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Improving Your Office For The New Year

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Improve your Office|Improving Your Office For The New YearIn 2021, as professionals begin returning to their office spaces and welcoming a new year of hopeful normality, it’s important for all business owners to use this time as an opportunity. This opportunity can entail equipping the office with the equipment it needs, redoubling efforts to keep it hygienic, and using methods to improve team morale from top to bottom. Those kinds of investments are almost always worth it, because it will serve as a direct measure of trust in your brand, your culture, and your people.

Improving your offices for the new year also helps you shake up this space, likely long-vacant thanks to the pressures of this year. But what measures will actually make the difference? How can firms allocate their budget and spending towards this goal when times may be tight in the first place? These questions are worthwhile to ask, because they can provide you with a means in which to justify your approach, and better understand the investments you are making. With our following advice, you’re sure to step in the right direction:

Upgrade & Outfit Your Office

There are likely many little niggling issues that have been getting on your nerves, and that was before remote work became the norm. Upgrading and outfitting your office can provide you with the means to get the ball rolling as soon as you return, and the space necessary to resolve those issues from the offset. For instance, office cell phone boosters from WilsonPro are proven to up the cell phone reception and signal in your office space, which can often be difficult considering the materials the building is made from.

Little resolutions like this, with inexpensive yet reliable equipment, can provide you with the functionality necessary to bring your A-game to the new year. If you can achieve that, odds are you’ll notice the difference in productivity compared to the start of 2020, when offices were populated in the best possible sense.

Ensure Devices Are Well Stocked & Maintained

Ensure your office devices are well stocked and maintained. Replenishing your stock of toner, ensuring your laptops are fully backed up with the latest anti-virus protocols, collaborating with your managed IT services, all of this will help your office functionality stay sharp and ready – much like your returning employees.

It might be that you need to recall your company devices for a moment just to ensure they are updated with the latest protocols. For instance, Google Suite has now changed into Google Workspace, and that may mean you use lesser apps to manage your workflow.
Part of renewing your devices means educating your staff in how to use them, and figuring out new methods of improving your productivity. To use an example, Google Meet could be a perfect addition to your Hangouts policies, only this may require the installation of new apps to work phones. As your devices are part of your workflow, they are also part of the office, and so this is a viable use of your time.

Thorough Cleaning Measures

Thorough cleaning can make all the difference when returning to a normal working schedule. It’s important for your office to shine, and to protect itself against the growing number of difficulties offices have faced.

Deep cleaning will help your staff feel comfortable that you have taken the right precautions, and that they can trust you and your attempts at keeping the space as clinical as possible. Window cleaning, tidying up the exterior of your business, reshining the brand signs and making sure the carpets are refreshed can help the entire space shine, inner and outer. That can help you inspire pride in your office and workplace, something worth encouraging when you hope to kickstart the renewed morale of your employees. Furthermore, cleaning also helps you identify issues that you may not have addressed for some time, from growing damp in your bathroom to scuff marks left by chairs on your carpet.

Sometimes a renewal can help you see this space as it should be seen – radiant, new, vibrant, and worthwhile. That can help any brand feel renewed confidence in itself, from now into the future. That kind of perception you cannot by, but you can come across with hard work, and it’s perfect for a new year full of positive possibilities.

Adjusting Workspace Terminals

Adjusting the terminals in your workspace will help you ensure a regular flow of productivity when staff feel safe, protected, and your space is used in the best possible manner. For instance, seating staff far enough apart with dividers can ensure nothing spreads, while also ensuring staff feel dominion over their workspaces.

It’s important to remember that staff are coming in from remote work options and have had full control over their space for some time. Moving into an office once more can certainly be an adjustment for them, and so it’s up to you to make this approach as friendly and reliable as possible.

Adjusting your workspace in this capacity can also mean investing in worthwhile ventilation, to ensure the space is breathable yet not cold over the winter period. Workspace terminal adjustment may also mean rededicating yourself to cable management, to totally reduce trip hazards and improve desk space. This can give staff the capacity to bring in their own devices, something they may have become used to during the remote working period.

Managed IT Maintenance

Managed IT maintenance will restore your business functionality in the best sense, but upgrading your serviced package or asking to renew certain measures, such as your cloud functionality support and accessibility, can help you refine your workflow.

This might involve slowly backup up all of your data onto the cloud, or it might mean ensuring you are still working with the latest cybersecurity compliance possible. Those measures can help any firm stay thoroughly capable, well-developed and measured from the offset. These efforts can make any firm retain its standing in the best possible sense, even if that means servicing the devices our staff use. Keeping everyone on the same page and encouraging a tune-up of our workflows can make a big difference after everyone has been working at home for some time – a lesson we could all do with learning.

Considering Ergonomics

It’s a good time to invest in staff health. Ensuring they are as functional and able as you hope they would otherwise be can be taken into your own hands. For instance, you may decide to invest in better office furniture, or standing desk toppers to help your staff work and exercise as they may be better off doing.

Simple a renewed intra-office campaign reminding staff to sit up straight, to lift the monitor to the top of their eyeline, and to stretch when possible can help the office serve as a functional, health-abetting resource in the best possible sense. Considering ergonomics can mean investing in chairs with good lumbar support, purchasing left-handed mice and keyboards for your left-handed employees as appropriate. This will all combine to help your staff feel thought of, and it can help them iron out any undue aches and pains that may have otherwise came from bad posture sitting at home for a time. A good place to begin, then.

Making The Most Of Your Space

Making the most out of your space can also be important at this time. For instance, it might be that you’ve been using your conference facilities as a storeroom since the remote work requirements started taking place. Making the most of your space could mean opening this back up again, and using this as a spill-in room to enact social distancing when your employees return to their stations.

It could be that you’ve been meaning to refurbish your office kitchen since forever, due to the fact that space has been disheveled for a while and you haven’t quite gotten around to it. A new refrigerator, a new microwave, and new doors on the cupboards could mean a lot to your staff, who will likely use part of this space as a means of collaborating and connecting with one another once more.

For some, making the most of your space could mean simply ensuring that your smoking area is cleaned up and that the shelters are in place to protect against the weather. Renew your standards, they can make a massive difference regarding how you see your firm, and how it presents itself to the wider world.

Simple Aesthetic Additions

It can be nice to have the little things speak to your office culture, and celebrate it. For instance, a large ‘welcome back’ sign, or a list of people who have done outstanding work remotely, or perhaps signs that reassure your staff they can visit your HR office anytime. Little additions, to help the office culture shine, can help everyone feel comfortable returning to it.

With this advice, we hope you can more easily improve your office for the new year. Your staff, your brand, and you deserve it.

How To Create A Welcoming & Professional Premise For Your Business

If you’re starting a new business, deciding to move to a larger premise, or you’re moving from your home office into an external space, creating a welcoming and professional office for your business is the first port of call. It will not only wow and impress future clients, but it can help make your employees look forward to their time in the office. While not all office spaces will have exactly what you and your employees desire, creating a space everyone can enjoy will have positive effects on the productivity of your employees and promote overall happiness in the office. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant venture, but there are variables you should consider when choosing your new office location and environment.

Research Locations

When deciding on a new office space, it’s vital you research locations as much as you can. Finding a central location may be preferable, but is it affordable and practical for the size of your business? Deciding on an office that’s perfect for 50 employees is pointless if you only employ five. You should also take into account where your employees will commute from, and where your clients will travel from. For those who drive, finding an office location with a large parking lot will make sure they can commute easily to work and park their vehicle in a secure and safe spot. However, for those who rely on public transport, when they’re job searching, they will ultimately try to find somewhere that’s easy for them to get to on the local bus or train routes. The location will also depend on what sort of office you are after. If you need a warehouse alongside your office building, premises that are on the outskirts of a large town or city will be more affordable than those in the middle. If you are a small firm, it may be worthwhile looking into renting an affordable office in a larger complex rather than embarking on an office block by yourself.

Research Local Amenities

Not only is the location important for your future clients and employees, but you should consider your employees’ needs. Not only does commuting have to be taken into account, but what amenities are available by the new location should also be considered. Employees and clients alike will look favorably on a location which has good links to local shops and cafes, especially for their lunch options. If your new office location is in the middle of an industrial estate with no stores nearby, it may be difficult for employees to buy affordable lunches, especially if they don’t drive and have to catch a bus into the city center.

Be Realistic

You may dream of an office building that provides fun for your employees, such as a slide from the top floor to bottom, an onsite gym and an onsite café, but this isn’t realistic for a vast number of businesses, especially if you’re a small firm. It’s important to keep in mind your budget and what is practical. There are a variety of ways to find exactly what you’re after on a tight budget and create a space to impress and keep your employees happy.

Furnish To Your Exact Standards

Once you’ve researched and found your perfect location and budgeted for it, it’s time to begin furnishing. Even if you’re on a shoe-string budget, there are solutions to ensure you get the right quality equipment for a great price. You could look into buying ‘preloved’ items such as desks, chairs, and any added furniture you may need, like chairs and tables in the employee kitchen and furniture in the reception area for future clients to use while they are waiting. Furnishing can also apply to items such as kettles and cutlery for your employees to use on their breaks. If the budget allows, you could also consider landscaping of your office building outside. This may mean planting trees or flowers, as both will increase the attractiveness and welcome of your building.

Keep It Clean & Tidy

Hiring an external cleaning firm for your office block will take the pressure of your current employees and will also mean your reception area where you greet clients will be presentable at all times. However, you should try to encourage employees to keep their own work areas clean and tidy, as this will create a sense of respect in where they work. You shouldn’t forget about the outside space when keeping your office premise clean and tidy. While clients may not see your employee parking lot, your employees certainly will and having to park their vehicle in a dirty and messy space won’t put them in the best mood! You can hire an external company to maintain your landscape and parking lot, or you can learn more about purchasing your own parking lot sweeper.

Create Designated Sections

It’s important to create designated areas within your new office space to allow your clients and employees to separate work from their breaks. Having a dedicated kitchen area can give employees a break from their desk, while creating a professional waiting area for clients will impress them before they have even met you. If you have space, you should consider creating a ‘break room’ for employees, perhaps with comfy chairs and sofas, where they can socialize and relax with their fellow workmates. You should also create dedicated meeting rooms within the office to ensure employees and clients have private areas to discuss business.

Decorate Accordingly

Decorating doesn’t have to mean loud wallpaper, bright carpets and multicolored desks. It can be something as simple as clean white walls, a clean neutral carpet and uniformed desks. The decorating of your office space should promote a calm working environment, rather than a busy, frantic environment. Your reception waiting area should also reflect your professional and calm demeanor, while being engaging and inviting. This could be a place where you decorate with the achievements and success your company has enjoyed. It could also be a place where you inject your company’s color scheme, whether that’s a bright pink and white, or green and red. While this doesn’t mean you paint the walls bright pink, it could mean you use accent cushions on the sofa or ensure you have fresh flowers waiting in the reception area.

Coping with Workspace Envy, What to do when your workspace options are limited

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have table-sized touchscreen tablets like they do at Microsoft? Or to work in colorful open spaces like Airbnb’s new headquarters in San Francisco?

For many companies, budgets are tight and options are limited — so there’s no way you can purchase funky new furniture let alone do something like put a mini-basketball court in a meeting room. Your company isn’t about to move. So what can you do?


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About the Author

Carol KeoghCarol Keogh, President and CEO, ESI Ergonomic Solutions. As President and Chief Executive Officer of ESI Ergonomic Solutions, Ms. Keogh oversees the production of innovative, high-quality ergonomic work tools that contribute to improving employee productivity and well-being. Named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Ms. Keogh currently serves on the BIFMA Board of Directors.

What Your Office Says About Your Company (And Why You Should Care)

If there is one thing we have learned through the economic twists and turns of the past decade, it is that people make our companies run. Even at the depths of the economic downturn with the high unemployment rate of 9.9 percent, there were 3.8 million jobs in the US that went unfilled for more than six months and that problem only gets worse as unemployment drops. Consequently, attracting and retaining high quality employees is ‘job one’ in 2014. Is it any wonder that CEO’s and their HR departments, are scanning the horizon for any new idea to help fill those positions? Enter stage left, the open office concept.

The open office concept has its detractors and there is actually much to be said for the traditional office with its spaces for privacy, learning, and focused work, but an open office strategy, when thoughtfully deployed can create environments that support employee attraction and retention.


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About the Author

Kristine WoolseyKristine Woolsey is a business strategist, speaker, and author. She is a transition specialist, helping organizations reshape themselves during times of change including mergers, extreme growth, and adaption to today’s changing workplace. She works at the intersection of organizational behavior, brand alignment, and facilities. She guides leaders to understand the power of leveraging natural behavior patterns using research based strategies with measurable results.

Kristine was trained as an architect and then moved into the business arena. Now, she teaches and speaks about the future of work and behavioral strategy to groups and conferences nationally. Kristine consults for medium to large companies, helping business leaders use behavioral strategies to adjust their value proposition, identity/brand, organization structure, and facilities to create the most direct path through any organizational transformation. For more information visit: www.kristinewoolsey.com.