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We’ve all been there. December is filled with the excitement of the holiday season and getting ready to usher in the new year. Then we get into the heart of winter, when day after day is filled with dreary gray skies and frigid temperatures – or in Iowa’s case, an ice storm – and the lack of sun makes it that much harder for your sunny disposition to shine through. But fear not! Here are some tried and true ways to perk you up this winter and battle those winter blues, tailored specifically to the office world.

Switch it up with some swatches

Have you ever heard the saying “You eat with your eyes first?” That may pertain to how chefs plate their food, but the same applies to your surroundings, whether that’s your living room at home or your desk at work. Which sounds more appealing to you: light grey walls, dark grey floors, no decorations, or some dark chocolate woodgrains, wall art with rich pops of color, and a steaming cup of hot cocoa? I personally would be much more motivated to work in an environment that is comforting and incorporates colors and design elements that encourage positive emotions and productivity. Whether it’s a matter of adding pops of color through fabric or changing it up with darker woodgrains, you can very easily make a space feel considerably more comfortable and inviting by taking inspiration from some of HON’s color palettes:

fabrics

For more office design inspiration, visit our Pinterest page or more fabric palettes on hon.com.

Take a break

Are you a hot chocolate kind of gal? Maybe you like your coffee black in the largest receptacle you can find. Or is hot tea more your jam? Regardless, you need a place to enjoy your hot beverage of choice and to catch up with your coworkers before you start the day or over your lunch break. Why not sip on some cozy lounge seating, like HON’s new Grove® line. (Don’t forget to include a tablet arm so you’ve got a resting place for that hot cocoa in between sips, or pair it with a Flock® Mini with a Laminate Top!)

grove

Get a change of scenery

Repetition is a surefire recipe for boredom, so make sure to switch up your routine to help stave off winter weariness. HON’s collaborative furniture solutions allow you to get a change of pace and a change of scenery while still maintaining work productivity. Here’s where the new Preside® collaborative tables and the complementary Arrange® tables and Accommodate® seating come in. Designed to be used in all different parts of the office, these lines offer a variety of heights, technology options, and sizes to give you a place to work wherever you are. It’s the perfect way to rejuvenate and regain some motivation on a long winter day.

preside

What are your tried and true methods of staying motivated during the winter months?

 

 

If you took all of the different table lines that manufacturers had to offer and lined them up end to end, I would venture to say you could reach the moon and back more than a few times. The great news is that you only need one table line when it comes to finding the perfect fit for your office – the new Build table series from HON.

The Building Blocks of a Great Table:

Adaptability
In a society where millennials are quickly becoming the prevailing majority in the workforce, you need a table that will fit the work style of the millennial, the baby boomer, and something for when the two come together. Here are just four different ways you can use Build™ tables in today’s workplace:

  1. Commons: Group a few together in the commons area for impromptu one-on-one meetings, group discussions, and everything in between.
  2. Breakout: Integrate them into workstation areas to give employees a breakout meeting area without having to completely relocate.
  3. Training: Use them in a training room, and rearrange as needed to accommodate any size group or any type of training.
  4. Focused: Take advantage of unused nooks and smaller spaces in the office to give employees the opportunity to find a little quiet time.

Build tables are a great fit for any commons area

Aesthetic
One of the oldest sayings in the book is that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s equally true for what your office furniture says about you to your employees and visitors alike. Odds are, you’re going to want something that has a classic look without being overly outdated or staid.

Build™ offers not only 26 standard laminate options and 14 edge options, but also two different leg finishes, casters or glides and five unique and interchangeable table top shapes.

Feeling traditional? Pair a couple of rectangular tables in a classic woodgrain finish together for a mobile conference room. Want something a little more unique? Arrange six of the new kite tables in Pomegranate or Blue Agave laminate for a floral-inspired group setting.

New Build table shape - Kite

Attention to Detail
Like all HON products, Build™ was designed with the end user in mind. Inspired by practicality, HON created a table that could be used alone, or mixed and matched with others to create a space that is completely new. It includes height adjustability from 25” to 34” so that it fits just right for any individual. And of course, it’s backed by the HON Full Lifetime Warranty, so you can rest easy knowing that you and your purchase are covered.

Build Tables work in any learning or commercial space

How would you use HON’s new Build tables in your space?

 

If you’ve ever had any training in ergonomics, you probably know that one advantage of having an ergonomically-designed workspace is employee retention. An ergonomic workspace designed to promote wellness can help employees feel valued by management, increase their sense of worth and improve productivity. With HON, you can create healthier workspaces without sacrificing design. Take a look at the environment ideas below to see how you can create an office that is both functional and fashionable:

1. Keep Ergonomics in Mind While Maximizing the Office Footprint

Commercial real estate square footage is valuable, but just because you’re trying to save space doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice ergonomics or looks—check out this great semi-private office setup that uses Voi® modular desks and the Ceres® task chair:

Maximize your office footprint with ergonomic solutions from HON

Without wasting any office footprint, this configuration empowers two individuals to choose between a sitting or standing height work position throughout the day. The Ceres task chair has been designed to reduce pressure on the backs of the legs and evenly distribute weight for proper support.

2. Make the Workspace Employee-Friendly

Sometimes leaving your bed in the morning is hard, and having to go into an office that isn’t visually inviting doesn’t make that task any easier. Help alleviate some of that difficulty by using elements like HON’s recently expanded active storage line – Contain®.

Make your workplace employee-friendly with HON

As offices continue to shift away from archival storage there’s a greater need for active storage that employees can use for more personal items. Contain is a perfect fit for those needs. Pair it with Voi, the Ceres task chair and some Flock® modular lounge seating and you’ve got a work area that has enough privacy to allow work to be completed, but is also a warm and inviting space where employees will want to spend their time.

3. Create an Office that Adapts to New Work Styles

Long gone are the days of individuals working heads-down in a cubicle for 8 hours—with the rise of the millennial generation, the way that people get work done is changing just as quickly as the age bracket of employees. There is an increased focus on collaboration in today’s office design that can be addressed by using products that cater to impromptu meetings, are technologically powered, and also provide a place to get away from your desk for a change of pace and to refresh your mind. Accommodate™ and Arrange™, HON’s newest seating and table lines, support an active and collaborative work style.

Use versatile office furniture to create functional workspaces

While providing a coordinated design aesthetic that could be utilized in any part of an office, these complementary product lines are versatile in their functionality as well. Use them in a café space that could also become an impromptu conference room, a break room where employees can have a midday snack and charge their phones, or pair with Flock for more of a booth-style solution.

The number of ways to style a workspace are endless, but one thing is certain: there’s no reason why an office can’t be both efficient and enjoyable.

What are your favorite new trends in office furniture and workplace design?

Today’s workers are more mobile than ever before, and it’s easy to get distracted from your workplace wellness priorities when you’re constantly moving between different work environments. From investing in ergonomic furniture to choosing healthier food options, here are some great ways to keep on top of your health in the busy office!

Staying Active

You might really love Cross-Fit, while I’m a huge yoga fan. As long as you’re getting in at least 3 decent workouts a week, you’ll be doing your body some good and ensuring you have the energy needed to be productive in the office. Here’s what the American Heart Association recommends:

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 times per week for a total of 150

OR

  • At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

AND

  • Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits
  • For lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week

That’s all well and good, but what about when you’re not exercising or sleeping—the other 15.5 hours of your day? Don’t forget about proper posture and ergonomics, because those are just as important for keeping your body in tune (and pain-free) while you work as working out regularly can be.

  • When seated, ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy posture: Keep your feet on the ground, your back supported with back of your chair, and make sure your feet, legs and arms are well supported. Also make sure that your neck and shoulders remain relaxed and supported.  Posture is important for blood flow and overall comfort throughout the day.
HON's ergonomics tips

Slide designed for HON Training2Go

“Remember to change your postures frequently and avoid sedentary behaviors by adjusting positions, standing and walking periodically throughout the day, recommends HNI’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Manager, Lauren Gant, PhD, CPE.

Drink like a fish.

Are you drinking enough water? Want an easy way to make sure you are? Give Plant Nanny a try.

Use the Plant Nanny App to stay hydrated

Plant Nanny may sound (and look) like something that is meant for your 10 year old niece, but it’s a fun way to keep you adequately hydrated. You can personalize your account to determine how much water per day you truly need, and then the app sends you reminders throughout the day if you haven’t logged your intake. It’s incredibly helpful, especially when you’re busy.

Some other tips to help you get enough water throughout the day:

  • Start your day with some herbal tea or warm water with lemon to fire up your digestive system.
  • Throw a few spare water bottles in the car for when you’re stuck in traffic or just forget your regular bottle.
  • Keep a HON mug or water bottle visible at your desk so you remember to sip throughout the day.

Eating Right

Lacking your nutrition? There’s an app for that. My go-to is MyFitnessPal, because it’s great regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain, or just make sure you’re getting the right nutrients.

Use MyFitnessPal to stay healthy in the office

If you don’t have time to track every single thing you’re eating, that’s okay, too.

  • Bring healthy snacks with you every day so that you aren’t tempted by the candy bar you’ve been hiding in the back of your desk drawer when mid-day hunger strikes.
  • Eat the cake that was ordered in for Mary Sue’s birthday (in moderation). Forbidding yourself from having any treats can lead to binges or overall poor eating habits. So have a slice of birthday cake (just ask for a smaller piece) and have some extra vegetables with dinner instead of that baked potato to balance it out.
  • Start with salad (or carrots, or spinach, or celery). Not only does this help make you feel fuller faster, but the fiber in veggies like these help coat your stomach to optimize your digestive enzymes and make it easier for your body to process your dinner.

You may have heard these recommendations before, or you may not have. Either way, I hope that they help you stay on track with your own health and wellness goals, whatever they may be.

What else do you do to stay healthy in your office?

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