Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Workplace Plants & Flowers Add More than Greenery to the Office

New research reported in 2014 shows both perceived and proven benefits of plants in the work environment, giving employers another tool in the engagement toolbox.

Researchers at the Cardiff University of Psychology found that plants in the workplace increase employee productivity and feelings of well-being.

Findings show that workers feel better about their work, both emotionally and physically, and it directly affects the quality of their work output.

Monday, 1 December 2014

How to Integrate Flexible Workplace Design in Your Office

Most offices are setup in the same format, with rows of desks and chairs in a boring corporate environment. If you want to boost productivity, then you need to increase the amount of movement that is occurring in the office, and the easiest way to increase activity is by using standing work stations.

With a sit-stand desk, each employee can choose their desk height to accommodate their individual preferences. Standing helps with many aspects of health, because it improves circulation, engages muscles throughout the body, facilitates with lymph drainage, and burns more calories.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Productivity: How Office Decor Can Help

Power. Control. Authority. Everybody needs to feel like they have the capability to assert their own opinion and have it be respected and—depending on the circumstance—yielded to. In one’s personal life, for example, being a parent gives you authority. In one’s professional life, however, you can feel unempowered, especially when you’re not the boss.

This does not make for a happy employee. A person who feels like they have no say begins to feel inferior, undervalued, not important. And productivity takes a dive. Employees feel like they should be able to have some control over some aspect of their job, no matter how trivial. Believe it or not, this even goes for how their office is decorated. If they come to work and hate the color of the walls the moment they sit down, it’s a guarantee you’re not going to get their best performance.
So what d├ęcor factors make a happier, more productive employee?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Groove: Modern Boardroom Interior Design

The boardroom doesn’t always have to be boring.

It should be a place where creative thoughts flourish, amazing ideas come to life, and relevant matters are decided upon. It is a space dedicated for minds to function and translate it to something useful. 

Make meetings less serious by incorporating fun and a little informality into your office furniture.

The Groove boardroom table is the perfect center of attraction in your boardroom. It has a clean, minimalistic design that complements whatever mood your office meetings have.  

The Groove desking system is completely modular and can accommodate as many people as you need, allowing every valuable person in the company to be seated comfortably to each other. It’s unconventional design gives the boardroom table a modern twist, going away from the traditional corporate look.

This boardroom table is ideal for offices with a professional yet creative atmosphere. It can be your company’s partner in coming up with fresh ideas and cool concepts which your clients will surely appreciate.  Whatever your groove is, this boardroom table will definitely make your meetings something to look forward to.  

Complete the modern boardroom look with some fun breakout chairs which come with a variety of colours to complement the style or go for something more classic like the Armadale chair in white to achieve a striking and clean all-white look.
Every office boardroom can benefit from an interior design with a fun twist - a look that is functional, stylish, yet modern. Call us on 1300 735 310 if you would like us to make this look work for you!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Rethinking How Smarter Office Design Can Boost Productivity

Business managers are rethinking how office design affects worker productivity in light of recent University of Sydney research questioning conventional wisdom on open-plan layouts, currently found in nine out of ten Australian offices. The study, published in the December 2013 issue of The Journal of Environmental Psychology, collected over 40,000 responses from 303 offices in Australia, the U.S., Canada, and Finland.

Results showed consistently higher worker dissatisfaction with open-plan layouts regarding issues such as noise and privacy. About half the workers in open-plan cubicles or layouts with limited or no partitions expressed dissatisfaction with sound privacy. Two to four out of ten open-plan workers were highly dissatisfied with visual privacy as well. Study leader Jungsoo Kim concluded that the noise disruption caused by open-plan layouts outweighed their benefits.

Friday, 25 July 2014

White Office Furniture Designs - Create Airy, Open Workspaces

Office looking outdated?

Need inspiration for a more modern, luxurious and spacious look for your brand new office space?

Create Beautiful, Clean and Open Space

White office furniture and workstations will help create a sense of increased space and light in your workspace.

White, open plan office furniture designs are increasingly popular as employers are realizing the benefits of having an office space look bright and spacious to both employee morale and productivity.


Elegance, Simplicity and Sophistication

White is the most soothing colour that enhances the beauty of your workspace. It is the timeless colour that will never go out of fashion.

By adding white office desks or chairs, you can modernise and instantly update the look and feel of an executive room, boardroom or even a breakout area. See our modern office cafe bench below.

If you have dark carpet tiles or concrete flooring, combining white office desks or chairs will give your work environment a sophisticated look.

Combine To Give Accent

By combining white loose office furniture such as mobile filing cabinets, tambours, credenza's, long desks or workstations with other colours, can give striking accent to a particular area of your workspace.

For example, you can choose red or green seat toppas (cushions) on your mobile caddies, or even green plants or folders and achieve a beautiful look with your white furniture.

JP Office Workstations are leaders in white office furniture and modern & contemporary business furniture design. We supply and install workstations and commercial furniture Australia-wide.

Contact us on 1300 735 310 and one of our Project Consultants will draw up 3D CAD drawings and floor layouts for you and give you practical advice to achieve the office space you desire.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

The History of the Workplace

As technology improves and culture changes, savvy business owners and executives make it a point to lead their company in time with the march of history. This is evident by the constantly changing landscape of the workplace. The environment in which both employees and their superiors work greatly factor in the direction the business takes to realize its vision.

To fully understand this evolving relationship between the office space and the workers, a retrospective of the workplace becomes necessary. 

The Industrial Turn of the Century
 The Industrial Turn of the Century
With the Industrial Revolution having already spread across the developed world and firmly set its influences in businesses, companies grew to unprecedented sizes in private firms. Like the many factories that sprung up in the 19th century, businesses that had clerical duties designed systems that capitalized on the great number of employees doing simple and repetitive tasks.

The factory analogy also worked with the way offices were then designed, as employees’ desks were lined up in rows and columns that allowed for easy supervision by the management and straightforward communication between workers when they need to pass along messages and documents.

Productivity was high for its time, but the setup of scores of people all doing the same work without any sense of privacy or flexibility certainly restricted opportunities for innovation while also “dehumanizing” the individuals as merely cogs in a well-oiled machine.

German Landscape Influence 
The 60s were a tumultuous period, witnessing social upheavals that inevitably rippled across the commercial sphere, affecting the way people did business. Employees started earning more input on how company processes were constructed as well as more autonomy when it came to their individual duties. The communication lines between the management and their subordinates became much shorter, and workers on equal footing found themselves collaborating on group projects.

Reflecting the shifting dynamics of the workplace were its layout and aesthetics, as pioneered by the German designers of the time in the form of the landscape office. Instead of the assembly line setup of earlier decades, the landscape office featured semi-enclosed spaces for two or three employees to share and larger units with similarly oriented tasks being more clearly delineated for specialization. Heads of specific departments worked more closely with their juniors.

A careful balance of independence and cooperation for more groundbreaking yet still productive work was achieved. The downsides to this arrangement, however, were more of a practical nature, as small spaces were ill-fitted for such designs and the cost of structuring the office to these blueprints did not come cheap. The advancement in technology with the coming of the personal computer and its dramatic effects on the work flow also wasn’t foreseen.

The Cube Farm
Perhaps it is no big surprise that the rising importance of the individual in the workplace coincided with the acceptance of the personal computer in the realm of business. With more responsibilities given and more work expected from a single employee, the office design of the 80s and 90s placed a greater emphasis on giving workers more of their own space to do their jobs. With the growing number of skilled talent who earned more independence but have yet to deserve a room all on their own, the answer was the cubicle.

Instead of having to share a desk with other people, an employee got an enclosed space all to himself so that he could focus on his work. Managers did not, however, want to altogether abandon the collaborative aspect of the office. Cubicles were then designed so that all that separated colleagues were the very walls of their personal spaces. They could still walk to their neighboring employees or look over their partitions if they had to talk and get things done together.

The tools that became available to office workers allowed them to accomplish multiple tasks without having to leave their cubicles, leading to more productivity. The layout also maximized the available space on the office floor, cutting back on the costs that drove up expenses with the earlier workplace designs.

The problems of an operation running this scheme were that it still ended up discouraging face-to-face communication between employees that is so integral in forming strong professional relationships, and as a result, alienating the individual. Being boxed up in a tight space and knowing the rest are in the exact same situation led to this cold image that is strangely reminiscent of the Industrial outfits in the beginning of the century.

21st Century Cool and Collaboration
Although the dot com burst in 2001 tempered many experts’ expectations, business owners that survived, along with tech-savvy young entrepreneurs and forward-thinking thought leaders of the early 00s, still saw the great potential the Internet had in changing the way people worked and, ultimately, lived. Change in the way the workplace was designed inevitably came with these exciting times.

The backlash to the cube farm was quick, as the trendiest companies tore down those walls to facilitate the human connection that would spark a great many innovations through collaboration and technology. Instead of the antiseptic utilitarian form that symbolized drudgery in the previous decades’ offices, the 00s sought more open spaces bathed in sunlight and allowed for a more casual relationship between coworkers and bosses. 
Businesses wanted to be desired by the younger market of talent, and thus appealed to the more liberated sensibilities of the new generation fresh out of college by promising all sorts of “cool” perks and amenities. Flexible working hours, game rooms, and in-house chefs to cook meals and snacks are just some of the incentives these companies offer to would-be Sean Parkers, Tom Andersons, and Chris DeWolfes.

This renewed focus on establishing bonds between coworkers has welcomed the return of shared tables to encourage teamwork. Chairs and sometimes even desks are on wheels to make it convenient for one employee to just slide next to another if they need to talk. 

Of course, accommodations for strategic meetings that require privacy and less noise are also accounted for with smaller rooms containing boardroom tables and walled off by glass or other barriers.
Every inch of the office is mapped out so that people are constantly in contact with one another, fostering a culture of brainstorming and the sharing of ideas. Health issues have begun to be addressed more widely as well, with chairs and desks having ergonomic designs taken into consideration when furnishing the workplace.

There is a potential that all these privileges and spaces for collaboration may lead to more distractions and thus less productivity. With the knowledge gained from looking back at the history of the workplace, the right adjustments should then be made to achieve the perfect balance between the freedom of cooperation and the discipline of delivering results for better future-proofing of the office design.

Monday, 28 April 2014

5 Big Trends in Modern Office Design

Modern office design is all about creating unique, interesting and inspiring workspaces.

Attracting and retaining the best employees is crucial for today’s businesses. If you want the best employees, you need to create an appealing workplace.

The most dynamic businesses today are in a war for talent, and to get the best talent they are using the workplace as a tool to retain and attract the best staff.

According to design firm Hassell, workplace costs, which account for about 15 per cent of an employers’ costs in contrast to salaries, which make up 85 per cent, can have a disproportionately large effect when it comes to attracting and retaining staff.

So let's take a look at how you can improve employee productivity and your office aesthetics with some of the latest trends in modern workplace design.

1. Collaborative Spaces 

Collaborative workspaces are key in modern offices. Few employees these days work alone on projects or tasks. What we are seeing from our clients is the increased need for teams of employees working together to achieve a common goal.  To improve collaboration and communication, partitions between workspaces are short or non-existent.

Office design also has to accommodate for small, quiet rooms which enable groups of three to five people to meet. This may include meeting rooms, usually separated with open glass partitions for spontaneous meetings between team members working together on a project.

2. Shared Desking

Benching style desking systems are perfect for collaboration between teams of four to eight people. These workstation layouts are ideal for focused, shared and team based work. You can also combine them with a cluster or pod type workstation which will add more privacy for each person.

Shared desktops throughout the office floor can support two or four people who work together frequently or provide space for spontaneous shared work. This type of modern office environment provides ideal conditions to younger employees to learn from more experienced employees. They can ask questions and observe how they work.

3. Mobility and Flexibility

Flexible chairs with wheels, mobile multi-use chairs and stools for standing desks are becoming very popular with clients.  Seating that can move with employees is fostering the collaboration and flexibility needed in modern-day workplaces.

Today's employee is also increasingly aware of the negative health effects of prolonged sitting, hence the focus on ergonomic chairs for employees at all levels and stand up desks. 

Height adjustable desking also dramatically reduces the overall footprint in the office and it’s inherent in their design that they encourage collaboration and communication within the office space, providing staff with greater mobility and improved productivity. 

4. More Greenery  

People work better when they don't feel like they are trapped inside all day. Greenery and plants will become a lot more popular in a lot more offices as we are seeing in the demand from our clients.

In particular, demand is growing for vertical gardens - a structure that holds indoor plants in a vertical and horizontal pattern in freestanding columns and walls. These vertical gardens are an innovative way to enjoy indoor greenery in any space, either as a living wall feature or used as a stunning room divider.

They make an amazing visual statement to both potential visiting clients and employees.

5. Cafe Style Kitchens 

Everyone knows that people commune around food right? At Google, employees are never further than 150ft. away from food because of their 150-feet from food office design rule.

So why not design more spaces that accommodate that? Plus, eating together can bring about more collaboration and communication between staff.

Key Takeaways

The modern workplace needs the office space to be flexible and efficient. An open plan office environment is supportive of diverse work styles and provides multiple opportunities for collaborative work and group activities. It is also proven to directly contribute to outcomes such as employee retention, reduced costs and improved productivity.

While it is true that some of these "open office" trends in modern office design can be great for reducing fitout costs (not so many walls & partitions) and fostering collaboration, and increased communication between staff, many employees (and managers) can find them noisy, distracting and lacking privacy.

This is why it is very important that a balance is found between fostering collaboration and protecting privacy. As a business owner, to be able to enjoy the benefits of collaborative office design such as reduced employee turnover, absenteeism, increased employee retention and productivity gains, you must set up your office with plenty of quiet spaces for meetings and private places where employees can shut the door on noise.

Modern Office Design Specialists  

Need advice in creating your perfect office? JP Office Workstations specializes in clutter-free and modern office furniture and workstation design. Our goal is to help our clients create stunning office design that reflects their company brand and DNA.

With our Free Measure & Quote service, our Design Consultants will draw up floor layouts for you and give you practical advice for your office, such as the correct seating spaces per room as well as adequate lighting for each employee. 

If you are looking for more collaborative and modern office layout ideas, or would like to maximize your available floorspace, email us or Call us on 1300 735 310 today. 

Sunday, 27 April 2014

5 Modern Office Visitor Chairs Designs

The right office visitor chair is integral in ensuring that optimal visitor experience for your guests.

Here are some of the best chairs with which you can furnish your waiting room, meeting room, executive office or reception area.

1. Leather Visitor Chair 'Robina'

$403 - view details

This leather back visitor chair is best suited for contemporary, edgy offices. Its modern design and luxuriously leather padded seat and back form closely parallels that of the human body.

It also features a stainless steel tubular frames - truly timeless.

2. Black Visitor Chair 'Kingsley'

$329 - view details

The Kingsley chair is a classy option and immediately calls attention to itself. The frame of the chair is finished with a mirror coating, making it an excellent addition to any modern business, such as those in the tech industry. It wouldn’t look out of place in a law firm, accountancy office, or doctor’s clinic, either.

Black leather with black stitching covers the seat and backrest, providing ample support. Plus, the frame is designed as a cantilever, which means no back legs, making it a marvel of engineering.

3. Mesh Back Visitor Chair

$175 - view details

This chair uses the cantilevered design, popularized by the Dutch architect Mart Stam in the first half of the 20th century. An eye-catching design like this is an easy conversation piece, allowing you or your receptionist to quickly break the ice.

This chair features a mesh back to maximize breathability, and is available in silver and black. The chair is supported by a chrome frame, adding that touch of professionalism. Arms provide added support, and seats and backrests made from soft black polyurethane give your guests that much-needed comfort. Best of all, this chair is below $200, and comes with a phenomenal ten-year warranty.

4. Cantilever Style Visitor Chair

$85 - view details

This office visitor chair is a stylish, cantilever style chair that is sure to fit into the most upscale office and hospitality settings while seating guests in comfort. The black, polyurethane upholstery facilitates easy cleaning while being easily incorporated into a range of interiors.

Featuring padded armrests and a modern design, this Visitor Chair is sure to be as functional as it is impressive.

5. Leather Visitor Chair 'Belmont'

$362 - view details

The Belmont chair is more appropriate for more high-powered waiting rooms. Operating on the same cantilevered design as the first chair on our list, the Belmont chair lends an air of business to any reception hall, conference room, or executive office. The chrome armrests, base, and frame further reinforce its place in your premises.

This chair has a seat depth and width of 495 mm and 500 mm, respectively, as well as a back height of 540 mm. This ensures that practically any visitor can use the Belmont executive chair. The supple back leather makes it one of the most comfortable office chairs we have available.