The coronavirus pandemic upended our lives throughout 2020, with many of us spending significantly more time at home. As a result, during this year of isolation, many of us turn to our “fur babies” for emotional companionship and stress reduction.

Indeed, the unexpected cameo appearances of cats and dogs walking into live video shots over the past year livened up many otherwise mundane Zoom conference calls or television news programs broadcast live from a reporter’s bedroom.

Perhaps unsurprisingly — given the recent shortages of toilet paper, baking flour, and other household items — there were even spot shortages of cats and dogs available for adoption during 2020, with some perspective pet owners bidding up the price of purebred puppies and kittens to record heights. …

The New Year, 2021, is finally here, and not a moment too soon.

The changing of the calendar marks a new start, a fresh beginning.

How can American manufacturing companies make the best of it?

The challenges facing the industry are great. US trade deficits reached an all-time high in 2020, as the Coronavirus put the economy on the back foot. And, as the American economy contracted during 2020, it’s continued to fall further behind China, which Bloomberg now estimates will take over the mantle as the world’s largest economy as soon as the year 2028.

How can we change course? According to Elon Musk, who recently overtook Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as the world’s wealthiest individual, the answer lies in increasing our investment in innovation.

Congratulations to you if you’re reading this article, as it means you made it through to the beginning of the last month of 2020, one of the most difficult years in living memory.

Throughout 2020, K-12 school programs found themselves thrust into the crosshairs of high-profile controversies as public health scientists and, government officials, and educational administrators grappled with the challenge of how to cope with unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Parents, teachers, and students alike have had to cope with sudden school closures, improvised classroom instruction conducted online via Zoom, a delayed return to in-class instruction under strict social distancing guidelines, as well as, in many cases, schools reverting to online instruction when coronavirus infection levels began to rise too quickly. …

Today we have the pleasure of introducing Dr. James Kaufman, who is the Founder/President Emeritus of the Laboratory Safety Institute — a leading voice in the lab community that has promoted safer lab practices for more than 40 years.

Dr. Kaufman, who goes by Jim, was kind enough to join us in an extended Zoom call to discuss how he got started his lab safety career and what tips he can share with architects, facility planners, lab managers, academic partners, as well as others who are interested in improving lab safety.

Two Accidents In The First Month Of A Career As A Professional Chemist

Two accidents marked the start of Jim Kaufman’s first month working at Dow Chemical in Wayland, Massachusetts — incidents that were to change the course of Jim’s laboratory career forever, setting him on his lifelong mission to promote lab safety. …

Are you an experienced road warrior, or is this your first time working from home? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with 12 practical tips to create an efficient home office environment that will keep your productivity on track.

Tip 1: Take A Business-Like Approach To Working At Home

Let’s be honest: you probably know your work habits better than anyone else.

Take a moment of self-reflection to assess your three best — and three worst — work habits.

Keep these in mind and look for ways to build on your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses when working remotely.

For example, if you’re tempted to blur the lines between home life and work, segregate your work time by creating a fixed schedule — then show up on time to your home office, fully dressed in work clothes, ready to start each day. …

Why Compact Labs Are Gaining In Popularity

The Covid-19 pandemic has drawn renewed attention to the advantages of compact laboratories. Here are a few reasons why demand for these smaller labs has increased:

  • Decentralize crowded laboratory operations
    Many existing labs are too crowded to fully comply with social distancing requirements, so lab managers are looking at adding additional square footage in new compact labs to allow lab workers to work in lower-density areas.
  • Increase clinical testing lab capacity
    Testing employees for signs of Covid-19 infection has become standard procedure at many workplaces. Adding an on-site compact lab helps support efficient testing operations.
  • Convert existing spaces into small lab environments
    As space planning needs change due to the pandemic, facility managers are looking at converting existing spaces into compact laboratories. (See this kitchen to laboratory conversion project in Japan.) …

Current State Of The Energy Market

One look at the postwar price chart below tells the story — the coronavirus pandemic has led us into an oil price collapse, the like of which has not been seen since 1986 and 1998.

Record Low Energy Consumption Around The World

As economic activity has come to a near standstill during the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns around the world, energy demand has fallen precipitously.

Formaspace continues to grow, so it’s time to welcome some of the new faces who have joined our “FormaCrew” team over the past few months.

Carr Lanphier

Chief Of Staff

We’d like to introduce our new Formaspace Chief of Staff, Carr Lanphier, who comes to us from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. In his role, Carr is tackling a variety of projects across the company — from coordinating strategies that maximize our efficiency to leveraging the amazing products Formaspace creates in the marketplace.

“I love working in small-to-midsized businesses because it’s possible to get experience in every role and understand what is operating effectively, why challenges exist and how they can be mitigated or resolved,” says Carr. “And I really, really appreciate the opportunity to learn and to get to know everyone across the company. We have a great team that manufactures an incredible product. …

To say 2020 has been a difficult year for the American manufacturing companies would be an understatement.

It wasn’t meant to be this way.

According to the Congressional Research Service, China displaced the United States as the largest manufacturing country during the Great Recession years. The US share of manufacturing dropped from 28% in 2002 to a low point of 16.5% in 2011. By 2016, US manufacturing’s share of world output was recovering from its decline during the Great Recession, reaching a 7 year high of 18%.

Things were looking so promising for a recovery in American manufacturing that consulting giant Deloitte forecast in their 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index that the US would return to its number one global ranking by the year 2020, followed by China then Germany. …

Changing Demand For Products Is Causing Supply Chain Disruptions And Spot Shortages In Raw Materials

The coronavirus pandemic has not only been a stark reminder of the importance of public health measures, it’s also taught manufacturers around the world some brutal lessons in operations management as sudden shifts in demand have suddenly turned supply chains upside down.

We begin our look at the effect that burgeoning demand due to Covid-19 can have on manufacturing operations with something that’s close to home for Formaspace: the production of transparent barriers to protect employees at work.

New CDC Guidelines For Reopening Businesses And Schools Is Driving High Demand For Transparent Shields That Help Protect Against Virus Transmission

As business offices, manufacturing facilities, bars and restaurants, K-12 schools, and universities around the country begin to reopen after an extended Covid-19 lockdown, OSHA and the CDC have issued updated guidelines designed to keep people safe at work. …


Mehmet Atesoglu

Digital Marketing Manager at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store