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Aesthetics and Worker Productivity With Quality Office Furniture

It has been said that attractive surroundings contribute to worker morale, productivity and support the recruitment process. Today, dramatic designs and a wide variety of colors and textures are affordable options in systems products. Modern manufacturing and assembly techniques, when coupled with state-ofthe- art approaches to supply chain strategies and distribution systems, put beauty, durability, functionality and choice within reach of what otherwise would be considered modest budgets. There are several examples of affordably priced features and options that enhance the workspace. These include perforated steel panels to improve air flow and comfort, coordinated work surfaces and accents in matching wood grain or painted finishes, sandwich glass panels for privacy and sound management, tackable acoustical and whiteboard tiles, painted, fabric and wood grain tiles. Other examples include mobile pedestal files and tables that can be transported to other workstations or meeting areas in a "hoteling" environment, personal movable or permanent storage towers, adjustable panel-mounted task lights, and ergonomically designed chairs and workstation surfaces that adjust up or down.

The advent of stackable, frame and tile system has made a significant contribution to aesthetics, personalization and productivity. Wall heights, textures, colors and functions can vary within a single workplace and across the entire office scape. They bring added visual, morale and productivity improvements when compared to the institutional look of monotonous, monochromatic single-height cubicles.

Cost Factors Determining best value when considering systems furniture purchases calls for balancing first costs with lifetime costs. One of the most overlooked factors affecting lifetime cost is that associated with supporting churn ? the MACs that are increasingly part of the modern office scene. As voice, data and power cabling requirements within individual workspaces increase, the impact on the costs of MACs can become substantial. If unmanaged, these costs over time can frequently exceed the initial cost of an installation. This is illustrated by statistics that show the cost of reconfiguring network cabling can be as much as $500 per cable in designs that do not incorporate a standards-compliant cable management system.

If repositioning cable disrupts an entire office or department, costs can be considerably higher. Stackable, frame and tile systems also contribute significantly to reducing lifetime costs. Managers need not be constrained by traditional expenses related to altering workspace wall heights and floorplans ? a task that until now called for tearing out completely the monolithic panels (and providing for storage) then replacing them with an equally inflexible system. There's no longer a need to agree to a wall-height average throughout the entire officescape. Modern, segmented panel systems support micro changes in wall height and do it without disrupting power and data cabling. Changes can be accomplished in a matter of hours by popping on frames, snapping in the tiles or whiteboard or glass panels, then adding the required storage cabinets and shelving.

If the wall height needs lowered, the process is reversed. These reconfigurations are accomplished at half the cost of those associated with conventional monolithic systems. Other lifetime costs relate to productivity increases and potential tax savings that can result when modular full-wall systems are used in place of traditional construction.

Open office designs prove their worth in workspaces that require teamwork and collaboration. But studies show privacy can improve personnel productivity by up to 250% for task-intensive knowledge workers1. Systems are available that allow managers to move or reconfigure floor-to-ceiling wall layouts overnight at 1/3 the cost of conventional drywall construction. Moreover, because these full wall systems furniture are not part of the building structure, companies may be able to take advantage of more liberal furniture depreciation schedules and lower real estate tax assessments.

The DRG White paper "Incorporating Technology, Versatility and Design in Movable Wall Office Systems" provides a more through discussion of this vital topic. As noted above, office systems must respond to proposed OSHA standards related to health problems associated with intensive computer use, and assist firms in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the costs of work-related disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injuries have been well documented, today's tight labor market adds another dimension to the picture. Companies that address ergonomic issues to help insure employees' comfort and well being are a step ahead on hiring and holding talent essential to their success. Indirectly, ergonomically correct systems represent an element in lifetime system costs.

MAiSPACE.com will help business owners and operators make smart choices in Office Cubicles and Buying Office Furniture for their offices and selecting the right systems furniture.Practicing What We Preach With Our Office Furniture.

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