Designing for Focus Work: a new white paper from Haworth, Inc.

Designing for Focus Work

“Designing for Focus Work” is a new white paper that shares approaches to workplace design and it’s available on Open and interactive spaces that encourage collaboration can also introduce distractions that can sabotage focus work. Including spaces that help minimize distractions, thus allowing for greater focus, are vital for worker productivity.

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Employers need open and interactive spaces to encourage collaboration, and such spaces can introduce distractions. Distractions, however, sabotage focus, and focus work is a necessary part of collaborative efforts. How can we solve this conflict? Approach workplace design so that it encourages both collaboration and focus work: Offer employees a variety of workspace options, choice over where, how, and when to best work, and control over workspace features and furnishings. Make the workplace legible and clutter-free so employees won’t waste effort navigating the workplace. Lastly, include “recharge” spaces; focus work takes intense effort, and it requires breaks.

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Movable Walls & Raised Floors: a new white paper from Haworth, Inc.

Movable Walls & Raised Floors

“Movable Walls and Raised Floors: Optimizing Adaptable Workplaces to Meet Changing Business Needs” is a new white paper that explains Haworth’s Organic Workspace® approach, and it’s available on

Movable Walls & Raised Floors1

How buildings, people, and organizations perform in the workplace affect one another and ultimately the corporate bottom line. Changing business needs means changing organizational structures, which in turn means changing spaces. Workspace change requires reconfiguring perimeter and enclosed space walls and relocating infrastructure outlets. Raised floors and movable walls, vital tools of an Organic Workspace® approach, better accommodate such need for change more so than traditional construction. More efficient alignment of space to changing business needs means better business.

Read More >

EAW brings you #NeoConUnfiltered

Follow us on Social for NeoCon 2016 updates // @enviroatwork #neoconunfiltered


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Join Us: Sip & CEU

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We’re excited to host a Sip & CEU featuring “Workplace Landscape: Research into Understanding Knowledge Workers”.

Thursday, June 23rd
5:00 – 6:00 pm: Cocktails & Networking
6:00 – 7:00 pm: CEU Presentation by Cindy Donn, Haworth Inc.

Environments at Work’s Showroom // 300 A Street, Boston

All designers & architects are welcome to attend.

Click for more details and TO REGISTER by June 20th.






Thank you!


Thanks to everyone who subscribed to our blog! Environments at Work donated $500 to the City of Boston’s Roll it Forward Program.

Congratulations to Seth Jeanotte of FMC – the winner of our Bike Giveaway.

Environments at Work wishes you a fun, relaxing Memorial Day weekend!


Introducing Milder Office


Environments at Work is proud to welcome Milder Office to our family of products. Milder Office is a Brooklyn-based furniture design and production company offering customizable office systems fabricated through local manufacturing networks. Specializing in modular furniture for the office, library and school. Milder Office designs and produces environments for office as well as educational environments.


Jonas Milder is a designer and educator. Whether designing work or learning spaces or educating future designers, his research and practice continuously engages, challenges and bridges both spheres.

Jonas Milder has been a full-time faculty member of the Industrial Design Department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia since 1997. He served as Chair of the undergraduate Industrial Design program between 2002 and 2006 and directed the Masters of Industrial Design (MiD) program from 2007 until 2012. Learn more about Jonas >>

Design for Use
Jonas Milder is founder and principal of Milder Office, a design/build company that, for more than two decades, has offered furniture and fixtures for working and learning that are designed in a participatory way and produced through a local network of suppliers and fabricators.

The Milder Furniture System™ offers a wide range of solutions for office, studio, classroom, dorm and library applications. Check out Milder’s Office, LIbrary & School Projects >>

All product is made-to-order and Milder Office works closely with its clients to respond to and realize their actual project needs and budget.

Design for education
In addition to designing and producing “hardware” for working and learning, Milder Office offers “Learning Things”, a workshop program designed to assist a community of practice to better understand, make sense of, and collectively improve their work/learning environments and flows.


In two hour workshops, “Learning Things” grow awareness about learning as a system. Building on everyday experiences, workshop participants move from personal insight to a shared understanding on how to best work towards continuous improvement of their work- and learning experience.

Learn more about Milder Office >>


The Air Under There: Best Practices for Successful Raised Floor Installations


By David Atwood, General Manager at Integrated Interiors

Raised flooring and underfloor air applications have quickly risen in popularity with the new demands of sustainable construction. With benefits tied into both its efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ), modular construction of underfloor air applications will become a key differentiator for any general contractors familiar with the benefits and the challenges of installing raised flooring systems.


Start at the Top

Perhaps the most unorthodox part of any raised floor system is the sequencing of the various trades.  Contrary to conventional installations where HVAC systems are contained in ductwork above the ceiling, raised floor systems are designed to incorporate most major building systems within the confines of the floor cavity.  Therefore, what remains in the ceiling – sprinklers and lighting systems – needs to be completed first, as well any other overhead work, to ensure floor installation and the sensitive systems within can be installed without any interruption or risk of damage.

In addition, when critical building systems are located underfoot, and bringing staging, lifts and other equipment for ceiling installation would only serve to complicate the installation of the floor.  The most effective way to manage floor construction is to phase the various trades effectively, starting with fire protection and lighting systems to ensure all overhead work is completed first.  By educating the subcontractors and providing a clear understanding of what phase each trade will be involved with, general contractors can capitalize on the efficiency of raised floor systems.

Keep the Airways Clear

One of the biggest advantages to underfloor air applications is a reduction of approximately 80% of the ductwork found in conventional projects with standard flooring.  With the floor containing air distribution chambers, it’s critical to ensure that all subcontractors know to keep the area beneath their feet as clean as possible.  When overhead work is completed, work with the electrical and mechanical trades should begin to configure the building’s power distribution systems and HVAC passageways.

It’s important to note, however, that the floor is laid out in a grid formation, utilizing a 10×10 spray-painted dot grid throughout the entire floorplate.  These dots identify locations where the pedestals are located, which are components that support the load of the floor and cannot be altered.  Lack of coordination between trades can lead to installation of piping, electrical systems and cabling in places that conflict with pedestals and can only be rectified by building a structural support to sidestep the interference, leading to delays and additional costs.  Given the relative newness of raised flooring systems, education of the trades is critical to avoid costly missteps.

In order to maintain the integrity of the airways, walls surrounding the underfloor chambers need to be sealed as tightly as possible, allowing for zero penetrations in the design.  As the underfloor cavity acts as a delivery plenum, any gaps or openings can lead to expensive and frustrating air loss.  Teams should also understand that any drywall verticals, whether columns or walls that extend down into the floor, are also critical to the air delivery system and should be carefully integrated into the flooring systems and properly sealed at the slab.

Following the Order of Operations

In one of the most critical phases of any raised floor installations, mechanical, electrical and flooring trades must work together to ensure each system is properly routed up from the slab and through pre-drilled openings in the floor panel.  A few additional steps have to happen first, however, before the raised floor is installed.  Raised flooring uses a modular power system, with zoned distribution boxes and power cabling mounted in the slab and data lines contained in cable trays alongside the utilities.  Once floor installation begins, all remaining materials are staged above the raised flooring to effectively float over the power and data equipment and avoid working directly on top of cabling.

Next, mechanical trades must be brought on board to lay out mechanical boxes and diffusers.  Diffusers are brought up and installed within the floor, and power and data cabling are guided through pre-cut openings in the floor panel.  Prior to purchasing materials, teams should outline exactly how the floor panel will accommodate the project’s power and data systems in order to secure a panel design with the proper penetrations already made.  Most raised floor systems use standard 2×2 panels with cutouts according to the specific project needs.

Once all systems have been tied in and tested, carpet installation begins.  Installing carpet in individual rooms is incredibly streamlined over conventional approaches, as carpet consists of individual modules matched to an access floor panel.  This means no more tedious cutting and measuring each section as the entire floor is essentially installed in one piece and must be done prior to any walls being constructed within a conventional modular interior.

Even in the final phase constant reinforcement of the basic principles of raised flooring must be emphasized among the trades, including that any subsequent penetrations in the drywall should be sealed at the slab level to preserve the integrity of the systems below the surface.  However, with a proactive approach to educating the team and a coordinated approach to installing building systems, general contractors can offer clients increased flexibility and enhanced sustainability for a wide range of applications.

Please contact us for more info about underfloor air.
Learn about UFAD projects we’ve completed:


About the Author

David Atwood is the General Manager of Integrated Interiors, New England’s premier commercial architectural/engineering products and construction services company. Integrated Interiors provides architectural interiors products including moveable walls, raised flooring, and modular power, as well as design-build construction services for mission critical or data center environments. The company is the region’s only source for the integrated procurement and installation of modular architectural products through a single manufacturer – Haworth. Combined with Haworth’s Organic Workspace™ products, Integrated Interiors’ modular solutions provide flexible, high performance workspace that adapts to companies’ changing needs while meeting the growing demand for sustainable and LEED-supportive design.  For more information, go to

Article originally appeared here.



Project Highlight: Lumenpulse


Environments at Work (EAW) partnered with Lumenpulse for its US headquarters relocation to Post Office Square in Boston. Founded in 2006, Lumenpulse is an innovative designer and manufacturer of LED lighting solutions.

Lumenpulse’s new, larger space was chosen to accommodate growth and needed to provide comfortable and ergonomically correct worksettings for the engineering, design and innovation team, inside sales/customer service, and technical sales support teams that reside in Boston.

Click for more photos & project info >>


Hug it Out!


Embrace Your Space.  Happy Valentine’s Day from Environments at Work & Integrated Interiors.

How WELL are Your Buildings?

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We live in a society where 90% of our time is spent indoors, and that time is beginning to drastically affect our health. The WELL Building Standard is a revolutionary new building system that looks to improve human health within built environments. According to the WELL Building Standard, the mission is to enrich “the way people live by developing space that enhance occupant health and quality of life.”

The seven categories represented in the WELL Building Standard that can greatly improve employee well-being are:

  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Nourishment
  4. Light
  5. Fitness
  6. Comfort
  7. Mind


If each of the seven categories are carried out even to the lowest level of WELL certification, the environment will be a healthier space in which people can live, work, and learn. Improvements to the seven areas prove to reap vast benefits to both the mental and physical health of the people who utilize the space. WELL Certified buildings are proven to maintain better air quality, have higher levels of overall comfort, and improve efficiency of the occupants inside, among many other advantages. This innovative building standard not only works alongside LEED Building Certification, but goes a step further to focus on biological sustainability. WELL wants to minimize the harmful effects on employees that built environments have imposed.

As the overall health of employees increases, so does the productivity, efficiency, and well-being of the company. The increased levels of health and comfort that come from instilling the WELL Building Standard in a space leads to maximizing human capital that can only be beneficial to a company.

A physically and mentally healthy employee takes fewer sick days, is able to complete more work, and works at a higher brain capacity than an employee who is constantly sick or stressed. The changes that WELL puts into place, such as enforcing the use of ergonomic designs, focusing on the use of natural light, encouraging the implementation of company fitness and nutrition programs, and even using new technologies like treadmill desks, help to foster a positive environment that vastly improve a company’s success and prosperity.

Environments at Work strives to make every one of our clients’ work spaces, including our own, as WELL as possible. In an industry where we help create environments in which people spend a majority of their time, it is of great importance to Environments at Work that we design spaces that are not only conducive to work, but are also people-centric; about the comfort of the users and how they function in the space as a whole. The wellness of our own employees enables us as a company to better serve our customers. A WELL Certified building allows for drastic effects to take place within the employees’ bodies and minds. We live in a time where everyone is hyper focused on sustainability for the environment, but we have perhaps forgotten about the most important part of the environment, the people who work within it. The WELL Building Standard allows us to expand our focus to health, comfort, and sustainability, not only for the planet, but also ourselves.

WELL Solutions

Enviroments at Work offers many product solutions that support the WELL Standard.

Seeking Privacy? Open work environments, with flooding natural light and better air circulation, are becoming more popular as the desire to collaborate and be social in the workplace is growing. However, the lack of privacy that comes with an open floor plan leaves some employees feeling distracted and uncomfortable. The Haworth Openest chair allows an office to maintain its open flow, while providing peace of mind and privacy in certain areas. Phone rooms are another solution to gain privacy in the workplace.

Openest by Haworth, Inc.

Get Moving at Work! Sitting is considered to be the new smoking, and companies are beginning to utilize sit to stand desks, like the Haworth Planes Height Adjustable Tables to encourage standing. These tables have ergonomic benefits and allow for employees to work at different heights at the push of a button. The options to sit or stand and raise or lower one’s desk increase comfort at work significantly.

Ping Pong tables and other office sports are popping up everywhere; they keep people moving. Treadmill desks are becoming increasingly more popular in offices because they provide health benefits for employees. This innovative desk is not practical for every day office work, but the idea incorporates fitness into daily office life.

Ping Pong Table; Treadmill Desk & Height Adjustable Table by Haworth

Breathe Clean Air. Haworth sells TecCrete Raised Access Flooring, which is proven to drastically improve air quality in a building. Raised Access Flooring lets clean air flow through the space, and the impure air rises naturally so it can be removed from the environment. The health benefits from better air quality are immense with TecCrete Raised Access Flooring, but there is also reduced sound from the HVAC systems and foot traffic, allowing for the space to be more comfortable.

Raised Access Flooring by Haworth, Inc.

Keep It Flexible. Natural light has been proven to increase the happiness and efficiency of employees. Enclose Glass Walls from Haworth not only allow for natural light to enter the environment, but also allow for the office to maintain a workspace that appears open while simultaneously providing some sense of privacy. Lower panels in cubicles or work areas also permit more natural light to flow freely through the office.

Enclose Glass Walls & Intuity Workspace by Haworth, Inc.

Related articles:

Haworth Whitepaper \\ Workplace Design for Well-being

Delos™ Announces Strategic Alliance with CBRE Group Inc. \\  Delos and CBRE Join Together to Advance Wellness in the Built Environment

Resources available upon request.