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Home Office Essentials

The three must haves for your home office

By Angela D. Wagner

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever before have been working remotely. Although many have been able to return to their offices, a recent Gallup poll suggests that one-third of Americans are still working from home. A piece from Review42 indicates 77 percent of telecommuters claim to be more productive than in the office. Remote employees can reportedly earn up to $4,000 more annually, so it’s a good thing 55 percent of businesses worldwide offer some capacity for remote work.

It’s not just workers who benefit, though. According to the aforementioned article from Review42, companies can save an average of $11,000 annually for every employee who works remotely half-time. That’s real money businesses could be saving!

Thankfully your home office can be just as functional as the workplace with a few simple upgrades and essential office must-haves such as an adjustable desk, an ergonomic chair, and a variety of storage solutions that are as stunning as they are practical.

Adjustable Desks

It’s a widely-known fact that sitting at a desk day in and day out can be detrimental to your health. Experts suggest taking breaks to stretch or move approximately every 30 minutes to combat this problem, but another solution is to invest in a standing desk. Researchers at the University of Waterloo advise full time employees to stand 45 minutes out of every hour that they’re working. That adds up to six hours of standing time a day!

Most standing desks today are completely adjustable, meaning you can easily convert your standard desk to a standing one in a matter of seconds. The RockIt @Home Sit/Stand Desk from Inscape is designed to make changing work positions simple, quick, and quiet with its squeeze paddle lift activation. The RockIt is abrasion, heat, fade, and stain-resistant and is available in two colors that can easily fit into any home office space. A 1-inch safety contour protects your fingers when adjusting the height and the seamless design makes it easy to keep clean.

Inscape’s RockIt Sit/Stand Desk

If you’d rather adapt the desk you’re currently working in, HON offers a number of desktop risers that can be used for laptop or desktop computers. These risers can be used to mimic the feel of a standing desk without disrupting the entire workspace. The company’s entire Coordinate series is designed to make sit-to-stand workspaces both functional and elegant.

The HON Coordinate Series

For some, though, the standard work desk reigns king. If your home office needs a basic upgrade now that you’re working remotely, look no further than the Nomad table from Berco Designs. The chic, industrial design will work best with exposed brick, pipes, or steampunk décor and is available in a number of finishes, heights, and sizes. Glides or casters can be added on for mobility and floor protection.

Nomad Table by Berco Designs

Ergonomic Chairs

A great chair is by far the number one office must have whether you’re working from home or not. The industry leader in customizable and ergonomic office seating is ergoCentric. Their chairs feature six adjustable points so you can easily alter your posture throughout the day between seated, perched, or standing. This reduces injury and can promote both productivity and better health. On the company website you can be virtually fitted for a chair, which ensures it will be fully customized to your specific workplace seating requirements.

ergoCentric has a wide variety of ergonomic seating options

The benefits of ergonomic seating are undeniable, which means they are becoming more widely available. National Office Furniture features a Find Your Sit tool that allows you to find the chair that works best for your workspace. HON also has a multitude of task chairs for you to choose from such as the Ignition, Solve, or the Nucleus. The bottom line is the variety of chairs available is as vast as the number of bottoms that sit in them.

HON’s Ignition
HON’s Nucleus
Solve by HON

Storage Solutions

Practical yet stylish storage solutions are imperative to creating a truly functional home office. Cabinetry, shelving, credenzas, case goods, and filing cabinets are all great ways to keep your workspace organized as well as looking good.

The most comprehensive solution is a commercial case good which is typically made up of built-in style shelves, cabinets, and drawers that fit behind or perpendicular to a desk. JSI Furniture has a number of beautifully designed case goods to choose from such as the Flux Private Office. The Flux Private Office is made up of individual components, meaning there are countless configurations for you to choose from. All of JSI’s case goods are available in a large variety of colors and finishes to fit any space and any design style.

JSI has terrific options for open floorplans including the Flux Private Office series

If you’re looking for something simpler, National Office Furniture has great options when it comes to storage. National has 11 private office collections making it easy for you to find multiple pieces that match one another and can provide the organizational style you’re looking for. The Alloy collection, for example, is made up of locker-style cabinets and drawers whereas the Barrington collection contains more classical-looking bookshelves and chests of drawers.

The Alloy Storage series by National Office Furniture
The Barrington Collection by National Office Furniture

Thonet on the other hand offers more conventional storage solutions such as the Modern Heritage Shelving System. The unit is totally customizable, down to color, finish, and the number of cabinets or shelves included. They also offer credenzas, media consoles, and other products to keep your home office tidy, organized, and ready for work while looking great.

Thonet’s Modern Heritage Shelving System

Ancillary Accessories

No home office would be complete without fun and functional accessories. Such accessories can be incorporated to make you more comfortable and your work a little easier. National Office Furniture’s Exhibit collection was created on the philosophy to “let the walls do the work,” so they offer a selection of markerboards and tackboards to help you utilize available wall space and clear up clutter from your desk. Most people are visual learners, so having a board to write on close by can be extremely beneficial to keep track of lists, notes, and other ideas. They can also be used to decorate your space with personal photos or other types of inspiration.

National Office Furniture has markerboards for your office or school
National Office Furniture tackboards are beautiful and functional while adding a pop of color

Tech accessories are also great additions to your home office. A desktop power station is a great way to plug in multiple things at once safely and clear wire clutter from around the desk without being bulky. Another useful thing is a wireless charging pad which can charge your phone without additional wires and can be moved out of the way of paperwork and computers.

In addition to chairs, ergoCentric offers a variety of work-from-home products meant to increase productivity and overall well-being such as anti-fatigue mats and leg and foot rests. The ergoCentric Foot Flexor sits neatly under your desk and encourages you to constantly change the position of your hips, legs, ankle, and lower back muscles. This device relieves tension and static in the muscles so you won’t feel as tired or stiff after a long day of work.

ergoCentric helps keep you on your feet with antifatigue mats

If you are interested in upgrading your home office, contact CORE at (520) 999-3470. Our commercial office specialists are here to answer all of your questions and assist you in building a modern, healthy remote work environment for yourself for years to come.

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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.