When is the time to buy new office furniture?
At some point in the tenure of every business owner, it will be time to replace the office furniture. That time might coincide with the move to a new location or perhaps you are initiating a more open, collaborative layout. Maybe the old furniture is just plain worn out and literally falling apart at the seams. Whatever the case, making the move to revamp your office is a decision that comes with a great deal of planning, from color choice to timing.
The good news is, there are many options available today to bring a furniture-based spark back to your workplace, including buying new or gently used, or refurbishing the current line-up. Consider the ubiquitous but essential office chair for starters; the most used piece of equipment in most office environments. How do you know it’s time to replace a chair?
What is the chair’s condition? If an office chair is no longer comfortable, replace it. It’s that simple. If employees complain of neck or back pain, their productivity has likely also suffered. A chair’s seat and armrest padding eventually loses its comfy spring and nobody likes to squirm in a bad chair all day. Knobs and screws falling out and other stages of disrepair are additional signs it’s time for a new one.
The same approach applies to all office furniture—loss of structural integrity and comfort is your cue to take action. Now you have to decide to buy brand new or revitalize what’s there.
Should I buy new or refurbish?
Always keep comfort in mind and if you find yourself buying new chairs, tables, and computer stations every couple of years; you need to stop that cycle. Throwing money at cheap furniture is money down the drain. Quality matters and the following guidelines will help you make the best decision:
Buy new to freshen up the orange and green color scheme that has been around since the 70s. New furniture is highly adaptable and packed with modern features. Ergonomics is also highly important for long-term productivity and shows employees you are invested in their well-being.
Repurpose existing furniture saves a great deal of money. New workstations, for example, can cost upwards of $5,000. Re-use is also a big help to the environment, saving untold millions of ton of trash headed to landfills, and it’s a great way to promote your company’s sustainability.
For more office furniture buying tips, contact Office Furniture Direct at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.
How great office furniture increases productivity
If you run a business and want to keep your staff upbeat and productive, don’t have boring furniture. It might not seem like it on the surface, but every piece of furniture in an office can boost productivity and overall efficiency; two key ingredients to a successful company. If your office environment still looks like the set of a 70s TV show, it’s time to upgrade.
Dull, bland, boring office furniture not only looks bad; it makes people lazy and irritable. People tend to lose their spark and subsequently interest in doing valuable work. One easy and popular fix is to add color. Bright colors are wonderfully adept at boosting spirits, infusing a go get ‘em attitude, and ramping up a productive day. Let’s look at more ways great office furniture can make your office thrive.
Everything has its place
If employees have to hike clear to the other end of the building to send a fax or print a copy, it’s inconvenient at best and hampers the day’s active work pace. Keep furniture and equipment in handy locations.
Keep it clean and in god repair
Stylish, colorful office furniture is the first step, but don’t let it get dirty. Nobody wants to sit on a piece of old gum or find stained clothes from grimy chairs and tables. Clean equals positive, relaxed, and productive employees. Being comfortable is key to top-shelf performance. Be aware of wear and tear and replace items that have reached the end of the road.
Use a smart layout
Communication is vital to a successful workplace and a strategic office layout makes it happen. Incorporate open spaces wherever possible and encourage furniture placement that inspires idea sharing and team spirit.
Office furniture must be comfortable, period. Many office positions require sitting at a desk all day long and an adjustable, enduringly comfortable chair is critical to maintain concentration and focused work. Confer with employees on specific needs and update furniture as needed.
A good chair needs a good table to complete an efficient workstation. Use tables of adequate size to perform tasks specific to a position while allowing plenty of room for equipment such as computer, monitor, and filing systems. Cluttered is bad; ensure a nice flow to keep productivity humming along.
Bring these ideas all together by keeping the entire office neat and organized. For more information on productivity through office furniture, contact Office Furniture Direct at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.
It might seem inconsequential on the surface, especially in relation to everyday demands of your business, but a well-planned office space is a major contributor to company image, employee productivity, and enduring success. Space planning is your chance to give visitors and potential clients walking through the door a great impression with sophisticated looks and efficient design. Proactive organization also goes a long way in alleviating chaos when adding employees or revamping a department.
Most importantly, intelligent office space planning can build a welcoming environment and upbeat workday atmosphere; and that is the key ingredient to a positive, motivated workforce. Employees who genuinely enjoy working for a company tend to put in extra effort and apply their best skills toward results, and clients are equally intrigued to do business with them.
What is office space planning?
Simply stated, office space planning is an interior design component that arranges office layouts conducive to collaborative company tasks. It is a strategic approach to creating an efficient workflow and seamless communication, with the end goal of increased productivity and work quality while placing emphasis on employee comfort.
Indeed, space planning considers all elements of an existing environment including a company’s daily needs, how a space influences employees’ abilities to contribute, and what employees desire in an ideal work environment.
How to set up an ideal office space
Consider the central purposes for an office space as a whole, as well as internal departments, and design around them. Perhaps you want to inspire employee collaboration and more engagement with projects, while at the same time ensuring their comfort and workday health. Every little detail should be considered from cubicle arrangement and quantity to soap dispensers to drinking fountains and cafeteria pantries.
Holistic components such as an activity room, gym, or relaxation area are also popular and beneficial; and all must be planned and prepared for accordingly. Even seating arrangements come into play, and will develop to match an individual company’s needs.
A good-looking office space inspires, reduces stress, and carries a company’s mission and personality throughout the facility. Office space planning is a critical component for business stability and promotes long-term growth. Employees working in a well-designed space with room to move and collaborate without worrying about disruption will soon become a company’s most valuable and productive assets.
For more information on office space planning, contact the Office Furniture Direct team at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.
There’s no denying the millennial generation’s impact on a great many aspects of today’s social, business, and technology worlds. Millennials made up the largest portion of the US population in 2015 and by 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts they will occupy 50 percent of our country’s workforce. They are a young, confident, tech-savvy group with a powerful influence on reshaping workplace culture, including office design.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes compete with a stronger than ever drive to attract the best talent, and keep them. To make this happen, companies are focusing on redesigning office space to provide the most productive and comfortable working environments on the block. Millennials want to work at companies with an emphasis on social responsibility, environmental awareness, sustainability innovations, and community involvement. They place great importance on working together toward common end goals rather than focusing on bottom line profit.
Office Design Meets Employee Engagement
If the heartbeat of a company is in its culture and values and that mantra then manifests in the physical design of an office, it tends to inspire highly engaged and loyal employees. Aligning personal and corporate values goes a long way in creating a productive and innovative team.
Today’s millennial workforce is very big on flexibility and collaboration, including elements like these:
- Minimal background noise commonly found in once-trendy open office plans.
- A seamless blend of just enough open space, collaborative areas, and quiet work locations.
- The latest and greatest in technology to perform at their highest level.
- Flexible seating options.
- Lots of natural light and well-planned acoustics.
Don’t Chain Me to a Desk
Plenty of research out there confirms that long hours at a desk are unhealthy and millennial workers want none of it. Today’s younger workers are very health-conscious and want a workspace matching that mindset. Lots of space, lighting, and colors are a big part of office design and perhaps the highest priority is mobile working styles; fluid work areas allowing spontaneous collaboration, modular furniture, and the freedom to work where they want.
Millennials also like a place to brainstorm with colleagues in a lively setting as well as the ability to retreat to a quiet area when it’s time to dig way in to a project. And don’t forget to mix in a little fun. Down time at work is a great way to boost morale and productivity.
For more information on the latest trends in office design, contact the Office Furniture Direct team at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.
How to Best Incorporate Cubicles and Workstations in Small Offices
Office design must be handled on a case-by-case basis. This is especially true when dealing with the limited space available in a small office. But with a little forethought and the proper furnishings, you’ll be able to maximize what’s available to you and make the smaller size of your office a non-issue.
Going for Style and Substance
Sure, it’s nice to have office furniture that’s appealing to the eye, but you’ll also want to take advantage of the benefits of greater functionality and shape. The use of desks with a lot of room beneath for storage is an excellent starting point. Also, it might be a good idea to use a pull-out keyboard platform, which will open up an area for other items that would otherwise be unavailable to you.
Take note of the specific shape of your office before choosing furnishings. A corner L-shaped desk or a U-shaped desk might be an excellent choice to use space more efficiently. Stand back and look at the room. Setting your desks up in a linear fashion might not be the best solution for you. Would a different setup be more suitable?
Alternatively, you have the option of using height-adjustable tables in your office. Not only do they provide a nice change of pace from sitting all day, but they can provide storage space and also might take up less room than a traditional desk does. As an added bonus, they have a sleek design and can make a room feel more open. Cubicle dividers are another consideration, as they offer privacy otherwise unavailable in a small office.
Other Ideas for Storage
When space is at a premium, you’ll need to find storage areas that go beyond what’s available beneath your desk. Workstation-adjacent filing cabinets and bookcases are excellent supplemental means of providing storage while keeping your items within easy reach.
Creating Space Through Proper Placement
Try not to block windows with your desk. Windows provide the illusion of space in a cramped office. You might also want to use attachable task lights on your desks rather than space-stealing freestanding lamps.
Additionally, don’t forget to take advantage of your walls. Dry erase boards take up minimal space while providing you with an excellent place to work on your daily business agenda.
If you’d like to learn more about how to best incorporate workstations and cubicles in small offices, please contact Office Furniture Direct at (503) 546-1546.
Creating an Ergonomic Workstation
In today’s increasingly technological society, we find ourselves spending more time in front of a computer screen. Office workers often spend eight or more hours a day at their workstations. All of this sitting in one place can take a toll on our bodies, especially our muscles, joints, and eyes.
It’s important that we consider ergonomics when selecting office equipment in order to maintain our health. Proper ergonomics involves making sure that each component of our workstation is well-positioned, used correctly, and built for our individual needs.
Beneficial Equipment and Positioning
First of all, make sure you’re seated in a relaxed position. It is critical that you use good posture as a complement to your ergonomic equipment and furniture. It is best to use a chair that swivels so you don’t find yourself having to contort your body into unnatural positions. Make sure that your feet are on the ground. Use a footrest if needed. A chairmat will allow you to move your chair more easily when needed.
When seated, you’ll want your upper legs to be horizontal and perpendicular to your computer screen. Your lower legs should be in a more or less straight-up-and-down position.
Keep your mouse, telephone, and other frequently used items at a comfortable distance from you. Be sure to move your mouse with your whole arm rather than relying on your hands. You’ll want to have a desk that has drawers at a natural height so you don’t have to bend or reach awkwardly to open and close them.
Choose a desk that allows you to position your monitor between 2 and 2.5 feet in front of you. Your monitor should not be at a distance where you have to strain or squint to read. Make sure your desk is a comfortable height for you, as well.
Your Body Works Hard for You. Give It a Break!
It’s very important to remember that your body requires diversity of positioning that goes beyond your lunch break. Take frequent smaller breaks to stretch your muscles and to look off into the distance. A height-adjustable table is a good option, too.
Place dry erase boards at an easily reached height. Make sure that the lighting at your workstation is adequate to avoid eyestrain. Power modules can help you avoid having to bend to access outlets.
If you’d like to learn more about ergonomics and what equipment can best help productivity and maintain good health, please contact Office Furniture Direct at (503) 546-1546.
No matter whether your cubicle is in a professional office or a customized workspace, having a dirty work area is detrimental to your mental and physical health. Many people are in the habit of cleaning their homes but habitually ignore their workstations. To help ensure this doesn’t happen to you, here are some essential cubicle cleaning and maintenance hacks.
Wipe Down, Clean Up
Cleaning the items you touch on a daily basis is a great way to stop germs in their tracks. Common culprits include your mouse, keyboard, headset, and telephone. Suitable materials for this task include a microfiber cloth or disinfecting wipe, with the latter being more advantageous for group settings where you’ll likely be dealing with other peoples’ germs.
In addition to sanitization, it is a good idea to clear your workspace of any significant clutter by the end of the day. This ensures your workstation looks clean and is free of any potential distractions at the start of the next day, which allows you to approach your shift with clarity and peace of mind.
So you’ve already cleaned your mouse, phone, headset, keyboard, and telephone, now what? Figure out which spaces in your cubicle see the most traffic and wipe them down with disinfectant wipes. Doing this once at the end of every week is enough to keep your workstation tidy and germ free.
Don’t Let Trash Accumulate
When it comes to trash, companies typically take one of two approaches. Some hire a cleaning crew, which means all you have to do is make sure they did a good job and alert the proper authorities if anything is off, However, if you do not have a cleaning crew then you need to make sure you are taking out the trash at least twice per week. The accumulation of garbage and food results in disgusting odors and attracts germs and various pests.
No matter how frequently you clean, it is essential to make sure you are not overlooking anything. So set up a comprehensive schedule and make sure you adhere to it. This could include things like cleaning photo frames and pen holders, reducing the number of pens and personal items at your desk, and regularly cleaning cables, cords, and power strips.
Ready to take your office organization to the next level? Contact Office Furniture Direct to set up a free space planning consultation.
If you are planning an office overhaul for your business, you will be making lots of decisions over the coming months. Everything from layout to finishes will be open to consideration. If the overhaul is a success, your new office space will look wonderful, and it will also help your employees feel their best when they’re at work and will boost productivity.
You’ll be introduced to a lot of new concepts during your office overhaul, and two of these are office space planning and office design. To understand the different stages of your potential project, it’s crucial to understand the difference between these two.
Office space planning
This is the first step in the process. When you’re planning your office space, you’re looking at elements like the number of existing windows, office configuration, breaks rooms, cubicles, and more. You should consider how many employees you house in how much space, and work from there to find the optimal layout for your office.
Some newer ideas in office planning are noise abatement techniques and options in types of workspaces. Office equipment stores can offer different products – foam ceiling panels, telephone hoods – to decrease noise pollution in your office. As with most things, some employees will thrive in an open floor plan while others would benefit working in a private cubicle. A mix of the two will help your employees be productive.
This phase relies more on a theme and occurs after you have planned your office space. This is when you decide on the overall look and feel of your new office. What kind of office equipment will you choose? What kind of finishes? How modern or traditional do you want your office to look?
The final choices should reflect your brand. What are you trying to convey to your customers? How about to your employees? Settle on what your brand represents to both parties and then play around with that concept in the physical space of your office. These decisions matter in the long run because they will pull the office together into a coherent space at the end of the project.
Be sensitive to the needs of your employees and your clients when designing and planning your new office space. The experts at Office Furniture Direct have many options for you to custom match your office space with your needs. Your business will thank you.
Finding the perfect set of cubicles is essential for any business. After all, this is where your employees will be spending most of their time. To this extent, the right set of workstations will inspire contentment and productivity. However, choosing the right set can be a challenge.
Whether you’re outfitting a small space or an entire office building, here are some important factors to consider when purchasing cubicles for your office.
Keep Employee Needs In Mind
Cubicles that fail to meet your employees’ daily needs can actually be detrimental to your business. So before you decide on a particular style or brand, pay close attention to how your employees work. What are their tasks in the day and how do they go about accomplishing them? Does doing so require a certain level of privacy? Do they need any extra space? All of these are important questions that will have bearings on your final decision.
Odds are your budget is not infinite. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find stylish, reliable cubicles at a reasonable price. In fact, the odds are stacked in your favor, as most people tend to overestimate the cost of new cubicles.
Maintaining a productive flow throughout the office is paramount to the success of your business. Cubicles that problematize or disrupt the flow should be discarded in lieu of something more adherent to your office’s spatial dimensions. So before you go out and buy the first thing that catches your eye, make sure to take room measurements. Doing so might inspire an entirely new approach or increase resolve as it pertains to your current trajectory. Either way, the productivity you inspire will reward you down the line.
Maintain That Office Aesthetic
While functionality is undoubtedly the most important thing to consider when selecting cubicles, it is good to keep your office’s aesthetic in mind. Maintaining a sense of unity will continually reinforce the core ethos of your business.
Ready to find the perfect cubicles? Contact Office Furniture Direct today. In business for over 15 years, they are one of Portland’s premier suppliers of new and pre-owned office furniture. Their comprehensive selection is sure to contain something that’s perfect for your project. Beyond that, they offer free space planning consultations where a staff member visits your home to assess the space and help you design a custom floor plan, as well as expedient installation by a licensed firm.
There’s a lot of hype about the open workspace design of many modern offices. An open workspace is one room with many workstations, the idea being that this type of workspace is more conducive to collaboration and leads to healthier employees. But is this patently true for all employees? Probably not. As with most things, some employees will thrive in an open floor plan office, while others would benefit from working in a private cubicle.
Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider including cubicles in your office floor plan:
For certain types of people and certain types of tasks, an open floor plan is not ideal. Depending on the nature of the work, an employee might not be able to give their full attention to the task at hand when there’s a lot of distraction. It’s not just audio distractions, comings and goings of co-workers can break concentration as well.
In an open floor plan, everyone can see what everyone else is doing. Mostly this type of interaction promotes productivity and team-building, but it also puts pressure on your employees. Your employees may feel uncomfortable being the first one to leave at the end of the day or the last one in in the morning.
If a worker is stationed near a supervisor’s station, they might feel pressure to perform optimally at all times and can’t relax. These feelings can become overwhelming and affect your workers’ productivity levels.
The peer pressure of being constantly surrounded by fellow workers and the low-level noise and visual distractions can lead to stress build-up in your employees. The stress is subtle, but even low amounts of stress can lead to time management issues and even compromise your employees’ immune systems.
In the modern working world, open office plans are very popular, but an employer should think about their employees’ varied work styles. Much like in other areas of life, people’s preferences when it comes to working are very different – some prefer total silence whereas some like the hustle and bustle of an open office.
Be sensitive to the needs of all your employees. Consider a hybrid office design that includes open meeting areas as well as private cubicles. The experts at Office Furniture Direct have many options for you to custom match your office space with your workers’ needs. Your employees will thank you.