Archive for the ‘Office Furniture’ Category

Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Office Clean

While most businesses employ commercial cleaning services to vacuum the floors or take care of their garbage disposal, it’s important that your employees do their part in keeping their areas clean and professional looking. Below, we’ve compiled our top 5 ways to keep your office looking that way all the time.

1. Set-Up Cleaning Groups: Assign a team of employees who is tasked with cleaning common areas like the break room or storage room. Rotate this team monthly or on weekly basis so everyone has an opportunity to participate.

2. Encourage Eating in the Lunch Room and Not at the Desk: Avoid crumbs and stains by encouraging your employees to eat in the lunch or break room and not at their desk. Even if they’re just taking a break, by encouraging your employees to go to a specific spot to eat, you will avoid any potential messes or mishaps.

3. Disinfect Everything: The office space is a cesspool of germs and bacteria. Make sure to regularly disinfect your office furniture with disinfectant wipes or sprays. Creating this habit will also force you to clean up your desk and toss anything you don’t need.

4. Reorganize Work Spaces: Examine your office or your employees’ work space and see if the current arrangement is causing any issues with cleaning. Sometimes rearranging a work space is all a person needs to keep a tidier desk.

5. Establish Waste Protocol: Make an effort to establish an office protocol for disposing of sensitive documents, recyclables, trash and electronics in the office. Reinforcing a disposal system will help maintain your office’s efficiency and cleanliness.

DIY: Convert a Rolling Chair into a Stationary Chair

Office chairs are known for their casters and wheels. However, there may come a time when you want to convert your mobile office chair into a stationary one. Today, we’ll be showing you a quick and easy way to remove the wheels off the bottom of your chair.

Tools:

- Screwdriver

- Adhesive

- Padding (such as corkscrew, felt and rubber) or Chair Glides

- Rubber Mallet

Directions.

1. Turn the chair over so that the wheels are facing you and not on the ground.

2. Examine the chair to determine how the wheels should be removed.

3. Typically there are two ways you can remove the wheels. If the wheels are not held in by bolts, carefully pull out the wheels at its base. If the wheels are held in by bolts, take a screwdriver and release the wheels that way.

4. After removing the wheels, the next step is for you to add the protective covering to the legs of the chair. The protective leg covering, either in the form of chair glides or your choice of padding, protects your floors from scratches and scuffs.

5. If you’re using chair glides, attach the glides to the legs of your chair. Gently hammer in the glides in with a rubber mallet.

6. If you’re using protective padding, apply glue onto the material and attach it to the leg of the chair. Dry the padding based on the instructions from the adhesive.

Tips:

- Before sitting in the chair, test it for stability. Turn the chair upright and slowly sit down in it.

Rainy Day Office Etiquette

Rule #1: Set Up a Safe Location for Your Employees to Store their Rain Gear

During a rainy day, protect both your property and your employees with designated places for them to store their rain gear. Set up an umbrella bucket at every entrance and not just the main door. Having an umbrella bucket will keep the floors from getting wet and prevent potential injuries.

In a safe area, such as the break room or near the reception desk, set up coat hangers and storage bins where your employees and clients can change out of their rain jackets and boots. Make sure this area is kept dry.

Rule #2: Don’t Use Towels as Floor Mats

For many businesses, often the easiest way to sop up a wet floor is by leaving a towel on the ground. However, towels move around and can potentially cause slip and fall accidents. Additionally, they look unprofessional and may damage your image.

When it’s wet outside it’s important that correct floor mats be in place. We recommend a combination of an exterior floor mat outside the office, an absorbent interior floor mat when you first enter the building, and an entrance floor mat that leads up to the reception area and/or at every entrance, if you have more than one. It is also recommended that you place long runner mats down the hallways to catch additional moisture and debris.

Rule #3: Use That Rainy Day Fund

The rain often means longer and more hazardous commutes for your employees. Treat them to something nice like a free breakfast or lunch. By keeping them indoors instead of going out during their lunch or break, it will not only assure their safety, but prevent additional moisture from being tracked into the building.

3 Ways to Encourage Recycling at Work

Tip #1 – Educate:

While most people already know the benefits of recycling, it’s important that your employees are aware that a recycling program is an active part of your company. Here are some common ways for you to do so:

- Hold a meeting informing your employees about your recycling program. Make sure they are aware of the consequences of not following the program, both for your office and for the greater community.

- Provide resources such as pamphlets, website links or books on recycling and the green initiative.

- Create permanent signage to hang around the office that will encourage recycling and educate employees to recycle and conserve resources. Permanent reminders such as signage will help establish recycling as an integral part of the company culture.

Tip #2 – Lead by Example:

Lead by example by outfitting your office with “green” technology.

- Switch out traditional fluorescent lights with LED lights.

- Purchase pre-owned office furniture, instead of new furniture to reduce waste.

- Participate in ride shares or carpooling opportunities.

- Use recycled paper; encourage a “paper-free” office.

Tip #3 – Keep Track & Provide Incentives:

Help your employees get into the spirit of recycling by offering them incentives for identifying issues within your company or resources used in your office that could benefit from a “green” makeover. Employees that show initiative or actively participate in the recycling program should be given an incentive for their efforts.

Incentives don’t need to be large or expensive. Often an acknowledgment of appreciation or gift certificate should suffice.  The main purpose of an incentive program is to keep track, maintain and grow your recycling program.

Getting the Most Out of Your New Office Design

When planning an office space, it’s easy to get sucked into the newest trends in design. While you may be left with a beautiful space, you may also be left wondering “Was it worth the time and investment?”

Every business has their own unique work culture and needs, and, as tempting as it is to opt for a collaborative or downsized workspace, it’s important that you understand the habits of your employees.

Below we’ve compiled a quick questionnaire to help you measure just how effective your new space design is.

1. How much time do your employees spend at work?

2. How many employees work from home versus at the office on a daily basis?

3. How is technology integrated throughout the office?

4. How organized is the technology at an employee’s workstation?

5. How much storage space do your employees actually use?

6. How many items of importance (files, project binders) do your employees keep at their desk at any time?

7. Where do you hold group meetings?

8. How often do you hold group meetings?

9. How many people usually attend?

10. When your employees are not at their desk, where are they?

Survey your employees with this questionnaire or some version of it. The result of your findings will give you a clearer picture of the effectiveness of your space design and where it can be improved.

The Automatic Adjusting Chair – Global’s G20

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The days of having to manually adjust the height of a chair may soon be over with Global G20 High Back Synchro-tilt Mesh Chair. One of the most advanced chairs on the market, the G20’s synchronized tilter automatically adjusts to a person’s body weight and posture.

Ergonomically designed, the chair features adjustable seat height, tension, arm rests and features contoured cushions. Users of the chair will be able to maintain the natural S-curve vertebra of their back when performing tasks at their desk. They will also be able to maintain a straight line in their spine if they choose to recline.

These latest advances offered by Global show the rising demand for comfortable, individualized work furniture. Ergonomic furniture has continued to be a long standing factor in employee satisfaction and long term health. It’s an important feature to consider when outfitting your office space.

Pricier than the average office chair (costs range anywhere from $500-$1000), employers not yet ready to upgrade to a G20 can find just as “cushy” alternatives in used office furniture sector.

When looking for an alternative, look for chairs that:

- Offer lumbar support

- Adjustable seat height

- Adjustable seat length or waterfall edge

- Adjustable arm rest height

- Adjustable arm rest length

- Ability to recline

- Supportive seat cushion

- And a strong base with wheels for mobility

Quality and adjustability are the two main components of a good office chair. Consider your price point and invest in a chair that will bring your current and future employees a lifetime of effective usage.

Integrating Technology in Your Office Space

Computers, printers, desktops, laptops, monitors, extension cords, phone lines, wireless routers…

Technology is an inescapable part of the modern office landscape. However, not every office was built or planned with the dependence of modern technology in mind. If you’re in the process of integrating technology or reconfiguring technology into your workplace, keep the following things in mind:

1. Define How Technology Fits into Your Specific Workplace: In this very first step, understand how technology is used at your work and how it fits into your objectives and profitability. By defining this you can create a technology strategy that correlates with your business goals.

2. Evaluate Your Current Technology: After you determine your strategy, evaluate your current operating systems, communication software and physical workstations. How are these three things intertwined and how can they be more effective?

3. Reconfigure Your Technology: Pinpoint your budget and purchase the necessary equipment to upgrade your technology. Accessibility is the key to an integrated technological space. If your employees are having trouble physically accessing technology, such as docking stations for their smart phones or enough outlets for their equipment, reconfigure your space around this.

4. Train Your Employees: Keep your employees up to date on any new improvements or changes happening in the office.  Employees should be trained on any system upgrades and be aware on how to access of them.

5. Maintenance: Technology is ever evolving, so constant maintenance is required in order to support your vision of your company. We recommend you form a committee or team to address technological issues and discuss solutions as your organization evolves.

Designer History: Herman Miller

In Zeeland, Michigan, way back in the year 1905, a company called the Star Furniture Company set out to create a line of high quality furniture; specifically, office furniture that featured an old-fashioned historic style. When visionary Dirk Jan De Pree joined the company as a clerk just four years later, no one had a clue that he would quickly rise through the ranks to become the company’s president in a short ten year span.

Deciding that the company needed a new title to match his own new title as president, De Pree renamed it The Michigan Star Furniture Company. It only took four more years for De Pree to get his father-in-law, Herman Miller, on board to purchase fifty-one percent of the company’s stock. They renamed the company once again, to the Herman Miller Furniture Company, and continued to make exclusively wooden office furniture for another seven years, until the Great Depression hit.

Forced to explore new options, they hired modernist designer Gilbert Rohde to help create a new line of office furniture for their brand. Although they were reluctant to accept his designs at first, they eventually came to like the new direction of the company. When Rohde died in 1944, he was replaced by architect George Nelson, who guided Herman Miller into some of their most iconic pieces, like the marshmallow sofa, the ball clock, the sling sofa, and, of course, the modern day cubicle.

Although Nelson’s influence helped sculpt the future of the company at large, his power at the company waned in the 70s when a series of designers including Don Chadwick, Bill Stumpf, Tom Newhouse and Ray Wilkes came onto the scene to design their own inspirational office furniture pieces. The line was so admired that artist Stephen Frykholm produced a series of posters dedicated to the works of the company. Some are still featured, today, at the Museum of Modern Art.

The Feng Shui of Office Design

The strength of anything lies in the design. This is true for basically everything on Earth, including the design of your office space. The more that you know about how the design of a room impacts the people that work inside of it, the happier that your employees will be. By utilizing the philosophies behind the Chinese art of Feng Shui, you’ll soon find that it’s possible to shift the energy of the room into a positive light.

Literally translating to “wind-water” in Chinese, Feng Shui is an art form that examines the natural flow of energy in the architecture of a room, including how it binds together with the Earth, the universe, and even your employees. Since they’ll be the ones spending the most time in the room, it’s important for the room’s design to complement them and make them feel relaxed. If the room is overly hostile or makes them feel uncomfortable in some way, you’ll notice right away through the quality of their work.

The basics of Feng Shui dictate that every room has a flow of negative and positive energy, and that the arrangement of your office can help guide creative energy toward your employees and dispel distractions. Most of these guidelines have metaphorical origins, such as the belief that you should not work with your back facing a door, as a door represents the “coming of new business.” The philosophy also encourages positioning your workstation in the North or West area of the office to increase creativity.

That’s not all there is to it, of course. Feng Shui also takes utility into mind, and the philosophy encourages clean filtered air and good quality lighting in order to keep your employees healthy. It also suggests that the presence of lively art and other creative outlets invigorate your employees and help them get a fresh start on their work.

Office Designs That’ll Kill Your Productivity

Differences in industry can be an important factor to consider when ordering furniture and deciding which office design will work for you and your employees. It can be easy for business owners and managers to look at office designs as some extraneous and nebulous aspect of work that has a negligible impact on workers, but it’s much harder to argue with the results.

More so than discovering an office plan that encourages creativity, it’s important to avoid an office setup that hinders progress. The traditional “cube farm” setup has been a known morale and productivity killer, so even though this may seem like the most economical decision, it could be costing you money in the long run, when employee productivity is taken into account.

Although creative industries like film and publishing have managed to find success with an open office environment, studies show that it may not be necessarily advantageous for every single job. For instance, writers often find that they cannot concentrate when the room is noisy with words that have nothing to do with the sentence they’re writing. Project managers may be distracted during phone calls by impromptu meetings happening near their desks, and the overall chatter of busy people may subconsciously distract everyone from their work.

Finding a balance and discovering what works for the employees of your industry is the key to understanding what makes the best team environment. Why not try a semi-open office environment that utilizes low walls and room separators to give just enough privacy to those who need it? It could also help to talk to employees that require silence to get their work done and group them all in an environment separate from all the hustle and bustle. In the end, it’s not so much about the overall design of the office space, as much as it’s about the employees and what type of environment will be best for their work.