Office Space Design: Getting Your Office Furniture to Work for You 

a group of young employees collaborating in a shared work space

Research into how we work is nothing new. First, there were factory floors, then large office spaces that resembled factory floors, then cubicles, then the revolution against cubicles, then the technology and internet age. Every step of the way business executives and heads of major companies have been trying to figure out a way to improve the way we work. A big part of improving productivity and increasing collaboration lies in the way that people’s workspace is arranged, although not many companies consider this as an asset or tool for growth. Here at Indoff Office Furniture, we understand that the office is not just the place we arrive at in the morning with coffee stains on our shirt, our hair undone, and flustered from the morning commute. The office space needs to be so much more than that. 

Many startups and tech companies today are trying innovative ways to propel their workforce to improve workflow. Sometimes it feels like they are at odds with themselves. After all, the office is not one dimensional. Here at Indoff Office Furniture, we understand that. We see the office as a place that should inspire creativity but also encourage comfort; it is a place that lends itself to quiet solitude and focus but also makes interaction and collaboration easy. The office space should do all these things while maximizing space and suggesting a feeling of modernity and coziness. 

Let’s take a step back, where did all this begin?

The roots of the office design were born out of necessity. As the white-collar age began, many big-time company execs understood that housing all of their employees in one building could present a series of problems but also opportunities. During the turn of the 20th century, Taylorism was born and would today be looked at with some scorn. The office layout consisted of a fully open layout with all employees laid out in one big room as company executives looked on from above the way that factory floors were often structured. This creation of hierarchy and separation would not bode very well today but the movement was deemed Taylorism, after Frederick Taylor, who was obsessed with productivity and efficiency. The levels were soon done away with and the arrangement became more utilitarian by the mid-50s, although much of the space still remained relatively open. Later in the 20th century, Herman Miller created the Action, a semi-personal workstation that created dividers between workers but gave enough space for some conversation. This little station has gained quite the reputation and has in some ways become synonymous with the drone and tedium of modern life, yet it did change the way that office space was conceived for many years. This is, of course, the cubicle. 

The Move Towards Collaborative Spaces Using Furniture and Space Arrangement 

The modern age has us not only working with technology but working to further technological advancements, services, software, and more. Regardless of what your office works on or develops, the space where your workers attack the problems and challenges must be conducive to a better work environment. 

Approaches to Better Office Design and Increased Productivity 

See your office design and furniture as tools for growth. For the modern age, this might include re-engineering office space to encourage interactions and communication between different departments or types of employees. Let the developers mingle with the designers, let the creatives watercooler-talk with the salespeople, and let the managers interact free with their teams. This happens simply by re-thinking the way our spaces are laid out. In terms of furniture, it might include using different types of desks in one area and other more private cubbies in another. 

Use furniture as a way to set the tone and create comfort. There are so many more options today than simple cubicles or bland desks that tend to create clutter. One thing that does increase people’s stress is the clutter that begins to form when the arrangement of the room is not conducive to storage or the maximizing of space. Today’s office furniture offers a lot of interesting alternatives, many of which can increase employees’ comfort level and set different tones for different rooms. Technology companies like Google—who have truly revolutionized the office space— have found that productivity happens in a spectrum, so they have designed different rooms to be conducive to different types of work, from solo work to semi-quite focused areas, to full open collaborative spaces. 

Indoff Office Furniture is meant to help you maximize and reengineer your office space in a way that inspires your employees to be more productive, comfortable, and happy at work. 

 

The History of the Office: Where Productivity and Creativity Flourish

a modern open office space with plants and white office furnitureOffices have a long, storied past. It’s where great deals are made, and where world-changing inventions come to life. But how did we arrive at the modern office? And where are offices going in the future? Today, we’ll delve into the history of the modern office to see if we can uncover any secrets to this crucial piece of modern society. If you’d like to convert your office into a more efficient, comfortable, and professional space, then Indoff Office Furniture can help.

The Origins of the Office

Here’s a fun fact, did you know famed English author Geoffery Chaucer is credited as the first person to use the term “office” as a place where business transactions take place? This was way back in 1395, appearing in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Prior to this, the term was generally used when referring to a position that involved certain duties. 

We can find the true birth of the modern office in the 18th century when the East India Company and other large-scale, complex organizations began to grow and take hold of the world. It was during this time that the first office spaces were being built. These buildings were built with the sole purpose of getting work done. 

Productivity³ 

At the core of every office is the need for productivity to thrive. This need gave birth to the office cubicle. In 1964, office equipment company Herman Miller teamed up with industrial designer Robert Propst to create a concept of a “modern” office that would fight against the monotony of past office spaces, thus allowing for higher degrees of creativity to flourish. What they came up with was known as the “Action Office,” a precursor to the modern cubicle. Today, the cubicle is seen in a less-than-flattering light but its original intention was to create a private setting where employees could work without distraction, thus letting their creativity and productivity flow. 

Japan in the 20th Century: Birthplace of the First Open Plan Offices 

One the other side of the spectrum is the 20th-century Japanese office. Japanese offices pioneered what is known as an “open plan” which mostly relies on ergonomic decisions that aid in making employees as productive as can be. Unlike most American offices, Japanese offices have no walls dividing desks or cubicles; individual offices are also eschewed in this open floor plan. In order to ensure productivity, the office or group leader sits at a prominent position. From this spot, the leader can assign tasks and keep tabs on work as its completed.

Since this open-plan does away with walls, team members are able to speak freely with one another in case they require assistance or guidance. If this sounds like your current office layout, then you’re in good company! It wasn’t long before the open office plan pioneered by Japanese businesses began to crop up in other offices all across the world. 

Working from Home

There are countless industries in this world of ours. As such, some industries may benefit greatly from open plans while others are actually more beneficial with cubicles or team spaces. It all depends on the particular industry. But with the advent of the internet and the turn of the century, offices actually evolved to become more personal. So much so, in fact, that many individuals have gone on to work from home.

Everyone, from architects and freelancers to therapists and photographers, has made the move to home offices. Although there is still a prestige that comes along with a physical office address, there’s unbridled freedom that comes from working at home. In fact, many modern companies have remote workers who live in different cities or countries. All this can be done thanks to the advancements in technology and internet connectivity. 

Coworking Spaces Explained

Coworking spaces are an interesting development in the trajectory of office spaces. Sometimes, working from home just isn’t in the cards. Perhaps you don’t have an extra room to spare or your family is much too loud for you to properly speak with clients over the phone without interruptions. This is where coworking spaces can come in handy. Coworking spaces seamlessly combine the idea of open-plan offices with the premise of remote work. For low monthly rates, you can have your own desk in a modern, state-of-the-art office.

Coworking spaces are incredibly popular among freelancers, start-ups, and entrepreneurs so you’ll be in good company. In fact, that’s one of the main benefits of coworking spaces. Since like-minded individuals are all around you, you’ll be able to flourish in your own endeavors. Coworking spaces create a unique environment. You’re your own boss, but you’re not on your own. You can take time to speak with those around you and bounce ideas off one another and there won’t be a supervisor keeping tabs on your tasks. As such, creativity can flourish!

Finding the Right Furniture

Whether you’re planning on converting your spare bedroom into your home office or you’re ready to start renting a space for your startup, you need to make sure you have the right office furniture to guarantee productivity, comfort, and organization. This is where Indoff Office Furniture comes into play. We carry the best of the best in business and office furniture. Give us a call today to learn more about what we have to offer!

New Year, New Setup: Planning Your Office Makeover

office space planning

Today, approximately 70% of offices across the nation use open-floor plans. There are several pros and cons to this type of workspace—distractions being a con and accessibility being a pro. If there’s one thing that’s certain, having an open floor plan means exposure to all areas of the office. You might pass by someone’s desk and see candy wrappers scattered throughout or you’ll quickly gain insight into your employee’s interest with their choice of decor. A lot can be revealed with this type of floor plan. But if you’re feeling like you could make better use of space or want the office to feel more “open” or “bright” then it may be time to consider office space planning.

Maximizing the Space You Have

office space planning

If one of your current dilemmas is figuring out how to maximize the space you currently have, there are a couple of things you can do. When you hire an office design expert, they will take a look into a couple of items including:

  • The total number of employees
  • The projected total number of employees within the next five years
  • What your average foot traffic looks like
  • Which departments need to be within proximity of each other
  • What tools or equipment are necessary to perform certain tasks
  • Where are meetings, break areas, and other common spaces located

Those are a couple of the factors that an office space planner will first examine in order to determine the moving pieces. The goal is to make use of every area of your office. By placing desks in a fashion that enhances productivity, it will ultimately limit distractions and maximize your space, no matter how big or small it may be.

Working With a Professional

An office design expert sees your office from a different perspective. They take into consideration your business operates. This includes finding a way to maximize productivity for various departments and creating a setup that’s comfortable and welcoming. Your furniture, color schemes, and the dimensions of your office will all be strategically considered in order to best match choices that will enhance the work environment. On the surface, it may not seem like something as minimal as the color of your walls will affect your employees’ work behavior but indeed it will! Colors evoke moods and can create positive emotions as well as negative ones.

Our design expert, Kim Gregory has years of experience in professional office design and can certainly help you create your desired workspace. Connect with us today to learn more!

3 Ways the Right Office Furniture Can Improve Productivity

modern office with nice office furnitureChoosing office furniture has become an art form over the past few years. However, creating the right office space isn’t just about aesthetics and budget anymore. It is possible to create a workplace that fosters creativity, productivity, and efficiency while giving employees privacy. At Indoff we understand the importance of providing your employees what they need to succeed. It is important to remember that your employees’ comfort and happiness directly correlate with how well they perform their jobs. These office furniture and setup tips can help you create a great work environment for your employees, so your business can continue to be successful.

Open Floor Plans Offer More Interaction

When an office space is planned with an open floor plan, employees are more likely to interact and share ideas. For a company that requires collaboration between departments, office furniture that lends well to the open floor concept will work much better. Cubicles with shorter walls are a good option for this. For those that like to push the limits, connected workspaces may work best in their office. Whatever your goals are, be sure to pick out furniture that and create a floor plan that aligns with your goals, your employees’ job requirements, and the desired environment you want for your office.

Choose Cubicles for More Privacy

If you are in an industry that requires lots of concentration and focus, office furniture with cubicles is a better option. The added privacy gives each employee the space and freedom to work on projects without interruption. You can also find cubicles in new or used options. You can look at your budget and decide what is worth splurging on and what would be better to buy used, but in the end, buying what’s best for your employees is your best option.

Standing Desks and Better Chairs

When you give your employees comfort and versatility, they will not have to overcome the added obstacle of discomfort. Ergonomic chairs, standing desks, desks with plenty of room, and footrests can all ensure your employees are comfortable enough to tackle the work day. Standing desks, in particular, can help your employees be more productive because switching positions and taking the energy you need to stand can both get the creative juices flowing.

Office Furniture from Indoff Commercial Interiors

At Indoff Commercial Interiors, we carry a variety of office furniture, ranging from quality desks to ergonomic chairs, that can make your office the best place to work. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you!

Optimizing Your Office Desk for Productivity

businesswoman happy sitting on her desk with her arms crossed

Did you know that productivity can be directly related to the environment around us? If your environment is cluttered, clunky, or otherwise distracting, it can affect your productivity, making you distracted as well. Luckily, there are certain ways you can organize your office desks to make them help you be more productive—and there are options to match everyone’s work habits.

Tip #1: Organize and Declutter

No matter what kind of work habits you have, this one is a must. A cluttered, overbearing workspace can really drive you insane. Office desks should be organized, uncluttered, and give you ample space to work. You never know when you’ll need to dig through endless manila folders spread out in an array on your desk or to eat a meal there when you’re swamped. You’ll want a big, organized desk that gives you the freedom to do so.

Tip #2: Keep Everyday Items Where You Can Reach Them

Things like tissue, your coffee mug, pens and paper, your planner, etc., where you can easily reach them. This will make everything more fluid, increasing your productivity and making your workspace more comfortable.

Tip #3: Your Office Desk is Only as Good as Your Chair

If you really want to be comfortable and productive while working, you’ll need a good desk chair that fits your needs. A good desk chair will help with your posture, ensure you’re comfortable even when sitting for long periods of time, and can help increase blood flow, which can be out of whack when you site for a long time. You’ll want a chair that’s ergonomic and comfortable and while we’re at it, matches your office aesthetic.

Tip #4: Use Folders and Desk Organizers

The best way to stay on top of your tasks is to keep everything organized. Manila folders are one of the best ways to keep all of your documents organized. You can even take it a step further and use a desk organizer to keep all of your manila folders organized. You can organize them by importance, date, client name, or whatever it is you need to do in order to keep it together nicely.

Tip #5: Get the Right Desk for You

Whether you need a desk with a ton of drawer space, an l-shaped desk that provides lots of wiggle room, or everything in between, getting the right office desk for you is sure to improve your productivity. If you’re in the market for new office furniture, such as a new desk or chair, Indoff Commercial Interiors has options for you. Contact us today to learn more about what we have to offer!