The Soundtrack of Our Office Lives: Creating the Best Office Playlist

Harness the power of music to boost mood and motivation in your office. That’s right, increasing productivity is as simple as curating the right playlist for the office. For maximum benefit, you need to pick the right music.  

Use these tips to help you choose the best songs for your office setting. 

Music Isn’t Always Helpful 

Playing music in the office is not helpful to everyone. Those who are extroverted tend to find music helpful. These people crave mental stimulation, so playing music gives them the micro distraction they need to be more productive. 

In contrast, introverts tend to find office background music too distracting. This can result in a decline in their productivity and work quality. 

Before you create an office playlist, decide if it will improve or hinder your team’s productivity. 

The Most Popular Songs 

The most popular background music for offices is Top 40 pop songs. It is the music you hear on the radio with an uptempo beat and catchy lyrics. 

Interestingly, the most popular songs for those working from home differ slightly. The songs tend to have a faster tempo and more passionate lyrics. This suggests that people working alone from home need more energetic music to boost productivity. 

Music to Influence Mood 

The music you listen to can impact your mental state. So, choosing the right music can directly impact building a positive work culture. For example, happy music can cause your brain to release dopamine and serotonin.  

Repetition or Variety 

Keep in mind that people grow tired of listening to the same thing over and over. Choosing office music is not a one-and-done task. Instead, create a plan for variety to avoid high repetition. You could create themed days throughout the week. 

You could let a different employee pick the music each day. Sign up for a service that automatically curates a radio-style playlist for continued long-term listening. 

Other Soundtrack Options 

Classical music is a good compromise when you have extroverts and introverts working together. The instrumentals feature elegant melodies and complex harmonies that balance stimulation and calming. 

If you want to skip music altogether, you could opt for natural sounds or white noise. This type of soundtrack is perfect for creating a calming and soothing environment. Try ocean waves, thunder sounds, a rainforest, or birds. 

World music is another music for work option for influencing mood while reducing distraction. Choose music in another language that allows people to feel the energy without understanding the words. Just be sure you don’t accidentally pick something that isn’t work-appropriate. 

Finally, consider holiday music for a change of pace. Many offices will play a seasonal office playlist during November and December. This is a great way to get people in the mood leading up to your office holiday party

Make a Playlist for Work

The choice of background music should be a strategic decision aimed at fostering a positive work culture and enhancing productivity. It’s not merely about playing what’s popular; it’s about using music as a tool to influence mood and motivation. The best playlist for work will have a positive impact on your mood and productivity. 

Create a workspace where employees want to be with the guidance of our experienced team. 

6 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder

According to Scale Time, CEOs who delegate tasks well generate 33% more revenue than CEOs who don’t. There’s plenty of evidence that the adage “work smarter, not harder” has some truth to it. There are also plenty of ways that you can follow this adage’s advice as well. 

Read on to learn six ways to work smarter. 

1. Try the Pomodoro Technique 

The Pomodoro Technique is one of the most well-known ways to optimize work time. It helps the user follow and plan out a healthy break and work schedule. 

To start, set a timer for 25 minutes. Work for these 25 minutes. Once these minutes are up, take a five-minute break. 

Work and break for four of these 30-minute sessions. Then take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. Repeat until you finish your work. 

2. Listen to Music

Researchers have found that listening to music can help people perform better at tasks. It also helps reduce stress. 

Make sure that you match your music and your task well, though. Music with lyrics can distract listeners from cognitive work. If you have a more repetitive task, upbeat tempos are the best. 

Try experimenting a little to see what works best for you. 

3. Use Pen and Paper

A lot of work these days is done on the computer. Unfortunately, a lot of distracting things (games, social media, etc.) are also on the computer. This is why you should switch to good old pen and paper when you can. 

For example, you can take notes during a meeting with pen and paper. You can also use these things to brainstorm for projects.

4. Do Not Multitask 

Many, many people claim that they can handle several tasks at once. Most experts claim that this isn’t the case.

Your brain needs time to switch between tasks. That time gets taken away from your productivity levels. Focus on a single task at a time instead. 

5. Get Outdoors 

Yes, one of these tips for working smarter doesn’t involve working at all. It can still give a boost to your productivity when you are working, though. 

Experts have found that exposure to nature can relax and restore the mind. If you can, take a walk outside during your break. You’ll come back completely refreshed and ready to go. 

6. Take a Nap 

Naps aren’t just for kids. A nap can be a great way to boost your energy levels when they’re low.

Just be sure to only get around 20 minutes only. If you get more than this, your brain will think it’s time to start preparing for your nightly sleep. 

Work Smarter at the Office With Our Help

Remember that this list just offers some information on how to work smarter. You can find a lot more tops if you search enough. You may also be able to come up with some of your own. 

Also, if you want to increase productivity in the office, the right furniture can help. We solve the office furniture and space challenges of a variety of businesses every day. Send us a message to talk to an office designer today. 

These Tips That Will Help You Stay Motivated and Productive While Working From Home

Many people got to experience what it was like to work remotely firsthand over the past year. Now that things are beginning to open back up, some employees would like to keep working in this manner. 

Working remotely does have its benefits. In fact, according to a new study, 80 percent of participants noted remote work helped them take better care of their mental health. With another 83 percent citing it decreases their level of stress. 

If you are working remotely, keep reading this guide and learn how you can stay motivated and productive while working from home. 

1. Establish a Work Space

Rule number one while working from home is to separate home from work. This means establishing a space or home office that’s specifically designed for you to work and that alone. The goal here is to eliminate all distractions.

Your workspace should be complete with the right equipment, such as a desk or workstation and office chair capable of being used all day. It’s important not to cheap out on this furniture as a proper chair and desk can make it easier for you to remain focused throughout the workday. 

2. Make a System

If you are having a hard time gathering the motivation to work while at home, try implementing a time management system that can increase productivity and keep you focused. 

One system that people have success with is called the Pomodoro Technique. The basics of the method are as follows:

  • Put all your focus on one task for 25 minutes straight
  • After the 25 minutes are up, take a 5-minute break
  • Repeat four times

The method is designed to help break your work down into simple, more manageable parts that you can accomplish more efficiently.

3. Use Tools & Resources

One of the best parts of working from home is the vast amount of free resources and tools available to help you stay focused on work. Here are a few of the most popular:

  • Note-taking – Evernote, Simplenote, Google Keep, Microsoft Onenote.
  • Block out distractions  – LeechBlock, Forest, Focus.
  • Time management – Trello, Todoist, RescueTime.

Using a few of these free resources can help save you time, increase efficiency, and get more work done throughout the day. 

4. Get Outside

Not only can getting outside and enjoying some fresh air improve your mood, but it can also increase your productivity.

A study from Harvard Business Review divided participants into two groups. The groups were asked to work on a repetitive assignment for five minutes and were then given a 40-second break. One group was asked to stare at a concrete roof. The other group also saw a roof but was covered in nature or green meadows.

When the participants were asked to continue working, the group that saw the concrete roof lost concentration by an average of 8 percent. The group that experienced nature saw their concentration levels rise by 6 percent.

The Best Way to Stay Motivated

When you’re working from home, it can be challenging to stay motivated with so many distractions and other things going on. Luckily, there are certain things you can do to increase your productivity and block out all those distractions that are holding you back from producing your best work. 

The best way to stay motivated is by setting yourself up for success with the right tools and equipment. If you are looking to boost your productivity, contact us today, and we can help design the correct setup for your home office.

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.

Weathering the Storm: 5 Survival Resources to Keep Your Business Going During Covid-19

survival resources

Trying to run a business during coronavirus is no small feat. Take one look at other businesses around the country and you’ll see that the pandemic has taken a serious toll on every industry imaginable. From restaurants to clothing stores, no one has gotten through this unaffected.

Although we’re starting to see some states reopen, it’s going to be a long time before things are back to normal and it’s possible things are changed forever. If you run a small business, you’ll need all the survival resources you can get.

In this post, we’re going to share 4 ways that you can weather this storm and even come up with some innovative new business ideas along the way. Only the craftiest entrepreneurs are able to make lemonade out of these lemons, so follow this guide and you might find some inspiration of your own.

1. Talk to Your Suppliers

The only solace you can take when you feel like you’re sinking is knowing that everyone’s in the same boat. Be proactive and start talking with your suppliers right now so that you can keep an open line of communication throughout this.

You might not have money to pay for your materials right now, but you and your suppliers need each other during this trying time, so honesty will go a long way.

They may even have some new ideas to share or tips on what others in similar businesses as yours are doing to stay successful during this time.

2. Stay In Touch With Customers

Your customers are what can get you through this thing alive, so communicate with them constantly over social media and email. If you can be sure that they’re going to be there at the end of this, then you can proceed with optimism.

Businesses are shutting down because their customers are being taken away like the rug is being pulled out. The key to survival is coming up with interesting ways to retain them.

3. Getting Relief

Although you can’t rely solely on financial aid to subsidize you through the pandemic, there are numerous benefits available for small businesses. The SBA is offering emergency $10,000 grants and disaster assistance loans.

You can find resources from the US Chamber of Commerce, the SBA, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States is doing their part to provide assistance to business owners in need. If you’re an exporter, there might be a program for you.

4. Reinvent Yourself

Redefining what you do is a really hard thing for established businesses to do, which is why so many of them are suffering. An industry that has adapted somewhat is the restaurant world, with many companies shifting to delivery services.

For companies that operate in an office setting and play a specific role in their industry, a transition like this is difficult. You have to be able to identify a need and quickly find a way to satisfy it. Brainstorming these kinds of ideas with your team is crucial right now.

Survival Resources Are Different for Every Business

If your business is going to make it through this, you have to look for survival resources anywhere you can. These are just a few tips for how to stay afloat during coronavirus, but the landscape for businesses is always shifting. Keep your ear to the ground and you’ll give yourself the best possible chance to survive.

Workspace Solutions Announces Opening of Premier Coworking Space in Fort Wayne

coworking space fort wayne

Fort Wayne, IN – Co-llaborate, co-create, co-mingle, and co-work at Ft. Wayne’s newest Coworking Space by Workspace Solutions!

For over 40 years Workspace Solutions has been helping businesses in and around Northeast Indiana create and furnish office spaces. Owners Brent Stoller and Mike Hunter know what furniture businesses need to be productive and how to design a space where people want to work. Keeping in line with their motto, ‘We Create Spaces,’ they’ve designed and furnished thousands of office spaces from private offices and collaborative areas to conference rooms and lobbies. Now, they’re excited to announce the opening of their newest creation, Fort Wayne’s newest coworking space on May 1, 2019.

Optimally located on the north side of the city, just off the I-69 corridor, this new space offers 2,000 square feet of well-designed workspace filled with some of the best office furniture in the industry. The new shared office space will give entrepreneurs, students, engineers, freelancers, and startups a place to do business as well as a dedicated business address.

If you’re an entrepreneurial nomad or freelancer in search of a dedicated workspace without a long-term lease or if working from home or a local coffee shop isn’t working, Fort Wayne’s newest coworking space has just what you need.

The new shared office space offers members open seating, free parking and WIFI, a free coffee bar, a conference room, collaborative areas, and phone booth rooms for private conversations. They also offer dedicated spaces and a limited number of two-person offices.

“Fort Wayne is a hotbed of creative thinkers, innovators, and futurists,” says Hunter. “We not only want to give these local entrepreneurs and startups a low-cost place to work, we want to give them a place to connect, collaborate, and grow their business.”

  • Monthly rates start as low as $100, and there is no long-term commitment.
  • Premium membership at $150/mo offer a dedicated chair, desk, and locking cabinet
  • A two-person office is only $450/mo and provides a dedicated chair, desk, & locking cabinet, separate locking door to space, a sign with your company name, and a 3’x4’ glass-marker board.

Workspace Solutions’ Coworking Space opens May 1, 2019 at 2208 Production Road. Schedule a tour or reserve your space at or by calling (260) 422-8529.

5 Items of Conference Room AV Equipment You Shouldn’t Be Without

These days, finding appropriate conference room AV solutions is not an easy task.

In the days of conference rooms of old, you didn’t need much. Most of the time, all you needed to hold a meeting were an overhead projector and a pull-down screen. Well, you also needed a way to make a room completely dark.

Nowadays, things are much different. Thanks to modern technology, we have plenty of tools for organization and communication. The only problem is, how do you know which ones to get?

If you need some help on this, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll go over five pieces of conference room equipment you shouldn’t go without.

1. Interactive Whiteboard

At first glance, an interactive whiteboard looks like any other whiteboard.

Dig a little deeper, and you’ll discover a multi-touch display. With this, up to four people can write, manipulate objects and perform mouse functions at once. All you need are your fingers.

Also, you can connect an interactive whiteboard to printers and computers. This allows you to print your notes and share them with other participants.

2. Digital Virtual Presenter

Remember those old overhead projectors? Well, digital virtual presenters (or DVPs) are their modern equivalent.

As you may recall, overhead projectors used Fresnel lenses to collimate light. Well, DVPs use a video camera to project documents and 3D objects onto a screen. This makes it much easier for participants to notice these visual aids.

3. Video Conferencing System

With the rise of video conferencing, travel costs are no longer an issue for many companies.

The reason is simple: you no longer need to fly around the world to get to a meeting. Thanks to the various video conferencing systems, you can hold any meeting in the comfort of your own conference room.

Not sure which system to get? Look for one that has the iPanel system, which lets you chat and share documents at the same time. The iPanel also allows you to access the Internet during the conference.

4. Speakerphone

A speakerphone is a key piece of conference room AV equipment. If you make a phone call during a conference, you want all the participants to hear the conversation.

Most conference speakerphones come with a 360-degree microphone and have great sound quality. This can make it seem as if the speaker is right there in the conference room.

5. Collaboration Solution

When it comes to conference room presentation systems, nothing beats a collaboration solution.

What do these devices do? As the name implies, they enable multi-screen and multi-application collaboration. Anyone can use their own device and share content with anyone else in the world.

Needless to say, this is a perfect solution for conferences. After all, what other device allows you to combine presentation display, file sharing and video conferencing? And you can work on them all in real time!

More on Conference Room AV

Conferences have an important role in today’s work environment. That’s why having a well-equipped conference room is essential in fostering decision making. Plus, it’s always good to leave an impression on your visitors.

Not sure where to find affordable conference room AV solutions? We can help you out! Contact us right here, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Why You Should Take Your Meetings and Work Outdoors

If you don’t live in a state where the sun is shining 90% of the time and the temperatures stay warm year-round (we’re looking at you, Indiana), spending time outside is precious.

Consider the 8 months out of the year where temperatures are frigid and that white stuff is falling from the sky, people look forward to spending some time in the sun and warm weather. However, being able to do this when you work an office job is difficult, to say the least, and two days off just doesn’t cut it.

Giving your employees a chance to rejuvenate and boost their energy by taking a quick walk or holding the weekly meeting outdoors can boost employee morale and energy.

If you haven’t considered the benefits of what working outdoors can do for your office, continue reading. We’ll show you why you should take your meetings and work outdoors.

Creative Boost

Taking a break from the confined walls and fluorescent lights of an office will boost creative thinking and problem-solving. Working outdoors gives employees some nature therapy which clears the mind and helps with de-stressing.

Improves Focus

The average person attends 62 meetings monthly at their work. While some people may take detailed notes, most will daydream or even fall asleep.

Working outdoors improves focus to help stay on task. This goes along with increasing creativity and problem-solving. Not only will you notice a change in your employee’s creativity, but you’ll also see a change in their engagement.

Open Communication

Taking a walk with your boss or employees opens makes them feel more comfortable than when sitting in an office with a desk separating them. This allows for more open communication where employees can discuss any issues or potential problems they are having on a project.

This goes hand-in-hand with a creative boost – brainstorming together while outside will give everyone a fresh perspective and help think outside the box.

Health Benefits

We know spending time outdoors helps us mentally, but it also helps us physically, and standing desks will only do so much inside an office.

Hosting a walking meeting for at least 30 minutes will boost energy, reduce the risks of heart disease, dementia, some cancers, stroke, and help lose weight. Sitting still for too long and staring at a screen all day isn’t good for your eyes and are known to cause headaches or migraines.

Taking the time to step away from the screen and get some fresh air will improve blood circulation and give your muscles a chance to stretch.

Why You Should Work Outdoors

If increasing employee engagement, open communication, and creativity aren’t enough to get you to enjoy some work outdoors, think about the health benefits alone.

Give your employees the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather outside of their days off. It will give everyone a breath of fresh air – literally – and improve focus around the office.

How to Stop Being Busy and Start Being Productive

busy vs productive

Stop me if you’ve heard this conversation before:

You: “Hey (friend), it’s been a while! How have you been?”
Friend: “Hi (friend), I’ve been great – super busy!”

Can someone please tell me when the American culture decided that busyness is synonymous with success? Many people will happily and proudly admit to being overworked and stressed out! Somewhere along the line, we learned that if you’re not up to your eyeballs in work, then you’re doing something wrong. However, the simple fact is; that’s simply not true. There’s a HUGE difference between being busy and being productive.

What does it mean to be busy?

Of course, accomplishing tasks is an amazing thing. But if we’re not careful, our productivity reaches a peak, and then rapidly begins to decline. As a culture, we tend to fill our lives with never-ending to-do lists, multi-tasking, and high-stress levels. But we love stress! We know that stress leads to success, so we gladly overfill our calendars and stress ourselves out because we know that success lies at the end of the road. We thrive on the idea of over-caffeinating ourselves, buckling down, and pushing ourselves to the limit. Quite literally, busyness is a drug!


What is Productivity, Anyway?

On the other hand, productivity is a bit more than looking busy. Productivity measures the actual success of your labor, which makes it much more valuable in the long-run. Productive people put a bit more thought and care into the tasks they are taking on. Maximizing productivity in your workplace can do wonders for your business’ success!

Stop Being Busy, Start Being Productive

Now that we’ve explored the differences between being busy and being productive, we can start to focus on what it means to actually become productive in our work. Here are a few tips that will help you maximize your productivity and minimize your stress!

1. Stop Multi-Tasking

Study after study has shown that multi-tasking is the biggest productivity killer of all. When you spread yourself too thin, you begin to sacrifice quality on all of your projects. There’s no such thing as a good multi-tasker. Focus on what is deserving of your immediate attention, and then devote your time to finishing that task before moving onto something else.

2. Start Saying No

Busy people love to take on new projects. The more projects, the better. Because of this mindset, busy people have a hard time saying no. The next time you are approached about taking on a new task, rather than blurting out “yes” right away, be sure to take some time to think about what this project entails. Don’t be afraid to say “Let me sleep on that.”

3. Remove Distractions

Besides multi-tasking, the second biggest productivity killer is distractions. Immediate distractions such as noises around your office space are only the beginning. Most people are also constantly fighting internal distractions like what you’re going to do after work, or worrying about other things on your to-do list. Figure out which distractions you struggle with and be intentional about removing them from your life! Only focus on one task at a time – those other tasks can wait.

4. Stay out of your emails

Checking your email every time you get the alert notification not only interrupts what you’re doing, but also forces you to change direction to another project that just appeared in your email. Instead, turn off the sound notification and only check emails after the completion of a project or no more than once every hour.

5. Don’t Do. Think.

This idea might be counter-intuitive to what you know about productivity, but the fact is: productive people take life a little slower. Rather than hurry through a task, stop and put together a plan of action that will help you complete the task not only quickly, but successfully. Have you ever been halfway through a task, only to realize that you made a mistake early on, and now you have to go back and do it all over again? People who take the time to do a job right never have to go back and start over.

Office Furniture & Productivity Specialists

At Workspace Solutions in Fort Wayne, Indiana our slogan is “We do more than sell office furniture.” We also take pride in our mission to help businesses increase productivity and efficiency. Along with selling office furniture, we also have a team of experienced office designers that can help you put together a workspace that maximizes efficiency and productivity each and every day!

Contact us today to discuss your office and learn how we can help your team increase their productivity.

Ash Skyline Plaza

Ash Skyline Plaza Office Furniture

It’s furniture moving day! After months of work on the Ash Skyline Plaza in Fort Wayne, the day is finally here that we start moving in office furniture. We’re out at the new building unloading trucks full of office furniture. We will be installing furniture for Ash Brokerage on the 7th and 8th floor. We’re very excited to be a part of this project that’s been months in the making. Check back to see the progress on the building and the creative use of furniture and office spaces.