How to Create a Hybrid Office or Hybrid Workspace

Nothing here yet.

There seem to be endless stories about the future of work, the hybrid office and workplaces needing to change to retain and attract top talent.

What does that actually mean? And what does that really look like?

It’s true we’ve moved away from the traditional office and towards a much more hybrid approach. This is driven by many factors including:

With these factors in mind, companies need to rethink how they design their offices and how they create an environment that will attract employees who want the ability to work outside of traditional office hours.

How do you create an environment that offers the benefits of both?

One solution is to create a hybrid office space that combines many types of workspaces into one area. This allows employees to move freely between spaces depending on their needs at any given time. These spaces might include:

Conference rooms – Typically used for meetings and discussions but they also provide privacy when needed. In addition, they can be used for impromptu team huddles or brainstorming sessions when needed. They also allow employees to get up from their desks and move around while still being able to participate in meetings electronically if needed.

Satellite desks – These are small pods with a single office desk that can be moved around as needed so employees can work in different areas of the office depending on their needs. These are ideal for employees who need quiet environments to focus or those who prefer to work in teams with others nearby.

Whiteboards – These are a great way to encourage collaboration and brainstorming. They can be used for note taking during meetings or just to visually organize your thoughts. There are many moveable or mobile whiteboard options available too.

Collaboration areas – These are a great way to encourage employees to get up from their desks and move around. These areas may include lounges, benches or couch-like seating and longer office tables. They can be placed in high traffic areas where people will naturally congregate, like near the break room or kitchen.

Huddle spaces ­– If employers want workers to come into the office instead of working remotely from home or some other location, then it’s important to provide small 2–4-person huddle spaces where employees can meet face-to-face with coworkers or clients for quick discussions about specific issues or projects. An acoustic lounge or privacy booth provides fills this need perfectly.

If you have a small office, consider creating a collaboration space where people can go to get away from their desks. This is especially helpful if your employees are prone to getting distracted by coworkers or outside noise and may need a little privacy.

Some of the best office design ideas are simple, but they can have a big impact on productivity and employee morale. If you’re looking to improve your office space, take some time to think about what features would benefit your business the most.

Consider the space and how it could be used more efficiently. Be sure to consider how people work in your office and adjust your design accordingly.

Even small changes can have a big impact on your employees.

For example, consider installing sit to stand desks and ergonomic chairs. PURE’s showroom features some of the best office chairs of 2022 from popular brands like Herman Miller, Knoll, SitOnIt, Kimball, National, OFS, Global, HON and others. PURE Workplace features a wide range of affordable office chairs to luxury office chairs.

Implementing these changes can help increase productivity and reduce back pain. It’s also a great way to get people moving during the day.

Ready to evolve your workspace? Even if your need is small, contact PURE Workplace at 816.922.6575 or send an email to speak with an experienced teammate get started today.

PURE is excited to announce its inclusion on the inaugural top Asian-owned businesses list by the Kansas City Business Journal. PURE Workplace landed at number 5 out of 13 total on the list.

 

 

 

 

 

NeoCon has served as a platform for the commercial interior design industry since 1969. It attracts interior designers, manufacturers, workplace planners and over 400 companies who provide some of the most innovative and thought-provoking solutions in commercial design.

2022 served as a call to return to the show after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. And return folks did. The show was well-attended and offered a number of innovative products to learn about.

5 of this years trends as seen by the PURE team are outlined below. Highlights include:

1. Soft Materials with Rounded Edges were very popular. Even if the materials were hard, rounded corners softened the look and feel. 

 

2. Bright Color covered everything. 

 

3. Playful Design found its way into seating, lighting, tables, coat trees, etc.

 

4. Acoustics + Lighting seem to have found a creative union.

 

5. Privacy Spaces continue to evolve. Booths, Chairs, Custom Fabrics, Hangers and Adjustable Height Mini Work Tables (w/tablet holder) were all included. 

And that’s a wrap. The PURE Workplace team learned so much at this year’s NeoCon show. It was great to see so many people back in attendance and the energy of meeting with others in the industry was high. What were your takeaways, trends and observations?

 

“This is really reverse engineering of the human spine.” Budd Tucker, University of Iowa.  

How does the Embody chair aid in Professor Tucker’s mission to cure blindness and leave no one behind? See the inspiring story in the video below.

 

 

Culture has become a buzzword in the corporate world. An increasing number of business publications, executives, coaches, and experts have zeroed in the importance of creating a positive office culture. 

Creating a positive workplace culture is all about creating an environment that increases employee happiness and boosts overall job satisfaction. Most people will spend one-third of their life at their job, and more employees want that time to be enjoyable. They also want to feel that their employers care about their wellbeing. 

However, developing a positive office culture isn’t straightforward. It requires a deep understanding of what workers want and need to feel satisfied. 

According to recent research, 87% of employees would like healthier workspace benefits. Moreover, 93% of workers in the tech industry say that they would stay at companies longer if they offered healthier workspace benefits. 

What are these healthy workspace benefits, and how do they impact culture? 

What is a Healthy Workspace Benefit?

When it comes to creating a healthy workspace, it starts with benefits. Health insurance used to be the gold standard in employee health benefits, but employees today want more. They’re looking for benefits like:

When combined, these benefits create a culture that prioritizes health. Beyond benefits, companies around the world are taking other measures to create a healthier workspace. 

Creating Safe Buildings

The International WELL Building Institute is making waves for creating premier standards for buildings and interior spaces. They discovered several vital areas that contribute to the overall health of employees, and they offer certification programs for companies to become WELL certified. 

However, you don’t have to get a certification to know what those areas are. According to The International WELL Building Institute, The key areas that contribute to the overall health of workers are:

Some areas are less complicated than others, but let’s dive into a few of them that have straightforward fixes and immediate benefits. 

Air 

We all need air to breathe, but the quality of air in a workspace can impact health and, in turn, boost productivity. In fact, the World Green Building Council found that productivity increased by 11% when workers had a reduction of pollutants and increased access to fresh air. 

How can you incorporate higher air quality into your workspace? Start by weatherproofing windows and doors to keep harmful pollutants out of the building. Add an air filtration system, use green cleaning products, add plants, enact a non-smoking policy, and more. 

Light

According to one study, exposure to natural sunlight can increase productivity, boost moods, and reduce rates of anxiety and depression. Also, poor lighting can increase eye strain and irritation. So, having plenty of natural light and ensuring all your lights work correctly can dramatically improve the health and output of your workers.  

Sound

Building acoustics, annoying noises, and a lack of privacy are all nuisances for employees. And over time, they can negatively impact overall wellbeing. Since wide-open concepts became popular, employees now struggle with a lack of privacy and the inability to focus. Some companies are combating this by adding private, quiet spaces or acoustic ceiling or wall systems, which allow their employees to get some peace and focus.  

Materials

It’s no secret that hazardous building and office materials can have negative impacts on employee health. (Does anyone remember asbestos?) One simple way to contribute to overall employee health is by choosing non-hazardous building and office materials, and switch out any problematic materials with non-problematic ones. For instance, swap those cheap plastic desks and counters to solid countertops. You might have to pay more for safe materials, but your employees will thank you for it, and it will ultimately play into boosting overall company culture. 

Why Creating a Healthy Workspace Matters

These are just some of the more straightforward areas that contribute to healthy workspaces. However, there are many more factors that come into play. One of the most influential components of culture and health revolves around stress. Creating a healthy environment often means finding ways to decrease employee stress and increase employee happiness. Those sorts of things are a bit harder to nail down. 

The one thing that clearly resonates is that employees want to feel safe at work. They want to see that their bosses care about them. Doing things like adding health benefits, working to reduce stress, and making small changes to make your building safer all contribute to an environment and a culture that values its employees. 

The benefits, aside from healthier and happier employees, are improved productivity, reduced turnover, and boosted outputs. Ultimately, improving culture is fundamental to increasing profits, and the first step towards improving culture lies in prioritizing healthy workspaces. 


Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property

By Jean-Paul Wong

As you read this, you’re probably sitting at your dining room table, your living room sofa or some makeshift office in your home.  It may not be designed to be as efficient as your office’s workspace, and it may lack good ergonomics, but it is comfortable and safe and you have learned to adapt to your environment to be productive.   

Since forever in time, office spaces existed so that employers could create “work-focused” environments, where productivity could be managed, where workers could communicate more effectively, and where collaboration and comradery are encouraged. https://nextplane.net/blog/healthy-vs-unhealthy-collaboration-cultures-in-the-workplace/   In recent years, however, as mobile technologies advanced, more progressive companies embraced the idea of teleworking as a significant way to save in real estate costs and as a way to attract a more mobile and diverse workforce.  Yet, for some industries, and for some businesses, the idea of a full-time remote workforce is still years away. In 2018, less than 25% of the U.S. workforce worked some hours from home on an average day.   

The COVID-19 pandemic, and stay-at-home mandates, thrust all of us into the workplace of the future.  Everyone quickly learned how to create a work-focused enclave in their home.  We learned how to adjust our behaviors and our expectations. And by now we all realize that we can perform our work using a myriad of remote devices.  And technology, not proximity, allows us to communicate, as well as collaborate.  

Unfortunately, the future is not here, and many of us will be going back to the office within the next few weeks.  If COVID-19 is still transmittable, how can workers be expected to go back to the office?  What will our employers do to our office environment to reduce the spread of pathogens?  How can we make sure that our co-workers remain respectful of our personal space and continue to social distance? Will it be the same? 

As employers prepare for the end of the quarantine and the work-from-home experiment comes to an end, our fears are providing good fodder for designers, workplace consultants and office furniture manufacturers.   In the not-to-distant future, workplace design may be reflective of the lessons learned during the pandemic of 2020.  

There is no reason to delay.  In the short-term, employers can make some immediate changes, making the workplace appreciably safer, with little associated cost.   

Many of these products are available for immediate application and the ideas are simple to implement. Employees returning to the office will want to find that their workplace is safe, but that the “new-normal” is still a place where work gets done, is fun and where co-workers can engage and share ideas.  The key to the efficacy of any solution will be in how we change our behaviors and tendencies. 

PURE Workplace’s Kansas City and Topeka offices recently received a facelift. The Topeka branch moved locations and the Kansas City branch had new carpet squares installed over our grey, cement floors. The results: fresh, more colorful offices that boost worker morale and productivity.

What we know, and want to share, about color in the workplace is that it has profound effects on our moods and in turn on our office efficiency. Imagine working in a predominantly white and grey space. Grey – the color of cement, missiles, and rocks. And then white – the color of hospitals and bird poop. None of these things inspire me to be creative or work harder.

Now you probably won’t believe me when I tell you PURE’s office is largely white and grey. What they lack in inspiration, they make up for in function. White and grey open up the office and make any space feel larger. However, these dull colors need to be balanced with pops of strategically placed blues, greens, yellows, and reds.

Green and blue have been found to improve efficiency and focus among people. This means in areas that require hard work and productivity, these hues should be incorporated into the design. Think blue or green desk chairs like the HON Mid-Back Task Chair or the Teknion In-The-Zone Sofas.

 

Warmer colors like yellow and orange are found to inspire optimism and freshness. This should come as little surprise – just think about how you feel on a sunny day. So make the workplace that same sunny oasis in a collaborative space. This could include yellow stools and ottomans from Teknion or colorful carpet squares like the ones PURE just installed from Shaw Contracts and Tandus Centiva. This space will serve as the perfect gathering areas for employees, students, or volunteers to come together and create something creative, innovative, and new.

Color can have a profound impact on a person’s mood, and it is our job as designers to channel this power into an environment that cultivates hard work, creative thinking, and personal well-being. This begins with a workplace that incorporates color into the space. 

You always make sure to turn off the lights before you leave a room. You’ve cut your shower time down by four minutes in order to save water. Maybe you’ve even attached solar panels to your house or drive a hybrid car. And all of these actions are crucial to reducing our carbon footprint and making sure our grandkids can still see polar bears. But if you’re like most Americans, you spend 40 hours a week in an office that might not be transmitting these same values.

So it’s important to understand how offices, schools, hospitality or healthcare environments can be just as environmentally conscious as the rest of us. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design organization (LEED) is a worldwide green certification program with the goal of helping buildings become more environmentally responsible.

The process is simple: capture LEED points by implementing environmentally friendly resources and in return save money and maybe even feel a little better knowing you’re a good Samaritan. Luckily, PURE has a few tricks for capturing LEED points and earning that platinum (80 points!) certification. In return, you’ll cut down on your operating costs by an average of nine percent within the first year and qualify for certain government tax credits.

Lighting

LED lights require less electricity, last longer than their fluorescent counterparts and emit more light on a dollar for dollar basis. As an added bonus, if you opt for LED lamps versus overhead lights more often, you’ll capture more points in exchange for using less electricity and mercury in your space. Teknion offers a wide range of LED lamps that serve as both task lights and ambient lights, while also maintaining a sleek and modern design. The Zones Arc Floor Lamp will transform a gloomy room into a sunny oasis and give an impression of overhead lighting all within a lamp. The complementary Sanna Lightbar task light will avoid the dreaded cave effect of lighting down a desk because of its unique shape.

Walls

Architectural walls put drywall to shame in every aspect of design and efficiency. Teknion’s glass wall systems utilize more environmentally friendly material than drywall, and they are also reusable, making them more cost efficient to both you and the environment. Rather than tearing down and trashing an unwanted piece of drywall, architectural walls can be dismantled and reinstalled in any space to create a more quiet and private work environment. With an option to fit the aesthetic of any office, from colored glass, steel surfaces, or a curved shape, there’s no reason not to ditch the drywall and opt for architectural walls.

Furniture

Utilizing environmentally friendly furniture doesn’t mean you need to sit on bamboo straw or uncomfortable wooden benches. Kimball has nearly 50 seating lines that all conform to furniture emission standards and are Indoor Air Quality Certified. This means that the materials and production of these chairs have low Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. VOCs sound just about as bad as they are, I mean they are literally named “volatile compounds.” These VOCs can come from fuel emission from vehicles, heaters, or other coal and gas emitting processes – including the factory producing the metal chair you’re sitting in. You will literally breathe easier and cleaner if you opt for Kimball’s certified seating options. Plus those LEED points are an added bonus.

Teknion’s Sidewise line of wooden work surfaces and storage received a Greenguard Gold Certification for being made from nearly 100% recycled materials. This unique workspace is designed for the in-between of an open seating room and a private office. It’s a multi-purpose function design of desk and vertical storage, meaning you get the most bang for your buck out of the space (and the LEED points).

 

Technological innovation and ever-changing ideas have become the soundtrack of our world today. And in this era, workplace design must foster this need for efficiency, flexibility, and innovation. Architectural walls seamlessly provide spaces with improved efficiency, design, and sustainability compared to their drywall counterparts.

Architectural walls contribute to both the design and function of an office. The result: a space that is both aesthetically inspiring and productivity enhancing. As an added bonus, they’re more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than traditional drywall options.

They can be 100% relocated and reused, meaning offices only face a one time cost of purchasing, versus more money and time spent on renovating, reconfiguring, or relocating offices with drywall. Installing drywall also requires a multi-step process, from framing, electricity, sheetrock, and painting, which means money and time can easily be lost during this delicate process. Architectural walls arrive already built on site and face a one-step installation process.

Teknion offers three different walling solutions, Altos, Optos, and Focus, all of which welcome natural light and retain a modern look with glass finishes, but differ in the design of the fascias that connect the glass panels. If you’re after a minimal structure with a seamless look of glass, the Optos are perfect, whereas the Altos and Focus offer metal, wooden, and aluminum fascias that create clean lines and visual interest.

Focus Walls

Optos Walls

These walls also have a Sound Transmission Class (STC) of 35, while drywall typically has an STC of 33. STC measures how well a building partition diminishes traveling sound via decibel reduction, and these walls received an A+ for sound absorption.

You’ll also be able to sleep easier knowing you opted for a more environmentally friendly solution to drywall, with the materials of these architectural walls capturing more LEED points for a workplace because of their reusable nature, recyclable materials, and low-emitting production process.

But office design is about more than just glass cubes. Design reflects a message and serves a purpose, and this can be exercised through architectural walls. Architectural walls offers different materials, colors, and shapes to guarantee that your office will reflect your message. Whether it’s creativity through a bright color of glass, originality through a steel surface, or a unique curved shape, architectural walls can do so much more than outdated drywall.

 

A makerspace is exactly what it sounds like. A space designed to encourage making, building, designing, and collaboration among students. The movement began with the onset of 3D printing but has grown to encompass all kinds of functions. They can be used for STEM classes like robotics or physics, or they can be designed for art classes like sewing or woodworking. Makerspaces can also be found in community centers, libraries, or any special elective classroom.

Their purpose is to encourage creativity, while also creating a systematic way for teachers to assess a student’s creativity. Makerspaces teach students real-world skills like the importance of learning from failure, problem-solving and completing a project. They are redefining what the classroom environment looks like, as they emphasize hands-on learning, collaboration, and technological innovation.

So now that we’ve convinced you on the importance of them, the next question is how? How do you cultivate a makerspace environment? Any space can be transformed into a makerspace with the right furniture and design. It should be versatile, mobile, and durable while also aesthetically pleasing and creativity encouraging.

Tables 

Imagine working at the Smith System Interchangeable Squiggle Table while sketching the blueprint for a remote control car. The curves of the table might inspire you to think beyond straight lines. The ample space might allow you to draw six different drafts. The 20 color options might remind you of the outdoors. These unique tables are perfect for a creative makerspace, instead of traditional rectangular tables. Their curved shape also means they can be pushed together and arranged in a variety of different configurations to provide even more collaborative space.

On the other hand of a colorful and creative aesthetic is an urban and industrial inspired makerspace. Versteel achieves this design with its butcher block topped tables and steel constructed stools. Whether it’s a utility table and stools to sit in the center of a makerspace, or a mobile whiteboard to travel around the room for collaboration, Versteel’s Maker Project offers a series that exemplifies the maker movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chairs

If there’s one theme apparent in the maker movement it’s mobility and versatility. And seating options should not be overlooked when crafting the perfect makerspace. Chairs with wheels are crucial, like the Smith System Plato Mobile Stack Chair, which can also be easily stacked and put to the side when more space is needed. Another flexible seating option is the Smith System Oodle Stool which offers five different colors and can be stacked on top of each other to accommodate different heights.

Other choices include Versteel or Hon Stools and Perch Seats to facilitate a sit-to-stand work environment. Sometimes the best way to get the creative juices flowing is to also get the blood flowing. Sit-to-stand desks and chairs allow for easy reconfiguration between sitting and standing while creating a flexible work environment.

 

 

Storage 

Makerspaces, with their energetic and dynamic environment, require some sort of dividers to split the room into zones. Whether the zones are divided by quiet versus noisy, clean versus messy, or individual versus collaborative, strategically placed storage can create this organized chaos. The Smith System Cascade Storage Bins provide customizable, mobile storage options.  This line offers options with whiteboards, pegboards, or notepads attached to the side in order to maximize the uses for these storage systems. Whether you’re trying to store reams of paper or soccer balls, the Cascade System has a customizable option to fit anything.

 

Instructor Equipment 

Depending on the functionality of a makerspace, instructor equipment could be a vital peace. In a classroom setting, a teacher will find themselves constantly on the go. This means rather than a desk, instructors will need mobile carts. The Smith System Cascade AV Mega-Case is the perfect all-in-one to replace a traditional desk. With five interior outlets and four exterior outlets, it can hold anything from a laptop to a 3D printer to a projector. It also has storage shelves, locking doors, and a durable worktop.