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.

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.

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.

Design & Layout

When you are looking to reconfigure your office’s layout and overall design, things can become overwhelming rather quickly. With so many design options and layouts to choose from, it can be hard to narrow things down and to choose the best options for your specific workspace. While all workspaces are different and all require different design elements to thrive, here are a few tips to consider when reconfiguring your office’s design and layout:

Utilize Natural Light

Natural light is much better for the human eye than fluorescent light. The latter can cause headaches and eye strains. Additionally, natural light helps to control your melatonin levels. This affects how focused and alert one feels. The more your employees are exposed to natural light, the more alert they will feel; this, in turn, will boost productivity.

Be Spacious

Be conscious about how you use the space in your office. Employees should be able to move about freely and furniture should be situated in a way where, if an emergency arises, people can exit the office in a safe and quick manner.

Prioritize Storage

For many, storage is often the last thing that is considered when they are redesigning an office. However, storage should be prioritized. By ensuring your office has ample storage, clutter will be reduced. This will allow employees to work in a more efficient manner.

Don’t Skimp

While it can be tempting to purchase furniture based on cost, make sure that the furniture you purchase for your office is of good quality. With cheap furniture, you get what you pay for. Not only will this make your office look subpar, but poor-quality furniture can affect the health of your employees negatively. Ergonomic office chairs, for example, have been proven to increase productivity and reduce the number of sick days that employees take. Additionally, higher-quality furniture lasts longer than poorly made furniture; this will save you money in the long run.

Use Your Lobby

Your lobby is the first thing customers and clients see when they step into your office. It is important that your lobby reflects your business and what your business offers. It should have comfortable seating and should be an extension of your business.

Reconfiguring your office does not have to be an overwhelming experience. By using these tips when designing your new office, you will be able to create a space that reflects the values of your business and that stimulates pride in the people that work there.

Contact the Experts at OFD today or Schedule an Appointment for a Free Consultation.

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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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Fast delivery and installation services are available at affordable prices. Our team can quickly and safely assemble your newly purchased furnishings to your exact specifications. Your ultimate satisfaction is important to Office Furniture Direct, so please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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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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