Northwest Business Magazine

Business Resource Guide: Rieke Office Interiors

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Part of a Series: Discover a custom office furniture manufacturer whose constant pursuit of innovation is gaining attention.

Say goodbye to boring gray workspaces. Color is finding its way into a variety of office design touches, from wall coverings to furniture and floors.

Say goodbye to boring gray workspaces. Color is finding its way into a variety of office design touches, from wall coverings to furniture and floors.


Editor’s Note: This is part of a “Business Resource Guide” series that highlights several locally owned business-to-business service providers in our region.

Your office is a reflection of your company, so why settle for a boring gray cube? The team at Rieke Office Interiors (ROI), 2000 Fox Lane in Elgin, embraces innovation within its custom-designed interiors.

A full-service company, ROI provides everything from custom furniture built in-house to flooring and decor – and does so in a cost-effective manner.

“We think about the whole environment, from the ceiling and lights, to the flooring and artwork, to the sounds, smells and furniture in an office space,” says Mike Warren, workplace culture consultant for ROI. “There’s a whole lot more to having a cool, creative, innovative and productive workplace than having just a really nice ergonomic chair and fancy desk.”

ROI’s Elgin headquarters is a working showroom and laboratory of innovation. The sales team, for example, works in a newly redesigned space with 5-foot-by-5-foot workspaces. Every part of the station is optimized: storage and drawers on either side, overhead cabinets with a markerboard facing, and a square hole on the desk where important files can hang.

In general, modern office footprints are shrinking and the walls are coming down. Employees are increasingly mobile and collaborative. Splashes of color and texture – on walls, furniture and floors – add visual interest.
Refreshed interiors provide several advantages, says Warren, most notably as a recruitment tool for employees and customers.

“If a customer just walked into your competitor down the street and had an average first impression, but he walked into your door and feels inspired, or sees your marketing message, or thinks the space is unique, you didn’t have to do anything to sell him,” says Warren. “You didn’t have to give him a fancy brochure, you didn’t have to show him your warehouse and you didn’t have to spew sales jargon.”

Started by Todd Rieke in 1992, ROI began as a dealer of used office furniture. It’s since carved a niche for itself in custom office solutions. ROI’s 150,000-square-foot showroom along Interstate 90 provides a colorful advantage for potential clients.

Innovation plays a big role in Rieke’s philosophy on office design. A few years ago, his team launched the 52-25 Challenge to create 25 new products each year. The first year led to creative solutions including a markerboard conference table that has a writeable surface and comes with table tennis equipment and storage space.

The Challenge also brought forth the “Bravo,” an L-shaped desk that’s a standard seated desk on one side and a standing-height surface on the other. Warren says that, of the projects he’s sold in the past few months, about 75 percent incorporate some form of sit-stand desk.

“They say sitting is the smoking of our generation, so giving workers the opportunity to get up and walk around, or stand at their workstation is something that we’re talking about in every new office design,” he says.

ROI’s interior design suite demonstrates the company’s work with acoustic panels that absorb ambient sound. A yellow “banana bunch” in a designer’s private office helps to reduce echo and cleverly disguises an Edison light bulb. The company’s “Torrent” product, which looks like a collection of wavy-shaped panels emerging from the wall, recently won a “Best of Year” award from Interior Design Magazine for innovative new wallcovering.

“It’s made from a felt-like product, and we use a CNC machine to cut different shapes, so we can do logos, designs, all kinds of things,” says Warren.

Where creative design and engineering intersect, the team at ROI continues to pursue new solutions that enhance the sleek, modern office.

To learn more about custom office solutions from Rieke Office Interiors, visit rieke.com or call (847) 622-9711.

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