Vancouver-based BERMANFALK has been providing furnishings to the hospitality industry throughout the world since 2007. In that span of time — relatively short in memory, but a long stretch for a growing business — BERMANFALK grew rapidly, with their design-first approach earning their seating and casegoods products a strong reputation and a growing footprint in the hotelier and interior design worlds. While their committment to a Canadian sense of quality products and efficient service was well-maintained, the rate of their growth led to an inevitability: how do they redesign their office and make it more efficiently attuned to the needs of an expanding business?
For BERMANFALK, their needs were clear: their workforce was growing, and that meant a need for more coordinated teamwork in a larger operation. Due to the collaborative nature of the workplace, the idea was to gravitate towards an open space, one that encouraged and inspired a free exchange of ideas. But there was still a need to allow individual employees their own spaces, autonomy, and privacy, which open-plan offices aren’t always designed to accommodate.
Partnering with Aura gave BERMANFALK many options to choose from in expanding and redefining their space. For their new office, located in a former industrial space, the openness of the space was emphasized with soft white walls and ceiling, letting the contrasting abstract/organic patterning of the carpeting reflect the shadows and light given off by the structure of the ceiling’s bare ductwork and girders. This lent the open space of the floorplan a bright uniformity, while other more delineated spaces — including individual cubicles, cabinetry, and window frames of conference rooms — were highlighted with darker slate tones. And in keeping with BERMANFALK’s reputation for design, furnishings were given a timeless modernity, mid-Century designs standing out distinctly while still maintaining a comfortable minimalism.
With Aura’s open space plan, BERMANFALK’s managers were able to get a clear, easy overview of operations as the size of their business expanded. Meanwhile, the visual impact of their space was directly in keeping with their stylistic philosophy, post-industrial chic highlighting a simple but versatile approach to creating a harmonic interior space. In short, Aura served as the interior designer that interior design experts trusted.
Learn what else Aura can do for you and your office space! Contact us, and see what other spaces we’ve brought to life.
Tenant Talks is a complimentary event series featuring expert insights driving Vancouver’s modern workplace.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – October 15, 2019 – Aura Office Environments (“Aura”) proudly hosted its first-ever Tenant Talks Lunch & Learn at Spaces in Gastown on Wednesday, October 9th. Themed around Remote Work and the Modern Office, the event featured a panel of top-tier industry experts, including NoW of Work Founder Rocky Ozaki, Visier Senior HR Business Partner Angie Ng, Quietly Head of People & Places Kraig Doherty and Aura Operational Development Manager Kristina Kovacevic. Together, they spurred a multitude of ideas and brought forth their vision for how remote work will affect office planning and employee dynamics in the long-term.
Here are some of the event’s key takeaways:
- Remote working is here to stay. Studies have shown that the benefits of remote work apply to employees and businesses alike. Given the opportunity to work remotely, an astounding 77% of workers stated they were more productive working remotely, with 30% of remote workers stated they accomplished more work in less time than working in the office. Normalizing remote work is increasingly beneficial, and the key to this is putting trust in your staff.
- Office design, tech, and remote work are all integral to each other. Video teleconferencing is an accessible technology that can be accommodated by dedicated design plans, such as “zoom rooms” that feature large-screen displays for long-distance “face to face” interactions. Smaller meeting spaces and private spaces for smartphone usage — an update of the traditional “phone booth” — are also helpful, as are dedicated hotel desk and “hotdesk” setups for workers on the go.
- Adopting remote work policies is easy and beneficial. Test the waters by giving workers the option of working remotely once a week. Budget for activities that will help remote staff build interpersonal work relationships, such as flying them to in-person events and having stipends to help cover their coworking expenses. Create working-hour expectations where people are expected to be “on-call” during particular times to set some needed parameters for self-directed workers. And, focus primarily on how people work rather than where.
- Reward flexibility with benefits. One of the primary challenges of remote work is instilling a sense of community and social contact among workers who might otherwise feel detached from the organization. In-person social events and fun online group chats and Slack channels are two solutions businesses can offer.
Aura plans to host Tenant Talks on a quarterly basis at varying venues throughout Vancouver. Sign up to the mailing list to stay in the loop!
About Tenant Talks
Tenant Talks is a complimentary Lunch & Learn Speaker Series featuring industry experts and community leaders sharing their expertise, knowledge and valuable tips on workplace trends impacting Vancouver companies. Gain key insights over a catered lunch into office design and workplace culture best practices.
About Aura Office Environments
Tenant Talks is brought to you by Aura Office Environments, an innovative design-build company focused on creating experiential office environments that celebrate and enhance your distinct company culture. Founded in 1976 by the Boram family, Aura has evolved into a complete turnkey solution provider, offering a wide range of services including workspace planning, location selection, interior office design and construction management.
Phone: +1 (604) 510-7101
The thermostat can be a topic of heated debate in some workplaces. People are surprisingly passionate about the temperature of their office environment.
Well, it turns out there may be more to these debates than what meets the eye.
Research suggests there’s a relationship between temperature and employee well-being and productivity. Psychologists from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University conducted a study wherein participants performed cognitively demanding tasks in rooms of different temperatures. They found that warm discomfort (i.e. being too hot) negatively affected participants’ sense of well-being whereas moderate discomfort of any kind (i.e. either too hot or cold) made it more challenging for participants to complete tasks.
Evidently, it is important that office temperature is taken into consideration to ensure employee well-being and productivity are optimal. However, this may be easier said than done. Closed-concept office environments have an advantage as each individual can adjust the thermostat according to their own preferences. It can get more complicated for open-concept offices where everyone is subject to the same temperature, despite individual preferences.
So, what can employers do to improve temperature conditions in their office environments for the betterment of their employees? Here are some ideas for those looking to cool down the thermostat debate once and for all.
Continue reading “Too Hot, Too Cold! Choosing The Right Temperature For Your Office”
Whether or not your work culture operates on an all-or-nothing binary of grinding and slacking, the idea of using relaxation techniques to improve the workplace might feel like a surprising, even revolutionary shift. But it’s not that complicated: even when some employees claim to work well under pressure, the need to offer and accommodate stress-reducing exercises and activities can benefit productivity as well as worker wellbeing. In honour of National Relaxation Day, here are seven simple ways employees can add some much-needed calm to their work hours.
- Have lunch with colleagues. Having some face-to-face time with coworkers in a more casual setting will help maintain social connections, help you collect your thoughts, and get a few distractions off your mind.
- Meditate. If you need a breather, why not take the term literally? Take five somewhere quiet and calming and do some deep-breathing exercises so your mental clutter can reset. Your physical state will settle down enough to help you through more of your day, too.
- Go for a walk. Outside is best, weather permitting; the fresh air will, as the saying goes, do you some good. But even rainy days shouldn’t stop you from stretching your legs: even indoors, breaking out of your usual space can help reboot your mood.
- Exercise. Walking is a good start, but it’s not just the change of scenery that helps: it should also motivate the circulation and work off some tense energy as well. It can help to take a few minutes to move around, and you don’t even have to keep things too strenuous.
- Stretch. Every so often — a half-hour is good — you should take a moment to pay attention to your posture, limber up a bit, and work your joints. No matter your age, you should be able to get a much-needed dose of calming physical stimulus by giving your muscles a bit of a stretch, even a slow, low-impact one.
- Disconnect. Whether it’s social media skirmishes or a tense true-crime podcast, some of the things we use as entertaining distractions can also work up stressors that get in the way of both productivity and mental well-being. Unplug from those distractions when you can.
- Declutter. Ever notice the therapeutic feeling that comes from tossing out a bunch of junk-drawer miscellany you had building up, or the strange satisfaction of getting some scattered books and papers organized? Getting rid of clutter and tidying up your workspace can have a collateral effect on your mind.
From standing desks to fitness centers, workspaces themselves can also help contribute to a low-stress work environment. Aura can provide design solutions that will promote an employee-centric strategy for your office space — feel free to get in touch for more information.