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:
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!)
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.
What are your tried and true methods of staying motivated during the winter months?
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.
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.
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.
What are some office design tips you use to minimize distractions in the open office space?
Today’s office spaces are constantly changing as they adapt to the needs of workers. They’ve become less about individual space and more about collaborative work areas. Here are 4 reasons why our new Arrange tables are the best solution for the active spaces in your office:
1. ARRANGE WITH CONFIDENCE.
Arrange tables are available in a variety of heights, worksurface shapes and sizes to support any space – from common areas and collaborative settings to private offices. Find a quiet spot to brainstorm in a small group. Grab a beverage away from the desk. Arrange tables provide the perfect change of scenery!
2. WHEREVER WORK GETS DONE.
Workers understand that getting away from the workstation throughout the day improves productivity and creativity. Arrange tables can support these much needed escapes in a variety of spaces that help people relax, collaborate, power up and stay connected. This flexible line of tables provides the connectivity people crave, and the variety of heights, shapes and sizes to support virtually any setting.
3. CUSTOMIZE YOUR SELECTION.
Arrange tables are available in seated, café or counter heights and a variety of tabletop shapes and sizes to support virtually any need. Choose from lighter-weight Aluminum X-bases and T-leg bases or add an optional Disc Shroud base for a crisp, clean look. Stay connected when you route technology through the base directly to the tabletop to use with optional USB or power grommets.
4. ARRANGE WITH STYLE.
Arrange takes style and selection to a higher level. This versatile collection of tables can be specified to achieve any desired aesthetic and support any activity in cafés or common areas like the library setting below!
Arrange’s adaptability is rivaled only by its quality and durability, which is backed by the unparalleled HON Full Lifetime Warranty.
Want to learn more about Arrange tables? Visit the brand new Arrange spotlight page on hon.com.
As a leading designer and manufacturer of office furniture, The HON Company offers a diverse product portfolio to meet the needs of our customers. Meet Manage®, our basyx by HON® desk series that does just that. Let’s explore a few reasons why Manage is a must have for your workspace.
Modern Look and Application
Creating a solution that keeps up with the evolution of today’s office is something we had in mind with the creation of Manage. This series offers a clean and contemporary look that conforms to the open-concept workplace and fosters collaboration. As office spaces continue to evolve, users will be able to enjoy the same functionality with a smaller footprint and more opportunities to interact with those around them.
As office design trends change, the need increases for furniture that can work in a variety of spaces. Manage offers the ability to maintain a consistent aesthetic throughout a variety of work environments, while allowing employees to create the style that works best for them. It fits in open plan, semi-private and private office environments. The image below demonstrates how Manage can serve many different types of spaces while creating a consistent look.
Practicality and Convenience
Inspired by the needs of small businesses, Manage is an affordable collection that’s easy to reconfigure as business needs change. With a condensed number of ready-to-assemble components, it’s simple to install. In the image above you can see how the worksurface extends into the storage and the open design allows for storage below working level, thus optimizing space and supporting a smaller footprint. For this reason, Manage is an especially appealing solution for organizations with limited real estate who want to maximize their investment.
With an ideal combination of style, versatility and affordability, Manage is ready to handle today’s fast-paced business demands. How has Manage been successful for you?
Welcome and Reception:
Welcome and reception areas are the first spaces someone sees when they enter a building; especially, for the first time. That’s why it’s important to use furniture in these spaces that is inviting and leaves a positive impression. Try to incorporate soft seating that draws people in to the space. Don’t forget the impact that lighting can play in making a space inviting. It is also nice to consider some sort of service area to make people feel welcome.
Common areas are similar to welcome and reception areas in that they should also be inviting. However, common areas should be designed to accommodate larger groups of people. As you can imagine, more people means more furniture needs and preferences. Consider a variety of seating and table options in common areas so individual work styles can be addressed. Vary the heights of tables and offer a blend of café and soft seating in the space and you’ll commonly find people in the common areas.
Private areas are the place for heads down, focused work, so these individual spaces should be designed to maximize productivity. Be sure to include ample worksurface space and easy access to a variety of storage. Extended surfaces and overhead storage give a person more room to spread out and work.. Private offices should also have task chairs that accommodate an all day sit to ensure the worker is comfortable.
Collaborative areas should bring people together and offer a break from individual heads down work, while allowing people to be productive. Consider integrating collaborative areas alongside individual workstations. Try to include worksurfaces that can be used to lay out documents and soft seating. Also consider lightweight, easy-to-move furniture (i.e. cushions or seating and markerboards with casters) for a flexible, fun way for people to meet.
In which type of space do you work best and why?
Do you remember what kind of desk you sat in when you were in grade school or middle school? Chances are it wasn’t anything like the desks we see in our classrooms today. The style and design of the school desk has changed greatly over the past few decades. The desks used twenty to thirty years ago were constructed of all wood or a combination of wood and bulky metal, making them very heavy and almost impossible for an elementary school student move around. The older slanted opening top desks (shown below) did not allow for much workspace and the only thing they were good for was smashing your fingers. With most desks having the chair attached, there was little to no flexibility to accommodate a larger student, wide or tall. It was as though one assumed all students were the same exact size and shape.
When I was in middle school, it seemed like every couple months my teacher was coming up with new seating arrangement. I remember pushing my heavy desk full of books and supplies with all my might across the room to my new home. It was only a few days later that we would be temporarily reconfiguring our desks yet again to form a circle to discuss the latest edition of Weekly Reader. Because of the design of the older desks, these temporary reconfigurations did not allow for much flexibility while working in groups.
It was only recently that office manufacturers began to address a desk design that allows for teachers and students to quickly and conveniently reconfigure a classroom. HON’s education series, SmartLink®, is lightweight and streamlined, and students are able to move and reconfigure with little or no effort. With the increase in the use of technology, the desks not only need to accommodate laptops and tablets, but also still allow ample workspace for the student. In the modern classroom, collaborative work between several students is becoming the norm. SmartLink is so versatile and can be used in group pods or lined up in traditional rows. Below are the most popular classroom layouts using SmartLink.
For more ideas on products that can be collaborated with SmartLink student desks, be sure to check the entire SmartLink collection as well as Motivate® and Huddle training tables.