Black Friday 2019

Join us in-store for great deals door-crashers!

Workplace Culture – Part 2

Image: Steelcase


The first step to creating a great employee experience is understanding what people want. By listening to people and observing how they work, companies can focus on:

– an approach to meeting people’s needs for wellbeing

– smart and connected technology

– and access to a range of spaces.

With this approach companies can create places where people want to work & gaining an edge over competitors searching for talent.

01 Offer Choice + Control

Here are some ideas:

Give people the freedom to work wherever they want by providing a range of spaces with different tools and atmospheres that meet their changing needs throughout the day.

02 Make it Authentic

Create places where people feel free to be themselves. Lighting, materiality, informal spaces and natural elements are powerful influences on behavior and communicate company brand and culture.

03 Keep Them Nourished

Think about physical and emotional needs. Great coffee and healthy food options signal that wellbeing is a priority. Stronger relationships create stronger ideas, both of which increase team synergy and creativity.

04 Provide Top Technology

Without easy-to-use, accessible technology, workers can’t do their jobs and often get frustrated and distracted. It’s important to provide both mobile devices and thoughtfully integrated large-scale technology in spaces to make it easy to share ideas and information.

05 Support Solitude

Help keep distractions low with respite spaces where individuals can rejuvenate, take a private phone call or focus on heads-down work throughout the day.

06 Keep them Connected to Coworkers and Community

Invest in diversity, inclusion and community outreach opportunities. These groups give employees a chance to form a sense of belonging to the company and feel that what they do and who they work for serve a larger purpose.

Sometimes we forget to think strategically about creating an employee experience that will influence  decisions about where to work and how engaged they are likely to be. Instead, the office should be leveraged to encourage new social norms and a mindset leading to the behaviors that enhance innovation. Over time, this will shape the culture you desire, as well as create the type of work experience people are seeking

Workplace Culture – Part 1

Today, some people shop for employers like they do
for consumer products.

People are looking for a sense of purpose at work and ask themselves, “Do I love my job, or do I just like it? Does my employer share my values? There are many factors at play when someone is trying to choose where they want to work.

At the same time, the competition for talent has never been more fierce.

Traditionally, organizations have thought about their offices as a place to park their people.


A great employee experience doesn’t come easy. Companies with low engagement scores often implement initiatives before asking employees what they want. A recent global study of office workers found:

51% need an escape from working in the same place during their day

53% of employees say they can’t find the right types of space they need.

43% are seeking deeper relationships with colleagues and believe informal spaces can help build more trust.

This data is telling; people are unsatisfied.

Traditional perks like higher salaries aren’t enough to convince people to join a new company or stay with the one they’re already with. For Gen Z (born 1994–2008), salary isn’t even a top-three priority, according to the 2017 Change Generation Report conducted by the Lovell Corporation.

For the first time, passion is ranked as one of the top three work values. Employers will be required to keep their spark alive in the workplace—ensuring work speaks to individual interests, provides growth and aligns with employee values.


There are three critical factors for companies to invest in creating an optimal employee experience—physical space, culture and technology.

Very few organizations think about these three factors holistically. They are usually managed by separate people with separate budgets. Human resources, information technology and facility leaders rarely sit in a room to talk through how their roles intersect to build the places where people want to work.


A survey that measures companies on how well they invest in physical space, culture and technology was conducted at over 250 global organizations. Organizations who prioritized integration of technology, space and culture had more than four times the average profit and more than two times the average revenue.

Stay tuned for part two in a couple weeks, as we further explore this fundamental relationship.

Staff Room Refresh

Finally! Brant Staff Room Reno!!!!

While we’re busy making great, creative spaces for others, our own lunch/break area has suffered. But not any more!

We recently updated our team lunchroom. Including a lounge area, upgraded wifi and space heater. We also painted the room and added a touch of art. The comfortable furniture has already got staff’s attention, as we’ve noticed a marked increase in use of the space.

Check out the before and after shots. All items sources by our team of professionals.

BEFORE – Not very welcoming, is it?

AFTER – Much better!

Ask us about your employee spaces –
we’ve got lots of great ideas to keep your staff productive.

Stressed at Work?

There are some things you can do to make it less-so. When employees feel positive about the spaces they work in, productivity improves, collaboration increases and creativity peaks.

Who wants to be stuck at one single desk, day after day after day? That gets boring quickly. And, it’s just gotta harm productivity, no?

(image: Steelcase)

Our staff of designers recommend you provide spaces that give control and choice over where work is completed. Shared spaces, collaborative commons, private nooks…all can give your staff the chance to be their best each day. Through a variety of spaces, we’re sure your staff will improve their focus, and it will show in the work they do. When you have versatile spaces for one-on-one or small group work, and interesting spaces for larger teams, you build, within your staff, personal connections and strong collaboration.

Give our skilled design team a chance to talk you through the options available to bring your office into the future…where workspaces are constantly evolving.

For insight into a changing workplace, various spaces like we talked about above and the tools used these days to get knowledge based work done, check out this interesting video on knowledge work.

Sit or Stand? Your Options Are Many

The health of any organization is dependent on the wellbeing of its employees. A healthy workplace safeguards the company’s most significant investment – its people – ensuring maximum efficiency and innovation.

Height adjustable desks are designed to support the physiology and biology of the workers to make the workplace a more health-conscious environment.

Providing employees with environments that support wellbeing is essential to the success of an organization. Height adjustable desks allows employees to transition from seated to standing height postures throughout the day, stimulating mental and physical activity and promoting wellbeing in individual and group workspaces.

Brant offers solutions that support the wellbeing of leaders and professionals at work as well. These elegant solutions provide the flexibility to shift postures throughout the day while enhancing workspace status and image requirements.

Brant offers a combination of electric mechanisms and non-electric options to encourage frequent workstyle transitions.

Countless studies show that people are healthier and more and more productive when they can change postures in their workspaces.

Want a demo? Contact our professional, knowledgeable design/furniture staff for a tour through our showroom, where we can  demonstrate the options available, to make you more comfortable and productive in the workplace.

Health & safety + a whole lot more!

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 2.42.11 PM

The team at Brant Basics are always working to bring you the products you need, when you need them. We have years of experience in the field, and our team of helpful staff members are highly qualified to help you find the solutions you need to support your home or business productivity. We are always sourcing and expanding our offering with new, in-demand office supplies and office design ideas. We want to highlight some aspects of our 2017 product offering which you may not be aware of.

In the ever important Health & Safety category we offer a broad scope of quality products. Did you know we offer sanitation/maintenance supplies? As well, did you know that ladders and shipping supplies are part of the line-up? As well, we have a full range of fire extinguishers, respirators, paramedic blankets, bandages, safety gloves, crutches and even wheelchairs.

The needs of an office are always changing and highly diverse, and we work to meet the needs of a very wide range of clients, from one and two person home offices, to major employers with more than 500 on staff.

So, give us a call or drop by the store and showroom on George Street in Downtown Peterborough. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff are here to help.

5 reasons to choose Brant Basics?

  1. Quality products, selection and competitive pricing
  2. Free Parking off Water Street
  3. Free Delivery on orders of $25 or more
  4. We operate in an environmentally friendly way, treating the earth with respect
  5. We are locally-owned and family-run, supporting many community organizations in the place where we work and play


Design Case Studies – March 2017

Following are some recent installations by our furniture and design team. We’re a collaborative and problem solving bunch – who enjoy a challenge. We love to create spaces where people feel able to work, socialize and be productive. See below, and give us a call next time you’re got a project which needs some thoughtful eyes. We are proud of the work we do, and our customers are equally excited at their new spaces.

Case Studies #1

All Saints Catholic Secondary School  – Working with a really large space, the mandate demanded we create different environments within. With a learning commons, it’s important to cater to all types of people and work – introverts and extroverts, private and group study. Person A might like studying in private (enter the Steelcase Brody) and person B might learn best by working with their classmates (enter Steelcase Verb tables).

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 12.18.04 PM

Another important factor for the librarians at All Saints was mobility – the ability to quickly transform the space from one setting to another, affording a wide range of uses – teaching classes, larger presentations, small group work and individual study. Everything from the chairs, to the tables and even the library stacks are on casters. The arrangements are endless! It’s awesome to see the space being used to its full potential. We offered products that support group, individual, social and teaching scenarios.

Products in the photo:
Steelcase Node Chairs
Steelcase Move Chairs
Steelcase Jenny Chairs
Steelcase Buoy chairs
Steelcase Ology height adjustable tables
Campfire Glass Table (like a whiteboard – top available in paper, too)
Custom mobile book shelves

Case Study #2

Durham Catholic School Board IT Department – The challenge was to integrate a traditional office with more practical spaces for the specific work being performed, including a social space, which was lacking. The department often had visitors – people who would drop in, but had nowhere to work – rather like a co-work space, therefore this space would not only act as a touchdown area for those workers, but as a casual meeting space. The table pictured is called the Campfire Big Table – the design was inspired by residential tables that draw people together. It is 40”H meaning people can both sit and stand at the table, making it a great area to collaborate.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 12.17.54 PM  Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 1.48.35 PM
Products in the photo:
Campfire Big Lounge
Campfire Glass Table
Steelcase Buoy
Turnstone Scoop Stools
Campfire Big Table

Case Study #3

Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School – This project shared some similar traits to the All Saints learning commons (see above) which was to create different learning environments within one large space – collaboration, teaching areas, private study space. The Brant design team, working with the architect, had a vision with this project and played a large role in choosing the product and colours. Mobility of the furniture was not as important in this case, but some of the tables and chairs are equipped with casters for easy reconfigurations. The soft seating you see is Coalesse Circa – it is available in many configurations and is great for both individual work and casual collaboration.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 12.17.45 PM

Products in this photo:
Coalesse Circa
Custom mobile shelving
Steelcase Move Chairs
Custom shelving and lit signage on the far wall

On Community Outreach, Both Locally and Beyond

Our own Sue, along with other local and district Rotary Club members travelled to Honduras to implement the first of many literacy and education projects in remote Honduran villages. The first initiative was to distribute water filters. By improving the quality of water, the health and attendance in schools will improve for the young children who attend up to grade 6.

Team members also painted the Spanish alphabet (previously absent in all the school rooms) and numerals from 1-100 so children can improve their counting and math skills.

For fun we built tire swings, tether ball games and a climbing ladder at each school which were void of any play equipment.  We hope this will entice children to attend school more often as it adds an aspect of fun.  

On another note, a larger project is in the works for a teacher training centre in a village.  The training centre will train teachers and act as a central resource area for educational supplies. Students and teachers also received lots of office and school supplies to help them with their studies. A second and third trip to Honduras are being seriously considered by the group.

As a company, we feel it’s our duty to give back to the community – and working through Rotary is just one way we give back. Follow us on social media for info on our monthly community partner program, or stop by the George Street window and learn about things and organizations worth supporting in our own community.

IMG_0541 IMG_0545 IMG_0563 IMG_0561

Innovation Cluster and Movable Walls

In-progress pictures from the Innovation Cluster here in downtown Peterborough. Featuring a product called Privacy Wall by Steelcase. It’s a modular wall system that uses glass, fabric and whiteboard panels to create space division, much like our office. It’s a great alternative to traditional construction because it can be altered and moved in the future (ie, if someone wants a larger office, the walls can be taken down without having to completely disrupt the office).

We are so pleased to be working with The Cluster on this amazing project which will work to guide business innovation in the region for years to come.

Brant is your local dealer for Steelcase office products. Give us a call – we’d love to work with you.


IMG_9880 IMG_9879 IMG_9878