Archives for posts with tag: cubicle

A couple months ago I read an article about the impact March Madness has on a company’s workforce. It is estimated that, during the month of March, employers in America lose up to $4B in productivity as a result of employees watching live games and tracking their playoff brackets.

But the truth is, distractions like these exist every day, and not just because of March Madness. As office furniture continues to trend towards more light-scale and open plan furniture, it’s important that we don’t forget the importance of heads-down, focused work. The HON Company provides many solutions that decrease the risk of disruptions, especially within an open plan office. Here are a few examples of our favorites:

Voi® Privacy Screens
Voi privacy screens provide a division of workspace between users, while also offering an opportunity to add a pop of color.

Privacy Screens with Voi Desks from HON

Panel Systems with Frameless Glass
Adding frameless glass on top of panels allows light to shine through while breaking up the visibility between users. You can tailor this premium look to your own preference by choosing between clear or frosted glass.

Panel Systems with Frameless Glass from HON

Shared Overhead Storage between Users
In addition to distractions being a bother for employees in an open floorplan, these layouts typically have less storage. Using shared overheads between users is a great way to address both of these concerns.

Shared Overhead Storage from HON

What are some office design tips you use to minimize distractions in the open office space?

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Office Furniture Rocks

When I joined the HON Marketing team last year, I was completely new to the office furniture world. It didn’t take me long to realize that, the moment you enter this industry, there are certain aspects of your everyday life that are forever changed:

1.  Vacations
Most people would probably want to check out from work on a vacation, but those of us in this field know that’s not how it works. My trips turn into a personal scavenger hunt to find HON product around the world or to spot a HON truck while I’m on the road. Plus, these sightings make great #HONSpotted posts on social media!

2.  Routine Appointments
You think you’ve scheduled an innocent trip to the dentist, but once you walk into that reception area and sit down in an Ignition lounge chair, it’s impossible not to tell everyone in the room that you are part of the team that made that chair possible. You aren’t afraid to turn chairs upside down during routine health check-ups, and instantly transform into a savvy Soothe salesperson whenever a patient room is lacking HON furniture.

3.  Common Office Lingo
You find yourself correcting your friends and family when they say the “C” word (it’s not a cubicle, it’s a workstation!). You also feel like it’s your job to educate people on the specific type of chair they sit in (it’s not just a chair, it’s a task chair) as well as their storage choices (Contain credenzas are a great solution for active storage needs, for instance).

4.  Movies
When you work in the office furniture industry, it’s not unusual to pause a movie every few minutes to analyze the furniture and celebrate loudly when you spot HON products….or to pause it, snap a photo of the TV screen, and send it via group text to all of your coworkers so you can talk about how much more you now love said movie.

5.  Organization
Let’s be honest, filing bills is no fun…unless you’re using a HON filing cabinet! When you understand the history behind how our products have evolved, from recipe card boxes made out of recycled steel to comprehensive workplace solutions, simple storage techniques have a whole new meaning.

6.  Your own home
I’ve had recurring dreams since NeoCon about finding space in my home for all of the awesome new HON furniture from our Chicago showroom, and I’ve found that there’s always a way to add it to your existing décor. Updating a home office? A new Height Adjustable Table will look great! Redecorating a playroom? Adding some Flock minis with a fun new fabric should do the trick!

7.  Where you work
When you sit in the chair you designed, or work at the desk you’re tasked to create marketing campaigns around all day long, you develop a whole new level of appreciation for the furniture that supports you throughout the day. And, when you know you can trust the tools that support you, it’s easier to make a difference and feel ready to change the world.

How has office furniture changed your life?

In today’s office furniture industry, the trend is leaning toward more open and collaborative workspaces.  Even though the need for these types of spaces is growing, we still see a need for private workspaces as well.  Whether they be private offices or touchdown areas such as conference rooms, individuals need a place to go with minimal distractions and privacy.

Here at HON we offer several solutions for each type of workspace:

Shown first is a very open and collaborative work area.  This work environment allows members to easily work together and bounce ideas off each other.

space 1

Here is another open space example that offers a bit more privacy without sacrificing that sense of team and collaboration.

space 2

Here is an example of a private room that may be used when a member needs to make a personal or private phone call at HON HQ.

space 3

This space offers a private environment for those who may be working with more sensitive information on a daily basis.  The higher panels offer more privacy while still keeping the member in the open environment with their peers.

space 4

What are some of your tips for creating privacy in an open office environment?

by bburky on Flickr

by bburky on Flickr

It’s not uncommon to walk through a sea of cubicles and see employees working away with ear buds in their ears. For many people, the quiet click-clack of the keyboard just doesn’t do it for them during an eight hour stint at their desk. Listening to music throughout the day can keep one focused, engaged and free from any distractions around them.

When I first started at HON a little over a year ago, I remember turning on my Pandora shuffled playlist and thinking, “I wonder what people would think if they actually knew what I was listening to?” At the time, I was very excited about the phenomenal mix Pandora was throwing together for me, based on my saved stations. One minute I was listening to TuPac followed by the Little Mermaid, and the next I was listening to Taylor Swift and Johnny Cash. I couldn’t have been more pleased!  As I typed away during my first week, I couldn’t help but smile knowing that no one could ever guess the odd musical arrangement I was experiencing.

Everyone can find solace at work by experimenting with different types of music. My husband swears by a mix of techno and classical music when staying focused, while I prefer Disney tunes and 90’s jams. Although there are no studies that suggest that listening to music produced in the 90’s improves your work performance, there are studies that suggest listening to music at work can improve both your mood and productivity.

Dr. Amit Sood, a Physician of Integrative Medicine with the Mayo Clinic, found that in biological terms, melodious sounds can release dopamine in the reward section of the brain. This release also happens when you come in contact with other pleasant things and can occur when you smell a pleasant aroma or take a bit of chocolate cake.

Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, Assistant Professor in the Music Therapy Program at the University of Miami, conducted a study on how music affects workplace performance. Her findings concluded that individuals who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t  Dr. Lesiuk stated that this was mostly due to the fact that music improved individual’s moods and when you are in a positive mood, you’re able to take in more options.

No matter what you like to listen to during your work day or how you believe it affects you, it is important to keep workplace music etiquette in mind:

  1. Always listen with one ear bud in your ear. This way you will still remain aware of what is going on around you and can respond if your boss or co-workers are trying to get your attention.
  2. Always listen at a responsible volume. No one wants to accidently hear your Celine Dion remix, or in my case, you do not want your new co-workers to find out so quickly how weird you actually are.
  3. Try to keep your music selection as work appropriate as possible. If you are a big fan of 90’s rap music (like me), make sure you try to find the cleanest versions. Heaven forbid your ear buds come unplugged and your entire row feels like they need to take a shower after the vulgar lyrics. (Note, that if rule #2 is followed, this won’t be a significant problem).

Whether you are listening to The Little Mermaid soundtrack or Beethoven, placing those ear buds in your ears can scientifically better your day. Just remember to be respectful and follow the rules above and you’re well on your way to a personal productive jam out session!

What are some of your favorite songs to keep productivity flowing at work? 

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