At the recent NeoCon Show in Chicago National Office showcased a residential inspired style by blending the comforts of home into the workplace. Through Respitality℠ design, National created solutions that have evolved from the fundamental elements of both residential and hospitality. Their beautiful showroom demonstrated how lifestyle driven design can be incorporated into commercial spaces to create cozy areas that grant employees the freedom to get comfortable yet stay productive.
Our team had the opportunity to attend this year NeoCon – one of the most recognized trade shows in the commercial design industry. We had the opportunity to meet with our partners to get the scoop on the newest products. Take a look!
Focal Point: Transform the workplace into a destination of choice.
Focal Point: Residential Inspired Spaces
Focal Point: Hospitality at Work–presents a new way of thinking about the office and a more welcoming way to work.
Focal Point: Build the perfect interior space for what you need now –– and whatever the future brings.
Few products on the market today can give you the results that DIRTT delivers. By using the latest technology, the ICE® software, the design team can assist you in exploring and modifying your design in real-time 3D.
The ICE® software is “a video game for design – with brains for business. “
ICE® software provides graphical, interactive exploration of your design. The process is very simple:
As your visions are rendered, you are able to view in 3D how your space is going to look. The advantages of this approach are very simple: everyone is on the same page and understands the big picture.
Once all the details have been finalized, your design is instantly calculated into the parts, pieces, connections, and pricing.
When everything is ready, the information goes to the DIRTT factory where your vision is precisely manufactured without human interpretation.
Here are some examples of completed projects:
Another way DIRTT is using technology to bring your project to reality is with the recent introduction of ICE Reality ™ which is built on DIRTT’s ICE® software. A BIM tool that captures material, pricing, engineering, manufacturing, and installation information for every aspect of an interior construction project. The ICEreality app takes that functionality and blends it into a social, mobile and immersive virtual reality world that mirrors the ICE design file.
ICEreality is available in the App Store and is compatible with iPhone 6s or newer, running iOS11. Users without a connection to DIRTT’s ICE software can explore the app’s preloaded DIRTT timber frame demo file. For the full experience with ICE software, contact us to try it in person.
Kore® by Kimball Office was designed for working and living no matter how workers are situated, eliminating barriers to help people stay better connected to their work and each other. In the workplace, people need flexibility. KORE offers a single source for many destinations. Though simple in form, KORE is substantial in function, providing configurability that supports human needs.
Is Your Office Attracting Them?
The economic conditions and technological advancements with social media have not only changed the way we do business, they have changed us as people. Our priorities. Our motivations. How we communicate. This could not be more true than for the millennial generation born between 1976 and 2006, also known as, Gen Y
With 80 million of these young adults expected to comprise more than 1/3 of the U.S. workforce by 2014 and nearly half by 2020, company leaders who choose to understand both how to attract as well as how to retain these individuals, will most likely surpass those who do not.
The INFOGRAPHIC below, produced by MBA@UNC and the Young Entrepreneurs Council, is chock full of statistics revealing the differences in past generations (those most likely making hiring decisions now) and Gen Y (those who will define the companies of the future.)
Check out just a few of the findings about “Gen Y”:
- they prioritize “meaningful work” over high pay
- 64% ask about social media policies during interviews
- 1 in 3 said “social media freedom” is a higher priority than salary
- 43% are very confident they could find another job if they left their current one
- 70% are planning to change jobs once the economy improves
- 30% started a business in college
- 80% said they prefer feedback in real time rather than via traditional performance reviews
- 65% said personal development was the most influential factor in their current job
As well as insight on to how to keep them working for you:
- Flatter them
- Motivate them
- Collaborate with them
What changes are you making within the office to inspire the workforce of the future?
Not only has advancing technology changed the way we do business, it has changed the types of businesses being started. And this requires office environments that allow innovative commerce to flourish. Today’s office for today’s business.
Seamless’ new corporate office in New York City is a great example of a workplace designed to amplify what they do. Seamless.com, the largest food ordering platform, now offers menus from 7,500 restaurants, in 37 cities.
This requires offering personal service on a global scale – and that demands a corporate office that is flexible for rapid growth with strength to reach the world.
Media Bistro’s recent episode of Cubes shows how Seamless has successfully created an environment that feeds creativity, sales and service in 28,000 sq. ft, for 125 employees.
Below are just a few things we noticed. Does your business need today’s office?
- Huge pantry area for restaurants to showcase their great food
- Huge cafeteria for employees complete with candy machines
- Interactive TV wall with worldwide weather since the elements have such an impact on food delivery.
- Open spaces for collaboration
- 18 conference rooms with Skype capabilities for meetings around the world
- Leadership tables where pooling resources starts at the top
- Creative brainstorming rooms with dry-erase walls and even sketch pad tables.
- Ergonomic chairs throughout to reduce stress, inspire thoughts and increase productivity.
- Playrooms including ping pong tables, an X-Box and arcades, bring folks together for fun, creativity and brainstorming
The type of working environment you provide affects how people perceive themselves and their importance to the company as well as how productive they are.
This is especially true when creating workspaces for creatives.
If your business depends on originality and having imaginative people at the helm, the workspace you provide should foster the appropriate traits and behaviors. That means finding the perfect balance of open and closed workspaces to encourage collaboration and facilitate heads-down productivity. It’s no longer effective to furnish private offices or cubicles for every worker. Nor is it enough to simply incorporate open floor plans without understanding the occasional need for privacy.
Creatives can be found in several occupations. But let’s take a quick look at the examples of a graphic designer, a software programmer and an advertising writer to better understand what kind of environment is needed to cultivate and nurture innovation.
- THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER A graphic designer sometimes needs privacy to do heads-down creative work with detail-oriented tasks. But this person may also find inspiration in alcoves or meeting rooms. Designers often need areas to interact and brainstorm, with access to natural light for enhanced productivity.
- THE SOFTWARE PROGRAMMER Software programmers have to be creative because the nature of their work is to solve problems through code. They often get “into the zone” (as they sometimes call it) and cannot become distracted, so they need a place to work in private. Yet, they also need a place to meet with other programmers, developers and engineers to collaborate on complex problems and solutions. Dim or dark rooms often help these folks be more productive.
- THE ADVERTISING WRITER Writers may find themselves part of a social media or PR team, and typically fall into a larger subset of communicators in most organizations. They are responsible for taking a concept from start to finish. So, they may need a place to scribble story ideas on the wall, communicate openly with employees, or video-conference meetings in a quiet zone or touchdown room.
It’s easier to see the benefits for the more obvious artistic workers, but in reality, everyone is creative to some extent. Most all companies could benefit from tapping into these valuable assets, as running a creative organization is one of the key differentiators found among successful companies.
So go ahead. Strategically line a few walls with marker boards. Combine traditional conference rooms with ad-hoc meeting spaces that allow watercooler conversations. You should even weigh the benefits of a ‘fluid’ environment and think about soundproofing and lighting on the front-end of your project.
Be creative. Your people will thank you for it and your business may depend on it.
Today, storage is not just about filing old or unused records in case there is a need for future reference.
Far from it.
With companies trimming down on physical office size as well as opting for more open and collaborative spaces, they are losing traditional areas to file information. Storage must now be incorporated into actual working areas and must be accessible on a daily basis.
Awkward and inadequate storage space can even lead to lowered productivity.
“The average cost of searching for just ONE misfiled document is $120”
Poor storage solutions not only have an impact on companies’ bottom-line, they affect employee moral as well.
“Inadequate storage and filing space ranks in the Top 10 office complaints by employees”
Yet even with these alarming statistics, storage is typically the most overlooked issue when companies consider new or renovated offices. A whitepaper titled Filing and Storage by KI is a must read for anyone planning new or renovated office workspaces. Below are just a few of the highlights garnered from the paper:
- Because proper planning is missed at the beginning stages, storage is the most frequently reconfigured workstation component
- Even though we are supposedly moving toward a paperless society, storage needs have only grown, not diminished
- Companies must determine information they need to store based on how often it is accessed from daily to periodically to rarely.
- 36 percent of worksurface space is is now occupied by computers, monitors and other electronic equipment, efficient storage making even more important.
- The ever growing concepts such as teaming, collaboration and virtual offices which promote shared spaces have created a shortage of traditional storage areas
Further, KI suggests four key areas that should be considered early in the design stages to ensure appropriate storage needs are not only met, but allow for room to grow.
1. Real Estate Costs
Although it varies by industry, the goal of most companies these days is to reduce the office space required per employee. This has been the result of many factors from the economy to reduce costs to the popularity of open spaces to increase teamwork.
- With offices getting smaller, there is less room for the typical 5-high lateral files
- With panels being lowered in most systems, storage cabinets are disappearing
2. Wasted Space
Traditional storage solutions must be reexamined to locate any potential gains.
- Something as seemingly small as 1.5” can produce 20% more space by using 10.5” drawers instead of the traditional 12.”
- It’s important to take an audit of exactly what is to be stored. The way that information is managed has changed dramatically. Everything is not on letter- or legal-sized paper. For instance, systems must accommodate other forms of media including CD’s and DVD’s among others.
Being able to “find” information is imperative.
- It is estimated that workers spend 15 – 30 percent of their work time “looking” for information.
- A typical organization of about 1,000 employees wastes $6 million to $12 million per year searching for nonexistent information, failing to find existing information or recreating information that can’t be found.
4. Environmental Issues
Green design has now become the single greatest force in the building industry.
- 92 percent of facilities managers surveyed say they are actively working to make their facilities more sustainable.
- Because a great deal of storage solutions are incorporated into the actual workspace within the actual furniture and walls, they must be aesthetically pleasing was well.
- Well done storage systems can actually help companies toward their LEED® Certification.
So, plan for storage in the beginning stages. You can choose to do it now, or be forced to do it later.
You can download the complete whitepaper from KI, as well as proposed solutions, here.
What better way to consistently sell what you do than letting people see and feel it as they stroll through your office?
They sell communication and one of the first things you see upon entering is a piece of the Berlin Wall (shown to the left) – an expressive symbol of suppressive lines of communication being torn down. But, they not only sell communication, they sell cutting edge information and/or the latest news. Below are a few things we caught during the tour that we think have successfully created a visual and expressive link between where they work and what they do.
- Touch screen wall
- Wrap around ticker feeds with Twitter and Bloomberg updates
- 100 percent open work plan removing all barriers and hierarchy way of thinking
- Expressive and arresting artwork
- Meetings rooms for collaborative communication
- Communal kitchens
- LEED® certified roof top area for parties, gatherings as well as day-to-day work
- Wellness room for employees to relax and rejuvenate.
Take a look at the video tour below. What all do you see?
Public relations is all about open communication and that message is loud and clear from anywhere in their office. Does your office say what you do? Let us know.
“A good office can solve problems, but a great office can invigorate a workforce.”
Kelly is one of three experts from whom Mashable Business garnered some great office design tips, highlighted below.
You Can Never Have Too Much Light Or Space
According to Edin Rudic, creative director at MKDA, “Because limited exposure to natural light can negatively impact mood and productivity, both employees and their employers would greatly benefit from more exposure to sunlight.”
Create Break-Out Spaces
Designed well, designated spaces away from the desk can actually further the creative or thinking process within the office because:
- • They take down barriers to communication and encourage spontaneity in the office
• Great ideas come from inspiring casual spaces
• Employees can gather to establish and build the corporate community based on shared values and beliefs – kind of like a watercooler.
- • No food at your desk
- • No garbage can at your desk to collect clutter
- • Often an afterthought, storage is actually key to keeping an office in order.
Invest in furniture
It’s easy during difficult economic times to think in terms of skimping, but be careful not to create more costly long-term problems. “Proven to stimulate worker productivity and to reduce the number of sick days, ergonomic office chairs are where wise business owners invest when designing an office space” advises Rudic.
Brand your workplace
Your office is the perfect place to reinforce who you are to clients and guests. Whether it is through color palettes, your logo on the wall or furniture styles, you have opportunity to communicate your core beliefs and philosophies beginning when someone first enters the door.
For more from these top designers see the full article here.