NeoCon 2019 Winners

NeoCon 2019 Winners

CONTRACT MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES NEOCON  2019 WINNERS

Every year, Contract Magazine hosts the Best of NeoCon Competition which surveys the latest and greatest in commercial product design and highlights standout entries in various design categories.  The 2019 winners were announced during an awards breakfast on June 10 at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, where eighty-three awards and recognitions   were given, including six Editor’s Choice awards, eight Innovation awards, and a Best of Competition prize.  Below are all winners from this year’s competition. Drumroll and envelopes please!—Here are the Best of NeoCon 2019 winners:

Acoustic Panels & Solutions

Gold: Snowsound: FLAT
Silver: Luxxbox: Linea Acoustic LED Lighting System

Acoustic Privacy & Modular Solutions

Gold: OFS: Leant To
Silver: Framery Acoustics: Framery 2Q


(Image Source – OFS: Leant To)

Architectural & Decorative Glass

Silver: Skyline Design: Oblique & Chevron

Architectural Products

Gold and Best of Competition: OFS: Obeya
Silver: Connectrac: Flex


(Image Source – OFS: Obeya)

Carpet: Broadloom

Gold: Tarkett: Tatami System
Silver: Mohawk Group: Textural Effects

Carpet: Contract Area Rugs

Innovation: Mohawk Group: Connecting Neurons Definity

Carpet: Modular

Gold: Patcraft: Deconstructed Felt
Silver: Shaw Contract: Suited

Case Goods

Gold: HALCON: HALO Office
Silver: Herman Miller: Geiger One Casegoods

Conference Room Furniture

Gold: Nucraft: Alev
Innovation: Tuohy Furniture Corp.: Meich Tables
Silver: Andreu World: Reverse Wood

Education Solutions

Gold: VS America: JUMPER
Silver: Keilhauer: Buncha

Flooring: Hard Surface LVT & Planks

Gold: Patcraft: Handloom
Innovation: Metroflor Corp.: Metroforms with Attraxion Magnetic Attachment Technology
Silver: Milliken & Co.: Change Agent LVT

Furniture Collections for Collaboration

Gold: Steelcase: Flex Collection
Innovation: Teknion: Bene Box
Silver: STYLEX: Free Address


(Image Source – STYLEX: Free Address)

Furniture Systems & Enhancements

Gold: Watson Furniture Group: Cloud 9 Rail
Silver: HALCON: HALO Office

Furniture: Benching

Gold: Innovant: Cross Benching

Healthcare Fabrics & Textiles

Gold: Designtex: Biophilia 2.0
Silver: CF Stinson: Chiaroscuro Collection

Healthcare Flooring

Gold: Teknoflor: Coordination Collection
Silver: Mohawk Group: True Hues

Healthcare Guest & Lounge Seating

Gold: Kwalu: Prizzi Lounge
Healthcare Patient Seating
Silver: Spec Furniture: Tailor HD

Lighting: Decorative & Hospitality

Gold: Eaton: Shaper Sense Acoustic LED Luminaires
Silver: LightArt: Acoustic Wing

Lounge Furniture Collections

Gold: Haworth Inc.: Cabana Lounge
Silver: Andreu World: Rap Sofa

Movable Walls

Gold: Teknion: Tek Vue
Silver: Allsteel: Beyond Pavilion

Office Accessories

Gold: Allsteel: Radii
Silver: Watson Furniture Group: Cloud 9 Cart and Garage

Seating: Bar Stools

Editors’ Choice: Martin Brattrud: Cumbia
Gold: Davis Furniture Industries: Muse Barstool

Seating: Benches

Editors’ Choice: Nienkämper: Heartbeat
Gold: Green Furniture Concept: Nova C Perch
Silver: Allermuir: Axyl Bench


(Image Source – Allermuir: Axyl Bench)

Seating: Conference

Gold: OFS: Kasura
Silver: Davis Furniture Industries: M75

Seating: Ergonomic Desk/Task

Gold: via seating: Younique
Silver: Nightingale Corp.: NLC


(Image Source – Via Seating: Younique)

Seating: Guest

Gold: Allermuir: Kin
Silver: Andreu World: Gala

Seating: Outdoor Contract & Hospitality

Silver: Andreu World: Nuez Outdoor

Seating: Sofas & Lounge

Gold: Andreu World: Rap sofa
Silver: Green Furniture Concept: Nova C Recliner

Seating: Stacking

Gold: Sandler Seating: HDS 1.1
Silver: SitOnIt Seating | IDEON: Mika


(Image Source – SitOnIt Seating: Mika)

Signage & Wayfinding

Gold: Takeform: Lucid Refined Interior Signage
Silver: 2/90 Sign Systems: SafeCare Signs

Space Dividers/Partitions/Screens

Gold: Clarus Glassboards: Flex Wall
Silver: Naava: Naava Flow

Tables: Communal & Task

Gold: Nucraft: Epono
Silver: Davis Furniture Industries: Inform


(Image Source – Nucraft: Epono)

Tables: Height-Adjustable/Training/Work

Editors’ Choice: Versteel: Sky
Gold: Watson Furniture Group: Cloud 9 Desk
Silver: Senator International: Array


(Image Source – Senator International: Array)

Tables: Occasional

Editors’ Choice: Studio TK: Freehand Occasional Tables
Gold: Nucraft: Alev
Innovation: Davis Furniture Industries: Lift

Technology-Integrated Solutions

Gold: Steelcase: Roam
Innovation: Connectrac: Flex
Silver: National Lighting: Revive

Textiles: Upholstery

Editors’ Choice: Wolf Gordon: VEER
Editors’ Choice: Luum Textiles: Future Tense Collection
Gold: HBF: Lost & Found
Innovation: Haworth Inc.: Haworth Knits
Silver: Momentum Group: Architectural Textures Collection

Wall Treatments

Innovation: Momentum Group: Woven Silica
Silver: Designtex: Metallic Wallcoverings

Workplace Technologies

Gold: CF Stinson: designMix with colorAI
Silver: FreeAxez: Gridd Mobile

See NeoCon 2018 Winners
Resources: www.contractdesign.com

Choosing the Best Benching or Desking Workstations in Los Angeles

Choosing the Best Benching or Desking Workstations in Los Angeles

Benching / Desking in Los Angeles Digital Media

Digital media is a major force in Los Angeles’ entertainment industry and desking workstations are helping media companies equip their offices. Beyond the big studio names are a myriad of a smaller businesses providing services like visual effects and developing the next distribution technology. Change is a constant.  The workstations make it easy in an open office setting to expand with new hires and re-arrange departments without having to knock out walls.  Take a closer look at the benching or desking options and their benefits.

Interaction

Desking workstations allow for fluid interaction in an open office setting. They can meet a variety of needs.

Let’s say a production company needs dedicated space for handling the details of a shoot in LA or across the country, then a system like the Teamworx Open Plan Desking can work quite well. It creates a private work area while remaining open and accessible.  Need a few writers or programmers developing a web presence sitting together? Then the Hover Height Adjustable Table by Deskmakers can seamlessly fit a small group and provide personal and work storage space.

Efficiency

In an office that moves at the speed of light, communicating quickly with co-workers and then turning back to focus personally on work becomes absolutely necessary. A desking workstation like the Voi Open Plan Workstation by Hon has a sleek design and brings collaboration into the open office environment.

Movement

Many office environments don’t require employees to sit in the same spot throughout the day. Movement can trigger creativity and solutions to challenges. Create options for those who like to stretch or work at another setting for a while.  Benching or desking workstations like the G Series Desk Lounge or the Eleven Workspace Open Plan can accommodate non-assigned seating.  Or create a break area using modular lounge chairs that allow for personal space or are easily pulled together for small group discussions.

Defining Space with Desking

Walls aren’t the only way to define space.  Use whiteboards, office plants, and attractive tables or bookcases with can hold fresh coffee and healthy snacks to define specific work areas based on functions or departments.  Office plants are proven to invigorate workers while refreshing the air and absorbing sound.  Whiteboards can be rolled in place or shared for team meetings. Rather than have one break area, why not have a few smaller areas with fresh coffee, tea, muffins, fruit and vegetables brought in?

Employees like flexibility but they don’t want a feel that something is cheap and temporary. Benching or desking workstations are easily assembled, allow for flexible designs and yet are manufactured to last.

Use Benching Cubicles for Increased Collaboration in Los Angeles

Use Benching Cubicles for Increased Collaboration in Los Angeles

A Closer Look

The open office layout came about in part when tech firms had to boot-strap until investors stepped in, concepts were proven and investors funded the operations. In Los Angeles, established corporations along with start-ups and university departments have open office layouts but use systems like benching cubicles to differentiate departments.  Take a closer look at the benefits of the system and what benching cubicles offer to users.

Benching for All Team Players

Benching cubicles work well for managers overseeing a department or cluster of workers and for the team members themselves. Several stations can be configured together to accommodate a couple of people or several can easily be fit and arranged to seat an entire department.  Cubicles originally gave an almost claustrophobic feeling to employees but today’s choices like the Interra Cubicle by Friant allow for a more open, conversing atmosphere.

Benching for Efficient Communication

Benching cubicles have dividers that don’t get in the way like solid walls. Approaching co-workers or managers is easier than in a closed office. Personal interaction becomes organic and for electronic communication, it’s easy to plug in since the cubicles integrate well with technology.  The Accelerate Workstation by Hon is a good example of a system that shows clear boundaries for personal workspace while making the office accessible.

Benching for Department Identity

Form and function both come into play when choosing benching cubicles for an office. A finance department can have a completely different set up than a marketing team while a production group may want something even more unique.  The Crossroads Workstation by ODS has one style that can work for more numbers crunching and data entry compared to the Initiate Workstation by Hon that has a more traditional use of personal space.  Planning an office space well requires thinking through work functions and departmental relationships. It can’t be an afterthought. An office that designs work areas that truly support the workers has an easier time of attracting top talent than companies who simply fit desks together.

Whether refreshing an existing office or setting up a new office entirely, consider how benching cubicles, compared to desks and workstations, impact office flow and sharing information.

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

Use Benching Workstations to Create A Cohesive Workspace in Los Angeles

Use Benching Workstations to Create A Cohesive Workspace in Los Angeles

Companies of all sizes in Los Angeles can maximize space and create a positive work environment by using benching workstations. Use our office layout system guide below for a seamless flow from the front door to the storage areas.

Flow

A well-designed office space has a seamless sense of organization whether, it’s a studio in Playa Vista or a high rise in Century City. It’s not just people working away on laptops or chatting with clients and vendors.

It’s important to realize a flow should exist from the moment someone enters the reception area. Consider how the appearance of the reception desk and guest chairs impact an office environment.  An organic flow would lead naturally to a work area with benching workstation configurations. Options include seating for several workers in a length-wise arrangement like the Icon Open Plan Workstation by AMQ.  Create a different brand appearance and visual impact with rounded benching workstations like the Intermix Work Open Plan Desking by First Office or the Verity Open Plan Benching by Friant.

Definition

Imagine a large office space that literally has no internal walls. Areas can easily be defined even in such open office settings. The style of desks and workstations set expectations so walls aren’t needed.

Benching workstations are flexible in their configurations and different shapes can delineate specific departments. A production team of designers or engineers can use one particular shape and cluster while a separate style can be for administration.

Break areas can be established with individual chairs. A creative approach would be using modular lounge chairs to establish relaxation centers between departments or in one central area. This addresses the need for a shared experience while respecting individual privacy and down time.

Expectations

A well-designed office lays out expectations for each area and helps employees respect the company. A 2017 Gallup study, State of the American Workplace, concluded that staff who have a personal area are 1.4 times more likely to be engaged in the workplace.

Space planning and its successful application reflect a company’s brand and speaks to the corporate culture. For younger companies, a cohesive office speaks to staying power and allows workers to look to the future.

An established corporation can refresh its office space using current benching workstation solutions and add a new vibe to the surroundings.

Image Source: Friant

Use Open Plan Workstations to Improve Office Communication in Los Angeles

Use Open Plan Workstations to Improve Office Communication in Los Angeles

Open offices are widely used layouts, so entrepreneurs and office managers in Los Angeles should know how to use open plan workstations to enhance and improve communication.

Cohesion

An office design has to make sense. It takes the pieces of what makes an environment work and brings them into a unified whole. A cohesive design acknowledges the separate entities that interact. Leadership sets the tone and pace, administration supervises the flow of cash and people, while the technical talent and workers make the products and provide the services.

Open plan workstations fit the needs of a variety of for-profit industries and non-profit organizations. Small teams working within larger companies can use open plan workstations in clusters or pods. A creative team working at a mid-size PR firm in Santa Monica can have one designated area for working while account managers can have their own area. A robust non-profit can have admin centered around one style of workstations while the program team can operate in a distinct, designated area using workstations that have a completely different style.

Collaboration

Sharing ideas face to face is an important form of collaboration. An open plan workstation gives team members chances to have conversations and focus on the ideas that matter. The design and spacing has to work in everyone’s favor.

Critics say that open offices killed collaboration. Reseacher Ethan Bernstein of the Harvard Business School (HBS) tracked workers who moved from cubicles to an open office setting and found that they tried to avoid collaboration rather than seek it out. In a July 2018 article for HBS, The Open Office Revolution has Gone Too Far, Bernstein says that workers who have a constant audience may try hard to look busy, put on headphones and avoid interaction.

Open plan workstations aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach. A variety of configurations are available to match personalities and departmental demands. The Synapse Open Plan Benching by Deskmakers is straight-forward while the Crossroads Workstation is a “revolutionary take on office furniture systems.”  Smart planning will configure workstations to allow for collaboration when necessary and provide space for individuals to focus.

Communication

Office communication is much more than one employee talking to another. Communication includes emails, keeping company social media accounts up to date, and phone calls with vendors, clients and potential new clients.

A growing office is a buzzing place. How do you keep the communication in its proper channels?  In an open office, a space without walls, departments can have their own open plan workstations in well-defined areas. In the center of the floor, create a place for phone calls or in-person conferences using modular walls and focused meeting pods. Shared equipment like copiers can be off to one side that’s easily accessible by each area.

An open office can be a vibrant place that attracts top talent when it’s laid out effectively. Use open plan workstations to not only improve office communication but also support specific goals and objectives.

Image Source: Global Sidebar

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

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.