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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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business strategy development concept at the office

For many of us the workday starts at 8 AM, if not earlier. From the time our eyes open to the moment we walk into the office, there are already so many tasks to be accomplished. The hustle and bustle to get to the office can feel draining when you are racing a clock that was preset for you. The weariness is only amplified when you delay the inevitable by snoozing over and over. So, why not take charge? Set your alarm earlier and allow yourself time to truly wake up and smell the coffee. By following these 5 tips, you can set the groundwork for a winning morning. And when you win the morning, you win the workday!

Plan Ahead: Before bed, take a peek at your calendar and prepare for tomorrow.  Set yourself up for success by laying out your clothes and avoiding the stress that comes with ‘not having anything to wear’. Hop into bed at a reasonable time (without your phone!). Science repeatedly confirms that a good night’s rest is key to being your best.

Quiet Time: Don’t rush to turn on the television, read e-mails, or log into your social media accounts. Starting your day off with glum news and chaos does not set the scene for serenity. Spend some time with your thoughts and review your intentions for the day. This peaceful moment will shape the rest of your day and you will be more likely to be focused, content, and optimistic.

Get Moving: By stimulating blood flow you are also releasing endorphins (hormones that trigger a positive feeling in the body). Don’t torture yourself by engaging in an activity that doesn’t appeal to you. Be sure to choose an exercise that you really like. It can be as simple as a bedside stretch or walking the dog around the block.

Breakfast: Start off with a large glass of H2O; this is crucial as you are the most dehydrated after a long night’s rest. You’ve already heard it’s the most important meal of the day. So, “let go of the Eggo”! Try proteins and slow carbs, such as scrambled eggs and avocado, for a healthy kick start.  And, of course, a cup of joe might lead to an extra pep in your step.

First Things First: Get big work done early. By doing this, you hammer out the hard stuff while your brain is wide awake. It’s not ideal to save the hard stuff for later in the afternoon when your brain is fatigued. Mark Twain recognized this concept and wrote, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

Craft a routine that you look forward to. And, remember that routines take time to perfect and habits are not formed overnight. Repeated smalls wins lead to big wins and lasting change. Have you always been a morning person? Or have you started implementing habits that have increased your productivity and positivity?  Share your tips!

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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.

Whether you are looking to motivate your team or just bring a touch of fun to your personal office space, inspirational quotes can spruce up any work environment and promote positivity.

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At The HON Company, we follow our GREEN initiative closely.  Whether it is our Comold seating using recovered wood fibers or our paint reclamation recycling overspray, we are all about finding ways to repurpose and recycle materials to keep as much out of the landfills as possible.

With this thought in mind, I wanted to create some fun artwork for the office that uses reclaimed wood and a couple basic materials that you can find around the house. I chose the phrase “Make Things Happen” as a constant reminder to strive to do my best every day.

Starting with a 2×4 piece of scrap wood, old pallet wood or leftover boards from a home improvement project, determine the length you wish your phrase to be, allowing a good inch on each end.

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Using a scroll saw, band saw or table saw, cut the wood to size.  I find when I am working on these types of projects, it is easier to cut several pieces and work on them in a batch. Why clean up the mess more than once, right?

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Lightly sand the edges to prevent splinters and add 1-2 coats of paint, allowing at least a half hour drying time between each coat.  I selected a basic black acrylic paint that I had on hand.  You can use acrylic craft paint found at any craft or super store or some leftover house paint.  We all have a few cans of this sitting around!

If you like the aged look like I do, once the paint is dry to the touch, sand it slightly along the edges using 80-100 grit sand paper or sanding sponge and hit the edges that would “naturally” be worn over time.

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I used a die cut machine to create my phrase.  Lay the sign vinyl out on the surface using contact paper or vinyl film release and press to adhere securely to your painted surface.  This takes patience and gentle pressure to adhere securely and prevent lifting.  Try using an old gift card or something similar to press it down evenly.

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If you prefer, you can use a contrasting paint color and stencil your phrase onto the wood. You can buy stencils online or at nearly any craft store. You can also create your own out of some cardboard and a sharp craft knife.  Paint your block with the 1-2 coats of the base color first allowing it to dry fully before layering the stencil color.  Follow up with your contrasting color, allowing that paint to dry fully and apply a light clear coat to make dusting easier if you used only paint.  Word of caution: avoid the clear coat if you used the vinyl technique as it can cause the vinyl to lift.

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As a finishing touch to mine, I used a gold paint pen I had left over from an old craft project and just touched the edges around the front to “glam” it up a bit.

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Place your finished masterpiece in your office space and enjoy!  These would make great additions to any conference room or community space in your office to promote teamwork and motivate everyone.

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What are some other fun quotes you could use?  Here are just a handful of ideas:

Dream Big- Work Hard

Together
Everyone
Achieves
More

Think like a Customer

Whatever the problem—Be part of the solution

Teamwork makes the Dream work

 

The workplace has gone through many shifts over the years, with style, layout, design, and furniture having a lot to do with that. My name is Jared Roumfort and I am a 21-year-old college student at the University of Northern Iowa, currently interning in Marketing at The HON Company.  While being here this summer, I have already learned a lot about the workplace and the different tendencies people have. Do you like to work independently in a private space? In an open floor plan with an interactive and engaging setting? Or maybe a mixture of both?

Being in my early twenties makes me part of the Generation Z class, just missing the Millennial Generation. However, many people in college are also Millennials, making us a diverse group.  From my experience, people my age favor an engaging setting within an office, allowing them to perform tasks collaboratively rather than working independently. The workplace is gravitating towards this exact style – a responsive, hands-on approach towards everyday work that makes it easier for many people my age to perform. It is important to connect and build relationships within the workplace, allowing the bonds between coworkers to be strengthened and making it feel more comfortable and inviting for everyone.  Along with that, I have seen many employees my age prefer furniture that connects with an open floor plan. To support these work styles, lightweight, mobile, and flexible furniture that is adaptable for any office is becoming the norm. Tables that have a multi-purpose function are what I believe younger employees are looking for in their office spaces. The ability to customize features, such as color, design, and material, is also extremely valued.

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A HON product line that often comes to mind for fitting the preferences of my generation is Flock®.  In a world that increasingly values freedom and mobility, fewer people work in one spot. We all work everywhere now, constantly seeking out relaxing spaces to maximize opportunities for productivity. Flock connects home and office, bringing people together within a casual workplace setting that allows everyone to find comfort and quality. This furniture collection features soft seating products and collaborative tables for endless possibilities to mix and match in any workspace. In my opinion, younger workers need variety and choice to perform their best, seeking comfortable spaces that inspire and engage. An inviting atmosphere, like the one Flock creates, can help attract anyone to a business – especially those who focus on interaction every day.

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Furniture has more of an impact on life than we may realize. We’ve all heard about the sit-to-stand revolution and a focus on wellness in the workplace. This continues to change the way we work and how we can perform and contribute while incorporating movement into the workday. Flock supports relaxed postures and encourages everyone to work in a change-of-pace environment. Another essential part of everyday life for all workers, but specifically my generation, is technology.  Technology has enabled us to work from anywhere and expand our boundaries.  Growing up in the era of technology has also enabled employees my age to understand and communicate thoroughly by multi-tasking.  When in the office, we are no longer tethered to our desk and are free to work in various settings depending on the task.  My generation is also comfortable working differently because of technology.  Being able to multi-task on the phone, computer, and in person has given people a unique set of skills that benefit the modern workplace.  There is a comfort working with many people nearby while still focusing on your work, and this makes Flock a very desirable and productive solution.

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Overall, Flock has the ability to invite and connect people together while having a positive experience. Office spaces have evolved in more ways than one, but with the style my generation prefers, it is an exciting and welcoming change that continues to develop.

For more information about how this product line can attract and retain younger workers, check out HON’s recent Flock expansion at hon.com/flock.

When you think of HON, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s our task seating. Maybe you know HON from the old days where our strongest suit was steel filing. Or, perhaps you are familiar with how we got started making recipe card boxes post World War II. If education furniture wasn’t something that popped into your head, you might be surprised to hear that HON has a very robust collection of learning solutions – a perfect example of our inspired practicality story. Take a look below at some of the ways HON has the right products for every space, every student and every type of learning.

More Than Just Desks
Today’s classrooms are not the classrooms of yesteryear. With the passing of each academic year, more and more emphasis is placed on collaboration and integrating new learning techniques for today’s youth, from kindergarten classrooms all the way to up to higher education facilities. HON doesn’t just have student desks to have student desks; we conducted extensive research to better understand how teachers teach and students learn to create innovative, quality products that are affordable. Build™ is a perfect example of that: height-adjustable activity tables in 12 unique shapes that can be broken out for individual learning, or can be joined together for interaction. Pair that with our industry-leading laminate desks for administrators, comfortable task chairs for teachers that won’t break the bank, and Smartlink® or Motivate® chairs that are specifically designed with students in mind, and you’re looking at a one-stop shopping learning solution. (Check out the new Motivate Counter-Height Stool , designed to meet multiple-height seating needs in learning and commercial applications.)

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Beyond the Classroom
Collaboration extends well beyond the classroom as well. Lounge spaces require access to power to meet the needs of today’s technology-dependent world. Enter Grove®: not only does it provide a comfortable and active posture to encourage productivity, but it also incorporates a table to give you the option of tablet arms, a powered grommet or pop-up port. It’s the perfect fix for anyone who needs to charge their phone while they talk about a project, or juice up their laptop as they race to the finish on a homework deadline. Solutions like Grove and Flock® are also great for previously unused spaces, like hallways, to add additional study and collaborative areas for students. (COMING SOON: An exciting expansion to the Flock collaborative collection.)

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Designed with Learning in Mind
For instances where you need a traditional primary or secondary education classroom solution, SmartLink provides the answer you need. Looking for both sitting- and standing-height student desks? SmartLink has you covered, offering fixed, adjustable, and sit-to-stand options, along with chairs in varying sizes and five chair heights ranging from 6”-18” to fit all students K-12. And, it doesn’t sacrifice innovation. The desks can be easily reconfigured in a variety of ways to accommodate different learning solutions. Last but not least, SmartLink also features unique storage that allows teachers to keep their classrooms organized—not an easy feat, as some would undoubtedly attest to. The unique design allows you to slide storage bins from the track integrated under the desktop to a lockable storage cabinet, so there’s a place for everything and everything is always in its place.  (Be sure to check out the latest SmartLink additions, including 14″H and 16″H Cantilever chairs as well as a 6″H chair which supports reading circle-style active learning.)

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These are just a few ways that HON can be leveraged in the education arena —share your HON learning stories with us in the comments below!

Visit our Learning Spotlight Page on hon.com and download our K-12 and Higher Education Learning brochures to learn more today!

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?

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