Team Meeting In Creative Office

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.

Share Expectations
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.

Get Started
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?

NeoCon 2014 was a whirlwind! Check out some of our favorite social media moments from this year’s show. And while you’re at it, take a look at some of our photos from the show over on Flickr.

Can’t wait to see everyone at NeoCon 2015!

 

A few years ago I came across an Inc article that sang praises for the benefits of bringing your dog to work. According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, workers who brought their dogs with them to work “experienced lower stress levels throughout the work day, reported higher levels of job satisfaction, and had a more positive perception of their employer.” How can you argue with that?!

Below are a few examples of some of our favorite 4-legged friends busy at work.  Who else has canines as co-workers? We would love to see your pics!

Even Maslow can’t help but Migrate to Flock.

Even Maslow can’t help but Migrate to Flock.

Bones showing his immense admiration for the unmatched comfort of Nucleus.

Bones showing his immense admiration for the unmatched comfort of Nucleus.

Lollipop taking a spin on Purpose.

Lollipop taking a spin on Purpose.

Ceres seating makes a 'ruff' day at the office much more enjoyable.

Ceres seating makes a ‘ruff’ day at the office much more enjoyable.

Steve giving Voi his official seal of approval.

Steve giving Voi his official seal of approval.

Rambo chilling out on Flock.

Rambo chilling out on Flock.

How many of you have a coworker that talks about their favorite football team every Monday during the fall? What about the person who tends to talk loud on their phone?  Do you feel like you are constantly being distracted?  According to the well-known architect and design firm, Gensler, the answer is probably yes.

Last year, Gensler redistributed their 2008 Workplace Survey to analyze differences in the results and identify shifts in workplace trends.   Think back to 2008 for a moment.  The world was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  Employment rates were at an all time low. Facebook and Twitter had hardly taken over the social sphere and the iPhone hadn’t even been on the market a full year.  Just as connectivity and communication has changed dramatically in those five years, so did the survey results.gensler figure 2

You can see from the bar chart that the amount of the day spent on focus work increased significantly.  It’s important that the space planning of a workplace allows people to concentrate during their focus work time.  At HON Headquarters, there are many small rooms where people can go to focus on their tasks at hand and nearby collaborative spaces where members can have quick conversations.  If members are at their desk working, many use headphones to mask the sounds of conversations going on around them. Focus work that falls vulnerable to interruptions and distractions can greatly decrease a person’s productivity.  Here are some statistics:

gensler figure 3

What percentage of your day is spent on focus work? What are some distractions you hear or feel in your workplace? And, how exactly do you overcome the distractions?

Capture
Whether you’re an avid basketball fan who knew the starting lineup of every NCAA team, or a novice basketball fan who just caught a game here and there, you most likely noticed that March Madness owned the airwaves over the past few weeks.  If you are still unfamiliar with this annual college basketball sensation, look at your social media platform of choice and you’ll see at least one disparaged fan mention their busted bracket.

The March Madness basketball tournament garners excitement in basketball fans and basketball beginners alike.  There is an opportunity for workplaces to create this same excitement, energy, and competitive spirit with their own contests or competitions.

Try some of these ideas to pump up the energy in your office while adding an element of friendly competition:

  • Spring Cleaning Food Drive Contest:  Place co-workers in teams and have a contest on who can bring in the most canned food, clothes, or home goods to donate to a local charity
  • Throwback Thursday:  Co-workers wear a throwback clothing item (throwback jersey, band shirt, etc) and the person with the best item wins
  • March Madness Inspired Contest: Match team members (or teams) up with each other to create friendly competition.  Instead of points in a basketball game, they advance to the next round by having the higher chosen workplace performance metric.   For example: Your Customer Support team could be based on the number of customer touchpoints, your sales team could have the number of sales calls, etc.

March Madness creates a contagious energy where millions of people are completely engaged in an athletic event.  Athletes perform some of the best games of their careers because of the high-energy atmosphere, cheers and fan support.  Our workplaces can also perform exceedingly well by increasing the energy and engagement of employees.  Think about implementing a fun contest or competition in your workplace to increase employee morale and build group cohesion through teamwork.

What games, contests, or competitions do you implement in your organization?

We’re excited to introduce our newest interactive tool, Chair Chooser. This tool provides you with a recommendation for the best HON or basyx by HON chair for you, based on a few simple questions. This tool operates intuitively on all web browsers, tablets, and smartphones, so try it anywhere!

HON Chair Chooser

Visit hon.com/ChairChooser to access this exciting new tool and click “Launch” at the top of the page.

HON Chair Chooser

Once you launch the tool you are ready to begin. Select “Enter Chair Chooser” to start finding the best chair for you.

HON Chair Chooser

The next screen prompts you to select where you will use your chair. The options range from ‘Behind a Desk’ to ‘Multi-Purpose’ applications. Once you select where you will use the chair, you will  see a drop down menu that will assist in narrowing down your selection.  For example, if you select ‘At a Table’ you will be asked if the chair will be used at a conference table, training table, break room table or office table.

HON Chair Chooser

Next, you will be asked a few questions regarding some of the features you want in your chair. You do not have to answer all the questions, so if there is something that you aren’t sure about, feel free to leave it blank. However, please note that answering all of the questions will give you the best recommendation. If you have any questions, click on the small question mark in the upper right hand corner. This will lead you to the Help Page and should be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the tool. Also, if at any time you wish to start over you can do so by clicking the Home icon, also located in the top right hand corner.

HON Chair Chooser

After making your selections you will receive  our chair recommendation that best suits your needs. You will be able to review your selections off to the left hand side. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find up to three other chair recommendations that you may also be interested in. We would love for you to share your chair recommendation, by using the green buttons on the right hand side of the screen. Here you have the ability to share your chair on Facebook, pin it to Pinterest, email, print a PDF and learn more about your recommendation by viewing videos and visting hon.com.

We hope that you enjoyed learning more about Chair Chooser and how it can assist you in finding the best recommended chair for you.

Try Chair Chooser For Yourself!


cold weather blues

If there is one thing this seemingly never-ending winter has taught me, it’s how to find joy in life when it’s nothing but white, gray, and dark brown outside.  There were days when it seemed like even the sun didn’t want to come outside—and who could blame it?  Negative 50 degrees?  No thank you!  However, as someone who has bills to pay and work to do, I had to brace myself and venture out into the Midwestern version of the Arctic Tundra.  Since I prefer being outside to enjoy the bright colors of spring, summer, and fall, this winter was particularly rough.

One of the things that helped me this winter was finding new challenges, both personally and professionally.  There’s a clichéd New Year’s Resolution that a lot of people make to “Try Something New Every Day.”  I’m a bit of a creature-of-habit, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.  However, since this winter continues to drag out, I’ve had to broaden my horizons a bit.  Some areas I have been more adventurous in include.

  • Trying new recipes. Who knew I would actually like quinoa and kale chips?  Granted, this stemmed from my goal to eat a little healthier this year, but I was pleasantly surprised.
  • Be more creative.  A few of my friends and I recently took a painting class, and it was a great experience.  I’m no Van Gogh, but I enjoyed it regardless.  I also have a cake decorating class on my list of to-dos.
  • Challenge myself with new workouts.  Working out (along with the healthier eating as mentioned above) is a necessity, whether I like it or not.  This winter I have tried some more challenging HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, hot yoga, and strength training.  Exercise is a great way to boost your mood!
  • Tackle that last item on your to-do list.  I’ve found that since I have more time to stay inside, I’ve accomplished quite a few things.

Along with trying new things, another way to boost your mood if you have the winter doldrums is through interactions with other people.  Staying engaged with activities at work, visiting friends, even something that seems insignificant like going out to eat can brighten your day, since interacting with other people can often take your mind off of your troubles.

Last and certainly not least is to relax and take time for yourself.  Feel like spending the day lounging on the couch in your PJs with a good book?  Do it!  (As long as it’s a weekend!)  Go out for a spa day with some friends, go shopping, take a weekend trip, or eat that piece of cake that you maybe don’t need…all of these things will help you feel better.

It’s important to remember that, even though it doesn’t feel like it, the seasons will change and winter will be over soon enough.  However, with the cold days lingering, and the hint of snow still in the air, don’t forget to take a little time for yourself to keep those blues away.

How do you battle the bad weather blues?

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