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How Do I Arrange My Office for Higher Productivity

“Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work” – Bette Davis. How your office is arranged shouldn’t be an afterthought. Did you know that the layout of your workspace is a major factor in influencing productivity? Good! Now you know. Have a nice physical set-out and things flow; have a poor set-out and you misstep.

The most important administrative-office functions include planning, organizing, staffing, communicating, directing, coordinating and controlling. The office manager must organize the office on modern lines for the efficient and effective performance.

Maintaining an organized office where you can find items quickly and easily saves time and makes you more efficient and productive. Here’re few strategies, tips and tools anyone can use to keep whether a home office, commercial office or cubicle organized and effective.

Invest in Comfort

Often times, this is overlooked. Many people don’t consider comfort when choosing their office chairs, meeting table or desk. Instead; they go with what is utilitarian and cheap.

This poses a problem because it’s difficult to be effective as well as productive if your legs are fatigued from sitting in the wrong chair for your body type. Buying the right office furniture is to find the perfect balance of functionality and comfort.

Even though you might be familiar with the bright white fluorescent light that’s usually used in cubicle office spaces, this is neither cost-efficient nor productive for your workers. Endeavor to set out your office where you and your employees can take full advantage of natural light, thus providing access to the outside world. It’ll go a long way!

Organize with colors and Labels

Opt for a proper labeling and color system for your office. Color sets the tone for our mood in powerful ways. According to a study by the University of Texas; all colors are productive, depending on what kind of boost you need. Take the time to label shelves, folders, bins, and drawers. This labeling process helps you to put items in the right places and reduces the risk of losing important documents. This can as well be extended to digital files.

Sound – Music

Studies have shown classical music, especially of the Baroque period to be a clear winner in raising overall productivity. Sounds are powerful productivity cues that can pull us out of deep tasks and promote dreaded context switching. Whether you prefer as much silence as possible or only specific kinds of noise, you need to understand how auditory stimuli makes you better or worse at your job. However, study yourself and know the music that suits your particular mood.

Storage and proximity

Invest in durable boxes, you can store almost anything in containers to help you stay organized. Plastic containers and cardboard boxes are perfect for efficient storage. You can as well go digital for your paper files; this can save space and eliminate clutter. Closet and office space organization units may also work as useful storage options.

Close proximity is another key factor to consider for higher productivity, position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that are rarely used can be stored or put away.

Eliminate Clutter

A clean and organized office helps your workers to get more done. This creates an optimal workspace, reduces any chance of getting distracted, and contribute to enhanced productivity.

Give your Employees the Right Technology

Equipping your employees with the right tools and the right technology can go a long way to enable them to perform their duties efficiently. Employees can easily lose motivation if they have to use faulty or outdated office tools and technology. And hence reducing productivity.

Deck the Office Halls

 

 

Happy holidays!!!

How are you keeping the festive holiday spirit alive in the office? It can be tricky sometimes to decorate with a limited space or a limited wallet.

Here are some of the office ideas we have done here around our Porter’s Office Products work station!

Our furniture specialists pop onto the retail floor several times a day. They decided to hang some garland up with some fairy lights intermixed for some holiday glow!
Photo Dec 20, 10 16 39 AM.jpg

What brings the holiday spirit better than a fully decorated Christmas tree? We have loved having this tree in on our retail floor so that everyone always see it. We even stored our employee Secret Santa gifts for one another underneath it for the time before our party!
Photo Dec 20, 10 16 59 AM.jpg

A great and inexpensive way to decorate is hanging Christmas ornaments around the office. We hung them from the shelves on the retail floor. It glistened the place up a great deal.
Photo Dec 20, 10 17 27 AM (1).jpg

Something else we enjoyed doing this holiday season was displaying our holiday cards we received from fellow business friends on our warehouse door.
Photo Dec 20, 10 19 11 AM.jpg

Of course, we couldn’t do any of this without the Blue Cow stamp of approval! Our little buddy has certainly enjoyed the holiday season thus far!!
Photo Dec 20, 10 18 18 AM.jpg

There are also many ideas we have seen that we love to share as well!

One of our absolute favorites is this rendition of Elf on a Shelf! They created Elf bodies out of construction paper and attached their own photos on as well! They move them all around the office and have them act out hilarious winter scenarios. Great idea coming from Seema Adnani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great and simple one is turning your door into a present! We love this idea coming from Nap Time Decorator. It will make anyone feel the holiday spirit as they walk into your “presents”!

Front Door Wrapped Present.

There are so many fun ideas and decorations you can use in your office space. Let us know if you have another idea or something you have already tried!

Best Organization Apps

Do you feel like you have a million things to do and keep track of?  Thankfully many people have decided to get over that feeling and make something to help!

Here are the two top rated websites for organizing you work life or your personal life. I used each one for at least a week and took notes on what I liked and disliked about them.

 

 

 

Todoist

  • Premium features comments, alarms,
  • Available with mobile and desktop – syncing to one another
  • Simple looking and allows you to panel them. All tasks, Today, or the Upcoming 7 Days
  • You can set a task to be reoccurring. There is no limit. It can be every Monday, every 15th of the month, every 3 months, etc.
  • You can’t share the list, but you can assign projects to other people. This might be helpful if you are a group leader or team leader. You can keep track of what you assigned to people…but you have to make sure you tell them you assigned them to this task.

 

 

 

 

Wunderlist

  • Share lists with others
  • Not limited and works with multiple platforms like Android, Windows, Linux, Blackberry, etc.
  • Available with mobile and desktop – syncing to one another
  • You don’t have to have premium to add comments, alarms, etc.
  • There are background images on your lists that make it a little prettier to look at
  • You can share this list and have conversations with those group members

 

There are many pros to both apps. I personally prefer Todoist because it fits my work and personal life needs a little better. Let us know what you think! Send us a message on any social media platform or comment below! We’d love to hear what you think.

 

Now, if you are one that likes to keep track of tasks on something tangible and not electronic, we have the goods for you!

Calendars – http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=AAGG52000%2C+AAGPM91707%2C+AAGG52014

Highlighters – http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=highlighters

Tab pens – http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=flag+pens

 

Computer Mouse Tricks You Need to Know

 

If you don’t already know these tricks, this is going to be a major time saver for you! I found one by accident and realized, “Hey! There must be more out there!” I have compiled a list of some that will help you significantly. These tricks are applicable in web browsers as well as many programs like Microsoft Word.

Using the left button of your mouse:

  • Double click on a word and it highlights the whole word
  • Triple click and it highlights the whole paragraph
  • Put your curser over where you want to start, click, and let go. Now, move your cursor to the end of where you want to select, hold SHIFT and click! It highlighted everything in between!
  • If you want to copy a whole paragraph, highlight it and hold CTRL and drag it to where you want it to go!
  • Same concept, if you highlight and hold SHIFT

Using the Wheel of your mouse:

  • You can use this for scrolling AND clicking! The wheel is a button that you can use when browsing the internet. If you click the wheel on a web link, it will open up a new tab automatically with that link rather than using the tab you’re already in!
  • Hold down CTRL and scroll the wheel at the same time, and you can zoon in and out.
  • Instead of scrolling a up or down a million pages, click the wheel, slightly move your mouse, and viola! You are zipping to the top or bottom of the past faster than you know!
  • Middle click on a tab in your browser to instantly close it.

I hope you learned at least one new trick today. Go ahead and test them all out! It has helped me during my work day to effectively navigate my browsers and documents.

Five Things Every Office Work Space Needs

Everyone has that one item that makes their work day more productive. It may be your favorite pen, a ball of rubber bands, or maybe even a jar of candy!

There are countless items that can improve your productivity. Here are the top five that other people say that can’t work without:

 

5.  Snacks

Everyone has that one hour in the day that their body wants to take a nap. When your at work, that is not a possibility. You got things to do and people to help! But your eyes are still getting heavy. You need a little bit of a pick me up! Chewing gum can help keep your brain chugging along. Chocolate can give you a sweet burst of energy to carry you through. Whatever your preference, get a couple packages of them and store them in your desk drawer for when it is really needed!

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4. Cleaning Wipes

For some people, your workspace is your home away from home. Areas such as your keyboard, phone, and monitors can collect a lot of dust and particles. Just like keeping your house clean, you often need to do a routine clean up of your desk.  It’s a good chance to take a breath, clear your head and your workspace.

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3. Framed Photos

Again, this is your space! You should take care of it so you feel at home. Bring in a few photos of your family or your puppy to give you a smile throughout the day.

Plus, here at Porter’s we believe the bigger the better. If you want a poster sized photo of your puppy, we got you covered!

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2. Stress Relief Items

Sometimes the best ideas come when you are thinking hard and keeping your hands busy with a stress ball or a fidget spinner.

Check out the ones we have here at Porter’s Office Supply!

http://shop.portersop.com/Product/POP/BLUECOW/217627169

http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=fidget

 

1. Calendar/To Do List

The key to productivity is to be productive of course! There is a lot to remember and events can sneak up on you! It is important to have something to keep track of dates whether it is pocket sized or desktop size.

http://shop.portersop.com/Search?keyword=calendar

http://shop.portersop.com/Product/AAG/7003505/11957845

 

Don’t let your workspace be a place you don’t want to be. Add some flare, personality, and flexibility to it! These items will help you be more productive and feel better about your work day.

 

photo credit: Julie Bonner

On-Boarding Do’s and Don’t’s

Oh Hiya, Meg here! I think bringing a new client to our company is one of the most exciting times to be a part of the team. Of course, it takes an awful lot of work and planning, but it’s one of the most rewarding parts of a job. Here are a few of my best tips for meeting with a prospective client and how to get them hooked on your business:

onboarding

  •         DO Listen: Pay attention to exactly what it is that the client is looking for from your company. Each client will be looking for something unique, which means that you’ll need to have a thorough understanding of what your company has to offer. Listen for the issues, take notes, and provide solutions! I can always count on my trusty notepad and BIC Ballpoint Pen for keeping notes during prospective client meetings.
  •         DON’T Generalize: A quick way to turn a client away from your company is preparing a one-size-fits-all solution. Be sure that you’ve taken the time to fully assess what you can offer the client for their unique needs and tailor your proposal to them as much as possible.
  •         DO Problem Solve: Take time to meet with your team and plan a detailed solution for your client that fits your skill sets. Keep your team, and yourself, in check when it comes to providing solutions and be sure that you can deliver work you’re proud of. I’ve found that our clients appreciate having a solution in-hand, so my team puts together our proposals with our Swingline Manual Binding Machine. It allows us to organize a professional outline and our clients always leave the meeting impressed.
  •         DON’T Promise the Moon: On the other side of creating a thorough solution is over-promising. When bringing on a new client, it’s easy to promise the moon from your team. Be sure that your solutions are realistic in both the end goal and the timeline.
  •         DO Communicate: Do your best to make yourself open to client communication during onboarding. Your future client wants to know that even after they’ve signed on with you, you’ll be open to answering any questions or concerns. Stay in contact and you’ll have a lifelong client!
  •         DON’T Overwhelm: While open communication is wonderful, it can easily overwhelm a client when you offer up a daily email or phone call. Stay open and available, but keep yourself in check when it comes to checking in.

Of course, these tips aren’t a complete guide to onboarding a prospective client! One of the best guides that I’ve found for this process is from Hubspot. It’s full of wonderful tips for staying on track with a client throughout onboarding. Take a look here.

Until next time,

Meg

Working on the Go

Oh Hiya, Meg here! Have you noticed that there are so many more offsite meetings during this time of year? I find myself always needing to be prepared for a meeting over lunch or for an offsite client presentation. In the rush of leaving for a meeting, it’s so easy to forget the essentials. To help, I’ve put together a little list of off-site must-haves to make any meeting or presentation run smoothly.

BE PREPARED

  1.      Pack a Bag- Just like keeping a bag ready for a weekend away, I find that having a bag ready for offsite meetings helps me stay prepared for anything. Be sure that the bag has plenty of space for a laptop, charger cord, and all other meeting essentials. When it comes to preparing for a meeting, I find that it’s better to be over stocked with supplies than to go without.
  2.      Bring Extra Energy- Technology is a wonderful thing when it comes to meetings but there are so many times when a little glitch can throw off the whole system. Make sure you’re prepared with extra power cords and of course, a spare set of batteries. I always keep a pack of Energizer Batteries in my bag for unexpected energy outages. Don’t forget a travel mug of coffee to keep your own energy levels high, as well!
  3.      Powerless Planning- Of course there are times when even a spare set of batteries may not solve a technology hang up. When tech fails, it pays to have a backup plan. I pack a spare set of notepads and pens in my travel bag for meeting note taking. When it comes to tech-free presentations, I rely on my Post-it Self Stick Dry Erase Film. I can’t always count on a venue to supply a dry-erase board, and this film certainly gets the job done without leaving behind a mess when the meeting is done.
  4.      Check It Twice- Before leaving for your off-site meeting, be sure that you’ve double and triple checked the items you’ll need. There’s nothing worse than arriving at your meeting only to find that your notebook is still at your desk!

For a few more helpful tips on organizing the perfect offsite meeting, take a look at what Meeting Tomorrow has to say. Happy planning!

Until next time,

Meg

Unique Ways to Use Common Office Products

Oh Hiya, Meg here, and I’ve been thinking a lot about multitasking. I’m sure that when you think of multi-tasking creativity, your everyday office supplies aren’t the first thought in your head. I’ve found some new, amazing ways to put those supplies to use.

office products

Binder Clips: They may not look like a multi-purpose tool, but these handy clips are incredible when it comes to organizing cords and wires around your desk. By clipping them to the side of your desk and threading your charger cords, headphones, or internet cables through the handles, you’re able to keep every cord and cable in place.

Scotch Tape: Got a messy keyboard? Clean out stubborn crumbs with Scotch Magic Tape. Sometimes you don’t have keyboard cleaner on hand, but a roll of scotch tape is always nearby. Simply pull off a section of tape and slide it between the rows of keys to remove any unwanted dust or crumbs. So easy!

Post-It Notes: Sticky Notes are the ultimate multi-purpose tool! One of my favorite uses for my Post-it Super Sticky Notes is as a customizable calendar. I’ll always keep an eye on my desk calendar but when I need a little more space, I’ll just use sticky notes as an “expanded view” calendar on my office wall. Not only does it give me a more room to keep notes, I can easily count down the days by removing a note when the day has passed. You can easily customize your sticky-note calendar with different colors to match your style or the season.

Stapler: This tip may be specific to my favorite stapler! I use a Swingline Stapler and I absolutely love how it folds out to allow for temporary staples. My paperclips can get tangled and sometimes I need to keep a stack of papers organized. All I need to do is rotate the anvil of my stapler and voilà, I have an easy way to get temporary staples!

When it comes to multitasking with office supplies, all you need is a little creativity! There are so many wonderful ideas for making everyday items work for you. Take a look at a few more ingenious tips from Tiny Home Tour.

Until next time,

Meg!

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

Winterize Your Office

Oh Hiya,

winterize your officeMeg here and we’re on our way to some of the coldest months of the year. During these chilly days, I’d love to curl up with a mug of hot cocoa and a good book, but there’s always work to be done at the office! When the winter winds start blowing, I like to make sure our office is well stocked with cold-weather supplies and I’m sharing a few of my winter essentials with you!

  • Winter always seems to bring a case of the sniffles and there’s nothing worse than suffering through a runny nose without tissues. Be sure that your desk is supplied with a few boxes, just in case. I just love these Tissues from Kleenex. Not only are they soft enough to keep your nose from getting irritated, they’re also anti-viral to take care of any cold and flu germs.
  • It may get dark sooner in the winter, but that doesn’t mean the work day is shorter! While I use my desk lamp throughout the year, I’ve found that it brightens my day most during the winter months. A nice warm light will turn any dreary workspace into a sunny spot. Be sure that you’ve got a replacement light bulb or two set aside for the winter. If you don’t already have a lamp at your desk, this is the perfect time to get one.
  • There aren’t too many folks who will turn down a mug of hot cocoa on a chilly day, especially while working in the office. When the snow starts to fall you can keep your office mates in good spirits by keeping plenty of cocoa mix in supply. At our office, we love this tasty Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoa mix from Nestle. On the coldest days it can be quite popular, so we keep a few boxes in our breakroom to keep up with high demand.

Even the chilliest of days can make for a productive time in the office with these winter essentials. If you’re looking for other ways to keep your office cozy, take a look at these ideas from Pay Scale.

Until next time,

Meg