Four Types Of Chairs Every Office Space Must Have

Office FurnitureWhen outfitting your office with furniture, you need desks, conference tables and filing cabinets. You will also need the right seating for every space within the office. It may seem like a small thing, but the chairs that you choose impact on the comfort, productivity and happiness of your employees. The right chairs will also affect the way your business is perceived by your clients and other visitors. Here are three types of chairs that every office space must have.

Executive Seating

Head of organizations generally do not spend the entire day at their desks. Their office is more like a launch pad for the day than a space to spend time in. That said, top executives and managers must convey a strong, professional image at all times. The scale of the desk and chair, is a direct reflection of their power and position within the company. The materials the chair is made from are also related to the person’s position. Therefore, larger chairs made of leather, wood and other high-end materials are commonly used by business leaders.

Employee Seating

Since most office workers spend anywhere from six to eight hours a day at their work stations, comfort is extremely important. Therefore, easy height adjustment from a sitting position as well as firm lower back support are imperative. In addition, task chairs need arm rests to avoid fatigue and repetitive stress injuries. General task seating is the most and cost-effective way to keep employees comfortable and productive throughout their workday.

Guest Seating

From the moment clients and other people enter your office building, they begin to form an opinion about you. A good first impression will go a long way towards forming long-term relationships that are positive. The guest seating within your offices is also extremely important. Good seating shows your clients that they important to you and that you care about their comfort. It’s not just the padding on the seats, it needs a supportive back and arm rests as well.

Auxiliary Seating

Conferences, employee training sessions, meetings and other business functions need a different type of seating than day-to-day tasks. Very often, these types of functions require a large number of chairs in a small amount of space. For these applications, stackable seating is a good choice. Storing them is easy since they stack up neatly and take up very little horizontal space in a closet or storage area.

Choosing the right type of chairs for your employees and guests is extremely important. Every person that spends time in your office deserves comfort. Contact us to find out more about office seating options! We’re always happy to help.

Upgrading Your Company Image With Used Office Furniture

Whether you own a small business that’s just starting out, or you’ve been around a while, you need to have a good suite of office furniture. The items you choose have to make your business look good, set your customers at ease and function the way that you need them to. Upgrading to a more professional image is less expensive when you choose used office furniture over buying new. Here are some other things to consider when outfitting your office.

waiting room

Cost & Resale Value

It’s pretty obvious that purchasing used office furniture will be less expensive than buying new. When a company is working under a tight budget, every dollar counts. From chairs to desks, filing cabinets and conference tables, everything a company needs to furnish offices, lobbies and meeting rooms can be purchased second-hand. What’s more, used furniture can be resold once it is no longer needed within the organization and can often fetch 50% or more of the purchase price.

Environmentally Sound

As with all second-hand market purchases, used office furniture is a great way to help protect the environment and reduce pollution. Because there is no manufacturing and very little transportation involved in buying used furniture, you’re not increasing your carbon footprint. It also helps to reduce the amount of waste that is taken to landfills. This eco-friendly solution helps you in the short-term but it’s also good for future generations as well.

A Good Stepping Stone

For a new business, going all-out and purchasing an elegant office suite is probably not the best option. In a tight-budget situation, you have more purchasing power when you purchase used office furniture so you can get everything you need. Perhaps you’re in a temporary office space, and you have plans to relocate within a year or two. Instead of investing in new office furniture that may not work in another location, purchasing used keeps more money in your pocket for investing in your business growth.

Design Your Space

Think about how you’ll be using the space including how people will do their daily tasks at their desks. Also consider filing cabinets, book cases and other furniture that will help with organization and productivity. Your client’s opinions matter when it comes to your image. You want to be seen as a professional, trustworthy organization worthy of doing business with. That said, don’t be afraid to mix and match items, it’s okay to let your company’s personality shine through.

Spend Less Time Looking

The truth is, when you are shopping for used office furniture, your choices are going to be somewhat limited. That’s not really a bad thing, when you consider what your time is worth and the huge number of other things that you have to do. Consider it a challenge to find the style and designs that best suits your company and clientele. Being creative and limiting the time you spend thinking about the furniture will pay off in the future, by allowing you to get to work quicker.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your office furniture or you’re furnishing a new office, buying used has plenty of advantages. If you need help finding the right office furniture or if you’re stuck for ideas for laying out your office space, contact us. Our friendly, professional staff will be more than happy to lend a hand.


Buy Office Furniture That Keeps Everyone Happy

Are you ready to buy office furniture, but not sure if you are making the right choice for all your workers? Last week, we explored a couple of common personality types and what kind of office furniture and layout they are most likely to enjoy. Featuring a design layout with a number of different work areas is one way to give most of the people what they want most of the time. For example, a versatile facility might feature a mix of:

  • An area of open desks for collaboration and continuous communication
  • Enclosed workspaces or “pods” for tasks that require high concentration
  • Small meeting rooms or breakout areas for small teams
  • A larger meeting room for group discussions or videoconferencing
  • A work lounge for employees who prefer mobile technology

Let’s Get Granular: What Should Workstations Be Like?

The overall layout is the macro picture. At the micro level, employee workstations are often very standardized. Obviously, purchasing office furniture in bulk is the best way to get a good price. However, you can specify modern office furniture that it is highly customizable to meet a variety of needs and tastes. Regardless of personality or work style, employees do feel more engaged and valued when they have some control over their immediate work environment.

Consider selecting office furniture that allows employees to:

  • Reconfigure the layout from time to time
  • Add or remove features (tool rails work well for this)
  • Raise or lower the worksurface height
  • Use supplemental pieces like a rolling panel to create a cubicle door
  • Increase or lower the height of privacy panels
  • Adjust lighting at the desktop level

When you choose customizable, highly modular furniture, you can meet your objectives of:

  • Purchasing in bulk for cost savings
  • A uniform overall look and feel for branding
  • Good ergonomics for health and productivity
  • Promoting high levels of employee engagement

When you have the right starting place and some good advice, it’s a lot easier to buy office furniture that employees can tailor to their needs, their tasks, and their personality. At The Office Planning Group, we’re here to help you find furniture that can grow and change with your office. Contact us to schedule a space planning consultation today.

Matching Office Furniture to Employee Work Styles

employee work stylesA healthy, well-rounded company culture features a variety of people and a range of employee work styles. Row after row of identical cubicles may fail to meet the needs of everyone in an office. It’s no surprise that businesses are beginning to create more flexible and varied work landscapes to accommodate a diverse workforce and help everyone be more productive. Here are a number of ways you can use space design and office furniture selection to give everyone what they need.

Social and Collaborative

These workers prefer to be in earshot of interesting conversations so they can feel connected to office life. They thrive in an environment that is full of energy. These employees like to “talk things out” and rely heavily on input from others to do their best at work. A desking or benching system with low dividers can be an advantageous setup since it ensures close proximity to coworkers.

In offices that primarily feature cubicles, extroverts may enjoy having the freedom to work in a lounge area using mobile technology. Being untethered from a desk and able to go “where the action is” may be seen as a significant benefit. If these workers do have permanently assigned workspace, they may like to change aspects of their workstation frequently to keep from feeling bored or trapped.

Reserved and Focused

These employees are likely to be most comfortable in low-traffic areas and with workstations that feature high panels to provide a sense of privacy. In an open office environment that doesn’t feature cubicles, providing enclosed spaces where employees can retreat occasionally for greater concentration is important. They may feel protective of their workstation and have a desire to customize it to precisely match the way they work.

Introverted workers may also benefit from breakout areas for small team or one-on-one collaboration. It’s not that they want to be alone all the time, they simply need to have a choice about their level of social interaction on a daily basis. Offering greater flexibility makes these workers feel more empowered.

How do you satisfy everyone in the office?

You don’t have to hand over a catalogue and let every employee make their own selections. Next week, we’ll look at ways you can create a workspace that gives everyone what they need—and most of what they want.

Roundup of Office Design Trends for 2014

In July, we looked at a lot of up-and-coming office design trends from NeoCon contestants. That’s the perspective from the designers and manufacturers. Now, let’s take a peek at what office furniture and space planning experts think is on trend for this year.

Rosio Office Furniture

This company sees an uptick in the use of touchdown and breakout areas to provide what open office layouts lack. When individuals need privacy for concentration or small groups want a more intimate atmosphere for collaboration, they don’t have to reserve a conference room days in advance. Instead, the modern workspace features small nooks away from high traffic areas so employees can get more done.

Design & Trend

Contributor Meredith Lepore notes that mobility is the watchword of 2014. And we’re not talking about tablets and smart phones. Office furniture is the focus. Chairs have long been mobile, but now tables and pedestal files are too. Besides being rollable for fast reconfiguration of the office layout, tables also go up and down. The sit-to-stand trend is going strong and showing no signs of backing down.

CCIM Institute

The Institute notes that space design itself is changing with the times. Business facilities are being re-planned based on the activities workers are expected to perform. Figuring out when workers spend time at their desks and when they are on-the-go or in meetings permits the implementation of more flexible arrangements. For some organizations, that might look like desk-sharing coupled with the installation of a resource center or even a coffee bar.


Above and beyond the activity-based planning trend is the idea of creating a workplace that’s designed like a city. StrongProject points to this option as the way to strike a balance between a completely open office layout and a cube farm. Using a centralized hallway helps organize different types of work areas and directs traffic organically through the office for ease of navigation.

Trends in Office Design

Bob Brooke notes that 2014 is bringing people even closer together in the office—through continued consolidation. Rental space is down and ownership is up. Corporate headquarters wants everyone on the same page and in the same building. At the same time, there’s a high value on virtualization. Companies are spending more on high-tech videoconference rooms to cut travel costs and keep dispersed teams connected.

Just for Fun

The roundup wouldn’t be complete without a juicy article from Nikil Saval at n +1 magazine. It’s a satirical sendup of some of the most popular office furniture and design trends of the last few years. Nikil pulls no punches in sending up the sit-to-stand desk, the open office, and more. Who says office design planning has to be a serious business?

Choosing the Right Worksurfaces for Your Office

Are you outfitting a brand new location or revamping an old facility with new furniture? One of the most important decisions you’ll make is the type of worksurfaces you provide for employees. After seating, this is the office furniture that has the greatest influence on their day-to-day work. And it has an even bigger impact on how efficiently you use the available space. Let’s take a look at the four basic options.

Desks – The Bullpen Original

Individual desks are the traditional choice because they can be provisioned in so many different configurations. There’s a simple rectangle, an L-shape, a full U-shape, and more. Employees feel a sense of ownership since each desk can be positioned apart from the adjacent workspaces. Built-in under desk storage completes the self-sufficiency of these workstations. They are a good choice for wireless offices that don’t require much cabling or wiring.

Cubicles – The Mini-Office

Cubes offer the same configuration options as desks, but they include greater visual and acoustic privacy. Workstations can be closely adjoined yet still separated by panels, saving floor space without making employees feel too crowded. Overhead bins and vertical rail systems make cubicles the ideal option for offices that need lots of storage space per worker. Runways can conceal wires and cables to power each workstation.

Benches – The Current Trend

Benching is the ultimate space-saving solution with it’s truly tiny footprint. An office workbench is basically one long worksurface with shared structural components (such as legs) from one station to the next. It’s a good choice for teams that collaborate and communicate on a regular basis, but the setup can be distracting for employees who need to focus for extended periods. The central spine on a benching system makes power and cable distribution simple, often saving the most money in this area compared to other options.

Worktables – The Wave of the Future

Worktables are free-standing like desks, but are usually only available in simple rectangular configurations. Today’s hot trend in worktables is height-adjustability. Storage is usually minimal and separate from the worktable. Rolling pedestals are a popular option to pair with worktables. These smaller surfaces may be a good choice for offices that are going paperless.

Additional Options

Wall-mounted tables and lounge tables that include seating are other worksurfaces that can be distributed throughout the workplace. These make great touch down spots for flexible work spaces and for mobile workers.

A blog post only has space to scratch the surface of such a big topic! With so many choices, it makes sense to seek expert advice before you buy. Contact The Office Planning Group for an on-site consultation.

Best of NeoCon 2014: Workplace Benching and Storage Systems


Telescope by Knoll

This post rounds out our month of celebrating the Best of NeoCon 2014. We’ll finish up with a set of workplace benching solutions and storage systems to make the most of available office space.

Peer into the Future of the Workplace with Knoll

The Telescope from Knoll’s Antenna collection takes benching to the next level buy making it height adjustable. Users can move their own worksurface independently from their coworkers to achieve perfect ergonomic balance. Pneumatic and powered controls are available to make the process easy or very easy. The Telescope sees to it that workers get the full package integrated into their bench space. There are lighting controls, privacy screens, monitor support, wire and power management, and more.

inscapeInscape to Escape the Outdated Office

The Inscape Bench is designed with workers of all ages in mind. This is yet another sit-to-stand bench solution that fits with the agile workstyle. There’s plenty of cable capacity and lots of power and data access to make sure everyone’s technology stays connected. Spine options make this system readily extensible and the worksurface can be divided with screens or upmounted storage to create a sense of personal space. Secure storage areas can hold devices, CPUs, and personal items to give workers more freedom to move about the office.

Bridging the Storage Gap with JRB Studio

straddlepedThe Straddle Ped was developed to bring under-desk storage to the new world of height-adjustable worktables. While standard mobile pedestals may not be able to squeeze under a desktop that’s been moved all the way down to its lowest setting, the Straddle Ped can still move with ease. It’s also got a unique rolling frame that’s configured to straddle table legs, making it highly maneuverable. The interior is a nice change from traditional steel as well, with felt padded and felt-lined compartments to lovingly cradle devices and office supplies.

That’s it for the Best of NeoCon here at TOPG. To see even more award winning products, visit the photo gallery hosted by Contract. No matter what you find that you simply must have, contact TOPG. We can help you get it for your office!

Best of NeoCon 2014: Tables, Tables, Tables!

Match from Davis Furniture

Match from Davis Furniture

No work environment is complete without the horizontal surfaces that support the work being done. This year’s NeoCon brought to light a number of occasional and work tables in very unusual styles. There’s really something for every company.

Davis Furniture—A Match Made in Heaven?

This boxy little beauty called “Match” is like the Mobius strip of side tables. It’s hard to tell which surface is the inside and which is the outside. It’s a simple and truly seamless design made of welded steel. Davis Furniture touts this as the puzzle piece that solves your design problems. The polished appearance and sturdy construction make it more than a match for the modern office space.

HBF—Triscape Does the Trick

The Triscape table is a favorite this year because of how it fits into the office lounge landscape. The triangular shape cries out for artistic arrangement in concert with clusters of equally inviting Triscape benches. The line between the two types of furniture is blurred with the addition of a tiny, round, padded seat to turn the low table into a miniature workspace. Specify the stainless steel base with attractive laminate, premium oak, or solid surface tops.

Peter Pepper Products—The GoTo Worktable

The charmingly named Peter Pepper Products company wins recognition again with this year’s worktable design. The standing height GoTo Worktable serves as a touchdown spot for short term assignments and multi-taskers. The wall-mounted version is particularly space-friendly, allowing you to make full use of the perimeter of a room. A foot rail can be added if a stool will be provided for seated work, and a wall panel can conceal cabling and wiring. Hooks adorn the table as a place to hang purses or satchels for workers on the go.

BOLD Furniture—The Bold Table Choice

BOLDThis piece of furniture was conceived to make a statement in the workplace. It’s the table that marries the technology of a sit-to-stand workstation with the attractive and convenient design of a double-pedestal desk. The worksurface can be set anywhere from 22-48 inches to accommodate workers across a range of heights. The storage travels with the desktop, keeping everything within easy reach with less bending, stooping, and twisting. Perforated modesty panels balance the stature of the desk, and provide a little below-desk privacy for seated and standing workers.

Stay tuned next week for more Best of NeoCon surprises!

New Orleans Office Planning Consultations

office space planning LouisianaAre you remodeling, restructuring or building new offices? Is so, you could probably use some expert advice about office space planning.

At The Office Planning Group, we have a team of New Orleans design professionals who are ready and able to assist you with a FREE planning consultation. e don’t offer template solutions, or “one size fits all” plans – when we evaluate your space, we do so with an eye to functionality, comfort and professionalism, not just to create something based on current trends that have no basis in  the realities of working in an office!

We start with figuring out the foundation data for your office and build from there. Once we know how much space you have, how many people will be expected to work in it and visit it on an average day, and what the space will be used for, we can:

  • Create an optimized suggested layout to fit all necessary equipment and workstations  into the available space
  • Ensure an excellent work flow and the feel of an environment with “elbow room for all”
  • Design forward thinking components  for modularity and flexibility so you can reconfigure or expand as needed
  • Select ergonomic office furnishings to increase productivity and employee retention by providing a healthy, comfortable work environment
  • Coordinate aesthetic accessories to create an office design that speaks volumes about your brand

Our goal is to work closely with you to develop and implement a plan that turns your office space into a platform of efficiency and comfort. We don’t base our recommendations off of blueprints or photos. Instead, we perform on-site evaluations as part of the no-charge consultation process so we can fully understand your business needs. Then we can work with you to

  • Maximizes your available square footage with a cohesive floor plan
  • Create a book with materials, colors and textures to help pin down the perfect “look” for your office
  • Re3commend furniture dealers and manufacturers that meet your needs and your budget
  • Provide initial 3D computerized drawings that let you “view” the suggested office space plan before final implementation

Office space planning in New Orleans and surrounding areas is what we do, so you won’t have to stress about it. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consult today.


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.