Workstation Solutions in Los Angeles for Maximum Office Productivity

Workstation Solutions in Los Angeles for Maximum Office Productivity and Industry Growth

Looking at Industry Growth

A company’s growth and daily operations impacts the office design and workstation solutions so employees work as efficiently as possible. In Los Angeles County, there’s an upbeat forecast for professional services.  Equipping staff in managerial and executive positions requires an understanding of desking solutions and how to maximize their use for industry growth.

Office and Industry Outlook

Professional services in the greater Los Angeles area is “promising because it supports many occupations that pay well in component industries” whether or not they benefit from automation. That’s according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Council (LAEDC).  The LAEDC also states that a “looming workforce shortage” exists since there’s an undersupply of about 2,000 workers to fill job openings. The LAEDC did a supply and demand study and came up with the worker shortage data based on data from regional community colleges.  There may be an “oversupply” in programs for paralegals, architects and engineers but a greater demand in administrative support, veterinary science, along with computers and design.

Office Planning – Industry Growth

Companies are more than statistics so space planning and design becomes essential when choosing the best workstation solutions. Height-adjustable workstations like the My-Hite Workstation by Friant allow individual workers to customize their own workspace experience.  The E5 Open Plan Benching by Mayline is a space saver while offering “expansive power capabilities.”  Know individual preferences and how departments can function well to select the right benching system.

Office Workstation Summary

Desking and benching solutions allow for customized workstation systems. Select a look and feel that reflect the company’s brand and provide the best support.  Open plan benching and desking solutions such as the Aptos Open Plan Desking by OFS can come with storage so each person has a place for their own work and personal items.

There are plenty of workstation solutions to accommodate offices in any industry in Los Angeles County. Base decisions on:

  • The number of employees
  • Possible future growth
  • And how departments or individuals communicate internally and with outside clients and vendors

A well-planned office — from the reception area to the breakroom — is an asset that helps employees work well and feel supported.

Image Source: Global FreeFit

Use Benching Workstations to Maximize Workplace Efficiencies

Use Benching Workstations to Maximize Workplace Efficiencies

The Benefit of Benching Workstations

Nonprofits in Orange County hit double digit growth in 2018, according to the OC Business Journal. Employment last year rose 1.4% among the Southern California county’s largest employers, including Disneyland.  Managing growth means keeping the office efficient and productivity high. See how benching workstations benefit growing companies in Orange County, Los Angeles, and the Inland Empire.

Add Staff Easily with Benching Workstations

Hiring additional personnel without laying off anyone is a sign that a company is doing well. Challenges exist. Bringing in people can disrupt an established flow of communication and personalities if it’s not done carefully and with advance planning.  That’s why benching workstations are a smart tool. Setting them up and configuring them to accommodate more or fewer worker can be done with very little cost of labor.  The Synapse Open Plan Benchingis an example of a straight forward, economical approach to benching workstations. Several employees have plenty of room with storage creating a boundary between each person.  The Teamworx Open Plan Desking system is more creative and keeps employee productivity high while using a minimum of floor space.

Configure Floor Plans Simply

Changing employee arrangements doesn’t mean people have to rotate from one preferred and coveted office into something less desirable. Benching workstations are great for offices and companies that operate more with a more “flat” organizational chart versus one that’s hierarchical.  Departments don’t need to be walled off from each other. Benching plan workstations can be arranged according to individual or departmental responsibilities.  A well-thought out floor plan in an open office can accommodate outside clients and visitors as well as staff. Create a comfortable meeting area with lounge chairs and custom tables that are set off from the rest of the office space by using indoor plants and a counter with available coffee and snacks.

Create an Atmosphere for Collaboration

Rather than walling off employees from each other, benching workstations can increase collaboration. Put a marketing team together in one set of workstations like the E5 Open Plan Benching by Mayline. The engineering team or graphic designer team can use a style that fits their needs and workflow.  Even in open office settings, the floor plan and departmental areas can be set apart by individual lounge chairs, meeting pods or office plants. Set aside quiet areas for those who want a break and refresh.  Set aside a separate area with training tables or conference style tables for larger group gatherings.

Benefits of Using Open Plan Cubicles in Los Angeles

Companies using open plan cubicles in Los Angeles are reaping the many office benefits they offer. Today’s many styles of open plan cubicles in Los Angeles provide defined personal areas without creating an atmosphere of barriers. In addition, re-configuring an office to accommodate growth over the years is easy and affordable.

Cubicle Styles

It’s important to understand what the many cubicle styles are in today’s office environments, and what works. Stylishly colored cubicles that blend in well allow a company to display its own distinct brand instead of a haphazard collection of desks or one-color partitions. Gone are the days of drab gray.  The modern office is all about color.  You’ll also find that many open plan cubicles in Los Angeles these days help alleviate the sense of claustrophobia. The EO+ Workstation by Global is a good example of modular panels that are visually pleasing and use translucent glass to let light filter through. This system works well in a spacious office or compact location. The Initiate Workstation by HON is similar to the EO+ and allows for each person to add their own distinctive touches to their workspace. When collaboration is important, consider cubicles by Friant like the Interra, Tiles, and System 2 workstations.

Easy Cubicle Configuration

Flexibility is important for large corporations in and around Los Angeles as well as entrepreneurial start-ups. New accounts or a need for better employee to employee communication can necessitate change.  Open plan cubicles can meet the fine line needed for discussion and idea sharing while offering privacy when a team member needs to withdraw from others and work in a focused manner.  Cubicles are easy to configure whether new hires come through the door or an office needs re-arranging to service a major account. Yet, the steel and aluminum parts are durable for a long life.

Considerations for Space Planning and Design

Knowing how to properly plan and design a space requires an understanding of what makes an office function well. Consider present needs and how the team is arranged and the impact of projected future growth.  In an open office setting, private areas become important for people who need to withdraw. A space doesn’t have to be large, but it should be defined in some way. Lounge chairs or hanging plants create boundaries without feeling like barricades.  Open plan cubicles make it easy to provide defined workspace, personal break areas and places for shared equipment like copiers.

Image Source: Friant

Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

The Dangers of Office Stress

Office stress is the greatest threat to employee health and productivity. Short tempers and walking or sitting with slouched shoulders are signs that someone is under stress. Work comes with a lot of stress, especially for companies trying to grow and win market share. Putting together a wellness program is a good idea, but here are easy ways to reduce tensions in the office.

Reduce Clutter

Some people are naturally better at organizing desks and drawers than others. Ask them to share their tips for keeping a desktop or workstation clean and neat. Provide adequate storage for personal belongings and work-related materials such as brochures and office supplies. Use modular open plan benching units that are easily configured like Staks Open Plan Desking by First Office.

Listen

Society is noisy, especially with social media newsfeeds that broadcast opinions on every subject available. Encourage people to take personal social media breaks. In open office environments, personal phone calls and impromptu conversations add to the chatter. Create listening spaces with modular units like the Co-op Lounge by Arcadia or Coact Modular Lounge by First Office. Both help define a meeting space without creating barriers.

The executive team may be used to giving orders, but company leaders and managers should also develop listening skills to hear and address concerns that employees have. Maintaining eye contact, absorbing concerns, and re-stating what the person has said are important steps to listening well. Don’t be too quick to offer solutions. Someone may simply need to share what’s on their mind regarding their work or personal life in order to process. Once they talk about it, the subject can be done. Note action steps that need followed up on and make sure they agree.

Create Shared Experiences

Stress will increase if an employee feels isolated in trying to overcome a problem. Create an environment within departments or across the company where it’s okay to share concerns and invite solutions.  Give credit and recognition to employees who come up with innovative ideas.

Move to Alleviate Office Stress

Encourage people to get up and move on a regular basis. This could be to stretch at the desk or walk down the hallway or outside around the block.  Install a treadmill near a break area for people who want a walking break. Encourage exercise with discounts on gym memberships and have the team post their favorite places to walk and hike.  Ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable personal desks and workstations are also key in reducing office stress. Proper posture when sitting and typing keeps the head and neck balanced and aligned so there is less stress on knees, elbows and wrists.

Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Encourage people to drink plenty of water throughout the day and reduce the amount of sugary and fatty foods they eat. The body adapts to many conditions and people eventually won’t realize the toll that chronic inflammation takes.  Let people know that they’re in an environment dedicated to helping with office stress, where they can also take control and be empowered to help .

Use Office Plants

Indoor plants create a pleasant atmosphere, help filter the air, and even absorb sound. Researchers have found that using office plants reduced blood pressure and employees felt alert. Plants can be used to define personal and departmental work spaces in open office environments.

Reduce Your Office Stress

We’re here to help!  Share your needs with us here for creating an office environment that’s free of office stress, and help create a welcoming atmosphere for your company.

Image Source: OFS LeanTo

Office Design Layout Best Practices

Office Design and Layout Best Practices

Setting up an office or re-designing an existing office design layout that creates efficiencies on the job and provides a welcoming atmosphere takes an understanding of corporate needs and individual behaviors. Here are the best practice principles that companies throughout Southern California can use to lay out an office.

What is the Purpose of Your Office?

Knowing the purpose of the workplace may seem obvious. Work has to get done, clients and customers serviced, and payroll met. The reason those functions exist is to support a company’s vision and mission.

A vision statement shows what a company aspires to become while a mission statement reveals how the organization carries out its daily tasks. Plan and design an office design layout that supports current work while allowing flexible options for future change.  A production company near downtown Los Angeles may plan to roll out a series that inspires residents of different races to work together in their communities, while an accounting firm in Glendale wants to be known as setting the highest possible standard of integrity.  Having a clear vision and mission statement and then making sure every employee understands why they come to work each day to a space that’s well-organized provides a competitive advantage. This boosts morale and creates a motivated workforce.

Now let’s dig deeper.

What is an Office Space?

Today’s digital world makes working remotely possible in many professional industries. But the work begins with a specific location. An office serves as a central hub of identity and communications for employees, vendors and clients.

A good example of identity is in today’s university systems. As you drive through Los Angeles, Orange Counties and the Inland Empire, you’ll notice signs for branch campuses of many different colleges and universities.  Although higher education is decentralized, the core values and mission come from a central location.  A franchise is also a good example of a central office with standards and values that’s replicated through like-minded locations.  One obvious way an office can form a clear identity is through its design and set up.

How Do Employees Use the Office?

Employees in different industries are going to use offices in their own unique ways. Knowing their needs becomes critical in creating an office design layout that serves everyone’s purpose.

For CPAs in an accounting firm who may want or need their individual space to focus and talk to clients, executive desks may be the best option. For marketing firms with designers, writers, and other creative professionals who have to come together to brainstorm and then complete their work, shared desks and workstations can work well.  Real estate brokerages have agents who are primarily out with buyers and sellers, but need an office space to copy papers, consult with their clients and sign contracts.  Know who’s in, who’s out and what percentage of time the space is needed. Understanding this will help you choose the workstations and private desks that fit your office needs.

Do Clients Use the Office?

Professional firms vary widely in how clients use an office. Small web design firms may go out 90% of the time to see clients while clinics and law firms will often have clients or possible new clients stop in.  Every office should have a multi-use space that can be comfortable for people stopping in and gatherings for staff. It can be a functional space for meetings and trainings and act as a marketing tool that convinces potential clients to do business with your company instead of a competitor.  Use a reception desk and guest chairs that invite someone to step in and sense a connection.

Office Atmosphere

Included in a well-planned office are the elements that contribute to the overall atmosphere like lighting, temperature and personal effects. Maximize Southern California’s abundant sunshine, use smart controls for energy efficiency, and create an area or defined zones for people to pull back from deadlines and the crush of work to be quiet and get refreshed.

Image Source: Friant

Benefits of Benching Cubicles

Benefits of Benching Cubicles

Benching cubicles merge the desire for close collaboration among employees while offering the personal space needed for focused work. An office can still have a friendly, open feel while defining work space.

Selecting Benching Cubicles

A variety of flexible configurations are available for benching cubicles. Guidelines for selecting a design that best fits an office can take traits into consideration like:

  • Collaboration Versus Privacy
  • Personal Storage Needs
  • Interaction With Clients and Vendors
  • Use Of Height-Adjustable Workstations

Benching cubicles can be configured in many different ways. Arrangements are flexible to accommodate either a few people or several employees working in close proximity.

Some cubicles have a minimal design like the Razor Cubicle Height Adjustable Table by Open Plan Systems. Others, like the Initiate Workstation by HON, maximize personal space while using translucent partitions that allow light to filter through the office.

Reasons to Use Benching Cubicles

Setting up and installing a benching cubicle is easy. As a company grows and changes occur, new configurations can happen in a way that’s fluid—no tearing out walls or displacing lots of workers.

This system is a good example of mass customization. The partitions and use of height-adjustable workstations can be customized for just a few employees or dozens of people. A company can use specific styles and office layouts to reflect its brand.

Flexibility and quality materials are one and the same. Today’s systems are designed to last and withstand heavy use.

Secondary Benefits of Benching Cubicles

A clean, well-designed office attracts the best talent on the market and makes workers from all generations feel comfortable. Benching cubicles can provide a logical flow in the workplace while allowing for workers to personalize their space. The feeling of a shared, positive experience or sense of community is important for younger hires.

Benching cubicle partitions, plus accessories like plants and attractive storage units, can absorb sound and create boundaries so private space and workspace is respected. If someone is walking from the front door to a back area, they don’t have to feel like they’re stepping on someone’s toes or invading a personal boundary.

Benching cubicles along with modular lounge chairs can also give workers the freedom to take business calls or work on their laptops in different locations. People don’t have to be tied to a desk. Every workplace has a style that’s unique to the corporate culture.

Image Source: OFS

Get Moving to Promote a Healthy Office

Get Moving to Promote a Healthy Office

Promoting wellness for a healthy office is as simple as stand, stretch and walk. Office wellness programs should begin with a focus on common sense and lifestyle tips. All of them should be budget-friendly and many don’t have to cost anything at all.

Why Movement is Important

Healthy people move regularly. That doesn’t mean you need strenuous workouts or need to arrange an office killer hike. But getting up to walk briskly for about five minutes each hour will get blood circulating and reduce strain on the body’s joints. Movement also promotes blood flow to the brain so foggy thinking is cleared up.  Consider walking or stretching in the office with a colleague. Have a chat about a client account or professional goals while on the move – at least on occasion. A write-up in the Harvard Business Review, How Simply Moving Benefits Your Mental Health, describes that moving in sync with someone else boosts self-esteem, and overall healthy office.

Now, get moving.

Standing

For someone working on an intense project, it’s tempting to sit at a desk and gradually slump over a computer screen. Gravity begins pushing on the head and straining the muscles along the shoulders. Eventually, the spine becomes mis-aligned from the pressure since an average head weighs from ten to fourteen pounds. A height-adjustable desk or height-adjustable workstation offers a standing break. This isn’t about burning calories since standing won’t burn many at all. A new perspective, though, can generate new ideas and reduce strain on the lower back. Adjustable desks are flexible not just in their movements, but also in their configurations like the G2 Height Adjustable Desk from OFS. This allows each office to be arranged based on personal preferences.

Walking

This is one of the easiest ways to move and promote a healthy office. At the top of the hour, or once every 90 minutes, get up and walk briskly around the office for about five minutes. Improvise by going up and down a staircase or taking a walking break outside.  Brisk strides can burn the calories that standing won’t. It’s a good way to chat with a colleague over important issues, too.

Stretching

Gently stretching the arms, legs and torso is an easy way to promote movement and maintain a healthy range of motion. The goal with stretching is to reduce or eliminate musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The most common MSD complaints center around lower back, neck and shoulder pain.  Some industries and occupations are more at risk than others for MSDs, including nursing, workers in light manufacturing facilities and warehouse and construction operations.

But sitting in one place without moving is also a problem for a healthy office. Here’s why: have you ever seen a RV sit in a driveway for a long period of time without being driven?  Problems occur. Tires start going flat because air isn’t properly distributed. Hoses crack from lack of use and the Southern California sun beats down on seams.  The principal of movement is the same for our bodies. Inaction leads to various health problems and challenges while regular movements keep the staff limber and healthy.

Image Source: Global Terina Tables

Tips for Creating an Inter-Generational Workplace

Tips for Creating an Inter-Generational Workplace

Many don’t even think about it, but having an inter-generational workplace can sometimes have its diffulties.  A company with Baby Boomers on one end of the spectrum and new college grads entering the workforce on the other has a challenge in creating an appealing office environment for both. Copying fads and trends isn’t the answer. Promote trust and integrity with a focus on achieving the company’s goals and mission.

Here are easy to follow guidelines in designing an office space where different generations can thrive.

Generational Workplace Tip #1 – Make Distinct Areas

Create spaces within offices that have clear functions. If individuals are taking breaks from their work, then respect those private areas and don’t hold impromptu work-related meetings. Instead, create conference areas using walls that are easily installed or removed.

Offices that are designed to promote collaboration should also provide break areas that are removed from workstations. Personal phone calls and conversations are less likely to create distractions.

Don’t try to create the perfect working environment, but plan functional spaces that allow work to get accomplished and areas for individuals to take breaks.

Generational Workplace Tip #2 – Work Space

Baby Boomers had parents who came from an era when executive workplaces had a lot of private offices. Southern California’s aerospace industry, automobile manufacturing, and sprawling studio lots came from that era.  High tech companies transformed formal, private workspaces into more casual shared space with emphasis on collaboration. Younger workers may focus more on personal feelings and relationships.

Keep a company’s goals front and center as the unifying factor between the generations.  Use modular workspaces to encourage collaboration while allowing for as much privacy as possible. Open plan benching solutions like the G Series Desk Lounge provide one way to strike a balance.

Generational Workplace Tip #3 – Personal Space

Offices have used numerous approaches to make work less stressful, and a bit more playful.  Ping pong tables and foosball are some ways that companies have sought to interject an atmosphere of play into work. Installing slides that go from the second to first floors is also another idea and can seem fun to some but infantile to others.

Lounge chairs make a statement and also help with personal spaces. Some are highly individualized like the Connection Zone by KI. It signifies that someone is seeking private time to make a call or read.  Furniture like the Agora Vog offers more versatility and allows for employees to be alone or meet in clusters as desired.

Some workers face tough realities in their lives outside of work. Single moms, grandparents involved with grandchildren and their own parents, and dual income families face unique stresses. Personal space at work can help them juggle the many complex responsibilities they face.

Generational Workplace Tip #4 – Uncluttered Space

Clean pathways from one area to another allow people to focus. Clutter dissipates energy. Use workstations that have plenty of personal storage space such as the Interra Cubicle and arrange filing cabinets and other storage solutions to mark work areas.

Image Source: Friant

Creating a Great Office Design to Boost Employee Potential

Creating a Great Office Design to Boost Employee Potential

Creating a great office design that appeals to the people who work there is a recent, and important trend in office layout and planning. Does your office provide an environment that’s productive and comfortable? Have you taken a holistic look at it?  Interestingly enough, past design principles that rolled out in the 1950’s are still very strongly in play today.  Read on and learn how to evaluate your workplace to help create a great office design that can help boost employee potential.

When Offices Started Shifting

The layout of offices from the industrial era of the 20thcentury were usually set up in a hierarchy. Employees were meant to come in and serve the company with little thought given to the employee experience. Heavy manufacturing of automobiles and steel, along with aerospace, fueled much of the nation’s economy and provided high-paying jobs for executives and for laborers.  Office design and planning usually reflected the rigid patterns needed to produce the end products. The workplace was typically “rote and uninspired” as author Nikil Saval describes in his book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace.  A new view came along during the mid-century, wrote Saval, when two German brothers who worked in the furniture business with their father started a consulting company. They saw an office as “an organic whole, made up of finely interlinking parts and an enormously complex network of paper flow.”  Their work, roughly translated as “office landscape,” led to the start of the break room and gave an early model for an open office design with limited use of mobile partitions and plants to create sections.

Questions to Ask About Your Office

The digital revolution has changed the world as much as the industrial revolution and has led to new office layouts. Flexibility, comfort and employee wellness are key. Workstations with height-adjustable surfaces and modular lounge chairs offer creative ways to meet employee needs.

Consider this to evaluate your own office styles and needs.

  • What phase is your company in: start-up with funding, a mature corporation or somewhere in between?
  • Do you have an open office arrangement, cubicles, or a mix?
  • Does the space seem cluttered or not used effectively?
  • If a new employee comes onboard, how do you decide where the new hire will work?
  • Do you have many project or freelance workers who only need occasional spaces?
  • Are your office workstations and chairs ergonomic and promote wellness?
  • Are there designated focus or concentration zones?
  • Do you use plants effectively?
  • Are wires exposed and risk being trip hazards?
  • Have you maximized the flow of natural light?

Future Proofing for a Great Office Design

Future office trends are happening right now. They include: maximizing natural light to boost morale and productivity, using energy smart devices and downloading apps to make mobile communication as seamless as possible.  In addition, designating collaborative work areas as well as separate zones set aside for personal focus will continue to put emphasis on employee well-being.

Remember, in a competitive marketplace, a well-planned office environment provides an advantage. Create an organic flow in an office layout and employees become more engaged, than if they feel they’re just showing up to a haphazard arrangement of desks and chairs.  Employees see their working environment as an extension of the company’s brand. They perform the tasks that attract customers and clients, and they’re the first to know if the brand promise is authentic or not.

Image Source: OFS Obeya

Designing Your Office for Better Inter-Office Communication

Designing Your Office for Better Inter-Office Communication

Communicating well in an inter-office setting is more than just having a conversation or written memos exchanged between two or more people. Well-designed and planned spaces promote collaboration and sharing ideas.  This leads to an in-depth understanding of goals and objectives and how to reach them boosts productivity and morale. The end result leads to satisfying outcomes for customers and for employees.  Read on below and keep key furnishings in mind that impact inter-office communication.

Re-Imagine Office Walls

Walls are barriers. They define space and through much of the 20thcentury, walls stood between executives and the rest of the company.  The open-office concept has brought the walls down, but sometimes they’re necessary. For large open-office spaces, the right kinds of architectural walls can provide quiet zones where teams can pore over documents and plans without disturbing other workers.  Manufacturer Trendway has three distinct types of easy-install walls: the Clear Wall with options related to clear glass or glazing; the Trendwall, a solution that’s more sustainable than drywall; and the Volo Wall which features attractive movable panels.  Remember to use walls to guide inter-office communication, not prevent it.

Replace the Traditional Cubicle

Cubicles now offer personalization and customization that are more appealing than the old-school, traditional gray ones. Today’s office cubicle options define space, allow for privacy, but invite collaboration. In addition, many have removable panels as the need for privacy changes.  A plus is choosing cubicles that maximize the flow of natural light, which is known to be a morale booster.  The Friant System 2 has attractive colors and styles that are easy to configure and reconfigure.  Initiate Workstation by Hon offers durability and long-term value. It provides an appealing space for individuals and yet offers room for quick huddles and conversations, contributing to improved inter-office communication.

Create Conversation Spaces

Open, informal spaces can encourage conversation and flow of ideas. Or they can be areas to delve into topics that are mission-critical.  A wide variety of creative seating arrangements are available to meet the personality of any office.  Coact from First Office fits in offices that have flexible seating arrangements or structured private offices. It balances structure and freedom.  Supportive and cushioned chairs are available with the Domo Lounge by Arcadia. Tablet and power port accessories are also available to power your electronic devices.  You can also customize tables to accommodate spreading out charts and supporting documents.  Remember to match furnishings with your company’s communication style to encourage collaboration and positiveinteractions.

Inter-Office Communication

Checking off these items above will surely contribute to better inter-office communication, and can help integrate it into your company culture — all in all promoting an office that his more productive, successful and happy.