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Category: Office Design

How many people will fit in this office space? I am often asked how many people will fit in an office space when a broker or customer is considering taking it. Off course, without knowing what size offices and cubicles and many other issues, there is no exact answer. But there is a rule-of-thumb I use that is usually pretty close. I call it five-per-thousand. Five people for every one thousand square feet of usable space seems to be a pretty good rule. Usable space is the space you are actually occupying, not counting load factors like common (shared with other tenants) hallways, lobby, bathrooms and other things often added into the "rentable" square footage you are paying for. As an example, if you are considering a 20,000 square
Filing Proficiently Saves Money and Space Sometimes it amazes me how much air people file in their file cabinets. Why would someone want to pay good money for a file cabinet and then have it take up valuable floor space and not fill it up? I guess they just want to keep furniture dealers like me in business by buying more files. A classic example is a 36 inch wide lateral file. If you are like most people and file letter-size hanging-files, you should never buy a 36 wide file cabinet. Let me explain. A lateral file is a file cabinet that is wider side-to-side than it is deep front-to-back. (See photo at right.) Typically 18 to 20 inches. They come in three widths, 30, 36 and 42. The most efficient way to file in lateral file
Ergonomic Desk Set Up – Why Spend the Money? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that data-entry workers missed an average of five days of work and secretaries missed an average of 4.5 days due to repetitive strain injury in 2002. This translates into $900 for a $52,000 per year employee. Not to mention costs for replacement workers and increased insurance premiums. If you have intensive computer use employees like programmers or others typing at a keyboard all day there are a few things you can do, probably for well under $900. Make sure they have a good chair ($185-$450), good and well-positioned monitor ($185 to $624 for a 19" to 24" flat screen) and that these along with their keyboard are at the right position (Fre
Laminate or Wood – What’s the difference? Desks are usually made out of wood or laminate. Generally wood is more expensive, but not always. What's the difference between wood and laminate? To start with almost all office furniture these days is made from a thin top surface applied on a substrate of fiberboard or particle board. In other words, your wood desk isn't made from a solid piece of wood or a few boards pieced together. It probably has a piece of particle board with a very thin sheet of wood veneer or plastic laminate. There are countless grades of particle board, veneers and laminates with detailed differences which I will not go into here, but might in a future blog. After this sheet of particle board with a surface
Open versus Collaborative Environments Whenever I am planning spaces for customers the issue of privacy versus openness comes up. Do we want our people to collaborate in an open environment? Or do we want more privacy so people can concentrate and do their work? This often comes up as an issue of tall panels versus short. But it also incorporates, cubicle size, station orientation (Do I sit with my back to the opening or facing the opening?), who gets private offices and common areas like conference rooms, "all-hands areas" and informal "bean bag" areas. Mark Erickson from Mark Erickson and Associates says it involves hi-tech versus hi-touch. "People often think they are communicating, when they are really only talking th
Green Furniture – What does that mean? What do people mean when they say furniture is green? I am not talking about the color. I mean the green as in earth-friendly. To me, the most green solution is re-using furniture, that is bought locally. See my post about New vs. Used Furniture. Let's look at the shades of green. If you want green, you also should look at where and how new items are made. An item made in China, under lower controls on pollution and waste produced is also shipped thousands of miles before it reaches its final location in the U.S. There are many products manufactured primarily in the U.S., but they often cost more because of the extra restrictions and higher labor costs. Lot's of manufacturers of new
Formaldehyde – A Bad Chemical Being Phased Out Beginning in January 2009, the California Air Resources Board will begin phasing out formaldehyde from being used in the manufacture of fiberboard, plywood and other products prominently used in the making of office furniture. According to the press release 08-90: "All businesses that manufacture, sell, use or supply composite-wood products to California will be subject to aspects of the regulations. These businesses include panel manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers, and fabricators of finished goods. Only composite-wood products that meet the standards may be used in the fabrication of finished goods, such as furniture, cabinets, etc. once the sell-through provisions expi

Tips for buying used cubicles?

Tips for buying used cubicles? With the business climate mired in a recession, anyone looking for furniture these days is asking the used furniture question. Many times I have heard the statement “There must be a lot of used furniture available with all of these companies laying people off or going out of business.” This is true. There is a lot of used furniture available. Much of it is old or junky, because a lot of furniture was purchased in the late 90s and early 2000s during the boom. Or it is in dot-com colors like purple or yellow or orange. But there is a lot of good furniture as well. How do you take advantage of the great price advantage of used furniture in your company’s facility? Here are some ti
I Don’t Want My Back To The Door "I hate having my back to the door." This is a constant refrain I here from cubicle dwellers. Gunslingers like Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name never liked doing it in the old west. And according to Dragon Feng Shui, "Facing a wall can make it seem as though you will never get ahead, as your progress is blocked." They recommend a mirror. But we can show you how to face the door without using mirrors. With a few extra planning steps. It is a snap to configure your cubicles so that you can work on the computer and not have your back to the opening. Just place the corner on the wing panel as shown in the first photo of Steelcase Answer cubicles. As an added benefit, this configuration
Herman Miller Action Office 2 – My Favorite System I love working with Herman Miller Action Office Series 2 (AO2) as a used option. The reasons are endless. - Huge Installed Base - Easily Refrabricated - Wood Panels can be easily cut - Clone product is available - Easy and fast to install There are probably more AO2 stations in existing inventory than any other system. This is because Action Office has been continually manufactured since 1968. AO2, with the fixed, four-circuit electrical base, has been in service since the 80s. All action office components work with AO2 no matter what generation or when they were made. So product compatibility is assured. AO2 is easily refabricated. You can change the fabric on AO2 quite easily.