New Year’s Resolution for the Workplace

new year's resolution for work

New Year’s Resolutions: Making the Workplace Better for Everyone

Goal setting at work happens all year long: setting deadlines, sales targets, and giving the team milestones by which to mark their progress. Resolutions — and what better time than the New Year to make them! — are more qualitative than quantitative. Resolutions can help improve the workplace environment and employees’ attitudes which can lead to improvements in the bottom line!

Setting New Year’s resolutions at the workplace can bring the group together as they define their vision of what’s important for them at work. Once resolutions are agreed upon, decide on some steps to help get you all there together. The important thing is to be realistic, and choose resolutions that you can begin to take immediate steps toward.

Here are some popular workplace resolutions for 2017 to give you ideas of what may benefit your organization.

  • destress: encourage breaks from work — even brief “take a walk” or “do some stretches”; or set up some “yoga at your desk” workshops; or initiate monthly on-site pizza parties; anything to break up the routine and get people moving around
  • declutter: establish some official time for office and files cleanup; implement policies to cut down on printed paperwork; set up more recycling bins.
  • be positive: officially and regularly acknowledge good work or good attitudes; encourage each other to see the good in others and show appreciation; when compliments are passed on, encourage they be passed on to an employee’s supervisor as well

Other resolutions suggestions?

  • have healthier food options at work
  • communicate better
  • reward employees for exemplary work
  • help staff learn new skills

Ask your employees or your team to come up with a list of two or three — together!

The New Year is the perfect time to think about ways that each of us can help improve our work lives and workplace. You may be surprised at the big impact little changes can have for everyone!

Workplace Stress: Holiday Edition

ways to reduce workplace stress during the holidays

Stress at the workplace can occur all through the year, of course. But the holidays can really intensify any existing work-related stress — and create new stressful situations if we aren’t careful. The overall busyness, long work hours, over-spending, over-indulging of the holidays — not to mention dealing with traffic, end of year deadlines, and cranky customers — can wear anyone down. Add to that the rush to get work done before taking time off for the Holidays.

All hope for happy holidays at the workplace is not lost, however. Here are some simple suggestions to help lighten stress and improve moods around the office this time of year:

  • offer yoga sessions — many yoga instructors offer office-specific programs that don’t require mats or yoga clothes
  • bring in a massage therapist to give lunchtime neck and back massages
  • designate one day a week as a late start (or early closing) day; or allow other increased flexibility to staff’s schedule
  • institute a less-formal dress code, or even have a contest for tackiest Christmas sweater
  • reconsider deadlines, if possible, in light of the holidays
  • provide fruit trays or veggies and hummus in break rooms to give options besides the cookies and candies that will be swamping the office
  • encourage everyone to drink water (which keeps all of us healthier and cuts down on holiday weight gain) and donate to charity the money they would have spent on soda or coffees
  • show appreciation of how hard everyone is working – whether you are a boss, a colleague, or an employee — genuine compliments can be the best Christmas gift of all

A little fun, a little relaxation, a little kindness — all will help everyone at the office be happy, healthy, and enjoy the holidays (and work) a little bit more

Star Trek Office Supplies

Love Star Trek? Then you’ll love these Star Trek office supplies that will help you celebrate its 50th anniversary in style while dressing up your space… Check out some of our favorites that will take your office where no office has gone before!

star trek pens

What’s more logical in an office than pens? This Star Trek Floating Pen Set from ThinkGeek are perfect for jotting notes during less than thrilling office meetings and include the Star Trek 50th logo and comes in a 50th-anniversary tin.

 

star fleet academy certificate

What lame school’s did your co-worker’s graduate from? Harvard? Yale? Big deal! They’ll all be jealous when they see this Starfleet Academy Graduate certificate proudly hung in your office. This certificate, exclusive to ThinkGeek is even signed by Captain Hikaru Sulu, Commandant, Starfleet Academy!

 

captains log notebook

This Captain’s Log mini notebook with charts and inspirational quotes is perfect for jotting down important notes and observations.

 

star trek badge holder

Add some style to your uniform with this Star Trek insignia ID badge holder.

 

star trek led light

This USB powered Star Trek Enterprise LED light is the perfect addition to any desk. Press the button to illuminate the ship in either red, green, blue, yellow, purple, teal, or white. Beam me up, Scotty!

 

star trek paper clips

Keep all of your Starfleet Directives neat and tidy with these Star Trek Paper Clips featuring the NCC-1701 and the Delta Shield.

5 Tips for a Fun and Effective Workplace

creating a fun office environment

Employees who enjoy going to work undoubtedly have better morale, are more likely to stay longer at their jobs, and to really give it their all. A positive work environment — including making room for some fun — also goes a long way in attracting new talent. Of course, fun aside, work has to continue to get done in a productive manner. Here are some tips on how to create a fun and efficient office environment.

  1. Plan and allow time for fun
    Encourage small break times for employees to disconnect and refresh their minds allow a few minutes at team meetings for employees to get to know each other organize a recurring happy hour. Have an office-wide, family-friendly event: an outing to a ballgame or day at the zoo reward goals being met with department- or company-wide parties, like a Friday afternoon ice-cream social or a Monday morning donut spread.
  2. Have a space to “reboot” 
    Make the lounge space or coffee bar area more appealing with comfortable chairs and furniture that can easily be moved around and reconfigured. If you have outdoor access, set up chairs, tables, and umbrellas to encourage spending break time outside (fresh air does wonders for an overworked brain!)
  3. Allow workspaces to be personalized
    Encourage employees to decorate their space to make it their own. Help them be more comfortable in their workspace by offering ergonomically adjustable chairs, footrests, desks, add-on keyboard trays, task-specific light fixtures, a variety of filing systems, etc.
  4. Encourage interaction and collaboration
    Design (or redesign) the office layout to encourage movement and collaboration. Reconfigure team spaces to allow for better sharing of space and technology and encourage meetings in common office space.
  5. Support work/life balance
    Allow for flexible schedules or occasional telecommuting. Provide access to healthy snacks and encourage physical activity (maybe a FitBit “steps” contest?)

Happy and appreciated employees are more dedicated to their jobs and more encouraging to each other. Additionally, a cooperative and fun office environment has been proven to generate fresh ideas and encourage more creative thinking. If these ideas appeal to your goals for your workplace, visit our office furniture store in Fort Wayne or Warsaw. We also have office furniture specialists in Indianapolis. We are experts in office design, layout, and furnishings and offer the latest in products to support a more efficient (and fun!) work space.

How to Make the Most of Summer When You’re Stuck at Work

ways to make the most of summer

Can you believe it’s already August? The Summer has gone by so fast that we still haven’t done all of those Summer activities we planned to do back in May. Fortunately, we still have some great weeks ahead of us, and even though we’re stuck indoors at the office, we can still make the most of the last few weeks of Summer.

Bike to Work

One way to take advantage of this beautiful season is to bike to work. This is a great way to maximize your outdoor time, and get some great exercise in! This is especially easy if you work in Downtown Fort Wayne. Most of downtown is very bike-friendly. Bike lanes line most of the streets and a bike rack is never too far.

Take Breaks

Even if your job requires you to be tied to your desk most of the day, it’s not too hard to make an excuse to go outside. Be sure to take short breaks every couple of hours to get up and walk around. This will help you be more productive and avoid Dormant Butt Syndrome. Use this time to walk around the parking lot. Even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time, GET OUTSIDE!

Eat your Lunch Outside

Another great time to be outside is your lunch break! If you typically pack your lunch, take it outside! If your workplace doesn’t have outdoor seating, then drive to the nearest park and enjoy some quality outdoor time there! Bring a co-worker and enjoy a quick game of frisbee.

Or, eat outside at one of our local restaurants. Here is a guide to some of the best places to dine al fresco in Fort Wayne.

Being outside for even an hour a day can dramatically improve your overall attitude and well-being. Plus, it’s the best way to make sure you make the most out of your summer!

Open a Window

There’s nothing worse than being stuck inside your office on a beautiful day – especially if your desk is right next to a window. Staring out at the gorgeous, blue skies can be torture. Next time you’re stuck inside the office, open the window and let the warm weather in for a few minutes! Feeling the warmth on your skin and hearing the birds chirping is a surefire pick-me-up.

Work Outside

Have you ever heard the saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them?” Well, the best way to make the most out of your summer is by getting outside. If you can, bring your laptop and work outside! Go to a local park, coffee shop or restaurant and take advantage of their outdoor dining. (Most places even offer free WiFi!)

Just because you’re stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to enjoy your Summer and make the most out of summer while it lasts!

5 Ways to Maximize Office Productivity this Summer

boost office productivity in summer

Don’t Let the Nice Weather Ruin Your Workplace Performance

“Summertime and the living’s easy…” A little too easy I’d say. While the temperature outside is rising, productivity is declining. Did you know that workplace productivity drops by 20% during the summer? Furthermore, attendance is down 19%, and employees are 45% more distracted! This might not come as a surprise to some of you. I mean, are there any among us who wouldn’t rather be outside enjoying the nice weather rather than indoors working?

So, what can you do to help reduce the Summer productivity slump and make the most of Summer?

1. Switch up your Routine

Sometimes the summer productivity slump is just the result of too much structure. Switching up your routine, even a little bit, can improve your attitude and productivity. For example, get up a little earlier and go for a walk before work or ride your bike to work if possible. Get some outside time before heading in to the office.

2. Make up for lost time

One of the biggest productivity killers in the Summer is leaving early. As great as it is to get a jumpstart on your weekend, you also need to keep in mind that people are depending on you to do your job first. If you know you’re going to be leaving a little early, be sure to come in early or stay later the previous night.

It might not even be a bad idea to consider a four-day work week schedule during the Summer season. Working four ten-hour days with Fridays off can boost company morale more than anything!

3. Take a Vacation

You can’t do your work if you’re busy daydreaming about the beach. One of the best things to do for your productivity is to take a vacation. Whether you go anywhere or not, some time off will allow you to come back, refreshed, ready to dig in and do some work! Plus, in the weeks leading up to your vacation, you’ll be more willing to put in the extra effort now, knowing that you will be taking some time off.

A week or two before your planned vacation, make a list of everything you need to get done before you leave. This will keep you motivated to push through up to the very end!

4. Get Out

 

Take your breaks outside. Go for a walk, have a picnic lunch, sit outside at your favorite lunch spot. Enjoy the fresh air and reset before heading back into the office.

5. Take your Work Outside

If the beautiful weather is just too much temptation to handle, don’t be afraid to take your work outside! Got a meeting planned? Go outside and grab a picnic table. Allowing yourself some much-needed rays can do wonders for your productivity.

By following any of these five tips, you can be sure that your office productivity and morale is kept at an all time high this summer! From all of us at Workspace Solutions, we hope you have a great summer!

Caution: Your Job Could Be Harmful to Your Butt

dormant butt syndrome

By now you’ve heard of sitting disease, the ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Now, there’s another condition affecting office workers and other sedentary people – Dormant Butt Syndrome. Yes, it is a real condition! No, we’re not making it up.

Despite the funny name, Dormant Butt Syndrome is a serious condition that could be the cause of your back pain, knee pain, or hip pain.

What is Dormant Butt Syndrome

Dormant Butt Syndrome (DBS) is a condition caused by sitting for extended periods of time. Most Americans have a job that includes sitting most of the day in an office chair. Add to that the time spent driving to and from work and even more time sitting to watch TV, play games, lounge, or read, and that’s almost a whole day of sitting on your butt. In total, the average American sits about 13 hours a day. It’s no wonder our butts now have their own condition.

Dr. Chris Kolba of Ohio State coined the phrase Dormant Butt Syndrome (also known as Dead Butt Syndrome). It’s the physical deterioration of the gluteal muscle due to sitting for prolonged periods of time. Remember the saying, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it?” Well, that’s what’s happening to our gluteal muscles. They’re deteriorating due to lack of use. And although that doesn’t sound like much of an issue, it can lead to some serious pain!

Fort Wayne Chiropractor, Dr. Richard Busch says, “Our clinic treats people every day who suffer from pain for one reason or another. An increasing number of our patients have sedentary lifestyles which are causing them a great amount of joint pain. Sitting for extended periods of time can cause the muscles in the butt to break down. If your gluteal muscles are weak, it can put additional strain on other joints resulting in knee pain, back pain, or hip pain.”

“In addition to joint pain, prolonged inactivity can also lead to a number of other chronic health conditions including diabetes and heart disease,” adds Dr. Davis, Chiropractor in The Villages® community.

How to Prevent Dormant Butt Syndrome

Most of us can’t just quit our jobs in lieu of a more active position. So what can you do to prevent DBS and other chronic health conditions while working? Simple, get off your butt!

  1. Get active. Take short breaks every hour to walk around and do a few exercises to strengthen your glutes such as lunges or squats. (You’ll not only help prevent Dormant Butt Syndrome, but your butt will look great in your favorite jeans!)
  2. Get up. Stand while talking on the phone or to your co-workers.
  3. Sit-to-Stand. Adjustable sit-to-stand desks are a great way to combat inactivity by letting you easily go from a seated position to a standing working position. There are even new seats that work great with standing-height desks to help take pressure off your joints.
  4. Get out. Instead of eating at your desk, go for a walk at lunch. The fresh air and exercise will do you some good too!

There you have it… 4 easy ways to help your butt, back, knees, and hips and to combat Dormant Butt Syndrome. Are you standing yet?

Do You Suffer From Sitting Disease

sitting disease and your health

Is Your Desk Job Bad For Your Health?

If you are like most Americans, you are likely suffering from a disease you maybe didn’t even know existed. What experts now call “sitting disease”. This disease afflicts many people who work in traditional work environments where many hours are spent seated at a desk or in front of a computer.

How many hours do you spend each day sitting at work? Add on the hours you spend driving, eating meals, using technology, or watching TV. The Mayo Clinic says that 50-70% of Americans spend 6 or more hours every day just sitting down!

Sitting Disease and Your Health

“ A highly sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on your system and has serious negative effects on our health,” states Dr. Busch of Busch Chiropractic in Fort Wayne. Sitting for extended periods puts extra stress on your spine and increases your risk for back injuries. In order to stay healthy, our joints, muscles, and other tissues need to move. Over time, reduced activity can not only limit your range of motion and cause back problems but contributes to many health issues and significantly shorten your lifespan.”

These health risks include:

  • increased risk of chronic back and neck pain
  • a proclivity for herniated discs
  • shorter life expectancy
  • increased risk for Type 2 diabetes
  • increased risk for heart disease and some cancers

Reduce the Risks of Sitting Disease

How can you ward off the dangerous risks of sitting disease? Fortunately, even a moderate increase in physical activity is proven to effectively fight these health risks.

Moving more:

  • burns more calories
  • reduces body fat
  • improves circulation
  • strengthens muscles
  • increases insulin sensitivity
  • improves mood
  • reduces load on spine

How to Increase Activity at Work

Here are some tips from Dr. Busch to use at the office (or home, as well) to keep sitting disease and its health risks at bay:

  • walk while you are talking on the phone
  • set a timer to remind yourself to get up at least once an hour
  • use a pedometer or Fitbit to track (and increase) your daily number of steps
  • take the stairs, instead of the elevator, up one floor or down two
  • every time you cross something off your to-do list, stand up for a stretching break
  • don’t sit for one-on-one meetings — have a walking meeting around the block or around the building
  • park further away from your office building, the restaurants you go to for lunch, the grocery store, etc.

Sit-to-Stand Desks:

You may also consider a standing-height desk or a “sit-to-stand” adjustable desk. Researchers say that the almost undetectable muscle movement that occurs while standing is as good as, or better, for our bodies than bouts of exercise between long periods of being sedentary. Studies show that people who stand while working move around more and get the important health benefits needed to combat sitting disease.

The positive effects of becoming more active can be profound. According to a Stanford University study, workers who used sit-to-stand desks were 78% more likely to report a pain-free day.

Visit the Workspace Solutions office furniture campus in Fort Wayne to talk to our furniture experts to learn more about healthier ways to work and avoid the dreaded sitting disease!

Office Spring Cleaning Tips [Checklist]

office spring cleaning tips

Spring cleaning is good for more than just the house and the garage — take this task to the workplace to refresh the office and rejuvenate staff for the new season! Here’s a suggested plan of action.

Allocate a particular day for everyone to chip in. Make it fun with casual dress and carry-in donuts or pizzas. Provide cleaning supplies (like disinfecting wipes and dusting cloths) and extra trash and recycling bins.

Individual Workspaces:

Computer:

  • compressed air dusters clean keyboard and computer vents
  • disinfect the keyboard and mouse
  • wipe down the monitor
  • organize computer cords and cables

Desk & Furniture:

  • organize desk and properly file papers
  • dust and disinfect all surfaces
  • throw away useless writing utensils and broken office supplies
  • return borrowed items to the proper owners

Office-Wide:

  • empty and clean the fridge
  • clean the microwave, toaster, coffee maker, etc.
  • archive or purge old files — shredding any documents containing sensitive information
  • purge old electronic files, following the company’s document retention policies
  • get rid of old or broken computers. Be sure to remove hard-drives and send them to a hard-drive destruction company to have them destroyed.

Our friends at Federal Records Management and Shredding remind us that when performing an office clean out to be sure to properly dispose of all documents and files. Make sure all employees know your document destruction policy to avoid complications.

Get ready for spring and summer with a revitalized workplace — and if you find need new and better office furnishing options, visit the Workspace Solutions showrooms to see the latest in new and use office furniture and more!

5 Office Design and Furniture Trends for 2016

office furniture and design trends 2016

Today’s workplaces need to do more making it mandatory that office furniture and space design continues to evolve. Big influences on both are the ways we communicate, the ways we work, and the role that technology plays in both of these. There’s also a demand for more “lifestyle” feel to offices and a continued emphasis on an office space being “green”. With that in mind, here are 5 of the top office design trends on our radar:

collaboration furniture

  1. Encouraging collaboration
    The move away from traditional individual offices toward open spaces continues. The best use of the open spaces is to have furnishings that can be converted to serve multiple purposes and inspire different types of collaboration.office cubicles and workstations
  2. Respecting privacy
    While an open, collaborative work environment can encourage teamwork and creativity, sometimes privacy is needed. Office furniture designers are coming up with creative ways to make furnishings and accessories easily transform to create more private workspaces when needed.office furniture
  3. “Lifestyle” enhancements
    Amenities like outdoor spaces or in-office coffee lounges are on the rise. The goal is to make the workspace an enjoyable place to spend time and to encourage cross-team conversations and collaboration. Many manufacturers are making outdoor furnishings and lounge-type seating that are laptop-friendly to encourage workers to sit and stay awhile.office technology
  4. Technology
    A well-functioning office must have the infrastructure to support the bandwidth and telecommunication needs of the staff. Effective office design also calls for well-planned access points and a layout to support future technology needs. Desks and work areas are being designed to make it ever easier for workers to “plug in” (and just easily “unplug” and work from somewhere else).environmentally friendly office furniture
  5. Environmentally-friendly
    Energy efficiency and sustainability are expected features for many office spaces. Office furniture companies like Allsteel, Global, and Gunlocke have an environmental commitment to sustainable business practices including the production of furniture that is longer lasting with an efficient use of resources. Some companies and organizations go even further and promote their earth-friendliness to define their identity and attract talent. They make sure that not only are their spaces and furnishings constructed in earth-friendly ways (such as LEED certified construction), they also offer perks such as bike storage or public transportation vouchers for their employees.

The emphasis for office furnishings and space design in 2016 is flexibility and responsiveness to each workspace’s particular needs. Want to bring your office into the modern age? Visit the Workspace Solutions showroom and speak to our seasoned furniture and design professionals — we help our clients work smarter!