Archive for the ‘Filing Cabinets’ Category
Whether you just need a landing spot for managing household paperwork like bills, calendars, insurance information, etc. or a room designated to running a small business, planning the ultimate home office requires a little more work than plopping a laptop on your kitchen table or shoving a desk and a chair into an available corner of your home.
You’ll probably spend at least an hour a day working on tasks, so a crumb-covered table won’t inspire much organization or motivation (neither will the kids screaming over who gets the last Oreo, for that matter).
Creating a space that not only makes you more productive, but also keeps you organized calls for careful planning. Yes, this means homework and a little math, but the end result will make you feel like you could be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company rather than just the signer of your kid’s field trip forms.
Here’s how to create the perfect home office:
1. What do you need to do?
The home improvement guru himself Bob Vila offers an overview of how to plan your office space. First, divide up your space by the types of tasks you need to complete.
Consider every possible use for the room:
- Will you need space for a computer?
- Open table space for hands-on work?
- Space to meet with customers and/or clients?
- Space for your kids to play or do homework?
- Storage space?
Architect and designer Neal Zimmerman told Inc magazine to use the acronym CAMP to help determine your needs:
Computers: How many will you need and how big are they?
Administrative storage: A place where you can make phone calls, but also sort through mail, bills, invoices, etc.
Meeting space: An area to share information with visitors (if you think you’ll have any on a regular basis).
Project station: An area to complete not paper-related tasks (for instance, if you’re an artist or you make gift baskets or handmade soap, here’s where that work is completed).
2. How much room do you need?
After determining what types of work areas you might need, the next step is to get out your measuring tape, a pencil and paper and start measuring the length, width and height of all the components you already have for your office: desks, work tables, chairs, lamps, computers, printers, scanners, filing cabinets, etc.
Then do the math for each work area. For instance, how much room will your desk chair, desk and computer need? How much room will a sofa and table take up for meetings with clients? (BobVila.com recommends bringing a friend or two over to act as models for your clients so you can figure out comfortable distances for seating to build into your plan).
Consider whether any of these areas can be doubled up, Zimmerman said. For instance, your administrative area could also serve as your meeting area.
3. Where should the office be located?
Once you’ve determined how much space you might need, then you have the difficult task of figuring out what space you actually have to put it in. If you live in a small studio apartment in the city, you might have limited options versus a house in the suburbs where a spare bedroom, finished basement or attic can be transformed into a home office. No matter how much space you have, it’s still important to designate a work area that won’t be impinged upon by the other activities you do in your home said Zimmerman.
4. What’s your plan?
Next you need to do some arts and crafts. Draw a model of your office to scale, cutting out and labeling paper squares and rectangles to represent the different pieces of furniture. Move the labeled items around the different areas of your office to see how they might fit best, keeping factors like power sources and phone jacks in mind. It might be wise to visit an office furniture store for advice on furniture that will help maximize your space. They can advise you on things like safely stacking computer equipment or using tables that can be folded to increase or reduce workspace as needed. Zimmerman recommends enlisting the help of a professional designer at this point to ensure you are considering everything you need to about the space and that it fits within your budget.
5. What’s the best design?
Traditionally, setting up your office in an L-shaped or U-shaped layout that keeps you within arms reach of all of your work. “Think of this space as a cockpit that enables you to move from task to task with a minimal amount of effort,” small business consultant Terry Lonier told Inc. Figure out what type of work you do the most of. If you’re on the computer all day, that should be the focal space. If, however, your work involves making models or putting together flower bouquets, your layout should change accordingly.
6. How can you make the space healthy?
Ergonomics aren’t just something your human resources representative came up with to torture you about your posture. Using the proper office furniture and equipment can save you from eye strain, repetitive strain injuries, back injuries and other potential problems related to a poor work environment. Position your computer so that the screen is at eye level and you’re not hunched over the computer. Use multiple sources of light to prevent glare.
Don’t skimp on your desk chair; select one that swivels and adjusts for seat height, tilt, armrest height and lumbar support. You might spend more time in the chair then you do your bed, Lonier said.
Also, make sure to take advantage of the natural light in your home, which studies have shown improves mood and productivity and is easier on your eyes.
7. How can you personalize the space?
When you work in an office building, chances are someone else has selected the furniture, color scheme, generic inoffensive artwork and sickly fern you sit by all day every day. Since you’re building a home office, make this the place to reflect your personal aesthetic. Use colors that inspire and calm you and pictures and artwork that make you happy. Create a space that gives you energy, rather than sucking the life force out of you.
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The receptionist is the face and voice of the company. He or she is the first person guests (and clients!) see when they walk into the office, and the last person they see when they leave. No surprise, then, that companies tend to choose their receptionists for their social skills and presentation, as well as their work ethic.
But what about the reception furniture? Do companies spend as much time planning the equipment behind the receptionist as they do hiring for the job? If it’s a smart company we’re talking about, they do. Picking reception furniture is one of the most important aspects of office design. Here’s what you need to figure out before you buy.
1. What’s your style?
When figuring out which kind of reception furniture is right for you, you want to determine what sort of vibe your company intends to put out to clients. Are you a classic firm with solid, old school values? Maybe subdued wood is the material for you. Are you a cutting-edge design firm, up on all the current trends and forging the style of tomorrow? Something sleek and contemporary is probably more your speed.
Whichever style you choose, you’ll want to make sure that the reception furniture you select is functional as well as attractive. And in order to do that, you need to ask yourself our next question.
2. What does your receptionist do every day?
Let’s face it, the days of the single-function receptionist are largely behind us. Most companies can’t afford to hire a cheery and ornamental person whose sole function is to greet guests.
In addition to being the first person visitors see when they enter your office, your receptionist might be the chief admin for the company. Or he might be the office party planner, in charge of organizing refreshments for guests and workers alike. Whatever your receptionist’s job description, you’ll want to make sure they’re able to access the tools they need.
What does this mean? Smart planning. If your receptionist needs to access files, make sure she’s near the filing cabinet. If he needs to prepare refreshments, make sure he can get to the kitchen.
Whatever your receptionist’s other duties, make sure he or she can get out from behind the desk with relative ease. Nothing says awkward like guests waiting five minutes for the receptionist to climb down off their perch.
3. What’s your budget?
Last, but definitely not least, you need to ask yourself how much money you want to spend. Anyone who’s ever participated in an office redesign knows how quickly costs can mount up. Reception should set a tone for the rest of the company, but obviously you don’t want your budget for reception furniture to be bigger than that of the CEO’s office. (He gets so cranky when the receptionist has nicer things.)
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Whether you’re setting up a brand new office, or adding to an existing one, the need for filing cabinets is indisputable. Even in our online and virtual world, paper documents still have their place in our businesses and need to be properly stored – as do discs, flash drives, and more. But there are so many options – lateral, vertical, fireproof, etc – that choosing the right type of file cabinets takes quite a bit of thought. Ask yourself and your team these questions before making your purchase:
1. How many drawers do you need?
The answer to this question isn’t just how many drawers you need now, but also how many you might need later on. True, you can always add new units, but it’s best to get your filing cabinets all at once to avoid additional shipping or delivery fees, having to rearrange your office space and the chance of manufacturer discontinuation. Be sure to have a conversation with senior management about current needs and growth plans to make the best decision. Also consider whether you’ll store more paper or discs.
2. Lateral or vertical file cabinets?
Both lateral file cabinets and vertical file cabinets have their benefits. Choosing which works best for your office will depend upon on the space you have available and how you plan to use the filing cabinets.
To clarify the difference, the drawers of a vertical file cabinet extend from the short side of the cabinet and typically measure 15 inches, while those of a lateral file cabinet extend from the long side and are available in various lengths.
According to Wikipedia, the four-drawer vertical file, letter width, is the version purchased by most businesses. Yet lateral files offer employees the benefit of easy viewing since the drawers do not extend as far. If you have a long, narrow space, laterals might be your best bet (laterals are also stackable and are therefore great for space-saving). Shorter, wider spaces might do well with verticals. Again, consult with your space planners, senior management or administrative staff to ascertain how the files will be used and where they will be positioned.
3. Fireproof File Cabinets?
There is no denying that fireproof filing cabinets come at a premium cost, but the sense of security they provide may be well worth the investment. Does the government require you to keep your records for a certain number of years? Do your records tie current and past clients and business transactions together? Do you work in a building with many other businesses or at a place that has older wiring and electrical components? These are all prime examples of instances where fireproof cabinets would make great sense.
Some fireproof models are also water resistant (great for flood areas and in the event overhead sprinklers activate during a fire) and shockproof (perfect for areas susceptible to earthquakes).
If you do decide to go the with a fireproof cabinet, be sure to check the specifications to be sure that both paper and magnetic discs are protected and to what temperature your items are considered safe.
While settling on file cabinets takes more thought than one would expect, remember that whenever you have questions about any office furniture needs at all, Arnolds is here to help.Visit Susan Jennings on Google+