A review of Orgatec 2018

furniture & interiors

It’s clear to see from our recent visit to the Orgatec trade fair in Cologne, Germany, why the event – the largest of its type in the world – remains the number 1 platform for trendsetting in office interiors and a magnet for exhibiting companies….

read more

It’s clear to see from our recent visit to the Orgatec trade fair in Cologne, Germany, why the event – the largest of its type in the world – remains the number 1 platform for trendsetting in office interiors and a magnet for exhibiting companies and visitors alike. Where some high profile trade shows have lost their spark in recent years, Orgatec is definitely ‘alive and kicking’ with some 760 exhibitors showcasing their products and over 60,000 international trade visitors.

The key trends

Unsurprisingly, Orgatec 2018 was all about ever changing work cultures, with flexibility a key theme: flexibility to quickly change the layout or use of a space, flexibility to collaborate and communicate wherever you are, flexibility to reclaim traditional office space for time away from the desk. So, products designed for multifunctional areas were everywhere, always pushing creative boundaries further and experimenting with shapes and finishes – seating booths, meeting pods, personal storage lockers but also telephone booths, open shelving systems, meeting and office enclosures …

Wellbeing featured heavily too, something that was already a defining trend of the last event in 2016. Sit-stand workstations and tables are becoming more and more widely adopted as a solution to counteract some of the health risks of sedentary office work, and some of the best examples were on show, as were more dynamic seating options focusing on balance, strengthening the muscles and relieving the spine. For us though, the move towards a quieter, more peaceful office really stood out. Whilst more open, collaborative offices encourage better exchange and communication, they come with the challenge of how to maintain good levels of privacy and sound insulation. Many exhibitors were showcasing their acoustic solutions, from wall-mounted and mobile panel systems or more adaptable acoustic bricks to sound absorbing ceiling hanging panels, light fittings, floor finishes, ‘room in room’ concepts and more.

Seating and phone booths at Orgatec

Our personal favourites

We took so much away from the show that picking particular highlights may seem a bit of an impossible task. Belgian company BuzziSpace’s various takes on workspace acoustics certainly impressed us with their BuzziBracks curtain enclosed modular room concept, BuzziMood moss wall panels tapping into the biophilic design trend, as well as their striking chandeliers and light fittings.

Connectivity and smart working solutions are something we’re always looking out for, and there was plenty at Orgatec to get our attention, with so many manufacturers making access to power, data and comms an integral part of their furniture – and coming up with new, smarter, more intuitive ways to achieve that all important technological harmony. We loved Spacestor’s ‘California cool, London design’ Phonebooth and SBS Mobilier’s Seat Box and Stand Up Box.

We couldn’t help but indulge in some of the more informal and playful product ranges displayed by a few exhibitors, such as ball sports inspired chairs, unique pieces made of books or corrugated paper furniture.

Orgatec never fails to deliver a great show. Yes, some of the largest companies were absent. Yes, there were very few exhibitors from the United Kingdom. Our overwhelming feeling, however, is one of excitement, with a refreshed creative and innovative mindset that will be at the heart of our future projects.

3 reasons behind the rise of ‘resimercial’ offic

furniture & interiors

Love or hate the name, resimercial – the coming together of commercial and residential or home interior design elements in an office environment – is fast becoming one of the hottest trends in workplace design. Is it a fad? What are the…

read more

Love or hate the name, resimercial – the coming together of commercial and residential or home interior design elements in an office environment – is fast becoming one of the hottest trends in workplace design. Is it a fad? What are the benefits?

1. It’s all about wellbeing

When you think of resimercial design, the first thing that comes to mind has to be the use in an office of interior finishes and styles usually seen in homes. The choice of more daring, warmer, more natural or sometimes more playful colours, patterns, shapes and layouts contrasts with the safer, somewhat colder and more rigid styles traditionally seen in office design. This allows a greater focus on creating happy, comfortable spaces that offer much more than a desk and chair to sit at, possibly tempting home workers who feel isolated back into the office, with the ultimate goal of improving staff productivity and retention.

2. The age of the agile office

Resimercial embodies the move away from traditional office design and the need to reflect how people work. With the rise in home, flexible and multi-location working, the office is no longer a place where each space has a clearly defined function, a move taken straight from domestic interiors, where, for example, the dining room often is a family room, an office, a craft room … In new office design terms, this means providing spaces that people can work, meet and relax in, hence the increasing popularity of collaborative pods or booths, bench tables that work just as well as desks or as canteen tables, sofas with built-in power and data etc.

3. Getting the balance right

For all it draws from residential environments, successful resimercial design is about adopting a well-balanced blend of home and traditional office, not making the office feel ‘just like home’. After all, are piles of cushions, ornate chandeliers or shagpile rugs really cut for the office? Workplace furniture and finishes need to remain practical, durable and cost-effective. Here at Egan Reid Office Environments, we partner with furniture and interior finishes suppliers who have adapted their product ranges to take inspiration from the residential world and retain their commercial properties – proving that the ‘best of both worlds’ is the way to go.

If you’d like to explore introducing that ‘home from home’ feeling in your office, contact the team at Egan Reid Office Environments and get your project started today!

How Green is the UK workplace?

business

In the run up to Green Office Week starting on Monday 14th May, office stationery brand Avery has been finding out what customers from self-employed to working for small and large businesses think about green issues in the workplace…

read more

In the run up to Green Office Week starting on Monday 14th May, office stationery brand Avery has been finding out what customers – from self-employed to working for small and large businesses – think about green issues in the workplace.

Has your workplace got the ‘green’ factor? Be sure to join the conversation throughout Green Office Week from Monday 14th to Friday 18th May by using the #GreenOffice18 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram or by commenting on a Green Office Week Facebook post.
Here is a summary of the key facts and statistics from the survey:

4 Reasons for Choosing Glass Partitioning in the Office

business

Glass partitions, although not a new concept, are enjoying a rise in popularity in offices, with solutions to suit all styles and budgets, from standard layouts to completely bespoke designs. So, besides the ‘wow’ factor that it may have, why…

read more

Glass partitions, although not a new concept, are enjoying a rise in popularity in offices, with solutions to suit all styles and budgets, from standard layouts to completely bespoke designs. So, besides the ‘wow’ factor that it may have, why is glass so attractive?

1. It’s all about the light…

Glass partitions are the ideal way to divide a large office space without compromising on natural light and sense of space, unlike with solid partitions and walls. The benefits of natural light and biophilic design in general on productivity and wellbeing have been highlighted in many research projects and championed by the interior design world in recent times, emphasizing what is probably the main reason for choosing glass partitions or doors.

2. Glass partitioning can be private!

You may be forgiven for assuming that glass spaces are anything but private, however technical advances in glass technology mean that the latest acoustic glass partitions are easily on a par with solid partitions for sound integrity. An impressive level of privacy can also be achieved by using frosted, tinted or coloured panels, or adding subtle vinyl manifestations to partially obscure the space without blocking the light. It’s even possible to produce a ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ effect by using a unique opaque film that switches on and off at the touch of a switch.

3. Flexible glass…

With glass, it’s very easy to create anything from a simple wall or room to a complete glass partitioned floor, with a choice of single, double glazed or specialist acoustic panels, slick frameless designs or chunky T-bar frames for an on-trend industrial look, faceted or curved panels and more. The layout, style and finishing touches can be fully tailored to your requirements. Glass partitioning really is that flexible!

4. What about cost?

Every project is different, of course, but glass partitioning can offer cost savings over solid walls or even an open plan space in the long run. Glass partitions have been proven to help reduce energy costs and are often a more future proof option should you need to expand or reconfigure your space at a later stage. They are also easier and quicker to install, however you should bear in mind that power, lighting, air conditioning etc may need to be moved, so you should always discuss what you have in mind with one of our experienced fit out specialists.

Contact the team at Egan Reid Office Environments and get your project started today!

Egan Reid Welcomes New Customers

business

We are proud to announce the acquisition of the goodwill and customer base of Thomson Office Equipment in a deal that sees Egan Reid further strengthen its position in Greater Manchester.Thomson Office Equipment has a strong and loyal client base…

read more

We are proud to announce the acquisition of the goodwill and customer base of Thomson Office Equipment in a deal that sees Egan Reid further strengthen its position in Greater Manchester.

Thomson Office Equipment has a strong and loyal client base in and around Stalybridge, Tameside, developed over the past 30 years by Ian Thomson who has unfortunately had to pass the business on due to ill health. Egan Reid is offering customers continuity of local supply and customer service.

Andrew and Martin Reid, Egan Reid’s joint managing directors and owners, commented: “2017 saw the company celebrate 60 years in business, and this is another exciting step for Egan Reid. These are challenging times for the office supplies trade, even more so for the smaller independent resellers, and we are always looking for opportunities to grow through further acquisitions.”

Could your business benefit from a coffee break?

business

Statistics show that 79% of employees consider coffee breaks as the most effective way to boost productivity and team morale. So, with employee engagement levels slumping, could embracing break room culture help employers give their business a pick me up?…

read more

Statistics show that 79% of employees consider coffee breaks as the most effective way to boost productivity and team morale. So, with employee engagement levels slumping, could embracing break room culture help employers give their business a pick me up?

Office culture has changed

These days there’s a new growing trend in lunch breaks; 80% of employees are no longer taking them. Lunch as we know it has changed and employees are opting to stay at their desks or take shorter breaks in order to get work done.  Whilst most employees believe that staying at their desks will mean they are using their spare time productively, this isn’t actually the case; engagement at work currently sits at around 34% and it’s dropping. This is because skipping breaks at work results in disengagement, dissatisfaction and inefficiency.

Whilst you can’t force employees to take lunch away from the office, you can encourage them to take structured breaks throughout the day. Encouraging a break-friendly culture allows employees to recharge, reduce stress and increase focus which, in return, can increase productivity and employee satisfaction while improving the quality of work produced.

The importance of coffee breaks

For many of us, coffee and the workplace go hand-in-hand as it provides a welcome wake-up in the morning. However, taking structured breaks throughout the day offers a socially acceptable time-out between tasks. It gives employees the opportunity and environment to break from the sedentary rhythm of office life, socialise with colleagues, improve working relationships, share perspectives and ideas, gain new insights and knowledge and deal with stress and emotional pressure.

A survey conducted by Nespresso shows that coffee breaks reinforce the feeling of belonging. In fact, 79% of employees consider these breaks as the most efficient way to boost team spirit, whilst improving productivity and easing conflicts. For 91% of employees these are ideal moments to build personal exchanges with colleagues.

Ultimately, coffee breaks improve job satisfaction, with 67% of employees stating that it makes them “extremely” or “very” happy. As 86% of full-time workers drink tea and coffee daily, it’s a valuable incentive to provide and a tangible way companies can show their employees they appreciate them and recognize their hard work.

Britain doesn’t break

So if taking breaks has so many benefits, why aren’t we doing it regularly? A recent study which looked at UK office workers discovered that more than 25% of workers don’t take a break other than lunch. There’s a stigma built around breaks that assumes workers are lazy or unproductive if they take them regularly. If employees don’t see their managers or other colleagues taking breaks they assume they also shouldn’t do so. 1 in 5 workers agree, with guilt being the main reason they don’t step away from their workspaces.

Embracing the coffee break culture

The next step for businesses is to break the stigma by embracing and investing in the coffee break culture. We should learn a lesson from the Scandinavian lifestyle trend called ‘fika’. Put simply, fika is a coffee break; to take time out of the work day to eat, drink and relax. It’s often practised in Swedish workplaces and now UK companies are boiling their kettles and following suit. This is because a coffee break in Sweden isn’t just a quick coffee consumed in front of the computer; it’s a time to step away from work, relax and converse with colleagues.

With fika, UK employers can see changes in many aspect of their work culture:

Employee productivity – taking occasional breaks can improve energy, memory and concentration. Having the ability to recharge also helps to reduce the number of errors made by workers, making it a go-to option for improving productivity

Job satisfaction – coffee breaks away from the computer can help improve job satisfaction. A step out of the work environment stimulates creativity and fresh ideas – setting the stage for a more relaxed atmosphere and inviting alternate conversation for a laid back agenda

Impressing prospective – fika is also a way to differentiate your company in the marketplace and impress prospective clients

Here to help

Wake up and smell the coffee! Embracing coffee break culture can help you give your business a well-deserved pick me up and improve the productivity and well-being of your employees. If you want to reap the many business benefits associated with coffee breaks, we are here to help.

At Egan Reid, we offer a full range of beverages, food and kitchenware to match your budget and requirements. Contact one of our specialists today to discuss how we can help you embrace coffee break culture in the workplace.

Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jun/29/desk-lunch-power-lunches-ubereats-maple-soylent

https://inews.co.uk/essentials/lifestyle/wellbeing/fika-coffee-break-work-swedish-uk-companies/

http://www.posturegroup.co.uk/blog/benefits-of-regular-screen-breaks-from-your-computer

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/office-workers-spend-40000-tea-biscuits-and-whip-round-pub-work-drinks-careers-jobs-a7516981.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/10918137/Workers-spend-more-than-2500-a-year-on-lunch-and-snacks-report-says.html

http://www.snacknation.com/blog/employee-happiness/

https://medium.com/@speakizi/the-last-thing-you-ever-thought-would-increase-employee-productivity-8223b5d46095