4 Tell Tale Signs You Need New Office Furniture

We all get comfortable with our good-old office furniture. No matter how out of style it is, or how inefficient it has become. It’s like an old friend that one has to make excuses for. But eventually, when things get too out of hand, your old office furniture starts to actually become a business liability. At this moment in time, one will have to finally make a decision about breaking down and buying some new office furniture. Here are four telltale signs to look out for, which will prove when one is desperately in need a new office decor change, which is modernly styled, and immensely more functional.

1. – The Fading Glory

That 300lb gray metal desk, which takes four maintenance workers to move, might be a good candidate for a trip to the recycling center. Desks today come in both standing and sitting variations, and the best of both worlds, height adjustable and motorized units can accommodate both, depending on one’s preference at the moment. Those ripped up chairs that don’t even roll right anymore, might also be candidates for the junk heap. Relaxing in a chair doesn’t have to be a thing of the past, not with so many modern ergonomic styled brands to choose from.

Wear and tear are an inevitable factor in any office furniture’s shelf life. The trouble is, that your office furniture represents not just your office, but your entire business as well. Don’t be perceived by a client as being outdated, just because your office furniture is. The biggest clue that it’s time to replace your office furniture is when you give your cubicles and furniture a deep cleaning – And they still look like hell. This tells you that you have reached the end of the line when it comes to hiding the fact that you need new furniture. Don’t waste your money on fixing up junk. Break down and buy new furniture, you’ll thank yourself later when your new, functional, productive, eye-appealing, and comfortable office furniture arrives.

2. – The Danger Zone

Old and decrepit office furniture isn’t just ugly, it’s dangerous as well. All those aches and pains at the end of the day can add up to permanent injuries or health problems eventually for the office worker. Old chairs with strategic pieces missing compromise one’s posture, putting extra pressure on one’s back muscles and joints, plus it also slows one’s metabolism, adding to the risk of deadly blood clots forming, which could dislodge, wreaking havoc on vital organs, or worse, the brain, causing a deadly aneurysm. Yikes! No one want’s to risk that!

Cubicle panels with sharp edges which have come undone, cause a cutting hazard. Metal desks or filing cabinet drawers with that pinch or crush your hands, or chairs that fall back too far, risking a fall, all have no place in a safe working office environment. They are not only a dangerous liability to one’s office, but also a potential insurance nightmare as well if someone sues for damages after being injured at work.

3. – The Non-Adjustables’

Can’t adjust your office chair properly. Is your back out of whack because of no lumbar support anymore? Can’t adjust up or down for proper posture? Drawers stick on your desk, causing an office ruckus every time you have to wrestle that sticking filing cabinet that won’t open? Does your stand up adjustable desk, only to sit down due to a faulty adjustment mechanism? All these office furniture gigs, add up to the UN-adjustables’ running and ruining one’s daily office life, instead of the office worker running the show. If this is the case at your office, then it is well past time to take back your office from the UN-adjustables,’and get new office furniture that adjusts the way it was designed and supposed to in the first place.

There have been so many ingenious new developments in modern office furniture, with ergonomics being incorporated into almost every piece of office furniture these days. One will find that new office furniture incorporates versatility, adaptability, and, of course, productivity into virtually every piece of today’s modern office furniture made. It is time to put adjustability, back into your daily office routine. Once you go back to office furniture that adjusts properly, you’ll never want to put up with broken Non-adjustable office furniture again.

4. – The Wobbles

That wobbly desk, that chair that’s about to fall apart. That filing cabinet that threatens to fall over and smash some toes every time you open it. The wobbles are irritating and extremely counterproductive when one has to fight with the equipment just to use it. All of these things are liabilities to an office. Nobody likes the wobbles, especially not office workers. Having the wobbles throughout one’s office workspace is a sure telltale sign that the office needs a makeover. Broken office furniture is disabling to the production capabilities of an office and is also not fair to employees who deserve a safe, comfortable, productive working environment that provides up to date functioning office furniture in order to do their daily work properly.

You wouldn’t expect a policeman to speed to a call with a broken siren, a fireman to put out a fire with a hose with a bunch of holes in it, or a soldier to fight with the firing pin missing from his rifle. The standard office worker’s job may not be as dangerous or exciting as the three professions just mentioned. But an office worker shouldn’t be expected to work with faulty equipment either. Give up the past by getting rid of that old embarrassing 80’s style broken down office furniture; you will be glad that you did, and so will the rest of the office. As a boss, or even as your own boss at a home office, it is time to decide on replacing that old office junk with modern, innovating, productivity rejuvenating, new office furniture for the new millennium.

Relocating to a New Office? 5 Tips to Make Your Move Smooth

office moving tipsI think everyone who has had to move an office before can agree, that moving is one of the most stressful, unpleasant ordeals, which anyone will ever have to experience. So many factors add up to make the move a monumental task that requires planning, and an ungodly amount of mind-numbingly confusing packing and labeling right before the chaos of moving, and then more chaos unpacking and setting everything back up again. Moving doesn’t have to be like this, though. With these five simple tips, your office move can run smoothly and efficiently, and also have your business back up and running in absolutely no time.

 

1 – Planning

Planning a commercial office move, or the lack of it, is the most important aspect of a move that can either make it or break it. Proper planning is the difference between extended downtime, and jumping back into active business on time. Waiting until the last minute is paramount to a disastrous move. It is not uncommon for a business to start planning the move up to six months in advance. If one is planning on hiring out for things like movers and trucks, also make sure that all the proper insurance responsibilities are covered by all parties involved.

Remember also, that most office buildings will discourage moves during business hours, so try to schedule your move on a weekend if possible. Make sure to do a walk-through of the new site in order to document all relevant entry points, loading docks, and elevators, service or otherwise, in order to give your workers convenient and concise instructions. Draw maps if necessary, so that everything is clear and concise to everyone. This will ensure a smooth transition on move day.

2 – Packing

If you decide to hire a professional packing service, make sure to source them first on issues such as their experience in commercial moving. An office move is nothing like a house move, it requires a professional degree of expertise. Make sure to ask exactly what their capabilities are. IE: Are they able to properly dismantle electronics, office furniture, and other technical tasks. It is better to find out what their capabilities entail first, rather than to find out later that they do not have the knowledge to do the job right.

Sometimes, there are extra or unneeded items that are not worth taking along with the move, or don’t fit the new floor plan. Make sure to clearly mark these items and have them separated from the rest of the things to be moved. These unwanted items can either be sold, or they can be donated to a charitable outfit for a healthy tax break – Just remember to ask for a receipt with the approximate value of the donated items for tax deduction.

3 – Moving

During the actual moving process, it is advisable to hire a professional moving company to move your office, rather than use your employees to do it, or casual laborers. Workers from a temp agency, or even worse, people off the street will not have any incentive or the motivation to do the job quickly, efficiently, nor respect your valuable equipment. A professional moving company has a reputation to uphold, and also the right insurance, licenses, and bonds to cover any damage that may occur. It is simply not in the employee’s job description to move an office, and if something is damaged, there is no recourse for reimbursement other than firing the worker, plus facing the resentment of some staff members for making them work the move.

It is wise to designate two moving supervisors, one at the old site, and one at the new site, in order to make sure everything is smoothly moved and received. Designate a competent worker to set-up and test the data cables at the new office, so that when the IT team comes, everything will be ready for them to install the lifeblood electronics that will get your business back up and running again. If the lease is not up yet once you have moved out of the old building, one should make sure to set the thermostat on the “vacant” setting. This will hold the unit above freezing, but below 65%, saving money on electricity.

4 – Unpacking

Organizational skills are going to be your best friend when being faced with the daunting chore of unpacking an entire office, and then laying out a new office floor plan. First, take an inventory of all your office materials, desks, chairs, shelves, etc. This way you will have a greater idea of what you are dealing with. This will also allow you to see if anything went misplaced during the move. If you do not have an office floorplan yet, it is essential that you make one. Draw the measurements of the new office and place on the sketch every piece of office furniture where it needs to go. This will let you know ahead of time if everything is going to fit. The rest, of course, is the hard work of setting everything up in the office for real, according to your detailed map. This is where hired labor will come in very handy.

5 – Setting it all Back Up

Make sure to keep cords and cables secured and out of the way for proper safety, before setting up the rest of the office. Also, make sure to factor in the lighting before setting up the workspace. The furniture, then needs to be set up first, of course, before installing all of the computers, phones, printers, fax machines, and copiers. Then it’s time for the little details such as all the sundry office necessities like paper, notepads, pens, and printer ink which can then be put in their place. Your office floorplan should already have set workstations, conference rooms, break areas, and such, in its layout. Lastly, after everything is set up, make sure to test its efficiency before the first workday. This will tell you if anything doesn’t work the way you thought it would. Some things look good on paper, but in actuality, do not measure up the same.

4 Ways to Vet Your Office Furniture Supplier

vetting furniture supplierYou wouldn’t just go to any furniture dealer and buy the first things you see on sale to furnish your dream house. The office that you make your livelihood in should warrant the same careful planning, research, and respect as your living arrangements would when it comes to the office furnishings you use. Just like the furnishings in your home, your office furniture and its style and quality represent you, define you, and empower you with its capabilities. Here are 4 vetting techniques that will make sure that you choose the right office furniture retailer, which best fits your needs, at the best price.

1. Compare Quality & Service

Rather than focus everything on price when purchasing office furniture, make sure to take into account quality as well. Getting the lowest price means nothing if it includes the lowest quality. The next step to cover after quality and price is service. Without covering all three of these important items in a purchase, one can’t really say with absolute certainty that they truly received a good deal. Don’t sell yourself short, and certainly don’t let the retailer to do so either. You deserve the best quality at the best price, and of course also the best service available. This is the point of vetting. Also make sure that you check out:

  • How innovative, modern, and efficient is the furniture offered.
  • Does their company appear to be happy to go above and beyond, in order to make your company happy?
  • Did the company try to inform you about changing trends?
  • How competent did their sales staff seem?
  • Check on references. Don’t be afraid to ask what major company’s buy from the retailer. Most companies will have a “Contact Us” page on their emails. Ask them about how satisfied they were with the company, explaining your situation. PR will most likely ensure a reply.

2. Compare Complaint Rates Between Companies.

Bad service is one thing, but when making a big purchase such as office furniture, bad service after a sale can turn into an absolute mental and financial nightmare. This is why you have to vet a potential office furniture retailer first, because after making the purchase, it is usually way too late to turn back and find a more competent purveyor. The best way to find out about a company’s track record is by using your local Better Business Bureau and the World-Wide-Web. Check out customer reviews. Just google a company’s name and all its dirty or clean laundry will pop up for all to see. Other things you should compare are:

  • Make a plus and minus list counting thumbs up or thumbs down ratings that were posted in customer review pages. Online type “yellow pages,” normally post customer reviews under the listings.
  • If there were complaints, how responsive or non-responsive to them was the company.
  • Were there any complaints about the vendor not meeting the shipping dates?
  • Make sure that the retailer can handle your firm’s requirements.
  • And always carefully check the furniture retailer’s policies, processes, and financing procedures before committing to a deal.

3. Compare Companies & Catalogs

One simple and basic trick to vetting a furniture company is to collect furniture catalogs and compare competitor’s prices and selections. If the company has a local showroom, do the items match the descriptions that were listed in the catalogue? This is a good way to also look at payment methods, length that the business has been in business, and the basic setup of the store compared to how they represent themselves on paper or in advertisements. On major purchases make sure to arrange a conversation with the manager, they have the power to make the best deals, give bigger discounts, and hand out perks like free shipping. Also:

  • Make a list of any items that were misrepresented, and then ask about them rather than confront; mistakes happen and it could just be a misunderstanding or misprint.
  • Find out if the company is “Green Friendly.” For some people this is very important. For others, it should be. If a company uses ethical standards when it comes to the environment, and their part in reducing their business’s carbon footprint on the planet, then they most likely also adhere to ethical business practices with their customers.

4. Compare Delivery Methods

Companies prefer different shipping methods that are usually meant to fit their needs first, and yours second. On large purchases, it is not unheard of to request a different shipper than is offered from the furniture warehouse. Sometimes it is necessary due to a certain shipper’s restriction or district routes that aren’t covered. If in-store delivery service is offered, don’t just take it automatically. Remember that their employee overhead on in-house movers covers full time payrolls, wage taxes, employee benefits, truck upkeep and insurance. All these costs are automatically passed onto the consumer. That’s why it is smart to do the math first, and if the delivery charges seem too extreme, rent a truck and hire temporary labor instead, and then pick up the furniture yourself. Make sure to:

  • Make sure to get adequate insurance on shipping.
  • Make sure the company sends the proper documentation and listed invoices.
  • Make sure to get your price breaks, perks, and discounts when buying and shipping quantity furniture purchases before closing the deal.

These four vetting techniques listed above are the most simple, easily enacted, and most efficient ways to ensure that you always get the best deal possible when dealing with office furniture outlets. Follow each one thoroughly and your office will be a shining representation of your pride in your business, your work, and your workplace.

10 Point Checklist When Buying Office Furniture

checklistWhen looking for office furniture, it doesn’t matter whether you’re starting a new business, remodeling or spiffing up the look of a current office, or setting up that perfect home office. There are so many important aspects to finding the right furniture, at the best price, that it is not a task that should be left to chance. Using a checklist is a time tested and established tool for making sure that all of your bases are covered, before undertaking such a major decision.

1. Know your needs: Knowing your needs is paramount to knowing what to buy. Make detailed floorplans, measure small spaces to make sure the furniture you buy will fit. This way there will be no unnecessary purchases. Consult your employees about their needs as well, you may not be able to accommodate all their requests, but by accommodating some, you will help lift morale and let them know that their input matters.

2. Know your budget: Make goals and then stick to them. By creating a concrete spending plan, metaphorically written in stone, one can factor in the essentials first, and then after calculating what finances are left over, they can then start creating that wish list. Make sure to try to always negotiate on price, the worst a salesman can do is say no. Always research items online first, that way you know exactly what the going price is for a given furniture item.

3. Know your options: There are situations where “lightly used” furniture may work where public view is uncommon. Breakrooms take a beating, as do lunch break areas. It is far more financially feasible to replace used, than it is to replace new bought furniture. Refurbished furniture is also very economical. Refurbished furniture is very lightly used furniture which has been cleaned, and in some cases refinished with new coverings, and also has had worn or broken components replaced. This gives refurbished a “Like New” appearance. Remanufactured furniture has been taken another step further than refurbished, by being stripped down to its basic framework, and then totally built back up to a virtually “new” like standard.

4. Know what a bargain is: Everybody wants a bargain, but keep in mind the old adage of: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Buying from 0% down warehouses with pushy salesmen in cheap suits is not the way to purchase office furniture. Zero down means that all sorts of finance charges, outrageous interest fees, and monthly “processing” charges have already been factored into their overly marked up product. It is best to get a good deal on quality furniture that is durable enough to stand up to years of use, and occasional abuse, than that seemingly “Great Deal” on cheap furniture that will start to fall apart after only a year.

5. Know what’s new and trending: The reason some models of office furniture are popular or trending, normally has to do with a happy customer base. Read up on new trends on office furniture items on the internet. Check out websites that have other customer reviews on products. It is best to find out about problems other purchasers have had with a product, than to find out yourself the hard way from experience. Modern technology and better understandings of workplace ergonomics has opened up some remarkably versatile, health and production oriented office products.

6. Find a balance between comfort and efficiency: Remember that comfort enhances an employee’s morale, reduces anxiety, and helps to minimize the risks of workplace ailments due to prolonged sitting, standing, bending, and typing. But also remember that too much comfort in the workplace also causes complacency, lost focus, and daydreaming. Choose furniture that is a happy medium between comfort, and that edge of un-comfortability that keeps the body on its toes, and the mind knowing that it’s in work mode, rather than leisure time.

7. Find a working office style that works: We are not going to get into the ongoing debate over traditional cubicle packed offices, verses open-spaced ones. Or whether standup desks are more productive than standard old-school teacher style desks. But the facts of the modern office are that people swear by both, and the merits therein that one has something that the other doesn’t. Decide which style is right for your type of business.

8. Find easily replaceable pieces: The worst thing that can happen after buying a set of matching office furniture, is to have a piece break, or need to add onto a set, and then not be able to find a matching one. Make sure ahead of time that the furniture you are buying can be easily replaced with the same style, color, and model. This usually means purchasing through larger retailers, or directly from the manufacturers.

9. Find the right retailer: Use caution when dealing with unknown or potentially disreputable furniture retailers. Once again check online at scam buster type websites that check out a business’s trust-ability ratings, and of course, use the good old fashioned Better Business Bureau. It is always better to be cautiously safe when buying office furniture, than financially sorry later. There is a plethora of reputable, well known major players in the industry, who are waiting to help you with your furniture needs.

10. Find the best delivery system: It is nice when free delivery is offered on a big purchase, but sometimes, that just doesn’t happen. Delivery charges by the store can sometimes turn out to be a downright rip-off. In these situations it is much cheaper to just rent a moving truck, and ask a few friends or employees to pick it up for you at the retailer. If the furniture needs to be shipped, make sure to check your price options by shopping around for the most economical shipping company first, before just taking what is offered by the seller.

 

 

3 Ways Office Furniture Leaves an Impact on Clients

customer waiting roomWhen creating and maintaining a business, there are many details to consider. However, while office furniture is often overlooked as generic and insignificant, it is indeed a fundamental element.

“It’s just a chair,” you may think, “It’s only a desk; how does it matter?”

True point, but people are visual creatures; we judge our environment based on visual cues and physical comfort. Your business may be the best thing since sliced bread, but if the client doesn’t believe this initially, you will find yourself in an uphill battle to convince them of the true value your business offers. Office furniture can work for you and not against you, providing clients with positive impressions in lieu of negative impacts.

Here are three different ways your office furniture will impact how clients view your business.

1. It Determines Professionalism

No matter the type of business you run, whether it is modern or traditional, a certain level of professionalism is expected, and your selection of furniture will reflect this. It’s important for clients to have a quality first impression on what you offer, where your values lie, and the kind of success you’ve experienced, because it could be the defining moment between selecting your services or going elsewhere. What does office furniture say about your business’s professionalism?

  • Your Success.

The quality of your furniture will reflect the budget you have available to make a solid first impression. If your business has been experiencing a financial crisis, the bottom line is the first one to suffer and this includes your selection of desks, chairs, cubicles, and more. Clients know this; if your office is decorated cheaply or with little attention to quality, it will make them assume your business is low in quality and underfunded. With this in mind, how can they trust you to fulfill their needs in comparison to a well-decorated and successful rival?

Secondhand furnishing is an economical choice no matter the size or success of your business, but selecting pieces which are high in quality and stylish in appearance will reinforce professionalism rather than subtracting from it.

  • Your Values.

Even the most successful businesses must make choices on where to appropriate funds. However, presentation is the first step to success, and if you have not invested time into proper professional appearances, where else will you lack professionalism? Furniture that is poor quality will indicate you do not value looks and the good opinion of your clients, making your business seem amateur rather than highly competent.

2. It Reflects Your Attention to Client Comfort

It’s expected that clients will spend a decent amount of time seated at your business, be it in the reception area or in an office for consultation. A person’s environment deeply affects their level of comfort, trust, and enthusiasm, and the right kind of furniture will reflect both how much you value their wellbeing and how much attention will be devoted to fulfilling their professional requirements.

  • Physical Comfort.

Sitting in chairs which are uncomfortable and even painful builds frustration and annoyance in clients, slowly working away at their patience and positive attitude. Even if your service is exceptional, the discomfort will impact how they view your business and how much you care about their wellbeing. Furniture that is comfortable indicates compassion, attention to detail, and how important their patronage is to your business. This personal touch will make a client feel welcome and important, encouraging them to choose your services over a company which was inconsiderate of their physical state.

  • Environmental Comfort.

Waiting in a reception area or office is often uncomfortable, especially if the business clients mean to conduct is delicate or personal. If your business is furnished with objects that are bland and uncoordinated, clients will feel out of place and at ill ease, increasing this anxiety. However, if your furniture is warm in color, well-coordinated, and inviting, it will put clients at ease and make them feel more relaxed in their environment. This tells them that you have taken additional time and expenses to ensure they feel at home in your office, instilling faith that you will take the same care in delivering high quality services and tending to all their professional needs.

3. Your Business Type

Furniture tells something about your status and ethic as a business, but it also tells a more fundamental story of how your business operates. First impressions are everything, and your selection of furnishings will tell this story in a single glimpse.

  • Business Theme.

Traditional and technical fields are often decorated in plain or dark colors, with furniture that is uniform and generic. This indicates professionalism, focus, and routine is important to the company’s values, as you’ve likely witnessed with banks, doctor offices, and IT stores. However, brighter colors, more modern decorations, and unique furnishings indicate that creativity, comfort, and collaboration are important values, befitting cafes, entertainment centers, and design studios. When a client walks through your doors, what they see will determine what they expect from your business. Selecting desks, chairs, and tables that mirror your business type will explain the theme of your business immediately, leading to a more accurate impression and greater confidence in clients.

  • Your Work Ethic.

If your technical business was furnished with bright colors and unique designs, the client would note the attention to creativity and expressionism. Yet, if you are focusing on these values, perhaps your ability to focus, execute routine tasks, and complete deadlines is lacking. If your creative business is filled with bland colors and traditional furniture, a client would wonder if your business lacks imagination. By deciding on furniture that reflects your values and where your focus lies, you are giving clients reason to believe they are coming to you for the right services.

People are highly visual creatures, and encouraging clients to choose you over the competition lies in your ability to cater to their first impression. By choosing the correct furnishings, you can ensure your clients feel comfortable, confident, and inspired in your office.

4 Reasons Conference Rooms are Still Important for Offices

When someone says “conference room,” the first thought is typically a high-level corporation’s sterile white room. Inside you’ll find boring and nerve-grading meetings where executives display generic presentations, discuss pretentious options, and make decisions that adversely affect the lower levels of a company.

conference rooms

You can push away the headache, because conference rooms have been poorly judged. By definition, a conference room is a location where businesspeople gather to discuss important topics. In the modern age, it’s easy to think they’re obsolete with the use digital communication apps, allowing small businesses and huge corporations to meet from the comfort of their home. However, they’re still important for offices today – whether your business works remotely or at a traditional office.

Here are four reasons conference rooms are still important for offices:

 

1. Professionalism

While inviting clients or business partners to your home to conduct meetings may seem more comfortable and convenient, conference rooms have the ability to instill a sense of professionalism. The more professional you and your business seems, the more likely you are to inspire trust with your partners and clients.

Shows competence.

By inviting potential clients to meet with you in a conference room, you are displaying a level of competence in your designated field. You are taking the time to choose a location that is private, formal, and convenient for large groups of people, with a certain knowledgeability on how to conduct a professional meeting.

Shows dedication.

Whether you are trying to convince an investor, persuade a client, or collaborate with a business partner, choosing a conference room to conduct the meeting shows dedication. You are taking the time to put your best foot forward; you want to impress them, you want to convince them, and if you put this much thought into a single meeting, how devoted will you be to future projects?

Shows status.

The stigma surrounding conference rooms goes both ways; while they may not be boring and generic, they do indicate a certain level of authority. By inviting a client to meet with you in a conference room, you are showing a certain level of pride in your work. You are addressing it with the status and class befitting your position in a company, and the second party will recognize this.

2. Collaboration

Beyond initial introductions with new clients, conference rooms can be used for future meetings with employees and executives. The general idea is to gather everyone in a single room to discuss topics, and a conference room serves as the perfect location for this.

Collects everyone into a single room.

While remote work is an esteemed asset in the modern day, there is no denying the value of bringing all the great minds into a single location. By ensuring that colleagues and business partners can sit together and speak openly, you are preventing barriers in communication, averting misunderstandings, and allowing for each meeting to be concentrated and productive.

Encourages a sense of community.

A conference room creates a setting where equality, creativity, and competence is encouraged. Conference rooms do not need to be arranged with the most important individuals at the head of the table, with the intern cowering at the end. You can organize the chairs and tables so that each person has a position to speak and be heard, feeling confident in offering suggestions, forming opinions, and making decisions that benefit everyone.

3. Productivity

Two minds are better than one, and this principle is encouraged by gathering all vital members in a single area. By allowing for real-time discussion, interaction, and collaboration, a momentum can be built that leads to better communication and results.

Inspires creative ideas.

When each member is allowed to speak their mind and be heard immediately, without digital delays or overrun chat rooms, it allows for new and creative ideas to spark. Suggestions can be taken into account, new opinions can be discussed, and results that would otherwise be stunted or prevented can grow.

Greater structure.

Unlike chatrooms where everyone can potential speak at once, or video conferences that can experience technical difficulties or delays in audio, a physical conference room allows each member to read visual cues and speak in succession. This establishes a structure to meetings – eliminating misunderstandings, barriers in communication, and general disorder.

Prevents distractions.

Unlike meetings conducted at home or in coffee shops, conference rooms allow for privacy and the elimination of distractions. Maybe the couple at the café table next to yours has good intentions, but their invasive make-out session makes it rather difficult to concentrate on sales graphs and contract signings. A conference room is private and enclosed, allowing each member to focus on the task at hand rather than being treated to an impromptu, real-time reality show episode or similar distractions.

4. Convenience

Conference rooms are designed for meetings, and are therefore arranged to accommodate any sort of meeting at any time, without the need to arrange tables at a coffee shop to suit your requirements.

Necessary equipment.

With the multitude of equipment needed to host a range of meetings, it becomes difficult to locate the proper devices at the right time – especially if machines are needed unexpectedly or if you cannot invest in a great number of devices. Many conference rooms can be rented with amenities included, allowing for you and your clients to conduct a meeting smoothly, without the struggle to find nearby power outlets or the scramble for a projector last minute.

Constant accessibility.

If your favorite café happens to be booked on the day of your meeting, it can be difficult to find a replacement location. Conference rooms are designed to cater to this need, and it’s easy to book a special room for your meeting ahead of time.

Large corporations or small businesses often avoid conference rooms in lieu of the modern age’s conveniences. However, they are still crucial to any business and can drive you towards success.

5 Reasons Ergonomic Chairs Increase Workforce Productivity

ergonomic office chairIn our modern age, it is nearly impossible to manage a business without a great deal of tasks being managed digitally, and this results in employees spending long hours in a chair at their desks. Even if your business requires more physical work, such as construction, you still have to balance your budget, contact clients, manage plans, and tend to a multitude of other digital tasks. The end result is the same: one or many workers will spend their day stationary in a single chair.

With this in mind, it stands to reason that having the proper office chair is crucial. The human body was designed to be mobile, and forcing your spine to be angled in an awkward, uncomfortable, and unsupportive position has a vast range of complications. How can businesses reconcile the need for staying seated with the needs of the spine? The solution is ergonomic chairs – specially designed to curve to the shape of your back and support all the necessary regions.

By investing in these cutting-edge chairs, you can not only prevent spinal issues, but also boost productivity in the entire workforce – and here are five ways how:

  1. Employees Can Work Longer

When you are confided to a chair which resembles a torture chamber more than a seat, you find yourself uncomfortable and wishing to end the workday as fast as possible. This cuts into productivity, as employees are unwilling to work longer hours to meet deadlines or put in additional time for the benefit of the company. Ergonomic chairs eliminate this issue, as they are designed to fit and support the lumbar, reducing discomfort and even long-term pain which resulted from years of work in an unsupportive chair. If employees are able to sit comfortably as they complete their tasks, then the desire to escape work and avoid additional hours at their desk is removed. This boosts productivity.

  1. Employees Can Work Harder

In the same way that employees are able to work longer, the supportive structure of the chair allows them to place more focus on their tasks. Rather than being distracted by the pain in their backs, or having to constantly readjust their position to alleviate the discomfort, they can focus on the workload and handle it with greater efficiency. Time which would have otherwise been spent walking around to work out their spine can now be devoted to handling that deadline, and this focus allows them to hone their abilities. The work your employees can produce with an ergonomic chair will be of higher quality.

  1. Employees Can Work More Comfortably
  • It improves posture.

We’ve all done it – and most of us still do it. After a few hours of sitting at your desk with many tasks on your mind, you do that slow descent forwards, curving your back and slouching your shoulders until you resemble Lord of the Ring’s Gollum, hunched over your keyboard. While this may be comfortable for the time, it’s very damaging to your back and will result in long-term spinal issues which can plague you for life. By investing in ergonomic chairs, the seat and backrest is designed to naturally encourage you to sit straighter with better posture. So even if the workload is heavy, you’re tired, or you’ve had a lifetime of bad posture habits to encourage the slouch, the chair will take the initiative and compel your spine into the right form. This boosts comfort as well as long-term health, making employees work at a better rate.

  • Workers feel better at the end of the day.

Once employees have spent a workday in the comfort of an ergonomic chair, their backs will feel relaxed and free of the typical strain one experiences after a long day. This allows them to return home and enjoy their time without having to “unwind” from work, making them more energetic for the next day and the next workload, rather than dreading that “Monday morning.”

  1. Employees Will Feel More Creative

An uncomfortable chair can be the number one tool in stifling creativity. A long day of sitting at your desk with your back aching, your neck sore, and dreading every hour that ticks away until you get to go home does not encourage you to think outside the box. Unless something outside the box lets you go home early. An ergonomic chair is designed to mold to your back so that you feel relaxed and comfortable in your seat, and with this comfort comes creativity. These small changes in mood can substantially benefit the speed with which employees work, as well as the quality they produce.

  1. Employees Will Avoid Injury Resulting in Time Off

Most office-place injuries are not a result of scalding spilled coffee or spontaneously exploding copy machines; instead, the culprit of most desk-based ailments is chronic back pain, which then manifests in a range of other physical issues. After months and years of sitting in a chair that compromises the integrity of their back, workers’ bodies will be unable to handle the strain. Employees will eventually need to seek medical attention for these issues, which keeps them out of the office and off work for a considerable amount of time. This lack of work cuts into your business’ productivity. Additionally, this costs businesses more than the price of a quality chair, as they will be forced to pay compensation fees and the expenses of health care. In the end, a proper chair not only helps employees, allowing them to produce more, but it also saves money.

While businesses are reluctant to invest in ergonomic chairs due to their cost, it’s important to consider the substantial benefits you are reaping for your level of productivity and for the happiness of your employees in the process. By investing in proper chairs, you will in fact make greater profits while cutting down on the discomfort of your workers, creating a harmonious relationship that each benefit fro

Size and Shape: How Important are They For Conference Tables?

The conference room is used on a frequent basis for meetings with clients and employees. It’s a room where training sessions can be held, presentations can be made and projects can be worked on. In fact, it’s one of the most-used spaces in the entire office, but not all conference rooms are created equally. What you may not realize is that what your conference table is made of as well as the size and shape of it are as important as the meetings you’re holding.

The Conference Table Sets The Tone

First of all, it’s important to understand that the material used to make the conference table is a big deal. You can tell a great deal about a company by the style and tone of the furniture. A lawyer’s office, for example, brings to mind darker wood tones such as walnut or cherry. However, a tech company with high energy employees calls for a lighter table with a maple or light oak finish. Finally, a high-end fashion design company would do well with a sleek, glass-top table. It’s all about matching the table to the culture of the company.

Conference Table Size Does Matter

If you’ve ever been in a small conference room crowded around a large table, you know how uncomfortable and distracting it is. Using a table that’s too big for the room and putting too many people around it are common mistakes. Conference tables, should allow for a good-sized group of people without taking up every inch of floor space. A good rule of thumb would be to leave a wide path completely around the table and remove other items from the room. You should be able to pull a chair out and get in, or out, of it without disturbing the person next to you.

Limit The Number Of Chairs

Although you may have enough room to put 20 people at your conference table, it’s probably not optimal. Seating people too closely to one another creates friction, increases annoyances and creates distractions. It’s best to leave a full space between chairs in order to give each person ample personal space. You may only fit half the people in, but, the meeting will go smoother. In addition, those that attend the meeting will be more likely to pay full attention and be more engaged in the meeting.

Table Shape And Communication

Conference tables come in different shapes for different applications. Some tables have a clear, leadership chair at the head of the table, which are perfect where one person is in charge. There are also round tables, which are excellent for group discussions. Longer, rounded-rectangle tables are also widely used in office settings around the country. Keep in mind that the shape must also suit the size of the room. A round conference table, for instance, won’t work well in a long, narrow room.

If you want to learn more about choosing the right conference table, please contact us. We know a thing or two about them and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. If you’re looking for a high-quality table for your conference room, we can help with that too.

Thinking of Going Digital? 5 Reasons Why Filing Cabinets Can Still be Useful

filing cabinetWith the invention of digital storage, the ability to place untold amounts of information in a hard drive, a cloud, or even flash drives the size of your fingernail have made paper all but irrelevant. You’ve likely heard the many arguments, concerns, and benefits about this digital switch, and the debates rage on, but one fact is clear: digital is better. Not only does it save on space, but it’s faster and most cost-effective. This has motivated businesses of every kind and size to make the switch to digital, abandoning their paper. With this, filing cabinets have become obsolete.

Or have they?

We still live in the physical world, though in a digital culture, and there are many serious advantages to keeping your filing cabinets. Here are five reasons why businesses need to consider hanging on to their filing cabinets — or perhaps even buy more:

  1. Not All Businesses Have Made the Digital Switch.

While an unprecedented number of businesses are making the switch to digital, there are still many businesses that are not. This can be for a variety of reasons. Some older businesses are very invested in their paper documents, making it costly to shred or recycle all the paper their bottom line has funded throughout the decades. More modern businesses may not have the budget to purchase the necessary scanners and equipment. So, while you may be going with the times, business-to-business dealings still require you to accommodate your associates’ situation. If your affiliate only sends invoices and other valuable information in paper form, you can’t exactly refuse, can you? You’ll need somewhere to store this information, and a filing cabinet offers the solution.

  1. They’re Great for Other Types of Storage.

Filing cabinets are typically used for, well, files, but they also serve the purpose of being compact, stylish, and uniform storage containers for a variety of things. As interesting as it would be, science hasn’t found a way to digitize a stapler, restricting you to the physical, space-consuming original. Office supplies such as staplers, pens, or coffee mugs can all be stashed away into the cabinet to keep your office looking tidy, organized, and running efficiently. Studies have shown that having an organized office not only improves efficiency by eliminating the need to hunt down objects, but also boosts morale, as employees feel more comfortable with the cleanliness. So perhaps you have already moved to digital, but there’s no need to sell the cabinet, as it can store other important objects.

  1. It’s Always Good to Have a Backup Plan.

Accidents do happen and acts of cyber terrorism happen even more regularly. Whether it’s the clumsy intern who dumps his coffee on the server or a Mission Impossible villain twirling his mustache as he deletes all your information, the result is the same – your data is lost. Digital storage is more compact — able to hold thousands if not millions of files in a small drive — but this is also a disadvantage. In paper format destroying millions of documents would take a building-wide fire and a great deal of time; in digital, it takes a few-second virus, a small moment of corruption, or a very-very-fired intern to bring it all down.

Having crucial information in paper format offers a backup plan to these situations, and a proper filing cabinet can protect your information when your other copies fail. A fireproof cabinet can withstand a natural disaster and is impervious to hackers. While you’re scrambling to recover your lost digital data, what does your business absolutely need to function? You can avoid going belly-up by having a physical backup of all your essentials, and filing cabinets will keep this all safe.

  1. It’s Secure.

In the same way a computer hacker can damage your vital information by getting their hands on it, in this digital age, it has become more and more common for genius-level tech terrorists to steal vital information – whether it be for profit, “social justice,” or simple chaos. For businesses which have vital financial information such as bank numbers and passwords, or employee and customer information like social security numbers, or even private but important information like web passwords, losing this information to the wrong people can be detrimental to your business and to all associated with it. Having physical copies safe in a well-locked filing cabinet will allow you to avoid the risk of a hack altogether. While paper is more costly and slower to share, it boosts security, protects individuals, and creates a peace of mind.

  1. It Does Indeed Save Money.

While moving to digital does improve productivity, efficiency, and saves money on purchasing additional paper, ink, and necessary physical storage, if your business was formed and managed before the digital boom, you still have quite a few paper files. Like many businesses, you can recycle these documents, shred them, or have an impromptu office bonfire, but doing so is a loss to your business, as this is money that was once invested and is now being wasted. For the above stated advantages, keeping physical copies can pose an advantage to your business for security reasons, and it also helps for financial reasons. Why call the previous investment a loss? Simply keep ahold of these papers and benefit from the security and the peace of mind, all while keeping that previous investment from being in vain. And once you have made this decision, a filing cabinet is ready to assist.

The move to a digital world is a wise choice in this modern age for a variety of financial and productivity reasons, but that does not mean the paper format has been left behind – or that it should be left behind. We still live in a physical world, and there are many ways that a filing cabinet can benefit you, your business, and your clients, whether you’re embracing the modern age or simply keeping up with the ti

Tips to Apply Feng Shui in Your Office

art of zenFeng shui is an ancient philosophy emphasizing the importance of energy flow based on spatial arrangement of furniture. The basic belief is that the positioning of furniture and decorations within a space, affect a person’s energy. This has either a positive or negative effect on people. Proper use of feng shui in an office can increase productivity, raise energy levels, and encourage success. Here are some tips to increase positive energy flow in your office.

Lighting

Many offices have harsh lighting that depletes a person’s energy. Fluorescent lighting is not recommended. If your office has fluorescent lights, replace the bulbs with full-spectrum bulbs. If this is not an option, consider adding incandescent lighting to your workplace. You accomplish this by including desk or floor lamps. The addition of lamps will cut down on the negative effects of the severe fluorescent lights above.

Plants

A great way to increase energy is to bring life into your office. Plants of any kind are useful. Choose the plants you are most drawn to. Larger plants can also be used as barriers. For example, if there is a glass wall in your office that causes you to feel vulnerable, place some large plants in front of it to make you feel more secure.

Furniture

The arrangement of furniture in your workplace is the most important aspect of feng shui. It is crucial that the energy in your office flows freely this means having a layout that is absent of obstacles. Walk around the office space and make sure you can easily move through the area. If your body can effortlessly maneuver through the office, the energy will be able to as well.

Desks should be positioned facing the door with a solid wall behind you. All doors and windows should be visible from the desk. However, do not face a window straight on. The optimal positioning is to place the desk diagonally facing the door. This is known as the command position in feng shui.

Many people are firm believers in the power of feng shui. Even if you are not a believer, it certainly couldn’t hurt to try. Use the simple tips above to bring some positive energy into your office, increasing productivity and success.

Contact us for more information.