How to Design Safe Workplaces After the Pandemic

safe workplaces

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way many companies do business.  In May 2020, 48.7 million Americans, about 35% of the workforce, began working from home due to the pandemic.

By December 2020, about 30% of them had gone back to the office. Over the next year, many more will follow as business shifts back to the office. But almost half say they’re nervous about returning.

AS a business, it’s our job to make sure that our employees have safe workplaces when they return. That might mean adopting new cleaning plans and new safety protocols. It might also mean taking a look at safe workspace design. 

Making Sure Your Workplace Is Clean

Businesses must develop return-to-office plans for employees who’ve been working remotely. In doing so, cleanliness becomes a chief consideration.

Many workers have had complete control over the cleanliness of their daily workspace. Giving up that control may make some uncomfortable.

You can do a lot to reassure your employees that you have their health and safety in mind. You may need to create a plan for more frequent cleaning. New safety protocols like disinfecting frequently touched surfaces may be in order. You should also consider adopting a fresh, easy-to-clean workspace design.

Today’s post-COVID workplace should be designed with cleanliness in mind. An effective solution combines smart design with innovative furniture from top manufacturers.

To create a safe and healthful workplace, keep communication with employees open. Keep them informed and ask for their feedback on any new protocols. 

Safe Workplace Design

American workers have become accustomed to social distancing. For those who’ve been working from home, returning to a crowded office space may be especially difficult. Ensuring your post-COVID workplace offers social distancing while allowing for productive collaboration is your challenge.

The CDC advises that creating a safe workspace should include appropriate social distancing. They suggest using dividers and panels as barriers along with signage and visual cues to promote social distancing. 

Social distancing at work doesn’t necessarily mean giving up an open floor plan. Open floorplans allow for better air circulation. They also eliminate a lot of the most frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs and cubical entrances. 

Rethinking furniture layout, updating seating plans, and traffic flow in your offices can go a long way to creating a safe workplace. It also reassures employees that you are focused on their health and wellbeing.

Creating Safe Workplaces that Works

For the post-COVID worker, personal safety, health, and well-being have become immutable priorities. But business must carry on. So, your workspace needs to work for your employees and your business. It must be clean, safe, and within budget.

Workspace Solutions specializes in creating innovative and safe workplaces.  We’re focused on creating the right space for your company and we provide safe workplace design solutions, including options for new and used office furniture, project specification and management, and installation.  

Contact us today to learn how to create a safe workplace for your company and its employees.

No More Cubicles: How to Create a Collaborative Workspace

collaborative workspace

Although he created the cubicle in the 1960s, Robert Propst regretted his invention by the end of his life. Large corporations were using it to pack as many employees in a room as possible, which was not his intention. 

Because of this misuse of design, many people have come to hate working in a cubicle-filled office. While cubicles are a great way to add privacy, using them incorrectly can decrease productivity and keep teams from working together.

Utilizing cubicles along with open areas can increase productivity and overall happiness in the workplace. 

If you’re looking around your office right now realizing it needs an update, this guide has you covered. Keep reading to learn how you can take your office design out of the cubicle box and to the next level. 

Collaborative Workspace Furniture

Having a few different furniture styles around the office provides employees separate spaces for different types of work. For a collaborative office space, set up booths, long tables with plenty of chairs, couches, huddle spaces, and informal meeting spaces.

When the furniture is already set up so employees can gather face-to-face, it encourages them to meet and brainstorm solutions to problems or other ideas about how to progress the company. 

The Colors of the Collaborative Workspace

While you may not think employees care about the color of the office walls, subconsciously, it affects their moods. White walls can hinder productivity, while blues have a calming effect, and natural tones promote efficiency.

Perhaps your brand’s colors align with the mood you want to establish within your office. Even if you only use them on accent walls, the pop of color will boost the overall mood in the office. This will encourage people to work with one another. 

Establish a Positive and Welcoming Ambience 

There are a couple of things you can do to ensure your employees enjoy spending their 44 weeks in your office. The first action you can take is playing upbeat music in the background. Researchers at Cornell University found that when happy, upbeat songs play in an office, it increases collaboration. 

Additionally, food is fuel. By providing a place for healthy snacks in a designated space in the office, your employees can keep their energy up and mood positive while spending time with one another.

A small cafe space can serve as a place for people to get to know one another, not just as colleagues, but as people. So they can develop stronger bonds that’ll make them better when working on professional projects. 

Ready to Take Your Office Into the Modern Age? 

Having a collaborative workspace promotes productivity and overall employee happiness. Why not invest in office furniture and spaces that create a healthy environment? 

For all your office needs, check out Workspace Solutions. We know how to create a collaborative workplace using our versatile products. Reach out to us today for assistance breaking out of the cubicle and transforming your space. 

A Must-Know Guide to the Best Office Chairs for Ultimate Comfort

At least sixteen million adults in the United States suffer from chronic back pain. Back pain can be debilitating, making you less productive at work and less happy overall. If you’re looking for relief from back pain, one place you should consider first is your office chair.

If you work at an office and sit in a chair for hours at a time, you need one that can support you and your work properly. Do not underestimate the importance of a comfortable office chair! Read on to learn the most comfortable and best office chairs for your office space in 2021.

Factors to Consider

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best comfortable office chairs. You should have a chair with an adjustable seat height and one with enough width and depth to support any worker.

You should also consider lower back support, a wide backrest, and one with comfortable armrests. The last feature to consider is if the chair can turn easily, so the worker can manage without needing to alter their body often.

Ignition 2.0 Mesh Task Stool

This is one of the best-rated office chairs, and for good reason. It’s made to fit any body type, with three adjustable back heights and two seat sizes.

It has four armrest styles and three tilt controls. You can choose between a mesh or upholstered backs, making it fit your office aesthetic while being comfortable.

Fierce Task Office Chair

Fierce is a great office chair from National Office Furniture because of its unique yet simple design. It’s made with a black mesh back, which allows air to filter through and prevents heat from building up and making you uncomfortable.

It also contains a seat slide, synchro-tilt weight balance control, and a back locking mechanism to provide both flexibility and comfort. You can adjust it to fit you, without there being a million buttons and knobs to learn.

Avoca Executive Chair

This award-winning chair is perfect for a more refined office or for the more low-key. It prides itself on being able to fit in anywhere. Its sleek, modern design will fit in almost anywhere, from conference rooms for meetings or working at your desk for hours.

It has a mid or high back and can be armed or armless. It also features a swivel or synchro-tilt control and can be made from metal or urethane. If you’re looking for a fully customizable, ergonomic chair, look no further than the Acova Executive.

Best Office Chairs

Getting a comfortable office chair can save your life, and if you’re a business owner, it can show how much you care about your employees. Don’t downplay its importance, and you just might see productivity levels rise.

Choose any of these chairs, and you can be sure you’ll be getting the ultimate comfort and adjustability. Better yet, we can ship any of them straight to your office! Reach out today and find the best office chairs for you.

Business Resolutions For the New Year: How to Implement Them at the Office

Are you setting new years resolutions not only for yourself but for your workplace? This can be a great way to get you and your employees involved in collective changes that can have a great impact on the success of your company and the culture of your workplace. 

For some business resolution ideas that could help your company improve its practices this year, keep reading. We’ll go over some awesome resolutions that can improve productivity and morale within the workplace.

Work to Improve Communication Skills Company-Wide 

A great business resolution to implement to improve your company’s processes is to work to communicate more effectively as a leader and encourage your employees to do the same. It’s important to remember that communication skills are not just about speaking with clarity, but they’re also about being a great listener.

Create a Space for Brainstorming 

Showing that you are an active listener will not only improve your employee’s morale by showing them that they are heard and that you care about what they have to say, but it will also help you be more open to new ideas as well as the details within your business. 

Offer opportunities for feedback or group meetings for brainstorming sessions where you can generate ideas from your employees. You may also consider establishing an open-door policy so that your employees feel like you are always there to support them. This is also a great way to solve issues before they get too severe. 

Being a respectful leader is about more than speaking to motivate your employees, but it also about allowing your employees to feel valued and that their opinion matters. Work to encourage active listening in your workplace, from the ground up, to improve your company culture and the work ethics of your employees. 

Work on Delegation 

Being a business owner can be hard, and it can be hard to trust your employees with important tasks, but it’s necessary to delegate so that you can grow and scale your business. For this reason, effective delegation is a must for all of the leaders within a company. This is a great way to spread your workload so that your plate isn’t overflowing with work and you can then focus on the core of your business. 

Learning to effectively delegate tasks involves learning to trust your employees, which allows your employees to feel empowered. This also allows for career development, which can allow your employees to take on new roles as your company grows. This not only makes scaling more possible, but it also improves your employee morale and company culture, as employees will learn that there are opportunities for growth when they produce great work.

Great Business Resolution Ideas 

If you want to improve your company culture and workplace success this year, consider setting some of the above business resolution ideas. Set goals for your company to improve your practices and grow your company this year. 

Are you looking for amazing workspace solutions and office furnishings that can give your workspace the update it needs this year? If so, contact us today for solutions. 

5 of the Best Low-Maintenance Office Plants to Boost the Environment

Office environments have a tendency to feel a little . . . sterile. And if you’re like many office workers, you find that such a sterile environment bores you out of your mind. 

One way to inject some personality into an office space is by adding plants. Plants will not only alter the aesthetics of an office but they’ll also provide a little visual variation for those who work in that office. They’ll also help clean the air which is an added benefit, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interested in adding plants to your office? Curious as to the best low-maintenance office plants in existence? Here are 5 of them!

1. Cactus

They’re unique, they’re prickly, and they’re exceedingly easy to care for. We are, of course, speaking of cacti. 

These guys come in all shapes and sizes and will undoubtedly bring some atmosphere to your office. Just be sure to place them in spaces where they can’t hurt passersby, like on a desk or window sill. 

2. Spider Plant

You’ve probably seen hundreds of spider plants in your day. This long-leafed plant is one of the most common office plants in existence. 

Not only does it provide an intriguing look, but it’s also extremely easy to take care of. Capable of surviving without direct sunlight, it can actually thrive under the beam of fluorescent lights.

3. Aloe Plant

Strong, sturdy, and one of the most low-maintenance plants in existence, the aloe plant is perfect for placement in offices. Sporting a quaint and controlled aesthetic, it looks great on a window sill. 

Aloe plants rarely need water and can get by with indirect sunlight. In most cases, you only need to water them every 3 weeks or so. 

4. Snake Plant

Aptly named, the snake plant looks like a bundle of snakes. Characterized by thick, straight leaves, it’s compact and symmetrical. Though it would look best on a window sill, it can add a lot to desks as well. 

As far as maintenance goes, snake plants are on the low end of the spectrum. They can thrive with indirect sunlight and only need to be watered every 2 to 5 weeks. 

5. Bamboo Palm

If you’re looking for something a little bigger, you should consider buying a bamboo palm. These stand between 3 and 10 feet tall and can bring a great deal of atmosphere to their respective rooms. 

When it comes to maintenance and care, the bamboo palm is almost self-sufficient. It needs only small amounts of indirect sunlight and only needs to be watered sporadically. Just feel for dry soil and add water every time you find it.

Adding Life with Office Plants

 

Now that you have some great choices for the best plants for your office, to add life and to purify air, add even more color and life by planting them in fun pots to show off your style.

Your Daily Dose of Deskercise: 4 Office Stretches For Desk Workers

Office work isn’t physically taxing in the traditional sense. However, it can still have adverse effects on the body. If you work in an office, it’s wise to stretch periodically throughout the workday to prevent discomfort or injury.

Need some good office stretching exercises? Check out these 4 office stretches for office workers. 

1. Shoulder Shrug

Throughout the workday, a great deal of stress is bound to build up in the area around your neck and upper back. Shoulder shrugs are a great idea to loosen this area up on occasion. 

To perform this stretch, stand up with your arms to your side. Then, pull your shoulders up and your shoulder blades together, scrunching your neck in the process. Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds and repeat it 5 to 10 times.

This stretch will not only loosen up the muscles in your upper back, neck, and shoulders, but it will also help to relieve headaches. 

2. Waist Twist

Whether you’re sitting or standing all day, your lower back is forced to support a great deal of weight. This can cause it to become sore throughout the workday. 

To relieve some of this soreness, you should engage in waist twists. A waist twist is a stretch in which you move your torso to the left or the right while leaving your feet and legs in a constant position. It should be performed with a straightened spine, and with your hands on your hips. 

To get the most out of this stretch, alternate to the left and to the right 5 to 10 times for 2 or 3 sets. 

3. Chest Extension

You’re also likely to experience stress in your chest. To relieve this stress, try some chest extensions. 

A chest extension is a stretch wherein you pull your chest upward. It can be performed in both sitting and standing positions.

To perform a chest extension, straighten your arms and back, and then pull your straightened arms behind your back. This will force your chest in an upward trajectory, allowing you to stretch the muscles in your core. 

4. Leg Pullback

Leg pullbacks are a great stretch if you tend to lean to one side or rest on one leg while your sitting.  

To perform a leg pullback, stand up, lift one leg up to your backside and hold it with your hand. If necessary, use a table or chair to help support your body. Then, repeat the process with the other leg.

This stretch will not only help to stretch out the thighs but the hamstrings and calves as well as opening up your hips. 

Perform These Office Stretches to Avoid Injury

Performing these office stretches on a daily basis is a great way to keep yourself loose and free of chronic injury. Put these stretches to good use and reap the positive effects and increased productivity!

Office Cleaning: How to Clean and Sanitize Your Office and Surfaces the Right Way

Keeping your office clean has never been more important. Germs can live on the surface of a desk, keyboard, or door handle and spread quickly throughout an office.

You can protect yourself and everyone else in the office by properly sanitizing and cleaning. It doesn’t take much time or effort and can promote better health among employees.

Read below for office cleaning tips you can start using today.

Keep a Clutter-Free Workspace

While piles of papers on your desk won’t make you sick, a cluttered workspace prevents you from being able to clean surfaces appropriately. So before you start your cleaning routine, remove all items from the surface you are cleaning and put them away where they belong.

Even if you are working from home, you should establish a cleaning routine and avoid the build-up of clutter. 

Sanitize Surfaces

When it comes to an office cleaning checklist, sanitizing commonly used surfaces is potentially the most important. Your desk, keyboard, mouse, and office chair need to be cleaned.

If you don’t think that you have the time or office cleaning supplies to get the job done, consider hiring an office cleaning service to help out.

Surfaces in shared spaces like the office kitchen should also be sanitized. The refrigerator, the microwave handle, the cabinet handles, and the coffee maker should all be sanitized. You can use sanitized wipes or a spray to disinfect.

Prioritize Clean Bathrooms

Keeping the bathroom should be a priority regardless, but it’s now more important than ever. All surfaces should be disinfected regularly. Hand soap should be refilled as much as necessary and you should consider posting signs about proper handwashing. 

The sinks and floors should also be cleaned regularly.

Take Out The Trash

Trash removal is not as important when it comes to preventing illness, but it’s a good habit for a clean and sanitary workplace. Kitchen trash should be taken out as often as possible to avoid unpleasant odors. 

Desk trash cans should also be cleared regularly and recycling emptied. 

Dusting Duty

Dust can collect on electronics very easily. To prevent dust build-up, dust your computer, keyboard, surfaces, and yes, even plants, as part of your cleaning routine.

Vents on the ceiling or floors should also be dusted to promote high air quality. You may need to hire a cleaning service for this task.

Office Cleaning is Not Optional

Whether you decide to do the cleaning yourself or hire a professional cleaning service, office cleaning is a must. Use the steps above to make sure you are eliminating dust and germs that could be harmful to your health.

You can also protect yourself and your workplace by washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth and nose with your arm when cough or sneeze. Be courteous of shared spaces and do what you can to prevent mess. 

Keeping your office clean and sanitized not only promotes good health, it helps to increase productivity as well!

7 Essential Supplies You Need in Your Home Office Setup

COVID -19 has changed much of how we do things in the modern world. Aside from health and social distancing protocols like wearing a mask, washing our hands, and keeping six feet apart, many employees have switched to remote work. 

However, working from home isn’t always easy. Some people can find it difficult to be as productive at home as they would be in an office environment. Fortunately, this obstacle is easy to overcome. 

Your employees need a comfortable home office setup that promotes productivity. The more they feel like they’re in a professional office, the more they’ll perform that way.

But what exactly do they need? Keep reading for the most essential home office supplies.

1. An Adjustable Ergonomic Chair

If your employees do a lot of work on a computer or at a desk, they need a comfortable and supportive chair. Their office chair should have an adjustable height to make sure they’re not craning their neck all day. The best home office chair will also have adjustable lumbar support to minimize back pain.

2. A Sit-Stand Desk

If possible, we also recommend using an adjustable height desk that will allow employees to sit or stand throughout the day. Sitting all day can lead to neck pain, back pain, and poor posture. A sit-to-stand desk will give your employees the option to stand intermittently during the workday.

3. A Quality Desktop or Laptop Computer

Most modern offices run primarily off of technology. Nearly everything we do is through computers and the internet. Make sure your employees have the hardware and software they need to get their job done efficiently.

4. An Project Management System

Keeping track of your work is very important. You don’t want to miss a deadline or forget a project. Project management tools such as Asana can help you stay organized, specify deadlines, assign tasks to other team members, and can help improve team collaboration especially when the team is in different locations. 

5. A Filing Cabinet

While most offices are computer and internet-based, many companies still have plenty of paperwork. Therefore, your employees need a way to keep these documents organized. We recommend a simple filing cabinet if their desk doesn’t have one built-in for a complete home office setup.

6. A Printer/Scanner

As noted above, some documents need to be physical. When working remotely, this requires an at-home printer for employees to print out paperwork. However, if they need to send documents back electronically, the printer should also be equipped with a scanner.

7. Security Equipment

Finally, your employees’ home office setups should include a way to keep sensitive information, documents, and other files safe and secure. For this reason, employees should have a small safe, or locking drawers in their desk. They should also have a shredding plan in place for when it comes time to discard sensitive documents. 

Looking to Perfect the Home Office Setup of Your Employees?

If you need help getting your employees outfitted for working from home, we’re here for you. Take a look at the rest of our office supplies or check out some of our other blog articles for more home office setup ideas. Remember, the better equipped your employees are, the more productive they’ll be.

 

Remote Office Workers Survival Guide: Everything You Need for a Great Home Office

Over the past several months, the world at large has had to change the way it does business. Many businesses, for example, had to transition to remote working. While working from home has often been a dream of nine-to-five employees, remote work comes with its own challenges.

For example, some people find it difficult to stay motivated throughout the workday. While there are words of encouragement you can get from management, that’s not always the solution.

Sometimes, it comes down to creating the right work environment. If you’ve recently joined the ranks of remote workers and are looking for ways to perfect your home office, we can help.

Keep reading for everything your home office needs to promote a productive work environment.

A Sit-to-Stand Desk

There’s no secret that working at a desk all day can lead to health problems such as back pain, unwanted weight gain, neck problems, and more. We recommend getting a height-adjustable desk that allows you to transition from sitting to standing throughout the day. These desks are incredibly convenient and beneficial for your health.

A Reliable Computer

Of course, remote workers need a dependable and efficient laptop or desktop computer. It is a must for people working from home. If you originally worked in a commercial office and are working remotely due to social distancing, it’s possible your equipment was provided by the company.

If not, however, we advise investing decent money into your primary work tool – your computer. Make sure it can handle the work you’re doing. For example, working with multiple forms of media will require a more powerful computer than if you just work with text all day.

A Comfortable and Supportive Office Chair

Even with a sit-to-stand desk, you’ll still spend a lot of time sitting in an office chair. Therefore, one of the best products for remote workers is a comfortable and ergonomic chair. This will help you keep good posture as you sit throughout the day to prevent neck and back pain.

An Environment That Promotes Productivity

A big issue with remote working is that people struggle to remain as productive as they were at work. There can be a lot of distractions at home, such as children, spouses, phones, pets, televisions, etc. The key is laying down boundaries.

For example, if the television in your home office tempts you, remove the power cord during the workweek. Additionally, let other people in the house know that your work hours are sacred. You shouldn’t be interrupted unless there’s an emergency.

A remote worker home office environment needs to have the best office furniture, good lighting, a comfortable temperature, and a barrier from distractions.

A Yoga Mat or Treadmill

When working at a desk, it’s recommended that you get up once every 30 minutes and move a little. It helps you remain focused throughout the day, keeps you healthier, and evidently, decreases your risk of early death.

For this reason, we recommend putting a treadmill and/or yoga mat in your home office space. Remote workers can get up every 30 minutes and stretch or walk for five minutes at a time.

Looking for More Tips for Remote Workers?

Whether you’re looking for more advice or some of the best office equipment for remote workers, we can help. Our blog is dedicated to helping people productive no matter where you’re working.

We also have an entire line of office products to promote healthy, comfortable office environments. Contact us today if you have any questions or want to know how we can help you perfect your workspace!

5 Office Equipment You Need to Avoid an Ergonomic Hazard in Your Workplace

Sitting at a desk for hours at a time can cause a serious ergonomic hazard, from back and neck pain to headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome.

When it comes to the equipment in your office, there are some key things you need to avoid these common workplace-related issues.

Read on for a list of five pieces of office equipment you need to keep you and your coworkers healthy.

1. An Ergonomic Office Chair

Desk chairs are probably one the most important piece of office equipment you need to accomplish your daily tasks. To avoid an ergonomic hazard, look for chairs that offer lumbar support and feature adjustable height options.

When you have a comfortable ergonomic chair, your whole body is better supported. Look for chairs specially designed to give your back, arms, and neck the support they need to maintain a good posture all day.

2. Standing Desks

>A lot of research shows that sitting could be the “new smoking” in terms of being a risk to our health. A standing desk allows you to get your work done from a standing position.

Try a standing desk that adjusts up and down, since you won’t always be able to stand when doing your work. These desks can keep your circulation flowing, which may also help you stay focused.

3. A Wrist Rest

Putting too much pressure on the wrist can cause many problems. Replace your standard mousepad with one that includes a thick, supportive wrist rest.

When the wrist is sitting at the right angle, it will help you avoid hand, wrist, and finger pain. This inexpensive piece of office equipment is a must if you’re using a computer for most of your day.

4. Monitor Stands Can Help You Avoid an Ergonomic Hazard

Your computer should be at eye-level to keep your head and neck in a proper position. Monitor stands are an inexpensive and easy way to help you create an ergonomic workstation.

If you’re looking down or straining your head upward, it can cause serious issues with your neck, back, and even your arms. Always ensure that your laptop or desktop computer is at a good height so that your head and eyes are always level with the screen.

5. Footrest

Aside from your upper body, your feet should also have the support they need to avoid ergonomic-related issues. Footrests will keep your feet flat on the floor, especially if your chair sits too high.

If you can’t find a footrest that works or you don’t want to spend the money, a stack of books is a good substitute. As long as your feet are level with the floor, you’ll avoid straining your legs and back.

Stay Healthy at the Office with Ergonomic Office Equipment

Consider these five important pieces of office equipment to help you avoid a serious ergonomic hazard. With some simple changes, you’ll feel better, more alert, and avoid injury in the workplace.

To view our products and to learn more about us, visit our website today.