In the past quarter we have had the privilege to work with many new clients. We have had the opportunity to work with suppliers who are offering new and updated products to keep the look fresh and modern.
We have noticed that the #OfficeFurniture industry is busy and in high demand for those that bring new and exciting ideas to the market. Our job is to keep abreast of those office design trends and introduce them to our Clients to see where there is a good fit.
We have decided to do this blog about places and office designs that we feel strongly represent a progressive company’s image.
These may or may not be your “style” but with a small twist we promise to make it perfect for you. Sometimes with a bit of color added or taken away it can make the look totally yours!
With spectacular designs in office planning and furniture styles, we invite you to check out some of the places we deem to be amazing! Which one looks most like the representation of your perfect office image?
And here it is, another Fall Season is upon us and just like every other season, it’s time to give your office space a #SeasonalUpgrade! … No I’m not telling you to go out and spend $10,000 on brand new #OfficeFurniture but I am suggesting a few simple ways to upgrade your office for a more inviting look for the upcoming Fall season.
One of the easiest ways to upgrade an office is just by changing the colours. That’s right, whether it’s the paint or the seating or the accessories, by choosing a warmer colour for the fall season it makes it much trendier.
The reason why you should do a #SeasonalUpgrade you ask? Well, when a new client or reoccurring client comes to visit your office it’s always nice to impress, just like with your wardrobe. In today’s work world it’s all about looks, and yes, this includes your #OfficeFurniture, that is why, here at Commercial Design Control Inc. we agree that it doesn’t hurt to add a little warmth with the upcoming fall season.
Another great reason to keep your office up-to-date with the trends of the season is to attract the employee-type you want to work with/for you. If you want to have a modern style to represent you then you must show that with the office space you present to future employees. This way you will be able to maintain a staff that you feel confident to work with.
Key Area to Update Seasonally? In our opinion the main area within an office, to keep up to date especially with #SeasonalTrends is the #ReceptionDesk. Why you ask? In order to truly present a company the way you want it to be seen you must show off to the clients the second they walk in the door. By using small accidents and feature pieces you are able to make your office #SeanalTrend ready!
Today’s work place is all about connecting and collaborating with those around you, it is no longer about the individuality of working alone in a cubical. Modern offices have welcomed the open concept to their environment and by doing so have started a whole new trend in #collaborating and connecting of information and ideas.
Yes, we know that collaboration is an essential part of developing new ideas or problem solving with visuals, but scheduling a formal meeting place with a board room table and whiteboard, is being replaced with a comfortable couch or stool with a flat screen or smart board.
Meeting spaces in today’s office are about small semi-private areas that allow information and ideas to flow with connectable visual aids that are easy to use for all levels of users. Having an open area to collaborate in an informal surrounding allows co-workers to feel less pressure and results in more confidence when it comes to sharing ideas that are ”outside the box”.
Perks involved with the new trend of open concept collaboration spaces are that you are able to share technology in a relaxed and comfortable setting. No more cords and cables dangling from tables or trying to find or figure out which plugs will get you connected. It is all about fast and easy access with connectivity and display at your fingertips.
Comfort, style, connectivity and secured storage using the Artopex Downtown series is one of the best things to hit the #CommercialOfficeDesign since the arrival of the computer!
Commercial Design Control gets new Website
Commercial Design Control Inc is proud to release their new website. The website shows latest trends in office furniture equipment from workstations to private offices to IT boardroom and conference training. To see modern open concept work spaces for your office visit www.comm-design.com
Space Planning for Commercial Office Interiors provides a thorough and insightful look at the entire process of space planning, from meeting the client for the first time to delivering a beautifully rendered and creative space plan that addresses all of that client s needs. At www.comm-design.com we take our clients through a step-by-step method
that includes establishing the client’s requirements, developing and translating ideas into design concepts, drafting layouts, and ultimately combining these layouts into well-organized, effective floor plans replete with offices, workstations, support rooms, and reception areas.
We review and cover issues such as circulation, spatial and square footage calculations, building codes, adaptation to exterior architecture, ceiling systems, barrier-free designs, and LEED requirements along the way. We present and cover the key principles, processes, and tasks associated with laying out interior space to optimize the health, safety, and wellness of its occupants.
Our goal is to provide you with a well-organized, space efficient floor plan to make your business work better for you.
For more information, please call us at 905 770 6866 or visit www.comm-design.com for a free consultation on how to improve your workspace.
Communication and Open Concept Work Spaces
Open concepts are not something new to the office scene. Going way back in time and depending on the business large offices featured multiple desks crammed into a single big room. Partitioned offices were reserved for the boss who sat, usually in a sunny perimeter spot if one was available, overlooking their employees who were crammed together in bull pen fashion in the center of the space. What drove the open concept in the good old days however, were the limitations of the furniture systems and the spaces they occupied. Communication was regulated by the boss who either allowed employees to speak to each other or came down hard on employees seen talking to their neighbors.
Times changed and office furniture designs began to incorporate systems that separated and segregated employees. High panels, lightweight and modular, became available and found their way into most office spaces usually in the service of increased privacy and reduced distraction for the employee. Privacy panels became a bit of a status symbol as well not to mention a boon to employees who – how shall we say – liked to engage in non-work related activities. Communication and collaboration between employees became an issue the bosses worried about less because the furniture took what was often viewed as a problem off their hands. But is communication and collaboration between employees a problem?
The answer seems to be a resounding NO!
My clients are always pushing to do more with their people and I notice that collaboration is one of the tools they embrace with increasing frequency and enthusiasm. Employers, especially in companies that operate on the edge of today’s creative and information critical fields are encouraging ground level communication between employees. More and more business owners seem to know and understand and value the informal sharing of information, experience, and creative problem solving that naturally emerges when their people communicate. Clients tell me that employee learning is expanded and solidified as well and I found this very interesting. Apparently employees learn as much from each other as from what they have been taught in a training seminar and, in fact, the two learning methods seem to reinforce each other in a “whole is greater than the sum of the parts” way. By augmenting training systems with a collaborative work space clients are taking full advantage of their employee’s natural tendency to pursue usable knowledge and skills. By putting their team back into direct contact with each other employers are empowering their people and that is good for business.
If work space communication and collaboration is something you have thought about then you will not be surprised at all to see how contemporary corporate office spaces and office design has changed to facilitate in the past 5 years. In general collaborative spaces incorporate intentional design features and tools that encourage communication and collaborative activities, or at least do not inhibit those activities. Office furniture and furniture systems play an obvious and critical role in creating your new collaborative work space. Barriers are coming down in contemporary corporate office spaces, figuratively and literally, and open concept environments are making a comeback.
“Can we reconfigure existing furniture to create communication and collaboration?”
The answer is yes.
An open concept office can easily incorporate much of your existing furniture and furniture systems. Obviously you will likely need to incorporate a new design and purchase some additional product, but getting to an open concept is not difficult and won’t give you sticker shock. Here are some ideas…
First of all you have to know when and where to use the components of your existing furniture and furniture systems. Your seating can clearly be reused and with good planning much if not all of your existing surfaces and storage as well. Partition panels create a challenge but not one that should discourage you, even if you have nothing but tall partition panels in your existing installation. A good open concept incorporates a blend of low, medium, and tall panel heights that provide both open communication and sound barriers where needed. Lower spine panels, usually 54” or less in height, are used to divide employees and support their surfaces in areas where communication is encouraged. If your present office furniture system incorporates tall spine panels exclusively then lower spine panels will need to be purchased. In general, your taller panels will be reconfigured as department dividers or noise barriers at department perimeters.
Specifically, tall partition panels can be reconfigured as barriers along high traffic areas such as entrances or corridors, or parameter walls for conference and eating areas. Partition panels are required to support workstation surfaces and for that reason they will be required along building walls that host workstations. When building walls do not incorporate windows they are another good place to reconfigure tall partition panels which can be used to host electrical and data services as well as provide some acoustic suppression.
The key to re-configuring is to understand how and where we can re-use the existing system.
A good use for the taller components such storage cabinets can be re-used within the station to create privacy. Remember to keep your direct line of view between the users open by using the lower panels (48” – 54” height). By blending the two you can usually create a marriage of the old and new and still get more openness within the area. Small clip on desk dividers will give enough separation between the stations without having to use a full panel. You will also save on space this way as the width of the older acoustical panel is usually in the 3” to 4” range which can use up your space whereas the clip ons do not take up the space.
Generally I would always use a new shorter panel or clip on desk tile divider to allow for a small amount of privacy as you have to have some sort of privacy within the stations.
Footrest: Situations will arise in which a user is perfectly adjusted for keyboard use and with the monitor at a correct angle, but his/her feet do not rest flat on the floor. A footrest may be used to correct this problem.
Document Holder: Use a document holder instead of resting copy on the table top. This helps to eliminate strain and discomfort by keeping the copy close to the monitor and at the same height and distance from the users face as the screen.
Wrist Rests: Wrists should only be used to support the wrist in pauses between typing if this is comfortable for the individual. Placing the wrists on a wrist rest while typing can create a bend in the wrists and pressure on the carpal tunnel. Wrist rests should have rounded not sharp, edges and should provide a firm but soft cushion.
1. Top surface of the keyboard space bar is no higher than 2.5 inches above the work surface
2. During keyboard use, the elbow forms an angle of 90-100 with the upper arm almost vertical, the wrist is relaxed and not bent, wrist rests are available
3. If used primarily for text entry, keyboard is directly in front of the operator
4. If used primarily for data entry, keyboard is directly in front of the keying hand
5. Top of screen is at eye level or slightly lower
6. Viewing distance is 18-24 inches
7. Screen is free of glare or shadows
8. Images on the screen are sharp, easy to read and do not flicker
Workstation design & layout should accommodate several factors:
Workstation Height: Correct work station height depends upon the user of a work station and upon the chair and other factors that interact with the user and table. The ideal is for the user to be able to sit at the work station with the keyboard in place and be able to easily maintain a 90-100 degree elbow angle and straight wrists while keying. The height of an adjustable keyboard support should adjust between 23″ and 28″ to accommodate most-but not all-users. 26″ is a recommended compromise position while leg clearance must still be considered.
Leg Room: Knee spaces should allow a worker to feel uncrowded and to allow some changes of position even with the keyboard support lowered to the correct level for use. The knee space should be at least 30″ wide by 19″deep by 27″ high to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. For those using a footrest, clearance must be calculated with the legs in place on the footrest. Likewise, depth of the “clearance envelope” for both legs and toes should be evaluated while the workstation user is in a normal working position at the work station (determined by the design of the seating system and the way the user sits). Drawers and support legs (for furniture) should not go where human legs need to fit.
Workstation Surface: The workstation top should be big enough to allow space not only for all computer-related necessary equipment, but also for paperwork, books, and other materials needed while working at the computer. Working with materials on chairs and at odd angles has the potential for neck and other body strain. Frequently used items should be kept close to avoid long reaches. A general recommendation is that the work area top should be at least as big as the standard office desk – 30 inches by 60 inches. A depth of at least 30 inches allows flexibility in use/reuse of the work area. Usable space may be maximized by good wire/cable management.
Chairs should be designed to adjust for and accommodate several factors:
Seat Height: Seat height should be pneumatically adjusted while seated. A range of 16 – 20.5 inches off the floor should accommodate most users. Thighs should be horizontal, lower legs vertical, feet flat on the floor or on a footrest. Seat height should also allow a 90 degree angle at the elbows for typing.
Seat Width and Depth: A seat width of 17-20 inches suffices for most people and should be deep enough to permit the back to contact the lumbar backrest without cutting into the backs of knees. The front edge should be rounded and padded. The seat slant should be adjustable (0 to 10 degrees). Avoid bucket-type seats. The seat should swivel easily.
Backrest: The backrest should offer firm support, especially in the lumbar (lower back) region, should be 12-19 inches wide, and should be easily adjustable both in angle and height, while sitting. The optimum angle between seat and back should permit a working posture of at least 90 degrees between the spine and thighs. Seat pan angle and backrest height and angle should be coordinated to allow for the most comfortable weight load on the spinal column.
Seat Material: A chair seat and back should be padded enough to allow comfortable circulation. If a seat is too soft, the muscles must always adjust to maintain a steady posture, causing strain and fatigue. The seat fabric should “breathe” to allow air circulation through clothes to the skin.
Armrests: Armrests are optional, depending on user preference and task performed. They should not restrict movement or impede the worker’s ability to get close enough to the work surface. The worker should not rest his or her forearms while keying.
ERGONOMIC CHAIR CHECKLIST
1. Chair has wheels or castors suitable for the floor surface
2. Chair swivels
3. Backrest is adjustable for both height and angle
4. Backrest supports the inward curve of the lower back
5. Chair height is appropriate for the individual & the work surface height
6. Chair is adjusted so there is no pressure on the backs of the legs, and feet are flat on
the floor or on a foot rest
7. Chair is adjustable from the sitting position
8. Chair upholstery is a breathable fabric
9. Footrests are used if feet do not rest flat on the floor
What is Ergonomics?
Ergonomics is a word used to describe improving the productivity, health, safety and comfort of people, as well as promoting effective interaction among people, technology and the environment in which both must operate. It has become a concern for most employers and a subject we must all now address.
Who is Responsible?
Employers are responsible to provide a safe and effective workspace. Companies are now being encouraged to purchase adjustable furniture for the reasonable accommodation of users.
Purpose of Ergonomic Furniture
Ergonomic furniture should be designed to facilitate task performance, minimize fatigue and injury by fitting equipment to the body size, strength and range of motion of the user.
Office furnishings designed for ergonomics have adjustable components that enable the user to modify the workstation to accommodate different physical dimensions and the requirements of the job. Ergonomically designed furniture can reduce pain and injury, increase productivity, improve morale, and decrease complaints. Furnishings and equipment should be sized to fit the individual user.
The purchase of furniture should be task specific to eliminate:
Static or awkward posture – Repetitive motion – Poor access or inadequate clearance and excessive reach – Display screens difficult to read – Controls that are confusing to operate or require too much force
Therefore, your furniture should be suitable for the types of tasks performed and be adaptable to multi-purpose use.
Commercial Design Control Inc.
If you are unsure about the ergonomics in your workspace, just ask us to evaluate your existing stations. Setting up an ergonomic friendly workspace will pay off with better productivity and a happier employee with less absenteeism.
Office workstation deals do not come along every day, so when you see one that is really good, take advantage of it! Jump on it quick!
Commercial Design Control Inc. has a vast array of office guest chairs and office task seating that we put on as a special of the month. We usually like to source out an office guest chair that has a modern feel that could be placed in front of any style of modern office desk, reception area or board room table.
We suggest using a solid fixed base for an office guest or lounge chair … either sled base or post leg so the chair cannot be moved easily. It is nice to have the chairs positioned in their spots so that when someone comes in to sit down, the chair is roughly where it should be and does not have to be moved back into position when your guest needs a seat.
Many of the office guest chairs have a coordinating office task chair so the look of the task and the guest are matching in terms of style on the seat and back.
Using a vinyl or leather on the office guest chair seat will lend to an easy clean up should spills or soils occur on the seat. If you are looking for a modern look for your offices a mesh back is nice and keeps the look of the chairs open and airy.
This month Commercial Design Control Inc. is offering the Arc Guest chair which has a sled base chrome frame, mesh back and faux leather seat for an amazing price of $99.00 each while supplies last. This same chair would normally sell at Commercial Design Control Inc. for $249.00 each. This truly is a fantastic deal at $99.00.
Watch for more specials from Commercial Design Control Inc. as we continue to offer more office furniture products on our monthly specials!
Modular training tables for meeting and collaboration
How does a company find a good modular table? To start with, the table should be easy to fold, to turn, to push and to pull. It should have a good strong leg with a cast iron or steel welded base. I usually recommend doing one side with locking casters and the other side with a fixed adjustable post. That way the table does not move until you are ready to move it. The problem with both sides having casters is that often people forget to lock the casters causing the table to roll around when pushed.
Measure your room to see what really fits. Make sure you have enough space to walk behind each chair even if the chair is pulled out from the table. There is nothing worse that trying to squeeze out of a meeting and creating a big ruckus as you are leaving.
Also make sure you have a side table for a room phone or for serving coffee or food during the meeting. That way your table remain clean and ready for the next meeting.
With UP possibilities are endless.
UP gives you the freedom to configure, go in any direction, height or leave space for any future planning. It literally simplifies the space planning and has smaller footprint than the traditional panel system. It’s simple and clean lines has universal appeal which is liked by every generation.
UP’s adaptability and simplicity shows in every area; workstations, cubical reception or boardroom. All parts and components blend seamlessly providing extreme flexibility and functionality in a workplace. With its stackable posts and freestanding applications downsizing or growth is not a problem.
Its mobile screens help promote meeting sessions and power and data provides slim profile that adapts well to the future facilitation of utilities within raised floor infrastructures. Accessories like identification signs, coat hooks, work organizers and mounted magnetic whiteboard are the little details which make this series attractive giving an identity of its own to each workspace.
UP series sleek and modern look provides functionality, continuity and flow from one workspace to another making it a perfect blend of simplicity and flexibility.
From the warmth of real wood, to the highly developed laminates of today, we can show you how to achieve the look of your imagination.
We take the time to review your storage needs, your office size and develop the office suite that suites your style. Modern or traditional we can recommend the layout that works with your budget.
Look for trends in multi-coloured suites using wood, soft touch leather and glass to unite in the statement of success. Sleek lines and slim profiles are seen for a minimalistic look. Light and dark colors blended with brushed chrome hardware to make a unique and individualized presentation for success.
People ask us what we think is the best office chair when you are starting your company and budget is a great consideration. My answer is “one that is comfortable to the majority of the users and fits your style in terms of looks and budget”. 🙂
There are so many chairs available that it becomes mind boggling trying to seat an entire office with just one chair. Price is always a big factor, so you want to get something that will work and be comfortable as well as not break the bank.
First you should to consider if there are any specific ergonomic needs in your group such as wrist, back or hip problems. Are your users mostly men or woman or a mix? What are the job functions of your users? Do they sit and work at a computer all day, or are they walking around the office a lot and occasionally need to relax in a stretching position? These are a few of the many factors you need to think about when you are picking a single chair for many users.
To help with your decision, we at Commercial Design Control Inc. have come up with two chairs that we call the “one size fits all”.
When using these chairs, you can be quite confident that you will be please the majority of the population in your office. Special needs aside, these chairs are supportive and cover the basic ergonomic functions with a price that is easy to handle.
I like to use a Manager’s chair style that doubles as a board room/conference room chair, and a good task chair to serve your users in admin, sales, customer service and accounting. Here are two chair models that will get you started.
CDC – 3121 – Mid Back Chair
Price $ 179.00 per chair
“Comfort level high”
Model CDC – 5500 has a thick padded seat and breathable black mesh back for a high tech style, comfort and durability.
Model CDC – 3121 is a mid-back ergonomic chair with a molded foam seat and back with plastic back guard protecting against walls and sharp edges. This chair is more geared towards traditional comfort and excellent for a Manager’s office or Board Room space.
Chair models include the following:
Lumbar support provides support to the lower back.
Pneumatic seat height adjustment personalizes the height of the chair.
2-to-1 synchro tilter reclines while keeping the seat cushion level.
Adjustable arms for raising and lowering arm heights
Base and Wheels
Heavy duty nylon base and dual wheel carpet friendly casters
Warranty – 15 years warranty on all non-moving metal parts, 2 years on components parts and 3 years warranty on upholstery fabric and foam makes them one of the best chairs out there.
These are two chairs that will cover your most basic needs, however we suggest looking at our website for more ideas of recommended seating and how to select a chair that will work for your office.
Lounge seating can play an integral part in representing your office. It’s usually placed at the front or in the reception area making it the first place of contact for a visitor. You can choose lounge seating based on the needs and nature of your business.
These days there is a huge variety of sleek and stylish seating available that can meet your office requirements.
Lounge seating can come in single, two seater (also known as love seat) and three seaters. It can be anything as modern and contemporary to traditional and formal, casual and inviting or with a European flare.
Once you have chosen the style of the lounge seating that you like you should then pay attention to the fabric and finish.There is a variety of grades available that can be used to upholster the seating. However, the higher the grade the more expensive the seating will be. High quality stain resistant fabrics may be expensive but would be better off in terms of longevity. The chair with a higher grade fabric may sound expensive at first but, it will hold its color, and maintain its finish longer due to the quality of the material. These chairs will have a lot of different users, so the finish has to last and look good. Be sure to invest in a stain resistant, high quality fabric that will compliment your reception area, but will also hold up to the everyday use of your guests.
These days some people like to opt for benches in the office receptions. If you like the idea of having colorful wrapped foam benches in the office you have various choices. Nowadays suppliers have benches or seating that can be configured to the style you want. Some have seating options that are specifically designed for children and could be a good investment if your business deals with little visitors at a regular basis. It’s a great idea for pediatrics office, Montessori, daycare, libraries, and music or art studios.
Modular chairs and sofa with or without armrest and a various options of side tables can be used for a big or small spaces. Different options and colours can help you create your own style and ambience which can makes your workplace unique. If you wish you can add a few ottomans or extra tables around the lounge seating. Just make sure that the room is balanced and the furniture is placed in a way that the room doesn’t look too crowded.
The Boardroom is the heart of the office. It reflects the style and the communication grounds that companies use to come together. Boardroom furniture should be simple but impressive. It should show how a company visualizes themselves to its staff, and the outside world.
The Boardroom is where big and small ideas are taken and decisions are made. Collaboration, socializing and power all go into the board room so the furniture should be comfortable, simple and easy to use. It should create a statement that identifies and outlines the company itself.
These days you can choose and customize boardroom tables based on style, budget and usage. Most tables are built with Multi-Outlet Power Modules that can be used for direct access plug-in for laptops, media devices and phones. Finishes and details for size depend on your square footage of the room, budget and the design style of the office. Wood finishes are very popular for an executive board room whereas a laminate finish would normally be used in a manager’s conference or meeting room.
At Commercial Design Control Inc. we provide a number of options in boardroom tables and seating which can be customized and reconfigured based on your needs and space. We provide our customers varying table sizes that will accommodate a small 4 person meeting up to a 50 foot long custom table that will accommodate up to a 60 person meeting. Media speakers, cameras and flat screen monitors are connected to the table and used for amplifying and enlarging the visual view as required.
Boardroom table legs come in many choices depending on your top style and finish. Wood gables, steel posts and laminate slabs are used depending on the look as well as the budget set aside for the project.
Seating for the table should accommodate the average body frame. A certain percent of the chairs should have a larger seat pan and base to ensure all body types can be seated comfortably for long periods of time. Ergonomic height adjustments for the seat and arms should be easy for the user to use. This will aid in having your guest sit for longer periods of time without feeling any back or leg pain.Make sure there is enough space around the table and behind the chairs. You should aim for at least 36” behind each chair while someone is sitting in the chair before hitting a wall or another piece of furniture so people can excuse themselves from the meeting with little disruption to other meeting members.
Use a side credenza or a small side table for drinks and refreshments. A lectern or screen can be added for presentations depending on the need and usability.
At the end of the day the boardroom furniture should reflect your organization’s stature and the people that are working there. To create a productive meeting place for your board room, aim for a blend of elegance, professionalism and comfort; and you will be thanked by your guests!
How to make them work for you
Ergonomically correct, versatility and adherence to lab rules and regulations are important factors to consider when you are planning to build a lab testing workstation.
The workstation should provide a high level of productivity, be flexible for future changes as well as be aesthetically appealing. Common elements like water spills and harsh chemicals are part and parcel of most of lab areas and must be taken into account while planning how the workstation will be designed.
At Commercial Design Control Inc. we make sure all of the above factors are kept in mind when we are challenged by such a project. We adhere and meet all the compliance requirements that are standard for laboratory workstation design. Our job is to make sure our clients get a workstation that will suit their needs for the various element conditions within the laboratory and the budget the client has set out for project.
Layout: When designing a lab area workstation, today’s furniture trends are to keep the area open with lower levels of privacy. We achieve that by using a 50” sitting height privacy divider panel that allows the user to have a level of privacy while sitting in the station but maintains the openness of the general area for those walking around the area. However, if there is a need for more privacy we recommend using a 69” high divider panel which will give the area standing height privacy. These divider panels should be made from laminate or metal tiles with aluminum or metal frames which should be raised 4” off the ground by using a post leg. These panels will provide the extra privacy and raising them off the floor will protect against floor spills and moisture. The panels can also be used to hold storage items such as shelves, device holders and paper trays.
Workstations: We recommend our clients use a work surface that is made from nonporous material either metal or high pressure laminate. The tops should be min. 2” thick and be height adjustable. A corner surface is recommended where the computer is first and foremost and used to keep the work within “arms reach”. In the case where a laptop is used, a straight surface with proper laptop storage will be adequate and serves well to spread out testing equipment brought back to the workstation.
Electrical and Wire Management: Electrical and cabling management should be stored within a self-contained box built up off the floor and easily accessible to the user providing a safe place for all wiring and computer/phone cabling. The box should be easy to access with a secure cover plate enclosing the wires.
Secured Storage: Secured storage is an important factor to consider when designing a lab station. Adding a private wardrobe/storage cabinet with lock for your researchers will provide a safe space to store their belongings like jackets, lab coats and work boots as well as keep the station and floor area clean while they are away from the workstation. Laptops and other devices can be locked away when the user is not in the station.
Multipurpose Case goods: Built-in or modular furniture that serves the purpose of double purpose of file storage and seating is an excellent solution. 2 drawer lateral files are the answer for keeping files within the station while making the unit more efficient in terms of space. Lap top storage shelves are designed into the cabinet for the user to make sure their devices are kept locked while not being used.
Mobile Furniture: Mobile storage cabinets with wheels and cushion tops are used for filing and guest seating for visitors. Items like mobile TV stands, task lights, computer tables, monitor arms, CPU holders are a good investment and will withstand the ever changing needs of the lab area.
A safe, flexible, high performance lab station should address the above factors and include the products as mentioned.
As the price of real estate and leasing climbs up, the need to have a small workplace arises. Small offices mean a smaller square footage but you can do many things to make a small office look welcoming and open. Let’s break some traditional rules to create a workspace that represents you.
Big or Small:We are always told that big items are a NO NO for a small area. This is not necessarily true. You can use one big piece in your office by cutting down on the rest of the big items. Let’s say you like a big cushy chair for your workstation. So in that case use a table that is not the focal point and big so that you can accommodate the cushy chairs that is comfortable to sit all day.
Cheer Up:When choosing a colour for a small office neutral or whites are the way to go, but don’t be afraid to use a bit of bright color here and there as an accent or in accessories. Or if you want you can always go with a white on the walls with a slight hint of a brighter color like below.
Disappearing Act:Adding furniture to a small office can be a bit of a challenge. This requires lot of planning and picking the right pieces. Flip and floating desks are a great solution for such areas as well as a small work surface with a mobile under desk with 2 big drawers and a filing drawer. One or two savvy demountable pieces can also do the trick.
General Pattern:We are all afraid to use pattern in a small office but if you use anything in moderation it shouldn’t look busy. You can use a small pattern or a combination of a few patterns as long as they blend together to creates a consistency. If you use the tints and shades of the same colour with a mix of some neutral or lighter colour that should be fine.
Be Bold:You don’t always have to have a focal point in a room; be bold and break some traditional rules. All you need to make sure in a small office is that every piece kind of blends and harmonizes with the rest of the items of the room and nothing sticks out otherwise it will make the room even smaller. Every piece should be a continuation of the other. In this case a desk with a built in over cabinet with sliding door or a storage cabinet on the side to hide some winter coats would be a good idea.
No matter what you do just remember that you don’t have to sacrifice your style for a small space. A small office which is customized, well designed and user friendly will help you to get on with your work. You will feel more confident you will bring some fun and you will enjoy working in a space that represents you.
With fall in the air and the leaves changing color there is one color that comes to my mind and that is Orange. Although, I have to admit that this colour also reminds me of the shiny bright summer days which speaks energy and happiness to me. Like Red if you use Orange too much it could become overbearing. So it’s wise to use it sparingly as a bold accent colour. Orange brings warmth and positivity in a workspace and is a jazzy colour in my opinion. So trust me if you use Orange in your office you will thank me when the winter rolls in.
A large accent Orange wall can bring warmth and excitement to a workplace filled with Whites and Neutrals. If your office is well lit and you want to bring some drama to the workplace try pairing Orange and Black.
Above are some color combinations of Grays and Browns that go well with the colour Orange. So go ahead and add some fun Orange to your office !!
If you think of your workplace as a second home like me chances are you would like to give it a personal touch. Most modern offices are turning towards brightening up the atmosphere by illuminating workspaces with a splash of colour. But, there is one key element to remember when you are using bright colors and that is moderation. Usually neutrals, grays, earth tones and whites are the main colors of an office which after a while can get boring. Adding one pure extraordinary colour can bring the whole space to life. There are several ways to achieve this result; the most popular being using a bold colour as an accent paint. You could also add a touch of colour by adding colorful furniture or accessories.
Red is the trend: When we talk about bold colors red is the first colour that strikes our imagination. Different shades of reds can have different impact on the mood of a room so be careful when using this tricky colour.
Red married with Taupes, Browns and Gold can illuminate a room and bring it to life. The boldness of red and the natural brown blends well together to bring a balance and regality to an executive office. If you don’t feel confident using red as an accent paint then you can always brighten up the space by adding some bold red furniture in red leather or fabric. A hint of orange in the reds can add warmth to the room. Red with a hint of pink or brown can blend well when used in moderation.
A colour board also helps you to understand how different elements like style, lighting, and direction of a room will impact different colour tones, textures and finishes when put together.
When starting a new project it’s always good to discuss with your client the colours that they would like to see in their office.
Keeping their needs and choices in mind use colour tones that are acceptable to all and not offending to anyone. This rule is of utmost importance if you are designing a cooperate environment. You want the colour scheme to be a pleasant experience for everyone working in that office.
If a project requires more than just new furniture it’s best to create two or more colour boards showing warm, cool and neutral colour schemes and finishes so that the client has a variety to choose from.
Start with choosing a presentation board which is big enough to hold all the samples and finishes that you want to present to the client. Choose a contrasting colour so that the samples pop out on the board.
Start positioning all the samples and finishes by putting the wall paint at the very top then fabric pieces for drapes (if any) then furniture laminates and finally the carpet to give an effect of how things will look when put together.
Use tape around the presentation board to get a neat and perfect border.
Make sure you leave space and align the samples properly before you glue them. Use different kinds of glues like cement glue, hot gun and even tape depending on the texture of the samples.
It’s wise to position the samples in different ways just to see how they look and what look and size is best before gluing them permanently. Make sure that the presentation board is on a straight surface before starting your work.
Add different colours, textures and fabrics if possible which appeals the eyes. But, don’t over do or completely cover the board. Print out neat and clear labels showing the sample names, series and the supplier. Add your business card and the office layout if available on the colour board…. voila!!
Leave the board to dry over night, its best if you put some weight on the heavy pieces or tile samples so that they stick well to the board.
Remember the more the appealing the colour boards is the more chances are that it will catch your client’s eye and possibly lead to a project well done.
There are two distinct and basic ways to go when designing an office. Once I have spent a little time observing, I lean towards one or the other.
1) Contrasting Bold – Outstanding – Colorful, Dynamic with lots of interest and focal points. You can usually judge the general atmosphere of the office by these same traits. If your office has a lot of bold thinkers, colorful and dynamic personalities who are encouraged to let their talents loose and come forward … you would probably be happiest with a contrasting style of type of office design. This shows you are out of the norm, and stand alone on your own merits. You want to show your individualism and like your staff to express their ideas. You seek flare and creativity in your business as well as encouraging your staff to do the same. In terms of style and company image, your concern is not about getting the most for your money or for the long term; you want to show you are in the here and now and understand what is happening in the world today. Although you plan for tomorrow, you focus on today. You are a risk taker in general, and like to be on the edge.
Your best look would be contrasting – Colors to use would be reds, navies, chocolate browns, blacks and white with lots of accents, feature walls and unique furniture designs. Open concepts with lots of low partitions and glass.
2) Blending Muted – Peaceful – Stable – Professional – traditional with limited accents or outstanding features. If you like to have your office maintain a certain degree of privacy with a focus on stability and professionalism, you are probably better to use a blending design that stays in a safe creative zone. Blending allows you to portray an image of professionalism focusing on showing that you use your business dollars wisely and that you gravitate towards longevity versus here and now. Your image is built on managing your money and staff wisely. You are not so concerned about having a trendy updated image … but like to focus on the future as a long term investment instead.
Your best look would be blending – Taupe, gray, eggplant, cream and muted colors such as blues, browns and caramel would work best for you.
Things can easily clutter around you when you have a limited office space. The next thing you know you are ready to abandon your workplace because there is no space for you to sit. If you are one of those space challenged people then keeping a few tips in mind while working in a small office can maximize the space and you would like to work there more often.
Free Yourself: Look around and see what is it that you really need in your office and what you can live without. We all know that the computer, desk and chair stays; but what about the stack of files or the extra office equipment around you. Do you really need a separate scanner, fax, copier and printer? Why not get rid of all and get a 4 in 1 machine that serves the purpose. What about the extra bookshelf or file tray on your desk? Do you really need it?? Most of the information these days can be scanned or saved digitally or on the computer. This saves space by not having too much paperwork around you eliminating the need for extra filing cabinets. But if you still need some storage invest in functional storage or store items vertically. But, first you need to figure out what you really need in your office.
Off the Wall: What about the old notices on the bulletin board; are those policies still in place? Didn’t Sue cancel that meeting schedule last month which is still hanging on your board? You’ll be amazed how much difference it makes when you get rid of the old or unused paper work on the side of your cubical or wall. My advice is to change it with a pretty calendar with beautiful pictures which not only organizes all your appointments but also provides you an escape from your mundane routine.
Sleek & Savvy: If you have nothing more than just office desk, chair and filing cabinets but they are large and old then it’s time to replace them with something new and more efficient and less space consuming. With the on going need for more space and efficiency modern furniture designers have introduced great solutions to fit your style and needs. The new furniture is not only comfortable but ergonomically designed for all day use encouraging productivity. Multi purpose furniture such as an ottoman, bench or chest which can store some of your stuff or take the place of a coffee table will serve the purpose. A desk with lots of compartments and drawers should eliminate the need for filing pedestals or cabinets. Buy a chair which has wheels and lumbar support so that you are able to move back and forth in a small space from your desk to the filing cabinet and have a proper back support all day long.
Colour my World: Dark colors may look modern but they seem to make a small space even smaller. You can create an illusion of openness by using light paint colors. If you use different tones of the same colour that could make your room appear bigger and spacious depending on the light and windows.
Night Light: If your work space has table lamps or floor lamps, get rid of them and invest in ceiling lights. Track or recessed light works best for small office this gives an illusion of spaciousness. Use blinds where needed instead of curtains but let the natural light flow in because it’s the best way to make a space look bigger.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall: A wider and lighter colour floor will open up the space and so does a mirror if positioned in front of a window to reflect light in the room. If this is not possible then add mirrors on the wall where possible so that the ceiling light reflects in the room and on the floor creating an illusion of openness. Last but not least stay away from too many prints in the office.
Having a small office isn’t the end of the world; everyday if you set 10 minutes aside to clean up and de-clutter your workspace things can become clear, comfortable and you can become more productive.
1. It’s best to arrange an after hour or weekend move or installation to limit loss of productivity and time in the office.
2. If the move is to take a few months or weeks it’s best to look for a satellite office so that the employees have a place to work while the move is in progress.
3. Looking into warehouse facilities to store the extra furniture and equipment is a good idea.
4. If you are hiring a mover or installer it would be best to look for someone who can work on contract basis and customize the contract according to your installation needs.
5. A reputable installer will provide you with a plan that should include some of the following:
-Project Management and site surveys
-WSIB and insurance certificate
-Bins and crates to move the content
-IT relocations – includes phone and computers
-Furniture relocation – includes full dismantle and reassembly
-Protection or liability for furniture damage
-Storage for any extra product if required.
-Waste disposal or recycling if required after the job is complete.
6. In order to transport items that need to be relocated crates and bins are supplied a week in advance from the move. It is wise to label and colour code the bins for easy access.
7. If the new location is on the upper level it is advisable to book the elevator in advance so that all the furniture and bins can be carried via elevator to the upper level of the office.
8. Once the move is complete and the employees and equipment is in place the bins are picked up by the moving company.
9. Make sure to get a quote from the moving company for the bins and per day charges prior to the move.
10. If you follow my checklist I guarantee you your next office move will be a breeze.
Ever wonder why the senior executives look so tired while they are sitting in the office? Why they seem grumpy and stiff when all they do is “sit around all day”? When any part of your body is in discomfort it shows on your face and affects your emotions. Some people complain about bad posture and neck/back pain because they are sitting all day long. Most of the time the reason behind all the agony is due to uncomfortable seating and to be more specific “uncomfortable executive seating”.
So how do we choose the best suitable executive chair for the boss? With so many options available for Executive seating it becomes hard to choose the chair. But if we keep in mind a few key factors we can make this decision easily.
Budget: The most important factor to take into consideration is your budget. Having so much variety can sometimes be mind boggling. Prices range from $900.00 – $5,000.00 If you can stretch your dollar for the sake of durability and comfort, my suggestion would be “you should”.
Style: This is the second most important key factor in choosing an Executive chair for your boss. Depending on the stature of an individual there are many chairs available. Some chairs are specially designed for big and tall individuals. Does your boss seem like a trendy guy, or more traditional. Ask your furniture provider what chair matches the personality type and they will advise you on the “style” of the latest looking chair, or the “style” of a chair that is timeless and has been around for years.
Ergonomics: Another factor to take into consideration is that you have to have an upright posture and less strained neck and back to achieve maximum comfort. Find out if he/she likes arms that stay positioned but move up and down, or arms that move backwards, forward, up and down? Some people like a lot of movement in the chair, whereas some don’t. Seat width is something to consider. Is your boss tall, short or medium height? Refer to your provider for details and options about what is available in your range for your boss’s body type and problem areas as far as ergonomics. Does he have lumbar support issues, or neck pain? All ergonomic issues should be addressed before investing in a chair.
Environment: Every office has different environment. If you are working in a trendy/ young office environment you should go for a fabric or leather color that is bright and upbeat. If you have a very professional atmosphere then sticks to colors like Black, Cream, Beige and Gray.
Specifications & Durability: Today’s modern styles come with various finishes and specifications like mesh, leather, fabric or combo. They come with seat sliders, tilters and more with an option for different caster and bases for carpets and hardwood floors.
Warranty: When buying an expensive chair it would be wise to check the warranty. A quality executive chair usually comes with an extensive long term warranty and includes in office after sales service. Many reputable furniture providers will service your chair onsite or provide you with a loaner if something should go wrong.
Executives usually spend longer time in the offices so it’s advisable to choose something with a good cushion, seat and back. It is wise to have your boss try out some loaner chairs to see which chair is best suited to his needs.
There are many kinds of ergonomic keyboards, mice and accessories available in the market for left or right handed people that fit the natural human form with their unique contoured designs. Some of the popular keyboards out there are split, contoured, angled split.
Split Keyboard: is a single board, with the keys separated into two or three groups, allowing the user to type at a different angle than the typical straight keyboard.
Contoured Keyboard: these keyboards have the keys placed into two depressions which are set approximately at shoulder width, with function keys set between the key groups for use with the thumbs. In this configuration, very little movement of arms and wrists is required.
Angled Split Keyboard: are similar to a split keyboard, but the middle is tented up so that the index fingers are higher than the pinkie fingers while typing.
Other accessories like keyboard Palm Support provides a place to rest your hands while they are not actively keying and enhance comfort and reduces stressful extension of your wrist.
Repetitive clicking of a mouse can lead to (RSI) repetitive strain injury risk. Latest mice are being designed to eliminate clicking completely which helps preventing such strain injuries and reduced mouse fatigue.
In order to reduce pressure on the fingers and hands while typing you can follow some simple steps. For example, keep the wrist in a neutral position; parallel to your desk and the middle finger must be in line with the wrist and forearm. Don’t rest your wrist while typing, let it float. Only rest your wrist while you are NOT typing. Use a light touch when pressing keys.
Once you adjust to the ergonomic style of the keyboards life and typing can become easier, faster and less painful.
In this economy improving the look and function of your office can be a challenge. Times are tougher than ever before, and there may be times when changes are necessary to stay on top. Buy keeping the attitude positive, the company moral high, and the company image as a success story is not an area where you should be making those changes.
A comfortable well working office will have a positive affect on your employees moral and ultimately increases the overall productively levels. Today’s offices are using less people to do the same work load. By giving your employee a proper desk surface, adequate overhead storage and well planned furniture for the task, you are ensuring that your employees make the most of their working hours by staying focused on their job at hand.
The objective of any company is to maximize the opportunities for success. A prime example of potential opportunity lies within your employee’s hands. They are the front fighters that can make or break you. They can be positive, or they can be negative. A lot of their attitude comes from your attitude towards the company and how you regard their personal comfort while working for you. It makes logical sense to make sure they have all the tools they need help you build towards your success.
How to achieve a good work place environment:
Time: First and foremost find time to review how your offices works, who works with who, how many need privacy versus how many need open communication. How many files does each person really need at their desk? How many shared files do you need, and who used them? How many printers do you need, versus how many do you have? What can you get rid of and what needs to stay in the office? Take the time to talk to your employees and find out if they know of a better way for them to work. What do you envision for your office? What are your goals?
Budget: Secondly, look at the budget; how much can you spend and what costs are involved. Price out each workstation and private office as well as board rooms and seating costs. Always the more you buy, the less your overall price will be based on contract furnishing costs versus one of a kind. Remember to consider costs such as data/phone line changes. If you are doing this to improve your office work space and moral, don’t buy something because it is the cheapest product on the market, buy what you really need to take care of all aspects of the renovation. Although cost is important, it is not the only factor involved to do the job right.
Office Furniture Companies: Shop around and look for different office furniture providers / companies. Search for office furniture company’s online that do both design and furniture. You will have a one source purchase which mean better savings. Google Toronto Office furniture to see what comes up. Go onto each website and see which one has the style that seems right for your company’s image.
Showroom Visits: Furniture is not something that you would want to buy online by just looking at the picture. You should choose a furniture provider who can actually take you to their showroom to view some of their latest products. This way you can actually see the product first hand and decide on the color and finishes. I would also suggest requesting the furniture provider to take you on a tour of some their recently finished projects. This will give you an idea of their services and grasp the level of satisfaction and trust their current customers have.
Delivery: You should choose someone locally or within your area as this will cut down your delivery and installation costs. Make sure know what your lead times are so they coincide with any renovations you may be having prior to installing the furniture.
All in all I would suggest choosing a company and furniture that is straight forward with you in your dealings, and well established in the industry. A company that is solid and has a good sense and knowledge of the product and the business they are in. A team who could walk you through step by step with dedication, confidence and good advice in choosing the right furnishing, with the right budget for your next project.
Every office with time needs some changes in its design and layout. With reconfiguration you can actually improve the look and efficiency of a workplace.
Companies do reconfiguration due to the following main reasons.
1. Company size: Up –sizing or down sizing, what ever the case is the existing furniture needs to be reconfigured to work with the new environment of the company.
2. Relocation/Existing Furniture: There are times when companies move to a new location and the new place comes with existing furniture. You are stuck with a design and layout which perhaps was good for the company before but not that great for your companies’ workflow and efficiency. Reconfiguration can help turn this “new workspace” into “your workspace”.
3. Budgetary Constraints: Sometimes companies buy a new place or have an existing space but due to budgetary constraints they cannot purchase new furniture. This is when they benefit from reconfiguration.
4. Surplus existing furniture: Reconfiguration is a good choice when the company wishes to utilize their existing furniture so that it works with their current needs.
It’s best to hire a Space Planner and Designer who can create drawings /plans for the reconfiguration after analyzing the space and needs based on time. A good space planner will come up with a plan which involves the least amount of down time for the office yet makes sure that everything goes smoothly resulting is a more relaxed and productive workspace to meet the needs of all the employees.
Another important aspect of reconfiguration is to inventory your existing furniture to determine what can be used or if there is a requirement of additional new items to complete the reconfiguration.
Always look for a furniture installer who is knowledgeable about the product which is to be assembled and offers dismantling and moving any existing furniture to make space for the reconfiguration. They should also offer full inspection after completion to make sure everything is perfect. Correct installation is imperative to maximize productivity and reduce inefficiency and to stay on budget. A well established furniture dealer/company and its installers would always work closely with the facilities manager to over come any logistical complexities and to make sure that every job is finished satisfactorily.
It’s always best to do some research before buying furniture like cubicles and add on. Today’s modular furniture products have made reconfiguration a simple job. By adding a few new products to the existing cubicles you can change the look and meet the needs of the employees at the same time. Cubicle walls or separators are a crucial part of any reconfiguration. They come in different materials like wood, aluminum, or steel and covered with fabric or steel or cork board to achieve the final look; which makes it very easy to move and reconfigure. There are different wall styles available based on thickness and design. Thicker walls give more room for electrical wiring and look more permanent but heavier and harder to move. They are most suitable for Executive spaces and Conference areas. Standard office cubicles are made of thinner material so they are easy to move around and redesign. By adding height adjustable walls to an office or cubicle you can control the privacy preference of a space. If the need changes it’s easy to add another panel to increase or decrease the height.
Laminate: There are two kinds of laminates in the market. Low Pressure and High Pressure. Low pressure laminate is sometimes also referred to “Melamine”. It is a thin single melamine paper bonded to a substrate board. High pressure laminate surface is composed of multiple layers of paper saturated with resin and finished with a printed surface. Over the years laminate has become popular and has been well received by the furniture buyers. Advanced quality and techniques have it made very hard for a common eye to distinguish between laminate and real wood veneer. Layers are pressed together under high heat and pressure creating a durable material which is scratch, water and heat resistant; the end result is an uncanny resemblance to solid wood. Laminates are highly durable, inexpensive and low maintenance. They are scratch, heat, chemical and moisture resistant. Some laminates have flame retardant properties and have good electrical isolation properties and antibacterial properties. Laminates have a good 15 year life span against wear and fading; hence making them very suitable for an office as they stand up to the daily demand of a busy office. Taking care of laminate surface is very easy just wipe it off with water and clean cloth and you are good to go. No need to wax or polish. An additional advantage of laminate surfaces or furniture is that they can be easily customized when it comes to special sizing of drawer and cabinet configuration and two tone coloring. Price is usually the most important factor when it comes to redoing or reconfiguring your office. Laminate furniture is less expensive than real wood hence less expensive to install. Sometimes you can self assemble the items which can be cost effective if you are on a tight budget.
Veneer Surfaces: If you like the look of “real wood” for your office then veneer surface is the way to go. Wood veneer furniture will add an image of class and stature to your office. Due to its particleboard substrate it is resistant against warping and moisture damage better than solid hardwood. Veneers benefits the environment; it can incorporate beautiful symmetric and consistent grain patterns as well as give you the opportunity to use rare wood such as rosewood as part of the design. Please keep in mind that over a period of time lighting can changes the color of wood. Natural veneer surface can be protected with polish containing natural ingredients using a soft lint free cloth. You should protect veneer surfaces from severe scratches by using accessories which have felt leather or cork padding. Try lifting objects rather than sliding when moving across the veneer surfaces.
Solid Wood: Solid wood is not “solid” as its name implies. It is constructed of narrow planks cut to be a desired width and laid side by side. 100% softwood and hardwood lumber. Such surfaces or furniture uses no veneers or particleboard fillers. The grain of the wood will be visible and the piece will likely feel heavier. It is not cost effective to carve an entire piece of furniture out of a single piece of wood. Solid wood furniture is extremely durable and can last a life time. It can be sanded, stained or refinished. It offers superior stability and reliability and is of higher quality.
In the end it’s a matter of your preference, budget and need. Who knows in the future we will have surfaces and furniture as durable as solid wood, environmental friendly and beautiful as wood veneer and affordable, and durable as laminate.
Commercial Design Control Inc is proud to have been a part of the office renovation for the PMF Plumbing Customer Service Offices located on 1775 Bonhill Road Mississauga Ontario.
PMF Plumbing in Mississauga Ontario sells high end luxury kitchen and bathroom fixtures and wanted to create more space for product displays in the main showroom. They also wanted to use this opportunity to create a better working environment for their 12 customer service reps scheduled to be the ones moving. So they decided that the customer service staff would move into another section of the building to free up the badly needed showroom floor space.
They asked us to help them create an open concept area for the new space where they could feel the pulse within the department and yet still maintain a level of privacy for the large number of in and out going phone calls.
PMF Plumbing wanted a furniture system in their new office that would maintain the level of quality and style that was consistent with their product displays in the showroom.
For their new furniture systems, they selected the Links System by The Office Furniture Group. They liked the durability and solid construction of the systems furniture, as well as the fact that they could move the system around by themselves if they wanted to make any on the spot changes in the future.
They wanted to achieve a look for their new area that was clean and updated with a neutral tone color scheme.
We used the dark walnut for furniture the bases, and a light maple for the surface tops. We chose a 100% nylon brown, black, gold and green carpet staying within the earthy tones which would also hide dirt and grease They did not want to repaint the walls as the muted gold/brown color recently painted was still in very good condition. So they asked us to select the new colors to work with the existing wall color. All of the furniture and carpet finishes were selected around the existing paint, to compliment and update the overall look and feel of the office space.
Remo Cardinale – General Manager at PMF Plumbing commented that he felt the colors and the look of the furniture could not have been a more perfect fit, and were exactly as he’d envisioned.
Thanks Remo … Commercial Design Control Inc. wishes everyone at PMF Pluming continued success in your new location and thank you for the opportunity in assisting with your office updates and furnishing needs.
I recently attended a seminar on the use of “scent” and how it affects our environment. It made me really stop and think about how and where this could be used when designing an office. We have all been using the sense of sight, touch and hearing to create the desired business atmosphere, but how about adding the final touch … the scent?
“Scenting” is finding its way into the world of office design, and is a perfect way to complete the final touch on a project.
It’s a known fact that color has an impact on the productivity and the mood of employees. It has also now been confirmed that we can create an environment using fragrance that impacts concentration, has some health benefits and may reduce clerical errors in the workplace.
It is a fact that a smell … good or bad … impacts the human emotions.
Think about the smell of freshly baked cookies, coffee perking, lavender or vanilla? Do any of these create a pleasant feeling or trigger a pleasant memory?? If your answer is YES then you probably agree that certain scents can be used to create certain atmospheres.
For example, lemon and lavender are known to produce the most significant positive results for reducing anxiety and enhance work performance. Vanilla tends to calm and relax the nerves.
Companies are branding and using specific scents for specific products. Think about your local coffee hang out. Do all coffee shops smell the same to you, or do some have that specific coffee aroma that hits you as soon as you open the door? Is the smell familiar to you when you walk in? Companies have even gone so far as patenting a scent that is worn by their employees and put on their products to be passed along to their consumers.
But a word of caution; be very careful when choosing the scent for your business environment. Making the right scent choice is ultimate because it must be neutral and inoffensive. It must create a “flow state” where one loses the normal sense of time and is totally consumed in the event. The flow state should be subtle and last up to several minutes.
There are many ways and methods of incorporating the scents into your office. Some options include dry air scent delivery system, scent machines, scented oils and even scented candles and air diffusion. More sophisticated and costly methods involve the use of electronic diffusers or “nebulizers” which come with time release settings for continued and constant scent release.
Your choice on delivery method, depends on the size of the your office and the atmosphere you want to create, the kind of business you are in and what is the message that you want to put out about your company and how you want visitors to your office to remember you.
The next time you enter into a large department store, an up scale shopping mall, or your favorite coffee shop … take a moment to stop and smell the air!
Needs and Quality versus Price: First try to understand the needs of the employees and the office environment. Evaluate the quality of work of the installer versus price. How competent is the team of workers and do they offer certain services like garbage removal, small repairs and service calls after the installation is complete. It’s better if you request for a written estimate for all installation costs for the project and what services it includes. If you have time get at least 3 estimates to get an idea of the cost.
Referrals: Another thing to consider is how long the installation company has been in business. Reputable installation companies will provide you with a list of past clients who have agreed to be contacted as references. A list of all completed projects and furniture systems installed would be a good starting point to get an idea of their expertise and accomplishments in the field.
Some time furniture dealers have their own installers that do an excellent job and the cost is included with the furniture pricing. However, be sure that they have previously worked together and had a satisfactory relationship in the past. This is to assure you that they will not blame each other in the event that the project turns out to be substandard, with the dealer blaming the installer of doing a poor job and the installer blaming poor materials and product.
Family owned versus Large Business: A small or mid sized installation company, preferably family owned is more likely to deal with you personally rather than a bigger company who have their own salespeople. That means you are likely to be talking with the installers themselves who would, presumably, know what they are talking about. Sometimes they will direct you to their preferred furniture dealers and might even have some samples of the furniture that they have installed to give you an idea, which might save you a trip to the furniture supplier.
At the end it is your decision what services and expectations you have from an installation company and how much you want to spend.
Designing a Workstation? Tips from COMMERCIAL DESIGN CONTROL
At COMMERCIAL DESIGN CONTROL we have created thousands of workstations. Some large, some medium, and some very small. Each one designed to suit the user. So believe me, we have seen and heard it all!
If you are looking or thinking about upgrading your existing workspace, here are some things to consider as you are sitting at your desk designing your new layout.
(a) What is the purpose of this workspace? Who will be using this workspace? Is it an open concept for workgroups? Private office? Is it for customer service, admin, sales/hotel, executive or something in between?
(c) Now you need to decide what’s important within each workspace. Lots or little storage? Desk surface … do they need a small working space, or lots of room to spread out? Special sized private workstations or shared spaces for multi user? Standard or special shapes, unique transaction tops, image creating or functional reception work units. All of these must be part of your planning and layout process. We tell customers not to worry about “what is possible” just think about what you’d like to see. Let your furniture provider do the rest!
(d) With thousands of shapes and pieces to work with, don’t be shy to match one up a custom designed unit with a standard run of mill sized station. Combining a custom made desk shape with a standard storage component is a great way to achieve your unique and stylish look workstation without blowing your budget.
(e) Mix and match your colors and finishes. With over 30 finishes to choose from there are over 500 different combinations that you can make using a standard color of laminate. Get create, and let your wild side go! On the other hand, if longevity is what you’re after in your look, stay on the conservative side, and go with something neutral in tone. Remember it is not just about matching the desk tops, but you can also blend or contrast the supports, edge details, hardware such as handles and seating. These combinations can enhance and compliment your new color scheme.
(f) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Need some guidance? If you get stuck on a project and realize that it is taking over your business and after business working hours, call us, or email us at email@example.com. We would be happy to visit your location to look at your space, give you some free design advice, as well as take a look at your layout to see if there is anything that needs a “quick fix”.
Or even better, call us before you start! We will provide you with insight and design tips that will help make your office renovation run as it should … smooth and effortless.
Worried about your budget? Our commitment is to help you make smart purchases for things you really need … and only what you need.
If you still need inspiration, check out our Website Gallery or Products section on line at: www.comm-design.com. There are lots of great colors, interior design ideas and pictures of completed jobs that show real products in real applications. Shopping on line is a fast and private way to pick up new ideas for your upcoming project.
Lastly, good luck, we hope that your project is a huge success!
Office furniture changes – when is it time?
If you are sitting in your office and you have bodies sitting at conference tables that you’ve moved out of the training room, or you have two people crowded into one workstation … it’s time to start thinking about how you can make some room to fit in more people.
Client’s are amazed when we show them alternate ways to position their staff creating instant free space. When you sit in an office day after day, you start to lose your spatial sense on the most efficient layout for your space. It’s hard to tell someone that has been sitting in the best spot next to the window, that they have to move.
Having an objective view of your space opens up options to the space that can usually be made quickly and easily. We can normally fit one to two more bodies in without re-organizing the entire space. We call that a “quick fix” and temporarily gets some companies back on track.
Our job is to make these space changes easy for you, and to keep you doing what you do best … your business at hand.
So call a space planner, sit back and let them do their job. They can lay out the offices and workstations to improve workflow, open up natural light paths, and make a cramped space feel like a new office. Best of all you don’t have to deal with the office politics of “why do I have to sit here when Sally gets to sit there?”.
Hey everyone, Commercial Design Control has added a new webpage. You can now view us under our exisitng home page Commercial Design Control Inc as well as our new domain at office furnituretoronto to see our line of products and office furniture site information.
We wanted to create a site that makes it easy for our customers to find us. We are also planning to keep this site updated on a weekly bases to inform our valued clients of hot deals new products being show cased as well as information and images on completed projects and jobs in progress. We invite you to check it out at office furniture toronto
to view our first posting.
Every office needs a clear work area, and that means providing adequate space for computer hardware and peripheral equipment, a spot for reference materials, file space and a location for frequently referenced supplies and paper. Make sure your office furniture provides ample space for work and storage
If your workspace is a cubicle (with detached furniture) with a window and wall space below, you can position your furniture so that low piece furniture like a two drawer filing cabinet is under the window.
Try personalizing your cubicle with small things which are within your budget like adding an interesting mouse pad or small desk lamps. Small desk lamps or lights not only adds personality but also better light. You can shop online for different interesting mouse pads.
Changing or adding storage like multiple containers that match the décor can be pleasing to the eyes and give the whole workplace a new look. Such organizational items will not only add color but force you to be more organized in a small space.
If you have a waiting room or an area where clients sit, try arranging the furniture in a circular manner. This will give a warm feeling to the room and encourage positive energy for your waiting clients.
As more and more offices convert to an open concept design, the layout of office furniture becomes limited by the office wall or cubicle partition space. If possible, choose a corner of the room so that you have two walls. Position one piece of furniture beside your desk or choose an L-shaped desk with a filing drawer on the return to create a tighter triangle.
An office with windows from floor to ceiling allows great amount of natural light and a tremendous view but, it can pose some challenges for office furniture layout. In this layout, the desk is positioned on one wall and the filing cabinet and book shelf or storage cupboard are placed on the opposite wall. If it is possible to create a tighter triangle, do so by choosing an L-shaped desk or utilizing wall space on the wall with your door.
You can be more creative if you have a private office or more space to work with. Adding water is a quick office design idea that works with any budget. A small fountain or fishtank will do the job. Add plants that don’t require too much work and can thrive well in the amount of light that you get in the office. This can add an inviting feeling to the whole office. Artificial plants are a good choice if you don’t get light in your office. Adding mirrors of different shapes and sizes can open up a closed office and make it more interesting. Mirrors also reflect light so your room looks brighter. Moving around you artwork or adding a new frame or purchasing a new artwork are all an example of a creative way to bring change to your office. Colorful rugs of different shapes, material and sizes can impact the overall office interiors. Adding a decorative drink dispenser adds functionality and fun. There are many unique and decorative dispensers on the market that can make a decorative statement for your particular office.
There are so many ways to make your hours at work seem more comforting. All it takes is a little imagination, and an open mind. Good luck with your changes!
“Dorothy and Commercial Design have always shown a keen interest in making our work environment not only efficient and functional but one which reflects our culture and business style.” Steve Beatty, President, cultureONE inc.
Photos of Cultureone Inc. Burlington Ontario – Flexible Office Walls.
Commercial Design Control Inc. invites you to view an office using the IMT Systems – a de-mountable architectural wall in place of drywall.
These offices were designed and installed for Cultureone Insurance Inc. in downtown Burlington, Ontario. Cultureone Inc is an entertainment insurance company that specializes in insuring the theatre, film, media, dance and opera entertainment industry in the GTA and surrounding areas.
Cultureone Inc. wanted to create a separate office area within an existing space that would be open, airy and create the illusion of a private space within a space.
Since the Cultureone offices are located just outside a busy corridor, there was a lot of traffic that would be distracting to the staff. To close off the space with drywall completely would have blocked out the natural light coming in from the exterior windows as well as making the space seem smaller than it really is. We decided to use the IMT de-mountable wall system with a heavy emphasis on glass to keep the openness. The supporting frame is made from metal, with connecting wall tiles in laminate which go right up to a ceiling height of 102”.
Flexibility was important to the company, and by using the architectural walls it gave them the ability to either move the walls around as their business changes, or remove them completely to be relocated to a larger space if required. The changes with this type of wall can be made in a short period of time with very little disruption to the day to day operations of the business.
To avoid the “fish bowl affect”, they decided to have a privacy film added to the glass walls starting at around 24” from the ground, and up the wall to approx. 72”. The top and lower portion of the wall is clear glass, while the sitting and walking heights of the glass are blocked out from corridor traffic with the film. The goal was to create privacy for those sitting inside the office, but still keeping the offices open and maintaining the feeling of space and natural light from the outer walls.
The outer walls are in a very light cream color, while the inner walls are in a bolder scheme using a dark walnut and cream to match the workstations.
Cultureone is managed by Steve Beatty in Burlington Ontario. Steve is what I would call a modern thinker and likes the idea of keeping his office staff and business open to communication and new ideas. He was involved in the design and concept of the modular offices as well as the final finishing selections for furniture.
Congratulations on the great looking office Steve!
Story of Chair repair – UNBELEIVABLE SERVICE
This is a true story about how we needed our office furniture (executive high back chair) serviced one day, and how we got it done.
First of all, I should let you know that we at COMMERCIAL DESIGN CONTROL INC purchased a high back executive chair from Tayco Panelink for our office about 7 years ago. The chair has always worked like a charm, and we have never had any problems … until about a week ago.
The chair has always had normal office use, but secretly I think it may have been put to a more “Advanced Testing Program” … without my knowledge!
Since my daughter and her friends sometimes come into my office to play “Look at me … I am a business person” while the staff are out on the weekends, I suspect that her and her friends may be using the chair as a type of “merry-go-round”. The chair creates great fun for her and her friends as it has a good solid back with pivoting arms and a sturdy spot on the foot base to drop their feet when they “land” or “stop” from the spin.
Do we call this normal office use? I think not!
I figure this has been going on for about 5 years and since we never noticed any damage or mess of any kind in the office (a huge open concept area with workstations) I never really questioned what they did or played with in here as long as it was left in good shape.
About a week ago, we noticed that the base mechanism on the high back chair was missing a screw which made the back a little wobbly. My office assistant suggested I call Tayco Panelink and ask them to do a service call to fix the chair.
I called Tayco Panelink up on Tuesday telling them it was not a huge priority, but would be great if they could drop in to take a look at the chair in the near future.
The next day (Wednesday) we had a call from the Tayco Installations Manager (Doug Richardson) who told us to expect his service man the next day at 2:00 pm. As promised the guys came on Thursday at 2:00 and took the chair back to the Tayco plant for repair.
Today (Friday) at 10:00 the guys were back with the chair – as good as new – fixed and ready to be put back into action! No questions asked … just complete and total service with a smile. I was amazed!
Even though COMMERCIAL DESIGN CONTROL INC has been a dealer of Tayco for many years, it still amazes me that Tayco as a manufacturer still gives each and every customer the highest level of service. It really is unbeatable! 2 days to fix the chair! And that includes the pick up and drop off of the chair … door to door from my office. Remember, the chair is over 7 years old and has been through a lot … much of it probably on the “Advanced Testing Program”. But it is now back to its original state and working as slick as ever!
Great job Tayco! We are so very impressed! Only Tayco could give that kind of on-going service after 7 years from the date of purchasing the product.
COMMERCIAL DESIGN CONTROL INC, is proud to be a Tayco dealer, and I will tell this story to my customers as proof that they really do care and are there to help … no matter how it breaks.
So if you are having any service issues, please call us … we know how to get things resolved … even those questionable repair calls. We understand strange things can happen in an office.
BTW Doug, from now on, I think I will keep the girls out of my office.
President and CEO
Commercial Design Control Inc.
An uncluttered work environment makes a huge impact on the quality of work and how you feel in an office. Tidy and organized surroundings help your employees to be more creative and productive. Storage solutions like metal or wooden cabinets, shelving, pedestals and bookcases can help in making your life easier in an office. It aids in managing workflow, and opens up space at your desk.
Book cases and Shelves: Shelves can be easily customized according to your need and space. They come in wood/laminate or glass. If you have books that you often use like dictionary etc. a shelf unit with glass shelves next to your desk would look attractive and useful. Glass shelves can carry more weight than the wooden shelves which can deform with the weight and time. Consider installing a row of shelving near the ceiling if you have old files and books which you want to hang on to but are not necessarily needed anytime soon. If your office has the space, a few bookshelves for extra storage space are a great investment. If you have lot of documents like invoices you should take a look at cabinets that hold suspension files. This way you can easily find the documents that you need.
Pedestals: If you have a workstation or desk without a drawer you might want to consider getting filing cabinets that can neatly fit under your surface. These are called freestanding pedestals and come as fixed, or on wheels so that they can be pushed under the desk and around the station. They are just another way to make space in your office look neat and organized especially, if you don’t have lot of room. Double pedestals are also a good choice.
Filing Cabinets: Filing cabinets come in different sizes and a choice between metal, wood and laminate. You can choose a cabinet with two, three or more drawers depending on your requirement and to match the furniture in the office. Filing comes in vertical and lateral. Metal lateral filing is more popular only because they offer a larger surface space at handy height levels which could be utilized for multitasking. Wooden or laminate filing cabinets add warmth to the office. To maximize space, consider the wall-mounted cabinet.
Lateral Filing: usually comes with lockable drawers. They come in 2, 3, 4 and 5 drawer combinations. These drawers can be used to store private and confidential documents as well as contents. Lateral cabinets come in 30” to 42 inches wide, accommodating more for storage. Another unique characteristic of lateral filing cabinets is the fact that the files can be hung two ways. Filing usually comes with metal handles which can be used to match your overall color scheme, and are appealing to the eye.
Vertical Filing: cabinets are the more traditional cabinets that are designed to store a single letter sized file with specific measurements. These cabinets usually have two to ten drawers. They are generally taller than the lateral cabinets. Metal filing cabinets come in many colors like silver, gray, black, brown etc. that complement the furniture in your office. Wooden filing comes in different textures and shades as well. To get more information on filing cabinets please visit our website www.comm-design.com
Fire Resistant Storage: You can also find fire and water-resistant filing cabinets in metal that are good for storing valuable documents and other items that need to be protected against the elements. They are expensive because they are made from heavy-duty materials and have tight seals on the drawers and doors. Fire resistant metal filing cabinets have heavy-duty locks to further protect your valuables and are built to stand a one-hour fire. On the other hand, metal filing cabinets with glass doors look contemporary, sophisticated and elegant.
Electronic Locking System Cabinets: The most recent improvement in metal filing is the “Noki” locking system which is a keyless electronic locking system. This feature offers the user the keyless entry system and allows the user to set their own password for opening the cabinet. This system runs on AC power supply or battery. The mechanism is guaranteed for 10 years. It provides a code which is unique to the user or the department, or filing cabinet. A master code can be obtained from the company. After four attempts to open the cabinet with incorrect code a brief alarm is activated. The lock can be installed at a height of 36” to facilitate access. It is for the heighted or maximum security areas.
So the choices are endless; it all depends what you need and how much space you have and the amount of stuff that needs to be organized and stored in an office. To get more information on office storage solutions please visit our website www.comm-design.com.
Colors can be a very powerful part of your home or corporate office – they can inspire you, calm you or just make you feel at ease. Colors can really help motivate you and you staff to get down to business! By analyzing certain characteristics and planning, the process of choosing a color can be made easier.
Business: Consider the type of business you are in. If your business is related to something serious you might consider neutral color, or a bright scheme that will motivate you but not overwhelm the space. Consider your personality when choosing a color for your office or the environment you’re trying to create for a corporate office. If you want to convey a feeling of energy and passion, choose warm colors from the color wheel: red to yellow-green. If you prefer a calming effect, choose cool colors: green to red-violet. Which colors better suit your office would also depend on the kind of employees that are employed? If engineers are supposed to work in your office, select muted color shades like gray and tan. If your office mostly comprises creative professionals like designers or writers; bright colors shades such as orange, red, or yellow are ideal. If your office employs busy professionals like lawyers or accountants that are likely to get stressed during the work, cool colors such as blue and green are most appropriate.
Whichever colors you choose, make sure that they do have a resemblance with the office furniture and the flooring.
Space: If you intend to make the office look bigger, it is suggested that you go in for bright and light colors. A white ceiling would also contribute in making the office appear larger. If you have got a substantial amount of office space, you can choose warmer or slightly dark colors.
Lighting: Determine what type of lighting your office will or does have. Incandescent bulbs give off a warmer glow than fluorescents or natural light. If your office has an abundance of natural light, bright colors might be too blinding. How much lighting your office gets also has an impact on, which colors would be suitable for it. If it receives a significant amount of natural light, you should not choose bright colors, as they would seem too bright. If the office receives a little amount of light, only then you can choose bright color shades.
Continuity: Check if the office is visible from another room or rooms in the building. If it is, choose a color that maintains continuity with the rest of the color scheme to maintain a cohesive color theme throughout the building, floor or suite.
Paint Color: Go to your nearby paint store and obtain color swatches and palettes. Choose the color combination that you think will look good on the walls. If you are going to carry out graphic designing or advertising business from your office, the walls can be painted with different patterns and color combination.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, bring the chips into the office. You can also buy a small amount of paint (most paint stores will mix a sample) and either paint a sample board or paint a two-foot square area on one of the walls. Observe the paint samples at different times of the day, with and without lights, depending on when you’ll be using the office. Notice how the light affects the color. Hold the paint samples against furniture, drapes, and other accessories to see if you like the color combinations. If you don’t want to commit to a certain color, choose white or neutral grays and beiges for the walls and ceiling. Then, if you wish, you can introduce color into your furnishings and accessories. You can also choose among the texturing techniques and the different paint finishes like egg shell etc.
Color Schemes: Once you have narrowed down the colors that you want to use in your office you can use 3 different color schemes to enhance the look of your office.
Monochromatic: Combines varying shades of the same color. For instance, a light blue wall paints, with a slightly more saturated version of the same blue as a trim color. It’s easy to pull off and works well with neutral accessories.
Analogous: Uses colors that are next to each other on the. That could look like: light pink and dark pink with red, or blues combined with aqua or even purple. Another combination might be warm brown with a cream trim.
Complementary: This scheme is high on contrast and more dramatic than the monochromatic or analogous options. To find complementary schemes, choose colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. Pink and green, or blue and yellow are examples of complementary shades. You can choose a darker or lighter version to emphasize one color more than the other – i.e., bright pink and pale green. This scheme is more for outgoing people or a bold look.
Office Furniture: Think of your office furniture and seating as accessories. Choose the fabric the wood and laminate color carefully so to give the room a coherent look. Brushed metal furniture and filing systems would give the room a modern edge. A warm brown and cream palette, on the other hand, would look great with wood furniture and neutral desk accessories in natural materials. If you choose a light green and off-white look, sea grass baskets for your files and lighter wood furniture will give your office a by-the-beach feel. Bright colors beg for pop-art accessories and mod desks and other furnishings. The options are endless. Have fun with it, and enjoy your colorful new office!
The first and most important step toward success is the feeling that we can succeed.