Friday, March 29, 2013

Tips for branding an office space

An office space can support a company's message by reflecting the organization's brand. Although the word may bring to mind the images of a Nike or Apple logo, a business's brand actually describes how a business is perceived by the public - what the company sells and values. A strong and consistent brand message can attract customers and bring in new business, while a weak one may deter business or leave a company unknown among customers. 

Here are a few tips for creating an office that reflects the company's brand:

Remain consistent

A business owner might want to reflect upon what the brand represents before purchasing office furniture. A health or fitness business, for example, should refrain from filling the office space with furniture that can cause injury or vending machines stocked with junk food. Instead, the office owner may want to invest in ergonomic furniture and a water cooler. 

Use company colors and logos

If a business owner uses particular colors in their logo, they may want to use the same colors when choosing the business furniture and paint colors. This reinforces the brand and ties everything together. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

How office furniture makes an impression

Most businesses intend to put their best foot forward when it comes to bringing clients and guests into the office. Though some employers spend a good deal of time carefully selecting the office furniture, others are not aware that a workspace can speak volumes about the company. Outlined below are several ways in which the office layout and business furniture may affect the perception of clients who visit the space.

Client and customer care 

An office space filled with furniture that looks ill-maintained, dated or downright broken presents an unprofessional image. The client may intuit that if the company cannot care for the office, it probably cannot cannot care for its customers. Clients may fear the organization will treat business in the same careless manner, disregard people's concerns and overlook details. Investing in good ergonomic furniture and keeping it properly maintained, clean and polished can make the right impression on potential clients.

Clutter can cut deals short of closing

A cluttered or messy office can also leave a bad impression. Offices with garbage piled up and papers spilling out of filing cabinets may make a business owner seem disorganized and inefficient. A client may worry projects will get lost in the shuffle or never be completed on time.  A messy office space does not mean that the owner is bad at business; in fact, the opposite may be true. The business owner may be better than the competition, but the disarray can create a false impression that deters clients from closing the deal. 

Clashing impressions

Mismatched office furniture and clashing designs can also give visitors the wrong impression. An office that looks like it picked all its furniture haphazardly from the cheapest vendor available may come across as unprofessional and inexperienced. Even a brand-new startup can create a professional image without spending a bundle by purchasing high-quality second hand office furniture and having an expert office layout designer assess the space.

Dated offices

Finally, outdated equipment and business furniture can create the wrong perception, especially if a business prides itself on cutting-edge innovation. An office owner may want to make sure appliances, electronics and furniture are modern and relatively new. Having an up-to-date office communicates to clients that the company is aware of current trends.  

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Office decorating tips for cubicles

Office stylists and interior designers recently referred to office cubicles as homes away from home in a recent Winnipeg Free Press article. With so much time spent between those walls each day, office members may want to take some measures to make this space as comfortable and efficient as possible.

Consider health and comfort

The most important component to a cubicle space is its business furniture. Investing in an ergonomic chair and a sturdy desk is the most practical step employers can take to create an efficient and comfortable workday. To further prevent discomfort, a worker may also want to purchase a keyboard tray or wrist rests to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. As cubicles do not keep office noises out, a worker may also want to purchase a white noise machine or similar device to counter distracting external noise.

Keep clutter at bay

Using an attractive memo board to pin notes and a dry erase board to jot down important reminders can help rid a space of excessive sticky notes and loose papers. Place and in-and-out tray on the desk for documents that still need work or are ready to be filed away. Purchasing some lacquered boxes or stylish fiberboard bins to store loose office items can curb the eyesore of accumulated desk clutter. In addition, keeping a pencil tray and jars to hold writing utensils can prevent small items from rolling away and getting lost. 

Create a cheerful ambiance

"A work space should be cheery, it should be fun and it should be personal to [the worker]," Sabrina Soto, the designer host of "The High/Low Project," told the newspaper. Having ample lighting beaming from a good desk lamp or task light can warm a space and keep workers focused on their assignments with less risk of eyestrain and headaches. 

Hanging one piece of professionally framed artwork or a lovely fabric with decorative push-pins on one cubicle wall can give the cubicle the appearance of having real walls.

For a cheerful touch, some workers like to replace their cork or dry-erase board frames with a vintage one or repaint the frame with a bright or metallic color to add their own personal spin. Another idea, according to interior design experts, is to cover bookshelves or cabinets with printed contact paper to decorate the space. Replacing a few desktop items such as the pencil trays, staplers and tape dispensers with ones in colors that match or complement the color of the contact paper can bring the design together, making the cubicle space appear both more aesthetically pleasing and professional. 

Adding at least one living low-water, low-light plant such as a pothos and heartleaf philodendronor or a bouquet of fresh flowers to a desktop can enliven a cubicle and also clean the air. Potted lilies also need little light and are excellent for cleaning indoor air.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spring tips for the office space

Now that spring is in the air, some employees are experiencing cabin fever after a long winter. Many business owners want know how they can freshen up the office to put some spring back into workers' steps and help prevent employees from calling off work. 

Make a clean sweep

The warmer season is the perfect time to have all carpets cleaned professionally. Mud, salt, dirt and other substances tracked into the workplace can be tackled by a professional carpet cleaning service. If it is within budget, a business owner may want to have the floors re-stripped and waxed to create a polished and gleaming space. 

Wash all windows to get rid of any grime so the season's sunlight can stream through and illuminate the space. Keeping window sills free from clutter and pushing storage away from window panes will also allow for maximum sunshine exposure, which may boost workers' spirits and improve productivity.

Keep the office air fresh and clean by having the air ducts and vents cleaned. Ideally, this should be done twice a year, and spring is an optimal time because the heating season is over. A poorly maintained HVAC system drains money and can hurt workers' health.

Spring into reorganization 

An organized workspace is easier on the mind and more efficient. A business may want to use some colorful sticker labels to code file folders, keeping filing cabinets neat and desks free of paper clutter. A colorful tab is easier to find and reduces the time it usually takes to leaf through all the fine print of arbitrary files.

A business owner may want to dedicate 10 minutes at the end of each workday to purge old papers, sift through documents and clear off of the desk or worktable space. This simple step can prevent clutter from accumulating and make the atmosphere feel lighter and less overwhelming.

Spruce up the office 

Once the office is clean and organized, a business owner may want to have some garden pots filled with plants, topiaries or spring flowers such as tulips, daffodils and irises delivered to the office to spruce up office workstations, a reception area, conference rooms or lounges.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Saving tips when purchasing office furniture

One of the greatest challenges a small business faces is how to grow while still keeping overhead expenses down. Fortunately, purchasing office furniture does not need to be a costly endeavor. The steps below outline several ways businesses can save money while buying office furniture, caring for the workspace and establishing the business.

Tax tips 

The arrival of April means tax season is in full swing, and some business owners are unaware that they can write off all office furniture and equipment purchased for work on their taxes. Any equipment bought for the business, including computers, fax machines, desks, chairs and other furniture can be written off as a business expense, helping the owners to save some money. 

Buy used office furniture

When investing money in furniture for a workplace, most - if not all - business owners want to invest wisely. Buying second hand office chairs, for instance, from someone off the street or from a Craigslist posting is not the best way to ensure the investment will be a wise one, especially since a low-quality chair can result in injury. When choosing second hand items, finding a respected manufacturer that specializes in selling used office furniture and helps the business owner with everything from selecting the furniture to creating a layout can pay off well.

Do-it-yourself

Keeping office furniture clean, cared for and up to date is one way to ensure that the investment is a lasting one. Although it may be tempting to hire a full janitorial staff to ensure all the work gets done as quickly as possible, some business owners save money by rolling up their sleeves and polishing the office furniture themselves. Business owners may want to reevaluate their budgets to assess their financial situations before hiring a cleaning service.

Neighborly business 

Workplaces can save money on advertising by sharing marketing with neighboring businesses. Partnering up with another local business to help promote a sidewalk sale, or forming a strategic alliance with a business that sells complementary goods or services can cut expenses in half. As long as there is no rivalry, business owners can work out mutually beneficial situations and split costs by sharing everything from mailing lists, distribution channels, office supplies, office space and vendors.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Tips for timely office furniture purchases

All new businesses want to look professional and successful. Whether the business owner prefers a more casual work environment or one that is more buttoned-up, all office spaces need the essentials: comfortable chairs, sturdy desks or workstations, good lighting and working appliances. 

When getting ready to make office furniture purchases, a business owner may want to take into account several factors to ensure the best possible return on investment. 

1. Timing. The right timing is the key to many business decisions, and choosing office furniture is no different. A business owner who is just starting out may want to step back and pragmatically evaluate his or her financial situation before making purchases. Although it may be nice to install aquarium walls,extravagant purchases may not be a realistic part of the budget yet. An employer may want to draw up a monthly budget just for office purchases.

Being at the right site at the right time is another condition that may help a business owner save. Surfing the internet to compare prices and to find items that are going on sale is a popular way many shoppers save money.Although a piece of business furniture may seem out of the price range, it may actually be on clearance sooner than expected. 

2. Experience. Hiring a professional office layout designer can help a business owner save time and money by mapping out exactly what office professionals need from a space. An expert can avoid costly pitfalls and ensure the workplace is designed to support productivity and safety into the future. 

3. Evaluate long-term and short-term goals. Before planning the layout, a business owner may want to consider how long he or she plans to occupy the space. If the goal is to only remain at the location for the short term, he or she may want to consider purchasing more moveable furniture to make moving easier as the business continues evolving. If a business owner is planning on occupying the space for the long haul, he or she nay feel more comfortable making purchases that are designed to stay put. Buying bigger business furniture, such as cubicles, is a smarter choice when employees will be hunkering down at a workplace for longer than a few months. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Design an office for excellence

An well-planned office design can help facilitate employee excellence. Productive office designs help keep lines of communication open while still giving workers space to concentrate on projects. Creating a work environment that is both efficient and stimulating can help an organization develop and succeed.  

As variety is the spice of life, employers may want to consider blocking off different areas in the office for different tasks. Adding some changes in scenery by using the right layout and business furniture can invigorate the space, possibly making employees more enthusiastic about coming into work.

One way an employer can break up the workplace layout is by dividing the office space into different parts. For example, adding a break-out lounge for informal talks and brainstorming efforts can help workers shift gears and get into a more communicative mindset. Using a casual space to connect with others at work can break down barriers and promote idea-sharing. Keeping the community areas decorated differently than work stations and less formal than conference rooms can encourage more genuine collaboration efforts and inspire bolder creative thought. 

Carving out specific spaces for particular office activities can also support office productivity. Having filing cabinets and storage in a designated area and placing copy, printing and fax machines in another, for example, keeps the office more organized. This streamlines workers' days, saving their time for important projects and tasks.

As an office space often becomes a home away from home for many employees, an office layout that inspires excellence balances the comfort of a house with a polished business image. Ergonomic furniture and properly adjusted computer monitors and chairs allows employees to focus on work rather than back or neck pains. Proper lighting and task lights at worktables also minimize discomfort, reducing eyestrain and keeping employees healthier, more productive and focused at their desks. 

To promote sustained excellence, employers may also want to utilize anti-glare screens, wrist rests, keyboard trays or footrests, or encourage employees to bring similar accessories to work to ensure comfort and safety. These items can prevent long-term issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome. 

As an office's design impacts the entire business and its success, and many business owners and decision-makers find it worthwhile to consult an office layout design professional to get it right.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Select office furniture helps workers achieve

Many successful professionals claim that setting and focusing on goals helps them achieve. The office environment and its business furniture can either help of hinder workers' best goal-setting effort. Before a workplace implements a goal-setting program, business owners may want to ensure the office design supports a worker's best efforts.

To help prevent procrastination, business owners should invest in furniture that is conducive to healthy and comfortable production. 

Investing in sleek, modern and ergonomic office furniture can help workers remain on track. Chairs that are too comfortable may induce employees to doze off while at their desks, and poorly designed furniture can have them heading to the nearest exit with pains and aches. Ergonomic chairs are appropriate for the business environment, and their design makes sitting at a desk more comfortable. Healthier office chairs will reduce the number of times an employee will need to leave the office to walk around.

Installing task lighting that properly illuminates the work area helps prevent eyestrain and improves worker focus. Appropriate lighting will allow an employee to concentrate on writing down and tracking their goals while they are at their desk.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Points to consider when choosing an office location

A recent Entrepreneur magazine article reported that choosing the right office space is often one of the most daunting tasks a business undertakes because of the repercussions it can have on the company. An office's location, for instance, can make or break a client's decision to close a deal or sign on with the business. The address can also lure or deter potential employees or networking opportunities. 

As leases can last for several years, a business owner may want to put careful thought into choosing the right office, layout and business furniture before making purchases or signing a dotted line.

Before selecting a potential location, consider three key points:

1. Is the location convenient for clients, business partners and employees? Sending clients on a wild goose chase to visit the office or choosing a location far from public transit options can discourage top clients and talent from working with the business.

2. Will the space be big enough to allow growth? Factoring in the business' goals for the next few years can help an office-seeker choose a place that will meet both immediate and future needs.

3. Does the office transmit the right message about the business? Choosing a space that boasts cascading waterfalls in the entryway, chandeliers and overpriced office furniture may leave some clients scratching their heads or wondering if they are paying too much for the services rendered by the business. On the other hand, a threadbare or cramped space may induce visitors to worry about the financial state of the business and lose trust in the goods or services offered. 

Ensure ADA compliance by hiring an office layout expert

Another thing to consider is whether the space is compliant with safety regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to certain U.S. laws, office doorways must be at least 32 inches wide to allow for wheelchair access, and doors must require fewer than five pounds of muscle force to open.

In public areas, carpeting must be less than half an inch up of from the ground, Entrepreneur magazine reports. Hiring a professional office layout designer to help plan the space can help a business owner ensure the office is up to code with all fire safety and disability requirements.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Creative tips for reducing office desk clutter

Reducing desk clutter is one of the fastest ways to conduct Spring cleaning this season. Sometimes smaller items can accumulate without being used, which causes an unnecessary pile up. This type of clutter accumulates quickly, because tiny items seem negligible until they begin taking over a worker's desk space. 

A clever way to keep track of small office supplies is to invest in a storage tray that can compartmentalize miscellaneous items and keep them on hand. This keeps smaller supplies organized but still in view, making it easier to evaluate how many pencils, pens and paper clips are already present before purchasing new ones, which can help prevent overstocking.

If there is an overabundance of office supplies cluttering desks or workstations, some creative tips may help put those items to good use.

1. Come up with unique uses for paper clips. Items as small as paper clips can be used for multiple things around the office. If a loyal employee is about to retire, for instance, try collecting some photos of the employee throughout the years or other work-related pictures. Slide some paper clips onto those photos and then string them together with ribbon to create a banner that can hang on the wall as a memorable decoration during the employee's retirement party.

As more workers switch over from drinking coffee to sipping tea to reduce workplace jitters, paper clips can be used as anchors for tea bag tags to prevent the paper tab from slipping into the beverage. Simply slide a paperclip over the paper tag to give it some weight and drape the string over the side of the cup.

2. Binder clips come in handy at the office. Binder clips also have multiple utilitarian uses. They can prevent unruly wires from tangling, hold books open to certain pages to save time or by become a stand to prop up a mobile device on a desk surface. Workers may want to clamp some binder clips to the edge of their desks to keep USB cables, mobile device chargers and Ethernet cords organized.

3. Break free of office clutter for good. If a desk or office supply cabinet is overflowing with too many notebooks or writing utensils, consider dropping some supplies off at a local school or daycare center. Learning centers might appreciate the donation because kids go through items quickly and budgets are often tight.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Arrange office furniture to allow more movement at work

According to a recent USA Today article, more businesses are turning exercise equipment into office furniture. As studies show that sitting for prolonged periods of time has negative effects on health, many offices are using exercise balls and other products associated with the gym in the workplace to curb the lack of muscle movement. 

Standing desks - sit-and-stand desks that come with a high stool that allows users to work while standing or while resting on the stool - are also gaining notice as a viable option to boost worker health and focus.

Though most workplaces still favor more traditional office furniture, business owners may want to try implementing a few simple steps that give employees the option to move more at the office.

1. Place printers, copy machines, water coolers and other equipment as far away from workstations as possible to encourage more walking.

2. Try taking a break from the conference room and have meetings while standing, if feasible. 

3. While using a mobile device, try walking around the hallway or any place where other workers will not be disturbed and encourage other to do the same.  

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Monday, March 18, 2013

4 things to consider before choosing office furniture

Selecting the right office furniture can have long-lasting effects on a business. One of the best ways to ensure business furniture is a smart investment is to plan ahead of time. Companies should consider the following tips to guarantee they're making the best choices.

1. Think about how furniture can save space and money. Perhaps a filing cabinet or bookcase can perform double duty as a tabletop for equipment.

2. Think about how the office will function. Survey the inside of the workspace and take note of where the phone and electrical outlets are located. Decide where the furniture will go and measure the inside of the rooms as well as elevator and doorways.

3. Think about workers' health. Investing in ergonomic furniture can pay off in the long-run. If a business owner has back pain, neck problems or carpal tunnel syndrome, he or she may want to invest in ergonomic furniture that eases the symptoms. 

4. Think about hiring an office layout designer help with the process because these professionals have the experience and knowledge that can get a workplace off to good start.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tips for office furniture care

One of the best ways to make sure office furniture is an investment that lasts is to take proper care of it. Clean, well-care-for business furniture makes a positive impression on clients and visitors. Before purchasing cleaning products, keep in mind that leather, metal and wooden items require different types of care. Use alcohol-based cleaner on plastic and metal furniture only, and purchase cleaning products specifically tailored to cleaning leather. A damp cloth may be used to wipe down treated wooden furniture, and a few swipes with furniture polish can make wooden surfaces glow. 

Consider arranging the office so that leather business furniture is away from windows, as these items are susceptible to sunlight damage.

Having coasters available on wooden tables and desks may help prevent stains from coffee mugs and beverage glasses. In addition, using desk pads can prevents scratches on office workstations.

Make sure to avoid spilling when watering plants to avoid damaging furniture. Janitorial staff or cleaning service members should clean any upholstery thoroughly on a regular basis and check it frequently to make sure no holes or tears are present in the fabric.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The right office furniture can prevent carpal tunnel

According to several studies, regular contact with hard work surfaces can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. To help prevent risk, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website reports that using a well-designed desk that is adjusted properly can minimize muscle pain that arises from awkward exertions and repetitive motions.

When purchasing office furniture, remember that a high-quality desk should provide adequate legroom and allow proper placement for the computer and accessories. A worker should also be able to move his or her monitor to an appropriate viewing angle. 

The way a workstation is set up can also help or hinder movement. Keeping all important items within reach can help reduce strain. Using keyboard trays, desks with rounded edges or wrist guards can help buffer harsh repetitive contact with the desktop. Keep the computer monitor 20 inches away from the face. Changing position often and getting up every 20 to 40 minutes to walk around or to stretch can prevent pain and future health problems. 

When setting up the business space, consult a professional office layout designer to help ensure the workplace and its furniture are arranged in the most ergonomic way possible to create a comfortable and healthy space. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Find the right office space on a budget

Finding an office space can be one of the most challenging components of building a small business, and it can also be one one of the biggest expenses.

An entrepreneur on a budget may want to try setting up an office in a co-working space. A shared office not only costs much less, but it allows those present to connect with co-workers who share similar goals. Co-working spaces often charge a small membership fee and allow the businessperson to come into work a few days a week alongside other freelancers, entrepreneurs and small-business owners. 

New business owners may also want to try sharing an office with another startup company. Not only does this cut expenses, but it allows for some collaborative efforts with like-minded individuals who may be able to help each other bring in some extra business.

When it comes to the office furniture, purchasing second hand items can add up to big savings. Used office furniture such as desks, tables and chairs are not only a fraction of the price, but they can be just as good as new furniture when purchased from the proper vendor.  

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Reduce work-related stress with an organized office layout

A recent study by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that more than one-third of U.S. workers felt overwhelmed by ongoing workplace stress. The APA's research found that due to these feelings, one-fourth of employees polled called in sick to take a mental health day as a result of work-related stress.

To reduce stress in the office, business owners can make a few workspace alterations to ensure more productivity. Keeping the workplace organized improves efficiency and reduces stress. Because offices are busy places, focus on these three key areas to keep the workplace tidy,  the office furniture layout, office supplies and miscellaneous items and papers.

First, it is recommended that a business owner use a professional office layout designer to ensure the space and the business furniture properly accommodates the organization's needs. An office layout expert can help the business owner break the space up into zones of activity that allocate specific activities to certain areas.

When it comes to organizing the office supplies, try to place as many electronics, filing cabinets and accessories as possible in the zones where they are used the most.

To delve into paper clutter, a business owner can invest in filing folders after assessing how much paper there really is at the office to avoid purchasing products that may add to clutter. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Choose complementary color schemes for the office

One of the easiest ways to give the office a face-lift is with a fresh coat of paint. Before making any changes, a business owner can survey the office furniture and observe what color pallet will not clash with the rest of the space. Wood business furniture adds warm tones to a room and can look balanced against neutral colors. Metallic furniture can look complementary with brighter hues. Ultimately, preferences can hinge on the type of business conducted in the office space and the type of clients who visit.

Neutral Colors

When choosing a neutral office color scheme, keep the space cheerful by choosing plain colors that have warm undertones. For example, try using a beige shade with a yellow undertone. Calming colors such as moss green and taupe can help employees focus. 

Bright Colors 

An office's paint should not attract too much attention, and colors should not be so bold as to distract workers. However, some office spaces may benefit from touches of brighter colors. Adding an accent wall may help boost employee energy and mood. Bright colors should be used sparingly. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Design the office layout to reduce distracting sounds

According to a recent Swedish study, employees placed in a noisy workspace experienced up to a 10.6 percent drop in their work performance. Distracting sounds at the office are often a top concern for workers, and many employees believe they would work more productively if office noises were reduced.

Fortunately, there are several proactive moves a business owner can make to quiet invasive sounds at the office.

One way a business can reduce the noise of foot traffic is by moving busy, highly treaded office areas away from work stations as much as possible. To rid rooms of sounds caused by squeaky shoes, clattering heels and footsteps, a business owner may want to consider installing wall-to-wall carpeting.

Another tip that might help is moving all noise-inducing office equipment, such as copiers and printers away from places employees need to concentrate. Encourage employees to silence or tone down the ringers on their phones and other devices and have an office policy in place regarding the use of speaker phones.

To buffer the reverberations of sounds bouncing off of hard surfaces, attach sound management tack boards to the walls.

Finally, when designing the company floor plan, hire a professional layout designer who can make sure the office building balances sound acoustic to reduce noise as effectively as possible.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Strike the right chords by balancing office sounds

The recent German study "Office Acoustics: How to effectively design the room acoustics of offices" found that sound management is becoming the primary concern for many office layout designers. According to study authors Catja Hilge and Christian Nocke founders of an acoustics consulting company, the rising popularity of open, collaborative work spaces can cause intellectual distractions due to surrounding noises, which can lower productivity levels.

However, not all sounds are considered noise, and a collaborative environment can also help avoid some distractions in some instances. Employees working in close proximity to each other with no cubicle walls separating them do not have the need for a loud paging system, for example.

On the other hand, even though cubicles are sometimes portrayed as less trendy or are lampooned by comic strips such as "Dilbert," they can also help buffer noise and offer employees more privacy, which improves some employees' concentration. Whether a worker focuses better in a cubicle or in a more collaborative space often depends on the employee's personality and psychology.

Since there are pros and cons to custom workstationcubicle use and open spaces, the design of the office layout remains the key to creating a productive environment. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Reduce depression at the office

A recent University of Melbourne study found that workplace depression is on the rise. With more people experiencing longer days at work with increasing amounts of stress, how can an office help alleviate this epidemic? Luckily, there are several steps that an employer can take to ensure the office and its workers are more depression-resistant. 

One way an employer can keep the office calm and productive is to encourage workers to practice some relaxation techniques at work. Even the age-old tip of taking a deep breath and counting to ten can relieve stress and refocus the mind.

Noise at the office can hurt concentration and increase stress. To dial down the commotion, it can help to attach sound management panels to the wall or allow workers to bring a white noise machine to the office. 

Natural light helps to reduce depressive symptoms. Allow plenty of sunlight into the office space and use high-watt light bulbs that mimic daylight in lamps and desk lights.

Over connectivity also increase stress and depression. Encourage employees to turn off unnecessary mobile devices and wait to answer non-urgent personal emails until after the workday is over.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Make the office layout fitness-friendly

Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health, recently conducted research that shows corporate employers have doubled spending per employee on health and wellness-based programs and incentives since 2009.

With workplaces finding that investing in employee health and lifestyle services is good for business overall, offices can make environmental enhancements to their office layouts to keep workers healthier, too.

To encourage physical fitness, install a bike rack outside the building for cyclists who want a greener commute. If a company has the space and budget, the business might want to add some walking paths around the property. A brisk walk invigorates the body and mind, which can improve overall productivity.

Another way that employers can break up a sedentary workday is to add some standing desks. Set up different stations throughout the office so that some tasks can be completed standing up. Although it will not take the place of exercise, taking breaks from sitting is beneficial to the body. 

Make sure the office's break room has a refrigerator installed so employees can bring their own food and snacks to work, reducing the temptations of the corner cafe's pastry counter. And finally, if the office still has a vending machine stocked with sugary sodas or junk food, uninstall it or replace the options with healthier alternatives.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How office furniture is affected by the rise of mobile devices

The increased use smartphones and other mobile devices is changing not only the way people work, but also the way people sit. The prevalence of touch-screen technology at the office is also starting to have an effect on business furniture design.

More flexible workplaces and popular mobile tools requires more up-to-date furniture. Though most offices are not ready to forgo all desktop computers and workstations for resistance exercise balls or bean bag chairs, there are a few changes employers can make to the office to make sure it supports movement.

Many tablets and smartphones users lean back in their chairs to type or slump over mobile devices. This shift makes investing in ergonomic office furniture more important than ever, due to the additional strain people are placing on their shoulders, necks and backs.

When selecting office furniture, employers should look for chairs that offer seat and back angle adjustments and cushioned contours that create a pocket to support the body. Until furniture designers start making office equipment to aid mobile device use, ergonomic chairs are the best bet for workers' health. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Open office layouts attractive and popular

Office layouts that ditch cubicles and use an open office design are now growing, according to USA Today. The use of digital devices is dominating PC use as people rely more on mobile than ever before, and corporate offices are starting to reflect modern work trends. 

Some businesses are choosing to lower cubicle walls to give everyone a better view, and putting less emphasis on "corner offices" romanticized in 1950s-style workplace hierarchies. Architects and executives alike are claiming that the more collaborative environment leads to more productivity and flexibility.

Wi-Fi and digital tools have caused a shift in the traditional work environment that results in offices appearing more youth-friendly and knowledge-based

The collaborative concept takes advantage of the growth of mobile technology prevalence, and many companies are using their alcoves, internet cafes, lounge rooms and outdoor plazas to conduct business. This prevents employees from feeling as though they are chained to a desk for eight hours a day.

Offices are also improving their overall environments by adding sound management with white noise machines and voice privacy systems. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

How to create more space in a small office

A cubicle or small office does not need to feel cramped, despite a lack of space. Some workers prefer smaller spaces because they can feel cozy and encourage more privacy.

However, a cramped or cluttered environment is bound to make any worker feel flustered. 

No matter an employee's preference, choosing the right office furniture has a major impact on the visual balance of the space.

Purchasing office furniture that is proportionate to the space is the first step to creating balance. Before making a purchase, remember to measure all business furniture. Make sure to not put too many pieces of furniture in a single room, and avoid an overabundance of accessories.

Choose paint colors that are neutral, light or pastel. White ceilings create the illusion of a bigger space. When choosing a rug, blinds or accessories, stick to a monochromatic color scheme.

To trick the eye into believing a space is twice its size, hang a large mirror on one of the walls. This trick works in narrow hallways as well. Glass objects in general, whether it is a glass table or a glass wall, provide a room with a more open appearance. 

Finally, using a vertical filing cabinet instead of a horizontal one properly utilizes space.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Feng shui tips for peaceful office design

In China, feng shui practitioners follow certain decorating rules that are believed to promote a better flow of energy inside a room. Staying clear of clutter and keeping small spaces as open and filled with light as possible are feng shui basics. 

Below are five feng shui tips specifically for office layouts that could help increase focus and productivity at work:

1. When arranging office furniture, try to angle desks and chairs to face the main doorways. This may ease people's minds, as it allows the person seated to see when someone enters the room.

2. Invest in at least three different types of lighting sources per room, and use full-spectrum lighting whenever possible.

3. Use chairs have a firm backing. The added support is not only good for posture, but is also supposed to make the worker feel more confident.

4. For a calmer environment, use paper or bamboo screens to block out unsightly appliances and sharp corners.

5. As a final touch, display a mural on one the office's main walls that depicts a happy, vibrant scene. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Top office design trends for 2013

Collaboration is a top buzzword this year regarding office design, but some other trends have also taken over the design world. For example, many offices are employing fitter office furniture that helps, rather than hurts, workers. Ergonomic chairs, for example, are one of the most popular ways in which offices invest in employee health. The support and tension reduction improves physical wellness, reducing costs to employers in the long run. 

Another top trend is the open workspace. Fewer walls and the installation of glass walls is a popular way to make the office a more spacious and collaborative environment.

Office design is also becoming increasingly more eco-conscious. Energy-saving lights and timers, going paperless and using wood office furniture instead of plastic are all popular ways to make the office more environmentally friendly.  

Consulting an office layout design expert is an optimal way to implement current interior trends, as a professional will be up to date on recent trends and be able to properly tailor them to the specific space.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Energy-boosting tips for the office

All workers could use an energy boost from time to time. Aside from splurging on an espresso drink or guzzling the office's coffee supply, many employees are unsure of how to overcome the afternoon slump. A few quick health tips can get everyone at the office back up to speed.

For sustained energy throughout the day, encourage workers to eat breakfast and snack on nuts, fruit or trail mix throughout the day. Nuts contain healthy fats and proteins that supply the body with the energy it needs, and fruit boosts blood sugar, mood and the body's immune system. Avoid bringing heavy, greasy fast foods to the office. Provide fresh water or a cooler so employees can stay hydrated and revitalized.

Having a cluttered desk can drain employees. Invest in some good organization tools and keep table tops, desks and drawers as neat as possible. A clear space promotes a clear state of mind.

Incorporate enough movement into the day. Even a twenty minute walk after lunch boosts feel-good chemicals in the brain, which increases energy and focus.

To reduce eyestrain, use ample lighting and follow the 20-20-20 rule, which states that looking at something 20 feet away from a computer screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes will reduce eye fatigue.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Steps for planning the office party

When the holiday season or a special occasion is approaching, an office party isn't far behind. Although planning the company party can seem like a formidable task, the following steps can get the festivities off to great start.

If feasible, hire a professional party planner or put together a planning committee staffed with employees who are familiar with the company's goals and atmosphere.

Set a budget for the party that includes the cost of food, decorations and any entertainment that will be provided. Determine how many guests will attend, and order food and drinks based on that amount. Make sure to order extra, just in case.

Next, choose the menu and decor. If the office is a corporate environment, keep the vibe minimalist but chic with some bottled beverages on ice, bamboo plants and battery-operated candles. A more casual or creative company might want to try a fun theme such as a Hawaiian night or move the party from the office to the outdoors for a barbecue or picnic.

If the company party is at the office, remember to adjust the layout so that it is conducive to the festivities. Move transportable office furniture aside to free up space for people to mingle.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Tips for creating a stylish office layout

A company's office space reflects the business, and the layout should be functional but chic. Ideally, a lot of space and high ceilings serve as good foundations for a pleasing layout. However, many businesses are short on time and space. Hiring a professional to design the office layout is the best way to ensure a space is used to its full potential in a short timeframe.

Once floor plans are finished, there are several ways business owners can make the space feel more stylish and complete. The following tips can help businesses feel professional, but also warm and comfortable.

To start, employers can choose chic chairs that are pleasing in function and form. Make sure to have enough chairs for clients and other guests as well.

Make sure all the office components create a sense of cohesion. Everything from the waste receptacles and lighting fixtures, to the accessories and even the office stationery should all complement the space's overall design theme.

Finally, for extra flourish, add a glass jar or dish filled with colorful candy, an elegant paperweight or a vase of fresh flowers to the front desk

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Expert tips to increase an office's natural light

Planning the interior design of a new office is a task best left to the experts. An office that functions well improves productivity and keeps everyone safe. When professional office designers create a new layout for an interior workspace, they often adhere to several tried and true tricks.

A common starting point that layout designers reference is that an office can never have too much space or natural light. Natural light reduces eyestrain and increases productivity and mood, whereas more fluid spaces are safer and reduce stress.

Place benching desks in open spaces near windows, and keep windows free of heavy drapery or closed blinds. To make smaller offices or cubicles feel more spacious, install some glass walls or dividers. The glass panels allow plenty of sunshine to stream into the workplace and can also reduce the heating bill

If the budget is too tight to overhaul the interior space, a business owner can utilize the light they have by improving interior reflectivity. To do this, use light colored paint and matte finishes for the walls, ceiling and trim.  Avoid obstructions and place tall furniture such as bookshelves in places where they will not block the light.   

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

3 important office decorating tips

Any office decorations used at work should reflect the company's culture and brand, be professional and be within budget.

Before decorating the office, take several questions into account: How much storage space does the office have? Is there enough shelving to display items? Who visits the office?

Once the basic questions are answered, evaluate the business' culture and brand. Make sure decorations are appropriate for the company's climate. A public relations firm that specializes in high-fashion events for clients would do well with more ornate accessories, whereas a financial management company may want to stick with conservative decor.

Next, make sure all office decorations are professional. Having Play-Doh on one's desk is fine for elementary school teachers, but might not convey the right image at a law firm. Frame paintings or pictures in high-quality frames that are simple yet attractive.

Finally, it is important to set a budget for all office furniture and decorations used. Although it may be tempting to skimp on the furniture, this causes more problems and higher costs in the long run. If the budget is tight, opt to purchase second hand business furniture that is in top condition, ergonomic and high in quality. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

How employees sit

Even though most employees use the same business furniture, the way people sit in their workstation can vary significantly. In addition, people move around and adopt different positions throughout the day depending on how they feel and what they are doing. A recent study identified several ways modern office workers sit.

Employees who lean forward at their desks to work on multiple devices are fairly common in the U.S. workforce, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. These workers tend to use computers and phones frequently, which can result in severe back pain if they aren't seated in ergonomic chairs or using headsets.

Texters are individuals who are constantly using their smartphones. These workers tend to look down a lot, causing them to strain their shoulders if they don't have the right arm support. These people should look for task chairs that that offer the right armrests.

When workers are in meetings, some tend to lean backwards more than others to view projectors or look at colleagues. It's a good idea to ensure gathering spaces are equipped with side chairs that can accommodate healthy leaning. 

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.

Make the choice between home and office easy

The decision of Yahoo's CEO, Marissa Mayer, to bring remote workers back into the office has caused quite a stir among company leaders and the media. While the announcement shocked many, Mayer is not the first exec to reel workers back onto company property.

Last year, Bank of America, which had a popular work-from-home policy, decided to nix it and ask employees to come into the office every workday, according to The New York Times.

The big question now is whether employee productivity and innovation depends on where people work. Being around others frequently can be beneficial to collaboration, which is a key component to nearly every successful business.

Asking workers to come into the office doesn't have to be comparable to pulling teeth. Business leaders can encourage employees to work onsite by making the office landscape more appealing. 

Creating a desirable atmosphere doesn't have to cost businesses a fortune. Simple changes like redesigning the layout, adding color and replacing some business furniture are great places to start.

Employees who are comfortable are more likely to enjoy working in the office. Consider investing in ergonomic chairs to ensure workers get the right back, neck, shoulder and arm support. To limit spending on these items, managers should shop for used office furniture to avoid skimping on quality.

Want to create a comfortable, collaborative work environment? Visit the Office Furniture Warehouse website to complete your office landscape.