Month: October 2013

Changing Office Furniture? Go Modular.

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Choosing the right furniture for your office space is not only important but essential for the success of your company.  Why?  Because the right office furniture ensures the comfort of your staff and encourages their productivity. But when you have to balance the different needs and preferences of your staff with your organization’s goals and image, what type of office furniture should you choose? We suggest modular office furniture.  Here are a few reasons why:

By definition, modular office furniture is actually pre-made furniture units, including desks, chairs, storage cabinets, workstation units and wall partitions that can be combined and arranged in different configurations to furnish an office or establish a workspace.  Much like the pieces of a puzzle, the modular office furniture units may vary in shape and size, however they are made in such a way that any combination of the pieces can be put together to create a unique and private work space for each individual employee, establish a collaborative team environment, or both (i.e. a collaborative team environment while respecting the individual workspace needed for your people to work optimally )—whatever is needed to get the most out of your employees and meet your organizational goals. In addition, some units can be designed to be ergonomically friendly.  Talk about getting the best of both worlds!

Another reason why we recommend modular office furniture is because of its flexibility and adaptability to the actual office space and, of course, mobility if that office space changes.  In other words, a set of modular office furniture units, particularly workstations, can be arranged one way for closed-in office space, and re-arranged another way in an open area — each arrangement optimizing the use of the workspace at hand.

A third reason for recommending modular office furniture is that it can be budget friendly.  Modular units range from inexpensive cubicle units to more expensive executive furniture units.  The furniture pieces purchased can be limited to the pieces needed to create an optimal workspace for your employees in order to stay within any budget constraints.  Additional pieces can be added at a later date if your budget permits and the need arises.

A fourth reason for recommending modular office furniture is that it is environmentally friendly.  Many modular office furniture units are made out of recycled materials.  You would know by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification stamp found on each unit.

Finally, in general, they are made to last! There are very few cases where a modular unit would need to be replaced or repaired due to damage.

Flexibility, adaptability, cost-effectiveness, environment friendliness and durability, plus no compromise on professional looks—all good reasons why modular office furniture should be your organization’s first choice for furnishing an office space.

The FloorPlan: Not Just About Planning Where Your Workstation Should Go…

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OK. I am about to state the obvious.
Whether your company is undergoing a corporate renovation, reconfiguration or moving to a new location, it is imperative that a floorplan drawn to scale be created and reviewed before any wall or workstation is built or office furniture and equipment is put into place.
Obvious, right? But sometimes such an important step can be overlooked to perceptibly save time or money, or maybe because it is just not thought of.
Now for the not-so-obvious.
A floorplan is not only necessary for the purpose of outlining where workstations, offices and office equipment should go, but it serves an additional purpose—one related to safety and accessibility.
You see, a properly designed office floorplan needs to take into account certain corporate space rules in order to ensure an office workspace is safe and comfortable for all employees and visitors.
Here are the top three corporate space rules a floorplan should abide by:
1.   A floorplan should map out where all the emergency exits are located.  Emergency exits need to be easily accessible to all employees and visitors from anywhere in the office. Not only does there need to be clear passageways to those exits, but workstations and offices should be situated no further than 30 metres away from at least one emergency exit.
2.  The floorplan should ensure that pathways between workstations and offices are wide enough to allow for a minimum of two people  to walk side by side or, better still, to accommodate wheelchair accessibility.
3.  A floorplan should allow for each individual workstation or office space to be spacious enough for employees to work efficiently and effectively. This, of course, would be determined by the nature of the job demands as well as the amount of time each employee will spend working at that workstation or in that office space itself.
These and other rules outlined by provincial laws relating to Building Code and Health and Safety should play an increasingly important role in governing the design of an office floorplan.

What Does Your Reception Desk Actually Say To Your Visitors?

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 You may have a valet parking service outside your office or an awesome online presence, but your reception desk is one of the key places in your office that gives your visitors a first impression of your company.
So what is your reception desk actually saying to your visitors?
Well it should be saying the obvious: “Welcome to our company. Here is where you will find the answer to your queries or be connected with one of our staff”. But it could be conveying messages, even secrets, about your company just based on the style of the reception desk itself.
The reception desk can come in various styles, most of which can be grouped in either a traditional or contemporary style.
The traditional styled reception desk (typically marked by a dark wood finish with sharp 45 and/or 90 degree angles and possibly with embossed designs similar to those found on your kitchen cupboard) could subconsciously portray to your visitors a message of your organization being “steady”, “solid”, “secure”, “experienced” or “around a long time”. It could be saying, “What has been will always be” when it comes to the operation of your business or conversely “no need to change” in the face of a changing world. It may also convey a message of a majority of your staff being more knowledgeable and on the mature side, possibly being with your company or in your industry for many years. The traditional style of a reception desk could be great for law offices, private medical offices, insurance offices, the stock market, or any industry where such messages are a proper reflection of the business.
The contemporary styled reception desk (usually characterized by smooth lines and or soft curvatures in various custom shapes, colours, and sizes and in various finishes, from light wood to metal or from marble to glass) can convey many other messages about your organization. For example, a C-shaped or S-shaped reception desk could convey that the company it represents is well-rounded, flexible, adaptable, or has a relaxed but protected environment while a contemporary styled straight shaped reception desk may suggest that your company is a no-nonsense player in your industry and other irregular shapes may convey a message of  uniqueness or creativity . The use of glass or other see-through materials may convey a sense of transparency or “we have nothing to hide” while the use of lights and two-toned colors may convey a message of diversity, uniqueness or emphasize
“We have the answers! Come here! This is the place you want to be”.

Now, we realize that most companies may choose a reception desk based on what they like, but you should not take
for granted that the reception desk can assist in making a first and lasting impression about your company to your visitors. What is really important is that your reception desk is designed in such a way that is consistent with the corporate image you want your company to portray.