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Legendary fashion designer Tom Ford once said, “dressing well is a form of good manners.” How does that apply to the office? Here are 5 tips for putting your best fashion foot forward in the workplace:

  1. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Want to be a manager someday? Take note of how members of leadership are dressed, and then emulate their style.
  2. HON headquarters is in Muscatine, IA. With winter fast approaching and temperatures in single digits, dressing for the season is a must. In Iowa, this usually means adding fun accessories to your wardrobe, such as a scarf, and wearing stylish yet practical footwear. Be mindful of the weather and dress accordingly – no matter where you live.
  3. When in doubt, overdress. After all, you never know when you’ll be pulled into a meeting with leadership wishing you’d put more effort into your appearance. Your self confidence will get a boost just knowing that you look great.
  4. On that note – be conservative. Being noticed for your work ethic and overall poise is good; being noticed for your flashy clothes is not. Stick with classic lines and colors to be noticed in the right way.
  5. But, don’t be afraid to infuse your own style and personality into your outfit when appropriate. A funky pattern or statement piece can strike up a conversation and show your individuality. One of the things I love about working at HON is being able to showcase my personal style every day.

What are some of your favorite fashion tips for the workplace?

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Panels are dropping. Footprints are shrinking.  These are two common workplace trends that we’ve heard over and over again.  But, have you ever stepped back and asked yourself, “how does this affect seating?”

Lower panels and light-scale environments make seating more visible throughout the floor plan.  As a result, continuity of seating across all applications becomes very important.  To address this need, HON offers families of seating.  “Families” are comprised of many seating solutions in one universal series, creating a coordinated design language throughout your entire office.

The photo below exemplifies how our newest seating collection, Endorse, can fit seamlessly into any office space. Whether it is a conference room, private office, workstation or collaborative area, the Endorse collection offers the perfect solution

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Another exciting change happening in our seating portfolio is the addition of Momentum seating fabrics into our core fabric offering.  HON has added 14 new patterns and over 200 colorways ranging from bright to neutral.  Learn more about what HON has to offer by viewing the Momentum and Perspectives Color Card.

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Email-Marketing

Considering how long email has played a role in our lives, it’s easy to assume we know how to use it effectively. However, good email etiquette is something that will never go out of style. Here are a few things to consider when drafting your next professional email:

1. Write an Appropriate Subject Line

Although this is viewed by some as not being an essential part of an email, it’s important that the subject clearly identifies the point of the email in just a few words. A good subject line leaves no mystery for the recipients to guess what the email is about, and helps later if you need to search your inbox for it.

 2. Start with a Proper Greeting

Just like writing a letter, it’s polite to add a greeting or salutation to the start of every email. It’s good practice to address someone by name in the greeting, but whether it’s the first or last name depends on the subject and formality of the email. For example, “Hi Jim” would work fine for an email sent between co-workers, but “Dear Mr. Smith” would be more appropriate for a formal email such as writing to a prospective employer.

 3. Write with a Respectful Tone

With the use of emoticons on the rise, it’s easy to want to slip these in an email and type the exact way we speak. However, be conscious of the recipient(s) of the email with the understanding that it could get forwarded on to individuals that it wasn’t originally intended for. Being polite and professional always reflects well on yourself and your company.

 4. Get Straight to the Point and Keep it Short

The reason for the email should be addressed at the start. Studies show that you’re more likely to get a timely response if the purpose is called out at the beginning. However, the point can be lost if there are multiple paragraphs to follow, as a large amount of text can be overwhelming to take in. If it’s necessary to address a number of things in one email, bullet points are easier to read and ensure that none of your points get lost or overlooked.

 5. Proof Read and Use Spell Check

Writing an email can feel like a small accomplishment that you want to send right away, but it’s important to proof read and run spell check before clicking the send button. A typo or spelling mistake can turn one word into a completely different one, and could even be a little embarrassing when done in a professional capacity. Click the spell check button that appears on the email template, but be sure to proof read to catch anything that spell check didn’t catch.

What are examples of good email etiquette that you have used recently?

In today’s hectic world it can be easy for organization to take a backseat to your daily tasks.  I am the type of person that needs an organized workspace in order to keep my thoughts organized.  Here are some suggestions on how you can keep your workspace organized:

Start with a blank slate

Remove all items from your worksurface.  Sometimes it is easier to start with a blank canvas and add what is most important (like that coffee mug).

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Prioritize

Determine what items are most important and used frequently.  Keep these items in easy to reach areas (Pens, phone, important documents, etc.)

Pencil Cup

Add a pencil cup and get rid of any unneeded pens/pencils.  This will help create a designated spot for your writing utensils so they aren’t strewn all about.  This will also help you feel less cluttered; it doesn’t have to be anything fancy – a mug will do!

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Determine your storage type.

Do you like to create piles or do you tend to keep your information stored in files?  Determine your filing type and add the best type of storage for you.  This could be more file cabinet space for your files or more open space for your piles of paper.

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Add Monitor Arms

Adding monitor arms can help clear off additional desk space.  Since your monitors will be raised off your desk, you will have more space underneath.  This will help create a clean, uncluttered feeling.

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What helps you feel more organized?

Roll or Fold? 
lbblogWhy not both…many items in your suitcase are best packed rolled. Among these are pants, skirts, collarless shirts, and dresses. Always roll your clothes from the bottom up for the tightest roll and make sure there aren’t any wrinkles or folds along the way. Items with a collar, including jackets and blazers, still travel better when folded. Lay your jackets across the bottom of your suitcase and use them to “wrap” the rest of your clothes.

Keep your shoes to themselves.

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Use recycled dryer sheets and plastic grocery bags for shoes. There is nothing worse than stinky shoes except clothes that smell like your stinky shoes. Next time you take your clothes out of the dryer don’t discard the dryer sheet, keep them for the next time you travel. Use plastic bags with the dryer sheets to wrap your shoes and be sure to have fresh feet and clothes when you reach your destination.

Know what’s a liquid and what is not.

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It seems simple, knowing the difference between a liquid and a non liquid, but surprisingly many people still over stuff their liquids bag with unnecessary items. For example, solid deodorant does not have to go in the liquids bag nor does bar soap or bar shampoo. There are also quick swaps to help streamline your liquids; powder foundation vs. liquid or hand sanitizer wipes vs. the liquid bottle just to name a few.

You just never know so pack a back up.

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You can get stranded, flights can be cancelled, and luggage can be lost. Pack a back up. At the very least pack extra undergarments and socks (if needed) in your carry-on or personal item. For ladies, roll up a dress or bring an extra shirt. For fellas, bring an extra shirt and tie. Best tip is always over dress to under pack.

Pick a smaller bag.

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Not sure what laws of physics dictate the laws of packing, but it is inevitable that you will stuff your bag to the near breaking point regardless of its size. Thus, pick a smaller bag and make it work. Picking a smaller bag also means you are less likely to check a bag. Even if you have elite status on every airline and get to check a bag for free, try to avoid it. Checking a bag is incredibly hard on your luggage, opens you up to theft, makes you more likely to have lost or delayed luggage, and creates delays when you reach your final destination.  So best advice- go with the smaller bag.

What are some of your favorite packing tips?

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Trends are a part of consumer life; there is no getting around it. Whether it is the latest, most technologically advanced smartphone or a new clothing style, trends influence our buying, plain and simple. The office furniture industry is not immune to this phenomenon. As a manufacturer, we are faced with the challenge of an ever-changing market and it is our job to meet the demands of a diverse mix of customers in which we serve.

A prominent movement of the modern workplace is an environment that welcomes a lighter and more open aesthetic quality. We see brighter colors around offices, and it is apparent that the user preferences have been shifting this way. Back in 2011, HON launched a new desking series; Voi. Voi translates in Italian to you and is all about conforming to the needs of any working environment and user.

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Voi’s contemporary appearance allows great flexibility and creative options. It incorporates mixed materials such as steel O-Leg supports, laminate and veneer surfaces, and fabric applications; it really is a designer’s open canvas for expression. Not only is a Voi user free to roam conceptually with design elements, but they will not find themselves in a fixed or confined work area. Collaboration in the workplace is on the rise. More and more companies are realizing the beauty and benefits to an interpersonal workplace, and the physical environment in which this takes place is imperative to its success.

At HON, we take pride in the opportunity to pave the way for people and ideas to come together. With Voi, collaboration is made easy. It fosters this through furniture solutions that are versatile such as multiple styles of open plan configurations. It inspires impromptu meetings with colleagues through products such as credenzas and mobile pedestals that create a comfortable sit with ample workspace, as seen in the above image.

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Open. Brighter. Collaborative. These are all words that describe the market needs that led to the inception of Voi. However, one more very important need that our users are calling for is coordinated. Voi does not stop at being a great desking solution for the open and collaborative concept. Voi has the ability to outfit an entire office from the mid level employee to the executives. It is a comprehensive selection of both laminate and veneer casegoods that can simultaneously accommodate simplicity and sophistication. In fact, at HON Headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa, Voi is utilized throughout all levels. Even the President of our company sits in Voi! For those looking for a coordinated look throughout their office, Voi is a perfect fit.

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.

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Plants

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.

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Plants that thrive in an office environment include:

  • Aloe
  • Spider plants
  • Cactus
  • Succulents
  • Ivy
  • 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.

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Lighting

No one likes florescent lighting. Bring a little ambiance to your desk with a lamp that shows your personality and style.

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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.

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