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Author: Dwayne Markham

Agile, At Work

Agile, At Work

The era of the cubicle and the isolated corner office is coming to its rightful end. We don’t live in rigid, artificial environments, and our best work does not emanate from places not conducive to the natural dynamics and inherent creativity of a group focused on a common mission. Agile working is all about creating a flexible and therefore more productive environment.

The idea is as simple as it is functional: by creating different working areas, each tailored to the specific task at hand, you can give your staff the freedom and flexibility to work where, when, and how they want.

Research indicates that up to 60 percent of the traditional office space goes unused on a typical day. Better flexibility and specificity of use not only increases productivity but also realizes cost savings— often as much as 20 percent— by creating a more efficient workflow. When an office has more thoughtfully differentiated working areas, your staff will find greater ease and more freedom to make individual choices. A more intuitively functional workplace fosters creativity, generates more “outside-the-box” ideas, facilitates communication and collaboration across different departments, and thus creates more empowered employees and a stronger sense of shared mission.

Organizations such as Google and Unilver, working within some of the most competitive, high-pressure industries in the world, have discovered that creating a more vibrant work environment is also key to perhaps the most important aspect of successful team-building— it attracts better talent. Extraordinary employees do not want to work in ordinary workspaces.

BENEFITS OF AN AGILE WORKPLACE

Activity Based Working enables your employees to focus on what they actually do rather than what department they are in. A flexible office space that is adaptable to their needs and activities on any given day means greater focus on the task at hand. Activity Based Working is characterized by different spaces and settings that enable people to concentrate individually or collaborate as a group.

Agile workplaces can include different spaces for focus, collaboration, relaxation, telephone conversations, inspiration, and concentration. Decades of architectural and workplace productivity research has shown the power of creating spaces specific to use; better design not only creates better work, but a more healthful and happier workforce. An agile environment simply provides the correct space for any activity in a workplace.

A workplace becomes more effective and efficient because it supports a dynamic rather than a static workforce; accordingly, the work product emanating from such an environment tends to be more dynamic and creative. The elimination of desk ownership is also more cost-effective and often allows organizations to increase the number of employees utilizing a building or office. Typical cost savings for an agile office space refurbishment is between 15 and 20 percent when compared to a traditional office refurbishment. You save money, time, and space as your organization becomes a place where the future of work is being created each day.

When Planning Your New Office, Don’t Forget Office Accessories!

When Planning Your New Office, Don’t Forget Office Accessories!

No office looks or functions the same.  Each requires different layouts, distinct furniture, specialized equipment, and most importantly, each needs to be chock full of smart office accessories.  Powering up a large or personal office with thoughtful office supplies and accessories makes for a functional workspace and a productivity-minded think tank.  Peak performance and seamless fluidity come with maximum organizational abilities and well-stocked supplies, and it’s only natural that any office functions better when appropriate office accessories are there as your convenient, helpful sidekicks.

Small office items are designed to make your office life easier, and it’s important not to overlook the essentials.  By including these ancillary products, you can maximize the functionality of your workspace. 

So what are some common office supplies and accessories not to be missed?

Common Desk Supplies

Here, we have the basics.  Your highlighters, paper clips, pens, staplers… these are the bread and butter of any office.  Keeping well stocked with these ordinary, everyday office supplies will make daily tasks a breeze.

Organizational Supplies

Dysfunctional, disorganized offices wreak havoc on your stress level, productivity, and your mind!  Office trimmings like staplers, literature racks, binder clips, and regular and hanging file folders can pin down clutter into a concise, neat formula.  Additionally, sleek whiteboards with push-pin options and large calendars can help conjoin your office into organized awesomeness.

Tech And More

Apart from a standard laptop or desktop computer and the everyday items that come along with large office tech, equipping yourself with ergonomic monitor arms, keyboard trays, and efficient task lighting is a great way to simplify office life.

Paper

We’ve never heard of an office that doesn’t need paper.  Printer paper, sticky notes, envelopes, notebooks… these all are all at the top of the list for necessary office supplies and accessories.  Along with printer paper, stockpiles of ink and toner need to join the ranks.

Other Essentials

There are endless small and large items available to customize your office.  A few more to keep in mind are waste and recycle bins, extra tables and stands, signage, coat racks, display cases, and more.

 

Benefits of a Standing Desk

Benefits of a Standing Desk

One of the biggest changes that we’ve seen in offices everywhere is the switch from standard sit-down desks to standing desks. At first this seemed like a fad that was taking storm, maybe a “millennial thing”, but would quickly fade as time went on. However, that’s not at all what’s happened.

Over the last few years these desks have done nothing but take off. They are incorporated into nearly every office across the US and there are so many reasons why. At Jefferson Group, LLC, we do our best to provide you with up to date products that are found in offices and, ultimately, provide you and your business with a solution that is best for you.

Our blog post today is going to cover the many benefits of standing desks and why they’re something that all companies should invest in within their office, let’s get started.

Minimizing Obesity
Exercise is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, but it doesn’t necessarily need to require hours upon hours at they gym. If you are looking to minimize the chances of obesity in your company, one of the best things that you can do is add standing desks.

Jobs that require employees to remain seated for hour at a time can be the only thing needed to experience weight gain, and when you’re working in an industry for years at a time, you can almost guarantee that weight gain is in the books. Individuals that stand an accumulated 2 hours throughout their day have shown to maintain, if not lose, weight just by standing at their desk.

Just standing burns 50 calories more than sitting, so while it isn’t a ton of calories to account for in a daily basis, standing while working is a great place to start.

Improvement in Posture
One of the easiest benefits that you’ll notice is an improvement in posture. Desk jobs are especially bad for poor posture, but can you blame anyone for starting to slouch after an eight hour day spent at a desk? There’s no doubt that it’s easy to slouch, but when you’re standing up and working, your core is pulling everything together and you’re able to stand up straight, which in turn improves your posture.

Another great factor of this improving your posture is that you don’t have to worry about the shifting of your spine as much. When you sit and you wind up slouching often, you do end up having quite a bit of misalignment and will usually need to go to a chiropractor in order to get your back aligned. The way that we naturally stand keeps our body elongated, which reduces the actual shifts of disks in our back. That means that you won’t be visiting your chiropractor nearly as much.

Reduced Risk of Cancer
Cancer is a huge concern in regards to long-term health issues, and while there’s no guaranteed way to avoid the diagnosis of cancer in your lifetime, there are certainly ways for you to go about minimizing the chance of it becoming a health risk.

Believe it or not, standing desks have actually proven to be extremely beneficial in regards to decreasing the chances of cancer in one’s lifetime. Sitting too much has actually been proven to increase the chances of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

A Longer Life
Maintaining your health is absolutely necessary in order to live a long life, so prioritizing the little things will make a big difference in the long-run. That goes for this small thing too. Standing more reduces the chance of some of the most life threatening and terrifying illnesses. As we’ve mentioned before, standing more can risk the chances of obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart failure, so by doing that you are in turn minimizing the chances of any health risks developing and improving the overall chances of a long life.

Reduced Neck Strain
When you spend a majority of your day typing, the one thing that you’re not entirely conscious of is how much time you’re straining your neck looking down at it. Even if you stare directly at your screen while you’re working, there will still be times during the day that you’ll glance down to look at it.

This is extremely harmful for your neck and you’ll start to notice it after a while. When you strain it, your spine begins to form into a “C” shape, which is extremely harmful. When you stand, you’re elongating your body which maintains the healthy, and natural, structure of your spine. Leaving it in a nice “S” shape, instead.

Less Headaches
If you are someone that falls victim to headaches often, standing some more could be the key to minimizing this from happening. Because your posture is better when you’re standing, there is less of a strain on your neck, shoulders and back, which are all directly correlated to having headaches.

While there isn’t much support as to why this happens, or how exactly the alignment of the body over time effects headaches, this has been proven to be true for people who do stand more. This is another area where standing is sure to help, but it will come down to som much more. For instance, drinking water, routine exercise and, if you have serious back pains, more frequent visits to you chiropractor.

Increased Energy Levels
Desk jobs definitely aren’t the easiest to spend hours upon hours at, so it goes without saying that after a long night where you got little sleep, or a day where the office is just a little bit too cozy, these desks can be a saving grace. With a quick little rise, your employees can be standing.

This can help get the blood pumping through their veins again which is super necessary when you’re trying to keep people awake. What’s great about this is that it has also proven to increase productivity levels for employees that have a difficult time focusing.

Quite honestly, there are so many reasons that spending time at your standing desk will prove to be beneficial, and these are only some of them. The truth is that productivity and reduced stress levels are huge contributors that you’ll see as the owner of a business, but the overall comfort and happiness of your employees will always be the most rewarding.

Switch up the quality of living in your office by adding standing desks. This is something that your employees will love having easily accessible and will certainly make the most of. Jefferson Group, LLC has a huge selection to choose from and a variety that will allow for you to find the piece that’s going to work best in your business. Browse the selection of standing desks that we have online and let us be the providers for your office space.

Distracting Factors in an Office

Distracting Factors in an Office

In our last blog post, we touched on a few of the colors that are fantastic to incorporate into your office space because of the effects that they have on your employees and in the building as a whole. Some of the main points that they affected were emotions, productivity and creativity. As a team, Jefferson Group, LLC, works hard to provide the equipment that companies need to make the most of their mission and the tasks that they’re trying to complete.

Today we’re going to visit the complete opposite end of the spectrum: distractions. Distractions are not an uncommon thing to have happen in an office space, in fact it’s one of the most common things that you does happen, so it’s fantastic that you are able to get ahead of the ball and find the things that are creating distractions so that you can avoid them.

Here are just a few of the things that might be cutting down productivity levels for your business.

Bright Colors
The first point that we’re going to hit on are colors. Since our last blog post was dedicated fully to colors that would create a productive space for your office, it only makes sense to touch on colors that will be distracting.

As you may have noticed in the last post, a lot of the colors that we talked about were subtle, muted colors. It may not be the most exciting color scheme, but they are colors that don’t draw too much immediate attention to the employees that are working in a space.

For the most part you’re going to want to stay away from any extremely bright shades of colors. There’s no one specific color that will make a difference in this because, quite honestly, most vibrant and bright colors make it difficult for the eyes to focus on what they’re working on elsewhere. If you can, find a color that incorporates a softer shade of that color, and use that. It’ll make for a better workspace and an overall higher level of productivity.

Dark Colors
Going off of the prior post on colors, dark colors are another area that you are going to want to do your best to try and avoid. When colors get too dark, employees can quickly become overly calm, which leads to feeling tired or getting lazy.

Again, if you’re hoping to add some touches of color, the best way to do it is in a more muted option. Whether that be only a hint lighter so that it’s really a grayish type of color, or going much lighter so that it is a diluted version of the color, you can count on this completely changing the overall feel for the better.

Overwhelming Noise
Something that we talked about in a previous post regarding office spaces and millennials, was that open spaces are something that people think millennials need. While that is a definitely a great way to try and incorporate collaboration, this is also a quick and easy way to make the amount of sound in an office space overwhelming.

While collaboration and having good relationships with your coworkers is great, when there is too much sound in an office it is extremely difficult to get work done and so much distraction that it’s extremely difficult to try and maintain focus on any given task. The solution to this is by designing an office space that has barriers between groups or that has some form of block between groups that are talking.

Office Layout
Determining which way to set up your office space is something that you will inevitably spend a ton of time working on. It’s difficult to know which layout is going to be the best setup possible for the work that your employees are completing. Again, this is going to bring up issues like collaboration, creativity, productivity, and what type of environment is necessary for your employees to thrive.

For some offices, setting up barriers is a great way to maintain the focus, while for other fields it can make the job much more distracting. More often than not, having desks that are close to the entry way or the front desk is a huge mistake that leaves your employees turning their heads every time that someone walks by. If you’re going to be incorporating certain rooms throughout a space, definitely take into consideration what types of distractions each of those layouts is going to come with.

It’s also good to realize that distractions will happen regardless, so don’t be too hard on yourself if every single layout that you create has some form of distraction surrounding it. When this does happen, you can simply write out the distractions and work to find solutions for them. When you think about most of them, you’re entirely able to find a solution that will not only decrease if not eliminate the distraction, but that will improve the layout as a whole.

Find the pieces of equipment that will allow for your employees to make the most out of their days when you shop the selection at Jefferson Group. We have plenty of options that will prioritize the productivity and happiness of your employees. Give all of the collections that we have a look over and make sure to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding our products.

Thanks for stopping by to check out our blog!

Colors That Work in Office Spaces

Colors That Work in Office Spaces

Do you remember the days where colors were just colors? Little did we know that these things we were learning would have various effects on us. From the emotions that we experience to the levels of productivity that we might be going through, the colors that surround you are a huge contributor to various parts of your life.

In a workplace, there is no doubt that the colors that you incorporate throughout your space are going to make a difference. If you aren’t an expert in the psychology of colors, then it can be difficult to understand what types of colors will be the best for your office space. Afterall, there is no one color that works for all. You will have to take into consideration the tasks that you’re doing, the size of the group that will be working in a space, and the aesthetics and emotion that you’re hoping to have in a space.

We’re going to dive into some of the more basics with colors in our blog post today.

White
One of the most common choices in regards to colors that we see is white. This is a pretty easy color to incorporate into just about any space, and it’s extremely common. What is great about this is that there isn’t much to it, which leaves plenty of room for making the space into whatever it is that you need it to be.

The color itself is still very bright, which allows for people to remain alert throughout the day without feeling overly exposed to bright colors. It also gives off the feeling of a clean slate, which is fantastic for creative jobs or jobs that start off with a clean slate each day.

Another great feature of this color is that it’s easy to incorporate various colors, textures and designs with it because of how simplistic it is. For creative positions, a nice combination of black and white makes for a fantastic combination and is great for getting those creative ideas out.

Blue-Gray
When you’re looking to add a touch of color, but nothing that’s overpowering, a blue-gray is a great choice. Blue is a color known for it’s ability to cool and calm, so when you pair it with the gray shades, it can immediately become very laid back and relieve some high tensions.

When you’re looking for the right color to incorporate in an office that houses individuals working stressful positions, in a tough field, this is a color that you should be incorporating. Even if it isn’t the main color that you choose for the office, it’s one that’s pretty easy to add touches of throughout a space so that you can still benefit from those calming effects. Aside from that, blue is directly associated with productivity and connectivity of the mind. Which makes it an absolutely fantastic hue to have incorporated in the color that you choose, or as a focal color for your company.

Light Blue
Again, blue is a very calming color and it is one that should be incorporated into an office space somehow. A light blue color combines the lighter attributes of the white with the calming effects of blue. Together, you can have a light, airy and fresh feeling room, while still having that hint of blue that can reduce stress.

So, in this case, you should consider this color for creative positions that also incorporate deadlines or have a heavy workload. This can calm them enough when they’re faced with a blank slate. And, as with all of the colors we’ve mentioned so far, it’s extremely easy to pair with other colors.

Saturated Yellow
Now, before you immediately turn down the option of yellow, know that we are fully talking a saturated yellow. That means that it will be a lighter combination of white and yellow that you can use. Blue is a fantastic color for the mind, while yellow is a fantastic color for emotion.

In rooms where major clients or professionals will come in and sit down for presentations are immediately hit with a saturated yellow, they are more likely to be in tune with their emotions that are already heavier on the positive side. This is also a great color to incorporate if you are running a business that is heavily correlated with human interaction and connection; having positive emotions in check is a must.

Quite honestly, there are plenty of benefits to many of the colors that you’ll be exposed to in an office space, but there are also colors that will be more distracting than others. If you’re interested in learning more about which colors are more likely to be a distraction for your employees, check back for our next blog where we’ll jump in and color some of the worst choices you could make it when it comes to office colors and your interior design.

Creating a workspace that’s going to work well for you and your team is important, and we know that. If you’re looking for the right pieces to make this possible, you can count on Jefferson Group, LLC to have them. Browse our selection online and find pieces that you work for the tasks your employees are completing, the mission that you’ve developed and the look you hope to achieve. Contact us with any questions you may have and reach out to us for more information.

Attributes Millennials Look for in an Office

Attributes Millennials Look for in an Office

Millennials make up a majority of the workforce, and as a business owner you need to be aware of what types of setups and workstations these individuals work in. A majority of the changes that have happened in the workstation setup, such as the products and technologies that we incorporate, happened because of millennials and studies that have proven that change needed to happen in the workstation in order for productivity and healthy to hit a peak. Here are some of the changes that you should be considering with the office interior design and furniture that you choose.

Separation isn’t Bad
One of the things that people believe millennials want to see in an office space is a wide, open space. For a while, many companies were investing and building spaces that had large spaces with fewer walls. The reasoning behind this, at least the way that everyone justified it, was that millennials love being able to collaborate and having a space like this makes it easier for them to do so. But is that really the case?

While millennials definitely don’t mind being able to collaborate and get to know their fellow work mates, having some separation in your workspace is not a bad thing. Even small amounts of separation, like half walls between desks or separators between different departments or sections, can contribute to a higher level of productivity while still giving the space an overall open feeling.

If you don’t have the ability to have a medium between wide open and entirely separated, then the best thing that you can do is create spaces that are designed with collaboration in mind. This can take place in an open space with tables and drawing boards, but it can also take place in something a little more structured, like a conference room.

Open Door Feel
We just talked a little bit about collaboration, but one of the areas of collaboration that millennials love having accessible are their leaders. Back in the day, managers, supervisors and CEO’s would have an office space away from the rest of the employees. It would have thick doors, a standard desk and a couple of chairs for the instances where employees had to come in and talk to the higher positions in a company.

Now, the one thing that we do see often in businesses is an open door type of feel. This means that there are usually glass walls or doors separating the leaders from their team or an actual open accessibility with each other. This has proven to build stronger relationships between leaders and their team and has shifted the view of leaders being intimidating, to them being mentors. If this is a concept that you’re not accustomed to or familiar with, it’s one that you should start to work towards, because it should absolutely be something that you incorporate into your design.

The great thing about this setup is that you can still enjoy the same executive look even if the overall feel is very open. We have a huge selection of executive office furniture that you can choose from to find the right pieces for your home.

More Than a Workstation

It may be more than you’re willing to consider, given the fact that you’re already giving them a job, but millennials are looking for a workstation that is more than just a workstation. For many, they want to be working at a place where they can also prioritize health and productivity in their workspace.

One of the main ways that we’ve seen this implemented is through the sit-stand desks that have been a popular item in many offices. This is one of the things that allows for employees to spend time outside of a chair, even when they’re working, while also being able to work on their posture, have a space to call their own, and get some versatility from the standard desk.

There have been so many different studies that go over how this change in desks can make a huge difference within the workplace, so if you’re not entirely sold, check some studies out. This study from Healthline does a great job of explaining what standing desks are as well as the benefits of using one.

Downtime
Breaks are not something that every office factors into their office design, and it makes sense that it hasn’t always been a priority when determining what types of things should be in an office space. While the concept of breaks haven’t changed too much, there certainly is a different feel with the way that people take them.

Sure some people still use their breaks to run out and have a smoke, but for millennials, most breaks are spent playing ping pong, pool or some other game. The thought process here is that these types of activities are great for clearing your mind and getting back to work with even more focus on the task that is about to get completed.

Big name brands like Google are known for these types of spaces and the activities that can be found scattered throughout the office. Now, this may not be something that you can find when you shop our selection of products, but it is definitely something that you should start taking into consideration regardless of the individuals that you plan on having in your space, because this is another area that has proven to be extremely beneficial with production levels and overall happiness in a workplace. You’ll see just how different this one change can make in a workplace in just a matter of weeks!

Regardless of what it is that you’re trying to achieve in your workspace, Jefferson Group, LLC has a huge selection of pieces for you to choose from. Being able to provide companies with the furniture that they need is one of our biggest goals, and we achieve that in the selection that we have. Browse the selection online and check out the variety we carry, but always reach out to ask us any questions that you may have regarding the pieces online.