Tag Archives: contemporary office interiors

Open Ceilings Vs. Drop Ceilings in the Workplace

Open ceilings have become increasingly popular in office design over the past decade or so. The taste for deconstructed, industrial spaces doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and open ceilings are an integral part of that aesthetic. However, before you decide on an open ceiling look for your office, you should consider its pros and cons versus those of drop ceilings. Take a look at these points as you weigh your options:

  • Cost

The general perception is that open ceilings must be cheaper, since they eliminate the need for any additional materials such as ceiling boards and joists, and the labor required to install them. This is only partially true. While it may be true that the initial cost of an open ceiling is somewhat cheaper – about 25 % – you may often find that, once you strip away the old ceiling boards or tiles, there is far more work and hidden problems underneath than you initially anticipated. One of the main features of open ceilings is the exposed ducts and wiring. If you are working with an existing building that has not been built with open ceilings in mind, you may very well find that the pipes and wiring are an absolute eyesore. You will then need to fix, replace and dress them up, doing a lot of work and construction to make your ceiling look casually deconstructed. That will cost more time and money.

  • Aesthetics

As mentioned above, the deconstructed look of an open ceiling is not always as simple as it appears. That ‘deconstructed’ look needs to be ‘constructed’. With a closed ceiling, at least you know what you’re getting: a neat grid of tiles which may look cold and clinical but, at least, they are presentable. 

If you are willing to take on the cost of open ceilings, then you need to consider whether it will really suit the culture and purpose of your business. You may find that a tidy drop ceiling suits you better. Don’t just follow the trends, go with what works for you.

Think carefully about the image you want to present to your external stakeholders too, especially in reception areas and meeting rooms. When planning a conference room with open ceilings, for example, consider your furniture options, and what would work best in that communal, often public-facing space.  

  • Sound

The tiles used in suspended ceilings are designed to absorb ambient sound and keep noise levels down in your office space. With an open ceiling, you lose that acoustic protection. Ambient noise comes through easily, which means that people then have to raise their voices to be heard. This could disrupt your work. It’s a problem that you can get around with adequate planning and a good structural designer. But, you need to take the higher costs into account.

We have all the great new office design ideas you need. Contact us for help in designing a beautiful and cost-effective office space.

Office Redesigns and How They Can Increase Staff Loyalty and Attract New Hires

What would you think are the main factors that decide whether an employee stays at a particular job or leaves it? The obvious ones are work enjoyment and satisfaction, remuneration, and relationships with bosses and colleagues. However, there is another very important, though often unconscious factor – the work environment itself. Neither employers nor employees give it enough thought, but a worker’s level of satisfaction with his/her working environment has a powerful influence over whether he or she will stay or leave. It also affects the attractiveness of the company to prospective employees.

We are often so accustomed to thinking of our offices as purely functional spaces. We just have to go in, do our day’s work and then leave. This is hardly an attitude that is conducive to good work, however, and a drab or uncomfortable environment is not only going to make workers do the bare minimum, it will also encourage them to jump ship as soon as a nicer space becomes available.

What is more depressing than coming to a desk every day that faces a gray wall, is equipped with an uncomfortable chair that has your back throbbing by the end of the day, and keeps you isolated from your co-workers?

This is why any employer wanting to increase staff retention or attract good quality new recruits should consider refurbishing their offices. Not only would you benefit from creating a lighter, brighter, more collaborative space, but you would also do well to install new work stations that are ergonomically enhanced and built for comfort and safety.

We have all the great new office design ideas you need. Contact us for help in making your office a more pleasant and attractive space.

These Sustainable Design Features Improve Health, Productivity, and User Experience

 Until about the last two decades, employers were not aware of how their businesses’ working environments affected workers’ health, comfort, productivity, and diligence. It’s now well-known that both office health and safety, as well as the overall attractiveness of the working area, are key factors in employee satisfaction and output. As an employer or a building owner, you may be wondering how you can create an office that is optimum for health, productivity and user experience. Here, gathered from our expert office designers are the main features you need to consider.

  • Natural Light and Views 

There are few things more likely to depress and demotivate office workers than an office environment that is lit only by artificial light sources and that has no windows or that has only limited views. It often doesn’t matter what the view is: nature is best, but even a cityscape or a carefully nurtured garden would be enough to keep people happy. Windows and skylights should be strategically positioned to allow the most natural light for as many hours in a day as possible. The arrangement of workstations must be planned accordingly too.

  • Good Quality and Quantity of Air

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is possibly the most important factor in the creation of a decent office space. Many offices are completely shut off from exterior air, except through air conditioning systems, which may carry high concentrations of dust, dirt, microbes, and other contaminants. New approaches to office design are changing that. The trend now is to increase the ventilation of exterior air. In addition to this, you should fill your office space with furniture and appliances created with materials that minimize toxic ingredients and off-gassing. Select your furniture, carpets, and mats with care, making sure that you use only high-quality non-toxic materials. The same goes for cleaning materials. At BE Furniture, we can put together the perfect, health-sustaining office space that completely excludes unhealthy elements.

  • Temperature Control 

An office space that veers between temperature extremes, or is consistently too hot or too cold, can have a disastrous effect on employee motivation and productivity. Make sure that you have a temperature control system that maintains a constant, comfortable temperature that can be adjusted with the change in seasons.

  • Opt for Collaborative Furniture 

The days of formal rows of box-shaped cubicles, which once made up the stereotypical view of office spaces, are gone. Employers are increasingly choosing to create collaborative workspaces that remove the air of formality, keep employees more relaxed and open to their colleagues and generally make them feel like they are working in a pleasant space for an appreciative company. This invariably results in a better flow of ideas and better output.

Contact us to discuss your office and how we can make it even better.

How to Support Your Untethered Employees

Organizations are looking for ways to become more flexible in terms of where and how their employees work. From more creative and dynamic office designs to work-from-home policies, they’re adding variety and agility to achieve meaningful gains. One challenge, however, is how to properly support flexible employees – here’s what our contemporary office design team has to say.

  • Invest in good communication tools and policies: Working remotely doesn’t mean that communication should suffer – but it does mean that organizations need to invest in robust communication tools and policies. This allows face-to-face meetings to happen in real time, fostering collaboration and clear communication between team members.
  • Secure your tech: It’s essential to develop policies and data security strategies for devices that remote workers will utilize, whether the devices are supplied by your organization or via a Bring Your Own Device policy. This ensures that employees have access to the correct software, apps and tech they need to do their job properly, without sacrificing data security.
  • Establish remote working protocols: Organizations with untethered employees need to have clear protocols for remote work as well as their office environment. This means clear communication for use of hot desks and meeting/collaborative spaces, policies for reporting in to work or monitoring hours of work, and availability. All of these have to be clearly communicated and adhered to in order to prevent frustration, uncertainty or confusion.
  • Create flexible workspaces: Workplace design is becoming more flexible and agile in order to accommodate flexible work hours, collaboration and team agility. While traditional approaches have employees working in an assigned desk in an assigned cubicle, your untethered employees need to be able to work anywhere according to the exact needs of the job at that moment. For example, they may work at home when they’re doing focused tasks, at a hot desk while they are waiting on a meeting, in a collaborative space for team meetings, or in a private communal space for informal meetings.

Contemporary Office Furniture to Support a Flexible Business Environment 

BE Furniture helps clients create functional and appealing contemporary office interiors that support agile business culture. In addition to our wide range of contemporary office furniture, including architectural walls and office reception area furniture, we can also assist you with workspace design and fitment. For more information on our services, please contact us today and speak to our contemporary office design team or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/

Working from Home vs. Working from the Office

The modern workplace is changing, creating more flexible workday options that are very different from the traditional 9-5 workday at the office. This includes flexible working hours and, of course, the option to work from home. Here’s how this affects productivity.

In the USA, recent census reports showed that around 8 million Americans work from home for at least half their time during 2017, making up more than 5% of the working population. Regular telecommuting has grown by 115% since 2005 and the number of employers offering work from home has risen by 40%.

What are the Benefits? 

Although working from home is still in the minority, it’s growing in popularity – and it’s not difficult to see why companies would choose to offer this perk:

  • Reduced overhead – You don’t need to supply the equipment, office furniture, office space or utilities for work-from-home employees.
  • Increased job satisfaction – Employees are more likely to stay in a job that offers work-from-home, reducing staff turnover, increasing morale and helping you attract talented team members.
  • Increased productivity – Employees respond to greater autonomy and fewer distractions with better productivity and quality of work.
  • Reduced environmental impact and stress – Employees reduce time spent in traffic congestion, lower your organization’s carbon footprint, and are able to more effectively reduce stress levels and achieve a better work-life balance which reduces absenteeism.

What are the Drawbacks? 

Working from home does have its drawbacks for some organizations, including:

  • Not for everyone – While some roles work well from home, others simply don’t translate as well.
  • Development and monitoring of new policies – Many organizations express concern that employees won’t be as productive if they work from home. This means drawing up comprehensive policies to manage communication and expectations.
  • Lack of collaboration – Face-to-face communication is still essential for fostering engagement and collaboration, for sparking ideas and for encouraging innovation, and this means bringing people together.

Modern Office Workstation Desks, Modular Office Workstation Furniture – And More 

If you want to make the most of your office design and space, whether it’s as a collaborative space for a flexible office or a more traditional office design, our team is here to help. In addition to our wide range of modular and corporate office furniture, we also offer full workspace design and fitment services. For more information on services, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/

How Clean is Your Office?

Contemporary Office Interiors

There are a lot of factor that can be addressed if you want your staff to be more productive, from increasing natural light and investing in ergonomic contemporary office furniture to starting flextime and wellness programs. One area that often goes unnoticed, however, is the cleanliness of the office space. Here are some insights from our contemporary office design specialists.

Healthy Employees are More Productive Employees 

Illness and sick days cost the US economy more than half a trillion dollars each year, so it clearly pays to help support employee health! Colds and flu can spread through an office like lightening, with germs and viruses surviving for up to 18 hours on hard surfaces like keyboards and desks. This means that companies need to put more hours into cleaning their office space, especially wiping down and disinfecting office furniture and computers, as well as water coolers, photocopiers and communal equipment. Another area to regularly clean is the air conditioning and heating system, as this can quickly become home to bacteria if neglected.

Companies should also think about implementing clean office policies that help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, including not eating at your work station (this can also attract pests), cleaning dishes and cups as they are used, and clearing out desk bins on a regular basis.

A Cleaner Office is a More Durable, More Productive Office 

Clutter has been proven to be bad for productivity, and desks that are cluttered with papers, stationery, plates and cups are a good example of this. In addition to stimulating productivity, a clutter-free, tidy desk is easier to keep clean and attracts far less dust, fewer pests and bacteria. This dust and debris are also hard on your furniture and electronics, reducing the lifespan of computers and office equipment as well as scratching up desks and chairs. Each employee should be encouraged to keep a clear, clean desk – to recycle papers, and wipe their station and computer down with disinfectant on a regular basis. The end result is a more professional, more productive and healthier office!

Contemporary Office Design and Interiors from Our Talented Team in NJ 

BE Furniture in New Jersey can help you create a functional and appealing workspace that supports your brand and helps your employees optimize their productivity. In addition to our wide range of contemporary office furniture, including reception desks, modern office cubicles and architectural walls, our team can also assist you with workspace design and fitment for contemporary office interiors. We also offer eco-friendly recycling options for all your old office furniture and fittings. For more information on our services and products, including our range of contemporary office furniture, please contact us today or visit our website.