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.

Remodeling Your Conference Room? Here Are Some Ideas

conference room

Is your conference room in dire need of an update?

When it comes to doing business, the layout, and design of your conference room matters. It’s where you make big decisions and business relationships, so it needs to be top-notch. Do you know that you need to remodel your space, but not sure what to do or how to start?

We’re here to share some conference room layout and design ideas to help you design your dream workspace.

Design Tips for Remodeling Your Conference Room

Redoing a conference space isn’t easy, but it’s important! Here are some tips for creating a conference room that truly rocks.

Embrace Natural Lighting

Lighting can make all the difference when it comes to workplace productivity and the quality of life of employees. Studies even show that there is a strong relationship between daylight exposure and how employees sleep and perform.

When redoing your conference space, focus on adding more natural lighting. Add lamps and lighting systems that come with dimmers, so you can adjust the lighting if need be. And don’t forget to add curtains and blinds to help on days that are ultra-bright or gloomy.

Extra tip: If you don’t have natural lighting, try to cut back on fluorescent lighting by incorporating floor and desk lamps.

Update Any Technology

Conference rooms need to have the latest technology to be effective workspaces. That’s why you should install any technology that will help run presentations and meetings. You should also have good audio equipment and microphones.

When buying technology, try to buy large screens or multiple screens, so you can run video chats and show work presentations. These screens are also great for wowing clients.

Tip: If your conference room is short on space, design a built-in unit to house any multimedia or technology to keep the room clutter free. This will also make the room feel bigger.

Design a Space That is Comfortable for Employees & Clients

When it comes to your conference space, you should focus on creating a space that fosters equality and collaboration. A roundtable is a great way to encourage collaboration and make everyone feel included. Just make sure to avoid any kind of tiered seating that blocks people’s views or makes some people not feel included.

Your conference room should have many seats and plenty of room so people can move around and have smaller conversations. You should also buy ergonomic furniture so everyone will be comfortable.

Tip: If you’re not working with a big budget, consider buying used office furniture.

Final Thoughts on Conference Spaces

As long as people need to meet and business needs to be done, conference spaces are an essential part of any office. If you follow these design tips and layout ideas, you can create a conference space that offers collaboration, positive work culture, open communication, and comfort.

Are you currently redoing your office spaces? Contact workspace solutions today and let us help!

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.

Tips for Productive Office Furniture Layout

office furniture layout

A bad office furniture layout will cost your company big time. Ineffective office designs cost companies 330 billion dollars every year in reduced productivity. Your office layout affects your staff’s performance. Minimal, clutter-free workspaces are important for focus. And attractive spaces help with mood and morale.

There is no standard office furniture layout that is perfect for every company. Every office has different design needs. Because office spaces should reflect the goals and needs of your company.

We have a few design tips will improve your team’s productivity. Keep reading for improvements to make your office more effective.

Rethink Your Lighting

Lighting impacts mood and productivity.

Avoid fluorescent lighting. These lights cause migraines, eye strain, and anxiety. Choose incandescent bulbs when natural light isn’t an option. Lightbulbs should be cool colored, and not too bright. Cold lighting promotes productivity. And bright lights can be distracting for many employees.

But, natural light is always best.

Natural light is a mood-booster that increases productivity. Installing more windows will increase natural light. Also, glass partitions can brighten your office and make it appear bigger.

Invest in Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of workplace efficiency. Typical office furniture causes stress and fatigue. But, ergonomic design values employee comfort and health. Ergonomic designs keep your employees healthy. Specialty mouses and keyboards prevent repetitive motion injuries. And ergonomic office chairs decrease fatigue and improve focus.

Adjustable sit to stand desks are another great addition to your office. Standing desks improve focus.

Ergonomic design shows your employees you care about their health and well-being. And happy, valued employees are productive employees

Privacy is Productive

Many employees need time alone to be productive. Cubicle-based office furniture layouts are great for focus and privacy. Privacy can also be incorporated into open offices. Business owners embraced open offices to improve teamwork and morale. And many open offices have started integrating private workspaces into their designs.

Private workspaces are great for hunkering down and finishing a difficult task. Private workstations also give employees an opportunity to recharge and process collaborations. Collaboration is more successful when people can have time alone as well.

Noise is Distracting

Open offices are excellent for collaborative work and they encourage camaraderie. However, all the free communication can be loud or distracting for some employees. Adding a few walls or partitions to your open office will help with noise. And, you can install thicker carpeting to help absorb sound.

It’s also important to have spaces for silent work. A combination of silent and collaborative spaces helps productivity. Private, sound-proof work areas are a popular addition to many open offices.

Personalize Your Office Furniture Layout

Your office’s layout effects employee mood and performance. A better workday can be as easy as rearranging your furniture. Everyone thrives under different conditions. Consider what will work best for your team when redesigning your office.

Understand your employees so you can meet their needs and increase productivity. Then, combine employee input with company goals to design the perfect workspace.

Contact us to learn how you can make the most of your office space.

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!

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.

The Benefits Of Using A Sit-to-Stand Desk

height-adjustable desk

Altitude Height-Adjustable Desk by Allsteel.

Did you know that sitting for extended periods of time can actually kill you? Perhaps you’re aware of some of the risks of sitting throughout the day. Maybe you even get up and walk around a few times during the day. But, even if you spend hours being active, after sitting all day at the office, you’re still at risk. The risks are the same as if you didn’t move all day. Surprising, right?

Whether you work from home or in an office setting, it’s time to wake up and take your health seriously. Buying standing desks or focal upright chairs are excellent options to avoid these risks. And have become increasingly popular in office settings.

You may not be aware of how detrimental sitting can be for your health. Keep reading to learn the benefits of using a sit-to-stand desk at your office or home.

1. They Decrease Risks of Cancer

The American Cancer Society states excessive sitting can enhance your risks of cancer. This is only one of many studies that have concluded the same thing. This study concluded inactivity is linked to more than 173,000 cases of cancer. 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer each year in the US included.

According to another study, sitting can increase your risk of cancer by an alarming 66%. If every office invested in standing desks this number would decrease majorly. It could be a lifesaving move for you and your coworkers too.

2. They Boost Your Productivity

Who doesn’t want to be more productive during the day? Of course, we all do. But what happens when you’re plagued with distracting neck and back pain all day?

A study showed that worker’s performance was affected when they were in discomfort. In this study, only 38% were able to focus on their work. And 37% felt they weren’t doing their best work because of the discomfort they felt.

A sit-to-stand desk is a surefire way to be more productive during the day. This is why more offices are converting to standing desks — nobody wants an unmotivated employee!

3. Aids Back And Neck Issues

Chances are if you work a 9-5 sedentary job, you’ve felt a sore neck or back at some point. But do you realize the long-term toll it’s taking on your body? Most of us aren’t using correct posture while working, and tend to get ”computer hunch”.

Poor Posture Can Affect Your:

  • Your back
  • Neck
  • Shoulders

Fort Wayne Chiropractor, Dr. Richard Busch of Busch Chiropractic states, “You may assume that the pain you feel while sitting at work is a momentary discomfort that will pass, but what you don’t realize is that poor posture can affect you the rest of your life.”

4. Reduces Your Risks of Various Other Diseases

If it’s not scary enough that sitting can cause cancer and severe neck and back issues — the other diseases you’re at risk for should be downright terrifying.

Other Diseases And Conditions Linked to Sitting:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Obesity
  • Death

“As extreme as it may sound, sitting for hours each day can cause diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even death” states Dr. Busch. This can be avoided by investing in something like a sit-to-stand desk and being more active.

Final Thoughts on the Sit-to-Stand Desk

They’re saying ”sitting is the new smoking“. It’s become an epidemic that many people aren’t even aware of. Most Americans sit an average of 7 hours a day on a computer. That combined with the amount of time we sleep is a shocking quantity of time to be sedentary.

Standing desks are all the rage now, as well as other comfortable office chairs, that can make a tremendous difference to your health.

If you’re tired of slouching and having neck or back pain and ready to transition into something more suitable, come visit us or contact us today to view our sit-to-stand desk options.