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Most products that we use in our daily lives go through some form of testing before they are launched into the market. This is an important step to verify user safety, environmental compliance, and ultimately a positive overall experience. Have you ever thought about how your office furniture is tested? Here at HON we have an A2LA Certified Product Test Lab, an A2LA Certified Pack Lab, a Parts Approval Lab and a Color Lab, so you could say we take our testing very seriously!

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HON engineers test Empower Benching above and beyond BIFMA with 7900 lbs on 20 stations!

The first test we conduct is part-specific, and it takes place in what we call our Parts Approval Lab. For this test, we scan our parts with a laser and the software generates a 3D color map that will tell us exactly how much, if any, the part varies from the print. For example, when we model the back of a chair, we scan those parts to verify that all contours are exactly how we modeled it.

The second test validates our colors, and this takes place in our Color Lab. Dedicated members verify the colors of each part match the exact color composition that is specified, regardless of the material that is used. We check for consistency so parts don’t vary, which gets us the same great look every time.

The third test is shipment testing, where we simulate what could happen during the shipping and handling process. This category has three areas:

  1. Compression testing – simulates products being stacked in a warehouse
  2. Drop testing – simulates the possibility of products being dropped during a delivery or installation
  3. Vibration testing – simulates placing the packaged product in a semi-trailer to make sure the packaging doesn’t cause any scratches

We pay attention to details and obsess over small things, so we even go as far as testing in both freezing and humid climates to make sure our packaging can withstand any end destination.

The fourth test is structural and fatigue testing to ensure the safety of the end user. This testing simulates different situations in which the end users may find themselves, such as an individual putting books into an overhead in a panel system.

To deliver long-lasting products, we also test fatigue scenarios, such as the “caster durability” test.  In this test we simulate the chair rolling for a pre-determined distance to ensure the casters will remain dependable through the lifetime of the product.

These are abusive tests, meaning the forces we use are beyond what would be generated in normal use. Using both BIFMA test standards and our own, we make sure the safety of the end user is not in jeopardy.

The fifth test looks at the user interface and it includes standards that HON created to guarantee the consistent comfort of our products. For example, have you ever thought about the amount of force required to push the button for raising and lowering your task chair arms? Well, our engineers did, and alas a test standard was written for it! We standardize on this to make sure the user experience is as comfortable as possible.

The last test is what we call Live Environment Testing. Considering we work in an office ourselves, we are often asked the question “would you use this product in your own office?”. So, to answer this question, we made it a test requirement! As part of our full test plan, our engineers seek out members in the office with fresh eyes to the product and ask them to test it out. For example, I was once asked to use a prototype Ignition® 2.0 task chair at my workstation for a few days and provide feedback. This test is also a fun way for HON to engage with our community, such as getting feedback from the local community college or doctor’s office. After this process, the project teams compile the feedback and make any final improvements to the product. This type of testing is very important to make sure we can deliver the best possible product.

So, now you know the science behind what it takes to deliver the best office furniture on the market. If you would like to see inside our test lab, check out this video and be sure to visit hon.com to view our product brochures!

“BIFMA” stands for “Business + Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association”, and it is the “not-for-profit trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers”. They create and maintain the industry safety standard, as well as sustainability standard, and educate customers on the importance of product performance. You can read more about BIFMA here.

“A2LA” stands for “American Association for Laboratory Accreditation” and it is an organization that gives accreditation to all types of laboratories in accordance with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards. At HNI we place such a high value on quality assurance that we go through this accreditation process and gain the accountability of this third-party. You can read more about A2LA here .

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Suffering from stressful deadlines? Plagued with too many things to do? Surrounded by 87 sticky notes crawling into your typing space? Well, here’s your answer: Organization. But don’t run away from the word just yet! While the seemingly harmless word conjures up thoughts of perfectly manicured closets, color coded folders, and plastic storage totes with typed labels, there’s more to it!

These five ways to ‘Organize Your Office’ will aid in your pursuit of a perfected workspace!

Write it Down!
…But you don’t have to buy stock in paper. Writing it down simply means to make a note of it. If you’re like me, relying on memory occasionally (read: usually) results in poor outcomes. Take a notebook with you, jot down notes on your printed slides, or even send yourself an email. But I recommend staying away from multiple, smaller notes; they only add to the clutter!

Go Crazy with Colors
Kindergarten teachers know the ropes – and pull out all the stops. As ‘elementary’ as it may be, color coding is highly effective! Using a color system to categorize documents, meetings, or binders can help you visually assess and process things much faster than taking time to read a label. Personally, I use color coding in my Outlook calendar – a quick glance is all I need to know where I’m headed and for what!

Declutter
While you’re reminding yourself to organize your notes and to dos, decluttering is also a good idea! Endless piles of paper and PowerPoints sitting on a disheveled desk isn’t doing you any favors. As I’ve alluded to in previous blogs, a clean workspace can do wonders. Paper Management tools, like our Voi® Cube, can clear that paper off your desk and transform it into a functional (and attractive!) work zone.

To Do List
There’s nothing like the satisfaction of crossing something off of your To Do List. But in order to feel that satisfaction … you must have a To Do List! Making a list (and checking it twice) will ensure that you complete those important tasks without them falling off your radar. For me, maintaining a list helps me prioritize and keep track of those projects that aren’t knocking on my office door.

Make a Schedule, Set Deadlines
Hustle and bustle at the office may seem like it equates to productivity, but it often does not. If you’re struggling to tread water, take a look at your schedule. Booked 125% of your day? Check if you need to attend every meeting. See a deadline coming up that you might not meet? Book some ‘Me Time’ on your calendar to work away in the closest Flock touchdown station.

Key takeaways? Write it down, colorize, declutter, make a list, and set that schedule! What are some of your tips for organizing at the office?

Interested in exploring some of HON’s organization solutions? Check out hon.com/storage.

The word “empower” symbolizes the authority to take control. The term incites feelings of strength, confidence and liberation.

What if I told you that you could have the power to do more with your workspace? That you could feel in control of your office surroundings and be confident that your personal work style will be supported? Meet Empower®, HON’s new benching system that connects the way people work by doing just that – empowering them to do more.

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Below are a few empowering features of this new product line designed to help you work better:

Practicality
The essence of Empower is simplicity. This new benching system is designed to be easy in every way, from specifying and ordering (including one model number typical bundles) to speedy installation and efficient power management. So no matter which direction your office is taking, whether you’re just getting started or expanding a growing business, Empower will help you get where you want to go, fast. And when you can do everything you need to do faster and easier, we call that Inspired Practicality.

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Versatility
We understand that your business is unique and that furniture is an important way to express your brand. More importantly, we understand that every individual worker deserves to establish his own personal space. Empower makes it easy to add and remove pieces as your business needs change. Available in a wide variety of paint and laminate options with several screen options to add privacy, this benching system has the personalization opportunities to create your desired look and feel.

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Connectivity
There’s no way to get around it – we all want power in our workspace (and I’m not talking about the authoritative, empowerment kind!). Say goodbye to messy extension cords and tangled cables. Empower supports fixed and mobile devices with seamless power management to each space through clean, discrete troughs in the center of the worksurfaces. It’s easy to run power from the ceiling to the workstation through a power pole, or keep cords collected and controlled from the floor to the wire trough with the vertebrae model. Additional HON Workplace tools, such as power modules, bring data directly to the surface so that you can always be connected.

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To learn more about Empower benching, visit the Spotlight page at hon.com/empower.

How does HON “empower” you in the office?

Health and wellness in the workplace is becoming more and more important. You may not have access to a height-adjustable or sit-to-stand desk, but you can still promote your own wellness by engaging in active sitting.

But, what is active sitting? Active sitting happens in any chair that allows the person to move – movement is the key, and it’s what promotes wellness. Office chairs aren’t new, but according to the article The Quest for the Perfect Office Chair, incorporating the science of ergonomics into chair design really didn’t start until the 1970s.  Since then, ergonomic findings have continued to make it easier to move while you sit.

Features like tilt tension or weight-activated controls make reclining easier and more comfortable. Having the ability to recline allows users to change positions, creating movement in the spine. Any movement in your back helps to nourish the vertebral discs. The idea of active sitting is to foster this movement so you aren’t sitting still for long periods of time.

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Another way to get a truly active sitting experience is to try a new seating option like Perch from basyx by HON. Perch provides a simple, new way to encourage movement while you work. Supporting both seated and standing-height positions, you can easily adjust the height of your Perch stool to meet your needs with a one-touch pneumatic adjustment. The pivoting base tilts forward to bring you closer to your work while promoting an open hip angle. The seat features a waterfall edge to improve circulation in your lower body and it also offers a 360-degree rotation with a return to center.  Perch is lightweight and easy to move with the flared handle design. And, Perch is available in five color options: Black, Charcoal, Red, Blue, and Green.

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So, check out the new basyx by HON Perch to take your active seating to the next level or try any of the great task chair solutions HON has to offer that help promote movement for a healthier workday.

The concept of active sitting is just one of many ways to take a healthier approach to how you work. While active sitting helps reduce the effects of sedentary behaviors, it is important to remember that it’s not a replacement for dynamic, full-body activity.

How does your office furniture or layout encourage movement?

 

It’s the remix to Ignition,
you know HON’s on a mission
to keep you rollin’ at work
and have all your coworkers wishin’
their chairs were made here at HON.
That’s how we get things done.
Seating is evolving, baby, your workday’s about to get fun…

Ok, I had to! But even the most perfect parody song doesn’t tell the full story of the evolution of Ignition.  As HON’s best-selling seating line, it seemed an impossible feat to find even one way to make it better (let alone over 10, but who is counting?). But HON knew that, if the workplace was evolving, its furniture needed to evolve with it.

1336-1351-1003_Hon Ignition_Open area_1Ignition was first introduced in 2009 as an all-in-one seating solution to provide the perfect fit for every body type, work style and office activity. HON recognized that personalized comfort energizes a workforce, and this idea quickly sparked new designs that ignited a movement toward a host of ergonomic and aesthetic enhancements to help you work better.

Why personalization? The ability to personalize Ignition 2.0 is how we deliver your perfect fit. Take advantage of 4 new custom controls, stabilize your back with an easy-to-adjust lumbar support, or modify the quick-adjust back to adapt to your specific needs and preferences. Choose between a Black frame and the new Titanium option, then pick from an expanded fabric selection to coordinate with an existing office aesthetic or just show off your personal style.

Why comfort? Ignition 2.0. was designed to comfortably, flexibly, dynamically move you to change the world. Tailored to your body, new molded seat foam invites you to sit in your chair, rather than on it. The enhanced back design now includes ilira®-stretch mesh that flexes in every direction to create a soft, responsive feel and target support where it’s needed most – no matter what your workday brings.

Ignition StudioStill looking for more reasons to love Ignition 2.0?

Let me hear you whoot, whoot, because we’ll give it to you cheap, cheap!

(Last song reference, I promise!) A knocked down (KD) version of the task chair with patent-pending Quick Connect arms is also available, offering slimmer packaging and allowing Ignition 2.0 to reach a lower price point than ever before.

And last, but not least. When you buy Ignition chairs, you’re not just buying inspired practical solutions – you’re buying quality, American designed, engineered and assembled furniture backed by a lifetime warranty and a network of dealers.

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Visit the spotlight page at hon.com/ignition to learn more, or follow the story on social media using the hashtag #Ignitionhasevolved.

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Being healthy in the workplace can be challenging, especially when you feel like you don’t have the time. But it’s easy to take small steps to becoming more active in the office and motivate not only yourself, but your coworkers as well – creating a more positive work environment.

Do it Together

Teaming up with the people around you can be a great way to stay motivated. Schedule a walking meeting and chat with a team member while you take a lap around the building. Request that healthy substitutes be added to your vending machines. Join a fitness class with your coworkers or inquire about any gym membership perks or fitness classes offered through your company. For example, The HON Company is now offering a free Dance Fitness class for members in the evening and uses space in one of the manufacturing facilities to host the class.

Skip the Snacks

Pink sprinkles, smooth frosting, fluffy filling, sugary dough. The aroma of a freshly baked donut seems to have drifted past your desk. It’s not unusual for HON members to celebrate a birthday or a team success with yummy treats around the office.  It is okay to give in once in a while, but in moderation. It’s always a good idea to keep healthy snacks, such as granola bars, fruit or nuts, close at hand in your overhead storage or HON pedestal for when you’re feeling tempted. When you eat these nutrient-packed foods instead, you’ll stay full longer and find it easier to turn down the sweets.

Come Prepared

We are all allowed to treat ourselves to the occasional lunch out with coworkers, but waking up 10 minutes early to put together a healthy lunch and/or eat a healthy breakfast in the morning is another great way to help you avoid snacking throughout the day. To keep yourself healthy and focused during work hours, it’s also important to stay hydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended amount of water intake is about 3 liters (13 cups) for men and 2.2 liters (9 cups) for women per day. Bring your favorite water bottle or mug and keep it at your workstation to remind you to keep drinking throughout the day. Before you know it, you won’t even realize you’re grabbing for it!

Mix Up Your Office Furniture

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The right office furniture can also create a healthier work environment. From a variety of seating solutions and standing-height desks to collaborative lounge furniture, HON has products that encourage workers to get up and move around the office as they transition between different work spaces. The way your space is designed matters, too. The right layout can motivate us to be more active, even if we just make the conscious choice to walk over and talk to someone instead of sending an email.

What are your tips and tricks for a healthier workplace?

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