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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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Open Office Workspaces: Better mobility, collaboration, and more

Open office workspaces improve life for employees on a daily basis.

When businesses began to boom after the return of soldiers from WWII, office spaces began expanding to accommodate growth. That often meant adding more rows of cubicles where conformity and private production were the name of the game. But times have drastically changed, in large part because of technological advances and changes in the way people work. Today, open office workspaces are being utilized to improve employee collaboration, mobility, and employee health.

While cubicles have not disappeared, they have substantially changed over the last 20 years like most things in the typical office. No longer are tall walls meant to keep employees isolated and working. The office of today incorporates the comforts of home, cubicles with shorter walls, technology that allows worker mobility and collaboration, and comfort that allows workers to stay healthier than ever before.

The Resommercial Open Office
Where there was once a room filled to the brim with row upon row of high-walled cubicles, open office workspaces have morphed the modern office. The comforts of home have moved into the office with what is now known as “Resommercial” furnishings, which is all about combining residential design with commercial spaces. This fairly new office design trend adds a homey feel to the office by incorporating everything from furniture designs to fabrics that have traditionally been reserved for home spaces.

Some of the most cutting-edge employers have offices featuring shared workspaces with couches that have small desktops for working and USB outlets. Large computer screens in open spaces allow for shared input and collaboration among several employees. Fewer walls or those made of glass allow offices to feel brighter and more open than ever before. Offices featuring resommercial furnishings in common areas create a feeling of welcome for employees and visitors alike.

Technological Advances
The technology of today is leaps and bounds over what the workforce had even 20 years ago. Computers have been minimized from the bulking mainframes of the 50’s and Apple IIe’s of 1983 to sleek laptops, tablets, and cell phones. Employees now require little space and businesses can do more with less square footage than they could even a decade ago.

With extra room to move around, 21st Century employees are now seeing fresh benefits as a result. Businesses are using extra space and funds to incorporate everything from in-house coffee shops to fitness studios in order to lure new employees. By offering extras that help employees multitask in today’s fast-paced world, businesses can draw a workforce that wants to spend more time in the office because it is a cool, comfortable, and exciting place to be.

Mobility
Arguably one of the most exciting aspects of technological advances is mobility. With Wi-Fi now a mainstay in most offices, workers have terrific mobility and are no longer chained to a desk or a set workstation. Technology has allowed for greater flexibility in creating work environments where employees have the option of using a private workstation as well as inviting shared spaces where they can enjoy a cup of joe while chatting with colleagues about projects they are working on.

With fewer wires comes mobility which lets employees choose to enjoy couches, standing desks, and communal workstations in addition to their traditional private seating area. Many offices now even harbor large kitchen tables with seating where a dozen employees or more can eat, chat, and work together on their mobile devices.

Contemporary Cubicles
Cubicles are still employed today but are much smaller than the traditional 8-feet-by-8-feet of the past. Most modern cubicles are now only 6-feet-by-6-feet and can even be smaller than that. The modern open office workspace features cubicles with two or three shorter walls, allowing everyone to see what is happening around them and participate in collaborative conversations.

In 2017, roughly 70 percent of offices in the United States either had low or no partitions, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. Rows of cubicles are now often broken up with shared spaces such as open meeting areas, shared seating, and fewer walls. While employees could balk at the smaller personal workspaces, they don’t because there are such lush common spaces they can also enjoy and have the freedom to move around.

Improved Health
Open office workspaces have been shown to improve both employee health. For starters, studies have shown that spending the day sitting in a chair can be detrimental to one’s health. One study by researchers at the University of Sydney showed those who sit for eight to 11 hours a day have a 15 percent increase in death from all causes over four years compared to those who sit in the same position for only four to eight hours a day.

“Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity,” according to the conclusions derived from the Sydney study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “High volumes of sitting time have possible associations with increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.”

With open office workspaces, employees are encouraged to move around and find different ways to get things done. From height-adjustable desks that allow workers to stand or sit to inviting common areas and even treadmill workstations, the employees of today can get moving while they work.

If you would like more information on open office workspaces, designs, or furnishings, please call CORE today at (520) 999-3470 or visit us online.