Wednesday, May 31, 2017

5 fun office hacks to increase productivity

Image credit: herman miller


An office that is simultaneously relaxed and productive? How does that work?


In the corporate world, we’ve long been conditioned to believe that a good work ethic is synonymous with a gritty, grinding style of professionalism, where the optimal results spring from long hours of hard work and discipline.

But recently, experience has told us otherwise, as startups embrace mantras like “work smarter, not harder,” as a way of re-engineering productivity.

A company like Google, which gives employees gourmet food, endless entertainment and over-the-top perks, is arguably successful because of these policies, not despite them. The model goes a long way in explaining why so many startups have embraced more holistic work cultures, designed to nourish employees to their fullest potential rather than simply demanding more from them.

Here are five methods I have found work well at our company, a web and mobile search tool for commercial office space, to promote business growth through a positive, relaxed work culture.

1. Establish an open-door policy


This flexible policy invites employees to interact, ask questions and challenge their managers — in a good way. When team members feel comfortable with one another as well as with their superiors, communication is faster, good ideas are less likely to be left on the table, and alternately, red flags are less likely to escape detection.

And “open-door” policies are not relegated to more open, transparent work cultures. Successful companies with more traditional organizational structures and cultures employ them successfully as well.

2. Keep everyone full


Free coffee is always nice, but a fridge full of snacks is even better. About 67 percent of employees who receive free food at work are very happy with their jobs. In addition to the cost benefit for employees, food around the office helps people stay energized and gives them less incentive to eat a heavy lunch that will put them to sleep later on in the afternoon.

The same study found that this perk is more important to millennials than to other age group, yet only 16 percent of employees claim they get free snacks at work. That’s easy to fix.

3. Encourage creativity


Give your employees an interactive canvas, collectively. For us, the canvas is a giant blackboard on the wall where anyone on the team can draw with chalk, write inspiring messages, place Post-it notes and more.

While Slack often serves a similar purpose for us, we find the act of physically writing or drawing to be creatively liberating. Since many of us spend so much time behind our screens, it can act as a much-needed distraction, especially an artistic one that will stimulate the mind with new ideas.

Finally, it doesn’t hurt to add a bit of culture to the office by way of paintings or music, as long as it’s not provocative.

4. Get out of the office


Even though the office is a professional workplace, your teammates can benefit from getting to know each other on a personal level as well.

Engage your team through periodic happy hours and dinners to show that the relationships you build go well beyond the confines of office walls. You can even try out team-building outings like sporting events, hikes, company-wide retreats and other events.

These outings can promote bonding between team members, reduce employee stress and give employees the chance to get to know one another outside of the office. When your colleague is also your friend, it’s that much easier to support them professionally.

5. Choose the right layout


Our recent survey of 75 New York startups revealed that 94 percent of founders believe office space plays a role in attracting talent. Rightfully so, considering most of us spend a significant part of our days (and sadly, our lives) in the office.

For your team to be comfortable and productive, choosing an airy space with plenty of natural light can be surprisingly effective. It’s one reason open floor plans are all the rage these days. This type of layout tends to be more visually appealing, friendly, and ultimately yields more fluid, collaborative work.

In order for this type of layout to work without creating too many distractions, you’ll need to dedicate a few isolated quiet spaces (or breakout rooms) for meetings, calls or just heads-down work.

You don’t have to choose productivity over employee well-being and happiness. Instead, you can create an environment that melds perfectly with your mission and team while keeping things efficient and positive.

Happy employees are 38 percent more productive than unhappy employees and produce 37 percent greater sales. The implications for employee retention and productivity are significant.

In time, you will find an optimal balance between your team’s enjoyment of the workplace and their productivity. You need both for your company to reach its true potential.

This article originally appeared on BusinessCollective.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Bring Your Work Home

We asked the designers from Sight Unseen’s 2016 American Design Hot List how their homes inspire their design practices.

George Nelson once called the ideal office "a daytime living room,” a place organized for productivity while still conferring the comforts of home. WHY recently asked some of the designers from Sight Unseen’s 2016 Hot List about the relationship between where they work and where they live. From living with prototypes of their designs to surrounding themselves at work with the stuff of home—food, plants, and pets carry the day—WHY takes a peek into how, for so many of them, the personal and the professional blur into one.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Three Most Commonly Asked Questions When Planning an Office Move

If you're planning on moving your business to another location there are many things to consider. Here are three most commonly asked questions when planning an office move.

1. How much space do I need?

bfi can be your advocate in helping you determine how much space you will need. We do this by asking all the right questions and evaluating the office space you are considering to see if it meets your space requirements, present and future.

2. What is it going to look like?

bfi's designers will create visual space plans that work with your program requirements so that you can see what your office space will look like before any work has begun. We will make sure your office space is productive, aesthetically pleasing, functional and within budget.

3. How much is it going to cost?

bfi can help you identify the REAL COSTS involved so you can make an educated decision BEFORE signing your lease. We will identify your space requirements, provide a written estimate to build-out the space according to your requirements, and compare it with your building allowance. bfi can provide you with important information to help you and your Broker save money and valuable time in the lease negotiation process.

Do you know the answers?

We would like to get these questions answered on your behalf. We want to be your advocate to help you get the best office space for your needs.

Please call Bryan Effron to set up an appointment. 973-795-6402

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ever Try a Standing Desk?

A Healthier Way to Work

Our bodies aren't designed to stay in one position. We were made to move. But between sitting and sleeping, most Americans are sedentary for around 21 hours a day. Research shows links between sedentary lifestyles and a higher risk of diabetes, some cancers, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. But the Renew Sit-to-Stand Table makes it easier to change positions throughout the day.

Natural Part of Your Office

Renew works in all the same places you do. Use it in a private office, collaborative spaces, integrated with system furniture, or in an open office. It even works in a conference room, giving you the freedom to hold efficient stand-up meetings or stay fresh by making healthy movement a part of your agenda.

Earth-Friendly

Renew’s height adjustment system sips electricity, using less energy than a cell phone charger left plugged into the wall—and the optional counterweight mechanism uses no electricity at all. It’s designed to ship in just two boxes, minimizing space during transportation and reducing packaging waste.

Contact a bfi representative to learn more. Try it, you'll like it!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

4 Tips for Working Comfortably at Your Desk

Photo Source: Herman Miller
It is important to feel comfortable at your office in order to increase your efficiency and protect your health. There are many small steps you can take to create a better work environment for yourself. You can start by implementing the below office ergonomics tips to improve your work day, care for yourself and decrease work related injuries.

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Source: Entrepreneur Magazine

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Are Phone Booths Coming Back?

Photo credit: Framery
Anyone who has worked in an office can relate to the many distractions fellow colleagues can produce. From loud conversations to pungent wafts of lunch foods, coworkers are often real roadblocks to productivity (you might even be experiencing it at your desk right now). Indeed, a study from researchers at the University of Sydney found that office noise was cited as the most frustrating aspect of the work environment by about 50 percent of employees in open offices. What’s more, Oxford Economics — an independent global advisory firm — found that 53 percent of office employees complain that workplace noise reduces their satisfaction and productivity.

It’s these findings — and working in office environments themselves — that compelled the founders of technology start-up Framery to create a device that solves this age-old problem. And ironically, the Finnish firm looked back a few decades for its solution: phone booths.

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Source: Huffington Post

Monday, April 24, 2017

The 20 best office spaces we've ever seen


Office space matters -- the right office space, especially. Research links smart, innovative-looking office spaces to worker productivity and happiness.

Here are 20 offices that make us happy just looking at them. Collectively, they are triumphs of design, tech, and sustainability.

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Source: ZDNet.com

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

bfi Furnishes Princeton Public Library 2nd Floor Project

The Princeton Public Library embarked on an ambitious project to adapt their second floor to meet the changing needs of the Princeton community. bfi worked in conjunction with Andrew Berman Architects to design and furnish the second floor of the Princeton Library. With new spaces for quiet reading, collaborative work, instruction and programming, the new second floor is equipped for 21st century library users. bfi was proud to be part of this prestigious project and the client was very pleased with the end result.


If you would like more information about this project or would like to discuss a project for your library, school, or company, please contact us.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

bfi NY Office Moves to New Location

In March, our New York City office moved a few blocks to a new lovely, bright and sunny office. The office is conveniently located just one block from Penn Station and only four blocks from Port Authority. The new address is:
237 West 35th St, Ste 1004
​New York, NY 10001

Take a look at our new digs!

Come Visit Us!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Is it time to break up with your office chair?

credit: Ducky Office Furniture

We all know that person who won’t stop talking about their standing desk, how they love it, and how you should get one, too. Maybe we know several of those people, and these standing desk fans are in good company. Ernest Hemmingway stood while he worked, propping his typewriter on top of a bookshelf, and Charles Dickens did, too. Thomas Jefferson drew architectural drawings for the Virginia state capitol at his tall desk.

Many people claim that standing helps them feel more energetic and productive, and there are recent studies to show it can be good for your health. If you’re thinking of disowning your chair, here are a few things you need to know.

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As seen on: SeattleTimes.com