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
- Questions to Ask When Starting an Office Design Project
- Guide to Classroom Layouts
- The Navy BPA Program Has Ended: What to Know
- Office Olympics Ideas
- How to Clean Leather Furniture
- Laptop Desk Buying Guide
- Types of File Cabinets
- Desktop Computer Desk Buying Guide
- The Biggest 4-Day Workweek Study Has Reached Its Midpoint, And Reported Data Is Overwhelmingly Positive
- How to Ask Your Employer for a Home Office Stipend
- 12 Pointers for Successfully Negotiating a Commercial Lease
- How to Get Office Furniture Requests Approved: A 3-Step Guide
- What to Know About Millennials in the Office
- How to Find the Perfect L-Shaped Desk
- The Employer’s Guide to Home Office Stipends
- Self-Employed? Save on Taxes With a Home Office Deduction
- The Power of Spaces
- How to Design an Office That Works the Way You Do
- What to Consider for Workstation Planning
- What’s the Point of the Office in 2023?
- How Much Office Space Do You Need? An Easy Guide to Estimating Square Footage
- Should You Finance Your Office Furniture? Pros and Cons
- Designing the Ideal Hot Desking Office: 5 Pointers
- Designing an Office That Helps Introverts and Extroverts Thrive
- Case Studies
- Buying Guides
- Press Releases
Tips and Ideas
The Ever-Changing Workplace
The Ever-Changing Workplace
The workplace is changing. Most of these changes aim to improve employee life and, in turn, their productivity. Here’s a look at the changes taking shape and how they will affect workers as more companies take note.
Balance of Private and Public Working Spaces
After a huge migration toward open-plan spaces in order to ditch the cubicle, many companies have found that this setup isn’t as desirable as they were led to believe. While open-plan designs allow for more collaboration, other downfalls include a lack of privacy and more distractions.
Today, many workplaces aim to find a balance in their working environments. Most of the research supports that most employees, especially those of an introverted nature, prefer to have a balance and, more importantly, a choice where they perform certain work tasks. While completing some work tasks in a large collaborative space may be better, other independent tasks require more privacy and quiet to allow full concentration. Having the autonomy to choose has been shown to increase workers’ productivity. Turns out, employees might just know best when it comes to where they work most effectively. More companies are entrusting them to make that decision.
More Flexibility and Better Work-Life Balance
As more millennials flood the workforce, companies recognize a shift in workers’ priorities. For example, millennials place a larger emphasis on flexibility compared to other generations. Many millennials say they would sacrifice salary if it meant having a more flexible work schedule.
With more of the workforce looking for flexible positions that promise better work-life balance, more employers are likely to respond due to the worry of missing out on top talent. Technology also allows for more flexible working schedules as it grows better and more reliable. Many companies are offering the option to work from home.
Greater Concern About Health and WellnessIt is probably safe to say that most companies now understand the importance of keeping employees healthy and happy. Not only will happy employees be more productive and more loyal, but they are also sure to impact the bottom line in a beneficial, positive way. It’s simply good business to keep employees happy and healthy. More companies offer wellness programs or benefits that encourage employees to stay active. Other employers consider their office environment and how it supports workers’ health and makes the necessary changes, whether it’s incorporating standing desks into the workplace or holding the occasional standing meeting.
Big & Tall Chairs: Our Top Picks
The Guide to Big and Tall Chairs
If you’re of a larger stature, then a big and tall office chair will keep you much more comfortable while you work than a standard-size seating option. Big and tall chairs are designed to hold more than 250 pounds of evenly distributed weight, and they’re the ideal choice for users taller than 6 feet. Check out our top picks for big and tall chairs.
The Stamford Faux Leather Big and Tall Chair
This faux leather executive chair supports larger users without sacrificing style. The faux leather upholstery is soft to the touch for a rich feel, and the hardwood framework artfully complements it. These features work together to create a look that is regal and professional.
The Space Big and Tall Mesh Chair
If you’re looking for a big and tall chair that will breathe, this is the one. With a mesh back and padded mesh seat, this chair allows airflow that prevents the user from becoming overheated after multiple seated hours. This chair also comes with adjustable seat height, lumbar support, arm height, arm width, tilt lock, tilt tension, and knee tilt controls to help you locate the best possible position for your body.
The Executive 24/7 Intensive Use Genuine Leather Chair
This is the Cadillac of big and tall chairs.
With a 550-pound weight capacity and an extra-sturdy 7-leg base, it was designed to stand up to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Due to its intensive use construction, this chair is ideal for settings such as dispatch centers where a single chair gets used by multiple people across shifts all day long. Myriad ergonomic adjustments and genuine leather upholstery make it one of the most comfortable chairs we offer.
The Linear Big and Tall Memory Foam Stool
Whether you’re an artist working at a drafting table or want to switch from standing to sitting easily at your standing-height desk, stools also come in big and tall varieties. This NBF Signature Series stool features a mesh back for breathable comfort and adjustable armrests for support. The foot ring is also adjustable so users of different heights can rest their feet comfortably.
The Omega Faux Leather Guest ChairYou’re not the only person in your office who wants to feel comfortable. Be sure every guest who visits your company is offered a seat that will support them. The Officient Omega Guest Chair does just that: it supports up to 350 pounds and offers plush support with its padded cushions and faux leather upholstery.
What Size Office Chair Should I Get?
What Size Office Chair Should I Get?
It’s a common misconception that office chairs come in a one-size-fits-all size. On the contrary, task seating is designed to accommodate people of specific body types. Every individual is unique, so finding the correct chair for your body type is essential. Read on to determine what size chair will be best for you.
Standard-Size Office Chairs
Most people will feel comfortable using a standard-size office chair. Commercial-grade office chairs are designed to support up to 250 pounds and are usually comfortable for people between 5’ 5” and 6’ 0” tall. Although standard-size office chairs are ideal for most individuals, there are many other factors to consider when selecting which chair to purchase. Look at the height of the back of the chair and the ergonomic adjustments available when determining whether an option will work for you. Proper ergonomics are important not only in standard-size office chairs but in all office chairs.
Petite Office Chairs
Most petite office chairs can still support up to 250 pounds, but these seating options are designed with a shorter cylinder and a smaller seat pan to accommodate individuals who are 5’ 4” or shorter. For petite people, a standard-size seat pan will often hit the back of the knee uncomfortably, while a too-tall cylinder will leave the feet dangling off the ground without help from a footrest. Petite chairs scale everything down, allowing shorter users to experience the same level of support as standard chair users.
Big and Tall Office ChairsThere are big and tall chairs for individuals 6’ 0” or taller or weighing more than 250 pounds. These chairs are designed with larger seats and backs and higher-reaching cylinders to support users of larger stature. The base of these chairs is typically reinforced, making it more durable than the base of standard-size office chairs in order to support more weight.
Wire Management for Your Conference Room
Wire Management for Your Conference Room
Keeping cables at bay is an oft-overlooked part of creating a beautiful conference room or meeting space. While it may be an aesthetic choice, it's also a safety measure. Great cable management keeps workspaces clean and pathways clear so you can stay focused on the big ideas.
When purchasing conference tables and credenzas, look for pieces designed with tech in mind. Grommets are a no-brainer for keeping conference phone cords out of sight, allowing power adapters and connectors to run beneath the table instead of out in the open.
Keep your devices powered thanks to tables with integrated plugs and USB ports. Self-storing, out-of-the-way power modules may be built into the surface of the table or along the sides so laptops, phones, and tablets can stay up and running during marathon meetings and brainstorming sessions.
Safe and Streamlined
Where there are cables, there are outlets, and sometimes they're not in the most convenient places. Avoid trip hazards and enhance workplace safety by keeping grounded cords out of the way and well-organized. If you're planning a renovation or refresh, consider installing additional outlets in areas beneath conference tables or behind credenzas.
On-the-ground cable covers are necessary for keeping data and power cables in line and are designed to be low-profile to reduce trips and falls. Consider adding baseboard or corner raceways to create smooth, out-of-the-way paths to outlets and data ports. When running cables through the walls isn't an option, keeping wires concealed is the second best choice for workplace safety.
As your technology needs change and grow, retrofit existing furniture pieces. Quick and inexpensive fixes, such as stick-on cable clips or Velcro closures, are easy to mount to smooth surfaces and offer semi-permanent solutions. Cable sleeves and spirals, as well as under-table baskets, make for easy ways to consolidate cords into a singular, streamlined run.
Use adhesives or screws to mount power strips beneath tables or behind credenzas for easy, expandable power that can accommodate any number of temporary or constant usage needs. Choose power strips rated as surge protectors to protect against unexpected electrical spikes.
There's no shortage of programs and apps that allow your computer to communicate with televisions and presentation screens. Skip the HDMI cable and share your screen during presentations or keep your computer on an out-of-the-way credenza and control the screen with a wireless keyboard and mouse.Keep televisions mounted on the wall to save on counter space and opt to run cables through the wall instead of down it. Take your screen on the go with a mobile monitor cart, allowing you to roll your television out of sight and out of mind when you're going analog.
Create a Comfortable, Productive, and Personalized WFH Space
Create a Comfortable, Productive, and Personalized WFH Space
Create a comfortable, productive, and personalized work-from-home workspace. A few quick changes can make all the difference:
Level up your office organization by taking advantage of vertical space, allowing for more supply storage as well as a little decorative flair
Make the most of your desktop with compact L-shaped desks that can fit snugly in a corner
Create mixed-use spaces with furniture that can get the job done during the workday but move out of the way while the room serves a different purpose
Use bins, baskets, and desktop organizers to DIY your storage in a way that's functional and fun
Workplace Wellness 101: Life is a Balancing Act
Work/Life Balance When Working From Home
When work makes its way into the living space, it starts to feel as if work is everywhere. Work/life balance has always been a challenge, but it’s especially difficult to conceptualize and enforce when working from home.
While it might feel like work is everywhere and everywhere is work, that's just not the case. Acknowledging your needs, enforcing your boundaries, and remembering you're only human is the start of creating a healthy relationship with work, even when it's so close to everyday life.
NBF partnered with Kelton Global to survey more than 1,000 American workers. We examined how people feel about their work-from-home workspaces and what they need to make their days better and brighter using a combination of finding the right furniture, designing a beautiful workspace, and building behaviors that can create long-lasting workplace wellness.
Ergonomics Are Essential
At the office, your company chose desks, chairs, and supplies they thought were ideal for the entire company. At home, you might not have these workplace essentials ready to go. As you settle into your workspace, consider furniture that is a net benefit for physical health.
We found that 22% of those frustrated with their current space are using outdated furnishings or equipment that impact productivity. Meanwhile, 3 in 10 believe their workspace needs an upgrade. If you're part of either group, make sure that your new-and-improved setup is doing its best to help you stay on task.
Take a Seat
It's no surprise that seating is a constant struggle for work-from-home employees. As you look for the right seat, you aren't bound by traditional office options. Consider finding a task chair with the same support and features that are staples of workplace seating.
Size and Shape
While the colors and styles are endless, a few standard materials are used in office furniture. Polyurethane and other faux leathers are easy to clean and durable, while real leather is a luxurious option for an elevated office. Cooling mesh can make working a breeze, and fabric can add style without sticking to your skin.
The right combination of adjustments can make your workday experience feel like a dream. Mix and match the right tilt (synchro, knee, or center), lumbar support, arm movements, and seat depth that works for you.
From traditional tables to storage-rich setups, desks come in a wide array of configurations and features to help you customize your workspace. No matter what size space you're working with, there are endless options to fit every floor plan, design scheme, and budget.
Standard-height desks are the standard for a reason, but people are turning to standing-height solutions for an added ergonomic benefit. Height-adjustable options marry the best of both worlds for those who like to sit or stand at any stature.
Coordinating hutches, both big and small, are there for your right-at-hand needs. These can occupy valuable vertical real estate to further enhance small space work areas.
Set (and Stick to) Boundaries
The boundaries you set with management, coworkers, and yourself will determine the success of your work/life balance. Likewise, leaving loopholes, creating exceptions, and relaxing boundaries can quickly erode any positive groundwork.
After determining reasonable boundaries, communicate them to managers and colleagues. Then? Stick to them. Calendar programs often can set available hours to establish a rough guideline that's visible to everybody, while other nuanced boundaries may need more direct communication.
Determine what hours are available for meetings and reasonable for responding to emails, calls, and instant messages.
Decide whether you will check incoming communication during nights or weekends. It's OK if you keep all work-related communication to working hours only.
Select what applications you'd like to install on personal devices and set notifications to correlate with your available hours.
Realize that it's OK to keep work time separate from personal time. If possible, determine who can take care of emergencies in your absence should you be unreachable.
Build a Routine
Thoughtful boundaries will naturally establish a workday and workweek routine. Once your working hours are defined, begin to schedule important activities at easy-to-anticipate times—and don’t forget to include what's important to you. These little rituals can have a big impact on workday happiness.
Find the right way to start your day on a positive note. Brew a great cup of coffee, tidy up your desk, or do a quick sweep of your mailbox while listening to your favorite podcast.
Take a Break
Real, scheduled breaks can feel like a luxury when working from home. Build in time for lunch, a quick walk, or any necessary appointments that might conflict with the workday. Even a 15-minute meditation session can make its way into the daily routine as a way to clear your mind and get ready for the next task.
Add a Little Personal Time
While it's ill-advised to blend your work life and personal life too much, it's OK to schedule some time to accomplish a household chore during the day. Use one of your breaks to run a recurring errand or quickly tidy part of your house without feeling guilty for wasting work time.
Make a Perfect Playlist
Everybody has a different ideal soundtrack for their workday. Find a great auto-generated playlist, explore curated collections on your favorite streaming service, or subscribe to a podcast you can play in the background. White noise apps are another great way to keep the room tone lively without adding distracting words or lyrics.
Wrap Up and Wind Down
Ease your way out of the workday mindset with a relaxing task that will leave you in tip-top shape for the next day. Take the last 15 minutes to leave your workspace organized, sterilized, and clean so that your early morning self can start the day off right.
Need a Helping Hand?
When you're alone at home, it's easy to forget that resources are available through your employer.
Employee Assistance Programs
Employee assistance programs (EAPs) aren't all created equal, but look into what your company offers and keep these benefits in mind. Some EAPs offer free counseling for workplace and personal issues, which can be used as a singular solution or a stepping stone to additional help. Childcare support, legal advice, and gym discounts are commonly available in EAPs, but these programs differ from company to company.
Talk to Your Manager
The pandemic presented a new set of challenges that impacted every employee differently. Discuss your needs with your manager, including how your personal needs intersect with and affect your work. Accommodations can be made to ensure that employees' professional success and mental health are all accounted for, but sometimes this takes input from one's supervisor or human resources.
The Power of Paint in Office Spaces
The Design Guide for Painting Your Office
The shade of paint you choose can make or break a space. The all-around wrong color, clashing accents, mismatched lighting, and myriad reasons can create a disaster that's all-surrounding during the workday. As you choose your color palette for your home office or corporate workspace, consider the factors that go into a great color scheme that becomes the foundation for a great workspace.
It doesn't matter if you're a small business or a corporate giant—designing a professional office space is less about one's personal taste and more about what's best for everybody. Sure, this sounds like it might be a bit restrictive, but that doesn't make any of your choices any less meaningful.
Consult a Professional
An educated and experienced interior designer will have a wealth of knowledge and recommendations for your space. There's no harm in reaching out to a person who's used to finding the right fit; in the long run, it's worth it. Especially if you're painting multiple rooms, a designer or planner will know how to tell a visual story that compliments your entire office.
Try Before You Buy
No matter who is calling the shots, paint samples are vital to better understand your choices. While conventional paint chips might help, if larger swatches are available, take advantage of them.
Your primary color will probably be a variation of off-white, light gray, or a faint taupe, and that's not just OK—it's advisable. These no-nonsense colors are tried and true, though they're not as harsh as a bright white.
Agreeable and Accessible
Be mindful of different employees' needs that may be applicable now or possibly down the road. For instance, colorblindness can affect the way a person perceives bolder accents. People with visual impairments may need an emphasis on bright spaces and proper lighting. Even if this doesn't apply to your current staff, looking toward the future is never ill-advised.
Different Space, Different Mood
The open office isn't the only space worthy of consideration. Think about how your paint choices tell a story throughout the office, and aim for a cohesive experience that won't distract employees or guests. Be particularly mindful of your reception area. For workers, it's symbolic of the start of the business day, but for guests, it's necessary to make a great first impression with tasteful design.
If you have a big room, it's a given that you have big walls. If you're trying to add an accent wall, avoid doing so on any wall close to employee desking. Entryways, nooks, or infrequently used spaces can benefit from an accent that doesn't overwhelm you. Especially in a main space, consider using your company's colors to offset the ubiquitous neutrals.
Consider Your Upholstery
Are you designing your color palette around your furniture, or are you designing your furniture around your palette? Make sure all choices are well-coordinated, and you're not pairing cool and warm tones that will clash and distract. Be mindful of upholstery on seating or even on cubicle panels.
Creative Conference Rooms
Especially if your business has a plethora of conference rooms, this is a great opportunity to get creative with your color schemes and furniture choices. While you'll certainly want to reserve one as a highly professional space, use smaller collaboration areas to choose interesting colors or out-of-the-box furniture without committing to a large space.
The VIP Treatment
Allow incoming leaders to personalize their private office. Use a wall that isn't completely occupied by large furniture as an accent wall. When one person leaves and another person moves in, ask them what color they'd like it painted. It's a personal touch that won't break the bank or take up too much time.
There's a big difference between an office designed by you, for you and a multiperson office that needs to appeal to all. While you have a lot less space but a lot more flexibility, several considerations can still improve productivity, increase energy, and promote workday wellness.
Push the Boundaries of Neutral
Eggshell, ivory, and alabaster are played out shades of off-white that can stay in the past. In the home and the home office, neutral color palettes can play with different shades of gray and taupe. More daringly, a pastel palette can create a peaceful atmosphere in your workspace that's far from drab.
Invigorate With Paint
If you're trying to create a high-energy space, ditch the neutrals and pastels and embrace bolder, more stimulating colors. If your space allows, use a combination of palatable neutrals and exciting hues for accent walls or details.
Dark Colors Aren’t Dull
For some, dark paint colors can make a room feel serious or studious, which may be what you're going for. If this fits your personality, don't shy away from working with deeper tones to get the right look. If you're working within a small space, try to mix dark and light colors on different walls to keep the space from feeling too cramped.
Avoid Antagonistic Colors
As you work your way through the rainbow, there are a few less-advisable colors to avoid. For instance, reds are known to inspire anger and intensity.
Accent colors aren't just reserved for accent walls. Baseboards, molding, fixtures, and other odds and ends are often painted. If you're going to deviate from your wall colors, make sure that you pay attention to these bonus colors so that they don't stand out negatively.
Let There Be Light
If you're lucky, your at-home workspace will benefit from natural light. Even when the sun goes down, there are still major considerations with what lighting you use. Whether overhead lighting or dedicated task lighting, choose light bulbs that fuel your mood. Some people enjoy brighter blue-toned bulbs while others benefit from softer, more docile tones. Not sure? Your smartphone can control many digital light bulbs to find the perfect balance.
We perceive color differently as we age. If you're designing for the long haul, go with a color and design scheme that will be pleasing as you advance. This is particularly true if you're putting together an office for an elderly person. If you've got multiple occupants, collaborate on your palette to ensure it's pleasant for everyone.
Millennials in the Office: How to Adapt to Different Working Methods
Millennials in the Office: How to Adapt to Different Working Methods
Millennials are often said to work differently than the generations before them. If you need evidence of this, you don’t have to go too to find it.
Consider the San Francisco 49ers. This football team consists almost exclusively of millennials—all talented athletes in their prime. According to an article published in The Wall Street Journal, the traditional ways of coaching were no longer working for the team. After consulting with Stanford University researchers, the 49ers coaching staff implemented a few changes to better suit these millennials' preferred working and learning habits. These changes are all aimed at helping millennials to train and perform better.
Why is it important to note what this NFL team is doing? Soon, millennials will account for the majority of the workforce, and helping them to work at their best will be in the best interests of all employers. Here are a few strategies you can implement to help those with different preferred working and learning habits:
Make Meetings Shorter
One of the first changes the coaching staff made was to trim their standard 2-hour meetings into 4 30-minute meetings with breaks between each. Chances are, many workplaces could benefit from shorter meetings. In fact, too-long meetings are one of the most common grievances among employees, no matter what industry they work in.
A good way to judge if meetings are too long or perhaps too frequent is to take stock of your meeting culture. Also, make sure your meetings end with each team member having targeted action items to complete. This ensures meetings will be productive and can also help keep team members on task and organized.
Give the Option for Breaks
Breaks have been proven to help with the productivity of all employees, not just millennials, so this change is bound to help everyone. Whether it’s having a coffee bar area set up for workers to take a break and refuel or encouraging employees to take a quick walk when they feel overwhelmed, having a space where taking a break is tolerated and not looked down on can really help employees feel more refreshed and be more productive. The 49ers saw better focus and performance by instituting more breaks—even if the athletes did not always take said breaks.
Allow Access to Information
The millennial generation has also been dubbed “the iPhone generation” for a reason—they like being connected and feel the need to access instant information. Allowing millennials to access cell phones and the internet can help them feel inspired and motivated. Constant access to information doesn’t have to be distracting when combined with the freedom to take a few short breaks here and there.
Now Trending: Driftwood Finishes
Now Trending: Driftwood Finishes
Neutral colors will always be in style, and gray has been a clear front-runner for modern offices that find black depressingly dark and white blindingly bright. The trend toward gray has moved from being just a shade you paint on the walls to being a color you can use as a base anywhere, from the upholstery on chairs to the finish on your desk. In fact, we’ve seen more gray ash desks and tables over the last couple of years that have a weathered, driftwood-like appearance. With this finish, you can still get the beautiful wood grain look you love but in a soft, neutral shade that will look good when paired with just about any other color.
In an Office
The rustic look of gray ash gives it a homelike appearance, making it a great choice in an office. Whether in an open-concept workstation or a private office, you probably spend a lot of time at work. In fact, many office employees spend more waking hours in the office than they do at their residences. Making your office feel a little more like home is a great way to boost your mood and, by extension, your productivity.
In a Waiting Room
In the same way that you want your office to feel like home, you want to give your guests a warm welcome as soon as they walk into your reception area, which is just what this finish helps achieve. Not only does the color give off a soft look, but it can also be paired with any accent color when you want to turn up the volume. Pair it with bright green accents for a bold look or subdued blue for a calm, serene appearance. No matter what look you’re going for, this color delivers.
In a Conference Room
Conference tables and storage units in ashy gray tones are attractive but not overly distracting. This makes them a great choice for use in a conference room wherein the goal is to create a professional look without taking away from the importance of your meetings.
Similar Washed-out Wood TonesYou still have options if you want a little more color in your work life but love that soft, washed-out look. The NBF Signature Series Metropolitan collection comes in a boardwalk walnut color that’s light and rich at the same time, closer to brown than gray. If you want to go even lighter, the At Work collection comes in a Warm Ash finish that’s practically blonde, giving you a light, airy look that’s more intriguing than plain white.
The Pros and Cons of Standing Meetings
The Pros and Cons of Standing Meetings
It’s a fact of life—we sit, and we do a lot of it, especially at work. Unfortunately, our sedentary habits come with a cost—negative health effects. Research has shown us how much we can benefit by merely standing for short periods. In fact, research has shown that balance and moderation of both sitting and standing is the way to go to have healthy and effective working habits.
One way to incorporate more standing into your daily routine is to have standing meetings. These meetings have advantages and disadvantages. While attendees of standing meetings tend to be more focused on the task at hand, they are not always the most efficient. Occasionally, standing does not allow us to work in the ways we need to, such as when it comes to stooping over to take notes. Standing meetings help us get moving and ward off negative health effects, but they simply are not appropriate for all meetings.It’s best to offer a variety of meeting rooms or perhaps just one that lends itself to many different uses, from holding standing brainstorming sessions to hour-long executive meetings. Of course, furniture is a critical component when it comes to creating these rooms, as it shapes so much of the room’s purpose and potential. Know that everyone works and meets differently, so offering a varied approach to meeting settings is ideal for holding productive meetings—no matter which variety they may be.
Standing Height Ergonomics
You’ve added a standing desk to your workspace to help ward off the negative health consequences of sitting all day. You’re now consistently moving and incorporating a balance of sitting and standing. But have you forgotten about ergonomics? While a balance of sitting and standing is the most important, you’ll also want to consider the height of your workstation, the position of your monitors and keyboard, and your ergonomic chair adjustments to make sure that your body is fully supported whether you’re taking a stand or sitting for a bit.
Set Your Workstation at the Proper Height
Your workstation should not cause you to strain to reach something high or low. If you are reaching to look up or down, it can cause a lot of strain on your shoulders, neck, and back. An adjustable-height desk allows you to move the workstation up or down to accommodate your height. You will want to position your workstation (including your keyboard) so your arms are parallel to the ground while typing (no stress on elbows or shoulders) and you're not looking up or down at monitors but instead straight ahead, keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed. It's recommended that your monitor is placed about arm’s length from your face.
Standing at your desk for the recommended amount of time isn't enough—you'll need to be sure you are standing correctly. Otherwise, you may still experience those aches and pains you’ve been trying to avoid. Having your monitor at the right angle and your workstation at the right height will help, but remember to keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Avoid reaching above or behind the shoulder line. Avoid crossing your legs in any matter when standing and avoid locking your knees—both of these movements can disrupt blood flow. Instead, keep your feet pointed toward your workstation and your knees loose and comfortable.
Consider Your Feet
Even if you stand for short bursts throughout the day, you’ll want to consider how your feet are holding up. If they are sore or uncomfortable after standing, evaluate your footwear and add an anti-fatigue mat to your workspace. Switching to practical footwear for standing is ideal, and anti-fatigue mats can make a huge difference in supporting your feet and legs.
Take a SeatSitting all day isn't good for you, but neither is standing all day. As a general rule of thumb, you should be standing 15 minutes for every 2 hours you sit. When seated, maintain proper posture to reap the health benefits of good ergonomics.
Office Design for Startups
Office Design for Startups
Launching your startup may be one of your most difficult ventures. There are so many things to consider when getting ready to open for business, and selecting the right office furniture is not usually high on what is probably a very long to-do list. Many startups begin by offering their employees folding chairs to sit in, shabby tables to work on, and little to no décor to look at. Of course, this lack of style and function is always due to a lack of money.
Startups rarely have the extra cash to spring for genuine leather office chairs, wood veneer executive desks, or one-of-a-kind artwork. But what happens when you need to impress business investors? When you want to attract new employees to work for your company? When you have clients come in for a meeting? Your office design can make more of a difference than you think.
Make It Yours
Branding is hugely important for the success of any business, and branding your office to fit with your identity will help inspire employees and impress investors and customers. There are plenty of ways to bring branding into your workplace, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive process. Some of the most affordable ways to reel in your identity are to paint the walls your brand colors, purchase some coffee mugs with your logo for your employees, and buy office furniture in a style that matches your business goals. If you’re starting a new attorney’s office, you may want desks and bookcases with a traditional look. If you’re starting a trendy marketing firm, you may choose something more modern. Take the identity you want people to associate with your brand and incorporate it into every aspect of your office design.
Make It Functional
What makes furniture functional varies greatly from one company to the next because every business operates a little differently. If you and your employees work in an environment that requires constant collaboration between coworkers, you may want to consider creating an open-office floor plan that facilitates open communication without the barriers that cubicle walls put up. However, if your business is in an industry requiring quiet concentration, you may want to add more private offices to the area. For most companies, a mix of openness and privacy is best.
Also consider the versatility of your office furniture. Adding mobile filing cabinets with padded tops that can be used as both storage and chairs is a great way to save space and cash in a startup office. Desks with built-in storage often take up less floor space than a table desk that needs an additional cabinet added to the workspace. Selecting furniture that serves multiple purposes is a great way to save room in a small area and a great way to save money.
Make It Comfortable
If your employees can’t stay comfortable at work, they aren’t likely to be very productive or even stay with your company for long. Although metal folding chairs may be the most economical choice, they won’t be good for your business in the long run. Instead, equip your workstations with affordable ergonomic chairs, pull-out keyboard trays, adjustable-height monitor stands, and anything else that will make your employees’ 8-hour day more enjoyable.
Along with the right furniture, make an effort to allow employees to take a break now and then. We know you’ve got a lot of work to get done, but a short walk or breath of fresh air allows employees to return from their mental break with a renewed sense of creativity and eagerness to get the job done.
Make It Fun
Last but not least, take measures to make your new business a fun place to be for employees, investors, clients, and yourself. No one wants to come to work every day only to sit at his or her computer without any human interaction or anything to look at other than black text on a white screen. Adding pops of color to your office and allowing employees to decorate their desks with family photos and memorabilia will give them the little boost of inspiration they need to be effective workers.
New vs. Used Cubicles: Which Should I Choose?
New vs. Used Cubicles: Which Should I Choose?
Adding cubicles to your office can be quite a chore. One of the common questions business owners ask when it comes time to purchase new workstations is whether to buy new cubicles or go with used panel systems that may be a bit cheaper. Here's why we recommend buying new cubicles for your office.
Free Space Planning and Design Services
Although you may save a little money with used cubicles, you won't save any time or stress. When you order new panel systems from a trusted provider like National Business Furniture, panels aren't all you get. You'll also receive the expert service required for a large-scale job like cubicle installation.
For example, NBF offers design services completely free of charge with the purchase of any of our cubicles. When you call us to order your new panel system, you'll get so much more than new workstations—including a dedicated account executive, recommendations on furniture that will fit within your square footage and your budget, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're not in it alone.
Endless Customization Capabilities
Buying used cubicles involves quite a bit of settling—including settling for subpar accessories and style. When you buy a new panel system, the sky's the limit. Get the style and colors you want, whether you need something colorful and bright or want a mostly neutral look.
In addition to aesthetics, you can add built-in power and other important accessories with relative ease. These options are often difficult to add to used cubicles and may even be impossible in many cases.
Buyer beware—safety concerns abound when you buy anything used, especially office furniture. From pieces falling off and faulty electrical work to cracks in the framework and other structural damage, you never know what you're getting with used goods until it's too late.
When you buy new, you know exactly what you're getting. Not only can you expect beautiful new cubicles, but if there are any issues, the company's customer service team is there to assist in a pinch. Most furniture from National Business Furniture even comes with our Lifetime Guarantee to provide you with that peace of mind for years to come.
Get What You Want, When You Want It
When you order new office cubicles from the furniture experts at NBF, we're working for you. Have a budget you need to stay within? A strict timeline that needs to be met? We're on it. Buying used cubicles puts the work on your shoulders, while buying new cubes saves you all those headaches, allowing you to focus on what's really important—running your business.
Telehealth and the Future of Care
Telehealth and the Future of Care
Telehealth (or telemedicine) is one of the key trends helping lower healthcare costs and improve patient access. Most hospital systems are investing in telehealth technology, and consumers are seeing real advantages. How can telehealth change healthcare for the better?
Telehealth allows patients to see caregivers when and where they choose, including in a clinic, at a pharmacy, or even at home. This benefit can be great for anyone working nontraditional hours or who cannot get to the doctor easily. Access to round-the-clock care can also help eliminate the need for costly and unnecessary ER visits.
Telehealth visits are often 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of traditional in-person appointments. Recent studies show that more than 75% of issues are satisfactorily resolved after a telehealth visit, resulting in an overall lower cost to the patient while retaining the same quality levels.
For those living in remote or underserved areas, telehealth allows broader access to caregivers and the ability to see specialists not present in the area. Caregivers from many disciplines can collaborate effectively and offer patients a better experience and better outcomes.
Concerns About Telehealth
There’s no question telehealth provides many benefits to the patient. As with any new technology, there are some concerns.
Privacy and Identity Theft
When a patient is not in direct contact with the caregivers, there is a greater potential for identity theft or unauthorized use. Ensuring HIPAA compliance is also a potential concern, especially in retail or pharmacy sites.
Retrofitting SpacesRemote care often requires changing existing care spaces to allow for new technology. That might mean adding monitor carts, incorporating screens into exam spaces, or setting up kiosks for consultations. Of course, remote caregivers will need workspaces and seating to ensure comfort and productivity.
Optimizing Outdoor Workspaces
Optimizing Outdoor Workspaces
As dinner on restaurant patios and weekend trips into the wilderness become mainstays of summer 2020, days at the office are spent more sequestered than ever. Instead of eating in cafeterias and gathering in conference rooms, employees are highly deskbound to stop the spread of COVID-19. But add the open air to office productivity, and you've got a great solution for any company culture.
Depending on your location, there may be room to transform outdoor spaces, such as patios, surrounding green space, or even smaller entryways, into an outdoor oasis for employees. Create areas for collaboration or solitary work with a few easy upgrades. No matter the climate, you can harness the end of summer or a temperate fall and make long-lasting outdoor spaces that employees will love.
Step Up the Wi-Fi
A major hurdle for outdoor enjoyment starts with technology. Employees can only do so much work without laptops, and even meetings require some tech to keep things running smoothly these days. Add Wi-Fi extenders and additional routers to the edges of the outdoors, ensuring that there's a strong enough signal to run your most necessary operations from anywhere.
Choose the Right Seating
Choose seating and tables that can facilitate all sorts of working needs. While there's always room for laid-back, relaxing options, more traditional tables and benches can accommodate meetings, lunches, or independent work.
Outdoor mainstays are readily available for these workspaces. Picnic benches can replace conference tables, though keeping employees well-spaced with tape or markers to show proper spacing is imperative. Portable acrylic screens can be grabbed and utilized to make face-to-face seating safer.
Use materials designed and proven for outdoor use to protect from the elements and ensure that your outdoor furniture will make it to summer 2021. Solid plastics, resin, and outdoor laminates will be indicated for indoor/outdoor use. If you're looking at anything metal, make sure that it's stainless and will stay corrosion- and rust-free indefinitely.
Create Some Shade
To keep laptops glare-free and protect against midday sunburn, ensure your space has enough shade to keep employees out of the sun if they wish. Umbrellas, either mounted through tables or in a cantilever style, can provide a temporary solution, but areas with a partial overhang may benefit from an extended awning. Whether automatically retractable or removable at the end of the season, temporary shelter can also keep your furniture in tip-top condition in any climate.
Expand Your Area
Not all offices are equipped with ample outdoor seating or a prime location for a patio. Leverage the areas available, even if they're small, to add a little bit of respite from the office. A couple of chairs out front, simple benches, or off-to-the-side seating can still make a huge impact.
Seating alone doesn't suit everybody's working style. Even in the most constricted areas, keep a few folding tables off to the side for employees to grab, use, disinfect, and return for quick and casual use. Movable outdoor furniture may need to be secured depending on the location, but semi-mobile choices can encourage employees to move meetings outdoors without committing to a conference-like setup in a small space.
Make sure employees keep charged with any necessary extension cords or power stations they can move throughout the outdoor space. Keep a few of them handy and easy to extend, ensuring that there isn't any need to crowd around scarce outlets.
Embrace the Great Outdoors
Throughout the office, fake plants reign supreme. When the weather's right and the sun is shining, a few potted plants or pleasant landscaping can elevate the mood in an outdoor area. Take advantage of seasonal foliage and beautify your outdoor oasis. Use taller greenery to create separation between tables to ensure proper social distancing.
Don’t Stop the CleaningJust because you're outdoors doesn't mean COVID-19 magically disappears. These areas still need to be cleaned with the same disinfectants that keep indoor areas virus-free. Station a few cleaning caddies around your outdoor area and ensure that disinfectants are both FDA-approved and suited for your materials. Because outdoor furniture is significantly more durable, harsher solvents can be used when necessary. Near the entrance, hand sanitizer and extra masks can support employees moving about the space, just as they would in any other shared area.
Small Space Solutions with Serious Style
Small Space Solutions With Serious Style
Where you work is as unique to you as how you work. Sometimes, you might be stuck working with less real estate than your ideal. These unique layouts pose interesting challenges with creative solutions that need a little extra thought, careful planning, and a selection of furniture that can make the most out of any situation.
Our Brite collection is a mainstay in the modern, minimalist, and flexible home office. With a wide variety of desk sizes and storage types, it's easy to mix and match pieces to optimize your environment. ach piece features superior quality at an affordable price point, allowing you to pair multiple selections from Brite to highlight the qualities of your home.
The Double-Duty Desk
It's not fair to have to choose between work and play when you're short on space. Instead, find a furniture setup that does both, like the Brite Compact Home Office Set. When building a double-duty space, select furniture that can be assigned a purpose or, for some items, a dual purpose. For the most part, make sure your desktop has enough room to accommodate both your workday mainstays without needing to do much when the day is done. Use storage pieces to keep your intentions separated, dedicating one rolling pedestal to workday supplies and the other to the tools of the trade for whatever you're passionate about.
The Two-for-One Special
Working from home might mean you have coworkers who don't even work at your company. For home offices with 2 or more people, blend form and function with coordinating desking tailored to each person's individual needs. Expansive collections offer a wealth of design options that differ in height, width, configuration, and even tech-ready details, such as wireless chargers or cable management. Let each person pick the right fit for their needs while still adhering to a beautiful design scheme, right down to coordinating seating with the same patterns on different pieces.
The Angular Approach
Many renovated flats, urban apartments, and quirky old houses have curious bonus areas that embrace difficult-to-use spaces. When your main rooms are occupied, it’s great to take advantage of these attics, enclaves, and under-the-stairs escapes. Sometimes you'll need to split your workspace to work within these difficult layouts, opting for multiple desks that are close within reach but not quite together. Fill in the gaps with décor or open-air storage to keep the area from getting overwhelmingly cramped while still giving it a sense of style.
The Cozy Corner
A sliver of the living room or a corner of the dining nook might be your best bet for a work-from-home workspace. While you might share space with a completely different purpose, the need for a focus-friendly setup remains. Choose a desk with built-in storage so your workday musts can all be concentrated in one space, eliminating the need to interact with the world around it and risk becoming distracted. A standing-height desk can also offer flexibility and comfort, especially when paired with a stool that's just the right height for a quick rest.
The Simple Setup
There's something special about a reliable, standard-height desk with enough space to sprawl out. The Brite Desk, Bookshelf, and Active Ottoman Home Office Set features a 48" wide table desk that gives you enough room to keep your workday musts neatly organized on the tabletop without risking cramping. Embrace open-air supply storage that makes it easy to integrate décor alongside a box or two to keep small supplies at bay. This is a great opportunity to take a chance with your seating, opting for a standard-height ottoman with storage and a rounded base that encourages wobbling while you work to avoid excess fidgeting.
Designing the Ideal Hot Desking Office: 5 Pointers
Feeling lukewarm about your current office setup? It may be time to try hot desking.
Hot desking is a system in which multiple employees use the same workstation during different times, usually on an ad hoc basis. This approach has recently risen in popularity as more employees have gone hybrid—and for good reason: Trading out dedicated desks for hot desks offers several advantages.
Here are a few perks of leveraging hot desking:
Saving office space: Hot desking eliminates redundant workstations so you can do more with less square footage.
Encouraging connection: Unlike dedicated workstations, a hot desk setup makes it easy for employees to interact with people outside their physical work area or department.
Promoting flexibility: Hot desking offers employees the right kinds of workstations at the right times, so they can easily change location as they shift gears to other activities.
Supporting autonomy: Allowing employees to choose where they sit and who they interact with gives them a stronger sense of autonomy and, ultimately, job satisfaction.
Warming up to the idea of hot desking? We’ll walk you through the basics.
5 Pointers for Designing the Ideal Hot Desking Setup
1. Come Up With a Plan
Clarify the ins and outs of how you’ll leverage hot desking so you create a layout that supports both business and employee needs.
Will all employees be hot desking or just certain teams or departments? If it’s the latter, how will you accommodate both designated and hot desks?
Will you take an ad hoc approach to hot desking, or will employees need to book workstations in advance?
Will you need conference rooms, private offices, or call booths to hold meetings?
How will employees be able to easily track each other down when needed?
2. Create a Thoughtful Layout to Support Performance
Although flexibility is a major benefit of hot desking, too much flexibility can cause chaos in the office. Imagine a group of people engaging in some animated brainstorming while nearby coworkers try to immerse themselves in deep work—or 2 people who often collaborate sitting on opposite sides of the office, forcing them to repeatedly leave their workstations and move through the office to meet in the middle.
Arrange hot desks thoughtfully by creating neighborhoods, which are areas dedicated to specific job functions, activity types, or even project teams. Employees with similar needs or workstyles can then easily group together, simultaneously encouraging collaboration where it’s needed and promoting a distraction-free working environment where it’s not. This also keeps employees on-task by minimizing through traffic.
When mapping out common areas, consider designating a collaborative area with a whiteboard and central seating, as well as a library area in a quiet corner of the office equipped with headphones at each workstation.
If you need some assistance planning your hot desk layout, a tool like RoomSketcher can get you started.
3. Keep Supplies Within Reach
One upside of a dedicated workstation is being able to stock it with your favorite goodies, which often isn’t possible with a hot desk—so make sure you’re still providing your employees with everything they need to work comfortably and efficiently.
Keep hot desks well-stocked with those oh-so-necessary but easy-to-overlook items like chargers, Ethernet cables, mouses, Post-it notes, pens, and wrist supports. If you prefer to sparsely stock hot desks, set up a central supply station employees can visit to grab what they need. Just make sure everyone remembers to put supplies back so items don’t end up scattered throughout the office.
Employees also tend to tote around more personal belongings when hot desking. To help your people out, install lockers, cubbies, or other storage where they can stow personal items.
4. Make It Easy to Book a Hot Desk (If Necessary)
If your team will be required to book hot desks in advance (this is sometimes called “hoteling”), make it easy for them to see and snag available desks. Skip over complicated spreadsheets or old-school forms and opt for a tech tool like Envoy or Kadence, which enables employees to view hot desk maps and book workstations with just a click or 2.
A booking tool can also help you solve availability problems by making it easy to see when hot desks may be over capacity for a given workday. You don’t want hybrid employees showing up to discover there are no available workstations—so, whatever system you use, make sure you can effectively track availability.
5. Remember That Hot Desking May Not Work for Everyone
Some employees may feel icy cold at the thought of hot desking. Employees with special needs, such as those who are neurodivergent, may prefer a dedicated workstation and the more predictable daily experience that comes with this consistency. An employee with mobility challenges may feel frustrated if they’re forced to constantly find new ways to navigate the office.
Before you roll out a hot desk setup, check in with each employee and determine whether hot desking may pose any additional challenges for them. If they prefer a dedicated desk, accommodate them. Remember, a comfortable, supported employee is a focused, productive employee.
Next Step: Start With the Necessities
Before you start mapping out neighborhoods and moving furniture, make sure you’ve got everything you need for a successful hot desk setup. We’ve got desks of all shapes and sizes, storage solutions, collaboration tools like whiteboards, and much more. Happy shopping.
Designing an Office That Helps Introverts and Extroverts Thrive
Modern offices are designed for extroverts. The increasing popularity of open office layouts and hot desking systems offers ample opportunity for social interaction, catering to the most outgoing personalities. But the nonstop buzz and chatter quickly drains introverts, prompting them to seek refuge by wearing noise-canceling headphones or squirreling away in tiny call booths.
The solution: an office space that accommodates a range of personalities and social preferences. A few thoughtful tweaks could better suit the needs of all employees, enhancing not just their workday but, ultimately, their performance.
Let’s look at how employee needs vary based on their levels of introversion or extroversion and how you can design your office space to support these needs.
Introverted and Extroverted Employees Have Different Needs
The primary difference between introverts and extroverts is how they recharge.
Introverts need solitude to replenish their energy levels and feel depleted when forced past their social limits. The open office can be daunting for introverts because there’s often nowhere to retreat to when they crave a more serene setting. Over time, this can limit job performance. Many introverts produce their best work when alone, often feeling more focused and creative than they feel in groups. Failing to provide introverts with a more comfortable working environment can hamper focus, creativity, and efficiency.
Extroverts, on the other hand, are energized by group settings and feel depleted by too much alone time. Bouncing ideas off each other, collaborating to solve a problem, or simply engaging in casual chitchat—these are activities extroverts relish. This is why many extroverts tend to feel more comfortable with open office layouts or hot desking systems, both of which encourage plenty of social interaction.
The modern office must be able to meet the starkly different needs of both introverted and extroverted employees to ensure everyone can work comfortably and be at their best. Below are a few ways to ditch the one-size-fits-all approach in favor of a more thoughtfully designed space.
Creating Serene Spaces for Introverted Employees
You may think remote work is the best way to accommodate your introverted employees, but a recent study found that many introverts want the option to come into the office at least part of the time—they want an opportunity to socialize but not an obligation to.
Rather than completely isolating introverted employees, create a space that enables them to socialize when they need to connect and retreat when they need to recharge.
When it comes to communal spaces, dedicated quiet areas can work wonders for introverts. Consider designating a corner of the office as the “library”—a space reserved for quiet, focused work. Bonus points if this area can be at least partially cordoned off or equipped with acoustic panels to minimize noise travel.
Communications leader Melanie King highlights how even short retreats can help introverts thrive in open office environments:
"Early on in my career, I thought I was a failure for my inability to thrive in an open-plan office. I saw others around me working collaboratively and feeling energized in open spaces while I was losing productivity and, some days, my sanity. Fortunately, a company I had been with for a few years moved into a newer, bigger office space equipped with features that helped ease my open office anxiety. There were furnished offices—with doors—that could be reserved for blocks of time, as well as smaller rooms with a comfy chair or 2 and a small table designed for taking calls or holding 1:1 meetings. Making use of these spaces for a few hours of solitude each day allowed me to recharge my social battery, get focused work done, and, most importantly, preserve my sanity."
Introverted employees crave serenity, so locating their desks in low-traffic areas can provide them with a little reprieve from the more bustling areas of the office. When mapping out desk charts, place extroverted employees near main hallways or break rooms and tuck away introverted employees in quiet corners or near less-traveled side hallways.
Finally, don’t forget to leverage furniture: Decorative elements like screened panels or tall plants can enhance the overall look of the office while creating a more intimate feel and lessening noise travel and visual distractions.
Supporting Moments of Connection for Extroverted Employees
If you’ve got an open office layout, making a few modifications can reduce overall noise and distraction while still helping extroverted employees thrive.
We know extroverts enjoy working as a group, but group work can be loud and disruptive to those nearby, especially if a few collaborators are particularly animated. Plants, rugs, acoustic panels, tapestries, and small dividers can be used to reduce sound travel while still maintaining the large, expansive feel of an open office. Glass walls are another smart choice: They visually extend a space while cutting down on noise and providing some privacy.
You can also reduce noise and distraction by arranging communal areas dedicated to collaborative work. Grouping a few couches or chairs with a whiteboard, projector screen, and activity table makes it easy for teammates to gather and work through projects together. Invite employees to socialize in these communal spaces rather than collecting in hallways or at individual workstations, which could be distracting to employees who are working autonomously.
If you’re using a hot desking system, arrange hot desks by creating neighborhoods, which are areas dedicated to specific job functions, activity types, or even project teams. Employees with similar needs or workstyles can easily group together, enabling teammates to connect or chat throughout the day without disturbing those who prefer to work without interruption.
Thoughtful Office Design = Happier, Higher-Performing Employees
The benefits of better office design far surpass social preferences: When employees feel comfortable and supported throughout the workday, they have better relationships, higher job satisfaction, and improved focus and efficiency. And a thoughtfully designed office sends a clear message that you care about your employees and want to help them thrive.
If you need a little help getting started with your office design plans, National Business Furniture can help. We offer complimentary design services to help you with everything from seating arrangements to furniture selection. Talk with our team today.