Just the Office with Lane

Is Benching Here to Stay?

By: Beatriz Sanchez

With their love for technology, collaboration, and connections, Millennials have changed the workplace. From the moment this generation entered the workforce, companies made the transition from cubicles to benching to accommodate their need of working closely with each other.
This transition also has an implied economic benefit for the companies that adopted the trend. Benching is a cost-effective office design that saves up to 22 to 26 percent in real estate. Since 2008, companies have given up 137.8 million square feet nationwide thanks to benching, according to real estate research firm, Reis.
However, after several years of experiencing benching in the workplace, employees have reported mixed reviews on its benefits. A lack of privacy, little elbowroom, and visual and audible distractions are some of the most common complaints.
With the industry becoming aware of the disadvantages of benching, will benching remain the trend that dominates the workplace? Or will it be replaced with a new trend?

Award-winning designer, Johnson Chou, believes benching is here to stay, perhaps for another decade. “In the current workplace scenario, the benching workstation plays the ‘nest’ or ‘touchdown’ role for the employee. So long as diversity represents the apotheosis of workplace design, the humble benching station will remain as its bulwark.”

Numbers seem to back up Chou’s opinion. According to the Ted Moudis annual report, there continues to be a move from traditional workstations towards the adoption of benching. There was a 7 percent increase in benching systems sales in 2018, and the report predicts that the rise will continue in the following years.

Yuritzia Rodriguez, Vice President of Design at T+ Studio, also believes benching is here to stay. “But it has to be applied the right way,” she says. “When you apply benching, you have to provide support spaces where employees can access private areas.”

Rodriguez is not the only one who thinks benching alone is not enough. Companies are finding that employees crave choice when it comes to where they work. Employees need other environments that inspire them to be more productive.
So what type of spaces is the industry looking to provide for employees? According to the Ted Moudis report, the largest shift in 2019 in workplace design will be an increase in spaces dedicated to mental and physical well-being, which highlights a shift in focus to employee wellness.
There will also be more meditation spaces, game rooms, as well as outdoor work and recreation spaces. These amenities accommodate the needs of Millennials and Generation Z, who are concerned with wellness, work-life balance and staying connected with each other.
The office pod, which is the latest trend seen in the workplace, could potentially complement benching at a very low cost. According to Fast Company, this new office product aims to fix ‘the misery of the modern open plan office’ and benching.
These micro-offices are temporary spaces meant for a few hours of work at a time, sold at a very affordable price. They are an office feature to provide privacy and focus when needed, and a possible solution to employees’ need to have a choice when it comes to where they work.

“It is a trend that we are starting to see people interested in,” says Rodriguez. “But it won’t be replacing benching. It complements it.”
Will these new spaces be enough to change how employees feel about benching? Are the micro-offices here to stay? Or will Generation Z, who are nearing their 20s and entering the workforce, change the workplace as we know it? Only time will tell.
For your office planning needs and solutions
Think GBP Direct
 Lane Loupelaneloupe@gbpdirect.com
m 504-259-4166

Creating Comfort in the Open Office

 by coalesse

The open office is here to stay, but as walls go down, new challenges arise for architects and designers. In an office with fewer divisions and less privacy, how can one design spaces that provide emotional, physical and cognitive comfort for staff and employees? 

Our research has found environments that combine comfort, function and emotional satisfaction inspire people to do their best work. We incorporate these insights into our furniture and planning ideas, and we’ve created three takeaways to consider in your next open office design. 
Use furniture as architecture

Create versatile space division and enclosures while keeping the overall feel of an open, social environment by applying furniture as architecture. Booths and screenscan create the feel of a conference room while remaining open to a larger environment. These spaces can serve as a spot for teams to meet and collaborate, allowing them to be separate from the large group while close to their work stations. 

Create private refuges
In the midst of an open office layout, staff needs space where they can experience sight and sound privacy. Private enclaves allow employees to be easily accessible while enjoying personal focus time. Make the private spaces desirable with beautiful furnishings that support heads-down work, such as personal tableslounge chairs and power

Incorporate lounge destinations
It’s not necessary to always sit in a task chair, two feet on the ground, to be creative and productive. Lounge postures put people at ease, reduce stress and generally make people feel more comfortable. 
Incorporate lounge destinations throughout your open office design that feature comfortable lounge furniture. Encourage staff to take advantage of the opportunity to put their feet up in the middle of the day by having leadership set an example. When staff observe leadership using the lounge settings, they’ll quickly follow suit.

Think GBP DirectLane Loupe
laneloupe@gbpdirect.comm 504-259-4166

5 Reasons to Go Resimercial for Your Next Office Redesign

Resimercial (short for residential commercial) incorporates a home-like atmosphere into work, and it is quickly becoming the defining trend of 21st-century office design. Here are 5 reasons to consider it for your next office redesign:

1. Not Just for the Young
Not just Millennials, but Baby Boomers & Generation X all want an office space that looks and feels good. Resimercial provides the comfort and style that all workers are craving.

2. Promote Wellness
Wellness and mental health surged as an important part of corporate culture; resimercial designs spaces that put wellness front and center.

3. Offer Choice at Work
Not all people work the same. Resimercial offers working spaces suited to different tasks and styles through providing a variety of environments including couches, desks and bean bag chairs.

4. Compete with Working Remote
With flexible work options becoming more popular, companies need to make their space more competitive with a person’s home. Resimercial delivers the comforts of home alongside the benefits of the office.

5. Design Counts
Leading companies are investing big in office spaces design for better culture, retention and productivity. Resimercial focuses not just on physical comfort, but looking good while achieving it.

"I'm not going to the home!" The Next Challenge for Architects and Designers

by Hanna Andrew

As the baby boomer generation approaches retirement age, a pattern is beginning to emerge: boomers are taking steps to avoid retirement homes.
Many retirement homes are overrun and understaffed; an imbalanced patient-to-caretaker ratio leads to a lack of good care. Having put their parents into these residences, boomers have witnessed the conditions and treatment endured by their parents first-hand.Now at the age of retirement, boomers are avoiding the homes and seeking alternative long-term living accommodations.

As the proclaimed "Me" generation, baby boomers have spurred the development of society, technology, architecture and design through the stages of their lives. Their desire for better retirement living is already bringing about change within urban areas.
Traditionally, retirement homes are full of busy prints and dull colors. This depressing atmosphere has boomers fearing aging. Instead of entering these facilities, some retired boomers are renting out rooms in their houses to other boomers. Some retirees are modifying their homes to better accommodate their aging needs while others who can afford to do so are moving into gated communities.
A large number are renting apartments or buying condominiums in the city to be close to their children and grandchildren.

Boomers want to remain a part of their community, so many are choosing the city for a more active, engaged lifestyle. With urban accommodations in high demand, the boomers are prompting the development of vertical retirement communities.

As a result, vertical retirement communities have emerged in Australia. The U City project is a vertical retirement village atop floors of community facilities that include club lounges, function rooms and even a café restaurant located on the ground floor.The availability of rental accommodations is low, however, and the majority of vertical retirement units are currently only for purchase. 
The need for affordable rental accommodations in urban areas will continue to grow as more boomers enter their retirement years; new structures will need to answer this call while taking into account their future healthcare challenges.
Residences will also need to target the aging population in more obvious ways. The same safety considerations are still important in modern retirement homes, such as carpeting that prevents falls, walk-in showers, and modifying kitchen layouts to meet various physical needs. However, focusing on the design of the space will take priority. It is the traditional environment itself that the boomers are avoiding when it comes to today's retirement homes.
This is an opportunity for designers and architects to reinvent the retirement atmosphere from that of stagnant rooms and dull décor.

The new retirement home can be a beautiful, welcoming space that fosters community. Design shared spaces to encourage interaction among friends and family of all generations. Even in high-rise vertical settings like the U City project, architectural layouts and resident-exclusive amenities can promote social activities.
The future market for seniors is an untapped opportunity to reinvent the retirement atmosphere, and through design, bring joy to baby boomers and the following generations.
Think GBP Direct
Lane Loupelaneloupe@gbpdirect.comm: 504-259-4166

Healthcare Furniture: The Silent Hero in Hospitals and Clinics

Global Furniture Group

Health-care associated infections (HAIs) are infections patients acquire in the hospital while receiving medical treatment. An estimated 722,000 HAIs occur in U.S. hospitals every year, and over 10% of those patients die during their hospitalizations. In an effort to combat these infections, hospitals implement prevention practices.
These prevention practices include buying the right type of furniture for the healthcare environment.Since most HAIs are transmitted through contact with microbe-infected hospital objects, implementing specially designed furniture can reduce these infections by 70 percent.
But, within this new construction, what makes a piece of furniture “the right kind” to play a role in infection control?
For starters, it's materials.
When seats are covered in standard fabrics, bodily fluids or spills may seep right into the foam and become a breeding ground for germs. However, should furniture be upholstered with appropriate material, the risk of HAIs decreases. Vinyls and polyurethanes are both impenetrable to liquids — ensuring the foam within stays protected — and drastically reduces the risk of infection through environmental microbial transmission.
In addition to vinyls and polyurethanes, another appropriate fabric option for healthcare includes Crypton, a blended, water-resistant upholstery. Along with Crypton, Nano-Tex, an upholstery treatment that provides a spill and stain-resistant finish, and DuraBlock, a moisture barrier that goes beneath regular upholstery, are available alternatives effective in preventing moisture from reaching the foam.