Posts tagged office
Expert Series: The Changing Workplace

Innovant is proud to announce the launch of its “Expert Series,” which will feature blog posts written by our very own industry experts. We’ve invited our sales team, engineers, and senior management to share their thoughts on all things related to workplace design.

Tune in each month for insights on the evolving workplace, product design, office tips, and more – all from Innovant’s team members at the forefront of workplace strategy and design.

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First up is Julie May, Innovant’s Strategic Account Executive. Her first post will be published in two parts. As an introduction to her upcoming account of storage used as separation in the modern workplace, Julie describes the factors contributing to the evolving workplace. See her breakdown the common factors below: 

Real Estate Efficiencies: Many companies are reducing their real estate portfolios and are looking at the most efficient practices for working with less space. Corporate real estate and facilities ask how they can give their employees the tools to be productive, collaborative and focused, while reducing their allotment of space per person. The average square foot per person has dropped from 225 sq ft in 2010 to 176 sq ft in 2012, with prediction of being reduced further to 100 sq ft per person by 2017. (*Data sourced from CoreNet Global.)

Sustainable and Corporate Responsibility Corporate Programs: In addition to space reductions, there has been a rise in corporate social responsibility initiatives, which include sustainability and LEED certification strategies. These often translate to open furniture plans, which have inherent sustainability benefits because they use fewer materials. Open furniture plans also minimize or eliminate such elements as panels, walls, and high storage that tend to obstruct lines of sight and access to natural light. As a result of these programs, more employees are sitting in the open environment, with senior management joining them outside their private offices.

Multiple Generations: “Collaboration” is a common word used in planning meetings to discuss strategies for boosting employee productivity. With multiple generations existing in a single workplace, studies have been conducted that show contradictory results: 1) Collaboration between multiple generations is effective in increasing productivity. 2) Younger generations like being in an open environment and older generations struggle to focus. 3) When done right and with the right worker types, the open plan can be productive and a successful platform for multiple generations to share information, develop mentorships, socialize and connect.

Workplace Tools: What works for me, as a salesperson, doesn’t necessarily work for, say, an engineer or accounting person. Each department and worker type has different requirements for work, which means that “one-size-fits-all” doesn’t necessarily work for every organization. Developing effective tools for different worker types is becoming more common and easier to manage for facilities.

Please check back next week for Julie’s insight into how “Storage as Separation” fits into these new work environments. 

Office Products to Support Posture

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As a follow-up to our first post of the month on office posture, here’s a list of products that will help keep your back straight, your shoulders relaxed, and create an overall sense of comfort while working at your desk.

First, an ergonomic office chair is key for healthy working. If this is not available to you, consider acquiring a backrest to place at your chair. This will provide support by easing some of the pressure of sitting in an uncomfortable office chair.

Another essential item to consider is one that provides support to your wrists. This could be achieved by using a keyboard or mouse-pad wrist rest. Be sure to use these so that your wrists remain as flat and supported as possible.

Finally, a monitor arm is an excellent tool for easily positioning and adjusting a computer screen. By placing the screen at a comfortable height and appropriate distance, you can avoid any neck strain from tilting your head.

Correct Office Posture

In honor of Correct Posture Month, we turned to Spine Health for some tips on comfortable work posture. If you spend hours of your workday in front of the computer (don’t we all), read on for ways to avoid the pain and strain that comes along with the job.

Spine Health contributors, John J. Triano, DC, PhD and Nancy C. Selby, BS, suggest the following to help avoid back or neck pain at the office:

  • Adopt a user-friendly workstation by adjusting the position of your office chair, computer, and desk
  • Modify your sitting posture. Many people sit towards the front of their chair and end up hunching forward to look at their screens. The better seated posture is to sit back in your office chair, utilizing the chair’s lumbar support to keep your head and neck erect.
  • Take stretch breaks and walking breaks when sitting in an office chair for long periods.

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In order to ensure your workstation is “user-friendly," consider the following adjustments:

  • Choose the right surface height (standing, sitting, or semi-seated) for your work. Ex: Architects and draftsman may want a higher surface for drawing, while traders and other people performing computer-entry work could be seated or standing (depending on the necessary job tools). Finally, work surface height depends on the physical height of the individual worker.
  • Adjust your seat so your work surface is "elbow high.” Also consider the following: A fist should be able to pass easily behind the calf and in front of the seat edge to keep the back of the legs from being pressed too hard and the feet from swelling. Two fingers should slip easily under each thigh. If not, use a couple of telephone books or a footrest to raise the knees level with the hips. The backrest of the office chair should push the low back forward slightly. If these adjustments cannot be adequately made with the existing office chair, a different make or type of chair may be considered.
  • Adjust the height of your computer screen. Once you have made adjustments to your chair, close your eyes and relax. Then, slowly reopen them. Where your gaze initially focuses should be the center-point of your screen. If necessary, use books or a stand to raise the height of your screen.

Happy posture fixing! Also, keep an eye out for our next post about specific products that can help with your office posture.

Workplace Environmental Strategy and Branding   Over the past 13 years, the evolution of the workplace environment has gone through a transition. No longer emphasizing privacy and the “my space, your space” syndrome, workplaces now carry the opposite focus. Our sales consultants have worked on a diverse range of environments in a variety of industries. With flexible product lines that have intelligent solutions such as the S4 series, Innovant has been successful in meeting our clients’ specific needs.   The evolution of how people work has been driven by the realization that the user’s role has changed. With a shift towards telecommuting and co-working, workplace strategies require flexibility in their spaces to perform well. Being in an enclosed, restrictive space does not promote collaboration in the office, in or out. In order to increase motivation and promote growth, having an open environment in which to work allows this natural progression to evolve, which then enables creativity and yields a more productive workforce.   Companies today, whether consolidating or relocating, go through the process of evaluating their brand presence and corporate culture. They look for ways to modernize their image both inside and out. Your future workplace strategy should be designed to attract and retain the most talented people, and a corporation’s physical environment is an important aspect of employees’ success and output.

Workplace Environmental Strategy and Branding

Over the past 13 years, the evolution of the workplace environment has gone through a transition. No longer emphasizing privacy and the “my space, your space” syndrome, workplaces now carry the opposite focus. Our sales consultants have worked on a diverse range of environments in a variety of industries. With flexible product lines that have intelligent solutions such as the S4 series, Innovant has been successful in meeting our clients’ specific needs.
 
The evolution of how people work has been driven by the realization that the user’s role has changed. With a shift towards telecommuting and co-working, workplace strategies require flexibility in their spaces to perform well. Being in an enclosed, restrictive space does not promote collaboration in the office, in or out. In order to increase motivation and promote growth, having an open environment in which to work allows this natural progression to evolve, which then enables creativity and yields a more productive workforce.
 
Companies today, whether consolidating or relocating, go through the process of evaluating their brand presence and corporate culture. They look for ways to modernize their image both inside and out. Your future workplace strategy should be designed to attract and retain the most talented people, and a corporation’s physical environment is an important aspect of employees’ success and output.

Trading Places - Seminar with Charles Braham, Joe Du Temple, and Charlie Du Temple Monday June 11th 1 - 2pm  
 We are excited to annouce that Charles Braham, President of Innovant Inc., will be speaking at Neocon. He will be accompanying panel members Joe and Charlie Du Temple of ESD Global in addressing the impact of high density technology on space design and construction. They will also discuss how to accommodate technology within and above a desk while insuring that the mechanical infrastructure and ergonomic requirements are met. 
 The attendees will gain a knowledge on trading desk - open plan design and how it relates to accommodating an extensive list of technology requirements. They will also gain an understanding of how to best position the process of ‘desk’ design into a project, and finally what team disciplines are needed to make the project a success.

Trading Places - Seminar with Charles Braham, Joe Du Temple, and Charlie Du Temple Monday June 11th 1 - 2pm

We are excited to annouce that Charles Braham, President of Innovant Inc., will be speaking at Neocon. He will be accompanying panel members Joe and Charlie Du Temple of ESD Global in addressing the impact of high density technology on space design and construction. They will also discuss how to accommodate technology within and above a desk while insuring that the mechanical infrastructure and ergonomic requirements are met.

The attendees will gain a knowledge on trading desk - open plan design and how it relates to accommodating an extensive list of technology requirements. They will also gain an understanding of how to best position the process of ‘desk’ design into a project, and finally what team disciplines are needed to make the project a success.

Tips for Making Employees Love Their Office

Inc Magazine published this great article below– Providing basics like flexibility and organized environments can go a long way with employees. These elements help to create a happier more productive workplace.


You take your staff on kayaking trips. You order pizza for meetings. But who cares about the occasional extras if your workers aren’t delighted to be in their workspace day-in and day-out? We reviewed the best in office amenities and policies recently covered in Inc.and on Inc.com for the highlights of companies making their offices into places their employees love coming to in the morning.

1. Stay organized.
Whether it’s business plans or business cards, conference binders or marketing copy, entrepreneurs have a lot of information to track. But with so many important managerial matters on your plate, it’s hard to put a tidy workspace high on your priority list. Who knows that better than the employees who work in a disorganized or cluttered office? Their productivity and motivation can suffer when everyone’s not on the same page about where important information, tools, and supplies can be found. Laura Leist, president of the National Association of Professional Organizers, which is based in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, explains: “When you’re talking about organizing your workspace you need to make a decision about what needs to be organized and there’s five areas that you can look at.” These five areas are paper, general stuff such as office supplies, your space and furniture layout, electronic information, and time management. Read more.

2. Make it comfy.
“Designing a comfortable office environment is about more than aesthetics; careful attention to design can give a boost to employee happiness. In the current economy, the focus is often on leasing office space based on price, with less attention paid to design, layout and amenities. Smart business leaders, however, think beyond the existing layout and furniture options when moving into a new office or refurbishing a space. That fresh coat of paint and new carpet your landlord gave you when you signed the lease is great, but there are other small investments of time and money that can transform your office into a more productive workspace,” writes Lois Goodell,principal and the director of interior design at CBT Architects, in an Inc.com guide on creating a productive office environment.In short, making a comfortable environment takes more than a sturdy desk and comfortable chair – it incorporates quality lighting, good ventilation, and a quality heating-and-cooling system. Read more

3. Give everyone a say.
It’s an extreme example, but when Thomas Walter, CEO of Tasty Catering in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, encountered Jim Collins's Good to Great, he asked each of his employees to read it. Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan writes: “Tasty Catering formed two Good to Great councils, which make all strategic decisions for the company. Each council has eight charter members drawn from across the company—culinary workers, clerical staff, drivers. One council conducts business in English, the other in Spanish, which is the first language for about a third of the work force. At least one of the three owners—Walter and his two brothers—sits in with each group. The councils hold meetings a few days apart, and an outside translator produces copies of the combined minutes in both languages. Each month, two random employees are chosen to join the councils for the month.” She quotes Anna Wollin, an account executive who joined one of the councils when they were formed, who says: “It puts us all on an even playing field. I had been with the company less than a year, and my opinion was as important as an owner’s opinion.” Read more.  

4. Consider openness.
It’s not right for every team of workers, but the trend today is to support collaboration, in all its forms: mentoring, problem solving, routine communication and information sharing. Goodell writes: “To do so, create more open spaces in the office, from workspaces with low panels that make it easier to communicate to all-day cafés where employees not only eat, but also meet to work.” It’s also important to consider what happens when someone in a large open office environment needs to concentrate on a big project or lead a conference call. Open spaces only work when employees have access to areas where they can focus on a specific task. One solution is “hoteling,” offices that can be reserved or used at will when needed. These offices can be small, but should be highly functional. They should be equipped with good lighting, phone systems and technology necessary to complete critical tasks. Read more

5. Make the workplace a community.
In this year’s Top Small Company Workplaces, Leigh Buchanan interviewed Bill Witherspoon about his open-book management and leadership style at Sky Factory. His employees not only love the clear and open communication structure, but also love helping each other. Witherspoon explains why: “I think of our factory as a community, and service is the core of community. There are two kinds of service. One is: I do this for you, and I expect a return. For example, I provide good customer service, and I expect loyalty. The other kind of service is selfless. I do something for you without thought of a return. I help you spontaneously and without thinking about it. That second kind of service is powerful. When someone has a moment of free time, how wonderful if she automatically thinks, Now, what can I do to help someone else? At the start of our Friday meetings, the leader for that week tells an appreciative story about someone at the company and presents the person with $25. Often, the story involves an unselfish, unsolicited offer of help." Read more

Amerca’s Workforce Reducing its Footprint - Work Environments are getting Smaller and Smarter  
 In this week’s issue of Monday Morning Quarterback studies from CoreNet Global showed that the amount of office space per worker has been declining as more and more offices adopt open plan environments. We’ve found on numerous occasions that to successfully densify your office having  a more  intelligent workstation is essential. Giving employees flexible workstations and different environments throughout the office to do their work can lead to huge increases in productivity. 
 “For the first time many companies, the average allocation of office spaces per person in North America will fall to 100 square feet or below within the next five years.  By 2017, at least 40% of the companies responding indicated they will reach this bench mark of individual space utilization, which has been the case in Europe for the past several years but is now heading for the Americas. 
 The average for all companies for square fee per worker in 2017 will be 151 square feet, compared to 176 square feet today, and 225 square feet in 2010. “The main reason for the declines,” said Richard Kadzis CoreNet Global’s Vice President of Strategic Communications, “is the huge increase in collaborative and team oriented space inside a growing number of companies that are stressing “smaller but smarter” workplaces against the back drop of continuing economic uncertainty and cost containment.” Core Net Global, which  conducted the survey, is the worldwide association for corporate real estate and workplace professionals. 
 Today, just 24 percent of the respondents reported that the average space per office worker is 100 square feet or less; however 40% reported that within five years, the average space per office worker would be 100 square feet or less. 
 It is clear the amount of space dedicated solely to specific employees is steadily shrinking. A majority of the respondents, 55%, reported that square feet per worker has already decreased between 5 – 25% over the last 5 years. 
 “There are a number of additional factors contributing to the decline in the amount of space per worker“ said Kadzis. “ More Companies are adopting open floor plans in which employees do not have any permanently designated spaces at all; rather they use unassigned space when they are in the office setting that often change daily. This trend is enabled by technology and by cost measures, as they require smaller footprints .” 

Amerca’s Workforce Reducing its Footprint - Work Environments are getting Smaller and Smarter

In this week’s issue of Monday Morning Quarterback studies from CoreNet Global showed that the amount of office space per worker has been declining as more and more offices adopt open plan environments. We’ve found on numerous occasions that to successfully densify your office having  a more  intelligent workstation is essential. Giving employees flexible workstations and different environments throughout the office to do their work can lead to huge increases in productivity.

“For the first time many companies, the average allocation of office spaces per person in North America will fall to 100 square feet or below within the next five years.  By 2017, at least 40% of the companies responding indicated they will reach this bench mark of individual space utilization, which has been the case in Europe for the past several years but is now heading for the Americas.

The average for all companies for square fee per worker in 2017 will be 151 square feet, compared to 176 square feet today, and 225 square feet in 2010. “The main reason for the declines,” said Richard Kadzis CoreNet Global’s Vice President of Strategic Communications, “is the huge increase in collaborative and team oriented space inside a growing number of companies that are stressing “smaller but smarter” workplaces against the back drop of continuing economic uncertainty and cost containment.” Core Net Global, which  conducted the survey, is the worldwide association for corporate real estate and workplace professionals.

Today, just 24 percent of the respondents reported that the average space per office worker is 100 square feet or less; however 40% reported that within five years, the average space per office worker would be 100 square feet or less.

It is clear the amount of space dedicated solely to specific employees is steadily shrinking. A majority of the respondents, 55%, reported that square feet per worker has already decreased between 5 – 25% over the last 5 years.

“There are a number of additional factors contributing to the decline in the amount of space per worker“ said Kadzis. “More Companies are adopting open floor plans in which employees do not have any permanently designated spaces at all; rather they use unassigned space when they are in the office setting that often change daily. This trend is enabled by technology and by cost measures, as they require smaller footprints.” 

Evolution and Impact of STEEL

Thank you Arch Daily for this amazing infographic about the Impacts of Steel.

“One of the most important milestones in architecture was the development of construction methods in iron and steel. With these methods we have been able to construct stronger and taller structures, while using less materials. The evolution of steel frame construction in the 20th century entirely changed the concept of wall and the support.”

Innovant’s FORm products have a steel structure made up of over 25% post-industrial recycled content. By using a strong frame work our products are able to live multiple lifecycles and reused in new offices, before being disassembled and recycled. 

As seen on ArchDaily.com - Visit the original post.