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As the clock ticks closer, the masses scan their inboxes, knowing that this email is likely the last. Once the email is sent, the silent scramble takes place and the fateful few reply … BINGO! I finish just out of the ribbons this week – but don’t worry, I’ll be back from more come next Friday! Here at HON Customer Support, our famed Friday Bingo is well loved and greatly appreciated by our members. Though our trusty old Bingo Box has certainly seen better days, members celebrate whatever treasures and candy lie therein!

Are you looking to jazz up your office with a little fun? Here’s a couple of ways you can inspire some excitement (while still making sure it doesn’t interfere with productivity):

Awaken Members with Activities

Get up and get going! From changing your Coordinate from seated to standing height, or taking a moment at the beginning of the day for a quick Minute-To-Win-It game with a few co-workers, energize and socialize!

 

The Power of Paper

Do something tangible for your members! Tangible ‘thank you’ notes, made from actual cardstock, tend to be treasured desk favorites. If you’re creative, try a monthly or quarterly newsletter with fun articles or interesting ideas. Our most popular read? Member Spotlights and Wall of Fame! Or, try introducing a new award on your team. Get creative! Get colorful! There’s a whole slew of ideas on Word and Publisher for awards – try a few!

Hand Outs Help

Give out something small as a reminder that you care. About six years ago, a fabulously creative co-worker of mine handed out dime size painted rocks with googly eyes and painted smiles to everyone in the department with a note saying ‘You Rock!’ It’s still a cherished artifact in my Voi Low credenza. Something, even as small as a painted rock, can make a big difference!

FEED ME!

Food is fantastic. Food is fun. Food is everything in one. (I’m rhyming now!) Food days, like Taco Tuesday, get people involved. Moreover, competitive bake offs, like pie-baking contests or team food day matches, inspire people to get creative and collaborate with their team mates.

Fight the Fidget … with Toys

Inject some fun into your work days! One of our favorite break time activities during Customer Support week in 2016 was remote control car races. At the end of the week, we were all expert RC Drivers. Speed racing not your thing? Try gigantic blow up dice – trying for a Yahtzee in three roles only takes a minute or so!

 

What are some of your ideas for keeping it fun around the office? Share your suggestions below!

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The evolution of HON’s Ignition seating line

History hasn’t been revealing in who invented the first chair, but it was likely back in the Neolithic Period. Stone tools allowed our ancestors to take some of the first steps towards developing furniture by chiseling away a bench out of a larger rock.

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A modern interpretation of the klismos chair. Photo credit: 1stdibs.com.

Around the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, chairs were status symbols. Common folk sat on stools while those of royalty or elite status sat in chairs with backs and arms. From the inception of the words chair and throne, there has seemingly been a difference. Chair can be traced back to the Greeks and means ‘to sit down’, whereas throne comes from an Indo-European base for ‘hold’ or ‘support’ (Jewell & Abate, 2001). As has been interpreted, the discrepancy in the two meanings shows how chairs are for anyone to sit in while the throne supported the elite.

In the 5th century B.C., the Greeks invented one of the most depicted chairs in all of antiquity, the klismos chair. The light-weight chair with curved legs is seen on many painted pieces of pottery, stone carvings, and other artworks. While elegant, without further structural support the legs can spread apart and eventually crack or break when someone sits down on the seat (Crantz, 1998).

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The throne of King Louis XIV of France. Public domain.

After a period of relative stagnation, chairs and thrones resumed their larger role in society in the Renaissance. They became refined, highly decorated, and comfortable. These places to sit became pieces of art, adorned with gold, silver, and precious stones (de Dampierre, 2006). Different types of chairs were starting to be widely used. Those who could afford them now had separate dining chairs, side chairs, armchairs, and other specific-use seating.

Today, as our lives become less about threshing and more about checking email, there are seating styles that are more practical and ergonomic for our hours in front of a computer. The classic task chairs are now designed to be comfortable and adjustable in a multitude of ways. There are different options for perching, for learning, and sitting at conference tables.

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The HON Ignition 2.0 task chair is an example of 21st century functionality. It provides a breathable mesh back, adjustable arms, lumbar support, and a synchronized tilt that allows the user to adjust the chair to meet his or her needs.

The rest of this post is a quote from Witold Rybczynski, the author of Now I Sit Me Down. It shows how a difference in seating habits can result in a wide variety of cultural norms.

“If you sit on floor mats, you are likely to develop an etiquette that requires removing footwear before entering the home. You are also more likely to wear sandals or slippers rather than laced-up shoes, and loose clothing that enables you to squat or sit cross-legged. Floor-sitters tend not to use tall wardrobes—it is more convenient to store things in chests and low cabinets closer to floor level. People who sit on mats are more likely to sleep on mats, too, just as chair-sitters are more likely to sleep in beds. Chair-sitting societies develop a variety of furniture such as dining tables, dressing tables, coffee tables, desks, and sideboards. Sitting on the floor also affects architecture: walking around the house in bare feet or socks demands smooth floors—no splinters—preferably warm wood rather than stone; places to sit are likely to be covered with soft mats or woven carpets; tall windowsills and very tall ceilings hold less appeal. Lastly, posture has direct physical effects. A lifetime of sitting unsupported on the floor develops muscles not required for chair-sitting, which is why chair-sitters, unaccustomed to sitting cross-legged, soon become uncomfortable in that position. And vice versa.” 

As you can see, humans have had a long history with the chair. From chiseled benches and wood-carved stools to task seating with ergonomic designs, we have come a long way.

Make sure that you aren’t left in the stone age and check out the new HON seating options at hon.com.

References

Crantz, G. (1998). The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

de Dampierre, F. (2006). Chairs: A History. New York: Abrams.

Friedman, U. (2016, August 30). A Global History of Sitting Down. Retrieved from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/08/chairs-history-witold-rybczynski/497657/

Jewell, E. J., & Abate, F. (2001). The New Oxford American Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rybczynski, W. (2016). Now I sit me down: from klismos to plastic chair: a natural history. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

 

With the announcement of Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, our recently updated 2018 Fabric Inspiration Guide, and the brand new fabric options HON introduced this month, it’s clear that we’re excited about color in the workplace this year!

Color Palettes

Understanding the psychology of colors and how they influence emotions, it is important to consider the energy you want your office design to convey or the way your brand colors make your employees and customers feel. Blue, for example, incites calmness and serenity. This color might be a good fit for a breakroom or waiting area. Colors like green, orange and yellow that are known to increase happiness might complement open plan spaces and high-productivity environments. Maybe you work for a company that finds importance in wealth and sophistication. If that’s the case, choosing colors like purple and black can give off a sense of authority and prosperity.

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Once you’ve selected a color, you then need to decide on patterns and textures. Some patterns are bold, but when paired with a cool, neutral color like gray can become more toned down and harmonious. It’s important to find the right balance of colors, fabrics and finishes to make sure everything feels like it belongs in the space. Looking to show unity in a collaborative work environment? Choosing the same color palette throughout the office might be the way to go. Want to differentiate between departments? Alternate between solid colors and bold prints for each group while using the same base color to help maintain a cohesive look throughout the space. I recommend staying away from overwhelming a space with too many patterns or too many solid colors – usually a nice mix of both will lead to a better result.

Looking for some color inspiration? Check out our latest fabric introductions and updated color palettes to find the design solutions that will make your workspace a place where your employees can enjoy what they do in a place they love.

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“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress, working together is success.” – Henry Ford

HON may manufacture office furniture, but we sell something much more important: Productivity. What it means to be productive is always changing, and the path to get there is very fluid. Currently, the big buzz words around productivity are ‘collaboration’ and ‘interaction’. Younger generations are driving this change in the typical work day, and I don’t think they are going anywhere. The 9-to-5 gig will continue to be a more group-oriented experience. Workstations will become more dynamic. Private offices will lose their clout. Walls will come down, and teamwork will be at the heart of business. It is time to adjust to the new world and the solution is simple: Between™ Tables.

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Henry Ford said it best, “Working together is success.” So, why not invest in tools that make that success possible? Between is a contemporary table line that is compatible with any space in the office. With three shapes and multiple heights, all available in our full line of HON laminates, there is nowhere this line won’t fit.

Between tables are all about taking all those nooks and extra spaces in your office and transforming them into places that drive productivity. Between is simple. Between is easy. Between is, for all intents and purposes, perfect for that space between. At a competitive price and with a design that makes reconfiguring a breeze, there isn’t much to not love about HON’s newest table line.

Between can be used in a breakroom, a back room, the server room, or even in the hallway. Between is a tool that will help you leverage every square inch of your space to create a productive environment, so that even the smallest of spaces can be the place of the next great innovation. So, whether you find yourself shooting the breeze over lunch, or planning the next billion-dollar acquisition, let Between tables propel you to the next level.

Learn more at hon.com/between.

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The Super Bowl may be over, but here’s how you can get in the game with HON – all year round! “Huddle” up and let’s set the scene…

Monday morning, the clock strikes 8 and your office doors open. You and your team members are suited up for the big day, hoping to make it to the “Super Goal”. But your success depends on the right team, the right strategy and the right tools.

You need an offensive winning lineup of seating to keep you moving forward, each chair playing a different role while working together as a team to be a comprehensive solution for your entire space.

You need to be backed by the strongest, most dependable defensive line in the industry – an unparalleled lifetime warranty.

Your team should practice hard, focusing on Rapid Continuous Improvement and using Voice of the Customer research so you never stop improving.

Play by the rule book of sustainability and uphold the highest standards of sportsmanship, with a HON Ready attitude and an emphasis on corporate responsibility.

Motivate your employees with the flexibility to update your team colors at any time with thousands of fabric and finish options.

Most of all, you need more than fans; you need members who are inspired by practicality and fully invested in helping you grow. When you recruit HON as your office Quarterback, you cheer for the winning team.

Want to “Coordinate” your next play with HON? Visit hon.com today to see how getting in the game with HON can help you reach your goals.

 

HON knows learning doesn’t begin and end in the classroom.  From the front office to the classroom – and every opportunity in between – we craft the products that inspire, engage and connect the ways in which students learn.

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Giving students the tools they need is all about getting them in the right zone.  HON has developed a concept of 4- and 6-zone classroom environments that include multiple types of furniture arrangements and the flexibility to reconfigure quickly to adapt to different learning styles.

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Setting up a four-zone classroom puts the instructor in more control over the peer-to-peer sharing of information and positions the environment to respond to inevitable change.  All four zones can be swapped and moved to support any learning activity.

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A classroom with six distinct zones provides a variety of environments suited to different teaching and learning styles – supporting everything from attentive group focus to active areas for experimentation and idea-sharing.

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In today’s classroom, the teacher is now a facilitator rather than an instructor and these zones help create the environments to support this change.  The key aspects to a zone classroom are flexibility, mobility and reconfigurability.  We can’t predict how the progressive classroom will continue to evolve and change, so we have decided to create spaces that have the flexibility to adapt to all the changes.  Below are some additional examples on how our 4- and 6-zone classrooms can be reconfigured to adapt to different learning and teaching styles.

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A classroom atmosphere that keeps students’ attention is the ultimate goal, because it helps with communication and retention.  HON Learning collections embrace 21st century paradigm shifts in education to support a variety of spaces, pedagogies and technologies. At the end of the day, learning should be fun!

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For more information about trends in classroom design and learning solutions from HON, visit hon.com/learning.

View HON’s K-12 Learning brochure here.
View HON’s Higher Education brochure here.

With the new year quickly approaching, everyone begins to think of their New Year’s resolutions.  Some will give up sugary foods or try to stop a bad habit while others will commit to a new exercise program or weight loss goal.  Whatever the resolution happens to be, it is usually made in hopes of becoming a better you.  Why not make a resolution for healthier habits that extend to the workplace as well as at home?

Walking

To start off the new year with a ‘healthier you’ focus, there are several things you can incorporate into your workday to achieve this goal.  Whether it be packing healthy snacks to keep at your workstation for when that sugar craving hits or taking a fresh air break a couple of times a day to refocus and recharge your mind.  One of the most effective ways to boost productivity and re-energize is to get up and move even if for only a few minutes at a time.

Staying in one position for extended periods of time has been shown to be a risk factor for serious illnesses that may have long lasting side effects.  By making small changes, such as changing positions, taking a quick walking break at least once an hour throughout the day and utilizing lunch hours for a quick walk around the block, can not only cut down on these risks but improve your mood and productivity.

What can we do in the workplace to get employees up and moving throughout the day without disrupting the workflow?

  • Vary where you complete your work tasks throughout the floor plan so you can change positions frequently
  • Walk over to someone’s desk vs sending an email to your colleagues
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Set a reminder to stand up every hour for a few minutes or more
  • Encourage employees to eat lunch away from their desks
  • If company policies and budgets allow, utilize a HON Coordinate height adjustable base with any of our worksurfaces or a desktop riser so you can easily sit or stand throughout the day
  • Park your car further away from the door or walk/bike to and from work if you are local
  • Have a quick stand-up meeting in a common area vs a sit down in a conference room
  • Stroll throughout the office space while taking phone calls

Whatever you decide to do, it’s easy to make a commitment to becoming a healthier you in 2018. Our bodies were not designed to sit still for hours at a time and these simple steps can have a huge impact on your overall wellbeing.  Make a resolution this new year to get up and move by implementing small changes throughout your workday.  You are worth it!

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