How to create flexible learning spaces that focus on the needs of students and teachers

Purchasing the right furnishings can make a difference in creating positive and efficient learning environments. Manufacturers such as National and KI, offer a complete range of products covering the full needs of teaching institutions, from the reception area to interactive learning stations and computer labs. All components are designed to meet your requirements in terms of ergonomics, flexibility and the integration of new technologies.

When it comes to creating a fluid, tech-savvy, and collaborative learning space consider the following solutions:

THINK ADAPTABILITY 

The wide range of options provides flexibility and functionality making it easier to adapt to different teaching approaches.

Tables & Seating Solutions

Fold Tables by National

Move tables together to collaborate or apart for focus time, or move them out-of-the-way entirely.

Solution highlight: durable casters and flip/nest capabilities allow users to reconfigure with ease.

Essay Seating by National

Essay by NationalFrom classrooms to informal settings, Essay is prepared and ready to perform in any situation. Easily hang a bag or backpack on the chevron-shaped back and feel comfortable that it won’t end up on the floor.

Solution highlights: The optional double pivoting tablet arm offers a non-handed dual work zone allowing users to swivel the worksurface into the perfect location. Add an optional upholstered seat cushion to any Essay model for extra comfort.

Ruckus by KI

Rickus by KIRuckus innovative seating promotes student movement and lets users choose how they relate to their learning spaces. The Ruckus collection fosters student engagement, enables a wide range of teaching styles and adapts to a variety of users and uses.

Solution Highlights: With Ruckus chairs, users can quickly and easily change from focused to collaborative work on the fly without the disruption of rearranging furniture. Seating is non-directional to improve sight lines, and the chair back is perch-able to facilitate tiered classrooms without the need for stools.

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TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION

Interactive technologies are at the heart of the modern school. A collaborative classroom setting that enables easy integration of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies is essential in every campus.

The Right Tools

The Power Tower by National

Power To wer by NationalThis Power Tower is power hub that can be used in a variety of ways. Simply position it among a cluster of chairs or tables in a lounge, student center, or meeting area to provide 360 ̊ of power to a group of users.

Solution highlight: The power tower provides access to 9 power receptacles and 6 USB charging ports.

 

Power Tower by Nationa;

Connection Zone by KI

Connection ZoneConnection Zone Screens move where you move. Spark creativity and facilitate collaboration with writable surfaces that create and define classroom zones. Screens can be used individually or ganged together for division of space, or to provide a larger canvas.

Solution highlights: A variety of insert materials are offered, from acrylic to steel, to tackable fabrics. Easel hooks support writing pads, while accessory trays give quick access to Collaborative tools and dry erase items.

 

Thintex: Designed for Comfort

These new material introduction has picked our interest. SitOnIt Seating has introduced a modern interpretation of the traditional upholstered chair. New Wit™ Thintex™ provides all the comfort,  support, and initial soft “pillow feel” of a 2” thick upholstered back in a thin contemporary design. Check it out.

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10 Essential Furnishings Every Office Needs To Consider

Sometimes knowing what your office doesn’t need helps narrow your furniture purchasing strategy. Whether the size of your office is large or small, the following basic furnishings should always be considered, even if it is determined some of them are unnecessary.

TASK SEATING Designed to be adaptable to specific tasks performed, ergonomic chairs allow your employees to get the job done faster, in a more comfortable and healthy way.

 

DESKING SYSTEMS Today’s organized systems provide places for computers, numerous devices and ‘things’.

 

VISITOR SEATING Seating that gives your guests or patients a place to get comfortable, in areas such as lounges or waiting rooms.

 

OCCASIONAL FURNITURE This shows that you’ve put more thought into your workplace than “just the basics.”

 

RECEPTION AREA – Extra attention here gives you opportunity to make a great first impression.

 

ARCHITECTURAL WALLS/PANEL SYSTEMS These systems create division between people and distractions.

 

POWER/DATA SOLUTIONS An important consideration for your furniture in today’s ‘connected’ world.

 

TASK LIGHTING The illuminance level and contrast and proper lighting for mood and eyesight cannot be underestimated.

 

STORAGE Planning ahead gives you a place to file documents, clear clutter and hide personal belongings.

 

BREAK ROOM TABLES AND SEATING Area that allows your employees to take a healthy break from their work for a meal or even conversation.

 

What do you think? What furnishings do you consider essential in your office?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ergonomic, Schmergonomic. Can The Way You Sit Really Affect Productivity?

You bet it can.

We’ve all heard the term ‘ergonomics’. But what does it really mean? By definition ergonomics is “the applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort.” This means providing furniture that adapts to people, so they can spend more time on tasks comfortably and less time away from their workstations.

Ergonomics does indeed have an impact on the bottom line. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association surveyed roughly 29,000 computer users and found that 52.7 % were working with at least one form of daily musculoskeletal discomfort. The average lost productive time among those experiencing discomfort was more than 5.2 hours per week.

“Musculoskeletal discomfort” can mean any of the following conditions: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Trigger Finger, Rotator Cuff Syndrome, Epicondylitis, Herniated spinal disc, Sciatica or Tension Neck Syndrome. Considering how common they are, you probably know someone who is suffering from one of these conditions.

So, what can be done to ensure employees a more comfortable/efficient work experience?

Ergonomics can actually be boiled down to four key challenges we all encounter at our desk.

  • Hand & Wrist Posture
  • Task Seating
  • Monitor Positioning
  • Task Lighting

Everything from the way you hold your mouse to the way you sit or even the available light at your desk have an impact on your overall comfort at work. This in turn, affects productivity.

4 QUICK TIPS TO IMPROVE ERGONOMICS IN YOUR OFFICE:

1. Don’t assume it’s ergonomic.
The purpose of ergonomics is to ensure health and safety, but just because a product says it’s ‘ergonomic’ doesn’t mean it’s safe to use. There’s currently no regulatory oversight to keep companies from labeling products in this manner or marketing something as the Ergo-Chair, for example. And forget what your mother told you about it always being best to sit up straight – it’s simply not true. Studies have shown that it’s best to recline slightly, to put less stress on your spine.
2. There can be too much of a good thing
A popular misconception is that the more adjustable a piece of equipment is, the more ergonomic it is. Yet every chair and every person is different. It’s actually dangerous to have too much control if it means that a chair or workstation is configured in a way that’s unhealthy. The sad reality is that most people don’t adjust their chair, even if the option is available.
3. Don’t forget the lighting
Lighting is the most important element for maintaining good eyesight and the type of lighting is just as important as your ability to adjust its position. Reading on-screen and reading on-paper have different requirements for minimizing eye strain. There’s also the issue of glare and the need to minimize it. All this, plus there’s an emotional benefit to having good light while you’re working.
4. Educating with ergonomics
It’s not enough to buy the right furniture. You should promote ergonomic safety as well. Make sure that your monitor height is correct, that you minimize glare and be sure to take breaks from repetitive motions and tasks. Having ergonomic furniture and helping others adjust it appropriately is the best way to ensure that your co-workers and employees stay healthy and productive at work.

For more research and ideas, you can read the Office Ergonomics Handbook by Knoll. Does  your office think “ergonomically?”