Why Seating Arrangements Matter in Your Office

Why Seating Arrangements Matter in Your Office

If you have never thought much about your office seating arrangements, now might be a good time to consider the impact it has on the amount of work that gets done each day. According to statistics, more than half of every interaction a worker has is with their immediate neighbor. So, it makes sense to place employees together by the job type.

By simply moving teams together, productivity rises, and problems decrease. Why? Because team members have more interaction, which increases brainstorming and enables them to work together more easily. Training is enhanced too by pairing new employees with older established ones.

Special Circumstances to Consider

Whether you are moving to a new office, or are simply looking for a more efficient layout, shuffling employees around can help bolster office mood and make your staff more creative. But what are some of the things you should consider when moving desks and cubicles?

Temperaments

Before pairing certain people in the same zone, consider whether or not their personalities match. While it may work well to pair people with similar personalities together, you can also create a new office dynamic, or even social cliques may hurt the day-to-day operation. Likewise, forcing complete opposites together can be stressful. Instead, look for balance. Someone who is outgoing may help bring the introvert out of their shell while the calm personality can help to stabilize those who are more anxious.

Is there someone in your office that is always freezing? Sitting her near the air conditioning vent or a fan is going to make for an uncomfortable workday and she will be much less productive. However, a simple move across the room can be very beneficial to the entire office.

Noise Levels

Some workers are distracted by noise and putting them in a high traffic area can thwart their progress. Consider the job that needs to be done, the personality of the person it is assigned to and any other circumstances that may warrant placement in a quieter zone.

Privacy

Certain employees need more privacy than others. If a certain team is working on a high-security project, they may need to be removed from the general populace for a while to give them the ability to speak and interact freely.

Temperatures

Is there someone in your office that is always freezing? Sitting them near the air conditioning vent or a fan is going to make for an uncomfortable workday and they will be much less productive. However, a simple move across the room can be very beneficial to the entire office.

Space

Giving every employee the space they need to be comfortable and creative is essential to doing a good job. Someone who feels cramped in a small cubicle will not be able to do what is necessary. And, giving someone more space than they need is unnecessary. When assigning desks and office space, be sure to consider the employee’s size, tasks and more.

Planning on office move? Contact us.

Moving Offices is a Great Time to Create New Seating Arrangements

If you are in the process of moving or renovating your office space, take this an opportunity to shuffle your teams to give everyone the best chance of doing their best. For more information on office layouts, contact Expert Relocation Systems and talk with one of our professional crew members today!

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Become More Productive: Declutter Your Office This Spring

Become More Productive: Declutter Your Office This Spring

Spring is a great time to throw open the windows and catch a breeze. It’s also the perfect time to remove clutter in your office and free yourself (and your staff) from those mounds of papers that have been piling up all winter long.

Where to Start

When your staff is surrounded by clutter, they tend to be less productive. Take a day this spring to clear the clutter from your office and give your crew a boost of creative energy. However, taking a day out of your regular work schedule to clean up your office may seem impossible. After all, there are meetings to attend, clients to satisfy and projects to complete. For some, scheduling a day for the entire office to declutter at once works best, but if your work schedule doesn’t allow for that, consider giving teams separate days to complete this job.

When faced with a chaotic office, it may be difficult to know where to begin. Here are a few tips:

  • As the office manager, make a list of priorities to be accomplished first (i.e., purging paper files, organizing electronic files, changing passwords, etc.).
  • Delegate certain jobs. For instance, assign the task of cleaning the break room to one person and purging files to another.
  • Gather Supplies. It will be much easier for everyone to get the job done if they have the supplies they need at hand. Don’t forget to purchase storage boxes for papers that cannot be thrown away, a paper shredder, desk supplies, etc.

Tackling Paperwork

Every office becomes buried in paperwork at one time or another. Instruct every staffer to clean out their desk, purging old papers and organizing as they go. Store paperwork that cannot be shredded, but you don’t need often.

Be sure that your entire office’s computer system is backed up thoroughly before beginning this process. Then, give your employees the time and instruction to delete unneeded files, unsubscribe to mailing lists, organize documents into folders, change passwords and clean out their email.

Organizing Computer Files

This is a job for individuals since most of the fields on their computers are related to personal accounts and clients. Be sure that your entire office’s computer system is backed up thoroughly before beginning this process. Then, give your employees the time and instruction to delete unneeded files, unsubscribe to mailing lists, organize documents into folders, change passwords and clean out their email. By setting aside a single day (or afternoon) to computer cleaning and organizing, you can help streamline the entire office and make everyone more productive.

Organizing Those Messy Desks

The busier your office, the messier those desktops tend to get. By assigning a day to clean up the mess, you can help your employees become more productive while working. Here are some tips to help:

  • Keep what you need at arm’s length. The most productive desks are not littered with every paper you have used in the last year. Keeping what you need for the day at arm’s length can help streamline the entire workday.
  • Create a daily paper system to help you stay organized.
  • Clean out that junk drawer.
  • Disinfect. If your office has been hit hard this flu season, be sure that everyone disinfects their workstation to kill off any leftover germs and start the spring with healthier bodies.

Clean Out the Break Room

If your break room has become a mess, it is vital to take the time to give it a deep clean. Here are some of the most important jobs to tackle:

  • Purging old food and snacks from both the refrigerator and the cupboards.
  • Getting rid of old and cracked mugs.
  • Scrubbing the inside of the refrigerator, microwave and stove.
  • Disinfecting countertops, cupboards, etc.
  • Mopping the floors.
  • Scrubbing the moldings.

Planning an office move? Contact us.

Getting Help

If it is time to declutter your office and you aren’t sure where to begin, call the pros at Expert Relocation Systems for more tips, tricks and professional storage solutions.

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When Is the Best Time To Move Your Office?

When Is the Best Time To Move Your Office?

Moving a professional office is a big job. From organizing and packing to getting everything from one location to another without disrupting your normal workflow (and stopping important projects), changing office space can be a challenge. The key to a successful transition is to hire local movers to transport your entire company to your location. Continue reading

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The Benefits of Allowing Employees to Work from Home

The Benefits of Allowing Employees to Work from Home

Working from home has become a mainstay in today’s business world. Employees love the benefits of staying out of the office. But, is there an upside for employers? According to statistics, workers that telecommute get more done – and that means increased productivity and a boost in profits for companies that allow this non-traditional approach to the workday.

The Benefits

If you are considering allowing your employees to set up an office right at home, consider these benefits:

  • Most Telecommuters Work Longer Hours: With no commuting time to factor into their day (and instant access to their work), most work-at-home employees log in more work time than their in-office counterparts.
  • Increased Productivity: Researchers at Stanford University have reported that those who work from home are 13% more productive than employees stuck in a traditional office.
  • Cost Savings: Allowing employees to work from home can save thousands in general office expenses. By requiring work-from-home staff to share cubicles, you need less office space, office supply costs go down, snack costs are reduced and other incidental fees and costs that you normally offer can be cut from your office budget.
  • Meetings are More Productive: Meetings can be a good way for everyone to touch base and outline progress on a project. But, let’s face it, too often those office meetings simply waste everyone’s time. When staff members don’t work on site, meetings become shorter and more productive. Whether they are handled over the phone, by teleconference or in person, those involved tend to make every minute count.
Better Work-Life Balance: When an employee has the benefit of working from home, they can create a better work-life balance, and that makes them a better employee. By giving them the opportunity to greet their children when they get home from school or even slip out to watch a soccer game, the employee is better able to focus on the job at hand while working.
  • Employees are Happier: When staff members don’t have to deal with the day to day drama in the office, they tend to be happier and feel more appreciated. Whether they work from home every day or only a few days a week, that time away can help them refocus on the job at hand. Less time is wasted with idle chit-chat and non-productive meetings, and they tend to stay with the company longer.
  • Better Work-Life Balance: When an employee has the benefit of working from home, they can create a better work-life balance, and that makes them a better employee. By giving them the opportunity to greet their children when they get home from school or even slip out to watch a soccer game, the employee is better able to focus on the job at hand while working.
  • Higher Quality Talent Pool: One of the biggest benefits employees discover from integrating telecommuting into their general office atmosphere is the ability to hire anyone, no matter where they may live. This can open up the talent pool and give them the opportunity to hire talent they may otherwise not be able to consider. This can offer significant benefits to the company and its strategic success.
  • Employees Take Fewer Sick Days: It is a proven fact that employees who work from home tend to work through almost any illness. Maybe it is because they don’t have to get dressed or even drive into the office, or maybe it is because they rest periodically throughout the day (as long as their work gets done). Illness doesn’t seem to stop telecommuters’ as much as traditional office workers.

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Whether you are considering creating an entire telecommuting office, or simply want to offer your staff a chance to work from home once in a while, giving employees this opportunity is an excellent way to bolster morale, increase productivity and build a sense of loyalty amongst your workers. To learn more about the benefits of moving employees out of your office and back home, contact the relocation specialists at Expert Relocation Systems.

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Creating a Better Culture After Your Office Move

Creating a Better Culture After Your Office Move

Delving into office relocation can be an exciting time for everyone. It can also cause angst amongst your staff and create a sense of unease. This is never good for business. Taking the time to create the right kind of company culture after your move can help everyone acclimate to your new space easily, and keeps the work flowing. Continue reading

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Don’t Go Broke On Your Office Move: Tips for Saving Money When Relocating

Don’t Go Broke On Your Office Move: Tips for Saving Money When Relocating

It’s time to move into bigger digs. Fantastic! Relocating your office is a big accomplishment – and a big expense. While you may be tempted to open your checkbook without much thought during this momentous occasion, there is no reason to risk your profits.  You can save money when moving your office, without cutting corners. Continue reading

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Office Moving

The Do's and Don'ts of Office Moving

Corporate moving is never easy, but planning ahead and choosing the right facility goes a long way toward achieving your relocation goal with minimum stress. Whether you’re arranging an office relocation across the country or just around the block, the same rules apply for a sane and manageable experience. Follow these do’s and don’ts of moving your office furnishings and equipment.

Do: Handle Filing Cabinets Carefully

Large filing cabinets, wall units and similar storage pieces with bottom drawers must be unloaded down to the bottom two levels before being moved. However, it’s best to leave items in the last two drawers to prevent the units from tipping over. Secure all the drawers, both filled and empty, to prevent injuries during moving.

Don’t: Use Sensitive Information

Tell employees not to write their names or other important company information on boxes and furniture wraps when packing for the move. Use a code system instead, such as their employee numbers, to get items back to the right spots by the end of the move. Make sure any files that are protected by privacy law are handled according to regulations, including locking systems on filing cabinets and safe cases for hard drives.

Large filing cabinets, wall units and similar storage pieces with bottom drawers must be unloaded down to the bottom two levels before being moved. However, it's best to leave items in the last two drawers to prevent the units from tipping over.

Do: Remove Ink and Toner

Remember to have your printers, copiers and other pieces of office equipment serviced and prepared for the move before the big day. You’ll need to remove ink and toner cartridges before moving the equipment as tipping or tilting the unit can cause ink to spill or ruin the internal components. Removing the cartridges is a process best left to a professional service technician because they may need to drain out ink or toner from other parts of the system as well.

Don’t: Forget About Plants and Decorative Items

Did your office come pre-furnished or did your company purchase the plants, wall art and other decorative items used around the office? The answer may surprise you, so check up on what’s actually coming with you during the move before directing the movers on what to take. Plants and framed artwork need careful handling and may do better in an employee’s car or perhaps should be replaced altogether in the case of a long distance move. Decide on what to do with the decorative items in advance so they’re not left behind unexpectedly.

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By taking the time to use codes for tagging furniture, preparing printers and copiers and deciding what to replace instead of move, your office relocation will go smoothly. Choose Expert Relocation Systems as your moving company in the Austin area for even more help with the process.

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Get More Organized at Work with These Simple Tricks

Get More Organized at Work with These Simple Tricks

Do you feel overwhelmed by what you need to do each day by the time you walk in the office door? Take a stand against that feeling by getting organized step by step. Workplace organization helps you reach your productivity goals, reduce stress levels and avoid missed deadlines. Get your work under control with these four tricks for a streamlined office experience.

Set Aside Some Me Time

Your commute is the perfect time for arranging your day in advance before you’re in the midst of everything. If you carpool or use public transport, you can get hands on with writing out a complete to-do list and organizing your time into blocks for the rest of the day. Even when you’re busy focusing on the road during your commute, you can think about your top three priorities and do some simple focus building motivations while you’re on the way.

Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking may sound like an efficient use of your time, but it’s actually interfering with your ability to get anything done. In psychological testing, almost every subject performed better on tests when focusing on a single task instead of doing multiple activities. Trim down the number of tabs you have open on your browser, turn off your email and phone notifications, and set timers to make sure you’re working toward a single goal at a time. If your current workflow is built entirely around multitasking, talk to your manager or boss about redesigning your deadlines and equipment to give you a more singular goal flow.

Don't assume that signing up for dozens of different productivity apps and work management websites will automatically make you more organized and productive at work. Each new app, website and program you use can serve as a distraction from actually getting the work done.

Use Technology Carefully

Don’t assume that signing up for dozens of different productivity apps and work management websites will automatically make you more organized and productive at work. Each new app, website and program you use can serve as a distraction from actually getting the work done. Balance out your use of technology with blocks of dedicated time for focusing on real work. Remember, checking your emails, scheduling meetings and updating your to-do list don’t get you any closer to achieving measurable goals. Try turning everything off except the software you’re using for a project so that notifications, text messages and other distractions don’t interrupt your work.

Control Interruptions

If you’re careful, you can even use technology to help reduce the number of distractions and interruptions you face in a day. By communicating with team members over a chat platform or email only, you can reduce the number of times your co-workers have to swing by to have a quick chat. Other workers may find that going offline only with conversations, therefore saving questions for daily meetings or breaks, can keep their focus on the task at hand. Experiment with different ways of blocking interruptions, such as working from home and switching to private workspaces.

Need help organizing your workspace as you make a move? Expert Relocation Systems is standing by and ready to help!

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Limit Your Carbon Footprint During Your Next Office Move

Limit Your Carbon Footprint During Your Next Office Move

So your office has gone green. That’s great news! But what do you do when it is time to move from one location to another? The fact is a single move could cost a one-ton tree its life, and that’s just for the boxes you will need to pack up your office. What’s a responsible manager to do?

Moving isn’t a very environmentally friendly endeavor. Still, there are some simple things you can do to ease the burden your office move may put on the globe.

Pack Smart

The average office move uses between 60-150 boxes, which amounts to about a one-ton tree. Luckily there are ways to limit your use of new boxes:

  • Recycle boxes. If possible, reuse shipping boxes you already have lying around your office or warehouse.  Ask other businesses to save their boxes, too. That way, even if you need to use cardboard boxes, you will know that you won’t be killing any new trees to make them. And once you’ve unpacked in your new office, send those boxes off to someone else who can reuse them or drop them in the recycle bin.
  • Rent boxes. If you need standardized boxes to help limit moving van space, consider renting boxes instead. This way you know they will be used over and over again.
  • Use recycled plastic bins. These sturdy boxes are an excellent way to get the job done efficiently without waste. Keep in mind that you can reuse these plastic containers as many as 400 times!
  • Use existing containers widely. Limit your use of packing crates and boxes by using items you already have. For instance, pack cleaning supplies inside of trash cans or office supplies inside of desk drawers or cabinets.
  • Always opt for recycled materials. Anytime you can find biodegradable packing materials, like packing peanuts made of corn starch or plastic bubble wrap made using oil, opt for those.

These sturdy boxes are an excellent way to get the job done efficiently without waste. Keep in mind that you can reuse these plastic containers as many as 400 times!

Understand Your Environmental Fuel Cost

One of the biggest hits your move will have on the environment is in the carbon dioxide discharge from the moving trucks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), moving your office contents just 10 miles in a large truck will emit about 40 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. So how can you limit this exposure?

  • Pack light. Only take what is necessary. If you only need 20 office chairs, don’t take 30. Donate the other 10 to a needing organization.
  • Look for a moving company that uses biodiesel fuel. This can dramatically cut down on emissions, especially on longer moves.
  • Use the smallest truck possible. The bigger the truck, the more CO2 you will release into the environment.

Hire a Professional Moving Company

One of the best ways to ensure that your office move is handled in the most environmentally friendly manner is to hire a professional moving company like Expert Relocation Systems. Knowledgeable in every aspect of office moves and able to incorporate recycled products and efficient packing practices, you can rest assured that we will create the most eco-friendly move possible.

Don’t risk the environment during your next office transition. Call Expert Relocation Systems to plan and execute a green move!

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You Can Increase Productivity with Office Ergonomics

You Can Increase Productivity with Office Ergonomics

Think that creating an ergonomically healthy environment in the workplace is just a new trend that you can get away with skirting?  Consider the facts:

  • One-third of all missed workdays are caused by work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).
  • MSDs cost employers as much as $20 billion every year.
  • Employees are less productive in work areas that are uncomfortable
  • Ergonomic workplaces make the office healthier, safer and more conducive to getting work completed on schedule.

According to the Department of Labor and Statistics, more than 300,000 injuries were reported in such industries as manufacturing, farming, health care, construction, agriculture and entertainment. Most of these injuries could have been avoided if the workplace had instituted an ergonomic plan.

What is an Ergonomic Work Plan?

Ergonomics isn’t just about making work more comfortable for the employee, but in creating workplace conditions that better match the job and the employee. For instance, if your employee is of shorter stature and must reach and pull all day long, you could be setting that worker up for an injury to the back, legs, neck or arms.

Your employees don’t have to be working a construction job to benefit from ergonomics. Even standard offices have plenty of areas in which they can improve the workday environment. For instance, if lighting is poor in one area of the office, employees there could suffer from eyestrain, headaches and fatigue. This will make them much less productive.

When you create a more ergonomic work environment, you look for areas where an employee could be stretched beyond his or her physical abilities and then make the necessary changes to make the workload less challenging. This could include installing railings or steps in certain areas, offering new safety equipment, or even changing the temperature and the lighting in the office.

Everyone can benefit from more training, especially when it comes to workplace safety. Take time out of the day to gather your staff and engage them in a workshop on health and safety.

What Should Your Ergonomics Plan Offer?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) offers these tips when trying to make your workspace more ergonomically friendly:

  • Look for signs of musculoskeletal disorders in your workforce. Do you hear a lot of complaints about strained necks, strained backs, etc.? That can help you narrow down who is feeling the effects of their work, and then look for ways to improve the day to day process and environment for that employee.
  • Ask your employees for suggestions. Maybe your office staff finds their current workstations uncomfortable. They will tell you if new chairs, tables, desks, etc., are needed.
  • Identify which jobs in your company offer the most risk for employee injury. Some positions are going to pose a greater risk based on the duties required of the employee. Figure out which positions fall into the high-risk category and start looking for solutions.
  • Review your injury logs. You’re looking for high rates of MSD complaints. Look for patterns to address first.
  • Modify tasks as necessary. After you’ve done your research, if you find that there are tasks that could be altered to promote better health, put together new best practices to roll out.
  • Offer safety training in areas with high injury rates. Everyone can benefit from more training, especially when it comes to workplace safety. Take time out of the day to gather your staff and engage them in a safety workshop.

How Will My Company Benefit from a Better Ergonomic Design?

The professional staff at Expert Relocation Systems understands the importance of offering the best ergonomic environment you can for your employees. We have learned that implementing these changes can make your staff more productive, decrease employee sick days, create a healthier and happier environment, and reduce other health related costs. You’ll be promoting a great company culture that shows your dedication to making the employees comfortable and cared for.

Remember — when it comes time to set up your workstations at your new office, Expert Relocation Systems can help. Just give us a call today!

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