Design Your Office Like It’s a Neighborhood Destination

Design Your Office Like It’s a Neighborhood Destination Trendway Volo Wall

Every neighborhood has a unique look and atmosphere and so does your office environment. Single-family homes, apartments, local coffee shops, eateries, and parks make your neighborhood distinct from others.  The same goes with the office, especially now.  When comparing pre-covid / post-covid office design, we realize how important all the different components that make our “office neighborhoods” really are.

Your office should have a unique look and feel based on your company’s culture, branding, and the personalities of employees in their respective positions. Work environments should feel welcome and comfortable.

The neighborhood feel of a company’s office is going to be different than an employee’s home office.

Design your space for movement, mutual support, and the connections that won’t be made anywhere else.

Pre-COVID and Post-COVID Office Comparisons

Comparisons between pre-covid / post-covid office cultures are staggering. Telecommuting has been around for a couple of decades, but the shutdown radically popularized the concept of working remotely.

Pre-Covid / Post-Covid Office SitOnIt Novo Chair
Photo: SitOnIt Seating Novo Chair

Pre-COVID, the City of Los Angeles had only 35 of about 50,000 employees working remotely, according to a write-up on the tech industry website dot.LA. 

Suddenly, in March 2020 about 18,000 employees were allowed to work remotely. And in mid-2021, it was estimated that 60% of the city’s workforce could work a hybrid schedule.

Now that the shutdown is a fading memory, many companies expect employees to spend more time in the office and there’s less enthusiasm for hybrid schedules among big corporations.

By summer 2022, a CNN report noted that Goldman Sachs had all employees back in the office full-time while 90% of JP Morgan’s staff returned at least three days a week. 

Give them a place where they’ll look forward to being in. A well-planned environment helps employees feel fully engaged.

The Perks

Many workers believe they were just as, if not more, productive at home when the pandemic hit as they were in the office. According to career research firm Zippia, about 2/3rds of Americans work remotely, at least part-time. And they like it because they cut down on commute times and feel productive. 

But here’s where the office setting has an edge over a home office or other remote locations.

About half of those surveyed reported that they feel lonely at least once a week. Digging deeper, we find that 19% of work-from-home employees stated “Isolation” as their #1 problem, and 70% felt left out of their workplace.

Build a community feel in your office to engage your employees so they have a positive vibe when coming to the main office.

Turning Data into Office Planning Strategies

Businesses are successful when they meet needs in the marketplace. What if you treated your employees like they were the customers of your in-office brand?

Yes, they have to meet company goals, but if they’re satisfied with the support they receive in their immediate environment then they’ll feel engaged in their work. They’ll make it through daily challenges, and morale will remain positive.

That alone will give your firm a boost over the competition.

Developing an office that has a neighborhood vibe requires thorough planning for space allotment and functionality.

Workstations as Neighborhoods

The aim of the office isn’t just to get work accomplished, because that can be done remotely for many positions. But the purpose is to bring people together in support of company goals even if employees aren’t there 40 hours a week.

Organize workstations for an efficient flow of tasks and the sharing of mission-critical information. Bring one department together in one area, or create specific project areas if people from different departments and skills are needed.

Your neighborhood can change and adapt as projects start and finish.

The DeskMakers TeamWorx Open Plan Desking allows for numerous configurations so your team can give input on how their neighborhood is established. 


Photo: DeskMakers TeamWorx Open Plan Desking

Gathering Spots as Neighborhoods

Just like the General Store is a symbol of where communities gather, your office can have important gathering spots. What better place to start than a conference setting, breakroom, or lounge area?

Pre-Covid / Post-Covid Office OFS Riff Table
Photo: OFS Brands Riff Table

Elevate your conference room from the mundane to a place of inspiration. Select décor that puts the mind at ease. One way is to bring in nature by making green walls with the Nevins Bio Canvas Frame. These acoustic moss frames require no maintenance.

Equip your room with stylish and sleek tables that foster open collaboration and fit well within the space.

Design Your Office Like It’s a Neighborhood Destination Stylex Verve Chairs
Photo: Stylex Verve Chairs

Add character to your meeting areas and equip them with the latest distance communication capabilities by using solutions like the OFS Obeya Architectural Structure. 


Photo: OFS Brands Obeya Architectural Structure

Bring flair to your breakroom and lounge with furnishings that allow for either face-to-face chats or personal private moments in the same setting. 

Consider the ERG International Laguna Lounge Seating which is perfect for a range of public settings and common areas like cafes and lobbies. It’s constructed for maximum enjoyment and reduces the need to constantly shift positions.

Pre-Covid / Post-Covid Office Erg International Laguna Lounge
Photo: ERG International Laguna Lounge Seating

Outdoor Spaces as Neighborhoods

Your outdoor areas may be limited, but it’s crucial to make use of them. Natural light is vital for our well-being and even small patio areas can be reserved for work, periods of relaxation, or as meeting areas.

Set up a canopy, provide durable seating like the SitOnIt Seating InFlex Chair, and use a sturdy table made with steel and aluminum, like the classic-looking Allermuir Turo Table. These options make it easy to freshen up outside.


Photo: Allermuir Turo Table

Turn to 2010 Office Furniture

Wrestling with pre-covid / post-covid office design and ideas?  The experts at 2010 Office Furniture can help, with more than a combined half-century of servicing and supplying clients who are among Southern California’s largest corporations, nonprofit organizations, and robust small businesses.

Contact them with your space planning and furnishing questions and needs to make your office space not only more functional, but a desirable place to work.

Read Also: Design Your Office Space as a Welcome Gathering Place
Main Photo: Trendway Vollo Wall
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, DeskMakers, ERG International,
OFS BrandsSitOnIt Seating and Stylex Seating

Infusing Offices with New Energy Using Fresh Interior Design Office Tips

Interior Design Office Tips Friant System 2 Screen

The upcoming year have many of us starting anew and looking for ways to freshen up our office.  And like most things, we want our workspace to look and feel better, as well as work more efficiently for our needs.  These great interior design office tips not only help revamp and elevate your office space, but truly are more practical than you’d think — and incredibly simple to incorporate.

All in all, it’s all about bringing in new positivity, so don’t forget to have fun.

Interior Design Office Tips ODS Artiv Workstation
Photo: ODS Artiv Workstation

Interior Design Office Tips

Boring office environments should fade away because there are tremendous options available to design a workplace that reflects your brand. Don’t worry about busting budgets since modular furnishings make it possible to start small and expand as needed.

An office that’s planned well can boost morale and be a key to retaining top talent. This leads to greater productivity and profitability.

But how do you capture the best interior?

Plan the Area

The first of these interior design office tips is planning.  Take note of the personnel, their tasks, and how often they’re in the office. Who works full-time, in-office, and who works a hybrid schedule of working in the office and working remotely?

List your needs including:

  • The number of workstations
  • Flexible meeting areas
  • Communication plans with remote workers
  • Storage


Photo: Deskmaker Catalina Storage

Don’t cram an area with furniture; leave open space where possible. This acts like white space on a website to draw people in.

Reflect Your Brand

Designing your office is a reflection of your brand. If you’re a professional firm, you don’t need to be stiff and formal, but you should inspire confidence in your staff and clients who come to visit.

Begin the moment the office door is opened. Make sure the first impressions in the reception area and foyer are well received. Use furnishings that are welcoming so they don’t have the appearance of barriers.


Photo: Global Adaptabilities Reception Desk

Look at the DeskMakers Overture Reception Desk as an example of a light color that also brings a unique wood look into the office.

Have comfortable seating arrangements for visitors who need to wait.

You can also check out 2010 Office Furniture’s Office Inspirations page to see how colors, placement of cubicles, and open plan benching impact the surroundings, in conjunction with these interior design office tips.

Light Up Your Spaces

One of the most important interior design office tips is to address your office lighting.

Stream as much natural light as possible. Enlarge windows, use skylights, or create outdoor spaces on patios and balconies.

Natural light is proven to boost morale, aid employees in being as productive as possible, and helping them to sleep well at night.


Photo: Koncept Gravy Desk Light

A well-lit office is part of the overall use of ergonomics. Check for the best lighting accessories so sore and tired eyes don’t become problems.

Desk lamps, floor lamps, and LED concept lights like the Koncept Mr. GO! Lantern, with a curved light handle, provide the right amount of light at the workstation. You can easily move it around the office or to a common waiting area.

Use Natural Materials

Compact offices can be inviting and reflect a brand just like their sprawling corporate counterparts. Eye-catching concepts bring greenery into the office in unique ways like the Nevins Bio Canvas Frame. It’s a maintenance-free collection of moss, bark, and stone on easy-to-install frames.


Photo: Nevins Bio Canvas

Incorporate Green Office design to bring more of nature into the work setting, known as biophilic design. The concept isn’t new; think back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. This design helps us renew and rekindle our connection to nature.

Get more ideas and learn from a retail tea shop in Brazil that’s home to a popular brand. The shop uses plenty of natural materials and items like rope on the staircase, as seen on Dezeen.com.

Have a Health-Conscious Focus

Today’s offices can promote employee health through the use of specialty fabrics and plenty of accessories that reduce the spread of harmful bacteria. An example is the Social Distancing Office using antimicrobial fabrics, countertop shields, and privacy screens.


Photo: Enwork Deskwrap Screen

Freestanding screens come in a variety of heights and hues.

Try Plywood

Plywood is well-known in residential construction for walls and as decking on roofs, but you can also use plywood to create stylish offices as seen in the article Ten stylish plywood interiors that give the material a luxurious upgrade.

Create benches or increase your storage using plywood.

The material can act as a warm space divider and sound barrier. Decorate using hanging baskets filled with indoor plants, decorate the wood with fabrics, or both.

Get in Touch for Interior Design Office Tips

Get input on your potential design or re-design with a commitment-free consultation. Our team at 2010 Office Furniture has decades of experience advising and supplying major corporations, leading universities, and small businesses throughout the Los Angeles basin, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Contact us for more interior design office tips and share your questions.  We’re happy to help!

Read Also: Plan Your Office for the Employee Experience
Main Photo: Friant System 2 Screens
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Deskmakers, Enwork, Global, Koncept, Nevins & ODS

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