Benefits of Using Open Plan Cubicles in Los Angeles

Companies using open plan cubicles in Los Angeles are reaping the many office benefits they offer. Today’s many styles of open plan cubicles in Los Angeles provide defined personal areas without creating an atmosphere of barriers. In addition, re-configuring an office to accommodate growth over the years is easy and affordable.

Cubicle Styles

It’s important to understand what the many cubicle styles are in today’s office environments, and what works. Stylishly colored cubicles that blend in well allow a company to display its own distinct brand instead of a haphazard collection of desks or one-color partitions. Gone are the days of drab gray.  The modern office is all about color.  You’ll also find that many open plan cubicles in Los Angeles these days help alleviate the sense of claustrophobia. The EO+ Workstation by Global is a good example of modular panels that are visually pleasing and use translucent glass to let light filter through. This system works well in a spacious office or compact location. The Initiate Workstation by HON is similar to the EO+ and allows for each person to add their own distinctive touches to their workspace. When collaboration is important, consider cubicles by Friant like the Interra, Tiles, and System 2 workstations.

Easy Cubicle Configuration

Flexibility is important for large corporations in and around Los Angeles as well as entrepreneurial start-ups. New accounts or a need for better employee to employee communication can necessitate change.  Open plan cubicles can meet the fine line needed for discussion and idea sharing while offering privacy when a team member needs to withdraw from others and work in a focused manner.  Cubicles are easy to configure whether new hires come through the door or an office needs re-arranging to service a major account. Yet, the steel and aluminum parts are durable for a long life.

Considerations for Space Planning and Design

Knowing how to properly plan and design a space requires an understanding of what makes an office function well. Consider present needs and how the team is arranged and the impact of projected future growth.  In an open office setting, private areas become important for people who need to withdraw. A space doesn’t have to be large, but it should be defined in some way. Lounge chairs or hanging plants create boundaries without feeling like barricades.  Open plan cubicles make it easy to provide defined workspace, personal break areas and places for shared equipment like copiers.

Image Source: Friant

Office Design Layout Best Practices

Office Design and Layout Best Practices

Setting up an office or re-designing an existing office design layout that creates efficiencies on the job and provides a welcoming atmosphere takes an understanding of corporate needs and individual behaviors. Here are the best practice principles that companies throughout Southern California can use to lay out an office.

What is the Purpose of Your Office?

Knowing the purpose of the workplace may seem obvious. Work has to get done, clients and customers serviced, and payroll met. The reason those functions exist is to support a company’s vision and mission.

A vision statement shows what a company aspires to become while a mission statement reveals how the organization carries out its daily tasks. Plan and design an office design layout that supports current work while allowing flexible options for future change.  A production company near downtown Los Angeles may plan to roll out a series that inspires residents of different races to work together in their communities, while an accounting firm in Glendale wants to be known as setting the highest possible standard of integrity.  Having a clear vision and mission statement and then making sure every employee understands why they come to work each day to a space that’s well-organized provides a competitive advantage. This boosts morale and creates a motivated workforce.

Now let’s dig deeper.

What is an Office Space?

Today’s digital world makes working remotely possible in many professional industries. But the work begins with a specific location. An office serves as a central hub of identity and communications for employees, vendors and clients.

A good example of identity is in today’s university systems. As you drive through Los Angeles, Orange Counties and the Inland Empire, you’ll notice signs for branch campuses of many different colleges and universities.  Although higher education is decentralized, the core values and mission come from a central location.  A franchise is also a good example of a central office with standards and values that’s replicated through like-minded locations.  One obvious way an office can form a clear identity is through its design and set up.

How Do Employees Use the Office?

Employees in different industries are going to use offices in their own unique ways. Knowing their needs becomes critical in creating an office design layout that serves everyone’s purpose.

For CPAs in an accounting firm who may want or need their individual space to focus and talk to clients, executive desks may be the best option. For marketing firms with designers, writers, and other creative professionals who have to come together to brainstorm and then complete their work, shared desks and workstations can work well.  Real estate brokerages have agents who are primarily out with buyers and sellers, but need an office space to copy papers, consult with their clients and sign contracts.  Know who’s in, who’s out and what percentage of time the space is needed. Understanding this will help you choose the workstations and private desks that fit your office needs.

Do Clients Use the Office?

Professional firms vary widely in how clients use an office. Small web design firms may go out 90% of the time to see clients while clinics and law firms will often have clients or possible new clients stop in.  Every office should have a multi-use space that can be comfortable for people stopping in and gatherings for staff. It can be a functional space for meetings and trainings and act as a marketing tool that convinces potential clients to do business with your company instead of a competitor.  Use a reception desk and guest chairs that invite someone to step in and sense a connection.

Office Atmosphere

Included in a well-planned office are the elements that contribute to the overall atmosphere like lighting, temperature and personal effects. Maximize Southern California’s abundant sunshine, use smart controls for energy efficiency, and create an area or defined zones for people to pull back from deadlines and the crush of work to be quiet and get refreshed.

Image Source: Friant

Use Benching Workstations to Create A Cohesive Workspace in Los Angeles

Use Benching Workstations to Create A Cohesive Workspace in Los Angeles

Companies of all sizes in Los Angeles can maximize space and create a positive work environment by using benching workstations. Use our office layout system guide below for a seamless flow from the front door to the storage areas.

Flow

A well-designed office space has a seamless sense of organization whether, it’s a studio in Playa Vista or a high rise in Century City. It’s not just people working away on laptops or chatting with clients and vendors.

It’s important to realize a flow should exist from the moment someone enters the reception area. Consider how the appearance of the reception desk and guest chairs impact an office environment.  An organic flow would lead naturally to a work area with benching workstation configurations. Options include seating for several workers in a length-wise arrangement like the Icon Open Plan Workstation by AMQ.  Create a different brand appearance and visual impact with rounded benching workstations like the Intermix Work Open Plan Desking by First Office or the Verity Open Plan Benching by Friant.

Definition

Imagine a large office space that literally has no internal walls. Areas can easily be defined even in such open office settings. The style of desks and workstations set expectations so walls aren’t needed.

Benching workstations are flexible in their configurations and different shapes can delineate specific departments. A production team of designers or engineers can use one particular shape and cluster while a separate style can be for administration.

Break areas can be established with individual chairs. A creative approach would be using modular lounge chairs to establish relaxation centers between departments or in one central area. This addresses the need for a shared experience while respecting individual privacy and down time.

Expectations

A well-designed office lays out expectations for each area and helps employees respect the company. A 2017 Gallup study, State of the American Workplace, concluded that staff who have a personal area are 1.4 times more likely to be engaged in the workplace.

Space planning and its successful application reflect a company’s brand and speaks to the corporate culture. For younger companies, a cohesive office speaks to staying power and allows workers to look to the future.

An established corporation can refresh its office space using current benching workstation solutions and add a new vibe to the surroundings.

Image Source: Friant

Mastering the Activity-Based Office Layout

Mastering the Activity-Based Office Layout

What is an Activity-Based Office Layout

To promote a more productive office, steer clear of the traditional and stationary individual work desks.  Instead, try an activity-based office layout — with work zones, collaboration areas, and places to focus.  The activity-based office layout is a variation on an open office floor plan and foster activity-based working.  Activity-based working means that instead of specific one-man desks where a person works all day, employees can access a variety of spaces throughout their work day. Informal areas are a fit for impromptu meetings and personal areas are available for phone calls and a chance to retreat briefly from a workstation.

Office Layout – Workstations

An activity-based office layout lets employees work in areas that are personally comfortable. Sometimes it’s necessary to work closely with other team members, so select workstations with the styles and customizable features that support a team’s needs.  Privacy is often an issue so choose desks and open-plan benching with partitions that can be removed or installed.  There are many quality workstations available today that are designed for the different personalities that make up a team, along with the needs of individuals. The G Series Desk Lounge is a good example, with a layout that can provide room for four workers, and a casual seating space with a sofa-type cushion. The workstation can be configured if people want to work in pairs or if someone needs to work alone, and the desk surfaces are height adjustable.

Office Layout – Joint Areas

What happens if a focused conversation has to take place and others can’t be interrupted? Create an area for collaboration!  When designing an activity-based office layout even with small workspaces, there are plenty of options for creating collaboration areas. Conversation pods, or co-op meeting spaces, and modular lounge furniture that is easily re-configured make it possible to get ideas out in the open without interrupting flow in designated work areas.  Also consider architectural walls that define space but let light filter through the room.  If spaces seem cluttered and tight, consider what furniture can and needs to go.  A design firm in London, Oktra, did an office overhaul so more collaboration among team members could take place. The company tossed 30 percent of its desks and increased the size used for sharing ideas. An area was also created for employees to use their phones.

Office Layout – Concentration Zones

Healthy boundaries are needed in the workspace — and key for the activity-based office layout. Employees are a mix of introverts and extroverts.  A constant barrage of communication indefinitely can wear people down, and introverts especially need to be able to have a chance to pull back from others when necessary.   Create concentration zones with individual pods, like a privacy booth from KI. Its design reduces surrounding noise and restricts peripheral vision.  Also, playing quiet background music like instrumental jazz and using plants to demarcate space can help create areas for taking a personal call or getting into an assignment.

More Office Space Ideas

When considering to revamp the workplace with an activity-based office layout and create a productive setting with a personal touch, then present a concept and ask the employees for their ideas on designs and touches that they’d like.  There are many things that can be done, even if initially it seems like an impossibility.  For example, if the office can’t afford to install a company gym, maybe consider installing a treadmill or two. That gives employees chances to take a walking break during the day.  It’s also a great idea to keep your office happy with food.  You can bring in catered coffee with a barista once or twice a week, depending on the budget, or have a monthly taco bar.  Bottom line: create spaces for these type of activities that encourage your staff and keep them happy.

2010 Office Furniture offers expert ideas for companies in all industries needing furniture that fits available spaces, goals and objectives. Submit your needs here to get input on space planning, ergonomic furniture and the accessories needed to create an office that brings the most out of people while providing a positive office and work experience.

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Leading Principles of an Effective Office Layout

What is an Effective Office Layout?

Principles of an effective office layout that are followed well should lead to an environment that creates connections between people and supports a successful workflow. Layout and design principles aren’t just for huge corporations in downtown Los Angeles or tech giants in El Segundo. They’re needed in all industries, big and small.  Universities, tech start-ups, leading corporations and small businesses all need to consider the impact of an office on people — how space is utilized, and how relationships between departments affect workflow. Employee morale and wellness become underlying issues to address.  Read on to consider these office layout principles and how to adapt them.

The Office: Personal Collaboration

Offices can welcome or intimidate. They can also inspire creativity or reveal stress and clutter. Workspaces impact people in every industry, including academia. An office design research study from 2011 showed how students were impacted by the office layout of their academic advisor’s office. The author, James Eckerty, concluded that “our physical environments can be a powerful tool for creating welcoming and collaborative environments.”  Effective layouts were “spacious and neatly arranged,” wrote Eckerty, “and allowed for students to make eye contact with their advisor and also easily see the computer.” In the study, about half of the students surveyed noted that seat placement set the tone for the meeting.

To stimulate collaboration in a private office setting, consider using desks with comfortable guest chairs. Enhance the office layout with a potted plant to create a relaxed atmosphere.

In an open office setting or spaces with cubicles, there are creative seating arrangements that can be set up for focused conversation like Focal Point by OFS or Co-Op Lounge by Arcadia.

The Environment: Personal Wellness

A pleasing environment boosts productivity and keeps morale high. Natural light and green plants are considered essential for a pleasant office environment. Bringing nature indoors adds an aesthetically pleasing element to the workspace but it also has important health benefits.  Maximizing natural light infuses employees with energy and helps maintain a physical rhythm that promotes a restful night’s sleep.  Plants reduce the amount of bacteria in the air and provide needed humidity. They also offer a change of scenery and color.  Movement is another feature of an optimized office layout. Height adjustable desks and tables offer flexibility. Ergonomic chairs support natural body movements to reduce pressure on the spine and joints.

The Space: Personal Time

During the early to mid-20thcentury when heavy manufacturing ruled the economy, companies ran in strict top-down fashion. Executives had their personal space to create the directives that mid-level managers and laborers had to follow.  However, today’s thinking economy that’s digitally driven and connected has created a greater need for collaboration and consensus. Open office layout and desk arrangements and cubicles make sharing ideas and data easy.  Personal space to regroup and focus mentally now becomes important.  Make sure to provide a lounge or space where it’s easy to take a snack break or work individually. Provide seating options that are flexible and can be arranged for one person’s needs or for a casual interaction.

An Office Layout for Your Most Important Resource: Employees

Don’t forget that as a business, your most important resource is the people that work for you.  Following these principles of an effective office layout can keep personal satisfaction high and lead to greater productivity.  But effective offices don’t just happen. Workstations, cubicles and break areas need a well-planned space to provide maximum support.  If you are interested in designing your office for a more effective office layout, please don’t hesitate to ask us for help.  Our office furniture experts are here to guide you and help you every step of the way.

Read also: The Basic Criteria for a Good Design and a Good Business
Main Photo: Nucraft Tesano Community Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Nucraft

Your Guide to Choosing the Best Office Layout

Your Guide to Choosing the Best Office Layout

If you’re looking for a guide to help you choose the best office layout with maximum effectiveness, you’ve come to the right place!  An office layout is part of your brand and a direct representation of your company.  A well-designed and properly planned space conveys the order, quality, and stability of your brand, both to your employees and the clients who visit.  Read on to evaluate your needs — based on your type of company, your staff, and what your plans are for the future–and follow the guide below for some insights on how to create your best office layout.

Your Type of Company

Best office layouts can change depending on your type of company and stage of existence. There’s certainly cross-over from one category to another and today’s flexible designs can be adapted for various situations. Still, how you see yourself can determine the type of workstations and storage solutions you select.

START-UP

If you’ve followed in the footsteps of the Hewlett Packard story and you’ve moved out of the garage — then congratulations! Setting up a new office is daunting and it’s tempting to buy used furniture that doesn’t cost much.  Remember that while affordable quality used office furniture is available, the price difference however, with buying new furniture is minimal.  At this stage in the game, also consider that now’s the time to invest in a layout that’s modular. Start with the most essential pieces and add as growth occurs and the budget allows.

TECH, PR, ENTERTAINMENT

In areas like Hollywood, Santa Monica and Culver City, open office layouts are widely used with technology, public relations firms and production companies. The need for collaborating on projects is high and an open office layout supports communication.  Use height-adjustable tables and desks that can meet the varying needs of individuals. Provide private spaces for employees to retreat into a quiet, brainstorming mode.  Set the open tone with reception desks that have a minimal, modern and approachable appearance.

ESTABLISHED PROFESSIONAL FIRM

A professional law or engineering firm will usually have a high need for traditional private offices. Desks and related storage with ergonomic chairs can still invite collaboration and discussion. Or, in a private space, consider comfortable chairs off to the side for inter-personal communication.

CORPORATIONS WITH DEPARTMENTAL BOUNDARIES

An established corporate office with well-staffed departments can use a variety of office layouts, or a modular approach, based on the needs of upper management and specific departments.  Cubicles can offer privacy but allow for communication and transparency with translucent or clear partitions. Departments can use pods for small groups of workers and provide for individual storage needs and equip private offices with traditional desk and storage designs.

NONPROFIT

Nonprofits in Southern California are as different as the people they serve. From health-care and after-school programs to foster care and food programs, staffing needs and the way they operate vary greatly.  Nonprofits that have program recipients coming in can invest in quality multi-purpose chairs that are durable with budget-smart chairs and conference tables for board meetings.

MANUFACTURING

Companies that turn raw materials into products for aerospace, the fashion industry, and small manufacturing firms can use a mix of public and private spacing. Make access to the production floor easy but cut down noise and distractions with private cubicle spaces.  Give labor comfortable seating options and arrangements during break times.

Staff Functions and Needs

Your office layout will be affected by how often your staff is in versus out. Think of how the behavioral needs of a real estate brokerage firm in Beverly Hills are quite different than an accounting firm in Glendale.

HEAVY USER STORAGE NEEDS VS MINIMAL

The need for file storage that’s office-wide or heavy in one department and light in another can impact layout. One central storage area that’s well-equipped may serve the needs well, or each workstation can have its own available storage.

COMPUTER USE VS CLIENT-INTERACTION IN-PERSON OR PHONE

The more work revolves around client interaction online compared to phone or in person then lean toward workstations for open office and modular designs.

OUTSIDE SALES VS DESK WORKER

Professionals like real estate agents who are mostly out seeing clients can use shared spaces quite well. Create modular conference areas when important documents need signing.

TEAM-CENTERED

A firm that’s heavily team-centered can use an open office layout with clearly designated quiet areas and open spaces for breaks.

Future Projections

Plan for the mid-term and long-term future. An established corporation in a mature industry will likely use the same layouts with only subtle changes for the future. An entrepreneurial firm that goes from boot-strapping to steady cashflow will undergo much greater changes in the same period of time.

TEMPORARY PROJECTS

Public relations firms and entertainment firms that bring in freelance talent on a project to consult and then disburse should focus on areas that serve group brainstorming and problem-solving.

GROWTH AND EXPANSION

The startup or small office intent on winning more business can use a minimalist, modular design.

MATURE COMPANIES

Provide for efficient flow of information between departments.

Getting Started on Your Best Office Layout

If you are ready to design your best office layout please don’t hesitate to ask us for help.  Our office furniture experts are here to guide you and help you every step of the way

Read also: How to Select an Open Office or Private Office Layout

Image Source: OFS Brands Aptos

How to Select an Open Office or Private Office Layout

How to Select an Open Office or Private Office Layout

Open Office VS Private Office

An open office layout allows co-workers to easily communicate with each other. The aesthetics are pleasing since even a small office can look spacious when it’s not sectioned off. About 80% of U.S. companies use the this layout, yet the layout has its critics that are speaking out.  During 2018, a headline in the Chicago Tribune announced, “The open office plan is a disaster” while the Washington Post published an analysis proclaiming, “Open office plans are as bad as you thought.” Disruptions and a sense of impermanence are noted as a couple of the negatives.

It’s important to note that the open office layout works or falls short of expectations depending on these variables: the nature of the work to accomplish; a company’s culture; and whether or not an office space is planned well.  Read on to learn more about open offices versus private offices, and how a professionally designed layout can work well for your office space.

The Nature of the Work

A reason that open office plans may be getting negative reviews is that company executives and office managers will often make decisions based on popular trends instead of what is right for their specific situation.  For example, tech giants such as Apple and Google use an open office approach in their office spaces around the world. So if it’s right for these global brands, then it must be right for—

Hold on. It’s important to remember that a better way to lay out an office is to understand the nature of a company’s work and the need for collaboration and communication. Budgets matter and open offices typically cost less to maintain. If the existing physical space is open, then planning an this can be an easy solution.  Think in terms of a grid or formula. The greater the need for collaboration, then the more an open office situation is right.  Highly personalized work that require individual conversations on completely different matters will require more boundaries in place.

A Team Approach

Consider an open office environment for small teams that are focused on bringing a project to life where the need for collaboration is high.  A small engineering firm that is building a robot or a creative firm like an ad agency that’s working on a specific account can benefit from an open office design and use of collaborative workstations.  The upside to this scenario is that team members have an easy time talking to each other and the open office arrangement is flexible and adaptable as projects come and go.  The downside however is that team members can feel like the arrangement is temporary with a “here today and gone tomorrow” kind of feeling. Also, individuals who need quiet to focus on their work are exposed to teammates’ conversations, phone calls, “out loud” thinking, and music that are a distraction while playing in the background.

Individualized Work

An architectural firm where partners spearhead their own projects or a law firm where individuals are tackling completely different cases can benefit from a more closed office with individual office desks.  In these scenarios, when private spaces become a necessity, panes of glass can be used in place of solid walls. Bookcases that are filled with research material along with dividers to deaden sound can delineate space.

Working in Open Groups

Rarely is a decision so straight-forward in today’s working world that an office either has to only have an open office plan or a closed office plan with private spaces and traditional doors. Today’s office furniture needs in seating and workstation options come with adaptability and flexibility.

A company that might have 200 or 300 employees can have an open office arrangement where groups are formed by department or logical tasks.  Accounting and finance can be in one open area while marketing can be in another. If the space is large enough, then using attractive dividers decorated with company milestones can act as boundary markers instead of installing solid walls.  Real estate brokerage firms and insurance companies can work with an open-private hybrid and design.  Hanging plants, light stands, or individual lounge chairs can create distinctive work areas. Creative office furniture like the Connection Zone or Co-op Lounge can carve out private spaces within an open office layout.

Designing an Open Office or Private Office Layout

Looking to design your own private office or open plan space?  Let our experts help you!  2010 Office Furniture has more than 45 years of experience working with some of the most prominent companies in Los Angeles and Orange County, including Southern California Edison, Irvine Chamber of Commerce, The Honda Center, UCLA, Bunim Murray Productions, Hollywood Park Casino, Living Spaces, W Hotels, Sony Pictures Studios, Dignity Health and more.  Share your project with us today and talk to us about a complimentary space planning consultation.

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3 Popular Office Layouts to Meet Your Office Culture

3 Popular Office Layouts to Meet Your Office Culture

The Importance of Office Layouts

An office layout that’s set up for maximum functionality and efficiency creates a productive environment. Achieving this optimal arrangement takes planning and accounts for all the necessary accessories and equipment.  Here is an overview of different office layouts, how each can be furnished, and the impact on the personal preferences of employees.

1. Open Office Layouts

A large space without walls is a simple definition of the open office. It’s a highly relational approach to work and fosters communication and collaboration. In practical terms, the layout can also be an easy way to manage people who do a single task like data entry. Tech companies and start-ups often benefit from this layout.  The challenge is that privacy is scarce and there are more distractions than in divided offices.

Seating and Workstation Options:

Adjusting for Personal Needs:

  • Letting employees work from home when they need privacy
  • Creating private areas using comfortable and state-of-the-art lounge chairs like Focal Point and Connection Zone
  • Using Co-op lounges for private, small group discussions and phone conferences

2. Cellular Office Layouts

A large space that’s divided using cubicle style desks offers greater privacy and more personal space than the open office. Benefits include being adaptable in space sizes and design. Sales organizations can benefit from this style where time is split between the office and going out to see clients.  The cubicle usually evokes images of corporate sameness with a dull gray interior and workers slotted into positions. However, today’s options are quite attractive. Instead of industrial grade partitions with desks squeezed in, the desk and cubicle are often one and the same.

Seating and Workstation Options:

Adjusting for Personal Needs:

  • Since cubicles can divide up a room, having an open area for lunches or lounging can offer variety.

3. Private Office Layouts

For an office space that already has hallways and walls, offices ensure the greatest degree of privacy possible. This style is found in top-down organizations and hearkens back to the days when the president of a company had the largest office or prized corner office.  Professional firms and companies where individuals need a high degree of focus in their work can benefit the most from this setup. The downside is that it hinders the relational aspects of work that younger generations enjoy and the layout can seem intimidating and overly formal.

The look of the furniture for private office layouts can reflect the company’s brand and the individual’s brand and personal tastes.

Seating and Workstation Options:

Suggested Innovative Office Layout Ideas

Be a trendsetter or invite employees to design their own office space whether the existing plan is open, made of cells or private rooms.

Shared and Personal Space:

  • Shared spaces can have individual lounge areas nearby. If you use a product like the Mayline – E5 Open Plan Benching that accommodates eight people, then each person could have an individual lounge chair nearby that has a reading lamp and available plug-ins.
  • Encourage the team to decorate according to their hobbies and interests: a library look, sports, or outdoor area.

A Middle of Room Lounge:

  • In an open office space, use modular cubicles or open plan benching around the sides. This is nice if windows let in plenty of natural light. Then in the middle of the room, create an open area for break-time reading, eating and beverage service.
  • Consider an arrangement like the Coact lounge or the Island Modular to bring people together.

Choosing Reception Furniture

The style of office layout will help determine the type of reception desk and guest chairs to use in the entrance of your office.

Designing Your Office Layout

Looking to design your own open, cellular or private office?  Let our experts help you!  2010 Office Furniture has more than 45 years of experience working with some of the most prominent companies in Los Angeles and Orange County, including Southern California Edison, Irvine Chamber of Commerce, The Honda Center, UCLA, Bunim Murray Productions, Hollywood Park Casino, Living Spaces, W Hotels, Sony Pictures Studios, Dignity Health and more.  Share your project with us today and talk to us about a complimentary space planning consultation.

Image Source: Hon