How to keep your workstation organized and efficient

You spend a great deal of time at your office workstation and as such it becomes a vivid reflection of your style, personality, and daily habits. Walk through most any corporate office and you will see desks and workstations that run the gamut—sparsely appointed and tidy, personalized with colorful decorations and photos, or cluttered with stacks of papers and general office detritus.

Whatever your approach to the work day, a critical component of efficient time management, productivity, and personal comfort is a well-organized workstation. Disorder and disarray is no way to accomplish important tasks and contribute to your company’s business but fear not; a touch of motivation blended with strategy can turn your office life around.

Find a flow

There is no right or wrong way to organize your desk. In fact, the best way ultimately depends on how you naturally work. Some people work left to right, with phone, computer, and other items on the left, ideally a clear work space in the middle, and completed projects on the right. Try different methods to find one that works best for you.

Save a space

When it’s time to arrange paperwork for a project and there’s not a single free space on your desk, you end up in an unexpected cleanup session while your real work sits there unattended to. Designate part of your desk as work only and don’t put anything there you’re not working on.

Go easy on the eyes

If your work area is cluttered with way too much “stuff” it’s probably stealing your concentration as well. Visual distractions tend to command attention, such as 100 sticky notes plastered all over the place. Tidy up and remove the non-essential.

Take a digital step

Digital work environments are hardly a new revelation but many people still rely heavily on paper and in fact, paper is a big contributor to a cluttered work space. Put away the paper to-do lists and establish a calendar, task list, and other daily activities on your computer and then sync it all to your phone.

Give it a polish

It’s easy to put off or ignore altogether, but giving your monitor, keyboard, phone, and desk a regular polish goes a long way to boosting your mood and energy. Keep basic cleaning supplies handy (at least a soft rag and gentle cleaning solution) and give your workstation some love.

For more information on organizing your workstation, contact the experts at Office Furniture Direct at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.

 

Choosing the right size cubicle for your office

Office cubicle design, appearance, and their very personality have evolved significantly over the years, from stark, maze-like environments to welcoming and productive workplaces. Co-working spaces, desk sharing, and virtual offices are all the rage in today’s corporate world. Indeed, a thoughtfully designed cubicle space inspires creativity, collaboration, and even enjoyment to be at work.

Office cubicles as we know them first appeared in the late 1960s to suit office workers’ changing needs while offering privacy and personalization. New York City’s Federal Reserve Bank was the first office to use the cubicle scenario, arranged in simple pods of four work spaces. Modern cubicle design includes varying heights, shapes, sizes, built-in storage, and ergonomic features.

Size also matters when it comes to adding cubicles to your office and ultimately your particular needs will determine final selection. To that end, here are some things to consider for your next office renovation:

Standard office cubicles

Today’s traditional office cubicles come in a wide variety of layouts and sizes, and can be very spacious. They are typically designed for one person but have enough space for an extra chair and desk space for equipment such as computers and file organization. I-shapes and U-shapes are common and are typically available in sizes from 6’x6’ to 8’x8’.

Modular office spaces

One common criticism of cubicles is loss of privacy for office functions including human resources or financial services when private information is involved. A solution to this is modular offices, which are essentially high-walled cubicles (typically about 12’) with doors and a larger footprint than standard cubes. The walls are often glass or a type of paneling and often used for executive offices.

Call center spaces

Highly active call centers demand agility and small footprints and this is where call center cubes come in, with just enough space for one person and shorter walls and panels. Popular call center cubicles often include glass panels and come in sizes from 2’x5’ to 5’x5’.

Fitting it all in

Before deciding on cubicle sizes for your office, be sure to consider work surface, panel thickness, manufacturer, and ability to cluster to a specific layout. For example, a 9’x12’ option works well for middle managers or workers with more than one computer system or other equipment while 6’x6’ is a popular choice for admin and telephone support.

For more information on sizing cubicles for your office, contact Office Furniture Direct at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.

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.

Comfort rules

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.

Table it

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.

Consider aesthetics

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.

 

Additional Considerations

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.

Essential Cubicle Cleaning And Maintenance Hacks

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.

Deep Disinfectant

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.

Organizational Suggestions

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.

Office design
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.

Let us take care of your office needs with a free consultation

Take full advantage of your workspace by consulting with our team. When you schedule a free design consultation, one of our staff members visits your location to assess your available space and help you design a floor plan for your new office furniture that meets all your functional and stylistic needs.

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Since opening for business more than 15 years ago, Office Furniture Direct has sold and installed furniture for small, medium, and large businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Call us at (503) 546-1546 to see how we can service you.

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