Choosing the Best Office Dividers and Filing Systems

Best Office Dividers and Filing Systems Allermuir Mollie Chair

People are social creatures, and a well-planned office with strategically placed office dividers will bring employees together, yet allow them the personal space they need in order to focus.

But don’t fear the gray cubicle.

Plenty of cubicles are designed with workstation dividers with storage for filing, and free-standing partitions, bring color and serve to unify work areas rather than actually separate employees into an impersonal environment.

Photo: Friant Novo Modern Workstation

Office dividers and filing systems should be part of a complete office floor plan.

Photo: Rouillard Agora Credenza

Why Use Office Dividers

Dividers that are modular or are easily movable bring balance for employees, giving them a space to focus on tasks while allowing collaboration. Permanent walls create separation and often act as a barrier to an organic flow of ideas and problem-solving conversations.

Employee well-being is another reason to use partitions. Privacy screens that attach to open bench seating plans and work pods, along with larger partitions, can reduce the spread of germs from concerns surrounding viruses like Covid, the flu, and the common cold.

In open office floor plans, sound reverberating unimpeded is an irritant. Employees often retreat through the use of earbuds or headphones, but they block out possible opportunities for communication.

Specialty panels like the Snowsound Baffle Ceiling Panels or the Nevins Ariel Acoustic Hanging Panels act as sound barriers while letting light flow from one part of an office to another.

The many different types of dividers available help make the office a welcome place.


Photo: Nevins Ariel Sound Panel

& Photo: Snowsound Baffle Sound Panel

Options for Office Dividers

Modular workstations come with dividers in an array of colors and fabrics. Choose styles that reflect the brand and the temperament of the office. Bold colors like red can speak to leadership qualities while softer blues provide quiet inspiration.

Plan out the use of dividers from the entryway to the individual departments.

Need a meeting space?

Architectural walls define places for group conferences or smaller meetings. Aesthetically pleasing areas can be established to hold online meetings with employees who are remote or working a hybrid arrangement by switching between the home office and corporate office.

Photo: Trendway Clear Wall

There are other types of office dividers for use with floor plans.

Try to guess what they are.

How about indoor plants?

Hanging baskets of plants, tables with arrangements, potted plants, and greenery dividers using succulents define workspaces from common gathering spots like break areas or lounges.

Fabrics can work, as well. Decorative pillows stuffed in bookcases can fit within many office designs like resimercial styles, the modern industrial office, or a minimal office like the Scandinavian layout.

Your creativity in how you divide office space can be like an unsung hero in making the workplace comfortable.

Filing Systems

Another way to break away from traditionally dull furnishings is to re-imagine the use of filing cabinets and drawers as office dividers. Now, this isn’t to knock those heavy-industry style metal filing cabinets.

They’ve served companies well and continue to do so, but there are more attractive counterparts that look less intimidating and don’t need WD-40 to grease the tracks.

Different filing cabinet options are:

  • Vertical
  • Lateral
  • Fire Resistant

And remember that modular is in because it’s practical and flexible.

Consider OFS Hitch Shelf and Storage, a modular unit, “using a simple system of blocks that clip together for a shelf with endless configuration possibilities.”

Low profile cabinets like the DeskMakers Catalina Cubbies can be used for work or storing personal items. This flexible filing and storage can be stacked to provide a sense of room separation without feeling like you’re blocking someone out.

Want to make a statement?

Go bold with Bella Shelf Storage, a fun, circular design. Want to know something unique? You don’t need any tools to assemble this since “The inner panels of Bolla coil in, and natural compressive force holds the system together.


Photo: Scale 1:1 Bolla Shelf Storage

Why plan your filing and office storage systems? Because they help keep the office clutter-free while having potential to enhance the overall ambiance.

Get Answers

If you need help choosing the right office dividers and filing system, or have questions on how to get maximum productivity from your team — connect with us! The staff at 2010 Office Furniture is more than happy to share our knowledge based on a combined half-century of advising and providing furnishings for clients that rank among Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses.

Contact us and share your needs.

Read Also: Ways to Help Create Social Distancing in the Office
Main Photo: Allermuir Mollie Chair
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AllermuirFriant, Nevins, RouillardScale 1:1Snowsound & Trendway

Your Guide to Office Feng Shui for the Best Office Environment

Your Guide to Office Feng Shui OFS Riff Table

Creating the best office environment isn’t only about arranging furniture and equipment, it’s also developing an ambiance that has a positive flow of energy. Consider laying out your workspace using office feng shui.

Imagine the benefits:

  • Having a workplace with reduced stress
  • Using appealing natural elements
  • Maximizing employee comfort
  • A cleaner and organized office

What is Office Feng Shui

The word feng shui means “wind” and “water,” and is based on the concept that we’re impacted by our surrounding environment. The most productive offices are planned and laid out with purpose and aren’t arranged in a haphazard manner.

Office feng shui design is meant to bring harmony between people and their surroundings. Nature plays an important role.

Finding Balance in Office Feng Shui

Feng shui incorporates five elements that create a balanced atmosphere when they’re used well together. This can be accomplished in an individual home office or in a corporate setting.

See how each element plays a role and blends with the others for a balanced and harmonious work setting.

Wood

Wood represents creativity and includes growth, birth, strength, and flexibility. Trees, plants, or green objects can represent wood. Feng shui practitioners don’t define wood as hard surfaces, but they look at what flows out of wood like greenery and flowers.


Photo: Nevins Leaf Living Wall

Now, let’s add boldness and energy into the mix.

Fire

As you might imagine, fire represents passion, energy, boldness and change or transformation. Natural light, candles, and the color red bring the fire element into a space.  Feng shui practitioners say this element promotes leadership.

Now think about combining this leadership with inspiration.

Your Guide to Office Feng Shui Stylex Metrum Lounge
Photo: Stylex Metrum Lounge Seating

Water

The element of water is linked to emotion and inspiration. Colors in shades of blue represent water. The incorporation of water in office feng shui balances personalities and temperaments, and encourages ideas and inspiration.


Photo: Stylex Free Address Table 2.0

Certainly so far, each element has a universal quality. Let’s look at strength as a foundation to build on.

Earth

Stability and strength are found in the earth element. Rocks, carpets, old books, decorative pottery or other items that are brown or tan in color capture the tones of the earth and provide stability and strength. Now, let’s focus and bring everything together with the next element.


Photo: Source International Lore Lounge

Metal

Metal is a unifying force with all the elements. It promotes focus and order. The colors of metal are white, silver, or grey.


Photo: Arcadia Worksmith Meeting Tables

Ideas for Using Feng Shui in Offices

Feng shui identifies and eliminates stress points and is compatible with biophilic design, or using natural elements at work. Basic initial steps are to get rid of unnecessary clutter and have good air circulation.

Browse ideas from 2010 Office Furniture’s Office Inspirations for ways to use colors and furnishings so you reach a result that promotes well-being among your team.

Discover how the elements blend together in green offices with an emphasis on nature. Or, combine the properties of residential and commercial spaces with a resimercial layout. The industrial space promotes strength while a minimal office lets you use the elements in subtle ways.

You can also decide how many of the feng shui elements already exist in your current layout and decide how many of each are needed.

If an office feels lifeless or drab, then use office feng shui elements to generate freshness and vitality. Is there an overabundance of one element, like wood and not enough of fire or water? Too many elements related to earth can create a sense of boredom or dullness.

Too many bold designs can be overwhelming.

The Use of Elements in Offices

If fire is related to leadership, then use red tones in specific workstations and executive offices. Blend with the needed strength and flexibility.

A graphics department, marketing, or other area needing a creative boost can decorate with blue and teal.


Photo: Source International Lore Lounge and Clever Plane Tables

If the office space has plenty of natural light but creates glare, don’t use heavy draperies or dark shades to block the light. An idea from Workplace Design.com is to use material that diffuses light so it shines in but reduces the stress of glare.

Feng shui will impact how furnishings are arranged. Desks have a power position when facing a door from the furthest spot in the room. Workers also need support. In feng shui, this can be conveyed behind a desk with  solid wall and plants.

The elements of feng shui can also be found in the furnishings and brought together in one space. A helpful summary from Work Design.com shows a conference room with a large communal table that represents Earth.

A variety of light fixtures and natural light from the windows can bring in fire. Wood can be represented by using the material in communal table and chairs. A glass top on the table will introduce water, along with any blue chair, bench or sofa seating. Also, wall coverings that depict the image of gentle rain evokes the water element.

In the conference room, metal may be represented in the furniture finishes of the table, chairs, light fixtures and other objects. Wall treatments and art or photographs can represent metal, as well as the other elements.

Bring in Plenty of Plants

Plants contribute greatly in office feng shui.  It’s said that bamboo conveys health, happiness and long life.  Peonies help soothe emotional problems.

Succulents are seen as power plants, as they collect water in their stems, leaves, and roots. Feng shui practitioners believe the best places to set them are on desks, sunny terraces, and near windows.

Get Expert Input on Office Feng Shui

For further advice and input, contact our team at 2010 Office Furniture about feng shui and its benefits for your office.

The team members are experienced in office designs and space planning for corporations, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. 2010 Office Furniture also serves the Inland Empire.

Contact us with your questions and project needs.

Read Also: Checklist of Wellness Activities for 2019
Main Photo: OFS Riff Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Arcadia, Nevins, OFSSource International Stylex

Your Guide to the Best Training Furniture for the Office

Your Guide to the Best Training Furniture OFS Maren Chairs

You need employees to learn new products, review sales procedures, or keep certifications and licenses current. Bringing everyone together for training is the answer.  And it’s important to consider the best training furniture that will work for you and your company.

This raises questions like what type of desks, tables and chairs are best?

All office needs require planning the space to know what furnishings are best. Let’s plan and equip a training area.

Know Your Goals and Needs for Training Spaces

Let’s look at basic fundmentals like why you need a training area, and how often trainings are expected to occur. Will the set-up be permanent, and can the room be used for other purposes?

Keep this in mind: you want information to flow easily between the presenters and attendees.

Is there a set-up that’s best?

The answer is whatever helps your team learn, retain, and put to use what they’ve seen and heard.

Training in companies and larger corporations usually happens in classroom settings with desks and chairs set up in rows, just like school. Create an atmosphere that’s more relatable where employees can work in smaller groups and tables can be arranged to face each other.

Check products like the Krug Revo Training Table that’s easy to reconfigure. Have groups of five or six together in a huddle, or circular seating, to solve customer problems or get insights on new products.


Photo: Krug Revo Table

If space is tight, then consider tables that fold, have sturdy casters, and can be easily rolled to a storage area or one side of the room.

Once your purpose and needs are clearly established, then you can choose the furnishings.

How Training Furniture is Unique

Most tables and chairs used for training purposes have a distinct look and function that’s clearly different from executive desks and workstations. Check out the many options available for conference tables.

This is fine if your office schedules regular trainings for clients or employees.

But if bringing people together only happens occasionally then use tables like the Desk Makers Training Table that can double as an everyday work surface.


Photo: Deskmakers Newport Training Table

 

Photo: Krug Nuvo Conference Table

For some, conference tables can also be the best solution for employee training purposes.  The conference room by nature brings people together to facilitate sharing and exchange of information and ideas.  It’s very common that conference rooms double as training rooms for many companies.  For ideas on what may work for your company and office culture, you can explore options for conference tables.

And who says tables have to be boring or only have one primary use?

Check out the Scale 1:1 Nomad Conference Table that:

  • Is useful for trainings
  • Is useful for conferencing
  • Serves as a whiteboard
  • And offers a surface for social activities like a Ping-pong match

Photo: Scale 1:1 Nomad Conference Table

Best Ways to Arrange Training Furniture

If you have a dedicated corporate classroom, then you’re set. But if you don’t, get creative with how you set up the furnishings.

Common arrangements cited in Room Arrangements for Training Sessions in the dummies series are:

  • Single square or round tables
  • Conference tables
  • Classroom style with an aisle between tables or surfaces for long rows
  • Clusters of round or rectangular tables
  • V-shape
  • U-shape

According to the author, u-shape arrangements are good for groups of 12 to 22, while conference seating is good for about 8 to 12 people.

Table clusters can be used for 16 to 40 attendees.


Photo: Arcadia Flirt Chair

Revisit Your Goals and Available Space

Training sessions will often tackle different topics, so decide how you want your team to respond.

Will your team be focused with eyes toward the front with little or no small group interaction? If so, then tables and chairs can be arranged in rows or at angles with the right proportions that fit the room.

Do you expect break-out sessions, or will small groups stay in huddles throughout the training?

Who says training furniture has to fit a specific mold?  Sometimes the best training furniture don’t.

Certain types of lounge seating options can bring a focus that traditional tables and chairs won’t be able to do. A u-shaped solution like the Rouillard Blok Lounge Seating gives attendees a view forward while making it easy to stay together and learn or brainstorm ideas.

Keep in Mind

Choose your office furnishings to support and aid your staff, whether that’s selecting workstations, break room equipment, or training tables. Know the various ways people learn so you can bring out their best with the tables, chairs and how they’re arranged.

Your Guide to the Best Training Furniture Allermuir Kin Chair
Photo: Allermuir Kin Chairs

We’re Here to Help

Get further advice on the best training furniture as well as space planning and design for your office and home office needs. The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than 50 years of combined experience providing the right equipment and laying out spaces for maximum productivity.

2010 Office Furniture’s clients are leading corporations, universities, and small businesses in the greater Los Angeles area, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

Contact us with your questions and office needs.

 

Read Also: How To Set Up An Office Space
Main Photo: OFS Maren Chairs
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, Arcadia, Deskmakers, Krug & Scale 1:1

Design Your Office Space for Residential Comfort and Professional Results

Design Your Office Space for Residential Comfort and Professional Results

An office is a place to tackle your work, and the office environment impacts how well you’ll do your job. This is important to note when you design your office space. The trend in resimercial design is a way of making employees feel comfortable, boosting their creativity and creating an environment to increase productivity.

But how do you know a new design can work?

Let’s look at the science behind the merging of commercial and residential design.

Look around your office and what do you notice?

How much natural light flows through the space? What colors are used?

These elements have been proven to be important in different ways when you design your office space.

In the mid-1980s, a researcher, Roger Ulrich, wanted to see if there was a relationship between the environment in health facilities and patient well-being. He was exploring if beauty, including the design and mood, affected emotional well-being and physiological stress.

He separated participants in two groups with some participants staying on one floor of the hospital and the other participants staying on another floor. One group looked outside their room and saw trees while the others had windows facing a brick wall.

Patients who saw the trees and not the wall needed fewer medications and reported a greater feeling of well-being than those who had the brick wall for their view.

Various elements in your surroundings will impact mood and energy levels.

Design Your Office with Colors

Colors play a key role when you design your office space.  There’s subjective opinion about which colors affects moods, but there are also universally accepted colors. Blue is one of the most popular colors around the world. So if you have an office with a diverse cultural mix, then blue can be a unifying color.

The London Image Institute provides a useful color chart and describes the emotions that the colors evoke. Blue is the color of trust, serenity and peace, while green evokes harmony and nature. Red is associated with emotions ranging from love to anger.

Photo: Friant Dash Workstation Table

Design Your Office with Lighting

Lighting is key in both corporate and home offices.

In a garment factory, improved lighting led to a 10% increase in production and one-third fewer errors. When you design your office space, let your team have as much access as possible to natural light. Lamps and other lights at workstations should have their light focused properly so there’s no glare or feedback.

Another benefit of letting natural light flow throughout the workspace is that it actually helps people sleep better at night.


Photo: OFS Tangent Lounge

Design Your Office with Layout and Movement

At home, rooms or areas are clearly designated for specific purposes. A kitchen has an obvious purpose and so does a bedroom. Some rooms don’t have clearly defined purposes. There are dining spaces but not as many formal dining rooms as there once were. And in today’s world, living rooms and family rooms blur in their use as well.

The home office is for doing work, especially if an employee is using the space to work remotely.

Yet, we also move naturally from one room to another depending on what we need. You can take calls in the office portion, but you may feel more comfortable sitting on the sofa while reading a report.

Traditionally, in an office setting you’re expected to sit and work at a desk for several hours a day. You do your work in one place and you remain stationary except for eating lunch and taking restroom breaks.

An office setting can be planned to have home-like qualities so that the environment is inviting and motivates people to do their best.


Photo: Friant My-HiteWorkstation, Allermuir Kin Chairs and Source International Laze Chair

When you design your office space, Consider the Abstract Modern Office with a variety of bold colors. Everything from a touch of mid-century modern to the newest décor can fit with this design. This is great for playful brands and companies that want to infuse a touch of energy.

More subdued colors are possible, too, even in an office that has open benching and cubicles since modular furniture comes in a variety of colors.

Layout options are flexible. Consider having workstations for each department in one area while lounge seating is available in a central area. Or, depending on the office size, there can be a lounge area in a central space like the hub and workstations on the perimeter.


Photo: HON Empower Height Adjustable Workstations

If you’re going to re-design your office or make substantial improvements, then let employees know and ask for their feedback since they’re the ones being affected.

Architect Donald Rattner, author of “My Creative Space: How to Design Your Home to Stimulate Ideas and Spark Innovation,” says address issues of durability and safety. Use products that have the residential appeal but are made with commercial manufacturing standards.

Let 2010 Office Furniture Help

Get your questions about office space planning and layouts answered by 2010 Office Furniture. The team has more than 50 years of combined experience, serving corporations, universities, and growing enterprises throughout Southern California.

Contact them with questions about your potential projects.

Read Also: Resimercial Office Furniture
Main Photo: OFS Ani Soft Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Allermuir, FriantHON, OFS Source International 

Planning Office Layouts for Today’s Workplace Needs

Planning Office Layouts for Today’s Workplace Needs

Before discussing and planning office layouts, let’s set this up shall we?

You wake up, get ready for the day, and head to your office which is—where?

Tele-commuting became a popular term over 20 years ago. In just the last few years, offices experienced more decentralization with employees and freelance staff working remotely from home or co-working spaces.

The office was still the central place that most employees went to during their morning commute. And then Covid-19 hit with stay-at-home orders that left workplaces in a state of uncertainty. An estimated two weeks to beat the virus stretched into a few months of closures, and even longer in some areas.

Employee well-being in the workplace wasn’t just about ergonomics, movement or healthy snacks. Companies had to get protective accessories to ensure a new level and style of workplace safety.

The centralized workplace environment changed. Suddenly, home offices became necessary and the coffee shops that were open became places of work. Zoom meetings and WebEx became the professional method of meeting, interrupted by dogs barking in the background and children needing help with their online classes.

Today’s office layout is likely changed—permanently.

But that doesn’t mean employees will no longer have rush hour commutes. What it does mean is that office workers now have more options for where they can get their work done.

How companies adapt and handle the array of choices depends on the culture that comes from CEOs and other organizational leaders.

Your team may be physically distant from each other, but sharing corporate culture and values will keep them together in spirit. And that can be just as powerful as bringing everyone together in the same office.


Photo: AMQ, Rouillard & Stylex

Basics of Developing Corporate Culture

“Culture” is an intangible element of the workplace environment. However, what we see and experience impacts what we refer to as the culture. The consistency of our habits and behaviors has a tremendous influence.

Is your company described as “cutting edge” but uses equipment that’s second-rate and interior colors that appear blah and outdated?

Do you tout great customer care but tell staff to keep their heads down, don’t ask questions and do their work?

You expect customers to remain brand loyal, but do you frequently shop for new vendors to get lower prices, even though your current ones are giving you good service?

What is promised to the customers and clients should also be reflected to employees. That way, trust and respect are earned. This is one of the foundations for establishing a corporate culture that aligns with your company’s vision and mission.

Even what seems mundane like workplace furnishings and lighting are assets in creating a positive workplace.

An article in Forbes magazine, Looking to Create Great Company Culture? Studies Show to Start with Your Office Space, says there are tremendous benefits to creating a welcoming work environment. Companies bolster team morale, increase employee retention, and enhance overall productivity.

  • Invest in ergonomics and related accessories so the workplace meets the physical, emotional and task needs of your employees.
  • Use quality chairs and modular workstations with a pleasing color selection.
  • Maximize natural light if possible. Enlarge windows and install solar tubes or skylights. Natural light is one of the most desirable elements in an engaging workspace.


Photo: Stylex Seating

Know Your Brand When Planning Office Layouts

A nonprofit that specialized in working with children and families in Los Angeles County wanted to look professional inside its offices. Defining that term is central to your culture.

The organization placed images of board directors on the lobby walls and made sure the paint was clean and trim. It was neat and fresh, but it didn’t look like a child-centric place. The lobby could have been any professional business.

Why couldn’t it have been a messy-looking area on the wall where kids made their hand prints and scrawled their names? This small touch would have given the organization immediate brand recognition.

What’s your brand?

What touches can you bring to the interior that immediately set it apart?


Photo: Scale 1:1 Lean2 Dividers

Know the Atmosphere

The combination of pacing and leadership lends itself to a certain type of culture.

Are you a relaxed and loose confederation of professionals like architects who find your own clients and build individual accounts beneath a common company name? Then executive offices are needed.

Employees who are more like independent contractors have a great deal of autonomy and are likely to work well in their own office at home or at a co-working site.

The central office is key to maintaining brand identity and bringing the team together when working in collaboration on projects.

If your office at break-neck speed like in an entertainment production environment or advertising then consider the latest open-plan benching solutions.

If people need to come together often and achieve high-level results in the shortest time possible then the team is going to function closely together.

Aim for the Right Type of Culture

Imagine an infographic as you chart out the relationship between work and culture: the more that work requires a collaborative team producing results, then the more a central office space is needed.

The type of work is only one element in culture.

A leader’s outlook and confidence is a significant factor.

The founder of a family run business who takes a “we’ve always done it this way” approach is going to face a dilemma when outside forces create change.

The CEO who’s confident, gathers staff input, and knows when to foster collaboration or independence has a significant impact on the workplace.

Choose the culture that’s right for your needs:

  • Independence with occasional checking in—good for professionals who work with a large degree of autonomy.
  • Starting separate then finishing together—this is the type of work where one type of talent begins a project, like a writer creating ad copy, and then the team refines the rough results.
  • Close collaboration—this could be a small engineering firm developing robots or other products where continual input is needed from start to finish.


Photo: Trendway Clearwall

Developing Office Landscapes

Going to work for some employees may mean taking the dogs for a walk around the block before settling into a home office. For others, it can mean getting up before daylight to make the drive from the Inland Empire into Orange County.

Either setting is appropriate in today’s diverse office eco-system.

It’s relevant to ensure standards are in place.

Home offices should be kept neat and use desks, chairs and lighting that are ergonomically sound.

Select co-working sites that meet your office requirements.

Layout an office interior with the right equipment and space planning to ensure comfort and safety.

Since employees may rotate in and out, plan for quiet areas or shared workstations that are kept properly sanitized.

Planning Office Layouts Input and Advice

The team at 2010 Office Furniture specializes in office planning and layouts that create efficiencies and assist in making teams more productive. Contact them with your layout questions and needs.

They have nearly 50 years combined experience working with distinguished corporations, leading universities, and small businesses throughout Southern California.

Read Also: Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience
Main Photo: Rouillard Kopa Seating
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQ, Rouillard, Scale 1:1, Stylex & Trendway

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 

Designing an Office to Support Your Employees

Designing an Office to Support Your Employees

Every important trend has a human element that we ignore or don’t consider. This can happen when designing and planning an office for maximum productivity. It’s important to remember that the end result has to support the people who work there.

Sounds obvious, right?


Photo: Global eO+ Panels

But we often put things before people. Look at it this way.

In the past, what did web designers do to rank a website high? They worked to get the attention of the search engines while ignoring the needs of the people who read the site. Keywords were stuffed into articles even if that hurt the readability and cheapened the user’s experience.

But now, pleasing the human reader is the most important variable in ranking a site.

The same can be said for the office as noted in this post, The Best Office Spaces are Responsive to Employee Needs. We have all this great technology, but do we use it to support the employees as well as we possibly can? A well-designed office weighs the needs of the people.


Photo: OFS Obeya Archtectural Structures

Know Your Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of fitting a working environment to people, instead of making people fit the environment. Providing height-adjustable desks, proper office lighting, ergonomic chairs and accessories are part of creating a workplace that allows workers to move at their best.

Photo: 9to5 Seating @nce Chair

Design with a focus on ergonomics and you’ll make great strides toward having an office where people are supported as they focus on their tasks.

Achieve that by laying out a floorplan and then deciding what furnishings are necessary.


Photo: Cherryman Amber Collection

Get Input

Ask your employees what matters to them. How do they work best and what would they like to see in a work area? Create a scale like the one in the article 7 Factors of Great Office Design in the Harvard Business Review.

Ask your team how strongly they prefer permanent walls compared to open spaces, or if they like spaces that “promote conversation and lingering.”

Define Spaces

Make areas well defined. That may seem easy to do, but if space is at a premium, then it’s not easy to separate workspaces with lounge areas or the breakroom.


Photo: Nevins Climb Multi-Level Seating

Make areas for workstations clear with enough storage to reduce clutter. Keep break areas clean and make sure personal areas in an open office setting are quiet.

If your space has room for a rec area, then bring in foosball tables or ping pong tables that easily fold and can easily be moved when extra space is needed.

Plan Easy Navigation

A supportive office is easy to navigate for people whose sight is impaired and face challenges moving around. Have workstations in clearly designated areas with clear pathways that lead to personal quiet areas and breakrooms.


Photo: Friant Dash Revitalize 

Use indoor plants to create boundaries between defined areas. The plants help to deflect sound waves, freshen the air and add a touch of color.


Photo: Nevins Climb Multi-Level Seating 

Light Up

Natural light is welcomed in the office. Enlarge windows as much as possible and use skylights or solar tubes to bring in as much of the sun as you can.

Photo: Global Bridges Benching Series

Light is a natural morale booster. It helps employees get into a rhythm of sleeping well at night and staying as alert as possible during the day. Use desk lamps at workstations and computer areas so workers don’t have to strain their eyes to see.

Make sure stairwells and other darkened areas are well lit to reduce the chance of accidents.


Photo: Koncept Gravy Lighting

When laying out a plan and designing an office to support your employees, evaluate your ideas by asking, “How will these conditions benefit the people working here?”

Designing an Office to Support Your Employees

Get expert input on your space planning needs. The team at 2010 Office Furniture has nearly 50 years of experience in helping Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and other nonprofit organizations.

Read Also: Plan Your Office Branding for the Employee Experience
Main Photo: OFS Heya
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: 9to5 Seating, Cherryman, Friant, Global, Koncept, Nevins and OFS

Repurpose Your Office Space for the Post-Covid Work World

Repurpose Your Office Space for the Post-Covid Work World

(IMPORTANT NOTICE: The recommendations on this article about Covid-19 in the office 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 stay-at-home orders forced employees into flexible and remote working arrangements. Now’s the time to implement the best office strategies to maximize workflow and personnel needs.

A Great Time to Repurpose Your Office Space

The office is often seen as a place where you had to show up if you had a job, but the Covid-19 stay-at-home order changed that perception. Companies were forced into repurposing office space when their teams had to work remotely.


Photo: Adesso Executive Height Adjustable Desk

Employees in Southern California are returning once again to their previous work environments, as you can tell by the freeways that are getting more crowded.

But don’t just put everyone back in the same workstation. Instead, pause and review:

  • What worked during the pandemic’s stay at home orders in Los Angeles, Orange, or nearby counties
  • What could have worked more effectively
  • How will you be able to repurpose the existing office and make it serve more effectively than ever?

Put those hard-earned lessons to the test.

Let’s start with the purpose of an office.

Why We Need an Office

Traditionally, the office was the place where nearly all employees come to the workplace because that’s where communication and decisions happened. Teams met there, managers relayed goals to others beneath them, and directives were given and followed up on. You had to go to the office, unless you were in outside sales and seeing customers in a place like El Segundo one day and Irvine the next.


Photo: Friant Novo Panel System

Telecommuting isn’t new, and while it was tossed about as an option most employees kept going to the physical office. Now, during Covid-19, we discovered the routine of working remotely.

Let’s be realistic. Office spaces are opening up again and it’s important to have a central location or off-site locations that act as office hubs. Not everyone is going to work at home indefinitely or in some type of isolated environment.

Why?

As noted in the Harvard Study of Adult Development, people want social interactions. Healthy relationships reduce stress, and we feed off the energy of those in our department or colleagues from down the hall.

If we only work at home by ourselves then we’ll miss the funny comments from the office comic or the greetings when we walk by the receptionist desk to our cubicle. We take those little things for granted, but they’re important office morale boosters.


Photo: Cherryman Verde Reception

At its best, an office provides the tools and space to collaborate and solve problems or serve customers. Some workspaces work well in sequence under the same roof. A clothing company or manufacturing facility in Gardena or Ontario can have designers working on computer assisted design (CAD) and seamlessly send their work into production.

If a problem arises, then it’s easy for someone in production to halt the machines and huddle with the designers.

The role of an office is supporting people so they can excel in their tasks and work together to create a successful company.

But as we’ve seen in 2020, not all employees need to be in the same physical setting full-time. Sometimes, the office works well as a space to rally around where you can set and clarify goals before employees head to their home offices or other remote workspaces.

Two Types of Workspaces

We’re seeing two main types of work environments emerge: centralized workspaces and decentralized workspaces.

We’ve relaxed the hierarchy that was once the standard in our country’s industrial era, like at the old Goodyear plant that employed thousands in Van Nuys or the aerospace facilities near the South Bay.

Employees in most industries can now produce work from their homes.

What does that mean for space utilization?

Consider this. A highly centralized company that had either fixed walls or an open office plan had to make sudden changes during the height of the pandemic.
Photo: AMQ Kinex Height Adjustable Tables

Suddenly, you had to connect with your team remotely.

As restrictions are relaxed, you could insist that everyone come back in and take their assigned places. Or, you can evaluate what office strategies worked and how you can now harness the advantages of a decentralized or flexible work environment.

Here are three important takeaways:

  • Keep corporate goals as clear as possible
  • Communication is more strategic than ever
  • Trust is critical in a flexible office environment

The goals from upper management remain a guiding force. They always have been, but when you’re in the same place all the time, casual conversations and questions reinforce those goals.

In a flexible or decentralized workspace, find ways to help your team internalize those goals so they remember them.

You have to trust that your team that is going to get their work done, even if they’re not physically present. This gives the opportunity for them to be engaged and take ownership.

How to Use Your Office Spaces

A manager in a centralized office that either had fixed walls or an open office floor plan may feel that the amount of space is wasted unless it’s filled with people.

If that’s the case, consider all these uses of space in a flexible or decentralized office environment:

  • Additional room for client huddles
  • More space and freedom for collaboration
  • Areas where you can create on-site social media posts
  • Places to sit and have smaller team meetings two or three times a week
  • More room to train new hires and let them gain experience

Keep in mind that the open office plan came under fire for invading privacy. Employees were known for tuning out their colleagues by wearing earbuds or headphones and thus eliminating the hoped-for collaboration.


Photo: Trendway Conference Area

Finally, with flexible office spaces you may have workers coming into the office as a break from their home offices and the distractions they encounter there.

Make use of modular office furniture solutions or architectural walls for break areas and workstations to help repurpose your office space.

Plan and Repurpose Your Office Future with Experts

A company doesn’t just form and happen by accident and neither does a productive office. Supporting your employees with the tools they need requires design and planning.

The team at 2010 Office Furniture provides layout design and services in addition to supplying you with quality furnishings that can help repurpose your office space. Lay out your office design and plan based on your corporate goals and then get the desks, ergonomic chairs and accessories needed to maximize well-being and productivity.

Your office is not a static environment.  It’s dynamic and requires that you manage spaces so that they support your team as effectively as possible.

Read Also: How to Help Protect Workers in Open Office Floor Plans from Covid-19
Main Photo by: Trendway
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQ, Cherryman, Friant, Krug and Trendway

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article 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.)

How to Help Protect Workers in Open Office Floor Plans from Covid-19

How to Protect Workers in Open Office Floor Plans From Covid-19

(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.)

Open offices are facing changes as companies work to maintain a healthy workforce and answer today’s most critical question: How to protect workers from the risks of Covid-19.

Don’t expect drywall to suddenly appear and start separating workers. Risk mitigation plans can include modular furniture solutions to maintain an open office atmosphere while helping to protecting

How Open Offices Became Popular


Photo: National Epic

As Silicon Valley started booming in the early 2000s, start-up tech companies needed talent to work closely in collaboration with each other. Office spaces without walls provided a non-traditional communication flow that worked well.

The rest is facility history as companies in all industries found that open offices were budget friendly and flexible. It was easy to add workstations when hiring more workers or change floor plans to accommodate fewer workers. Permanent walls were a mess and costly to re-configure.

Why Open Offices were Criticized

Privacy became something of the past and the hoped-for collaboration took a hit as employees wore earbuds and noise cancelling headphones to block out the conversations and phone calls of co-workers.

Instead of providing a place to focus, critics said the open office was filled with distractions.

Open Offices Needed Private Spaces


Photo: Senator Group Chemistry

That shift created the need for personal break areas and one-on-one or small group meeting spaces. Office furniture reflected that demand with innovative meeting pods and the design of flexible workstations.

Open Offices Risked Germs Spreading Before Coronavirus

An office space is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs passed from one person to another. Moist droplets travel whether they’re in the restroom, the breakroom or on the main office floor. In 2011, a Danish study found that open office workers had a significantly higher incidence of sick days than those working in “cellular” or individual offices. The findings were published by the National Library of Medicine.

But there’s no need to cancel the open office floor plan. Help protect employee health using modular furniture and accessories.

How Open Offices are Using Modular Solutions for Protection


Photo: Friant Shield Panels

Open offices faced criticism, but just think of all the open spaces people normally gathered in like neighborhood pubs and restaurants, sporting events, concerts and parks. Innovative solutions are already available.

An array of protective office shields and dividers are available through 2010 Office Furniture:

The different styles of dividers allow you to help protect workers without making them feel isolated or cut off from other co-workers. You can help reduce the risk of spreading viruses but maintain an atmosphere of collaboration.

Space Planning for the Office in the Post-Pandemic Era


Photo: Friant Novo & Dash

Adjust floor layouts to create physical distancing. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) takes a comprehensive approach to planning offices for employee health and well-being. In its online coronavirus resource center, the IFMA recommends thorough space planning.

Adjust workstations to give employees the recommended six-feet of physical separation or purchase new, flexible workstations.

Know how many office visitors to allow in at one time and eliminate items in high-touch areas like light switches. Update traditional doors that have handles with automatic doors. Provide plenty of anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer. Encourage workers to wear masks when necessary.


Photo: DeskMakers ReFit

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has decades of expertise helping established corporations and small-to-large sized businesses plan their space to adjust to changes in the marketplace and respond to the question of how to help protect workers in our current pandemic.

Use this time to re-imagine how your office is laid out. Check the 2010 Office Furniture office inspiration center for designs ideas to help create privacy and focus.

More Tips for a Healthy Workplace


Photo: Loftwall Split Space Divider

Remember other key office wellness tips like encouraging your team to take breaks and go for walks outside to keep the blood flowing. Stay hydrated throughout the day and maximize the use of office plants to bring nature indoors and keep the air fresh.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) recommends that businesses give employees flexibility to:

  • Work from home if not feeling well
  • Care for ill family members
  • Return to work without a health provider’s note if the employee has a respiratory illness

Helping to reduce the risks of spreading the coronavirus doesn’t have to halt your office operations. Make the needed changes and get your employees to join in and take ownership for their health and the well-being of those around them.


Photo: OFS Staks Workstations

Making adjustments shows that you care about your team and that you want the best for them.

The organizational consulting firm McKinsey concludes that there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach for offices on how to protect workers against the spread of coronavirus. How offices will look “will be based on what talent is needed, which roles are most important, how much collaboration is necessary for excellence, and where offices are located today, among other factors.”

Get the input you need on planning, ergonomics and desking solutions. The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than 45 years of experience working with large corporations, non-profits and small businesses throughout Southern California.

Contact them with your project needs and questions.

For Your Reference

Here are links to public health agencies in Southern California:

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Orange County Department of Public Health

San Bernardino Department of Public Health

Riverside County Department of Public Health

Read Also: Social Distancing Tips and Adjusting to the Realities of Covid-19 in the Office
Main Photo: Friant Interra
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Friant, National, Senator Group, Loftwall, OFS, DeskMakers

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article 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.)

Arranging Workstations for Social Distancing in the Office

Arranging Workstations for Social Distancing in the Office

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article 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.)

Stay-at-home orders have lifted and social distancing, or physical distancing, is now a reality in the office.

You can return to the workplace with confidence if you plan your space well to help maximize health and productivity. Adjusting to current recommendations requires arranging workstations so employees can stay at least six feet apart.

That seems to be the accepted distance for limiting transmission when “an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air,” according to the Centers for Disease Control. The best way to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus is limiting face to face contact and maintaining a physical distance.

Arrange your office and form protective barriers based on the number of users around a desk or workstation.

Take note that in addition to physically arranging desks, special attention is given to details like using antimicrobial fabrics.

Read on for expert recommendations and refer to 2010 Office Furniture’s Inspiration Lookbook for creative and effective ideas to help with social distancing at the office.

Social Distancing for the Individual


Photo: Loftwall Split Space Divider

You’re the one in control at your desk whether you’re the receptionist or the CEO. It’s you and you alone—except when visitors step in or you have a meeting in your office. In that case, dividers may be the best helpers to reinforce proper distancing protocols.

Transparent dividers like the Loftwell Counter Shield let visitors see your winning smile when they enter the lobby. The shield is available in different sizes and can be used as a solitary panel or linked with others.

What about mid-level managers and executives?

The Loftwell Desk Shield accommodates the individual who has a private or semi-private office. You can welcome co-workers more safely to go over reports or have a chat. This shield is manufactured to allow for plenty of personal space. For those who are pressed for time, the unit quickly assembles in just about five minutes.

For programming or data entry workers who have a desk to themselves, look at the Loftwell Shelter Panel or Split Space Divider. These panels sit about one inch off the work surface to allow plenty of space for managing charging cables and electrical cords.

Social Distancing for Workstations and Dividers for Two


Photo: Loftwall Hitch Space Divider

If you have two desks that aren’t attached but are in close vicinity of one another, consider implementing use of the Loftwall Hitch Space Divider. Workstations facing each other can be separated at an appropriate distance to create the necessary six feet of separation between employees.

Use track mounted screens to help reduce the likelihood of transmitting unwanted bacteria.

Social Distancing for Workstation Clusters


Photo: Enwork Harbor Screen

If you have a space of four to six workers, it’s easy to partition the space using freestanding panels. If the workstations are attached, then use transparent or semi-transparent dividers between employees.

This helps create a sense of privacy and security to put workers at ease.

What if you need a budget-conscious solution?

There’s a durable product called Enwork Harbor Screen, a double-wall corrugated cardboard with structurally enhanced skin finish. The wall and roof material of the Enwork Harbor contains particulate that supposedly help repel infectious disease, decaying them in as little as 24 hours. The outer material may be easily cleaned with light disinfectants to sanitize them in minutes.

Other changes you’ll notice when returning to work may mean eliminating some practices such as employees sharing the same desk.

But there’s an upside to getting back to the office that boosts our overall wellness.

People need community and were deprived of such during quarantine. Feelings of isolation became common in April and May. It was widely agreed that the situation undermined morale and had a negative impact on workers.

And while it’s not work-life as we once accepted it, companies have to remain flexible to achieve goals while giving workers the protection they need.

Social Distancing for Power Meeting Realities

Photo: Enwork Skyline Screen 

You’re not going to rally people into a crowded conference room like you once did. Instead, get weekly department meetings going again with screens that help protect you individually and as a small group.

If you need to establish a conference area, use architectural walls to define an appropriate meeting space by enclosing a specific area.

Plan Your Space for Social Distancing Needs

Photo: Loftwall Counter Shield

The team at 2010 Office Furniture can give expert input on planning your office and determining what you need in order to help keep yourself and employees stay well, and create the most productive work setting possible.

The 2010 Office Furniture Inspiration Lookbook shows how you can place mobile screens, work stations, and chairs to help with wellness and productivity.

Describe your project here to get the advice you need.

Read Also: Social Distancing Tips and Adjusting to the Realities of Covid-19 in the Office
Main Photo by: Groupe Lacasse
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Groupe Lacasse, Loftwall & Enwork

(IMPORTANT NOTICEThe recommendations on this article 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.)