Fitting Furniture to Your Needs

Chair and DeskWhen purchasing new office furniture, remember that it will get a lot of use.  For a comfortable, productive work environment, it makes sense to choose furniture based on your specific needs, and we can help.  When you select pieces tailored for yourspecific situation, you will find that your furniture is comfortable, beneficial to productivity, and it will fit in your life like a glove.  The best office furniture is that which you barely notice as you move through your day; that means it’s working right for you.

Most modern jobs require people to sit down all day in a chair at a desk, perhaps in front of a computer.  While this can be a relaxing lifestyle, it also has a few drawbacks.  These can include muscle aches, back problems, and other health issues related to sitting for long periods and repetitive motion.  We at Innovative Office Designs have experience in finding the proper chair for your needs and your typical work conditions.  For example, we can supply you with ergonomically-designed furniture that will reduce the incidence of common work-related health problems.

If you need a flexible work environment that you can change easily to fit the day’s needs, consider lighter-weight modular furniture.  These styles focus less on panel systems and more on lightweight tables and desks, commonly with casters on the legs.

Before deciding on a final layout, be sure that each piece has a purpose.  Removing unnecessary elements will give you more open space and reduce clutter.  Another space-saving measure is to make digital copies of your important paperwork and move file cabinets to less-frequently used, out of the way areas of your work environment.

On the other hand, make sure you have the storage necessary for your files, books, extra office supplies, and other necessities.  Plan for the future as well; nothing causes clutter to pile up faster than finding you don’t have enough storage space for new materials.  Be sure that your frequently-used supplies are easily at hand, and reserve bottom shelves and back cabinets for less frequently-needed materials.

Of course, we know that a prime consideration when purchasing new office furniture is price.  It is sometimes more important to have the right furniture than it is to have the newest designs, and on other occasions it is important to have snappy-looking furniture to impress your clients.  In any circumstance, we can help you fit the furniture you need into the budget you have.  If you are in Portland, Salem, Eugene, or surrounding areas of Oregon, Contact us for advice or a quote on your project, and get a little peace of mind.

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Modern Office Furniture for Image, Style and Functionality

A place of work is more than a space filled with tables and chairs, it’s an environment where people interact and work on a daily basis. For this reason, you need to ensure that the workplace offers the style, comfort and functionality that promote productivity and well being. It also needs to reflect the image and values of your organisation. One key way to achieve this is through providing the right modern office furniture.

The provision of the right office furniture has a major impact on the quality of your working environment. It is a place where you and your employees spend a large proportion of your lives. As such, if the environment is comfortable, worker morale and thus productivity will benefit.

The exact requirements of office furniture will depend on the type and size of the organisation. But at the very least you need to provide comfortable and functional office chairs and office desks.

When if comes to office chairs, you can choose from operator chairs, task chairs, mesh chairs and there are also back care chairs which helps people avoid back problems. Desks also come in a variety of styles such L-shaped and U-shaped desks and those designed to hold computers, keyboards and other peripherals. It’s critical you provide your employees with the right type of desk that allows them to carry out their daily tasks with comfort and efficiency.

Another factor that influences the atmosphere of your office is the layout. If you have an open plan office, for example, you can maximise efficiency through the judicious use of room dividers and office screens. These can help create a sense of privacy while retaining the informal, open feel that allows employees to interact and work together conveniently. Folding screens can be used for temporary set ups. It’s also beneficial to put up notice boards to keep employees informed about what’s happening in the organisation.

You also need to think about there to keep the myriad items every office needs. Every smooth running office requires effective office storage to keep office supplies safely and conveniently. Modern office storage units comprise shelves and cabinets in stylish designs.

Other than office furniture to carry out daily tasks, most organisations need facilities for meetings and conferences. Meetings are key regular events in most operations and they require provision of items such as conference tables and chairs. Other than meeting tables and conference chairs, you also need accessories for communication and presentation such as whiteboards.

Different types of operation need different types of furniture. If you run a school, for example, the right classroom table is essential to equip the classroom to encourage learning. If you have to give a lot of sales presentations, then you’ll need items such as display panels that allow you effectively get your message across.

Other than functionality, another key reason for choosing quality modern office furniture is the way it impacts the image of your business to outsiders. These people include potential new clients, customers, partners and employees so it’s critical you project a favourable impression from the outset.

An important example here is your reception area. The first area visitors to your office see is your reception area so it’s essential to make a good first impression. Everything from the style of the reception counter to the comfort of the reception seating will contribute to the visitor’s overall evaluation.

Prospective new employees, for example, won’t be impressed by a company that’s happy to use shabby, old furniture. And potential clients will develop an idea of the quality of your service based on their initial assessment of the condition of your premises.

A proper working environment provides workers with the comfort and functionality they need to carry out their work to their best of their abilities. It also demonstrates your commitment to them and to the organisation. In this regard, investing in modern office furniture is one of the smartest moves you can make.

One great thing about modern office furniture is that it needn’t be expensive. By ordering from Innovative Office Designs, you can not only select from a wide range of items, but you’ll also get the keenest prices for all types of furniture and related supplies. Even better, we will gladly handle planning and installation if you so choose.

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Is it you or the chair?

Aches and pains might be the result of the chair you sit in, but could they also be a result of how you’re sitting?  Ergonomics – and especially the design of your chair – is a very important consideration when working on a daily basis, but posture and technique play an equally important role and should not be overlooked.  Here is a checklist to help analyze your current ergonomic environment.

Posture:

  • Are you sitting against the back of your chair while at work?
  • Is your head/neck upright and centered over your shoulders?
  • Are your shoulders relaxed when keying and using the mouse?
  • Are your elbows bent at a 110 degree angle when using keyboard or pointer?
  • Do you use a headset rather than cradling he phone between your head and shoulder?

Work Techniques:

  • Are you using a light touch to type?
  • Do you avoid leaning on the wrist rest while keying or mousing?
  • Are you holding your mouse in a relaxed position?
  • Have you set up your work to encourage alternating sitting and standing?
  • Do you know how to adjust your keyboard tray and chair?
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Office Furniture Considerations

Things to consider when purchasing your office furniture:

  • Space Planning - Asking key questions can help you order furniture that’s best for your workspace. Will the furniture you want fit into the space you have? What type of furniture is best for your type of work? Will you need to move your furniture in the future? You can answer these questions during the ordering process.
  • Budget Planning - Matching your furniture choices with your budget can be a challenge. You’ll often get the most for your money by working with a designer during the ordering process. If you are not sure of your budget, ask for a budgetary quote before obtaining an order-ready quote. Never assume that design fees will be included; be sure to ask the designer about charges for all services.
  • Ergo-nomics - Office furniture is something you’ll use every workday for a very long time. It has a substantial effect on employee comfort and safety. That’s why it’s so important to consider ergonomics when purchasing furniture. Explore this topic with your designer for great tips and suggestions on choosing ergonomically correct furniture.
  • Furniture Quality - The quality of furniture varies among manufacturers, and cost is directly related to quality. When you buy furniture for your business, it should be a commercial or institutional grade so it can withstand the daily use in your workplace. Products designed for home office use are generally not acceptable for commercial applications.
  • Installation and Warranty – Make sure that the company you hire to install your furniture is fully insured to cover any damages that may happen to either the furniture or your property. Try to use a local company in case a quick call back is needed. Ask for references. Make sure that you receive a packet with all warranty information on every thing purchased to eliminate any confusion as to replacement or repair.
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Ergo-What?

We’ve all done it: sat in front of a computer so long our eyes hurt, we have a headache, or our wrist hurts. When that happens, we know two things: 1) we’ve got to get away from the computer and 2) we’ve become the victim of poor ergonomics. What are ergonomics?

According to the Wikipedia, “Ergonomics is the science of designing the job, equipment, and workplace to fit the worker. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability.” Whow, long-term disability? From working on a computer? It’s a sad reality, but yes, you can do permanent damage with repetitive stress and motion injuries by working on a computer for an extended period of time with poor ergonomics.

There are a whole host of consultants who are willing and able to help you get your work area set up to reduce the impact that poor ergonomics can have on you. And if you’re already injured, it’s best to consult one of them to make sure you get the exact right setup. But for those of us who aren’t currently hurt and just want to make sure we don’t get hurt, the Washington Department of Labor and Industries has a very good video on how to adjust your computer workstation here.

So quit reading this blog and start adjusting your workstation! You owe it to yourself!

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Eco-Friendly Furniture

There’s a lot of hype these days about Eco-Friendly furniture. But what does Eco-Friendly really mean? As you can imagine, there are a variety of definitions – made from natural materials, made without harmful chemicals, and/or made with respect for the natural resources it was harvested from. So what’s a eco-conscious consumer to do?

The Sustainable Furniture Council (yea, I know, can you believe there is one?) made some suggestions a few months ago that are worth considering when eco-conscious consumers look for furniture.

1. Where does the wood come from?

Look for wood legally harvested from responsibly managed forests.

2. Is the wood certified by a third party?

Some groups monitor standards for environmental sensitivity. Examples include the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

3. Is the manufacturer working to reduce energy use?

Look for companies that are working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

4. Where was this furniture made?

You know about reducing “carbon miles” for your food. Consider it for your furniture, as well. Seek out products made close to home, using raw materials from within 500 miles.

5. Were any high Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) finishes used on this product?

VOC’s are harmful pollutants from certain types of wood finishes such as varnishes and lacquers that are released during the manufacturing process and into your home. Water-based finishes are the best choice for low or no VOCs.

Associated Press

So there you have it, enough information to make your salesman squirm the next time you’re shopping for eco-conscious furniture. Go ahead – have fun and save the environment while you’re at it.

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