Tips and Ideas
- NBF Volunteer Events
- Follow NBF
- Four New Ideas from NeoCon 2012
- Tips for Keeping Your Office Furniture Looking Good & Working Smoothly
- Make Fireproof File Cabinets Part of Your Disaster Recovery Plan
- How to Use the Art of Feng Shui to Create a Comfortable & Productive Cubicle
- The Evolution of HON Office Furniture, from the Mad Men-era to Today
- ANSI/BIFMA Testing for Desks
- NBF Opens New Distribution Center in Cleveland
- Health in the Office: The Office Chair as a Medical Device
- The Bestar Connexion Desks
- Why You Should Consider a Standing Desk
- Fun Office Designs
- New Year, New Office Organization
- Do or Don't? Personalizing Your Office or Cubicle
- In Defense of Taking Breaks
- Brand Spotlight: The HON Company
- When Full-Time Employees Have Additional Side Businesses
- How to Know When You're Too Sick to Go to Work
- Solving the Open-Plan Office Conundrum
- How to Use Furniture to Support Your Company Culture
- The Benefits of Faux Leather
- How to Negotiate for a Raise
- Sickness in Collaborative, Open-Plan Offices
- Brand Spotlight: OFM
- Collection Spotlight: The Statesman Collection
- Eco-Friendly Terms and What They Mean
- Brand Spotlight: Martin Furniture
- Tips for Getting Along with Coworkers
- How to Promote Emotional Wellness at Work
- Selecting Seating for Your Healthcare Reception Area
- NBF Presented with I.Q. Award
- How to Create Passionate Employees
- NeoCon: What, Where and When
- The Best of NeoCon 2014
- Trends for Healthcare Spaces at NeoCon 2014
- How to Update Your Outdoor Space
- Brand Spotlight: Trendway
- Collection Spotlight: The At Work Collection by NBF Signature Series
- The Ever-Changing Workplace
- Volunteering in the Workplace
- How to Incorporate Greenery into Your Office Space
- Collection Spotlight: NBF Signature Series Linear Collection
- How to Use NBF Design Services
- Brand Spotlight: By the Yard
- How to Select the Right Color Wood
- Furniture Considerations for Academic Libraries
- Statesman Standing Desks
- Collection Spotlight: The Sauder Via
- The Benefits of Offering Employee Scholarships
- Accessories to Spruce Up Your Office
- How to Stay Focused and on Task
- Collection Spotlight: Physical Therapy Collection from Clinton Industries
- Brand Spotlight: National Office Furniture
- The Benefits of Adjustable Height Desks
- Giving Your Business Curb Appeal
- Office Design Mistakes
- The Benefits of Armless Chairs
- The Benefits of Glass Marker Boards
- The Link Between Workplace Design and Company Identity
- Workplace Wellness: How to Fix Them if They Aren't Working
- Collection Spotlight: NBF Signature Series Contemporary Collection
- It's Time to Stop Hating Our Offices
- How to Dress for an Interview
- Brand Spotlight: LOFTwall
- A Brief History of NBF: 1975-1985
- NBF: Then and Now
- Different Types of Standing Desks
- Why Materials Matter: PVC Free Furniture
- How to Incorporate Artwork into Your Office
- Hoteling the Right Way
- Common Workplace Distractions and How to Avoid Them
- Office Chairs Worth the Splurge
- Healthcare Settings and Wooden Furniture
- A Brief History of NBF: 1985-1995
- How and Why You Should Add a Coffee Bar to Your Workplace
- Our 5 Favorite Virtual Visit Collections
- Meeting Culture: What It Is and How to Improve It
- A Brief History of NBF: 1995 - 2005
- Brand Spotlight: DMI Furniture
- Budget, Commercial, Heirloom: Black Office Collections
- Statement Desks: Our Top Picks
- Employee Benefits: Volunteering
- Collection Spotlight: The Elevation Collection by High Point
- How to Organize Tax Returns
- Top Rated Furniture Solutions
- A Brief History of NBF: 2005-2015
- Budget, Commercial, Heirloom: Traditional Executive Desk
- How to Choose a Filing Cabinet
- NBF Healthcare Furniture Services
- How to Hide and Organize Computer Cords
- Budget, Commercial, Heirloom: Double Bookcases
- Big & Tall Chairs: Our Top Picks
- How We Select Furniture that Works
- 40th Anniversary Celebration at Miller Park
- Introducing New NBF Signature Series Collections
- 2014 NBF Supplier of the Year: National Office Furniture
- Millennials in the Office: How to Adapt to Different Working Methods
- How to Incorporate Your Branding into Your Office Design
- Brand Spotlight - Lesro Industries
- Collection Spotlight: NBF Signature Series Esquire Collection
- Collection Spotlight: NBF Signature Series Specialty Conference Tables
- Collection Spotlight: NBF Signature Series Barista Collection
- Choosing the Right Behavioral Health Furniture
- The Pros and Cons of Standing Meetings
- Collection Spotlight: NBF Signature Series Tabella Collection
- Standing Height Ergonomics
- Healthcare Brand Spotlight: Stance
- How to Get a Standing Desk in Your Office
- 4 Accessories Every Healthcare Facility Needs
- NBF Exclusive Standing Height Solutions
- Seating for Employees Who Stand All Day
- Standing Desks: Simple Desktop Solutions
- Let There Be Light: How We Used Color and Light to Escape a Sea of Beige
- Famous People Who Used Standing Desks
- 5 Lessons Learned From Moving to a New Office
- Now Trending: Tempur-Pedic® Office Chairs
- The Dos and Don'ts of Buying an Office Chair
- Collection Spotlight: NBF Signature Series Array Collection
- Standing Height Solutions for Government Employees
- Where to Splurge and Save on Office Furniture
- 3 Benefits of a Heated Office Chair
- ANSI/BIFMA Testing for Office Chairs
- How to Create a Productive Third Space in Your Office
- Now Trending: Mid-Century Modern Office Furniture
- Fall 2016 Office Decor Forecast
- How to Prevent Office Fires
- Whiteboards: Choosing the Right Dry Erase Board
- How to Decorate with Rustic Décor and Furniture
- 20 Private Offices to Inspire Your Next Makeover
- How to Clean Area Rugs
- How to Prepare for a Medical Emergency in the Office
- Cool, Natural and Warm Tone LED Lighting
- 6 Tips for Keeping Your Office Organized
- 3 Problems the Right Reception Desk Can Solve
- Mid Century Modern Decorating for a Mad Men Inspired Office
- 8 Things to Be Grateful for at Work
- 5 Ways to Show Your Co-Workers You’re Thankful
- 8 Things You Need to Design a Waiting Room That Wows
- How to Set Up a Pediatric Healthcare Facility
- How to Design a Waiting Room That Will Make a Lasting Impression
- How to Set Up a Productive Training Room
- How to Make Guests Feel Welcome in Your Waiting Room
- How to Design a Doctor’s Office Waiting Room
- Collection Spotlight: NBF Signature Series Urban Collection
- The Importance of Patient Centered Design
- Telehealth and the Future of Care
- 2019 NeoCon Trends
- Introduction to Healthcare Furniture and Design
- The "What, When, and How" of Flexible Seating
- Choices, Challenges, and Growth Using Flexible Seating
- Materials for Healthcare Spaces
- Learn More about the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI)
- What Kind of Whiteboard Should I Buy for My Classroom?
- How to Keep Teen and Tween Students Busy During School Breaks
- How to Clean Your School Cafeteria Furniture
- Guide to School Library Furniture
- 3 Benefits to Glass Whiteboards
- Guide to School Desks
- Guide to School Lobby Furniture
- Guide to School Tables
- Guide to School Chairs
- Activity Tables in Every Shape
- All About Fire Proof Files
- 6 November Bulletin Board Ideas
- Guide to Daycare Accessories
- Guide to Lockers
- How to Fight Germs at School
- Cost Effective Design Changes to Fight COVID in Healthcare Spaces
- Easy Improvements for Healthcare Waiting Rooms
- New Trends in Healthcare Design for 2022
- How Should You Welcome New Hires in 2022
- Work From Home Tips
- What to Look for in a Government Furniture Vendor
- Get Government Furniture Purchases Approved: GSA Shopping Tips
- Should You Be Worried About Employees Quiet Quitting?
- Understanding ‘Eco-Friendly’ Furniture Labels
- Understanding Common Green Product Labels in the FTC Green Guides
- Case Studies
- Buying Guides
- Press Releases
Tips and Ideas
Understanding ‘Eco-Friendly’ Furniture Labels
As you shop for office furniture—especially commercial-grade office furniture—you’ll likely come across terms you’ve never heard before. As sustainable products become more popular and we all do our part to contribute to being more intentional stewards of the planet (you can read more about NBF’s sustainability pledge here), furniture manufacturers are partnering more often with third-party agencies to certify the safety and environmental impact (or lack thereof) of their products.
A Greenguard certified product has been tested to ensure that it contributes to and supports better indoor air quality by meeting acceptable pollutant standards. Indoor air pollution has been shown to adversely affect health. Selecting furniture that betters the indoor air quality and limits pollutants is important for healthcare settings, schools, homes, and office environments.
Intertek Green Leaf VOC Certified
Products with the Green Leaf VOC certification have met the furniture emission standards set by Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This certification means that the furniture has been tested for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
VOCs have high vapor pressure at room temperature and can be both man-made and natural. Since indoor VOC emissions can pose long-term health threats to humans and the environment, they are closely regulated by BIFMA and LEED standards to keep them at a safe level. Intertek Green Leaf VOC Certified products are at a safe and environmentally acceptable level.
ANSI/BIFMA Level 1, 2, and 3
ANSI/BIFMA level certifications are based on a set of standards specifically created for the furniture industry. An independent third-party body must be contacted to achieve level certification. These third-party certification bodies then evaluate the products using the ANSI/BIFMA Furniture Sustainability Standards to determine compliance and an appropriate level certification.
Level certifications include level 1 (silver), level 2 (gold), and level 3 (platinum). ANSI/BIFMA Furniture Sustainability Standards evaluate 3 categories; product, facility, and organization. Four major impact areas are considered within each category; materials, energy and atmosphere, human and ecosystem health, and social responsibility.
NSF Protocol P391: General Sustainability Assessment Criteria for Services and Service Providers Certification
NBF is the first furniture service provider to earn this distinguished certification. This certification is based on a point-based system, similar to LEED. Three key areas are evaluated: the environmental impact of the service provider, the labor impact/the health, safety, and employment practices of the service provider, and the community assessment/social responsibility impact of the service provider. NSF certification shows a dedication to sustainability and shows consumers that the service provider meets substantial and rigorous sustainability requirements.
Many furniture manufacturers have begun to prioritize sustainability. These manufacturers have made great efforts to ensure that their furniture is crafted from raw materials from carefully managed farms or plantations. With managed farms and plantations, the raw materials are taken in an environmentally friendly way without any fear of deforestation. Managed farms and plantations also avoid using slow-growing woods like teak, mahogany, and redwood. Their slow-growing nature makes them much less renewable than other types of trees. Martin, one of our most popular brands, implements these sustainable business practices.
SCS Indoor Advantage
This certification is an ANSI accredited program and showcases products that support a healthy indoor environment. Products must meet stringent indoor air quality standards to qualify for certification. SCS Indoor Advantage certification is not specific to furniture products and even applies to flooring.
Going green doesn’t have to be difficult when it comes to your office furniture. At NBF, we aim to make it easy by dealing with manufacturers and offering brands that are committed to sustainability.
Should You Be Worried About Employees Quiet Quitting?
Is quiet quitting the newest cultural buzzword meant to stir up needless panic, or is quiet quitting a legitimate concern for employers? Quiet quitting certainly has a shocking quality that can drive sensationalized narratives pitting employees against employers. However, when viewed diagnostically, quiet quitting can also be a legitimate symptom of workplace misalignment that can empower managers to think more strategically about the impact of work/life balance and employee engagement on the long-term health and vibrancy of an organization.
What Is Quiet Quitting?
Quiet Quitting is the name coined through TikTok videos for doing the exact requirements of your job without going above and beyond those requirements. To be clear, quiet quitting is NOT failing to perform your job—it is simply choosing not to take on MORE than your job.
For example, quiet quitting might look like having clear boundaries around only doing work during working hours and not answering emails after 5pm, on weekends, or while on parental leave or vacation. Not going above and beyond can sound like quitting in a culture that has defined a good work ethic as someone willing to prioritize work at all costs. However, Labor Day, a day we celebrate the hard-won legal rites of the US labor force, is a great time to remember that “all costs” is often far too high a price tag.
Why Is Quiet Quitting Happening?
Employees quiet quitting might be due to their capacity, their engagement, or a mix of both. If your employees have begun quiet quitting due to diminished capacity, your workforce may have a burnout problem (which is not surprising following years of pandemic stress). If your employees have begun quiet quitting due to diminished engagement, you may have a management and culture problem. The good news about both of these problems is that once your leadership team identifies the behavior, they can work toward righting the ship.
Burnout-Driven Quiet Quitting
If the year had an extra month, how would you spend it? Unfortunately, you’re probably already spending it at the office. The US’s hustle culture has Americans working the equivalent of 1–4 months more than Europeans every year. To add insult to injury, 4 months more work does not equal higher productivity as rest is increasingly proven to positively impact efficiency.
The recent rise in conversations around burnout has been the proverbial canary in the quiet-quitting coal mine. Indeed conducted a survey of 1,500 US workers in 2021 that showed 52% were “experiencing burnout.” Burnout, a state of exhaustion resulting from prolonged and ongoing stress, has been part of the workplace culture conversations since the mid-70’s when Herbert Freudenberger identified “dedicated and committed” workers as those most prone to burnout. Unfortunately, while dedication and commitment are excellent characteristics when hiring someone, they can also be at risk of a “burn-out trap” by experiencing both internal pressure to continually help and external pressure to give long hours and full attention, often while receiving compensation that is less than fair.
A study published in 2010 by behavioral economists Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton found that happiness did not increase as one’s salary surpassed $75k a year. However, a negative impact on happiness was correlated with one’s income being less than $75k a year. An annual income of $75k in 2010 would have been equivalent to $89.68k at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. However, the same amount is now equal to just over $102.5k in September 2022 (according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator). Only 34.4% of American households will reach a yearly income of $100k in 2022.
The cost of living in the US has increased by 13% in the last 2 years, and the average 2.5–3% yearly pay increases for workers have failed to keep pace, leaving many with less spendable income than the year prior. This drop in real income is difficult to swallow for a workforce that, when compared to the vast majority of industrialized nations, is working considerably longer hours (up to 25% more), enjoying less paid time off (7 days less per year), and taking shorter lunch breaks.
Since working harder hasn’t increased happiness, productivity, or compensation for the American worker, quiet quitting may mark a shift toward a more European workweek model that allows employees to view rest and boundary setting as essential parts of productivity and long-term physical and mental wellness.
Employee Engagement-Driven Quiet Quitting
Beyond considering compensation and work/life balance needs to guard against burnout, quiet quitting also offers an opportunity to evaluate the health of company culture and employee engagement strategies. Employee engagement is an employee's excitement or emotional connection to their work. Gallup, a trusted US analytics group, has found a direct correlation between high employee engagement numbers, reductions in absenteeism, turnover, and theft, and increases in productivity, safety, production quality, customer loyalty, sales, and profitability. Perhaps even more surprising from Gallup’s data, “70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager.”
Investing in engagement-focused management holds vast potential for workplace impact. Our human pull toward what is meaningful determines our engagement. Employee engagement is fueled by our relationships, our sense of purpose and mission, and our ability to utilize and develop our strengths and skills daily.
Should You Be Worried About Employees Quiet Quitting?
You should have a healthy concern about quiet quitting as an indicator that something is missing the mark in your organization. However, focusing on quiet quitting doesn’t treat the root cause. Instead of focusing on stopping quiet quitting behavior, invest your energy instead in promoting the roaring advancement of your employees by:
respecting rest as a part of the human cycle of productivity
valuing fair and livable compensation
clarifying organizational missions and the purpose of individual work
training relational managers who genuinely care about their team members and have daily meaningful contact
outlining clear development plans that grow employee skills and celebrate unique strengths
Understanding Common Green Product Labels in the FTC Green Guides
Sustainable, eco-friendly, environmentally-friendly, green—the more popular conscious shopping becomes, the more names products seem to have to label their products. What’s in a name? It turns out… a lot. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates claims related to sustainability in order to ensure that companies can’t make deceptive marketing claims related to a product’s sustainability or environmental impact (a practice commonly referred to as “greenwashing”).
Anyone can read the guidance for green labeling in the FTC’s Green Guides. But for most people, reading government guidance is some combination of a snoozefest and a headache. Lucky for you, we’re just the type of people who enjoy reading government guidance and translating the legalese so it’s easy to understand.
Here’s a quick primer to help you understand what product labels like “recyclable,” “made with renewable materials,” and “free of” mean.
Sustainably Terms Commonly Used in Furniture Labeling
As an office furniture retailer, our top priority is to help customers make informed buying decisions. We’ve put together a list of environmental claims you might find on furniture products. The FTC Green Guides provide guidance on claims related to sustainability. Here’s how they determine what a furniture manufacturer can and cannot say about their products.
(This guidance also applies to companies and products outside of furniture.)
What Does ‘Free of’ Mean?
According to the FTC Green Guides, a product labeled “free of” may actually contain a level of that substance. To qualify for “free of” labeling, a product must:
Not have more than trace amounts of that substance or “background levels” of the substance.
Not contain an amount of the substance that can cause harm to consumers. (This applies where consumers tend to associate harm with a substance at a higher level).
Not include any intentional addition of the substance.
When “free of” labeling is considered deceptive:
To label a product “free of” a substance that is not in the product if that substance has never been associated with the product category (For example, it would be weird to label an office chair “free of uranium” because you would never find uranium in office chairs)
To label a product “free of” one substance, but it contains another substance that “poses a similar environmental risk”
What Does ‘Nontoxic’ Mean?
Products labeled “nontoxic” must have credible scientific evidence that the product is safe for humans and the environment.
What Does ‘Recyclable’ Mean?
Recyclable labeling can be used on products that can be recycled at recycling facilities that are available to consumers. If a product requires a recycling facility that is unavailable to 60% of consumers or communities, companies must qualify recycling claims per the FTC Green Guides. The lower the level of availability, the more a company must qualify its recyclability claim.
What does it mean if a product says, “This product may not be recyclable in your area”? It means that recycling facilities for a product are unavailable to at least 60% of consumers or communities.
What does it mean if a product says, “This product is recyclable only in the few communities that have appropriate recycling programs”? Pretty much what the label says. The FTC states that this label should be used when recycling facilities for a given product are only available only to a few consumers.
What Does ‘Recycled Content’ Mean?
Recycled content labeling refers only to materials that “have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process or after consumer use,” according to the FTC Green Guides. Companies should qualify how much of a product is made from recycled materials. For example, you might see a label that says, “Made from 10% recycled material” or “Made from 40% recycled material.” Products that include used, reconditioned, or remanufactured parts must be clearly labeled to avoid deceptive marketing.
What Does ‘Made With Renewable Materials’ Mean?
Renewable materials are natural resources that can be replenished to replace the resources used in a finite period. In the Green Guides, the FTC recommends that companies specify what materials are used to make a product (and how much of the product that material accounts for) in order to avoid deceptive marketing. One example is: “Our flooring is made from 100% bamboo, which grows at the same rate, or faster than we use it.”
Understanding Additional Green Labeling
We’re committed to helping you understand eco-friendly labels no matter what you’re shopping for. You won’t usually find these labels on furniture products, but you may come across them on other products.
What Does ‘Compostable’ Mean?
To claim that a product is compostable, a company needs credible scientific evidence that all the materials can be safely broken down into compost. Compostable labels must indicate whether it’s the product or the packaging that’s compostable. If an item needs to be composted in a commercial compost facility, that must be indicated on the label.
What Does ‘Degradable’ Mean?
A company must be able to prove that the “entire product or package will completely break down and return to nature within a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal,” according to the FTC Green Guides. For solid waste products, the FTC considers a “reasonably short period of time” to mean 1 year.
One additional note: You can’t make claims about items that are “destined” for landfills, incinerators, or recycling facilities because those products will not degrade within a year.
What Do ‘Ozone-Safe’ and ‘Ozone-Friendly’ Mean?
The FTC Green Guides do not define what qualifies as ozone-safe or ozone-friendly. Instead, this label is defined as a negative. The FTC states, “It is deceptive to misrepresent that a product is ozone-friendly or safe for the ozone layer or atmosphere.”
What Does ‘Refillable’ Mean?
To make a “refillable” claim, a company must provide a way to refill the package.
What Does ‘Made With Renewable Energy’ Mean?
To qualify as “made with renewable energy,” 1 of 2 things needs to be true:
A product and its packaging were manufactured using only renewable energy sources (or almost entirely using renewable energy sources).
Renewable energy certificates (RECs) match the fossil fuels that were used.
What doesn’t count as “made with renewable energy”?
Energy is derived from fossil fuels (unless a company purchases renewable energy certificates (RECs) to match energy use).
A company generates renewable energy but sells RECs for all the energy produced.
Other Sustainable Shopping Resources
In addition to FTC guidance, there are 3rd-party agencies that provide certifications that can help guide your conscious shopping. Look for:
How and Why You Should Add a Coffee Bar to Your Workplace
A coffee or café bar can be a wonderful addition to any office. These areas provide a designated location for workers to fuel up throughout the day and encourage workers to take a break to mingle with other employees. These chance encounters, referred to as “collisions,” have been shown to drastically improve the performance of knowledge workers.
Coffee bars in the workplace are a growing trend. You can easily incorporate them into a breakroom using extra counter space or an additional table, in an office corridor, or even in a reception area. A coffee bar doesn’t have to be fancy; it just needs to be an area that is functional, easy to use, and large enough to accommodate more than one person. Let’s look at what’s necessary to add a coffee bar to your workplace.
Ample Surface Space
Some Type of Coffee Maker
Once you have a dedicated space, you need a coffee maker. There are many options available, but make sure the coffee maker can accommodate the number of employees or guests you need to serve.
Fixings for a Great Cup of Coffee
Besides coffee, you should also include everything else necessary to create an ideal cup of coffee. Stock the area with sweeteners, creamer, stirring sticks, and additional coffee filters.
Tables and Chairs to Support EmployeesInclude a table and chair set to support employees looking to take a break.
Office Design and Its Effect on the Face of Your Business
Having trouble attracting new talent to your business? Looking for ways to improve how candidates, employees, and guests perceive your company? Whether you're starting a new business or want to improve an already established company, the physical appearance of your office may have a greater effect on the face of your business than you realize.
Traditional Branding Is a Thing of the Past
If you spend a ton of time and money updating your branded materials, you may want to consider allocating those dollars elsewhere. A study from IPSOS revealed that only 37% of millennials say a company logo impacts their view of a brand, while 72% of office employees ages 55 and older feel the same. In comparison, 82% of millennials say that a company's website somewhat or strongly influences their opinion versus 53% of employees ages 55 and older. If it's you’re after fresh new talent, your logo and branding may not matter as much as it does to baby boomers.
Attractive Interior Design Matters
If logos and other branded materials are losing importance, what can you do to attract those much-needed millennials? The answer is beautiful interior design that reflects your company culture and the image you want your business to exude. The same IPSOS study showed that 76% of millennials ages 18–34 feel that office design and aesthetics somewhat influence or very strongly influence their impression of a company. Women between the ages of 18 and 34 and adults living on the west coast of the United States appear most likely to be positively influenced by good commercial interior design. The research clearly shows that the younger the individual is, the more likely they are to judge your business based on the physical appearance of your office.
Office Employees of All Ages Wish for Change
Attracting millennials to your business is hugely important. After all, they're the face of the future in American business. But with a large portion of the workforce still comprised of Generation X and baby boomers, can you do anything to appeal to everyone? Although older generations don't find good office design "important," interior design implemented correctly will positively impact candidates, employees, and visitors of all ages.
While Gen X employees don't place as much importance on interior design as millennials, design influences their opinion of a business more than it does baby boomers, indicating a gradual trend wherein the younger the employee, the more the physical appearance of your office will come into play when it comes to their overall impression of your business. In fact, 70% of study respondents who work in an office state that they wish their current workplace would consider a design upgrade, suggesting that although a beautiful office may not make or break their decision to work for a certain company, a well-designed space would be appreciated by most.
Whether your business is targeting new millennial employees or you want to give your guests a positive impression of the business, good commercial interior design is a step in the right direction. Consider an office makeover, and check out these 10 office design trends to you started.
How to Create a Welcoming Reception Area
First impressions matter. That’s why creating a waiting room that accurately reflects your business and invites guests to enjoy the space is crucial to the office's overall design. As the first contact point for many potential clients or customers, your reception area says a lot about your company. Here are a few ways to ensure that your waiting room is professional, reflective of your company’s identity, and welcoming.
Give a Warm Welcome
Whether it’s through pops of warm, bright colors on the wall or with furniture that showcases rich wood grains, adding a little warmth to your reception area can go a long way. Warm colors and plush, comfortable textures make the space appear more homelike, making your visitors feel less like intruders and more at ease. You can even add pieces of home décor such as lamps, area rugs, and throw pillows to achieve this effect.
Waiting does not rank highly on anyone’s list of favorite activities. In fact, we’re sure it doesn’t even rank. Therefore, a waiting room is usually not anyone’s favorite place. You can, however, make any wait much more enjoyable by supplying a few sources of entertainment, such as a TV to watch or a collection of magazines and coffee table books to enjoy. You can even go the extra mile by outfitting your reception area with lounge seating or occasional tables with built-in charging capabilities. This will enable guests to keep their mobile devices charged while waiting, increasing the level of entertainment they have access to in your waiting area.
Remember, you want to make your waiting room feel like home, and providing refreshments can give guests a positive impression of your company. It shows thoughtful consideration for your guests’ comfort. It’s important to note that this would not require any of your staff to wait on your visitors—simply having a well-stocked buffet credenza to which visitors can help themselves is enough to impress.
Showcase Your Culture
Each company has its own unique culture and identity. Why not showcase it in your reception area to make it truly memorable for visitors? From incorporating your company colors to adding artwork that exemplifies your brand’s mission statement, bringing your culture into the waiting room will help leave a lasting impression on your guests so they won’t forget your business anytime soon.
How to Set Up a Conference Room
Whether updating an outdated meeting space or outfitting a brand new office, finding conference room furniture that works can be challenging. We've compiled this comprehensive guide to help you easily set up your new conference room.
The Purpose of the Conference Room
Traditionally, a conference room can be either a large or a small room used specifically for meetings and discussions. Conventional conference rooms are also called meeting rooms and boardrooms, and they typically include a table in the center of the room with several chairs surrounding it. Some conference rooms are more dynamic and serve additional purposes, such as a training room, interview room, and/or collaborative workspace, by using mobile modular tables.
Today, many companies with space constraints often elect to use their conference room as a multipurpose space. Flexibility and movement should be the 2 biggest concerns, and the best way to implement both is to invest in multipurpose furniture. This will not only save space but will also increase the efficiency of the layout.
The Size of the Conference Room
Accurately measuring your space is the first step you should take when determining the size of the furniture you need. Account for extrusions (radiators, pipes, etc.) that could interfere with the layout. Take note of door and window placements and how any doors open, as that may affect furniture placement and layout. Overlooking doors can result in a very tight and uncomfortable entrance to their conference room.
Types of Conference Tables
Ovular and racetrack tables provide rounded corners that allow for more seating capacity and easier movement within the space.
Boat-shaped tables provide the best sight lines. The wider middle prevents employees and guests from sitting in a straight line, making it easier to see screens, presentations, and other meeting participants.
For round tables, you'll need to allow a 3-foot walkway around the entire circumference of the table. Round tables can be huge space savers in some rooms, but they can be awkward in other spaces when there is just not enough room for the walkway.
Regardless of table shape, consider a table featuring a power data module. With a power source built into the table, you can easily place projectors, phones, computers, and other electronic devices on the table surface without worrying about wall outlet placements and wire management. Depending on your needs, a table with a power data module can simplify your conference room setup.
Size of Conference Room Tables
The size of your room will be a limiting factor when selecting furniture. Generally, you want to allow 3 feet of space around any furniture to provide a safe and comfortable walkway. Measure your room, then subtract the space needed for the walkway.
If you have a 12’ x 12’ room, subtracting a 3-foot walkway around the entire room gives you 6’ x 6’ of space for furniture. If you only want a table and some chairs in this conference room, you would be able to select and fit a 6’ x 6’ table inside the room but nothing larger. However, a smaller table could be more beneficial if you want multiple furniture options, keeping in mind that the 6’ x 6’ dimensions must fit all of your desired conference room furniture, including credenzas, podiums, and chairs against the walls.
Although a 3-foot walkway is a good minimum, you may need more space depending on the layout of your conference room. The most important thing to remember is the comfort and safety of anyone walking or sitting in the space.
If you want to accommodate a certain number of people in your conference room, you should also apply this rule of thumb: the length of the table measured in feet is also the number of people the table can sit. For example, a 14-foot-long table can fit 14 people—6 on either side and 1 at each end.
Conference chairs are an essential part of every meeting room. They are designed to be comfortable but not overly complex so that meeting participants won't fiddle with complicated ergonomic adjustments during meetings. Since conference chairs are used by so many people, their adjustments are typically limited to seat height and tilt tension. With many different styles, meeting chairs also offer a way to define your space. Consider how the conference chairs will fit at your selected table.
Many offices occasionally need additional seating for their conference rooms. Stacking chairs and nesting chairs are great portable solutions. These should be selected with care as they should still project a professional image and store easily when not needed. Another option, provided ample space, is to line the parameter of your conference room with guest chairs. This can accommodate more people without overwhelming the meeting room with another table.
Whiteboards can be extremely helpful during meetings. Placing one or multiple marker boards in your meeting room will provide much-needed visual space to share and capture ideas. Choose from several styles and sizes, including the increasingly-popular glass boards to fit your room’s needs. Some whiteboards and glass dry erase boards can double as projection screens for presentations. Consider the placement of a whiteboard carefully, as you will want to ensure that everyone in your conference room will have a clear view of it.
Adding storage pieces to your conference room is essential for maintaining a well-organized space. Consider storage furniture that is space-saving and dual-purpose, like credenzas for supply storage behind cabinet doors while providing space on top for meeting materials. Also, consider how or if your storage furniture will need to open. Avoid drawers and doors that bump into other furniture.
Bookshelves give an air of sophistication to a conference room while also displaying important books, collections, and company literature and awards.
AV stands or media centers are necessary to hold TV screens and video/presentation components. Many AV stands allow you to easily adjust the height and tilt of your screen to ensure the comfort of all viewers. Media centers are a wonderful multipurpose option as they include storage spaceand create room for your screen.
Podiums are ideal if your conference room hosts large-scale presentations with speakers. Be sure to plan for enough space to keep the speaker at the podium comfortable.
Consider the ideal projector placement—if you wish to place it on the conference table, a conference table with a power data module would be the best option.
Design and Layout
When designing a conference room, we advise avoiding trendy furniture. Stay away from fads. Instead, go for a clean, timeless look, and you can avoid a costly upgrade for an outdated conference room a few years down the road. If you want to add some trendy colors, décor, or design, do so by adding it in the form of less expensive accent pieces. This way, you can still get the look you want while the conference room as a whole will stand the test of time.
If your conference room has windows, take advantage of the natural lighting. Good lighting, especially natural light, stimulates creativity and productivity. Install window treatments, like blinds, and use them to block out exterior distractions or when privacy is needed.
Finally, don’t overwhelm your space. An artificial plant is often a perfect finishing touch, as it can nicely tie a meeting room together without taking up too much space. Also, be sure to think about your wall space: hang artwork or install some storage furniture, as this can drastically improve the look and feel of a conference room.
Budgeting is vital. Budgeting forces you to decide what is necessary versus what would be nice to have in your conference room. To make the most of your budget, invest in durable, high-quality furniture and take the time to create a room that will stand the test of time.
Sometimes it can also be difficult to envision how your conference room should look. National Business Furniture design services use software that gives an accurate 3D rendering of what your conference room could look like. Using such software, of course, helps to ensure that your project will turn out how you envisioned it.
The Benefits of Providing Hip Chairs in Your Healthcare Waiting Room
Concerned for patients who have difficulty getting into and out of the guest chairs in your medical waiting room? Consider adding hip chairs to your reception area, especially if your healthcare facility sees geriatric, orthopedic, or pregnant patients regularly.
Hip Chairs Offer Easy Access for Patients With Limited Mobility
Hip chairs have a seat height that typically measures around 40”H. Because hip chairs have a much taller seat height than standard guest chairs, they facilitate ingress and egress for patients who have a hard time sitting down and standing back up. Patients can simply lean into a hip chair rather than having to bend down far, which can cause major body strain.
Hip Chairs Lower the Risk of Injury
Not only do hip chairs make the waiting room experience more comfortable for patients, but they can also significantly reduce the risk of injury for the people who need them. Bending to get into a chair is a recipe for disaster for anyone at risk of falling. Hip chairs require less bending and less exertion of energy, making them much easier to get into and out of, thus greatly reducing the risk associated with standard waiting room chairs.
Office Ergonomics and Their Effect on Employee Productivity
A recent study from Kelton Global found that 54% of American office workers believe an uncomfortable workspace would cause them displeasure at work. The same study found that 92% of employees believe an inadequate workstation negatively affects their mental well-being and productivity, indicating a need for comfortable and flexible office furniture. Consider these office options when designing your employee workstations.
Ergonomic Office Chairs
You don’t need to spend a fortune or purchase a unique office chair for every individual in your company. Instead, outfit each workstation with an ergonomic chair that can do it all. Chairs in the NBF Signature Series Perspective collection, for example, feature numerous ergonomic adjustments, a cool mesh back, and various seat material options to support the needs of nearly anyone who sits in them. With more than half of American office workers claiming to feel happier and more productive in a comfortable office chair, selecting seating that can support everyone is a no-brainer.
Ergonomic chairs aren’t the only workstation feature employees want. The study also indicated that 17% of workers report not having flexible desk options such as a standing desk would contribute to a lack of productivity and decrease in overall job satisfaction. Standing height and adjustable height desks are available in many sizes and styles, making them an easy choice for any office. The combination of a stand-up desk and ergonomic chair will enable employees to move freely through the work day, increasing both physical and mental activity.
Closed-off cubicles don’t lend themselves to coworker collaboration, but the open office is no friend of focused work. So what’s the solution? 43% of employed Americans say not having a private space to work would affect their mental wellness, indicating a need for blended workstations that offer both openness and privacy. Furthermore, 1 in 4 employees values flexible areas to work away from their regular workstation. Consider incorporating designated touchdown areas or quiet rooms throughout your office for focused work. This space will allow workers to collaborate freely at their desks while still having the option to get away for some quiet time.
Providing employees with comfortable and flexible workspaces has proven benefits for worker physical and mental health. When a person is physically comfortable and organized, the mind is also comfortable and organized, leading to a boost in job satisfaction and productivity. Support your employees, and they’ll support your business in return.
Furniture Considerations for Academic Libraries
You don’t have to be an avid reader to appreciate the calm, quiet, and studious nature of a well-designed library. Due to how they are used, furnishings in academic libraries must meet particular requirements. Consider these important factors when purchasing furniture items for an academic library.
Durability and Reusability
A library in an academic setting is bound to be open and in use more often than your average library. Search for options that promise long-lasting use and impressive durability. Look for items that are solidly built. Another option is to find a retailer like NBF that offers a lifetime guarantee on most of their products.
Flexibility, Adaptability, and Portability
Today, it’s important for any setting to contemplate patron characteristics. Students and other academics will have vastly different preferences for how they like to work or how they can best study and learn. Furniture that supports different body types and preferred postures can change to suit the user’s preference is always the best option in academic libraries. This way, your library supports and caters to many different work and learning styles. An example would be not only including standing tables and workstations but also lounge-style seating.
As with most environments, balance in design is vital for an academic library. This is especially true when it comes to natural and artificial lighting. Natural light is the most preferable, as it can boost productivity, but artificial light will be needed to ensure that the area is properly lit, thereby avoiding eye strain during evening hours and on rainy days.
One of the most frequent complaints in an academic library, especially one that accommodates college students with laptops, is the shortage of power outlets. Today, many desks come with wire management systems and grommet holes to make charging a laptop a much simpler process. Another concern with technology is simply ensuring that you have the proper desks and equipment to support and store various technology available in your academic library. Some lounge seating options also feature built-in power outlets to help address this problem.
Check out the Academic Library Building Design Resource to learn more about designing the ideal academic library.
How to Properly Position Your Computer Monitor
When it comes to implementing good ergonomics in the workplace, most people instantly think of an ergonomic chair, an adjustable height desk, or even a footrest. But what about the position of your computer monitor? If you’re like most office employees, you use your desktop computer for hours on end every day, but is it set to the most comfortable possible level? Take a look at these quick tips for achieving good positioning of your monitor!
Find the Correct Height
The top of your computer monitor should be about 2” higher than your eye level when seated (or standing at a stand-up desk). If your company doesn’t provide adjustable monitor stands, you can achieve the correct height by standing your monitor on a small stack of books. If you have dual monitors, they should be the same size, set at the same height, and as close together as possible to avoid eye and neck strain. Make sure that both screens are set at the same resolution so that your eyes won’t need to readjust every time you move from one monitor to the next.
Adjust the Brightness of Your Screen
Speaking of screen resolution, make sure that your screen isn’t too bright. Just because your company sets your monitor at a certain brightness doesn’t mean you need to look at that all the time. Staring at a computer monitor all day can cause serious eye strain, so dimming the brightness can help you stay awake and focused.
Don’t Sit Too Close
Remember when your parents used to tell you not to sit so close to the TV? The same goes for your computer. You shouldn’t be hunched over your desk to get as close to your screen as possible, and you shouldn’t be leaning far back into your task chair. The ideal distance from your monitor is about the length of your arm.
Tilt Your Monitor Up or Down
As you read an email or an article online, you shouldn’t need to strain your neck as you read toward the bottom of the page. Tilt your monitor up or down so that your downward viewing angle is no less than 60 degrees.
Keeping your computer screens in the proper position will set you up for success in staying comfortable at your desk. Whether sitting or standing, your monitors should always be in the right place while you work.
Office Design Mistakes
Moving into a new office building? Giving your corporate space a makeover? Although rehabilitating your office interior can be tons of fun, be careful that you don’t fall victim to one of these common design mistakes.
Before jumping into the office design process, properly measure your space to ensure that you get the right furniture and décor. Measure to make sure that your new furniture will fit in your office and that it will fit through your door.
If you’re working from a small home office, a large, fully assembled executive desk may not be the best option. On the other hand, if you’re working in a large executive space and fill it with short bookcases, a compact desk, and small wall art, you’ll make the room look out of proportion. Be sure to also measure walkways so you know you’ll be able to walk around your workspace freely once all of your new furniture is set up and ready to use.
The lighting in your office will greatly affect your mood and, thus, your productivity and level of focus. Because natural light is the best light, try to place your desk near a window so you can reap the benefits of the sun during daylight hours. When it comes to artificial light, just be sure your work area is well illuminated so you aren’t straining to read paperwork.
Picking the Wrong Color Scheme
In design, color is everything. Avoid super-bright tones, as they will make your eyes sore by the end of the work day. Blue is the most productive color, but neutrals with just a pop of your favorite color are always a good choice. Make your color choices interesting without being too intense and calming without being too dull.
Taking on More Than You Can Handle
When it comes to your office renovation, don’t bite off more than you can chew. You may want the dream office you saw on HGTV last week, but taking on a huge project without the proper skills and tools can lead to serious disappointment. If you don’t know your limitations from the beginning, you will likely take shortcuts to get the job done; the finished product will leave a lot to be desired.
Setting an Unrealistic BudgetAlong with knowing your physical limitations for your office rehab project, be sure your finances are in order before pulling out your credit card. Between the furniture, carpeting, décor, and unexpected renovation needs, revamping a home or corporate office be a burden on your budget. Decide how much money you can allocate to each element of your renovation before you begin purchasing products and supplies to ensure that you don’t go overboard. Remember, no matter how well you plan out your renovation, unexpected costs will almost always pop up. Be sure to set aside a little extra cash for just such needs.
Work From Home Tips
Create a Professional Work-From-Home Setup: 10 Tips for a Dream Home Office
The pandemic has brought the "future of work" into the present. Remote work and hybrid work-from-home setups have become ubiquitous. As a result, many people have been forced to design a home office from scratch. If that’s you, you may be wondering, "What is the best home office setup?"
We've been helping individuals and companies create spaces that improve their work for decades. Today, we're rounding up essential tips and tricks to design a home office setup to support your remote work.
Standing Height Solutions for Government Employees
One trend in office furniture for government employees seems to be growing more and more every year—the need for standing furniture solutions. Alternating between sitting and standing has proven time and time again to increase blood flow, which leads to healthier, happier, and more productive employees. It’s no wonder government offices are hopping on the standing height bandwagon. If your government office has already decided to equip its space with standing height solutions, this list of our bestselling GSA-approved standing desks is for you.
Height-Adjustable Table Desks
Take your workspace to new levels with a height-adjustable desk. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, a simple height-adjustable workstation can make a difference in employees' health and happiness. This flexible solution has a small footprint—perfect for multiperson offices that don't have the space for multiple desks per person. A single motor—often with programmable settings—easily operates the desk by pushing a button.
Our Statesman height-adjustable desk includes added storage space for tucking away small supplies and built-in cable management to keep cords and peripherals safely out of the way. Shop our selection of GSA-approved height-adjustable desks.
For an impressive executive office or private suite, adjustable L-desks make a strong statement while providing the benefits of a height-adjustable workstation. Depending on the model, either the return or the entire workspace may be adjustable; choose the solution that works best for you. These options are available in several of our best-selling collections, such as Metropolitan, and can range from simple silhouettes to highly stylized designs.
Create a standing-only workspace or use a static standing desk at a standard height to optimize ergonomic choices while keeping costs down. Standing-height desks sit roughly 42" high to fit a wide variety of statures. They’re available in styles that range from executive chic to simple, compact writing stations. The Urban standing-height desk is a great solution for an industrial-inspired office with an edge.
Articulating monitor arms or standing-height clamp-on arms can provide added height when you're at your desk, making it easy to stand and focus on tasks. Pair these with static or adjustable risers to keep your keyboard and peripherals nearby and ready for use.
Additional options can hold multiple monitors—with some holding as many as 6—to accommodate the setup you need to succeed. Clamp-on, bolted, and grommet-installed options are available to best suit your desk and space.
Get Government Furniture Purchases Approved: GSA Shopping Tips
Follow these tips to make government shopping at the end of the fiscal year (or anytime) a breeze.
Know Your Individual Buying Requirements
The best place to start is to learn the specific buying requirements for your office. An Air Force installation might have different purchasing requirements than a Social Security office or a National Parks Service facility. What makes it even trickier is that even individual Air Force bases or National Parks facilities might even vary in their requirements.
If you can find someone in your office who can point you to a list of your specific purchasing requirements—or if you can identify your local purchasing authority—that might help you focus your furniture shopping on items that are more likely to be approved.
Look for Vendors Who Offer Government Contracts
Take some of the initial headaches out of getting your government purchase approved by shopping with vendors who meet federal acquisition regulations. This is pretty much the bare minimum when it comes to purchasing requirements, so you’ll likely still need to ensure that a product meets your specific set of buying requirements, but it’s a start.
GSA (Federal Contracts)
Department of Navy Furniture BPA
The U.S. Department of Navy (DoN) awarded National Business Furniture a Blanket Purchase Agreement. Spiral III of the Navy's Furniture BPA program went into effect on October 1, 2017, and is set to expire on September 30, 2022. Upon completion of the BPA program, Navy and Marine Corps buyers should complete furniture purchases through GSA contracts.
NBF's Navy BPA (N00189-17-A-0110) product offering mirrors NBF's GSA contract offering.
State and Local Contracts
NBF offers several contracts for use by state and local government agencies, including the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA), Buy Board, and The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS) cooperative purchasing agreements, as well as a California Multiple Award Schedule contract.
Shop for Items That Ship Quickly
Government purchases generally need to be charged when the item ships, rather than when the purchase is made. If you’re trying to use your budget before the end of the fiscal year, you want to look for furniture that’s in stock and can ship quickly, ensuring you won’t lose your budget on a technicality.
Our in-stock products usually deliver within 2 weeks, and many items even ship the same day you order them. Explore “Ships Today” GSA-approved furniture.
How to Shop GSA-Approved Furniture
We’ve got several different ways for you to shop for GSA-approved furniture.
Visit NBF.com/GSA to shop more than 2,000 GSA-contract furniture items. For live GSA pricing, create an account or sign in.
Visit GSAadvantage.gov and search "GS27F0024V."
Call us at 800-588-1010.
Need to meet set-aside purchase requirements? You can purchase NBF products through our network of small business dealers. Email or call us to learn more.
The material on our site is for informational purposes only, is general in nature, and is not a substitute for professional advice regarding specific government purchasing requirements.
Guide to School Library Furniture
A school library is a place for learning and exploration. As such, selecting the right furniture for the space is essential to the library’s success. Take a look at our recommendations for what types of furniture to add to your school's library.
Circulation and reference desks are the centerpieces of the library. These large desks indicate where students can go for help finding reading materials and checking out books. Make sure you select heavy-duty library desks that can withstand high traffic use. Choose a circulation desk option that was truly made for circulation purposes and includes at least one book drop to make re-shelving materials easier for librarians and circulation staff.
Activity tables should be added around open areas of the library so students have a place to sit and study with their notebooks open. Activity tables come in a wide assortment of sizes, shapes, and styles, so shop carefully to determine what will best fit your space and your students' needs.
Library chairs come in several different styles. First, you'll need some basic guest seating alongside your activity tables. You may also decide to incorporate lounge seating in certain areas of your library. Lounge chairs with tablet arms provide a comfortable place for students to sit and study while offering a small writing space for taking notes or holding a beverage.
Bookcases are, of course, an essential part of any library. For a high-traffic area such as a school, we recommend metal bookshelves that can easily withstand daily use for many years. How many bookshelves you need will greatly depend on the size of your school population and the size of the library itself.
Library storage includes lockable cabinets, mobile book carts, AV equipment carts, and more. The number of storage units you'll need will greatly depend on the size of your student population and technology needs. You'll also want to consider your staff’s comfort and equip them with storage that will make them more efficient.
Study carrels are small desks with partitions around 3 of the sides. Study carrels are an ideal addition to school libraries because they provide a private space for students to take tests and work on homework assignments without worrying about wandering classmates' eyes.
Announcement boards are often added to the walls around school libraries so teachers and students can post notes and announcements for the general student population to see. The library is an ideal spot for posting announcements.
Crowd control isn't needed in every school library, but you may want to consider it for a university library or a library in a large school.
What to Look for in a Government Furniture Vendor
You know you need a new desk, a new chair, or a new conference table, and it has to fit government purchasing requirements. But what exactly are those? Choosing a furniture vendor who knows the rules can take the headache out of getting your purchase requests approved. They can even help you find a solution that fits the style you like at a price that’s within your budget. Here’s what to look for in a furniture vendor for government purchases.
The Vendor Offers Government Contracts
Look for companies that offer GSA contracts, Blanket Purchase Agreements, and cooperative purchasing agreements. Availability of these contracts signifies the vendor has taken steps to meet the minimum purchasing requirements for government agencies—sort of like a fishing license but for office furniture.
You will still need to ensure that the products you’re interested in— whether it’s a desk, an office chair, or a sharp-looking bookcase— meet your specific purchasing requirements, but with GSA-approved vendors, much of the compliance legwork has already been done for you. That means there might be fewer steps for you to receive approval for your purchase.
Does NBF offer government contracts?
Yes, we hold several government contracts, including:
GSA Contract (GS-27F-0024V)
Department of Navy Furniture Blanket Purchase Agreement (N00189-17-A-0110)
Purchase contracts for state and local government agencies
Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA)
Buy Board Cooperative Purchasing
California Multiple Award Schedule
The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS)
Want to learn more about a specific contract? Check out the NBF Government Sales Program for more information.
The Vendor Stands Behind Their Furniture
One of the requirements for GSA-approved office furniture is that the products need to be tested to ANSI/BIFMA standards. This indicates the furniture meets commercial-grade standards and can withstand the wear and tear of a commercial office environment.
Some GSA and government furniture vendors will go further, offering some kind of warranty or guarantee for their products. That way you can rest assured that you’re buying a quality product, and if something happens, the company will back it up.
What kind of guarantee does NBF offer?
NBF offers a Lifetime Guarantee on many of our products. If there are any problems with the quality or workmanship of your purchase, we will adjust, repair, or replace the item to your satisfaction. Learn more about the NBF Lifetime Guarantee.
The Vendor Provides Robust Customer Service
Your purchases have more requirements than someone looking to upgrade their work-from-home desk. You might need more support, and that’s okay. Look for a company that can provide it.
Have questions while you’re shopping for government purchases at NBF?
Call us. Our furniture experts are standing by to help you with any questions you have or challenges you’re facing. When you call NBF, you won’t wait in a call queue—your call will be answered by a furniture expert.
With an average of 9 years of experience, our customer support team is trained to handle the special challenges facing government customers. We’ll help you identify whether or not a product meets your specific buying requirements, budget, or timeframe. We pride ourselves on being a team of helpful experts who care.
Prefer to talk on the phone? Call us at 800-588-1010.
Prefer written communication? Fill out this form.
And our support doesn’t stop there. When you shop with NBF, you can also expect:
Fast response on quotes: Our team responds to most quote requests in 2 hours or less.
Full-service installation: An experienced staff of installation professionals is available to set up your office—no matter how big or small your order is.
They Offer Support for Larger Projects
If you’re working on a larger project like an update to your workstations or a redesign for your conference rooms/reception area, you need a furniture vendor who provides additional support. Look for a furniture vendor who offers samples, swatches, and space planning services.
What design support does NBF offer?
They’ve Done This Before
The more experience a furniture vendor has working with government agencies, the more support they’ll be able to provide you. That includes helping you identify which products meet your purchasing requirements, fit your budget, and will ship in the timeframe that you need them.
The NBF Difference
We’ve been helping government buyers find the perfect furnishing solutions for more than 45 years, and we’re used to working on a large scale, processing more than 20,000 government orders each year.
Ready to Start Shopping?
Easily peruse GSA-approved products to make your shopping and buying experience a breeze.
Not sure what you need yet? Shop all GSA furniture.
The material on our site is for informational purposes only, is general in nature, and is not a substitute for professional advice regarding specific government purchasing requirements.
What's the Difference Between Standard vs. Counter vs. Bar Height Stools?
You may have recently read our guide to table heights and wondered to yourself, “But what chair size do I use with these tables?” Put simply, counter height stools go with counter height tables, and bar height stools go with bar height tables. But, of course, decision-making is never that easy, is it?
Often, chairs and stools aren’t listed as counter or bar height, and you’re left to guess. If you’re on the hunt for new chairs or stools for your breakroom, basement, kitchen, or café, let this be your guide.
In short, the difference between standard, counter height, and bar height stools is the height of the stool, of course. Below, we've highlighted the height ranges for each, from shortest to tallest:
Standard Chair Height: 16” to 23”H at the seat
Counter Height: 24” to 27”H at the seat
Bar Height: 28” to 33”H at the seat
First, we recommend you start by pulling out your tape measure and measuring the height of your bar, table, or countertop. This will ensure that you have the accurate height of your table or countertop to know which barstool type will fit best:
Table Height: is 30”H
Counter Height: 36”H
Bar Height: 42”H
Once you know the height of your table or countertop, choose a coordinating stool that will put you at the perfect height. There's a stool style that's suited for every table.
Standard Height Chairs
How tall are standard height cafe stools?
Typically measure 16" to 23" high at the seat
Great for traditional break or lunchroom tables
Easy to stack and transport
Available in upholstered and unupholstered options
Standard size chairs, also known as table height chairs, are the easiest to select since they are made for use at a standard height table which measures 28” to 30” high. Café chairs typically measure around 16” to 23” high at the seat and can be found in almost any style. The word standard appears frequently and is an important distinction, so make sure you know which stool you need by measuring your table first. You don't want to guesstimate on this one!
Counter Height Stools
How tall are counter height stools?
Typically measure 24" to 27" high at the seat
Designed for counter height tables between 35" to 39" high
Great for built-in overhangs on counters
Shorter than stools and tables seen in restaurants or bars
Counter height stools are taller than chairs and typically measure 24” to 27” high at the seat. These stools are designed to be used at counter height tables, which measure between 35” to 39” high. This type of stool is shorter than you might see at a restaurant or bar, but counter height stools are often ideal for use in residential settings or office breakrooms. A mixture of standard and counter height tables gives employees options for their seating and can be a visually appealing break from the traditional breakroom.
Bar Height Stools
How tall are bar height stools?
Typically measure 28" to 33" high at the seat
Designed for counters and tables 41" to 43" high
Often a bit too tall for counter-height tables or counters
Commonly seen in bars and restaurants
Bar-height stools are the tallest on this list, usually measuring between 28” to 33” high at the seat. This type of seating is usually what you’ll find in restaurants and bars and is best used with bar height tables that measure 41” to 43” high.To learn more about what type of breakroom seating best suits your space, reach out to our furniture experts at (866) 427-2615. Shop some of our bestselling standard, counter height, and bar height stools below or explore NBF's various Signature Series collections to find a fit for your space.