If you’re a fan of the “Big Bang Theory,” then you know what great powers a whiteboard has. It can help you work through everything from quantum mechanics to string theory to the algorithm for making friends without worrying about having to recharge a battery.
If a TV show about super nerds isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of whiteboards, then consider the fact that tech giant and probable world dominator Google uses whiteboards on campuses worldwide, including two 30-foot monoliths at the Mountain View, Calif. headquarters that are packed with cartoons and from employees.
Whiteboards are a fast, user-friendly way to share ideas and information and they can help your business grow. Here’s why you should invest in a few:
1. They’re inexpensive: You can pick up a medium-sized dry erase board for around $50. Larger models can run you upwards of $500, but that’s still much less expensive than the investment you’d make on an interactive whiteboard which requires a computer, projector, software and special stylus. For optimal interaction, you’ll want a special interactive board which can cost between $1,000 and $2,000. High-tech presentations don’t come cheap. But in the event you do want a more cialis online high-tech approach to brainstorming, whiteboards can be used as a projection surface. Look at that! They’re multi-functional, too.
2. They’re collaborative: Whiteboards are the perfect tool for allowing everyone to share their ideas, visions and solutions because the only thing a team member needs to plug in to a presentation is a dry erase marker. They make it easy for large groups to see the scope of a problem without having to huddle around a small screen or meet remotely from different locations. Plus, as opposed to the more built-in formality that comes with a meeting that’s run via a computer screen, the low-tech nature of a whiteboard might actually help people feel more comfortable speak up about more fun, crazier and more outside-of-the-box ideas.
3. They’re tangible: As much as we all love surfing the internet and interacting with our friends via social media, there’s a lot to be said about face-to-face, real-time interaction. The same can be said for writing or drawing out your ideas. Since writing by hand engages more parts of the brain than typing, the simple act of putting marker to board can help clarify ideas, find answers to questions and makes you more thoughtful. While more research is needed, some scientists believe that writing by hand helps children learn better than by typing, according to the Huffington Post.
4. They’re convenient: There’s no need to log onto a computer. They’re easy to roll around to wherever you’re meeting (or better yet, just use whiteboard paint to create an entire wall’s worth of a writing surface). If you wrote the wrong thing, they’re easy to erase and start over. Plus, they’re easy to clean and maintain.
5. They get your blood flowing: If you work in an office, chances are you spend most of your days sitting in a chair in front of a computer. All that sitting isn’t helping your health at all, and it’s probably not helping your creativity. When you’re using a whiteboard, chances are you’re standing and moving around, getting your blood flowing and your heart pumping, which helps fuel your brain and your next big idea.
6. They’re inspiring: By keeping whiteboards in prominent places throughout the office, you’re offering employees a blank canvas to sketch out your company’s future. What’s more, everyone else can see multicolored plans, schemas, sketches, webs, flowcharts, etc., which means they can both add their own two cents and improvements and feel inspired to do do their own great work. If all these multicolored plans, schemas, sketches, webs, flowcharts, etc. were only visible when someone turns on a computer then you’re risking missed opportunities for grand “light bulb over the head” ideas.
Shop for Whiteboards for your office at Arnolds.
Photo courtesy of Steve Jurvetson/FlickrVisit Susan Jennings on Google+
If the mention of green office furniture has you imagining office chairs fashioned from dried corn husks and desks made out of old cans of Mountain Dew, think again. These days green furniture is not only great for the environment, it can also be super chic.
We found examples of furniture that leaves a small carbon footprint, while making a huge style impression.
Furniture from the Legare’s Sustainable line is made from rapidly renewable bamboo, which is also a super sturdy building material, harvested only from Forest Stewardship Council-approved mills. The cialis price pieces get their rich amber hue from a non-toxic, eco-friendly carbonized finishing process.The furniture ships flat, which means you’ll have to assemble it, but the company promises that the totally tool-free assembly process is easy and fun, and that the finished product is strong. All that and it’s stylish, too!
Vermont-based furniture makers Beeken Parsons is behind this beautiful hickory office chair. Tree-obsessed Bruce Beeken and Jeff Parsons are committed to using wood that is not only sustainably harvested, but also that has a lot of character which highlights the natural beauty of the wood for their thoughtfully designed pieces. In addition to winning style points, purchasing furniture from this company could help you qualify for material and resources points toward your LEED certification.
Form 3, based in northern California, designed this mid-century modern-inspired lounge chair using FSC-certified plywood, natural latex foam cushions and Greenguard-certified fabric. Guests who have the pleasure of sitting in one of these will be impressed with your company’s aesthetic and your commitment to sustainability.
This sleek conference table from Krug’s Revo line is made with recycled and recyclable materials, providing credits on LEED projects, and it can be made with materials that comply with FSC and indoor air emissions certifications, as well. The modular tables are also easily to move and have state-of-the-art technology interface, perfect for all meeting situations.
Herman Miller says the carbon footprint of its Embody chair is the size of a baby’s. The chair is made from 42 percent recycled materials and is 95 percent recyclable at the end of its life. The facility that it’s manufactured in is powered solely by renewable energy and it produces just 77 pounds of waste a month (and, by the way, that waste is not hazardous). The spine-like design of the chair was created to adapt to your movement, adjusting automatically as you shift positions and keeping your spine aligned. Plus, it looks really cool.
Finally, there’s a way to combine your love of wine, green living and need for reception seating. This chair made entirely out of wine corks makes a huge statement (though hopefully your clients focus on your ingenuity and not your obsession with vino). Its sleek rounded lines almost make you forget about the building material. Plus in the event of a flood, we’re guessing it could be used as a flotation device. We’ll drink to that!
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It’s not just office furniture that can be green. Often the office building itself is both eco-friendly and unique, like this London Tube Car turned into an office. “What’s so green about that?” you ask. Well, for one, there’s one less Tube car headed for a landfill, plus the small size and ample natural light means this business doesn’t use as much energy.
Unless you’ve been hiding in a nuclear bomb shelter for the past 50 years without access to the interwebs (and thus have been missing out on all of our helpful advice on shopping for office furniture), then you know by now that buying used office furniture will save you a ton of money. Savings of up to 70 percent compared with buying new are available.
We’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw up off the floor.
Beyond helping you pinch a lot of pennies, buying used has plenty of other benefits.
1. It’s healthier: Brand-new office furniture is gassy (no, not that kind). That new furniture smell that’s giving you a headache and making your eyes itch is from chemicals used in the manufacturing process (think paints, stains and adhesives). As the chemicals evaporate from the furniture (in a process called out-gassing), all those pollutants are released into your office causing some major indoor air quality problems. Sure, you could leave your furniture outside for a while in order to off-gas safely, but why go through the extra hassle when used furniture has already gone through the process and can be installed without the extra headaches?
2. It’s greener: According to ResourceNation.com, buying used office furniture will keep about 1,000 tons of waste out of landfills annually. It can also contribute to your LEED certification and might offer you tax breaks. What’s more, giving a second life to old furniture means that no new resources will need to be devoted to manufacturing new furniture (that means fewer trees being cut down, less energy consumption and less environmental pollution and manufacturing waste).
3. It’s quicker: When your business is going through growing pains cialis online pharmacy at a faster pace than you expected, you don’t want to have to wait around for furniture before you can hire more people to get the job done. Orders for new furniture can take months to be delivered while used furniture is available immediately and refurbished furniture is available in just a few weeks. Buying used allows you to get the office furniture you need when you need it, not when the manufacturer gets around to completing your order.
4. It improves your stock: Financial and investment analysts have more faith in companies that are working toward increasing energy efficiency and reducing their environmental impact. According to Eco Efficiency, Goldman Sachs found that companies in six industries that were at the forefront of environmental, social and governance polices outperform the rest of the stock market by 25 percent. Companies that have made a commitment to sustainable business have found that they contribute to profits. Every choice you make in your company from how much energy you use to light an office building to the type of furniture you choose can help make you greener and therefore more interesting to investors.
5. It improves your reputation: The hottest recruits on the job market these days are not only looking for jobs that pay well and have great perks, but also companies that have a conscience. Incorporating green practices into your workplace, like buying used or refurbished furniture, will demonstrate to both potential employees and clients that you’re a good steward and that you care about more than just your bottom line. Eco Efficiency also cited more compelling research: According to a survey by international HR company Adecco, 52 percent of employed adults felt their company should be doing more for the environment. A survey by the Natural Marketing institute found that 58 percent of consumers were more likely to buy products from a company that is mindful of its impact on the environment.
Start shopping for your used office furniture today at Arnolds.Visit Susan Jennings on Google+
Believe it or not, human beings weren’t born with the innate ability to lay out an entire office or assemble a cubicle the same way we instinctively know to eat ice cream on a hot day or to avoid any TV shows with the word “Kardashian” in the title.
Interior design and furniture assembly are learned skills gleaned from training and experience, something we’re guessing the average office manager might have missed out on.
Whether you’re getting ready to move into a new office or refurnish an old one, here are the 5 biggest office planning mistakes you’ll want to avoid making:
1. Not measuring: While it’s tempting to become enamored with a certain style of furniture or a specific price point, none of that will matter if the workspaces you picked out won’t fit in the office. One of the first things you’ll need to do when planning an office is to dig up your old floor plans and update them if there have been any major changes (like a conference room that has been turned into open workspace or additions to the building). Make sure you have accurate measurements of all the spaces you’re planning to furnish, leaving adequate space for aisles. Keep in mind that you’re not just planning for where employee workspaces will go, you’ll also need to account for storage (filing cabinets and the like), office equipment (copiers, fax machines, etc.) and other types of seating (like chairs or couches used in an open office for impromptu meetings).
2. Not asking how people work: Open offices and hot-desking continue to be trendy in office planning, but it’s not wise to jump on the cubicle-hating bandwagon without talking to your employees first. For one, the noise levels and lack of privacy associated with these types of offices might not be well-suited to certain jobs that require quiet space for more concentrated work. Plus, employees are almost universally resistant to major change at first. You’ll have an easier time getting buy-in about a new office layout if the employees feel like their opinions have been heard and considered. Talking to employees could also yield some great information that could help you improve efficiency in the office, like putting departments that collaborate often next to each other as to avoid forcing people to make long walks around the office or moving departments that do more focused work away from busy office corridors and loud meeting spaces.
3. Not comparing the old with the new: If you’re only planning to expand office seating rather than totally refurnish, then it’s important to make sure the additional pieces are the same as or at least complement the workspaces you already have in color and style. If you’re buying new, speak with a customer representative from the company that made your current furniture to find out if the have the same or similar styles in stock. If you plan to buy used, you might have to make sacrifices as far as having matching workspace, but you should at least be able to find similar pieces that won’t make your office look like it was thrown together by a 5-year-old. Whether you’re shopping in person or online, make sure you have photos of your current furniture to compare.
4. Not enlisting help: While it’s tempting to save money in the short run and do all of the office plans in house, no matter how meticulous you are the margin for error is significant. Office-planning professionals know how much space to leave for aisles, the best configurations for different types of furniture, and how to account for infrastructure (like electrical outlets, cables, vents and the like). Not using an expert could end up costing you more money by way of hours spent on self-taught office layout and re-configuring poorly drawn up plans. Arnolds has professional in-house CAD designers who can help you create the ultimate office layout that improves everything from foot traffic to optimizing small office spaces.
5. Not prepping for delivery day: After all the measuring and employee polling and shopping, the day will come when your new office furniture will show up and your old office furniture will need to be removed. Not having a logistical plan in place for that day will lead to innumerable headaches. Questions you’ll want to answer ahead of time include: Where is the old furniture is going? Who’s removing it? When should employees clear out their current workspace? Where will employees sit when the old furniture is being removed and the new furniture is being installed? Who’s installing the furniture? Do you have to proper equipment for moving and installation (dollies, tools for furniture assembly, floor protection, etc.)? The time to plan is not the day before the furniture is scheduled to arrive. If all this overwhelms you, keep in mind that Arnolds offers a White Glove delivery service that both delivers and installs your furniture. Arnolds will also liquidate entire offices, which means we might be able to help you with your old stuff as well.
Photo courtesy of JLCWalker/Flickr
Photo courtesy of University of Michigan MSIS/FlickrVisit Susan Jennings on Google+
If you think going green at work means you have to invest in wind turbines to power your computers and only use office equipment made of bamboo, think again. There are plenty of ways you can be eco- and ergonomically-friendly in the office without having to become a registered member of Greenpeace. You can start with rethinking how you buy, use and dispose of your office furniture.
Check out 8 ways you can help the environment and your employees by going green with office furniture.
1. Buy modular furniture: Because it can be mixed and matched and reconfigured whenever your company grows, modular office furniture is ideal for environmentally minded businesses. Instead of having to replace all of your workspaces each time you go through growing pains, you can simply add complementary pieces to the furniture you already have on hand.
2. Refurbish your furniture: If you’re furniture is still functional but just looks a little tired, rather than replace it, think about freshening it up. You can sand out knicks and scratches and repaint wood furniture (just look for low-VOC paint). You can even repair damaged table legs or armrests, or reupholster chairs and couches (using green material like you would find here or here).
3. Buy used: One big way you can help the environment while furnishing your office is to buy used furniture. Each year an estimated 8.8 million tons of usable office equipment ends up in a landfill, according to the EPA. There’s no need for your business to participate in the rampant wastefulness. Buying used will not only save furniture from the garbage, but it will also save you money and be healthier for your employees (older furniture buy discount cialis online is less likely to release VOCs, which contribute to poor indoor air quality). To start shopping, just check out our amazing inventory of high-quality used pieces where you can find everything from chairs to cubicles.
4. Donate your old furniture: There are several advantages to donating your used furniture. First, it won’t end up in a landfill, and it will also potentially help businesses or families that don’t have as many resources as yours. Plus, you can get a tax write-off, which equals savings for you. Donate to an organization like Good360 and you can rest assured that your old furniture will go to one of 30,000 pre-qualified charities who will distribute it to the people who need it most.
5. Use natural light: Lighting accounts for 40 percent of a typical office’s electric bill according to OpenForum.com, so by opening the blinds to allow natural light in, you’re not only helping your employees, you’re also saving money. Studies have found that exposure to natural light reduces eye strain while improving productivity.
6. Think outside the chair: One trend being spotted in health-conscious offices are employees sitting on stability balls instead of traditional office chairs. Stability balls encourage active sitting, improve posture, strengthen your core muscles and reduce fatigue among other positive things. They’re also cheaper than office chairs (of course, you’ll probably want to check to find out what your employees think about sitting on a giant rubber bouncy ball all day before replacing all of your chairs).
7. Think about the long-term investment: When you want to find office seating that’s both ergonomic and green, you’ll probably end up spending more money. We know you’re on a budget, but here we’re going to advise you think long-term. Chances are your employees will be sitting at a desk for the better part of eight hours a day. The more comfortable you can make them feel (think reducing back pain and neck strain while limiting their exposure to harmful VOCs), the healthier and more productive they’ll be. You’ll save money on sick days and grow revenue from your happy employees. Plus, higher-cost furniture might also equate to higher quality, which means you won’t have to fix or replace furniture for a long time. Your short-term financial loss might pave the way for a long-term financial gain.
8. Accessorize: If you’d like to help your employees be more comfortable at work, but simply can’t afford $1,000+ fancy ergonomic chairs for each of them, you can at least accessorize with items that will help them work without strain. Look at things like foot rests for under their desks, back rests for their chairs, wrist rests for their keyboards and adjustable height monitor arms. Also, desk lamps can relieve some of the strain that comes with working under fluorescent lights all day.Visit Susan Jennings on Google+
Whether you’re looking for a new roommate or trying to get rid of an old mattress, you have to love Craigslist. Where else can you both find a date and free firewood?
Of course, there’s plenty of cheap office furniture for sale on the popular classifieds site from cubicles to desks and executive chairs. But if you’re trying to outfit your new business, Craigslist might not be the best place to go shopping. For one thing, you’ll likely have to deal with the hassles of picking and installing the furniture (and good luck finding the original instruction manuals for any of the pieces). You’ll also have to be on the lookout for damaged, broken, chipped, torn, stained, outdated, strange and otherwise well-worn furniture.
To illustrate these, we rounded up 6 fantastic Craigslist furniture fails:
1. Defects? What defects?
Remember glamour shots? Those photos people had taken of them where all of their less-than-attractive attributes were conveniently blurred? Well, sellers on CraigsList love that trick. Case in point, this leather desk chair. The poster says the chair is in mint condition, but there’s no way to confirm tears or broken armrests by looking at this fuzzy photo.
2. BYOD (Bring your own drawers)
Office furniture is heavy, so imagine how much you can save your back moving this small desk around without those pesky drawers? But what about storage, you ask? Who needs it? Just cram your office supplies in the empty space where the drawers used to be.
3. Refurbished Chair
Sometimes sellers attempt to fix furniture themselves in order to get a better selling price. Arnolds knows all about quality furniture repair and refurbishment, and we have to say we’re not impressed by the old packing tape around the arm rest routine. You might win points from some clients for your MaacGyver-esque hacks, but most likely they’ll run out your door into the arms of your more professional-looking competitor.
4. Office Furniture or Chew Toy?
We know when you’re buying used furniture, you don’t expect it to be immaculate. A few scratches here a small stain there comes with the territory of CraigsList shopping. But is buying a desk chair that looked like it spent its past life as a favorite chew toy for a 150-pound teething rottweiler really worth the savings?
5. A order cialis online One-of-a-Kind Organ/Desk
Craigslist is home to plenty of unique finds. From potato cannons to henchmen, you can literally find anything you’d imagine on the site. Case in point, this pump organ turned desk. Sure, you might sing in your church choir, but does your weekend hobby really have a place at your 9 to 5? While your customers probably appreciate a certain amount of creativity, office furniture that could double as set pieces for a community theater production of “The Phantom of the Opera” might be a little too over the top.
6. For Your Office Circa 1950
When you’re not finding church organ/desks on Craigslist, you’re sifting through endless antiques. Looking for lightly used cubicles for your small business? First you’ll have to dig through dinged up rollback desks, old time school desks and typewriter stands. When’s the last time you even used a typewriter? Do your new employees even know what they are?
Head to Arnolds and you can enjoy browsing through our 100,000 square foot showroom stocked with high quality used and refurbished furniture from brands you know and trust. There’s no need to worry about whether pieces are missing or broken, if your furniture shows up looking like it was dropped off a 10-story building, or if it jumped on a time machine back in 1972.Visit Susan Jennings on Google+
Employers are finally recognizing that healthy employees are productive employees, so they’re taking action to help employees get fit while they work.
Many larger companies have gyms on site that employees can use throughout the day. Others include walking trails on campus so that on lunch breaks employees can trade their stilettos (or oxfords) for sneakers and get their heart rate up. Those without the means to offer a full gym or fancy trails might offer free or reduced-price gym memberships to employees as a perk.
Of course, if you’d rather not have your employees stretching their lunch breaks in order to take buy viagra canada a Zumba class across town, you now have the option of equipping your office with furniture that doubles as gym equipment.
Recently designer Darryl Agawin, in an effort to fight the sedentary lifestyle associated with office life, created a simple three-piece set of office furniture that can be used to get a full-body workout. The line called No Sweat! was inspired by equipment you’d see at any gym like a balance board, weight bar, exercise step, kettle ball and jump rope. It can be used for hundreds of different types of exercises, Agawin says.
“No, Sweat! proves that one does not need fancy, modern gym equipment in order to have a full body workout,” he adds.
No sweat? More like no more excuses for not exercising at work throughout the day.
Of course, Agawin isn’t the first person who’s found ways to help fight the office bulge.
Other pieces of furniture that straddle the line between workout gear and office furniture include:
Treadmill desks: Basically a treadmill combined with a standing desk, employees walk on a treadmill at a very, very slow rate (less than 1 mile per hour) while they work and can burn an extra 100 calories an hour.
Cycling desks: Similar to the treadmill desk, but with a stationary bike. Employees pedal a recumbent bike while seated at a desk that is raised to accommodate the bike so they’re burning calories and building muscle. Some reviewers complain that pedaling while working is a challenge, but it’s a better alternative to sitting still for an entire shift.
Stability balls: An affordable alternative to treadmill or cycling desks, studies have shown that sitting on a stability ball at work burns 4.1 times as many calories as sitting on a regular desk chair and it helps strengthen core and leg muscles.
If you don’t have any extra cash to invest in double-duty office furniture, remember that you don’t need anything fancy to get in shape at work. In fact, there are several things you can do right from a simple chair.
Check out this 11-minute Chair Cardio Workout from SparkPeople or this chair workout featured on Dr. Oz. All you need is a sturdy chair that doesn’t have wheels or arm rests: Like this one from Arnolds:
Research has shown that short bursts of activity that add up to 30 minutes each day can be just as useful as one continuous 30-minute workout for preventing high blood pressure and high cholesterol and preventing metabolic syndrome, according to the Mother Nature Network. Remember that something as simple as taking the stairs or walking around while you’re talking on the phone is better than doing nothing.Visit Susan Jennings on Google+
We all know the siren call of eBay: The one-of-a-kind finds. The chance to score them at low prices. The excitement that comes with the potential of being outbid. It’s a regular thrill ride. And, for those of you searching for used office furniture, it can also be a fun house of outdated styles, beat-up desks and chairs that look like they belong in a medieval torture chamber.
To give you a laugh, we rounded up the best of the worst used office furniture finds on eBay. Enjoy:
Lost: One Desk
According to the seller, there’s a desk for sale…somewhere. The great thing about this piece is that it’s like a businessman’s special; it comes with a tie, dress shoes, and the ever-important gallon of cola (free backwash, too!). Who doesn’t want a talking Yoda doll and a couple boxes of ace bandages? Purchasing your furniture on an online auction site means you don’t really know what’s going to show up at your door and in what kind of shape it’s in.
For That Co-worker Who Thinks She’s a Princess
Then of course there are the desks that appear to be in fantastic shape and offer a lot of vintage charm, but look like they might be a better fit for the bedroom of a 13-year-old girl. Those shelves look like they’d offer the ideal storage space for a collection of porcelain dolls and the drawers are perfect for holding years and years of never-sent love notes adorned with little hearts and unicorns written to that boy in 4th period English who doesn’t even know your name.
Do I Have Something on My Teeth?
If you’re searching for statement-making seating for your reception area you’ll definitely brush into some unique possibilities: Like these molar-inspired ottomans. What better way to make people show off their pearly whites while dealing with the daily grind than a couple of giant teeth? You’ll just need to pick up one of those oversized toothbrushes to keep them clean.
The Office Chainsaw Massacre
We know how much people like antiques. Old pieces of furniture help connect you to the past and have a story to tell deep within their bones. In this case the story told in online canadian pharmacy the cracks, scratches and worn paint seems to be one of ongoing abuse and little, if any, maintenance. If it were a movie we think it’d be the victim in one where a deranged serial killer in a hockey mask attacks innocent office furniture with a machete.
A Chair Fit for a King (or That Guy in Accounting)
If you just got a promotion and wanted to update your seating as a little reward to yourself, this is one direction to go. Sure, we’re guessing that straight back and lack of armrests aren’t really ergonomically correct, but it’s worth the sacrifice to sit like a king and command the respect of your co-workers (who will surely grovel at your feet the next time they ask you to show them how to fill out an expense report)! And the wicker is almost exactly like that breathable mesh used in those super-fancy office chairs, right?
The Purple People Seater
If you’re trying to outfit a whole office with new desks, eBay sellers offer a variety of solutions including that old-favorite: Cubicles. Sure, you might have to assemble them yourself and you may or may not have the instructions for how to do that, but it’ll be worth the savings, right? While there might not be a huge selection of styles, you’ll rest easy knowing that these beautiful Barney-the-Dinosaur-Colored-Purple cubes will be the ideal fit for your new plumbing business.
Now on Special at Grandma’s Estate Sale
If your style is more “Grandma’s Living Room Circa 1984,” eBay can hook you up with a comfy easy-chair-on-wheels that will accommodate any employee, whether they want to make a presentation about the annual budget in the main conference room, or quietly knit their grandson a hat while stroking their cat, Muffin von Fluffytail.
For the Employee Who Doesn’t Leave His Basement Very Often
Of course, you can find brand-new office furniture on eBay as well, including this gaming-geeks’ special. What employee wouldn’t want caddies for their computer speaker, special hangers for their headphones and cup holders attached to their desk legs? While this desk might show customers that you are serious about new technology, the pale guy in a Hawaiian shirt playing “Tomb Raider” might detract from the company’s overall professional image.
If you’d rather not wade through pages and pages of office furniture that looks like it’s seen better days or just isn’t your style, then head to Arnold’s Office Furniture. We have a huge selection of high-quality name-brand furniture that we’ve taken the time to clean and refurbish when needed. If you’re worried you won’t get a good deal by going with Arnolds, fear not! We offer some of the lowest prices in the business with no bidding necessary!Visit Susan Jennings on Google+
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone from the Millennial generation who never pushed his desk around a classroom to work on a group project about the crisis in the Middle East or huddled with classmates at the student center to discuss 20th century philosophers.
Collaboration has been the modus operandi of Generation Y since they sat down for circle time in preschool, so it’s no wonder that the inclination toward teamwork has poured over into their careers. And it’s starting to impact office furniture and design in a big way.
According to CNN, in the next 10 years, Americans born between 1979 and 1997 will make up the largest portion of the workforce. The changing face of the American worker will more than likely result in a renovation of the American office.
Changes you might see include:
More informal meetings spaces: Generation Y has been moving around furniture since they were kids in order to do group work, so workers in this age group prefer casual, ad hoc meeting spaces to formal conference rooms. Furniture makers have responded to the demand for on-call meeting spaces by creating light, easy-to-move and multi-functional seating and workspaces like Knoll’s Toboggan chair or comfortable, semi-private areas like booths where a few people can gather for a quick chat. Some offices incorporate whole white board walls or white boards on wheels for people to quickly write down thoughts and ideas on the spot.
Fewer walls: Millennials aren’t fond of top-down leadership style, according to the GlobeAnd Mail.com, and with that all the pomp and circumstance that comes with the cushy corner office. Open offices that encourage engagement regardless of seniority level will replace cubicles, walls and closed doors.
Smaller offices: The Millennials are the first generation raised with mobile technology (Dial up internet? What’s that?!), so they’re comfortable doing work from anywhere. In fact, because of the proliferation of smartphones and cloud computing, the line between work life and personal life is much more blurred than in past generations. Their office is literally anywhere they can plug in their laptop. The rise in telecommuting and hot desking has resulted in traditional offices shrinking, which companies see as a huge cost savings.
Technology integration: Generation Y has been plugged in for most of their childhood, some even since birth, so they expect easy access and use of technology. As a result, more furniture and office equipment has charging stations and access to power so that workers can stay connected without having to crawl around the floor in search of an outlet.
Green initiatives: “It goes beyond the way they opened up their viagra generic workspace. It’s also about sustainability and creating a healthy and happy workplace,” Debra Barnes, vice president of interior architecture and design at HGA Architects, told Finance-Commerce.com. Recent studies have found that younger workers prefer to work for companies that make a commitment to green practices.
Cozier workspaces: Millennials are more comfortable blending their work and personal lives, so they don’t want to work at a place that has a colder, corporate feel. Increasingly, designers are making offices that have elements of home. “The corporate feel is getting a lot warmer; almost residential. It’s about bringing your home life into work a little and vice versa,” Hans Siefker, president and principal at Minneapolis-based Greiner Construction Inc., told Finance-Commerce.com.
If you’re looking to update your office to accommodate a generation of wired, teamwork-loving Millennials, make sure your first stop is Arnolds Office Furniture.
Photo courtesy of .waldec/FlickrVisit Susan Jennings on Google+
Office furniture does more than offer a space for employees to sit 40 hours a week. It also has the power to attract (or drive away) the best and the brightest job candidates.
In recent years, cubicles have become the crazy uncle of the office furniture family that nobody quite knows what to do with.
For generations of workers, they served the function of offering a semi-private, quiet workspace in which employees would retreat to for eight hours a day, breaking only for coffee and a run to the restroom.
But they’re quickly becoming relics of an era where vying for the corner office was more valued than contributing to the greater good. These days, young talent on the search for a job aren’t as impressed by the promise of their own office and stock options. Instead, they want their workplace to be a creative environment that reflects their values and interests.
“There is a saying about the role of design which can be summed up in the acronym ARM: Attract, Retain, Motivate. After location, design is the first thing many potential employees will notice. As they say, you rarely get a second chance to make a first impression!” Paul Finch, director of the World Architecture Festival, told consulus.com.
If job candidates take a tour of a workplace that’s a poorly lit maze of high-walled cubicles, chances are they won’t want to stick around for too long.
You want staff to look forward to being in the office and also excited to show it off to clients and even friends and family. If it’s a place that employees take pride in working in, this can improve retention rather than if it’s some place employees feel embarrassed about or that makes them feel depressed.
What Talented Job Hunters are Looking For
Generation Y has plenty of demands when it comes to the ideal work environment.
In a poll by MonsterTRAK on green employment, 92 percent of the young professionals who were interviewed said they would prefer to work for a company that was environmentally friendly, according to a story on FreeEnterprise.com. Other surveys have found similar results.
Traditional offices with their high walls and corner offices are more about conveying who’s in charge and which department goes where. But top talent isn’t looking for hierarchy and bureaucracy. They want to work at a place that tears down walls and promotes new ideas, creativity and collaboration. Beyond promoting teamwork, open offices tend to allow more natural light and airflow: more must-haves for young recruits. Many companies are responding to these trends by lowering order canadian viagra cubicle walls to below 50 inches.
The younger generation is also looking for easy ways to stay plugged in, so simple considerations like making sure there are convenient power sources throughout the office for smartphones, laptops and tablets is critical. Increasingly, office furniture and accessories like coffee tables or floor lamps have charging stations built in for this very reason.
A survey by Knoll found that members of Generation Y prefer quick, casual meetings rather than lengthy ones held in formal spaces, according to CNN.com. In addition to more traditional conference rooms, creating seating areas throughout the office for these type of run-ins is key.
Finally, because the line between work life and personal life is blurred for younger recruits, they want their office space to feel a little more homey than previous generations, according to CNN.
What Types of Office Furniture Attracts Talent?
While high-walled cubicles are losing favor among designers and employers alike, low-walled cubicles that offer some privacy while still allowing for easy conversation and access to natural light, etc. are still a good workspace option.
In fact, the biggest complaint about the open office trend seems to be the noise levels and lack of privacy, so cubicles with wall heights under 50 inches might offer the best compromise.
Beyond that, you want to consider comfort and health, finding pieces (chairs especially) that are ergonomically friendly and reduce fatigue and strain.
Because young recruits are so environmentally conscience, one way to attract their attention is by purchasing furniture that has a small footprint. Maybe it’s made with recycled material and is recyclable itself or you bought it used (rescuing it from a lifetime in the landfill). It doesn’t hurt to point out other green initiatives your company is taking: recycling, using power-saving office equipment, more efficient heating and air conditioning, etc.
Look for ways to add pops of bright, energizing color throughout the office. Couches and chairs in more casual meeting spaces are ideal places to introduce color. Try to have fun; we’re not saying you have to have clowns running around your building (that’s just creepy), but a foosball table in the break room or some oversized beanbag chairs in a conference room show that you understand that the creative process isn’t all about spreadsheets and expense reports.
Look for pieces that will help attract the top talent to your business at Arnolds Office Furniture.Visit Susan Jennings on Google+