Modern ergonomic furniture is changing the look (and feel!) of the modern office. With current thinking warning that too much sitting is as harmful as obesity, furniture makers have stepped up with standing desks as well as some unusual and mega-comfortable seating.
The Knoll Generation office chair purports to move with the posture of the sitter, whether in intense spreadsheet analysis or just napping. You can read more about it here.
Japanese office furniture manufacturer, Okumura, markets these ergonomic work stations. Purportedly, function dominates form, as the assemblage looks like a cross between the Star Ship Enterprise and a dentist office. This is an office designer’s challenge. An area rug or two here along with some plants might be a good start to soften things up. I would love to see this in situ, if anyone as a picture. From Freshome.
You know the standing desk craze has caught on when Herman Miller steps up, literally. The company is renowned for chic, stylish office furniture. This model is adjustable to any height, from standing right back down to a standard sitting desk. More here
This desktop model might be the way to go for the ergonomically conscience, but budgetarily constrained. It sits on the top of a regular desk and is adjustable to any height, including sitting. It’s called a Kangaroo. From Treehuger.
Real estate writers have a lot to say about the declining need for office space. They site less storage requirements because of digital storage and the ability of employees to work from home, as two primary reasons.
Another small but important factor in the downsizing trend is LED lighting. LED lamps use a fraction of the amount of power as conventional lighting and put out a fraction of the heat. All the while they generate a healthy, off-white light that’s kind to the eyes.
The office not only saves space, but also money with lower electrical electrical bills.
And LED lights are chic. They express on contact a modern and with-it vibe that bolsters employee esprit de corps and customer confidence.
LED lamps come in a variety of colors.
They also come in a huge variety of shapes. This configuration suggests the old goose neck desk lamp, but it’s only a faint reminder.
The light-producing innards of an LED lamp give it a huge range of possible designs. The lamp becomes sculpture.
This model looks like it’s an extension of the desk. It perhaps runs the risk of being too institutional. You can imagine a row of these looking something like the visitors’ room in a prison.
1. save space
2. generate a lot less heat
4. longer lifetime
5. save power
Moving to a new office? Moving your home-based business to genuine commercial space for the first time?
You are going to need a checklist. What I’m suggesting here are the essentials, but it’s just the beginning.
At the top of your list put two key personnel that you will need and who will save you lots of money and frustration when you move to your new office.
The first is a tenant representative or tenant rep or tenant broker. Call her what you will; each term refers to the same specialty. A tenant broker can help you with every aspect of your relocation, from offering a list of locations to check out based on your needs to negotiating with your potential new landlord. She will add lots to the list I’m about to offer.
The second is an architect or interior designer who is experienced with style and functionality of office space.
If either of these people do not add lots to what I’m about to suggest, find another and start over.
There are many changes taking place in the design of commercial offices. For example law offices are undergoing modifications for the first time in centuries. Professionals can bring you up to date on the latest trends and save you money on gains in productivity
The List – Moving to a New Office?
- Make a budget. Setting up a new office should not be an investment that eats into your reserves unless you evaluate that it’s worth it. Making a budget will help you analize the benefits of a new office.
- Research well on the kind of location best suited for your business. The little secret in the office leasing business is that most locations are decided by how convenient it is for number one, the boss, and secondarily the key employees. Talk to your tenant broker.
- When you are looking for an office space for a fast growing business, you will usually want to rent or lease. Growth opportunities can be created along with your landlord and your tenant rep. They can be conceptualized by your designer.
- Too obvious, but often tragically overlooked: make sure the office space matches up to the city’s building standards. Contact your local building department or have your tenant broker do it.
- Do you need to have clients over? Make sure the rooms are airy and comfortable. The whole building should be decent and appealing.
- What about parking for you and your clients?
- You are going to need convenient power outlets, phone jacks.
- Check out the restrooms. They can tell you a lot about the landlord.
- Entrance and egress: elevators, fire escapes, stairs.
- Do you need a local network server so that you and your employees can share, disseminate and store information and data. Maybe the wiring is in place. Maybe not.
- Make sure you have plenty of latitude in laying out the space. You need to work with your interior designer to get the best workflow and best look you can for you and your employees. You all are going to spend an awful lot of time her. Make sure it’s pleasant and productive.
- Your own work area should be accessible to your employees and yet have privacy. Needless to say a tasteful pleasant décor will benefit you and your clients.
- Is there room to expand? Here again, your designer can help you down to the last square foot.
- Rent or buy your office equipment and furniture frugally. You can give your office a decent look, comfort and productivity without breaking the bank.
- If you have a battery of sales personnel who are out on fieldwork most of the time, do not plan expansive spaces for their work stations. A long extended table along a wall can do fine.
As I said before, this list should grow, especially after you discuss your plans with your employees, perhaps your customers, your tenant broker, and your interior designer.
Enjoy your new office!