10 Essential Furnishings Every Office Needs To Consider

Sometimes knowing what your office doesn’t need helps narrow your furniture purchasing strategy. Whether the size of your office is large or small, the following basic furnishings should always be considered, even if it is determined some of them are unnecessary.

TASK SEATING Designed to be adaptable to specific tasks performed, ergonomic chairs allow your employees to get the job done faster, in a more comfortable and healthy way.

 

DESKING SYSTEMS Today’s organized systems provide places for computers, numerous devices and ‘things’.

 

VISITOR SEATING Seating that gives your guests or patients a place to get comfortable, in areas such as lounges or waiting rooms.

 

OCCASIONAL FURNITURE This shows that you’ve put more thought into your workplace than “just the basics.”

 

RECEPTION AREA – Extra attention here gives you opportunity to make a great first impression.

 

ARCHITECTURAL WALLS/PANEL SYSTEMS These systems create division between people and distractions.

 

POWER/DATA SOLUTIONS An important consideration for your furniture in today’s ‘connected’ world.

 

TASK LIGHTING The illuminance level and contrast and proper lighting for mood and eyesight cannot be underestimated.

 

STORAGE Planning ahead gives you a place to file documents, clear clutter and hide personal belongings.

 

BREAK ROOM TABLES AND SEATING Area that allows your employees to take a healthy break from their work for a meal or even conversation.

 

What do you think? What furnishings do you consider essential in your office?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Digital Tools and Apps To Make Your Office More Productive

Finding the balance of productivity is getting more difficult as Internet and social technology continue to invade the workplace. But the good news is this same technology offers several innovative apps and digital tools designed to actually improve productivity.

From ways to back-up and store files to simple to-do lists and expense reports, making it faster and easier is better. Check out a few of our favorites below.

 

 


DROPBOX
– If you need to store files in the cloud, share documents with co-workers, or send clients links to large files that can’t be sent via email, this app is a no-brainer.

 

 


PAYTRUST
– This service from Intuit scans your bills, emails you electronic versions and keeps junk mail from piling up on your desk. You can automate payments or pay in one click.

 

 

 

BACKBLAZE – Save your IT department some trouble. You can keep all your files backed up in the cloud with unlimited storage, on the cheap. And a new feature allows you to locate your laptop if it’s ever lost or stolen.

 

 

 

1 PASSWORD – Who doesn’t have too many passwords to remember? With this app, your team can keep track of all those logins from any device.

 

 

 

LOG ME IN – So many devices, so little time. Remotely login and control your computer from your phone or the web with this handy little app.

 

 

 

 

 

EXPENSIFY and ABUKAI – Check out these useful alternatives to stodgy old expense reports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFFICE TIME and RESCUE TIME – Both are time-tracking software designed to help make your office time more productive.

 

 

 

EVERNOTE – Starting as a simple to-do list, it evolves into a way to keep track of your notes, thoughts, images, and web clippings across several devices.

 

What are some of your favorite digital  tools for office productivity?

 

 

The Paperless Office: Due to Technology or the Environment?

The paperless office might finally happen. But it seems it will be more to do with technological advancements, than environmental concerns.

There has definitely been an increased concern for the environment as well as a commitment to using less paper.

Twenty-nine percent of consumers consider reducing paper consumption “Very Important” and thirty-four percent consider it “Important.”

But it is most likely technological advancements, as well as consumers accepting attitudes of them, that will ultimately turn offices toward paper alternatives including:

  • Cloud Computing
  • Shared document formats like PDF
  • Increase in remote work arrangements
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Check out the infographic below to see why although we’ve talked about it for years, the day of a paperless office, is getting closer.

Is your office working toward going paperless? Why?

     

     

     

     

     


Storage In The Office Is No Longer To NOT Be Seen

Today, storage is not just about filing old or unused records in case there is a need for future reference.

Far from it.

With companies trimming down on physical office size as well as opting for more open and collaborative spaces, they are losing traditional areas to file information. Storage must now be incorporated into actual working areas and must be accessible on a daily basis.

Awkward and inadequate storage space can even lead to lowered productivity.

“The average cost of searching for just ONE misfiled document is $120”

Poor storage solutions not only have an impact on companies’ bottom-line, they affect employee moral as well.

“Inadequate storage and filing space ranks in the Top 10 office complaints by employees”

Yet even with these alarming statistics, storage is typically the most overlooked issue when companies consider new or renovated offices. A whitepaper titled Filing and Storage by KI is a must read for anyone planning new or renovated office workspaces. Below are just a few of the highlights garnered from the paper:

  • Because proper planning is missed at the beginning stages, storage is the most frequently reconfigured workstation component
  • Even though we are supposedly moving toward a paperless society, storage needs have only grown, not diminished
  • Companies must determine information they need to store based on how often it is accessed from daily to periodically to rarely.
  • 36 percent of worksurface space is is now occupied by computers, monitors and other electronic equipment, efficient storage making even more important.
  • The ever growing concepts such as teaming, collaboration and virtual offices which promote shared spaces have created a shortage of traditional storage areas

 

Further, KI suggests four key areas that should be considered early in the design stages to ensure appropriate storage needs are not only met, but allow for room to grow.

1. Real Estate Costs
Although it varies by industry, the goal of most companies these days is to reduce the office space required per employee. This has been the result of many factors from the economy to reduce costs to the popularity of open spaces to increase teamwork.

  • With offices getting smaller, there is less room for the typical 5-high lateral files
  • With panels being lowered in most systems, storage cabinets are disappearing


2. Wasted Space

Traditional storage solutions must be reexamined to locate any potential gains.

  • Something as seemingly small as 1.5” can produce 20% more space by using 10.5” drawers instead of the traditional 12.”
  • It’s important to take an audit of exactly what is to be stored. The way that information is managed has changed dramatically. Everything is not on letter- or legal-sized paper. For instance, systems must accommodate other forms of media including CD’s and DVD’s among others.


3. Accessibility

Being able to “find” information is imperative.

  • It is estimated that workers spend 15 – 30 percent of their work time “looking” for information.
  • A typical organization of about 1,000 employees wastes $6 million to $12 million per year  searching for nonexistent information, failing to find existing information or recreating information that can’t be found.


4. Environmental Issues

Green design has now become the single greatest force in the building industry.

  • 92 percent of facilities managers surveyed say they are actively working to make their facilities more sustainable.
  • Because a great deal of storage solutions are incorporated into the actual workspace within the actual furniture and walls, they must be aesthetically pleasing was well.
  • Well done storage systems can actually help companies toward their LEED® Certification.

 

So, plan for storage in the beginning stages. You can choose to do it now, or be forced to do it later.

You can download the complete whitepaper from KI, as well as proposed solutions, here.