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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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The Christmas gift that will keep giving

A work of the heart made a difference during a difficult holiday

It has been said that one small act of kindness can change the world and so it was this holiday season with Mercedes Flores and her team at CORE. After months of labor and hundreds of hours of work, CORE had successfully helped Casa de los Niños complete its relocation in Tucson, AZ, and made a gift to a special friend will last a lifetime.

A Story of Love

This story of love began in September of 1998 when Terry DuBay decided to adopt a child of her own through Casa de los Niños, a social service organization dedicated to children in search of forever families.

“I was single and had not been married but always wanted to have kids,” said DuBay. “Some of my friends said I should start by being a foster parent. That’s when I found out about the foster to adopt program.”

It wasn’t long before DuBay was matched with a five-year-old little girl named Diane.

“She was playing on the playground in the back,” recalled DuBay of her first meeting with the child who would become her daughter. “She was just a teeny, tiny little blonde girl that was as cute as a button. I played with her for a while. That weekend, there was a country fair and I got to take her for the day. She came and spent the night on Tuesday and then I got her (permanently) on Thursday. I just immediately fell in love with her. I just adored her.”

Diane and Terry DuBay on the day of Diane’s adoption.

A Growing Family & Tragedy

After a year and a half, Terry was able to adopt Diane as her own. In 2001, Terry and Diane’s family grew when Steve Rahn married Terry, giving Diane a father, too. During that time, Terry worked in the same industry as CORE Principal Mercedes Flores and the two women became good friends. Time passed and Diane blossomed into a beautiful young woman but tragedy struck on March 12, 2012, when she died by suicide.

Flores, along with other friends and family, helped DuBay and her husband cope with the loss of their beloved daughter. The couple sought support in a suicide survivor’s support group and through grief counseling. They also became involved in a foundation that takes suicide awareness into high schools.

“In a momentary speck of time, they see nothing but hopelessness,” DuBay said of those who seek suicide as an answer. “There was a thought process where teachers and counselors didn’t want to talk about it because they were afraid kids would do it. It’s about awareness, seeing the signs. If you can catch it in time, you can save someone.”

Making a Difference

When Flores discovered Casa de los Niños had the huge undertaking of combining five locations into one building, she wanted to help. Flores remembered Diane and wanted to do something nice in her memory so she jumped at the chance to help Casa de los Niños.

Over the course of the last two years, Mercedes and her CORE crew took a full furniture inventory at all six Casa de los Niños locations. Then they used plans for the new building to determine what furniture was still usable and what new furniture would be required.

“We worked with their interior designer and architect to come up with the best possible furniture solutions,” said Flores, who tagged every piece of furniture to be relocated. “When it came time to move, we installed the new furniture first. Once it was installed, we helped to coordinate with the movers to bring in the existing furniture. Our installers then went through to make sure everything was put together, level, and good to go.”

Flores and the CORE team provided roughly 300 hours of work including project management, inventorying furniture, and coordinating with the movers which saved Casa de los Niños about $20,000.

“I had gone in there because of Terry DuBay,” said Flores. “I was really trying to give a bench or something for that new area as I knew that’s where Diane had been adopted. The CEO, Susie Huhn, had mentioned they were building a new building. At that point I asked what they were doing for furniture and they didn’t have a plan in place yet. So, I thought we had a much bigger opportunity to do something more for Terry than just a bench.”

A Group Project

DuBay is a representative for several commercial furniture lines that CORE works with. With this in mind, Flores asked the interior designer if they would be willing to use her lines of furniture for the new building. The designer agreed and without DuBay’s knowledge, they went to manufacturers to ask for special pricing to make the project come to life.

“Every one of the manufacturers came through because they knew about Diane’s suicide,” said Flores, who took the story and project plans to Arcadia Seating, Kimball, Encore, Mayer Fabrics, and others. “The pricing we got for Casa de los Niños; I have never seen it that low.”

CORE Project Manager and Designer Brieanna Green had just started at CORE when Flores had taken on the Casa de los Niños project. Though she had known for a long time that Flores and her husband were giving people, she said she was surprised by the depth of the volunteer work that went into this project.

“I had no idea,” said Brieanna. “I was thrilled to be a part of it. My heart just went out to Terry. I have a teenage daughter and I quit my previous job to be with her. To be a part of this felt appropriate. To be there for other people, we need to do things like this.”

A Personal Touch

In addition to the hundreds of hours of work CORE performed for Casa de los Niños since January 2017, Mercedes wanted to do something more personal. She worked with the staff at Casa de los Niños to dedicate a room in Diane DuBay’s name. Mercedes put together verbiage for a special plaque outside of the room. In addition, she took quotes from the Lemony Snicket’s books Diane loved reading as a child and turned them into canvas artwork to beautify the room to give it a more personal touch.

On Dec. 20, 2018, the room was ready for unveiling so Flores and Lisa Webster, Director of Development and Community Relations for Casa de los Niños, took DuBay on a tour she will never forget.

“We were kind of standing by the room and then they took me over to see it and I saw the plaque; I just fell apart,” said DuBay, who added that the holidays are especially difficult without her daughter. “It said ‘The DuBay Room’ and it had Diane’s name on it. In a 100 years, I would never have expected that. It was just very moving.”

The plaque marking The Dubay Room at Casa de los Ninos.

Terry said she was incredibly surprised by the extent of it all from the volunteer hours to the participation of all of the people involved. Most of all, she was overwhelmed by the gift from her dear friend.

“Mercedes is one of the most loving, generous people I have known in my life,” said Terry. “She has helped so many girls through tough times. Since I lost Diane, she has been so supportive. I don’t know what I would have done without my friends and family. It shows the capacity of people to give and love. I am so thankful for her friendship and the love she has given me. It’s pretty cool to have people like that in your life.”

But if you talk to Flores, she will tell you all of the hard work, time, and money spent were just the right thing to do.

“It was no big deal,” said Mercedes. “If we have the opportunity to do nice things, we probably should.”

If you would like to learn more about Casa de los Niños or wish to make a donation, please contact the organization at (520) 624-5600 or visit them online.

Diane DuBay enjoyed reading Lemony Snickets books as a child, loved the holidays with her family, and wrote poetry.
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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.