Now’s the Time for Inspired Office Designs Ideas Post Covid

Office Designs Ideas Post Covid OFS Rowen Lounge

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article on how to help protect workers are NOT from health experts, and have not been medically tested nor proven as an effective cure or prevention for COVID-19 or any other diseases.)

The 2020 covid pandemic have drastically changed the ways we work and live.  If there’s ever a time to look at office design ideas post covid, it’s now.

We now know how much work can get accomplished remotely. Employees can easily flourish in their home offices, and numerous surveys show how the majority of office workers feel just fine not coming into the corporate office.

So is the workplace finished?

Hardly.

Take a clue from big corporations. In September 2020, Amazon Music signed a lease agreement for a 40,000 square foot space in Brooklyn. That’s in addition to leases in Seattle and other tech companies signing leases in other cities. They must be expecting workers to show up again in real life.

Companies have an opportunity to break away from the same old approach using typical desks and chairs, or simply setting up workstations without much thought to the surroundings.

The corporate office can’t just be about functioning and completing tasks, because many functions can be done in home offices.

“It’s not a time to design a workplace of the future that looks a lot like the past, only more spaced out,” writes David Schwarz on Workdesign.com. “[Create] interactive, multi-sensory experiences that put collaboration and culture at the center.”

A positive office setting will bring people together to share an experience.

Creating the New Office Experience

How do you envision new office design ideas post covid? It’s more than just bodies occupying desks and ergonomic chairs.

Think through colors and furnishings that reflect your brand and foster an atmosphere of creativity and problem solving.


Photo: HON Concinnity Desk

The 2010 Office Furniture Office Inspirations Gallery reveals settings that combine home décor with the work environment; minimal and abstract design; industrial and open office design. Offices support company goals, but the trend is bringing people together and is really an extension of ergonomics—making sure the environment is equipped to help people do their best.


Photo: Rouillard Lead X Chair

But there’s another key to an office that’s designed effectively: flexibility.

Why is that important?

It’s one of the traits that keeps top talent engaged so that they feel a part of the company’s culture and want to stay put.

Look back to the Gensler 2016 Workplace Survey that links innovation to office design:

“The most innovative companies provide their organizations with a diversity of well-designed spaces in which to collaborate and to focus, as well as empowering employees with the ability to work when and where it best suits their work needs.”

Designing a Community

What kind of spaces are needed in today’s office?  These are key when planning and gathering office design ideas post covid:

  • Individual spaces to focus
  • Conference rooms to brainstorm
  • Social spaces to interact with co-workers over coffee and lunch

Does the office have to be all things to all employees?

Evaluate your expectations for your workers. Do you grumble if they don’t come into the office? You can decide if you want to hold them accountable or trust them to do their best and deliver so that corporate benchmarks are met and exceeded.

Top talent doesn’t stay put in one place.

The Gensler Survey that was conducted five years ago reports that “innovators report spending only 74% of the work week at the office.”

They were twice as likely as non-innovators to use “cafeterias, coffee shops, and outdoor spaces.”

Don’t design a workplace to keep people in one place, but aim to link people together in supportive relationships.  This is very important and at the heart of office design ideas post covid.

Aligning with Nature in the City

Los Angeles is a sprawling urban center and yet it has amazing natural elements—the beaches and cool breezes from the South Bay and Playa Vista, north to Malibu. Then there’s the ever-present Mount Wilson, visible throughout the year from downtown Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley, and other cities to the south.

Bring in the sunshine that bathes the region and make the office green to boost morale.

An example of a unique office setting is Second Home, a co-working company based in London with a two-acre campus in Hollywood. The website makes a bold claim—they’re “LA’s healthiest work space.”

There’s plenty of greenery inside and outside in a space that was formerly a parking lot. Fresh air is pumped into offices. They make use of the comfortable climate with working areas that are “60% outdoors, 40% indoors, and 100% clean.”

Second Home maximizes the use of sunshine with light wells that were cut into the two-story main building to bring daylight to the bottom floor. Breezeways were created to circulate fresh air.

The lead designer on the office space, Diego Cano-Lasso, told the Los Angeles Times that “How architecture relates with the environment is crucial to our well-being.”

Second Home is an office experience that’s not easily copied, or can’t be copied, in a home office.

What if you’re in an office tower in a city like Irvine, near the John Wayne Airport, and it isn’t possible to create a lush outdoor garden and none of the windows are designed to open?

Plan a Green Office with plenty of plants, natural light, and organic fabrics. It’s highlighted on 2010 Office Furniture’s Office Inspirations.


Photo: OFS Grow Up & Roo Planter

Design indoor-outdoor spaces for trainings or other uses.

The sheriff’s department in Contra Costa County has a conference room that seats up to 175 people. If that space fills up then “the back wall can be opened up entirely to a shaded patio via a glass garage door, to accommodate another 100 people,” as described in Metropolis Magazine on Post-Covid outdoor workspaces.This creates flexible multi-use work areas.


Photo: Nevins Bio Canvas Divider

Imagination and Resources

Covid created challenges that forced companies to reimagine how they’d get work done. Now the future is here, and it’s the best time to reimagine your office space.  With 2010 Office Furniture’s space planning expertise and wide array of office furniture products, it’s easier more than ever to create a workspace that reflects the times as well as your brand.

We Can Help You With Office Designs Ideas Post Covid

Our team at 2010 Office Furniture has worked with some of the most recognizable brands around Los Angeles and Orange County, plus leading nonprofits and small businesses that are expanding. Through it, we’ve gained more than 50 years combined experience and knowledge on the furnishings that build brands and help keep employees engaged in their work.

Contact us for a consultation on your next projec.  We can help you with suitable office design ideas post covid.

Read Also: Work From Home Office Furniture
Main Photo: OFS Rowen and Wyre Lounge
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: HONNevins, OFSRouillard

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article on how to help protect workers are NOT from health experts, and have not been medically tested nor proven as an effective cure or prevention for COVID-19 or any other diseases.)

Designing a Healthy Office

Designing a Healthy Office

Designing a healthy office is important in fostering an environment where morale is high and people are productive. Employees are motivated to work as a team and focused on their tasks, instead of how to handle their aches and pains.

But what is a healthy office setting and how do you achieve a place where people are comfortable and productive?

Let’s start with the basics, like how you sit and do your work.

Ergonomics

Ergonomics in designing a healthy office refer to the equipment designed to help people accomplish their tasks in a way that creates minimal stress on the body. Today’s height-adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs allow users to sit with proper posture so their eyes are focused on the screen at the right level while at the same time the joints in their bodies endure as little stress as possible.


Photo: OFS Impulse G2 Private Office

The strain on the wrists, elbows, knees and lower back is greatly reduced.

Ergonomic chairs come in an array of colors and shapes. But you should always look for quality lumbar support that adjusts easily to body weight and movement.

Since office workers sit for hours per day, a quality chair promotes physical health. But so does getting up at regular intervals.

Ergonomics applies to other areas, too, like talking on a cell phone.

Promote the use of speaker phone or the use of headphones to avoid cradling the phone on the neck and shoulders for prolonged periods. Tilting the head too much toward a computer screen or to one side of a shoulder gradually causes misalignment.

Designing a Healthy Office with Movement

Movement is key in design a healthy office. Humans are built to be active and if we remain sedentary for hours on end, then our bodies and minds are going to pay a price. After a couple of hours working at a desk, encourage your team to get up and move for about 10 minutes to 15 minutes.

This can be taking a brisk walk down a hallway, getting a drink of water, or taking a laptop and continuing to work at a lounge area.

Height-adjustable desks can be useful to promote movement as well since they make it easy to go from sitting to standing.


Photo: Humanscale eFloat Standing Desk

However, the main reason to get up and move around the office isn’t to burn calories but help the blood circulate. Don’t overlook this aspect of having a healthy workforce.

When blood is flowing well through the body, it also means that it’s circulating in the head, and that reduces foggy brain syndrome. And a clear head increases productivity.

An article in Harvard Health, “More movement, better memory,” notes that the center of learning and memory in our brain is the hippocampus. It’s located in the medial temporal lobe, a region that benefits from exercise.

Participants in the study were an average of 65 years old and enrolled in an aerobics class for 20 weeks. There was no change in the body mass index, but researchers “found that those who exercised showed a greater ability to rearrange and reconfigure nerve connections in their brain. This allowed them to better learn and retain information, and then logically apply that information in a new situation.”

Movement is healthy.

Indoor Air Quality

If you’re concerned about the smoggy air outside, then you’ll want to clean your indoor air. According to estimates published on Allwork.space, we spend about 90% of our time indoors where offices with poor ventilation will have air that is two to five times more toxic than outside.

  • Regularly clean the vents used for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system
  • Open windows occasionally to boost indoor air flow
  • Rebalance or adjust HVAC systems to increase total airflow to occupied spaces when possible

You can also bring nature inside and use indoor plants. They do their part in cleaning pollutants and freshening the air, and definitely help in designing a healthy office.


Photo: OFS Yelly and Kasura Seating

Light and Color

Designing a healthy office means creating an environment that’s good for both our physical health and mental well-being. There’s even a discipline known as chromotherapy, based on findings that color and colored lights can help treat both our physical and mental health.

Colors have their own traits:

  • Blue signifies the intellect
  • Red impacts courage and strength
  • Yellow is an emotional color that represents creativity
  • Green is for harmony, representing nature and balance
  • Orange creates a sense of comfort because it blends the physicality of red and the emotional trait of yellow

In addition to colors, natural light is a proven mood booster.

Assess how you use colors in your work environment. Where can you maximize the flow of natural light? Are there barriers in the way of windows?

Using cubicles and clear modular walls in place of solid walls or other barriers can brighten the office space.


Photo: OFS Skara and Saven Rocker Seating

Now get some inspiration for how your office can look—make it more modern and bright, or tone it down and give it an industrial look. You can even make it appear homey and warm with a resimercial approach.


Photo: Source International Lore Lounge

Morale

The goal of planning office space and creating an upbeat look is to boost morale and guide your team in working at their best levels. This is good for the company’s bottom line, but it also leads to professional satisfaction for team members and keeps them engaged with your brand.

We’re Here to Help you in Designing a Healthy Office

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than 50 years of experience equipping Southern California’s leading corporations, centers of higher education, and small-to-medium sized businesses.

Contact us and share your space planning and office furnishing needs. We’ll be glad to share solutions.

Read Also: Energize Your Office with Movement
Main Photo: Humanscale Ergonomics
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Humanscale, Source International & OFS

Essentials for the Corporate and Home Office Spaces

Essentials for the Corporate and Home Office Spaces

Employees working remotely are no longer an exception.  In the aftermath of Covid-19, companies have learned to accept employees working from both corporate and home office spaces, as well as other remote places.

The corporate office is still necessary. Goals that fulfill the mission of the company begin in a central location and move outward, like spokes from the center of a bicycle wheel.

The main office, home offices, and third spaces like coffee shops and co-working sites all serve a specific purpose and fulfill a need.

What is essential for a company’s primary office and remote locations to function well?

Start with clear goals.

Office Essentials: The Goal

Companies are in business because they sell products or provide services that customers either need or want. Simple. Nonprofit organizations offer programs to meet community needs.

When the goals are clear, workers know what’s expected of them.

Office environments exist to provide a number of functions that range from designing and producing the products or tracking the services that are provided.

An office supports the work through a layout that promotes an efficient flow of work with equipment ranging from workstations to modems and printers.

A key element in a successful corporate and home office design is that the environment is planned and designed to support the workers so they can readily complete their tasks.

Reaching the Goal: Mission and Vision

Companies with clear missions and a vision on moving forward have a subtle, but clear advantage over competitors. There’s a framework that guides decisions on everything from improving operations to engaging in new marketing opportunities.

Office morale also impacts business. Although it’s intangible, lack of morale is evident in employee listlessness or a resignation to doing a job. An office design can help boost the overall morale by providing a pleasant atmosphere with pleasing colors and comfortable fabrics.

People today seek community, and companies that offer a flexible community where talent is respected will operate with a higher degree of morale and productivity than those who see their employees as commodities.

Office planning and design lays the foundation for bringing workers together.

Supportive Environments

There’s not one specific type of corporate and home office setting that works best. People can adapt to their surroundings, but you’ll do well to draw from your brand and the image you give to customers. Develop a supportive environment based on design.

Design for Corporate and Home Office Spaces

The Office Inspirations page of the 2010 Office Furniture website offers a look at the style that fits different personalities.

Does a minimalist approach reflect your operations? If so, then check the Modern Industrial office. This works especially for companies that operate without much of a hierarchy.


Photo: Senator Group Pailo Workstation


Photo: SitOnIt Sona Chair

This is a look that Google has used in the office it opened in Pittsburgh, keeping a brick wall and elements that pay heritage to the industrial past of the area.

If your office is in or near an urban village setting like Old Town Pasadena or Westwood, then consider the Upbeat Contemporary office.


Photo: Allermuir Famiglia Chair

Colors and the styles of workstations have a psychological impact, even if it’s subtle. This sets the tone.

Think of it this way:

  • How well does your equipment work?
  • Is it newer or older?
  • Do your chairs and workstations adequately flex to your workers’ shapes or do people have to adjust to the equipment?
  • Is there plenty of natural light flowing through the area or is it relatively dark?
  • Is there a soothing and pleasant color scheme throughout or are the walls an older basic color?

A home office can have minimal standards, too. Quality desking, ergonomic chairs and adequate lighting are the basics.

Establish a positive tone in both the corporate and home office to signal your care and concern for the team.

Use Quality, Ergonomic Equipment for Corporate and Home Office Spaces

Sitting at a desk isn’t a passive activity. Gravity normally exerts pressure on the neck and shoulders, but the muscles are further aggravated by leaning forward for long periods of time.

And pay attention to the chairs that your team needs. Sitting at awkward angles constricts circulation in addition to stressing the body.

Ergonomic chairs will support a person’s shape and natural movements to ease joint strains. Additionally, height adjustable desks keep a laptop and monitor at eye level to limit the amount of leaning forward. Remember the importance of good lighting to reduce the risk of eye strain.


Photo: Deskmakers Ascend Height Adjustable Desk

Essential Office Protections

Extend the atmosphere of well-being by installing simple protective screens. These can be partitions between desks and work stations that also offer privacy, like the Loftwell Split Space Divider or the Enwork Freestanding Screen.

Counter shields and desktop shields also offer protection so your team can work in the corporate office with confidence.


Photo: Loftwall Desk Shield and Split, Allermuir Famiglia

Get Expert Advice on Corporate and Home Office Spaces

Let the team at 2010 Office Furniture know about your office planning and furnishing needs. They have more than 50 years of combined experience helping Southern California’s most distinguished companies.

Contact them with a phone call or email.

Read Also: Repurpose Your Office Space for the Post-Covid Work World
Main Photo: Source International Fjord Multi-Use Chair
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, Deskmakers, Loftwall, Senator GroupSitOnIt Seating& Source International