5 Tips for Reducing Office Noise In Your Open Workspace

Working in a loud and distracting office can be hard for any employee. When it comes to limiting office noise there are a few things employers can consider when designing their office spaces. From flooring choices, to having separate collaborative spaces, to allowing noise-canceling headphones, employers can help their staff focus.

Keep reading if you’d like to learn more!

1. Choose the Right Flooring

When designing your open office space there are a few things to consider before adding some desks and cubicles. For one thing, you have to choose the right kind of flooring.

Hard flooring may be aesthetically pleasing, but it does very little to cancel out distracting noises that may soon fill your space. When considering flooring, investigate your vinyl flooring options.

Luxury vinyl tile will give you the aesthetic you may want without sacrificing the quiet you desire.

2. Noise Canceling Headphones

Sometimes focusing on work can be a difficult thing in an open concept office. Employees may want to invest in a set of noise-canceling headphones. This gives staff the freedom to choose how much noise and interaction they may want to subject themselves too. This is especially handy for those who have no say in how an office is arranged.

Many headphone sets are wireless now, making them excellent additions to a standing desk or a mobile employee who may not like a traditional desk set-up. Prices range for most models. While they are definitely not cheap, they can be a worthwhile investment.

3. Separate Meeting Spaces

Going back to designing your office space, it’s essential to make sure your meeting rooms and conference spaces are separate from the main office floor.

Separating the rooms that will hold meetings and large groups of people multiple times a week is a great way to limit office sounds. Products like nxtwall’s demountalbe walls give you the ability to add rooms in open spaces. They’re also flexible and can be removed and reused elsewhere when your needs change.

These rooms will be the space where you discuss your company’s future. Giving it an elegant touch will do wonders in promoting your business. These spaces will also be welcoming to your staff, which allows them to meet in a quiet space without bothering their co-workers.

4. Adding Some Textiles to Your Office Space

It’s not a bad idea to invest in some curtains and other textile features in your office space. Textiles will do wonders in decreasing the noise in your office. When designing your office, consider separating sections of your open floor plan with curtains. The fabric will buffer the noise coming from your desk spaces and will give employees quiet spaces they can go to when distractions are too much.

5. Add Some Ambient Noise to Cancel Annoying Office Noise

While it’s not a good idea to play music in your office space, adding some ambient noise to the background will definitely not hurt.

Having continuous low-level sound will not distract and will actually increase focus. Consider investing in a white noise machine or finding a soundtrack full of nature sounds. Playing this quietly throughout your space will greatly decrease the distracting noises people may focus on while working.

Make Your Office Space a Zen and Calming Space

When it comes to canceling office noise, there are a few things you can do. Most of it comes down to careful designing and considerate decorating. Consider your furniture choices when you are designing your space. If you would like a professional opinion, contact us!

3 Ways Employees Can Stop Back Pain at Work

Are you concerned that the back pain your employees are dealing with is costing your company time, money, and productivity? Do you feel like your employees lack focus, get tired more quickly, or just seem unhappy due to the back pain caused by their desk job?

If so, you’re more right than you might want to be. Not only do the consequences of back pain from sitting require employees to take a total of about 12 days off of work, but the complications from back pain at work can end up costing your company a whopping $13,000 in productivity losses in a single year.

As a company, you should be doing everything that you can to stop back pain at work. In this post, we’ll tell you how to help your team to make it happen.

1. Get Better Office Furniture

One of the main culprits of office back pain may be your office furniture. You should invest in pieces that have the proper ergonomic design, as well as the back support and even cushions that your team needs to stay comfortable.

You also should ensure that the height of your desks and computers are at employee eye level to prevent straining and having to tilt their head upward or downward to view their screen.

You should also look into desk chairs that can be easily adjusted according to the needs of each individual.

2. Limit Screen Time

The average employee sits in front of their computer for over 5 and a half hours every day. Sitting is one of the main reasons why so many people experience computer back pain.

While sometimes, getting away from the computer for long periods of time isn’t possible, it’s up to you to do all you can to limit screen time. Encourage your employees to look up from their screens for a minimum of five minutes every hour. If possible, move meetings outside to ensure they get a break. And, discourage them from taking lunch at their desk.

This won’t just help to limit computer neck, it will also help to mitigate the impact of sitting on the heart, overall back pain, and even obesity levels.

3. Create a Corporate Wellness Program

If you want to get serious about stopping back pain at work, you may need to start a corporate wellness program. This can include things like better health coverage and chiropractic visits for your team members.

You may also want to look into things like bringing a masseuse into the office or even gifting your employees back massage gift cards after a stressful week.

You could even implement a company-wide yoga program or look into the cost of getting a gym installed in your building. Or, start doing a five-minute stretch break once every two hours. This isn’t just healthy, it’s also tons of fun!

When you prove to your team that you care about their health, they won’t just feel better. They’ll also want to work harder for you.

Stop Back Pain at Work With the Right Furniture

We hope this post has helped you to learn how to stop back pain at work.

In addition to helping you to find the best furniture, we can also create the ideal workspace for productivity and general employee comfort.

Spend some time on our website to learn more about what we offer and reach out when you’re ready to get started.

Boost Your Work Place Morale With These Office Paint Colors

Did you know that the office paint colors can make a difference in workplace morale? A study by researchers at the University of Texas found that colors can have an impact on mood and productivity.

They found that gray and beige, which are found in a lot of offices tend to create feelings of depression for women. Before you go to the other end of the spectrum and brighten up the office with purple and orange, you should be aware that they induce the same feelings in men.

What are the best colors to boost productivity in your office? Keep reading to find out.

Blue Office Colors

Blue has long been considered a color to inspire focus and stability. That’s why companies like IBM and Microsoft use it in their logo. As an office color, you can use it to paint your office and use other colors as accents.

Green in the Office

Do your employees spend a lot of time at the office? If they do, then you may want to consider having green as your office color. The reason why? Green doesn’t cause the eyes to get tired, which means that your employees can focus for longer periods of time.

Yellow for Creativity

Does your company rely on creativity and innovation? You should consider using yellow office paint to influence your employees. This color would work very well for design and creative agencies and even departments who use their creativity in their daily work.

Passion and Emotion in the Workplace

Out of all of the office paint colors, red isn’t considered to be a main paint color for most offices.

If your company’s work requires a lot of physical activity, red would be a good choice. It evokes, passion and emotion and it has physiological effects as well. It can raise the heart rate and blood flow.

Keep Your Office Colors in Style

Interior designers look to the Pantone Colors of the Year to guide their color choices. Pantone is a standard that guides designers to match colors. This ensures that everyone that deals with colors, from paint manufacturers to graphic designers use the same blend of primary colors to create different colors.

Pantone is widely known for creating a color of the year, which sets the tone for designers to use in their work. The company puts a lot of resources into research to determine the best

This year, Pantone’s Color of the Year is Ultraviolet. Ultraviolet isn’t great as the main color, but it can work as an accent. For example, you can use it as an accent on flooring or furniture.

Office Paint Colors for Morale & Productivity

Besides paint colors, there are a lot of factors to consider to create an office environment that will boost productivity. The company culture, the office design, desk setups, and the office colors all play role. It’s easy to overlook the office paint colors, but choosing the right colors can impact your culture, employees’ moods, and productivity.

If you’re looking to create an office environment that inspires, we can help. At Workplace Solutions, we work with you to design and manage your office makeover that inspires your employees to thrive.

Contact us today to see how we can help transform your workspace today.

How to Stay Productive After Daylight Savings Time Begins

Daylight savings time can throw you off your rhythm if you let it. You don’t have to be a victim, though. If you want to fight back – keep reading. Today, we’re going to share some concrete tips that’ll help you stay productive when daylight savings time starts, even if you’ve struggled in the past.

Let’s begin!

Prepare for Daylight Savings Time

If you want to avoid being thrown off your rhythm, think about preparing ahead of schedule. While this can sound a little bit silly, it is one of the best tactics you can put into action if you don’t want to be affected too heavily.

One way to prepare is by waking up one hour earlier than your currently do. This will get you ready for when the clocks do go forward and you ‘lose’ that hour of sleep in the morning.

If you’re going to be waking up one hour earlier, it can be a good idea to go to be one hour earlier too. This will help you maintain a consistent level of sleep.

Stay Hydrated

When daylight savings time does hit, you’re going to find yourself struggling with fatigue throughout the day. One thing you can do to aid productivity and help improve your fatigue is to stay hydrated.

Many people find that drinking water throughout the day helps reduce their levels of fatigue. To make sure you don’t forget, set alarms on your phone that let remind you to drink water every hour or so.

Avoid Sugar

A lot of people find that they have sugar cravings when they feel tired. If you experience this, make sure you don’t give in.

Sugar can often have the effect of giving you a short burst of energy, followed by a massive slump. If you find that you’re craving sugar, opt for a protein bar, as these can sometimes help satiate sugar cravings.

Go Easy on the Coffee

It’s tempting to use coffee as a crutch when you’re feeling tired.

However, if you’re really tired, coffee will probably make things worse. That’s because you might experience the ‘tired but wired’ feeling. This is where you feel jittery, anxious and tired at the same time – which can a worse feeling than just feeling tired.

If you feel like you need a small ‘pick me up,’ consider drinking some green tea to help you maintain focus. Green tea is generally easier on the body, and you won’t find yourself experiencing a caffeine crash when drinking it.

Time For a Nap?

Daylight savings time is one of those things that you have to deal with on a yearly basis. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t suffer each time it comes around.

Using the tips provided in this post, you should now know how to be full of energy when the time comes. All these strategies can work well, and they can help you conquer the day so that you don’t let fatigue beat you down.

Of course, if things get really bad – you can always take a short nap!

4 Tips to Keeping Happy Employees

While you might think that higher wages will keep your staff happy – it won’t.

Research shows there are many other (cheaper) ways to keep happy employees. It’s about using your dollars to improve the time people spend at work: build a better work culture and make staff feel appreciated.

How to do it? Below we give some tips that are sure to surprise you!

1. Improve the physical environment

Spoil your staff with quality office furniture. Well-designed workstations, sit-to-stand desks, office chairs that encourage good posture and open-office workstations achieve an enormous return on investment. Your staff will have better posture, have a lower risk of repetitive strain injuries (your insurance guy will like that), and be better placed to put their best into your business.

Well-designed office spaces can also encourage productivity and better work culture through encouraging collaboration and teamwork. Best of all, quality furniture tells your staff you value them, and gives a better image of your business to visiting guests.

2. Let them eat cake!

Actually, better yet, provide a big fruit bowl and good quality tea and coffee. This tells them you care, costs you very little, and promotes good health. What’s not to like? You’ll be surprised at the opportunities for cross-pollination of work ideas as people cluster around the coffee machine work-shopping issues.

Before you know it Jim from IT has created a custom solution for Halima in HR so she can get her tax receipts into the system the right way. In return, she found him an intern to assist with his office-wide software updates. Problems (and possible solutions) they would never have known about if they weren’t making their morning macchiato at the same time.

3. Creative Rewards for Hard Work and Happy Employees

It costs very little to demonstrate your appreciation, to thank staff for a big job done well. Some workplaces have implemented a ‘lucky-dip’ of rewards, where staff chose a card from a pot and written on the card is their reward. The cards can have any number of ideas, from massage vouchers and sports event or cinema tickets to a free dinner-for-two.

You can offer car-washes, gym memberships, or even a pass for a day off work on the cards in your office ‘lucky-dip’. The sky is the limit!

4. Fuse-Ball, Ping-Pong or Board Games

Big companies in Palo Alto competing for technology and employees have known this for a while – creative workplace experiences attract and motivate staff. Putting in a Ping-Pong table, Fuse Ball or supplying Board Games in a common area gives staff a place to relax.

Psychologists tell us that when you distract yourself from a problem, you free up your subconscious to busily work away at it. Don’t believe it? Think about how often have you had your ‘aha moment’ in the shower, at 3 am, or while out on a jog?

Like all the tips here, this gives your happy employees as well as better productivity. Think about where you can free up some space and build creativity and fun into your workplace.

Happy Staff, Happy Work Environment

So there you have it – some research-backed fun and creative tips for happy employees that won’t break the bank.

What are you waiting for? Time to prep the office announcement!

The Pros and Cons of Romance at Work

Have you been considering asking out that cute or handsome coworker of yours?

Are you concerned how dating might affect your professional relationship and standing in the company?

It’s important to assess the situation before making decisions on dating a coworker. This article will outline the pros and cons of sparking up a romance at work.

Pro: Common Ground

The best relationships are built on common experiences or interests.

The sheer fact that the two of you are working together indicates that you have common experiences. You share new experiences every day, always giving you something to talk about.

The mere fact that you sit near each other in the same office is bound to build up attraction. People tend to be more attracted to people who are in close proximity to them more often.

You will also know the same people and likely have the same work social circle. This again gives you more things to talk about and can keep conversations lively.

Con: Office Gossip

If you’re just starting out at a company or trying to work your way up, it might be best to keep romance out of work.

When you date a coworker, the two of you automatically become the latest source for office gossip.

People will inevitably be talking about the status of your relationship, if it’s going well, and even when it’s going to end.

Having this buzz happening around you at work could distract you from the real reason you’re there- to advance your career.

Pro: Similar Schedules

One advantage of dating someone you work with is that you likely have similar schedules.

This can make planning after work dates super easy. Often times in adult life you meet someone really great but they work different hours from you or have other commitments and you hardly get to see them.

When you work in the same place you pretty much know where your romantic partner is 40 hours a week, and you can therefore easily plan romantic outings.

Con: Breaking Up Is Rough

One of the main disadvantages of a romance at work is the break-up.

Consider the fact that you will be trapped in a confined space with this person all week long even after you break up.

If things end badly, you’ll have to constantly see them by the water cooler, or bump into them in the break room. The awkwardness that is sure to ensue when you break up is enough to keep many people running away from an office romance.

Consider These Pros and Cons Before Sparking a Romance at Work

Keep this list of pros and cons in mind before you start an office romance.

Office romances can be incredible and turn into lifelong partners, but they can also end terribly and making working together uncomfortable.

Be sure to assess where you’re at in your career and with your company before taking the risk on an office romance.

Like this article? Want to read more about life in the office? Check out our article on deciding between an open office and a closed one.

5 Tips to Increase Productivity in 2018

increase productivity

As the new year begins, now is the perfect time to analyze your company’s productivity. There are a number of steps that your company can take to increase productivity.

Did you know that the United States has the most productive employees in the entire world? American workers produce more per year than any other nation. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement and your company can still produce more.

Read on to learn 5 tips to increase productivity for your company’s employees.

1) Deploy Mobile Apps to Increase Productivity

Widespread use of mobile technology is a great way to increase productivity. There are a number of apps that can take your company to the next level.

One effective mobile app is Connecteam. This program does it all from connecting remote employees, training, and time management.

Another good example is WorkflowMax, which is a scheduling and invoicing tool. The app catalogs time spent working and generates instant quotes. WorkflowMax is so effective that it reduces labor expenses by an estimated $22K per year.

2) Incentivize Employees to Work Harder

Nothing optimizes productivity like a financial bonus. The vast majority of employees have slack time in their workday. It may be a lengthy coffee break or browsing social media for too long. A great way to focus your employees’ efforts is an incentive.

Hold a contest to reward the employee that produces the most output or generates the most sales. You will be pleasantly surprised at the ramped up performance of the entire team.

3) Emphasize Continuous Training

Simply put, well-trained employees perform better. If employees do not know how to adequately do their job, productivity suffers as a result. Even seasoned veterans benefit from continuing education. This is especially true in fields that employ technology. Employees should be cognizant of all the tools at their disposal. Hold short training programs to keep employees handy with ever-changing technological tools.

4) Encourage Communication With Company Executives

In order to feel motivated and empowered, the company must facilitate communication between employees at all levels. This means that a secretary feels comfortable talking to the chief executive officer. This is important to employee satisfaction. Employees become unmotivated and unproductive if they are barriers to communication.

5) Support the Workforce

Sometimes, the workplace has to be more about output and metrics. There has to be a human element to the workplace as well. Show your employees that you respect them and care about their personal well-being. This means supporting your employees as they pursue a healthy work-life balance. Throw a decorating competition for the holidays to make work more enjoyable.

Provide employees with good office furniture that is ergonomic. While these things do not directly contribute to gross output, they do ultimately increase productivity.

These tactics help the company retain high-quality employees. Satisfied and content employees are more likely to work harder and achieve company goals.

Wrapping It Up

Employee productivity is critical to accomplishing the company’s objectives. Only with a motivated and energetic workforce will the company reach its desired bottom line. A small deed like a new office chair can work wonders for employee satisfaction and motivation.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you enhance your company’s work environment and increase productivity.

The Importance of Quality Filing Cabinets for Your Office

filing cabinets

Though electronic records have an undeniable convenience, for many businesses there is a value in maintaining a hard copy filing system as well.

Hard copy records can be more secure, as they are not vulnerable to computer crashes or Internet hackers. It’s also usually easy to store historical records in hard copy, rather than scanning thousands of documents onto the computer.

Filing cabinets have always been considered the best way to organize and store physical documents. The right filing cabinet makes it easy for you to create a file system that makes sense for your specific needs.

Old filing cabinets are susceptible to wear and tear over time, and as yours start to fall apart, you should begin shopping for an upgrade.

Read on to learn more about what to look for in a filing cabinet system, and the importance of having high-quality cabinets in your office.

1. Why do You Need a Filing Cabinet?

If you work in an industry where you need quick access to important documents, filing cabinets are the best storage solution. The right filing cabinet will provide a level of security and privacy that a computer can’t. Once you’ve developed a filing system, the right storage solution makes it easy for you to stay organized and keep your physical office space clear of clutter.

2. Types of Filing Cabinets

There are four main types of filing cabinets:

Lateral

  • Drawers extend from the longest side of the cabinet
  • Drawers are wide and shallow
  • Ideal for spaces with lower ceilings
  • Easy to sort through drawers while seated

Vertical

  • Drawers extend from the short side of the cabinets
  • Drawers are narrow and deep
  • Taller than lateral cabinets, and ideal for rooms with limited floor space

Flat

  • Designed to accommodate large and oversized documents
  • Short, spacious drawers
  • Ideal for canvases and blueprints

Mobile

  • Similar to vertical cabinets in construction
  • On wheels or casters and can be easily moved around the office

3. What to Consider When Shopping

Whether you’re upgrading all the cabinets in your workplace or just purchasing one unit for a home office, you want to consider how much space you have available and how many documents you need to store. That will help you narrow down what type of filing cabinet you should purchase.

You should also look at the materials that make up the filing cabinet. Aluminum and steel are the most durable and longest lasting. Plastic is typically a more affordable solution, and wood filing cabinets have a unique aesthetic that may be pleasing in your space.

One last thing to consider is whether or not you want cabinets that lock, which will depend on the nature of your documents and how secure you need them to be.

Looking for Filing Cabinets in Fort Wayne?

When you have physical documents and hard copy records, a filing cabinet system is the best way of keeping them organized and secure. Different types and materials can provide different advantages, so make sure you consider your specific needs before shopping.

For more information about the right filing cabinet solution for your office, please contact us at any time or visit our office furniture store in Fort Wayne.

Stress-Free Office Party Ideas for the Holidays

office christmas party ideas

Are you looking for a fun holiday party idea for you and your employees? Are you looking for something that doesn’t involve extra stress? If so you’ve come to the right place. The holidays are supposed to be a time of celebration and fun but they can also be very stressful. You can take some of the pressure off your employees by having a low-key holiday office party.

This article will break down the top office party ideas for a stress-free season.

1) Escape Room Party

Escape rooms are fantastic for a team building holiday activity. Escape rooms are a fun way to bond with your employees. During an escape room experience, you discover new skills you didn’t even know your employees had. You’re locked in a room for one hour and must solve puzzles and word games in order to “escape”.

This is great fun and a chance to get out of the office. Your employees won’t have to worry about bringing food or showing up to a lengthy office party.

2) White Elephant Gift Exchange

Host a white elephant gift exchange immediately after work. Put a price limit on the gifts so that your employees don’t feel obligated to spend lots of money. Have everyone bring in one gift and put it in the middle of the circle. Each employee takes turns either taking a new gift or “stealing” a gift that has already been taken. Eventually, each person will go home with a gift.

This is a chance for your employees to show off their gift-giving creativity and is less pressure than a traditional Secret Santa exchange.

In a Secret Santa gift exchange, everyone has to pick a gift for a specific person and there is fear that their assigned person won’t like the gift. In white elephant, everyone buys a neutral gift and the playing field is open.

3) Potluck Dinner

Instead of spending a fortune on catering or going out to a fancy dinner, have a potluck dinner. Ask each of your employees to bring in their favorite dinner dish or dessert. Assure them that store bought is fine if they aren’t the finest chefs. Potlucks are minimal stress and they allow everyone to enjoy a variety of delicious foods.

You can host the potluck at lunch or right after work so as to not take up too much of your employee’s time. Most people will be grateful for the extra time they could spend with their families during the holidays.

Follow This Guide for Stress-Free Office Party Ideas

We hope you utilize one of these office party ideas this holiday season.

We are confident that each of these three ideas will bring happiness and levity to your office celebration. The holidays can be celebrated simply, there doesn’t always need to be a giant holiday office party.

Have employees who are distracted during the holidays? Check out this article on how to keep your employees focused through all the excitement.

How to Keep Focus on Work During the Holiday Season

keep focus

We get it. It can be hard to keep focus when there are presents to be unwrapped and food to be eaten.The holidays are a wonderful time. But they can also be downright distracting! If you’re with the vast majority of us, you’d much rather be hanging around your friends and families celebrating than be stuck in the office.

However, there’s work to be done and it’s essential to keep focus in order to keep your job.

Don’t Ignore the Holidays

Your first inclination might be to ignore the holidays completely in order to hone in your mental focus. This is a big mistake. The holidays are like an itch you refuse to scratch. The more you ignore them, the more they’ll demand your attention. The trick is to acknowledge the holidays, but not let them rule you.

Give in to being just a little bit festive. Get yourself something decorative for your workspace that reminds you that good times are right around the corner.

If you have a shared workspace, and your coworker is agreeable, you can work together with your partner to liven up your cubicle in a festive way. Make it something that you can both enjoy.

Outwardly acknowledging the holiday season helps take it out of your head and into the real world — leaving room in your brain to focus on work matters instead.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Don’t take on any new projects, if you can help it. In order to have time off for the holidays, you’ll need to accomplish all the tasks you already have set. To do this, you’ll need to become hyper-organized and prioritize each of your tasks according to their level of importance. Then, take them on, one step at a time.

Feel free to use holiday-themed paper for your To-Do Lists for added fun, and as a reminder what you’re working towards.

Keep Focus By Putting YOU First

Just because you have a few days off coming up is no reason to neglect your health. Drink plenty of water, don’t skip gym days, and remember to eat your breakfast. Your mother was right: it’s the most important meal of the day.

It’s all-too-easy to get sucked into the trap of eating holiday treats before the holidays have even begun. Offices almost always have those tempting little chocolate kisses in their red, gold, and green wrappers sitting around.

The truth is: eating well leads to thinking well. By staying away from sugary treats and sticking to healthy worktime snacks, your brain will function at a much higher level.

Keep Comfortable

Last but not least, you’ll focus better if you’re comfortable. Never underestimate the power of good office furniture. Having an ergonomic desk chair and a desk that’s suitable for your height are key to workplace comfort.

Not only will having appropriate furniture help you zero in on your work during the holiday season, it will keep you at the top of your game for all the months to come.

Check out our full line of Workplace Solutions new and used office furniture to find exactly what suits your needs.

Happy holidays!