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Planning a Conference Room

4x8-conference-table-main-190x190There is nothing worse than having a newly finished conference room end up being all table with no space to move. Planning your conference room is much easier if you have some basic guidelines to follow. Lets start off with the clearances you need to take into consideration.

56” is ideal and 48” is minimum for clearance between the table and wall. This space is needed to allow a person to get by as well as allow for a chair.

It takes a minimum of 16” for a person to walk sideways between a chair and wall and 24” to walk without turning.

It is important to allow 30” side to side per chair. This will allow each person to comfortably pull out chair and be seated.

56” needs to be allowed between the table and visual display.

For quick reference, here are the most common conference table sizes, how many people can be accommodated, and the minimum room size for table.

Table Size        Seats                Minimum Room Size
6′                       4-6                   14′ X 12′
8′                       6-8                  16′ X 12′
10′                     8-10                18′ X 12′
12′                     10-12               20′ X 12′
14′                     12-14               22′ X 12′

Some of our most common table shapes are round, boatshape, rectangle and racetrack. For more information, contact one of the talented Project Managers at www.NewLifeOffice.com.  We can help you plan a great looking conference room with optimal space usage.

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Refurbished Cubicles – More Than Expected For Less

It is common for people to have the misconception that refurbished cubicles look old or not as nice as new product. At New Life Office we delight in showing our customers just how great our refurbished product looks. In fact, it’s kind of fun to give our clients more than they expected!

Our cubicles are a nice combination of refurbished Steelcase panels and storage with new worksurfaces and file pedestals. We painstakingly remove old fabric, sand down all metal parts and then bake new paint on. Next, we recover panels in new fabric of customer’s choice and manufacture new worksurfaces in laminate also chosen by customer. Once we pair our new file pedestals with the refurbished panels and worksurfaces, it’s hard to tell the difference between a new and refurbished cubicle. We love giving our customers more than they expected for less!

See for yourself! Here are pictures from some of our recent installations.

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Office Furniture Ideas for Father’s Day

Since it is Father’s Day Weekend, I thought I would throw out some quick last minute gift ideas.  Have you considered giving your father, husband, significant other a nice office chair or even a desk for Father’s Day?  Think about it, what a perfect gift!  Something thoughtful and useful.  Here are a few items that are in stock and could be picked up today!

What Dad wouldn’t look great in our High Back Executive Task Chair?  This chair is a leather high back and would look great in a home or business office.  This high back comes with padded arms and a  chrome finish.  This chair not only looks great, it is also functional and would be comfortable for a long days work.

If Dad needs a task chair for the home office and needs something on a  smaller scale, check out this Mesh Task Chair.  The mesh back allows air to pass through to prevent body heat build up and for cooling comfort.  This chair comes with contoured loop armrests, adjustable gas lift seat height adjustment and a sweet looking metal finish base.

Our Bowfront style desks are our most popular and look great in both home and corporate offices.  You can go with just a 72″ desk, an L-shape desk (as shown) or if space permits a full U-shape workstation.  We stock these desks in both cherry and mahogany and they come with a file pedestal.

If you are searching for a great looking desk for a smaller home office, Dad is sure to love this 30X66 budget desk.  We stock the desk in a cherry finish and it comes with a file pedestal.

Rendering of 30x66 Budget Desk

You can find these items and more on our website www.newlifeoffice.com.  Happy Father’s Day!

New Office Desks

We made our reputation by being an office cubicle refurbisher for over 20 years as well as building our own workstations.  Did you know that in the last few years we have started carrying a few lines of desks too?  The desks coordinate well with our cubicle finishes and have proven to be great quality.  Take a look at some of the items we are stocking.

Our most popular desk style is our cherry bowfront.  We stock the  72″ desk in a variety of configurations such as the U-Shape Desk with Hutch, L-Shape Desk, or even the Reception Desk.

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Our 30X66 budget desk is a great value if you are looking for something under $300.  The quality is great and it works well for both home and office use.

Rendering of 30x66 Budget Desk

The 72″  L-shaped Contemporary Desk has a sleek look and is available in black, cherry and beachwood.  The contemporary lines of this desk are very cutting edge, perfect for a tech office.

Rendering_L-Shaped Contemporary Desk

The last desk I want to share with you is our Contemporary Reception Desk.  This desk is 90″ wide and works great in those tight reception areas.

Rendering_Contemporary Reception Desk

You can see all of these desks and more at http://www.newlifeoffice.com/product-category/office-desks/.

Office Storage

Are you running out of storage space in your office?  Whether you are working in a home office, or a corporate environment, file space seems to fill up quickly.  At New Life Office we have several storage options to help you organize and best utilize your space.  Most of our product comes standard in black or white as shown.  Custom paint options are available on all products.

If you are looking for extra file space in a private workstation, under your worksurface, we have several options:

The first would be a mobile file pedestal.  The mobile pedestals are 20″ high and will fit under most desks or worksurfaces.

If you are in a cubicle or modular workstation, we have our standard file pedestals that are 27″ high.  They come in a file/file configurations if you are looking for file space or a box/box/file configurations if you need drawer space as well.

If you have enough space, a 2 drawer lateral file is also an option to go in your workspace.

If you are looking for more filing space, lateral files will help you to maximize your space.  You can use lateral files in private offices or in a shared or open space.  They come in 2, 3, 4 and 5 drawer options and range from 36 to 42″ wide.

If you are in need of more drawer space, check out our Tambour Door Filing Cabinet. It is also mobile!

We also have some great open storage options for you.  Stand alone bookcases come in 36″ and 65″ height options.

Our Tambour Door Storage Module gives you the best of both!  You can hide behind the tambour door as well as have items handy on the open shelves.  This unit is 36″ wide and 57″ tall.

Call Center Cubicles

The call center of yesterday is changing roles and adopting new names like contact center, customer care center or help desk.  Today the call center is one of the most important assets to most companies.  Call centers are used for reservations, telemarketing, technical support, customer service, surveys, collections, phone banking and the list goes on.

Since a call center is vital to most companies, it is important to design a layout that is functional, comfortable and good for the corporate image.  Employees will work best in a call station designed to fit their daily tasks.  Colors, finishes and configurations can help to create an environment that team members feel welcome and comfortable in.  Since the call center is one of the most important spaces of an office with invaluable work taking place, it is pertinent that it looks the part.

At New Life Office we have over 20 years of experience in helping customers design functional call centers.  If you have an open space, we can help you layout your cubicles for maximum efficiency and assist you with creating the perfect working environment.

53″ high panels are used quite frequently in call center environments.  The 53″ high panel absorbs sound amd allows for easy supervision as well as collaboration.

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65″ high panels are best when sound is a concern.  The higher panel will absorb more sound, create privacy and allow for overhead storage.

4' Used Work Station Cubicle Salt Lake City42″ panels can be used when acoustics are not an issue.  They help to create a more collaborative,team friendly environment.

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Not all call stations have to be composed of one straight worksurface.  As the tasks of each team member and call center are unique, workstation needs differ.

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Simple Ways to Stand & Move More in the Office

Take-Stairs

The typical American spends 7.5 hours a day sitting at work.  Add eating, home computer, t.v. and leisure activities and daily time spent sitting really adds up.  In fact, my back hurts just thinking about it!  Excessive sitting is sited as a key risk factor in heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer.

Research shows if people sat 3 hours less a day, it would add 2 years to the average U.S. life expectancy.  With these stats in mind, I have been searching for simple ways to get myself out of the office chair and moving around a lot more.  While sit/stand desks and treadmills are ideal, most employers are not going to fork out the money for them.  So…  here are a few simple ideas that could be easily incorporated into most offices.

  • Stand when taking phone calls.  You can even pace to burn extra calories.
  • Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind yourself to get up and move.
  • Take a 5-10 minute stroll at break time.
  • Move and stretch at lunch time.  Take a walk instead of sitting around.
  • Stand and clean up your desk or cubicle area each day before leaving the office.
  • Find a walking buddy, listen to an audio book or music to motivate yourself to keep walking.
  • Purchase an exercise balance ball to use for a while each day.  You could roll it from cubicle to cubicle so everyone gets a chance to work their core.
  • Stretch at your desk.
  • Park further away.
  • Hold walking meetings.
  • Take the stairs.
  • Do calf raises while waiting for the copier/talking on the phone.
  • Wear a pedometer and set daily step goals.
  • Use the printer/copier furthest away from your desk.

If you are not already making an effort to move more at work, I hope you will take a few of these ideas and start out slowly.  By creating good habits to move more at work, you can be adding extra years to your life.

Reduce Eye Strain

 

A 2013 survey conducted by The Vision Council reports that Americans on average spend six to nine hours a day in front of digital devices, and the percentage of adults spending 10 or more hours in front of screens rose 4 percent in the last year. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults experience digital eye strain as a result of the growing use of these devices.  I don’t know about you, but I spend a good portion of my day in front of something digital!  I decided to find out a little more about eye strain because I have been experiencing it firsthand.

Eye strain is a symptom, not an eye disease.  It occurs when your eyes get tired from intense use, like driving a car for a long time, reading, or working on the computer.  Basically, any discomfort caused by looking at something for a long time is called eye strain.  Even though eye strain is annoying, it usually isn’t serious and will go away once you rest your eyes.

The most common symptoms of eye strain are sore or irritated eyes, difficulty focusing, dry or watery eyes, blurred or double vision, increased sensitivity to light and headache or brow-ache. These symptoms may be accompanied by pain in the neck, shoulders or back due to holding a bad posture for a prolonged period of time.

So, let’s get down to the important stuff.  How can you prevent eye strain?  There are several things you can do in your work environment to reduce eye strain.

  • Follow a 20-20-20 rule.  Look away every 20 minutes (preferably to the horizon), at least 20 feet in front of you, for 20 seconds.
  • Put a post-it note on your computer that says blink.  Blinking helps to rehydrate your eyes.
  • Take regular breaks from computer work.
  • Place your computer screen 20-26 inches away from your eyes and little below eye level.  Also make sure your screen can tilt and swivel.
  • Clean off dust and fingerprints from your screen.  Smudges reduce contrast and can create reflections and glare.
  • Put a document holder next to your computer screen.
  • Use artificial tears to refresh eyes when they feel dry.
  • Adjust lighting to reduce glare and harsh reflections.  Avoid lighting directly behind or above a computer screen.

I’m planning on making adjustments to my workstation according to these suggestions.  Have you successfully tried anything that has helped reduce eye strain?

Reception Desks

Your reception area may be the most important space in your office.  This is where first impressions are made.  It is important to think about what kind of image you want to create for your company and do it well.

While it is key to create a great look, you also need to make sure the space is functional for your receptionist.  What kind of tasks will he/she be performing?  How much space will be needed?  Do you need to “hide” their desk top?  Is a transaction work surface necessary for clients to sign, make payments, etc.

At New Life Office we have a variety of solutions for your reception desk needs.  If you are looking for a free standing desk with a transaction top, we have contemporary and traditional options.

Our contemporary reception desk is great for small spaces like salons that do not require a lot of desk top room.

For a more traditional look, we have our bowfront cherry reception desk.  This desk offers plenty of room for a computer, work area and storage.  The beautiful cherry finish creates a rich, warm feel to any space.

By far our most popular option is our modular reception station.  By building a reception station with panels and worksurfaces, the sky is really the limit.  You can customize to any size and can create the right shape and size to accommodate your receptionist and space.  You also have the option to customize your panel fabric pattern, worksurface finishes and paint colors.  Another perk to modular reception stations is the flexibility to reconfigure in the future.  If you move to another space or need to change things around in your current space, it is easy to add on to and make those changes.

Make a Better Impression on the Phone

Do you ever find yourself imagining what the person on the other end of the phone line looks like?  I’ll admit I do.  In fact, I once had a customer service rep that I frequently spoke with and had quite the image conjured up.  She was so ornery and put out on the phone that I imagined her looking just like the lady in the Maxine cartoons!  How do you come across on the phone?  Did you know there are things you can do to sound more friendly and energetic?

I was told a while back that you should always stand while talking on the phone.  This really caught my interest and as I looked into it I found out that standing makes your voice appear much stronger and more energetic.  Standing can also make you sound more convincing and determined.  If your circumstances do not allow you to stand, try to sit alert with your back straight and feet on the floor.  I thought this made sense, who wants to sound like a slouch?

Have you ever noticed call stations that have mirrors hanging in them?  I have, but never thought about why (a little vain, maybe?)  Come to find out the mirrors are there to encourage callers to smile while on the phone.  When we smile our voices naturally become friendlier, brighter and warmer.  The person on the other end of the conversation will perceive you as being polite and well intended.

Another way to come off friendly and attentive is to use the caller’s name.  If they give their name at the beginning of the conversation, be sure to write it down and use it.  This personal touch will help you be perceived friendly and attentive towards other’s needs.

I plan on implementing these phone tips right away!  I hope you find them helpful too.  Do you have any other tips to make a great impression on the phone?