The Nook

Nook Pods are agile, acoustic meeting and collaboration spaces for powerful work and small ad-hoc get togethers. They improve personal wellbeing, increase productivity and add workspace flexibility in corporate, educational and healthcare settings.

Pittsfield, Mass. — As the pandemic winds down and the world reopens, BBE President Dan Proskin is focused on creating options that fulfill specific needs for new types of workspaces in business, education and health care. Specifically, he’s providing office designs and “furniture with purpose” to ease the heavy load of isolation and to create more engaging and inclusive workspaces as we return to jobs, school and communal everyday life.

Proskin found his match with Nook, furniture designed as an ingredient for dynamic space. Nook Pods are little, den-like sanctuary meeting and workspaces that are modular, multifunctional, customizable, mobile, packable and include integrated technology.

Proskin sees products such as Nook taking center stage as clients in BBE’s three markets — health care, education and corporate — level-up for the hybrid future, allowing employees to choose to work from home, the office or from third spaces, which typically are purpose-designed flexible offices.

The changing profile of the workplace

Businesses are redesigning their environments for remote professionals looking for somewhere other than the home or traditional office to get work done. Nook plays a valuable role in this new trend. The growth in remote working will see the office become a hub for collaboration. As coworking grows, Nook is focused on amplifying engagement and productivity.

David O’Coimin, president and creator of Nook, explains how vital the environment is to performance and productivity. “People are the organization,” O’Coimin said. “Space and culture are fundamental to how people perform. What you do with your environment will have a huge effect on whether people can bring their full selves to bear.

“Nook reduces the overstimulation of the open office, allowing people to choose how they engage. Productivity is no longer about presenteeism; it’s not good enough to just show up. It’s about engagement and outcomes.”

The Great Resignation, which is an informal name for the widespread trend of a significant number of workers leaving their jobs during the pandemic, is also driving significant change in the work environment. The exodus is mainly because of dissatisfaction with current working conditions, such as employers not catering to soft needs such as flex time and workspace options

A popular space for kids at all grade levels and all levels of need

As president of the board at UCP of Western MA, an agency that supports children and adults with disabilities, Proskin explains that Nook products also fulfill a niche need by helping students in school and those on the Autism Spectrum.

“New products like the Nook are reshaping educational spaces,” he said. “These quiet, textural, modular retreats with soft finishes and sensory interiors help all children deal with the overstimulation of the school environment and peer pressure. It takes a kid out of the spotlight of judgment and allows for centering and calmness.

“This is especially true for children with disabilities or those on the Autism Spectrum, who have a high level of need. It’s also worth noting that when children with disabilities have to seek private school settings out of district to meet their special needs, it can cost public schools up to $125,000 per year. The Nook is a cost-effective alternative.”

Jay Litman, a principal architect and partner at Fielding International, LLC, specifies Nook products for educational projects.

“The Nook supports student agency and the social-emotional needs of children to connect with other children in real time and space,” Litman said. “It provides for quiet focus for both solitary and teamwork. The Nook proves the concept that children are more engaged in their education when they can take ownership of how, what, where and when they learn.”

Said Courtney Sevigny, a principal of Eden Park School, located in Cranston, Rhode Island, and designed by Fielding International: “The Nook provides a quiet space within our larger learning community, allowing for all learners’ needs to be met.”

Bringing retrofittable, accessible, affordable solutions to market

When O’Coimin created the Nook, he wanted to develop a retrofittable, accessible, affordable product for businesses and classrooms, he said.

“I recognized that it’s not Google or Facebook or JP Morgan, the companies that can afford multimillion-dollar, designer-led workspaces that need this, but ordinary companies, where millions of people work every day and ordinary schools, where everyone goes to class. They need accessible solutions. And if they’re not affordable, they’re not accessible, which would be pointless.”

To bring this new solution to market, Nook teams up with like-minded partners such as BBE Office Interiors. “Having solid partnerships means everything, because partners bring their passion to projects that matter and have impact. This comes from being connected to organizations that care,” O’Coimin said.

Bill Fitzgerald of The WJF Group represents the Nook line for BBE and echoes O’Coimin’s sentiment. “Nook has become a passion of mine because it’s designed to help people,” Fitzgerald said. “We value our partnership with Dan Proskin at BBE because he’s like that — he does the right thing, and that means finding solutions that solve real world problems.”

About BBE Office Interiors

BBE’s turnkey solutions provide everything from design renderings and specification development to the right office furniture and ergonomic tools to meet design, productivity and workflow goals. Projects are handled entirely by BBE, end to end, to ensure quality control. The company serves clients in the educational, healthcare and corporate markets in Berkshire County, the Pioneer Valley and throughout New England. The company works through commercial, urban, industrial and green architectural and design firms, or clients can utilize the BBE expert design team directly. BBE Office Interiors is family-owned and operated, celebrating 75 years in business. To learn more about the company, visit bbeoffice.com or contact Dan Proskin at 413-442-8217, email dan@bbeoffice.com.