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PICKING THE PERFECT OFFICE CHAIR

 No matter if you’ve just moved into a new office space or you’re looking to replace your old chair, selecting an office chair is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. An ergonomic chair is a vital piece of creating a comfortable and efficient workspace as it has features that allow adjustability and mechanisms that support every body type. These adjustments allow users to customize certain features of the chair (e.g., arm height and seat depth, etc.) to best support their individual body throughout the work day.

 There is no one-chair fits-all solution to office seating. You want to balance the need for comfort and being ergonomically correct, but you don’t always need ALL the bells and whistles. That’s why it is important to work with an ergonomic professional who can ask the right questions to provide the right chair for your specific needs.

 Things a professional will consider for your needs:
  • How many hours a day do you spend in your chair?
  • Do you share your chair with someone else?
  • Is your chair used 24/7 (call center, police department, etc.)?
  • Will the chair be used on carpet or hard floors?
  • What is your size (there are petite choices as well as large scale)?
  • Do you have any specific injuries/conditions that need to be addressed?
  • How much adjusting will you need in the arms? (some arms adjust up to 8 ways, some don’t adjust at all)?
  • How much wear and tear will the fabric take?
  • Do you want a mesh or upholstered back/seat?
  • How much do you want to spend?
  • What type of warranty is important for you?

 Be sure to “test drive” the chair in your own environment for a few days to ensure you have what you need. Finally, when your chair is delivered, set up time with your ergonomic professional so that you can learn how to use the various mechanisms. A good ergonomist will also help you make those adjustments specifically for you.

 Consolidated Office Systems offers both the “test drive” option and employs professionals that know the right questions to ask to get you the perfect office chair.

 

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MOVABLE WALLS VS. DRYWALL

Movable Wall Upside

Volo-Image-1-450In the open-office work of collaboration and communication where most walls are coming down (not going up), movable walls, floor-to-ceiling,  accommodate privacy needs and offer the flexibility  to reconfigure tomorrow. Teaming and conference  rooms, training areas and private offices can now  comfortably and economically coexist with more open plans. The wall systems are installed as a furniture “turnkey” concept.  Building an interior space in this way provides many benefits.

Benefits:

  • Faster installation which can reduce costs
  • Simplifying and streamlining the construction process
  • A modern and dynamic look
  • No dust, no paint smell and no waste
  • A fully movable product that can be dismantled and reassembled with normally only an electrician and an installer
  • Potential tax advantages (when categorized as furniture and equipment)

Drywall Process Downside

Traditionally, drywall is constructed at the beginning of a project. Then the other trades are required to work around the walls already in place (e.g., electrical, network cabling, painting, carpet, cleaning, furniture, equipment, etc.). Scheduling and coordination of these sub contractors creates longer delays in building the project, at a higher cost.

Movable walls reinvent this process by treating full-height walls like modular furniture. The building shell made up of electrical, cabling, suspended ceiling, carpet and perimeter finishing is executed in an open space without the presence of walls to obstruct the movement of tradesman and materials.

Do you really need the flexibility of a movable wall?

Really consider in your long term plans whether you need the flexibility that these systems provide. Be sure to ask the right people these questions when looking at this type of system:

  • How long will you be at this location (factoring in whether it is owned or leased space)
  • What’s the rationale for using movable walls?
  • Do you really need and will you really use the flexibility these systems provide?Volo_BOH_2_R-450

If Movable is Right, Choose the Right System (Trendway)

Be sure to choose a “green system” that is a wall system – not a furniture system that grew up to be a wall system:

A company that:

  • Has been designing movable walls for 45 years
  •  Provides a fast lead time (two to four weeks)
  • Integrates with both existing building infrastructure and systems furniture
  • Provides a broad palette of standard surface materials and finishes
    • Veneer
    • Tackable/fabric
    • Laminate and faux veneer
    • Tempered and decorative glazing
    • Writable/magnetic back painted glass in a choice of colors

Call us today for a free estimate and to see how we can help you with your movable wall systems using Trendway Products. 

(714) 630-2707

 

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Tips for Organizing Your Office

I have an office in my home that seems to be the place where everything goes during the holidays…you know, the place where stuff goes when the holiday decorations come out? After all the holiday “stuff” was put away this year, I discovered that not only was this room holding my day-to-day décor during the holidays, it was also home to a mountain of paperwork, left over computer equipment, items that just didn’t seem to have a home anywhere else, but too important to toss. I know how to organize, but I’m a serial procrastinator (not my fault, my Dad bequeathed this trait to me…). I decided to start the year with a clean slate and organize the room. By the way, I didn’t try to remedy the situation in one day as that can be overwhelming. The time had come! Enough!

I finished the room last week and had such a sense of relief that I didn’t have to face it again in its current state of disgrace. Here are some things I did and other things I recommend based on the knowledge I’ve gained working with Mark (owner of Consolidated Office Systems) and his ability to put together systems for organizing just about anything. These ideas can be applied to either your home or your office.

Paper, Paper Everywhere

The most overwhelming part of the “disgrace” was the documents I’d kept but not filed or organized. Organizing paper files is a task that will inspire most of us to procrastinate…paperphobia: the fear of having to deal with organizing paper files. It can be a debilitating disease, but the quickest cure is a little “sorting therapy.”

 

First Sort

Because paper was the biggest contributor to the mess, I started there. Pick a stack, any stack. Go through each document and decide what to do with it. First you need to recognize when you’re keeping something out of fear or habit, rather than reason. Ask yourself some simple questions about each document:

  • Is the information still relevant to my life?
  • Has it become outdated?
  • How easy would it be to replace if I needed the information later?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen if I got rid of it?

From there, create piles of “look alike” documents (all tax documents, all receipts for large items purchases, investment documents, car information, insurance information, etc. ) Try to limit the categories or you’ll end up with too many file folders with limited number of documents in them.

Disposing Documents

Separate the documents you want to dispose of into two piles. Documents you can recycle and personal information that needs to be shredded. If you end up with bags full of personal information, like I did, call a shredding service to pick them up instead of trying to shred them one document at a time.

Note: Here’s a little hint to cut down on the mail that comes to your house that you will never need. I have a recycle bin in my garage, so when I pick up the mail from my mail box, I go directly to the bin and toss what I don’t need.

Supplies & Equipment

Now you’re going to need some supplies/equipment. I’m lucky because I already have the filing cabinets, folders, pockets, labels, etc. at home thanks to Consolidated Office Systems. If you don’t have what you need, give us a call or leave a message here and we’ll set you up with the right products for your particular needs.

Create a folder, pocket or envelope for each document category, label them and file them in either a fire proof safe or filing cabinet, depending on the documents.

 

…the Grand Reveal

The last thing I did was take everything else out of the room that had not been used over the last year and made a trip to the local dump. I didn’t really have items to donate, give away or re-purpose..but keep that in mind for your own decluttering. Remember that any computer equipment you’re tossing will need to be disposed of appropriately.

I then organized what was left in the room and realized I had a nice, beautiful space to enjoy and spend time in. My “disgraceful” room had just gotten a little more grace. I realized that what I had procrastinated doing, took just a short period of time to remedy. Now it’s your turn. Let me know how this system worked for you!

Call Consolidated Office Systems

to help with filing systems and supplies!

 

…the finished product

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Help, We Ran out of Storage Space!

This is an issue we frequently hear about, especially when you consider how much we pay per square foot for rent in California. It’s always a toss up; ”how much room do we have for the people and where do we put all the stuff we need to store?” You can’t stack the people one on top the other, but you can go vertical with your storage or filing systems and save the extra floor space for more important things, like productive employees. Here is a story that may help you consider changing your storage systems.

Datum Ez2 filing system The Hopkins County Clerk of Courts office had 26 vertical files they used to store registration cards for license plates. They moved to a new building but were provided limited space for their registration cards. The solution was to replace the 26 vertical files with seven, 92” high Ez2 Rotary Action Files.

 Instead of expanding out, the units expanded up, using up the vertical space in the room. The system also provided multimedia drawers to organize the registration cards, making them more accessible. The large top drawers were installed for archive storage that did not need to be accessed frequently.

 This accomplished three things:

  1. It provided the right solution (more efficient) for what was being stored.
  2. It provided additional storage for the registration cards on a go-forward basis.
  3. It provided 37% more floor space allowing room for growth in more productive areas.

 If you have a space problem, or would like to store more “stuff,” contact Consolidated Office Systems to:

  • visit your location
  • measure your current systems
  • work with you to identify your future needs
  • design the best system for you from a myriad of options we have available

 All of the above is provided at no additional charge, if you purchase the new storage systems from us.

 Story courtesy of “Profiles of Success” from Datum Filings Systems, Inc.

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To Cubicle or Not to Cubicle?

So you’re moving to a new location and trying to decide whether to go the cubicle route or use free standing desks. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages and it really depends on the type of work your employees do.

 Cubicle Upside

Cubicles do provide employees with barriers from some noise and visual distractions which allows for better concentration. They also offer a certain degree of privacy, along with the impression that each employee has their own dedicated workspace. Cubicle walls also offer more space for shelves and make it easier to post calendars, notes and memos.

 Cubicle Downside

Cubicles have been known to decrease person-to-person communication, leading to frequent complaints about isolation and even potentially low employee morale. If not done well, they can be bland and have been the subject of ridicule in comic strips such as Dilbert and movies such as Office Space.

 What Do Your Employees Actually Do?

If your employees spend the majority of their workday on the phone conversing with clients or the general public, going the cubicle route might make sense, as the space provides the quiet needed to conduct private conversations. For instance, employees of an auto insurance company can most likely sit in a cubicle environment.

 If your employees spend the majority of their days on their computer and have little or no need to be on the phone, an open workspace plan might be a better approach. If you’ve got a team of artists or designers who frequently work in collaboration with one another, an airy, open workspace approach may work better. Not only is the aesthetic more inviting to creative types (who don’t enjoy being literally boxed in) but is also gives employees the freedom to collaborate on projects.

 Cubicle World is Not Totally Soundproof

Many employers (themselves housed in private offices) think the cubicle setup drowns out all sounds of chatter and noise. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. One important issue that rarely is considered when cubicles are installed is the quality of the ceilings and floors in the office. Acoustic floor coverings and ceiling panels should be essential parts of a plan to reduce office noise.

 Be Creative with Your Choices

Think color. In today’s world your options for laminate, paint color and fabric are almost limitless. Including a splash of color in your cubicle setup is bound to brighten not only your office but the outlook of the employee sitting inside it.

If you can, include your employees in some of these decisions so there’s no “buyers remorse” when your employees are having difficulty working in their new space because they were not asked about their needs. Making changes after cubicles are installed can lead to additional unplanned costs.

 Your partner..Consolidated Office Systems

Consolidated Office Systems is fully prepared to help you make these decisions with our vast background and experience in helping others create comfortable and esthetically pleasing workspace. We work with you to determine your needs and then design the space and create floor plans taking all of the necessary information into consideration. We have multiple lines of workstations and will help you choose which one will work best for your line of business and the type of work your employees do.

 

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Ergonomic Quiz for Arms, Elbows & Wrists

Did you know that musculoskeletal disorders, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis account for one-third of all work related injuries? Listen to this story and discover how you can ensure your workers are safe.

 We recently worked with a medical practice to replace some older ergonomic chairs due to employee back issues. Upon further investigation, the new chairs were a great help, but the bigger issue was the placement of their keyboards. They took this quiz and determined they needed adjustable keyboard trays with a mouse and gel wrist support, mounted under their desks. The result was a great ergonomic set up (provided by Consolidated Office Systems) and best of all…some happy and comfortable workers.

 

Questions

Are your shoulders and upper arms relaxed and roughly perpendicular to the floor (not stretched forward or elevated)?

            Yes___           No___

 Are your arms and elbows held close to your body (not extended forward)?

             Yes___           No___

 Is your keyboard positioned at the same level as the top of your elbow?

            Yes___           No___

 When using your keyboard, are your forearms, wrists and hands held straight and parallel to the floor (not pointing up or down)?

            Yes___           No___

 Are your keyboard and/or mouse positioned within comfortable distance of each other?

            Yes___           No___

 Is your mouse easy to activate and correctly sized for your hand?

            Yes___           No___

 Is your workspace free of sharp and square edges that might interfere with your comfort?

            Yes___           No___

 Does your chair have arm rest to help maintain proper posture without adding strain to your neck and shoulders?

            Yes___           No___

 Recommendations

  • Use an adjustable keyboard tray or keyboard drawer to ensure proper posture while typing.
  • Adjust the height and tilt until your wrists and forearms form a straight line while typing.
  • Look for a stable keyboard tray or drawer that is large enough to hold your keyboard and your mouse.
  • Position your mouse so it can be operated without extensive reaching.
  • Select a mouse that comes in multiple sizes to ensure proper fit.
  • Select a chair with arm rests to promote good posture and relieve stress.
  • Make sure that the arms rests support both arms without restricting movement.
  • Use a gel filled wrist rest to support your wrists and cushion them from sharp and square edges.

So now that you know what you need to do, call us for an ergonomic evaluation of your office space and be comfortable in no time! (714) 525-1500

 

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Current Ergonomic Thinking

The following is an excerpt from Office-Ergo

This page summarizes some of the new research in office ergonomics and presents some new ways of working.

1.  Conventional wisdom for monitor distance is that it should be 18 – 24 inches away. This is wrong. The best distance is “as far away as possible while still being able to read it clearly.” Longer distances relax the eyes.

2.  Conventional wisdom for keyboard distance is that it should be be approximately at the front of the work surface. This is limiting. There’s nothing wrong with pushing the keyboard back farther if the forearms are supported, provided the wrist is kept straight and the elbows aren’t resting on anything hard or sharp. The work surface should be higher than elbow height.

3.  Conventional practice for placement of the mouse is to push it away. Closer is usually better – next to the keyboard is the goal.

4.  Conventional wisdom regarding a chair is that the chair should be at a height that allows the feet to reach the floor when the legs are 90 degrees (at the knee). The 90 degree knee posture is not correct ergonomics although it is not a harmful position. The legs should move often, not stay fixed in the 90 degree position. The chair should, if possible, be low enough for the feet to rest on the floor even when extended.

5.  Conventioanl wisdom for keyboard height is that is should be at elbow height. This is wrong, or at least too narrow. Variation for elbow height is fine, especially in the lower-than-elbow direction.

6.  Conventional wisdom for monitor height is that the top of the screen should be about at eye height. This is fine for some people,, wrong for many. The current recommendation is that eye height is the highest a monitor should be, not the best height. Many people find a low monitor to be more comfortable for the eyes and neck.

7.  Conventional wisdom for wrist rests is that they can do no wrong and should always be used. This is wrong. They may be able to cause harm if they’re too thick, too thin, too hard, or have sharp edges. They also can cause harm if ythey’re constantly used – they probably should be used just during pauses. The carp tunnel is under the wrist/palm and should not be subjected to much extra pressure.

Put these ideas into practice and feel more comfortable during those long days at the computer.

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Tips for Decorating Your Office Lobby

When clients or customers arrive at your office, the lobby is their first encounter with your business or practice.  This is the space where a first impression will begin, so it’s important to make it inviting. Here are a few excellent tips that will help transform your lobby into a luxurious waiting place that will make any guest feel at home.

Where to Start?

The first step is paint. When you’re picking our paint colors stick with colors that are more on the neutral side such as earth tones. However, don’t be afraid to use some color. Base your choices on the furniture and accent pieces you’ve already selected. Avoid light and dark extremes. White and off-white are too boring for this space. If you choose something too dark, the space will appear much smaller than it really is.

Comfort is Key

Select furniture for your lobby that is both attractive and comfortable. Since your guests may wait for a period of time, seating that will make them feel relaxed and at ease should be of utmost importance. Take into consideration how many clients or customers will be waiting at any given time and plan accordingly. Soft cozy chairs, settees or couches that are easy to clean and maintain are good choices.  If you have a very large lobby, you may want to consider gang seating. Incorporate end tables and coffee tables where you can so that you can display magazines. You may also want to add a standing or wall mounted magazine rack. At Consolidated Office Systems, we can let you test chairs in your office before you make your final choice.

Artwork

Nobody wants to stare at a bare wall while they wait, so use artwork to add some color and flare to your lobby. Choose pieces that are interesting to look at, and be sure they are complimentary to the colors of the room and the upholstery of your furniture. If you find artwork that coordinates with the overall look of the room and stands out on its own at the same time, you’re on the right track.

Refreshment Center

A nice way to welcome clients or customers that enter the lobby is to offer them a beverage while they wait. Set up a beverage station with coffee, tea, cups, spoons, napkins and small packets of sugar and creamer. You may want to think about either renting or purchasing a water cooler and cup dispenser as well. Make sure you have a water basket or two located close by for easy disposal.

Designate a Kid Friendly Space

If your office lobby is a place children may be visiting, designate a special kid-zone just for them. A small table and chairs along with some toys with some toys, puzzles, coloring books and crayons will keep them entertained.

Your office lobby should be a place where guests will want to return, so do your best to make it look and feel great. These decorating tips will help you create an atmosphere that your customers will love, adding to the overall success of your business.

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Contact us!

Consolidated Office Systems

  • user_white 1167 N Red Gum
    Anaheim, CA 92806
  • speech_white Tel. (714) 630-2707,
    (800) 540-6988
  • speech_white Fax. (714) 525-1534
  • mail_white E-mail: patti@consolidatedofficesystems.com

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