Creating a Company Culture: “Cool” Workplaces

The famous slide at Google’s Corporate Office

When you think about going to your work environment, do the words “cool” and “fun” come to mind? Some business owners may think creating a “cool” workplace is counter-productive — If everyone is having fun all the time, when will the work get done? But think about it…why can’t work be fun? While not every part of a job is going to be enjoyable, you can make the most of the time your employees have to spend in the office and provide an environment that is energetic and stimulating. As companies look to attract and retain employees, these “fun” and “cool” factors may make all the difference in building a talented team.

Companies like Facebook and Google are often in the news because of their unique office environments, fun perks and interesting amenities. Free meals and snacks, massage rooms, game rooms, pet privileges, and even an indoor slide making it fun to go from floor to floor are just a few of the things that make such corporate environments “cool.” See for yourself what some of these companies have implemented to add a little fun to the daily grind.

While the companies highlighted are tech companies, that doesn’t mean this is the only business sector allowed to think out-of-the-box. Should we leave all the fun to the tech world?

Besides being tech companies, the other element these businesses have in common is a team full of Gen Y talent. The younger, up-and-coming workforce, wants to live first, work second – but that doesn’t mean they won’t work as hard or as long as the other generations. They just want where they live, work and play to be fun. Read what our friend and partner Aleta Norris – of Impact Consulting Group and Gen Y guru – has to say about Gen Y.

So, are you ready to add a little fun into your workspace? As a business owner or team leader, how do you make your office environment cool? Call Schroeder Solutions! From our design team to our field crew, we can help you brainstorm and implement ideas that will infuse your corporate interior with fun elements that add to your cool quotient.

Teknion Product Launch Summer 2012

There’s always room for Improvement…

Teknion is all about innovation and adapting to meet the constantly changing market trends and technological advancements. Its integrated product lines are continuously evolving to support your workspace needs. With summer here and NeoCon just around the corner, this is what’s new with some of Teknion’s top performing product lines.

OPTOS
Optos walls are getting slimmer. Slimmer trim profiles and enhanced leveling capabilities allow this product to create a seamless aesthetic with the architectural details of your office space. This Low Profile product line now features: a Glass Pivot Door, a Double Barn Door with an improved trolley, a new profile hinge for the Hinged Door, new corners details that transition to drywall, and a new Very White finish option.

MAST PHASE 2
The excitement of the March MAST launch continues with improvements that support technology and workplace needs. The Dynamic Arm makes adjustments easy with a load-balanced lift-assist arm. MAST Beam, which is available for the Marketplace and Workstation configurations, allow you to mount multiple monitors and Work Flow Accessories to the rail. MAST Table Holder keeps the iPad users in mind and is prepared for future advancements in this technology. It is available in Quick Release and Secured. Customization is now possible, so contact Schroeder Solutions for more details on the MAST Manual and Dynamic Arms.

EXPANSION CASEGOODS
Expansion Casegoods now offer Flintwood finishes as well as Painted Glass, Anodized finish options and the introduction of Storm White and Very White on 1 9/16-inch worksurfaces. Beyond finishes, the Reception Desk Modules now offer straight, L and U shapes as well as new countertop desk options and accessories. A new contemporary grommet and updated storage are additional features you are going to want to learn more about.

FABRICS & FINISHES
Color coordination across product lines is a priority at Teknion. Five new Flintwood and seating colors have been added to continue this promise of finish consistency. Acorn, Sierra, Java Bean, Cocoa Brown and Truffle expand the color palette and coordinate with the Natural Veneer 4 colors.

Keep up to speed with what’s new and improved at Teknion by visiting www.teknion.com or let us fill you in. Contact Schroeder Solutions or sign up for our eNews.

Buzzword: Collaboration – Why Collaborate

Why collaborate?
In this illustration, the several lightly connected figures form the profile of a single head. Again, the image clarifies the nature of collaboration, a kind of interaction that “amplifies” ideas by connecting “interested individuals” who bring a “separate breadth and depth of knowledge” to a problem, ultimately yielding a solution no one person could reach alone. No matter how intelligent or creative one may be, an individual’s reservoir of knowledge, as well as any one person’s way of thinking, of looking at the world, of approaching a problem, has inherent limits. – taken from “CoCreate” by Teknion

Whether you work on a team within your office or contact a friend or professional colleague to bounce an idea off of, you collaborate. Recognizing the benefits of this process and creating more opportunities for collaboration will only strengthen the impact of these efforts on your company. Office spaces that are designed to provide both formal and informal connections between employees create moments for sharing. Likewise, Internet access, participation in various forms of social media, and networking opportunities increase chances for interactions with professionals and valuable information. The more connections you make the more collaboration that occurs… and that is where inspiration lies and the best solutions emerge.

Workplace Trends #3 – We’ve Become Corporate Nomads

When you consider the varying generations in the work place, it is no surprise that you may need to provide a variety of opportunities to engage your work force. Research is finding that flexible work options can reduce costs, increase productivity and help reduce employees’ stress.

According to research by Teknion, “mobility” offers an employer:
• Greater productivity: Believe it or not, employers that offer flexible work options see higher productivity. Employees actually work longer hours when they telecommute.

• Higher job satisfaction and retention: Employees can think of plenty of things to do with the time they would otherwise spend on a commute. That translates into quality downtime. People like to feel a sense of control over their schedule and these days the ability to save on gas money is a big perk. In fact, a bad commute can cause people to look for a new job. Give them a reason to stay!

• A boost to recruitment: Just as flexibility impacts retention, it equally can support recruitment efforts. If you were presented two similar job opportunities and one offered a flexible work schedule, which would you choose?

• Reduced overhead: With more people working from home, employers can downsize the corporate office in order to save on both office space and related costs such as utilities.

• Benefits beyond the organization: If you are looking for a way to impact the greater good of the economy and the environment, then you would be surprised as to how reducing the number of commuters can impact the world we live in.

If you are implementing flexibility in your work environment, or considering it, contact Schroeder Solutions. Our design team can help you readdress your office space to best suit your new business model.