Five Quick Ways to Make Your Workspace More Ergonomic!

Considering all the hours you spend logging in at the workplace, it’s easy to forget about your body’s needs when you’re juggling multiple deadlines and projects — that is of course until your body sends you a painful reminder. Save yourself some strain with these quick ergonomically friendly tips! This can also help designers in what to consider when building the perfect workplace for your client.


1. Take a step back. It’s great that you’re dedicated to meeting those deadlines, but unless something is due right this second, walk away from your workstation every few hours, even if it’s only for a brief walk about the office. Stretching your body is the only thing that can combat the health issues that arise from prolonged sitting.

2. Get aligned with your computer. Keeping your elbows bent near 90 degrees, with your mouse comfortably within reach of a keyboard. Oh, and stop slouching (you probably just caught yourself doing it while you read this)!

3. Keep your chin up – literally! Elevate your monitor to eye level, approximately 18-28 inches from your face. Your neck will thank you for it.

4. Use a sit – stand workstation. On top of making sure you’re decked with a good ergonomic office chair, consider a sit-stand workstation, which will allow you to take stretch breaks throughout the day, elongating your spine and promoting blood flow.

5. Adjust that chair. Your chair is your best ergonomic friend. It supports your back, your bottom, and your posture. Consider the following:

Shape. To help maintain a healthy posture, choose a chair that offers good lumbar support.

Length. When you sit, there should be a little space between the edge of the chair and the back of your knees. Adjust the seat depth to be able to sit accordingly.

Height. When you are sitting, your feet should be on the floor in front of you, and your thighs should be slightly below your hips. Shorter folks might need to use a footrest, while taller people might need to adjust the height of their desks.



Small Details To Tie Your Office Design Together

It can be easy to forget about the little things in interior design like power outlet covers and door knobs. We rarely give it a second thought but that gives it all the more reason to catch our attention when it’s out of the ordinary. For some, even the furniture isn’t as planned out as it should be. It’s the details that make an office stand out from boring ones. Take the opportunity to display your great attention to detail and impress your clients by putting a little more emphasis on often overlooked furnishings.

So what things should be on your checklist so that you don’t forget them? Furniture is definitely at the top of the list. However, a lot of offices drop the ball in choosing furniture for the office. Everything, from the arms to the upholstery can bring all of the design elements together.

Wooden accents add a natural cozy look. You can bring a little bit of nature inside of the office in some fairly simple ways. Wooden bookshelves or chairs are great to add a bit of nature. Reclaimed wood paneling and furniture with wood accents are good ways to incorporate wood in the office.

Other details to consider are the small pieces that bring everything together. Matching power outlet covers and door hinges to light switch covers and door knobs can really bring everything together.  Show off your attention to detail by focusing on the little things that bring your office design together. Putting more emphasis on the finishing pieces can make a huge difference in the way your office looks. Impress more clients with the look that these little changes can make.



How Can You Get The Most Out of Your Office?

With rising real estate costs in CBDs like Sydney, Melbourne and many other international cities around the world, designers and staff are increasingly challenged with doing the most with the least amount of space. How do we maximize the limited space that we have to work with?

When you’ve got a small office, you’ve got to be smarter in the way that you operate. It’s easy to let the clutter build up and make the office feel tiny. This is where a few simple changes can make a huge difference.

Organization is much more important when space is limited. We have to make it much easier to file or discard things as soon as they hit the desk. Finding a good system for putting away paperwork and not allowing clutter to pile up on desks is essential for keeping the office feeling open. Be sure to discard things that aren’t needed as well.

Vertical space can be a savior when you’re limited. Using vertical space for storage can limit the use of square footage thus giving more space for other furniture and activities. Tall filing cabinets work well, and shelves above your workspace keep from using precious floor space.  Mobile and multipurpose furniture can expand a small space by function.

It’s important to not use brightly colored furniture in such small spaces. Bright colors make objects appear larger than what they are. Conversely, darker colored walls will make a room feel more closed in. So use darker furniture and brighter colored walls to visually maximize the space that you have. The options are endless with the ability to customise furniture colours with upholstery, powder coating and staining.

Working with small spaces can be incredibly challenging. But with a little bit of planning you can make the most of just a little bit of real estate. Organization and some policies on clutter can be game changers. Add in some design elements and you can have a very impressive office.


Prefabricated Office Spaces Make Room for Growth

In today’s increasingly complex, diverse, mobile and environmentally conscious business landscape, organizations are facing increased pressure to curate office spaces designed to meet the diverse needs and values of their employees.

Prefabricated office spaces show great promise as they are easily customized to be any size, allow for multiple stories and often integrate modular device and furniture solutions that promote collaboration and increased productivity. Prefabricated office spaces also reduce waste and boost sustainability as they are often built using several recycled products and materials.

To keep your modular workplace ahead of the curve, you can also request the integration of Universal Design strategies to ensure all employees, regardless of age, size, cultural identity, ability or disability are exposed to inclusive spaces and products that promote accessibility, safety and convenience.

The process of introducing a prefabricated workspace is fast and simple. Once a prefabricated building is complete and shipped to your location, it is set into place and connected to the foundation. Utilities are connected and your choice of exterior finishes are then added. The resulting prefabricated workspace is environmentally friendly, with the all the same architectural aesthetics you would expect from a conventional building. To accommodate the needs of a thriving business, prefabricated modules can be expanded or minimized at minimal expense.

With a significantly reduced time to occupancy, your business can start driving growth and optimizing your bottom line sooner.

While prefabricated workspaces may not suit the needs of every business or organization, the cost-savings, sustainable practices and inclusivity they provide – make them a strong consideration for the future of your workplace.


IQ office

Universal Design – Building for Everyone

While the concept of Universal Design is relatively new to the world of architecture and design, there is an increasing demand for more inclusive spaces and products that promote accessibility, safety and convenience for an increasingly diverse population and their wide range of needs.

The expectation to ensure all people, regardless of age, size, cultural identity, ability or disability are treated equally in building environments is quickly becoming the norm across the globe. For this reason, project managers should consider integrating Universal Design strategies into their plans regarding products and spaces.

Architects, product designers, engineers and environmental designers can become true innovators in optimizing Universal Design integration by considering the following:

1. Body fit: Designing spaces and utilizing products that accommodate a wide range of body sizes and abilities

2. Comfort: Keeping demands within desirable limits of body function

3. Awareness: Ensuring that information regarding use of integrated Universal Design strategies is easily perceived

4. Understanding: Making methods of operation and use intuitive and clear

5. Wellness: Contributing to promotion of health on a holistic level, avoidance of disease, and prevention of injury

6. Social integration: Treating all groups with dignity and respect

7. Personalisation: Incorporating opportunities for choice and expression of individual preferences

8. Cultural appropriateness: Respecting and reinforcing cultural values and the social and environmental context of any design project

By implementing Universal Design into new and existing building projects, we are truly designing for this diversity – a philosophy that, when applied, benefits everyone!



A Learning Lesson in Classroom Design

Improving educational outcome in the post-secondary world is a universal goal for educational institutions. How to go about doing so remains the focus of significant research and debate. An often overlooked factor, is the effect classroom design can play in optimizing student learning and engagement. In fact, several noteworthy studies have confirmed that thoughtfully and intentionally designed post-secondary spaces can affect retention, attention, motivation, learning and academic achievement. Here are three simple classroom design tips that promote and enhance active learning.


1. Integrate flexibility – modular furniture, technological devices and whiteboards will make room for collaborative project engagement and brainstorming sessions.


2. Abandon the ‘front of the room’ – utilize the middle part of the classroom as the primary “teaching corridor,” and leave the wings as study areas for students that can also be walled off with movable screens. This approach will encourage active involvement and shared communication.


3. Let the light in – Natural light in the classroom can improve performance. One study of 2,000 classrooms found those with more natural daylight performed higher on than those who had less. While installing new windows across campus could be a costly endeavor, swapping up spaces with windows that weren’t originally used for learning purposes (office spaces or lecture halls for example) could be a viable solution.


Generation Z will be the next wave of post-secondary students. In a constantly shifting technological and educational landscape, it’s crucial to design and integrate active learning spaces that inspire the innovators of tomorrow.


ANU - Meeni

Going Green is Good for Business

Integrating environmentally friendly initiatives into the workplace may seem like a simple and trendy public relations move. In truth, going green brings a wide variety of benefits for business owners. Applying green processes to the workplace positions participating businesses as leaders of social change while allowing for significant financial growth. Some benefits include:

Tax Advantages

Going green has many practical advantages. In some countries, tax credits and incentives are available. Many businesses are eligible for a sales tax exemption or corporate income tax credit for using solar energy systems, equipment, machinery and other renewable energy technologies.

Reduced Waste

Sustainable utilization can improve the overall efficiency of a business. For example, turning off lights in vacant offices can save energy, reduce utility costs and increase your bottom line. Printing less cuts down on paper usage and refilling ink cartridges instead of throwing them away can be another money-saving practice while also reducing the amount of plastic thrown away from the cartridge and packaging.

Improved Workplace

 Providing green options within a company can help employees who suffer from respiratory and other health-related conditions, because green products contain fewer chemicals that are connected to physical problems. A healthier workplace reduces sick days, in turn increasing productivity and overall output.

Environmental Standards to Increase Your Bottom Line

Businesses or organizations looking to stand apart, might want to consider attaining ISO certification. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a comprehensive series of standards including a family of standards that provide practical tools for companies and organizations looking to manage their environmental responsibilities.

Australian consumers seeking out sustainable options will be especially interested in Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified products. Interior designers and project managers looking to introduce new design and furniture solutions into the workplace, would set themselves apart as sustainability champions.


With green initiatives increasing in popularity, economic studies have shown that companies utilizing green technology and selling green products are seeing an increase in profit. With environmentally building design and operation, success is assured as the workplace becomes both practical and profitable. The numbers are in and the Return on Investment (ROI) of prioritizing sustainability in the workplace – are sure to drive growth that’s very, very green!


vissy detail fl

Greenery in the Workplace to Help a Business Flourish

The facts are in. Having plants in the workplace will make employees happier, healthier and more productive.

Researchers from Cardiff University monitored two large commercial offices in the UK and Holland. After plants were introduced, overall productivity improved by 15% within three months, as was reported in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. While this finding may not seem significant, a 15% boost in productivity can add up quickly, especially if every employee experiences improvement.

Another study, conducted in 2010 concluded that just one plant per work space can increase office morale and job performance. In addition to showing an increase in productivity, employees also noticed they were experiencing a clearer ability to focus, and believed air quality in the workplace was better. This could be largely due to the fact that foliage absorbs pollutants, dust and bugs from the air. In fact, introducing plants to an office environment reportedly reduces minor illness by 30%, which in turn decreases employee absenteeism.

All things considered, strategically adding plant life to your workplace could reduce sick days, optimize employee satisfaction and enhance productivity. All things considered, the costs savings associated with going green are significant enough for any cost conscious business owner to sit up and take notice. All evidence points to the fact that a little foliage – allows you to really grow your business.


Image credit: Evolution Design

Dealing with Office Acoustics

Many companies have moved to open floor plans in their office buildings. It’s estimated that about 70% of offices have an open floor plan. The open office concept was created in the 50’s to promote communication among workers. It was meant to unify a company and help them to create better ideas. However, your clients and customers may have complained that this type of office floor plan has done the opposite for them. Many are finding that an open floor plan can be difficult to manage if not planned properly.

With little to buffer the noise, many have found it difficult to concentrate. According to a study done among six major US corporations, 70% of employees complain that noise is the number one distraction at work. 52% reported that they felt stressed due to a lack of ability to focus on their work with phones constantly ringing, email alerts and text messages pinging. Morale and concentration plummets throughout the day and can ruin an employee’s productivity.

So what can we do to help improve the acoustics in our client’s offices? There are a few things from adding plants to help absorb noise, or adding acoustic ceiling tiles or carpeted floors.

However, one of the lower cost options is to replace the furniture. Sound absorbing and acoustic furniture can not only go a long way in terms of helping to buffer noise but is a nice, low cost and space saving way to brighten up and refresh an office space. Luxmy Furniture offers a few different pieces that will help your clients and customers to give their workers more privacy.

If you are looking to implement a designated area for employee interaction or phone conversations, the Cone is great for any office. It is designed with a high back to block outside noise preventing distractions to others outside of the area.

The last piece of acoustic furniture by Luxmy is the Hoop. The Hoop is a large acoustic booth meant to keep unwanted noise out. It great for private conversations or even interviews.

Noise and distractions in an open office floor plan can drastically reduce productivity among employees. Adding acoustic furniture to an office is a must to consider when redesigning an office for a client. If your customers need a way to implement private areas to reduce echo and distractions, including acoustic furniture in their offices is a great choice.

Picture: WINNews

Convertible Furniture for a Flexible Workplace

In order to keep up in today’s complex and constantly evolving business landscape, companies accustomed to traditional workspaces must begin to integrate furniture solutions that allow for more flexibility in the workplace.

There’s been a lot of conversation surrounding office design and how far it can go to motivate employees, improve productivity and build a brand known for being up-to-the-minute. As a result, companies are creating interesting, custom-branded spaces. In fact, streamlining the workplace has become a norm across the globe as companies look to minimize costs and optimize opportunities.

Not all offices have incredible amounts of raw space – and many companies don’t want the responsibility of taking on a lot of space to begin with. Why not take advantage of what you’ve got? A small space can function as a large meeting room, as long as you have the furniture and the flexibility in place.

There are a few simple steps you can take to integrate flexibility into your workspace:

Design your workspace to be a completely wireless environment, to enable mobility.

1.Create a floor plan was with different types of work spaces to accommodate different work styles and business needs. Include open spaces called quads or plazas where employees can meet informally, a commons area for breaks, and enclosed offices that allow for privacy when necessary. The absence of cubicle walls will allow for more natural light and creates a more open and spacious atmosphere.

2. Use movable walls to convert and reconfigure large meeting rooms into smaller rooms when needed.

3. Utilize soft seating on wheels, mobile table and movable privacy screens to allow participants to spontaneously create a collaborative meeting space. Products like the Kurve can be used for common area works stations, a meeting space or an informal resting lounge. Adaptable, convertible furniture will allow you to transform any workspace into an opportunity to inspire brainstorming sessions, enhance presentations and promote impactful, effective discussion.

Implementing these steps into your design will also allow for collaborative workspace opportunities that might not have existed otherwise. While employee needs their own sense of personal space to allow them the time and space to focus in on projects, they also want to be able to collaborate with their colleagues conveniently and comfortably.

In an era of business on the move, true mobility has become a necessity. When you have a workspace that can bend, fold, roll and slide as you need it to – there is no place your business can’t go.