Tag Archives: modern office design ideas

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: https://www.befurniture.com/contact/

How to Increase Privacy in Your Office Space

Open plan offices were once seen as the best layout to optimize productivity and use of space – but this design comes with its own challenges. The lack of privacy made work that required confidentiality a big issue and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these spaces are now a safety hazard too. Here are some modern office design ideas that help improve safety and productivity through the introduction of critical privacy measures.

3 Elements of Privacy in the Workplace and How to Achieve Them

In order to create a more private workplace, three elements need to be present.

  1. Acoustic – Open offices are known to be loud spaces, since there are no walls to black and absorb the sound of conversations, brainstorming sessions, electronics, telephone calls and more. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to dampen sound and increase acoustic privacy in your office space.

    You can try including introducing soft furnishings that absorb sound, like couches, upholstered seating and even paintings.You can replace loud wooden, laminate or concrete flooring with acoustic vinyl or carpeted flooring that absorbs sound rather than adding to it. You can also zone office space more effectively to set social and collaborative spaces far away from task-focused areas, allowing employees to choose their workspace according to their immediate needs.
  2. Spatial – The space in which office workers have been allocated has been shrinking over the decades, from 225 feet in 2010 to just 151 square feet in 2017, with hot-desking and shared workstations becoming the norm. This makes privacy a huge challenge, and one way of combatting that is to create more spaces where people can work in privacy when needed – for example, utilizing boardroom space or creating smaller meeting rooms around the open, collaborative space.

    Of course, due to COVID-19 it has become more essential than ever to give employees enough space to preserve their health. Implementing flexible working hours and work-from-home policies will allow employees that are in the office both to socially distance and work privately.
  3. Visual – Working in an open plan, collaborative office space can make you feel like you’re living under the microscope, where everyone can see everything you do, all the time. This creates a negative space for productivity where employees feel policed and micromanaged.

    There are ways to deliver personal visual privacy while balancing the organizational need to control costs and maximize the use of space. You can invest in screen privacy protectors, add clip-on desk dividers to wall off each workplace, and change the configuration of your contemporary office furniture to maximize individual privacy.

    Again, these are vital measures to take not only for employee privacy, but to add additional protection against the transmission of COVID-19. These physical barriers effectively help prevent the transmission of the virus through coughing and sneezing, and are a useful measure in addition to sanitizers and masks.

Implement an Office Design That Prioritizes Privacy and Safety

BE Furniture is a leading supplier of office design services as well as contemporary office furniture in New Jersey, helping our clients to maximize productivity and safety through the delivery of budget-friendly, high-impact designs and furniture solutions.

We also help organizations adapt to the new normal by supplying an end-to-end service to design and implement a healthy workplace in line with social distancing criteria. From protective screens, acrylic barriers and workstation dividers to easy-to-sanitize chairs, protective reception screens and HEPA-filtered air solutions, we provide comprehensive assistance to tackle this challenge.

Contact us today to talk about modern office design ideas that improve privacy, support collaboration, and protect your employees from COVID-19.

Key Elements of a Modern, Functional Reception Space

The reception area is the entrance to your business, and generally, the first impression clients get of your business up close. The longer your clients and visitors are likely to sit here, the more important that the area create a comfortable and enjoyable experience. In 2020, we must add to that, a “safe” experience as well, especially as pertains to your employees. Businesses that rely significantly on a reception area for guests, potential hires, VIPS, and clients, should go the extra mile to ensure waiting and being received is pleasant, safe for all concerned, and says or presents something about your brand..

That being understood, there are a number of common elements that make for outstanding reception area’s, even on a limited budget. Here’s a few thoughts from the experts at BE.

Invest in a Proper Reception Desk

Reception desks are very specific pieces and come in all shapes and sizes from a wide variety of different manufacturers. Reception desks are generally a bit higher than a normal desk and can go from between 28” and 34” high. Key considerations include whether there will be more than one receptionist, will they stand or sit? What kinds of work will they be doing when there is no one to receive?  What kind of phone system will you have and will the desk require a computer, special video, building management consoles, or other equipment? At BE we help companies select from hundreds of styles with all these capabilities and more, even custom built items.

The reception desk is functional for sure but it should have a style consistent with your brand and the impression you are trying to create.  Stability, for a law firm, and creativity for a marketing firm, etc…

New to some reception desks in 2020 are sneeze guards though many desks used in the healthcare industry have long had these in some form or another. A sneeze guard is typically a clear acrylic barrier that is both easy to clean and prevents direct exchange of bodily fluids however they may be discharged. These can be easily retrofitted to most existing reception desks so no need to chuck out your old furniture if it suits you in all other respects. Sneeze guards on your reception desk protect your clients but mostly they protect your employee’s and are probably something that will be around now, long after COVID-19 is done.

Seating

Seating choices in your reception area are dictated by a number of things:

  1. How many people will be waiting simultaneously?
  2. How long will they typically wait?
  3. How often is your reception area used?
  4. How comfortable do you want it to be?
  5. Are your visitors typically alone or in groups?

Your answers to the above questions may dictate whether you use couches or chairs, how separate the areas are, whether they share lighting and tables while they wait.

Then there are the matters of color, company brand style, durability of fabrics and for 2020 the cleanability of the furniture and materials used. As the area with the highest potential for bringing uninvited microbes into your business, your reception seating needs the most diligent cleaning protocols of any area of your company. New furniture and materials make this much easier, while allowing you the diversity of colors, patterns and materials to design to your heart’s content.

Functional Colors

In a recent study “Impact of color on marketing,” it was found that up to 90% of choices made about a particular product or brand all other things being equal, are based on color alone. Your reception area is a gateway to your business, and your color choices need to be deliberate based on what you are trying to acheive. Do you want a calm, functional space? Then look for mostly natural, muted colors and add accents of color with chosen pieces.  Do you want to be dramatic? Then rich, vibrant colors are the key. Whatever your choice, it should be consistent with your brand image, and the impression you are trying to create.

 Accessories

Make sure your reception area is up to date with modern lifestyles. People often want to recharge – their phones, laptops, earbuds, or iPads while waiting. Install easily accessible USB or power outlets wherever you can. A key element to a modern reception area is good Wifi. Your customers won’t mind the long wait as much, if they have a hot coffee, a place to charge their device, and good Wifi.

Signature Statements

Consider investing in signature items in your reception area that makes space truly yours. Things like fresh bouquets, a functional art piece from a local gallery, a bold company graphic, or a statement chandelier can leave a big brand impression.

Businesses don’t need to sacrifice their style to make a reception area accommodating. Spend time and the money to make this room as clean and welcoming as possible while keeping your company style and brand present

Modern Reception Design Ideas for the New Office Reality

BE Furniture is a full-service corporate office design and contemporary office furniture company, offering a wide range of environmentally-sensitive, healthcare conscious, and innovative products for reception areas and so much more.

For more information, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/

Shifting to New Design Category Called “Resimercial”

It’s the New Year! Which means it’s time to take a look at the different trends and modern office design ideas shaping the office design industry. One of the most interesting and exciting trends that is set to make a huge impact in 2020 is resimercial office design. Our contemporary office furniture company has briefly talked about this trend in previous articles. Here’s a more in-depth look at this trend as well as why it’s becoming so popular.

What Is Resimercial Office Design?

Office design is shaped around the office culture and what we want from the workplace for our clients and employees. In the past, offices have been designed for the following purposes:

  • To overwhelm and intimidate (think of the grand old law firms and banks), 
  • To be a hive for employee activity (think of the beehive-like cubicle farms of the recent past), and 
  • Even to be fun (like the tech offices of Silicon Valley, full of pinball machines, parks, and funky art). 

Now, the trend is towards creating warm and welcoming spaces. the purpose is to create sleek, yet comfortable and engaging spaces that allow people to not only relax, but to also let their productivity and creativity flow. This is what Resimercial design is all about – creating  a sense of sanctuary and bringing a sense of the home into the office.

What Makes Resimercial Design So Popular?

This office design style has gained a lot of popularity over the last year, primarily because it challenges our modern “always-on”, high-stress way of life. The demands of the office are higher than ever before, and office spaces can help accommodate this reality by transforming the workplace into a space that employees will actually enjoy. With plenty of home comforts, the Resimercial office helps reduce stress, boosts focus, and promotes productivity.

What Features Are Key to Resimercial Design?

As with all design trends, resimercial builds on previous office designs. But, it brings them together with a unique focus. This includes:

Comfortable Seating

Ergonomic chairs are matched with comfortable lounge-like seating spaces, arranged in cozy nooks and spaces for downtime, relaxation, and informal meetings. Expect to see soft fabrics, decorative pillows, and rich textures.

Flexibility

Spaces need to be multi-use, just like rooms in a home. Large spaces can be made more cozy on a day-to-day basis by using movable walls and opened up for large meetings or events with ease. Employees should be able to pick a space that not only works for them, but that also works for their particular task.

Soft Lighting 

Natural lighting is very important! It’s supplemented by soft ambient lighting as well as personal lighting like lamps to create a softer, gentler glow.

Accessories 

From libraries of books to artwork, indoor plants, rugs, and coffee tables, the resimercial design is brought to life with homelike accessories that evoke a sense of welcome, familiarity, and home.

Will Resimercial Design Work for My Offices? Our New Jersey Team Can Deliver a Custom Design

At BE Furniture, we assist our clients in achieving an optimal workspace for their business. Whether you are looking to remodel your office design completely or replace your furniture with a contemporary office furniture fit-out, our experienced team can handle it all. 

For more information about our design services for contemporary office interiors and reception areas, which include corporate office furniture, movable walls, glass partition wall units, desks furniture, and more, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/

 

AI and Human Intelligence Come Together to Create the Next Generation of Office Spaces

AI is an incredibly effective way of crunching data to give us a better understanding and insight into everything from workflow and in-office processes to productivity and customer service. One of the leading modern office design ideas of our time is to use this data to create corporate office interiors and workspaces that foster innovation and engagement, making the workplace more effective and adaptable than ever before.

Why the Workplace Needs to Change

Offices have been evolving since the industrial revolution as businesses try to find new ways to compete, grow, and achieve success in their industry. Today, this transformation is being driven by technology, where a sophisticated and connected environment allows for faster and easier communication, rapid decision-making, and automated processes.

Not only the way we work today, but also the technological similarities between our homes, places of leisure, and offices have led to a blending of all three, with organizations embracing a home-like design, work-from-home flexibility as well as the idea that employees can work from almost anywhere that they choose.

Human Design and AI – Leading the Way to the Smart Office

Just as AI has paved the way to the smart home (a home that is interconnected, automated, and allows for unparalleled customization), so it’s also critical to the development of a much larger and more complex project – the smart office. 

Machine learning and analytics pave the way for unprecedented data gathering and analysis, allowing office designers to make strategic decisions that optimize work processes and the use of their available space. Through smart sensors, you’ll be able to know very specific details, like how often different rooms or even different seats and desks are used, and all this detail will build up to create a holistic view of building space utilization. 

AI also allows designers to test out different office layouts and concepts in great detail according to your business and industry, using predictive analytics and advanced modeling based on your organization’s unique data. This can be critical in the event of an office redesign or relocation debate, delivering a cost-effective and customized model that allows organizations to evaluate their interests, performance goals, and employee satisfaction priorities in line with different physical space options.

Seeking State-of-the-Art Contemporary Office Interiors? We Can Help!

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

5 Tips for Creating a Sustainable Workplace

Sustainability is more than a trend in the business world. In fact, it’s becoming a staple that guides every aspect of the workplace, from building design and eco-friendly heating and cooling to partnering with green businesses for everything from office supplies to contemporary office furniture. Here are 5 great ideas for creating a sustainable workplace:

Help Your Cleaning Go Green:

It’s important to have a healthy, hygienic work environment, but that doesn’t mean you have to use harsh or harmful chemicals to reach that goal. Partner with a cleaning company that uses environmentally-friendly products and stock your kitchen and washrooms with Green cleaning products, soaps, and hand cream. It not only helps the planet, it’s a health benefit to employees who suffer from allergies and sensitivities to chemicals too.

Start a Green Transport Initiative:

If your employees are all driving their own cars to work, your company’s carbon footprint is going to be considerable. Start an initiative to make transport a little greener. Why not encourage carpooling and public transport, incentivize coming to work by bicycle or walking? This is a great opportunity to get employees involved and ask what support they’d need to achieve these goals – and rewards too!

Implement Green Energy Management Policies:

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), buildings in the USA account for a massive 40% of the country’s total energy use, predominantly for heating and cooling, lighting, and electronics. Implementing an energy management policy will help reduce your carbon footprint and save on monthly bills. Ideas for this include awareness stickers placed by office machinery and lights, as well as motion sensors and automated systems to control lighting, heating, and cooling. By zoning your building and customizing your energy use, you can prevent excessive heating and cooling or unnecessary lighting when no one is at work.

Local, Healthy Foods:

Sustainable dining is another great green trend for offices, where you stock vending machines and kitchens with healthy, locally-produced food and snacks. Use reusable dishes rather than Styrofoam or plastic, and ensure packaging is recyclable.

Green Purchasing:

Buy or hire equipment that is energy-efficient, refurbish your office by upcycling items and using eco-friendly paint, add plenty of plants for greenery and air quality benefits, and buy from suppliers that offer eco-friendly office supplies. If you are refitting your office, find a partner that not only offers the latest in modern office design ideas, but also offers an environmentally-friendly approach, including recycling your current furniture.

Need an Eco-Friendly Partner Who Can Create World-Class Contemporary Office Interiors?

BE Furniture is a full-service corporate office design and contemporary office furniture company, offering a wide range of environmentally-sensitive and innovative products and services for innovative boardrooms and contemporary office interiors. We also offer office furniture recycling services to ensure your old office furniture is disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner. All of our contemporary office furniture is covered by a lifetime repair and maintenance program to ensure that you get the most out of your new investment.

For more information on our services for contemporary office interiors, please contact us today or visit our website at https://www.befurniture.com/