Yellow Lobby Reception chairs

Collaborative Spaces

From millennials to technology to social networking, many factors have fostered collaboration in the workplace.

Collaborative spaces are more important than ever. As walls and cubical workstation panels come down, integration and communication is on the rise. Departments that were once segregated are now collaborating. With real estate prices climbing, business owners are forced to maximize floor plans.

The startup culture sweeping the world is also making businesses think about their space differently. Having a flexible and active floor plan means not having to commit to anything limiting, but rather allowing your space to be fluid, evolving and adaptive.

Technology has cut the cord on communication, giving team members more freedom to move both inside and out of the office. Touchdown work spaces are critical for employees on the go; meeting spaces are still critical, but evolving to keep pace with today’s active work life. Private enclaves are springing up around social spaces for small gatherings to break away for a quiet meeting.

Millennials are fueling design trends. Social networking applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are actually driving change in the workplace. According to the MTV survey “NoCollar Workforce,” 89 percent of millennials want work to be social – and even the majority of Baby Boomers (60 percent) agree. Being social online means millennials want to be social at work.

Office buildings are now designed to be open. We’re seeing less and less drywall, which allows businesses to be much more flexible with their space. Flexibility means it's easier to grow, shift and share space, all of which maximizes real estate investments.

Collaboration is no longer a trend. A plethora of furniture solutions exist for collaborative spaces, along with plenty of workstation and desking options. Be sure to consult one of our design experts to discover ways your space can be more social.

Placeable Office Furniture Project Pictures

5 Modern Office Furniture Essentials

Today's workplace is evolving rapidly, spurred by new technology and performance measures. Here are 5 must-haves in the new office environment.

1. Collaborative Space

Remember when the only time you bumped into someone from Accounting was at the office holiday party? Those days are long gone.

Collaborative office spaces & furniture are now recognized as an important part of office life. Not only do they provide a great way to gain a fresh perspective on old projects, but they also help build culture and a sense of unity among employees. Spaces where people from different departments can meet, relax, and discuss goals and strategies for solving complex business problems (not just individual or departmental problems) - these spaces are invaluable.

2. Mobility Space

Portable devices and apps have changed the way we live and the way we work. Mobility isn’t a trend, it’s a reality.

While many organizations are still getting comfortable with the idea of a remote workforce, dynamic and modern companies are embracing it. Today’s workforce requires office space that allows employees the flexibility and freedom to pop in and out at a moment's notice. Open floorplans with worksurfaces designed to accommodate mobility are a must have for modern workplaces.

3. Flexibility

Modern workplaces are more dynamic than ever. With rising real estate costs and shrinking floorplans, business owners are forced to rethink how they use space.

“In most markets, we’re advising customers to budget 5% to 6% increases in construction costs on an annual basis,” said Greg Clark, Vice President of Estimating for Mortenson in Minneapolis. (Wall Street Journal)  Modular office furniture can help maximize limited office space by adapting to different situations. A training room can quickly convert to a private conference room one day, and easily accommodate a scrum meeting the next. Seating can be stacked and stored away or spread out for a company meeting within a few minutes. Flexibility is key.

4. Sustainable Products

The environment is a hot topic, and for good reason. With growing concerns about climate change, every opportunity to be less wasteful should be evaluated.

Environments has partnered with earth-conscious furniture manufactures such as Evolve, National, and Humanscale to help our clients further their green initiatives. Whether you are pursuing LEED certification for your building or just want to retrofit your old office furniture with level-certified products, there are plenty of environmentally friendly options to choose from.

5. Good Design

There’s a reason why Apple is so successful, and it has very much to do with exceptional design.

Apple continues to focus on products that people love to use. Office furniture should be no exception. Many workers continue to spend a great deal of time in the office, and office design has a huge impact on their well-being and productivity. Factors like space planning, color, texture, ergonomics and lighting are all part of the equation.

Enjoyable spaces will always have a positive impact on productivity and morale. Environments Denver can help create a modern, energizing, collaborative and beautiful space for your organization - please contact us today.

Blue lobby couch with wood trim

The Corporate Office is Starting to Look More Like Home

It’s no coincidence that the corporate office is starting to feel a little more like home.

Assisted by modern technology, the line is blurring between work and home. Office furniture today is feeling a touch more residential. Colors, textures, materials and style are all converging on a more relaxed, lounge, home office feel.

Office furniture manufacturers are rushing to meet the demand. Companies like Teknion, Knoll, Loewenstein and Jasper Group are now designing products that resemble living rooms, kitchens and home offices. These products use warm rich tones, natural woods and thoughtful lines to give space a more comfortable feel.

Remote working trends are on the rise. According to the Freelancers Union, 54 million Americans are working remotely. That’s roughly a third of the workforce! While technology has helped make this all possible, working from home is also less stressful. Under the right conditions, it can also be more productive. Dr. Ash Nadkarni, resident physician in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Medical Center, states: “Whenever a person gains a sense of autonomy, it significantly reduces feelings of helplessness.”

Creating a residential aura in the workplace helps bridge the gap between home and office. For those workers or businesses whose tasks prevent them from working remotely, there is a solution: make the corporate office feel more like home. For ideas on how to add residential furniture trends to your workplace, please contact an Environments consultant today.