Common signs that it’s time for an office furniture refresh

Boring office furniture is bad. It might not seem like a big deal but dull furniture can actually make employees lazy, surly, and unproductive. And that won’t do if you want to maintain an efficient and successful company. An office environment reminiscent of classic Mary Tyler Moore show sets won’t inspire your workforce and certainly will not make an ideal impression on visiting customers.

If your employees are sitting at aged desks and perched on orange vinyl-covered chairs, it’s time for a refresh. Even a simple switch to bright colors will help boost productivity and instill an upbeat attitude among the troops. But how do you know when it’s time to take the furniture-upgrade plunge?

Change is in the air

If your office furniture is still structurally sound, in acceptable condition, and supports people and equipment; why not keep it around? Maybe you can get another year or two out of it and save a few bucks. Alas, even a subtle deterioration in furniture quality can negatively impact productivity. Let’s look at some common signals that it’s time to refresh your office furniture vibe:

Stuck in the past

Is your office lobby adorned with a couch and chairs with long-dated patterns or covered in an uncomfortable texture? Perhaps it is in shabby condition at best and detracts from a professional image. Investing in contemporary styles and function goes a long way in promoting your business and productivity within.

Space saver

If your company is young and rapidly growing, or established and expanding, it is likely you will soon run short on space and that always puts a damper on efficient operations. While you might indeed need a physically larger office, your current collection of furniture might be to blame. Old, unnecessarily large, and poorly arranged furniture takes up a lot of space. Consider an open floor plan with compact workstations or cubicles.

Dissent in the ranks

Proper posture at work is very important and worn out, uncomfortable chairs have the opposite effect. Work-related muscle injuries are commonplace and can take key staff out of commission for lengthy periods of time. Rickety desks and cluttered workspaces are also troublesome and if you hear complaints and concerns from staff, take them seriously and start researching sources for an influx of new furniture.

Not tech friendly

Today’s offices are designed to accommodate technology. Old desks lack cutouts for cables and employees end up with a dozen cables strung across their desks, taking up valuable workspace.

 

Choose cubicles to minimize distraction in the workplace

The now-ubiquitous office cubicle was invented way back in 1967 and soon found its way to offices around the world. Indeed, office environments all o’er the land were soon home to mazes of uniform cubicle layouts and other “cubeville” workplaces. And for the most part, workers loved them. Individual cubicles are ideal for providing an element of employee privacy while still fostering collaboration and team building. Cubicles also save space, offer customizable individual workspaces, and allow for seamless communication with colleagues.

In terms of privacy, cubicles remain directly linked to productivity. Most people are more focused when working in a private space and cubes also allow a person’s individuality to shine with a personal space within a team setting.

You’re distracting me

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of cubicles is minimizing workplace distraction, which can be nothing short of rampant in today’s office environments. It’s no secret that noise plays a big factor in staying focused on multiple tasks and completing daily projects. Peppered with distractions all day presents a challenging scenario for employees to stay on track and accomplish what they are charged with in their job roles. To that end, cubicles provide just the right balance of privacy and collaboration to maintain an individual space to focus on work, with the option of sharing ideas with a colleague next door.

Open office environments are all the rage these days and in fact sparked a widespread exodus from the traditional cubicle workplace. Fueled by the siren song of collaboration, flexibility, team-building, and creativity; offices everywhere ditched their tried and true cubicle layouts for wide open spaces, funky “privacy nooks,” and team gathering destinations. While this works well for some companies, noise and distraction are major drawbacks. The din of a dozen different conversations, racket from various office equipment, and a parade of “hey, do you have a minute” or “can we talk about the new project” can make it extremely difficult to stay on task.

Return to Cubeville

In an ironic twist, the mad rush to keep up with the open office trend actually spurred many people to flee back to the familiar comfort of their cubes. One of the most attractive reasons is community. Cubicles in place of private offices remove the hierarchy and promote a level playing field, helping employees feel included and fueling the sharing of innovative ideas and efficient communication.

Quiet individual work and team collaboration directly benefits a company’s end goals, saves valuable office space, and ultimately creates a united and productive business unit.

 

How to improve your office layout to get employees excited

It’s no big secret that the physical look, appeal, and functionality of a workplace directly impacts productivity and overall excitement of employees. On the flip side of that, an inefficient or drab environment inspires distracting habits that take away from the job at hand. If you want to inject a boost of morale and motivation in your staff, consider a new office layout.

Open office or private?

With the considerations and needs of your staff in hand, you can factor in the company’s culture, working styles, staff personalities, and your budget to determine the best fit. Open office plans have been a popular trend in recent years and tend to work great with startups and collaborative thinking environments. Private spaces, on the other hand, are also effective at inspiring productivity and excitement for their jobs.

Bring in some color

Colors have an array of psychological effects on us, including emotional and behavioral. Consider incorporating your company’s logo colors into the workspace to inspire pride, and bring in greens for balance and growth, blue to inspire intelligent thought, and yellows or oranges to stimulate happiness.

Let there be light

Lighting has an enormous effect on office morale and productivity. Natural light is critical to humans’ circadian rhythms and is proven to boost happiness. In fact, exposure to light directly impacts an office worker’s performance and overall quality of life. If your office does not have windows, consider mirrors or full-spectrum light bulbs.

A little flora goes a long way

The simple introduction of plants in an office can reduce stress and sickness, as well as dampen noise levels. Plants are also great at cleaning the air and “planting the seed” of creativity. Look for low-maintenance plants and others with color or unique looks.

Tap your inner artist

Along with attractive plants, artwork is highly effective in establishing an upbeat office vibe. Studies show that art directly enhances productivity and creative work, boosts morale, and offers employees an opportunity to personalize their workspaces, which subsequently lowers stress.

Switch up the amenities

Many times it’s the little things that make a big difference. Ditching the Ho-ho’s from the vending machine, for example, and replacing with healthy alternatives can charge up someone’s day. A place for employees to relax and recharge during the day can inspire excitement to dive into the next project with verve. On-site childcare is a big deal for many people as well. Knowing your little one is nearby is guaranteed to make you smile.

 

Health benefits of workstations with sit-stand desks

A large majority of today’s office environments include traditional workstations with cubicles, a desk, and chair; at which workers sit for many long hours every day. In fact, some people arrive at work, plop down in a chair, and remain there for eight or ten hours.

All that sitting is bad for your health. Studies show that employees sitting still for extended periods every day have a greatly increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and even earlier death. Another immediate and more visual effect is weight gain, as just sitting in one place does little to burn calories.

But what choice do office workers have if they are chained to a desk day after day? The good news is new and versatile desk options are now available, including models that offer the choice to stand or sit.

Introducing the standing desk

Simply defined, a standing desk (or stand-up desk by another name) is an adjustable desk that allows a person to work while standing up. Many different models are available and most include simple controls to adjust their height to comfortable working positions. The desk can be returned at any time to a traditional position if the worker wishes to sit.

While research is ongoing, standing for at least part of the day appears to have noticeable health benefits and can boost productivity. To that end, let’s look at some of the benefits of a stand-up desk.

Lowered risk weight gain and obesity

We gain weight by taking in more calories than we burn, and the opposite is also the case. Sitting in one place at a desk all day does virtually nothing to burn calories and in fact we burn more calories sleeping than sitting in a chair for extended periods. Exercise is of course the best way to burn calories but standing during the work day, at least intermittently, is also a sound health strategy.

Lowered risk of heart disease

Scientific studies tell us that extended sitting can increase the risk of heart disease by nearly 150 percent. Even an hour of intense exercise doesn’t negate the effects of a full day of sitting.

Go easy on your back

Back pain is a common malady of office workers everywhere but standing desks have shown a significant improvement in lower back pain.

Boost your mood

Less stress and fatigue keeps us happier and energetic during the day, while sitting around trends toward anxiety and depression. A stand-up desk can be just what your wellbeing needs.

 

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.

Let us take care of your office needs with a Professional 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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