Trends Pushing the Architectural Millwork Industry to Innovate

 Guest Post Written By: Joe Patrovich, Director of Pre-Construction and Engineering at Modworxx. Expectations are understandably high when it comes to custom-engineered and -produced products. Architectural millwork, used for improved aesthetics and functionality for the end product, has always been fabricated to meet the specifications for a particular building project. That said, to differentiate itself from stock millwork, the industry must continuously evolve as design trends change and new technology or materials become available. Commercial environments in particular are seeking the creation of innovative millwork features, including cabinetry, shelving, storage, reception desks, lounge or collaboration seating areas, feature walls and more. First, the most creative architectural millwork solutions are incorporating technology in unexpected places. For example, we’re working on a project for a large financial firm that wants to track how much foot traffic the pantry gets. We’ve engineered a ceiling with undulating, wave-like walnut slats with hidden occupancy sensors. Our client will be able to […]

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2017 Workplace Design Trends

 Guest Post Written By: Scott Lesizza, Principal at Workwell Partners We’re going to see a significant shift away from wide open floor plans to open “areas” separated by groups or departments. There are ways by which a space can be designed to be open, but at the same time not look like the world’s largest trading floor. You can have open plan “clusters” of 40-50 people within a space, as opposed to hyper densification of 300-400 in one area. The ideas is that you walk into a space, and in place of a sea of sit-stand desk, you walk up a central staircase to a floor that has 4-5 areas separated by line of sight that house separate departments. When walking the space, it’s almost as if you are discovering hidden areas. The key to this type of space is that the feel is still very open, without the distractions associated with densifying a space […]

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The Path to Leadership Through Mentoring

 Guest Post Written By: Scott Lesizza, Principal at Workwell Partners If you think you can afford to start your professional career off without a mentor then do so. However, be warned that you may have to repeatedly start from scratch, fork out a lot of money and go through the same mistakes that others have already endured. If I could do it over again, I would have done everything I could to identify someone who cared enough to offer guidance. I was young and fresh out of college without a clear plan of what I wanted to do. I come from a blue collar background – my dad was a chef and my mom was a stay-at-home mom – so the reality was I did not have a clue as to how to go about working my way up the career ladder to a leadership position. I still thought I knew it all, but I […]

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Balance of Fun & Productivity – Management Sets the Tone

 Guest Post Written By: Scott Lesizza, Principal at Workwell Partners When you’re looking to strike a balance between fun and productivity in the workplace, it’s important to realize that management sets the tone. When you are an executive looking to inspire and spark creativity, you get way more from your team if you are in the trenches with them. The end goal in creating a relaxed work environment is for people to enjoy where they spend most of their day, by being happier, getting more work done, becoming more loyal employees and spreading the word to others, and ultimately producing better work. Most C-Suite executives that we speak with prefer to maintain their full floor-to-ceiling glass offices with an open door policy and a willingness to engage their people ‘on the floor.’ The open door policy extends to allowing their private offices to be used for various purposes, including mini conference rooms and often multi-occupancy […]

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The (Overlooked) Importance of Getting To Know Your Colleagues

 Guest Post Written By: Scott Lesizza, Principal at Workwell Partners Because it’s what I do for a living, most of my posts revolve around making the workplace a better place to spend your time. What’s often neglected is the importance of ENJOYING the camaraderie of your team members. It means getting to know their life’s ambitions, their hopes and dreams, how their kid played in last Friday’s football game, sharing in the joy of their new daughter, and understanding the “whys” about why they had a bad day at the office. What really makes people loyal to an organization is rarely how “cool” their new 5-foot-wide bench is (we do our best but understand it’s not that cool), or how amazing their cafeteria is. It’s about getting to know and care for those that we spend most of our time with. So at the end of the day, all that we do (and I mean […]

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Office of the Future… How About the Office of the Present?

 Guest Post, Written By: Scott Lesizza, Principal at Workwell Partners I have spent the past six months attending seminars, reading articles, and listening to just about everyone share an opinion on what the office of the future will look like. It seems that almost everyone that you speak to has an opinion on what offices will look like 10 years out. I’ve heard everything from finding ways for people to work in outdoors spaces or bringing the outdoors “indoors”, to creating spaces that are a home away from home – all great concepts. But what about those folks we call “clients”? You know, the ones whose leases are up and need to move within the next 6 to 12 months and are looking to create a space now that does not become obsolete in five years? The ones who understand that it might be cool to go and work from a hammock in ten years […]

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Battling Ergonomic Misconceptions – Part 1

Guest Post Written By: Vanessa del Aguila, AEP, Project Manager at Workwell Partners When you think of the word “ergonomics,” what comes to mind? Chairs, health, spine, injury, computer, comfort?—all common responses. To put it simply, ergonomics is the study of fitting the work to the body. The goal is to improve comfort, efficiency, and minimize the risk of injury. Over the course of my career as an ergonomist, I have had to take the time to dispel many common misconceptions regarding ergonomics. Here are a few: Sitting up straight is the best posture Have you ever been told to “sit up straight” by your mother or grandmother? Sure, sitting up straight makes you look more poised than slouching, but maintaining an upright position can and has been linked to lower back discomfort. Gravity naturally pulls your body weight down, subsequently causing the vertebrae to compress the discs in the spine. Sitting up straight is […]

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Guest Post: Finding “Value” In Design

 Written by Kinya Kasai, Designer at Workwell Partners A friend asked me, from a design aspect, what makes people walk by a space and want to walk in and explore? Though it took me a while to gather my thoughts, here’s how I replied: “It depends. But before I answer your question, let me ask you: When was the last time you entered a space by curiosity? Why did you go in? Did the space have anything to offer? From my experience, a person enters a space because it has something they want. This “Value” could be goods to buy, things to try, or even places to explore. If the goal is to attract people to come in, the space needs to offer something the user wants. Once this “Value” is grasped, the design will form from it, almost like advertising it.” As I answered him, I realized that my daily challenge at Workwell Partners […]

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Guest Post: How Important Is Building An Online Persona for Late Adapters?

 Written By Scott Lesizza, Co-Founder and Principal of Workwell Partners I read somewhere that unsolicited advice is the strongest sign of arrogance. And to an extent, I agree.  So what I’m sharing is what has worked for me in the past. I’m not a huge fan of the “5 reasons that XYZ will make you better”. Perhaps in sharing some of what has worked for me (through trial and much error!) maybe I can help a few people avoid mistakes that I have had to learn the hard way. Karma will find a way to return the favor. I am 42, and pretty much missed the Facebook and Twitter hype by five years. My thought at the time was that both were for the self indulgent. Truth is – they can be, but only if used incorrectly. I pretty much avoided them on principal; Big mistake. But it’s never too late. By taking the advice of […]

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