Decisions, Decisions: Is An Open Office Layout Right For You?

office layout

Open office floor plans are making a comeback as startups and successful businesses alike are switching their spaces. Many do so with hopes of fostering a stronger community and innovation. In theory, an open layout can bring your employees closer together, which produces better work.

Some companies may be satisfied to see these outcomes, while others may actually see drops in productivity. The environment is everything, and your office layout is the foundation of your company culture.

Here are the pros and cons of an open layout.

Pros of an Open Office Layout

Community and Communication

Having an open layout is like establishing an open-door policy for every employee. It welcomes people to interact with one another no matter their department, seniority, or experience. Typically, the more these interactions happen, the stronger the community becomes.

An open layout can give a recent hire the confidence to ask about entering a client call and learn something new. Or, it can be what makes different teams understand each other more and establish better systems of working together.

Productivity

An open layout offers a sense of accountability as well as community. Once employees have established stronger bonds with one another, they may be more likely to keep each other in check and perform well. Plus, there is less room for distractions if everyone can tell you’ve been online shopping for half an hour. Getting rid of barriers from a traditional office space eliminates such temptations.

It provides an extra incentive to focus, collaborate, and work towards the goals at hand.

Cons of an Open Office Layout

People Need Privacy

If you find yourself drawn to the idea of an open office layout, be sure to include some spaces for privacy, too. These will be vital when employees have to handle big calls, or when someone just needs a place to think. Sometimes, our best ideas come from an intense state of focus, which is hard to achieve with everyone around you.

Employees may also feel like they are being watched, or find it harder to concentrate with the increased level of noise floating around. As much as you don’t want to isolate people or create too much privacy, a balance is necessary. The right opportunities for privacy will encourage communication as needed and respect personal responsibilities as well.

Work and Play, and Procrastination

Sometimes, an open office layout can look busier than it actually is. You may walk in and see employees talking to one another and getting along well. But, are they talking about work solutions or last night’s game? Also, the sense of being watched might discourage the need to take microbreaks or just a walk around the office, which isn’t necessary for productivity.

Open layouts need a sense of balance between work and play. Some companies have seen productivity rates actually drop when switching to this setup. This often because of too many distractions, which doesn’t leave much room to get to work.

Choose the Right Space for You

Whatever the layout you decide to use in your new office, be sure it is more than just nice furniture and a view. Use the space to create an environment that will connect, support, and refresh your employees.

To best figure how to convert your office to an open office layout without losing productivity or privacy, contact us today.

Why Millennials Are Embracing Shared Workspaces

shared workspace

Are you a business owner looking to make your office more millennial-friendly? Do you want to attract young talent to work for your company? If so, it’s important to consider what millennials want out of a workplace.

Millennials have surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in the workforce. Meaning this generations preferences could keep your business thriving. Millennials are turning away from boxed off cubicles and offices in favor of a shared workspace, but why?

This article will break down why millennial professionals love collaborative workspaces.

1) Millennials are the Founders of the Sharing Economy

Young professionals are moving away from traditional office jobs and into the sharing economy. The “sharing economy” is the phenomenon where people share their transportation, housing, and, in this case, workspaces.

Millennials are now working together in a shared workspace called a “coworking business.” Coworking businesses are places where people with different backgrounds rent a desk out of one shared office.

53% of Americans do some sort of freelance work and a large portion of these Americans want an office to go into to complete their work. With coworking spaces, freelance writers, graphic designers, and other work at home professionals can have an office environment to keep them motivated and meeting people.

2) Millennials are Always Networking

One reason why millennials enjoy a shared workspace is that millennials are always networking – social networking that is. Facebook, Twitter, and blogs encourage people to share every detail about their lives. Because millennials are used to sharing on social media, sharing at work seems natural.

Millennials are social creatures who want to engage with others in real life, even if it’s just to share Instagram worthy moments. Sitting at home on their computer doesn’t give millennials much to talk about. But going into a physical office allows millennials to expand their networks both online and offline and meet new people to share experiences with.

Shared workspaces encourage openness and the exchanging of ideas far more than the traditional closed off cubicles.

3) Shared Workspaces Save Money for Amenities

Millennials love having fun amenities at work, and one way to achieve this is by saving money using shared workspaces. Instead of allotting every employee their own desk, cubicle, and computer, offices are starting to have general workspaces.

The money that was once used on formal workstations is now put into collaborative fun stations. Game rooms, craft beer on tap, and in-house yoga are some of the amenities that frequent millennial driven businesses.

These amenities are not fruitless. Incorporating fun into the office can improve profits and workplace morale.

If You Want to Attract Millennials Consider a Shared Workspace Environment

The trend of the sharing economy is not going away. Millennials want open and collaborative workspaces so they feel like they’re part of the community and can connect with their co-workers.

If you have any questions about this article or any of our products or services please contact us! Looking for ways to save money on buying trendy office furniture that millennials will love? Check out our guide here.

7 Tips for Practical Ergonomics in the Workplace

ergonomics in the workplace

Slumping at your desk? Feeling constant back pain? Just feel like you’re not at your most productive at work? Believe it or not, ergonomics in the workplace can help. Here, we’re sharing our top 7 tips on how to boost your ergonomics at your desk.

1. Get Closer

Make sure that you’re not sitting too far away from your desk. Pro Tip: If your elbows aren’t at a 90-degree angle, it’s time to move your chair or shift your posture.

2. Get a Footstool

Buying a footstool will not only encourage better posture, it will also just make you feel more comfortable! Swinging your feet underneath your desk all day can lead to serious back issues.

Make sure that you take the pressure off your feet and your back by investing in a footstool!

3. Look into Cushioning

Especially if you’re already dealing with back pain and posture issues, your chair alone might not offer enough comfort. See if you can get a cushion to make things a little more comfortable. If your pain is really intense, look for an option that includes heat! In a pinch, place a small pillow behind your back.

4. How’s Your Screen?

If you have to crane your neck to look down or up at your computer screen, you’re going to have serious pain before you know it. Especially if you frequently work on your phone or tablet, you should also consider picking up a screen supporter or cushion. That way, your neck can be comfortable while you’re checking those emails.

A good test to see if your screen is at the right height? With your head balanced, look directly ahead. You should make eye contact with the center of your screen. If you don’t, place a book underneath it!

5. Lift Your Desk

Of course, sometimes adjusting the height of your desk might be the simplest and fastest solution! Especially if you’re on the taller side, it’s tempting to hunch. There are many options available to raise your desk including new sit-to-stand options.

6. Adjust Chair Height

Be sure that your chair isn’t too high – if it is, you could develop serious circulation issues! You’ll also have to deal with painful swollen ankles. To prevent this, make sure that your chair is between 2-3 feet from the ground and that your feet can easily rest on the floor.

7. Make Sure You Have the Right Furniture

Is your office doing everything it can to get you better ergonomics in the workplace? Furniture like a standing height desk can help with posture, encourage you to take breaks when you need them, and can give you a boost of energy.

Remember that too much sitting at your desk can lead to serious and long-term health issues! Look for furniture that supports you, cushions you, and helps you to be at your most productive.

Want to Learn More About Ergonomics in the Workplace?

When you’re ready to find the right furniture and create the right office environment to make your workday better in every way, we’re here to help.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can turn your office into an oasis!

Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Office Furniture Supplier

Corporate Furniture

You’ve been tasked with choosing office furniture that everyone in your business will like. No pressure, right? If you don’t make the right choices, it will be held against you. But if you do make the right choices, you’ll be a hero. Using the right furniture in your office makes a huge difference in terms of productivity and morale.

For instance, many in the professional world believe that boring furniture can, in fact, make people lazy. Instead, most companies that want their staff to be creative are opting for bright colors and interesting designs.

What type of furniture your company needs depends on how you do business and what you expect from your employees. It also sets the tone for clients and visitors straight off the bat.

Here are some questions to ask when you’re hiring an office furniture supplier for your company:

1. Do They Follow The Latest Trends?

Furniture has come a long way over the years and there’s a lot to keep up with. Standing desks, for example, did not exactly play a starring role back in the 80s in high rise city buildings. Plus, they offer lots of health and productivity benefits.

You can’t possibly be expected to know what’s popular on the market today, but the right furniture supplier will.

2. Who Recommends Them?

Do they have success stories to share? Ask them about existing and former clients who have had some of the same furniture needs. If they’ve outfitted companies that have a large portion of their staff sharing desks because they work remotely much of the time and your company is similar, ask how they adjusted to the need.

3. Are They Able To Incorporate Existing Furniture Into The Mix?

You may be keeping some of your existing office furniture and that’s not an uncommon situation. If you’re just focusing on replacing chairs, you should be able to show them the desks you’re currently using and get suggestions from them.

4. Do They Focus On Ergonomic Corporate Furniture?

Health and wellness are important to employees, especially to the big influx of millennials that are joining the workforce in droves. If the supplier understands that comfort is the priority and not just an afterthought, they’ll be on your page from the start. This is a major selling point for employees if you’re able to tell them that they’re getting furniture that is better for them!

5. Do They Sell New And Used Furniture?

Especially if you’re integrating new furniture in with your old furniture, having the option to buy used furniture is a big asset. There may be designs that you’re looking for that are no longer being produced that would go well with your space. Especially if your office space is dated, incorporating brand new furniture into the mix may not be the best option.

Are you ready to take your furniture game to the next level and work with a company to find solutions that will please the whole office?

Contact Workspace Solutions. We do more than sell corporate office furniture — we provide the whole package from office design, furniture sales, and installation!

5 Surprising Benefits of Using a Standing Height Desk

standing height desk

Are you tired of feeling burnt out, unproductive, and just plain uncomfortable at your desk all day? Have you tried everything, only to see no change in how you feel by the day’s end? Try the latest office trend – a standing-height desk!

There are many benefits of standing-height desks, here are 5 reasons you should have one in your office.

1. It Boosts Your Productivity

Let’s be honest. When you’re spending all day sitting at your computer, it can be easy to feel sluggish. Before you know it, you’ve spent your entire morning scrolling through your Instagram feed and Facebook account – and yet somehow, you still feel exhausted.

A standing desk can help to boost productivity because it ensures that you don’t get lethargic. Instead, your mind will be more clear, you’ll be less prone to distractions, and you’ll be able to take sitting breaks that refuel your mind instead of draining your energy.

2. It Prevents “Computer Hunch”

With the average American worker spending an average of 7 hours out of every work day at a computer, there has been a rise in “computer hunch.” This is the curve in your spine and poor posture that develops from spending your day slumped in a chair, with your shoulders tensed and your back arched.Over time, this can lead to serious medical issues, as it puts added, consistent pressure on your neck and spine.

A standing height desk prevents this, as you’ll be able to keep your back straight all day long, won’t have to hunch to see your screen, and can relax your shoulders.

3. It Keeps You Healthy

Believe it or not, a standing desk can also help to prevent serious health issues, like obesity and even type 2 diabetes.When you sit for a long time, your body doesn’t get enough insulin, and the fasting blood glucose levels in your body will dangerously rise.

More shockingly, another 7-year study showed that for every additional hour you spend sitting every day, your life expectancy decreases by 11%.

4. It Saves Office Space

This is a more practical benefit to getting a standing desk – having more room in your office! As companies are hiring more and more employees, office space becomes a little too close for comfort. Getting standing desks leaves employees plenty of room to walk around and work without feeling crammed into the office space.

5. You’ll Be Less Tired

We’ve all experienced that mid-day office slump that makes us feel as though we could hit the floor and nap at a moment’s notice. What if you could eliminate that, work through it, and have enough energy to go out after the workday ended?

A standing-height desk engages your entire body, so you won’t feel exhausted at the end of the day.

Ready To Get Your Own Standing Height Desk?

Thanks to this post, you now know just some of the benefits associated with a standing height desk. Whether you work from home or in an office, a standing desk will help you to get the most out of your workday.

Want to pick up your own? Visit our Fort Wayne office furniture showroom to try one out!

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!