Archives for the month of: May, 2015

Walk

As a member of the HNI Healthworks team, I spend time with other members within the company working to encourage healthy habits in the workplace. Workplace wellness continues to be a hot topic, both inside and outside the world of office furniture. Moreover, working for an office furniture manufacturer provides a very unique insight into this issue.

On one hand, as a HON member, I like knowing that people can put our seating products to good use. We offer a large variety of styles, functions, and features—executive chairs, modern chairs, chairs with more adjustments than I ever knew possible, and even reception area chairs. When designing our products, we make sure that it not only passes testing standards for safety, but we want it to be comfortable as well. One perk of working at HON is that our members are given the chance to test out new products and provide feedback to the designers and engineers before anyone else.

On the other hand, as someone who is fairly active, I also know how physically taxing it can be to remain at your desk for eight or more hours. I know, I know—sitting is hard?! It may sound crazy, but studies have shown that there can be negative side effects to remaining seated for too long without any movement.  Sitting is necessary for me to accomplish my work, and as much as I like my HON chair, I sometimes need a little break from sitting.

So what can you do? Here are a couple of helpful tips that I’ve been able to implement into my daily routine:

1. Take a walk! Everyone needs to take a break from work for a few moments during the workday, and I like to spend mine walking. My coworkers can attest to the fact that I can be spotted making a loop through our building, or even walking a lap in the parking lot during my breaks or over lunch.

2. Want a few extra steps?  Choose a parking spot that’s further away from the entrance to the building.

3. Take the long route when heading to the restroom, meeting room, break room, etc.

4. Skip the elevator (as your health allows) and take the stairs instead.

5. Eat your lunch away from your desk. Even if you just go to the break room or cafeteria, getting away from your desk not only gives you a chance to get some steps in, but it’s also a great way to “reset” yourself mentally.

6. If you have standing-height tables available for meetings or breaks, use them! You might not be moving, but standing for a meeting can be beneficial for your overall mobility.

7. Drink water—staying hydrated is important for your health, and the more you get up to grab a refill, the more steps you take.

These are just a handful of ways that I incorporate movement and activity into my day. Share your workplace wellness tips below!

1. Contain Encourages Expression. Just like your favorite shirt, you can make Contain your own. HON offers a range of Core, Choice, and Custom paints so pick whichever color you’re feeling for your office.

Contain storage

2. Dress it up or dress it down! Adding accessories can transition a shirt from a “day at the office” to a “night on the town”. Contain offers various base options, from footed to kickplate. Or, upgrade to fabric-wrapped cushions to provide short-term seating. You can even add a laminate top to match the rest of the office.

3. A great shirt can stand on its own, but also complements your entire wardrobe. Contain looks great alone. But it looks even better when combined with other HON products like Accelerate®, Abound® and Voi®. Mix and match to find a winning solution!

Contain storage

4. A classic shirt lasts forever and won’t go out of style – just like Contain. With the HON Full Lifetime Warranty, our products are built to last. So, you can be confident that Contain is the right solution for all of your workplace storage needs.

What do you love about Contain?

employee engagement

A workplace that fosters employee engagement, or member engagement as we call it at HON, is one in which individuals become motivated by the same ideas to achieve the same goals. This type of work environment is beneficial to employees, customers, the community and your brand.  Here are 6 tips for boosting employee engagement in your office:

1. Clearly define company values

Be sure to clearly communicate the core ideas behind which your company stands.  Being reminded of these every once in awhile will help your employees see the bigger picture of what they’re a part of, and motivate them to uphold these standards.

2. Encourage individual growth

Allowing employees the opportunity to work on their own projects sparks creativity and empowerment, and can even lead to new innovations that benefit the company. Take Google for example. Gmail and Google News started as a few personal side projects. Apple is also encouraging a similar movement with the Blue Sky program.

3. Host themed days

Who doesn’t love mixing things up for a day? Whether it’s dressing up to represent your favorite sports team or having employees bring their favorite desserts to share with everyone, this is fun for all and fights monotony at work.

4. Commemorate achievements

No matter the size or subject of the project, remind your employees how much you appreciate their work. This proverbial ‘pat on the back’ will remind your staff of their worth and impact in the company.

5. Schedule team building outside of work

Depending on the company and employee interests, an after work activity is a great way to get to know each other on a more personal level. A company that has fun together, works well together.

6. Celebrate people

Birthdays, work anniversaries, promotions, etc. are all great excuses to recognize employees and show them how much they matter.

How does your company promote employee engagement?

Who knew office furniture could be so interesting?

1. The first commercial offices appeared in industrial cities throughout the Northern United States in the late 19th century.

First Offices

2. One of the earliest innovators of the modern office chair was Charles Darwin who added wheels to his chair to get to his specimens quicker while in his study.

Charles Darwin's Chair

3. People in the United States spend at least 1,896 hours per year at work. (Better make sure you get a comfortable chair from HON!)

1896 Sitting Hours

4. The office chair became popular when Otto Von Bismarck distributed them through parliament while he was in office.

Office Chair Grows in Popularity

5. The most popular exhibits during the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia were the New Office Equipment and Office Furniture exhibits.

Historic Office Furniture Exhibits

6. Two German brothers dreamed up the first open-plan office. They called it Bürolandschaft, or “office landscape.”

The first open plan office

7. The tax code is somewhat to blame for the popularity of panel systems. The 1960s saw a change in tax code making it easier for companies to write off depreciating assets.

Tax code

What other fun office furniture facts can you share?

Summer is right around the corner, which marks an extra busy season for many of us within the furniture industry.  To combat the additional workload and pressure the busy season may bring, here are 8 ways to relieve stress in the office:

Summer

1. Create a “To-Do” list at the beginning of every day:  Although creating a to-do list may seem obvious, take it one step further and create your “must-dos” and your “would like to dos” so you can prioritize your list.  Then, tackle the “must-dos” right away so you can start the day feeling accomplished.

2. Check-in with yourself every hour.  Review your progress on your to-do list, re-rank any items, and re-focus your energy.  If feeling overwhelmed, take a small break at this time to prevent any stress before it starts.

3. Review and re-prioritize your “To-Do” list at the end of each day.  Before shutting down for the day, make a note of what you need to do the next day and rank accordingly.  This will help you avoid feeling like you have a “million things to do tomorrow” as you end the day.  You prioritized the “must-dos” and can now take some time to relax.

4. Take a walk around your office.  If you are starting to feel stressed, take some time to walk around the office. A little exercise helps you calm down and allows your brain to re-charge.

Calm

5. Play with a stress ball.  You can find these almost anywhere and they are a good way to take mini-breaks throughout the day.

6. Download the “Calm” App. It can help you meditate, relax, and sleep better.

7. Download the “Anti-Stress Quotes” App. Lift your mood with some inspiring words.

8. Play a mindless game on your phone.  My personal favorite right now is “Snake ‘97”, which looks like the original “Snake” that was once one of the only games available for cell phones. Be sure to find appropriate breaks in your work day for this stress reliever, though!

Snake

What are other tips or apps do you recommend to combat and relieve stress in the workplace?

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