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While we all know that twiddling our fingers and shooting the breeze with nearby co-workers limits our productivity, not all of us are clued in to productive habits. If you’ve ever wondered how to get more out of the limited hours of your work day, here’s a few tips to get you on the right track!

  • Plug In
    • Work better with headphones in? Find the music that beats your drum. Or, drown out the noisy neighbor or the irritating sounds of construction.
  • Tackle the To-Do List
    • Set it and stick to it. Try sorting out 3-5 tasks a day that you want to complete, and make them your highest priority. Plus, crossing things out always feels good!
  • Enforce Your Email Plan
    • Try limiting the compulsive email checking; focus on the task at hand and don’t get distracted. If it helps, turn off new email previews or any distracting alerts.
  • Manage Your Meetings
    • Not everything needs an hour discussion; schedule meetings for the appropriate amount of time. Send out an agenda beforehand and don’t follow tangents.
  • Know When You Shine
    • Bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7am? Tackle your toughest assignments in the morning. Need a nap at 2pm (who doesn’t)? Schedule something monotonous during that time period.
  • Unplug
    • Put your personal iPhone away. Not only does this help with distractions, but it keeps work and personal time separate.
  • Scheduled Work Time
    • Booked in meetings 24/7? Schedule some ‘Me Time’ on your calendar to work away in the closest Flock touchdown station.

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  • Short and Sweet
    • While writing a novel in an email may nail out the details, only a short one encourages a full read. Keep to the high points instead of adding more characters.
  • Take a Break
    • No, really. Energize yourself and shake off the naptime feeling with a quick walk around the office when you feel you’re losing focus.
  • Cut It Out
    • The simple beauty of Ctrl + C is a magical thing. Cut the fat by using keyboard shortcuts and favorites for repetitive actions.
  • Fuel Your Fire
    • No one can run on steam. To have some fuel in the tank, take time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus, who doesn’t love food?
  • Write It Down
    • Capture each task or project by writing them down. Writing it down frees up some of your brain’s hard drive for a little extra processing power!
  • Just Say No
    • If you’re a habitual ‘Yes Man’, time to change your tune. Saying ‘No’ when you’re overloaded or not meeting commitments could be the wisest call of your day.
  • Pick Up the Phone
    • Instead of playing email tag, pick up the phone. Having an actual discussion can resolve an issue in a matter of minutes, whereas email could leave it unresolved for days.
  • Try Delegating
    • Don’t stretch yourself too thin. Though many people shudder at delegation, try handing off tasks or assignments that could be handled by someone else.

 

Start small; try to tackle two or three of these to see how it improves your productivity. Once you’ve mastered the art, or have a few of your own to share, add your hat to the pile and comment below!

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Muscatine is known as the “Pearl of the Mississippi”. Why, you may ask? In 1887, a German immigrant named John Boepple started a thriving pearl button industry here on the banks of the Mississippi. In turn, Muscatine became the world’s largest pearl button manufacturer.

Before coming to work in Muscatine, I had no idea what to expect. After living here for a summer during my internship at The HON Company, I can confidently say that I have accomplished a lot throughout the summer, grown professionally, and learned about the town and its culture. And, of course, I’ve eaten a lot of great food along the way.

Brothers in law C. Maxwell Stanley and Clement T. Hanson partnered with former colleague H. Wood Miller to found the company in 1944. Their goal was to create jobs for those returning from World War II.  Then known as Home-O-Nize, they started out making kitchen cabinets and recipe boxes. Later, leaders made the decision to change the name to The HON Company. This official name change came in 1967 as we changed our focus to office products. Upon realizing that HON needed a bigger space to accommodate the growing company, we moved into our current location which, coincidentally, was the old U.S. button factory.

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HON has done a great job incorporating many different aspects into my 10-week internship program. Building professionalism, networking, and connecting with leaders within the company has been a great learning experience for me. By attending a variety of Lunch and Learns hosted by the company, I’ve gained a broader prospective about the corporation as a whole. Networking at these events in particular has given me a leg up within the business and new insight into possibilities for the future.

Connecting with other interns and learning about the areas and focuses that they work in is a great way to learn more and gain insight into the business. The interns all have a variety of different perspectives about the business and it is exciting to hear about their experience and projects they worked on.

Outside of work, I’ve been able to explore and enjoy the beautiful city. Being from the suburbs in Minnesota, I was not exactly sure what to expect. My roommates and I had the opportunity to explore the city and dine at many unique restaurants. From eating tasty Italian at Mamma Mia with the view of the Mississippi, to frequent walks around Weed Park, or sliding into the pool at the Muscatine Aquatic Center, it has been a pleasurable experience over all.

Muscatine has a small town feel coupled with a rich history and something for everyone. Overall, my internship at The HON Company has been a great experience. Not only did they work to build me professionally, but they were able to teach me skills and give me lasting knowledge for the future.

 

Written by Brenna Johnson, HON Intern

Living in a business world can be challenging at times. An important thing to remember? There’s a time for business and there’s a time for fun. Office furniture, for instance, can be the best of both worlds. Your office can be fun and exciting, while also maintaining the business professional vibe. Here are some tips on how to keep it fun and professional in the office:

 

Try It Out!
There are now tools available that make office furniture enjoyable. One, for instance, would be the HON Chair Chooser. This tool allows people to customize and design the chair they are looking for while engaging their interest with interactive fun. Mix and match your fabrics to lighten up the room! Picking your design allows you to choose the business professional setting you and your customer need to get things accomplished while adding in a splash of entertainment.

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Get Social!
Using online media for business is a great way to get your business out there! Coming up with new, creative ideas to peek your followers’ interest allows you to work professionally with other members while keeping it fun. HON’s social media exemplifies our incredible members while still showcasing the product we have to offer. While there are multiple social media outlets, it’s all about finding the one that meets you and your customer’s needs.

Work It Out!
How you connect with your customers and members is vital. The experience your customer has says a lot about the environment you create. When working with customers, keep it positive and new to keep them engaged. Similarly, HON continually strives to improve every aspect of the company. By doing this, our members get involved and work together to optimize our business and our customer’s experience.

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No matter what type of business you conduct, there’s always a way to make it engaging and interesting. Try it out! Create a new social media campaign with your team, or pick out fabrics and laminates for your new conference room. Office furniture is an everyday part of the business world, so why not make it fun and professional, all in one?

Share your ideas for keeping it fun and professional below!

 

When I was about four years old, I remember hearing the words every child dreams of in a toy store: “Pick out a toy!” I can remember fancifully wandering down the aisles and being absolutely riveted by a particular stuffed bunny. Why did it catch my eye? It was the only pink bunny left in a field of white ones.

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The little pink bunny came home with me that day. So, you may ask, why did it stand out from the crowd? The pink bunny was different.

In a sea of white bunnies, HON is the company that stands out. From being made with pride in the USA to our member culture, HON delivers practicality and innovation:

 

Made in the USA

For nearly 75 years, HON has been dedicated to designing, engineering, and manufacturing most of our products right here in the USA. We’re based in Muscatine, Iowa, the heartland of America. When you buy HON office furniture, you’re buying durable products built with confidence.

 

Member Culture

Our members are dedicated to serving our customers, community, and society. Every year, we raise money for numerous charities around the globe. Between 2002 and 2017, HON has raised more than $5.2 million for City of Hope, a global leader in the fight against cancer, diabetes, and other life threatening diseases. We’re empowered to serve – and happy to give back to our community.

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An Effortless Experience

When you call our Customer Support team, our goal is to answer you in a minute or less. Our experienced members are trained to make your case their priority – and to find a solution to any question you have. From ordering to expediting, we strive for an effortless experience.

 

Sustainability

We’re committed to sustainable business practices. From using 27,000 gallons of reclaimed paint annually to fabric recycling that keeps tons of waste from landfills every year, we aim to make a smaller impact every day. Moreover, 72% of our products are Level Certified. HON Green isn’t just our favorite color – it’s our commitment.

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Our Product

Whether you’re looking for your next private office or the collaborative space next door, be assured that HON’s product is built to last. We’re confident in the value, quality, and durability that HON products deliver. Our Full Lifetime Warranty is our assurance to you that our product will be free from defective material or workmanship for the life of the product.

 

We’re a One Stop Shop

Our breadth of line allows you the ability to specify your entire project with our company. Welcoming spaces, offices, benching, cafes – we have it all at the right price. With all of our available options, it’s easy to see how HON meets your needs.

 

With HON product, you’ll be receiving quality, made in the USA product that’s durable and sustainable. We’re confident that you’ll have an effortless experience and that we can meet your furniture needs.

Stand out from the crowd: choose HON.

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The evolution of HON’s Ignition seating line

History hasn’t been revealing in who invented the first chair, but it was likely back in the Neolithic Period. Stone tools allowed our ancestors to take some of the first steps towards developing furniture by chiseling away a bench out of a larger rock.

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A modern interpretation of the klismos chair. Photo credit: 1stdibs.com.

Around the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, chairs were status symbols. Common folk sat on stools while those of royalty or elite status sat in chairs with backs and arms. From the inception of the words chair and throne, there has seemingly been a difference. Chair can be traced back to the Greeks and means ‘to sit down’, whereas throne comes from an Indo-European base for ‘hold’ or ‘support’ (Jewell & Abate, 2001). As has been interpreted, the discrepancy in the two meanings shows how chairs are for anyone to sit in while the throne supported the elite.

In the 5th century B.C., the Greeks invented one of the most depicted chairs in all of antiquity, the klismos chair. The light-weight chair with curved legs is seen on many painted pieces of pottery, stone carvings, and other artworks. While elegant, without further structural support the legs can spread apart and eventually crack or break when someone sits down on the seat (Crantz, 1998).

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The throne of King Louis XIV of France. Public domain.

After a period of relative stagnation, chairs and thrones resumed their larger role in society in the Renaissance. They became refined, highly decorated, and comfortable. These places to sit became pieces of art, adorned with gold, silver, and precious stones (de Dampierre, 2006). Different types of chairs were starting to be widely used. Those who could afford them now had separate dining chairs, side chairs, armchairs, and other specific-use seating.

Today, as our lives become less about threshing and more about checking email, there are seating styles that are more practical and ergonomic for our hours in front of a computer. The classic task chairs are now designed to be comfortable and adjustable in a multitude of ways. There are different options for perching, for learning, and sitting at conference tables.

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The HON Ignition 2.0 task chair is an example of 21st century functionality. It provides a breathable mesh back, adjustable arms, lumbar support, and a synchronized tilt that allows the user to adjust the chair to meet his or her needs.

The rest of this post is a quote from Witold Rybczynski, the author of Now I Sit Me Down. It shows how a difference in seating habits can result in a wide variety of cultural norms.

“If you sit on floor mats, you are likely to develop an etiquette that requires removing footwear before entering the home. You are also more likely to wear sandals or slippers rather than laced-up shoes, and loose clothing that enables you to squat or sit cross-legged. Floor-sitters tend not to use tall wardrobes—it is more convenient to store things in chests and low cabinets closer to floor level. People who sit on mats are more likely to sleep on mats, too, just as chair-sitters are more likely to sleep in beds. Chair-sitting societies develop a variety of furniture such as dining tables, dressing tables, coffee tables, desks, and sideboards. Sitting on the floor also affects architecture: walking around the house in bare feet or socks demands smooth floors—no splinters—preferably warm wood rather than stone; places to sit are likely to be covered with soft mats or woven carpets; tall windowsills and very tall ceilings hold less appeal. Lastly, posture has direct physical effects. A lifetime of sitting unsupported on the floor develops muscles not required for chair-sitting, which is why chair-sitters, unaccustomed to sitting cross-legged, soon become uncomfortable in that position. And vice versa.” 

As you can see, humans have had a long history with the chair. From chiseled benches and wood-carved stools to task seating with ergonomic designs, we have come a long way.

Make sure that you aren’t left in the stone age and check out the new HON seating options at hon.com.

References

Crantz, G. (1998). The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

de Dampierre, F. (2006). Chairs: A History. New York: Abrams.

Friedman, U. (2016, August 30). A Global History of Sitting Down. Retrieved from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/08/chairs-history-witold-rybczynski/497657/

Jewell, E. J., & Abate, F. (2001). The New Oxford American Dictionary. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rybczynski, W. (2016). Now I sit me down: from klismos to plastic chair: a natural history. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

 

With the announcement of Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, our recently updated 2018 Fabric Inspiration Guide, and the brand new fabric options HON introduced this month, it’s clear that we’re excited about color in the workplace this year!

Color Palettes

Understanding the psychology of colors and how they influence emotions, it is important to consider the energy you want your office design to convey or the way your brand colors make your employees and customers feel. Blue, for example, incites calmness and serenity. This color might be a good fit for a breakroom or waiting area. Colors like green, orange and yellow that are known to increase happiness might complement open plan spaces and high-productivity environments. Maybe you work for a company that finds importance in wealth and sophistication. If that’s the case, choosing colors like purple and black can give off a sense of authority and prosperity.

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Once you’ve selected a color, you then need to decide on patterns and textures. Some patterns are bold, but when paired with a cool, neutral color like gray can become more toned down and harmonious. It’s important to find the right balance of colors, fabrics and finishes to make sure everything feels like it belongs in the space. Looking to show unity in a collaborative work environment? Choosing the same color palette throughout the office might be the way to go. Want to differentiate between departments? Alternate between solid colors and bold prints for each group while using the same base color to help maintain a cohesive look throughout the space. I recommend staying away from overwhelming a space with too many patterns or too many solid colors – usually a nice mix of both will lead to a better result.

Looking for some color inspiration? Check out our latest fabric introductions and updated color palettes to find the design solutions that will make your workspace a place where your employees can enjoy what they do in a place they love.

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“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress, working together is success.” – Henry Ford

HON may manufacture office furniture, but we sell something much more important: Productivity. What it means to be productive is always changing, and the path to get there is very fluid. Currently, the big buzz words around productivity are ‘collaboration’ and ‘interaction’. Younger generations are driving this change in the typical work day, and I don’t think they are going anywhere. The 9-to-5 gig will continue to be a more group-oriented experience. Workstations will become more dynamic. Private offices will lose their clout. Walls will come down, and teamwork will be at the heart of business. It is time to adjust to the new world and the solution is simple: Between™ Tables.

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Henry Ford said it best, “Working together is success.” So, why not invest in tools that make that success possible? Between is a contemporary table line that is compatible with any space in the office. With three shapes and multiple heights, all available in our full line of HON laminates, there is nowhere this line won’t fit.

Between tables are all about taking all those nooks and extra spaces in your office and transforming them into places that drive productivity. Between is simple. Between is easy. Between is, for all intents and purposes, perfect for that space between. At a competitive price and with a design that makes reconfiguring a breeze, there isn’t much to not love about HON’s newest table line.

Between can be used in a breakroom, a back room, the server room, or even in the hallway. Between is a tool that will help you leverage every square inch of your space to create a productive environment, so that even the smallest of spaces can be the place of the next great innovation. So, whether you find yourself shooting the breeze over lunch, or planning the next billion-dollar acquisition, let Between tables propel you to the next level.

Learn more at hon.com/between.

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