From organization to collaboration, technology is helping businesses of all sizes to thrive!

Integrating just one or two new tech elements into your usual office routine can increase productivity and streamline operations. Read on for our pick of the five best tech tools you need today.

1. Interactive Whiteboards

You can’t have too many dry erase boards in the office. They are a staple of every meeting and brainstorming session.

But for those times when you want to impress, an interactive whiteboard lets you share, research, sketch and collaboratively make notes.

This technology helps team members work more productively together by keeping programs and internet access open to everyone at the same time.

2. Digital Receptionist

Nothing is better than a friendly human face greeting and directing visitors when they come through the front door of your office, but a full-time receptionist isn’t always feasible for every business.

Visitors can use a digital receptionist to check themselves in for convenience and security. A digital receptionist ensures there is “someone” keeping track of visitors even when an employee is unavailable.

3. Tech-Ready Desks

Everyone has unique ideas about what makes a great desk. Some employees prefer lots of drawers, while others would rather store their supplies in a cabinet.

One thing everyone can agree on is that a desk should be tech-compatible. Furnishing your office with desks with built-in cable grids and charging docks for mobile devices is an upgrade everyone will appreciate.

4. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

A loud workspace makes it hard for some employees to concentrate. White noise machines or even low-volume music meant to make other noises less bothersome can end up being one more distraction.

Providing noise-canceling headphones for employees may be a better option. Headphones help workers stay focused and may boost productivity.

5. Laser Keyboard

Turn any desk or table into a keyboard with a full QWERTY laser keyboard. This portable keyboard makes it easy to take notes during a meeting or jot down a few thoughts while listening to a presentation.

There is no need to lug around a laptop; just lay the laser keyboard on any flat surface and get to work.

How Can Office Direct Furniture Help Your Business Grow?

Office Direct Furniture is your best source for comfortable, stylish, tech-friendly business furniture that can help your office get work done. Contact us today for all of your office furniture and storage needs!

Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act law to prohibit employment discrimination against people with disabilities and to ensure equal access to public buildings.

Not all businesses and organizations are legally required to comply with ADA regulations, but most are, including:

  • Any business that is open to and dependent on the general public
  • Any privately run company that employs 15 or more people
  • All local, county, state, and federal agencies
  • Charitable and non-profit organizations which either operate for the benefit of the public or employ 15 or more people

Ensuring that your office is ADA compliant not only protects you legally — it’s also the right thing to do.

Practical Steps to Make Your Office ADA Compliant

Office managers are responsible for making sure their spaces are accessible to everyone. The following checklist includes many, but not all, of the adaptations necessary to comply:

Doorways

Doors should be at least 32 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs. Double doors should be left open if each door is fewer than 32 inches.

Doors should not require more than five pounds of force to open. Heavier doors should be kept open or open automatically. This stipulation includes doors for restrooms that are designated as ADA compliant.

If they are intended to be used for conducting public business, cubicle entrances must also be at least 32 inches wide to allow access by wheelchairs.

Furniture

Conference tables should be at least 27 inches high so that individuals in wheelchairs have clearance for their knees.

Shelving or other items affixed to the wall and protruding more than four inches present a hazard to the vision impaired.

These items should be placed no more than 27 inches from the floor to be detectable by a blind person’s walking cane.

Communications

Large print or alternate reading formats should be available for the vision impaired.

Tactile (Braille) signs indicating room numbers, exits, and other important information should be mounted 60 inches from the floor and have clear access with no cabinets, tables, or other items blocking them.

Providers should display brochures and other informative documents within reach of individuals in a wheelchair, approximately 15 to 48 inches from the floor.

Is Your Office ADA Compliant?

Office Furniture Direct can help you make certain your office is accessible and welcoming to everyone—visitors and employees alike. Contact us today for more information about ADA-compliant furniture and more. We are here to help you do your best work!

 

Pop culture has painted the cubicle as a restrictive office accessory. Cubicles are small, says pop culture; they’re oppressive and not designed for collaborative spaces.

This is not the case. Cubicles rose in popularity due to their effectiveness and versatility. As your team moves back into the office, you can use cubicle installations to your advantage.

Some of a cubicle’s most effective in-office features include:

Additional Free Space

Cubicles add surface area to any office they’re in. They create active hubs for employees to gather together at. While cubicles are not as inherently social as workstations, that versatility is to their benefit.

Your employees can use cubicles to either set themselves apart from their coworkers or to co-mingle. Employees who thrive when left on their own can have the space to work, while teams that do better together can share their ideas and progress.

In this way, cubicles are employees’ free spaces to do with as they wish.

Noise Barriers

An open office is a noisy place. After over a year spent working from home, your team may not be used to working alongside one another just yet. As such, noise barriers can help your team stay on track.

Cubicles are among the most versatile and inconspicuous noise barriers you can place in an office. That’s because cubicles, at first glance, don’t look like noise barriers. The walls of a cubicle, however, can create a semi-private atmosphere for employees, allowing them to focus on their work without losing access to your office’s more social spaces.

What’s more, cubicles muffle additional noises by limiting how far soundwaves can travel. When you install cubicles around hard surfaces — the ones that usually bounce sound back at you — music, typing, and other workplace noises won’t be as overwhelming.

Office Customization

Nothing makes an office feel more like home than a bit of customization. Cubicles may not be large, but they do allow individualization better than workstations do. As your team settles back into regular office life, they can bring parts of their homes with them.

With that being said, you can limit what kinds of accessories your employees bring from home. While blankets and heaters are acceptable during the winter, you may want to limit employees’ use of personal mini-fridges or blow-up pools.

Let your team know, then, that customization is encouraged within reason, and you’ll start to see signs of new life and energy making their way around the office.

Office Furniture Direct Can Help You with Efficiency Initiatives

Cubicles have a bad reputation. With a little bit of work, though, you can change the way your team views these office accessories.

If you’re looking to customize your office, let the team at Office Furniture Direct help. Get in touch with a team representative to discuss your latest project.

The pandemic has transformed the modern workplace. Have you kept up with the newest workstation trends? If not, don’t worry. You have a bit of time. Before your team makes it back to the office, you can optimize your shared workstations to promote greater efficiency and community once in-person business resumes.

To create a practical, post-pandemic workstation, you can:

Encourage Engagement, Limit Your Numbers

Employees flock to workstations for the chance to socialize. This communication between offices in your building makes it easier for teams to hash out problems and come up with creative innovations for future projects.

That said, you can also reduce the size of your workstations to better control in-office socialization. When your team can work in groups of four to six, they tend to retain their efficiency without sacrificing in-office socialization. With that in mind, make sure your workstations can comfortably fit a reasonable number of people, but don’t be afraid to curb their size.

Keep Up-to-Date With Technology

More and more employees are working from home these days. Whether some of your team has gone remote or you’ve adopted a “clubhouse” workstyle, your workstations need to stay up-to-date.

Optimize your workstations with all of the technology necessary for A+ communication. This can include charging stations, video cameras, microphones, and Ethernet cables. The simpler it is for your team to connect, the more efficient your office will be.

Account for Your Staff’s Needs

Each of your staff members goes about their day differently. For example, some of your staff can take advantage of active workstations, while others need consistent access to chairs or other mobility aids.

Keep the needs of your office in mind while optimizing your shared workstations. The more people are able to use your workstations, the more social and productive your office is going to be.

Retain Your PPC

COVID-19 has not gone away. The pandemic changed the way employees prefer to communicate with their offices, so don’t get rid of your workstation PPC just yet! Instead, consider integrating these safety measures into your new office setup.

While you can discuss your team’s preferred protections with them individually, giving them the option to continue protecting themselves when at shared workstations will make everyone feel as though their concerns are being taken seriously.

Improve Your Shared Workstations with Office Furniture Direct

As employees move back to the office, your workstations need to suit their needs. Whether this means keeping your PPC or adding new means of communication, it’s easier than ever to invest in essential office upgrades. Get in touch with the team at Office Furniture Direct to learn more about the accessories available for your office’s workstations.

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.

Schedule a Professional Consultation

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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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