Despite the groundhog’s (seemingly false) claims of an early spring, we’re buried under an increasing amount of snow and ice here in the Midwest. Reminiscent of the forlorn offices of yesteryear, the grey and white canvas leaves us wanting more!

Bypass the winter blues (and greys) with these seven tips to spice up your workspace!

  1. Add Color to The Cube – It’s no secret that color can do amazing things to breathe life into your workspace. Adding a new Colorwav lumbar to your Solve chair in Bullseye red or Krypton green can break up the monotony of a dull or colorless space.

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2. Let in The Light! – Pull down those dreary drapes and let in the natural light! Brightening your workspace not only allows for a little extra Vitamin D, but it also provides measurable health benefits. Try your hand at an open office with loads of natural light!

3. Splash Some Paint – White walls are boring walls. Adding an accent wall can infuse some fun into an ordinary space. Whether you choose a bold color, wallpaper, or even a texture like woodgrain, they make a statement and spice up the conventional workspace.

4. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize – Don’t let bland be the standard. With Colorwav now available on Voi Cubes and paper management, you can banish the boring. Accessorize your workstation with your favorite color!

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5. Give Greenery a Go – While you may be unable to escape into the wilds of the Amazon, you can always bring greenery to you. Studies have shown that adding indoor plants can have numerous benefits including increased productivity, stress reduction, and improved health. Who wouldn’t want that?

6. Picture This – Stuck staring at walls you can’t paint? Wall decals and framed prints can break up the monotonous white or add some backing to your brand. Try adding some historical photos of your company’s roots or breakthrough ad campaigns!

7. Let Them Lounge – Collaboration and comfortable seating? Yes please. Common areas are in high demand and are gaining popularity. Lounge spaces built with comfortable seating like Flock create a space that’s anything but bland.

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Don’t let the winter blues keep you down – spice up your work space! Add your own tips for a colorful and vibrant office below!

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January: a time for the post-holiday blues, scraping icy windshields, and of course, New Years’ resolutions. Resolutions aren’t your thing? As an alternative to the singularly focused resolution, let’s try an overhaul in 2019! Here’s five areas where you can revitalize and remake yourself this year:

 

Minding Your Mindset

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” This well-known quote by Charles R. Swindoll illustrates that your mindset can change how you view the world. While there’s plenty of negativity out there, one thing that’s solely dependent on you is your attitude. Half full or half empty? Take a different approach in 2019 if you’re envisioning just how empty that cup is!

 

Learn Something New

Expanding your horizons, while cliché, is an excellent notion. Learn about recent furniture trends or read a new book about leadership. Or, if you only have ten minutes a day, let your curiosity find a worthy Ted Talk about business.

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Don’t Settle for Second Best

Still sore from losing out on a big account in 2018? Take that passion and plow forward into uncharted territory. Go after your next big sale with an appetite to win. If you’re a naturally competitive person, try to take things up a notch from 2018 or try out some of the new skills or ideas you came across while learning something new!

 

Failing Forward

Fortunately, failure isn’t fatal. And while failure does occasionally sting, it’s also a recipe for innovation. Without an obligatory red mark on a report, we’d never learn to improve. When these ‘failures’ do happen, step back and say why? You might just find that the freedom to fail liberates you to do your best work.

 

Be Well While You Work

Yes, even we’ve been bitten by the inevitable wellness resolution. Why? Even if we only spend eight hours a day at the office, that’s half of our awake time on any given day. Invest in yourself and try a few healthy habits while you’re working. Check out our blog post, 15 Tips to Find Your Fitness at the Office from last year!

 

Bursting at the seams to try these out? Strive to be a better version of yourself this year. Give it a go and let us know!

As the holidays approach and we welcome a time of celebration, ensure that everything is covered prior to closing time. To do this, plan ahead so that you don’t fall behind in the interim. Check out our three tips below on how to get ahead of that work:

 

Tip 1: Create a To Do List

Make a list of work that could be completed before you leave the office. Once the list is written, go back over it and prioritize things that must be done before the break. The more you accomplish before break, the better position you return to. Not only is this beneficial for customers, but co-workers who count on you in everyday tasks will appreciate your preparedness!

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Tip 2: Reach Out!

Prior to closing for the holidays, reaching out to customers and coworkers can open the door for any last-minute assistance they may need. Additionally, letting customers know when you will be out of the office and when you’ll return is helpful in determining important deadlines or if work needs to be covered.

 

Tip 3: Enjoy the Holidays

Getting ahead and leaving yourself in a good place before you leave allows for a less stressful return. Though there may be tasks that need completed once you return, clear expectations and priorities can aid in some transition back to work.

 

As we near the holidays, zone in and accomplish what you need so that you can enjoy the festivities. Make a list, check it twice, and get ahead. What are you some of your tips for staying ahead of the holidays?

 

Written by Stephanie Roan

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While we all know that twiddling our fingers and shooting the breeze with nearby co-workers limits our productivity, not all of us are clued in to productive habits. If you’ve ever wondered how to get more out of the limited hours of your work day, here’s a few tips to get you on the right track!

  • Plug In
    • Work better with headphones in? Find the music that beats your drum. Or, drown out the noisy neighbor or the irritating sounds of construction.
  • Tackle the To-Do List
    • Set it and stick to it. Try sorting out 3-5 tasks a day that you want to complete, and make them your highest priority. Plus, crossing things out always feels good!
  • Enforce Your Email Plan
    • Try limiting the compulsive email checking; focus on the task at hand and don’t get distracted. If it helps, turn off new email previews or any distracting alerts.
  • Manage Your Meetings
    • Not everything needs an hour discussion; schedule meetings for the appropriate amount of time. Send out an agenda beforehand and don’t follow tangents.
  • Know When You Shine
    • Bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7am? Tackle your toughest assignments in the morning. Need a nap at 2pm (who doesn’t)? Schedule something monotonous during that time period.
  • Unplug
    • Put your personal iPhone away. Not only does this help with distractions, but it keeps work and personal time separate.
  • Scheduled Work Time
    • Booked in meetings 24/7? Schedule some ‘Me Time’ on your calendar to work away in the closest Flock touchdown station.

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  • Short and Sweet
    • While writing a novel in an email may nail out the details, only a short one encourages a full read. Keep to the high points instead of adding more characters.
  • Take a Break
    • No, really. Energize yourself and shake off the naptime feeling with a quick walk around the office when you feel you’re losing focus.
  • Cut It Out
    • The simple beauty of Ctrl + C is a magical thing. Cut the fat by using keyboard shortcuts and favorites for repetitive actions.
  • Fuel Your Fire
    • No one can run on steam. To have some fuel in the tank, take time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus, who doesn’t love food?
  • Write It Down
    • Capture each task or project by writing them down. Writing it down frees up some of your brain’s hard drive for a little extra processing power!
  • Just Say No
    • If you’re a habitual ‘Yes Man’, time to change your tune. Saying ‘No’ when you’re overloaded or not meeting commitments could be the wisest call of your day.
  • Pick Up the Phone
    • Instead of playing email tag, pick up the phone. Having an actual discussion can resolve an issue in a matter of minutes, whereas email could leave it unresolved for days.
  • Try Delegating
    • Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Though many people shudder at delegation, try handing off tasks or assignments that could be handled by someone else.

 

Start small; try to tackle two or three of these to see how it improves your productivity. Once you’ve mastered the art, or have a few of your own to share, add your hat to the pile and comment below!

I grew up around The HON Company. I have two uncles who work for HNI, my mother works in Customer Support, and my grandmother retired from Allsteel, our sister company, after 21 years. If you would have told me 5 years ago I would have followed in their footsteps and joined the world of office furniture, I would have laughed. I graduated from St. Ambrose University with a Sport Management degree, with a dream of working in the field of professional sports, set in a big city for an iconic team like the New York Yankees. That is, until I saw a LinkedIn post for a Sales and Marketing Specialist at the HON Company.

After the arduous interview process one warm day in late August, I was drinking the HON Kool-Aid. The people were cool, the atmosphere was cooler, and how about those soda machines? It wasn’t a major-league baseball team, but it seemed like the next best thing. I learned that we would be participating in a three-month training program to learn everything there was to know about HON: their products, their program, their culture. I thought to myself, “Does it really take three months to learn office furniture?” Boy, was I wrong.

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As I came to the end of the training program, I was asked what area of the country I would enjoy traveling to for my new role, Solutions Account Associate (SAA for short). Being the traveler I am, my response was anywhere outside the immediate three-hour radius. The next couple days were spent casually walking by Dave Brunk’s office four (or 40) times a day wondering if they had placed me yet. After what seemed like weeks, I was finally given a selling territory: New York City and New Jersey.

I was so excited; New York and New Jersey was such a big area with so much potential. The next couple days I spent soaking up as much information as I could about my new territory. I quickly learned that these areas, although some of the densest in the country, had the biggest opportunities for improvement. At one point, NYC itself had 5 dedicated Business Development Managers. Over the last twelve months or so, we’ve been reintroducing HON to dealers old and new.

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Typically, my position as a SAA is a very inside sales focused role. For me, that’s not the case. While New York and New Jersey are some of the densest areas in the United States, that can also be said for HON dealers. A typical SAA helps cover anywhere from 20-30 dealerships. For me, it was near 70. Wow!

At first glance, it seems overwhelming. However, as the days went by, I saw the potential. With the large volume of dealerships, it was a chance for me to shine and partner with the area’s Business Development Managers. In this, I was able to take the reins and be that main point of contact for a number of dealerships in both territories. As the days, weeks, and months flew by, I learned an incredible amount. I have been exposed to many things that a SAA in other territory may not see. While days may be harder than others, at the end of the day, I tell myself that everything is a learning experience.

Let’s fast forward to today, as I book my 5th (or maybe 6th) trip to The Big Apple. I have developed great relationships with not only my Business Development Mangers, but with Dealer Sales Representatives, Dealer Principles, and designers. More importantly, I have developed trust. Without a doubt, the biggest thing I have taken away from this position is trust. Once you build a relationship and gain someone’s trust, the sale comes naturally. In my eleven months with this company so far, I have learned (and keep learning) new things every single day. I am excited for my future and the opportunities within The HON Company. It may not be an MLB team, but I hit a “home run” with HON.

 

Written by Jadelyn Agent, Solutions Account Associate

Muscatine is known as the “Pearl of the Mississippi”. Why, you may ask? In 1887, a German immigrant named John Boepple started a thriving pearl button industry here on the banks of the Mississippi. In turn, Muscatine became the world’s largest pearl button manufacturer.

Before coming to work in Muscatine, I had no idea what to expect. After living here for a summer during my internship at The HON Company, I can confidently say that I have accomplished a lot throughout the summer, grown professionally, and learned about the town and its culture. And, of course, I’ve eaten a lot of great food along the way.

Brothers in law C. Maxwell Stanley and Clement T. Hanson partnered with former colleague H. Wood Miller to found the company in 1944. Their goal was to create jobs for those returning from World War II.  Then known as Home-O-Nize, they started out making kitchen cabinets and recipe boxes. Later, leaders made the decision to change the name to The HON Company. This official name change came in 1967 as we changed our focus to office products. Upon realizing that HON needed a bigger space to accommodate the growing company, we moved into our current location which, coincidentally, was the old U.S. button factory.

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HON has done a great job incorporating many different aspects into my 10-week internship program. Building professionalism, networking, and connecting with leaders within the company has been a great learning experience for me. By attending a variety of Lunch and Learns hosted by the company, I’ve gained a broader prospective about the corporation as a whole. Networking at these events in particular has given me a leg up within the business and new insight into possibilities for the future.

Connecting with other interns and learning about the areas and focuses that they work in is a great way to learn more and gain insight into the business. The interns all have a variety of different perspectives about the business and it is exciting to hear about their experience and projects they worked on.

Outside of work, I’ve been able to explore and enjoy the beautiful city. Being from the suburbs in Minnesota, I was not exactly sure what to expect. My roommates and I had the opportunity to explore the city and dine at many unique restaurants. From eating tasty Italian at Mamma Mia with the view of the Mississippi, to frequent walks around Weed Park, or sliding into the pool at the Muscatine Aquatic Center, it has been a pleasurable experience over all.

Muscatine has a small town feel coupled with a rich history and something for everyone. Overall, my internship at The HON Company has been a great experience. Not only did they work to build me professionally, but they were able to teach me skills and give me lasting knowledge for the future.

 

Written by Brenna Johnson, HON Intern

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Starting an internship can be exciting, but a little nerve racking. You’re not the only one who was once in this place; I’ve recently completed my Internship with the HON Company. By following these five tips, you’ll be able to find success in your internship and will advance above and beyond everyone’s expectations.

Ask Questions

By asking questions and wanting to learn more, you’ll be able to gain more insight. Learn more about the company that you are working for and know more about the work that you’re tasked with. Asking questions is never a bad thing, in fact, it’s the opposite. Asking questions lets people know that you’re interested and engaged in the information and you want to understand it better.

Express Your Interests

If you enjoy a certain type of work or have an interest in a specific field or industry, speak up! Learning and gaining experience in different fields that you’re interested in is only going to make you a well-rounded individual with a variety of different skills and knowledge. Speaking up to express your interests will only broaden your horizons. Your manager will be appreciative that you have those interests and, many times, would like to explore them to gain new insights.

Be Personable

This is an extremely important tip to become successful in your internship. When starting your new internship at a company, you may occasionally feel overwhelmed. Interns can sometimes be the only new ones in the office. Often, that can mean mixed emotions. By being personable and wanting to get to know your manager and the people you work with, you’ll be able to build those relationships and learn more about your coworkers on a personal level. After those connections are made, conversations will flow more smoothly and you’ll feel more comfortable in the office.

Manage Your Time

Learning how to manage your time is essential to being successful in any field. If you are able to take on a variety of different projects, attend meetings, and manage a work-life balance, you have it figured out. Don’t be afraid to voice if you feel overwhelmed in projects, or feel that you will not be able to accomplish them all properly due to limited time. Being able to effectively communicate your needs will earn you respect from your superiors.

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Ask for Resume Help

As your time at your internship comes to an end, make sure to update your resume. This means taking the time to list your current position and writing a quality, accurate description of your role. Many interns may mistake their projects as tedious, busy work, and not know exactly what to write as their description. In sitting down with your manager, you can create a strong overview of your role by gaining knowledge of the bigger picture. Enhance your resume by understanding how your projects throughout the summer benefitted the company.

By taking these 5 tips into consideration, you’ll be able to succeed in your internship and grow professionally. Tell us your tips below!

 

Written by Brenna Johnson, HON Intern

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