Archive for February, 2011

The 10 Coolest Google Employee Cubes

Google is the granddaddy of super-cool internet companies, so it makes sense that their office cubicles are slightly more awesome than the usual gray burlap and thumbtacks decor. After all, creative employees = tricked out cubes, as we’ve seen before. Most impressive, though, are the cube features that Google provides before its employees ever set foot on campus. Here’s what you can expect if you’re working for Google at one of their offices around the world:

10. Just Your Standard-Issue Office Equipment

googlecube

Everything’s accounted for: keyboard, mouse, monitor, phone … lava lamp. At Google, even the most basic office cubicle is a little bit cooler than most.

9. The Wonder Ball Goes Round and Round

wonderball

Even reception is fun at Google. Also helpful for receptionists who want to work out their core while they greet guests.

8. Proof That Google Can Tell the Future

scooter

Sure, those are probably just plain old glass paperweights. But let’s pretend they’re crystal balls. All those Google Doodles have to come from somewhere, you know.

7. This Must Be the Executive Lounge

lounge

You can tell because all the elements are present: bouncy balls, crystal balls, and a super-cool massage chair. If you add a lava lamp, it miraculously transforms from employee lounge to the CEO’s office.

6. Mr. Happy Balloon Head

balloonhead

This is cool, but also slightly disconcerting. And it’s another good reason not to work twelve hour days: At about hour eleven, this guy starts talking to you.

5. If You’re Bad, the Tubes Expel You Into the Parking Lot

tubecubes

On the one hand, the open office design means that employees can collaborate with greater ease. On the other OH MY GOD, THE TUBES, THE TUBES, THEY’RE EATING MY HEAD.

4. Sometimes You Eat the Bear…

evilbear

…and sometimes the bear stares at you creepily as you try to work.

3. Cube Life on the Ice Planet of Hoth

hothcube2

They look like igloos, but these cubes are really more like tents. The padded walls diminish sound and also probably make employees whether they’re actually employees at will or involuntary guests.

2. In a Pineapple, Under the Sea

cubepineapple

Employees at Google Zurich make like Spongebob Squarepants in their groovy pineapple-shaped cubes.

1. Double Google All the Way Across the Sky

ballooncube

Also from Google Zurich, these ski lift/hot air balloon pods blur the line between vacation and work time such that many Googlers probably can’t tell which is which anymore.

Image credits: 1. www.visboo.com, 2. Si1very’s Flickr stream, 3. www.sandesh.com, 4. InformationWeek, 5. www.rangkep.com, 6. www.oddee.com, 7-10. Si1very’s Flickr stream

Buying vs. Leasing Office Furniture: A Guide

office-furniture
When you’re starting or growing a business, chances are your to-do list is longer than a game of Monopoly. While outfitting your office space with cubicles, desks, tables and chairs might not feel like you’re getting down to business, its kind of important (I mean, where else will your employees put their collection of baseball bobbleheads?)

It can also be one of the more costly portions of your to-do list. We’re guessing that if you’re in the startup stage or trying to grow your business, you’re not throwing around money like those banshee adolescents on “My Super Sweet Sixteen.” Running out to your closest office equipment retailer and buying brand-new furniture might not be an option.

Luckily, you have options – including saving money by buying used office furniture or leasing, rather than buying, the furniture and other office equipment you’ll need.

If you choose to lease, you won’t be alone. Eight out of 10 companies in the U.S. lease some or all of their office equipment, according to the Equipment Leasing and Financing Association.

There are plenty of reasons your company might decide to lease rather than buy equipment for its office. Maybe the business is a startup without enough capital to purchase everything outright, maybe it’s a business that won’t be around long-term, or maybe the business is month-to-month in terms of cash flow.

And hey, just because your circumstances are a little different than the office next door, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to acquire a desk or two.

Here are several advantages to leasing, according to Advantage Leasing Corporation and AllBusiness.com:

1. Credit. Instead of taking out a bank loan to purchase your equipment, use one to fill other business needs. Leasing frees up credit.

2. Better cash flow. Most of the time, leasing does not require a down payment, as opposed to taking out a loan, which might require a down payment up to 25 percent. By leasing, you make your equipment work for you. When leasing, you pay for equipment as it earns money for you, rather than before it earns money for you.

3. Tax deductible. In some cases, lease payments are a fully deductible expense.

4. Conserve working capital. By financing 100 percent of your equipment needs, you can free up working capital for other areas of need.

5. Easier financing. Bank loans for capital equipment often require that a business share two to three years worth of financial records, which is tough to produce if your company didn’t exist until recently. In contrast, leasing companies might only need to see six months to a year of records.

6. Make a better impression. If you’re a startup, you probably can’t afford to buy high-end, modern furniture, but you might be able to lease it. Impress both your employees and customers by showing your business is polished and forward-thinking.

7. Upgrades. Technology changes faster than Lady Gaga changes costumes. Short-term leases can be cheaper than replacing all of your pricey equipment every couple of years. Some leases have technology upgrades built into them.

6. Balance sheet benefits. Depending on the type of lease agreement you have, you might be able to exclude your leased equipment from your balance sheets, which could improve the financial indicators of your business.

Companies like Arnolds Office Furniture offer furniture credit helping businesses find low interest rates and competitive terms. If you’re considering leasing, check out this lease payment estimator.

Image courtesy of digitaltrends.com

Top 7 Cubicle Sneak Attacks

Office life can get kind of tiresome day after day. So it’s up to you to liven things up. Here are a few mild-mannered office employees who decided things were a little too quiet out there in cubicle land.

Hide and Seek

In the realm of office pranking, going the sweet and simple route can often have the biggest payoff. Case in point: Hanging out under your unsuspecting co-worker’s desk. Just try not to fall asleep.

Disaster Waiting to Happen

Here’s an example of an office that would clearly benefit from some cubicle walls. Making everyone work around a giant table like a white collar version of the world’s most dysfunctional Thanksgiving dinner is clearly a recipe for disaster. Throw in the most annoying phone ringing incessantly and a desk mate with some sort of paperball-throwing compulsion, it’s amazing more people weren’t leaping across their desk for a little co-worker throwdown. You have to admire how the rest of the crew just keeps on working.

Don’t Open That Link!

We’ve all had co-workers who think it’s their job to send you every single quasi-amusing video of cats falling off counters they come across or every e-mail chain promising you the best day of your life ever if you just forward it to your 50 closest friends within the next 15 seconds. We’re guessing this poor woman’s co-worker thought a little payback was in order. If you go this route, do your serial e-mailer a small favor and throw some pillows on the floor before hitting “send.”

Snap Attack

We’re not sure where one would acquire such a large rubber band, or what it would be used for at the office (holding together five years worth of personnel files?) We are sure, however, that it left a mark. Which is why we don’t advocate using giant rubber bands for evil.

Bouncing Off the (Cubicle) Walls

This video and the two that follow have taught us a couple things. 1. That when given the right task, the average employee can be extremely creative and industrious. 2. The average employee doesn’t have enough work to do. The fact that this guy didn’t seem to surprised to have 400 bouncy balls fall on his head suggests to us that this sort of thing has happened before.

Air Horn Chair

We know. We had you at “Air Horn Chair.” We’re not sure why air horns were invented in the first place, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t for this purpose. We also think this is another example of the harmful side effects of drinking Red Bull (see the can on the one guy’s desk?) Maybe if he hadn’t downed it before making his air horn chair, he wouldn’t have had to try so hard to play it cool.

That’s Water Under the Desk

http://www.keepbusy.net/play.php?id=office-surprise-water-prank

We’ll never know what this guy did to deserve getting hosed down in this manner. Did he steal someone’s chicken salad sandwich from the office fridge? Does he have an annoying throat-clearing habit that finally drove one of those pranksters off the edge? So many possibilities.

What to Look For in Used File Cabinets

HON_512_Open (400 x 360)
If your current filing system is less of a system and more of a churning sea of invoices, bills and various paper detritus that covers every available surface of the office, it might be time to invest in a file cabinet or two (or ten). If you’re working on a budget, look at purchasing a used cabinet. Just be sure to think about the following:
  • Do the drawers close properly? If you wanted to keep your most important paperwork out in the open for all to see, you might as well just leave them in those Leaning Tower of Pisa stacks you currently have on your desk. Check to make sure the drawers in the cabinets you’re considering close all the way to keep your office looking polished (and to protect your co-workers from bruised shins). If you’re extra concerned about office safety, consider looking for file cabinets that only allow one drawer to be open at a time, which prevents tipping.
  • Does it have all the dividers and hanging folders intact? The purpose of a file cabinet is to help you organize your files. We can’t overstate the obvious enough. Dividers and folders can help you reach Martha Stewart-esque levels of neatness. Dividers are often designed to only fit in cabinets made by the same manufacturers, so it’s important to make sure the original dividers are in place before you purchase a used cabinet. Also, check to make sure that the bars used to hold hanging folders are in place, or are easily replaceable if they’re missing.
  • If has a lock, does it have a key? If you’re trying to find a home for sensitive documents (like personnel files or the blueprints for your latest invention — the shadow-casting groundhog lamp is gonna be huge in Punxsutawney), a file cabinet that locks is ideal. However, before you take it home, make sure you have the key. After all, you don’t want to have to pick a lock in front of your shadow-casting groundhog lamp investors during your big pitch.
  • Is it fireproof? Beyond being useful for organizing and storing important records, file cabinets can keep them safe. Not all file cabinets are fireproof, however. When looking at fireproof cabinets, consider what you want them to hold and find out the UL rating (learn more about UL ratings here). Cabinets are rated for their ability to protect items like paper products, magnetic tapes and photographic films, and flexible computer disks when exposed to an external temperature of 1700 degrees or higher. The items you are protecting will determine what type of fireproof cabinet you should purchase.

5-drawer-lateral-file-white

  • Will it fit in your office? File cabinets come in two shapes: Vertical and lateral (pictured above). Because vertical file cabinets are taller than they are wide, they don’t take up as much wall space. However, the drawers in a vertical model are deeper than those in a lateral one, so be sure to make sure you have enough room to open the drawers in the area you plan to put your cabinet. Built for high-volume storage, lateral file cabinets are wider than vertical models, but the drawers are not as deep, which make them convenient for storage in narrow areas. Many lateral models can also be stowed under tables or desks.
  • Is the cabinet large enough to accommodate your files? The last thing you want is to be shoving your most precious documents into too-small drawers. There’s nothing professional about wrinkled, torn contracts. Most file cabinets are made to accommodate letter or legal-sized documents. Make sure you are buying cabinets with drawers that are wide enough.
  • How does it look? You want to make a good impression with clients and customers. Nothing will make a bad first impression quite like dented, scratched or worn out cabinetry. Sure, your used file cabinets don’t need to be pristine (although, there’s no harm if they are), but make sure there is minimal wear and tear. Cabinets are generally wooden or steel. While wooden cabinets might make your office look a little more collegiate, they aren’t as sturdy as steel models. If you expect to be using the cabinets frequently, a steel model would be more practical.

Where to Buy Used Office Equipment

So you’ve outfitted the new office with desks, chairs, tables, file cabinets and other necessary furnishings. But what about the rest?

Sure, your people have a place to sit, but how will they warm up that soup they bought for lunch? What will they use to print orders? Where will they gather to discuss last night’s episode of “Glee”?

That’s right, there are a few more things you might need to pick up for your new business. Lucky for you we’ve come up with a handy list of items you might have forgotten about and (bonus!) places you can pick them up on the cheap.

Electronics

mini-Laptop-Sony-Vaio-Vgn

Obviously, you can’t run a website (or any  business) these days without plenty of electronics including computers, printers, fax machines, phones and TVs (OK, so this last one might not be a necessity, but you never know who might want to catch up with “Days of Our Lives” on their lunch break).

  • Amazon.com: Find refurbished and used namebrand electronics — everything from computers to calculators — for a bargain.
  • DiscountPC.net: This site offers one of the largest selections of used desktop and laptop computers on the web. The equipment is all tested by technicians to ensure quality and it comes with a limited six month warranty.
  • QuiBids.com: If you enjoy online auctions like eBay, but prefer to buy new, rather than used items, this site will be right up your alley. Visit the site to see what items are up for auction — electronics including smartphones, computers and flat-screen TVs are popular — then buy bids for $.60 a piece and use them to bid on the stuff you want. If you are the last bidder when the timer reaches zero, you win!
  • PropertyRoom.com: Finally crime pays, at least for you. PropertyRoom.com specializes in fraud-free auctioning of stolen, found, seized and surplus items. You’ll find plenty of office equipment — computers, printers, fax machines, scanners, and more — up for bid.

Appliances

Water-CoolerChances are your new employees might need to refuel periodically, so make sure to equip your breakroom with must-have appliances including, a refrigerator, microwave, coffee machine and watercooler. Here’s where to find them:

  • CraigsList.com: Use this free classifieds site to search for used appliances in your area (which will save you money on shipping). With this site, you’ll have a better chance of bargaining with sellers — or even finding items for free — but be sure to check out the appliance before buying it (after all, you don’t want to find out that the office fridge was used to store Chilean sea bass, making everyone’s salads taste a little fishy).
  • ApplianceXchange.com: This site allows you to place and search through free classified ads for items including used refrigerators and microwaves by region.
  • eBay.com: Add the element of risk to your bargain hunting by heading to the largest online auction site. You’ll find both new and used appliances and, if you’re savvy, you could pay next to nothing for them.
  • Estate sales: Check out your newspaper classifieds to try to score great deals on used appliances (you might even find something cool for yourself).

Decor

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Finally, you don’t your office to look like a cell. Add some color to your walls and some greenery. Here’s how to do it on a budget.

  • InexpensiveArt.com: Perhaps the most aptly named site on the web, stop by this site to search for prints and posters by style or subject. Just make sure to frame your posters before hanging them up — this isn’t a dorm room, after all.
  • Colleges/Art schools: Check out end-of-the-semester sales at local schools. You’ll find inexpensive original artwork, and get that warm-and-fuzzy feeling that comes with supporting poor students in your community.
  • Put a frame on it: You can turn just about anything into wall-worthy art by putting a frame around it — pictures from last year’s calendars, pages from an old botany book, album covers, postcards — whatever strikes your fancy. Search for frames at yard sales or thrift shops to save money.
  • Etsy.com: Find original pieces created by amateur artists on this online community. You’ll find quality work at low prices created in just about any medium imaginable. Want a watercolor painting of a fox? Done. A pencil drawing of Aubrey Hepburn? Done. A photo of a cat in a tuxedo wearing a top hat and a monocle? Well … you get the point.

(Photo courtesy of LuciusArt on Etsy.com)

Crazy Videos of People Trashing Office Equipment

The movie “Office Space” has taught us a lot about cubicle life. From desperately counting the seconds until the next coffee break, to guarding your stapler, to angling for the last piece of birthday cake, the movie captured some of the more excruciating moments that make up the typical cube dweller’s day.

Perhaps the biggest gift “Office Space” gave us — beyond the realization that we’re not alone — was inspiration to have our way, once and for all, with the malfunctioning technology that’s supposed to make our lives easier.

Office-Space-Fax-Machine

We know that enacting similar justice on your inanimate office nemesis might result in your being forcibly ejected from your job. So, we rounded up five more equally exhilarating moments of office equipment destruction. Just live vicariously through these people.

The tossing

g3cliff
So we’re not sure what the G3 did to upset these guys so much, but we like how they worked out their issues. In fact, the next time it takes 20 minutes for our computer to boot up, we might start looking for our own cliff. If you live in a cliff-free part of the country (like South Bend maybe?) refer to the next video for other ways of working out your rage.

The grilling
monitor copy

These guys might not be the most literate, but we like that they put safety first (the guy with the shotgun is wearing ear protection, after all). Plus, they were super efficient in the destruction of the monitor – shooting it and setting it on fire? Genius! No more squinting for you.

The forking
forklift copy

You might have to contact some of the guys back in the warehouse to get access to a forklift – but we’re sure making that extra effort won’t disappointment you. Not only will you be able to impale the machine which constantly jams and requires that you know how to speak Vulcan in order to translate the instructions for unjamming it, but you can then lift it and slam it to the ground like a professional wrestler.

The splitting
logsplitter copy

OK, once you get past this guy’s rather — strange — obsession with obsolete office equipment and maniacal laughing, you have to admire his ingenuity. Where does one even acquire a log-splitter? We don’t know about you, but we found climax of the video better than the drive out of the parking lot before a vacation in Key West. The next time we’re stuck doing the toner dance or find ourselves pressing the power button on and off to “fix” whatever mysterious problem that has caused the printer to stop doing it’s one and only job, we’re heading to eBay. A log-splitter can’t cost that much, right?

25 Ways to Drive Your Fellow Cubicle Workers Crazy

Sometimes life in the office can get a little, well, dull. Long days spent gazing at a computer screen or answering phones are enough to put anyone to sleep … or slowly drive you insane.

Who says that’s a bad thing, though?

We say, embrace that nervous tic and have a little fun with your cube mates.

Here’s 25 ways to drive your cubicle mates crazy:

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1. Put a Welcome mat in front of your cubicle. Ask that your co-workers wipe their feet before entering.

2. Find out where your boss shops for clothes and buy exactly the same outfits. Always wear them the day after your boss does. (This is works even better if your boss is the opposite sex.)

3. Refer to all of your co-workers by made-up names (find inspiration from their lunches). “Thanks for your help with that Veggie Soup!” “Excellent idea PBJ!”

4. Send e-mail to the entire office detailing your every move. For example “If anyone needs me, I’ll be scoping out the vending machines for Peanut M&Ms.”

5. Use a highlighter to color your shoes. When people ask why you did it, tell them you wanted to make them easier to find.

6. Hang up mosquito netting around your cubicle.

7. Sit in a chair facing the printer for the day and tell people you’re waiting for your document to come out.

8. Arrive at a meeting late, and apologize, but you haven’t time to eat lunch, and you’ll need to eat during the meeting. During the meeting eat several raw potatoes.

9. Ask the IT guy to change your e-mail to “thor_lord_of_thunder@companyname.com”

10. Each time someone asks you for help, ask them if they want fries with that.

11. Engage yourself in an intellectual debate about one of your company’s products via e-mail. Forward the e-mail to your cubicle neighbor and ask them to settle the debate.

12. Escape from your cubicle and get a little exercise by encouraging your co-workers to participate in synchronized chair dancing.

13. Put your trash can on your desk. Label it “IN.”

14. Conduct a scientific experiment to determine how many cups of coffee is “too many.”

15. Develop an unnatural fear of your computer mouse.

16. Decorate your cubicle with pictures of Theo Huxtable and Steve Urkel. Tell everyone who asks about them that they’re your children.

17. During breaks, waddle to the office fish tank wearing a snorkel mask and flippers.

18. Send out office-wide e-mails saying there’s free cake, Chinese food, pizza, etc. in the breakroom. When your co-workers complain that there was none, lean back in your chair, pat your stomach and say “you snooze, you lose.”

19. Sing “Silver Bells” year round.

20. Page yourself over the intercom system without disguising your voice.

21. Carry on a conversation about last night’s episode of “Fringe” with the office fern.

22. Stick Post-its on commonly used office supplies with instructions on how to use them. For example, on the stapler “Insert paper, push down.” Stop by your co-worker’s desks to find out if they need any further instructions.

23. Answer your phone as Chuck Norris. Ask whoever is on the line if they’d like a roundhouse kick to the face.

24. Come to work with your face painted like a cat. Periodically lick your hands and wipe your face. Ask your cubicle mate if they have a rubber band – when they hand it to you, pretend to chew on it.

25. Put decaf in the coffeemaker for four weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch over to espresso.

Ultimate Cubicle Manufacturer Guide

If you neecubiclesd information on cubicles, then you need to know which companies are the best cubicle manufacturers around. The trick, of course, is identifying which ones are best – preferably without spending the whole day noodling around on the internet trying to figure out which ones are worth doing business with.

Look no further. Below, you’ll find the definitive reference guide for parts, service, and support for all the top cubicle manufacturers.

Allsteel Office Furniture

URL: http://www.allsteeloffice.com/AllsteelOffice
Address: Allsteel Headquarters
2210 Second Ave
Muscatine, IA 52761
Telephone:
888-ALLSTEEL 1-888-255-7833
Allsteel Headquarters 1-563-272-4800
Replacement Keys and Parts 866-274-7278 (toll free)

Bretford Manufacturing, Inc.

URL: http://www.bretford.com/
Address: Bretford, Inc.
11000 Seymour Avenue
Franklin Park, IL 60131
USA
Phone: 847-678-2545
Toll Free Phone: 800-521-9614
Fax: 847-678-0852
Toll Free Fax: 800-343-1779

CHINA RUNRISE INDUSTRIAL LIMITED

URL: http://www.china-product-manufacturers.com
Address: #8-10, Futian 4th district
Yiwu, Zhejiang
China 322000

Girsberger AG

URL: http://www.girsberger.com/

Email:

OFFICE COLLECTION
Sales: sales@girsberger.com
Service: service@girsberger.com

HOME COLLECTION
Sales: info@girsberger.ch

CUSTOMIZED SOLUTIONS
cs@girsberger.com

Global Total Office

URL: http://www.globaltotaloffice.com/gi_2009/
Address: Corporate Headquarters
17 West Stow Road
PO Box 562
Marlton, New Jersey 08053
Telephone: (856) 596-3390
(800) 220-1900
Fax: (856) 596-5684

Gunlocke

URL: http://www.gunlocke.com/
Address: The Gunlocke Company
One Gunlocke Drive
Wayland NY 14572
Telephone: 800-828-6300 (toll free)
Fax: 585-728-8350
Alternative Fax: 585-728-8351
Useful E-mail/Web Addresses:
General Inquires: guncs@gunlocke.com
Order Literature: gunlockeweb@gunlocke.com
Online Literature Order Site: gunlockeweb@gunlocke.com
Find a Dealer or Representative: gunlockeweb@gunlocke.com
Online Dealer Search: gunlockeweb@gunlocke.com
Website Performance Issues: gunlockeweb@gunlocke.com
Tailored Solutions: gunts@gunlocke.com

Haworth, Inc.

URL: http://www.haworth.com/en-us/Pages/Home.aspx
Address: Haworth, Inc.
One Haworth Center
Holland, MI 49423-9576
Telephone:
For more information call: 616.393.3000
To order a brochure call: 800.344.2600

Herman Miller

URL: http://www.hermanmiller.com/
Address: 855 East Main Ave.
PO Box 302
Zeeland, Michigan 49464-0302
USA
Telephone: 616 654-3000

HON

URL: http://www.hon.com/
Address: THE HON COMPANY
200 Oak Street
Muscatine , Iowa 52761
Telephone:
800.553.8230
563.272.7100

Knoll

URL: http://www.knoll.com/knoll_home.jsp
Telephone:
To contact Knoll Customer Service or obtain product information: 1-877-615-6655
For general information:  1-800-343-5665
To request a memo from KnollTextiles: 1-866-565-5858

Landscape Forms Inc.

URL: http://www.landscapeforms.com/en-US/Pages/default.aspx
Address: Landscape Forms, Inc.
431 Lawndale Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49048
Fax: 269.381.3455
Phone: 800.430.6209
Email:  specify@landscapeforms.com

The Mayline Group

URL: http://www.mayline.com/
Address: 619 North Commerce Street
P.O. Box 728
Sheboygan, WI 53082-0728
Telephone: 1.800.822.8037

Paoli, Inc.

URL: http://www.paoli.com/
Telephone: 800.457.7415

Skutchi Designs, Inc.
URL: http://www.skutchi.com
Address: Headquarters
Skutchi Designs Incorporated
1601 Lakeland Ave.
Bohemia, NY 11716
Telephone: 1-888-99DESKS
Fax: 631-218-4009

Spacesaver Group

URL: http://www.spacesaver.com/spacesaver.htm
Telephone: 1-800-255-8170

Steelcase (NYSE:SCS)

Atlanta, Georgia
Steelcase WorkLife Center
303 Peachtree Center
Suite AL-175
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: 404-523-2201

Chicago, Illinois
Steelcase WorkLife Center
300 Merchandise Mart
Chicago, Illinois 60654
Telephone: 312-321-3720

Mexico City, Mexico
Blvd. Manuel Avila Camacho No. 24
Piso 11 Lomas de Chapultepec
Delegacion Miguel Hidalgo
Mexico City, DF C.P. 11000
Mexico
Telephone: 011-52-(55)-55-40-9916
Fax: 011-52-(55)-55-20-8586

New York, New York
Steelcase WorkLife Center
4 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
Telephone: 212.445.8800

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Steelcase Inc.
1650 Market Street – 3rd Floor
One Liberty Place
Philadelphia, PA  19103
Telephone: 215-561-5331

Santa Monica, California
Steelcase WorkLife Center
1217 2nd Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Telephone: 310.633.2200

Washington, D.C
Steelcase
1121 14th Street NW  Suite 400
Washington DC, 20005
Telephone:  202.962.6760

Tennsco

URL: http://www.tennsco.com/
Address: Tennsco
P.O. BOX 1888
Dickson, TN 37056-1888
General Inquiry Phone Number: (615) 446-8000
Toll Free Inquiry Phone Number: (800) 251-8184
Toll Free Customer Service:  (866) 446-8686
Tennsco does not sell direct. To locate a dealer near you, please call.

USM Modular Furniture System

URL: http://www.usm.com/
Address: USM U. Schaerer Sons Inc.
New York Showroom
28-30 Greene Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone:  1-212-371-1230
Fax: 1-212-371-1251
Email: info@us.usm.com

Virco

URL: https://www.virco.com/b2c_virco/b2c/init.do
Address: 2027 Harpers Way
Torrance, CA 90501
Customer Service: 1-800-448-4726
Fax: 1-800-258-7367
Literature Request: Call 1-800-813-4150

Photo credit: allrefurbishedcubicles.com

Tired of Sitting in a Cube? Try These Office Sports

So, we all know that 3 o’clock feeling. Your retinas feel like that fiery eyeball that hung out in Mordor looking for ring-toting hobbits. Your back aches so much you’re seriously considering proposing to your chiropractor. You’ve been staring at that blinking cursor so long its strobe-lightesque effects have you humming techno music and practicing your dance moves.

You’re desperately looking for any opportunity to avoid the next two hours of drudgery.

But don’t let your procrastination take the form of mindless web-surfing (unless, of course, you’re watching the following videos) or noshing on the unhealthy contents of the office vending machine (Twinkies will only make you feel worse).

Find some like-minded co-workers and get a little workout.  Better yet, make it a friendly competition. (Bonus: You can take out some of that pent-up aggression you’ve been feeling toward your cubicle mate for playing Michael McDonald’s greatest hits for three hours straight last week).

Here’s some inspiration for kicking off your first office olympics.

Office Steeplechase

Before you leap into this competition, it might be smart to measure your cubicle walls. Sure, you might feel energetic enough to leap over the 63-inchers — but let’s be honest, the last time you ran anywhere was across the parking lot during that rainstorm. We’re pretty sure workman’s comp won’t cover a strained hammie, or worse, a broken leg because you and your buddies decided to relive the glory days of high school track and field.

Extreme Office Tennis

At last, there’s a sport that combines Chuck Norris’s martial arts skills with Roger Federer’s volleying abilities. And you don’t even need a ball or racket – just a crumpled up ball of paper and your limbs. If you don’t have the same grace and flexibility as these guys, it might be a good idea to leave the kung-fu moves out of the equation and just use your hands to bat the “ball.”

Roller-Chair Rowing

Who says you need a boat, paddles or even water to start your own crew team? All you need are some rolling chairs, a spotter and the ability to propel yourself backward (pantomiming skills don’t hurt either). It’s probably a good idea to find a long hallway empty hallway to practice, and we advise skipping the bullhorn to avoid calling extra attention to you and the team.

Synchronized Chair Dancing

So there are those among us who would hesitate to call dancing a sport worthy of office olympics. But we challenge you to try those tricky side-rolling maneuvers while simultaneously clapping. While we love Michael Jackson, there are way too many “Thriller” knock-offs on the web. Why not trying a rolling version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance?” Your costumes will be sure to amaze (or horrify) your cube comrades.

Office Dodgeball

We’d only suggest starting an office dodgeball game with willing participants. Otherwise, the repercussions of pegging innocent bystanders with balls might leave you dodging a pink slip. And while splashing a scorching hot cup of coffee all over your co-workers suit might show off your superior aiming abilities, we’re pretty sure you’ll be the only one laughing. Keep all shots below the neck.

Office Jousting

If you spend your weekends wearing shirts with ruffled sleeves, swigging mead and shouting things like, “Good morrow Lady Merryweather!” then office jousting is the sport for you. Your office chair can play the starring role of your noble steed and any old rolled up tube of paper will do for your lance. Just make sure you don’t try to steal a case from any fair maidens/comely co-workers. That could make things awkward.


The Ugliest Chairs in the World

Generally, when we look for office furniture, we look for form as well as function. After all, if you’re going to spend 80% of your waking hours staring at a piece of furniture, it might as well be attractive.

Occasionally, however, we throw the principles of design out the window and go looking for the ugliest office chairs the internet has to offer. Bask in the hideousness, and be thankful your office manager hasn’t replaced your Aeron with one of these.

10. “The Seen-Better-Days Chair”

This chair might have been perfectly decent once upon a time, but is now frankly falling apart. Not so much a design issue. More of a time-lapse photography project.

9. “The Human Headphone Chair”

Regular noise-cancelling headphones not doing it for you anymore? Try this chair on for size. At the very least, it’ll communicate to your coworkers that you’re in your own private nightclub and aren’t to be disturbed.

8. “The ‘My Other Car Is a Desk Chair’ Chair”

If you must get one of these chairs, we implore you to push yourself around the office in it, going “Vroom, vroom!” under your breath.

7. “The Hobo Chair”

Perfect for collapsing into one flat piece, or dissembling entirely and stowing in a bindle.

6. “It Was Colonel Mustard, in the Library, With This Hideous Chair”

All furniture design makes a statement. This chair says, “I would like you to believe that I am very important. And I’m prepared to upholster my entire office, if necessary, to convince you.”

5. “The Summertime Rolls All Over Your Office Chair”

Do you think this chair would leave stripes all over the backs of your legs, just like the lawn chairs of your youth? Because we sort of do.

4. “Grandma’s Chair Away From Chair”

The economy being what it is, folks can’t afford to retire when they used to. Which might be why your Grandma’s chair found its way into this office. Cats not included!

3. “Dr. Claw’s Black Leather Chair of Death”

Actually, with this chair? The cat might be included. Warning: May turn occupants into evil cartoons.

2. “This Meeting Is Over Chair”

b-52-stratofortress_48

B-52 Stratofortress Ejector Seat Chairs from Moto Art are real ejector seats from real airplanes, and are marketed toward aviation buffs. No word on what the boss will think when you scoot into the meeting in a chair that says, “I long to be propelled out of this room, possibly at upwards of 85 miles an hour.”

1. “The Elephant Man Chair”

Kill it! Kill it before it breeds an army of rumple-hided chair monsters and takes over the whole building!

Photo credits: 1. Oops Design Awards, 2. Nexus404.com, 3. Luxist.com, 4. Instructables.com, 5. Naturalartificial.blogspot.com, 6. Yourfurniturelink.com, 7. Erked.com, 8. East Coast Corvettes, 9. Accessorizeyourspace.blogspot.com, 10. Nickycakes.com