Posts tagged office environment
The Business Case for Office Design

by Bill Esler

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Proving contract furniture projects benefit the bottom line was the mission of journalist and author Kevin Salwen. At the behest of BIFMA and the International Interior Design Association, Salwen and his colleagues identified some signature headquarter build-outs that demonstrably improved productivity for client staffs. The co-author of the IIDA/BIFMA report on workplace - Design, Leveraged - examines how smart companies use office space to boost productivity.

“For decades, businesses have viewed their work spaces as ‘overhead,’ a necessary evil of spending on desks, carpet and pricey lighting,” Salwen writes. “But now, smart companies are shifting their thinking on design: The firms doing the hard work to get it right are reaping the benefits right down to their bottom lines.”

Salwen says this applies to all firms, not just Google and Facebook. “Most of Corporate America doesn’t fill its seats with 20-something engineers eager to pull all-night hackathons,” he says.

Why is design critical? Three factors:

  • Real estate costs are rising roughly 10 percent a year
  • A scorching war for talent is underway (and expected to worsen)
  • Demand for innovation amid global competition is acute

Only one in four U.S. workers say they have optimal workplace environments, according to a 2013 survey by San Francisco architectural firm Gensler. “Design may be the single most under-leveraged tool in the business world,” says Salwen. David Radcliffe, Google’s VP real estate and workplace services, reveals his Top 5 office planning keys:

  • Coming in to work matters: “We want to create an environment where it feels like they’re missing out if they’re not there.”
  • Valuing accidental encounters: at least half of Google’s space is dedicated to “collaborative environments” – casual meeting places with a couch or a kitchen so workers bump into each other and chat. White boards and plugs for laptops are sprinkled through the office for spontaneous brainstorming.
  • Healthy eco-friendly buildings: Good health helps drive productivity and innovation, so furniture is formaldehyde-free and building materials are free of toxins. Space allows a maximum of natural light.
  • Blend local with Google: Local staff advise on locations, and interiors, using different architects. Each office “starts with a clean sheet of paper.”
  • Go urban: “We love urban cores,” says Radcliffe.

Originally published on woodworkingnetwork.com in November of last year, this article highlights the significant link between office design and a business’ bottom line. For more information and case studies, visit Salwen’s website, DesignLeveraged.org.

Soothing Back Pain by Learning How to Sit Again

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In light of Correct Posture Month, the New York Times published an article, The Posture Guru of Silicon Valley, about instructor Esther Gokhale. She attempts to soothe the back pain of those hard-working Californians plagued with “Silicon Valley syndrome,” by “reintroducing her clients to… the ‘primal posture’.” Gokhale explains that this posture was “common among our ancestors before slouching became a way of life.”

From Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, to one of Google’s senior vice presidents, Susan Wojcicki, Gokhale has trained thousands of workers “chained to their technology… hunched over desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets.” Like these Silicon Valley executives and board or staff members, many office workers in the U.S. sit at desks all day, which “goes hand in hand with back, neck and shoulder discomfort.” (Any of this ringing uncomfortable bells?)

Gokhale offers an accessible, non-surgical approach to back pain treatment by reteaching students how to “sit, stand, sleep and walk” in an "upright and relaxed" stance. See below for some of Gokhales tips for elongating and stacking the spine into a tall J-shape:

  • Relax the front of the pelvis downward
  • The belt line should slant forward
  • The rear should angle back so “your behind is behind you, not under you”
  • Hold the rib cage flush with the stomach
  • Roll your shoulders up and gently bring them back and down
  • Re-center your head over you spine

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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.” 

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S4 Featured in February’s Issue of Contract Magazine 


In this month’s issue of Contract Magazine, FORm_office is featured in the 33rd Annual Interiors Awards for large offices with Perkins + Will. Innovant provided over 350 workstations helping create a beautiful, tranquil, open plan environment in the heart of Chicago.


Throughout the space one key element that allows the traders  to connect their work with their office surroundings is through their desk. It is the single element where the technology and organic nature of the floor meet at a single point. Innovant’s FORm_office S120 desks were picked as the perfect medium to connect these two opposing elements together. The desks extend the organic nature of the office beyond just the solid structural walls, by seamlessly integrating the core elements of the business with the design aesthetic envisioned for the space. They combine both the white and maple surfaces used for the ceiling and walls to create a single platform, which wraps around the entire floor to connect the entire space. Managing Principal Tom Kasznia from Perkins + Will said, “Natural elements, for example how water flows, gave us ideas for shape clustered desking systems for all open office areas allowing for one aesthetic to create a visual flow. The fully system addresses the traders’ needs specifically.” The S120 desk greatly appealed to a space, which was designed around these structural columns, as its flexible nature allowed for it to be conformed to the layout of the design.  


Innovant desks help speak to the concept that this workplace “values tranquility” and works to create harmony between technology and the end user. The sculptural like shape of S120 helps inspire those who sit at it. Employing organic accents help remind people of the natural elements in life beyond the working walls.


To read the full article see Page 66 Contract Magazine >

Contract Magazine - Digital Reader >

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Clean Modern Work Environments at Rallye Motors 

S4 Installation 

Innovant’s FORm_office S4 is uniquely designed for flexible open-plan work environments, with advanced adaptable features, it’s an ideal solution for any work environment. Often, our clients are looking for a clean, modern workstation, with technology management to maintain a clutter free environment. A recent example is the FORm_office installation at Rallye Motors, one of the largest Mercedes Benz dealers in the United State. The overall design concept, from Interior Architects, was to project a European high-end look that re-creates the Mercedes Benz worldwide appeal.  The solution was our S4 configuration, with white and aluminum finishes, to further embody their showroom aesthetic.

Rallye Motor’s wanted a single solution platform that could easily be adapted  to meet the needs for their two end user groups. Their requirements were to provide flexibility for user access, and the ability to easily modify their personal workstation. In addition, the system needed to provide hidden cable management, and personal storage solutions for above and below the desktop.

S4 presented a clean intelligent desk solution that improved the overall feel of the space, and projected a sense of refinement. Collaborating with architects, designers, and end users, we strive to provide the right solution for your new workplace at a competitive price.  Whether it’s the office, the bullpen, or the showroom, the right system is essential to a high performance work environment. 

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