We spend at least 25% of our week at the office. Why don’t we bring the style and sophistication of our home to our workspaces?
Let’s face it, most office environments have about as much character as a jail cell. It’s difficult to get excited about staring at a tan or gray panel all day while at work. Not only can a drab workspace affect employee satisfaction, it can also have a negative impact on productivity. Here are 5 tricks to create a workspace that shows your personality and inspires you.
Add Color, Texture, and Textiles
The easiest way to create a warm, inviting work environment is to add a little color, different textures and varying textiles. Pick up fabrics, frames, and knickknacks at your local craft store or even choose items from your home.
The benefits to having plants in your work environment range from reducing stress to increasing creativity. Just look up scientific studies about adding plants to your office and you will find hundreds of reports.
Plants that thrive in an office environment include:
- Spider plants
- Rubber plant
- Peace lily
Display your passion
Your work area should inspire you, not bore you. Put your interests on display! Not only will they help motivate you, but it may help spark a conversation with your co-workers who have similar interests.
No one likes florescent lighting. Bring a little ambiance to your desk with a lamp that shows your personality and style.
Keep it classy
Always be mindful of your co-workers and your company’s brand. Clutter never looks professional. Keep your alcohol paraphernalia at home (unless you work for the company). A well organized workstation with hints of your personality and style will make you look forward to coming to work and help you stand-out in a sea of cubicles.
It’s October! That means the Iowa (and in my case, D.C.) humidity is disappearing, the leaves are changing and everyone is getting creative with carving pumpkins, designing Halloween costumes, and making crafts found on Pinterest.
Your office can also be a place to harness your creativity this season. Here are a few great ideas!
1. Create a ‘table seat’ in call rooms or offices. It can be a soft seat one minute and a table the next.
How: Place the top from the Flock Personal Table on a Flock Mini Ottoman
2. Add inviting, modern, and light seating to a touch-down area (as seen in our newly renovated New York City Resource Center!)
How: Use the Flock Mini Ottoman as touch-down seating rather than a standard task chair for a more modern look
3. Integrate bright pops of colors so panels look like fun workstations rather than “cubicles”
How: Use the Appoint seating fabric on select HON panel systems and tackboards
4. Use mobile storage for your company’s merchandise, office supplies, etc.
How: Customize the number and height of shelves and bins in HON’s Smartlink Modular Storage cabinet
5. Make your storage serve a dual purpose: Storage and a Seat
How: Add a cushion to the Voi credenzas shown here
How have you used furniture creatively to address your needs?
I can barely contain my excitement – it’s almost here. When we round out September, we’ll plunge headfirst into a fiesta of food, a plethora of prizes, and a sea of shenanigans. What do I speak of, you may ask? Why, it’s National Customer Support Week of course!
The widely celebrated (and much adored) National Customer Support Week is typically the first full week of October. This year, it falls on the Week of October 6th. As is customary, HON has embraced the festivities and we’re planning on celebrating in style with our ‘Superheroes’ theme.
Thinking of what you can do for your own band of caped crusaders? Here are a few tips on celebrating your own Customer Support Week:
- Fiesta of Food – Anyone hungering for Shawarma? Avengers jokes aside, we’re serious about our food days. Throughout the week, we’ll have an array of Superhero Sandwiches, a Power-Up Your Popcorn bar, and even green ‘kryptonite’ (rock candy). At the end of the week, our members will be designing their own smorgasbord inspired by their Superhero region (i.e. – Metropolis, Gotham City, etc). To reward your own heroes, you may consider doing a snack or a lunch, even if it’s not tied to a theme. Hungry for a bit more? Consider having a potluck where everyone brings in their favorite dish.
- Plethora of Prizes – While our prizes do not include a princess, a rare gem, or the key to a city, they’re worthy of our – some might say – heroic members. We’ll have contests and games each day where our members can play to win any number of HON branded prizes, punctuated by our fabulous daily giveaways (can you guess what they’ll receive?). In years past, we’ve noticed that everyone enjoys receiving giveaways – whether that be a colorful notepad or even a water bottle. If it’s something they can use outside of the office, that allows a little more freedom.
- Sea of Shenanigans – Though our ‘shenanigans’ would dismay the Joker, we’ve got quite the lineup scheduled! Capes in tow, our members will experience a gauntlet of games, from identifying the cityscape, to matching which Superhero or Villain said what. We’ll be decorating our rows according to which Superhero they’ll represent (hopefully no one in our Spiderman row has arachnophobia) and holding various contests between them during the week. Though we won’t be playing ‘Pin the Jail Bars on the Villain’, we will celebrate our members’ accolades by posting them throughout the office. You could start by adding your own themed décor, or playing games throughout the week. If your members are answering calls, consider playing a game through email, like bingo.
As always, our members are ‘heroic’ enough to handle having fun while maintaining our excellent customer support. If you do happen to call in to HON Customer Support during National Customer Support Week, you may hear a random cheer, hoot, or (otherwise atypical) exclamation. Don’t worry; it’s all a part of our master plan to take over the world – er – Office Furniture world. Make sure to buff your boots, Batman, and have a happy Customer Support Week!
1. Be Early
Nothing creates stress like falling behind. If you wake up late, your whole day will be thrown off as you rush around. Set your alarm for a few minutes early so you have plenty of time to tackle unexpected road blocks head on.
2. Plan Ahead
Do as much as you can ahead of time. I set my coffee pot the night before to start making coffee before I’m even awake! I like to pack my lunch and even plan my outfit the night before. You won’t have to stress over these small decisions in the morning.
3. Prioritize Tasks
If you know you have a big project to conquer, get it done first thing in the morning. Move it to the top of your list and you’ll breathe a sigh of relief when it’s done. Letting it hang over your head all day (hello, procrastination!) only makes for more stress over the course of your day.
4. Take A Break
Hit a wall with your project? Go for a quick walk around the block. The fresh air and exercise will give you energy and clear your stress. You may even get a great idea while you’re out and about.
5. Reward Yourself
Treat yourself! Allow yourself a reward for working hard. I like to grab a fun coffee or have lunch with a friend to celebrate accomplishments. It’s a nice reminder that working hard pays off.
What do you do to get rid of morning stress?
Growing up in Central Florida, we had three seasons; hot, hotter and kind of nice. In fact, the idea of changing seasons was so foreign to me that in first grade, I came home livid when my teacher told me leaves changed colors. Luckily, now that I live in the Midwest, I have the pleasure of experiencing the glory of fall every year. There is nothing I look forward to more than the beautiful colors that grace the landscapes around me.
Beautiful colors are something HON knows all about. With hundreds of fabric colorways to choose from, you are able to color coordinate your office furniture with any look you desire to achieve. Check out some of the autumn-inspired color palettes below to get your space ready for fall.
Yellow: Tradition Sun, Red: Infusion Autumn, Orange Red: Vox Snap,
Orange: Centurion Tangerine, Brown: Odyssey Cedar
Green: Disperse Lime, Yellow: Messenger Maize, Dark Yellow: Pause Saffron,
Orange Red: Vox Snap, Red: Centurion Tomato
Light Red: Infinity Macintosh, Dark Red: Ace Engine, Red: Pause Brazen,
Light Brown: Balance Beam Red Delicious, Brown: Odyssey Roast
To discover the whole host of fabrics and finishes HON has to offer, view our full collection here. Also, be sure to download Digital Swatch Cards available on many of our most popular fabrics or view the entire Surface Materials Binder here.
Storage solutions are a major strength of The HON Company and have been since we were established over 70 years ago. Beginning in the kitchen cabinets and recipe boxes market, we have since positioned ourselves as one of the industry’s leading manufacturers of workplace storage. While our dedication to practical storage has not changed, the way people use storage has. The footprints of workstations and private offices have dramatically decreased over the past several decades, making less room in the work area for storage. Parallel to this workplace shift is the impact of technology. The invention of flash drives and mobile devices allows people to save and access digital copies of documents that were once needed to be stored in vertical and lateral file cabinets.
This led us to wonder, what exactly are people storing today? To find the answer, we conducted extensive Voice of the Customer (VOC) research and categorized our findings within three categories:
Active storage is located within arm’s length of the user in the workstation and is used very frequently during daily workflow.
Anticipated storage is commonly found within a workstation or nearby and is accessed on occasion to support day-to-day activities.
Archival storage is typically located outside the workstation in a place not visited often such as storage rooms or basements. This type of storage is acessed infrequently and includes items kept for long-term record-keeping.
Through the VOC research, the HON product development and engineering team discovered that today’s storage needs go beyond just paper and office supplies. As the demographics of the workplace continue to change and the line between home and work blurs, more and more people are using storage for items such as food, purses, gym shoes, medicine and even apple slicers. In response to these research findings, HON recently launched a new credenza storage solution named Contain™. These credenzas allow users to file and pile within the same unit. With a variety of finishing options and configurations, Contain offers effective and attractive active storage within arm’s length of the user. You can learn more about Contain™ at hon.com/Contain.
Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos of what members at HON headquarters are storing beyond basic office supplies:
Other findings from our research show that people store paper in one of two ways: filing or piling. Here are snapshots of “pilers” and “filers” at HON headquarters:
How do you store?
At times, finding an open window of time to meet with an entire project group can be difficult. How can you make the most of your time? Let’s look at a few ways to keep meetings on task and more efficient.
In the meeting invitation, include an agenda and attendee expectations. The agenda gives the attendees an idea of what will be discussed. This allows them to have their thoughts together so they can join into the conversation. Letting attendees know if they need to have anything prepared will make sure everyone is ready to share ideas and keep the meeting rolling.
Set Your Space
In preparation for the meeting, ensure the room you reserve meets all of your space requirements. Determine if there is enough seating for all those attending the meeting so you aren’t searching for an extra chair when the meeting should be starting. Make sure the meeting space offers the equipment you need, whether this is a screen and projector or flip chart. Having your space prepared for success will keep the meeting running smoothly.
Start on time. The attendees know what time the meeting was scheduled to start. Therefore, it’s important to be respectful of their time, especially if it is just a short window of availability. Begin the meeting at the start time and immediately start covering items on the agenda.
Offer Support Materials
Bring handouts for all attendees if necessary. And if you will be handing something out, make sure you have enough for each attendee. Handouts can be helpful if a large amount of information is presented in a short time to allow the attendees to have a hard copy to review.
Close the Loop
Recap the meeting and the follow-up activities. If there are action items coming out of the meeting, it is good practice to send out a follow-up communication summarizing those items. Be sure to include what tasks will be completed by the next meeting and/or specific deadlines.
What tactics do you use to keep your meetings productive?