3 Ways to Transform The “Bored-Room” Into Meaningful Meeting Space

It’s a critical part of work, so how do we make meetings more effective?

A fixed meeting table surrounded by bulky, formal chairs, garnished with a clunky conference phone and finished with a large cable salad at your feet (or even worse, on the table). Sound familiar? Despite the technological and physical workplace planning revolutions in the past few years, meetings still operate in much the same way as they have for decades. Even with all the latest technology innovations, we still waste significant time managing IT issues, often having to call in IT support just to get setup! However, meetings are changing and Activity Based Working planning principles along with exciting technological advancements are set to revolutionise one of our most dreaded workplace activities.

1.     Ergonomic variety

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The adoption of Activity Based Working principles in the workplace has unveiled a whole new set of options for how and when people collaborate. Organisations now realise that people can have highly effective meetings while standing, lounging in bean bags or sitting in casual, ‘fire-side’ settings. The departure from formal room settings has additionally been aided by a plethora of meeting furniture products which offer huge variety in terms of ergonomics, acoustics and aesthetics. Organisations are no longer bound to traditional, formal furniture, but can offer employees dynamic, engaging spaces to invigorate and inspire. Provided these spaces are supported by appropriate technology and acoustic treatments, they offer employees choice and control in maximising interactions and output.

2.     Formal to flexible

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While on the subject of flexibility, the notion of a meeting ‘room’ generally, is being challenged. Moveable partitions that offer controlled transparency with automatic switchable glass are now being widely used by organisations around the world. An open space can easily be reconfigured into single or multiple meeting spaces using sophisticated and sleek partitioning systems that meet rigorous acoustic requirements. With escalating real estate costs and evolving meeting scenarios, these products are highly effective solutions in maximising flexibility and control over how meetings are arranged.

3. Tech takes centre stage

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Microsoft recently unveiled new AI technology that aims to revolutionise meetings of the future. It starts with a 360-degree camera and microphones that are able to detect and greet anyone in the room as well as transcribe what they say in any language. Artificial Intelligence software is then able to monitor conversation and prompt action items post-meeting via “Microsoft Teams” notifications. Design of spaces will also be overturned, with technology dictating design rather than the other way around. Paper-less meetings reliant on frequent document-sharing across multiple locations will mean integration of technology is the number one priority.  

The days of boring, ineffective meetings are gladly coming to an end. With such significant improvements in furniture, partitions, acoustics and technology, there is plenty of opportunity to make collaboration fun, engaging and highly effective.

 

Read More +

> Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Workplace

> Activity Based Working Calls For a Special Type of Leader

> 3 Trends for Workplace Wellness

> 4 Millennial Driven Insights Influencing Next Generation Work Styles

> How Activity Based Working is helping to solve the privacy crisis

> Why you should Implement Activity Based Working in Your Workplace

 

JEB Summer Party 2018

Summer means happy times and good sunshine

Last week, we held our annual Summer Party at our Hong Kong Showroom and invited our valuable clients and partners from the industry to be our guests and to enjoy the summer vibes over Mojitos and Live music. We always take this opportunities to acknowledge our clients and partners for the endless support all the time.

Choosing The Right Furniture For Your Workplace

Now, more than any other time in history, appropriate furniture selection is crucial to workplace success

As early skyscrapers started to make a dent on city skylines, people began gathering together in a collective physical space to share knowledge, generate ideas and collaborate to achieve a common goal. As economies shifted from craft to capital-based in the late 1800s, these spaces became more structured and introduced technology and communication tools, such as telephones and dictation machines. Furniture in these early workplaces was designed to provide a space to work and communicate status. In a heavily paper-dependent environment, workers often required generous desk space, with additional room for tools, transfer of documents and discussions.

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Fast forward to today where leading organisations have implemented paper-free, wireless and mobile work practices. This evolution of workstyles has led to exciting developments in corporate office furniture solutions, yet with so many options available, lack of knowledge and outdated views about how people work, it is remarkably common to find modern work settings with inappropriate furniture.

So how do organisations make smart choices about furniture for their workplace? The most important driver of change in the corporate furniture industry has been the focus on ergonomics. Businesses are acknowledging the importance of ergonomics and mobility, encouraging staff to work in different postures and positions throughout the day. As Activity Based Working has optimised physical real estate and created space for varied work settings, office furniture design has evolved to effectively tackle ergonomics, acoustics, collaboration, focus and relaxation, amongst others.

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Activity Based Working is not about creating funky, Google-esque or co-working-style spaces. Many organisations fail to thoroughly understand the work styles appropriate to their people which in turn, leads to ill-informed furniture choices. Selecting the right furniture is a process of careful consideration of task or activity, quantity of people to accommodate, integration of technology, ergonomics, user control and adaptability. Furniture also remains a powerful communicator of company culture and identity.

Many companies are choosing furniture that communicates their values about environmental sustainability, authenticity and brand.

With a plethora of options available in today’s market, organisations are spoiled for choice when investing in corporate furniture solutions. As with all worthwhile investments, thorough research is necessary and furniture must be selected to promote wellness and enable people to do great work.

Read More +

> Activity Based Working Calls For a Special Type of Leader

> 3 Trends for Workplace Wellness

> 4 Millennial Driven Insights Influencing Next Generation Work Styles

> How Activity Based Working is helping to solve the privacy crisis

> Why you should Implement Activity Based Working in Your Workplace

 

Activity Based Working Calls For a Special Type of Leader

Today’s leaders must be well-equipped to guide their people through the shifting landscape of how work gets done

While Activity Based Working (ABW) is fast becoming the global norm, there is still widespread misunderstanding about what the approach means for organisations and people. Views from both sides of the fence often misinterpret ABW as simply a means of reducing real estate costs or taking away people’s desks. Even those who champion the shift to an Activity Based Working model commonly ignore or dismiss the fact that how ABW is implemented is just as important as what design solution is provided.

Neuroscientific research reveals that change can be incredibly scary to the human brain. Despite the fact schools and universities are inherently founded on an Activity Based Working model, it usually doesn’t take long for some employees to be conditioned to view space as pockets of individual ownership and symbols of status. A shift towards an open, ABW model can cause employees to feel frustrated and resentful that their ‘slice of property’ has been forcefully removed. To combat resistance and ensure employees are engaged, educated and empowered, visionary leadership is crucial in managing how the change is communicated and implemented.

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As Tony Robbins once said, “Change is inevitable, progress is optional”. In today’s evolving corporate landscape, positive change and progress is only enabled by leaders who make the effort to help employees understand how a new workplace (and strategy) supports individuals, teams and the company as a whole to do great work and achieve their goals. Effective change leadership must overtake outdated change management tools in engaging and educating staff before, during and after the transition.

More broadly, changes in where and how people work requires leaders to forgo obsolete bureaucracy, company policies and rigid organisational charts. The next generation of workstyles will encourage leaders to take a flexible, trust-based and multi-disciplinary approach to how work is done. By partnering closely with IT & HR, leaders can implement effective strategies and tools for empowering employees to work in any location or time-zone.

Visionary organisational leaders of today are attuned to the future of work trends and discussions and commit to a user-centric approach, viewing change as an opportunity for progress and the workplace as an engaging, evolving service platform.

Read More +

> Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Workplace

> 3 Trends for Workplace Wellness

> 4 Millennial Driven Insights Influencing Next Generation Work Styles

> How Activity Based Working is helping to solve the privacy crisis

> Why you should Implement Activity Based Working in Your Workplace

Holmris B8 Launches in JEB Australia

JEB is proud to announce the launch of our new Danish brand partner, Holmris B8. Founded in 1937, Holmris B8 is a family-owned company that has been running for over 80 years. They have been regarded as one of the most innovative furniture companies in Denmark, focusing their service solutions in four market segments: Office, Learning, Care, and Hospitality.

Last week, we had the honor to organize a Vikings style Danish feast at our Sydney showroom in celebration of the brand launch. Guests include notable designers from numerous companies and key members from Holmirs B8 also flew in to join us for this special occasion.

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Our Sydney showroom is enlightened with astonishing pieces from Holmris B8, featuring four different collections:

The S60: Minimalistic Expressions:

The S60 features a series of work desks that expresses a simplistic, yet stylish expression.

The Cabale: Modernistic Collection

Originally designed in 1996, the Cabale relaunched in 2005 with greater additions on functionality for its modern collection of tables for active workstations.

The Tweet: Soft Seating Collection

The Tweet consists of a soft seating collection that is suitable for individual interior solutions.

The Groovy CC: Functionality

The Groovy CC chairs collection focuses on addressing different needs. They carry a wide range of models to fit for any interior style.

The partnership with Holmris B8 is envisaged that the two-way cooperation will strengthen greater success for both companies in offering furniture solutions.

Browse our latest Holmris B8 offering on our website or visit our Sydney showroom to see the collection in person.

3 Trends for Workplace Wellness

In 2018 and beyond, wellness takes centre stage in the workplace

Amongst the buzz words and trend predictions surrounding workplace design in 2018, wellness appears to be clearly at the top of the list. Corporate wellness programs have evolved significantly since they were first introduced and the focus has shifted away from issues such as smoking and weight loss. Organisations that want to attract and retain the best talent and maximise engagement and productivity, are acknowledging the powerful impact wellness promotion can have on their bottom line.

As Activity Based Working becomes more widely implemented and inherently promotes a user-centric, mobile working environment, corporate wellness programs are helping to augment this holistic approach to health & wellbeing in the workplace. Today’s forward-thinking organisations are aware that wellness encompasses numerous factors and isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. With most employees now working longer hours and regularly experiencing burnout, stress and distraction, the solution needs to address the quality of the physical environment as well as the individuals themselves.

In the realm of workplace wellness, there are three key standouts which will continue to gain popularity, and include mental health, sleep and food.

Better Mental Health

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With 84% of employees experiencing physical, psychological or behavioral symptoms of poor mental health, breaking the stigma of mental illness in the workplace has become essential. In the ABW workplace, it is imperative that employees are encouraged to balance interaction and solo time, with appropriate spaces and furniture to facilitate a range of activities and needs. Coupled with this are mental health programs that offer support for counseling, self-care and time away from work.

 

Quality and Quantity of Sleep

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The importance of good quality sleep and its effect on employee performance has led to the integration of education programs, more flexible working hours and even sleep challenges. While on-site nap rooms and sleep pods are still important, they are now part of a more holistic approach to tackling sleep deprivation and fatigue.

 

Healthy Food Options 

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The traditional office pantry has come a long way from the pokey, dark room offering coffee, tea and greasy, sugary snacks. Employees are far more likely to reach for health-conscious snacks and drinks if readily available, promoting more stable energy levels and better weight management. While barista-grade coffee is becoming more commonplace, the food and beverage offerings extend to healthy vending machines, water, fresh fruit and vegetables. Simply providing ample fridge space encourages staff to bring in food from home rather than resorting to local, fast food options. Ultimately, the break-out room is no longer considered a perk, but the foundation to a healthy work day. A well-lit, well-ventilated and well-designed space allows staff to recharge, connect (or disconnect) and make better choices about hydration and nutrition.

The corporate wellness industry continues to grow and promises exciting developments in health & wellbeing for employees.

 

Read More +

> Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Workplace

> Activity Based Working Calls For a Special Type of Leader

> 4 Millennial Driven Insights Influencing Next Generation Work Styles

> How Activity Based Working is helping to solve the privacy crisis

> Why you should Implement Activity Based Working in Your Workplace

 

 

4 Millennial-driven Insights Influencing Next Generations Workstyles

How we work is changing, but it’s not just about Millennials

Much has been written about the behavioural patterns of Millennials and their impact in the workplace. Google “Millennials in the Workplace” and 34 million results present varying opinions and data on everything from deciphering what they want, how to manage them, retaining them and what effect they are having on workplace culture. Interestingly, a Virtuali survey unveiled a staggering 91% of Millennials aspire to become leaders and believe they already have the skills required for leadership duties. While they have undoubtedly challenged how traditional office space is used and workplace culture is created, this cannot be attributed solely to Millennials. Rather than a particular demographic profile, major advancements in technology, structural economic changes and workstyle evolution have influenced how organisations occupy space and get work done.

According to a Steelcase study on Millennials, there are four key design principles to leveraging Millennial behaviour, which offer insight into the broader workstyle changes applicable to all demographics.

Design for Identity

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Workspaces must be socially conscious, promoting social connection and personalisation. Environmental sustainability is key and consideration of energy consumption, recycling, waste and lifecycle are essential. People demand wellness-focused work environments that boast recycled materials, green space, excellent air quality and plenty of natural light.

Design for Growth

Millennials particularly, want a coach, not a boss. They seek personal growth through mentoring and feedback opportunities. Spaces and furniture must be conducive to informal and non-hierarchical collaboration, with organisational transparency. The co-working and co-living industries are tackling this head-on, by empowering people who use their space rather than treating them as employees or customers

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Millennials particularly, want a coach, not a boss. They seek personal growth through mentoring and feedback opportunities. Spaces and furniture must be conducive to informal and non-hierarchical collaboration, with organisational transparency. The co-working and co-living industries are tackling this head-on, by empowering people who use their space rather than treating them as employees or customers

Design for Work-Life

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The boundaries of work and personal space/ time continue to blur. Employees work hard and often long hours but want flexibility and work-life integration, which differs from old notions of work-life balance. Zoned spaces must allow for a variety of work settings and relaxation. The design should be home-like and promote physical and mental wellbeing. Carefully curated amenities which merge business and leisure will continue to grow in popularity.

Design for Connections

Technology is a key driver for enabling connection and must be appropriately supported in all work settings, whether fixed or mobile. Mobile apps in the workforce will explode in coming years and technology infrastructure must be prepared to handle work and personal technology tools. Physical environments must leverage opportunities for social interactions, by removing barriers and enabling connection while providing control and seclusion when desired.

The global adoption of Activity Based Working, co-living and co-working varies, however with ABW fast becoming the global norm and co-working growth reaching almost 300% annually in some countries, organisations must promote multi-disciplinary approaches to enable their multi-generation workforce to perform best. While Millennial behaviour provides valuable insight into workstyle evolution, the secret to success is ultimately to be agile and focus on the long term needs of your business and people.

Source: 360 Steelcase

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How Agile Based Working is helping to solve the Privacy Crisis

Workstyles of today call for balanced amenity of social & solo functions

For decades, the idea of privacy in a work environment often meant an enclosed office, usually allocated based on hierarchy or position. As real estate costs escalated and work practices evolved, the private office often became even more of a status symbol and open plan working proliferated, promising greater collaboration and transparency. Yet, despite the well-intentioned move to more open, unstructured workplaces, the basic human need for a balance of privacy & connection was largely ignored. Organisations commonly forget to adequately consider the psychological needs of their employees, which has led to disengagement, burnout, lack of productivity and staff turnover at epidemic proportions.

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There is no doubt the ability to share information, collaborate and generate new ideas is crucial to an organisation’s success. Significant effort has been made to create funky spaces, hire new talent, implement technology and offer team bonding sessions to maximise output.  Yet, despite this, many organisations are finding the opposite is happening. Too much interaction has taken a toll on employees and finding the right solution has proved difficult.  

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Privacy is now being widely recognised as a fundamental necessity for all employees, not just those with a specific position. Just as employees need space for interaction and social activities, they need equal space and time to focus, detach and recharge.

The Activity Based Working approach aims to create the right balance of social, collaborative spaces and quiet, focus spaces. Real estate is carved up around the specific activities of an organisation and CRE budgets are spent on appropriate office furniture, technology and systems to support the needs of individual employees, teams and the business as a whole. This significant shift in workplace design has revolutionized the entire industry from furniture and finishes to technology, data gathering systems and HR policies.  In parallel with design and technology, business leaders are also focusing on encouraging appropriate behaviour and culture to ensure spaces and facilities are optimised. A Leesman study found “poor adoption of appropriate behaviour in activity based workplaces is a significant problem that limits widespread organisational benefits.”

Workplaces designed and managed around a strategic Activity-Based approach are often extremely successful in supporting the psychological and practical needs of employees. They tackle the issues of over-stimulation and overwhelm by providing an appropriate allocation of quiet, private space available to all employees. However, while Activity-Based Working environments offer control, it is ultimately up to individuals to limit distractions and stimuli, by managing interactions with technology and colleagues. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and organisations implementing ABW practices must recognise that privacy encompasses many different behaviours and needs.

 

Read More +

> Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Workplace

> Activity Based Working Calls For a Special Type of Leader

> 3 Trends for Workplace Wellness

> 4 Millennial Driven Insights Influencing Next Generation Work Styles

> Why you should Implement Activity Based Working in Your Workplace

A Perfect Marriage of Functionality & Flexibility

JEB’s highly regarded operable wall system and folding tables are now better value than ever with their new package offer

With all the challenges and opportunities surrounding today’s modern workplace, flexibility is the one key issue that tends to take centre stage during the design and planning processes. This has generated some exciting developments and products, for example, use of adaptable furniture has increased exponentially and operable partitions are seen as a crucial operational tool. JEB is currently the only single-source procurement company in Australia that is able to offer both of these products (among others) within Asia Pacific. Their market-leading Integra operable wall system and Mastermind Folding Table range are now being offered as a package for organisations seeking to optimise meeting space with a high quality, flexible solution.

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The Integra movable acoustic system has been designed to provide exceptional technical performance with a refined aesthetic. Integra 8 glazed operable partition panels are now available with switchable glass, not only creating flexible space, but delivering instantaneous visual privacy or light transmission.  Integra T is available in four thicknesses with varying acoustic performance levels while also being able to accommodate projects with lower budgets.

The Sedus Mastermind is a high-quality conference table that seats up to eight people and requires minimal space when no longer needed. The smooth transmission and high-performance gas springs ensure particularly efficient power transmission.  Thanks to the sophisticated folding mechanism, very little physical strength is needed to operate and the unique Secure Lock System enables table tops to be snapped into place before locking.

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Stocked in Asia, with a lead time from only seven weeks, this new competitively priced package is hard to beat. Since 2011, JEB has gained a solid reputation for quality products and reliable service, making them the perfect supply and install partner for interior projects.

Contact us for more information

Why you should implement Activity Based Working in your workplace

Today’s leaders must choose user-centric workplaces or face difficulty in attracting & retaining talent

User-centred design is not a new concept. For engineers, industrial designers and retail planners, the user and user experience has long been the focus in creating products and experiences. This simple, common sense approach is a crucial part of how we interact with everything from smartphones to cars and packaging. Ultimately, good design is the key to commercial success and brand loyalty. In the realm of work however, organisations are largely ignorant of the importance of their users and how this impacts everything from productivity and wellness to retention and recruitment.

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Until fairly recently, general workplace design changed little since the 50s and 60s, when the pre-computer office environment was rigid, hierarchical and paper-based. In this era, work was completed at fixed desks with permanent overhead lighting and huge storage needs. Management-staff interaction was highly controlled with visual and physical separation.

Today, technology, globalization, demographic shifts and numerous other factors have revolutionized how we work. We are now highly mobile, collaborative and ideas-based and urgently need environments which support these activities. “The more an employee uses multiple work locations within the workplace, the more  they report that the space enables them  to work more effectively” according to a Leesman study. Forward-thinking organisations recognize that a positive user experience is a powerful business tool to optimise performance and retain the best talent. Google famously revolutionized their workplaces, which became the benchmark for many other businesses around the world. However, the great misunderstanding for management was that Google created workplaces that were tailored for Google. The key to success was to apply a similarly tailored approach to their own organization, in order to create a customized and effective user experience.

The Activity-Based design approach is user-centric and intended to create a working environment to support the organisation’s users and relevant activities. In our evolving business landscape, this approach must provide the right allocation of space types, supported with appropriate technology and functionality. It is likely organisations of the future will be unrecognizable from those of today, however as long as the environment is designed to be user-centric, flexible and activity based, organisations are more likely to tackle the challenges of change with a highly engaged, productive workforce.

Your Danish Surprise is here

Introducing new Danish Delights from Holmris

In our constant efforts to bring you the best, most innovative products on the market, we are thrilled to introduce our latest brand partner, Holmris, from Denmark. A family-owned company for 80 years, it was started in 1937 by a 26-year-old cabinet-maker with a dream to start his own business. 

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Holmris produces furniture and interior design solutions that focus on quality, sustainability, innovation and diversity. The company is regarded as amongst the move innovative furniture companies in Denmark, targeting four market sectors; office, learning, hospitality and healthcare. 

Their furniture range showcases their commitment to original craftmanship, with beautifully detailed armchairs, tables, desks, cabinets, screen walls and sofas. JEB is proud to be a distributor in Australia and Singapore and has several products from the collection on display in both showrooms. 

In their mission to challenge the ordinary and set new trends, they have developed outstanding products, such as the Igloo space divider system. Designed to provide a modular framework for defined meeting & work space within an open office environment, it can also integrate with digital media. 

The Shark Chair is a beautifully expressive chair with strong curves and sleek details. Referencing the form of a Hammerhead Shark, it has a visual and physical lightness and is a perfect all-round chair for multiple applications. 

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Responding to the consistent demand for acoustic furniture solutions, the Tweet sofa collection provides a clever modular system for individual and group seating. The pouf and daybed can be fitted with a backrest and an additional screen element for even greater acoustic and visual privacy. 

All production at Holmris is undertaken with sustainability in mind and in accordance with Denmark’s strict environmental regulations. They are well aware of minimising their environmental footprint and fully embrace a sustainable mindset, even recycling or donating used furniture. 

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As a company that triumphs in merging traditional Danish design with modern technology, we predict even greater success for the company in the future and invite you to visit our Sydney and Singapore showrooms to see the collection in person. 

Discover the collection