Tag Archives: Commercial Office Interiors NJ

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/

5 Reasons Why You Hate Working From Home

If you’re like us, you’ve probably always thought of working from home as a bit of a luxury, filled with visions of staying in your pajamas all day, enjoying the peace and quiet, and skipping all the frustration of a daily commute. But COVID-19 has shown many of us that working from home isn’t the dream we thought it would be! In 2021 companies are reimagining the return to work for sure, but they and their teams are actually more anxious than ever to get back together.  Here’s just a few reasons why.

#1 – It’s Lonely

Who would’ve thought that we’d miss casual meetings by the water cooler, small talk with clients and chatting about our lives over our lunch hour? But we do. The reality is, working from home is lonely stuff, even with all the Skype, Zoom and Teams meetings we’re constantly having. There’s a lot to be said for in-person conversations and catch-ups, not just in terms of the easy way we can all communicate in the office, but the way we bond, build relationships and create a working community. Chatting to the dog just doesn’t cut it!

#2 – Your Work-From-Home Office is a Mess

We’re sure there are people out there with quiet designated office spaces in their homes where everything is organized, professional and color coordinated – it’s just that we’ve never met one. Ever. Work-from-home office spaces are usually temporary, piecemeal and crammed into a spot that’s chaotic and difficult to use – your kitchen’s breakfast bar, your living room coffee table, or a corner of a bedroom. Wherever it is, chances are that it doesn’t come close to what you have in your actual office, and spending 8 hours or more there per day is not doing your focus, productivity or pleasure in your work any good at all.

#3 – It’s Chaotic

If you thought you were juggling it all before the events of 2020, you’re certainly finding out differently now. Working from home just isn’t the haven we all thought it would be – there’s not enough space for your computers, diary and files, you’re being overrun by dirty mugs and dishes, there’s never any coffee ready when you need it, and the noise from your neighbor seems to be perfectly timed for when you’re in a meeting. And if you have children or a partner living with you, then life at home is even busier. Let’s face it – if you want peace and quiet in which to work, the office is the best place to be. 

#4 – Distractions, Distractions, Distractions

Home is full of distractions, that’s just common sense. In fact, most of us spend a lot of time just filling our home with the most wonderful distractions we can think of. Whether it’s a new series on Netflix, a fridge full of goodies, a vegetable garden to tend, videogames or a chance to play with the kids, there’s a lot to do at home that isn’t work. And that’s not to mention the less enjoyable distractions like cleaning, laundry, and supervising remote home schooling. Before you know it, the day is half gone and you haven’t even gotten started.

#5 – It Gets Boring – Fast

For most of us, the first few days of working from home are pretty fun – but it gets dull quickly after the novelty wears off. Staying home, usually for the entire day, isn’t good for our mental or physical health because there simply isn’t enough variety in terms of what’s going on. Sure, your usual day at the office is probably not a rollercoaster ride of thrilling events, but there’s so much happening and so much to do that the hours go by much faster. There are more opportunities to challenge yourself, to meet new people and work together to create meaningful solutions. Every day is different when you are part of a bustling team and working in a vibrant, driven environment.

BE Builds – Delivering Everything You’ve Ever Wanted in an Office

BE Builds is a team of office design and construction specialists in New Jersey who are dedicated to delivering exceptional office fit-outs on time and on budget in a post-covid world. We’re ready to solve your office design challenges, handling all the mess and hassle of construction and creating COVID-safe, productive spaces that help your organization thrive. Visit us at https://bebuilds.com/ 

For Your Company’s Return to Work, its about Rework, not Replace

With so many companies planning their return to work, our phones are ringing off the hook with clients wondering whether their current office furniture, layout and workflow is able to be made into a more bio-safe and hygenic workspace for now and the foreseeable future. What we’re telling our clients is basically a version of “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Use the necessity of changing your office design to become both a safer, and a more attractive workplace. Office remodeling can change the personality of your office as well as motivate your employees, improve employ performance, and attract new clients, while better retaining employees. But in these times your remodel can also add design and furniture features that improve employee separation, facilitate social distancing yet allow for teaming, introduce bio-engineered worksurfaces, and make new cleaning and workflow protocols work better. To make your office remodeling work for everything you need, in 95% of cases you don’t have to throw everything out (unless you want to of course!) you just need to consider the modification and addition of a few elements.

Consider Movement In Your Office

Design and layout choices now are about limiting incidental interaction, while allowing efficient movement to important area’s. What was less important in a pre-covid world has now become a central fixture of office layout. The introduction of natural barriers full of plants or artwork, become both beautiful visual elements and practical barriers that direct employees where you want them to go and how you want them to get there.

Consider Bio-Toxic Worksurfaces

Several Manufacturers provide copper or copper infused chairs and work surfaces. For critical area’s such as conference rooms and touchdown stations, its worth considering an investment in work areas that will not harbor virus’ or bacteria for long. Even certain kinds of fabrics and backing materials are known to be less friendly to germs are can be easily cleaned with stronger cleansers without losing their beauty. It’s all about cleaning friendly materials now.

Partitions that Protect but Don’t Separate

Visible, view through partitions distributed through BE Furniture from several manufacturers, can be added to most work surfaces. Made of clear acrylic they fully protect workplace neighbors from the worst effects of errant sneezing and other contact, while allowing employees to see each other and remain in close proximity desking layouts.

Teaming Areas

The days of packing to standing room only into a tiny conference room are probably over for the foreseeable future. Conference rooms seating has to be pared back, worksurfaces cleaned after every meeting, and virtual meeting elements should be part of every teaming area now. Meeting in smaller groups will drive changes to workflow that may require the creation of more but smaller protected teaming areas. BE’s Movable Wall solutions have long been a cost-effective solution to the challenge and are more than ever relevant now. They even come with potential tax benefits for the business owner, check them out at our moveable glass walls page.

Keep the Air Clean

In an age of concern about airborne disease, paying attention to the quality of your office air is a pretty good idea. If you rent office space, ask your landlord to have the ductwork professionally cleaned. Better yet consider the installation of a UV Ductwork Sterilization System. But finally consider the installation of a local commercial air filtration system. One of the most advanced on the market is the Dyson Pure Cool, by Dyson for business. Using a combination of Hepa filtering and UV light, the Dyson Pure Cool can remove up to 99.97% of particulates from the air, and a single unit covers more than 400 square feet. Actually all Dyson products represent the leading edge of hygienic technology, you can see it all at BE’s Dyson Products for Business page

Design for the New Objectives of Workplace Safety

A few decades back, workplace safety meant not getting hit by falling boxes, run over by forklifts, or keeping your hands away from the printer head. But the concept of workplace safety post COVID has just been reinvented, my friends.

For those who are planning to remodel or start over with their office environment, you need to partner with a company that leverages a deep understanding of the new meanings of workplace safety. Please contact us at Business Environments, we want to help you with that.