Archives for posts with tag: office tips

working day in office. two businessmen at work.

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!

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:

fabrics

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!)

grove

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.

preside

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

 

 

Well, the time has come yet again here in the Midwest when we put away the sandals and bring out the sweaters. While many mourn the loss of the hot summer season, I am welcoming the fall breeze with open arms and I know others are as well! There are various transitions to make when moving from any season, but I find the transition into fall to be the most fun (and pretty)!

The first thing I would recommend is cleaning out your desk or workspace. It is helpful to try and do this with the changing of each season to decrease stress and create a more efficient and productive space for yourself. Once your work area is organized, add a little fall décor. Switch up your office furniture by adding warm autumn-colored fabrics or find a fall-themed screensaver for your computer. With Halloween around the corner, consider bringing in some treats to share with your coworkers or try making this mason jar mummy and use it as a pencil holder instead of a candle holder!

Halloween in the office

A new season brings new beginnings and serves as a good reminder to re-visit your goals for the year. Take time to reflect on recent projects and accomplishments. Is there anything you didn’t get to finish? In what areas of your professional life can you continue to grow? Use this time to take on new responsibilities, learn a new skill or dedicate time to that project you’ve been wanting to start. The fall season also reminds us to be thankful, so try sending a note of appreciation to a coworker or special mentor.

In addition to your workspace, don’t forget to de-clutter and re-organize at home. The changing of the season is always a great time to donate anything you may no longer want or use. Remember, one person’s trash is another person’s favorite fall fashion item (at least, I think that’s how the saying goes)!  The benefits of feeling organized outside of work will transfer to the office, too.

Let’s fall into autumn with these few, hopefully helpful, tips to de-clutter both your workspace and personal life. Bring on the pumpkin spiced lattes, bonfires, and football!

Anyone remember the film Pay it Forward with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt, and Haley Joel Osment? Its premise revolved around a junior high school teacher who gave his class an assignment to think of an idea to improve the world for the better and to, most importantly, put it into action. This was the first time I remember hearing the phrase, and it has really stuck with me. Small acts of kindness, aside from the obvious benefit of brightening someone else’s day, can also be a significant mood booster for the giver and influences his or her overall state of happiness. When it comes to the workplace, the ripple effect of paying it forward can help create a more positive company culture and work environment, and the best part is – it can be really simple to spread! Here are 6 of my favorite ways to be kind and “pay it forward” in the office:

Pop-Open Cards

IMG_1073

Hands down my new favorites, I recently stumbled upon these at a local stationery store during one of my weekend road trips. Each of these small notes are wrapped individually, so it’s easy to pay it forward by choosing the best-suited message for a coworker and leaving it on his desk for daily motivation. I started with the Smile and Thanks sets, but Compendium, Inc. makes a whole host of different themed sets, some of which include: Carpe Diem, Cheers, Believe, Be Happy, and Dream.

Inspirational “Just Because” Notes

Dove chocolate wrappers can serve as an inspirational "just because" note to a coworker

Dove® Chocolate Wrappers come in at a close second and are scattered all over my fridge. The chocolate inside is an obvious added bonus as well. Dropping off a few treats or that one perfect saying is an exceptionally easy way to brighten a fellow coworker’s day. Fortune cookie takeaways and simple Post-it® notes (paired with your favorite Sharpie®, of course) also work perfectly well.

Caffeine Run

surprise your coworkers with a coffee run

Such a simple way to start someone else’s day off right. Bonus points if you know his/her favorite. Break out that gold card & earn those stars!

Mail Time

Surprise packages can brighten someone's day

I never feel more accomplished than when I’m walking out of the post office on a Saturday morning, having just purchased a new sheet of stamps with a successful mailing to start off the day (personal victory if this has miraculously occurred before noon). The best surprise package that I’ve received included my go-to desk accessories that now serve as quick mood boosters/inspiration when needed.

Taking a Break

Take a break with coworkers to get to know them

Aside from the obvious perk of recharging your work batteries for a bit during the middle of the day – this is prime social hour. Whether it’s getting to know the new employee who started last week, scheduling group outings with the rest of the team, or getting together with your closest work friend, this is a great opportunity to spend quality time with other’s and make someone else’s day. Showcased here is our fabulous HON Commons area during peak hours.

Kudos Emails

Send a kudos email to make someone's day

This is something I’m constantly trying to do more often and have been finding it works best for me if I dedicate a few minutes on a Friday afternoon or over the weekend – an easy way to make sure others’ work is being noticed and that my teammates feel appreciated. Particularly in Field Sales, we rely heavily on the tools, resources, and help provided from other teams throughout the organization.

How are you paying it forward at work?

Stress Less in the office with these 4 tips from HON

No matter how much you love what you do, sometimes you can’t avoid the occasional stress that comes with responsibilities in the office, and this can affect productivity. Whether you’re preparing for a big presentation or product launch, addressing a customer service request or just facing an unusually heavy workload, we all know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed. Instead of letting these stressors get to you or waiting until you get home to unwind, here are 4 easy ways to take a few minutes at your desk or workstation to relieve the tension:

  1. One of the best cures for stress is to just get up and walk away from your workspace for a few minutes. Taking a step back from the task at hand and allowing yourself to take a mental break can work wonders. Clear your mind and lose yourself in a short magazine article, or walk to the breakroom and grab some water. Take a few deep breathes and you’ll be ready to get back to work.
  2. I personally am really into scents and a small trick that helps me relieve stress is the smell of lavender. You can easily incorporate this into your daily routine with lavender hand lotion, or my favorite, lavender lip balm, and the fragrance is known to cure tension. I like to always keep some Lubriderm’s Shea + Calming Lavender Jasmine lotion on hand in my easy-to-access Contain® storage pedestal!
  3. Another favorite stress-reducing tip is to sip on some mint tea. Not only is this supposed to help relieve stress, but mint tea is also great for your skin! While you drink your tea, find a relaxing playlist on Pandora or Spotify and get yourself into a stress-free zone so that you can perform to your maximum potential.
  4. Last, but definitely not least, I recommend trying acupressure. For example, there is a spot on your hand between your thumb and index finger called the “web”. If you massage this area it should help to calm your nerves. Looking for some other acupressure points to try out? Check these out.

I hope that these tips come in handy next time you’re facing the occasional workplace stress. Grab your lavender lotion, mint tea, and favorite playlist and let your troubles subside so that you can achieve your career goals!

Professional NetworkingNetworking is the act of making a meaningful connection with a member of your community, another professional in your industry or related field, or a coworker within your organization, including members inside and outside of your team.  Once a connection is made, you can build these relationships by making an effort to keep in touch, asking if someone needs help on a project, inviting another member to lunch, or by finding a common interest or passion to discuss.  Networking is not just about who you know, but who knows you.

Why is networking important?

“By getting out there, you make yourself known and not just another name on a sheet of paper,” says Brad Karsh, President of JobBound, in his article, What Does ‘Networking’ Really Mean?  The more you make yourself known, the more likely it is that your name will come up when hiring managers discuss future job opportunities. It’s also a great way to help you move up or around within your current organization.  If management does not know who you are, how will they know you are a great asset to the team?

How do I network?

The best way to start networking is to find something in common! This will open the door for a great conversation.

When networking within your own organization, find mentors both on and off your team.  For example, if you are part of the Marketing Department, it might be useful to find a mentor in Marketing as well as a mentor in the Finance Department.  Because of the many ways these two departments overlap and interact, understanding another function will help you become more efficient at your job. Try volunteering to be a part of a project outside of your regular scope of work, or reaching out to your manager to let them know that you are looking for additional opportunities on cross-functional teams.

Some of the ways we promote networking here at HON include “Lunch and Learn” collaborative meetings, Leadership Roundtable discussions and weekly touch base meetings with managers.  Keep an eye out for any opportunity you have to build a relationship with another member in your organization!

Professional NetworkingBest Practices

From my own experience, here are a few networking tips to remember:

  1. Practice with family, friends, or strangers you meet outside of work. (They don’t have to know you’re practicing your networking skills!).
  2. Ask the individual questions to show your interest in getting to know him or her.
  3. Always thank the individual for his or her time, in person or with a thank you note.
  4. Smile! Show that you are having a good time creating this new connection.

Additional networking tips from Andrew Vest’s article, How to Network The Right Way: Eight Tips include networking before you need it, trying not to dismiss anyone as unimportant, generously helping others prior to needing something from them – give more than you receive, and build genuine relationships!

Most importantly, remember that networking isn’t over once you start the initial conversation; continue to stay in touch with these new connections!

It’s that time of the year again – time to choose your New Year’s Resolutions. Intentions are always high to work out more, eat healthier, spend less money, etc. According to a Nielsen.com article titled This Year’s Top New Year’s Resolution? Fitness!!, some of the top New Year’s resolutions for 2015 were to stay fit and healthy, lose weight, and get organized. If any of these resolutions are on your list for next year, how can you integrate them into your work schedule at the office?

  1. Eat Healthy: Sometimes easier said than done, especially when you enjoy food day with your team members. The next time you have a food day in the office, plan on bringing a fruit or veggie tray. You may be surprised just how many of your coworkers will enjoy your dish. Not only will you feel great about your food choice, but you won’t be breaking your resolution.
  2. Stay Fit: How many of us set the alarm early in the morning with intentions to work out before you head to the office? When that doesn’t happen, we make plans to work out after we leave work. Sometimes we’re too tired, arrive home later than expected, or just want to watch our favorite shows on TV. If this is you, why not work out during your work day? During your lunch period, plan on taking a walk for the first 15-30 minutes (depending on the length of your lunch break) and enjoy your lunch for the rest of your break. Take occasional breaks throughout the day to walk to the water fountain, restroom, or copy machine.
  3. Get Organized: Are you a list maker? Now may be the time to start! A great way to get organized at work is to start your morning off by creating a To Do list, outlining the tasks that must be completed by end of day and tasks that you want to finish later if you have time. At the end of the day and before you leave the office, take a look at your list to see what you accomplished. If a task needs to be postponed, simply add it to tomorrow’s list and you’ll be a step ahead when the next morning rolls around! Consider adding HON storage to your workspace for additional organization support.

Quotient Seating and Contain Storage

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2016? Can you think of any ways to stick to them while you’re at work?

%d bloggers like this: