Posted on

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.

Posted on

Five Modern Office Trends for 2019

What’s Hot this Year in Commercial Furniture Designs

By Angela D. Wagner

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

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

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

Resommercial and Casual Work Stations

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

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

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

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

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

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

Free-Range Cohabitation Spaces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Singular Workspaces

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

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

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

“Smart” Furnishings

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

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

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

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

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

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

Incorporation of Natural Designs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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