Author Archives: furniture
Why Work From Home Policies Are Not Working
Internet connectivity, Zoom technology, Wi-Fi, and remote interaction has made working from home easier than ever and appealing to a great many people. But as Carole Crosnier discusses here on the Haworth blog, a company might be seeing reasons why work from home policies are not working.
Indeed, as the COVID-19 pandemic has driven employees out of the office and working from home, it’s become a question of just how effective people are when working away from the office. This is a welcome development in many respects…as the pandemic continues, more and more technologies are developed to reduce social contact and contain the virus.
As Crosnier notes, for many people working from home can be greatly advantageous. The benefits to individuals are numerous…eliminating commute time, being able to dress any way one pleases, choosing their own surroundings and background music. A person who is home by his or herself has the advantage of being able to shut out distractions, and focus on productivity.
However, as the mass exodus into working from home continues into its second year, Crosnier makes several points at how many employees work better and are more productive in an atmosphere that encourages connection. As she points out, “the essence of a successful organization is all about people working together—collaborating, coordinating, innovating, and making choices.”
Even as someone who doesn’t mind being alone, Crosnier has decided that a daily existence of separation from her colleagues isn’t working for her. Like most of us, she craves the social interaction, the water cooler discussions, the post-work gatherings. With vaccinations abounding, she believes the office will return as a gathering space.
A well designed office can help to create a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere where employees and collaborate and interact together as a team. The immeasurable impact of a workplace of employees isolated from another in your company may be why work from home policies are not working after all.
Designing Workspaces for COVID-19
With the world seemingly making adjustments due to the current circumstances, stay ahead of the curve and on top of the latest trends for designing workspaces for COVID-19 by calling us today. Bellia partners with Haworth’s experts to learn about and curate ideal practices in keeping the workplace as functional as possible. The balance between comfortability and productivity can be a delicate one. With safety being a major matter, we believe these modifications can help.
Plenty of businesses have found the past year’s pivot to remote working to be challenging, and although remote working is far from over, the quality of the office is more important now than ever. With the world seemingly on pause, there has been time to step back and look at the conditions at how we work. To best prepare forward, we must first peak backward: According to the Leesman Index in 2019, only 59.2% of all global respondents felt their workplace positively contributed to a sense of community, while 61.1% agreed that their workplace enabled them to be productive.
Our industry’s challenge is to take this opportunity and re-imagine our offices to make them not only desirable places, but functional business assets in this new world of hybrid work.
With remote work, the playing field seemingly has been leveled with everyone having to do their best across email, zoom, and other chat services. While companies have seen the benefit of hiring talent from around the world (eliminating the restrictions of having to pull from local talents) not every area, whether rural or metropolitan, offers the same access to a productive work environment. By revamping the office space, businesses can provide a neutral space all employees can truly have equal footing in with a set tone and vibe provided by management.
Interaction breeds thought, understanding, and tolerance- not just socially, but for better business practices and strategies. The office space allows these interactions to happen more organically, fostering a team mentality that will motivate everyone involved with a project to allocate more energy into it. Engaging face-to-face is an integral part of learning what makes each of us tick, thereby making us better employees, colleagues, and humans. Working from home has made many people lonely and isolated, giving them a sense of being trapped in the cycle of: work, stay home, sleep, wake up, work again…all in the same spot. With a healthy office space, employees have the chance, if only for a few hours, to hit a gear switch and move with purpose as they work. In this environment, different minds with different takes will inevitably be able to freely and immediately discuss, debate, and collaborate on a given project, allowing the final outcome to be the product of several different opinions.
You can read more about designing workspaces for COVID-19 by calling us today. Please fill out the form below to get guidance on how from the experts at Bellia.
Workspaces that Inspire Focus
Bellia creates workspaces that inspire focus! Bellia has been the best namesake in providing furniture for offices and interior workspace design since 1973. More than a provider of a pleasing aesthetic, we take great pride in shaping a work space to motivate employees. Working with Haworth, we have grown to appreciate the science behind Haworth’s data concludes that inspiration in the work place is often disrupted by 3 culprits: Distractions, Interference, and Interruptions. These disruptions can stem from external influences; like people or activities around you. They can also be internal stressors, like hunger and fatigue. Whether the case is personal or coming from the outside, they disrupt your brain’s ability to focus.
Using furniture and décor to create a motivated setting is crucial to a business and the employees who keep it running. Understanding the culprits and addressing through a specific and detailed layout will not only channel the focus in your enterprise, but create a comfortable surrounding that identifies it as a safe spot to set their outside distractions down to get the job done. For instance, we found that floorplate, adjacency features and workspace characteristics should communicate where specific work activities can take place, effectively managing auditory and visual distractions and interference.
Using Haworth’s methods and findings, we build workspaces that inspire focus. Our goal is to help dilute the disruptors in your offices to make a better environment.
Workspaces that Inspire Human Performance
Every element that makes up the atmosphere that is your work space sends a signal. Whether utilitarian, something to avoid, or something to be precious of, the surroundings of your work area create. Its called “the vibe” right? Well yes, colloquially, its just a saying, but it stems from the idea that there is a vibration, a buzz, and energy about the room that leaves an impression on the rules and standards. When piecing together the aesthetics of a functioning, designers want workspaces that inspire human performance
How the space feels is based off the look and ability- this gives workers and customers informed affordances. According to psychologist James Gibson, affordances are “objects or an environment communicates its purpose and offers possibilities for action”. When developing the concept of affordances, he believed when we look at an object or an environment, we perceive its affordances for action even before we notice qualities such as shape and color.
Alot of this is about the presence and its design. For example, a candy dish left in a common area says “I’m here to work, but I’m also allowed (maybe expected?) to have sweets” i.e. “my wants outside of my duties are being recognized.” These are signals that are not taught to us in a formal educational setting, but observed in social semantics- candy left on a table is up for grabs. A couch with an ottoman in front of it says “put your feet up, this is where you relax”. A propped open door says “you’re free to come and go”.
Working with Haworth, we integrate affordances into our consultation with you on trying to map your space to give off the right vibe and energy your space needs to come alive and speak to your employees and patrons. We hope to continue to design workspaces that inspire human performance; that give you and your coworkers all the right affordances that signal:
- Cognitive Affordances to help people do their mind’s best work.
- Emotional Affordances to nurture a person’s psychological state.
- Physical Affordances to support the body’s needs.
Workspaces That Inspire Innovation
In today’s ultra-competitive environment, organizations have become more focused on the creative process and the value of workspaces that inspire innovation. It’s no longer enough to supply desks and cubicles along with a break room and a microwave. For a team to be able to conceive better ideas and collaborate effectively, there needs to be an all-around focus on these activities in their office environment.
This excellent whitepaper from Haworth® goes into details about the needs of team members on several levels…their need for privacy and ability to engage in undistracted focus at whatever level is needed, meeting and gathering spaces to share ideas, and an accessible space with window views to help effectively restore their energy. In today’s office design, spaces for both intense focus and cognitive restoration should be strategically placed for ideal productivity and innovation.
Your workspace should provide space for both privacy and collaboration, as well as space that allows team members to reduce project times and improve your services. Different organizations have different needs, and what works for one company may not work for another. But in any workplace where innovation is key, it’s important for a work environment to enable both peak creative performance and allows for restoration, along with a seamless transition between the two.
Bellia Office Design is not just a recognized vendor of Haworth® modernized office products. We are also dedicated to workspaces that inspire innovation, and creating an office space that is comfortable and inviting and ultimately improves your bottom line. We offer a free work and space evaluation where we can show you how your space can be best arranged to maximize productivity and creativity.
Let Bellia help you to redesign your workspace to maximize the creative talents of your team. Contact us today or request your free work and space evaluation here. We can help you and your team love the space you’re in!
Coworking Spaces for the Gig Economy
In this modernized and increasingly remotely connected age, many companies are saving on costs by retooling from full-time, 40-hour a week employees to part-timers and freelancers to get tasks done. While this can result is obsolescence of your traditional office, it also offers a great opportunity. One way that companies can get ahead of this new technology curve is through creating coworking spaces for the gig economy.
The “gig economy” refers to the revolution of more and more people working as freelance writers, artists, designers and more, as they seek a greater work-life balance and more effective use of their time. If a company’s employees or contractors can work outside of the office, it becomes more important to create an office environment that is welcoming and offers collaborative opportunities in addition to social interaction.
This article from Haworth illustrates the various forms or office environments that offer greater employee interaction, more effective collaboration, and increased overall productivity with less overhead. Some examples of creating new spaces and their benefits include:
- Assigned workspaces for specific functions, for increased interaction
- Individual activity workspaces for tasks that require increased amounts of focus
- Social spaces to empower employees to gather, including outdoor spaces
- Multi-use spaces that include modular lounges, lightweight tables and freestanding screens
- Well-being spaces such as improved cafeterias and fitness centers
- Workspace virtual communities for remote connections and online meetings
At Bellia, our office design experts can help you create a new office space that takes advantage of the coming age of freelancing and part-time employees, and create coworking spaces for the gig economy in your office. We can view your current office design, discuss your goals and your office needs, and create a new design that maximizes your space and provides return on your investment.
Reach out to us today or click here for your free workspace evaluation, and create an office that you, your employees, and your contractors will love!
Does Your Furniture Support Employee Health?
When you as a business owner make the considerable investment in an employee, you want that employee to be as healthy as needed to be productive…including emotionally and cognitively as well as physically. Does your furniture support employee health? It’s a question you may want to take some time to answer.
For employees to be effective, your workplace should be designed not just for comfort or aesthetics. As this page from Haworth® shows, employee effectiveness is best maximized through the concept of “Affordances”. Simply put, affordances encourage particular behaviors…both productive and non-productive…and generate opportunities for action. Affordances embrace a workplace as being more than just a container for people.
You have the ability to design your workspace to actually be a participant in completing your business tasks, and to help optimize human performance. As this page states, the team at Haworth® has identified ten core Affordances that are vital to human performance. Those Affordances include tailoring spaces to the specific needs of individuals, investing in furniture and spaces that suit a person’s physical characteristics, and offering meaningful, engaging and familiar surroundings.
The effect of your workspace and your furniture on your employees’ health is not trivial. Enhancing the comfort and atmosphere of your work spaces, while providing spaces that encourage interaction and collaboration, has a profound effect on employees’ physical and emotional well-being. That, in turn, affects their productivity and innovation, and ultimately, your business’s bottom line.
At Bellia Office Design, our strength is designing office spaces that maximize employee productivity and provide a return on a business’s investment. Does your furniture support employee health? We can help you find the answer to this question. Reach out to us today for a free workspace evaluation, and let us show you how your workspace, your employee health, and your bottom line can be changed for the better.
Does Your Furniture Match Your Culture?
In today’s market where businesses need to compete to hire and retain top talent, it’s never been more important for companies to align their culture and business goals. The workspace environment matters more than ever, and it’s all a part of motivating and keeping your best employees. Does your furniture match your culture?
When a workspace is designed not just for function and comfort, but also for collaboration and creativity, it improves employee engagement and impacts your bottom line. As recently as 2014, as reported in this white paper from Haworth®, companies that were described as having low employee engagement suffered a decrease in operating income of as much as 32%!
It goes beyond impacting revenue. As University of Michigan Professor and Author Jeff Degraff notes, companies should recognize their own type of company culture, and whether the focus is on to compete, collaborate, control, or create. Your workspace and furniture design works best when it reflects your dominant culture, and encourages innovation to happen.
You can take just 30 seconds of your time taking this short quiz to assess your own company culture. Or take a moment to read the whitepaper from Haworth®, which goes into deeper detail about the many components of company culture and how an office can be designed to support it.
At Bellia, we are long established experts in designing your furniture and workspace to reflect both your company’s brand and culture. We are a licensed Haworth® dealer, and can help you choose from the ideal ergonomic furniture pieces that are designed to encourage collaboration and innovation among your team members.
Does your furniture match your culture? It’s a question you need to ask. Reach out to Bellia today or click here to request a free workspace evaluation. We’ll help you design your office to encourage productivity and improve your bottom line.
Creating an Organic Workspace
In the modern competitive office environment today, creating an organic workspace is how businesses can both attract top talent and stay ahead of the curve when adjustments are needed. The focus of the organic workspace is on adaptability…a needed change from the “design once” philosophy of the past. A well-designed organic workspace can help “future-proof” your office environment and enable your company to respond to change with minimal cost and effort.
At Bellia, we are a licensed dealer for Haworth®, a furniture company that is on the cutting edge of future office design. Haworth® has recently researched the need for creative workspaces, and they’ve developed the concept of the Organic Workspace®…an office environment designed for functional flexibility and changing spaces with business needs.
Creating an Organic Workspace® involves several facets regarding office design:
Adaptability – An Organic Workspace® supports adaptability through both broader elements such as real estate and workplace strategies to architectural design and furnishings.
The Need For Change – Ensuring that resources are available to change office interiors, establishing programs to store furniture for re-use, and creating a culture that encourages new ideas in the change process.
Sustained Improvement – Collecting regular feedback from organizational members on space usage and workforce measures, including employee engagement, wellness and efficiency.
The goal of creating an organic workspace is to help companies optimize workplace performance, through continually adapting to change and reassigning configurations. With an Organic Workspace® design, an organization can respond to changing needs, keep re-alignment costs down, and enable enhanced employee performance and feedback.
To find out more about Haworth’s® research regarding the Organic Workspace, you can visit this page on their website. Or contact the team at Bellia Office Design today, and ask for your free work and space evaluation. We can help you create an organic office design that keeps you and your organization functioning in a changing world.
Creating A Better Work Environment
To stay ahead of your competition in today’s world, creating a better work environment is essential to attracting and retaining top talent. Your bottom line benefits when your employees are happier, healthier, and encouraged by a well-designed business environment. Workspace design is a huge element of employee well-being, and can make all the difference in employee morale.
At Bellia, we are a licensed distributor of Haworth®, a cutting edge furniture design and manufacturing firm. We proudly partner with Haworth® for their innovation and research supported designs, including their continuing dedication to creating a better work environment in offices worldwide.
Haworth’s® funding of recently compiled research includes information compiled by over 100 corporate leaders and experts, and has resulted in the book, The Healthy Workplace Nudge, How Healthy People, Culture and Buildings Lead to High Performance, by Dr. Michael O’Neill and Beck Johnson. In it, Dr. O’Neill states that wellness programs offered by companies today aren’t working, and that employee well-being is far more of a function of workplace design than originally thought.
The findings show that both employees and employers benefit from a holistic point of view…one that supports psychological as well as physical comfort, physical wellness and cognitive function. The Healthy Workspace Nudge includes focus on how employees can be “nudged” towards healthier and stress-reducing behaviors. A better work environment goes beyond happier and more productive employees…it also places emphasis on reducing health problems, and subsequent absenteeism and healthcare costs for businesses.
To find out more about Haworth’s® research findings and the impact of a healthy work environment, visit this page on Haworth’s® website. If you’d like to find out how Bellia Office Design can create a better work environment for your organization, reach out to us today or click here for a free work and space evaluation. We can help you and your employees love the space you’re in.