Business Owners Implement Modern Furniture to Address Lack of Space

office cubiclesNew companies start and expand each day. When this happens, owners have to both find and furnish office spaces to accommodate employees. In fact, American companies annually purchase staggering amounts of office furnishings — 16.5 million chairs, 11 million filing cabinets, and 3 million desks, research shows. In 2014 alone, commercial office furniture accounted for $12.6 billion in revenue in the United States. While purchasing office cubicles and other modern office desks may not be hard, finding space in Nashville, Tennessee is.

According to Biz Journals, Nashville has “the lowest percentage of available office space among nearly 90 markets.” This recently shared data comes from real estate brokerage firm Cushman and Wakefield. As of June 30, just 5.5% of all office space in Middle Tennessee was available for rent. Just behind Nashville was New York City with 6.8% while Charleston and San Francisco tied with 7.3% of available office space.

When put into a perspective that more people can understand, this means that business owners and managers will have an easier time finding office space in New York or San Francisco rather than Nashville. Although the prices may be significantly higher in these cities, Nashville has had a recent spike in rent prices over the years. In the city’s downtown area, new top-end office space is a record high of $40 per square foot. With the cost of renting these buildings skyrocketing, owners of lower-rated buildings are also raising their prices as well.

What does it all mean?
For one thing, the surge in new and expanding businesses throughout the area means that the Nashville economy is growing rapidly and successfully. On the other hand, businesses that need to expand are finding it difficult to do so with the lack of real estate options. Many companies are forced to look outside the metropolitan area for office space, which means for a longer commute.

Solving the problem
As a solution, some businesses have implemented the use of modern office desks and office cubicles to maximize the space they have. Keeping in mind that employee productivity can increase up to 17% from simply providing the right seating, employers are using innovative work chairs to their advantage. Not only does implementing modern office cubicles and workstations allow for more space to be used, it saves money in the long run. Seeing as how space is already limited, these business owners are making the most of what they have.

Don’t Fall into the Mouse Trap: Four Solid Mice for the Workplace

mousetrapThink about your daily workplace grind.

What’s the one peripheral you use more than any other? The mouse. Speakers are a great perk if your boss allows them, as are a decent pair of headphones or earbuds. But not every work environment is conducive to audio equipment, which vaults the mouse to the top of the most-needed list in employment spaces around the country.

If you’re a low-maintenance worker, you probably don’t have much of an opinion about mice – you take what your IT department gives you. And, in one sense, this isn’t a bad idea. Even the most basic mouse can get the job done if you spend the majority of your time typing and checking email.

But if your job requires a little more mousal precision – think graphic design, page layout or game design – then you’ll need something more than just your average click-and-scroller.

The Razer Mamba (2015 Model): The Ultimate Mouse (But Maybe a Little Too Much for the Office)

Remember how we said some people are content with a mouse that clicks and scrolls? The two-button system is great for them, it’s a timeless design and it functions really well.

But as the world of gaming has exploded over the past decade, mice have followed suit. The Razer Mamba is the perfect example of the gaming-oriented peripheral that can double as the hero of your work day. Here’s a basic overview of the Mamba’s features:

  • LED lighting that can be changed based on your preferences
  • Rubberized grips on the side of the mouse
  • Click-sensitivity adjustments for the right and left buttons
  • Wireless or wired capability in one mouse
  • 10 programmable buttons
  • Ambidextrous

Razer Mamba

Like we said, in the heading of this section, the Mamba might be a little too much for you. But for those who perform a series of complex keystroke or mouse-click actions within a short amount of time, this mouse could be a savior.

And, it’s the only mouse in PC Mag’s 2016 Top-10 ratings to receive higher than four stars.

“Although it’s expensive, the Razer mamba offers an unmatched set of features, plenty of customization and high-end performance,” contributor Matthew Buzzi wrote.

Price at the time of this post: $139.99 on Amazon

The Logitech M320: The Pedestrian Choice for Top Performance

If the Razer Mamba is the Bentley of the mouse world, the Logitech M320 is the Honda Accord: an affordable option with a track record of reliability. It is the flagship of the simple-mouse niche in the tech world.

Logitech M320

There isn’t much to say in the way of features, aside from the fact that, according to the mouse’s page on Logitech’s website, it has a 2-year battery life and a soft-rubber surface. There are no fancy LED lights, click calibration or 10 different customizable buttons.

PC Mag gave the mouse four stars and deemed it an Editors’ Choice selection. Reviewer Brian Westover said the 320 is “a fine example of simplicity done right.”

Price at the time of this post: $17.96 on Amazon

The Logitech Performance MX: Good for the big-handed

One thing we haven’t talked about yet is hand size. Most mice are built for average-sized hands, which means if you’re hands are bigger than most, you’ll probably feel a few aches and pains from using an undersized mouse.

Logitech Performance MX

Logitech’s Performance MX ranked high in The Wirecutter’s rankings because it’s a bigger mouse that’s suitable for people with manos grandes. It’s fancier cousin, the MX master, costs about $25 more but is smaller than the Performance MX and has a shorter warranty.

The mouse is light on extra features, which is a downside for people looking for a versatile mouse. Also working against it is the fact that it will be too big for most people.

As Wirecutter’s Kimber Streams put it, “Our largest-handed tester … preferred the size and shape of the Performance over the MX Master, but he liked the features of the MX Master better.”

Price at the time of this post: $62.97 on Amazon

The Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600: A Tiny Choice for Lots of Travel

While the Logitech Performance MX is known for being the perfect fit for massive hands, the Microsoft 3600 is the perfect choice for an entirely different reason. This reliable and simple mouse is designed for travel, which means it’s got a small body.

One of the drawbacks to travel mice is that they don’t always provide a lot of support for your palm, resulting in annoying aches and pains after prolonged use. But this Microsoft model, Wirecutter says, stands out because it’s “compact without sacrificing hand support – great for travel and for smaller hands.”

Microsoft 3600

Like the Logitech M320, this mouse can be had for less than $30. Before you buy it, Wirecutter warns, make sure it’s compatible with your operating system and that your computer can sync with a Bluetooth 4.0 device.

Price at the time of this post: $20.99 on Amazon

Three Workplace Myths You’ve Probably Believed at Least Once in Your Life

office myths 2The workplace has its fair share of myths.

They may not be on the level of pot-bellied gift-givers patrolling the Christmas Eve sky or that bushy-tailed bunny that drops off millions of sugar-heavy baskets on Easter. However, there are plenty of half-truths and untruths that have been shared over the coffee pot.


But what exactly are those myths? Well, finding the top tales isn’t the hard part; it’s narrowing things down to a few great examples that brings difficulty.

So, we’ve searched the recesses of the internet to unearth what we considered to be some of the high, holy myths of office work and workplaces.

Office Myth #1: The First Amendment Protects Your Right to Say Whatever You Want

Ever had the daydream where you walk into your boss’ office and unleash a misery-motivated, spirited tirade about how much you despise your job? We’re sure you have, and we’re also sure that your salty soliloquy probably contained a few remarks that are definitely NFSW.

office myths 3

But that’s okay; you’ve got rights to free speech. Or do you? If you’re unclear about whether or not your mouthing off is protected, it’s time to set things straight, says U.S. News & World Report contributor Allison Green.

“The First Amendment prevents the government from restricting your speech, but not a private employer,” Green writes. “In most states, an employer can fire you for what you say at work, or even outside of work.”

Does that clear it up? Yes, you’re allowed to say what you want (barring discriminatory language). The government protects that right. But what the government doesn’t do is protect you from the consequence of what you say in your workplace. Private employers are allowed to take action against you (i.e. fire you) for your profanity-laced tirade.

Office Myth #2: What Happens in HR Stays in HR

This myth reminds us of a scene from NBC’s The Office. Hapless manager Michael Scott encourages everyone to share their deepest, darkest workplace secrets under the protection of HR-employee privilege.

Employee Meredith reveals to HR that she offers a paper rep a certain kind of “perk” for lower prices. Turns out her confession isn’t confidential, but rather an egregious violation of company policy that must be reported.

This scene is a classic example of the misconception that HR is like a lawyer’s office or a doctor’s appointment. What you share with HR isn’t confidential. A main reason behind this is that HR works on behalf of the company’s best interests.

So, if you tell an HR rep something that could impact the business in a negative way, don’t be surprised if it comes back to bite you, Allison Green says: “If an HR rep hears information that she judges needs to be shared or used to address a situation, her job obligates her to do that.”


Office Myth #3: Open Office Layouts Spell Doom for Introverts

If you’re an introvert, there’s a certain level of comfort in having your own cubicle. It’s your haven and your escape from an otherwise hectic workplace where someone is bound to suck all your people energy out of you.

So, it makes sense that a workplace switching over to an open concept could be a super stressful proposition for people who like to keep to themselves.

However, it’s possible, Fast Company contributor Anjali Mullany says, to create an open workspace that functions well for the outgoing and the quiet.

office myths 1

One advantage you may not have thought about is the fact that, under the old way of organizing offices, employees had to knock on the door of a coworker, supervisor or boss in order to talk with them. That process in itself can be a major hurdle for introverts.

In an open-style office, that (literal) barrier is torn down. If you want to talk with someone about a project, raise or grievance, you can walk up to their desk and talk to them. No doors. No receptionists. That’s a relief, Mullany says, for the quiet types.

“I don’t know about you, but I find it far more intimidating to knock on an office door than to turn to a nearby colleague,” she says.

Wrapping Up the Myths

Office myths are everywhere. We certainly didn’t cover them all here in this post, but we believe we captured the essence of some of the biggest ones. Do you have your own trove of workplace legends you think can top ours? Let us know in the comment section.