Lane at POWER Decommissioning

Decommissioning Furniture & Living Their Values

How do you decommission 190,000 square feet of office space under a time constraint and move into a new building without disrupting work efficiency? A lot of planning and teamwork.   

When POWER Engineers started designing their new building in Meridian, their Operations Facilities team began the gargantuan task of planning for moving personnel and equipment. Their mission was to move employees from their 120,000 square foot Cedar Point office into their 70,000 square foot Diamond Point office, then into their brand-new building over roughly six months. On top of that, they needed to decommission their old furniture as sustainably as possible. So, they decided to divide and conquer. While POWER focused on moving its people, Create Spaces searched for ways to decommission the furniture responsibly.  

Operations Facilities Regional Manager Rob Womble and his team spent countless hours talking with POWER managers to determine which groups needed space in the smaller Diamond Point office. Those who could work from home did so. The others worked from hotelling stations and temporary seats the Facilities team prepared for them.   

Facilities Rob Womble
Rob Womble | Operations Facilities Regional Manager

Once the contractor completed a few floors of the new building, Rob’s team started moving employees. “We moved in over a three-month period in three phases. In the first phase we received the second and third floors. Next, we got the fourth, and finally the fifth. It was a slow progression.” Like they did between their old offices, they created spaces for employees to work if their floor wasn’t ready yet.   

“This move was the largest undertaking our team has ever done. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it went. Ultimately, there was a lot of planning and valuable input from my team. I’m extremely proud of everybody, not just the core team, but the outer teams all the way down to the individual employees.”  

Rob Womble

As the POWER Facilities team cared for their people, the Create Spaces team identified buyers, recyclers, and non-profits to take 87% of the furniture left behind. In the end, POWER implemented a sustainable decommissioning of their buildings and helped support twenty local businesses and non-profits. One such organization close to Rob’s heart was the Idaho Food Bank. “POWER has supported the food bank throughout the years. I think they’re a great organization and was happy to support them in this way.”  

POWER Engineers Decommissioning Stats

POWER Engineer’s purpose is “Do Good, Have Fun, Build Success.” Through extensive planning and prioritizing sustainability, POWER Engineers successfully moved their team and lived their values.  They are an inspiring example of how to take a complicated situation, have some fun solving problems, do good in their community, and build success for themselves and others around them. 

POWER Engineers helped support 20 local non-profits, organizations, and businesses:

non-profits helped by decommissioning

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PE elevator entry

POWER Engineers: Designing For Flexibility

In 1976, two industrious engineers established POWER Engineers. It is an engineering and environmental consulting firm who team together to design integrated, multidiscipline solutions for their clients. POWER is an employee-owned company with more than 50 offices and nearly 4,000 employees across North America. With their services in such high demand, POWER has worked hard to house their growing team. One such addition is the new five-story location in Meridian, Idaho. Over the past few years, POWER has successfully transitioned its staff out of separate locations and deposited them in a beautiful office built for flexibility.   

Cohesion & Flexibility

Leading the charge to create a space worthy of their brand was Business Unit Director, Daniel Krancer. With a background in architecture, Daniel volunteered to support the Operations Facilities team in developing a hybrid design for the new office. With few examples of how to successfully implement a hybrid work environment like POWER envisioned, Daniel visited offices that were experimenting with a hybrid workplace. It took him all over the US and provided him with many great ideas to fulfill POWER’s vision. That vision included the concept of cohesion in the POWER team and a flexible work environment that adapts to different needs and uses at any time. 

Daniel Krancer POWER Engineers
Daniel Krancer | Business Unit Director

Designing Key Spaces

With that vision in mind, the design team tackled how to turn those ideas into physical spaces. Since POWER’s big differentiator is their people with a focus on collaboration and innovation, highlighting their culture became a large part of their design choices. They did this by first, lowering cubicle walls to encourage communication and transparency.

PE workstations

Second, they built the “Charging Station”, a large break room cafe on their main entry floor to create and showcase the energy and comradery of their teams. Third, they designed an open staircase that winds up all four production floors to keep the spaces connected. Additionally, media center walls were placed at the top of each staircase to show POWER’s innovative solutions and internal updates. The addition of a large glass-walled training room showcases POWER’s commitment to innovation and learning for clients and colleagues alike.

charging station for team cohesion
Charging Station

“There is a tremendous amount of inspiration that comes from being in a great training environment. When people walk by, they can see for themselves that our company is actively investing in training, growing, and learning.”

Daniel Krancer

Finally, a broadcasting room serves as a great example of POWER’s commitment to training their teams no matter where they are. In essence, they have created a virtual lecture hall where online participants have an equitable seat in the training. Meanwhile, the instructor can engage with each student as if they were in the room.  

Broadcasting Room
Broadcasting Room

Tech Spaces For Multiple Uses

The vision for team cohesion shines through tech-enabled spaces throughout the office. The POWER team wanted to identify purpose-built spaces, so they incorporated phone rooms, huddle, and focus rooms, and myriad conference rooms to fulfill their team’s various needs. The phone room provides employees with a few moments of privacy while the focus rooms are specifically designed for different teams to sit down, share content, and work through a project together. The huddle rooms (open and private) are designed for two to three people to share ideas, brainstorm, and generally be creative in an intimate, conducive environment. From there, the conference rooms are tailored according to the team meeting size and are useful for video conferencing and sharing content. POWER invested in their technology, so they have great cameras and screens to share content no matter the size of the space. Finally, there are design spaces that teams can reserve for a week or more to work together on a project. These rooms are full of whiteboards, screens, and anything else they need to collaborate effectively.   

Design Space at POWER Engineers cohesion
Design Space

Designing For Flexibility

With a focus on cohesion in collaboration, POWER purposely designed its workstations to be generic in the sense that few are owned by a single person. “We want people to say, ‘Hey, for the next two weeks I’m working with these eight people so I’m going to go sit by them.’ They can take over a desk, a front porch collaborative area, or a design space and work with those people.” Flexibility was fully realized in the plan for designing four categories of workstations depending on an employee’s flexibility preference. Footprint A is for employees who plan to be in the office full-time, personalize their space, and have storage. Type B is for those who will come in three days and don’t need storage but want more desk space. Footprint C is for employees coming in once a week and sharing the space with someone else. Type D employees only come in for very specific reasons and use a hotelling station for the day. Finally, reservable private offices round out the offering to support employees however they choose to work.  

POWER Large Conference Room cohesion
Conference Room

Supporting Their Workforce

With so much flexibility in where and how they work, POWER employees can do their best work regardless of location. Thanks to the vision of cohesion and flexibility, the company has created an environment that supports its purpose of “Do Good. Have Fun. Build Success”. When it comes to creating a hybrid environment that empowers employees, POWER Engineers is leading the way in what it looks like to create thoughtfully designed, exceptional spaces.   

POWER Values cohesion and flexibility
POWER’s Values

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non-profits helped by decommissioning

Reuse, Recycle, Ring Ring

Recently we helped a customer move to a beautiful new corporate headquarters location. As part of the deal we agreed to help them recycle their old office furniture—floors of it.

After brainstorming ideas, we decided to reach out to some local nonprofits in Boise to see if any of them could use some donated furniture. I emailed our list of customers, explaining the story of the local company with multiple floors of furniture to donate. I included my cell phone in the email and asked for any takers to contact me personally.

Almost immediately after sending the email I started receiving phone calls inquiring as to the furniture available. The phone calls went on all afternoon and at 5pm when it was time to leave the office, I had 27 voicemails still left to call back. How in the world was there so much interest? And why did I include my personal cell phone and ask people to contact me personally?

As I would find out in the coming day, the email I sent had gone sort of viral. Individuals who received my email forwarded it to every nonprofit they knew. Then some nonprofit aggregate websites sent out my email to hundreds of nonprofits in their lists. Over the next few weeks, I fielded several calls a day regarding donated furniture. In the end, we established a list of over 120 nonprofits who were hoping to receive some of the decommissioned furniture.

Lessons learned:

  1. Old furniture doesn’t need to end up in the landfill.
  2. Donating furniture feels great and can help a lot of organizations.
  3. If you do donate furniture, there is a better way to have people contact you than calling your cell phone.
Scott's Signature

Scott Galloway   

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Spaces announcement merger

OEC and Machabee Office Environments Rebrand as Create Spaces

Two exciting announcements to share today: 

  1. Merger of OEC and Machabee Office Environments  
  1. Restructure of both companies under the new name — Create Spaces   

Merging of two great organizations 

Last October (2023) OEC acquired Machabee Office Environments—. The merger creates a larger company that spans both Nevada and Idaho, with offices located in Boise, Las Vegas, and Reno. With over a century of combined market leader experience, our unified mission is clear: to deliver exceptional spaces on time, on budget.  

From Snow-Capped Mountains to Shimmering Desert 

Our service area now reaches from the tip of Northern Idaho to the Mojave Desert in Southern Nevada— and everything in between. This extremely diverse area will be serviced by an installation team of nearly 40 skilled tradesmen. Our skilled labor force is one of our key strategic resources and enables us to take on some of the largest and most complex projects in Nevada and Idaho. 

merger us map with service areas in Idaho and Nevada
Service Area

Furniture + Technology + Prefab Construction 

Each business brings something unique to the table. Machabee has long specialized in furniture for Government and Education spaces. OEC specializes in furniture, audiovisual technology, and prefab construction for corporate and healthcare spaces. The unified suite of offerings will include furniture, technology, prefab construction, and skilled labor services in all markets.  

Create Spaces 

In the original planning of the merger, we were either going to keep the OEC or Machabee name. However, after discussion and consideration, our leadership team wanted to create an entirely new brand identity that could be more than either company has been in the past. The name Create Spaces was introduced by one of our employees at a daily team meeting. The name immediately took hold, and we ran with it. Our hope is the simple and modern name Create Spaces will resonate with customers who will trust us to help them elevate their work, education, and collaboration spaces. 

Updated Showrooms, the future of work 

Create Spaces operates showrooms in Boise, Las Vegas and Reno. These active worklabs focus on the latest in furniture, cutting-edge audio-visual technology, and innovative prefabricated walls. Create Spaces is an authorized Steelcase dealership and features partnerships with many other furniture and technology manufacturers. We’re excited about the upcoming updates and renovations planned for the Las Vegas and Reno locations. Stay tuned for our open house events later this spring where we will showcase the future of work.  

Scott Galloway team photos
Scott's Signature

Scott Galloway 
Create Spaces 

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Home Office Tips

Tips For Your Home Office + Creating A Greener Home Office

Homes are now part of the ecosystem of work: 75% of people have a dedicated workspace at home. People have learned how important a high-functioning home office is to their work and wellbeing.

Whether you use it one day or all week, a home office has become an essential space for both professional and personal use. While more people say they prefer working from home than the office, that number has dropped by 9? Since 2021. A lot of things can influence a person’s preference. But it’s clear the pandemic home office setup – with spare bar stools doubling as office chairs – wasn’t a long-term solution. People also learned some of the ‘fast-furniture’ options that looked great online didn’t feel great after working in them all day. It’s important to get the same level of comfort and support at home as you do in the office.

Dark and moody home office

1. Globally people work an average of 1.7 days a week from home.

It varies by age, occupation, size of company and where you live.

Designing a Home Office That Works

To help you stay productive throughout the day, Steelcase suggests focusing on your comfort and health first.

2. Identify the ideal space.

Working from home is likely the place you’re doing a lot of focus work, so the place you choose matters. Start with a spot that is quiet, without visual distractions. Try to find a place with natural light. Connecting with nature does wonders for your mental health.

3. Choose the right chair.

People sit more at home than in the office. Look for a chair that lets you dial in a precise fit by adjusting the tension or amount of resistance you feel in your back as you recline to your personal preference. The chair should still allow you to stay connected to your work with your arms parallel to your desk and your eyes level with your screen as you recline. The right chair can keep you comfortable and supported, allowing you to focus longer.

4. Consider the essentials.

It sounds obvious, but many people wind up with desks at home that are too small or too big for their space. You need room on your desk for at lead your laptop, keyboard, mouse and phone. Height-adjustable desks allow for healthy movement throughout the day – a smart solution for lasting comfort.

Light and airy home office

5. Don’t forget performance tools.

You may not have thought about it, but tools like monitor arms can help you achieve greater comfort by putting your screen in the right position to help achieve greater comfort by putting your screen in the right position to help reduce eye and muscle strain. Laptop risers keep your device on a stable surface and at the right height whether you’re seated or standing.

6. Find the best light.

Look for highly-adaptable task lighting designed for video meetings that provide just the right amount of light on your face. A table lamp can also provide soft illumination for virtual meetings.

7. Curate a good background.

Create a distraction-free backdrop for virtual meetings with a well-curated background. If your work zone is part of a living space, consider a screen or room divider to create both physical and mental separation between work and home.

Greener home office

A Greener Home Office

Much like ‘fast-fashion,’ the phenomenon of ‘fast-furniture’ is designed for shorter life cycles and is being thrown into landfills at an alarming rate. Consider your furniture choices at home, in addition to recycling and watching your energy use.

8. Look for furniture made to last.

Higher quality furnishings have a more useful life and are less likely to end up on a landfill.

9. Choose pieces intentionally designed to limit waste.

These pieces not only use less materials and less resources to ship, but can have the added benefit of being lighter and easier to move within your home.

10. Look for certifications.

Find certifications that tell you the material makeup of the furniture to be sure they don’t negatively impact human health.

11. Think about who else may be using this space during the course of a day.

If you have pets or kids at home, consider how else the space can serve your home once the workday is done.

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intentionally designed spaces

The Power of Intentionally Designed Spaces

A single room can do a lot for an organization. Whether that is reinforcing company culture or creating a sense of trust with clients. Today we highlight two spaces from different companies and how these intentionally designed rooms help each company meet its goals.

Reinforcing Culture Within A Physical Space

Accenture is an international company with thousands of employees across numerous offices. Establishing a unified culture across so many different offices can be a major feat. The photo here is a great example of how to do reinforce a culture within a physical space.

intentionally designed accenture space
Open Workspace

Pictured above is an open workspace doing a few important things for its employees.

  1. It provides a place for multiple individuals and teams to work in a collaborative environment. Seeing coworkers easily and sitting in close proximity to them can help create camaraderie and provide a sense of belonging.
  2. This workspace is equipped with t audio visual technology. Introducing technology to a space allows teams to easily collaborate and work through projects together furthering their company’s goals.
  3. Vinyl decals reinforce the company’s values. Along the back wall is imagery putting the company focus front and center for employees to see and remember daily. No organization can create a strong culture without multiple avenues of reinforcement.

How To Create A Modern, High Class Space

Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU) recently started a Wealth Management Division on the first floor of its Member Service Center West location in Meridian. Unlike most of their installations, this office has a unique look and feel. The space pictured below is a great example of how to intentionally design a modern, and timeless work environment in which to welcome wealthy individuals.

ICCU Wealth Management Large Private Office
Large Private Office

Three important design details make this space work.

  1. Dark, rich finishes. ICCU harkens back to the dark finishes of wealth management companies by selecting dark wood for this private office. At the same time, they have chosen a color that is timeless and a desk that is highly functional.
  2. Cool tones. While blues and greens are very on brand for ICCU, bringing cool tones into a space help create a sense of calm in an environment. It is a welcoming color that contrasts well with the darker finishes.
  3. Lighting with glass walls. By installing floor-to-ceiling glass walls, each office has privacy without losing light. Unlike traditional stick-frame walls, the glass creates transparency both physically and psychologically. It also lets the light in while looking sleek and modern.

What can intentionally designed spaces do for your organization?

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wellbeing conference room

5 Ways AV Supports Employee Wellbeing

Audiovisual (AV) technology is stepping into a significant role in helping create workplaces that prioritize employee wellbeing. These technologies are enhancing comfort, communication, and the overall workplace experience.

yellow chairs

Lighting & Visuals:

AV systems can replicate natural lighting patterns, positively impacting employees’ circadian rhythms and mood. Dynamic lighting systems that mimic the changing daylight can promote alertness and better sleep patterns.

Acoustic Comfort for Wellbeing:

Sound masking technology is an excellent way to emit a subtle, soothing background sound to mask distractions and create a more private and focused work environment. Additional acoustic panels and materials can reduce noise reflections while creating a more peaceful environment. For added benefits, companies can choose to play relaxing music in addition to sound masking.

wellbeing flexible collaboration

Ergonomic Collaboration Spaces:

Interactive displays and digital whiteboards make collaboration easier during meetings, providing ergonomic options for brainstorming and idea sharing. This technology supports flexible furniture arrangements so you can do what works for you.

green conference room

Flexible Meeting Solutions:

Video conferencing solutions make remote employees feel they have a place in every meeting. With intuitive cameras, sound control, and lighting, conference room technology is helping remote employees achieve telepresence, a.k.a. the feeling they are in the same room while physically elsewhere. In turn, in-person meeting attendees can easily collaborate with those outside the office and schedule spaces to be ready for their meetings. These meetings build camaraderie between teams regardless of their physical location.

wellbeing employees

Personalized Experiences:

Employees can use digital signage to display tailored or personal content based on their preferences, which gives them a feeling of ownership over their workspace.

By integrating these AV technologies, companies can create work environments that are visually and acoustically pleasing and contribute to employees’ physical and mental wellbeing. This results in increased job satisfaction, productivity, and overall quality of work life.

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Red Folder Dual Private office

Red Folder: Striving For Better

In 2019, Dan McKnight was half-retired from the construction industry and needed something to do. His wife Andrea was also looking to get out of the mortgage industry, so when the idea of creating a business in insurance liability limits tracing fell into their lap, they jumped on it. “We evaluated the market and said, ‘We can do that, but we can do it better.'” says Dan. It took about four months for Dan to get the newly minted company off the ground from his dining room when the checks started coming in, and Andrea quit her job to help run the business. Today, Dan is the President of Red Folder Research, running the production side of the company, while Andrea has taken the role of Vice President, running the operations.

Red Folder Research Conference Room 1
Conference Room

What Red Folder Does

Red folder offers niche investigative services for personal injury attorneys who represent clients who have been injured. They help attorneys assess and determine the financial limits of case including the maximum amount the at-fault party’s insurance may be willing to pay. All insurance policies have a maximum amount they are obligated pay. Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible and attorneys want to recover the maximum their clients need to be made whole. Red Folder’s services can facilitate the resolution and compromise process and cut the length of time from injury-to-settlement by 90% or more.

“We can do that, but we can do it better.”

Dan McKnight

Red Folder revolutionized the industry by sticking to its core values of Speed, Accuracy, Service, and Development. They have a 99.8% accuracy rate compared to 80% in the rest of the industry, which has brought attorneys from around the U.S. flocking to their door. Since its founding in 2019, Red Folder has completed over 50,000 cases and recently doubled its daily caseload from the previous year. Red Folder also does very little advertising and has made no sales calls since their first day in business when Dan found an attorney willing to give him a shot. Within eleven minutes, Dan found and sent the information the attorney needed. That attorney became such an ambassador for their service Red Folder has never had to make another sales call.

Red Folder Research Workstation 2

Red Folder’s Massive Growth

With such a massive increase in demand for their services, Dan and Andrea had to grow their team quickly. Within the first two years, they were up to twelve employees and using garage sale office furniture. Today, they have designed and built two adjacent office buildings and have fifty-three employees, having hired twenty-six of them since May. Their original plan was to lease out one of the new buildings to another business until they realized they needed to fully occupy both new buildings.

The Vision For The Space

When Dan and Andrea started planning for their new construction office buildings, they wanted a clean, modern, and timeless environment where their employees liked to come to work. To achieve this look and feel, they chose to use floor-to-ceiling glass walls for all their private offices and bullpen-style workstations in central areas to increase the energy and collaboration of those spaces. While their branding is red, all their finishes include warm woods, leather, cool-toned fabrics, and green plant life.

With so much change in such a short time, Dan and Andrea have had to work closely with OEC Designer Jen Galloway to adapt the spaces to meet their needs. “I think in any relationship, you must go through some rough patches to figure out what you need and make that relationship harmonious. We have done that with all our vendors, but the entire time, OEC has desired to make us happy.” Andrea shares. Dan adds, “I think Jen knows me well enough now that when I say I need something, I know she is going to nail it.”

Favorite Office Spaces

Dan and Andrea’s favorite parts of the new offices are: 1.) Their large conference room that can hold all their employees for their quarterly “State of the Company” meeting, and 2.) The “Bullpen” which is a space with six workstations that helps keep the teamwork and energy high.

Red Folder Private Office
Private Office

Sticking To Their Core Values

With so much happening so quickly, Dan and Andrea are planning for the future through the lens of their core values of Speed, Accuracy, Service, and Development. They are dedicated to consistently delivering an amazing service, but when it comes to their employees, Development is the focus. “We think everything should be getting better, not bigger, but better. Processes, techniques, equipment, personal lives, relationships, vacations, possessions. Everything in our lives should be getting better, and if it’s not, then we need to figure out what’s keeping that from happening,” says Dan.

“We think everything should be getting better, not bigger, better.”

Dan McKnight
Break Room
Break Room

Helping Their Employees Achieve Better

As they strive to improve everything for their team, Andrea shares, “Dan and I are striving for a more balanced life. A good life. We also want to provide a place where our employees love to come every day and work hard so they can earn an income to create the life they enjoy.” Dan adds, “Not everyone would trust a brand-new company, especially one operating from a dining room, so our goal is to invest in our people and demonstrate our commitment to them.

Andrea continues, “We’ve gone through some hard times in the last six months dealing with capacity issues, and people have sacrificed so much for this company that it makes me emotional. We couldn’t do it without that sacrifice. I want them to feel rewarded and like they are part of something that has grown into something great.”

With their new spaces meeting the needs of their staff and more business rolling in by the day, Dan and Andrea have their hands full. Regardless of what the future holds, you can count on the fact that they will continue to strive toward better, no matter what.

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