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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.