Seat Material Guide

When it comes to seating materials, you have quite a lot of options. So how do you know what material is best for you and your working needs? This furniture guide will help you determine just that.

Fabric

Fabric Chair

As one of the most common materials used in seating, fabric is a great choice for many working environments.  It provides suitable support, is soft to the touch and can also be found in a stunning array of colors. Fabric can be difficult to clean, so it’s best to avoid this seating option if shopping for any type of healthcare facility.

Vinyl

Vinyl seating

Vinyl is water resistant and easy to clean. This type of material is a great choice for high traffic areas or areas where the chair will have multiple users, such as a waiting room or a call center. Vinyl is quite durable, and acts as a suitable and less expensive alternative to leather, but it is subject to cracking over time.

Antimicrobial Vinyl

antimicrobial

This is the ideal choice for any healthcare setting. This material prevents the spread of germs and can easily be cleaned with hospital grade cleaning solutions. Antimicrobial vinyl is built to withstand these harsher cleaners, even those that contain bleach.

Mesh

Mesh seating

Mesh offers comfortable and breathable support that other materials cannot duplicate. With a grid-like pattern, air flow is encouraged even when the user is seated. This is great for individuals who often overheat in a fabric or leather chair.

Leather

10-1-genuine-leather

There are a few varieties of leather. Both genuine leather and faux leather are very similar, although genuine leather is a bit more durable and, therefore, a bit more costly. Genuine leather is known for its luxurious, smooth feel and for offering an appealing level of comfort. Faux leather not only looks like genuine leather, but also has a similar feel and comfort level.  Bonded leather, on the other hand, consists of a blend of both leather and vinyl.

How to Create Office Spaces for Introverts

Collaborating in the Office

The current trend away from closed offices and cubicle walls and toward open office layouts has been gaining considerable momentum in recent years. The idea is that by knocking down the physical barriers, like walls put up between co-workers, employees will have more opportunity to start casual conversation with one another, thus fostering greater collaboration and innovation. But what about the introverts? People who identify themselves as introverts are at their most productive when they are in quiet spaces with as few distractions as possible. Introverts and extroverts can be just as productive as one another, but because they respond differently to different levels of stimulation, they need to work in different types of environments.

So how do you accommodate the introverts as well as the extroverts? The most successful work environments provide many different types of spaces that allow employees to choose how and where they want to get their work done. Not everyone can thrive in an open office floor plan, and not everyone can work effectively in cubicles. Many employees need to be alone in order to come up with new ideas. Once these new ideas are formed, they can then get together with team members to collaborate and build on those ideas. Finally, the team can break apart again to take action steps on those ideas. Take a look at some easy ways that you can help encourage the introverts in your office without hindering the extroverts:

Provide quiet spaces. Too much openness can be counterproductive for many, but too much solitude can lead to a serious lack of collaboration between co-workers. Privacy is just as important as openness, and office design should shift from being hierarchy-based to being needs-based. Fortunately, you don’t need to do a major overhaul of your office layout in order to provide for your employees. Try offering some conference rooms or an executive office to your employees which can be booked just so that introverted workers, or even extroverts who may have a headache on a given day, will have a designated spot to retreat to when they need to stay focused or meet a hard deadline quickly. The solitude will boost focus and creativity, and it will decrease the employee’s stress levels too.

Offer telecommuting. Don’t have any quiet space available in the office in which your introverts can work? If possible, consider allowing your employees to telecommute. Working from home even one day per week can allow the individual to refocus and reorganize his or her thoughts more effectively. Some people work better from home where they are free from the distractions of the office, but others may find working from home to be even more distracting than at the office, so take the employee’s work habits into careful consideration before making this decision.

Limit meetings. Avoid excessive meetings. Meetings can be good and they can be necessary, but you don’t need to be in conferences all day, every day. Introverts don’t do their best thinking while in groups. Rather, they do their best work and get their most innovative ideas when they’re alone at their desks or at home. While you can’t cut out team meetings altogether, conferences and alone time should be well-balanced throughout the week to facilitate the right amount of thinking time and collaboration time. Provide your employees, whether introverted or not, with breaks to recharge and renew their thoughts.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every workspace, taking these steps toward helping the introverts in your office work more effectively is crucial toward overall productivity. Working habits are different for everyone.

How to Stay Focused and on Task

Staying focused and productive at work.

It doesn’t matter what you do for a living – staying on task with focus can be difficult, especially when you are juggling tasks and attempting to finish multiple to-do lists. In effort to help you stay productive and engaged at work, we’ve put together a list of strategies for better focus in the workplace that you can try out for yourself.

Establish a Routine

Of course, this may not be possible for every career, but it can still be a helpful strategy for many individuals. Having a routine can help to keep you focused by taking a lot of the decision making process out of the equation – you no longer have to consider what to do next, a process that probably eats up way more time than what you realize. Instead, a schedule can ensure that you not only get everything accomplished, but also stay focused by knowing exactly what is next.

Take a Break from the Multi-Tasking

While it is certainly tempting to multi-task at the office, research shows that we might be better off not doing so. Few individuals are actually good at multi-tasking. In fact, most of us are quite terrible and as a result, the work accomplished while multi-tasking suffers. Our brains just aren’t designed to  take on more than one project at a time.

To Do List - Staying Focused

Set Clear, Defined Goals

The whole mentality of “I’ll get to it when I get it” doesn’t usually work. This is why having clear, written goals is often the best course of action, even if it is just a simple to-do list of a few items. Often times, these goals are referred to as your “wins” for the day – things you have to accomplish for the day to be considered successful. They help you have a clearer idea of what the day is about and can really help you zero in on how to complete them.

Get Comfortable

Distraction caused by discomfort is one of the leading causes of lost focus in the office. This is where proper ergonomics comes in. Make sure that you have an office chair that you can adjust and that you are keeping your feet flat on the ground, your arms parallel to the ground and your back straight and supported by ample lumbar support.

Work in Blocks

We have a limited reservoir when it comes to focus. Eventually, we will need to take a break and allow it to replenish. The best way seems to be working for 60 to 90 minutes then stopping for a quick break. This break only needs to be a few minutes – you can take a little stroll, go fill up your water bottle or make an unrushed pit stop to the restroom. Whatever you choose to do, let your brain rest – take a true break. Then get back to work feeling refreshed and ready for another 60-90 minutes.

Utilize Your Headphones

Music can help you drown out other distracting noises, whether it’s the printer behind you constantly printing or a coworker who speaks rather loudly over the phone. Just make sure that whatever you are listening to is suitable for the task you are completing. For example, an intensely detailed podcast might not be very conducive when you are trying to complete a project that demands your full attention.

Accessories to Spruce up Your Office

office accessories

Looking for an inexpensive way to spruce up your workspace? In need of smaller items to purchase before your budget runs out at the end of the fiscal year? You don’t need to spend a ton of money to give your office a makeover! Take a look at these pieces of office décor and accessories that will help give your work area an exciting new look without breaking the bank:

hydrangea

Artificial plants: A little greenery can help breathe life into an office that may otherwise be stiff and stale. Although real plants and flowers are ideal, they can be a headache to keep up with, and allowing your plants to thrive over the weekends when you’re not in the office can be tricky. Fortunately, artificial plants are much easier to maintain and get still bring a fresh new look to your space. That’s why we offer a wide range of faux plants and flowers to help you keep your workspace green. Whether you want a tall faux mango tree to liven up your lobby or a lovely little faux hydrangea for your own personal workspace, you can bring a more natural look to your office with these beautiful but inexpensive pieces of décor.

ARS-85717-black_s7

Wall art and décor: From motivational prints to elegant landscapes, we have a variety of different types of wall art and décor that you can use to liven up a blank wall in your conference room or executive office. No matter if your workspace boasts a cool, contemporary look or is abundant in warm earth tones, you’ll find an art print or unique piece of wall décor that can be the detail that makes all the difference.

chair mats

Chair mats: Although not quite as striking or as immediately noticeable as plants and wall art, the right chair mat can make a dramatic difference in the look and feel of your workspace. Not only will a quality chair mat make rolling your chair around the desk area easier, but we offer a number of stylish chair mats that can really add a finished look to your overall space. Bamboo chair mats from Anji Mountain are some of our personal favorites, and they really bring a sleek, contemporary sort of charm to the modern office.

office lighting

Lighting: Lighten up! Although we recommend working near a source of natural light, we also know that that’s not always possible, whether you’re stuck in a cubicle or if it’s just one of those gloomy, rainy days. Adding a desk lamp or floor lamp to your office can significantly enhance the ambiance of the space, making it easier for you to stay focused and productive throughout each work day. Working for too long in poor lighting can cause serious eye strain which will not only make you sleepy by 2:00 p.m., but could also pose health concerns such as headaches and fatigue. A light placed just over your workspace or on a nearby table can help illuminate your work area so that you can see everything you’re doing clearly.

desk globe

Desktop accessories: There’s no need to stick to the mundane workspace that your company supplies you with! Give it a little personality and warmth by adding your own small accessories to the space. From desktop organizers that help you keep your paperwork together and out of the way to miniature globes and beautiful desk pads, you’ll find something to help you work more effectively in our selection of work surface accessories.

Benefits of Offering Employee Scholarships

Employee Scholarships

It’s becoming clearer and clearer in today’s workforce that employee engagement is the key to creating better company leaders and more productive workers. Many companies are offering enticing benefits in an attempt to keep employees engaged, to show appreciation for all of the hard work that their workers do and to mold employees into the strong leaders that will define the company’s future. By offering incentive for your workforce to go back to school, both employees and employers alike will benefit from the results almost immediately, and especially in the years to follow.

Increase employee morale. The first and most important benefit to implementing a work-sponsored scholarship program within your company is the boost in employee morale. The great thing about this benefit is that you will start to notice it right away. Simply by knowing that this option is available to them through the company, your workforce will feel more appreciated. By funding the higher education of your staff, you’re showing them that you care about their personal enrichment, advancement and budget. Although offering competitive salaries and impressive 401k plans are an excellent ways to get employees to want to work for your company, providing a scholarship incentive goes above and beyond. It shows that your company not only wants your workers to work for you now, but that you also want them to be able to gain the skills they will need to grow within your company and stay with you for the long term.

Support non-traditional students. Employee scholarship programs are becoming increasingly important due to the rise in non-traditional students enrolling in college programs. Non-traditional students are becoming more and more common each and every year as more people who are already working full-time seek to go to school part-time to obtain either their first degree or an advanced degree. By offering scholarships to your employees, you will be helping individuals attain an education that they may not otherwise be able to receive.

Improve your workforce. People who are ambitious enough to want to broaden their horizons with a college degree are the types of motivated, dedicated employees who you’ll want on your team. Tuition assistance is a great way of improving the skillset of your workforce, which you can then use to improve and grow the operation of your business. You’re also ensuring that you’ve got employees with the latest skills and sharpest minds. The lines between college students and the professional workforce are becoming more and more blurred, making it almost essential to support further educational development. Creating a scholarship program is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this.

Collection Spotlight: The Sauder Via

Sauder Via Office CollectionHave you been searching for the perfect office collection to outfit your entire office? If you are looking for an attractive, contemporary design that offers a rich and dramatic contrast, the Sauder Via Collection may just be the ideal office collection for you.

At first glance, it is easy to notice the drastic and unique two-toned look of the Sauder Via Collection. The classic cherry top combined with a soft black base makes for an eye-catching juxtaposition. The contrast makes for a more distinct and unique look.

Upon a closer look, though, you’ll notice even more to love about the Sauder Via collection, including its sleek and glossy Eversheen surface. The Eversheen is as much cosmetic as is it practical – the gloss, applied only to the desk surface, gives the desk a polished, sophisticated look while protecting it from scratches, heat damages and dents, thus making it extremely durable and long-lasting, even in the demanding setting of the modern day workplace. The gloss creates a beautiful clarity that is simply stunning.

Sauder Via

The complete collection also offers plenty of storage space and simple functionality. The desks are complete with wire management and grommet holes in order to both accommodate the modern technology demands of your office and keep the rather unsightly appearance of cords simply tucked away, contributing further to the sophisticated look. All of the pieces feature simple assembly with outstanding durability.

The Sauder Via Collection offers you an easy way to create a bold, yet professional ambiance in your office. It is one of our most popular collections – feel free to read the reviews below to see what our customers are saying.

Review of the Sauder Via

Sauder Via Desk Review

Statesman Standing Desks

NBF Statesman Collection

Part of our exclusive NBF signature Series line of furniture, the Statesman Standing Height Desks have a lot to offer, and you won’t be able to find them anywhere but here. Standing desks are beneficial to your health, and these particular standing desks offer handsome good looks as well as a sturdy construction that you’re sure to appreciate. Take a more detailed look at what makes the Statesman Standing Desks such popular products here at National Business Furniture:

standing desk

Ergonomic Support: There are a number of studies that point to the conclusion that sitting for prolonged periods of time can be extremely hazardous to one’s health. From surface ailments such as back and neck pain to more serious internal issues including a vastly increased risk of heart disease, the risks are great when it comes to sitting in your office chair. In order to keep your body moving adequately throughout the day without disrupting your work, it is recommended that you stand up for about 2 hours out of every 8 hour work day. Alternating between sitting and standing each day will promote proper blood flow and keep you more alert and focused on your work.

stand up desk

Elegant Appearance: While all standing height desks are beneficial to employee health, the Statesman standing desks offer a look of traditional elegance that you don’t come across every day. Hardwood solids and wood veneers give off a rich, regal look, and they provide a solid foundation that you can trust to last year after year.  The Chestnut Cherry finish is warm and inviting, and the desk is fully finished on all sides so that it will look great whether pushed up against a wall or in the middle of the room.

data port

Convenient Functionality: This handy desk offers a number of modern amenities that will help you work to your full potential. The center pencil drawer allows you to store important office supplies nearby, and it even has a flip-down front that enables you to use it as a keyboard or laptop tray for more comfortable typing. For connectivity purposes, the desktop is equipped with a built-in data port that includes two outlets and two USB ports. This way, you won’t need to sacrifice modern convenience for traditional style.

Whether you’re in it for the health benefits, the style, the convenience or all of the above, once you’ve worked with the Statesman Standing Height Desks, you’ll wonder how you ever worked without them! We offer standing height desks from this collection in both 60”W and 48”W versions to suit your space, and we also have a standing height desk and executive L-desk set for those who want a complete matching office. For more information on the benefits of standing and adjustable height workstations, be sure to check out our more detailed white paper on the subject here.