Winterizing Your Workplace: How to Stay Productive Through the Bleak Winter Months

Does it seem like everyone at the office is feeling the winter blues? The good news is that winter is almost over! On the other hand, there’s still a good chunk of it left. If you’re struggling to stay productive at work lately, it is possible to get over the dreary plateau. Here’s how to be more productive at work for the remainder of winter!

Reorganize the Work Setting

Is the office currently littered with piles of paper, old coffee cups, and stacked folders? It’s not just the snow and overcast skies that has everyone in a slump! An untidy, cluttered workspace can hinder everyone’s productivity. So, the first order of business is to get rid of all the clutter and tidy up. Not only will it clear your headspace and make you feel better. Tidying up can actually make you more social. Plus, you’ll get a better idea of which office supplies and resources you’re low on.

While you’re at it, reorganize the entire office. Changing around the office layout will make for a fresh atmosphere. Even an open workspace can engage your team more and make for great collaborative energy.

You can incorporate office tools that boost productivity, too.

Long hours in front of the computer can lead to neck and back pain. The cold weather doesn’t help. Standing desks could be something you introduce to help your team feel better.

Give the Office a Fresh Coat of Paint

If you’re going to spend a weekend reorganizing the office layout, why not add a splash of color while you’re at it? The color of your office can have an effect on your productivity. The overcast winter skies certainly aren’t helping. But even beige and white offices make for bad productivity in spring and summer.

Calming blues and soft greens can help your team stay productive. Incorporate these colors around people’s desks.

You don’t have to paint the entire office over, either. Add a blue or green accent wall. You could even add a soft yellow accent wall in a conference room for a creativity boost.

Make the Office Cozier with Lighting & Warmth

In the winter, there’s less daylight, which can make people feel sleepy and less productive. The colder temperatures can also disrupt your concentration. If you’re wondering how to be more focused, change the lighting in the office.

Turn down irksome, headache-stirring fluorescent lighting. Use daylight lamps instead. These lamps produce lighting that’s similar to natural daylight. They’re softer than fluorescent lighting and they can help fight seasonal depression.

Area rugs in the office can add warmth and a cozier feel. Give your employees fleece blankets to wrap themselves in. Provide hot beverages and soup on freezing days.

Promote Health & Wellness

It’s no secret that cold and flu viruses ran rampant in the winter. When people aren’t feeling well, their productivity takes the hit. Encourage your employees to take sick days and long weekends to recuperate. You can even designate a resting area and encourage your team to take power naps.

Offer healthy snacks and fruit smoothies packed with vitamins. You can also encourage yoga stretching and team exercises during breaks. The endorphin boost can do wonders for everyone’s productivity.

Stay Productive This Winter and All Year Long

Winter is almost over… but there’s still plenty of time for the winter blues to wreak havoc on your office productivity. Don’t wait around for warmer weather and sunnier skies to arrive. By working in these ideas, you can zap the winter blues now and help your team stay productive.

Are you still wondering how to be more productive at work? Bad posture may have something to with the current slump! Learn more about ergonomy and how it can boost your productivity.

Used Office Furniture: Top Tips for Buying Used Office Furniture That Lasts

It costs around $4,200 per employee to outfit a startup business. This includes desk, chair, electrical and so on. But whether you are a startup, moving locations, upsizing or renovating, buying used office furniture can save you a good chunk of money. 

Read on for practical tips to help you buy used furniture with confidence. 

Why Buy Used Furniture?

There are many benefits to buying used office furniture. Not only is it less expensive, but it is also better for the environment. Often, used furniture is being sold because a company is moving locations, having renovations or no longer needs those particular items. Many times, those used office chairs, office desks, and used file cabinets are like new.

Yet, you don’t want to spend money on items that will wear out or break after just a few months. You want to invest in used furniture that is reliable. So make sure what you’re buying is made of quality materials.

Decide What You Need Now and Later

Some furniture pieces you need right now for your office. Other items won’t be vital at this time. Make a list of what furniture you need now and what can wait. You may find that items you thought you needed, you don’t anymore down the road. Or you may change your mind about the right item for a particular spot in the office. It’s always a good idea to give yourself time to mull it over before committing on items. 

Make a Budget and Stick to It

Even though used furniture is less expensive than buying it brand new, it can still be a large expense. Especially if you are outfitting an entire office. To avoid buyer’s remorse, have a used furniture budget and stay within it. Even if you find a deal that seems too good to be true.

Having a firm budget will help you focus on the necessities and keep you out of financial trouble. 

Find out Where Used Furniture is From

When you are shopping for used furniture from reputable sellers, you can usually count on them to enforce strict quality controls to ensure the furniture is in good working order. Yet, for your own peace of mind, it’s a good idea to always ask questions. Find out how old the used file cabinets or used office chairs are.

Ask where it was used and how it was stored. This will help you understand how much wear and tear the used furniture has been exposed to.  

Look for Good Quality

When you are shopping for used furniture, quality is key. A sturdy, name-brand piece of furniture will give you a lot more use than a cheaply made item that won’t last long. It’s always a good idea to inspect used furniture in person. That way you can look at hinges and casters and see how smoothly they roll.

You can check out the padding in used office chairs and make sure the gas pumps work properly. 

Final Words on Used Office Furniture 

Used office furniture can be a great asset to your office. We hope these tips help you understand how to shop for used furniture in a thoughtful and wise manner.

Next, check out these 5 best office tools that boost productivity. 

5 Best Office Tools That Help Boost Productivity

Did you know that in an eight-hour day, the average worker gets just under three hours of work done? As a business owner or manager, you can’t afford to ignore this statistic.

Sure, in today’s modern office environment, there are a lot of distractions. Social media, texting, and general internet searching is bound to divert an employee’s attention. However, the office tools they have (or don’t have) drastically affect your employee’s productivity as well. To help boost productivity and reduce distractions, it may be time to give your office space an overhaul.

Let’s go over five tools that will help increase productivity in your office.

1. An Interactive Conference Room

If conferences are becoming a waste of time, adding some interactive features will help. After all, this is where you put projects into motion and discuss business initiatives.

First, make sure you have adequate office furniture needed to facilitate large meetings. You could also add some tech features that will help streamline things. Tools like the Interactive Markerboards make presentations and training much easier. You’ll save time by not having to mess with wires and your presentation will come across much clearer.

2. Open Work Spaces

If your team does creative work, the layout of your office should promote collaboration. You may want to consider switching to an open workspace. Taking away individual offices makes communication much easier and faster. It also prevents employees from feeling isolated, which can zap their productivity.

If only one department does collaborative work, only transform one section of the office to an open workspace. This allows other employees to maintain their privacy.

3. Standing Desks

If your employees don’t feel good, their productivity will drop. It turns out that standing desks come with a number of health benefits, including reduced back pain and higher energy levels. It may seem strange to have your employees stand while working on their computers, but it’s becoming much more common. Ask your staff if they’d like to give standing desks a try. Add a few at first and see how people like them.

Adjustible-height desks allow the user to go from sitting to standing with the push of a button giving them control throughout the day. 

4. Allsteel Power Hub

This is another great tool for a collaborative space. The Allsteel Power Hub acts as stand-alone data and power terminal. Incorporating this tool into your office setup frees up previous space limitations. Employees can plug into it and work alone or in a group.

Try adding some comfortable office furniture around the hub. Providing another space for employees to work is a great way to give them a break from their desks without sacrificing productivity.

5. Effective Storage Solutions

A cluttered office is horrible for productivity. It encroaches on your employee’s space and makes finding important documents difficult. If this is a problem, investing in high-quality storage and file cabinets is an easy solution. You’ll improve the look and feel of your office and also have a way to catalog crucial information.

Get the Right Office Tools and Boost Productivity

Simply by adding a few important components, you can kick your office productivity up a notch. There’s a good chance you’ll see the effect on your bottom line right away.

Try incorporation the office tools discussed above and see the difference in your employees’ performance.

Need help? We provide a wide range of solutions, such as office furniture, layouts, and design. Contact us to learn more.  

4 Benefits of Buying Used Office Furniture

Worn out chairs and stained desks can make an office environment unpleasant, uncomfortable, and lower productivity. 

When people spend the majority of their day in the office, it’s important to furnish it properly and with your employee’s needs in mind. However, new chairs, desks, monitors, etc. can be extremely expensive and rack up a giant bill if your office consists of more than just a few people.

If you’re thinking about refurbishing an office space but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to do so, look no further! We’ll give you the details on why used office furniture is the way to go. 

Benefits of Used Office Furniture 

1. It Saves Money

This is a no-brainer, but the main reason why people opt to buy used furniture is that it is much cheaper than new furniture. If you take time to look around and find the best deals, you’ll be able to furnish an entire office with high-quality pieces that have a smaller price tag than buying new. 

Most used office furniture has only been used for a couple of years and still has a lot of life left. Shopping for used furniture can help you find some gems that have been discarded, like ergonomic chairs or brand new sit-to-stand desks. 

2. It Is Environmentally-Friendly

Shopping second hand is the most sustainable way to shop. You are giving a pre-loved item a new home, so it will not end up in a landfill or in the ocean. Small things, like buying used office furniture when possible, can make a significant environmental impact.

3. Delivery Is Usually Faster

Second-hand furniture is usually delivered much faster than new furniture because it doesn’t need to be ordered. Additionally, used office furniture is usually already assembled. These two factors make it extremely convenient to purchase used items since you can start using them as soon as they are delivered and they take no effort to assemble. 

4. Used Office Furniture Is Reliable

Used furniture may come from someone’s homes or may have been used as floor models. This means it has probably never been used or rarely used and is in excellent condition. And, your employees will probably have no idea that it was bought second-hand!

Shop For the Best Used Office Furniture

Furnishing an office space is a daunting task. You want to make sure everyone’s needs are being met without breaking the bank. Used office furniture is a great alternative for small budgets and an option for those who are more environmentally conscious. 

If this sounds like you, give used furniture a shot! We offer high-quality, used office furniture at a great price and can help you mix and match used furniture with new furniture pieces to create a space for your team that increases productivity and happiness in the office!

Ergonomy at Work: What It Is and How It Benefits Your Business

Bad posture can lead to lower back problems that cost thousands of dollars to treat. For an individual, that’s a lot of money. For a company, that’s a lot of health claims and productivity lost.

The good thing is, you can fix bad posture with a few simple things around the office to take advantage of ergonomy at work.

Ergonomics is the practice of workplace posture to increase health and productivity. It sounds complicated, but it’s not. And it can save your company money. Here are a few tips on how your company can create and ergonomic office setup that will get results.

What is Proper Posture?

Proper posture isn’t hard to achieve. Yes, it may take a little practice, but soon you’ll see employees sitting up straighter and feeling better at the end of the day.

Proper posture includes sitting with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Your thighs should be as close to horizontal as possible to the floor and your feet should be firm and flat. Also, your elbows should be close to 90 degrees as you type or write at a desk so that your arms are level with the desktop.

Now that you know what makes good posture, here are some ways to achieve great ergonomy at work.

Check Your Chairs

The first thing to consider when practicing ergonomy at work is your chairs. If your employees aren’t sitting in comfortable, productive positions, they can get fatigued.

Look for chairs with adjustable heights. This way, anyone can use any chair that’s available and stay comfortable. Chairs should also have armrests and good back support.

Above anything else, an ergonomic chair is a must for proper posture.

Check Your Computer Monitor

This may seem odd, but the angle you look at your computer monitor can have a big impact on your posture. If it’s not correct, you can experience fatigue in your back and neck. A monitor should be about 20 inches in front of you and tilted at a 10 to 20-degree angle away from horizontal. The top of the monitor should be at or just below eye level.

Use an Ergonomic Keyboard

There are “ergonomic” keyboards designed to help limit carpal tunnel and other repetitive-motion injuries and fatigue. These peripherals look a little different than your average keyboard, but they do wonders for productivity and comfort. Whether you use ergonomic devices or not, there are still rules to follow. Place the keyboard so your elbows are at your side rather than resting on the desk and it should be tilted away from you. This will keep your wrists from resting on the desk.

Ergonomy at Work is an Ongoing Process

Once you implement these major changes, you should see productivity increase and fatigue fade away. But there’s always more you can do. Keep looking for ways to improve your employee’s comfort and you will be rewarded!

To find out more about ergonomy at work and to see what you need to implement a plan, contact us at any time.

Safer Office: 4 Wise But Rational Ways to Prevent Workspace Accidents

office safety

How does your office prevent slips, trips, and falls? What about equipment and tool accidents? Every office has hazards; even if you have the best health and safety training around. The key is knowing how to predict problems and prevent them. Although workplace accidents happen far too often, 99 percent of them are preventable, you can keep your office safer by knowing how to prevent these accidents.

Keep reading for four office safety tips you need to know.

1. Check Your Electrical Cords

Office fires occur when devices aren’t turned off or cords aren’t maintained. You can prevent these hazards by checking on your electrical equipment regularly. Either you or your health and safety coordinator should inspect all cords. Many offices use extension cords when plugs are few and far between.

Extension cords can easily start a fire if they’re placed under carpets. Or, if they’re connected to too many different devices. Check that the outlets are working and not causing shocks. Don’t put too many plugs into extension cords. Unplug all electrical devices for when the office isn’t open, like on the weekends.

2. Declutter Space

Slips, trips, and falls occur when the office is messy. Clutter in the walkways, cubicles, and open spaces is a hazard. By having a disorganized office, you’re asking for accidents to happen. Make an effort to keep your office clean. Walkways need to be clear. Encourage your employees to put away boxes when they’re done with them.

It’s especially important not to let clutter pile up near fire exits. Evacuation routes need to be clear at all times.

3. Don’t Rush

The pressure to complete all the tasks you need done causes employees to rush. When they’re rushing, they aren’t paying attention to safety hazards around them. This is when they might trip over a box or slice their hand open with a letter-opener.

You need to create a calm yet productive atmosphere in the office. Work is important, but nothing’s more important than your employees’ safety.

4. Use Caution Signs

Your office should already have safety hazard signs ready for use. For example, caution signs for wet floors are common for office staff rooms. Drinks spill and make the floor slippery. Make sure your office has plenty of hazard signs for different situations.

If there’s a bookshelf that has boxes on the tallest shelf, employees must beware of falling objects. Open drawers of filing cabinets can cause trips. Place signs to remind employees of their safety, like “look up” and “please close drawers”.

Want More Office Safety Tips?

Accidents happen, especially in the workplace. But, the majority of them are preventable. It’s the employer’s job to make sure the office is safe from potential accidents. Follow the office safety tips above to accident-proof your office. Encourage your employees to take workplace safety seriously. Place their safety above productivity.

It’s also important to make sure your office’s layout can prevent accidents. Use comfortable and ergonomic furniture and keep walkways clear. If you follow these tips you’re bound to see a decrease in workplace accidents.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: How to Decorate the Office for the Holidays

Some offices go crazy during the holidays. One company even gave away over 1 million dollars in gifts to their employees for their holiday party. Whether you work for a go-nuts kind of company, a large multi-cultural office, or a small family business, office Christmas decorations can be a fun way to brighten up the office during the holidays.

You want to decorate and kick up the cheer in your office, but where do you start? Keep reading, because our gift to you is some tips for bringing the holidays into your workplace.

Office Christmas Decorations

Before you start plugging lights in and throwing tinsel everywhere, there are a few things you should do. Since your office may contain people of many faiths, you should check your company guidelines to make sure you are allowed to put up decorations. Even if you are, discuss with your supervisor your ideas so you don’t spend a lot of time perfecting your decorations just to be told to take them down. You can still liven up your cubicle or office within the limitations.

Also, no blocking fire exits. That will definitely ruin anyone’s holiday spirit.

With that being said, here are some tips for your holiday or Christmas decor for the office.

Wrapping Desks

This is a classic. Whether you do it to your own desk or to an unexpected coworker, wrapped desks just scream holiday season. You can even make this an elegant affair with color-coordinated wrapping in silver and gold. A tip to consider when doing this: Don’t wrap the drawers shut, that isn’t a very fun present to open.

Decorating Doorways

This is something you can do around the whole office. If your workplace has several offices instead of cubicles, everyone can have fun decorating their own doorways. Use craft paper, glitter, or anything else your creative mind can come up with to turn your boring office door into a magical holiday gateway. Fun office competitions can even be had with an office door decorating contest.

Snowy Office

The iconic white Christmas is something that brings a lot of people holiday cheer. Even if you live in a hot climate, you can bring this magic to your office with fake snow. There are several options for this including white felt, foam flakes, and even spray-snow. This has the bonus effect of creating a pleasing environment for your holiday office party.

Hung with Care

Garland hanging from the ceiling tiles that exist in most offices are a great way to add some festivity to normally drab office decor. With so many winter holidays, you can even include multiple types of garland. Garlands can be made of paper snowflakes, dreidels, or a classic Kwanzaa unity garland. The options are almost endless.

Celebrate the Holidays with Your Office

Making office Christmas decorations can be fun as an individual or as a group. It makes a great office bonding event and everyone can participate. Making the office more fun and more relaxing is great to get people excited to come to work during the chilly weather. If your office could use some decorating or furnishing, during the holidays or not, check out some great solutions for your office.

 

 

The Positive Effects Beautiful Office Environments Have on Employees

Did you know being happy at work can increase productivity by 12 percent? There are many tips and tricks designed to promote positive workplace cultures, including the office environments themselves.

A beautiful office environment has profound effects on your employees. It can influence everything from stress levels to their productivity. Here’s what you can expect with the best offices.

Office Environments Affect Performance and Motivation

We’ll start with the big one. A beautiful office environment can increase employee happiness, productivity, and even motivation. Take a quick look at your own office. Is it filled with beige and grays, or crowded with tiny cubicles? If everything appears dull and uniform, your employees probably think so too.

Bright colors can help them feel more energized. The most innovative offices use space in creative ways, stimulating employees’ minds. A beautiful office is more interesting and pleasing to look at. In turn, this can inspire employees. With more energy and inspiration, they’ll be ready to turn in great performances.

The Right Office Set Up Can Foster Collaboration

Some research suggests it’s important to have work friendships. Some people even think this could be the secret to employee happiness. The office environment impacts how employees interact with each other. If everyone feels cramped and crowded, they’re likely going to be a little testy. 

More offices are also looking at creating a collaborative working space. Instead of putting employees in cubicles, create a free-flowing layout so your employees can move and work together.

A Creative Office Environments Can Promote Health

You probably don’t think too much about how the work environment takes a toll on your employees’ health. Traditional office set-ups have been shown to increase stress. They also encourage sedentary behavior, which can increase health risks for your employees.

Creative office environments do more to promote health. A new layout can encourage your employees to get up and move. Stand-up desks and walking desks are two ideas that can promote better health. 

You should also check your lighting and computer equipment. Certain types of light can increase stress and fatigue. A simple switch could be the key to giving your employees more energy.

Foster Biophilia for Another Productivity Boost

Humans have a natural impulse to connect with nature. It’s called biophilia. Since we spend so much time indoors at work, though, we’re often deprived of it. Research has shown spending time in nature reduces stress and anxiety. It can also help boost your employees’ productivity even more.

Some creative offices are designing ways to integrate nature into the office. Even a simple action like adding a few plants can help beautify the office and decrease stress.

Is it Time to Beautify Your Office?

Many business owners and office managers think office aesthetics are niceties, not necessities. Research shows beautiful office environments are key to performance, health, and happiness.

It might be time to give your office a facelift. Discover more inspirational ideas on our blog and design a better working environment.

Top 5 Health Benefits of Ergonomic Chairs

ergonomic chair

Musculoskeletal dysfunction including repetitive strain disorders cost American employers $1.5 billion in lost productivity in one year. Not only are employees absent from work due to this, but they are also less productive at work as a result. A recent study shows that using ergonomic chairs in the workplace reduced the musculoskeletal symptoms among employees.

Read on for 5 health benefits of an ergonomic chair in the workplace.

1. Say Goodbye to Back Pain

31 million Americans suffer from back pain at any given time. It is a common reason for visiting the doctor, the chiropractor, and for taking sick days at work.

You might be surprised to learn that an ergonomic seat is one thing you can do to reduce back pain at work. An ergonomic chair provides proper lumbar and spinal support that follows the natural curve of your spine. While many office chairs only reach the height of the mid-back, ergo chairs provide full back support for both your lower and upper back. Traditional chairs force you to sit in a static position that may or may not support your spine.

With an ergo chair, you can lean back to over 90 degrees for a simple way to change your position while you sit.

2. Ergonomic Office Chairs Improve Posture

One of the best health benefits of ergonomic seating is that it ensures you have a proper seated posture. But what is good posture anyway? Proper posture means that your body parts are in the correct alignment. When you don’t have proper posture, certain muscles that should be keeping you upright aren’t. Over time, these muscles become weak from lack of use. Good posture protects your joints from wearing out. And it helps prevent muscle strain.

Ergo chairs have the necessary features like head and backrests so that you sit correctly. When you sit in an ergonomic chair with your feet flat on the floor, your hips and knees become parallel and automatically improve your sitting position.

3. Reduces Stiffness

Neck support is crucial for people who sit at desks all day. Without one, your neck and shoulders become stiff. Over time, you could develop serious conditions such as cervical spondylosis. The headrest on an ergonomic chair supports your head and neck so that you can stretch out. Imagine being able to lean back and look up when you are on a long phone call.

Your eyes will get a break from the glare of the screen and your neck will love the gentle stretch and support.

4. Supports Your Hips

Most chairs have a hard, flat and short surface for you to sit on. Sitting in these seats puts pressure on your hips. Alternately, an ergonomic chair is deep enough to give ample support to your hips.

5. Ergo Chairs are Customizable

Ergonomic chairs have adjustable backrest and seat height and adjustable arms. That means that the chair can be modified to make it comfortable for you. Your body is different than everyone else, so why should you sit in a chair that isn’t tailored to your body?

Bottom Line

We hope you found these 5 health benefits of ergonomic chairs useful.

An ergonomic office chair can reduce or eliminate your neck and back pain, support your hips and ensure you have good posture. And you can adjust the chair to be right for your body.

Good seating is a smart investment for anyone who spends a few hours sitting a day.

Next, check out these 7 tips for practical ergonomics in the workplace.

5 Tips for Great Waiting Room Design

Sitting for ages in a waiting room can help or hinder your impending appointment. If it’s something you are dreading, like a dentist or doctor, comfort is key. Anxiety can be running on high during that wait.

The waiting room design matters. Harsh lighting and hard chairs do not help put a guest at ease. Here are a few ways to really give your waiting room a boost.

Waiting Room Design Made Better

You provide a service and you want to provide the best service you can. That needs to start when your guests enter the office space, not your office.

1. Comfy Furniture

Sitting on a hard plastic chair is brutal. It’s difficult for ten minutes, double that and the results are ‘ouch’. Get softer chairs, seats or couches. Armrests, leg room, and a nice soft backrest take the pain out of waiting.

2. Visual Appeal

This includes soft or natural lighting. Pick a soft, calming color or combination of colors that will be soothing for guests. Hang art that is local, either bought or on display for a limited time.

Plants make a big difference. If you don’t have great light, use artificial plants, trees and add fresh cut flowers. Even paintings of nature will be calming. Photographs of your travels, your patients or the community are also nice.

3. Spacing

Keep seats away from the entrance and offices. You don’t want people getting jostled or knocked about. They also don’t need to be exposed to a cold blast of air every time the door opens.

Try to keep space between seating, if possible. If people are sick or blaring their phones, people need to get away. it’s uncomfortable to have people stacked up on top of each other, so try grouping seating so everyone isn’t facing each other.

4. Refreshments

No one expects you to set up a wet bar or ‘make your own omelet’, but providing water and coffee or tea is an inexpensive way to show you care. This can be done with a service or an urn you make yourself.

You could have a vending machine, with drinks and healthy snacks.

5. Activities

While the well-thumbed magazines are okay, you need activities for kids. Games, puzzles, and books work well. Try to avoid the noisier types of toys.

The parents want entertaining, as well. Have a few TVs mounted on the walls, provide channels suitable for kids and offer free wifi. A selection of reading material other than movie star mags is nice.

Another Ten Minutes

An uncomfortable waiting room is an uncomfortable guest. In many cases, they spend just as much, if not more time waiting. People get antsy when they are uncomfortable or don’t know where to look.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on waiting room design, but you don’t want the bare bones, either. Making your guests comfortable both physically and mentally is very important.

A happy guest will keep coming back. If you need some ideas or more information, please continue reading here.