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.
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 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.
When is the time to buy new office furniture?
At some point in the tenure of every business owner, it will be time to replace the office furniture. That time might coincide with the move to a new location or perhaps you are initiating a more open, collaborative layout. Maybe the old furniture is just plain worn out and literally falling apart at the seams. Whatever the case, making the move to revamp your office is a decision that comes with a great deal of planning, from color choice to timing.
The good news is, there are many options available today to bring a furniture-based spark back to your workplace, including buying new or gently used, or refurbishing the current line-up. Consider the ubiquitous but essential office chair for starters; the most used piece of equipment in most office environments. How do you know it’s time to replace a chair?
What is the chair’s condition? If an office chair is no longer comfortable, replace it. It’s that simple. If employees complain of neck or back pain, their productivity has likely also suffered. A chair’s seat and armrest padding eventually loses its comfy spring and nobody likes to squirm in a bad chair all day. Knobs and screws falling out and other stages of disrepair are additional signs it’s time for a new one.
The same approach applies to all office furniture—loss of structural integrity and comfort is your cue to take action. Now you have to decide to buy brand new or revitalize what’s there.
Should I buy new or refurbish?
Always keep comfort in mind and if you find yourself buying new chairs, tables, and computer stations every couple of years; you need to stop that cycle. Throwing money at cheap furniture is money down the drain. Quality matters and the following guidelines will help you make the best decision:
Buy new to freshen up the orange and green color scheme that has been around since the 70s. New furniture is highly adaptable and packed with modern features. Ergonomics is also highly important for long-term productivity and shows employees you are invested in their well-being.
Repurpose existing furniture saves a great deal of money. New workstations, for example, can cost upwards of $5,000. Re-use is also a big help to the environment, saving untold millions of ton of trash headed to landfills, and it’s a great way to promote your company’s sustainability.
For more office furniture buying tips, contact Office Furniture Direct at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.
How great office furniture increases productivity
If you run a business and want to keep your staff upbeat and productive, don’t have boring furniture. It might not seem like it on the surface, but every piece of furniture in an office can boost productivity and overall efficiency; two key ingredients to a successful company. If your office environment still looks like the set of a 70s TV show, it’s time to upgrade.
Dull, bland, boring office furniture not only looks bad; it makes people lazy and irritable. People tend to lose their spark and subsequently interest in doing valuable work. One easy and popular fix is to add color. Bright colors are wonderfully adept at boosting spirits, infusing a go get ‘em attitude, and ramping up a productive day. Let’s look at more ways great office furniture can make your office thrive.
Everything has its place
If employees have to hike clear to the other end of the building to send a fax or print a copy, it’s inconvenient at best and hampers the day’s active work pace. Keep furniture and equipment in handy locations.
Keep it clean and in god repair
Stylish, colorful office furniture is the first step, but don’t let it get dirty. Nobody wants to sit on a piece of old gum or find stained clothes from grimy chairs and tables. Clean equals positive, relaxed, and productive employees. Being comfortable is key to top-shelf performance. Be aware of wear and tear and replace items that have reached the end of the road.
Use a smart layout
Communication is vital to a successful workplace and a strategic office layout makes it happen. Incorporate open spaces wherever possible and encourage furniture placement that inspires idea sharing and team spirit.
Office furniture must be comfortable, period. Many office positions require sitting at a desk all day long and an adjustable, enduringly comfortable chair is critical to maintain concentration and focused work. Confer with employees on specific needs and update furniture as needed.
A good chair needs a good table to complete an efficient workstation. Use tables of adequate size to perform tasks specific to a position while allowing plenty of room for equipment such as computer, monitor, and filing systems. Cluttered is bad; ensure a nice flow to keep productivity humming along.
Bring these ideas all together by keeping the entire office neat and organized. For more information on productivity through office furniture, contact Office Furniture Direct at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.
It might seem inconsequential on the surface, especially in relation to everyday demands of your business, but a well-planned office space is a major contributor to company image, employee productivity, and enduring success. Space planning is your chance to give visitors and potential clients walking through the door a great impression with sophisticated looks and efficient design. Proactive organization also goes a long way in alleviating chaos when adding employees or revamping a department.
Most importantly, intelligent office space planning can build a welcoming environment and upbeat workday atmosphere; and that is the key ingredient to a positive, motivated workforce. Employees who genuinely enjoy working for a company tend to put in extra effort and apply their best skills toward results, and clients are equally intrigued to do business with them.
What is office space planning?
Simply stated, office space planning is an interior design component that arranges office layouts conducive to collaborative company tasks. It is a strategic approach to creating an efficient workflow and seamless communication, with the end goal of increased productivity and work quality while placing emphasis on employee comfort.
Indeed, space planning considers all elements of an existing environment including a company’s daily needs, how a space influences employees’ abilities to contribute, and what employees desire in an ideal work environment.
How to set up an ideal office space
Consider the central purposes for an office space as a whole, as well as internal departments, and design around them. Perhaps you want to inspire employee collaboration and more engagement with projects, while at the same time ensuring their comfort and workday health. Every little detail should be considered from cubicle arrangement and quantity to soap dispensers to drinking fountains and cafeteria pantries.
Holistic components such as an activity room, gym, or relaxation area are also popular and beneficial; and all must be planned and prepared for accordingly. Even seating arrangements come into play, and will develop to match an individual company’s needs.
A good-looking office space inspires, reduces stress, and carries a company’s mission and personality throughout the facility. Office space planning is a critical component for business stability and promotes long-term growth. Employees working in a well-designed space with room to move and collaborate without worrying about disruption will soon become a company’s most valuable and productive assets.
For more information on office space planning, contact the Office Furniture Direct team at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.
There’s no denying the millennial generation’s impact on a great many aspects of today’s social, business, and technology worlds. Millennials made up the largest portion of the US population in 2015 and by 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts they will occupy 50 percent of our country’s workforce. They are a young, confident, tech-savvy group with a powerful influence on reshaping workplace culture, including office design.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes compete with a stronger than ever drive to attract the best talent, and keep them. To make this happen, companies are focusing on redesigning office space to provide the most productive and comfortable working environments on the block. Millennials want to work at companies with an emphasis on social responsibility, environmental awareness, sustainability innovations, and community involvement. They place great importance on working together toward common end goals rather than focusing on bottom line profit.
Office Design Meets Employee Engagement
If the heartbeat of a company is in its culture and values and that mantra then manifests in the physical design of an office, it tends to inspire highly engaged and loyal employees. Aligning personal and corporate values goes a long way in creating a productive and innovative team.
Today’s millennial workforce is very big on flexibility and collaboration, including elements like these:
- Minimal background noise commonly found in once-trendy open office plans.
- A seamless blend of just enough open space, collaborative areas, and quiet work locations.
- The latest and greatest in technology to perform at their highest level.
- Flexible seating options.
- Lots of natural light and well-planned acoustics.
Don’t Chain Me to a Desk
Plenty of research out there confirms that long hours at a desk are unhealthy and millennial workers want none of it. Today’s younger workers are very health-conscious and want a workspace matching that mindset. Lots of space, lighting, and colors are a big part of office design and perhaps the highest priority is mobile working styles; fluid work areas allowing spontaneous collaboration, modular furniture, and the freedom to work where they want.
Millennials also like a place to brainstorm with colleagues in a lively setting as well as the ability to retreat to a quiet area when it’s time to dig way in to a project. And don’t forget to mix in a little fun. Down time at work is a great way to boost morale and productivity.
For more information on the latest trends in office design, contact the Office Furniture Direct team at (503) 546-1546 or officefurnituredirect-pdx.com.
Finding the perfect set of cubicles is essential for any business. After all, this is where your employees will be spending most of their time. To this extent, the right set of workstations will inspire contentment and productivity. However, choosing the right set can be a challenge.
Whether you’re outfitting a small space or an entire office building, here are some important factors to consider when purchasing cubicles for your office.
Keep Employee Needs In Mind
Cubicles that fail to meet your employees’ daily needs can actually be detrimental to your business. So before you decide on a particular style or brand, pay close attention to how your employees work. What are their tasks in the day and how do they go about accomplishing them? Does doing so require a certain level of privacy? Do they need any extra space? All of these are important questions that will have bearings on your final decision.
Odds are your budget is not infinite. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find stylish, reliable cubicles at a reasonable price. In fact, the odds are stacked in your favor, as most people tend to overestimate the cost of new cubicles.
Maintaining a productive flow throughout the office is paramount to the success of your business. Cubicles that problematize or disrupt the flow should be discarded in lieu of something more adherent to your office’s spatial dimensions. So before you go out and buy the first thing that catches your eye, make sure to take room measurements. Doing so might inspire an entirely new approach or increase resolve as it pertains to your current trajectory. Either way, the productivity you inspire will reward you down the line.
Maintain That Office Aesthetic
While functionality is undoubtedly the most important thing to consider when selecting cubicles, it is good to keep your office’s aesthetic in mind. Maintaining a sense of unity will continually reinforce the core ethos of your business.
Ready to find the perfect cubicles? Contact Office Furniture Direct today. In business for over 15 years, they are one of Portland’s premier suppliers of new and pre-owned office furniture. Their comprehensive selection is sure to contain something that’s perfect for your project. Beyond that, they offer free space planning consultations where a staff member visits your home to assess the space and help you design a custom floor plan, as well as expedient installation by a licensed firm.