Archives for category: Tips & Tricks

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.

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By definition, communication is the exchange of information. Countless books and articles have been written addressing how to better understand and communicate with your customers, but these same tips are just as helpful when it comes to internal communication with your coworkers. Here are a few tips and tricks to transform your interactions, both inside and outside the office, and separate yourself from the competition.

Make your presence meaningful:
Add value to every interaction. Make sure you are making the most of your team member’s or your customer’s time and be mindful of how you can help them work better. Do you have success stories to share? Is there an upcoming training or webinar you could attend or promote to your stakeholders? Thoughtful, detailed, and honorable service is something that cannot be bought.

Be an active listener:
When your teammate or customer is speaking — are you listening or piecing together your response? Stop, digest the information, and ask questions. Especially when it comes to working with customers, their success is your success, so expressing a sincere interest will go a long way to strengthening important sales relationships.

Think before you speak:
Once you have digested the speaker’s needs, be sure to think before you respond. It’s okay not to have all of the answers, but it’s not okay to tell people only what they want to hear. Good service is exponentially more valuable than fast service.

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” Benjamin Franklin

Be mindful of email etiquette:
Email etiquette is simple. Whenever possible, address people by name (spelled correctly, of course!). Respond promptly, even when you can’t provide a detailed response – it’s okay to say so and seek out a subject matter expert who can assist.

Deliver more than expected:
Following these prompts should create a deeper connection with both your teammates and your customers – go the extra mile to make it personal. Give more than expected by tailoring the sales experience, being mindful of how you can help those you work with, and always following up after a project has closed. Customers and coworkers want to be understood – be the person that gets them!

How do you bring the ‘wow factor’ in your office?

It takes more than a desk and chair to be productive. Today’s workspaces are designed around multitasking and maximizing every inch of space. This means surrounding yourself with workplace tools that help you do more with less. Storage solutions that help you pile, stake and organize. Technological tools that put everything within arm’s reach, and cord management that keeps it all neatly tucked away. Ample lighting whether working day or night. Options for turning a fixed desk into a sit-to-stand workstation that offers a healthier way to work.

Monitor Arms
Monitor arms help bring the office to the 21st century and free up the shrinking desk space. Being able to raise the monitor off of a worksurface can help reduce eye strain for employees, and create space division from their neighbors in low panel/open plan layouts. View the Monitor Arms cut sheet for more information.

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Power Modules
Bring power right to your worksurface with this clamp mount module and avoid crawling under the desk and stretching behind storage pieces to stay connected or charge electronics. View the Power and Cable Management cut sheet for more information.

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Articulating Desk Lamp w/ Occupancy Sensor
Because the proper amount of illumination depends both on your vision and on the tasks being performed, overhead lighting may not always be appropriate as a single lighting source and we know natural lighting can be hard to come by. Consider adding this sleek task lamp to individualize lighting and support many different types of work. And don’t worry about leaving it on overnight! The occupancy sensor will turn it off when you have walked away from your desk. View the cut sheet for more information.

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Directional™ Desktop Sit-to-Stand
Sit-to-stand desks have proven ergonomic benefits, but not everyone has the budget for or access to one. Consider Directional, a cost effective solution. This table top accessory clamps to an existing desk and can easily be raised and lowered at the press of a lever. Making it easier for workers to adjust monitors to each individual’s ideal placement, Directional can help alleviate eye strain and decrease stress on the shoulders, back and neck. View the Directional spotlight page for more information.

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Sit-to-Stand Arm with Keyboard Tray
Adjust this keyboard tray to help you achieve a neutral wrist posture, even while standing! To avoid wrist discomfort, especially while typing, it’s best to make sure that your wrists align with your forearms and remain in a straight line. View the cut sheet for more information.

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These are just a few examples of HON’s workplace tools, designed to provide the finishing touch on any high-performance workspace. Visit hon.com/workplace-tools or watch our short Two Minute Tutorial to learn more.

What are some of your favorite tools in the office?

 

 

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More than eight out of ten Americans report being stressed out about their jobs for one reason or another.  And then there is the added stress that is inherent in our personal lives. Stress can lead to physical harm as severe as heart disease or diabetes, so it’s important that we learn how to keep it in check—especially in the office. Everyone has their own way of managing stress, but if you find yourself struggling, take a look at some of the ideas below on how to introduce some restoration and relaxation into your daily routine.

1. Yoga

It’s not just for soccer moms and spiritual soul searchers – yoga refocuses the mind, activates the central nervous system, and improves digestion (among other benefits), while being a great workout, to boot. Do a quick Google search for yoga studios around your area to find one that has a class that will cater to what you’re looking for. If you just want an hour all to yourself where you can focus on your breathing and tune out the rest of the world, maybe try a relax and restore class. If it’s harder for you to shut off your brain, go for something that will challenge you physically to allow you to block out external factors, like a Vinyasa flow or a heated power class. (And if you prefer, there are some great yoga instructors on YouTube for you to try in the privacy of your own home.) Regardless of what you choose, there’s guaranteed to be something that will float your boat and give you that escape you need to destress.

2. Deep Breathing

Taking a page out of yoga’s book, deep breathing is one of the quintessential stress management techniques. Since stress raises our heart rate and puts additional strain on the heart and nervous system, it’s important to make sure we can regulate that heart rate when the pressure really starts to kick in. The next time you’re battling a tight deadline at work or need to manage a high conflict situation, take thirty seconds to do some deep breathing exercises. Inhale for a count of five, and then exhale for that same five count. Or, imagine your torso is a glass of water—your inhale fills the glass from the bottom (your lower stomach) all the way to the top (the top of your chest). The exhale empties it. Even after just a few breaths you’ll notice your heart rate starting to slow, reestablishing a sense of ease and calm.

3. Stay Present

If you’re anything like me, part of the reason you’re stressed is because there are so many things going on in your life. You’ve got twenty things to juggle at one time for work, ten different social media outlets that you follow in your spare time, friends and family to spend time with, household chores—the list goes on and on. That leads to a lot of multi-tasking, which I could argue creates some of the stress we feel every day. Harvard conducted a study in 2010 that showed people spend 46.9% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they are doing, and that this generally makes them unhappy. A wandering mind is not a happy mind, nor is it the most productive. Staying present not only allows you to devote your entire self to any activity, but it also prevents quick trigger reactions that could have negative results. So when you find yourself in a high-stress situation, take a step back, analyze the situation, do some deep breathing for a minute or two, and then react. You’ll probably find yourself making much more calm and calculated decisions as a result.

These are just a handful of ways to easily introduce a little more relaxation into your daily life, and there are countless others that do the trick just as well—maybe better! Let us know how you manage stress in your life in the comments.

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