighting
  • Pleasing environment

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

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

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

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

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


Photo: Allermuir Mozaik Lounge Seating

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

Find Flexible Office Solutions that Work Best

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

Contact them with your potential needs.

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

Leveraging the Benefits of Informal Workspaces in Office Planning and Design

Informal Workspaces Edge Collaboration Spaces

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

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

Planning and designing informal office workspaces will:

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

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

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

How Informal Workspaces Emerged

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

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

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

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


Photo: Scale 1:1 Nomad Conference Table

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


Photo: DARRAN Honey Workstation

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


Photo: ERG International Hetfield Table

Ideas for Office Informal Workspaces

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

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

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


Photo: Friant Dash Workstation

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

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

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

But nothing truly replaces face-to-face interactions.

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


Photo: Stylex Free Address Tables

How Informal Workspaces Maximize Office Usage

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

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

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

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

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

Informal Spaces are Professional Spaces

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


Photo: Scale 1:1 Nomad Conference Table

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

Rely on Expertise and Experience

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

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