The Benefits of Ergonomic Office Furniture

When you’re working in an office setting, chances are you’re spending a lot of time at a desk or workstation. A typical employee works about 2000 hours per year, usually working on a computer or performing office related tasks that require sitting.  These desk jobs can often be detrimental to their health, especially without the right equipment. To maintain an optimal comfort level, there are a number of ergonomic solutions that can be beneficial for your work performance, as well as your health.

Ergonomic aids in avoiding injury or serious stress as it is designed in a user-friendly and flexible way, keeping an employee moving. Sitting in the same position can exert a tremendous amount of stress on your spine, which is why an increasing number of modern offices are making the switch to ergonomics.

Benefits of Chairs: Ergonomic chairs are specially designed for maximum efficiency and comfort. They provide complete rest to the most stressed body parts of the worker by reducing neck problems and back pain. The chairs come with a headrest that offers additional support for stretching and most have recliners for optimal comfort.  Working in ergonomic chairs makes the work day easier, has great seat depth to support the hips, and a swivel feature so you don’t strain when trying to stand up. Tied together, ergonomic chairs and desks that are properly fitted to your style result in higher productivity.

Productivity: Chairs proportionate to your height and size are essential to optimal productivity. We’re all different, and having a chair that is proportionate to your size and your computer placement will prevent excess stress to your muscles and joints. A chair designed for less exertion and fewer motions will become a solution that improves quality of work.

Next to illness, lower back pain is the highest cause for employees to miss work. Studies have indicated ergonomic solutions can increase performance levels up to 50% in terms of quality, health, and decreased absenteeism. Proper seating also boost morale and reduced fatigue.

Health Factors: From chairs to desks to executive office furniture, there are a number of health benefits associated with ergonomics. Mainly, posture support. With ergonomics, you won’t be cramped and stiff, as you’ll be able to shift positions as often as you’d like and reduce pressures on stress points. Keeping the body in a proper position will reduce the chances of injury and create a culture at the office that will benefit the organization. You won’t have a slouched back, which improves your posture.

Additionally, the trend of standing desks is on the rise, and will aid in the prevention of heart disease, carpal tunnel, thrombosis, and more health concerns. When you’re looking for a change in the office atmosphere, consider the affordable office furniture from Arnolds. We have a wide selection of used, modern, and ergonomic furniture to address the needs of all customers.  For more information, speak with our customer service team by calling 1.866.253.5063.

Tips for Creating an Impressive Workspace for Employees and Clients

As a business grows and the desks are filling up, you may have to think about rearranging your workplace or even moving into a larger office. We want to create a unique environment that provides comfort for all employees. Trends for designing the office space are beginning to change and modernize to create a communal and team environment for coworkers. An aesthetically pleasing design starts with taking a unique approach when choosing commercial office furniture. Here are some tips for creating an impressive workspace.

Consider Open Workstations. More productivity is found through teamwork and helping with various day-to-day tasks. After all, each employee has a different skillset, and by working together they will achieve the best possible result. Open workstations are perfect for these situations since the design allows for a higher level of collaboration.

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Try A Modern Layout. An efficient and modern layout is key to getting clients on your team and excited to work with you. Show your clients you’re looking toward the future, and show your employees the direction the company is heading. This can be done by flashing company goals or achievements in the lobby and throughout the office. But don’t overdo it.  Avoid clutter and disorganized spaces and only use furniture where needed. A streamlined, modern environment will impress your prospective clients.

Use Distinctive Reception Area Furniture. Add some creativity and flair to your reception area. Put the personality of your office and the culture of your employees on display to provide a unique waiting area for clients as soon as they walk in the door. Different types of companies all come with different styles so whether you’re a technology company, an insurance company, or a law firm, make sure your design is in sync with your customers and your industry.

Remember, One Size Doesn’t Fit All. Every office has a different culture and set of personalities that make the company successful and multi-faceted. Don’t purchase the same piece of furniture for every branch of your company. Use whiteboards for those in need of more space for creative thoughts, and provide more space for storage (clerks and accountants) of files.  Give it some thought, and choose what’s best for a particular department.

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Go Used. Used office furniture is a great way to save money while still receiving high quality furniture. Plus, you will be helping the environment by preventing the destruction of perfectly good furniture. Make your space impressive while helping your bottom line. We have a unique selection of remanufactured office furniture that won’t break your budget.

Feel free to contact us for a free design consultation. Design is a frequently-overlooked aspect of your office space. To get the most out of your workplace and provide a comfortable, homey atmosphere, a conversation with our planners will pay dividends when the furniture is installed.

The Deal on Fireproof Filing Cabinets

What Is It?

Fireproof filing cabinets do exactly what their name implies; they protect important documents from fire, and from other potential emergency situations like explosions, floods, theft, and impact.

Is It Worth It?

Fireproof cabinets have varying degrees of protection, depending on brand and model. Most fireproof file cabinets can endure heat up to 1,500 degree Fahrenheit for one hour and sustain a 30 foot drop. They can also withstand a 2000 degree Fahrenheit explosion, and often come installed with a high-grade pick-and-drill-resistant lock.

If you work with sensitive documents, fireproof file cabinets are an indispensable piece of equipment to have in your office.

What Can I Protect?

There are many important employee and client documents a business needs to keep safe. Some examples include:

- Payroll Statements

- Birth and Death Certificates

- Medical History Records

- Financial Documents

- Contracts

- Bank Records

- Wills and Testaments

- Insurance Policies

Fireproof filing cabinets come in both lateral and vertical styles. Lateral cabinets are appropriate for large open offices with a lot of room, but not a lot of height. Vertical filing cabinets are good for offices short on space. Be sure to consider the size and type of documents you will be storing, when choosing a cabinet, and consult your space planner with help on where to place it. These cabinets are often heavy and difficult to move, so make sure you know ahead of time where you want them to be. With the many styles, sizes, and colors available, choosing the right cabinet will depend solely on the needs and aesthetics of your office.

3 Spaces Your Office Needs

1. The Studio: When you need to think creatively, or when you just need a clean space to work, the studio is an open area where work can be produced. You don’t need to be an art gallery or a photographer to have a studio; a studio is an ideal environment for any business that needs a way to think outside the box.

Design Solution: Keep furnishing to a minimum. All you need is a few long tables and chairs for convenience.

2. The Quiet Retreat: As more and more businesses turn to open space and collaborative designs, it becomes important that a quiet retreat is available for your employees who need a break from the noise and chaos. Just like school libraries are a staple on college campuses, the quiet retreat is a space where employees can research and work on projects in silence.

Design Solution: Keep cell phones, telephones, and any conversation out of the retreat. Install individual desks, or communal tables with walls to mimic a library atmosphere.

3. The Nucleus: The nucleus is the heart and soul of your company. Unlike a break room, the nucleus is not just for meal and break time gatherings. It’s the part of your office where community and sense of team work is built. It’s where ice cream socials, company meetings, and game days are held. The nucleus is a space where employees can recharge, while learning and growing with the company.

Design Solution: Add white boards (or chalk boards) in the center of the room for impromptu pow-wows and brainstorming sessions. Make the room adaptable for any event by outfitting the nucleus with mobile furniture (tables and chairs with wheels).

Color Therapy for the Office

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The walls of your office can affect the way your employees work and feel. Studies show that depending on age, gender, location, and culture, different colors have different impulses associated with them.

When designing your office, choose your office colors wisely. Remember that each color can affect the psychology and mood of your workplace.

Colors and Their Associations:

- Red: Aggressive and stimulating, and raises energy levels.  Good For: Reception areas; anywhere that you want to make a strong first impression.

- White: Clean, neutral, and sterile. Good For: Overall neutral color that can be used in any room.

- Yellow: Stimulating, bright, and cheerful. Good For: Conference rooms or break rooms where employees need to feel stimulated.

- Blue: Calming, soothing, and masculine. Good For: Bathrooms; blue is often associated with sleep and sickness; this color may be too relaxing for a work place environment.

- Gray: Wisdom, and intelligence. Good For: Gray is a relatively neutral color, but can make a good impression in hallways and offices.

- Purple: Dramatic, elegant, sophisticated, and feminine. Good For: Reception areas and hallways; purple is a strong color and should be used sporadically as a design accent, rather than an overall wall color.

- Orange: Exciting, energetic, and enthusiastic. Good For: Certain shades of orange can have the same stimulating effects as yellow; use it in your conference rooms and break rooms.

- Green: Stress relieving, calming, and soothing. Good For: A room where you meet with clients; green is a relaxing color that is restful on the eyes; however, unlike blue, it does not have the same “sleep” connotations; instead, green represents life and renewal.

The 3 Keys to a Great Office Space

Location

When looking for a new office, search for locations that best fit the needs of your employees and clients. If you tend to deal with a lot of foot traffic or client meetings, look for a location that offers free parking for visitors and which can easily be found.

Business owners tend to look for locations with affordability as the main determinant. While it’s prudent to stay within your budget, a location shouldn’t always be about the cheapest find. A good location should not only provide you with the space you need, but should be near places your employees or clients would like to frequent.

For example, if you work in a medical office, being near a pharmacy makes sense for your clients. If you work in a small startup office, being near trendy restaurants or bars is a convenient place to take clients for meetings and to build team relationships.

The Building

When checking out the space, make sure to look into the other offices in the building. Knowing your neighbors may help you determine whether or not a space is right for your businesses. For example, if your neighbor runs a record store and your building doesn’t have the proper soundproof walls, this may prove to be too much of a distraction.

Additionally, if you work for a company with a lot of sensitive equipment or documents, make sure the building has the proper security in place to prevent lost or theft.

Room for Growth

As your business expands, make sure your office has enough room to accommodate potential growth. Take some time out to properly assess your future and what it look looks like to you. Cubicles can always be rearranged to fit more employees, but square footage is static.

HIPAA-Compliant Office Design Features

If you work in a medical, health, or insurance office, then you are well aware of HIPAA Regulations that protect patient health information. Prevention and proper training is the greatest step you can take in minimizing any risk of information leakage. These measures range from proper document disposal to email protocol. Even when it comes to designing your office, there are several HIPAA-compliant features you can integrate into your layout.

1. Reception Area: While your reception area should remain open and welcoming, reception desks that are too exposed risk people overhearing private conversations and private documents being seen. You can avoid this from happening by investing in a clear soundproof barrier between the reception area and waiting room. The clear barrier will give the illusion of an open space, while maintaining privacy between a patient and a receptionist.

2. Workstation Removed from High Traffic Areas: Keep your workstations away from high traffic areas. Ideally, install cubicle walls that will create a privacy barrier between each station.

3. Computer Safeguarding: Position your computer away from traffic or anyone other than the user. Invest in computer monitor filters or protectors that guard your screen from prying eyes.

4. Secure Storage: During office hours, your cubicles or private offices may provide enough privacy for your employees. However, information loss or exposure can still happen after they leave for the day. Invest in fireproof filing cabinets that come with a lock and key for a complete security system even in the event of an emergency.

Design Considerations for Call Centers

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Call Centers require specific layouts to meet their fast paced environment and large amount of employees. Often set in one room, call centers need extra privacy for phone calls, while keeping an open enough space for supervision and quality control.

Walls Are a Requirement: Call center cubicles need walls. With the amount of telephone traffic that goes through a call center, walls are a very necessary feature to any cubicle setup. Walls should be tall enough to give each employee some privacy while they are on the phone, but low enough for a supervisor to see what they are doing. The middle panel of a call center cubicle can be taller than the side walls, as the additional height is often used to install a small cabinet for storage. Many cubicles now have walls made from soundproofing material. If available, these are a worthwhile investment to consider.

Workstation Setup: Call center workstations should be large enough to fit a computer, monitor, telephone, note pad, pens, and a few files if applicable. Typically, these spaces are smaller than an administrative workstation, as there is less of a need for storage and filing. When building a workstation, be sure to take your employees comfort into consideration.

Layout: Call centers can benefit from a cluster configuration with their supervisor stationed in the center. In a cluster, a group of cubicles share a centralized frame (sometimes called spine) that is divided into multiple cubicles. This type of configuration is very beneficial for offices that require large groups of employees to work in one room.

How to “Efficiently” Take a Break at the Office

By midafternoon, many office workers find themselves in a mental and physical slump. Whether it’s from lack of sleep, stress, or poor nutrition, the feeling of lethargy can put a serious damper on productivity and output.  If you find yourself feeling this way every day at work, the best solution is to take a break. However, how you take a break can greatly affect how refreshed you feel afterwards. Today we’ll be discussing the best ways to take a break when you’re at the office.

1. Exercise in Your Cubicle: Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, increase endorphins, and improve energy levels. If you find yourself nodding off at your desk, take a few minutes to do some exercises like squats, stretches, or pushups right in your cubicle. You can even use your office chair and desk as leverage for these activities. If you find yourself needing more privacy, go for a walk outside by yourself or with some coworkers.

2. Take a Nap: Depending on the environment you work in, sometimes the best thing to do is to take a quick 10-15 power nap. If your company allows it, take a nap at your desk or in the break room. Try to avoid going beyond the 10-15 minute time span, as sleeping for any longer may make you groggy and even more tired.

3. Eat a Healthy Snack: When you’re tired, your blood sugar levels may be low. Fueling your body with the right kind of nutrition may make all the difference in how you feel for the rest of the day. Eat a healthy snack that contains the right sugar, protein, and fat content to give you the jumpstart you need. Examples of this include: apples, vegetables, nuts, cheese, meat, and berries.

5 Causes of Allergies at Work

Spring is officially here! With the sun shining bright and the scent of flowers in the air, it’s time to take off those winter coats and – sneeze.

That’s right, for many people the arrival of spring also signals allergy season. Aside from pollen and other outdoor allergens, there is a surprisingly large amount of allergy causing substances in the workplace. Below we’ve compiled our top 5 for you to avoid and prevent.

1. Fragrances: Your favorite perfume or cologne may be causing your co-worker in the next cubicle to wheeze. A surprising amount of people (30.5% of the population) suffer from fragrance sensitivity, leading to rashes and respiratory issues when they come in contact with perfumes. The problem is aggravated when sufferers of the allergy are forced to stay in a confined space (such as an office) for long periods of time.

2. Cleaning Supplies: Anti-bacterial sprays, all-purpose cleaners, and latex gloves are all ridden with harsh chemicals that can cause headaches, irritated eyes, and breathing problems when used excessively or improperly. While we do recommend cleaning your office furniture on a regular basis, be sure to be considerate of your co-workers around you.

3. Mold: A common cause of allergies in a household, mold is often found hidden in the workplace. Buildings with old plumbing, leaky sinks, or constant moisture may find mold hidden in behind their walls and ceilings. If you believe that there may be a mold problem in your office space, contact the building manager to have it dealt with immediately.

4. Dust: Even the newest of buildings will have dust somewhere. The culmination of pollen, hairs, and yes, dead human skin cells, dust is often found in the air vents of a building or behind office furniture. To prevent dust related allergies, make sure to have those areas cleaned out on a weekly basis.

5. Animals: As more and more offices are allowing their favorite four legged friends into the work place, more people are suffering the consequences of pet-related allergies. If pets are allowed in your workplace, be sure that clients and potential new employees are aware of this beforehand.