customer-support-superhero

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

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

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

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.

07-ContainStorage 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

Active storage is located within arm’s length of the user in the workstation and is used very frequently during daily workflow.

Anticipated

Anticipated storage is commonly found within a workstation or nearby and is accessed on occasion to support day-to-day activities.

Archival

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:types of storage hon hq

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:

filers vs piler

 

How do you store?

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.

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