New vs Used: What to Consider When Evaluating Furniture Options

With an eye on reducing costs, organizations often evaluate the purchase of used furnishings for their new workplaces. While used furniture savings may appear considerable, buyers must take into account a series of underlying factors in their decision making process.

This great infographic will give you some insightful ideas when considering buying furniture.

New vs. Used Furniture

A visual summary of the Knoll Research paper “New versus Used: What to Consider When Evaluating Furniture Options.”

Download the article, click here

Everyone Needs a Place to Plug In

Flexible work environments need to provide more flexible products. Since we are relying more and more on our mobile electronic devices, so does the need for keeping mobiles, laptops and tablet devices charged. Consequently, a good portion of the furniture manufacturers have answered the call and are incorporating charging points into upholstered seating as well as desks and tables.

Let’s take a look at some of those options:

Highlights:

≡ The PowerCube by Knoll is a lounge table that does double-duty as a digital charging hub and an analog communications tool,  with whiteboard writable surfaces on all sides.

Jolt by Kimball Office has a USB charger and a wireless power-charging surface that seamlessly integrates technology vital to connection, collaboration, and productivity.

≡ The Pairings Lounge Collection by Kimball Office merges simple sofa/lounge collections with the more informal space where people work, team up, and gather, creating adaptable, lounge-based work settings that host teams and technology in comfort.

≡ The Power Up Arm available in the Fringe Lounge Seating Collection by National Office offers extreme flexibility. It features two power outlets and
two USB ports.

Charge it!

 

TransferWise Transforms Office Design

TransferWise office boasts creative #interiordesign to attract & retain talented employees

Source: TransferWise Transforms Office Design

Sustainability | Can It Benefit The Bottom Line?

 

Sustainability

As businesses shift to sustainable business practices, they are increasingly finding sustainability is not only altruistic, but leads the way in cutting wasteful spending and adopting practices that save the businesses money over time. Sustainability doesn’t just complement business, it informs it. It leads to smarter spending and working practices, as business as usual is being reinvented. 

Sustainability is a word that we hear quite a bit these days, especially in the corporate world as more companies incorporate sustainability practices into their businesses. But, as businesses struggle to find the balance between sustainability and profit, more and more are finding that in a changing world, sustainability leads to wise choices that influence the bottom-line in a positive way.

By reevaluating energy uses, redefining how we work, engaging in a more collaborative work space, incorporating telecommuting, Companies can actually reduce spending. Incorporating sustainability into the work place causes management to take inventory and reassess where their money goes and start to think — is there a better way? With practices like telecommuting reducing the carbon footprint and saving on water and power consumption, as well as helping employees find a work life balance, work and spending is redefined.

knoll

Every business is different and business owners have to decide the sustainability practices that are most effective for their business and bottom line. Ultimately sustainability is about stability. When you think about it that way – sustainable stability – it’s about being smart and recognizing all the ways your company can work more efficiently through wise choices, allowing excess can be cut and people to facilitate one another’s needs more efficiently to insure the future of your business and the world at large.

Sustainability is a blend of the ethical responsibility and the bottom line. Each supports the other. So, it’s in everyone’s best interest. Though sustainability may be initiated through management, it’s through employees that it will find its success. Since they incorporate it into their daily lives and practices and can be instrumental in discussing and maintaining how these practices are implemented.

DIRTT

Creativity can go a long way to making sustainability work for your business. Problem solving can be fun and interactive, however challenging it may first appear. Many companies have adopted a Green Team comprised of employees who help establish and implement environmental goals, while involving their peers, creating a positive environment and practices that become integrated into the corporate culture. While at first, green practices may seem cumbersome and encounter some resistance; these employees can invigorate and motivate their peers. No one starts at the finish line; the important thing is to start the process toward long term goals. It’s up to each business to establish its own pathway.

Photo by Knoll 

Photo by DIRTT

 

Generation “Y” Will Comprise Nearly Half of the Workforce By 2020.

 

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? 

Gen Y In the Workplace Via MBA@UNC Via MBA@UNC Online Business Degree & The YEC

Designing Your Office With Furnishings In Mind

 

“A good office can solve problems, but a great office can invigorate a workforce.”

Paul Kelly, head of marketing for Morgan Lovell, a leading office interior design firm in the UK.

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.

Keep things tidy
According to Isabelle Glinka, principal of LUX Design, “It’s crucial to keep your workplace free of clutter, organized and tidy.” A few quick tips include:

    • • 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.

 

Electronics Charging Unplugged. How Does This Effect Office Furniture?

 

The answer is – a great deal.

Can you imagine being able to simply lay your laptop or phone on a desk and it automatically begins to recharge your battery if needed? Well, the technology for wireless charging embedded into furniture is here and being manufactured, now.

So, why do we need it?
As noted in a recent whitepaper from KI, titled Charging Ahead: Intelligent Wireless Power for Real World Environments, the explosive growth of the portable electronics industry has helped to reinvent the way consumers and businesses work, play and communicate.

• According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average U.S. household owns 25 consumer electronics products
• It is estimated that by 2013, the average U.S. household will have 2.5x as many digital media devices in use as in in 2008.
• These portable devices are being transported into the workplace, community spaces and campus buildings and the number of these electronics continues to increase daily.

Now, imagine an office environment having to support all of these devices when it comes to recharging the batteries. The cord clutter alone becomes a bit overwhelming doesn’t it? Not to mention the number of wall sockets that will be required to accommodate the increasing number of portable electronics. Hence, the push for wireless charging.

Wireless power
Some furniture manufacturers such as KI are already looking to the future by partnering with Fulton Innovation and embedding wireless charging into their furniture with eCoupled technology. The results include flat surfaces such as desks and counter tops that will have the capability of charging batteries simply by laying your device on the surface. This intelligent technology will not only know if your device needs charging, it will immediately begin the charging process.

IMS Research projects that over 900 million devices will be in the market by 2019 using wireless charging and over 50% of the market will use embedded solutions.

How do you feel about wireless charging? Will you consider purchasing furniture with this capability?

For more information on how the technology actually works when embedded in furniture check out this video be sure to read the KI pdf listed here.