The Value of Reconfigurable Desk Furnishings
Nov 24th, 2014 by Peter Harnack

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I am with an installation crew here in Newport Beach, California.  Once again, our client benefited from reconfigurable office furniture.

Original Layout

Original Layout

What to do when a re-configuration is wanted.

A manager, when reviewing his layout, at the last minute decided he wanted to change the configuration.  This meant that the pedestals on the desk and credenza were on the wrong side.  If we had used a different type of desk with fixed pedestals, we would have needed to install the desk’s configuration as originally planned.

Revised Layout

Revised Layout


Office Outfitting in Newport Beach, CA - Click here to view video

Office Outfitting in Newport Beach, CA – Click here to view video

However, in this install, we supplied furnishings that can be reconfigured – with the ability to move a pedestal from one side of a desk to the other.

Preconfigured desks are “ glued” together giving you a very solid feeling.  Reconfigurable desks used pins and cams to lock panels into place and have some flexibility compared to solid, glued furnishings.

If you expect to move and take the furnishings with you, reconfigurable units give you more flexibility at your new location.

Or if you discover at the last minute that you want to change all layout, the installation crew can do a reconfiguration on the job.

An example of how this really helped an accounting firm comes to mind.  When I do client layouts for private offices, I often leaned toward Feng Shui principles (a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment).  I tried to configure the office so that the user faces the door; not with their back to the door.  This way, no surprises when people walk in.

Last minute change that affects layout

At the accounting office, the client switched two rooms.  One had been designated as an office.  The other was a conference room.  The doors to these two rooms on different sides.  While this reconfiguration didn’t impact the conference room, it was a different story for the office.  In order for the desk to properly face the door, the pedestal drawers in the office had to be switched.  Since we provided reconfigurable furnishings, our installation team was quickly able to make this change on the fly.

So if your plans include expected future moves or remodels and you have desks with pedestals on one side with credenza pedestals on the other, consider reconfigurable furniture as your office furnishings of choice.

Sitting all day is not good for you. Really not good. Here’s why.
Jul 7th, 2014 by I-SV Host

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Emerging science has data that suggests it is dangerous to sit all day.  Health benefits increase the more time you spend standing or walking daily.

Forty three different studies published last week, indicate for the more time you sit, there is an increase in chances of colon, endometrial, and lung cancers.  The study suggest each hour you sit reduces your life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

How sitting affects the human body:

Sitting burns 50 fewer calories per hour compared to standing or walking.  Leg muscles need to work more to keep you upright and balanced and that burns an extra 50 calories per hour.  Instead of sitting for 8 hours, if you stand for 4 and sit for 4, you burn an extra 1,000 calories per week without changing your diet or exercise.  If you do this for a year, it is the equivalent of 50,000 extra calories, roughly the same as expended in running 15 marathons.

Other ill effects of sitting:

Sitting based idle muscle cells release much lower amounts of lipase, an enzyme that helps eliminate fats from the bloodstream and helps maintain higher levels of HC (higher “good” cholesterol.

Your body also becomes more resistant to insulin when sitting.  And genes that normally suppress inflammation are also altered when you sit, possibly contributing to increased cancer rates observed.

Of course, work is not the only place you sit.  Time watching TV at home impacts health too.  Research shows that watching 4 or more hours of TV a day (while sitting) increase heart attacks, chest pain, or other cardiovascular disease even when controlling for diet and exercise.  And more time sitting also increases the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 112%.

So what should you do?

Step 1:  Get up from sitting.

Find time to systematically get up from your desk.  Stand and walk while on the phone.  Stand during meeting.  Install your printer farther from your desk to make you get up every so often.

Step 2:  Opt for a standing desk or sit/stand desk.

Adjustable Height Desk - YouTube 1 Minute Video

Adjustable Height Desk – YouTube 20 Second Video

If you work at in a cubicle, have one work surface set for standing (works with desk surfaces that are supported by cantilevered supports) and one for sitting (experts recommend taking sitting breaks rather than stand all day to reduce strain on your heels and knees).  Or convert your work surface to sit/stand by replacing the desk legs with mechanical or electrically adjustable legs.  Most manufacturers offer just the legs to help keep your investment lower.

Step 3:  Try to cut down on your TV hours.

If you have a dog(s), take them out a little more often (good for them and you).  Or simply take a few short walking breaks every few minutes during otherwise sedentary periods.  With new TV technology that allows you to “save” programs for later viewing, use it.  You will not miss anything and be able to speed through stuff you’d rather not watch anyway.

How to Select Commercial Grade Fabric that Provides Lasting Value
Jun 17th, 2014 by I-SV Host

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If you want your office’s seating to keep its’ good looks for many years, key factors in the fabric are durability, light-fastness, and cleanability.  Durability means how much normal wear a fabric can resist before it begins to show wear.  Light-fastness is the ability of the fabric to endure light without fading.  And Cleanability is associated with water or solvent cleaners or bleach in healthcare facilities.

How to get durability information.

Sample Fabric Performance Information

Sample Fabric Specifications and Performance Information

Standardized “Rub” Tests on fabric give you a number that shows the fabric’s resistance to wear.  This is sometime know as “Performance”. The higher the number, the longer the fabric will last.  For example, on a Textiles web site, when looking a fabric’s pattern, you can also click on “specifications” and see the double rub (D.R.) rub count for each product.

In everyday terms, this is essentially the wear that happens every time you sit on the furniture.

High rub count fabric is used in high traffic areas like waiting room in hospitals and dentists offices.  Fabric counts in these areas can be as high as 250,000 double rubs.  Police departments with duty belts of nylon or leather and metal equipment might have double rub counts of 500,000 to 1,000,000.

While residential furniture might have 15,000 double rubs, you should select 25,000 or more for frequently used pieces in your home especially around kid and pets.

And most experts agree that HD or Heavy Duty fabric, with a minimum of 30,000 to 40,000 or more double rub counts, are important for commercial furniture.

Table of Suggested Rub Counts for Commercial and Residential Applications

Suggested Double Rub Count*

Very Heavy Duty Commercial, High Traffic Areas

Heavy Duty Commercial, High Traffic Home Areas (Family Room/Den)

Medium Duty, Home Living Rooms, moderate home traffic areas
15,000 to 30,000

Light Duty, occasional use areas, not upholstery
9,000 to 15,000

Delicate Duty, toss cushions, draperies
under 9,000

Avoid fabric fading with higher lightfastness numbers.

Fabric is often graded on how permanent a color is on the fabric after exposure to light.  Both natural and synthetic fabrics are subject to fading or discoloration under sunlight and fluorescent light.

Grade 5 means there is no fading.  Grade 4 means there is slight fading.  Upholstery fabrics should have a minimum rating of 4 regardless of end use.  Sometimes you will see lightfastness in terms like 40+ hours.

Match the fabric’s cleanability to your environment.

Fabrics have recommended cleaning methods.  Some allow water based cleaning agents (Code W).  Some with Code “S” should be cleaned only with mild water-free cleaning solvent or dry cleaning products.

Code W-S can be cleaned with either water or solvent based products.

Code X should be vacuumed or gently brushed only.

If you are in a healthcare environment, look for “high performance” fabrics that can be bleach cleaned or coated with Teflon for thorough cleaning.

Seating pricing varies significantly with the price of the fabric.  Better, more durable fabrics are typically more expensive but on flip side, these fabrics retain their good looks for years.  Indoff – Silicon Valley Branch can provide advice on fabrics to use for your unique circumstances that both look great and will serve the needs of visitors and staff for years.

To learn more about fabric testing standards <click here>

*  Using Wyzenbeek Method <click here for more info>

Ever wish you could add a private conference room into your reception area?
Sep 11th, 2013 by I-SV Host

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Soft Seating with Privacy Creating High Backs

Soft Seating with Privacy Creating High Backs

Finally, your wish has come true – add a private space to talk within your reception area – use high back soft seating or privacy screens.

When your business is growing, you run out of space.  And there plenty of times that you would like to meet with someone in your lobby without scoping out a conference room or taking them back to your work area.  Being able to meet easily in the lobby and save time is a great asset.

Enter – the high-back, semi-private meeting area.

One of the latest innovations in space utilization is the addition of the high-back chair, settee, or sofa.  Manufacturers have finally begun to offer soft seating with high backs, essentially giving you a place to meet in the reception area that is somewhat private.  Invite your guest into one of these convenient sitting areas and you conversations are directed at one another, not all over the lobby.  You focus on your guest and vice versa.  You save time by avoiding security check points and sign in procedures.  And you avoid time that it would take to walk back and forth to your office or other conference rooms.

Cluster Soft Seating Together with High Backs to Create a Semi-Private Meeting Area

Cluster Soft Seating Together with High Backs to Create a Semi-Private Meeting Area

High Back Reception Area Soft Seating

The basic innovation is the addition of high backs and sides on soft furniture.  Or you could also add complementary screens to the soft furniture.  These innovations keep conversations focused with one another.  Plus, it adds a partial visual barrier between guests.  Proper arrangements could include sofas, settees, chairs and clusters of chairs grouped in a semi-private space, faced toward one another.

The benefits of reception – lobby area high back soft seating

One of the key benefits is privacy.  You don’t broadcast your discussion around the lobby.  Another benefit is cost.  It is a significantly lower budget to group together furniture compared to creating a new meeting room.  Another benefit is the warm, comfortable feelings you get when conversing in a casual setting compared to often stiff, hard surfaced meeting rooms.

Soft Seating - Configured as a Semi-Private Booth Space

Soft Seating – Configured as a Semi-Private Booth Space

Or Add Screens to Soft Seating Areas to Create Privacy Booths within a Reception or Meeting Area

Or Add Screens to Soft Seating Areas to Create Privacy Booths within a Reception or Meeting Area

Check out these examples – and contact Indoff – Silicon Valley, for more information <click here>

Finally – All of the Advantages of Soft Seating Combined with Function
Sep 9th, 2013 by I-SV Host

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Soft Seating with Built-In Table Arms

Soft Seating with Built-In Table Arms

Add Cool Functions/Features to Soft Seating in Lobbies, Reception Areas, and Staff Break Areas

Comfortable soft seating has been available ages.  Traditionally, most reception seating has been commercialized versions of sofas, settees, and overstuffed chairs.  But now, more and more manufacturers of commercial grade seating are doing innovative designs combined with function.

To add style and flexibility, many options are available for soft seating including armless, arms on one side or the other, angles (so pieces can be placed together and have curved seating), back to back in one piece, even seating with raised sides for added privacy and an quieting effect.

Plus, since both employees, guests and customers  are often showing up with portable electric devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptop computers, providing for their comfort and utility, some manufacturers are including very useful accessories built in to the soft seating (or into the side tables that are designed to accompany the soft seating.

Soft Seating with Easy-to-Access Power and Data

Soft Seating with Easy-to-Access Power and Data

First is the built-in table (tablet holder).  These surfaces are typically movable (in-out, or rotate about a pole that is attached to the seating.  Sometimes these surfaces fold flat out the way when not in use similar to airline tables that fold into the side arm rest.  Others have opens so the tables can be either on the right or the left.

Soft Seating with Built-In Table Arn, Power Access, and Cup Holder

Soft Seating with Built-In Table Arn, Power Access, and Cup Holder

Second is built-in power and potentially, data access (sometimes with often used USB ports).  Rather than having users scrambling behind seating or searching behind tables for wall outlets, organizations that think ahead have power at the sofa or soft seating chair, conveniently available.  Access is easy but slightly out of the way so they don’t interfere with normal seating.  This type of access shows your attention to the needs of your visitors (and even employees when they want to take a break but have a great place to sit).

And often, visitors are offered that hot coffee (typically in a paper or foam cup).  A built-in cup holder keeps the coffee secure but handy.

Be sure that as you plan your lounge, lobby, reception, or staff break areas to include soft seating, ask about accessories that increase the effective use of your soft seating.

Contact Indoff-Silicon Valley for more information on types of soft seating and accessories that can work for you.



The Secret to Making Your Clients, Customers, and Job Candidates More Comfortable with Your Proposition
Sep 8th, 2013 by I-SV Host

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Business Furniture - Soft Seating for Reception Area

Business Furniture – Soft Seating for Reception Area

The Effect of Soft Seating Business Furniture in Your Lobby and Reception Area.

Think about the last time you made a significant purchase such as an automobile.  If the sales person provided you with a soft, comfortable chair or sofa, was it because they were concerned for your comfort or did they know you would probably pay more than if you sat in a hard chair?

Intuitively, management knows somehow that feeling comfortable when you visit an organization helps you feel more comfortable about the organization.  This would apply to customers and job candidates.

Research on How Soft Seating and Tactile Experiences Improve Negotiation Results

Business Furniture - Soft Seating in Lobby Area

Business Furniture – Soft Seating in Lobby Area

A research study by professors at MIT, Harvard and Yale, showed that soft edges and smooth tactile experiences before negotiation or meetings produce better results for the organizations.  Visitors are more comfortable, have almost pre-programmed positive impressions and are likely to be more cooperative in the meeting’s objectives, creativity, and results.  Contact us for the research information <click here>

So where does soft office furniture have the most impact in your organization?

Your lobby, reception area and guest seating offer you the best chance to make that first, important, positive experience.   These are not areas that you want to put hard seats.

Steps to “Softening Up  Your Prospects” with great Office / Business Furniture in the Bay Area

To be seen as more flexible when dealing with people and same time (coming to decisions more quickly while increasing people’s flexibility toward reaching a decision, take these steps:

1)       Seat them in on a soft chair or sofa.

2)      If you hand them anything, avoid hard objects.

Office Furniture - Lobby Reception Area Curved - Soft Seating

Office Furniture – Lobby Reception Area Curved – Soft Seating

3)      Offer them a warm beverage.

The inspiration for this blog came from

Check out their site for more information in regard to how design can affect creativity and productivity in the workplace.

Contact Indoff – Silicon Valley ( <click here> for more information on innovative, fun, attractive, soft business furniture for your lobby, reception area, team meeting areas, and job candidate interview rooms.

Finally, a real computer workstation that catches up with future science fiction.
Aug 30th, 2013 by I-SV Host

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Fatigue reducing, productivity enhancing, Okamura Cruise Computer Workstation

Fatigue reducing, productivity enhancing, Okamura Cruise Computer Workstation

The future of a great computer work station is here – NOW

In 2004, I was watching i,Robot, a movie staged in the year 2035, where a techn-photic cop investigates a crime that may have been perpetrated by a robot, which leads to a larger threat to humanity.  Being in the Office Furniture business in San Jose at the time, I was fascinated by a futuristic computer workstation that the robot used during the moving that had a very rounded, molded look, which wrapped around the robot giving arms length access to all functions.  When I got the DVD, I even stopped at the look and photographed the image to remind me of its’ look.  OK – I’m just hung up on great looking furniture.

Try as I might, I can’t find the image on the Internet and not wanting to offend Twentieth Century Fox, I’m not publishing that personal use picture I took of the futuristic work station.

Travel on to 2013 – Finally I see a new computer workstation design that comes close to that futuristic dream – the Okamura Cruise.

The Okamura Cruise design starts with an innovative change in the user’s posture at the work station.

You get unprecedented comfort and concentration by the Okamura Cruise “low-seat, rear-tilt” design.  A design based on an industry-academia joint project, the Cruise uses human body engineering techniques, that sought to understand the physical characteristics of the human body, what the body’s needs are and apply that understanding to the chair and workstation design.

The low-seat, rear tile posture places very little stress on the human body and literally allows the computer user to focus on the results of his or her work and not be fatigued as the day/hours ware on.

Space saving, while giving a sense of personal space, Okamura Cruise Workstation

Space saving, while giving a sense of personal space, Okamura Cruise Workstation

Multiple Styles – from personal workstation space to group clusters

One version (Type A) gives a very unique, personal work space that uses round panels to provide privacy and focus.  This design, with its surrounding panels, give you a higher work concentration.

In a more casual setting, this design and the accompanying mix of styles, options, transforms what could be a very bland invironment into wonderful, functional spaces that facilitate collaboration a very open liberated feel.

The Type C space greatly improves space efficiency (more workers per square foot), fitting in a more formal setting yet at the same time, enhances the ability of individuals to work effectively for long hours in front of a computer while simultaneously reducing fatigue.  It creates a diverse space that is well suited to group work and yet provides a sense of personal, productive space.

See the futuristic Okamura Cruise workstation at the Northern California Facilities Expo

Indoff – Silicon Valley ( will display one the Okamura Cruise workstations at the upcoming Facilities Expo September 24 and 25.  Come and see this innovative, futuristic workstation that is available now at the Expo.  Contact us for tickets or additional information <click here>.

Okamura Cruise Workstation - the future of highly productive, personal space, fatigue reducing work space is here

Okamura Cruise Workstation – the future of highly productive, personal space, fatigue reducing work space is here

To Learn more about this futuristic open office, collaborative promoting work station

To learn more about the Okamura Cruise system, visit the Okamura web site by clicking here.

Raised Chairs for Standing Height Desks – available at
Jul 27th, 2013 by I-SV Host

Executive, Management Seating for Use at Standing Desk

Executive, Management Seating for Use at Standing Desk

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Today’s workers and executives often ask for standing height desks.  There a numerous health benefits.  The first big benefit is the reducing the negative impact of sitting at your desk.  In addition, you will get improvements in many other areas.  Sitting for long periods cause metabolic problems.  You do not produce enough chemicals necessary for processing sugar and fats.  Circulation suffers too. Your body wants to move and respond to outside forces.  Your muscles need to regularly flex to support healthy functions and chemical production.

Of course, one of the challenges associated with adjustable work surface height is what to do with a chair during part of the day when you actually want to sit.  You have to adjust the desk height.

 Options for Standing Height Chairs – Executive Raised Chairs

One possible solution is a standing height chair, that is, a chair that is raised so that it works with a desk that is normally at standing height.  We are not suggesting you investing in a standing height desk and then eliminate that benefit by using a taller seat.  Instead, we are simply suggesting that even part time use of the standing desk will still benefit you.  And when you want to sit, just pull up the standing height chair and work away.  This combo, the standing height desk and raised chair gives you quick options, depending on the time of day, how you feel and what you want to accomplish any given moment.  You will be a lot less tempted to go to standard desk height and chair and stay there, eliminating the benefit of the adjustable height work surface..

Plus, for employees who interact with guests (visitors, patients, customers), interacting face to face has lots of benefits.

Indoff-Silicon Valley (office furniture san jose) offers a host of standing height chairs, for executives, managers, team members, staff and factory workers too.  With a standing height chair, you will be less tempted to sit for long periods (you can choose the stand or sit – and quickly change from one position to the other, just by stepping off the chair. Visit our website <click here> for a partial gallery of the standing height chair available from Indoff-Silicon Valley.

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