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.

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.

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.

Important Factors To Consider When Outfitting Your Office With Cubicles 

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.

Budgetary Constraints

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.

Spatial Constraints

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.

Workstation Layouts That Enhance Productivity

Ensuring optimal levels of productivity within a workspace is no easy task.  There are an incredible number of factors involved, some of which are beyond your control.  If an employee is having problems at home that occupy their thoughts, you can’t do much more than give them a personal day to try to rectify the situation.

However, there are plenty of areas where you can take steps to improve productivity on a daily basis, starting with the office environment you create.  The right workstation layout can have a major impact on productivity, and there are several ways you can plan for a layout conducive to enhancing efficiency and performance.

Adequate Work Space
Understanding what your employees do and how they utilize work space is essential to creating proper workstation layout, whether you’re measuring the square footage needed for each cubicle or desk area or you’re considering the optimal size of desk you’ll need and how equipment should be arranged.  The work area and furniture assigned to each employee should be adequate to accommodate the work they must do.

Organizational Tools
Clutter can be a productivity killer, so you want to make sure each workstation is outfitted with the organizational tools needed to ensure organization and efficiency.  This could include furniture like shelving and filing cabinets, or desktop and drawer organizers that coral cables, contain pens and pencils, and house loose papers until they can be addressed or filed away.

Ergonomic Solutions
Productivity can be hampered by discomfort, which is why ergonomic solutions have become an essential part of the office layout.  Ergonomic keyboards can help to eliminate repetitive motion injuries, for example, while ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks can reduce instances of back and neck pain, which are among the most common complaints from desk jockeys.  With the right ergonomic office solutions, you’ll create a work environment conducive to greater comfort and productivity.

Ample Lighting
Technically, this has little to do with the actual layout of the workspace, unless it centers on desktop task lighting, but having abundant natural lighting is one of the most important factors when it comes to increasing productivity, so it bears mentioning.  Our circadian rhythms are based on cycles of light and darkness, so when we find ourselves in a poorly lit environment, it’s only natural that we start to feel sleepy.

However you arrange your workstations and work surfaces, you need to find ways to imbue your space with natural light, as well as artificial lighting that mimics the sun.  When paired with suitable workstation layouts, this element could significantly boost productivity.

How to Choose the Right Cubicles for Your Workspace

The layout in your office may seem like a passing concern. As long as you can fit the number of workstations needed to accommodate headcount, does it really matter which cubicles you use or how you arrange them?

As a matter of fact, the layout of your workspace can impact performance, productivity, and employee morale, so choosing a suitable layout and using the right elements is hugely important if you want your operation to be efficient and profitable, and you hope to retain talent. How do you go about choosing the right cubicles for your office space? Here are a few things to consider.

Take Measurements
From a purely practical perspective, you shouldn’t purchase cubicles until you’re sure they’ll actually fit in available space. You need to measure the square footage in your office to ensure that the number and size of cubicles you have in mind will actually fit. If not, you might need to select a different product or consider expanding your workspace to fit more cubicles and employees.

Don’t forget to measure furniture, as well. Whether you have existing furniture or you’re planning to purchase desks and other needed furnishings to fill your office, it’s important to make sure the design elements in your office all work together before you buy.

Consider Usage
What is it your employees do? Their tasks could determine the size and shape of cubicles you choose. Does the average employee need multiple monitors, myriad equipment and devices, and plenty of storage space, including filing cabinets, drawers, and shelves? Or do employees use simple enough setups that two people could reasonably share a single cubicle space with a desk on either side?

Consider Corporate Culture
Your corporate culture and the way you envision employees interacting with each other and the space could have a major impact on the cubicle design you choose. For example, do employees frequently collaborate as teams or do they mostly work solo?

Is your company’s work philosophy more traditional or creative in nature? In other words, do you encourage employee interaction or do you expect them to hunker down and get work done in silence?

You also need to consider how you want light and sound to flow through your space. Should cubicles provide seclusion so workers can focus on their tasks, or do you want an open environment that facilitates conversation and creative thinking?

When you take the time to consider your space and furnishings, how the space will be used, and the behavior you expect from employees, you’ll have a much easier time choosing suitable cubicles for your workspace.

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