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Trends in Office Furniture and Décor to Watch for in 2020

As we enter 2020, we are not only moving forward into a new year but into many exciting developments in commercial office furnishings and interiors. With shifts in workplace trends such as hot-desking and multiuse spaces to décor changes and advancements in technology, there is a great deal for employees to look forward to. Here are a few trends to watch for, and aspire to, in the year ahead in the modern workplace.

Incorporating Technology

Technology is growing at an exponential rate and today’s workforce understands how to leverage it. That means employers need to not only incorporate its use to boost business but it can be wielded to bolster employee morale.

Falcon Products offers a variety of training tables that integrate power for mobile devices such as laptops along with cord management systems to avoid clutter. The Add-On Symetris, for example, comes in both standup and counter heights and are USB power capable. These desks can also be flipped and nested for ease of storage.

Add-On Symetris tables by Falcon Products with power access.

Imagine your employees walking into a cordless office space where they can get to work quickly and operate seamlessly throughout the day. With the advent of 5G communications, wireless is becoming better than ever before. It offers less latency, the ability to connect more devices, and there’s expanded coverage even in offices off the beaten path.

There are multiuse tables that can recharge mobile devices from cell phones to tablets without using a cord. You can simply just set your device down and it will charge. Additionally, there are furnishings that incorporate technological elements from screens to cameras and other tools that will make our everyday work life easier. These tools will allow us to hold virtual meetings.

The Convergence by DeskMakers is ideal creating extra storage in small spaces.

Colorful & Creative Office Spaces

The days of colorless black and white office spaces are gone. No more are employees stuck in drab office spaces, watching the clock for their next opportunity to escape. Today’s offices are trending to the use of vibrant colors in everything from the paint on the walls to the seating employees use to inspire them to do their best work, either alone or collaboratively.

Coriander Designs promises colorful, creative seating options for your lobby, waiting room, or shared spaces with its Kenzie Lounge Chairs. This modular seating collection produces a sweeping, curved, or rounded area for collaboration or independent seating. To add a sense of relaxation and comfort associated with the “resommercial” movement (bringing the feel of home into the workplace), there are six different ottoman choices for Kenzie as well. Flush power modules with two receptacles featuring dual USB ports are an additional option to make your common areas ever functional.

The Kenzie Lounge Chairs by Coriander Designs adds color and the comfort of home to office spaces with added durability.

Even glass boards are getting a color fix. For example, Fulbright Glass Boards offer not only a wide selection of standard and custom glass boards in a variety of sizes and finishes, but businesses can now select a glass board from a multitude of colors as well.  Fulbright Glass Boards offer at least 47 different colors to choose from to compliment any office color scheme. Whether you want to energize workers or your desire is to relax patients, you can create an environment that supports the accomplishment of your goals. You can even use your glass boards for marketing as custom-printed graphics such as logos are now available.

Fullbright Glass Boards add color, beauty, and functionality to the walls of your multifunctional spaces.

Wood Wins

While the incorporation of pops of color help to invigorate your employees, wood is still king when it comes to conference rooms and reception desks. Whether you want something with clean lines or curves that draw the eye, wood offers what you want.

Wood works well with a variety of color elements in any office. For example, light woods compliment décor with darker colors to brighten a workspace while darker woods work in lighter environments. Wood provides a sense of elegance, charm, and sophistication to any work environment. It’s also strong and durable so investing in wood furnishings means purchasing furniture that’s meant to last.

Take for example the wide variety of wooded reception furniture offered by Groupe Lacasse. The first thing someone sees when they enter your office space is typically the reception desk. We all know first impressions count so incorporating wood demonstrates a sense of professionalism and reliability.

Morpheo by Groupe Lacasse offers wood in many formats from traditional square desks to round forms to fit your reception areas and workspaces.

Not only does the use of wood make a statement of classic style, but it also can improve wellbeing, bolster job satisfaction, and drive productivity, according to the study Workplaces: Wellness + Wood = Productivity. The study shows that biophilic design elements such as natural light, wood, and plants can increase productivity in the office by eight percent and a sense of well-being by 13 percent. The same study shows employees in “work environments with exposed wood feel more connected to nature and have more positive associations with their workplace.” Furthermore, those working in environments featuring wood furniture have higher levels of wellbeing, take less leave, and demonstrate higher levels of concentration, improved mood, and personal productivity.

Morpheo comes in a variety of wood colors to match your office interiors with style.

Flexible, Multifunctional Spaces

No longer are office workspaces relegated to cubicles. Today’s modern office offers employees an open, cooperative workplace. This calls for more flexible, multifunctional workspaces, which are becoming increasingly popular. Not only is it good for existing employees, but many companies are finding this is a means of drawing top talent to their organization.

Some offices are turning smaller rooms into areas where employees can meet, brainstorm, or simply take in a coffee break. Larger spaces are being left open with a variety of seating options from shared seating and tables to individual desks to employees can float from one area to the next as needed. What’s great about these multiuse spaces is that they can be transformed and flex for the needs of your employees.

Nevins offers many options for crafting breakout spaces in larger rooms for more intimate or private work.

While the thought of noise can hamper the idea of incorporating such open spaces in the workplace, there are products to help with that as well. For example, Nevins offers acoustic hanging panels to create smaller spaces in larger areas while reducing noise pollution. Its Ariel panels, which are suspended from the ceiling, offer a modern way to divide workspace and come in a wide variety of patterns and colors to compliment your office décor.

Ariel Panels by Nevins offers a solution to noise while creating intimate multifunctional workspaces while adding a splash of color.

Additionally, fixed work areas are also becoming a thing of the past. This is especially true with so many people working remotely and spending less time formally working in the office. Companies are freeing up traditional work desks to create multipurpose spaces where workers can move according to what they are doing at that moment. Such breakout spaces have become a popular movement as it has increased communications between departments and improved idea sharing to benefit the company while boosting morale.

Bringing the Outside In

Biophilic designs have really taken off in the last few years and you can expect to see more of it incorporated in offices as we move ahead into the 2020s. Nature has begun to entrench itself in workplaces to create a more pleasing environment for the modern worker. The aforementioned Workplaces: Wellness + Wood = Productivity demonstrates that biophilic design elements including the integration of natural light, wood, and plants increase productivity and well-being, reducing employee sick days as well as turnover.

Whether you’re bringing in live plants or opening up natural light with huge windows, biophilic design is expanding. Peter Pepper offers Kona planters that have a subtle tapered steel body that sits on a rotationally molded base with low-profile swivel casters. These can be used indoors or out, are easy to clean, and are completely recyclable. In addition, they are resistant to UV, moisture, and changes in temperature making them a sustainable way to incorporate nature into your office space.

The Kona Planter by Peter Pepper allows you to bring biophilic design into the office with clean lines and steel appeal.

Healthier Workplaces

In addition to biophilic design, proper ergonomics in the workplace are also improving health for our modern workforce. Study after study has been done demonstrating the importance of proper ergonomics in the way we sit, stand, and work. Modern office furnishings from office chairs to height-adjustable desks are improving the health of employees.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33 percent of all injury and illness cases in American workplaces are related to musculoskeletal disorders. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that $45 to $54 billion is lost in productivity, wages, and compensation costs annually due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders. The best part is that all of this is preventable with proper ergonomics in the workplace.

The furniture manufacturer ergoCentric offers seating and height-adjustable desks to prevent such musculoskeletal disorders while reducing workplace injury claims. Proper ergonomics have been shown to increase productivity, efficiency, and the quality of work as well, according to ergoCentric. For example, the geoCentric chairs offered by ergoCentric provide versatile and adaptable seating solutions for all office requirements. Regardless of task or user, this chair is ideal for general office work and a multitude of other tasks and is adjustable enough to fit any user for proper ergonomics.

geoCentric chairs by ergoCentric will improve the ergonomics of any office.

Deskmakers offers a wide range of height-adjustable desks and tables for improved health in the workplace. Take, for example, the Hover collection of work surfaces. These desks and tabletops offer sit-stand solutions that allow employees to stand or sit as they work. An online article by U.S. News and World Report shows that standing at work offers many benefits including improved health. In addition, height-adjustable work surfaces allow anyone to adjust a table or desk to a height that is best for them.

Hover Height Adjustable Desks by DeskMakers offer sit-stand work solutions perfect for every employee’s needs.

If you are interested in learning more about office trends moving into 2020 or any of the products mentioned above, contact CORE (Corporate Office Resource Environments) at (520) 999-3470. You can also visit us online. Our commercial office specialists are here to answer all of your questions and assist you in building a modern, healthy work environment for your employees for years to come.

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Five Modern Office Trends for 2019

What’s Hot this Year in Commercial Furniture Designs

By Angela D. Wagner

As time marches on, designs and trends come and go. Commercial furniture designs and office trends are no exception. As the modern office makes adjustments to the way people work best and technology changes the way we work, the commercial furniture industry is making changes as well. This year expect to see fresh designs, furnishings that incorporate the latest technology, and multifunctional pieces that meet the demands of today’s modern workspaces.

The modern workplace considers the whole employee when determining how to design the office. Businesses who invest in modern office designs, the right commercial furnishings, and interiors consider many ways in which employees can be positively influenced to boost their productivity, sense of worth, and overall health. Research shows that improvements to workspaces have a major impact on employees in several ways including:

  • Ability to Adapt to Stress
  • Increased Productivity
  • Overall Efficiency and Efficacy
  • Well-being and Wellness
  • Improved Focus
  • Lower Absenteeism Rates
  • Better Overall Happiness

Resommercial and Casual Work Stations

According to the most recent survey of American workers by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted in 2017, full-time workers in the U.S. spent an average of 8.56 hours a day engaged at work. With people spending so much time at work, it’s no wonder resommercial furnishings and casual work stations are increasingly employed in offices both in the U.S. and around the world.

Resommercial furniture has allowed designers to bring the comforts of home into the modern office by combining residential designs with commercial spaces. Such furnishings add a home-like appeal to offices where workers spend such a significant portion of their day, five days a week.

The upholstered leather Baden and Zürich couch by Nienkamper is something you might expect to see in someone’s living room. This couch offers maximum comfort and luxury seating with foam core cushions wrapped in a down and feather combination. The simple lines and leather make it a timeless classic for the modern office and matching chairs can be ordered as well. The best part is it is made to last and wears well in a busy commercial setting. Add a couple of throw pillows to make your office feel just like home.

The leather upholstered Baden and Zurich couch and chairs by Nienkamper in white.
The leather upholstered Baden and Zurich couch and chairs by Nienkamper in white. This collection brings a residential feel to commercial spaces.

When it comes to casual work stations and desks, there are a number of them available from several manufacturers so employees can work sitting, standing, or both. For a relaxed and open workspace, consider the iMove-C Desking System by Corona Group, Inc. This desking system lets workers change positions throughout the workday which can have a huge impact on their productivity, creativity, and well-being. It also allows for ease of collaboration for working with others in the office.

Another of our new favorites at CORE is the Footprint® by Kimball that allows for an open office, casual workstation concept. The desks and seating can be configured in a variety of ways so employees feel empowered by selecting their workstation set up. There’s even some “wall” space to hang photos of the kids, the great outdoors, or a favorite meme.

Free-Range Cohabitation Spaces

With the current unemployment rate sitting at just four percent and job-hopping becoming more commonplace, many companies are seeking ways to attract and retain top talent. One of the ways they are making themselves more attractive to employees is by updating their office space. Many are tearing down walls and adding more open, shared workspaces. This trend allows staff to collaborate flexibly with one another in an efficient manner without seizing a board room to get the job done. Other areas in the office where walls are coming down include reception areas, lounges, and meeting rooms.

In cohabitation spaces where more than one company shares space, it maximizes space, saves money, and promotes collaboration, innovation, and creativity. At CORE, we practice what we preach and our business cohabitates with Fischer Design Studio which gives us constant access to an interior designer. Not only does it help both businesses but our clients have the benefit of having both companies at their fingertips.

Sleek modern couches and chairs that can be combined in a multitude of ways are becoming ever more popular for open spaces and cohabitated work places. The Pairings collection by Kimball® comes in a variety of sharp colors and fabrics to match your interiors while offering employees and guests a comfortable place to chat and work. The collection allows flexibility in movement to add more seating or table space as needed and remove what you don’t want for more private, focused group meetings.

The Pairings collection by Kimball incorporates technology with comfortable seating, style, and privacy in a small space perfect for cohabitation workspaces.
The Pairings collection by Kimball incorporates technology with comfortable seating, style, and privacy in a small space perfect for cohabitation workspaces.

Integra® offers a wide variety of seating for group work and collaborative spaces including the Coffee House which incorporates individual pieces for group seating. These seats offer comfort and style with a multitude of options from the arms and legs to power ports and attached tables. Integra® also offers a variety of benches to fill shared workspaces and allow for comfortable seating as well.

The Corbin lounge by JSI Seating features clean lines and delicate angles that give these couches and chairs an unassuming feel while catching the eye. The seat and back support offer excellent comfort while the craftsmanship promises modern simplicity that will hold up well in busy office spaces. JSI Seating provides several options for the modern office as well. Its Ziva Collection can be configured in an assortment of ways from straight bench seating to waves and circles making it easy for everyone collaborating to see and hear one another, improving communication.

The Community Table by Maverick allows people to greet, meet, eat, and everything in between. Made in the USA, these tables come in a variety of sizes and colors to meet the needs of your office. Whether you want to offer table space for collaboration among employees or a place for them to eat lunch and relax, these tables fit the bill.

Singular Workspaces

Though there has been a huge trend toward collaborative, open workspaces, there are still times people need quiet and privacy in order to concentrate and be most productive. Dedicated independent work spaces are still needed. This can mean “hot desking,” where individual desks are not assigned to any one person but are available to anyone who needs it, cutting-edge cubicles, or the traditional assigned desk.

The Apex Freestanding Trough by Maverick is a great option for offices that prefer the “hot desking” method while the Compile System by Evolve Furniture Group gives a modern twist to the cubicles of yesteryear. There are also endless individual desk options to choose from such as the Task by in2design that can incorporate everything from storage space to technology in one place.

The Task by in2design provides desk and storage space in one. Task can be configured to fit your space and taste.
The Task by in2design provides desk and storage space in one. Task can be configured to fit your space and taste.

“Smart” Furnishings

Another top trend in 2019 is incorporating modern technology into commercial furniture. “Smart” furniture has become a reality. From cable management and tabletop outlets, technology in commercial furnishings have continued to evolve.

Consider the Vamp desk lamp by Safco. It offers everything from LED lighting and touch-free dimmer switches with memory recall to flicker-free, energy-saving, economical lighting. The Vamp has eight color settings and a filter to reduce glare making the viewing of electronics easier. This straight-lined lamp even boasts a flexible neck to allow for personal adjustments. If you like curves, the Vivo desk lamp by Safco is another option with most of the same features as the Vamp including a flexible neck so you don’t have to strain your own. Many varieties of desk lamps also offer discreet charging ports and even wireless charging stations including the Z-BAR desk lamp by Koncept Lighting. Imagine cordless charging at your fingertips!

While standing desks are nothing new, today’s versions can be completely automated. Imagine taking your desk from sitting to standing and back with the touch of a button. There’s no need for cranks, levers, or clumsy manual lift desks.

The Priority™ by Kimball provides both amazing designs and incredible beauty with simple mobility. Not only do height-adjustable desks enable workers to go from sitting to standing and back again, but they take into consideration the best ergonomics for day to day work. JSI offers a number of height-adjustable options in many shapes, sizes, designs, and price points to fit the needs of every office. There are even mobile apps that connect with Bluetooth-enabled standing desks, tabletops embedded with “personal assistant” touchscreens, and wireless surface chargers that can be desk or table mounted. Under-desk mounted CPU holders now save space beneath standing desks as well.

A height-adjustable desk allows employees to work standing or sitting for better health and improved ergonomics which leads to increased productivity.
A height-adjustable desk allows employees to work standing or sitting for better health and improved ergonomics which leads to increased productivity.

Fullbright Glass Boards offers magnetic glass boards that have replaced the hard-to-clean white boards of days past. These cutting-edge magnetic glass boards can now be used in everything from conference room tabletops to elevator walling, workstation tack boards, and kitchen backsplashes. No need to fuss about where to have meetings since they even come in mobile form so they can be moved from place to place with ease.

Incorporation of Natural Designs

In 2018 the working world watched in wonder as natural designs and shapes entered the workplace. This year, expect to see an uptick in architects and office designers bringing the great outdoors indoors to add energy to workspaces. Expect to see more plants, real wood furniture, and other biophilic design elements in the modern office.

The concept of biophilic design means using the architectural framework found in nature to build an eco-friendly, sustainable workplace that breathes life into the work environment. Some of the key features of this form of architecture include:

  • Natural, Sustainable Materials
  • Plants and Trees
  • Living Green Walls
  • Natural Lighting
  • Thermal Comfort and High-Quality Ventilation
  • Visual Connections with Nature

Biophilic design embraces the idea that the environments in which people spend significant amounts of time have a direct impact on their health. Amazon’s workspace in Seattle, known as the Spheres, is a terrific example of how botanical workspaces are finding their way into mainstream offices. Woodland Furniture produces stunning furniture using real wood for everything from desks to tables and cabinetry. Space dividers that double as planters from in2design are a terrific option for bringing in plants to energize any office.

The Walpole by Woodland incorporates rich leather with solid wood for elevated office seating that makes a statement.
The Walpole by Woodland incorporates rich leather with solid wood for elevated office seating that makes a statement.

Kimball, offers wood case goods that will add modern sophistication to any office. Take, for example, Transcend® with its rich woods in a variety of colors and configurations. Maverick Office Solutions offers a number of wood case goods as well in its Sierra, Canyon, and Napa signature series’ among others.

So whether you’re breaking down walls to break down workplace barriers, want to open your office to more natural light and go green, or you simply wish to integrate more beauty and comfort into your office, 2019 is your year to shine. Let CORE take the guesswork out of everything from space planning to commercial furnishing designs with integrated technology. Call CORE today at (520) 999-3470 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation.

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Sitting Selections: Identifying the Right Seating for Your Work Environment

We find seats everywhere. They are at our office desk and in conference rooms. There are seats for hospital exam rooms and others that are perfect for creating a welcoming, comfortable lobby. There are seats designed just for students in educational settings, chairs for adjustable-height desks, and those meant to be a comfortable place to collaborate as a member of a team. And, according to research used in a piece by the Independent, the average employee spends 6.5 hours a day sitting at work. That is a great deal of sitting.

There are so many seats to choose from, it can seem a bit overwhelming. Since we spend so much time sitting in them, care must be taken when choosing seating that will fit your specific environment. Furniture selected for a classroom would not necessarily be appropriate for a medical waiting room in a geriatric doctor’s office. This little guide offers you a few things to keep in mind when selecting furniture for your particular work space.

Medical Environments

Medical professionals find that their seating environment not only needs to be ergonomically correct and aesthetically pleasing, but it needs to protect patients from contracting any form of infection or virus. Additionally, medical settings typically require a wide variety of seating from the lobby to exam rooms and physician seating to chairs for front office staff. These facts can make medical seating quite challenging to select.

The first rule of thumb for medical office seating is to pick furniture that is seamless or with little to no stitching and crevices. This will reduce the risk of growth and the spread of harmful bacteria. It also makes cleaning much easier. You can even purchase seating for your medical practice or hospital that is made with antibacterial material to further reduce the spread of germs.

You’ll also want to ensure your seating allows for freedom of movement in the space you are purchasing it for. For example, you’ll want to consider the space and layout of your lobby and waiting areas. Not only should the seating be comfortable for your patients and visitors, but it should also allow for ease of movement. Patients may have wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches that hinder their movement and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides federal requirements for removing barriers in public spaces such as restaurants, schools, and doctor’s offices.

Commercial furniture retailers such as CORE are familiar with ADA requirements and can help you map out your lobby, waiting areas, and other spaces to ensure your business or office meets federal regulations. Additionally, seasoned professionals should also be able help you select the proper products from bench seats and chairs to ergonomically correct seating for your staff and comfortable exam tables for your patients.

Today’s manufacturers offer a wide selection of materials, colors, and patterns to choose from so you can make your medical environment as clean and safe as possible while providing a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere to reduce stress on your patients. You can choose from solid colors to bright patterns. It’s all about the statement you wish to make with your medical environment. Intensa is just one manufacturer of medical and laboratory seating that is engineered specifically for the healthcare industry with a wide variety of options to choose from. Stance Healthcare also offers premium seating designed specifically for medical offices and facilities. For example, check out the Carson Sleeper which converts from a cozy couch to a user-friendly, easy-to-clean bed and back again.

Whether you are looking for something to fit your existing décor, you’re undergoing a complete renovation, or you have a brand new medical space, there is seating to meet your workplace needs. For more information about selecting seating and furniture for medical spaces, check out the CORE blog “Selecting the Best Furniture for Medical Spaces.

Educational Seating

As teaching methods continue to grow and evolve, so does classroom furniture including seating. When choosing the best seating for your students, the age of the students, their average size, and how long they are sitting in the classroom should all be taken into consideration. You’ll also want to think about students who may have any special needs and ensure that the seating you choose fits the space you have in order to allow ease of movement.

Not only is the right seating important for capturing bodies and minds, it can teach correct posture and sitting habits starting at a young age. Heavy backpacks and sitting for hours in a classroom can make it difficult for children to achieve proper posture but there is classroom seating available to improve the ergonomics for your students. For example, American Seating offers a wide range of educational seating options including the NIMA® that is built to offer an exceptionally comfortable design while adding color to your classroom.

Classrooms also vary from seats with attached desks such as the Us® Chair Family by American Seating to chairs with tablet desktops such as the Reve™ by Safeco. Some educational environments require space to adjust seamlessly from one activity or lesson to the next which calls for easily stackable, storable seating options such as the Acton® by American Seating.

Older students at the secondary level or in institutions of higher learning will appreciate more versatile seating such as the Tuck Collaborative chair offered by AllSeating.  The chair offers arm rests and mid-back support for comfort but also sits on casters and swivels to allow students to easily turn or move in order to collaborate with others.

AllSeating, among other manufacturers, also offers a wide range of other educational seating options ranging from counter-height stools for the science lab to benches for shared spaces such as the library and high-back seating for teachers and professors. Kimball also offers a wide variety of seating options and arrangements from stackable and mesh chairs that are light and easy to move such as their Guide™ collection to rolling seats to allow for simple collaboration among scholars.

Just as with medical facilities, seating in classrooms and environmental areas will need to be easy to maintain and clean. With proper care, they can last for many years and create a bright, fun, and comfortable learning atmosphere. For more information about selecting the best furniture, including seating, for your classroom setting, read “Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Students and Classroom.”

Conference Rooms

When it comes to selecting the best chairs for your office conference room, there are a number of items to consider. First you will need to account for how many people you want to be able to accommodate. You’ll need to measure the space you have and consider allowing extra room for movement and those with special needs.

The next step is to consider size of table you want for your conference room. The table will likely become a centerpiece in the room and your seating will want to fit well with it. Based on what conference table you select, this will determine how much space you have for seating and how many chairs you will need. Some to consider include the Ayles by AllSeating for its contemporary appeal with a knife-edge shape, the stylish NV™ by Neutral Posture for comfort with its high back and armrests, or the clean shape of the Ardi by Enwork featuring subtle lines across the back for aesthetic appeal.

It is also a good idea to have extra chairs that are not around the table, but can fit in the back of the room or along the sides to provide overflow seating for those larger-than-expected meetings. The Tucker™ side chair by Kimball is compact and attractive enough to add to a conference room while providing comfortable seating. Among other overflow seating options are the Flip with Arms by Euortech which offers a black mesh back and efficient storage with a flip-up seat.

Keep in mind however, that there should be a comfortable amount of space for people who arrive late or leave the meeting early. They should be able to walk past without bumping into other employees as they enter or exit. Accurate space planning is something the professionals at CORE can help you with before ordering.

Conference rooms will have different people in and out of them throughout the day. Some meetings will last a mere 15 minutes while some can go on for hours. This means it is important to have ergonomically changing seating for whoever is using the chair at each time. This means seats that can adjust the height of arm rests as well as the chair itself. Chairs that recline and swivel also allow for added comfort and collaboration during group conversations. AllSeating offers a wide range of conference seating as do several other manufacturers so you have many options to choose from to fit the specific needs of your office or business.

Employee Chairs

A supportive office chair can help prevent fatigue in employees, lower discomfort, and provide many health benefits. According to Gear Patrol, employees are more productive and contribute more positive work than an uncomfortable employee. That’s where padded, adjustable seating with ergonomic support comes in.

Bad office chairs can lead to bad posture which can then lead to back problems, leg strain, and carpel tunnel, all of which can lead to medical time off. It is important to select the best office chair to keep your employees not only healthy but happy.

Many manufacturer’s such as AllSeating have worked hard to develop chairs that offer proper ergonomic support. Some chairs are stationary and cannot be adjusted while other can have too many knobs for the user to figure out. The most important adjustable parts of an office chair should be lumbar support, arm width and height, seat back width and height, and seat and back angle. Swivel chairs with wheels at the bottom are great so employees can move around their desk space without over reaching which can lead to straining or falling.

The Levo Task chair features a proprietary “hands-on” back adjustment system that provides lumbar support at five intervals while the Cozi® 24/7 by Neutral Posture offers catered seating with two back size options and built-in lumbar support, two contoured-seat options, and adjustments for the height, angle, and tension of the seat. Neutral Posture’s Icon chair provides adjustable and removable lumbar support, has three adjustment levers, and replaceable/removable seat cushions.

With a few simple steps and easy instructions, every employee can adjust their own seat to match their individual needs. See the quick video from AllSeating. Additionally, here are some ergonomic principles from Neutral Posture to keep in mind when selecting desk chairs you’re your employees:

  • Set the height of your chair to allow the floor to supporting your feet and lower legs only.
  • Make sure the angle between your torso and legs is greater than 90°.
  • Allow two to four inches of space between the front of the seat cushion and the back of your knee.
  • Look for forearm and elbow support that allows the user to keep their wrists in a neutral position.
  • The seat should allow the position of the backrest to be nearly upright, or slightly reclined with head support.
  • Select seating that allows support of your lumbar curve.

Finally, the fabric or material of your seats should be breathable. This stops the chair from becoming overly hot after hours of sitting. It should also have enough cushion to support every employee so they cannot feel the chair through the fabric.

Reception, Lobby & Waiting Areas

The first thing a visitor sees when they walk into an office is generally the reception area, lobby, or waiting room. The style of a these spaces can say much about a company’s values and can even be designed to generate certain emotions in visitors.

From residential buildings to businesses, nearly every building that has people coming and going has a reception, lobby, or waiting area. Whether for aesthetics, security purposes, or functional operations, almost any visitor will have to spend some amount of time in these open spaces. It can leave a lasting impression so it is important that your reception and waiting areas convey a feel that speaks to your business and provides optimal seating options for anyone who may walk through your door.

To achieve this goal, there should be seating that allows for group discussions as well as independent seating for those in need of privacy for telephone calls, texting, or work. That means there should be a breadth of seating options in every one of these areas.

Pixley by Enwork features asymmetrical, organic curves to define seating space without separation. You can group several together for big groups or spread them sporadically for seating throughout a large space. These upholstered benches are great for public areas and can be ordered with or without backrests in a wide variety of colors to match any office décor.

Kimball offers a wide variety of seating options that allow for both group and private arrangements. The Wilder™ provides private seating that can be paired with other sitting options or left on its own while the Pose™ offers long-term comfort and style that may also stand alone or be grouped. For a lush, contemporary yet relaxing seating experience, Enjoy™ and Vista™ promise additional options to choose from.

Versteel® offers a wide variety of public area seating with its Immix collection. The strong materials allow the seats to last for years to come while the design allows seating to be structured in several ways. Whether you want to offer round seating for people to enjoy open views through large windows or clustered seating interspersed with tabletop pieces for drinks and magazine, Immix is something to consider. The chairs come in a variety of fabrics, colors, and prints so you can choose what speaks to your business or office environment.

In conclusion, there is a great deal of seating to choose from in the world of commercial furniture but not all furniture fits all needs. Before you buy seating, be sure to take proper measurements of the space you have, how much traffic you have in the room you are buying for, and the comfort of the people using them. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the amount of use the chairs will experience, how they are used, and by whom. There’s also the look and feel you wish to create with the furnishings you choose.

If you need assistance with ordering the right seating for your work environment, contact the professionals at CORE at (520) 999-3470 or visit us online. You are also invited to swing by our new showroom at 698 E. Wetmore, Suite 410, in Tucson to experience some of the many seating possibilities we have to offer. You may also view our very own chair wall featuring additional seating and decorating options for your office.

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Selecting the best furniture for medical spaces

Some things to consider for your healthcare office

Picking furniture for your office space can be a daunting task. From finding the right style to selecting the best color coordination, it’s not always easy. For medical professionals, picking the best office furniture can prove even more challenging.

Not only does the office style need to be aesthetically pleasing, but requirements such as cleanliness, function, and patient accommodations need to be thought through. In most offices, especially a medical office, a waiting room can say a great deal about your company, culture, and business. Here are some tips for selecting the best furniture for your medical office environment from the waiting room to the exam room.

Aesthetics and Comfort
The aesthetics of an office are truly important to the overall patient experience. From the layout of furniture and the lighting to the colors used in the décor, every piece matters. It is essential that you create a welcoming environment for all of your patients that will soothe and reassure them. The furniture selected should reflect and promote how you wish for your guests to feel.

Consider the following when decorating and furnishing your medical office:

Inspire– When it comes to marketing your business digitally or in print, you’ll want to showcase your office space. Make it bright, professional, and comfortable in appearance so people will want to visit.
Evaluate– Consider your floorplan and the layout of your furnishings. Is there enough space to move comfortably? Does it meet requirements for ADA access? Does the layout allow you to interact with patients as seamlessly as possible?
Payments and Data– Does your office allow for enough space for you to gather patient information and payments with privacy?
Exam Space– Do your offices provide enough space and a layout that is comfortable for the doctor(s), nurses, and patients to move in?
Storage– Is there lockable storage available for clinical records, marketing material, and medications where patients, service personnel such as vendors, and other guests do not have access?
Staff– Is there designated space for staff members to take breaks and eat lunch that is not open to the public?
Privacy– Are your exam rooms private enough for you to hold exams and for patients to disrobe, apply medications, etc.?

Sanitary Environment
Germs are everywhere and members of the healthcare industry must be especially cognizant of choosing the right furnishings to help eliminate the threat of germs to their clients. Whether you are operating a doctor’s office, a hospital, or a dermatology practice, you want to eliminate all of the germs you possibly can and there is furniture to help you accomplish this goal.

The spread of germs is a very real threat. According to the Center for Health Design, germs can lead to unnecessary infections and further healthcare issues. A whitepaper published by the Center for Health Design explained that Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI), an infection that “patients acquire during the course of receiving treatment for other conditions within a hospital care setting,” are contracted by one in every 20 patients.

Some of these HAI pathogens can live on inanimate surfaces anywhere from hours (Pseudomonas Aeruginosa) to months (Clostridium Difficile). In order to reduce the risk of spreading HAIs, furniture must be cleaned routinely by staff. In order to make this frequent procedure more efficient, easy-to-clean furniture is imperative. The following are some tips when selecting furniture for your practice that accomplishes this goal:

• Seams, stitching, and crevices can harbor harmful bacteria and increase the risk of HAIs. Select furniture with minimal crevices and with areas that are easy to disinfect.
• Pick smooth, finished countertops, desks, and side tables that are easy to wipe down. According to HMF Magazine, non-porous furniture made of material such as vinyl or polyurethane is commonly used in medical settings because of their inherent clean-ability.
• The study by the Center for Health Design shows that the theory that anti-microbial material helps reduce pathogens on furniture has inadequate evidence to support it. Upholstery should be manufactured with impervious materials that are easy to wipe down and maintain.
• Office furniture should last and not be damaged easily. The furniture selected should be easy to maintain and repair. Also fabrics that tear or rip can harbor bacteria.
• Couches and chairs with removable cushions or parts make for convenient disinfecting, easy repairs, and quick replacement are highly recommended.

The Reception Area & Waiting Room
The first thing a patient sees when they walk into an office is generally the reception area and/or waiting room. The style of a waiting room can say much about a company’s values and can generate a certain feeling in patients.

Your reception area should have a clearly visible desk where patients know to check in for appointments. It should be easy to reach sign-in sheets and staff should be visible over the desk. You’ll want to ensure your reception staff has comfortable, ergonomically correct seating for their comfort through their long hours at work. Balanced, comfortable seating should also be offered at the reception desk for patients and guests if they are expected to sit while signing in or filling out paperwork.

Consider who your patients are when decorating and selecting furniture. For example, if you are a pediatrician’s office serving children, you’ll want to include bright colors and a play area with suitable decorations, toys, and books to keep them occupied while they wait. Toys will need to be made of materials that are easy to clean and books should have covers that can be wiped down to help prevent the spread of germs.

Magazines and books are also great items to have in the office on an end table or coffee table for patients to enjoy. Even a basket can serve as a good place to store reading material. Some offices even offer mini refrigerators with bottled water or soda for patients to enjoy while they wait. These should also be cleaned regularly to reduce the spread of germs.
There should be enough seating to accommodate all of your guests. In addition, you want to make sure there is a wide variety of seating from chairs to couches that allow guests to sit where they are most comfortable.

One of the common aspects of a waiting area is the television. This can serve to keep patients entertained and pass the time while they wait as well as offer sound cover for private conversations at the reception desk. Televisions kept on a loop can become annoying, however, so experts recommend the use of smart TVs that can easily stream content from a variety of sources such as cable, Netflix, and the internet. Just make sure the content is appropriate for your audience. For example, Disney movies at a pediatrician’s office are good entertainment for the kids but wouldn’t necessarily be a good fit in a geriatric office.

Exam Rooms
According to projections released in the latest U.S. Census, the American population is expected to continue to become older and more racially and ethnically diverse. The population of those age 65 and older is expected to more than double by the year 2060 to 92 million as people are living longer with improved healthcare. In addition, the obesity rate among U.S. adults also continues to climb. A recent study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found more than one-third of Americans are now obese.

With such statistics in mind, medical offices will needs to ensure waiting rooms are large enough to accommodate patients who suffer with bariatric issues or those in wheelchairs. According to a whitepaper by Midmark titled Five Key Factors to an Effective Exam Room Design, a patient’s “level of comfort can directly influence their anxiety level and ease ‘white coat syndrome.’” Additionally, there should be enough space for doctors to work adequately as the “inability to easily maneuver in the exam room can often cause physicians to alter their work style over time, which can result in repetitive motion injuries.”

With the population of elderly patients increasing, a growing number of patients may need help getting onto the exam table. Tables should be accessible in that they are able to be lowered to a height of 17 to 19 inches to lower the risk of falls or the burden to staff of lifting patients.

The acquisition of vital signs should also occur in the exam room, according to the Midmark study which concluded that this improves most patient/caregiver interactions. The process of taking vitals hasn’t changed significantly in the last 30 years and many offices are set up to take vitals at several stations which can be uncomfortable for patients, especially if they are in semi-private or public settings.

With rising costs and shrinking office sizes, medical providers and practices can still offer terrific customer service and patient care with foldable workspaces for doctors and nurses. There is no longer a need for a large desk and heavy computer in the exam room. Today’s offices are able to seamlessly work from tablets and laptops with a small desk that can easily be folded against the wall to make more space.

ADA Compliance
You’ll also want to ensure that you accommodate for patients with special needs such as those with bariatric issues, the elderly, and those in wheelchairs. Ensure there is adequate space between the furniture to meet ADA regulations and that your office allows for ease of movement for every patient. Make sure the width of office doors, both exterior and interior, are able to accommodate wheelchairs so patients can move independently and safely. This is also true of restroom spaces.

Selecting Safe Furnishings
The number one priority for a medical practice should always be patient safety. This should take precedence over style when selecting furniture though the two do not have to be mutually exclusive.

For example, falls are the number one form of patient incidents that resulted in death or injury in a hospital setting, according to the Center for Health Design. About 15 percent of those falls are caused by factors in the patient’s environment such as furniture. Below are some facts to recognize when picking safe furniture:

• According to a study by Weiner and Colleagues, when chair height was raised from 17 inches to 22 inches, successful standing efforts rose to nearly 50 percent in nursing home subjects. Select seating with different heights to decrease the fall risk for patients.
• Armrests can provide additional aid in helping patients rise from their chair without changing their knee or hip angles.
• Sturdy furniture is crucial. If a patient attempts to stand up from an unbalanced chair, the risk of falling can increase. This is also a risk for children as unbalanced furniture could tip and land on a small child.
• If a patient does fall, they could potentially fall into furniture. For this reason, chairs and tables should not have sharp edges.
• Bariatric seating should also be incorporated into your furniture selection. According to the Center for Health Design, bariatric seating should be offer “appropriately sized elements with capacity adequate for the obese patients, interspersed with more traditional furnishings to avoid confining bariatric patients to specific areas of the waiting environment.” The seating selected should be hold up to 700 pounds to help reduce fall risk for heavier patients.

Comfort is Caring
The comfort of your patients should also be kept in mind. The comfort of medical furnishings should reflect the duration of the stay your patients and guests will be experiencing. If you are furnishing a maternity ward, for example, you’ll want to ensure that the bed is comfortable for your patient but that there is adequate seating for multiple guests that are likely to visit such as new grandparents as well as a place for the other new parent to catch some Z’s.

Putting some thought into the comfort of your patients and their guests shows that your practice cares about them. The right furnishings can help make a potentially stressful situation less so if they have a comfortable place to wait and be treated.

CORE offers a wide variety of furnishings for all of your medical office needs. Visit CORE online to see what we have to offer the healthcare industry or call us today at (520) 999-3470 to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Open Office Workspaces: Better mobility, collaboration, and more

Open office workspaces improve life for employees on a daily basis.

When businesses began to boom after the return of soldiers from WWII, office spaces began expanding to accommodate growth. That often meant adding more rows of cubicles where conformity and private production were the name of the game. But times have drastically changed, in large part because of technological advances and changes in the way people work. Today, open office workspaces are being utilized to improve employee collaboration, mobility, and employee health.

While cubicles have not disappeared, they have substantially changed over the last 20 years like most things in the typical office. No longer are tall walls meant to keep employees isolated and working. The office of today incorporates the comforts of home, cubicles with shorter walls, technology that allows worker mobility and collaboration, and comfort that allows workers to stay healthier than ever before.

The Resommercial Open Office
Where there was once a room filled to the brim with row upon row of high-walled cubicles, open office workspaces have morphed the modern office. The comforts of home have moved into the office with what is now known as “Resommercial” furnishings, which is all about combining residential design with commercial spaces. This fairly new office design trend adds a homey feel to the office by incorporating everything from furniture designs to fabrics that have traditionally been reserved for home spaces.

Some of the most cutting-edge employers have offices featuring shared workspaces with couches that have small desktops for working and USB outlets. Large computer screens in open spaces allow for shared input and collaboration among several employees. Fewer walls or those made of glass allow offices to feel brighter and more open than ever before. Offices featuring resommercial furnishings in common areas create a feeling of welcome for employees and visitors alike.

Technological Advances
The technology of today is leaps and bounds over what the workforce had even 20 years ago. Computers have been minimized from the bulking mainframes of the 50’s and Apple IIe’s of 1983 to sleek laptops, tablets, and cell phones. Employees now require little space and businesses can do more with less square footage than they could even a decade ago.

With extra room to move around, 21st Century employees are now seeing fresh benefits as a result. Businesses are using extra space and funds to incorporate everything from in-house coffee shops to fitness studios in order to lure new employees. By offering extras that help employees multitask in today’s fast-paced world, businesses can draw a workforce that wants to spend more time in the office because it is a cool, comfortable, and exciting place to be.

Mobility
Arguably one of the most exciting aspects of technological advances is mobility. With Wi-Fi now a mainstay in most offices, workers have terrific mobility and are no longer chained to a desk or a set workstation. Technology has allowed for greater flexibility in creating work environments where employees have the option of using a private workstation as well as inviting shared spaces where they can enjoy a cup of joe while chatting with colleagues about projects they are working on.

With fewer wires comes mobility which lets employees choose to enjoy couches, standing desks, and communal workstations in addition to their traditional private seating area. Many offices now even harbor large kitchen tables with seating where a dozen employees or more can eat, chat, and work together on their mobile devices.

Contemporary Cubicles
Cubicles are still employed today but are much smaller than the traditional 8-feet-by-8-feet of the past. Most modern cubicles are now only 6-feet-by-6-feet and can even be smaller than that. The modern open office workspace features cubicles with two or three shorter walls, allowing everyone to see what is happening around them and participate in collaborative conversations.

In 2017, roughly 70 percent of offices in the United States either had low or no partitions, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. Rows of cubicles are now often broken up with shared spaces such as open meeting areas, shared seating, and fewer walls. While employees could balk at the smaller personal workspaces, they don’t because there are such lush common spaces they can also enjoy and have the freedom to move around.

Improved Health
Open office workspaces have been shown to improve both employee health. For starters, studies have shown that spending the day sitting in a chair can be detrimental to one’s health. One study by researchers at the University of Sydney showed those who sit for eight to 11 hours a day have a 15 percent increase in death from all causes over four years compared to those who sit in the same position for only four to eight hours a day.

“Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity,” according to the conclusions derived from the Sydney study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “High volumes of sitting time have possible associations with increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.”

With open office workspaces, employees are encouraged to move around and find different ways to get things done. From height-adjustable desks that allow workers to stand or sit to inviting common areas and even treadmill workstations, the employees of today can get moving while they work.

If you would like more information on open office workspaces, designs, or furnishings, please call CORE today at (520) 999-3470 or visit us online.

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The Big Move

CORE’s relocation provides more space and a larger showroom.

The dust is settling, decorating is underway, staff have extra room to work, and visitors get to see more of what they are looking for. After three-plus years at the same location, Commercial Office Resource Environments (CORE) has relocated in Tucson, giving its staff more space to spread their wings and clients a bigger showroom.

When CORE opened at the beginning of 2015 at 124 W. Cushing St., the 1,800-square-feet of office space was enough for the company’s small staff. They loved the historic brick building in the heart of old Tucson but as the business grew out of its infancy, the location simply became too small for both the staff and the showroom.

“We needed a bigger showroom space,” said CORE Principal Mercedes Flores. “Our company was growing. We were running out of places for people to sit.”

CORE made the big move at the end of March to its new digs at 698 E. Wetmore Road, Suite 410, not far from the Tucson Mall, where upgrades, fresh furnishings, and new décor continue to be integrated.

“There are so many benefits to our new space,” said Flores. “We have the ability to show off more things. We are centrally located and it’s enough space for all of our employees.”

The new location offers nearly 3,000-square-feet where CORE staff work to fulfill client furniture orders, host meetings, and participate in combined lunch and learns with manufacturer and vendor representatives. There is even enough room in the conference room for educational seminars where staff and designers can obtain their continuing education units.

“Designers and architects must have them and we can do them right here,” said Flores.

The best part, adds Flores, is the extra space for an expanded showroom where CORE can stage new options for office seating, tables, medical equipment, and other furnishings that are perfect for a wide variety of settings from legal firms and corporate offices to medical suites and classrooms.

“We’re going to have the new Kimball Narrate,” said Flores. “It’s a panel system (commonly known as cubicles). We are going to have a small medical vignette and an educational vignette. We’re going to have Collette from National (a leather sectional with an integrated table) to showcase our resimercial seating. It’s commercial-grade seating with the familiar, comfortable elements of home furnishings. It’s gorgeous and we’re going to feature it in our front lobby.”

When considering what to integrate into CORE’s fresh setting, Flores said every facet of the office becomes part of the showroom from the décor to the furniture and even the lighting.

“We’re going to have some really cool lights,” said Flores. “It comes in mid-August. It’s acoustic lighting.”

The new flower-shaped fixtures will have felt fins around the lights to reduce noise in open settings such as the new CORE office and showroom. Clients can also take a look at a plethora of seating, wallpaper, and flooring options in the new “chair wall,” and can even check out the innovative kitchen and lounge seating that might also be a good fit for their own offices.

Flores said the new office will also have KI modular walls installed in the near future to allow everyone their own privacy while retaining an open feel for the office and showroom.

“They are glass office fronts with sliding barn doors,” said Flores of the soon-to-come walls.

In addition to CORE, the new location offers enough space to share with local Interior Designer Janet Fischer of Fischer Design Studio. While she operates her business solely and separately from CORE, Fischer said the two companies often partner on projects and enjoy working together. Sharing space made sense in terms of both economics and combined resources.

“We get the advantage of having an interior designer design the showroom,” said Flores of the shared space with Fischer. “We also get to share a library space.”

“That’s a huge advantage,” added Fischer. “It’s (the library) a time-consuming thing to keep up.”

Fischer said it’s also nice for her to have a furniture person on hand at all times.

“I’m always running to Mercedes to ask about a chair or a table,” she said. “It’s nice that they know about the products.”

Both women, who have become close friends as well as colleagues, agree that it’s nice not to be so isolated in their own businesses and clients can enjoy the services of both companies at once. Plus, there’s the advantage of a shared office happy hour on Friday afternoons once the doors close.

Elaina Vasquez, the office manager at CORE, has been with the company for more than three years. She said the move was a big job but is excited to be in the new location.

“It’s more open and I am glad that there’s more storage,” she said. “I like that they got to design it themselves and it’s closer to home for me.”

The newest member of the CORE team, Business Development Manager April Cardinal, said clients will love that they have the ability to see more of what CORE has to offer.

“Since we have more storage, we are able to show clients what we have,” Cardinal said. “We don’t have to say, ‘Oh, we’ll have to order that,’ so the turnaround will be faster. Clients will be able to see what’s new and what’s available right here.”

While the office and showroom are currently still a work in progress, CORE Account Manager Cristina Arriaga said clients are going to love the project when it’s complete.

“It’s going to have a grand effect,” said Arriaga. “When all of the new furniture and colors are in, it’s going to be an adventure to come into the showroom.”

Flores added that once the office and showroom are complete, CORE will host an open-house so clients, manufacturers, and vendors alike can experience the new location for themselves.