Trends in New Orleans Office Design Part Three

cubicles-overheadThis is the final installment of our New Orleans Office Design trends series! Read on for the last four trends you should adopt.

7. Since management typically gets 90% of the floor space in an office, but work the least hours, cohnsider revamping, Give engineers a large conference room for collaboration and have mangers take smaller spaces since they are back and forth and in and out constantly, and usually work shorter hours.

8. Remember that every job, task, worker and project is not the same – and one size does not fit all. Consider staggering cubicle and shared workstation sizes to allow for those who need more or less space and amenities.  Allow for interaction on every level, and pay just as much attention to privacy if required.

9. Cut out the drywall! It’s expensive, hard to change, and blocks the flow of your space. consider a hybrid blend of cubicles and open space, with closed in offices at each corner and a shared workstation and touch down center at the hub. People will be more apt to enjoy their work when the walls are shorter and they don’t feel as closed in.  Go for flexibility and arrange desks so that those who have direct contact with the public ar accessible and those who need to work undisturbed are protected. Cubicles can also be dismantled, shifted and reconfigured – the advantage of modular design is that there is never any being locked in to a specific plan.

10. Link the shell of a building and its infrastructure together, remembering that the walls affect the lighting, the sound and the mood, the lighting affects the mood, the productivity and the ambiance, the floors affect the noise level and the comfort, and the acoustics are always something to be considered. Offices designed with an eye to calm and peacefulness on average are 50% more productive than those that are not so designed.

Don’t forget to take into account how your business will change over time, and allow for expansion if possible without drastically cutting existing employees’ space. Better to leave some space open and ready for new hires than to suddenly cut everyone’s space in half to accommodate!

Thanks for reading. What are some trends you see in New Orleans Office Design planning?




Trends in New Orleans Office Design Part Two

used cubicles new orleansLast week we talked about the changing trends in New Orleans office design. Here are a few more to consider!

4. Provide a “Touchdown Space”. If you have employees who may pop in for a minute but don’t really need to have an assigned desk, a shared workstation with all the amenities can allow them to touch down, check in, log in if needed, plug up to a phone jack to check voice-mail or connect to the internet to check email. This can save a lot of space from being devoted to someone who is around for a few minutes at the start and end of each day.

5. Rethink technologies and consider using blended space for employees who need a place to meet for a moment.. A workstation for four with a conference phone, plenty of room for laptops and tablets and a screen for video calls makes teamwork a snap and doesn’t require the use of a huge conference room. his can be centrally located and used for all sorts of small meetings without needing to go to another wing or floor. Design so that no-one is more than 15 feet away from a phone jack, internet connection, printer or filing cabinet. Keep old files and new ones separate and improve the speed at which each team can work.

6. Take actual potential activities into account when designing space. Replanning buildings based on what people actually do instead of by preconceived conceptions of what an “office space” should look like can increase productivity and contentment. If someone can be up and moving during part of the day, many issues can be circumvented – among them stiffness, burnout, and even obesity! Having smaller workstations plus room for a touchdown, a conference, a private space for a break or a medication administration are all ideas we’ve touched on – but why not expand it to a library/media center, a quiet room where people can relax while waiting on a meeting and enjoy wifi, and other amenities that allow them to work where they want instead of being chained to their desks?

Check in next week for our final four New Orleans office design trends!

Ten Trends in New Orleans Office Design Part One

office cubicles New OrleansTrends in New Orleans office design – especially space size and configuration – are moving towards more flexible offices and an increase in shared space, with amenities added as needed for the specific vertical. Here are the first five of ten trends in office design:

1.  Collaborative space is a flexible thing. Everyone’s heard the stories about how cubicles stifle creativity but open office plans create chaos. True collaborative effort isn’t the norm in every industry, and many people work best undistracted. That said, even cubicle space can be adapted with varying heights and layouts to make it easy for workers to confab when needed and share ideas as well as space.Moving away from an open floor plan doesn’t have to mean a death knell for energy and spontaneity, all you have to do is remember who is trying to do what and within what parameters, and take into account that not everyone has the same work style, and design accordingly.

2.  The big private office for everyone is out. With the sky-high cost of commercial real estate these days, most companies simply can’t afford the footprint for individual walled offices with a window view. Smaller workstations arranged in a pattern around a central conference room or in a varying pathway format for ease of communication can serve just as well and prevent people from feeling like their autonomy and sense of personal space is completely gone.  An alternative work environment allows team members to work together when needed and retreat when serious focus is required.
3. Shared break space is important. When everyone arrives at work, pulls their chair up to their desktop,and spends even lunch at their desk, social interaction suffers. consider footprints and shave a foot off of every workstation in a ten unit row,  making 9X9 workstations measure 8X9. The remaining 10X9 space can be converted into a tiny lounge with a small table, two chairs, and a phone extension as well as a shelf for items or a coffeepot. Add a plant for character and people can spend at least a few minutes away from their desk getting to know a co-worker when needed. Add a door, and this space also provides privacy if an employee needs to make a personal call while on break, take medication, etc.

Check back next week for three more New Orleans Office Design trends!

The Five Office Layouts You Should be Familiar With

reception deskThe structure of an office layout isn’t just about office hierarchy or the division of public and private areas. The way your office is laid out is an actual extension of your brand and can say a lot about your company as the product or service you provide. When planning an office layout, you will naturally consider the style and appearance factors, but to be effective a layout also needs to respect the information flow to ensure every worker performs at optimum capacity.

A Modular Workstation Layout lets you go wild with a variety of pieces that can be mixed and matched to divide space into workstations. Each office can be tailored to suit the specific duties of the occupants.

A Cluster Workstation Layout focuses employee workstations around a central core. Dividers can be distributed from a hub, and arranged them in a pattern similar to the spokes in a wheel. This type of system is most effective in an office where don’t spend all of their working day at their desk.

A Landscape Layout is used in Germany extensively, and depends on a combination of cluster and modular styles with the addition space elements, ambient lighting and plants and foliage often used as visual barriers Most organizations use a hybrid approach with a ratio of approximately 80:20% open to private areas.

An Open Plan Layout may have  higher levels of noise pollution, but may also have better levels of communication. This style of layout is more appropriate for offices with computer based tasks rather than telecommunications. This structure helps enforce a sense of teamwork and allows clear lines of collaboration.

A Traditional Closed Office Layout is the typical plan for offices housing upper management. This is still common in many industries but for large offices the cost per square foot may decrease its attractiveness.

What kind of office layout works best for your needs? Share with us what you like and dislike about your layout, and how you think things could be improved.


New Orleans Office Furniture – Decor or Functionality?

Executive credenzaIf you run your business from a New Orlean’s office, furniture has been on your shopping list more than once. But how do you decide which pieces to purchase? Is having all matching decor more important to you, as a way to impress clients on first glance? Or are you more focused on functionality?

If you have a snazzy new office for a few employees and yourself in a nice area, and depend on appearances to make a good impression on potential clients who walk in the door, having all mahogany furnishing, plush carpets, wallpaper and signed prints from major artists on the walls might be your top priority. If you tend to spend more time brokering deals on the golf course and minimal time behind your desktop, How your desk and chair fit you may be less of a concern than how they fit the space and style of the decor.

However, if you and your employees work 40 hours typing furiously and having to run back and forth between your desk and the printer station, functionality suddenly becomes more important. Your office furniture needs to be comfortable to sit in, easy to move around, and make sense from a workstation point of view instead of a purely aesthetic one.

If you shop carefully, however, you may find New Orlean’s office furniture that is both stylish and sensible, allowing you to work with ease as long as you need to but still greet walk-ins with an air of luxurious professionalism that engenders confidence and respect.

Whether you opt for a huge executive desk with a high backed leather chair or a corner desk with a rolling chair and comfortable lumbar support, you can find options that suit both your visual and physical needs with just a little extra attention to detail. What is important to you when you go shopping for office furniture, and what do you wish you had done differently when decorating and furnishing your office?


New Orleans Office Furniture – Oldie But Goodie?

used office furniture new orleansWhat kind of vibe do you want your office to give off? If you have a New Orleans office, furniture that fits with the glory days of the town might be in order. Executive office desks made of heavy wood and stained rich colors still have a place amidst modern styles that favor lightweight wood board, plenty of metal, and black or chrome highlights.

The credenza pictured opposite is another type of furniture that could give your office a warm and luxurious fee. While many office spaces resort to cookie cutter pieces when looking for supplemental furniture, The Office Planning Group seeks to bring inspiration to every corner of the office with fine pieces that feature character.

Using this credenza as a kind of reception concierge space allows you to offer guests refreshment as well as a place to make a call or take a note as needed. For an even fancier feel, real glassware and mugs could be provided instead of plastic and foam cups. A mini-fridge with custom labeled bottles of water is also a nice touch.

You should also pay attention to how each piece fits in with existing decor. This credenza is placed in an office in which the existing desks and chairs have the same style and wood stain, providing a balanced and even look to clients. Executive desks can be placed against walls or in an L or U arrangement or even back to back  if space is tight, allowing room for multiple people to use the same workspace – thanks to the opulence of days gone past, a large wooden desk is likely to be large enough that there will be plenty of room for everyone.

Think outside the box when it comes to decorating your New Orleans office. Don’t jump in with the slickest (or the cheapest) option you ca find with bland, boring pieces that would be interchangeable with a dozen other offices in the vicinity, Your office furniture is a major part of your first impression, so think about investing in real, old style wood pieces that will stand the test of time and changing fashion.




Fun Facts About Louisiana

We are proud to be of service to the people in our beautiful and unique state of Louisiana! It’s been over 40 years now that we’ve been providing complete office environments for New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and all the rest of Louisiana so we thought it’d be fun to share some interesting facts about our charming state. How much do you know about Louisiana? Time to put your state trivia to the test!

Fun Facts About Louisiana

New Orleans Office Furniture Options – Mobile Workspaces

Mobile computer desks could be the perfect solution for your New Orleans office. Furniture that is readily movable is ideal for today’s flexible workplace environment, allowing workers to configure and reconfigure the space they are working in as teams are formed and dissolved and projects expand and contract.

The benefits of using mobile computer desks include:

  • Mobility. Movable computer desks mean that changing the layout of your office space only takes a few minutes. High quality wheel casters permit movable computer desks to be shifted as needed, allowing the workplace to evolve over time without too much heavy lifting.
  • Flexibility. A mobile computer desk for each employee can be a great way to manage the need for temporary teams – simple shift desk into a “pod” for the time period during which the team needs to collaborate, and then allow desks to be separated again when the need for close quarters is over.
  • Space-efficiency. Moveable desks allow work spaces not in use to be literally shoved into a closet, freeing up extra square footage for other uses, such as project display boards or a larger table for laying out papers or blueprints on.

Mobile desks also have the advantage of not being as personal, permitting several people to use the same workstation without such a sense of propitiatory ownership. For offices with flex schedules when people work different shifts or telecommuters who only need to pop in once and a while and grab some workspace while they are there, the mobile work station can simplify things.

Movable desks don’t have to have wheels. Many desk components can be purchased in pieces which can be put together in a variety of configurations, and the individual components are not too heavy to move easily. A pair of corner desks can be turned into a large U or T, while four can create a square “round” table or a large I. These configurations can be helpful in offices where people need to work together and space is at a premium. As needed, components can be split off and removed to far corners of the room, creating private spaces where phone calls and other business can be carried out in relative privacy.

Look into New Orleans Office Furniture that allows flexibility and discover who a transient layout could improve your efficiency.

New Orleans Office Furniture Choices: Advantages of Corner Desks

Is a corner desk the right choice for New Orleans office furniture? It depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the available space, the use to which it will be put, the personality and working style of the people using it, and so on. To help you decide if corner desks could be a good option for your own office in New Orleans, furniture advantages are as follows:

Corner Desk Advantages

  • Fit in small office. The corner desk is compact and as the name indicates can be it neatly into a corner if needed.   The design is focused on maximum efficiency, and “compact”  in this case does NOT mean “small”.
  • Use space wisely. The corner desk may be a fave of telecommuters, but small business offices are starting to use them more and more as a viable option. They utilize floor space in a way that leaves plenty of room for other furniture and items, and can be embellished with high cabinets on each facing wall to offer even more room for files.
  • Multi purpose. The integrated storage that most corner desks offer is in the form of shelves or counters under and / or over the desk. Being able to keep extra reams of paper, an in and out box, ink cartridges for the fax / printer and so on at your fingertips is a great reason to invest in a heavy duty corner desk.
  • Distraction free. If a corner desk is situated in a corner, it naturally puts the user’s back to the room, providing a veritable cone of privacy. Most workers find they are more productive when facing a wall or corner since this allows them to shut out the comings, goings, and conversations of those behind them.
  • Versatile. Corner desks can be used in a variety of configurations. They can be put together to form a large U shape to create a decent arrangement for a conference room, or can be butted against each other to form a T and used by four or more team members.

If you are looking for a New Orleans office furniture item that is practical, affordable and flexible, the corner desk might be your best option.



Office Space Planning: Open vs Cubicles, Part Two

Last week we looked at why companies think open office spaces are better than cubicles and why they might be wrong. How does open office space affect workers who need peace and quiet for their thought process?

The close proximity can really hamper those who are constantly on the phone or deep in complex calculations or coding. If a worker has to leave an open-plan area to go and find a private, quite space to work on another floor, they often just stay and grit their teeth.

There’s simply way too much distraction and too much noise. It’s a blend of poor sight-lines that allow on teams’ rambunctious gesticulation to distract another team 200 feet away. The goal is really to provide acoustical buffered products that can be stationed in strategic areas to provide a quiet workspace for those who need it when they need it.

Creating “zones” or ” neighborhoods” can help – with one area for collaborative teamwork and another for more detailed desktop or phone applications. This could mean a blending of  the open floor plan which basically means sitting everyone at tables in the open, and the cubicle based option that was designed for minimum worker interference.

Hoteling units can particularly benefit from this kind of set up, as workers who need to collaborate can seat themselves together and those who are working solo can find a quiet corner to do their own work.

Don’t forget the need for proper power and internet connections.  Electricity is a higher priority since most computers, laptops, tablets and phones can connect wirelessly, but but you probably want at least a few direct ports.

Consider adjusting your viewpoint from “either-or” when it comes to considering cubicles or an open plan in your office design, and consider the end users instead of the aesthetics.

Finally, remember that the closed office is still the preferred workspace for many – so consider building a few into your floor plan. They can often be used as leverage in salary negotiations – the perk of a private office with a door that closes mist be the incentive needed for a much wanted recruit to jump ship and join your team!