Insights into Office and Workspace Design

What is a Makerspace?

In a time when much knowledge is consumed, a Makerspace gives children the opportunity to learn through exploration and creation. The space gives students the tools and materials needed to create, explore, tinker, invent, and move from consumption to creation for physical hands-on learning.

Why does furniture matter? Adaptable furniture solutions support the environment for Student-Centered Learning, supporting the learner, giving them the tools and equipment they need for the various tasks and types of study/ work, and encouraging space for each student to learn in their optimal way.

Having dedicated spaces within a school allows for proper tools and safety equipment to be stored and readily available, while also creating a separation of tasks. These options are not always available.

The Ed Table Minimizes the logistics and clean-up of a traditional space for project-based learning. Easily moving around the classroom as needed, and stored away when not.

The Rover Table is built to be mobile and adaptable to any space, no matter the limitation. It is a complete package, allowing it to be brought out when needed, and safely stored when not in use. It houses all tools and functions for a fun and creative experience.

Connect today to discuss how we can transform your Makers Space!

What is a Learning Commons?

The Learning Commons is the evolution of the traditional stationary library, both physically and digitally. The Learning Commons has evolved to be a flexible and adaptable place of discovery, innovation, and collaboration which leads students to a greater level of engagement in their learning through exploration, experimentation, and connection beyond the classroom.

The library has always been an important part of the school and learning culture. The evolution into the Learning Commons is meeting student's needs today and will continue to adapt for tomorrow, making them an important hub of the school. It allows students to mix and learn from others they may not normally interact with, giving them stronger diversity in thoughts and idea-sharing.

Why does furniture matter? Adaptable furniture solutions support the environment for Student-Centered Learning, supporting the learner, giving them the tools and equipment they need for the various tasks and types of study/work, and encouraging space for each student to learn in their optimal way.

Soft seating solutions are wonderful for both individual and small or large group work. They are flexible and can be configured in many ways and come in an abundance of styles and colors. They give students a natural collaboration area while very comfortable, allowing children to relax and work as best suits them.

Activity tables come in a very wide variety of sizes, shapes, and options. They are extremely flexible and moveable to adapt and transform the space as tasks transform and progress.

Study corrals give learners a head-down focused space to work independently and distraction-free with the added benefit of acoustic sound baffling. This means your space is dynamic and suits many students and tasks learning simultaneously in contrast to a traditional quieter and independent library.

Along with study corrals, reading corners offer a similar approach for quiet independent discovery and reading while allowing for many configurations and comforts for the individual learner.

Connect today to discuss how we can transform your Learning Commons!

What is a Student-Centered Classroom?

The Student-Centered Classroom is a collaborative space where students are active participants in their education. They are creating and innovating, not simply memorizing, regurgitating, and forgetting. We build these environments with activity, inclusion, and action. The result is an inclusive space that adapts based on how each child uniquely and individually learns while meeting the criteria of the curriculum.

Allowing students to learn in the ways that best suit them, and freeing teachers to work creatively in the classroom, creates an optimal space for everyone. When everyone is focused and doing their best, everyone wins. Student-Centered Classrooms are a passion for us at CDI Spaces, we love knowing we are helping the classroom win and succeed and raising the next generations of leaders. These spaces do not have to be completely redesigned, we work with many classrooms to slowly evolve and update the space as required.
Why does furniture matter? Adaptable furniture solutions support the environment for Student-Centered Learning, supporting the learner, giving them the tools and equipment they need for the various tasks and types of study/ work, and encouraging space for each student to learn in their optimal way.

Soft seating ottomans, junior-sized chairs and couches create reading nooks and comfortable places for kids to retreat to. In the classroom, they allow flexibility for group or individual independent study while being a cozy comfortable space for students to relax and work.

Movement furniture such as wobble stools and rocking chairs give students gentle or engaged movement while minimizing distraction to others and the potential for accidents. This keeps students attentive and engaged in learning. Activating the core increases blood flow which increases the learning process. They are a fantastic addition to any classroom space.

Connect today to discuss how we can transform your Student-Centered Classroom!

Rebuilding Culture Through a Hybrid Office

Coming back to the office can be hard for employees.

After nearly 16 months of wearing yoga pants with suit jackets, simple things like finding pants that still fit and match your tops can be trying. Add on the commute, uncertainty around safety, and a shift on what work / life balance looks like, well, your employees are probably stressed.

The world has changed and so have your employees.

Great corporate culture is a key component to retaining great employees. 

A healthy culture requires trust and connection to thrive. It requires knowing your teammates and having a sense of belonging.

As much as we have been effective wearing the aforementioned yoga pants and meeting over video, some things have suffered … culture may have been one of them. 

So how can a hybrid work environment help build culture?

Retain great, happy employees by providing flexibility.

Many employees have moved, have a different agreement with their families on how work / life balance plays out, and may have found a sweet spot for getting work done which looks nothing like it did before.

Don’t negotiate on results but be flexible on the means of getting the results done. Having hoteling stations in office where an employee can work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while someone else utilizes the space on Tuesday and Thursday creates efficiency and still allows an employee to share the afterschool pick up with their partner and still get their work done.

Provide activity based working for maximum efficiency.

Many employees have moved, have a different agreement with their families on how work / life balance plays out, and may have found a sweet spot for getting work done which looks nothing like it did before. 

Don’t negotiate on results but be flexible on the means of getting the results done. Having hoteling stations in office where an employee can work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while someone else utilizes the space on Tuesday and Thursday creates efficiency and still allows an employee to share the afterschool pick up with their partner and still get their work done.

Provide activity based working for maximum efficiency.

 If your company requires less desks by having a hybrid working model, you can provide specific spaces for brainstorming in small groups, focused work such as writing, designing, or coding. Working from home doesn’t always allow for an employee to be able to have time and space that is completely quiet or designed for the work they need to accomplish.

By providing activity-based workplace solutions, you empower your employees to deliver great results, on time and unencumber them from the hassles of trying to create a productive space at home while their cat not-so-subtly walks across their keyboard.

Taking the time to ask your employees what they need in the post-pandemic era and creating a space that meets both their needs and your needs will be an important cornerstone piece of your culture as you come back to the office.

As Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast!” 

Having an aligned, high-performance team of employees who have the flexibility to work from office, telecommute, and work from home while focused on the needs of your company will only produce great results.Want to start exploring what a hybrid model looks like in your context? Give us a call 1.888.230.2280 or pop us an email at customerservice@cdispaces.ca to talk about how we can help!

The Way We Work – Hybrid Offices

Much to the surprise of many of us, working from home didn’t kill us, work got done efficiently, and despite the pandemic, people felt a sense of accomplishment while telecommuting.
Many businesses did better than they expected in a complete work from home environment. The ability to communicate effectively, collaborate, and move the needle on results were unexpected outcomes for many business owners.
Innovation and new ideas on how to do old things in a new way surfaced.

Businesses adapted. Expectations changed.

The pandemic caused us to work in a new way and changed the shape of the office for the future.

Despite the many benefits of being able to work from home, there are several disadvantages that come from a team of telecommuting employees.

  • Informal connection points are missing. You aren’t able to get to know about your co-worker’s weekend plans, their summer garden, or their latest hobby … there is no office water cooler or morning coffee chatter. 
  • It is tiring to look at a screen for eight hours a day. Before the pandemic, “You’re on mute again, Stanley,” or “You’re frozen. Can you hear me? Are you there? Should we hop to Zoom?” were never uttered in a meeting. Now they are commonplace. Work can feel more tiresome and draining than it is after absorbing eight hours of blue light from a screen.
  • Small problems sometimes require larger focus than they should. Simple things that you could solve in passing now require a meeting. It is impossible to catch someone on their way out the door for lunch, texts, phone calls, emails, and meetings are required to accomplish things that could be done in a few moments if you were in the same space.

And yet, there are many benefits such as flexible work hours, work / life balance, less cost to the owner for operational expenses, no commute, less missing days due to appointments and sickness. 

What if you could have the best of both worlds?

You can, it is called hybrid working.

A hybrid office is a space that has been reconfigured to accommodate employees who both work from the office and telecommute. Spaces are changed to allow employees to safely come to the office and work in a space that is designed for that specific activity or have a touchdown desk that they can hotel at for a set amount of time or the whole day.

A hybrid office takes into consideration activity based work, team collaboration needs, and ensures there is flow as employees flex from working at home or in office.

Owners are able to adjust their footprint as less people are in the office at any given time and employees are able to still have those watercooler moments while also having days where yoga pants and suit coats are part of the dress code. It also builds connection points and creates opportunity for team building with employees who work in roles that don’t allow for telecommuting.

Check out some of our favorite hybrid office solutions!

Are you starting the journey towards creating a hybrid office? If so, check out our Four Steps to Creating a Hybrid Office and give us a call or reach out to customerservice@cdispaces.ca 

We would love to assist you as you transition to a hybrid working model!

Returning to Office: Four Steps to Creating Your Hybrid Office

Thinking about coming back to the office isn’t as simple as sending out and email and telling everyone to meet back at 8:00 am on Monday and then everyone comes back and pretends the last 15 months didn’t happen.

People have changed. How we work has shifted. Safety can sometimes feel out of reach. And nothing is the same.

Yet, we are still people, working together to deliver amazing results for our customers.

If you are like me, you are pulling together return to work plans and thinking about the best way to strategically make everything work, positively impact culture, and have a healthy, safe return to work.

Easier said than done.

Most likely, your work from home strategy was haphazardly put together, “Everyone grab your laptops! We will email you about everything else.” And you send people home and figured it out. Perhaps it felt a bit crazy and out of control.

Returning to the office doesn’t have to be the same experience.

And what do you do with our open, collaborative, shared office? You know the one that you worked so hard to create over the last 5 years? There are no walls, open spaces and shared places are the theme of your workplace. And now, your workplace, as it is currently designed, doesn’t work.

Enter the Hybrid Office.

Use these four steps to gather information and make an informed decision about what kind of workplace your team needs and how to implement.

Step 1 – Find out what your people need.

Send out a survey to your teams and see what they are hoping for in a return to the office. Some questions around safety, space, and in/out of office need to be asked.

  • What does a safe return to the office look like for you?
  • What balance of working from home and working from the office are you hoping for in the new normal?
  • What areas of the office don’t seem like they work in a post-pandemic world?
  • What are you nervous about in the return to the office?
  • What did you miss working from home?

Step 2 – Find out what management needs.

Send out a similar survey to management, but get clear on a few additional pieces of information. 

  • What hindered productivity for your teams working from home?
  • What assisted productivity for your teams while working from home? 
  • What does the preferred future of working from home and from the office look like for you? For your teams?
  • What concerns you about coming back to the office?

Step 3 – Compile and look for themes.

With all the feedback compiled, there are most likely 4-6 themes that need to be dealt with and addressed. There is no doubt that the physical office space is one of the main ones, in fact it might be your biggest concern to tackle.

Some common themes we have discovered are:

  • Reconfiguration – what can we keep and reuse?
  • Collaboration – what does this look like in our culture post-pandemic?
  • IT – what do we need to add to allow for hybrid workers, collaboration, and communication?
  • New spaces – Phone booths, activity-based working pods, and touch down stations along with offices – what do we need where?
  • Reducing 

Creating new layouts of furniture, adding space and more ‘breathing room’ to open offices, and finding ways to keep connection and collaboration will most likely be high on your list of priorities.

Step 4 – Make a plan and execute.

Assign a champion for each of the things and have them make recommendations and implement solutions. It is always best to ask the team to participate and be part of the change. The people who made the suggestions or highlighted the needs most likely want to be part of the solution – don’t forget to ask them for assistance!

Call on experts in each of the areas to assist you as you put your plan together. 

We would love to help you as you plan your return to office and develop your workplace strategy for a model that aligns with your culture, company goals, and future needs. 

A few tweaks, some new pieces and products, and a lot of innovative ideas can breathe life back into your office as your team comes back. We would love to help you as you work towards a hybrid workplace or a full work from the office approach.

Whatever your post-pandemic office furniture needs are, we are confident we can find you a solution.

Thank You Teachers and School Staff!

What a year it has been, and especially for teachers. Moving a curriculum from online to in-class back and forth, almost monthly as it seems has not been an easy feat. Connecting and effectively teaching students while ensuring the safety of your classroom has been a challenge. Our hats go off to each of you, you have faced countless challenges, differing opinions about what to do and not to do, criticisms, and praise. Its been an emotional year, but we are so thankful, happy, and proud of what you have all accomplished this year, both personally as parents and professionally as your school furniture supplier.

Interacting with teachers and school staff through this unpredictable year, one major thing has stood out; the staff have not lost their spark and passion for the future generation. The conversations between you and our sales teams have been about improving students day to day lives, giving them the resources to excel and learn, and how we best keep everyone safe and happy.

We truly are so thankful for all of the effort you put in! It has been a hard and challenging time, at times feeling like your own health and safety might be on the line or overlooked. But you showed up for the challenge, proving the heart of the teacher's spirit, do what you can to impact the next generation!

Thank you again, teachers and school staff! We cannot wait to see what an impact this will leave on our students and children. We are sincerely grateful for all that you have done, and continue to do.

Our Top Five Hybrid Working Furniture Solutions for Your Office Transition.

Hybrid working has been a common trend changing the office structure over the last few years, with an exponential increased need over this past year. As we endeavor to navigate our new normal and new balance of working while still being COVID compliant, flexible and efficient, we have highlighted some of our best hybrid working furniture solutions to make the transition for your company as smooth as possible.

These furniture solutions are aimed to help reduce; in office contact points, lessen the cleaning and sanitization time. give private works spaces for distraction free working, and limit the numbers of in person meetings while still giving a central space for teams to work effectively together. And while team members do not have dedicated desks, or assigned seating, ensuring we are thinking about the small details that are often overlooked when transitioning the office to the future new work style.

EMPLOYEE LOCKERS

Lockers and safe storage solutions are an important need for staff, but often overlooked. Giving staff a safe and convenient storage solution that are intuitive, user friendly without technical issues are an important piece of the hybrid office. The Align Locker by Allsteel can either be permanently assigned or reassigned daily with simple resets as needed. Freeing up staff from having to carry all essential working and personal materials, such as photos, keeping the personal touch, back and forth from the office. This also reduces traffic to gather common items as much as possible.

PRIVACY LOUNGE SEATING

A private seating area where staff can work, make phone calls, and let others know they do not want to be interrupted at this time are a very helpful tool in the hybrid office. One of the common highlights we hear about working from home are the reductions in interruptions. While pets and kids may join zoom meetings, staff working from home tend to not be interrupted as much as in the office with quick “how-do-1”, being pulled into last minute meetings, or wondering where the favourite stapler has been moved to. Having a clear area to work and not be interrupted will be essential piece moving forward in the hybrid work office. ‘The HON Astir is a comfortable and stylish private working solution.

MOBILE ACOUSTIC TOUCH DOWN ZONE

Nook Pods are a wonderful solution for mobile private or individual meetings. A quiet zoom call, one on one or client meeting they keep numbers small and intimate. There are many customizations and options available with the Nook Pod, from lighting, power, and even brainstorming tools like white boards. There is a Nook Pod solution for every office.

CENTRAL WASTE/RECYCLING CENTERS

As we are working to reduce touch points. An essential part of the office is sanitization and garbage collection. Lunches are now consumed at a distance, and desks are chosen for the day, it is critical to have a functional garbage and recycling system. The Artopex Axel2 not only, functionally collects waste, it fits seamlessly in the office design.

FREESTANDING SPACE DIVISION

A pavilion like the Beyond series from Allsteel is a gorgeous design element to add a comfortable private work setting and reduce meeting numbers. While completely flexible to meet the needs of your office, it’s a brilliant element for the hybrid working office to add beauty and functionality.

To learn more about Hybrid Working and how our consultative approach can prepare you and your office moving forward visit cdispaces.ca or email customerservice@cdispaces.ca, click contact us, or submit a quote. And check out our social media accounts, we are always sharing new ideas and ways to make your office more efficient and flexible moving forward!

Top 5 Corporate Flexible Home Office Furniture Solutions for 2021

The past year’s events changed the way we work; our offices are beginning to look much different than they did this time last year. Corporate offices still need to function and be flexible for employees no matter the location, while still meeting the needs for office workers to get value and function out of their workspace. Agile workspaces continue to be on the rise as organizations look for ways to accommodate in the “new normal” era. CDI Spaces has been evolving with these dynamic methods of working over the years, and we have dedicated ourselves to researching and understanding what motivates employees in a fresh space. We recently sat down with Derek Burrowes, our dynamic Corporate Furniture Specialist, to pull together a list of our top 5 most exciting office products that have been shown to increase focus and productivity.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. ~ John F. Kennedy

ARTOPEX MILLIE DESK

This height adjustable desk with casters will allow you to vary your position throughout the day. Thanks to the integrated pneumatic adjustment system, the surface can reach a height of 43 ½". Sitting or standing, your workspace ergonomics will be optimized to their full potential with Millie.

HON HOME OFFICE DESIGNER

It’s important that you have the right pieces to equip you at home, for the best functional yet inspirational space. With Hon’s unique furniture standards program, it allows us to customize your entire space to make it adaptable, flexible, and resilient to suit your needs.

WORKSPACE48 HOME OFFICE

The Agile sit stand desk allows flexibility options for the home office. For the ones who want to move around while thinking, this adjustable desk allows you to take your work up a level, with the press of a button. In addition to mobility, this solution boasts lockable storage options as well as electrical for easy connectivity to and from the office.

ESI MOTIFIC HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE LAPTOP TABLE

As phones, tablets and laptops become personal accessories for mobile work and life, a workspace that seamlessly accommodates digital devices is imperative. The Motific mobile tech table provides users the ability to move through their days, from workstation to third space, connected to digital technology. This lightweight and easy-to-move table offers a sturdy design that can support users work gear.

TURN YOUR DESK INTO A SIT-STAND

Esi’s Lotus RT -2 workstation boasts Smooth Lift technology with easy dial weight adjustment allowing users to transform their workspace into a flexible one. With clamp mounts adhering to their worksurface and adjustable accessories, moving your screens into ideal positioning has never been easier. Complete with a 4-pivot point design, the gas spring arm is able to move 90 degrees in each direction.

STUDENTS BRING THE COLOURS TO THE CLASSROOMS

Colours psychology is an increasingly higher role in the consideration of education environments. Colours choices impact the teaching and learning process and influence students’ attitudes and behaviours. However, too many colours can overwhelm students. Read the article below by our Student-Centred Classroom, Craig Ward, to learn how to incorporate colours in the classrooms to bring positive benefits to students.

THE EFFECTS OF COLOURS ON CHILDREN

It has been found that carefully planned colour schemes positively affect academic achievement of elementary students and especially students of kindergarten age. The proper use of colour can convert an atmosphere that is depressing and monotonous into one that is pleasing, exciting, and stimulating. Such change in colour schemes reduce absenteeism and promote positive feelings 

Although children were not able to identify exactly how specific colours make them feel, they often associate bright colours with positive feelings and dark colours with negative feelings. Colours can used as a tool to create an engaging learning environment for students and boost their moods. 

Edmonton Christian School incorporated effectively both warm and cool colours in their learning commons area. 

Colours liked by students can influence their muscular tension and motor control. Warm colours have been known to cause slight elevations in blood pressure in children, while cooler colours caused slight drops in blood pressure. Likewise, optical stimulation using warm colors and brilliance of lighting will cause increases in muscular tensions, respiration rate, heart action, blood pressure and brain activity. 

For example, orange colours encourage creativity and enthusiasm; yellow colours evoke feelings of happiness, and summer. A little touch of orange and yellow can brighten learning environments, making it more joyful.  

Cool colours and dim lighting bring about reverse effects, such as muscles relaxing more, and sleep being facilitated. In colour psychology, green and blue colours connect children with natureocean, and skyand give students and teachers the feelings of calmness, relaxation, trust, and safety.

TOO MANY COLOURS CAN OVERWHELM STUDENTS

Once upon a time, it was common to add as many bright colours as possible to collaborative and common areas. However, for some students, too many colours can be overwhelming. With their different coloured t-shirts, shoes and accessories, the students themself bring the colours to the space. Nowadays, it is recommended that schools and educational institution used mostly neutral and ungendered colours to create a more equal, opportune environment for students to learn. 

At CDI Spaces, we have a great collection of student chairs and desks with over 24 different colours that we can match to your preexisting chairs in the classroom. We believe no chair should stand out. We take great care to add any kind of chair (standard, coking, wiggle) in a way that can seamlessly blend in with the rest.   

If you have any questions on how to incorporate colours into your learning environments, contact us today at 1-888-230-2280 or customerservice@cdispaces.ca for a complimentary consultation.