Mike Harley

President at Office Chairs Unlimited – I have been in the furniture industry for over 20 years, and I'm an expert (just ask me) on all things furniture. I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two.

Nov 142019
 

Is your office workstation interfering with your productivity? Whether you work in a commercial office or a home office, you’ll probably spend most of your time at your workstation. If it’s not properly set up, it could hinder your ability to work while also contributing to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). You can avoid these problems, however, by following these 12 tips when setting up your workstation.

#1) Choose an Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse

Choose an ergonomic keyboard and mouseDon’t assume that all computer keyboards and mouses are made equal. Generic models generally lack both the features and ergonomic design of their premium counterparts. If you’re still using a generic keyboard and mouse, consider upgrading to a premium keyboard and mouse with an ergonomic design.

An ergonomic keyboard has a curved design in which the rows of keys are slightly angled rather than horizontal, whereas an ergonomic mouse is slightly raised so that you can hold and use it naturally. Ergonomic computer peripherals such as these reduce stress on your wrists to protect against carpal tunnel syndrome and related repetitive stress injuries.

#2) Place Keyboard and Mouse on Slide-Out Tray

If your desk has a slide-out tray, you should use this surface for your computer keyboard and mouse. Placing your keyboard and mouse directly on your desk won’t necessarily hurt your wrists, nor will it contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, but it may cause eyestrain.

For optimal and strain-free viewing, your eyes should be roughly parallel to the top of your computer monitor. When your keyboard and mouse are placed directly on your desk, you’ll probably have to look down at your monitor, which may lead to eyestrain. A slide-out tray allows you to maintain an appropriate height at your workstation in which your eyes are parallel to the uppermost edge of your computer monitor.

#3) Upgrade Your Office Chair

Upgrade your office chairAccording to a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University, roughly half of all workers suffer from back pain. Not surprisingly, rates of back pain are higher among office workers than workers in other industries or sectors. When you sit in place for up to eight hours a day, you may develop back pain. This is because sitting increases pressure on your intervertebral discs 300% more than that of standing.

To create an ergonomic workstation that promotes productivity and discourages back pain, you must invest in a high-quality office chair.

Here are a few tips to follow when upgrading your office chair:

  • Consider the fabric and whether it’s able to withstand heavy use.
  • Make sure the office chair has adequate lumbar support for your lower back.
  • Choose an office chair with armrests that can be raised or lowered.
  • A high-quality office chair should also feature an adjustable height.
  • Choose an office chair with rolling wheels, known as casters.
  • For maximum comfort, choose an office chair with a reclining backrest.
  • Check the manufacturer’s warranty before purchasing.
  • Avoid purchasing a used or secondhand office chair and, instead, stick with a new model.

#4) Use a Chair Mat for Carpeted Floors

If your office workstation has carpeted floors, consider using a chair mat. Why do you need a chair mat for carpeted floors exactly? Well, it’s difficult to roll an office chair across carpet. Depending on the thickness of the carpet, you may be forced to physically lift and move your office chair. A chair mat solves this problem by creating a smooth and flat surface on which you can roll your office chair.

Chair mats feature a heavy-duty plastic construction, with one side of the mat consisting of a smooth and flat surface, and the other side consisting of spikes. To use a chair mat, place the spiked side down into your carpet so that the smooth and flat smooth is visible on top. You can then place your office chair directly on the mat’s smooth and flat surface, allowing you to move around your workstation with greater ease.

#5) Install a Document Holder

A document holder is an invaluable tool for a productive office workstation. As the name suggests, it’s designed to hold one or more documents. Without a document holder, you’ll have to lay documents flat on your desk. Of course, it’s difficult to view documents for long periods of time in this position. Using a document holder, though, you can place documents next to your computer monitor, allowing you to read them more quickly and with greater ease.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), document holders can “reduce or eliminate” MSD risk factors like fatigue, eyestrain, and awkward postures. Considering that document holders are available for as little as $10, most office workers will agree that it’s a smart investment. Granted, you won’t be able to write on a document holder, but you will be able to comfortably read documents using this innovative office accessory. As a result, a document holder can increase the speed at which you read paper documents.

#6) Personalize Your Workstation With Decorations

personalize your workstationPersonalizing your office workstation with decorations does more than just improve its aesthetics. Research cited by Psychology Today found that workers are more productive in personalized workstations than generic, non-personalized workstations. It’s unknown exactly how or why personalized workstations promote productivity, but the evidence is clear: Workers tend to produce more work in less time if personalized environments that are unique to their respective personal identity.

Here are some different ways to personalize your office workstation:

  • Add framed photos of family members.
  • Create and display your own artwork.
  • Display collectibles of personal interest.
  • Integrate one or more small potted plants into the décor.
  • Show off your favorite coffee mug.
  • If you have personalized business cards, display them on your desk.
  • Display your work-related goals and objectives.
  • Create a to-do list.
  • Add color to your workstation.

#7) Increase Lighting

Increase LightingThe amount of lighting in your workstation can affect your productivity. If your workstation is poorly lit, you may struggle to read text on your computer monitor as well as text on paper documents. Studies have even shown a direct correlation between workplace lighting and productivity and well-being. Therefore, you must ensure your office workstation has adequate lighting.

Overhead lighting alone isn’t always enough to fully illuminate an office workstation. It can certainly help, but in many cases, you’ll need a supplemental source of lighting. Task lighting is particularly effective for office workstations because of its ability to provide direct, controlled lighting. By definition, the term “task lighting” refers to any lamp or light fixture that provides illumination for a specific task. In offices, task lighting generally consists of adjustable table lamps. If you’re writing a document, you can adjust the lamp so that it shines directly on your desk where you are writing.

#8) Place Telephone Within Arm’s Reach

If you regularly use a telephone – not your smartphone – in your line of work, place it within arm’s reach at your office workstation. If you’re forced to roll to the opposite end of your workstation to access the telephone, you’ll waste a substantial amount of time that could be used for other, more productive tasks. For an ideal office workstation, the telephone should be within arm’s reach, meaning you can grab it without moving your chair or body. By keeping the telephone close by, you’ll be able to answer and place calls more quickly.

#9) Adjust Chair Height

Regardless of which office chair you use, you’ll need to adjust the height to achieve a comfortable and ergonomic sitting position. If your chair is too low, it will stress your knees and thighs. If it’s too high, it will stress your spine. So, how high should you adjust your office chair for maximum comfort?

A good rule of thumb is to raise or lower your office chair until your thighs are parallel with the floor and your legs are perpendicular to the floor. In other words, your thighs and legs should create a 90-degree angle when you are sitting. Assuming your office chair features an adjustable height, you should be able to raise or lower it accordingly. Some office chairs have a lever that, when engaged, will raise or lower the chair. If you’re sitting in the chair and engage the lever, it will lower. If you’re not sitting in the chair and engage the lever, it will raise. Known as the actuator lever, it’s almost always found underneath the seat on the right side.

#10) Place Monitor Directly in Front

ergonomic workstationDon’t overlook the importance of proper monitor placement at your office workstation. If you’re only using a single computer monitor, you should place it directly in front of your body. As previously mentioned, your eyes should be parallel to the top of your monitor. However, this is only useful if your monitor is directly in front of your body. If your monitor is to the left or right, you’ll have to turn your neck to view it. And if you work in front of a computer for multiple consecutive hours a day, this could lead to neck pain. Placing your monitor directly in front of your body allows for a natural and relaxed viewing experience that doesn’t strain your neck.

Not all office workers use a single computer monitor, though. In recent years, many office workers have upgraded their workstation to include two monitors. According to Business.com, workers are roughly 20% to 30% more productive when using two monitors rather than just one. If you currently use two monitors, or if you’re planning to use two monitors in the near future, position them in front of your body an angle. Both monitors should be angled inwards at the center. When looking forward, you should see the sides of both monitors. With this format, you’ll only have to turn your head slightly to view the monitors.

#11) Run Cables Through Desk Grommets

Is your office workstation cluttered with cables? While the advent of Wi-Fi has led to fewer cables in the modern office, most workstations still have about a half-dozen cables. All of these cables can create a chaotic and cluttered environment that consumes valuable space at your workstation.

The good news is that most office desks now feature pre-cut holes and passages through which you can run cables. Known as grommets, they offer an effective and discreet solution for excessive cables. Rather than running cables across the top of your desk, for example, you can run them through a grommet. The grommet is simply a piece of material that’s affixed to an opening in a desk.

Desk grommets are available in several styles. Some have a U-shaped opening, whereas others have a circular-shaped opening. The material in which grommets are made also varies. You’ll find grommets made of wood, plastic, and even metal. Feel free to experiment with different grommets to determine which works best at your office workstation. You can typically swap out your desk’s current grommet with a new grommet of similar size and shape.

#12) Add a File Cabinet

No office workstation is complete without a file cabinet. Depending on its size, as well as the size of the paper, a typical file cabinet can store between 2,000 to 4,000 sheets of paper. More importantly, it allows you to neatly categorize your documents so that you can find and access them more quickly in the future.

Before purchasing a file cabinet, determine exactly where you want to place it. You may not have the luxury of using a full-size file cabinet. If you work at a small cubicle, for instance, you may have to settle for a smaller, half-sized file cabinet – but that’s okay. Even small file cabinets can prove invaluable for office workstations.

If you’re worried that your file cabinet will tip over, choose a file cabinet with built-in counterweights. Counterweights are designed to weigh down the file cabinet at the bottom, thus making it difficult to tip over. Another feature to consider when shopping for a file cabinet is a locking mechanism. With a locking mechanism, you can safeguard your important documents from theft and tampering.

Oct 222019
 

As an office worker, you probably know the importance of using a comfortable and ergonomic office chair. It will allow you to work at your desk or cubicle for long periods of time without stressing your spine. Statistics show that up to 38% of office workers will experience back pain in any given year. Using a high-quality office chair, however, you’ll minimize stress on your spine and, therefore, protect yourself from back pain. But if you’re going to invest in a high-quality office chair, you’ll need to clean and maintain it.

Vacuum Dust and Debris

Once every few weeks, clean your office chair using the wand attachment of a vacuum cleaner. Assuming the wand attachment has a smooth surface, it should suction up most particulate matter without harming your office chair. Just turn the vacuum cleaner to a “low suction” setting, after which you can run the wand attachment across the seat, backrest and armrests.

Regardless of what type of office chair you own, vacuuming it on a regular basis will help extend its useful life. The wand attachment will suction stubborn dust and debris that could otherwise degrade your office chair and send it to an early grave.

Look for an Upholstery Tag

Look for an upholstery tag underneath your office chairIf you haven’t done so already, look for an upholstery tag on your office chair. Although there are exceptions, most office chairs have an upholstery tag. Also known as a care tag or care label, it features instructions from the manufacturer on how to clean the office chair. Different office chairs are made of different fabrics, so you’ll need to check the upholstery tag to determine the safest, most effective way to clean them.

You can usually find the upholstery tag underneath the seat of an office chair. Once you’ve located it, check to see whether it contains a cleaning code. Cleaning codes consist of one or two letters that reflect the best way to clean the office chair’s fabric.

Here’s a breakdown of the different cleaning codes used in upholstery tags and their corresponding definition:

  • W: The most common cleaning code used in upholstery tags, W means the office chair should be cleaned with water or a water-based product.
  • S: If the upholstery tag has the S cleaning code, you’ll need to clean your office chair with a water-free solvent. Office chairs made of organic fabrics like cotton, wool or rayon may damage when exposed to water, which is why manufacturers generally recommend the use of a water-free solvent.
  • W/S: As you may have guessed, the W/S cleaning code indicates that the office chair can be cleaned using either a water-based product or a solvent.
  • X: Finally, the X cleaning code means the office chair should be cleaned by vacuuming or brushing only. Using a water-based cleaning product or a solvent may damage your office chair if it features this cleaning code.

In the event your office chair doesn’t have an upholstery tag, you can check the owner’s manual for instructions on how to clean your office chair. If an office chair doesn’t have an upholstery tag, it should come with an owner’s manual featuring similar cleaning and maintenance instructions.

Spot Clean Using Soap and Warm Water

Unless otherwise stated on the upholstery tag – or in the owner’s manual – you can spot clean your office chair using soap and warm water. If you discover a superficial smudge or blemish on your office chair, blot the stained area with a damp washcloth, along with a small amount of liquid soap, until it comes clean.

You don’t need to use any special type of soap to clean your office chair. Just use a gentle-formula dish soap. After running a clean washcloth under running water, place a few drops of dish soap on it. Next, blot – don’t scrub – the stained area or areas of your office chair. Blotting is important because it will pull the stain-causing compounds out of the fabric. If you scrub the stain, you’ll inadvertently work the stain-causing compounds deeper into the fabric. So, remember to blot your office chair when spot cleaning it.

Test Stain-Removing Products in a Discreet Area

While soap and warm water should make quick work of superficial stains on an office chair, you’ll need a stronger cleaning solution for stubborn stains. There are a variety of stain-removing products available on the market, many of which contain powerful cleaning chemicals. But if you’re thinking about using one of these products, you should test it in a discreet area of your office chair.

Don’t just apply the stain-removing product to your entire office chair. Rather, test it in a discreet area that’s difficult to see. Doing so allows you to see how the product affects your office chair. You can test a stain-removing product underneath the seat of your office chair, for example. Hopefully this doesn’t happen, but if the product leaves a permanent stain, it won’t be visible.

Whether you’re planning to use a store-bought stain-removing product on your office chair or a natural stain-removing product, such as vinegar, you should test in a discreet area. As long as the product doesn’t damage or permanently alter the fabric, you can proceed to it elsewhere on your office chair.

Apply Conditioner to Leather

An example of a leather office chair

If you have a leather office chair, you should condition it once every few months to prevent it from drying out. There are different types of leather, some of which includes full grain, corrected grain and split. Full-grain leather is the highest quality, whereas corrected grain is the second-highest quality. All types of natural leather, however, have a porous surface that’s able to absorb and hold moisture.

If you inspect natural leather under a microscope, you’ll see countless holes on the surface. Also known as pores, these holes are responsible for keeping the leather moist. As moisture settles on the surface of a leather office chair, it will sink into its pores, thereby preventing the leather from drying out. Over time, however, moisture will evaporate from the pores. If left unaddressed, the leather will then peel or even crack open.

You can protect your leather office chair from such damage by applying a conditioner to it. Leather conditioners like mink oil and saddle soap are designed to hydrate leather. They contain water, as well as other ingredients, that hydrate and protect leather from dryness-related damage. When you apply a conditioner to your leather office chair, you’ll hydrate it so that it doesn’t dry out.

Here are some other tips on how to maintain a leather office chair:

  • Use caution to ensure that you don’t spill any beverages or other liquids on your leather office chair.
  • Maintain a relative humidity of 40% to 55% in your office. If the humidity is lower than 40%, your leather office chair may dry out. If it’s higher than 55%, on the other hand, it may become saturated with an excess amount of moisture.
  • Don’t condition your leather office chair more than once every few months. Over-conditioning leather will saturate it with too much moisture.
  • Consider using a leather protectant product. Not to be confused with conditioners, protectants are designed to add a protective layer over the surface of leather.
  • Don’t place your leather office chair directly in front of a heater or air vent.

Clean and Lubricate Casters

Clean and Lubricate CastersIf your office chair has casters, you’ll need to clean and lubricate them to keep the chair rolling smoothly. Casters are the housing units in which an office chair’s wheels are mounted. The wheels themselves are made of a variety of materials, some of which include plastic, rubber, steel, aluminum, cast iron and polyurethane. In comparison, the housing units are almost always made of some type of metal.

New office chairs typically roll smoothly and with little or no resistance. But if you’ve been using the same office chair for a year or longer, you may struggle to roll it across the floor because of debris buildup inside the casters.

To clean the casters, flip your office chair upside down and pull out any lint, hair or debris from inside the wheel housing units. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to suction excess debris out of the casters, or you can use canned air to blast debris out of the casters.

After thoroughly cleaning the casters on your office chair, apply a lubricant like WD-40. Just spray a small amount of lubricant into each housing unit, at which point your office chair should roll more smoothly. Try to get into the habit of cleaning and lubricate the casters on your office chair at least once every six months.

Tighten Fasteners

Of course, you should also inspect and tighten the fasteners on your office chair as well. Whether your office chair features screws or bolts (or both), they may come loose if you don’t tighten them on a regular basis. And if a fastener is loose, your office chair won’t be stable.

Refer to the owner’s manual to identify the location of all fasteners. Some office chairs only have a few fasteners, whereas others have dozens of fasteners. After identifying the location of your office chair’s fasteners, use a screwdriver to tighten them.

To tighten a fastener, turn the screwdriver to the right. You can loosen a fastener, on the other hand, by turning it to the left. An easy way to remember which direction to turn a fastener is “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.”

Replace Gas Cylinder

Office chair cylinderDoes your office chair sink back down to the floor immediately after you raise it? If so, you may need to replace the gas cylinder. Adjustable-height office chairs typically feature a gas cylinder that’s responsible for creating pneumatic lift. Inside this cylinder is pressurized nitrogen gas that’s able to lift and hold the office chair at an elevated height.

If the gas cylinder on your office chair is leaking or otherwise faulty, you won’t be able to raise it. The good news is that you can easily replace most gas cylinders. Just flip your office chair upside down, use a screwdriver to remove the current gas cylinder and replace it with a new gas cylinder of the same size and type. Once installed, try raising your office chair to see if the new gas cylinder works.

Keep Away From Direct Sunlight

It’s a good idea to keep your office chair away from direct sunlight. Ultraviolet (UV) sunlight can degrade most fabrics and materials, including those used in the construction of office chairs. It doesn’t happen overnight. But if an office chair is exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged period, it may fade and dry out.

You don’t have to work in a pitch-black office to protect your office chair from sun-related damage. Instead, consider placing your office chair in an area that’s mostly shaded during the day. You can also adjust the blinds or curtains so that they are only partially closed, thereby restricting the amount of sunlight to which your office chair is exposed. By taking these simple precautions, you can rest assured knowing that your office chair won’t fade or dry out due to sun exposure.

Replace When Necessary

Even with regular cleaning and maintenance, you may still need to replace your office chair. According to one report, the average life expectancy of an office chair is between seven to 15 years. If your office chair is damaged or degraded beyond the point of repair, you should go ahead and replace it.

A high-quality office chair made by a reputable brand should come with a warranty. If any of the components break during the warranty period, the manufacturer will pay to repair or replace it. Always look for a warranty when purchasing an office chair, as this indicates the manufacturer is confident in its product.

After investing in a new office chair, though, remember to follow these cleaning and maintenance tips. Doing so will help protect it from premature failure. At the same time, a well-maintained office chair will provide you with a superior level of comfort when working.

Aug 262019
 

When searching for an office in which to run your small business, you may come across coworking office spaces. Not to be confused with shared offices, they’ve become increasingly popular in recent years. According to a report published by AllWork, the number of coworking office spaces in the United States increased by 16% and globally by 36% in 2018. To determine if it’s right for your small business, though, you must first understand how a coworking office space works.

What Is a Coworking Office Space?

Coworking office spaceA coworking office space is a community-centric office in which multiple freelancers and business owners – typically owners of small businesses and startups – operate. It’s called “coworking” because it offers a space in which freelancers and small business owners can work together to help each other achieve their respective goals.

The purpose of coworking office spaces is to create a sense of community for freelancers and small business owners. Statistics show there are roughly 22 million small business owners and 15.5 million freelancers in the United States. Unfortunately, many of these professionals are forced to work in isolated spaces where they experience little or no human interaction. A coworking office space solves this problem by cultivating and encouraging a socially driven community atmosphere.

A coworking office space usually has an owner or property manager who sells memberships to small business owners and freelancers. While pricing models vary, most involve a daily or monthly membership. To use a coworking office space, you simply sign up for a membership and pay the fee. As long as your membership is active, you can use the coworking office space to run your small business.

Even if your small business has a dozen or more employees, you can still run it from a coworking office space. You just need to purchase an additional membership for each employee who will use the space. Alternatively, some coworking office spaces sell subscription packages for multiple employees at a discount. You can scale up or scale down your subscription depending on your small business’s needs.

History of Coworking Office Spaces

While now common in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan, the concept of a coworking office space is still relatively new. According to TheAtlantic, they first appeared in San Francisco during the mid-2000s. After launching in The Golden State, coworking offices space were gradually adopted by other states and, eventually, other countries.

The concept of a multi-business working space was envisioned by American software engineer Brad Neuberg. As explained on his official website, Neuberg came up with the idea in order to solve a common problem encountered by freelancers and small businesses owners: a lack of community.

Neuberg enjoyed the freedom of working as a freelancer, but he missed the sense of community of working as an employee. This prompted the software engineer to develop the groundwork for the modern coworking office space.

Neuberg approached a friend he knew, Elena Auerbach, who worked at the Spiral Muse building in downtown San Francisco to inquire about setting up a coworking office space to sell to other freelancers and small business owners. Auerbach obliged under the condition that Neuberg pay $300 a month for two days per week usage. Neuberg’s coworking office space wasn’t an immediate success. After posting on Craigslist, he still didn’t attract any freelancers or small business owners to his coworking office space. With a more aggressive marketing strategy, though, he attracted his first member – and it wasn’t long before his coworking office space was filled with freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Coworking Office Space vs Shared Office

Coworking office spaceShared offices are often confused with coworking office spaces – and for good reason. Both models involve working in a space with other freelancers or small business owners. The difference, however, is that coworking office spaces emphasize community, whereas shared offices do not.

In a shared office, you’ll find the workstations are typically closed off from each other to provide privacy for the freelancers and small business owners who use them. You can still converse and communicate with other professionals in a shared office, but this generally isn’t encouraged. On the contrary, most members of a shared office focus on their own professional activities. They don’t interact with other professionals who are outside of their organization.

Most importantly, a coworking office space offers a community in which freelancers and small business owners are encouraged to interact with each other. Even though members have their own professional goals, they often communicate to share ideas, buy and sell services, ask for feedback and simply converse. You won’t find this type of social interaction in a shared office.

In short, coworking office spaces differ from shared offices in the following ways:

  • Coworking office spaces typically have an open layout, whereas shared offices have a closed or portioned layout.
  • Coworking office spaces encourage social interaction by creating a sense of community, whereas shared offices do not.
  • Coworking office spaces are usually larger than their shared office counterparts, meaning more freelancers and small business owners can use them.
  • Coworking office spaces are available through a daily or monthly membership, whereas shared offices are available through a lease.
  • Many coworking office spaces are part of a large network, so members can access multiple affiliated spaces. Shared office spaces, on the other hand, are not networked and usually consist of a single location.

Advantages of Coworking Office Space

Advantages of Coworking Office SpaceRunning your small business from a coworking office space offers several benefits, one of which is regular social interaction. According to a survey cited by Inc., nearly one in three small business owners feel isolated or lonely when working, compared to just 15% of non-entrepreneurial workers like employees or corporate executives. Considering that coworking office spaces often have dozens – sometimes 100 or more – members cohabiting the same space at any given time, you’ll be able to converse with other like-minded entrepreneurs if you run your small business here.

Depending on what your small business does exactly, you may be able to attract new customers by running it from a coworking office space. If you run a graphic design business, you can ask other members if they are interested in logo or business card design services. If you run a cybersecurity business, you can pitch antimalware services to other members. Practically all small businesses that operate in a business-to-business (B2B) niche can attract new customers by using a coworking office space. And even if your small business’s audience consists of consumers, you may still attract customers using this modern workspace.

You can save a substantial amount of money on your small business’s overhead expenses by choosing a coworking office space rather than a private office. With a private office, you’ll usually have to sign a lease, which can range from one to three years.  Not surprisingly, lease payments are exponentially more expensive than coworking membership payments. And if you decide to move your business, you may have to pay an early cancellation fee if you’re stuck in a lease. A coworking office space allows you to avoid these headaches by using a cheaper and more flexible membership-based payment system rather than a lease.

Coworking office spaces offer onsite amenities to members, some of which include Wi-Fi, printing, coffee, snacks, meeting rooms and more. While also available in shared offices, you won’t find these amenities offered in private offices. When running your small business from a private office, you’ll have to purchase and add these amenities yourself.

If you need feedback on a work-related project, you can ask another member of the coworking office space. Most members will gladly share their opinions; all you have to is ask. Of course, he or she may ask for your feedback in the future, so be sure to return the favor if the situation arises.

According to The Harvard Business Review (HBR), workers thrive in coworking office spaces because of their social atmosphere. Researchers found that workers are more efficient in workspaces where they are able to interact and converse with other people.

Disadvantages of Coworking Office Space

You cannot personalize your workstationLike with all workspaces, there are disadvantages to running your small business from a coworking office space. For example, you won’t have the freedom to personalize your workstation with your preferred furniture and decorations. Both coworking office spaces and private offices utilize a pool of workstations that are accessible to all its respective members.

Coworking office spaces don’t offer much privacy, which may be a concern for some small business owners. With their open design, you’ll hear other members talking and going about their day-to-day activities. If you’re easily distracted by noise, this may hinder your productivity and overall performance.

A potential disadvantage of coworking office spaces that’s often overlooked is increased proximity to competitors. If another member of the space operates in the same market or niche as your small business, some of your potential customers could choose his or her business rather than yours. This isn’t always a problem, as coworking office spaces often have a diverse group of members, but it’s still something to consider before purchasing a membership to a coworking office space.

You won’t have a dedicated business address when running your small business from a coworking office space. If a customer or potential customer asks for your small business’s address, you can’t give him or her the coworking office space’s address. Instead, you’ll have to use a different address, such as a Post Office (PO) box or virtual mailing address.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Coworking Office Space

There are a few important things to consider when choosing a coworking space. For starters, consider the location and its relation to your home. If it’s located 30 miles away – and the only way to access it is by driving down a heavily congested road – you’ll waste a lot of time commuting. By choosing a coworking office space that’s

It’s always a good idea to check out a coworking office space before purchasing a membership. Most owners and managers of coworking office spaces will allow you to take a tour of their facility at no cost. During the tour, pay attention to the way in which workstations are set up, how many members are using the space, whether or not the members are interacting with each other, and the amenities offered.

Don’t forget to check the hours of operation when choosing a coworking office space. Some coworking office spaces are only open to members during specific hours of the day, such as 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but others are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With a 24/7 coworking space, you won’t be restricted to running your small business during specific times. Whether it’s early in the morning or late at night, you can visit the space to perform business-related work.

Here are some tips on how to choose a coworking office space:

  • Consider the price of membership and whether it’s within your small business’s budget.
  • Choose a coworking office within a reasonable driving stance from your home.
  • Make sure the coworking office is secure. At minimum, it should feature some type of access control system, such as key, as well as video surveillance monitoring.
  • Read over the coworking office space’s rules. If they aren’t posted on the wall, ask the owner or property manager for a copy.
  • Inquire about whether or not the coworking office space is part of a larger network, and if it is, find out where the affiliated offices are located.
  • The coworking office space should be large enough to accommodate your small business while it grows.

In Conclusion

Research shows the number of coworking office spaces in the United States is increasing at a rate of roughly 16% per year. Unlike shared and private offices, they promote a sense of community, which the key factor driving their popularity. However, coworking office spaces offer both advantages and disadvantages to other types of offices, so you need to assess whether it’s a smart idea for your small business.

Jul 192019
 

When designing your company’s office, you should consider the way in which it impacts employees’ stress levels. According to a report by the American Psychological Association (APA), work is the leading cause of stress in the United States.

If your office is poorly designed and fails to offer a relaxing and enjoyable working environment, employees will likely experience greater stress. Over time, this can result in lower productivity levels, higher turnover rate, and even more on-the-job accidents. You can lower the risk of problems such as these, however, by creating a stress-free office for your employees.

Allow Employees to Personalize Workstations

Allow employees to personalize their workstation or cubicleWhether your office has 10 workstations or 100 workstations, you should allow – and even encourage – employees to personalize them. Research has shown that personalized office workstations typically result in higher employee satisfaction and well-being levels.

Personalized workstations create a stronger emotional connection to the respective employee. After personalizing their workstation with framed photos, stickers, and other decorations, the employee will have his or her own unique environment in which to work. Non-personalized workstations, on the other hand, project a bland and generic working environment that offers little or no emotional connection to employees.

Upgrade Workstations With Ergonomic Office Chairs

Upgrade Workstations With Ergonomic Office ChairsDon’t make the mistake of choosing cheap, low-quality office chairs for your employees’ workstations. It may allow you to save a couple bucks on your company’s furniture expenses, but it will cost your company later down the road in the form of highly stressed employees.

According to a report by the University of California, Berkeley, nearly two in three office workers experience pain or physical discomfort caused by sitting. Office jobs require workers to sit for multiple consecutive hours, with some office workers sitting for eight or more hours during a typical workday. If you use low-quality chairs in your workstations, your employees are more likely to experience pain or discomfort, which often leads to stress. Instead, choose high-quality office chairs featuring an ergonomic design.

Design a Dedicated Breakroom

Design a Dedicated BreakroomAssuming your office doesn’t already have one, design a dedicated breakroom where employees can go to drink beverages, eat snacks or meals, converse or simply relax while on break. It’s difficult – though not necessarily impossible – for employees to perform these activities at their workstation. And even if an employee can eat snacks or converse at their workstation, he or she would probably prefer the quieter and more relaxing environment of a dedicated breakroom.

To take full advantage of the stress-relieving benefits of a dedicated breakroom, consider the following tips:

  • Add small dining tables and chairs so that employees can comfortably eat and drink.
  • Invest in a coffee maker, ensuring that your breakroom is also supplied with plenty of coffee, creamer, sugar, alternative sweetener, stirring sticks, cups, and other related items.
  • If there’s enough space for it, add a large couch for increased relaxation.
  • Decorate the walls with bright, energy-invoking colors like yellow, red, aqua blue, lime green, or tangerine.
  • Encourage employees to label their name on any foods or beverages that they store in the breakroom.
  • Add magazines or board games to keep employees occupied until their break is over.
  • Ensure power outlets are easily accessible and not obstructed or concealed by furniture.
  • Ask your employees for input on what furniture or amenities they’d like to see in the breakroom.
  • Keep your breakroom clean and free of clutter.

Create a Health and Wellness Program

Create a Health and Wellness ProgramAnother way to promote a stress-free office is to create a health and wellness program. Also known simply as a workplace wellness program, a health and wellness program is a voluntary program that encourages employees to make smarter choices regarding their personal health, such as participating in group exercises, smoking cessation programs or nutrition course. In exchange for joining your company’s health and wellness program, you can reward employees with perks such as cheaper health insurance premiums, free exercise equipment, or free gift cards.

According to Forbes, 87% of employees want a healthier working environment – and one way to provide your employees with a healthier environment is to offer a health and wellness program. But not many companies put forth the effort to create and offer a health and wellness program. They assume it’s an unnecessary expense that doesn’t offer any real value.

Creating a health and wellness program, however, can offer several benefits for your company. Employees will feel happier and more energized, resulting in higher productivity levels. And because stress and health are directly connected, employees who participate in your company’s health and wellness program will likely experience lower stress levels.

Maintain a Comfortable Climate

Maintain a Comfortable ClimateWhat’s the average temperature in your office? If it’s abnormally hot or cold, it may create a stressful environment for your employees. Employees can add or remove layers of clothing while working, but this isn’t always enough to beat excessively hot or cold office temperatures. If an employee becomes uncomfortably hot or cold, his or her stress levels will rise. So, at what temperature should you set the thermostat in your office?

There’s a growing debate over what’s the “ideal” office temperature. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) states that 68 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit is an ideal range for a comfortable and safe working environment, whereas a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University found that higher temperatures can yield better results for employers and their employees. Specifically, Cornell University researchers discovered that raising the office temperature from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit resulted in 44% higher typing accuracy.

While 77 degrees Fahrenheit may sound pretty toasty, it may prove beneficial for employees who perform data entry work. With that said, it’s probably best to start at a lower temperature of around 73 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and depending on feedback from your employees, either raise or lower it to achieve a comfortable climate that eliminates stress and promotes productivity.

Embrace Employee Recognition

Employee recognition is a key concept used by many of the leading Fortune 500 companies to retain talent. It’s a broad term that refers to acknowledging, or recognizing an employee’s hard work. Statistics show that nearly two in three employees who work at a company without an employee recognition program aren’t satisfied with their job. And with low job satisfaction, these employees tend to be more stressed than their counterparts who work at companies with an employee recognition program.

There are different ways to structure an employee recognition program. You can create an employee-of-the-month program, for example, in which a single hardworking employee each month is honored and rewarded. If your company’s operations revolve around sales, you can recognize the top-selling employee each week.

Alternatively, you can create a more informal employee recognition program that involves recognizing each of your company’s hardworking employees in person. Regardless, you should show your appreciation to these employees by thanking them for their exceptional work ethics. By embracing employee recognition, employees won’t feel like their hard work is going unnoticed. As a result, they’ll feel more relaxed and less stressed.

Reduce Noise Levels

Reduce Noise Levels to Create Less StressFrequent exposure to loud noise can, not surprisingly, contribute to stress. If your office suffers from constant loud noise, it will distract workers from their job while causing their stress levels to increase in the process. According to an Oxford Economics study, 63% of employees say there are distracted by loud noise. It’s nearly impossible to create a silent office, but there are ways to reduce noise levels.

First, consider setting volume standards for computers and devices. If an employee has his or her computer turned up to full volume, other workers will probably hear it. However, if you require employees to use a specific volume setting, you’ll create a quieter and more peaceful office.

Second, use office furniture to absorb and dampen loud noise. It’s a little-known fact that using the right type of furniture – and placing it in the right location – can create a quieter office. Wood furniture, for instance, is typically more effective at absorbing sound than metal furniture. If there’s a specific area in your office where noise is a problem, try surrounding it with wood furniture, such as bookshelves and desks. Once in place, the wood furniture will absorb some of the sound vibrations to create a quieter environment for your employees.

Use Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has dozens of practical uses, one of which is relaxation. The general belief is that exposure to certain aromas triggers the release of stress-reducing hormones and chemicals in the body, including serotonin and oxytocin. When a person is exposed to one of these aromas, his or her body will produce more hormones and chemicals that counter the effects of stress.

To take advantage of aromatherapy in your office, use a diffuser with scented oil. There are two main types of diffusers: reed and electric. Reed diffusers consist of jars or vases with sticks of reed. You pour the scented oil into the bottom of the jar or vase, at which point the reed will soak up and release the oil into the surrounding air. Electric diffusers, on the other hand, spray the oil as a light mist into the air. By adding the right aroma or aromas to your office, employees’ stress levels may drop.

Some of the top aromatherapy oils used for relaxation and stress reduction include the following:

  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Peach
  • Orange
  • Jasmine
  • Chamomile
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Peppermint

Offer Private Workstations

Offer Private Workstations as Opposed to an Open OfficeLack of privacy is a common problem in the modern office. In the past, offices were designed primarily using cubicles. While cubicles are still found in many offices, they’ve been largely replaced with open office designs, which lack the privacy of their cubicle counterparts.

If your office uses an open design, consider creating private workstations for your employees. Even with the widespread adoption of open office designs, research shows that employees prefer working in an office with private workstations. When employees are forced to work in an open office, they’ll feel like their every move is being watched – something that can cause increased stress.

You don’t have to necessarily use crammed and congested cubicles, but you should provide your employees with private workstations. In each workstation, add portioning walls to create a sense of privacy. With portioning walls raised above their workstation, employees will feel more relaxed knowing that they aren’t being watched every minute of their workday. Of course, employees will appreciate the added privacy, and it will probably show in the form of higher productivity levels.

Support BYOD

Allowing your employees to bring and use their own devicesAllowing your company’s employees to bring and use their own devices such as laptops or tablets from home will promote a stress-free office. Known as bring your own device (BYOD), it’s become a common trend in the office.

Supporting BYOD can pay off for your company in multiple ways. For starters, you won’t have to purchase as many devices for your employees, allowing your company to save money. BYOD also eases the burden of training employees on how to use a device. If an employee brings a personal device to use in the office, he or she is probably already familiar with it, in which case you won’t have to train the employee.

Employees are often more satisfied and less stressed when they are allowed to use their own device. According to a survey cited by ZDNet, 61% of employees say they are happier when working for a company that supports BYOD. And when employees are happy, they are usually less stressed.

If you’re going to support BYOD in your office, though, you should create a cybersecurity plan to mitigate the risk of data breaches. While BYOD offers numerous benefits, it often paves the way for data breaches. Personal devices usually have little or no security measures, so any data stored on them is more likely to be lost or stolen. You can still support BYOD in your office, but you should create a cybersecurity plan to protect against data breaches.

Working in any environment can cause stress, and an office is no exception. As an employer, you can control the atmosphere to which your employees are exposed. By following these tips, you’ll achieve a stress-free office that resonates with your employees.

May 212019
 

ergonomic office chairs

If you work in an office, you probably spend most, if not all, of your workday sitting. A survey conducted by the corrective lens company Acuvue found that office workers spend 6.5 hours on average sitting. Over the course of a year, that’s approximately 1,700 hours sitting.

Whether you spend more or less time sitting, though, you can protect yourself from joint pain and even increase your productivity by investing in a high-quality office chair. You’ll be able to work more efficiently and without experiencing back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) to which so many office workers are susceptible. Here are 12 important things to consider when choosing an office chair.

#1) Material

office chair material

The material used in an office chair’s construction will affect its performance. Over the years, manufacturers have begun using a variety of materials to produce their office chairs, each of which has unique characteristics.

Some of the most common materials in which office chairs are made include:

  • Genuine Leather: Consisting of tanned cowhide or sheepskin, genuine leather office chairs are soft, cool, stylish, and durable.
  • Faux Leather: While faux leather office chairs look and feel like genuine leather, they are usually made of other materials, including either synthetic or organic fabrics.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl office chairs are soft and comfortable, and because vinyl is a synthetic fabric, they are naturally resistant to water and other liquids.
  • Nylon: Typically used to create mesh backrests, nylon is another material in which office chairs are made. Nylon office chairs are cool, breathable, and lightweight.
  • Plastic: The least expensive option, plastic office chairs are generally used in waiting rooms where a large number of chairs are needed.
  • Wood: The oldest type of material used to make office chairs is wood. Wood office chairs are sturdy, attractive, and available in countless styles.

#2) Lumbar Support

office chair lumbar support

When choosing an office chair, consider whether it offers lumbar support. Some people assume that back pain only occurs in laborious jobs, such as construction or manufacturing, but it’s often office workers who are most susceptible to this MSD. According to a study of nearly 700 office workers, 27% of office workers experience a new instance of low back pain each year.

To lower your risk of low back pain, choose an office chair with lumbar support. Lumbar support refers to padding or cushioning around the bottom of the backrest that supports the lumbar region of your back (the area of your back between your thoracic and pelvic regions). It stabilizes your lower back, thereby reducing stress and tension on your spine and its supporting structures.

#3) Weight Capacity

This is an example of a big and tall office chair

An example of a big and tall office chair

All office chairs have a weight capacity, which you should follow for both your safety and the safety of your chair. If you weigh more than the capacity for which your office chair is rated, it could break under the stress of everyday use.

You’ll find most office chairs have a 200 to 250 pound weight capacity. The good news is that some office chairs are designed specifically for heavier workers. Known as big and tall office chairs, they feature a sturdier construction to provide a higher weight capacity. Big and tall office chairs are available in 300-, 400- and 500-pound weight capacities. In addition to a higher weight capacity, some models also feature larger seats and backrests. Choose an office chair with a higher weight capacity than the weight of your body.

#4) Casters

office chair castersNot all office chairs feature a traditional four-legged design. Some are designed with mounted wheels, known as casters, that allow you to roll around and rotate while sitting in them. If you have an L-shaped desk, for example, you can roll or rotate between the different areas of your desk. If you have a computer on one area of your desk and a writing station on the other area, you can quickly move between these areas without standing up if you choose an office chair with casters.

On its website, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends the use of office chairs with five casters in computer workstations to promote productivity and reduce the risk of injury. You can still use traditional four-legged chairs in conference rooms, waiting rooms and breakrooms. For computer workstations, though, choosing a five-wheeled office chair will improve your productivity while creating a safer workplace in the process.

#5) Size

office discomfortSpace is an invaluable commodity in offices, as well as most other workplaces, which is why it’s important to consider size when choosing an office chair. If you work in a small cubicle, you may not have the luxury of choosing an oversized executive office chair, in which case you’ll need to choose a smaller chair.

Before purchasing an office chair, get the measurements of the area in which you intend to use it. Using these measurements, you can choose an appropriately sized office chair. Remember, you can always fit a small office chair into a large workstation, but you can’t fit a large office chair into a small workstation. When in doubt, choose an office chair that’s at least a few inches smaller than the area in which you intend to use it.

#6) Adjustable Height

proper office chair seat heightFixed-height office chairs generally have a seat-to-floor height of 17 to 19 inches, allowing most office workers to comfortably to use them in front of desks and workstations. But not all office workers are the same height, and if you’re too tall or short for a fixed-height office chair, it may stress your back or neck when sitting in it.

OSHA recommends choosing an office chair with an adjustable height of 15 to 22 inches, meaning you should be able to lower the seat to just 15 inches off the floor or raise the seat to 22 inches off the floor. Whether you are short, tall or average height, this will allow you to comfortably use your desk or workstation. Most office chairs do not go down to 15 inches though so you may have to settle for 17 to 21 inches. Just an FYI, this measurement is typically measured from the floor to the top of the seat cushion. And, while we are on the topic of adjustments, if would also benefit you tremendously to choose an office chair with multiple ergonomic adjustments.

#7) Style

The style of an office chair won’t affect its functionality or performance, but it will affect the chair’s aesthetics and, therefore, your office’s décor. You can find office chairs in countless styles, ranging from traditional all-black executive styles to colorful modern and contemporary styles.

So, what style of office chair should you choose? If you’re choosing an office chair for a large office, stick with a familiar style to create a cohesive décor. If your office currently uses traditional all-black executive office chairs, for example, choose a similar all-black executive style. If your office uses brown leather office chairs, on the other hand, choose a brown leather style. Using a consistent style with your office chairs will enhance your office’s décor by creating a cohesive interior.

#8) Breathability

An example of a breathable mesh office chairSome office chairs are more breathable than others, making them ideal for office workers who get uncomfortably hot during the workday. Known as mesh office chairs, they are characterized by a backrest made of permeable mesh fabric.

By definition, the term “mesh” refers to strands of fabric that are connected together to form the appearance of a web. Mesh office chairs don’t have a solid backrest. Instead, they have a partially open backrest. As a result, you’ll stay cooler and more comfortable when sitting in a mesh office chair. The mesh backrest allows heat from your body to escape, essentially ventilating your body while you work.

If you work in a cool office where the temperature is consistently 68 degrees Fahrenheit or below – or if you typically stay cool during the workday – you may not need a mesh office chair. However, if you find yourself getting hot frequently when working, a mesh office chair is a smart investment. Its permeable backrest will allow heat to escape your body, keeping you cool and comfortable.

#9) Armrests

Proper arm angle when sitting

Armrests allow you to rest your forearms while sitting in front of a desk or workstation. Without armrests, you won’t have anywhere to rest your forearms, resulting in increased fatigue as well as a higher risk of MSDs. For desks and workstations, armrests are a must-have feature for office chairs. In other areas of the office, including breakrooms and waiting rooms, armrests are optional.

According to OSHA, office chair armrests should have the following features:

  • Soft padded material
  • Long and wide enough to adequately support your forearms
  • Adjustable height of 7 to 10.5 inches from the seat
  • Removable (ability to raise or lower them)

#10) Reclining

A comfortable office chair. This one reclines.

There are both reclining and non-reclining office chairs. For maximum comfort, the former type is recommended because it allows you to lean forward or backward depending on your needs. In its guide to choosing an ergonomic office chair, the General Services Administration (GSA) – a government organization designed to support other federal agencies – says office chairs with a reclining backrest reduce stress on the back and thighs.

With a reclining backrest, you can stretch periodically during the workday without standing up. Some office chairs even allow you to lock the backrest into your desired reclined position. Just unlock the backrest, recline it back until you find the perfect position for maximum comfort and then relock it. Once locked, it won’t tilt forward or backward, allowing you to use your office chair in its current position for as long as you desire.

#11) Warranty

The more durable the chair, the better the warranty

Don’t forget to check the warranty when shopping for a new office chair. Of course, not all office chairs are backed by a warranty, which is a red flag indicating that the manufacturer is not confident in the performance of its product. If a manufacturer doesn’t offer a warranty with an office chair – or if the manufacturer offers a subpar warranty – you should choose a different office chair.

It’s not uncommon for reputable office chair manufacturers to offer a multi-year warranty with their products. Boss office chairs are backed by a six-year manufacturer warranty, while ERA and HON office chairs are backed by a limited lifetime manufacturer warranty. If a component covered under the chair’s warranty fails within the warranty period, the manufacturer will pay to repair or replace it.

If you choose a high-quality office chair from a reputable manufacturer, you probably won’t need to file a warranty claim. Nonetheless, a warranty provides peace of mind knowing that if something happens to your office chair within the warranty period, the manufacturer will repair or replace it at no charge.

Be wary of stores and vendors that sell office chairs without a warranty. You might get lucky and find a high-quality office chair, but there’s usually a reason some manufacturers don’t back their products with a warranty – and that’s because their products fail prematurely. To avoid this headache, choose an office chair with a strong manufacturer warranty.

#12) Price

Search the web for the best price on your office chairHow much money are looking to spend on your new office chair? Like other office furniture, the cost of office chairs varies depending on its brand, model and the store from which you purchase it. Low-end office chairs cost as little as $100, while high-end office chairs can cost $600 or more.

Even the right low-end office chair can last for years. However, if you’re looking for the highest level of support, comfort, and protection from MSDs, choose a mid- or high-end model. You’ll get better value, over time, from a mid- or high-end office chair than a low-end office chair.

When shopping for an office chair, consider its total cost. Some stores charge shipping and handling fees, which can add 10% or more to the total cost of an office chair. If you purchase a $500 office chair, for instance, you may spend an additional $50 on shipping and handling fees. Furthermore, you may have to pay sales tax on an office chair. If you purchase an office chair locally, the store will likely sales tax based on the state’s designated rate, which ranges from 3% to 7% on average.

You can avoid shipping and handling fees by purchasing your office chair from Office Chairs Unlimited, as we offer free shipping on all products. And unless you live in the state of Pennsylvania, you won’t be charged sales tax either.

May 012019
 

The modern working environment is evolving. Statistics show that 30 million Americans now work from home office, according to a study cited by Forbes. As more business adopt telecommuting, you might be wondering if you should start working from a home office.

While home offices offer several advantages over commercial offices, there are also some disadvantages with which you should be aware. Below are some of the most notable pros and cons of working from a home office.

Pro: It’s Cheaper Than Renting or Leasing a Commercial Office

Working from a home office has it's advantagesYou won’t have rent or lease payments to make when working from a home office. Commercial office space isn’t cheap. Statistics show that businesses spend anywhere from $61 to $595 per square foot per year to rent or lease a commercial office, which doesn’t even account for utilities and other related services.

For a relatively small 1,000-square-foot office, businesses can expect to pay $61,000 to $595,000 per year. By working from a home office, you can avoid these payments altogether, allowing you to put that money towards improving and growing your business.

Con: You’ll Encounter More Distractions

Distractions are a common problem when working from a home office. Without defined boundaries separating your personal life from your professional life, you may find yourself getting distracted more frequently.

If you’re planning to work from home, you must learn to block out distractions while focusing strictly on work. Allowing even minor distractions to interrupt your workday could have disastrous consequences on your productivity and, therefore, the livelihood of your business.

Some of the most common distractions encountered by home office workers include:

  • TVs and radios
  • Pets
  • Family members and roommates
  • Household chores
  • Personal calls and text messages
  • Social media
  • Browsing the internet for personal reasons

Pro: There’s No Commute

There is no commute time, or frustration, working from a home officeThere’s no commute when working from a home office. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average U.S worker spends an average of 52 minutes per day driving to and from work. Over the course of a year, that calculates to over 200 hours of sitting in traffic. Rather than spending that time behind the wheel, you can use it to work from home.

Not only is commuting time-consuming; it’s expensive. A report published by the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that Americans spend an average of 60.8 cents per mile to drive their vehicle – a figure that accounts for ownership as well as operational expenses. Based on that number, a 32-mile daily commute may cost you over $19. Of course, you won’t have a daily commute if you work from home. When you wake up in the morning, you can walk across your house to begin working in your office, saving you both time and money.

Con: You May Feel Isolated

While this doesn’t happen to everyone, many people feel isolated or lonely when working from home. A study conducted by Buffer found that loneliness was the biggest challenge encountered by at-home workers. After surveying over 1,900 telecommuting workers, Buffer discovered that 21% of respondents cited loneliness as the biggest hurdle of working from home.

If you work in a commercial office, you’ll probably encounter other workers – either within your business or from other nearby businesses – daily. Transitioning to a home office, however, will reduce the frequency at which you see and engage with other workers, which could lead to a feeling of isolation or loneliness.

To overcome this challenge, arrange in-person meetings with other workers. Instead of spending your entire workday in your home office, for example, schedule a 30- or 45-minute meeting with other workers at a nearby café. Social interactions such as this will improve your mood while protecting against feelings of isolation and loneliness in the process.

Pro: You Can Claim It as a Tax Deduction

You can claim your home office as a tax deductionThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will allow you to claim your home office as a tax deduction if it meets the following two criteria:

1)  Your home office must be used regularly and exclusively for work. In other words, you can’t use your home office for other purposes, such as a gym or guest bedroom. It must be used strictly for work.

2)  Your home office must be the primary or principle place of your business. You can still perform other work-related tasks outside your home, such as meeting with customers or clients, but most your business’s work must be performed from your home office to claim it as a tax deduction.

Assuming your home office meets these criteria, you can claim it as a tax deduction. Because of the ever-changing nature of tax laws, it’s recommended that you consult with a tax professional for more information on how to claim a home office on your taxes. In 2014, though, the IRS introduced a simplified method for calculating this deduction.

Under this new method, you can calculate your deduction by taking the total number of square feet used for your office – up to 300 square feet – and multiplying it by five. If you have a 200-square-foot office, for instance, your tax deduction will be $1,000 (200 times five is 1,000). If you have a 300-square-foot office, your tax deduction will be $1,500 (300 times five is 1,500).

You can still claim your home office using the traditional method, which involves calculating the size of your home office relative to the rest of your home and weighing it against the annual cost of your home, but the simplified method is far easier.

Con: Increased Difficulty of Teamwork and Collaboration

Lack of teamwork and collaboration working from a home officeAnother challenge you may encounter when working from a home office is teamwork and collaboration. In a typical workday, you’ll probably work entirely alone. The only communication you’ll have with other workers is over the internet or by phone. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to collaborate on projects and work together as a team.

In the same Buffer report cited earlier, researchers found that collaboration was a top challenge for telecommuting workers. Without face-to-face interactions, telecommuting workers struggle to collaborate with other workers.

The good news is that software is available to improve your teamwork and collaboration skills when working from home, some of which include Trello, Microsoft Project, Basecamp, Slack, Google Drive, Samepage and Confluence. It won’t offer the same experience as face-to-face interactions, but the right software can still streamline and improve the way in which you collaborate with other workers remotely.

Pro: It’s Good for Your Health

You can exercise from a home office any time you want!Working from a home office may have a positive impact on your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revealed that the average office worker consumes almost 1,300 calories per week in office snacks, 70% of which are complimentary snacks offered by employers. You won’t have access to free snacks when working from a home office, but you’ll have the freedom to choose healthier foods rather than highly processed “empty-calorie” foods.

Because working from home eliminates the need for a daily commute, you’ll have more time to exercise. Before you start working, you can spend 10 to 20 minutes doing aerobics or lifting weights. Alternatively, you can exercise during your lunchbreak. Without a commute, you should be able to squeeze more exercise into your lifestyle, which will have a positive and wide-reaching affect on nearly every aspect of your health.

Con: You Might Be Less Productive

Research cited by The Atlantic found a direct correlation between the proximity of a business’s location to its workers and the productivity of those workers. Workers who were closer to the business’s location were more productive than their counterparts who were farther away from the business.

Some people assume they’ll be more productive when working from a home office than a commercial office, but this isn’t always the case. If you lack the necessary self-motivation to force yourself to work, you could be less productive. Some at-work homes are guilty of hit the “snooze” button on their alarm in the morning, believing there’s nothing wrong with sleeping in a little later since they don’t have anyone looking over their shoulder. But it’s bad habits such as this that can hurt your productivity when working from a home office.

Pro: It’s Easier (and Cheaper) to Furnish

A home office is much cheaper to furnishNo office is complete without furniture. Home offices, however, are easier and cheaper to furnish than their commercial counterparts. Assuming you are the only person who works at your home office, you’ll only need to create a single workstation, which may consist of a high-quality office chair, computer desk and file cabinet. And the best part? You are in charge of the design!

If you run your business from a commercial office, on the other hand, you’ll have to create a workstation for each worker. If you have 10 workers, you’ll need to create 10 individual workstations. As you can expect, it’s more laborious and expensive to furnish a commercial office than a home office.

Con: You’ll Have Less Space in Which to Work

Typically, there is less space when working from a home officeHome offices are usually smaller than commercial offices. Statistics show that commercial offices in the United States are about 151 square feet per worker. If your business has 10 workers, that’s 1,151 square feet of commercial office space. Home offices are generally smaller, measuring about 150 to 300 square feet on average.

With less space, you won’t be able to store as much inventory or equipment in your home office. Depending on the type of business you run, this could hinder its ability to grow and expand. Not all businesses require a large amount of space to operate. However, if your business does, you may want to stick with a commercial office.

Pro: You’ll Be Able to Spend More Time With Your Family

Working from a home office will allow you to spend more time with your family. According to one report, the average U.S. family spend just 37 minutes together per day. Some families spend even less time together.

It’s difficult to spend time with your family when commuting takes up such a large portion of your day. Working from a home office eliminates your daily commute, however, allowing you to spend time with your family.

Con: You Won’t Have a Professional Business Address

A commercial office offers a professional address, whereas working from a home office does notA disadvantage of working from a home office that’s often overlooked is the lack of a professional business address. When you work from a commercial office, you can use its address for your business’s official address. On your business’s social media profiles, business cards, stationery, and other materials, you can include the address of your commercial office.

You won’t have the luxury of using a professional business address when working from a home office – not without a little extra work, at least. If a customer or client asks for your business’s address, you’ll have to provide him or her with your home address, which doesn’t look very professional.

The only solution is to rent a PO Box from your local post office or sign up for a virtual mailbox. The former will provide you with a PO Box address, whereas the latter will provide you with a street address from which you can receive mail.  If you use a virtual mailbox, all mail sent to the address will be scanned and stored in an online account. Just log in to your account, at which point you can read digital copies of your business’s mail.

Pro: It Offers a Flexible Working Schedule

You’ll have greater freedom to set your own schedule when working from a home office. Commercial offices often follow a traditional 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. schedule, with workers clocking in and out around these times each day. Although there’s nothing wrong with following a strict schedule, many people prefer working at different hours of the day.

When you work from home, you can choose when your workday starts and when it ends. If you’re a morning person who prefers working at 5:00 a.m., you can set your alarm to start working at this time. If you prefer working later in the day, that’s okay too. Just remember to plan your schedule in advance so that you can finish all your tasks while maintaining a high level of productivity.

Apr 042019
 

Many business owners overlook the importance of having a break room in their office, believing that it’s an unnecessary expense that doesn’t improve or otherwise benefit their business. While workers typically don’t perform job-related tasks in a break room, this space can still have a positive impact on their performance.

According to a study cited by Forbes, workers who take regular breaks are more productive and less stressed than their counterparts who rarely take breaks. Breaks allow workers to rest and reset themselves mentally so that they can return to their job with more energy and focus. As a business owner, you can take advantage of these benefits by creating a breakroom in your office. Below are 12 practical tips on how to design an office breakroom that workers are sure to appreciate.

#1) Include Trash Cans and Recycling Bins

Add recycling cans to your office break room

Depending on the size of your break room – and the number of workers whom your business employs – include one or two trash cans as well as recycling bins for aluminum, plastic, and paper. Waste will naturally accumulate when workers use this area to prepare and eat food. You can keep this waste to a minimum, however, by setting up recycling bins for the materials previously mentioned alongside the trash can or cans.

A report published by The Green Team suggests that a single recycled aluminum can enough energy to power a computer for three hours. When you consider how many aluminum cans office workers go through in a typical day, it really adds up. Of course, that doesn’t account for plastic and paper packaging materials, both of which can be recycled as well.

#2) Set Up Dining Area

Office dining areaCreate a dedicated dining area in your break room where workers can enjoy their snacks and meals. There are a few ways to do this, one of which is to add a single large conference table. Alternatively, you can set up several small dining tables in your break room.

Dining tables are usually preferred because they are designed to withstand spilled liquids, allowing you to get more use out of them. However, there are plenty of high-end conference tables that can last just as long if not longer than dining tables. Regardless, you need to set up a functional dining area in your office break room.

#3) Offer Complimentary Coffee

StatisticsOffer complimentary coffee to your employees show that fewer than half of all U.S. businesses that operate out of an office offer complimentary coffee to their workers. Purchasing coffee for all your business’s workers costs money, but you should consider the positive impact it has on workers’ performance.

More than 80% of Americans drink coffee daily. For office workers, this number of even higher. And drinking coffee has become a morning ritual for countless office workers, many of whom rely on caffeinated beverages as a source of energy. If you don’t offer complimentary coffee, some workers won’t be able to enjoy this productivity-boosting beverage – not unless they bring their own coffee, at least.

Here are some tips on how to set a coffee station in your office break room:

  • Choose a single-serve coffee maker, such as a Keurig.
  • Place the coffee maker next to the sink.
  • If your coffee maker uses filters, keep filters nearby as well.
  • Offer a variety of coffee flavors.
  • Add condiments to a drawer or caddy, including sugar, sugar substitutes – Stevia, Truvia, Splenda, Sweet & Low, etc. – cream and half and half.
  • Provide workers with disposable foam cups with lips and stirs.
  • Print and laminate a sheet of instructions on how to use the coffee maker.

#4) Design With the Right Colors

Design with the right colors to improve moodThe colors in which your office break room is designed will affect more than just the aesthetics of this space; it will affect the mood and atmosphere. Gray, for example, is a neutral color that creates a depressing mood, making it a poor choice for a break room. Orange, on the other hand, represents warmth and energy, making it ideal for this space.

You can still include other colors in your break room’s design, but try to focus on bright, bold colors to create an uplifting and energetic atmosphere that reflects positively on workers’ performance. Blue, red, yellow and light green are all excellent colors that can help you set the right mood in your office break room. To include more of these colors in your break room, consider painting the walls, decorating with throw pillows, adding container plants and displaying colorful artwork.

#5) Make It Private

Make your break room private and free from other office noiseThe fundamental purpose of a break room is to provide workers with a quiet and peaceful area to retreat from the conventional hectic office environment. This is only possible, however, if the break room is private. Designing an open break room without walls or doors prevents workers from using this space to its full advantage. Workers can still eat and lounge in an open break room, but they won’t be able to make personal phone calls or converse amongst themselves.

For increased privacy, designate an enclosed room as the break room rather than simply using open space in the middle of your office. You can go one step further by installing sound-absorption panels on the walls of your break room. Also known as acoustic panels, they live up to their namesake by absorbing sound vibrations to create a quieter and more private space for workers.

#6) Provide Access to Electrical Outlets

Workers will probably want to recharge their smartphones and other devices while using your office break room. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. If your break room only has a few outlets, you may have to use those outlets to power appliances like the coffee maker. So, how can you provide workers with access to more electrical outlets in your break room?

First, check to make sure that none of the outlets in your break room are covered or obstructed. If you find an unused outlet tucked behind a dining table or counter, either reposition the furniture that’s blocking it or install an extension cord so that workers can access it. With that said, you shouldn’t run extension cables across the floor. Aside from looking tacky, it poses a safety risk to workers, who could trip and fall while trying to walk over an extension cord.

Second, use outlet splitters to turn a single outlet into multiple outlets. A splitter is a small electrical device that plugs into an outlet to provide additional outlets. Even if there are only two outlets in your office break room, you can turn them into four or six outlets using splitters. Choose plug-in outlet splitters rather than power strips and other corded splitters to eliminate the risk of trip-and-fall accidents.

#7) Add Entertainment

google office decor

Aquariums and bathtubs are Google Munich’s idea of relaxing office decór for the break room.

Don’t forget to add entertainment to your office room. Some of the most successful Silicon Valley companies, including Google and Apple, use this tactic to improve their workers’ morale and increase productivity. Entertainment allows workers to enjoy their break rather than simply sitting around while waiting to return to their job, so it naturally improves their morale.

Here are some entertainment ideas to consider for your office break room:

  • TV
  • Video games
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Playing cards
  • Billiards
  • Magazines
  • Foosball table
  • Ping pong
  • Board games

According to Inc.com, adding entertainment to a break room offers another benefit besides improved worker morale: stronger teamwork skills. Workers can get together to play team-based games, such as ping pong, that encourage them to work together. As workers build stronger teamwork skills in the break room, it may carry over to their work performance.

#8) Install a Refrigerator

a fridge is a must have for an office break roomNo office break room without a refrigerator. Without this otherwise common kitchen appliance, workers won’t be able to keep their foods and beverage cool. While you can always invest in a full-sized refrigerator for your break room, this usually isn’t necessary. For most office break rooms, a compact refrigerator will suffice. Compact refrigerators are about half the size, so they don’t take up much space. Also, because of their smaller size, compact refrigerators usually cost less than their full-sized counterparts.

You can also stock your break room refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables. According to a survey conducted by the office supply store Staples, 57% of office workers prefer healthier foods such as these, whereas only 10% prefer empty-calorie foods like potato chips and candy bars.

#9) Include a Variety of Seating Options

Design your office break room with a variety of seating options to improve its functionality. You can use traditional dining chairs around the dining tables, for example. Available in metal, wood, composite wood, and plastic materials, dining chairs are perfect for an office break room. They feature a sturdy, upright design that allows workers to comfortably eat or drink while on break.

But not all workers use break rooms to eat, which is why it’s recommended that you can include other seating options in your office break room. In addition to dining chairs, design your break room with more-relaxing seating options like sofas, chaise lounges or even recliners.

#10) Don’t Cover the Windows

Everybody loves sunlight!

Everybody loves sunlight! Let it in.

Avoid covering the windows of your office break room with curtains or blinds. You can use curtains or blinds, but you should leave them pulled back or open so that sunlight can shine in through the windows.

Allowing sunlight light to enter and illuminate your office break room is beneficial for several reasons. According to Psychology Today, office workers who are exposed to sunlight through a window are more productive than their counterparts who are forced to sit in windowless spaces all day. It’s believed that exposure to sunlight helps regulate office workers’ circadian rhythm, thereby improving their quality of sleep and, in turn, their productivity levels.

Sunlight also promotes a more energy-efficient break room by reducing or eliminating the need for artificial lighting. The biggest energy expense in modern offices is heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC), which accounts for more than half of all energy spent to power a typical office. But statistics show that about 16% of all energy used in offices involves lighting. By pulling back the curtains and opening the blinds in your break room, you won’t need as much artificial lighting, allowing you to save money on your business’s energy expenses.

#11) Create and Display Rules

Designing an office break room is only half the battle. Once set up, you must clean and maintain it. To make this process a little easier, create and display rules that workers must follow when using the break room.

Common rules for office break rooms include:

  • No loud music.
  • Label all personal food and beverages stored in the break room.
  • Don’t take food or beverages that isn’t yours.
  • Discard trash in the trash can and recyclables in the respective recycling bin.
  • If you take the last cup of coffee, brew a new pot.
  • Keep appliances clean.
  • Don’t adjust the temperature or humidity settings of the refrigerator.
  • Fully close refrigerator door after opening.
  • Don’t store uncovered food in the refrigerator.
  • Wash hands with soap and water before returning to work.
  • Clean dishes after using them.
  • Don’t heat (or eat) food with an overwhelming smell.

#12) Ask Workers for Input and Suggestions

Like other areas in your office, you may need to design your break room to improve its aesthetics or functionality. To identify ways that your break room can be improved, ask workers for input and suggestions. You can ask them in person, via email or a suggestions box. The latter is particularly useful because it allows workers to leave suggestions anonymously. Just place a box labeled “Break Room Suggestions” somewhere in your break room and include some slips of paper on which workers can write their suggestions.

After acquiring feedback from workers, identify the most requested features and consider them adding them to your office break room. If a significant number of workers requested a sofa, for instance, update your break room with a sofa. If they requested a foosball table, add a foosball table. By updating your break room with worker-requested features, you’ll create a more pleasing and enjoyable space in which workers can relax.

Feb 202019
 

It’s not uncommon for businesses to relocate their office to a different area. According to a survey of 170 upper-level corporate executives cited by Priceonomics, nearly half of respondents moved their business once in the past decade, and 21 percent had moved their business twice in the past decade.

While businesses move their office for a variety of reasons – to accommodate growth, streamline operations, be closer to their target audience, or their current office lease is expiring – it’s a tedious and often stressful process. Moreover, when poorly executed, it can create a hectic and chaotic working environment that hinders a business’s productivity, resulting in lower profits. This shouldn’t discourage you from attempting to move your office, however. By planning ahead, you can transfer all the equipment, furniture and resources in your current office to a new location while avoiding the headaches that typically come with an office relocation.

Create a Moving Plan

think, plan, act - increase office productivityAbout 10 months to one year before you intend to move, create a moving plan. A moving plan is an invaluable tool for moving an office. This document provides essential information about the move that you and your business’s workers can use to facilitate your office’s relocation.

When creating a moving plan, be sure to include the following information:

  • Address of your new office
  • Directions to your new office from your current office
  • Designated moving coordinator (who’s in charge of overseeing the relocation)
  • Moving dates and times
  • Expected downtime for business
  • Worker responsibilities
  • Layout of current office as well as new office
  • Reasons for moving

Stockpile Cardboard Boxes

Stockpile cardboard boxesYou can never have too many cardboard boxes when moving your office. According to some sources, it takes about 23 boxes to pack a single room. If your office has a half-dozen rooms, that’s 138 boxes. You may need even more boxes if your office has lots of equipment-filled cubicles. To prepare for your office’s upcoming relocation, start stockpiling boxes now.

Most post offices, package courier stores, self-storage stores, office supply stores, and even major household retailers like Walmart and Target sell cardboard boxes. Depending on the size, you can expect to pay anywhere from 50 cents to $5 per box. The good news is that you can claim the cost of boxes, as well as other supplies and services directly used to move your office, as a tax deduction. You’ll still have to pay for the boxes, but this will lower the amount of taxes your business owes for the year in which you purchased them. Just remember to save your receipts for your business’s accounting department.

If you’re trying to save money and want to minimize the cost of moving your office, you may be able to find boxes for free. Grocery stores, for example, typically receive shipments in large boxes, which they break down at the end of the day for recycling. Some grocery stores will gladly give you their boxes, however, so that they don’t have to worry about recycling them. Don’t just call and ask a grocery store if it has any free boxes. Rather, visit the grocery store in person to ask a manager. You’ll have a better shot at scoring free boxes if you ask in person instead of over the phone.

Craigslist is perhaps the place to find free boxes for your office’s relocation. There are typically dozens of listings for free boxes in most major U.S. cities. Whether your business is located on the East Coast, West Coast or somewhere in between, you can probably find free boxes on Craigslist.

Purchase Packing Supplies

Cardboard boxes are important when moving your office, but there are packing supplies you’ll need for this project, including the following:

  • Tape (either shipping tape, filament tape or masking tape)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Foam packing peanuts
  • Packing paper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Box cutters
  • Trash bags
  • Blankets
  • Felt furniture pads

These packing supplies are sold at many of the same stores that sell boxes.

Pack and Label Office Equipment

cluttered desk drawerWith boxes and supplies in hand, you can begin packing your office equipment. There’s no secret formula for packing office equipment. Just go through your office and begin placing items in boxes. From files and books to staplers, pencils, artwork and more, everything must be packaged before the moving day.

Be conscious of how much items weigh when packing them into boxes. Boxes, even when made of heavy-duty corrugated cardboard, can only support so much weight. If you stuff a box with more weight than it can handle, the bottom may fall out while you or someone else is carrying it, sending the contents falling to the floor below. The Spruce recommends limiting the weight of moving boxes to 50 pounds, which is a good rule of thumb to follow when packing your office equipment. With that said, check the specifications of your boxes to see if the manufacturer listed a weight limit. Some boxes may have a 50-pound weight limit, whereas others have just a 20- or 30-pound limit.

To protect fragile items from breaking, use both bubble wrap and packing paper. To pack a glass vase, for example, wrap it with one or two layers of bubble wrap and secure the bubble wrap with tape. Next, place the wrapped vase in an appropriately sized box, after which you can fill any remaining space in the box with packing paper.

After filling a box and securing it with tape, use a marker to label the outside. There are different ways to label moving boxes, though the easiest is to simply use the room or area in which the contents belong. A box filled with items from your office’s break room should be labeled as “break room,” while a box filled with items from the conference room should be labeled as “conference room.” For individual cubicles, use a numbering system that corresponds with the layout of your office’s new location.

Partner With the Right Moving Company

Moving everything yourself may sound like a smart way to save money on your office’s relocation, but it’s usually wise to invest in the services of a professional moving company. They have the vans, hand trucks, experience, and workers to move your office in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

When choosing a moving company with which to partner, call and request a quote from at least three different companies. Moving companies typically won’t reveal the exact cost of their service, as unforeseen circumstances and other factors can affect the total price. However, they should provide you with an estimated cost, giving you a better idea of how much you can expect to pay. Some moving companies may send a worker known as an estimator to your office so that he or she can take inventory and determine the amount of work your relocation project requires, while others will provide an estimation based on information you provide over the phone or through their website.

You’ll want to inquire about prospective moving companies’ timeline for moving your office before partnering with one. In other words, how long will it take them to move your office to its new location? Office relocations aren’t easy, nor are they fast. For a small office, a reputable moving company may complete the relocation 10 to 12 hours. For larger offices, it could take two or three days. So, when calling moving companies to request a quote, ask about the timeline.

Only hire a moving company that’s experienced in commercial business relocations. Most moving companies specialize in residential relocations, only performing the occasional commercial relocation. By partnering with a company that’s helped countless other businesses move their office, you’ll experience better results.

Move Computers and IT Equipment Separately

Move IT separatelyIt’s a good idea to move your office’s computers and information technology (IT) equipment separately than the rest of its equipment. According to a survey by USA Today, four out five data center managers say network outages cost their business about $50,000 per hour. Unless your business specializes in IT services, downtime probably won’t cost this much. Nonetheless, it can still restrict your business’s ability to perform its operations in a fast and efficient manner. By moving your office’s computers and IT equipment separately, you’ll be able to get everything up and running more quickly.

If your business has an IT department, consider designating an executive or worker from this department to oversee the relocation of your office’s computers and IT equipment. They can back up essential data, safely pack hardware to protect against moisture damage, secure cables to their respective devices and more. Also, when it’s time to move, this individual can help direct movers on where to place the packaged computers and IT equipment in your new office.

Disassemble Large Furniture

disassemble large office furnitureWouldn’t it be great if you could move all your office furniture without disassembling it? You can probably move most office chairs, file cabinets and other types of small furniture without disassembling them. For larger types of furniture like conference tables and desks, though, this may not be possible.

Get the measurements of all doorways and hallways – at both your office’s current location and its future location – through which you’ll need to move your office furniture. Next, compare these measurements to that of your large office furniture. You may discover that some tables and desks are wider than a doorway or hallway. Therefore, you’ll have to disassemble the furniture before you or anyone else can move it.

Disassembling large office furniture can be a chore. You may have to use screwdrivers, and Allen wrenches, to remove hardware. Most importantly, you’ll need to keep this hardware – and remember where it goes – so that you can reassemble the furniture at your office’s new location.

If you come across large office furniture that’s too old and degraded to safely move without causing damage, consider replacing it with new furniture. It’s easier to order a new conference table and have it shipped to your office’s new location than it is to try and move a heavily worn conference table that’s falling apart.

Change Your Office’s Addresses With the USPS

Don’t forget to change your office’s address with the United States Postal Service (USPS). This ensures that all mail sent to your office’s old address will be forwarded to its new address. To change your office’s address with the USPS, visit this link and follow the on-page instructions. The USPS charges $1 for this service.

Alternatively, you can change your office’s address with the USPS by visiting a local post office. Just ask a postal worker for a Mover’s Guide packet. In this packet is a PS Form 3575, which you can complete and drop off to request an address change.

Regardless of which method you use to change your office’s address with the USPS, make sure the mail forwarding date is the same or close to your moving date. If you specify a mail forwarding date that’s a month prior to your moving date, all your office’s mail will be sent to its new location a month before you move there. And if you specify a forwarding date that’s a month after your moving date, you won’t receive mail at your office’s new location until a month after you’ve moved.

Update Your Business’s Contact Information With New Office Address

In addition to changing your office’s address with the USPS, update your business’s contact information to reflect this new address. The USPS will still forward all mail sent to your office’s old address to its new address. However, if a prospective customer or client sees your office’s old address listed somewhere and tries to visit it, they won’t be able to find your business.

Any digital or print media featuring your business’s contact information must be updated with your office’s new address. This includes your business’s website, social media profiles, email signatures, online directory listings, business cards, and branded stationary.

Moving your office can undoubtedly disrupt your business’s office. At the very least, it will divert time, money and resources away from your business’s primary operations. However, moving can have a positive long-term impact on your business, providing you and your business’s workers with a more productive environment.