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Today most of us go to work dressed professionally, and certainly more comfortable than those who might’ve been working 40 years ago. But, how did we go from strictly suits, ties and dresses in the workplace to the business casual attire we all know today? Better yet, how did the modern office come to adopt the idea of casual Fridays?

In 1962, The Hawaiian Fashion Guild was on a mission to make the Hawaiian shirt acceptable in the office, at least on Fridays. The argument was that, because of the hot climate, this would be a more comfortable option for employees. In an effort to increase the Hawaiian garment industry and help the economy, they even encouraged the local government to adopt the idea of “Aloha Friday”. By the late 1960s, thanks to toned down patterns and colors, Hawaiian shirts were becoming acceptable every day of the week.

In the early 1990s, the mainland started to catch on to the idea. There was a small recession and many companies wanted inexpensive ways to offer more benefits to employees and raise company morale. In a short amount of time, many companies across the United States began adopting the idea and “Casual Friday” was born. While some did not necessarily want employees coming to work in Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops, they were struggling to define this casual dress code.

In 1992, Levi’s recognized this challenge and saw an opportunity to help define “Casual Friday” while marketing their own clothing. They created a campaign and a brochure called “A Guide to Casual Business”. This brochure was sent all across the United States and included images of the all infamous Dockers. Since their campaign, Dockers have become a staple of many business casual wardrobes, as well as other styles from the Levi’s brand.

Present day, most companies have adopted business casual as an everyday dress code to boost morale, allowing employees to feel more comfortable in the workplace while still looking professional.

Here at HON, we’ve transformed our “Casual Fridays” into an opportunity to give back to the community. Our members vote on their favorite charities and donate money to wear jeans on the last day of the week.  How do you define a “business casual dress code” in your workplace?

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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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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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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Professionalism, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person.” While many professional characteristics are unique to the industry in which they apply, some cover all professionals. Check out our short list of qualities below that outline what it means to pursue professionalism:

Build your Personal Brand

What makes you, you? Are you a go-getter who always takes the extra step, or perhaps the dependable coordinator of all things process improvement? Whatever your personal brand is, build this into a recognizable reflection of who you are – thereby establishing your reputation and identity as a business person. Become known for your positivity or forward-thinking – in the long haul, you’ll open up opportunities for yourself for different projects or even a promotion!

Dress for Success

Cliché, I know. But one thing that’s not cliché – a first impression. When meeting someone for the first time, there’s quite a bit to be taken from personal appearance. Paint yourself in a positive light! If you show up to a business meeting in tennis shoes and well-worn jeans, odds are that you might lose that big project to the business professional in a pant suit. When presenting, a common rule is to dress a level above your audience. Pack up those old painting jeans and trade them in for a new suit!

Komm. Comun. Communikation.

Grabs your attention, doesn’t it? A pet peeve of self-proclaimed grammar nerds across the globe, spelling, punctuation, and grammar issues occasionally make a dreaded appearance in professional communication. As with any communication, whether it’s a personal email or company press release, communication is marketing. Every email, every phone call, and every interaction builds an image of you. With this comes an important role: protecting and building your company’s image. When communicating, make sure to be effective, persuasive, and clear. When in doubt, use the five W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why (and How)!

Know a thing or two about what it means to be a professional? Share your tips with us below!

new-website

Have you checked out the new look and feel of hon.com? With a new year and a new website, we wanted to share a few key parts of our story that inspired these changes:

We surround ourselves with smart people
HON’s award-winning designers and forward-thinking engineers never stop tinkering. That curiosity creates furniture that’s easier to use. And more importantly, furniture that makes you more comfortable. Our updated product spotlight pages on hon.com will give you information on some of the smart people with whom we have the privilege to partner, so be sure to check out their bios!

We obsess over little things.
We study the science of ridiculously small details to design you better tables, desks and chairs and make sure that every HON product is designed, engineered, tested, delivered and displayed with pride. We test, push, pull and stretch our products over 10,000 times a day in our lab to make sure your furniture works great and lasts a long time. With our enhanced zoom features on the new hon.com, it’s now easier than ever to get a close up view of these fine details. Test it out on the Solve® spotlight page to see for yourself!

We’re always there. Always HON Ready.
With a national HON dealer network and our manufacturing headquarters right here in the heartland of the United States, we are always close. Not just from a distance perspective, but from a relationship perspective. As far as we’re concerned, you’re the only reason why we’re here, and the new hon.com makes it even easier for us to give you what you’re looking for. Want to find your local HON dealer? Check out the Dealer Locator tool. Looking for some inspiration or want to see our products in action? Visit a HON showroom. Have a question for our Customer Support team? Fill out this short form. No matter your need, HON has a solution.

We do what’s right. Every time.
We care about what it means to be a company born in America, a company that considers the wellbeing of our members and the people we serve, and a company that takes pride in its products to help you win every workday. You can feel just how much we care in our warranty – a straightforward, binding promise to you that, in the rare event something isn’t perfect, HON will fix it or replace it.

We also care about our planet and will remain committed to sustainable business practices. You see, green is much more than just our favorite color! HON works hard to reduce its environmental footprint by maximizing raw materials, decreasing waste in the production process and minimizing indoor air emissions. In fact, our company was started by creating products out of scrap metal – read our environmental responsibility story on hon.com to learn more!

Surrounding ourselves with smart people, obsessing over little things, staying continuously focused on being there for you and doing what’s right have always been a part of who we are at HON – we’re just working on taking it to the next level this year.

What are some of your workplace goals for 2017?

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:

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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!)

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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.

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

 

 

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