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Make Big Impressions with Your Small Workspace

By Angela D. Wagner

Maybe your small office workspace was planned intentionally to create a cozy, collaborative environment. Or, perhaps, you’re economizing as you plan to expand later on. Regardless of why your business is operating in tighter spaces, making the most of the premium space you do have can provide an opportunity for creative efficiency. With the right space-saving furnishings, you can provide your employees with a workplace primed for success.

CORE works with an impressive list of high-quality manufacturers to present a wide variety of options for every workspace and every budget. No matter what your office’s total square footage is, the experts at CORE can help you design the perfect workplace in any space with products to show off your business, its work ethic, and its style with complete functionality.

Reception Desks

These are the pieces of furniture that work the hardest to provide your office’s best first impression. Affordable with a top-quality appearance and ultimate function, DeskMakers’ Overture reception desk is available in many styles, sizes, finishes, and materials. This variety of options enables any business to leave a long-lasting good impression even when space is a concern.

The Overture reception desk by DeskMakers allows your office to save space while still making a terrific first impression.
The Overture reception desk by DeskMakers allows you to save space while making a terrific first impression.

Fluid Concepts offers a variety of reception designs to fit any size and shape of space your organization has available. One of the things we at CORE love most about the reception desks from Fluid Concepts is that they are offered in a variety of finishes and materials which means customizing your reception area from a complete corner desk to a creatively curved design is no problem. Additionally, the company focuses on using environmentally friendly and sustainable materials.

Make the best use of every corner with corner reception desk designs by Fluid Concepts.
Make the best use of every corner with corner reception desk designs like this one by Fluid Concepts.

Another great manufacturer of small reception furnishings is Cherryman. Like the others mentioned above, this company offers a multitude of smaller reception desks to fit any space. Its reception products are available in a range of materials from wood and leather to glass top reception desks. Cherryman even offers the seating and tables you need to accent your small reception area while keeping things looking professional without busting your budget.

Reception desks can be small and functional while making a statement. Take this Cherryman reception desk, for example.

Small Worktables

For smaller office spaces, wall-mounted work surfaces are a terrific space-saving option. Peter Pepper offers a multitude of curvy and straight-edged wall-mounted worktables to choose from. They come in a variety of materials from metal to wood to match any office décor. With the daily use of modern technology from laptops to cell phones that require charging, the outlets built into these worktables make charging simple so there’s no wasted time searching for a place to charge.

Wall-mounted work stations are great for super small spaces that still allow employees and guests to get things done comfortably and conveniently.

When training sessions are completed, reuse the space by storing these Drake inline nesting tables with flip tops from ERG International. These easily stored tables are on casters for maneuvering made simple. The small worktables allow you to use your smaller spaces with versatility, style, and complete functionality.

Inline nesting tables like this Drake table by ERG International make it easy to use, store, and go for multiple purposes from training to collaborative work areas.

Multi-purpose tables by HON are another great option for small spaces that require furnishings to handle working double duty. Whether you need your tables to be mobile workstations with a height-adjustable base or you need them to work in interactive training spaces, these multi-purpose tables can do it all. They are easy to move, reconfigure, and stow away quickly. Talk about smart furniture!

The multi-purpose tables by HON are an excellent option when you need tables that do double duty.

Compact & Portable Workstations

Perfect for smaller work areas, the Cloud Workspaces offered by in2design offers an opportunity for focused individual assignments or group projects. With its compact design, the Cloud is ideal for privacy but is also open enough for working with others. Your employees will love how the design allows them to transition quickly from individual tasks to group activities and discussions. Their small footprint and inviting oval shape make them ideal for small spaces.

Cloud Workspaces by in2design offers a stylish alternative to traditional cubicles in small spaces without losing functionality.

You might not be able to move walls to create more space, but the next-best thing is a movable workstation. The KORE Work Cart by Kimball® is designed for smaller spaces that embrace shared workspaces. This piece is completely adaptable, giving employees the option to work privately in their own space or move their desk with ease to work with others in a shared space.

Small, portable, and workable, the KORE Work Cart by Kimball is a great opportunity to add mobility to workstations while saving space.

Mobile Service Desks by TMC Furniture are ideal for healthcare settings. These desks are set on casters to allow them to move in and out of spaces, even small ones, with ease. They are a perfect addition to settings that change frequently such as patient waiting areas. They even offer calming images on the front to beautify your office or business while improving patient health.

Mobility adds to the functionality of this Mobile Service Desk by TMC Furniture. Add some grace to any area with charming front panels and store away to make space when needed.

Height-Adjustable Furniture

Design a work area that goes beyond mere cubicles with the versatile offerings of the sit-stand Equity workstation by Neutral Posture. It employs a panel-based system that is an industry first, allowing for modularity along a centerline and 90-degree and 120-degree planning that’s perfect for open-plan layouts.

With the Equity workstation by Neutral Posture, you can mix and match your employee set up to save the most space in your workplace.

Quiet motors raise or lower the height of the TiMOTION worktable by ergoCentric a range of 26.5 inches in just 17 seconds. This allows for a variety of specialty heights for comfortable work environments in small or large spaces. It offers a sturdy and economical sit-stand solution for even small work areas.

The TiMOTION worktable by ergoCentric allows your employees to move seamlessly from sitting to standing and back again without taking up much room.

AMQ offers height-adjustable desks with a standard push-button handset offering four memory presets to make getting the height for each employee just right. The adjustable bases fit three work-surface sizes so you can get the desk that offers a perfect fit for your available space. These desks promise quiet motors and can be used alone or added to others for condensed workspaces.

Even in the smallest of areas, you can allow employees the health benefits of height-adjustable desks like these from AMQ.

Storage Cabinets

For offices storing paper files in cabinets, Spacefile offers space-saving tambour doors whose shutters roll up to reveal files, then roll down for security. They also promise a clean, professional appearance, which is especially important in open office spaces. The best part is they are totally customizable to fit your specific space and storage needs.

Save space with cabinets by Spacefile that feature tambour doors that roll up and down.

Spacefile’s Roll-Away II & III systems provide laterally movable shelves in front of a rear stationary unit, none of which are mounted to the floor. This is a cost-effective, space-saving solution when it comes to meeting your business storage requirements. The mobile rows allow for tons of seamless storage in the smallest of spaces.

Small offices can be challenged to provide storage for personal items left out in the open. Not only can personal items create a cluttered, unprofessional appearance, but leaving items out doesn’t do much in the way of security. Footprint® Pullout Storage by Kimball offers secure, secluded storage that gives your team members their own area even in an environment where space is at a premium.

Footprint Pullout Storage by Kimball makes storing personal items, files, and more simple and easy without using a ton of space.

For healthcare environments, Alterna® by Kimball®Health offers modular caseworks that can be seamlessly added no matter your space considerations. This healthcare furniture adapts well to small public areas as well as clinical spaces and workstations. The caseworks can be completely modified to meet the availability of space in your office.

Capture wall space for storage that looks great with the Alterna modular casework series from Kimball.

Seating Selections

Small offices are often challenged to provide temporary accommodations for clients and other guests. HON Office Furniture’s nesting chair is a flip-up model that stores easily in a small area. These seats open easily to provide comfortable seating. Another perk: It sits on casters that make it easily mobile.

This HON Motivate stacking chair just one of many styles available to reduce space usage.

Safco’s new Cava collection offers desk and office seating with rounded lines, colorful and comfortable fabrics, and ergonomic options to keep workspaces comfortable and appealing. You can choose whether you want seating that is stackable or on casters for added mobility. There are a variety of styles ranging from low-back to high-back and those that are height adjustable for better ergonomics.

Cava Urth is one of many space-saving, stackable chairs available from Safco.

To allow employees to move seamlessly from sit to stand and back again, consider the variety of stools offered by Sitwell. Sitwell stools promise comfortable height-adjustable seating in a range of styles and colors. They can be used as a footrest when standing and don’t take up much room. They also sit on casters for simple mobility when it comes time to move to your next collaborative assignment or team meeting.

The variety of stools by Sitwell offer employees the chance to move from sitting to standing with ease.

Maximizing Desk Space

Those awkward 90-degree corners can become functional with RightAngle Products’ Create-A-Corner. These desks maximize your use of space by taking any such corner and turning it into a useable workspace using flexible articulating arms. With RightAngle, you can make every corner count.

Use that excess space in hidden corners to create more workspace with the Create-A-Corner by RightAngle.

Need to maximize every square foot of space atop each desk? The clamp mount monitor arm by National Office Furniture lets you get organized with a non-permanent installation. Simply use the clamp to secure the monitor arm to the edge of the desk and you have just saved yourself valuable surface space on your desktop.

For those in need of two monitors with little space, the clamp mount monitor arm by National Office Furniture is the perfect solution. Save that desk space for better things.

Optimizing small spaces pays off

Space challenges don’t have to mean giving up a professional appearance. You can achieve effective functionality and room to maneuver in your office for employees, clients, and guests regardless of the space you have. A wide variety of products and designs are available to afford even the smallest offices to look and feel successful. With the right mix of furnishings and products to equip your work environment, you’ll begin feeling like you’re already in larger quarters.

To learn more about space-saving corporate office furnishings and products, contact CORE online or call us today at (520) 999-3470.

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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.