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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!

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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

Have you ever thought about ways to spruce up your work space? We often find ourselves to be in a dark, bland space, with little to no excitement. By adding some color to your workstation and your office’s common areas, you can brighten up your day in a few easy ways! Here are some ways to add color to your office:

 

Greenery

Creating green space in your personal workspace can result in a happier, healthier, and more productive workday. According to studies, being surrounded by greenery can create a shift in the way you think, resulting in increased productivity and creativity. Not only do plants give you a sense of being out in nature, but the color itself is known for reinforcing a relaxed state of mind.

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Not into decorating your personal workspace? Adding color to your workstation can be fun and easy with the latest expansion to the Solve collection. With thousands of options for fabric, three different frames, mesh and ReActiv backs, and seven different colors of lumbar, outfit your chair as a reflection of your personal style. The Solve chair makes it easy to add a pop of color to your office.

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Common Areas

Looking to liven up the common area ambiance? Retreat and relax in common areas that are outfitted with splashes of color. Flock, a collaborative seating solution, is a great way to add color with the hundreds of fabric options offered. Between ottomans, lounge chairs, and wedge chairs, you can mix and match to fulfill the unique style and needs of your organization.

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No matter where you are in the office, there’s always a way to add color to brighten up the day! Whether it be in your personal workspace or common areas around the building, HON products that can easily revamp your workspace. How will you add color to your work area?

Written by Michelle Mathis, HON Intern

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Do you struggle to find the time to work out in the midst of your busy life? You’re not alone. Many Americans cite the lack of time as the top reason for not hitting the gym. If your spare time doesn’t grow on trees, or you’d just like to up your workout game, check out these 15 tips for finding your fitness at work!

Take a Hike. In other words, get up and move! Every hour or so, get up and take a brisk walk around the office. It’ll add up!

Hold a Standing Meeting – Literally. Just because you’re meeting doesn’t mean you have to be sitting. Schedule it at a standing table or desk!

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Do Mini Exercises at Your Desk! Hold your feet just off the ground for sixty seconds or alternative holding your legs parallel to the floor. Trust me, it’s a workout!

Take the Stairs. Don’t take the elevator if you can help it. Climbing a flight of stairs is nearly equivalent to running!

Turn Off Your IM. Need to message a co-worker? Jog over to their desk instead of taking the technological easy route.

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Take Advantage of your Lunch Hour. Join a local gym, or walk down by the river when you have a block of open time.

Snack Smart. Don’t load up on caffeine and sweets if you want to shed some extra pounds. Any variety of healthy snacks can help you take the edge of your hunger.

Stretch It Out. Nothing feels better than a couple of stretches to mix up your morning. It gets the oxygen flowing and gives your brain a break.

Walk, Run, or Bike to Work! If you’re close enough (and rain clouds aren’t on the horizon), take the opportunity to ditch the car!

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Exercise at Your Standing Desk. Standing desks are a great start to finding your fitness. Want to up the ante? Try throwing in some calf raises and one-legged squats throughout the day.

Maintain Good Posture. Don’t slouch. Good posture has innumerable health benefits, including a straighter spine.

Schedule Out of the Way Conference Rooms. Up the stairs, around the corner, and down the hall? Yes, please! It’s a great excuse to get in your steps and get away from your desk.

Park in the Next Zip Code. Walking a few blocks to the office is a great way to start your day and arrange your priorities, or clear your head and stretch your legs after a long day!

Walk While You Talk. Conference calls scheduled all day long? Take a walk during those calls to get in your steps and energize your mind.

Change your Space. Don’t be contained to your desk – go seek out your collaborative spaces and common areas. Mix it up!

What are some of the ways you find to add fitness into your work day? Add your tips below!

Living in a business world can be challenging at times. An important thing to remember? There’s a time for business and there’s a time for fun. Office furniture, for instance, can be the best of both worlds. Your office can be fun and exciting, while also maintaining the business professional vibe. Here are some tips on how to keep it fun and professional in the office:

 

Try It Out!
There are now tools available that make office furniture enjoyable. One, for instance, would be the HON Chair Chooser. This tool allows people to customize and design the chair they are looking for while engaging their interest with interactive fun. Mix and match your fabrics to lighten up the room! Picking your design allows you to choose the business professional setting you and your customer need to get things accomplished while adding in a splash of entertainment.

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Get Social!
Using online media for business is a great way to get your business out there! Coming up with new, creative ideas to peek your followers’ interest allows you to work professionally with other members while keeping it fun. HON’s social media exemplifies our incredible members while still showcasing the product we have to offer. While there are multiple social media outlets, it’s all about finding the one that meets you and your customer’s needs.

Work It Out!
How you connect with your customers and members is vital. The experience your customer has says a lot about the environment you create. When working with customers, keep it positive and new to keep them engaged. Similarly, HON continually strives to improve every aspect of the company. By doing this, our members get involved and work together to optimize our business and our customer’s experience.

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No matter what type of business you conduct, there’s always a way to make it engaging and interesting. Try it out! Create a new social media campaign with your team, or pick out fabrics and laminates for your new conference room. Office furniture is an everyday part of the business world, so why not make it fun and professional, all in one?

Share your ideas for keeping it fun and professional below!

 

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