Category Archives: Blog

Will Open Office Furniture and Layouts Change Due to COVID-19?

The so called “Open Office Plan” has been a go-to strategy for the development of business environments for literally decades. Its most basic advantages have to do with the lack of barriers allowing easy lines of communication (some might say too easy..), and the layouts typically utilize tighter more intimate desking or short cubicle configurations in an open room, that use less square footage per person. That’s good in big cities and other places where office space is at a premium. Open office when done right, allowed a working environment that was intimate, team oriented and economically efficient.

While many in our industry are loudly heralding the death of open office in a post pandemic world, the team here at BE has a different take. While companies in a post pandemic world may be looking for more hygienic office design and furniture solutions, and looking to redefine the role and size of their offices, the answer is more complicated and nuanced than simply throwing open office into the junk heap of design strategies and putting everyone into a private office.

Part of the reason open office gets blamed by so many companies is that frankly, so many companies did it so badly. Before you throw your open-office concept into the dumpster, we’re here to tell you that a thoughtful, more considered approach can help you retain the best of open-office, increase privacy and reduce germ transmission, and reinvent the goals of your office space. Whether you’re planning to downsize your office space, re-task your teaming areas, create workplace hubs, your problem isn’t open office. It’s a problem of office intelligence that can be solved with the right alignment of design with your company culture, health best practices, and a rich understanding of what is out there in the world in terms of furniture and office construction techniques that bring it all together.

Here’s a few thoughts on how you can extend your open office strategy to meet the goals of the new world in office design, furniture and construction.

Incorporate a Sense of Wellness into your Open Office Strategy

In the past, most businesses chose the open office route to maximize the usage of limited floorspace and cut the cost of developing private offices for everyone. With COVID-19 still in play, the first reason has changed because a new mindset has developed. Businesses are now wondering how many people can I get in here safely? We’ve also noticed a shift in location. A lot of cramped NYC offices are now looking to relocate to equivalent or even larger office space in the NJ suburbs. This has a lot to do with current CDC social distancing guidelines but also a desire to expand while keeping costs down. To ensure everyone stays at least 6ft apart from one another while working, there has to be enough square footage per person.

Understanding the ultimate goals behind implementing this reinvented layout will help designers focus their efforts on the most important elements of their design. Including the logistics of a functional layout to promote the motivation, health and safety of employees at all times. This doesn’t require one to completely abandon open office, but with increased distancing, better workflow routing, and hygienic partitions and furniture, your existing open office concept can often be leveraged.

Choosing the Right Products to Promote Health and Safety

Commercial office furniture is an important tool to support the activities occurring within the different workspaces, and needs to be carefully considered in order to promote the most efficient workflow.

This means conducting an in-depth survey into each department to consider what they need to return safely to office. Taking this into account will help determine the right furniture and space to ensure employees thrive and feel safe in their work environment. Your workplace should consider solutions that ensure proper social distancing within each workspace, and the hygienic safety of your employees and the office environment. Luckily, there are many COVID-compliant products available that can easily be incorporated into an existing open office layout, such as acrylic barriers, air purifiers, sneeze guards, and more. Or if you’d like a more permanent solution, our construction division, BE Builds can help you design and install an architectural wall solution that is cost effective.

Stay Open, to Open Office

Open office design plans will continue to have its detractors, however we are here to tell you that the concept is not wholly incompatible with the new office normal. We might suggest however that help from our experts at BE can show you what is possible, saving you money and bringing you the office of your dreams at the same time.

To find out more about the office design and construction services we offer, please contact us today at:

Okay, You Designed Your New Office Space… Now What?

You designed your ideal office space, now you need someone to build it. But how do you go about hiring a contractor for a complex office building? What are the key things to look for before hiring someone to take on the specifics of your buildout project? Who you decide on will make a world of difference in how the final product turns out (no pressure). So it’s important to make sure the future of your office space is in the right hands. With that said, here is our guide of key components to consider before hiring a commercial contractor. 

  • Costs Involved – Do you already have office furniture that can be reused or repurposed? Is there a complex construction element in your architectural plan that can be simplified to reduce building costs? The right commercial contractor will have this type of mindset and will avoid constant upcharges. At BE, our first mindset is to repurpose, reuse and recycle. We perform an analysis of your company and see what preexisting construction and furniture will work with the new vision for your space. At BE, we value the relationships we cultivate with each client and really appreciate helping clients achieve their goals on time and under budget.
  • The New Meaning of a Safe Office Workspace – The world has changed, which means businesses have also changed. It’s safe to say most employees will feel a sense of apprehension to return to office after being quarantined for several months. As an ethical employer, it’s your job to make them feel safe, secure and welcomed back into the office. Whoever you decide to hire for your office buildout should have a strong grasp on legitimate employee concerns and COVID-compliant installations. You really need to have people who understand how to do this right, especially if you want to maintain your workflow, your culture and overall employee retention. BE thoroughly understands the complications COVID-19 brings into the workplace, and has advised past and present clients with their Return to Office plans. For more information on our Return to Office strategies, click here.
  • Contractor Experience: What Sets Them Apart from Competition? – Building out your office space typically involves a lot of moving parts. What if any of your old office furniture will you keep? Who is performing the demo work? What will you do with employees and the furniture you’re planning to keep while your space is being demolished? Our partner, BE Builds will deal with all of this – every single problem that comes your way. With over 40 years of experience on both union and non-union construction sites, we have seen every issue that comes with office buildout and we have learned how to solve each one successfully.
  • Interior Furnishing Plan – Obviously after your new space is built, you will need to install your furniture. Partnerships with office furniture companies range from those who want to just drop-ship all the furniture and leave the installation up to you, to others who operate at a higher level, which involves an analysis of your environment, your workflow, your company’s culture – and everything in between. At BE, we are the latter. We pride ourselves on the client-centric approach we take with each customer. Tell us about who you are and what you plan to achieve – the more you tell us, the better. We truly want to be part of the journey to your dream business environment.

BE Addresses All Office Buildout Concerns in New Jersey

It’s simple: whatever problem arises during your project, you want to work with someone who will face it head-on. Our sister company, BE Builds is well equipped to handle all the challenges that come with office build outs. The experienced project managers at BE Builds will take care of  the architectural drawings, design mockups, obtaining proper municipality permits, demolition, garbage removal, and more. 

At BE, we solve problems. We solve problems, so you don’t have to. To get started on your office buildout, contact BE Builds for a free consultation at:


5 Key Products Every Office Needs During COVID-19

While every office is different, there are important guidelines every workplace should follow when it comes to furnishing options for COVID-19 safety, and beyond. Rearranging the layout of the space to fit a new workflow is a challenging but necessary bit of redesign for your company environment if you really care about your employees during these challenges. It’s more than just segmenting departments, or having Cohort working groups on alternate days, these strategies just make it easier to trace an outbreak but do little to keep it from spreading in your office in the first place. Nor do they achieve your goal of really being able to function with your whole team efficiently, together in the same physical space. Key concepts such as collaborative furniture and teaming areas’ must be rethought to balance your need for face-to-face interaction, with everyone’s need for safety. This can be achieved with a good understanding of how to use hygienically enhancing, virus resistant products that make returning to the office easier, more efficient and most of all, safe. It’s important not only to implement the right products but to install and use them correctly in the new workflow design of your office. With that said, we’ve put together a guide to the 5 key office products that we believe will promote the safest return to office during COVID-19.

  1. Body Temperature and Facial Recognition Scanner
    When you are ready to return back to the office with your employees, the first thing you must do is ensure that everyone entering the building is in good health, not showing any signs of COVID-19, and wearing a mask. But how do you accurately keep track of every single person that enters the building? And how can you quickly and easily identify if they are healthy enough to work among others? This is where the OneScreen GoSafe comes in.
    OneScreen GoSafe is a body temperature and facial recognition scanner available in three different models: Wall Mount, Table Top and Vertical Stand to suit every preference. Using AI technology, this device can scan your temperature in less than a second and has an accuracy of +/- 0.9 degrees! This product also has the storage capacity to recognize up to 30,000 faces, with or without a mask. If the scanner fails to recognize someone or gives a high temperature reading, you will be alerted immediately and can communicate through the device with the person in question.
  2.  Copper Mesh Chairs are Anti-Viral, Anti-Fungal and Anti-Odor
    Whether your office design is unstructured, open and free-flowing, traditional, or anything in between, you’re going to need plenty of chairs. The right chairs have an immediate and substantial impact on employee comfort and wellness – and therefore productivity. These days, ergonomic chairs offer the best solution, providing proper back and neck support through long workdays. In general, you should opt for office chairs that are well-made, easy to clean, match the design aesthetic, and made with durable material.
    Speaking of durable material, BE Furniture now has Copper Mesh Seating available. The copper-infused material used in this seating collection has self-sanitizing properties, kills harmful microorganisms linked to viruses and is bleach washable for easy cleanup.
  3.  Safety Screens for Collaborative Furniture
    Today’s organizations thrive on collaboration, especially if you are in a creative sector. Collaborative spaces can be any size or shape and can be combined use areas – for example, employees can hold informal meetings, brainstorming sessions, formal client meetings, or use the space as a lunch area – it’s all up to you. Although the Coronavirus has made the original idea of collaborating a bit trickier, it’s still possible to use collaborative furniture in your space with a few safety adjustments.
    Altitude A8 by Allsteel is a safety screen made of durable, easy-to-clean fabric intended to give you privacy, while still allowing efficient collaboration with colleagues. This screen can be mounted to the existing work surface and come in wrap around, straight or 90 degree turns, depending on personal preference.
    Counter Shields by Loftwall are clear, acrylic screens that come especially useful in high traffic areas where collaboration is common. These shields are ideal for spaces that require less privacy in the office.
  4. HEPA Filtered Dyson Air Purifiers for Communal Workspaces
    If you host more formal meetings, board meetings or presentations, or the number of staff in your office fluctuates with flexible work hours, then you most likely have a communal workspace. Despite how diversely beneficial communal workspaces are, these high-traffic areas could be a breeding ground for harmful viruses like COVID-19. An easy solution to this is air sanitization. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are very efficient in sanitizing the air in large, open spaces.
    Dyson Pure Hot + Cool automatically captures airborne particles and pollutants, while providing fresh air to a large space (up to 400 sq ft). This unit has the option to be used as a heater or a cooling solution and offers 360 oscillation, night-time mode, and easy remote activation.
  5.  Architectural Walls for Non-Permanent Separation
    With COVID-19 still among us, it’s important to maintain an appropriate distance from others when possible in order to avoid potential exposure. In a communal workplace with collaborative furniture, maintaining distance could be difficult without completely changing the layout of the office. However, it is possible to create appropriate distancing by adding non-permanent structures to the current layout.
    Architectural Walls are modular glass walls that can be used in place of typical panel stations. More flexible to use than traditional drywall, architectural products are reconfigurable and non-destructive to your pre-existing floor plan. Easily cleanable, they can be used to create private offices, conference rooms and individual work areas.

Have our Team Review Your Office For Safety and Workflow
As specialists in contemporary office furniture, BE Furniture can assist you with every phase of your project, from design concept through to remodeling and furnishing your space. Whether you are looking for an ergonomic solution to support your staff or protective furnishings to make your space compliant with COVID-19 safety, we can assist you.
To find out more about the COVID-compliant office products listed, or to view more contemporary office interiors, please contact BE Furniture today.

5 Pieces Of Furniture Needed In a Waiting Room

Waiting rooms are important, highly functional spaces in your office, welcoming clients, receiving deliveries, and acting as the face of your organization and brand. Here’s how to make the right impression through exceptional corporate office furniture and reception area design, from specialists in contemporary office interiors.

1. A Striking and Functional Reception Desk

This should be the biggest and most eye-catching piece of furniture in your waiting room, so it’s important that it’s a high-quality statement piece that is not only functional for your staff, but easy for any guest to notice.

This is because your reception desk is your first point of contact with every visitor, vendor, supplier and customer. You want people who haven’t been to your offices before to see it as soon as they walk in, and you want them to know that they have come to the right place.

Your reception desk should be scaled to the size of your waiting room, it’s functionality (how many reception staff you require, their equipment and computers, etc.), and your industry and brand’s character.

2.Comfortable, Supportive Seating

Good seating is a must-have feature of a waiting room and should be designed and supplied according to the traffic through the space, average waiting times for visitors, hygiene and your brand’s aesthetics. Contemporary office furniture ideas for waiting room seating include seating with supportive cushions, seating that is easy to clean and can take a good amount of wear, and seating that is modular and varied.

You want to cluster your seating based on your clientele too. For example, visitors to a legal office may want privacy where they can work or review documentation while they wait, medical offices want clusters where people can socially distance or sit with young family members, and spa facilities want seating that is comfortable and luxurious.

3. Organization and Storage

There are several types of organizational and storage needs that should be accommodated in waiting areas. This can include coat racks and umbrella storage, storage for deliveries, space for filing and documentation, and even surfaces for clients to work off of easily. Again, this is specific to the type of office you are running.

Many businesses use the space not only to provide a space for clients or customers with appointments, but also to sell and showcase products (veterinary clinic, spas and beauty salons, etc.) or to showcase their own offering through brochures, magazines, scale models and literature – all of which needs to be displayed and stored properly.

4. Coffee and Snacks

For businesses that are looking for ways to differentiate themselves and show a bit of extra appreciation to their clients and visitors, coffee and snack stations are a reception area must-have. A clean, well-stocked refreshment station is a great addition to any space, and should be stocked with goodies that appeal to your clients, whether it’s something sweet for the kids, a barista-quality coffee for professionals, or healthy smoothies and juices for the health-conscious, it should work with your brand’s offering and target market.

5.Hygiene Stations and Accessories

Because reception areas are the first point of contact between visitors and your staff, hygiene equipment is critical. This includes impermeable screens between staff and visitors, sanitizing stations and disinfectant wipes for visitors and clients, PPE for staff and clear, sign-posted instructions that show your organization is caring for the health of visitors and staff through the pandemic.

If you have a snack or coffee station, it is important that this is screened off and managed by a staff member to ensure it is kept hygienic and sanitized while in use.

High-Impact, Highly Functional Reception Spaces Designed by Corporate Office Furniture Specialists in NJ

BE Furniture is a leading supplier of furnishings and designs for contemporary office interiors, from cafeteria and workspaces to reception areas and boardrooms. We also provide hygienic, protective office equipment and corporate office furniture to help ensure health and productivity in your space. In addition to designing and fitting out new office spaces, we provide furniture recycling to support the sustainability of your project. Contact us today for more information on our services and furnishings for contemporary office interiors.

Employer’s Guide to Developing a Sit-Stand Workstation Policy

Sit-stand desks have become a popular feature in offices across every industry as employees and businesses look for practical ways to support wellness in the workplace. A sit-stand desk policy is essential for providing structure, control and a fair approach to this ergonomic solution.

The Problem with Sitting

Sitting has been called “the new smoking” because of the damage to our health our sedentary lifestyles are causing. Whether we’re working in an office, watching TV, driving, or having a meal, we’re simply sitting too much for our own good. 

The Mayo Clinic reports that sitting for long periods of time is linked to serious health concerns like high blood sugar, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even increased risks of cardiovascular disease and cancers. Even for people who regularly exercise, the health risks from sitting for the rest of the day are significant. 

We simply need to stand up and move around more regularly throughout the day and change our lifestyles to better support our health and productivity – and that means changing our offices.

Why Have a Sit-Stand Desk Policy?

  • New workstations are costly – Outfitting an office space is a costly project that quickly spiral out of control if you want to invest in every new product that comes on the market. It’s impractical, costly and disruptive. Standing office desks and adjustable height desks are good solutions to the issue of sitting too long – but they shouldn’t be invested in without research, budgeting and input from all stakeholders.
  • Sit-stand desks aren’t for everyoneA lot of literature about sit-stand desks and standing office desks tends to emphasize the benefits to health, posture and productivity without recognizing that they don’t work for everyone or even every work situation. Without a clear and well thought-out policy, you may end up in investing in sit-stand desks only to find that many employees preferred the old workstations, or would’ve preferred alternative ergonomic desks.
  • Get important inputAs with any project, it is important to get the input of all stakeholders, from those who are spending the money to those that are utilizing the solution. A policy allows all stakeholders to evaluate different solutions and come up with an environment that supports the best levels of productivity, health and comfort throughout the organization.

Features to Consider in Your Workplace Policy

  • Hot desking or common spaces – Give employees the ability to move between different types of workstations for different tasks by creating common areas where sit-stand desks are available for use. This gives employees a means to test out this solution for themselves and use it when needed, creating a flexible workspace.
  • Comply with medical needs – Prioritize employees who can present a medical certification for their need to stand rather than sit at a desk. Explore different sit-stand workstations and standing desks to find an option that supports their functional abilities, limitations and daily tasks.
  • Ergonomic desks – Sit-stand desks are not the only option to support employee heath at their workstation. Many ergonomic desks can be properly adjusted to better support sitting health, while others have functionality to allow employees to sit or stand as needed in order to take breaks during the day while remaining productive.
  • Support standing comfort – If you want a healthier workplace and to make standing desks more accessible, then company policies have to support comfort while standing. Cushioned mats to stand on, a comfortable shoe policy, regular breaks and no high heels are essential parts of a successful policy.

Behavioral support – Standing office desks, adjustable height desks, and flexible office desks are just one small part of workplace wellness. Organizations need to support more frequent breaks from sitting by encouraging employees to stand while answering phones, walking to a co-worker to discuss something rather than sending an email, regular breaks of 10 minutes for each hour of work, standing during presentations, and generally walking more in the workplace.

The Benefits Resimercial Design In The Workplace

Resimercial is a growing trend in forward-thinking businesses, especially in industries that value talent retention and want to bring employees back to the office to experience a comfortable yet productivity-driven space. Here’s how this modern office design idea, which seeks to balance commercial needs with the comfort of home, offers practical benefits to the workplace.

Features of Resimercial Design

Before we look at the benefits of this modern office design idea, it’s good to get an ideal of what this type of design looks like. Good resimercial design can be made to fit any work environment, formal or informal, and generally focuses on the following elements:

  • Natural lighting – No harsh fluorescents or intrusive lighting. Natural light is maximized and supported with warm LED ambient lighting and individual task lighting. Light fittings are used to create visual focal points and add style to space.
  • Comfort – Comfortable seating on chairs, couches and office seating similar to high-end homes and hotels. Multiple seating areas for guests, collaborative events and meetings. Seating is part of the design, often using durable but striking upholstery along with pillows and throws.
  • Accessories – Home-like accessories like art, lamps and rugs are part of the overall design, creating visually-interesting and warm space.
  • Amenities – High-end amenities add to the atmosphere of comfort and wellness while supporting productivity. This includes café spaces, catering options and onsite coffee facilities.

Alignment with a Flexible Working Environment

Today’s employees want to be – and are expected to be – far more flexible with their work hours and work environment. This is something that has been drastically accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With employees being allowed to work from home or from environments of their choice comes the realization that home comforts can help support wellness and productivity while creating a supportive and positive space. 

Resimercial design is one of the greatest modern office design ideas because it takes the best things about working at home (comfort, informality and amenities) or working at the office (great tech, Wi-Fi and quiet spaces) while leaving all the negatives behind, creating an ideal work environment that is both comfortable and productive – perfect for today’s flexible employees.

Easy Zoning

One of the reasons that the open plan office design has fallen by the wayside is that this design leaves little room for effective zoning. Sure, you want your employees to be able to communicate, collaborate and brainstorm easily – but not in a way that interrupts or frustrates other people who are trying to focus on their tasks.

Resimercial design mimics the zoning we gravitate to in our homes; a combination of communal gathering spaces (especially in eating and seating spaces) and quiet, private spaces where you can relax and focus on a task or individual meetings without risk of interruption.

Clever resimercial designs use subtle strategies to create a natural flow of collaborative groups to certain spaces, separating them neatly from task-driven spaces without creating a sense of isolation or exclusion. Movable walls, glass walls, raised floors and more are all used to create subtle zoning throughout the office space that designates different spaces by function using effective but not intrusive boundaries.

Employee Wellness

Supporting employee wellness is an increasingly important trend for businesses that want to reduce absenteeism, increase employee engagement and ensure that they can retain loyal, high-value employees.

Resimercial design helps support this by creating a space that employees want to be in, that is easy to work in (whatever their task) and creates a sense of pride in their organization. This design trend is not about throwing some beanbags on the floor, baking cookies in the cafeteria or making it look like the average American home – it’s an aspirational design that marries the benefits of high-end, comfortable living to the high-tech, productive office space. With features like comfortable seating areas, art, warm lighting, rugs, noise control, wellness features and great catering, your employees are uplifted, supported and highly-motivated to keep their spot.

Take Your Office into the Future with Resimercial Design

BE Furniture is a leading provider of contemporary office furniture and contemporary office interiors in New Jersey. 

Our contemporary office interiors team will assist you in creating a space that is aligned with your industry and brand, while supporting productivity, employee wellness and COVID-19 protection. In addition to office fit outs, furniture and COVID-19 protective equipment, we also offer recycling for old office furniture and equipment that is no longer needed.

Contact us today and let us show you where corporate office furniture and resimercial design can take your brand.