Planning an Office that Adapts to the Differing Needs of Employees

Adapting to Employees Allermuir Pause Seating

Your company may have one clear mission and vision statement, but your team is a mix of personalities, body types, schedules, and commutes.  Creating an office space and adapting to employees needs is critical for a successful working environment.

In this age of hybrid schedules and remote working you may have an office space in downtown LA near LA Live and have some employees who live in the Arts District. Others may drive in once or twice a week from the High Desert or Palm Springs.

Some like to stand. Some like to sit—anywhere in the office.

You may have a conference room, but you can also benefit from lounge furniture that can be arranged and re-arranged as needed. It’s an age of multi-use furnishings that serve the dynamics of your office environment.

Let’s see how to design for a range of personalities.

Adapting to Employees’ Physical and Emotional Needs

You can customize your office in many different ways, like equipping for people who have different physical needs and those who have different working habits and styles.

Say you have a finance department where one person likes to sit and another needs to stand for brief periods of time. Height-adjustable desks can be the solutions you need.

Adapting to Employees DeskMakers Ascend Workstation
Photo: Deskmakers Ascend Height Adjustable Workstation

The look and feel of a height-adjustable desk can vary dramatically from one model to another. The DeskMakers Ascend Height Adjustable Desk has a minimalistic appearance. It adjusts easily from one position to another within seconds and comes with many different finishes.

Adapting to Employees Drug Artemis Desk
Photo: Krug Artemis Height Adjustable Desk

For an executive vibe, check the Krug Artemis Height Adjustable Desk.

Get input from your employees so they have buy-in. Ask about their preferences and how they’d like to be accommodated.

Adapting to Employees’ In-Office Working Habits

Not everyone likes to sit at a workstation all day. A change of scenery can help some people be more creative while others prefer stretch breaks and working at different locations throughout the day.

How do you handle the preferences?

HON Abound Workstation
Photo: HON Abound Height Adjustable Workstation

For those who prefer one place to sit and work, equip them with plenty of surface area and set aside boundaries for personal space. The HON Abound Height Adjustable Workstation is a high-tech solution that has numerous configurations. It comes with a wide range of finish options.

Adapting to Employees DARRAN Honey Workspace
Photo: Darran Honey Workspace

A unique solution that’s available is the DARRAN Honey Workspace.

Different styles of cubicles or desks with privacy screens can define personal workspaces and help provide focus.

The Loftwell Split Space Divider can easily fit in new or existing floor plans and it’s also an option for home offices that need separation between personal and professional spaces.


Photo: DeskMakers Synapse Workstations

Does someone need to get away inside the office?

Set aside a lounge area where people can go to answer phones or take their laptops and work. Here are ideas for furnishing the space.

Allermuir Famiglia Chairs
Photo: Allermuir Famiglia Chairs

Use a combination of seating that allows for semi-private conversations and impromptu or planned small-group meetings. A modular seating area that can be arranged and used at the last minute has a distinct advantage over a more formal conference room. It doesn’t have to be reserved and it’s easy to arrange for a small group and then rearrange for the next use.

Look into the ERG International Brighton Modular Lounge Seating, a daring modernization of gathering and meeting spaces.

Adapting to Hybrid and Remote Employees

In many companies, full-time workers may be in the corporate office full-time while others either work remotely or work a hybrid schedule.

Equipping the office to adapt to these schedules includes having flexible office spaces where hybrid and remote workers can settle when they come into the office for meetings. This space can also be used as an area with video conferencing tools for virtual meetings.

What’s a flexible office space?

It could be similar to the lounge area with tables that can easily be set up and taken down when not in use.

It could also be a workstation that’s kept available and is reserved for those who come in for two or three days out of the week.

Adapting to Employees Nevins Volo Media Table
Photo: Nevins Volo Media Table

Install the video conferencing space and tools that are right for you, like the OFS Obeya Architectural Structures or a media table like the Nevins Volow Media Table that fits in any size office space.

You may have a range of people to work with and a variety of expectations to meet, so choose the furnishings that let you adapt to the various needs and create a unified team.

Trust Experience

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than a combined 50 years of experience designing offices and adapting to employees needs.  Trust our experts who’s worked in creating modern office spaces and furnishing clients who are among Southern California’s most successful corporations, universities, and small businesses.

Contact 2010 Office Furniture for input on getting as much value as possible from your office environment.

Read Also: Your Guide to the Best Training Furniture for the Office
Main Photo: Deskmakers Synapse Workstation
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, DARRAN, Deskmakers, HON, Krug, Nevins

Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience

Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience

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

Planning the Current Work Environment


Photo: Friant Novo Workstations

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

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


Photo: Friant Interra Cubicles

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

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

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


Photo: HON Abound Cubicles

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

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


Photo: HON Chicago Showroom

Why does the topic deserve attention?

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

Merging Top-Down, Bottom-Up Strategies

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

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


Photo: Loftwall Desk Shield

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

Make the Office a Community Destination

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

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


Photo: Friant Shield Screens

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

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

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

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

Photo: Loftwall Desk Shield

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

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

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

Tips for creating a community gathering spot include:

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

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

A welcoming office promotes employee engagement.

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

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

Choosing Office Furniture for the Optimal Employee Experience

Choosing Office Furniture for the Optimal Employee Experience

Leading companies focus not just on customer experience, but also pay attention to the employee experience.  Starting with the outside environment, attention is paid to the overall offering of the office buildings.  Offices that are established in historic districts or older buildings are retaining ties with the past, while modern structures remain consistent with the spirit of its design. Inside, a livable atmosphere that’s welcoming and focused on employee comfort and health will continue as a standard to achieve.

Frame the Attitude

Starting the week and each day with the right mindset includes having an inviting atmosphere that doesn’t appear crowded and overwhelming. Office design and set up becomes an important foundation for creating a favorable experience by showing an interest in people. It’s an investment in human capital, the most critical resource for any for-profit or non-profit organization.

Little things matter like having plenty of natural light and outdoor views for a change of scenery while other elements include:

  • Coffee bars
  • Comfortable private spaces and lounges
  • Wellness incentives

Tie in to the Community

A one hundred-year-old Nabisco factory in Pittsburgh is now one of Google’s 21stcentury offices, located on the penthouse floor. A local architectural firm’s design pays homage to the building it occupies by acknowledging the community’s history and links to the present day.  Exposed brick in the reception area with the Google logo over it, along with a huge photo of the well-known Smithfield Street Bridge, are among the touches that connect workers with the surrounding area.

In Southern California, employees often commute from completely separate regions, but we’re familiar with the landscapes. Mountains, the beaches, and sports teams are used as inspirations to connect us with our surroundings and make us feel right at home.

Current office layouts are being driven by the desire for shared ideas and relationships. A drive to communicate and collaborate together is essential for offices to create community.

Create Livable Work Spaces to Enhance Employee Experience

Wellness including ergonomic furniture that promotes movement are ways offices are enhancing the quality of life within the workspace. Work can get stressful, so a livable office that offers relaxing spaces to deal with challenges of winning new accounts or pleasing clients can provide a sense of relief from the daily grind.

Having a sense of freedom is important. Staff members typically like to have their own assigned desks, but being able to be mobile with open lounge areas can create comfort and well-being. Furniture that can adjust from one user to another include adaptable workstations and height-adjustable desks. These acknowledge individual needs.

Want to add movement to a meeting area? Or have an active area be flexible as a meeting area? Options like the Nomad Sport Conference Table can bring a team together.

In Creating an Optimal Employee Experience, a write-up for the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM), employee engagement is often lacking. Younger workers are willing to go work where they think they’ll personally be happiest, and work cultures can’t make lasting fixes through cosmetic approaches alone.

Little things matter in the daily life of a company.  Maximize your office layout and employee experience by exploring what’s possible for your office space. 2010 Office Furniture has extensive experience providing the latest office furniture for large and small companies in Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire, and you can submit your project questions and needs and speak to one of our experts.

Image Source: Friant