Paperweight Cardbox Desk

Perfect for those looking for environmentally sustainable office furniture for either home office or commercial use, the Paperweight Desk is a simple yet functional, extremely light yet immensely strong task desk that is made of 74% recycled paper, and 26% virgin fibres created from fully managed fast growing sustainable sources. Read more

The Latest Office Design Trends

2014 is full of new ideas and trends. Why not implement something new in your office to make it that much better? This list is as helpful as it is trendy. Read more

What to look for in an office chair

If you buy an office chair, you should understand that you are going to use it for a long time. Therefore, you definitely want to go out of your way to buy the right one for your wants and needs. With this in mind, here are five key features to look for in an office chair.

Adjustable height: First and foremost, you should look for a chair with adjustable height. With ease, you can change the height of your chair, which makes it easier to sit the right way at the table or desk.

A reclining seat back: If you want to do wonders for your back, make sure you buy a chair with a reclining seat back. When doing so, you can have an easier time staying comfortable while you sit in your chair. In the long run, you will develop fewer problems if you have a reclining seat back..

Armrests: If you sit at a computer, you will probably have your arms and hands on your keyboard. But, while on the phone or sitting around chatting, you will want armrests. With a couple of well-placed armrests, you can remain comfortable and not worry about where you need to put your arms.

Proper wheels: Now, when thinking about a chair, a lot of people forget to consider the wheels. This is a mistake, and you will want to go out of your way to find a chair with nice wheels. When you move around your office, you won’t have to worry about getting stuck. Worse yet, if you have bad wheels on your chair, you are more likely to fall on the floor if they hit something or get snagged on something.

Adjustable lumbar support: Finally, if you have a chair, you need adjustable lumbar support. With this, you can leave the office feeling your best. Now, ideally, you should find a chair that has received great reviews for this, as you don’t want to buy one with bad support. Simply put, if you buy a chair with adjustable lumbar support, your back will feel great, and you won’t be in pain from head to toe.

In the long run, a decent chair will help you feel better and get more work done. It is truly worth the investment in time and money to track down the right chair that will provide you with comfort for a long time to come.

Do You Need to Break Down the Cubicle Walls to Improve Performance?

Extraordinary performance only comes from an extraordinary experience, so how you feel at work determines how productive you are — or not.

Getting siloed into a cubicle is great if you don’t like people (and great for others if you’re “that guy”), but studies have shown that cubicles do little to improve employee morale. In fact, the cubicle effect can actually lead to lower levels of trust and communication for the simple fact that human interaction is limited.

Social-exchange theory states that the more often people interact with each other, the more potential for trust to build between them. Duh. So, why is it that office cubicles continue being the go-to choice for the majority of offices?

Related: Designing a Better Office Space

An office design should resemble the personalities and values of the people who work there. If you believe in openness and transparency, then an open-floor plan is the ticket, but if employees need privacy for security matters, then one large, single space is not the way to go.

Below are some of the latest office layouts that help (or hinder) productivity:

The open floor. When retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal was head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), he created a collaborative, open work environment that fused together disparate civilian and governmental agencies.

This shared space actually forced communication amongst groups that would have otherwise kept a close hold on information. As a result, a constant exchange of knowledge took JSOC’s average of 18 missions per month in 2004 to over 300 in 2008. No big deal.

While numerous studies aim to highlight open office spaces as detrimental to employee performance and health, what the research doesn’t show is how mentally and emotionally engaged people are in their jobs.

If, for instance, I find my job boring or unchallenging, then sure, my focus would probably be elsewhere, too. However, if you catch yourself being subverted from the task at hand then it may not be everyone else that’s the problem.

The unassigned space. Instead of returning to the same seat every day, non-designated spaces can actually encourage cross-pollination because people don’t feel obligated to return to the same location. Of course, humans are creatures of habit, so it requires a concerted effort to avoid repetition and seek out something new.

 

The dreaded cubicle. There’s a reason why thinking of cubicles conjures up images of the movie Office Space with the climate of “boring” that pervaded the entire culture. Nothing screams “awful” like the typical cubicle layout.

The benefits of cubicle spaces are greater privacy and — theoretically — more productivity since you’re less prone to distractions. However, the flip side of these benefits is a restriction to idea flow, which is the spreading of information through networks. Sure, you can personalize your space, but at the end of the day, it’s still a cubicle.

The individual office. Ahh, the defining characteristic of social net worth. Chances are that if you have your own office it’s because the powers that be (i.e. your boss) wanted to dedicate a quiet location for you to work because he or she expects more out of you. Or, maybe it’s because you’ve simply put in your time and a personal office is part of the advancement package.

I compare having an individual office with the delineation between officers and enlisted in the SEAL Teams. Up to a certain point both officers and enlisted work, train, eat, travel and fight together until, one day, the officer hits about the 12-year mark in his career. At that point one of two things happens: he stays in the military and makes a career for himself, or he gets out because he doesn’t want to play politics.

The individual office is akin to playing politics because it (likely) took politicking to get there. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just the nature of the game. However, a personal office shouldn’t be the defining element of power — fundamentals of leadership such as character and competence should.

Do You Need to Break Down the Cubicle Walls to Improve Performance?

Extraordinary performance only comes from an extraordinary experience, so how you feel at work determines how productive you are — or not.

Getting siloed into a cubicle is great if you don’t like people (and great for others if you’re “that guy”), but studies have shown that cubicles do little to improve employee morale. In fact, the cubicle effect can actually lead to lower levels of trust and communication for the simple fact that human interaction is limited.

Social-exchange theory states that the more often people interact with each other, the more potential for trust to build between them. Duh. So, why is it that office cubicles continue being the go-to choice for the majority of offices?

Related: Designing a Better Office Space

An office design should resemble the personalities and values of the people who work there. If you believe in openness and transparency, then an open-floor plan is the ticket, but if employees need privacy for security matters, then one large, single space is not the way to go.

Below are some of the latest office layouts that help (or hinder) productivity:

The open floor. When retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal was head of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), he created a collaborative, open work environment that fused together disparate civilian and governmental agencies.

This shared space actually forced communication amongst groups that would have otherwise kept a close hold on information. As a result, a constant exchange of knowledge took JSOC’s average of 18 missions per month in 2004 to over 300 in 2008. No big deal.

While numerous studies aim to highlight open office spaces as detrimental to employee performance and health, what the research doesn’t show is how mentally and emotionally engaged people are in their jobs.

If, for instance, I find my job boring or unchallenging, then sure, my focus would probably be elsewhere, too. However, if you catch yourself being subverted from the task at hand then it may not be everyone else that’s the problem.

The unassigned space. Instead of returning to the same seat every day, non-designated spaces can actually encourage cross-pollination because people don’t feel obligated to return to the same location. Of course, humans are creatures of habit, so it requires a concerted effort to avoid repetition and seek out something new.

 

The dreaded cubicle. There’s a reason why thinking of cubicles conjures up images of the movie Office Space with the climate of “boring” that pervaded the entire culture. Nothing screams “awful” like the typical cubicle layout.

The benefits of cubicle spaces are greater privacy and — theoretically — more productivity since you’re less prone to distractions. However, the flip side of these benefits is a restriction to idea flow, which is the spreading of information through networks. Sure, you can personalize your space, but at the end of the day, it’s still a cubicle.

The individual office. Ahh, the defining characteristic of social net worth. Chances are that if you have your own office it’s because the powers that be (i.e. your boss) wanted to dedicate a quiet location for you to work because he or she expects more out of you. Or, maybe it’s because you’ve simply put in your time and a personal office is part of the advancement package.

I compare having an individual office with the delineation between officers and enlisted in the SEAL Teams. Up to a certain point both officers and enlisted work, train, eat, travel and fight together until, one day, the officer hits about the 12-year mark in his career. At that point one of two things happens: he stays in the military and makes a career for himself, or he gets out because he doesn’t want to play politics.

The individual office is akin to playing politics because it (likely) took politicking to get there. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, just the nature of the game. However, a personal office shouldn’t be the defining element of power — fundamentals of leadership such as character and competence should.

Sitting is dangerous

Newsflash: Sitting is the new smoking. Today, the typical office worker sits at a desk for 7.5 lethargic hours a day, dramatically increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease, colon cancer, Type 2 Diabetes and depressingly more.

Humans aren’t designed for this much sitting around and it’s becomepainfully obvious, thus the recent rise of standing desks and even thisridiculous human-sized hamster wheel.

Related: What’s Really Killing You (and It Isn’t Ebola)

Clearly, sitting for hours on end is killing us and that’s not something we should, well, take sitting down. Dutch visual artist Barbara Visser isn’t. She’s literally taking a stand against the dangers of sitting at work.

In an edgy new exhibit at Amsterdam’s Looiersgracht 60 Gallery, somewhat fittingly titled “The End of Sitting,” Visser and her cohorts at RAAAF (Rietveld Architecture-Art Affordances) envision a more active, upright office environment. Well, mostly.

Their futuristic interior design/modern art hybrid visualizes the death of cubicle-itis and the birth of “an experimental work landscape.” It’s a crammed, maze-like simulated office expanse that’s reminiscent of a skateboarding park and completely void of those classic enablers of poor circulation and poor posture — desks and chairs.

In their place are an array of bulky, angular light-gray slabs of what might be concrete. We hope they’re made of something softer and more comfy. Not too comfy, though. After all, Visser created the unfortunately drab slabs to encourage exhibit visitors to experiment with various working positions, ideally standing. Oddly, though, some are pictured — gasp! — lying down on the job, a cardinal sin even we pajama pants-clad telecommuters wouldn’t be caught dead doing. Others are even, go figure, sitting.

Office Cubicles Can be an Investment

Would you believe that office cubicles and furniture can be an investment and that you can have an ROI on the furniture you buy? Read more

What is the Best Office Layout?

Your working environment is important for productivity, privacy and comfort. When deciding on the best office layout configuration for a work environment consider the type of work to be done, the size of your staff, and the space available. The key to planning any workspace is to create a balance between private and public spaces. Read more

School Furniture for a Flipped Classroom

When it comes to flipping a classroom, teachers need to take many things into consideration. A few include room layout, the school furniture, group work, and classroom management. To make sure the transition goes smoothly, educators should make sure to get the transition right from the start. Read more

Pod Workstations Best For Team Environment

Since the rise of the co-working environment, the challenge of generating the most productive space that blends privacy with a team environment has been a challenge. One solution is pod workstations. The office pod is a unique workstation designed for the optimization of work team environments. Read more