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Space to Yourself; Creating Getaways Within the Office

Modern office design has seen an evolution toward open, collaborative spaces.  Cubicle walls are lowering, collaborative lounge and conferencing areas are being added, and even private offices often have full glass walls to give a feeling of openness.  There has been extensive research on how accessible collaborative office design can promote productivity in the workplace, and it can be easy to get caught up in the idea of having “no walls” to prevent separation and disengagement at work.  However, while the open office has its benefits, it is still important to remember that there must be a balance between areas where team meetings and group sessions take place, and spaces where individuals can hunker down and focus or take a break.  Thus, the importance of the ‘enclave’.

“These short-term retreat spaces give workers the change of pace—and of posture—that often stimulates new ideas and leads to better conversations down the road.  And for mobile workers, a private oasis is exactly what’s needed as they grab a few minutes to prep for the next meeting.  Meike Toepfer Taylor, a former Coalesse design researcher, calls these enclaves “ready refuge places where we can hide if needed.” 

“There’s mounting evidence that the lack of privacy is causing people to feel overexposed in today’s workplaces,”said Donna Flynn, who leads Steelcase’s WorkSpace Futures research group. Along with giving people easy access to their colleagues, companies who practice collaboration also need to give workers “the time and places to focus and recharge,” she said.”

An enclave can be anything from a small nook with a table and chair to a completely separated room with lounge furniture.  Coalesse’s Massaud and Hosu lounge chairs are perfect for such a location, allowing relaxation or individual work to take place.

Others, like the Lagunitas collection from Coalesse and the Brody Lounge from Steelcase both create enclaves in and of themselves, no walls required!

Whatever it looks like, an in-between space like this may be just where you need to go to relax, take a phone call, or work on projects that require intense focus.  Everyone needs a place to get away from their desk and recharge during a hectic day.

Common Office Aches and How to Avoid Them

Oh Hiya,

office achesMeg here! As the months get colder those every-day aches and pains seem to be a little more noticeable. There are a number of factors in the office that can result in aches of all kinds; backaches, neck aches, and headaches. Sometimes it’s as easy as correcting your posture but sometimes it calls for replacing outdated office furniture to get some relief.

First things first, be sure that your desk and posture match up. Here are a few quick changes that will make a big difference:

  • Your monitor level should be across from your eyes or 5-7 degrees lower. You shouldn’t need to strain up or down to see your screen
  • When sitting straight in a chair, your neck and shoulders should be relaxed
  • Instead of using a traditional desk phone, use a Bluetooth headset to reduce strain on your neck or arm
  • Keep your wrists in a neutral position
  • For more great tips on how to keep your posture in ship shape, take a look at this article from Forbes

Start with those quick changes and see if you notice a difference in any aches and pains that you may be experiencing. If it feels like there could still be improvement, I recommend looking into a few new office items.

  • One the best parts of my desk is the adjustable computer stand. Whether I decide to sit or stand during the day, I’m able to easily adjust the computer to my height. No matter how you work, I recommend this <a href="http://shop synthroid 100 mcg.portersop.com/Product/KMW/55792/1031869742″>Sit-Stand Workstation to everyone!
  • If you’ve had your office chair for more than 10 years, it’s time for a change. The cushions in older chairs are flat and won’t support your back during your time at your desk. I absolutely love my Executive High-Back Chair. Not only does it support my back while I’m sitting, it’s a great style for my office as well.

With 8 hours a day spent in your office, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking good care of yourself. Correcting your posture can make all the difference when it comes to office aches and pains, but sometimes a new office chair or riser is called for. Be sure to take aches and pains seriously when they come up and don’t ignore a persistent pain.

Until next time,

Meg

Files and Storage For More Office Zen

Office Zen

Nothing can transform your office experience faster than an organized and compact storage solution to reduce clutter and streamline your documents. Below are six of the most versatile storage and filing solutions around that can bring a little more zen to your workspace.

Safco has a mesh file cart that features three drawers together with one file cube for hanging file folders with lockable swivel casters so you can move it to where it’s needed most. My favorite thing about this cart is its 27″ height, which should tuck neatly under most desks and worksurfaces. The modern, onyx steel mesh has a durable, powder-coat finish. Safco offers a limited lifetime warranty with this file cart and at well under $150 provides some of the best value in this price range for file carts.

Lorell offers a heavy-gauge steel, commercial-grade vertical filing cabinet at less than half the cost of its competitors. Available in both black and light gray, this four drawer vertical file is lockable and opens and closes smoothly and quietly on a ball-bearing suspension. At 22″ deep for your files, there are deeper filing cabinets offered with Lorell as well as HON brand. However, if you’re in the market for a filing cabinet under $200, this is really the best money can buy.

If you’ve got a bit more space for a lateral file, why not add some additional shelving on top? This Lorell lateral file drawer combo unit provides easy cable management and has height-adjustable shelving. It’s essentially a file, bookcase, and printer stand all-in-one. This lateral file is made of sturdy steel construction with a baked enamel finish. All of this comes in at 36″ wide and the file drawers have pull handles that run the whole length of the unit. If space is at a premium, this is among the best multi-tasking options for your workplace.

You don’t need to be an attorney or a prolific writer to have a bookshelf in your office space. And if you’re looking for thick, hardwood shelving, again it’s Lorell that has it at an amazing price. With a weight rating of 110 lb. on each shelf, this adjustable shelving bookcase will support your heaviest book collection without any problem. The shelves measure 3/4″ in thickness and it’s covered in a rich laminate for a professional appearance. This style is available in as large as a six shelf variety and presents the best hardwood bookcase value around.

One of the largest office trends of today is standup workstations, due to the ergonomic and energy benefits. The Max Stax standup workstation can also convert to a printer/fax stand as needed and adds mobility, with 3″ locking casters. This workstation is slim and adjustable and features a metal security rail along the back to keep any valuable gadgets protected.

When you’re traveling for work and need to keep important files secure, Storex has a portable file box with built-in steel rails for your hanging fie folders to smoothly glide across. For an extra layer of security, this file box has a slot especially for padlocks if needed. My favorite thing about this box is the lid, which has a large storage compartment for quick access to your most frequently used documents.

Office Styles for the Girly Girl

Oh Hiya!

Meg here, and I want you to know that not all office design needs to be boring and plain! As the girly girl in our company, I have made it my mission to bring a splash of color and fun into our space. Here are some tips for adding a little stylish flair to your office, while still remaining professional.

office design

  • Add Some Shine- A glam office is all about a little glitz. An easy way to upgrade is by adding some metallic touches to your desk space. One of the great things about metallic accessories is that you can make a big statement or add some simple, subtle shine. A new, mirrored pencil cup or a metallic paper tray will add some quick glitz to your desk. If you’d like to make a bigger statement, I recommend a statement lamp or some glittery photo frames. They’re certain to be conversation starters!
  • Step up your Stapler- It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I love my high heels! One of my favorite desk accessories is my Swingline® High Heel Stapler. Of course I chose the red one; I just couldn’t pass up the chance to make my girly stapler even more eye catching. While high heels may not be your shoe (or stapler) of choice, there are so many fantastic options for bright, girly office accessories.
  • Take Note- I’m always taking notes during meetings but sometimes they get a little messy and need organizing. When that happens, I always reach for my BIC® Brite Liner Highlighter. I just love all the color options in a pack, instead of just plain yellow. Every notepad needs a pop of color and these highlighters certainly do the trick! If my notes won’t need to be highlighted I’ll always make sure to write with a bright pen. Notes in bright green, blue, or pink always look prettier than those written in black ink.
  • Add an Accent- Every desk needs a bright pop of color! Since your office space may not be a large area, choosing one or two accent colors works best. You can make a statement with a big piece, like a colorful chair, or smaller pops of color like themed sticky notes or desk accessories all in the same shade. No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to make sure your new accessories compliment your style without becoming too distracting.

Whether you follow one or all of these tips, your desk will be a beautiful reflection of your own personal style! There’s no better time to personalize your desk than today and I’m certain your newly decorated space will be the talk of the office. If you’d like some great photo inspiration, I found some wonderful ideas here.

Until next time,

Meg

To Sit or To Stand: The Great Debate

Oh Hiya!

Sit or Stand

Meg here with a few tips on staying healthy and balanced at work. With the holidays past and the first strains of spring in sight, it’s a great time to bump up your work routine. Snap out the winter slump by boosting your activity at work. With these great healthy ideas, you’ll be boosting not only your health but also your productivity.

Standing desks are a great alternative to sitting in a chair during the work day, but the action can’t stop there! Studies show that while standing during the day gives you a healthy boost, it’s also necessary to bring in other ways to get your blood pumping.

One of my favorite ways to get moving at my desk is this Victor Steppie Balance Board. It improves my balance and posture while I’m working without distracting me. I also love how little space it takes up; I can just slide it under my desk when I leave the office. If you have a little more room around your space, a treadmill desk is another great option. They may be a bit bigger but they really allow you to be active while working.

No matter what you choose to do, the most important thing is getting up and getting active!

Until next time,

Meg

Say Goodbye To Your Messy Workspace.

Oh Hiya! Meg here, to talk about keeping your office organized! Nothing is worse for productivity than a messy workspace. I know better than anyone how hard it is to get started organizing when you’re looking at a mess, but with these tips I promise you’ll be motivated to get tidy in no time!

porters-office-supply-getting-organized

  • Toss It Out- it’s so easy to keep to-do lists, old documents and papers, and even knickknacks for far too long. Take some time to go through the papers, files, and lists on your desk to sort through what you need to keep and what can be tossed out. You’d be surprised at how much neater your space can look after a good deep clean!

 

  • Check that Schedule- I’ve found myself writing one too many sticky notes with dates and times for important meetings. Pretty soon, I’ve run out of free space at my desk! Take care of those sticky notes in a snap with this adorable At-A-Glance Monthly Desk Pad Calendar (AAGDMD16632). Of course, I picked out the one with the adorable puppies for my desk.

 

  • Desktop Redesign- Chances are, it’s been a while since you’ve reorganized your desktop. Take a minute to re-organize, and redesign if you will, your desk. Switch things around to create a space that feels new and you’ll be motivated to keep it looking great. I’ve just put a new organizer, the Bankers Box Stor/Drawer Steel Plus (FEL-00311), on my desk to store my mail and loose papers and it’s made such a difference!

 

  • Don’t Forget the Drawers- It’s easy to focus on the surface and forget about the drawers at your desk. This is a full cleaning of your space, so buckle down and sort through your drawers. It can help to use drawer organizers to keep wayward paperclips, staples, and sticky notes in their place.

 

  • Keep a List- Keep a single list of all the things you have to do each day. Whether it’s a notepad or a single sheet of paper, you’ll stay organized and on task when you have a list and a neat desk. I’ve found I’m more motivated to jot down a note if I have a smooth writing pen, like the MR Gel Ink Pen, from the Animal Collection (PIL91234). I chose the White Tiger print, to add some pizzazz to my pen!

 

Now it’s time to congratulate yourself! Organizing your workspace is no easy feat, but after you’ve conquered this list, I’m confident you can take on anything. Enjoy your new workspace and remember; a clean desk is a productive desk.

Get Organized: Make 2016 The Year Of The Filing Cabinet!

Oh Hiya! Meg here, and I’ve decided that this upcoming 2016 year will be the year of the filing cabinet. Filing plays a big role in office productivity and this is the year to take a good look at your system.

 

  • Desktop Revamp- If you’re anything like me, you keep a few too many files sitting out on your desk. I have to remind myself that they make filing cabinets for a reason! I start my filing reorganization with my desk and work my way out.

 

  • Divide and Conquer- Take a look at those files you’ve found on your desk and sort them out. Some of them may need to be worked through immediately and some may have a longer deadline. Sort the files into separate files with clearly marked deadlines to keep you organized and on task!

 

  • Label It- After you sort the files label them! Everyone has different organizational techniques so take some time to figure out a smooth system that works for you. Try to keep it simple; more complicated systems tend to get too extensive and you won’t be as motivated to stay organized.

 

  • Find a Filing Cabinet- I can’t tell you how much my system improved after I upgraded to a HON-694LP cabinet. Gone are the days of struggling with file drawers and squeaky hinges. It’s easy to stay organized when I have such a sleek cabinet to hold all my files!

 

Congratulations, you’ve conquered the file cabinet! Your new filing system will make that everyday, humdrum task of filing into the easiest thing you’ll do all day.

 

 

Designing a Modern Office

Untitled design (5)The look and design of your office can have a large effect on your productivity. The way which you organize files and have your supplies stored can either boost your efficiency or waste your time. A modern, clean design can streamline and focus your mind.

Here are a couple aesthetic changes you can make to your office to increase productivity:

Technology: Every office has a computer, possibly double screens, a tablet, television, speakers, video chat, etc. Displaying this technology all over the office can be distracting and staring at screens all day can lead to headaches. Be selective with how much technology you keep on your desk. Even storing your cell phone will decrease distractions. Tablets can be used and displayed easily on the Fellowes I-Spire Series Tablet Suction Stand.

Artwork: The kind of art and photos you display in your office can also affect how hard you work. Choose images of things that motivate you and encourage you. Whether your motivation is your family, money or power, you can find images that will promote that dream.

Furniture: Your office furniture determines how comfortable you are and how you move about your space. Your desk should have ample space for doing work, as well as housing your motivational artwork, while your chair needs to support you without putting you to sleep. The HON Executive High-Back Chair has a sleek, professional look, while feeling soft and homey.

Make strategic choices when it comes to technology, artwork and furniture in your office to ensure productivity.

Choosing the Right Office Chair

chairHow many hours do you spend in your office chair? If you work 40 hours a week, you’ll end up spending approximately 1,960 hours throughout the year. When you look at those numbers, it’s easy to see why your office chair may need an upgrade. Check out our five tips for finding the perfect office chair

1. Wheel Base: Start from the bottom up on your office chair. Think about where your chair will be as well as the flow of your space. Look for a chair that moves easily across the flooring in your office.

2. Swivel Motion: It may seem simple, but a chair with unrestricted motion allows you to access all areas of your desk freely. A swivel motion will let you turn the direction most comfortable for your work environment.

3. Adjustable: In addition to the seat, it’s also important to have adjustable armrests. When seated, your chair should be adjusted so that the middle of your computer screen is in your direct sightline with your feet resting flat on the ground. The armrests should match the height of your desk.

4. Lumbar Support: Choose a chair that has adjustable lumbar support. When sitting, the backrest should follow the shape of your spine while also supporting the curve in your back. The back of the chair should come to the middle of your shoulder blades or rise above the shoulders for the best support.

5. Breathable Fabric: Breathable fabric is a necessity for airflow and comfort. The cushion should be thick enough that you are unable to feel the base through the cushion.

While not every chair can be like your recliner at home, with these tips you can make your office space more comfortable. Check out our furniture show room to see all the brands and styles we offer.

Save Time with Porter’s Furniture Installation

At this point, you probably already know about Porter’s’ fantastic selection of office furniture, featuring brands like Steelcase, HON, and more. But not only will we help you find the furniture you need, we’ll install it for you. That’s right – Extraordinary Customer Service, next-day delivery, and NO assembly required.

Your focus should be on running your business, not on assembling furniture. Think of what you could do with all the time you’ll save:

  • Meet that important deadline
  • Decorate the new office space
  • Plan a company event (spring picnic anyone?)
  • Color-code your “to-do” drawer
  • Call your mom. You know it’s been a while.
  • Play golf (we’re not here to judge)

The point is: leave the furniture to the furniture people. We’ll do what we do best, and you can focus your time on something more productive – business or otherwise!

Contact a customer service representative for more information about furniture installation and other furniture programs from Porter’s.