Tag Archives: commercial office furniture

Do You Know What Your Office Furniture is Made of?

The average office worker in the USA spends up to 15 hours a day sitting in an office chair at a desk or cubicle, whether that office furniture is at home or in a workplace. And while the issue of how sitting affects our health is a very important one,  few people are aware of the health risks associated with what we’re sitting on. What are our chairs, desks and flooring made of? How are they fixed together? What chemicals have been used in their construction? And are they creating opportunities for COVID-19 and other viruses to live and transfer onto other individuals? What we’re really asking is, is our office furniture safe?

Why do Office Furniture Materials Matter?

When we’re looking at office furniture quality, it used to be that we’d look at construction quality, ergonomics, and cost. Now, those factors haven’t fallen by the wayside – they’re just as important as ever – but you need to add one more to the mix: materials.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how easy it is to transfer bacteria and viruses to other people in our environment in a way that hasn’t really resonated with the public before. After all, we all read the report saying that our computer keyboards are covered with more bacteria than the average toilet seat, but exactly how many of us have really taken steps to properly clean and sanitize everyday office items? That’s what I thought.

COVID-19 is a completely different beast, one that has changed our lives in ways we could not imagine before, and that includes making our offices and workplaces exceptionally hygienic. Office furniture materials play a vital role in creating a safe and healthy workspace. This is because the virus can live on surfaces for a long time, with some materials like stainless steel and plastic preserving the virus for up to 72 hours, and cardboard and porous fabrics for up to 24 hours. 

And we’re just talking about one virus here. Substandard office furniture also carried other health risks, including toxic oil-based finishes, formaldehyde and lead paint. Chrome furniture can release chromium VI, a recognized carcinogen that impacted workers during the manufacturing process, also pollutes groundwater and contaminates soil. These chemicals and products may sound frightening, but the reality is that they are everywhere, especially in the particleboard, medium-density fiberboard, cheap dyes, paints and plastics in low-quality office furniture, dividing walls and ceilings.

Healthy Offices Need Quality Office Furniture and Regular Sanitization

The answer to a healthy office means bringing three elements together:

  • High-Quality Office Furniture – Choosing office furniture of high quality, specifically investing in non-toxic office furniture that meets ANSI and BIFMA standards, immediately eliminates certain toxic elements from your workspace.
  • Green Office Installation – Think past your office furniture to your walls, carpeting and ceilings. Choose low-VOC, eco-friendly paints, non-toxic wall systems, structural elements that can be thoroughly and easily sanitized, and air purification systems to help remove viruses, allergens and pollutants from the air.
  • Regular sanitization – It’s also best to consider items that are easy to clean and sanitize on a daily basis. Some items are already made from antibacterial materials to help support your clean, healthy environment. Everything in your workplace, from your walls and flooring to reception surfaces, desks, chairs and communal spaces, needs to be able to withstand regular sanitization – and still look great!

BE Furniture – Making Office Spaces Healthy and Productive

At BE, we’ve always been passionate about empowering our clients and helping them to make the best decisions for their office space and their budget. Our goal is to create a space that is as healthy and functional as it is productive, placing an emphasis on office furniture quality to ensure your furnishings are both safe and durable. Contact us today about our office furniture installation services, and find out how our team will go the extra mile to create a post-COVID workspace that helps your business grow and thrive. Don’t settle for less – we don’t!

To learn more about BE’s office furniture installation services in New Jersey , visit our website at: https://www.befurniture.com/services/office-furniture-installation/

 

Sources: 

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22682948/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005
  3. https://www.center4research.org/bacteria-computer-keyboards-toilet-seats/
  4. https://www.npr.org/2020/03/13/815307842/research-coronavirus-can-live-for-a-long-time-in-air-on-surfaces
  5. https://geca.eco/news-and-events/how-hazardous-is-the-chrome-on-your-furniture/
  6. https://www.oprah.com/health/are-toxins-in-your-furniture-making-you-sick

In Every Pandemic, There’s an Opportunity

If you were considering an office-buildout before the pandemic hit, having lived through it can only be considered a blessing. At BE Builds, we’ve seen our clients designing workspaces that are dramatically different than the ones they would’ve designed just 12 months ago. Of course, there are enhanced safety considerations, but the reality is that the pandemic has created a design aesthetic – and opportunity – that doesn’t show any signs of going away soon. 

Health and Wellness Tech

Re-opening in a post-COVID world means making health and wellness a focus of office design rather than a productivity-enhancing perk, and the tech industry has really risen to the occasion. From touchless control systems and sensors to air purification systems, contactless access control and germ-killing UV lights, these systems work behind-the-scenes to support the health requirements of a post-COVID workplace. And these enhancements are not just a temporary investment due to the pandemic – they’re designed to deliver what every office needs for the long-term; healthier workers, reduced absenteeism due to illness and a workplace culture focused on physical and mental wellbeing.

Inventing the Wheel

Office design is constantly evolving in order for businesses to best fit the needs of workers, the environment they operate in, and goals for productivity and growth. In response to the pandemic, one innovative design has become a significant industry trend – the hub-and-spoke. In this office layout, a central hub workspace is designed for common use – meetings, collaborative engagement, brainstorming sessions, and team tasks – while smaller satellite workspaces or spokes are set out closer to employee’s homes. This meshes well with the need for socially-distanced office space in which to focus on productive tasks while still allowing employees flexibility and the ability to maintain a better work-life balance. 

This design is a great compromise on the either-or debate between working remotely or working in an office. Working from home simply doesn’t suit most businesses or employees – it makes collaboration difficult, work is constantly disrupted, and it lacks the stimulation and inherent productivity focus of an office environment. Using a hub-and-spoke design allows employees freedom to govern their time and independence better while providing them with quiet, well-equipped spaces in which to get things done, while still providing a space to collaborate, build relationships and develop a strong company culture.

Material Culture

Office cleaning has always been an important focus, from ensuring good indoor air quality and a pleasant-smelling environment to creating a neat, hygienic and professional space. Of course, this has moved to a considerably higher level of importance over the pandemic, and the trend of sanitized, germ-free workspaces will be a part of office design trends for years to come. This doesn’t mean just filtering air more carefully or cleaning more regularly, it means a change-up at every level of the office design itself. One way that this is being expressed is in the need for furniture and materials that can be quickly and easily cleaned. Gone are the velvets, leathers and upholsteries that trap dirt and germs and require special cleaning – instead, office designers are focusing on germ-resistant materials and furnishings that can stand up to regular sanitization and still look great.

Access to the Outdoors

Experts agree that one of the best ways of combating the spread of germs and viruses is as simple as plenty of fresh air. This is a challenge for most office buildings where, for decades, the emphasis has been on sealing buildings against natural air flow to support safety and indoor climate control. Today’s post-COVID office designs are looking for innovative ways to let the outside in, from creating outdoor meeting and cafeteria spaces to ensuring that windows can be opened to allow natural air flow through the space. Of course, this isn’t possible for many office buildings and is going to be a hard sell in the depths of winter or the height of summer, but for those spaces there are other solutions – high-efficiency air conditioning systems with the latest air filtration and purification tech. 

Build a Workspace for a Post-COVID World with BE Builds

BE Builds is an office design and buildout specialist focused on taking the stress and frustration of office construction. Knowledgeable about the needs of modern offices and the post-pandemic challenges businesses face, our experienced team will work with you to deliver a space that is safe, productive and as unique as your business. Visit us at https://bebuilds.com/

Resimercial Design – Where Home Comforts Deliver a High-Performance Workplace

We started with offices designed for purely for function, then we invited it into our houses with the creation of home offices. As Millennials entered the workspace this changed into the coffee shop culture office where work is mobile, engaged and comfortable. Now we’re seeing the final combination of the three – a resimercial office design that brings together the best of all these worlds.

What is Resimercial Office Design? 

Essentially, it’s about marrying the comforts and wellbeing of home into the functionality of a state-of-the-art office space in order to gain the benefits of both. When it’s properly executed, this exciting design concept has a positive impact on collaboration, ideation, wellbeing and productivity. It creates a space that is more lighthearted and welcoming – designed to literally make employees feel right at home.

Elements of Resimercial Office Design 

Successfully bringing together the elements of home and work takes an expertly considered touch – you can’t just add some family photos and your favorite armchair and call it a transformation. Instead, you should consider the following:

  • Softer textures – Home comforts are exactly that – they’re comfortable and cozy. So, consider softer seating options in sitting room-type arrangements rather than hard plastic or metal chairs. Thick rugs that designate sitting or informal meeting spaces are ideal, and throw pillows add color and softness.
  • Kitchen/dining space – Again, this should be inspired by the home on a scale to fit your business. Unlike sterile office cafeterias of the past, these spaces are seen as a hub of the office, much like a kitchen is the hub of a home. It’s a space to relax and share as well as a space to collaborate and confer, so choose tables that can be separated and joined together, warm, homely colors and even a fun bar around which to socialize. If possible, situate it where there is plenty of natural light, a view or an outdoor garden, as this creates the feel of being out of the office and promotes stress relief.
  • Study rooms – These are multi-function, multi-use offices that can be used as needed by everyone in the company. A quite space, it’s a lot like a home office, and should be uncluttered but not bare or cold. When designing this space, think of how you would design your own home office – a desk where you can focus work, with a few chairs so that you can hold group brainstorming sessions or work on group tasks, and maybe a soft seating arrangement for small informal meetings. Here, solitude and comfort are key.
  • Home without being personal – At every stage of this design it’s important to remember that it’s not about creating your own home in the office but creating a space where everyone feels at home. Keep it clear of clutter but bring in houseplants, put up ornaments and art but keep them appealing and appropriate, add some fun elements but remember to cater for quiet and private spaces too.

Practical, Ergonomic Commercial Office Furniture with All the Comforts of Home 

Great commercial office furniture is comfortable, functional and beneficial to your brand as well as the comfort and health of your employees! It’s critical to work with the right partner to develop a space that showcases your brand and puts multi-generational employee engagement, productivity and health first.

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

Is Your Office Ready for the 5G Workforce?

Often, office design focuses on the generation entering the workforce, how they’re changing things and what needs to change to accommodate them. But the reality is that people are working from an earlier age to a later age, making it essential that the office of the future can accommodate five generations together. Here’s some insight into this 5G workplace and what it means, from the commercial office furniture specialists.

Retirement is a Thing of the Past

For most people, retirement is a luxury and not an expectation, so they’re going to keep active in the workforce well after the traditional retirement age of 65. There are many reasons for this, including our longer and more healthy life expectancy and a lack of savings culture. This generation has considerable value to the workforce, with unmatched experience and hands-on knowledge.

In terms of office design, this means not simply catering to the incoming generations. Office social spaces can’t be age specific and have to be more inclusive – you can’t just simply have beanbags on the floor. These spaces are critical to passing on skills and knowledge, so it’s vital to have more varied and adaptable meeting spaces. It also means having distraction-free zones where people can escape the noise and digitization of the workplace.

Agile Office Design

The way we consume, create and deliver products and services is always changing, and businesses are adopting more agile organizational approaches to meet these challenges – but this applies to workplace design too. Different generations, personality types and roles require different things from their workplace in order to realize their full potential for engagement and contribution, and office design needs to rise to this challenge. This means greater work flexibility (working remotely, working flexible hours or working from home) and different spaces within the office designated according to function rather than workflow. We’re already seeing an increase in office designs that include town hall spaces and brainstorm labs where people come together to collaborate and innovate, then move away to their preferred workspace in order to fulfill discussed tasks.

Multi-Generational, Agile, Inclusive Office Design from Commercial Office Furniture Specialists

Great commercial office furniture is comfortable, functional and beneficial to your brand as well as the comfort and health of your employees! It’s critical to work with the right partner to develop a space that showcases your brand and puts multi-generational employee engagement, productivity and health first.

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

Choosing Commercial Office Furniture? Don’t Make These Mistakes

Whether you’re moving to a new office or remodeling your current space, new commercial office furniture can reinvigorate your company and your workplace culture. With the right office furniture, your space is given character and functionality, making it a vibrant and productive space for employees and clients. Here are some common mistakes to avoid to help you get the perfect pieces for your space.

  • Not having a plan: If you simply walk into the first office furniture store you come across and choose the first desks and chairs you see, you’re not going to get the best result in terms of budget, quality or appearance. Take some time to research your options and look through catalogues, and to plan out exactly what items your office needs. Remember to consider different options like cubicles, standing office desks and ergonomic desks to make sure your employees have the right furniture to work productively.
  • Not looking at reviews: As with any industry, there are good office furniture companies as well as ones that do poorly in terms of customer service, product quality or price. Check out different suppliers online and compare them to make sure you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for. It’s also a good idea to look for a company that offers value-added services like office design and fitment, and upcycling services for your old furniture.
  • Only looking at style: Style is important when it comes to commercial office furniture, but it’s not the only thing that matters. Your employees need to be able to sit comfortably and work through the day, so desks and chairs should be ergonomic to ensure proper back support. Chair and desk materials should be durable and easy to clean as well as attractive and be correctly sized for your space.
  • Only looking at price: Having a budget is important, but it should be realistic in order to ensure that you are buying office furniture that will last for years to come and stay looking as great as the day you bought them. Good quality office furniture isn’t cheap, but it’s far more affordable than having to replace poor quality chairs and desks after one year of use – not to mention the cost to your brand’s image of having broken, damaged or poor-quality office furniture.

Need Quality Commercial Office Furniture? Our NJ Team Has it All!

BE Furniture is a New Jersey-located company that strives to meet all your contemporary office furniture and office design needs. Our team is full of contemporary office furniture ideas and we can assist you with everything from glass partition walls, modern office chairs, ergonomic desks, standing office desks and contemporary office interiors to remodeling and furniture recycling. For more information on the latest contemporary office interiors, please contact us today or visit our website.

What Office Amenities Do Your Employees Really Want?

One of the best tools a company has to attract and retain top talent is the amenities they can offer their employees, but what amenities are the most rewarding ones to invest in? Here are some ideas from our commercial office furniture team.

  1. Personal project time: Strictly speaking, this is more of a perk than an amenity, but it’s a great idea anyway. Pioneered by 3M, the aim is to allow employees a certain amount of time and flexibility to work on their passion projects. Although this sounds counter-productive, the reality is that it improves overall engagement and productivity as well as energy levels. Even Google has a “20% Time” rule to allow for this, which produced Gmail!
  2. Concierge services: If you want your employees to stay busy, engaged and focused at work, the best thing to do is to take some of those distracting, everyday tasks off their hands. Concierge services can take care of your employee’s personal errands, like grocery shopping, ensuring that they have one thing less to worry about in their day and they can stick to a healthier diet more easily.
  3. Wellness programs: These can be tailored to your company budget and employee needs, and can include anything from onsite gyms, yoga and health classes, to access to an onsite nurse. You can also subsidize your employee’s health club subscriptions, incentivize cycling to work, or start a company running club. Wellness programs are critical not just to employee happiness and job satisfaction, but also to reducing stress and sick days – so it works for both you and your staff.
  4. A better commute: The location of your offices isn’t always going to be convenient for everyone, but there are a few things your business can do to take the expense and stress out of a heavy-traffic commute. From offering flexible workdays and work-from-home days to a commuter shuttle, you can keep your employees feeling fresh, energized and stress-free every day.

One of the Best Amenities You Can Offer? High-Quality Commercial Office Furniture 

Great commercial office furniture is comfortable, functional and beneficial to your brand as well as the comfort and health of your employees! It’s critical to work with the right partner to develop a space that showcases your brand and puts employee engagement, productivity and health first.

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