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How to Move Your Office Successfully

When moving your office, there is more to a successful move than just throwing stuff in boxes. It’s a large task to move an office. Planning and coordinating the move is the key. So below are some suggestions on how to better accomplish this task.

Planning the move

First of all, you will need to create a viable timeline that will cover all the areas and stages of your move. If you have a small office, ideally then you’ll need about three months of preparation. For a medium to large office, you’ll need about six to eight months of preparation. You’ll need to have meetings with your employees involved in the move to make sure everything will go smoothly. You need to start organizing as soon as possible.

Next, you’ll need to have the layout and other information on the place where you’re moving. If you can get the layout or the blueprint of the space, then you’ll be able to identify where the doors, windows, outlets and storage areas are located. This will allow you to figure out where everything is going to go and if you need to identify any issues such as needing more space for the reception area; for example. This way if there are any problems with the new space, you can hire carpenters or painters to enlarge spaces which need to be opened; or to paint walls.

Have regular meetings

Schedule meetings with your moving team from each section of your business. A department manager from each area can be assigned to be sure each employee packs up files, personal items and anything of that nature. Have regular meetings to keep abreast on how things are moving along. This way if there are questions or details which need to be resolved, it can be better done. Keep everyone informed of the progress being made to limit stress, worries or concerns.

Figure out a budget

If you have a budget you’re working with; you need to figure out what the movers will cost before the first piece of packing tape is ripped off and applied to boxes. When you are searching for a mover, find one that specializes in moving offices also.

So, after you research and find movers that you like, ask them the questions that you need to have answered by them. For example, asking representatives of the company moving the office to come and access what your move is going to cost. You should get several different quotes from companies and compare prices and service guarantees. Be sure to ask about insurance coverage on your belongings. You also want to see proof of the moving company’s comp and liability insurance. This way you’re covered if something happens to your belongings or to one of the moving men.

Get rid of items not needed or that you’re going to replace

This is the time to get rid of worn furniture or desks, copiers, printers; even office supplies which won’t be needed. If you don’t need them or you’re going to replace them, why pay to have them moved and then thrown away? This way you can order new or refurbished furniture and have it delivered directly to your new place of business.

Make a contact list of your clients

When you move, let your clients and customers know. Make a list of everyone that is a customer, client, supplier, and representative to do this the best way. This will require assigning someone to do this task so that no one is overlooked. It’s essential your customers, clients, suppliers, and representatives don’t go elsewhere during your move. Let them know how your business will operate during the move and how you will handle all incoming and outgoing business.

Also, let them know how the move will improve service. People like stability so turn the move into something positive.

When you bill clients, remind them to update their contact information so any payments sent to you will be sent to the new address. Change the address on your business website and anywhere that you advertise.

Before you know it, moving day will be here. Planning will make things run smoothly. Soon your new place of business will be up and running.

References:

http://nationalofficeinteriors.com/

https://www.thespruce.com/plan-organize-office-or-business-move-2436522

https://www.thebalance.com/packing-insurance-checklists-3515766

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Why Employees Need Lockers

There are several reasons why your employees may need lockers in your office space. When you have office lockers it permits your employees to have some personal spaces in the office. Also because many offices have a shared workspace, protection of personal belongings may become an issue. Having a safe space to put personal items can relieve worries about theft or loss. That issue can be overcome with private lockers.

 

Why lockers are a good idea

Steelcase-Answer Tower-Left-Mineral-01If you have staff who work out of different offices during the week, you should provide lockers for storage. Additionally, if you have sales representatives who travel and then report back to the office, they may need some private spaces also. Not all these employees may need their own private desks because they wouldn’t be in the office a lot, but having a place to store personal items may be needed.  For instance, maybe a place to put changes of clothing or outer garments if they wear coveralls out on service calls. At the end of the day when they come back to the main office then, their personal items can be picked up, and they know that the items have been secure.

Another reason too for private lockers is that sometimes desks get too cluttered with staff who are permanent. To keep a tidy and clean working environment, a place to put coats, boots, umbrellas will keep your office looking professional. Nothing may turn off a new client more than to see personal clutter all over the office because employees can’t properly store things. In addition, to help your employees keep a focused mindset, keeping clutter to a minimum helps.

Additionally, if your employees are working with sensitive or important information, a locker can provide a secure place to store this temporarily. This is handy if the person is working late or overtime and needs to put the papers somewhere safe until they can go back into the file cabinets in the morning if you have the cabinet key and you’re not in the office.

 

What locker would work for your office?

Lockers come in different types, and there is one that will work for you. Be sure to check all the specifications of the locker before you purchase it though. It should suit the purpose for which you are buying it. As an example, if you run a “hot desk” where employees switch from desk to desk, a locker space would work perfectly for this type of situation. This would allow these types of employee to have a place to put their personal items as the desks are not a good option because of all the employee movement.

Knoll-Dividends-Tower-Right-02

On the other hand, a double tier locker has the same features, but they are mounted one on top of the other. These are usually shorter than the single tier lockers. A box style office locker for personal storage space is often used in offices also. These are made from plastic, wood or steel.

In addition, if you have a small business, you may only need a 6-tier commercial locker. This type of locker works well if all your employees have their own permanent personal desks. Then they would only use if for personal items such as purses or other items of that nature.

Another use for lockers is to have your employees place their mobile phones in them. The phones would be available for breaks and lunches, but wouldn’t interfere or distract other employees. Everyone’s phone would be locked up in a safe place, but accessed easily when needed.

So, having personal office lockers in your office may be a good idea. Your employees will have a place to put personal items. Your office area won’t be cluttered and will look professional.

References:

http://nationalofficeinteriors.com/product-category/storage-filing/lockers/

http://www.key.co.uk/blog/2015/04/20/lockers-right-needs/

 

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How to Personalize Your Cubicle

If you work in a cubicle, the blandness of it can sometimes be counterproductive. Looking at gray walls and the other dim color schemes can take your creative ideas and dull them down. So, what can you do to change the décor in your cubicle to make it more of an extension of yourself? Below are some suggestions; just keep in mind what the office policies are about decorating upgrades allowed in a workspace.

  1. Steelcase-Leap-Electric-01Walls: If your walls are made from panels that look like bulletin board material, tacking up your choice of fabric can go a long way to brightening up your space. If your walls won’t take easily to tacks, you can put up removable wall coverings. Motivational posters are another way to add a personal touch, as well as photos and post cards.
  2. Floor: If you floor is a uniform boring color, then you could liven it up with a colorful area rug. However, if you chair has casters on it, you may want to put down a vibrant chair mat instead. So, adding few colorful throw rugs with rubber backing will add a touch of pizazz. Just make sure that they don’t interfere with your chair moving about if that is your style of working.
  3. Lighting: Lighting can affect both mood and productivity. Overhead fluorescent lighting can cast harsh shadows and cause eyestrain. To help solve that problem, spot lighting can help. So, you could add a small accent light to help reduce the glare. Consider hanging a string of miniature colored lights or even a full spectrum light too. A spectrum light gives the same effect as sunlight so it will improve your mood.
  4. Temperature: If your cubicle is in the frigid zone, a small portable heater may be the answer to a more comfortable temperature when you are working. However, if your cubicle is the furthest from the air conditioning, a desk fan may be a good idea to circulate the air to keep you cool.
  5. Furniture: If it can be done, see if your office manager will order an ergonomic comfortable chair. You sit in a chair for most of your working day and sitting comfortably will make you more productive. If not, maybe you could order a replacement chair with your boss’s permission that you pay for, just make sure that it can be delivered to your cubicle.
  6. 43294663 - close-up of stylish desk with designed equipmentAccessories: Think about adding one or two live plants or maybe a betta in a bowl. Some of the bowls have a betta with a live plant in the bowl. If you aren’t good at keeping either of them alive, then a silk arrangement could do the trick. A good quality silk arrangement looks very much like the real thing. Another idea is to invest in a tabletop biosphere or an air fern. Neither requires much upkeep or fussing with. Another thought is to place a few fun items such as stuffed animals or a small collection of personal decorative things. But keep in mind that this is work cubicle, so don’t over clutter or bring in something which would be deemed inappropriate.
  7. Privacy: Being in a cubicle and having your co-workers right beside you can cause privacy issues. Additionally, sometimes a co-worker walking by may want to stop and chat when you’re in the middle of an important piece of work. One way to stop this is to put up a folding screen if permitted or, at a last resort, you could wear headphones so that you can slip them on when you don’t want to be disturbed. Make sure you get a supervisor’s permission.
  8. Clutter: Keeping clutter down in a cubicle can take some work, but it will brighten the atmosphere when things are neat. So be sure to discard or file any papers when they aren’t needed anymore. Decorations in a large office and decorations for your cubicle are two different things too. So too many pictures or mementos in a small cubicle can give a feeling of being overwhelmed and crowded. It can be as distracting and busy as an overload of noise

 

Decorating your cubicle can be fun as long as it doesn’t get out of hand.

References:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicaprobus/make-your-cubile-suck-less

http://lifehacker.com/5987607/how-cani-make-my-cubicle-more-comfortable-and-less-boring

http://onecentatatime.com/be-abetter-employee-how-to-decorate-your-office-cubicle/

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How to Keep Your Desk Professional Looking

Did you know that you can lose up to an hour a day because your desk is disorganized? But if your desk is well organized and everything is in its place, this can help with work productivity and set the tone for your day. This is because when you can’t find something, not only does it take extra time to find it, but it causes stress.

Getting your desk organized
It’s easier to maintain your desk once it’s organized and when everything has its own a place. This is especially true for the mess that happens when you just toss something on your desk thinking that you’ll tend to it later. So, you’re better off to just take that extra minute and put everything back in place. But organize first if you haven’t done so because then you’ll have a home for everything. All this will save you time when it’s time to find something again, and your desk won’t be three folders thick with papers. For more organizational tips, below are some suggestions on how to keep your desk looking professional:

  • Denmark Staged U-01-rightOffice supplies: There are different places to put office supplies in an organized way. If the supplies are used every day, then they can go on a desk or on a small file cabinet by your desk. If the item is only used once or twice a week then it can go in a drawer either at the side of your desk, or under your desk. Also, keeping like items together instead of having them in different drawers is another tip.
  • Sticky notes: Sticky notes are wonderful. Sticky notes can easily spread before you know it though. A few on your desk or monitor and the next thing you know, they’re all over everything. Sticky notes are good for short-term reminders only. If you have a lot of reminders, put them on an electronic document device or in a binder just for that purpose.
  • Personal knickknacks: A few personal photos or maybe a souvenir from the beach can give your eyes a pleasant break from work. However, cluttering the top of your desk with too many mementos can be distracting and messy. Three personal items on your desk in sufficient.
  • Keep your e-mail inbox under control: Communication by email is a great way to get things done, but it can also be a distraction as well. So, you should designate certain periods of time only to check emails throughout the day.
  • Make a space for incoming papers: You need to have a place for incoming papers otherwise they will be all over your desk. If you control your paper flow, then you’ll know what needs finished and what is already completed.
  • Make sure trash makes it to the garbage can: When you have something in your hand that’s trash, don’t put it down for later to put it in the trash. Otherwise, it will most likely end up on your desk. Nothing is worse than a cold half-empty drink cup that spills over those important papers because you didn’t put it in the trashcan.

 

Other helpful tips

Some other helpful tips to keep on track. For example, prioritize what’s important on your desk to keep the work flow moving. If your work becomes backed up, it’s easy to kill productivity and get mired down. By prioritizing and keeping only active projects, documents and what’s relevant on your desk though, then the flow will keep moving. One way to do this is to group projects according to priority.

In one pile, stack what’s important and urgently needs completed. In the second pile, stack what’s urgent, but not as important when compared to what’s urgent and needs completed. In a third pile, put what’s important, but not necessarily urgent to do now. In the fourth pile, stack what’s not very important and non-urgent. Have a vertical file folder too so that the folders can be stacked side-by-side. This way, files aren’t stacked on top of each other where one may then become overlooked.

Finally, keep your desk clean by using disinfectant wipes. With all the germs which are spread around an office, wiping off your desk, phones and keyboard throughout the day can keep you healthier. Then at the end of the day, give everything one last wipe so that the next day you start out with a clean desk space.

A cleared off desk will also help you to clear your mind so that you can work efficiently.

References:

http://nationalofficeinteriors.com/product-category/storage-filing/

https://www.roberthalf.com/officeteam/blog/how-to-organize-your-desk-7-tips

http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/30/pf/jobs/desk-organized-tips/

 

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How to Design Open Spaces While Incorporating Management

Used 58" Mobile White Board and Fabric Bulletin Board, White and Light Tan

Open spaces are very popular with office designers because they are motivating for employees and foster a team environment. These types of floor plans are also becoming widespread as companies strive to foster collaboration among employees. Open spaces have other advantages. They allow for impromptu meetings. Employees have more chances to interact with each other which helps them form strong relationships, especially with people they may not work with on a regular basis.

Despite the advantages of open spaces, there still needs to be room for privacy in every type of office. Open spaces can be noisy and they make it hard for many people to get their work done effectively. These floor plans can be especially challenging for managers, who often have to conduct business that requires a quiet environment. They may need to talk to upper management, vendors, salespeople and other individuals without outside noise or interruption.

Another one of the challenges that open spaces presents is privacy. Managers, in particular, need privacy to do their work. Why? Think about the many different types of meetings that managers need to have. They need places to conduct private, one-on-one conversations with employees. They need to talk to upper management about issues that aren’t appropriate to share with the rest of the team. Confidentiality is an important issue for management and can’t be underrated. It’s important that team members don’t overhear information that should remain private.

There need to be areas in the office for private sessions like performance appraisals where managers and employees can talk freely. Both parties want privacy and would feel restricted if they felt that they could be overheard. Sometimes, leaders need to give feedback to workers on how they’ve performed particular tasks. Whether this feedback is positive or negative, the need for a secluded place is the same. The employee may have questions that involve other team members. The person may want to discuss issues that are emotional or controversial. In these cases, you can see why privacy is critical for these conversations.

Productivity is another serious concern for management. Some of the tasks managers need to perform are compromised by constant interruptions. Most managers deal with interruptions by scheduling meetings with employees, vendors and workers in other departments instead of allowing people to drop by unannounced. However, when the floor space is open, managers are more likely to fall victim to constant interruptions. That’s why any floor plan needs to take the concerns of managers into consideration.

There are several ways to provide private spaces for leaders. Some companies set up private offices for managers. These let the person close the door when necessary, whether this is for meetings or so that they can concentrate on specific tasks. In other cases, the company may build cubicles in secluded areas for managers and supervisors. There is always the option of building a separate space entirely for all managers, but this will separate them from their teams, which is not ideal. It’s better if managers can be near their teams, while still having privacy.

If managers are in cubicles, they may still not have enough privacy for certain events, like performance appraisals or emotionally charged meetings with employees. They also won’t be able to freely discuss issues with other managers or upper management that should remain private. Many businesses choose to build small conference rooms in several places around the company so managers have a place to meet or make private conference calls when necessary. These rooms also help participants avoid disturbing people in the general office space.

There need to be an ample number of private meeting rooms, as many people will likely need them at the same time. People should rarely need to wait for a private room. This can cause frustration and a drop in productivity. It can also hamper a manager’s ability to schedule conferences with people in other time zones.

Larger conference rooms should be available for the general public. These rooms are important for larger meetings, video conference calls and phone calls that might disturb other people in the office. When the floor plan is open, it’s important to avoid loud meetings whenever possible. Conference rooms, whether large or small, help everyone concentrate.

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Adding Art to the Office

Artwork is an important part of the design of any office. Adding artwork can be a fun part of putting together a new office or revamping an older one. There are many important considerations when choosing art for the office. Obviously, your own taste is important. This is not, however, the only consideration. The appearance of your office sends a message to anyone who visits. It also affects employees' perception of the office. That's why you should consider several factors when choosing artwork. These include color, constraint and theming. These elements will help you find the right art for your office.

43543452_sColor sends a lot of messages. Darker colors can be depressing. However, if they are blending subtly with slightly brighter colors, they can imply trustworthiness, dependability, expertise and trustworthiness. If your company deals in an industry where these qualities are valued, your colors should be in line with these messages. If your business deals with more creative or modern elements, you can make use of brighter colors and designs.

Theme is an important part of selecting artwork. Your office should have some kind of theme and the artwork should help tie it together. Some people select the artwork first and build the office theme around the art. However, this is not an option for everyone. You may have an office d©cor you like and want the artwork to fit in. In other cases, you may want to promote a particular theme through the artwork. If you are confused about how to do this, consider consulting an interior designer for help. Designers are knowledgeable about artwork and interiors and can help you set the right tone.

There are a variety of themes you can consider for your office. Some common themes include inspiration, professionalism and motivation. Other themes are designed to reduce stress and often include waterfronts, beaches, mountain scenes, flowers and plants. For more professional themes, you might consider still life, architecture or prints by well-known artists. If your office theme is more vibrant, there are many options. Consider vintage advertisements, music prints, famous people, abstract art and colorful prints by local artists. When your theme is motivational, you'll have a wide variety of choices. Avoid artwork that repeats over-used motivational phrases. Instead, find pieces that approach motivation from an unusual perspective.

Consider one of the most popular types of artwork for your office. Photography can capture a wide range of themes. Black and white or color photography can be extremely effective in setting a particular mood. You can purchase prints of many famous pieces of photography. Pictures can also reflect your company's growth and accomplishments. For example, you could regularly take pictures of your team and enlarge the pictures and post them in prominent places. Some companies take pictures of their founders and original business sites to reflect the company's growth over the years. If your organization has offices in a variety of locations, consider posting photographs of each location. These are some great ways to use photography as artwork in the office.

44676406_sRestraint is the key to finding the right artwork for your office. There are lots of attractive, brightly- colored and fun pieces of artwork available. The question is “ are they right for your office? If your business is serious and you want to send a message that you are reliable, professional and respectable, fun artwork is not the best choice for your office. You need pieces that are sedate and blend in with the furniture, wall colors and flooring. A conservative office is not the place for whimsical artwork.

If your company's business is creative, you can select brightly colored artwork and take a more whimsical approach. Creative artwork sends the message that your company can meet the creative needs of clients. Many graphic design, software and non-traditional marketing firms use artwork to convey their unique approach to client needs. In this case, less restraint is necessary. However, it's still important to think about the message your artwork sends. Think about the client's perspective and make sure your artwork isn't over the top or confusing. Above all, don't use art that could be offensive. You may need more than one opinion to ensure that your artwork won't send the wrong message.

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Styles of Office Furniture

When it comes to furnishing your office, you will quickly find that there are a wide variety of styles of furniture. It can seem overwhelming at first. After all, you need furniture that will play more than one role. It needs to be functional. Employees need the right tables, chairs, desks and other items to do their jobs. The furniture needs to be inviting, especially if you are furnishing a conference room or a reception area. The office furniture also needs to set the tone in your office while complementing your d©cor. This means that you need give furniture purchases serious thought.

There are several common types of furniture styles that you should be familiar with when you're shopping. Styles can be broken down into extremely specific categories, but generally speaking, the common styles are contemporary, casual and traditional. Understanding these styles will help you pick out the right pieces for your office. You'll be able to find the furniture you need which will blend in with the rest of your office and help set the tone you want in your office.

Arlington Series2One thing that it's important to understand is that you make a decision about the style for your office. Traditional, contemporary and casual furniture do not blend well. You need to make a decision about which style you prefer. Many people work with an interior decorator to decide on their office style because it involves so many different elements. These include the furniture, the flooring, the wall colors and artwork.

Traditional furniture is a great choice for offices that want to send a message of stability and dependability. Many people also love the enduring style of traditional furniture and the atmosphere it creates. It's a common misconception that traditional furniture has to have a certain style, such as overly large, ornate or overbearing in some way. In reality, traditional furniture can be casual and classic at the same time.

Traditional styles of furniture are predictable. The pieces of furniture match and are placed in an orderly fashion in the office. When offices are decorated in a traditional style, the rooms are free of chaos. The advantage of this type of decorating is that is comfortable for people of all age groups and sensibilities. The furniture is created with classic lines and edges are smooth and soft. Furniture fabrics tend to be muted and aren't overly textured or styled. There may be patterns or decorations, but they are subtle. Colors are usually in sedate colors without extremes.
Contemporary furniture is also known as modern furniture. It's a style of furniture that is focused on keeping up with the latest trends. Contemporary styles change quickly, so it's important to keep in mind that you'll have to update your office furniture more often than you would have to if you chose a more traditional style. Contemporary doesn't have to mean uncomfortable even though the style is generally more uncluttered than traditional or casual styles.
Louis GlamourContemporary furniture is sophisticated. The colors are usually neutrals like black and white which are accented with bolder colors like red. Many offices with contemporary furniture have blank or neutral walls and use them as a backdrop. The pieces are minimalist meaning it has soft curves and clean lines. In some cases, you'll have the option of choosing of bright colors or unusually shaped pieces.

Contemporary furniture is great for creative offices, but may not work for more traditional industries. Casual furniture is comfortable and inviting. It's only appropriate for certain types of offices. For example, it isn't appropriate in a legal office or an accounting firm. But, for some types of offices, a more casual environment may be appropriate. Pediatricians often choose to have casual, fun furniture in their offices to make children more comfortable. Counselors sometimes use casual furniture so that clients can relax and talk openly.

The primary function of casual furniture is comfort. This type of furniture has simple details and features soft curves and primarily has rectangular shapes. Many different elements can be blended together in the room and furniture does not have to match precisely. Decorators often blend casual furniture with vintage accessories and art. Look for soft fabrics in neutral colors with inviting textures.

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Why Employees Need Private Working Space Away From Management

As a manager, it's your job to monitor your employees' progress on their tasks. This doesn't mean that you need to stand over them while they're working. This probably won't give you a good assessment of what they're accomplishing anyway. It's more likely to intimidate them. There are better ways to keep up with worker progress on tasks and goals. These include one-on-one meetings, status reports and reviewing portions of completed work.

Employees need to have private working space away from their managers to feel comfortable doing their work properly. It makes people nervous when they feel like they're being watched while they work. They get nervous and wonder if they are constantly being evaluated. This can cause stress and make workers less productive.

41190582_sThere are some other reasons that employees need their distance from management. As a manager, you probably have very different things on your agenda than your team members do. You probably have to participate in a variety of conference calls. You need to hold meetings with individual employees. Some of your meetings can easily distract employees. They may overhear information that should be kept confidential.
If you have an office with a door, you can shut it when you're discussing confidential information. This is a good idea because if employees overhear parts of your discussion, they can jump to conclusions and begin spreading rumors that have little basis in truth. Closed door discussions allow you and employees to have one-on-one discussions that don't need to be heard by anyone else. If you don't have an office with a door, find a conference room where you can have private discussions. This is better for everyone because it reduces distractions and protects confidentiality.

Team members need to be free to talk to one another in the office. It shouldn't be a free for all, but people need time to get to know one another. Team bonding is an important part of building an effective team. Occasional casual conversations, jokes and work stories are commonly shared among employees. This is normal and important for team growth. However, this kind of interaction will be seriously stunted if the manager is too close by. Employees are reluctant to have casual conversations because they don't want their management to think they are wasting time. Constant talking in the office is a problem if it disturbs other team members but occasional conversations can strengthen relationships.

Herman Miller Cube-02It's important to keep in mind that a manager holds a different role as a part of a team. The manager is responsible for worker productivity and can't be as casual with employees as they are with one another. Some managers struggle with this, especially if they were promoted from within the team. Unfortunately, it's healthier if there is some distance between managers and their team members. If managers become too close with individual employees, it can be interpreted as favoritism and lead to tension among team members.

On some projects, employees need to think and analyze. Sometimes thinking, researching and analyzing doesn't exactly look like traditional work. There may be times when it appears the person isn't doing anything when that is not the case at all. The individual may be doing the kind of deep and creative analysis that you expect from them. This can't always be done by typing on the computer. It may involve sketching out scenarios on a notepad, organizing thoughts with post-it notes or other similar activities. The problem is that the employee will probably become self-conscious if he or she thinks management is watching. People don't want to give the impression that they're being unproductive. However, if this is the kind of work they need to do, it's important that they have a private place to do it where they won't feel judged.

It's easier for you as a manager to have some private space of your own away from the team. You'll have fewer interruptions which will help you get significantly more work done. Most managers report that interruptions are the biggest barrier to their productivity. You will have more quiet space to do your work. You are much less likely to be distracted by team discussions and banter which means you will get much more done on a daily basis.

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Gray is the New Neutral for Offices

Neutral colors have always been a popular choice for offices. The colors in your office set the tone for the environment and have an effect on employees. Choosing colors might seem like an insignificant detail if you aren't focused on the details of office design. However, studies show that employee productivity is significantly affected by the color of the d©cor in the office. This means it's important to consider the colors involved in d©cor.

Gray is the New Neutral for OfficesThe color scheme of an office sets the ambiance for the environment. Like music, the office decor can have an influence on many aspects of employee behavior including energy level, productivity levels and people's relaxation level. The right color choices can also reduce employee stress, which is an important goal for employers. Too much stress affects the quality of work.

In the past, many companies chose plain white walls for their offices, thinking this color would be bright and lively and inspire employees. This lack-of-color scheme is actually boring and doesn't do much to inspire productivity. The color gives a clinical impression like a hospital or doctor's office. Other employers tried a different approach. They used bright, aggressive colors to make the work environment seem as exciting as possible. They used colors like bright red, purple, yellow, lime green and bright blue to make the walls stand out so that the colors can inspire people to do create work. It turns out that this kind of d©cor doesn't inspire employees. Instead, it has a distracting effect. Some bright colors, like red, have been found to increase stress and anxiety. It can make people feel distracted and it's hard for them focus.

Colors that create a calming effect are the best choices for an office environment. Employees experience enough stress in their day-to-day lives. You don't want your office d©cor to add to their stress. There are colors that have been demonstrated to reduce stress while helping people focus on their work. Gray has become a popular neutral color in offices because it has a calming effect on people. You've probably noticed for years that some offices have gray cubicles. There is a psychology behind this choice. Many office planners are choosing gray more and more often due to its psychological effects.

If you check in with interior designers and paint stores, you will find that different shades of gray are some of the best-selling paints in the modern market. If you check with home and office furniture stores, you'll find that gray has become one of the most popular color choices for consumers. It's the most neutral color choice you can pick because it combines both black and white. Therefore, gray can work with any other color scheme. Gray is a flexible color and allows for changes over time in the d©cor that surrounds.

Gray is a popular choice for cubicles, chairs, rugs and modular furniture. You've probably noticed this type of furniture in many offices. Office planners typically purchase matching furniture so that cubicles can be rearranged to accommodate new staff arrangements. Some chairs are gray and other times the chairs are black. Typically, they match so that when areas are rearranged, the setup is similar.

The color gray has other advantages. It is doesn't easily show dirt and easy to clean. If employees decide to decorate their cubicles or offices, their additions will blend in easily with a neutral color like gray.

Paintings, sculptures, pictures, ornaments and other decorations won't clash with gray. People with offices can add chairs with patterns, rugs, accent tables and other items to personalize their offices. Any items like this will blend in with gray without clashing or creating an unattractive space.

If you don't want gray to be the only color in your office, you can always pick a few complementary accent colors for a few walls. Steer away from bright, aggressive colors. Instead, pick neutral colors that work well with the gray. There are soft, neutral colors like lavender, grayish blue, off-white, grayish green, khaki, light brown and pale gray that can work well with a gray color pattern. You can also choose gray furniture and paint your walls soft, neutral colors that complement the furniture.

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How to Care for Furniture Properly

How to Care for Furniture ProperlyYour office furniture an investment; it only makes sense to take care of it properly so that it will remain attractive and functional for years to come. Your office furniture probably has a variety of different fabrics and materials. Common upholstery fabrics include leather, vinyl, textured cotton, microfiber and nylon. Less common fabrics include silk, wool, velvet and linen. All of the fabrics and materials need appropriate care to stay clean and attractive. Many furniture pieces are made of wood, which needs special care. That's why it's important to learn how to care for your furniture in the right way. This will prevent scratches, fading, wear and color change.

You can do a few simple things on a regular basis that will make a big difference when it comes to taking care of upholstery. Remove cushions and pillows and fluff them so they appear fresh. If the seat cushions are removable, rotate them regularly. You can also vacuum your furniture regularly to remove dust and debris. Be sure to use the upholstery brush attachment.

Stains may occasionally occur. When this happens, you'll need to spot treat the stains. Before you do this, you should always spot test the cleaner to make sure it won't damage the color or fabric of the furniture. Find an unexposed part of the fabric and test your cleaner there to make sure it doesn't damage the fabric. If it doesn't, you can proceed with cleaning the furniture. What kind of cleaner should you use? It's best to use something gentle that has few chemicals and is non-toxic. You can find many green products that will remove stains without harming the environment. There are many cleaners that are specifically made for upholstery which makes them a good choice.

One of things you can do to prevent stains on upholstery is to buy furniture that has Teflon protection. Teflon prevents stains and makes them easier to clean. Teflon fights of stains without negatively affecting the fabric's color, look, color or feel. It works on cotton, silk and cotton brands. Liquids will bead and fall off the fabric, which makes it much easier to clean up spills. You can also apply Scott Guard to older or traditional fabrics.

Some stains are too large or difficult to remove on your own. In these cases, you should call in a professional cleaner. You should also do this occasionally when entire pieces of furniture appear dirty. Don't wash the pieces of the furniture you can remove, like the pillows, on their own. The washable pieces will fade and the pieces won't match one another. Instead, either spot clean or call in professional cleaner.

People used to clean wood with polishes that contained silicone-based wax. Today, furniture experts advise against this. For regular cleaning and dusting, use a slightly damp and soft cloth/microfiber towel. After you clean the surface, dry it with  a dry soft cloth/microfiber towel so the wood won't bubble or crack over time. No chemicals are necessary.

Fading is a common problem with all kinds of furniture. Sometimes, only part of the furniture fades, which gives the furniture an uneven look. The best way to prevent this is to keep furniture away from direct sunlight. Wood should also be kept away from heating vents. If you can't place the furniture piece away from sunlight, install window coverings to block the sun from the furniture.

If you follow the right instructions for each kind of fabric and material, you'll have great results. You can be proud of the appearance of all of your belongings. Plus, you will preserve the investment you've made.