Ways to Modernize Your Office
No one likes to feel like they are trapped in the past; however, often we do not do enough to move us toward the future. Many of us work in an office or from home using the same equipment that we used a decade ago. Sure, our office furniture is as functional as it was when it was new but older pieces lack a modern sense of style. An easy way to move forward and get a much needed modern feel to your office is to upgrade its furnishings. Below you learn what upgrading some pieces of office furniture will do to modernize the feel of your workplace and what modern features you should be looking for.
When we are at work most of us spend most of our time working at our desks. This piece of furniture comes in many shapes and styles and holds all of the equipment we need to do our day to day job. Desks come in many styles from traditional wood veneers to modern day functional and durable laminates and some even have metal frames. All of these materials are functional but some styles and material combinations are dated. For example, metal frame desks are still a mainstay in warehouse and educational environments but the design is out of date for traditional commercial offices. Wood Veneer desks are still considered top of the line, but the affordability of laminate has made them the dominate desking material in most offices. Furthermore, the finish color of your desk and office is crucial to having a modern look. Light colors such as white and grey tones are the current style trend. This differs from the 90’s when darker walnut and oak finishes were the most popular. Finally, the height of desks has been standard at around 29” for a long time. Modern technology and the rise of trying to have active workplaces have also altered this mainstay. The use of height adjustable desks is on the rise as people try to be healthier and more active throughout the day. These desks can raise or lower based on whether you want to work sitting or standing. So if you go to work every day and feel like you are trapped in the past take a look around you. Does your desk need a color upgrade or a functionality upgrade? Thanks to the global economy we live in upgrading your desk can be much more affordable than you realize.
First impressions matter, does your office make the impression you want when you walk in every day. For many of us the answer is no due to a dated color scheme and design style of our offices waiting areas. Fabric colors and patterns have drastically changed in the last 10 years, so even though your waiting room chairs might be functional they might not be stylish. Bright colors have taken a back seat to neutral color schemes and design aesthetics have also changed. Modern guest chairs are sleek and stylish and the frame colors have also changed style over times. In addition, the last 10 years have seen an increase in healthcare vinyl and healthcare grade fabrics. These antimicrobial materials are a must in a health care setting and can be very useful in a commercial setting as well. They are easy to clean and maintain and have a modern look that goes along with its functionality. Finally if you want an inexpensive upgrade and feel like your chairs are still modernly styled enough look at the coffee and end tables. Upgrading these parts of your waiting area can be done inexpensively and can result in a big aesthetic change.
What does your current conference room look like and does it integrate modern technology? For many of us the answer is no and as a result we might not be getting the most use out of these rooms. To fully modernize a conference room you would start by looking at your current conference table. The questions you need to ask yourself are: is it the right height, is it the right shape, is it a modern color, and does it integrate modern technology? If the answer is no to these questions this means it is time for an upgrade. It is a fact that a quality conference table can be refinished to a modern color but that does not solve the problem of technology. Modern day conference tables feature power and data ports to plug in just about anything. If your conference table is only 10-20 years old it might be possible to add these features in. Many table designs of the last decade have optional power and data ports and these can be added later on, based on the table and the manufacturer. If your table seems functional and modern enough look around the rest of the room, there are other ways to modernize. Sometimes all you need is to add a presentation board, a wall mounted TV, or a ceiling mounted projector. These can complement existing furniture but give your room a much needed upgrade and facelift. Finally, if you do decide to upgrade your table do some research, just like with desks traditional height tables might be dated. Some offices elect to have standing height tables. These tables allow you to meet standing to ensure you are not stuck in a chair all day. Don’t worry though, you can get standing height stools, so you do not have to stand at every meeting every time.
Most modern offices have an open and collaborative feel to them. The use of cubical systems is on the decline as many companies elect to remove walls and work in an open setting. This clearly is not feasible in all settings. For example a doctor’s office or attorney’s office has the need for privacy but this need does not exist in many other settings. Bridging style desks, which allow many people to have their own space in an open room, are growing in popularity. These type desking systems come in many styles and can even feature sit/stand components. When deciding if this style is right for you it is important to assess what you are doing in the office. Places that require teamwork on projects are idea for this open office setting. This allows people to easily communicate with their peers without having to leave their work are, resulting in better production. In addition, open work spaces make people feel less trapped at work and happy employees are productive employees. So, if your office is based on working together closely and you still work in walled off cubicles, it might be time for a major office renovation.
Styles and designs change over time and it is very easy to get caught in the past for many reasons. It is important to remember that sometimes the cost of modernization is worth it and sometimes you can make some small changes, that are affordable, that make a huge impact. So spend an hour or two looking at your workplace and think to yourself if you are happy with it. If the answer is no, it is time for an upgrade.