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.)

Modular Home Office Furniture to Improve Working from Home

Modular Home Office Furniture to Improve Working from Home

The idea of work from home has gained popularity in recent times. Many organizations provide the facility of working from home to the employees to cater to the needs of the staff and to ensure convenience. Also, there are already many artists, freelancers, and startup entrepreneurs who are spending their days working at home. To ensure that sufficient infrastructure is available, home office furnishing has been introduced which offers an excellent level of comfort and space to organize work at home.

Home office furniture can be a simple table and chair or can be a sophisticated set to manage the space and organize the paperwork at the home workspace. Depending upon the need, a person can select from a wide range of designs available. Home office furniture is aesthetically and ergonomically designed to provide the best comfort while working. There are modular home office furniture items available in the market that are created by specialists to avoid space restraints at home.


Photo: HON Voi Modular Desk / Workstation

Modular Home Office Furniture

Modular furniture is composed of small sets called modules that are arranged together to form the complete furniture. The autonomous sets are designed to be arranged and rearranged to form the perfect home furniture. These are pre-made or ready furniture pieces for different spaces.

Some of the benefits of setting modular furniture at home are:

Flexibility: Modular furniture can be arranged as per the space requirement and convenience of the person. The modules can be fixed together to form a work station, desk, or separate space for the files. This provides flexibility in managing the space and organizing the work.

Space Saving: The available space at most homes is not adequate to manage the whole office infrastructure and the traditional office furniture is stocky and takes an ample amount of floor spacing which restricts movement. Modular home furniture, on the other hand, occupies less space and makes the most of the space available at home. Even when not in use, the modular furniture can be downsized to be stored in storerooms.


Photo: Groupe Lacasse Concept Modular Desk Set

Aesthetically Built for Homes

Office furniture designed for homes comes in different configurations and sizes and can be matched to suit the space and interior of the room. Various colors are available in the market and on platforms online to choose from.

Sleek and Appropriate: No one wants big cabinets and shelves to occupy the space and make the place overwhelming. Modular furniture is sleek and light and will easily fit in small spaces. With modular furniture, separations can be created so that each desk, chair, chest of drawers, file organizers, copying machines, and printers all have their separate spaces.

Easy to Move: The best part of modular home furniture is that it can be easily moved to a different place whenever needed. If you are relocating to a different place, then there won’t be a need to leave behind your favorite furniture. The furniture can be disassembled and the modules can be packed separately and transported.


Photo: Friant Dash Revitalize Modular Office Furniture

Factors to Consider While Buying

If you have decided to buy home office furniture, then keep in mind the following pointers as they will help you in selecting the right furniture for your home:

Functional Designs: Rather than going for contemporary designs, select the designs that are adjustable and easy to fit. The desks and chairs available in the market have adjustable heights and you can easily move them up and down at your convenience.

Comfort Always Comes First: Since you will be spending a lot of your time sitting in front of the computer writing a business plan or having meetings online with your colleagues, the design of the chair should be selected to provide comfort to the body. If you spend long hours on the desk, then you should go for ergonomic chairs that provide extra comfort to the spine and ensure contoured back support. The armrests, headrest, and height of the chair are adjustable to provide movement while sitting for long hours.


Photo: DeskMakers Ascend Modular Desk Set

Proper Lighting: As you will be continuously working on the desk, it is imperative that there is adequate lighting on the desk. Modular home office furniture has exclusive designs of lamps which are adjustable in height and illumination. Be sure that you check the lights available with the furniture while making a purchase.

Ample Storage Space: You will have a lot of files and paperwork to take care of and to manage that, you should check the bookcases provided with the furniture or other storage solutions. This will help in organizing any vital paperwork that you might need later.

Your home office is the place where you can’t compromise on comfort, as it will lead to less efficiency and productivity. To make working at home more comfortable and enjoyable, many furniture companies offer customized home office furniture solutions to meet your needs.


Photo: National WaveWorks Height Adjustable Table and Storage Solution

Get the Modular Home Office Furniture Expertise You Need

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs and laying out an office that meets the needs of employees and departments.

Our team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Reasons to Refresh and Improve Office Layout
Main Photo by: Arcadia WorkSmith Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Arcadia ContractDeskMakersGroupe Lacasse, Friant, HON, National, and ODS / Office Design Studio

Modern Cubicles Office Workstation

Modern Cubicles Office Workstation

Office layout plays a very important role in creating a work environment in the office. A healthy work environment can bring in more leads and sales for companies and increase the productivity of the workforce. Office layout defines company culture. When companies are starting, they pay a great amount of attention to the details on what type of office furniture should be used and what layout will go with it. Providing updated, comfortable furniture such as modern cubicles and planning an attractive layout of the office helps in hiring and retaining top employees. On the other hand, uncomfortable furniture and poor office layout impacts the health of the employees in the long run and causes a sense of discomfort when stepping into the office. Top companies make sure that the comfort and satisfaction level of the employees is taken well care of since they consider them to be their greatest asset.

Types of Workstations

Office workstations take a fair share in building the office layout. Over time, the idea of an ideal office workstation has evolved. From the cubicle to open to modular office workstation, companies have constantly adapted to the changing demands. Many companies opt for an open office environment by removing barriers and cubicle walls. This design is often known as a “benching system,” which includes close seating arrangements for the employees with carefully planned power integration. Though the benching system is fairly a new concept and many companies are opting for it, it has its disadvantages. That is the reason many companies have remained with the cubicle systems over the years. They might have modernized their workspaces but the main inspiration behind the arrangement is the traditional cubicle system.


Photo: National WaveWorks Open Plan Workstation

Modern Cubicles

Many companies are reverting to office cubicle workstations by making some improvisations in their idea. The idea of the cubicle was first proposed in 1967. The idea was to give the worker the feel of personal office while managers can monitor their activities and performance. Modern workstation cubicles help in isolating workers, which decreases the distraction level and increase their concentration on the task. Overhead bins, shelving, and drawers are the major components of the cubicle to meet the basic requirements of the employees. The following are few of the benefits of modern cubicles.


Photo: Friant Novo Modern Cubicle Panel System

Increased Productivity

Research has shown that the employees who work in modern cubicles have 50% more productivity than those who work in an open office. The reason for the increase in productivity is because of a significant drop in distraction from the other employees and lesser noise. The percentage of error-free work also dramatically increases when employees work in cubicle workstations.


Photo: HON Accelerate Workstations

Privacy

Another advantage of using these modern cubicle office workstations is that they provide a sense of security and privacy when dealing with sensitive data and materials. Some employees find it hard to focus on their work because they feel like they are always being watched, which in turn affects their productivity negatively. To facilitate these kinds of employees, managers tend to be inclined towards using cubicles to maintain discipline, aid focused work, and help the employees meet the given deadlines.


Photo: Trendway Choices Modern Cubicle Panel System

Modern Cubicles Price Factor

Modern office cubicles serve the purpose of facilitating employees with their personal space without getting too heavy on the pocket. Rather than providing individuals with their separate room or office, companies can go for modern office cubicles. The average space of a cubicle in 1994 was 90 sqft, which shrunk to 75 sqft in 2010. The rent of offices has drastically increased through the decades, so to optimize the workspace, the size of the cubicle was decreased. The cubicles have been downsized to 5′ x 5′ ft space from 8x10ftspace. The average cost of a cubicle ranges from $1000 to $2000, which doesn’t include tax, installation, or delivery charges. The construction of office cubicles is a one-time cost, and the same cubicles can be used in case the company decides to shift its office or decides to expand. These cubicles are durable and reliable.

Design Improvements

Some improvement has been made in the cubicle design; for example, now office cubicles use sliding doors, which helps in using the designated space more efficiently. Instead of providing each employee with the locker room, overhead bins are used, which are cost-effective and saves space. Employees can also stick their pictures and motivational quotes in their cubicle and personalize them according to their needs. This way, they will get a sense of belonging to the workplace, which can positively impact their work.


Photo: ODS / Office Design Studio Crossroads Modern Cubicle Panel System

Mobility

Materials used in building office cubicles are easily available and inexpensive as compared to the traditional office room. Concrete office rooms use a lot of materials to be constructed, and they’re not mobile either. While on the other hand, office cubicles can be made from plywood or special cardboard. It is also easily set up and can be moved easily.

Standardization

Modern office cubicle workstations also give employees a sense of standardization since every employee gets the same working space. It increases the spirit of employees and also increases the cohesiveness between them and the management. The company’s office layout helps in promoting the brand of the company. The appearance of the workplace matters a lot. Neat and functional workspaces boost the morale of the employees and create a sense of belonging to the work culture.
Photo: Global Divide Workstations

Flexibility

Office cubicles are a popular idea in today’s age because it doesn’t require to be built all at once. For example, if a company has 30 employees, they can build the required number of cubicles. As new hiring is completed, new cubicles can be constructed accordingly, which cuts the upfront cost for the office.

Things to Also Consider

Though it is important to get it installed by professionals and experts to save time, proper planning on the structure and size of the cubicle is required. Many offices create cubicles that are too small for the employee in which they cannot work comfortably. The other disadvantage of a cubicle is that it causes hindrance in coordination with the other employees in case proper meeting channels are not practiced in office.


Photo: Groupe Lacasse Paradigm Workstations

Get the Modern Cubicles Expertise You Need

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs and laying out an office that meets the needs of employees and departments.

Our team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Main Photo by: Groupe Lacasse
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Groupe Lacasse, National, Friant, HONTrendway, ODS / Office Design Studio and Global

Designing an Office Layout for Maximum Productivity

Designing an Office Layout for Maximum Productivity

Your office may have plenty of desks, chairs and computers but, as you’ll agree, that doesn’t mean the layout and floor plan are designed for the greatest possible level of productivity.

A productive office layout that helps everyone get their jobs done isn’t something you just pick up at an office supply store like Staples or Office Max. A well-planned office space isn’t a commodity—it’s unique to your work environment and what you want to achieve.

Before looking at the elements that create a favorable place to work, consider why you want to plan your office layout.

Here’s an easy hint.

  • Question: Who comes into work each day?
  • Answer: The people.

Your office layout’s goal is to support people so they can function at their optimal level.


Photo: OFS Staks Workstations

Talking about an office layout and furnishings to help us work efficiently seems old school. Most chatter focuses on digital smart tools and the Internet of Things.

Offices have been so taken for granted that we forget that workstations, partitions, and even the break room are intended to support people and the outcomes they’re trying to achieve.

So what has to change to make your office more than just a functional space? Before jumping into the solutions, let’s first get an understanding of what is an office layout.

Defining an Office Layout

write-up by Rivier University noted the importance of taking a holistic approach to designing a work environment. Most layouts will only consider how the furniture and equipment like printers and copiers are arranged.

Here’s something else you need to include: space.

Adequate space for employees to work and take breaks can reduce stress and help them to focus.


Photo: Nevins Leaf Living Walls

Make the office appealing. Aesthetics play a key role in how pleasing the environment is for employees. Use soothing colors and let as much natural light as possible flow in. Indoor plants are attractive and they can freshen air and are proven to boost morale.

Types of Office Layouts

Planning and designing the office workspace will depend on the type of work needing done and the physical space limitations. Here are three main types of offices:

  • Open plan offices
  • Offices with private rooms
  • Hybrid office layouts


Photo: OFS Range Open-Plan Benching

An open plan office works well with fast-paced organizations where groups need close collaboration. Start-up tech companies made the concept popular. This layout is seen as budget-friendly since there are no or few walls to re-configure as space needs change.

Offices with private rooms benefit companies where individuals like attorneys and healthcare professionals have confidential client meetings in person or over the phone. This plan is associated with hierarchical companies where the president is known for having the large, stereotypical private office.

Hybrid office layouts have both open floor space and areas that are partitioned. A mostly open space is divided by modular cubicles or workstation pods that are grouped together. This layout is popular in companies like call centers or banks where some privacy is needed.


Photo: Trendway Volo Walls

3 Basic Tips for Designing a Productive Office

Keep the following principles in mind if you’re wondering how to plan a new office layout.

  • Communication is Key

Create an office layout that works well by understanding how much inter-employee communication needs to take place and how often departments need to collaborate.

Who does most of the communication? Does a project manager handle assignments from various teams? If so, this person, or small team, can be in a central location and act as a hub.

Do managers from different departments frequently share information in-person?

Create a central location where they can meet without interrupting those doing their work.

  • Break Areas are Essential

People need to step back from their daily tasks and take a breather. In an open office setting, workers still need quiet places to think, do some work privately or take phone calls.


Photo: OFS Coact Modular Lounge

Designate break areas that can be temporary work-free zones.

  • Keep Open Spaces

Don’t cram and pack people together. Provide space between workstations so workers don’t feel cramped. It’s like white space on a page.

If you see a printed page or webpage that’s jam packed with words, your eyes will glaze over and you won’t want to keep reading. White space is inviting and lets the reader skim the text. Open spaces inside an office are also inviting and welcoming.

Crowded spaces backfire, even in open office settings. People block each other out instead of collaborating. Architects and interior decorators won’t guide you through the layout process so you need to customize your space.

The lack of personal space is the biggest threat to a productive office, according to design publication Dezeen.com, as described in an article Open-plan office design is preventing workers from concentrating, study finds.

A well-designed office space creates enough privacy for employees to focus on the challenges in front of them and allows for collaboration.

This give-and-take approach to space planning is the 2010 Space Planning Strategy.

  • Ask Employees for Input

Create employee engagement by asking people to give input on what works well in their personal workspace. Get their feedback on their personal experience of what works well and what improvements can be made.

If you don’t want to overhaul a layout, but improve it then see which of the typical problems your office is experiencing.

Office Layout Problems to Correct

Do you recognize the following list of challenges in your office?

  • Distracting Noise
  • No personal space
  • Increased risk of catching colds, illness
  • Regular interruptions
  • Reduced job satisfaction with higher risk of talent turnover

Critics blame the open office. However, offices with thick cement walls can create a bunker mentality and make people feel blocked off and left out.

The office space itself is neutral. It’s how you plan the layout that impacts workers. Both introverts and extroverts can function in an open office plan, as noted in an article on the website of Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM).

The most satisfying office layout for workers is one where people have a choice in where and how they manage their work. An effective office plan can have a variety of private and open spaces.

Strategies to Tackle Office Layout Issues

Make an office as appealing and productive as possible by balancing the need for privacy with the need for collaboration.

This is challenging since there are seating arrangements that are communal like open plan benching. Open plan benching is a long work surface. Desking solutions like the ODS Artiv Open Plan Benching can have attractive privacy screens attached to create personal workspace.

When employees in an open benching situation need extra privacy, let them use the offices of those who are on vacation or family leave.

Reduce noise in an open-plan benching arrangement by installing cubicle-like partitions or bookcases holding plants and fabrics between seating areas. Use plenty of indoor plants to bring nature inside. Certain plants will absorb sound waves and refresh the air.

Install architectural walls or cubicle pods to create a conference room or designated conversation zone away from workstations. The interiors can have white boards and projectors to maximize interaction.

Create a small library or fun room as a break area.

If someone has a cold but is well enough to come to work, let them work in an area that’s away from other employees.

Develop a protocol for employees to let others know when they can’t be disturbed and need extended time to focus on a project.

An office layout that’s designed for as much productivity as possible will go beyond the placement of workstations and equipment. Other elements, like lighting, keep people alert and productive.

 


Photo: Humanscale Vessel Lighting

Lighting Design in an Office Layout

Natural light is the most important lighting system for office productivity. Open office designs allow as much natural light as possible to flow through the space.

Does your office design let workers share the light? Desks should be within twenty-five feet of windows. For those farther away, install solar tubes or office skylights if possible.

Keep artificial light at levels that are bright enough without creating glare. Offer screen protectors to shield people’s eyes if they spend long hours on their laptops or desktops.

Install lighting controls or task lighting solutions at individual workstations so employees can use the amount of light that works best for them.


Photo: Humanscale Element 790, Horizon 2.0 & Infinity Lighting

Plan to Use Quality Workstations and Ergonomic Chairs

A workstation is not just a workstation. A manager will need a cubicle layout that accommodates two or three people to have more personal meetings than a programmer or graphic designer who needs extended time alone.

The best desking solutions are modular and are designed to let people work together well.

The Desk Makers Teamworx Open Plan Desking can accommodate a few people without making them feel crowded.


Photo: DeskMakers TeamWorx Open-Plan Benching

Use benching solutions that define personal work areas such as the ODS Lift Table Height Adjustable Workstation. This is especially useful for shared workstations since each employee can adjust the surface to a comfortable height.


Photo: ODS (Office Design Studio) Lift Height Adjustable Tables

Ergonomic furniture isn’t just a passing fad. Quality chairs promote good posture and support the body’s natural movements. Armrests support the shoulders and upper back while the back of the chair should complement the body’s natural curve and provide lumbar support.

Workers stay comfortable and reduce the risk of strains in the lower back muscles, the elbows and knees.

Adjust the height of a chair so a person’s feet are comfortably flat on the floor and they can look at the computer screen without having to tilt their head forward and lean down.

Planning on what products to use and where to place them makes the most of your available space.


Photo: OFS Obeya Architectural Structures

Get the Expertise You Need

The 2010 Space Planning Strategy can show you how to accommodate your workstations and your break area so that spaces are well-defined and laid out in a logical fashion.

Make the office work for the whole person. Maximizing productivity doesn’t mean just churning through a to-do list. Instead, it’s a strategic process to provide solutions for your customers.

Invest in people by designing a layout that supports their skill set and you’ll boost the overall work environment.

Get input from 2010 Office Furniture on your space planning needs. Call or submit your questions.

Our team has more than 45 years of experience serving corporations, universities and small businesses throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Read Also: Choosing the Best Benching or Desking Workstations in Los Angeles
Main Photo by: OFS
Resources & Special Thanks to: Rivier University, Dezeen, SHRM & Respective Product Manufacturers: OFS, DeskMakers, Humanscale, Nevins, ODS & Trendway

The Benefits of Open Plan Cubicles for Los Angeles Businesses

The Benefits of Open Plan Cubicles for Los Angeles Businesses

Open Plan Cubicles May Be the Answer

Dividing an office space isn’t easy, but open plan cubicles can help businesses and nonprofits in Los Angeles budget for growth and be flexible during down times. Today’s cubicle solutions create an open and welcoming atmosphere while providing a space to focus.

The Workspace

Los Angeles is home to more than 244,000 businesses, according to the LA County.Gov’s Business page. No other county in the U.S. has more women and minority-owned businesses. Of all the decisions that are made in running an operation, the use of cubicles or desks may not appear to rank high in importance. But an office layout and the types of work surfaces used impact productivity and employee morale. Think of the pebble-in-the-shoeconcept. Something small that goes wrong eventually causes a tremendous irritation. And an office environment is no different.

The right equipment impacts work performance and eventually impacts profitability. Yes, a bookkeeper and even a graphic artist can work on a desk with a wobbly leg, but the imperfection is a distraction from the work that each person is meant to do and complete.  Open plan cubicles are an investment for maximum performance.

Flexible Solutions for Flexible Employees

Open plan cubicles can support employees who work in the office every day, salespeople who need to be out and about, and employees or freelancers who work remotely but need an occasional day in the office.  Since the cubicles are built for flexibility, it’s possible to have just one or two work areas and expand to several if the need allows.

Open Plan Cubicles Fit the Need and Style of the Work Function

For employees who need to be on the phone and making calls outside, a system like the EO Workstation by Global may work best while the Crossroads Workstation by ODS can work well for programmers and those doing data entry.  List the types of individual functions or departmental functions to get an understanding of the best cubicle systems. Consider the amount of time that’s needed to connect with potential clients, welcome visitors to the office, or stay focused on work internally.  One open plan cubicle system may not work for everyone since small businesses and large corporations all have a myriad of functions to keep them operating.

Cubicle Systems are Durable

Expect open plan cubicles to last thanks to well-manufactured parts. Cubicles give offices flexibility in how they fit together but they are made to last and withstand rigorous use. The systems are also equipped to handle cords and cables so it’s easy to plug in.

Use Benching Cubicles to Boost Productivity in Orange County

Use Benching Cubicles to Boost Productivity in Orange County

The Role of the Benching Cubicle

Orange County, California is a dynamic region that’s conveniently connected to Los Angeles and San Diego. Tech offices, gaming firms, and professional innovators seek the competitive edge.  A well-planned office layout contributes to productivity and, therefore, profitability. See how benching cubicle workstations play a role.

Staying Focused

In open office layouts, benching cubicles offer individuals the chance to focus without walling off co-workers. The partitions come in different styles and help absorb sound.  Workers in the same department can stay on-target together by working alongside each other. Benching cubicles have enough flexibility to create temporary project sites where employees from different departments and skill sets can come together as needed to work on the same project.

Allowing Communication

Benching cubicles aid in office communication since the dividers are less obtrusive than solid walls. Flexibility is key and the systems can be customized to match individual personalities. Openness promotes organic collaboration and creates an atmosphere of people being able to approach one another.  Benching cubicles also integrate well with technology so employees can plug in easily without disturbing those around them.

Aligning Teams with the Benching Cubicle

The cubicles with adjustable partitions make it easy to bring teams together from either the same department or leverage different skill sets to tackle one main project. Creative solutions can flow more readily than if workers were isolated.

Cubicles styles are also available to match the different functions of a company’s teams. An administrative team of a few people may find the Accelerate Workstation by Hon to be useful.  A sales team making calls or having prospective clients stop in may prefer the EO+ Workstation by Global or the Initiate Workstation by Hon.

Supporting a Brand

The clean look and space optimization that benching cubicles provide reflect well on the brand for employees, clients and vendors. The elements of look, function and style combine to create a workplace that has a high quality and attracts the talent a company needs to succeed.  All in all, a well-planned office environment that’s attractive shows that the employees are worth investing in and that they’re being supported.

Image Source: HON Open Spaces

Using Open Plan Workstations in Orange County

Using Open Plan Workstations in Orange County

The Orange County Mentality

Think of innovative Orange County and California companies, and gaming firms, tech or financial start-ups like Acorn may come to mind. Add automotive companies to the list of innovators. Karma Automotive got its start in the OC and manufactures environmentally friendly vehicles.  No doubt, there’s a lot of talent in Southern California with entrepreneurs who find a unique need in the marketplace and then work hard to provide a solution and capture their niche in the marketplace. However, keeping daily operations humming along doesn’t just happen.  A well-designed office space is key along with the right furnishings, like those in open plan workstations. Open office floor plans and workstations have been known to have key benefits and play a direct role in a company’s success.

Open Plan Flexibility

Open office floor plans have become standard because workspace configurations are easy to manage. But don’t just set up the workstations in just any pattern. The most effective offices are arranged with thorough planning and space design strategies. Know how the team functions and relates with their different responsibilities. Then plan work areas accordingly.

Be creative. Why not put the administrative team in the center of the room instead of in a distant corner? This way, it’s clear that they set the tone for communicating with everyone.  Sales and marketing can be near the front door and the project managers, developers or creatives can be positioned in an area that’s quieter and focused. Setting up and taking down workstations is easy.

Flexibility isn’t just in the layout but also includes workstations with height-adjustable surfaces like the Hover Height Adjustable Table by DeskMakers. It also offers easy power distribution and cable management when the height changes.

Open Plan Approachability

Using open plan workstations can create a friendly, business casual environment. Open plan workstations allow for approachability since people aren’t cloistered behind solid walls. This makes personal communication and collaboration easier than having to knock on doors or send emails.  Focus time is important so chairs can be arranged around small tables in a break type area or meeting pods used so others aren’t distracted.

Open Plan Durability

Easy to assemble furniture is durable. Veneer surfaces and premium materials make for a clean look and performance that can withstand rugged work habits. All mechanisms including brackets are manufactured well for maximum use over many years.

Choosing the Best Benching or Desking Workstations in Los Angeles

Choosing the Best Benching or Desking Workstations in Los Angeles

Benching / Desking in Los Angeles Digital Media

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

Interaction

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

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

Efficiency

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

Movement

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

Defining Space with Desking

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

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

Reasons to Refresh and Improve Office Layout

Reasons to Refresh and Improve Office Layout

Steps to Improve Office Layout

A need to boost office morale and improve communication within or between departments are among the reasons to refresh an existing workspace and improve office layout. Today’s modular style furniture offers easy-to-implement solutions.

Let the Sun Shine In

Improve office layout by boosting overall morale with more natural light. Southern California is bathed in sunshine throughout the year, but office workers with desks removed from windows don’t get the benefits.  A 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine concluded that employees with access to plenty of natural light were more alert and productive during the day and slept more peacefully at night.  Another finding published in the Harvard Business Review showed that natural light in offices is more desired than on-site fitness centers and even perks like bringing one’s dog to work.  Make sure desks and work areas are within 25 feet of windows. For best results, install light tubes and larger windows.

Turn Private Cubicles into Group Work Pods

Changes in a work settings often evolve. While the company’s mission may remain the same, new client accounts or launches of product lines may be a call to improve office layout and allow workers  to streamline their communications.  New hires and workers from different generations can have unique expectations for what they consider a comfortable office setting. Stop and consider if your current layout allows members of different departments to communicate as effectively as possible.  Offices with multiple departments may want cubicles in certain areas to make work easier like a sales team that has to be on the phone. A finance department or production team may work best with open plan benching to share ideas and information with each other.

Use Modular Walls For Privacy and Transparency

Create a flexible conference room. When private conversations or group discussions are needed, install transparent architectural wallsto create boundaries within an open atmosphere. Equip the area with a wireless printer and flat screen monitor.

Create an Open Break Area

Many employees prize relationships in the work place. Provide an open break area with lounge chairsthat are clearly styled for individual, private space and other lounge furniture that’s easily configured for a small group.

The Mindset to Improve Office Layout

Refreshing an existing office space takes a little imagination and a knowledge of the available furniture and accessories.

Image Source: Groupe Lacasse