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Inside An Office Designed By Artificial Intelligence

AI, or Artificial Intelligence, has been the realm of science fiction for decades – and it’s making its way into our homes and workplaces. From Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, we’re slowly getting used to the idea of technology that’s intuitive and integrated with our daily lives. In an interesting new step, AI is now being used to design workplaces like the offices of AutoDesk. So, what are the results?

This company is the first place you’d expect to use AI to design an office – it’s the 16,000-square foot Toronto office of software giants who work on large-scale architecture, engineering and construction projects, after all. Each aspect of this workspace design – right down to the placement of plants – is determined and planned out by AI.

The reason for using AI was not only because it was an interesting challenge, but because the company believed this was the best way to create a space that would satisfy the most employees. This led to a system of generative design, where software is able to take in huge amounts of data, from cost, leadership/management style preferences and performance dynamics all the way to lighting preferences, who likes sitting next to whom, open plan vs cubicle preferences, and much more. This mix of data from every employee as well as design specialists resulted in the creation of a design that would deliver the highest satisfaction score.

The final design has a very unique character and shifts from department to department. For example, the two-floor office space is split with the ground floor being presentation space and the upper floor consisting of different neighborhoods. Different staff departments have their own unique neighborhood that incorporates their preferences – the 3D software design team has an open, collaborative space, while the research department has pod-like office spaces integrated with the tech rig they work on. Even the desks were chosen though the AI software, which indicated that employees preferred a warm, wood-grained option.

So, will more businesses take the AI route when it comes to designing their workplace? It’s inclusive and considerate nature certainly shows promise!

Commercial office interiors, design and fitment 

BE Furniture is a full-service corporate office design and contemporary office furniture company, offering a wide range of environmentally-sensitive and innovative products, including architectural office walls and movable walls. For more information about our products and architectural office partitions, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/

 

Designing An Effective Co-Working Space

Co-working spaces are big business all over the USA and the world, with dedicated co-working spaced growing from zero to 11,000 in just ten years – and set to increase by another 15,000 by 2020. With the industry picking up speed, it’s vital for designers to create the most effective spaces out there in order to maintain that competitive edge. Here are some great tips on designing the best co-working spaces, from our contemporary office furniture specialists.

  • Reflect how the workplace is changing: Co-working spaces started as cheap alternatives to traditional offices during the economic crunch – a space where freelancers and independent contractors could meet and work without breaking the bank. Now, these spaces are growing in popularity with salaried employees for businesses seeking an affordable solution to workplace space shortages. Keeping this in mind can help you design for – and help you attract – big business clients like KPMG and GE who favor this option.
  • Focus on what people enjoy about co-working: Why do people like co-working spaces? They are inexpensive, flexible, centrally located, offer networking opportunities, and promote a work-life balance. These should then be the focus of your design – allowing clients to hold meetings in larger rooms as well as use busy hot desks and quiet spaces, keeping costs down but functional quality high, and creating a space that is inspiring and enjoyable as well as practical.
  • Utilities first, interior design later: While the ambience of a space is an essential part of successful co-working spaces, your first investment should be in function – high-speed Internet is a must-have, along with durable office furniture like sit-stand desks, and ergonomic office chairs. Good lighting, preferably balanced with good natural lighting, is another essential that will draw people to your space.
  • The work-life balance: Co-working spaces that thrive usually embody a philosophy of work-life balance and casual networking. They often feel more like a coffee shop or an informal gathering of likeminded people than a traditional workplace. Ensuring that your space combines wellness with work, creativity with competition is key to achieving this balance, and the use of art, nature and comfort-driven features are some of the ways this can be achieved.

Find the right contemporary office interiors partner for your co-working space 

If you are designing a new co-working space, our team is here to help. In addition to our wide range of contemporary office furniture, architectural glass walls and interior design features, we can also assist you with workspace design and fitment. For more information on our services and contemporary office furniture ideas, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/

 

What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Office Design

Neuroscience is a fascinating area of study, focusing on how the human nervous system (including the brain) is structured, how it develops and how it works. While this is a very specific and advanced area of study, it has a huge range of practical, everyday applications that can even apply to how we use – and can improve – the workplace.

Office life and the Circadian Rhythm 

The Circadian Rhythm is the name given to our internal clock – a cycle that drives our mental, physical, and behavioral changes through the 24-hour day, governed primarily by responses to light and darkness. We develop this rhythm as infants, and recent Nobel prize-winning studies have demonstrated how this rhythm, controlled by a gene in each of us, controls vital parts of our day by releasing sleep hormones, determining when we are most alert and able to focus, and even controlling body temperature. It also showed that misaligning this rhythm with our lifestyle can result in higher risks of certain diseases and mental health conditions.

So how should this impact workplace design? The key here is “light”. Cutting-edge office design is using this knowledge of Circadian Rhythms to adapt offices to ensure there is more access to natural lighting to create a stronger alignment with this natural cycle. Studies showed the benefits of natural light over artificial lighting, as participants with better access to natural light showed better sleep habits, lower stress rates and less tiredness in the workplace – all the better for productivity and general wellness.

Mirror neurons help develop team potential 

Mirror neurons are located in the brain and become active when we perform an action as well as when we see someone else perform that action. Neuroscience studies have shown a similar effect to both emotional reactions as well as physical ones – for example, when we see someone get injured, we flinch in “pain”. This isn’t just about reactions, however, it shows how social beings, like humans, are able to build bonds with one another and share a sense of empathy.

In the workplace, this translates to that ever-important goal of developing a strong and successful team. For this to happen, individuals need to learn to work together, to motivate one another and help each other. So how can office design and office furniture help enhance this through optimizing mirror neuron response? By creating easy access to one another and clear lines of sight throughout the space, through glass partitions and open working spaces, for example.

Design, fit and furnish a cutting-edge workspace 

BE Furniture is a New Jersey-located company that strives to meet all your corporate office furniture and office design needs. We can assist you with everything from contemporary office furniture, architectural walls and interiors to office design, fitting and furniture recycling. For more information on the latest modern office design ideas and corporate office furniture, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/

Are Kid-Friendly Workplaces The Next Big Thing?

If there’s one aspect of life that puts the most pressure on company productivity as well as employees, it’s trying to balance families with the demands of the office. With the cost of childcare so high and people wanting to keep their careers on track while having kids, it’s no surprise that kid-friendly workplaces are starting to become a trend! This concept presents a unique way of bringing childcare and productivity together to help businesses and parents get ahead.

Is there really a demand for family-friendly workplaces? 

Yes! In fact, research by the US Department of Labor have shown that 62% of women who gave birth 12 months ago are working, and 90% of men said that paternity leave was a priority. Many additional studies have shown that workplaces that don’t offer paid parental leave suffer from lower employee retention, higher turnover costs and a lower ability to attract talent. Even more importantly, 30% of women with children who don’t work said that they would return to the workplace and their careers if they were provided with flexible options – putting considerable talent and experience back into businesses.

So, what makes a business family-friendly? 

This is an area where the sky is the limit, and companies can get creative with what policies and benefits they can offer working parents. Generally speaking, these policies focus on paid parental leave, flexible working hours, support for nursing mothers, family benefits for healthcare and insurance, and hosting family-friendly events.

Some companies are putting a lot of emphasis on attracting working parents because of the talent and experience they have to offer, including:

  • American Express – They have a 20-week paid parental leave policy for all parents, plus 6-8 weeks for birth mothers as medical recovery time.
  • Patagonia – This company offers a child care center that is fully paid for by the company. Kids can stay on-site while parents work, and older children can be lifted to and from schools in the area on free busses. They also help cover adoption fees for prospective parents!
  • Google – Google is known for its incredible employee perks, and parents are no exception. New moms get 18 weeks of paid leave, and parents playing an equal role in their child’s first year get 12 weeks and $500 for baby bonding. They also offer onsite childcare through their 4 centers.
  • Facebook – This company is taking on the rest to try become the most family-friendly business of them all, with free meals and free laundry services. New parents get $4,000 to help cover expenses, subsidized childcare and assistance with adoption fees. They also contribute towards employees who want to freeze their eggs, under a $20,000 benefit program for fertility treatments.

Re-imagine your business through wellness and family-friendly modern office design 

BE Furniture is a full-service corporate office design, collaborative furniture and contemporary office furniture company, offering a wide range of environmentally-sensitive and innovative products and services for innovative boardrooms and office interiors. For more information, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/

Why Workplace Wellbeing Is Important To Industry Leaders

For a long time, the phrase “work-life balance” has been a buzzword for businesses, but the reality is that, for many people, there is a distinct disconnect between the quality of like they experience at home and the one they get at work.

After all, most employees work 40-60 hours a day in the office, under fluorescent lighting, in range of unhealthy vending machine options, in front of a computer for hours at a time, and unaware of whether it’s day or night outside. After a day’s work, achieving that essential balance is almost impossible – finding the time or energy to exercise, shop for and prepare healthy foods, and spend quality time with our loved ones and hobbies. It’s this imbalance that makes achieving these goals almost impossible – and the distinction between home life and office life makes it exhausting to even think about!

The answer, according to specialists, is that workplaces need to catch up in terms of quality of life – and industry leaders who have committed to these changes and focused on wellbeing are reaping the rewards. Employees benefit from having a happier, healthier and more efficient workplace, while employers benefit from increased productivity, improved talent acquisition, employee loyalty, and reduced sick days.

So, what is wellness and how do I apply it in the workplace? 

This is the biggest challenge facing companies that want to move with the times, boost their competitiveness and attract the best people in the industry. The answer is that it’s a holistic approach that requires an investment of time, money and passion – it’s not just about putting a juicer in the break room. It’s about evaluating pain-points in the office and setting goals for overcoming them. Some great ideas include:

  • Updating office cubicle systems to include color, collaborative spaces and casual meeting areas. This makes it easy for employees to find a space that suits them, have upbeat surroundings in which to work, and network more easily.
  • Introduce options for adjustable and ergonomic desks and chairs, including standing desks. Again, a variety of options should be made available for your space to suit the needs of different employees. Hot-desking will ensure that no-one is restricted to a single option.
  • Introduce healthy food options. If you have a cafeteria or vending machines, ensure that they have plenty of affordable, healthy choices.
  • Start a fitness club where anyone can join. Once a week running and walking clubs are a great option that helps employees bond and encourages physical activity.
  • Introduce nature. Natural lighting, plants and outdoor spaces have an immediate, positive impact on mood, creativity and mental health. Revitalize your breakroom to incorporate the outdoors, hang a wall garden indoors, and opt for glass partition walls to let in daylight and a view.
  • Treat your employees to wellness options. Rather than a lunch or dinner out, why not opt for a wellness treat? Spa teams can come in and give employees head and neck massages, or a yoga instructor can come in for a fun introductory session.

Boost productivity with a wellness office design 

If you have a wellness vision for your business, our team is here to help. In addition to our wide range of office furniture, cubical systems and office cubicle walls, we can also assist you with workspace design and fitment. For more information on our services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/

Can Going Green Make Your Office More Productive?

Companies make the choice to go Green and reduce their environmental impact for a number of reasons, from their corporate vision and philosophy to cost-savings. But there’s one more important reason that is often overlooked –greener workplaces can boost employee productivity. In fact, studies have shown that employees working in green-certified offices boast a 26% boost in cognition, and 30% fewer sickness related absences, and improved sleep quality.

The right way to reduce your company’s environmental impact 

As with anything, there is a right and a wrong way of going green. For example, if your company wants to improve its energy usage, the answer is not to turn down heating and cooling – this will likely result in unproductive and unhappy employees. The trick is to hit the sweet spot, ecologically-speaking, and this results in a positive change in your company’s direction and in employee happiness. Here’s how.

  • Air quality: Poor air quality is bad for the environment and worse for your employees – not only can it make people feel sluggish and unable to concentrate, it can also trigger respiratory problems like allergies and asthma, which can directly impact on productivity. Focusing on creating well-ventilated offices that deliver fresh, clean air from an energy-efficient system reduces energy expenditure and has been shown to boost cognitive performance, as well as reduce sick days.
  • Natural light: Flickering artificial light, lack of daylight and excessive lighting have a negative impact on cognitive performance and can result in depression, eye strain, headaches and high electricity bills. Emphasizing natural light, for example, incorporating glass partition walls into your office, improves views and access to daylight, which has been shown to decrease electricity bills and increase productivity by over 5%.
  • Bring in the outdoors: Nature itself has an uplifting and positive affect on your mindset as well as improving air quality. Open garden spaces for meetings and breaks, indoor wall gardens, and potted plants are the ideal way to incorporate this concept into your office.

Bring in the light with a high-quality glass partition wall system 

BE Furniture is a full-service contemporary office furniture supplier, office design and fitment specialist dedicated to delivering a dynamic office space that suits your unique needs. In addition to designing and installing our architectural glass walls for offices, we also offer a wide range of office furniture solutions, from reception desks to ergonomic chairs and value-added environmentally-sensitive products that offer cost-effective and creative solutions.

For more information on our glass partition wall systems and services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/