Return of the Cubicle: Why Walled Workspaces Are Making a Comeback

It wasn’t but a decade ago that open offices became the choice for startups who wanted a workplace conducive to creativity and collaboration.

The open office wasn’t just a workplace decision; it was a generational decision, too. As startups brought new ways of thinking to their industries, they happily left old methodologies. Cubicles were tossed out along with cumbersome business models and traditional power structures.

Cubicles are making a comeback, however. Employers have realized all the collaboration and ingenuity open workspaces were supposed to provide didn’t quite meet expectations.

We talked with marketers and consultants about their experiences with open offices and asked them if there is any value to moving from expansive, borderless spaces to more defined workstations with walls.

What we discovered was quite interesting and affirmed the fact that, while open offices may never disappear, they’re under fire from both the young and old.

Open Office Proponents Overplayed the “Cubicles Are Prisons” Hand

In an article about the changing work world, marketing speaker and columnist Samuel Scott pointed out something that we’ve known all along.

Open offices aren’t nearly as infallible as the work world thought and, conversely, cubicles weren’t nearly as awful as the common stereotypes made them out to be.

Here’s what he wrote in a Jan. 2018 article for The Drum:

“The most eye-rolling claim in the tech world is that open offices encourage collaboration – as though no one ever worked together until they were all crammed into rows in single, large rooms like sweatshop factories,” Scott wrote.

He went on to point out that one of the main motivations of an open office may not be creativity – it may be price.

Referring to a post on LinkedIn by branding consultant Geoffrey James, he noted that, while the average open office will save you money up-front, they’ll end up costing about three times as much in reduced productivity.

As we’ve discovered in our own research, open offices tend to have more cases of sickness and, as a result, more employees taking sick days.

Of course, not all open offices are bad. Companies who take the time to sit down with an expert and plan out an office layout that matches their company goals for productivity and workflow tend to have better outcomes than those who do an office because it’s the thing to do.

A good example of this is an office redesign we did for New Orleans-based accountant firm Bruno and Tervalon. They wanted to transition their workspace from an open office to a hybrid design. We were able to incorporate elements of an open workspace along with private workstations.


Contrary to Popular Belief, Cubicles Promote Productivity

As we mentioned earlier, cubicles became the punch line of jokes about offices being more of a dungeon than a dynamic arena for growth and progressive thinking.

However, multiple studies over the past 30 years have shown that humans need a sense of spatial and auditory privacy for their brains to feel secure enough to focus, think critically and generate new ideas.

Matt Dubin, a workplace expert and leadership consultant, noted that as introverts’ unique needs have come into the consciousness of employers, cubicles have become a necessity.

“Cubicles can be quite productive, especially for introverts,” Dubin said. “While open floor plans have been glamorized recently as being the layout of choice for progressive companies, they usually work best for extroverts who draw energy from constant interaction.”

Introverts need a quieter space to excel, he said. Enter the cubicle.

“For employees who are more introverted and are energized by more quiet spaces that promote internal thought and reflection, cubicles can be more effective for their productivity,” Dubin said.

Ideally, he said, offices would implement a floorplan that includes a mix of cubicles and open spaces similar to what we did for Bruno and Tervalon.

“All offices should have a combination of cubicle-type areas and open spaces that encourage both focused, deep work and in-person collaboration,” Dubin said. “Office plans that incorporate both will maximize the unique strengths and personality of all employees.”

We’ll Help You Make Your Cubicle/Open Office Decision

The Office Planning Groups implements a three-step process for crafting the right office for your business. We start with a free space plan and design consultation, work with you to come up with the perfect office and then install that office with our trademark efficiency and professionalism.

That first stage is where we can help you decide if an open-office, cubicle or hybrid layout is best for the type of culture you want to create and the level of productivity you expect.

Contact us today to take the first step in designing the perfect office.

Three Principles for Effective Office Planning

One of the things that made McDonald’s such a revolutionary business is the concept of planning the work area. The original owners of the business were meticulous with the way they organized locations for the grill, fryer, shake makers and pass-thru.

They realized an important principle: Design influences productivity. That principle is one of the main reasons we emphasize planning as part of our business process. We work with companies to determine which layouts function best for their productivity and workflow objectives.

Knowing which type of design will work for you is much easier when there’s a basic understanding of how your office plan influences your daily life at work.

Good Planning Creates Convenience

If you’ve ever moved into a new home, figuring out how to configure your furniture and electronics can be tough. The goal is to organize everything in a way that makes movement and communication easy.

Offices aren’t that different; your planning needs to consider movement, communication and several other work-related factors like desk size, collaboration space and break rooms.

Business reporter Jill Leviticus highlighted additional considerations in a Houston Chronicle article about office planning:

“If you plan to redesign your office layout, make a list of key tasks employees perform, such as speaking to customers on the telephone, handling the mail or producing invoices. The list will serve as a convenient reference when you begin planning the new layout.”

Good Planning Considers Personalities

The days when all workers were considered drones with unilateral personalities are gone. Companies are devoting more time to understanding how their team members think and how each personality influences performance.

As a result, office planning has, in some circles, trended toward providing a workspace that meets the needs of extroverts and introvert.

In an interesting read from Fast Company, reporter Anjali Mullany talks about designing an office space that provides personality-soothing spaces for social butterflies and those who like to keep to themselves.

“Noise, interruptions, and lack of privacy are definitely a problem in open workspaces, and not everyone in an office works the same way or does the same work–which is why giving workers many options in a space is key to open office success,” Mullany wrote.


Good Planning Prioritizes Your Company Over Trends

The history of office workstations is an interesting one, to say the least. Cubicles have been around since the ‘60s and, while they have a poor reputation in popular culture, their emergence was actually pretty revolutionary.

They were first intended to provide the worker with a comfortable workstation that afforded them enough privacy to focus on their work and increase productivity without feeling trapped.

With the emergence of tech startups in the ‘90s and ‘00s, traditional “cubicle farms” were shunned for open-office concepts that, according to some, improved creativity and collaboration.

In recent years, though, research has been coming out proving that open offices may not be as effective in promoting creativity and productivity as once thought.

Another article from Fast Company illustrates this point well, if not with a little snark:

“Every workspace should contain nothing but offices. Offices for everyone. Offices for the junior associate and the assistant editor, and offices for the vice president and the editor-in-chief. Take those long tables, the ones currently lined with laptops at startups, and give them to an elementary school so children can eat lunch on them. We’ll have to do away with all those adorable communal spaces, but they were always a little demeaning, a little not-quite-Starbucks. We won’t need them now that we all have our own meeting place.”

The bottom line is that office planning should focus on who your company is and not trendy office design philosophy. Trends change faster than your company’s personality. Find the right fit for you; don’t fit your organization to cubicles or an open-office layout just because that’s what everyone’s pushing.

The Bottom Line: Office Planning Should Be Tailored to Your Team

One of the things we’ve learned as we’ve worked with hundreds of companies in Louisiana is that office planning isn’t a canned process where the planner pushes an agenda that’s divorced from the needs and nuances of the client.

Stop by our Space Planning page to learn more about what goes into our planning process and why, in the end, what we install in your workplace is appropriate for your expectations and needs.

The Open Office Concept May Not Be as Effective as You Think

For the past few years, business websites have fallen in love with the forward-thinking open-office designs of tech giants like Google and Facebook.

There’s been a very distinct push among progressive companies to transform the office from a cubicle-heavy workplace into what basically amounts to a labor-intensive studio apartment. Fridges, snacks and gourmet coffee machines are mandatory.

Lounge chairs, bean bags and picnic tables are common. Entertainment-break rooms are the new wave.

And if you think the movement is limited to just tech companies, think again. According to the BBC, “70% of US offices are open concept.”

The whole point of this movement, many people would say, is to spur creativity and collaboration. Fewer walls and offices and less separation leads to a collaborative environment where people can interact with different departments in a fluid manner.

Recently, though, the pendulum of office-design history has started to swing back to the middle. Forbes, The New Yorker and BBC have all featured intelligent arguments against open offices, with the BBC’s most recent piece carrying the title “Why Open Offices Are Bad for Us”.

An Anecdote from the BBC

The BBC article we’ve mentioned a few times was written in January 2017 and was based on the experience of a U.S. business owner named Chris Nagele.

Four years ago, the article states, Nagele decided to go with an open-office concept to transition his work-from-home team to a collaborative environment.

“It quickly became clear, though, that Nagele had made a huge mistake,” reporter Bryan Borzykowski wrote. “Everyone was distracted, productivity suffered and the nine employees were unhappy, not to mention Nagele himself.”

The experiment was short-lived – according to the article, Nagele moved his team into a traditional office space where each office had a door on it.

To curb any weakness in providing purely anecdotal evidence, Borzykowski listed the following facts about open-office environments:

  • We are 15% less productive in open spaces
  • We have a hard time focusing
  • We’re twice as likely to get sick
  • Small distractions can make us lose focus for up to 20 minutes

But the stats and facts listed in this article are just the beginning.

The New Yorker: We’re Wired for Privacy

In their January 2014 article about the dangers of open offices, The New Yorker dug into several research papers to understand why the quickly growing trend may not be the best for workers’ productivity.

One of their key points was that our brains need a sense of spatial privacy in order to feel psychologically private enough to think, create and work effectively.

This conclusion was the result of an overview of a March 1980 scholarly article titled, “Privacy at Work: Architectural Correlates of Job Satisfaction and Job Performance.”

The article, which was published in The Academy of Management Journal, reviewed the results of a trio of studies on how privacy both in our workspace and our mind can impact our job satisfaction.

The study concluded there was a definite link between architectural privacy (cubicles) and psychological privacy, which in turn had a positive effect on job satisfaction and performance:

“Results of all three studies showed architectural privacy associated with psychological privacy. Both forms or privacy were associated with satisfaction with workspace and job satisfaction,” concluded the authors of the 1980 article.

Forbes: Sound Privacy is a Big Deal

The final counter-argument to the open office craze comes from a 2016 Forbes article from contributor David Burkus.

In his article, Burkus talks about the results of a 2005 study that recorded 42,764 observation from 303 offices in the United States.

“Unsurprisingly, they found that enclosed private offices had the overall highest satisfaction rate and that open office plans had the lowest,” Burkus wrote. “But it was when they looked at individual dimensions that they found a few surprises.”

The biggest complaint from open-office employees was the level of noise they had to deal with on a daily basis. Another 25% to 30% said they didn’t like the noise levels in their open-office plans.

One final thought from Burkus:

“The desire for more collaboration among employees was shared by all, but those in open office plans may not have found it to be worth all of the stress and distraction from the bombardment of noise.”

Cutting Down on Distractions With Cubicles

If you’re starting to rethink the value of open offices and want to make some changes, contact us. We have a variety of privacy solutions that can drastically cut down on workplace distractions and improve efficiency and focus.

A Look at Some of Our Recent Office Planning Projects

Every year we continue business in Louisiana is another opportunity to help local companies find office solutions that fit their team’s workflow and bottom line.

As a result, we have a diverse project gallery we’re proud of and want to highlight some of our recent projects.

Bruno and Tervalon

Bruno & Tervalon LLP is a CPA firm based in New Orleans and is the largest minority-owned firm in the state. They’ve been in business for nearly four decades, making them a trusted name in the city.

They came to us wanting to update their headquarters by transforming their open workspace into a mixture of private offices and collaborative work areas.

We took some time to come up with a custom design that considered their desire to create private workspaces while maintaining collaborative common areas.

The result is an office that’s a great example of how a company can create a hybrid workspace with elements of traditional design and open concepts.


The rail system has always been an important part of our state’s commerce and transportation and that’s why we were proud to work with Amtrak to update their offices.

They came to us with a problem that many big companies face. Their technology was up-to-date, but their office design lagged behind.

Cramped cubicles and drab colors gave off an outdated impression and they wanted to change that. Amtrak wanted new and fresh, not old and worn.

We went in and overhauled their cubicles, management offices and common areas. We chose darker wood tones and black chairs for offices and meeting rooms and light, airy colors for open-area workspaces.

Through our creative use of modular furniture and systems cubicles, we were able to provide Amtrak the modern and efficient workspace they wanted.

 LSU Healthcare Network

Louisiana State University’s healthcare system was looking for a way to add more cabinet space to one of their eye care clinics.

Because they were working with a limited budget, they couldn’t go through with plans to have built-in cabinetry solutions.

Knowing how important it was for them to update their office with additional storage, we proposed a plan that scrapped the built-in option and added more storage space by implementing systems furniture of varying heights.

However, finding a budget-appropriate solution was just part of what would make this job successful.

Because the office was a hub for necessary eye care and medical procedures, it was important to management that there wasn’t any down time or temporary workspaces that made patient care and processing more difficult.

Thankfully, we were able to provide them a comprehensive plan that included a weekend install that didn’t interfere with normal operations.

The dominant color? LSU’s famous purple.

Loyola University School of Music

Another installation we’re proud of took place at Loyola University’s School of Music, home of musician and actor Harry Connick, Jr.

The music department was building a new classroom and had some unique requirements. Each workspace needed to be ultra-functional, a space for a sound board, monitor and other sound equipment.

At the same time, the workspaces needed to be in line with modern music classroom design.

We came up with a solution that provided plenty of functional desktop space and enough room for two chairs.

We Work With You From Beginning to End

We’re proud of the projects we’ve mentioned in this post because they reflect our dedication to work with our clients from beginning to end to come up with a solution that meets their functional needs and their budget.

Our workflow starts with a consultation that includes a free space planning session. During these interactions, we lay the groundwork for a smooth installation process.

From there, we move to a more detailed analysis of how our initial planning sessions meet your needs and what should be modified to create a workspace you’ll love.

With plans finalized and decisions made, we move into the project management phase by working with you to get the best prices on furniture and cubicles, as well as finding reliable vendors who help us get the job done on-time.

If you want to learn more about who we are, head to our About Us page to learn about our team. Our president, Jerry Maxwell, has led our company since 1995 and VP Peggy Maxwell has been with us since 1979.

Business Owners Implement Modern Furniture to Address Lack of Space

office cubiclesNew companies start and expand each day. When this happens, owners have to both find and furnish office spaces to accommodate employees. In fact, American companies annually purchase staggering amounts of office furnishings — 16.5 million chairs, 11 million filing cabinets, and 3 million desks, research shows. In 2014 alone, commercial office furniture accounted for $12.6 billion in revenue in the United States. While purchasing office cubicles and other modern office desks may not be hard, finding space in Nashville, Tennessee is.

According to Biz Journals, Nashville has “the lowest percentage of available office space among nearly 90 markets.” This recently shared data comes from real estate brokerage firm Cushman and Wakefield. As of June 30, just 5.5% of all office space in Middle Tennessee was available for rent. Just behind Nashville was New York City with 6.8% while Charleston and San Francisco tied with 7.3% of available office space.

When put into a perspective that more people can understand, this means that business owners and managers will have an easier time finding office space in New York or San Francisco rather than Nashville. Although the prices may be significantly higher in these cities, Nashville has had a recent spike in rent prices over the years. In the city’s downtown area, new top-end office space is a record high of $40 per square foot. With the cost of renting these buildings skyrocketing, owners of lower-rated buildings are also raising their prices as well.

What does it all mean?
For one thing, the surge in new and expanding businesses throughout the area means that the Nashville economy is growing rapidly and successfully. On the other hand, businesses that need to expand are finding it difficult to do so with the lack of real estate options. Many companies are forced to look outside the metropolitan area for office space, which means for a longer commute.

Solving the problem
As a solution, some businesses have implemented the use of modern office desks and office cubicles to maximize the space they have. Keeping in mind that employee productivity can increase up to 17% from simply providing the right seating, employers are using innovative work chairs to their advantage. Not only does implementing modern office cubicles and workstations allow for more space to be used, it saves money in the long run. Seeing as how space is already limited, these business owners are making the most of what they have.

The Link Between Office Furniture, Spatial Organization and Productivity

office-spaceDoes the way you organize your office’s furniture affect productivity?

That’s a question that’s been floating around for decades, but as open office concepts have emerged over the past few years it’s become clear that many companies believe there is a crucial link between furniture organization and productivity.

And when you read this article from Entrepreneur, you’ll realize that the productivity-furniture connection is more than just a trend or a new version of feng shui.

“Improving your own and your employees’ performance involves a lot more than finding comfortable chairs,” the article says. “It involves placement of offices and cubicles within the building, proximity to equipment, lighting, desk space, meeting areas, privacy and more.”

Entrepreneur isn’t saying anything new – plenty of similar concepts have been expressed over the past six or seven years. However, we like the clarity of the statement. There was a time in office organization where companies were concerned about getting the most comfortable chairs and the most functional desks.

Even though those factors are still important, they’ve become a secondary issue for many new companies. The most important issue? Creating a workspace conducive to productivity. But how does that work, exactly?

Creating a Team Environment Through Strategic Organization

Think about the traditional office setup. The big bosses often worked on the perimeter of the office while mid- and lower-level employees worked in the open middle area of the office. That type of organization reflected the top-down style of management popular until the past decade.

As a more community-oriented approach has emerged in startups, the way offices and furniture are placed has changed drastically.

These days, it’s not uncommon to see startups eliminate the heavy-wood desks of old and place the founder’s workspace right next to a web developer or salesman. His desk? A streamlined, simple piece of furniture no different than the man or woman next to him.

And remember, his desk is right in there with his coworkers. The result is that there’s instant communication between decision makers and their staff. That instant communication leads to productivity.

“With today’s emphasis on team-building, office design is moving away from compartmentalized offices,” the Entrepreneur article says, “and moving toward large spaces where teams of employees can work.”

A Deeper Look at Productivity

Let’s take a step back and think about this idea that furniture organization affects productivity. The business world is full of trends; some become industry norms while others quickly flare out.

If employees really are affected by spatial arrangement, there’s a good chance the furniture-productivity trend will become a standard, right? To verify the truth behind this trend we did some research.

In 2009, the Journal of Public Affairs, Administration and Management published a study that backed up this idea of furniture organization (and other factors) affecting productivity.

According to the study, both male and female workers were affected by spatial arrangements of furniture. Interestingly, women were unaffected by poor furniture (chairs, for example) while males’ performances tended to be affected by it.

In fact, the study went as far as to say that “spatial arrangement has a considerable effect on the employees’ productivity.” And, in general, the study showed “that when the furniture of the office is not comfortable and according to the needs of the employees, their productivity is affected.”

Some Final Thoughts

We’ve talked a bit about the move away from big executive offices, how spatial organization can affect productivity and how poor furniture can hamper your team’s efforts.

We want to add one more thought: department-tailored workstations. This idea popped up in an article we read by time-tracking company Desk Time. Some departments need more workspace than others. Some departments need certain kinds of desks that just wouldn’t function well for other departments.

Keep this in mind as you think about your office furniture solutions. Workplaces are becoming more and more specialized; capitalize on the movement by finding the mix of furniture and spatial planning that works best for your team.

As you can see, there is some strong evidence in favor of taking a second look at the way your office is organized. Now, we’re not saying that you have to reorganize your office to fit the standards of the tech world. But we do think you should talk with us about possible solutions for productivity-inducing office designs.

Click here to take a look at our Hon catalog, where you’ll find a variety of options for desks, chairs and more. If your office takes a more traditional stance on organization, we think you’ll enjoy browsing our executive furniture. We have a nice mix of traditional power desks as well as streamlined modern workstations.

Six Office Furniture Solutions for Limited Spaces

#1 – Compact Standing & Movable Desks

Standing Height Adjustable Desks:
Anyone with a cramped office space with barely enough room to stand in might just think about standing while they work as an option.


Veridesk makes a Standing Height Adjustable Desk that is a freestanding all-in-one replacement for the standard old bulky office desk.


Its modern design not only looks great in any home or office, but also has a wide working area for the smallest working spaces.


The companies standing desks easily adjust from sitting to standing in seconds, without having to deal with tedious cranks, or hazardous electric standing desks with inconvenient cords to have to deal with in a cramped office.
standing desk

Movable Desks


For a more standard desk with modern innovation, versatility and convenience, Comfort Products Small Computer Desk come with big perks, such as double Storage Drawers, Printer
Stand, Pullout Keyboard Tray, and even Book Shelves, all on convenient wheels.

movable desk


#2 – Portable Accordion Room Dividers


Portable Accordion Room dividers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, designs, and prices. They are a great way to give a one room office with two workers sharing a small room some privacy and boundaries.
These products are innovative and accommodating to any small office’s needs. They are portable and can be used for private conferencing/meetings.
Portable Accordion Room Dividers allows the user to control what the person on the other side of the video teleconferencing line sees – Adding professionalism and privacy.
They can be made of cloth, plastic, wood, and fit any decor and price range. They are a great way to add versatility and portability while giving employees their own designated working areas, without the old fashioned set cubicle.

room dividers

#3 – Floor to Ceiling Shelving

Even the most cramped office space has to have at least one free wall to utilize. By installing Floor to Ceiling Shelving, solves all the clutter of a small office by consolidated it into one area.


Just think about it – One stop shopping for all the usual scattered assorted office tools, manuals, catalogs, work samples, etc. Organized and exactly where you know to find it.


Floor to ceiling shelves are not just for the library, or millionaire’s closets. They are an efficient way to open up vitally needed space in a cramped work or home office.
Costs vary depending on materials used, layout plans, and square footage. Whether picked up at IKEA, or installed professionally, the cost is well worth the extra space it opens up in a cramped working area, not to mention the peace of mind it delivers in repelling clutter.


#4 – Ceiling Storage Hangers
Some people may not be familiar with Ceiling Storage Hangers, it sounds like stashing your clutter away in your false ceiling, which I’m sure has been contemplated by some in desperation.
Ceiling Storage Hangers, hang from the ceiling of course, and look like an upside down table that someone affixed there, but they are an efficient and cost effective way to utilize unused space.
They cost anywhere from approx. $45.00 from Walmart for a 45 inch by 45 inch unit, to a $129.00 for a 4 foot by 8 foot unit from Sears, so the price is within everyone’s budgets and needs.
People are more familiar with these Ceiling Storage Hangers in their garage, but there are certainly no laws about utilizing their convenience and low cost solutions to storage in a small office environment.


#5 – Mounted Computer Monitors


Mounting your computer monitor with an adjustable swinging bracket instantly solves numerous working area space problems on your office desk.


Just think how much extra room you would have to work with if that computer monitor was out of your way and hanging conveniently still in full view.
An added plus is that it then becomes adjustable and can be brought in closer, or set away when not in use, giving you plenty of room to spread work out across your desk.


They are cheap, easy to find online and any modern flat screen TV has the capability to be both mounted with universal swinging brackets, and computer compatible.


Hello modern office world – Goodbye old clunky in the way bulky computer monitor taking up half the space on your desk.
mounted monitor




#6 – Recessed Stackable Filling Cabinets.

Does your cramped office space have an equally small closet or alcove, waiting to be put to better use? Why not consider turning it into a Recessed Filling Cabinet.


By taking closet doors off the hinges of an underused closet, one can purchase
economical, stackable, and smaller filling cabinets in order to open up more room by removing those in the way old giant metal filing cabinet monstrosities.
The best part about Stackable Filling Cabinets is that they come in all shapes, sizes, colors, elegant or just plain cheap plastic that does the trick.
This allows a great amount of flexibility both design wise, and financially. They are easy to transport and install, and a great way to get bulky office furniture out of your way.
Recessing your filling situation is a great way to open up a small office area and give a great stylish and professional look to it, at an economical price.


There are plenty of imaginative and innovative ways to turn that small office area into a clutter free, stylish and modern efficient working space.
It is also not as expensive as one thinks. Whether it is appeasing your cramped office employees at the workplace, or pleasing yourself in a small home office in order to make your workspace more workable. The costs and efforts are well worth it in the
long run, for both you and your workers.

New Office Design Trends Are Taking the Workplace by Storm

2016 trend

When it comes to trends, the office is just like the home.

Designers the world over pitch in their ideas and innovations with vigor. And when the New Year rolls around as it has in 2016, the calendar is practically bursting with predictions about office design trends.

We’ve done some research and come up with some of the trendiest nuances in the 2016 workplace.

Trend #1: Tuck Away Those Unsightly Wires

You may or may not have noticed how many wires are crawling around your office. Think about what it takes to power one workstation: a cord for your computer, a cord for a lamp, a cord for a monitor, a cord for a desk phone, a cord for a printer and cords for whichever other devices need juice during the day.

What results is a jungle of wiring that, visually speaking, is an annoyance. This past January, Fast Company included hiding wires as one of the top trends for 2016.

We think this is a great idea, particularly because many offices are switching to an open floor plan. Partitions used to hide the tangle of cables and cords, but those walls are coming down and office managers are looking for ways to hide the wires now out in the open.

Trend #2: Big Offices Go to Employees Who Spend Big Chunks of Time in the Workplace

This interesting trend comes to us by way of the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute. Believe it or not, there are offices around the country who are taking a radically different approach to the allocation of office space.

CCIM gives the example of one business that ran out of office space. Top executives at the firm decided to take smaller offices because they were only in the building about 10% of their day. The big spaces went to engineers who were doing crucial work and needed to utilize larger spaces to accommodate their constant in-office tasks.

Trend #3: Multiuse Workspaces with Customizable Desks

As you’ve probably read, new companies are saying goodbye to traditional office designs and opting for a more fluid space. Not every business has jumped onto this trend, but there are enough out there to make this movement a concrete movement in 2016.

The concept here is simple. Tech companies, in particular are cloud oriented, which means it’s not necessarily a rule that they have to be tethered to one computer. With that in mind, an Officing Today article pointed out, many early-adopting offices are choosing adjustable-height workstations that can adapt to nearly any user. Workers bounce in and out of different workstations.

“Offices will feel more like college campuses with an open, sharing mentality,” the article notes. Like we said, this type of office plan isn’t for everyone.

Trend #4: The Community Table

Think about the last time you sat down for dinner with a group of friends or family. Assuming the meal went well, that communal atmosphere probably made for a fond memory.

Fast Company says this sense of community is at the forefront of new office culture. Therefore, employees are keen on the idea of sitting at a large table with their colleagues rather than spending the day in their cubicle.

For some of us, the idea of a cubicle isn’t so bad. We can decorate the space however we’d like; it becomes an expression of who we are. But for others, that sense of expression is best portrayed at a communal work table where they feel a sense of connection with the people around them.

Trend #5: The Great Outdoors Are Coming Inside

The possibilities here are literally endless. Offices are incorporating outdoor elements into their workspaces. Chartboost, a San Francisco-based company, uses picnic tables in their work area. In one photo we saw, there was a mini putting green rolled out on the floor right next to what looks like a pine picnic table. This setup definitely brings new meaning to “a walk in the park.”

But this trend is more than just fun and games. Other companies have taken a more refined approach, implementing exposed, finished concrete floors in their office or installing peaceful, patio-style fireplaces in their workspace.

What All This Means for Your Office

Like we mentioned earlier, trends aren’t rules; what works for one office may not work for another.

Some employees prefer working in a cubicle, while others want an open workplace. Both of these philosophies are valid, yet the each require a different style of planning and, in many cases, completely different types of furniture.

Because we keep tabs on what trends are popping up, we’re equipped to provide your office with just about any needs it has in planning and executing an office-design strategy. Our suppliers manufacture a variety of styles and price ranges, which means we have a lot of flexibility to adapt our planning process to your office’s requirements.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you plan the office that best fits your workplace’s personality and needs.

8 Tips for Designing a New Office

3d_spaceplan_thumbnail_2An office space is a home away from home, where you spend the majority of your time creating, managing, and maintaining. In order to work at your greatest potential, you need an office which suits the needs of you and your business. It should inspire productivity and accurately represent you as a professional.

Designing an office that is both comfortable and efficient is a delicate balancing act, but with these eight tips, you’ll have a workspace that works for you.

    1. Your Office Should be Well Organized

When designing an office, be sure to have several drawers, cabinets, and shelves to properly organize and store items. It’s said that a desk reflects the worker’s mind, and this also applies to the entirety of the office. If your workspace is cluttered and disorganized, it becomes difficult to complete your necessary tasks, and makes you feel burdened and frustrated. Additionally, should you receive visitors, the office will project a sense of unprofessionalism. Proper organization will improve your mood, your productivity, and your image.

    2. Your Office Should be Properly Lit

Be sure that your office has amply lighting, as studies have proven that light has a profound effect on mood and productivity. If your office is dark or unevenly lit, it will inspire negative emotions making you feel tired, depressed, and generally unmotivated. This will not only cut into your output but the quality of your work. An office should inspire, so take advantage of all natural sunlight available. Should you not have access to windows, you can utilize artificial lighting that is soft and indirect, resembling natural light. This will create a welcoming workspace you’ll feel stimulated in.

    3. Your Office Should Reflect Your Style of Business

When decorating your office, it’s vital to remember your workspace reflects you as a professional. When receiving clients, their first impression should be an accurate representation of your business and what you offer. For example, banks should inspire professionalism and efficiency, and are therefore painted with neutral colors and decorated conservatively. However, a photographer’s studio should exude creativity, and often is decorated with bright colors and unusual furniture. Be sure to decorate your office in a manner that echoes your business. In addition to clients, you will also receive the same sense of professionalism or creativity and feel empowered for work.

    4. Your Office Should be Spacious

Keep in mind that your office should inspire positive moods while being efficient; creating a space which offers decent room to work inside of accomplishes both. If your office space is cramped and enclosed, you will feel pressured, and visiting clients will feel equally uncomfortable. If your office is physically small, or should you be sharing it with a co-worker, arrange your desk and other furniture so they offer as much room as possible, and include mirrors to add depth. With an adequate amount of space, your office will seem tidy and well-organized.

    5. Your Office Should Have Personal Touches

An office should complement your mental outlook, making you feel capable and excited to work. Adding your own unique flare to a workspace will add a sense of ownership and belonging, which will inspire you to focus. This should be in moderation, so as not to overwhelm the professionalism of your office, but a few decorative pictures on the wall or a family photo on your desk is a quality balance. Additionally, clients will notice these small touches and feel more at ease.

    6. Your Office Should Have Proper Seating

When furnishing your office, choosing appropriate seating is a minor but vital detail. Office work means you spend the majority of your time sitting, and should you have a chair which is uncomfortable or unsupportive of your spine, you can experience long-term effects on your health. A common complaint of office workers is chronic back pain that occasionally develops into permanent injury or discomfort. This will affect your ability to work, causing distraction or, worse, forcing you to take long breaks to relieve the pain and prevent work altogether. Choose proper chairs that support your spine and encourages good posture.

    7. Your Office Should Have Appropriate and Reliable Tools

Efficiency and order is paramount when designing your office, so be sure to have tools which are necessary, updated, and reliable. This can include a well-functioning computer, a quality stapler, a capable phone, and other necessary tools. Ensuring your office is equipped with the most quality essentials is perhaps expensive and time-consuming, but will boost your production and exude professionalism. For example, having a high quality computer will prevent time wasted combating slow-processing speed or glitches. In addition, this will establish an image of capability and status to any visiting clients.

    8. Your Office Should Suit Your Working Style

When creating an office space, you must ensure it’s properly arranged to suit your unique working requirements. For example, if you have difficulty concentrating and desire privacy, but share an office with a co-worker, angle your computer so you are the sole viewer. For long hours on a keyboard, try placing your desk in a way that allows the most comfortable slant for your wrists. This will create a sense of customization and comfort, increasing your productivity

When designing an office, it’s important that it is efficient, productive, and inspires positive creativity. With these tips in mind, you’ll have created a workspace which accomplishes all this at once.

Tips to Apply Feng Shui in Your Office

art of zenFeng shui is an ancient philosophy emphasizing the importance of energy flow based on spatial arrangement of furniture. The basic belief is that the positioning of furniture and decorations within a space, affect a person’s energy. This has either a positive or negative effect on people. Proper use of feng shui in an office can increase productivity, raise energy levels, and encourage success. Here are some tips to increase positive energy flow in your office.


Many offices have harsh lighting that depletes a person’s energy. Fluorescent lighting is not recommended. If your office has fluorescent lights, replace the bulbs with full-spectrum bulbs. If this is not an option, consider adding incandescent lighting to your workplace. You accomplish this by including desk or floor lamps. The addition of lamps will cut down on the negative effects of the severe fluorescent lights above.


A great way to increase energy is to bring life into your office. Plants of any kind are useful. Choose the plants you are most drawn to. Larger plants can also be used as barriers. For example, if there is a glass wall in your office that causes you to feel vulnerable, place some large plants in front of it to make you feel more secure.


The arrangement of furniture in your workplace is the most important aspect of feng shui. It is crucial that the energy in your office flows freely this means having a layout that is absent of obstacles. Walk around the office space and make sure you can easily move through the area. If your body can effortlessly maneuver through the office, the energy will be able to as well.

Desks should be positioned facing the door with a solid wall behind you. All doors and windows should be visible from the desk. However, do not face a window straight on. The optimal positioning is to place the desk diagonally facing the door. This is known as the command position in feng shui.

Many people are firm believers in the power of feng shui. Even if you are not a believer, it certainly couldn’t hurt to try. Use the simple tips above to bring some positive energy into your office, increasing productivity and success.

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