Plants are a great way to liven up a cubicle and make yourself feel more at home while you’re at work. They are aesthetically pleasing and can lift your spirits by brining the outdoors in. Plant care can also give you a break from the daily grind. Not all plants work well in confined spaces and without direct sunlight, so before you decide to bring a plant into your cubicle, you’ll need to evaluate the options.
Good Plant Choices for Cubicles
Philodendron is a leafy green plant featuring dark and light green leaves. It is virtually impossible to kill, making it perfect for a work setting. From removing VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air to converting CO2 to oxygen, the addition of this hardy plant can help improve your concentration and decrease the likelihood of office-related headaches.
Peace lilies are another good choice for a cubicle. They do well away from direct sunlight and will even thrive in a centrally located cubicle. A lily also improves the air you breathe and its bloom is beautiful to behold. Let your peace lily help you stay focused and stress free on the job.
Jade plants are succulents that have gorgeous, smooth green leaves. Easy to care for succulents are always a good choice for cubicles because they don’t grow rapidly and many varieties don’t require direct sunlight. Choose well-established succulents for your office because young plants do need sunlight to grow.
Bamboo is a very easy to care for plant that only needs water to thrive. Enjoy the simple elegance of the plants and decorate the base for added charm. You can enjoy the small bamboo in your cubicle for years before it becomes too large to support without planting.
Oxalis comes in purple or green and features three triangular leaves and small, white blooms. They are also commonly known as shamrocks, due to their leaves. You will need to remember to water these plants regularly or they will die out on the surface. Luckily, the root system is hardy and you can get them to sprout back up with a little TLC. The leaves will open and close from day to night, making for an interesting experience if you’re at the office late.
Caring for Your Plant
While there are a variety of choices that will thrive in your cubicle, most plants can’t just be placed and forgotten. They will require regular watering, plant-food feedings, and varying degrees of sunlight. Most nurseries will give you information about caring for the plant, and you can always look up instructions for taking care of plants online. One of the best ways to remember your plant maintenance schedule is to set a reminder in your cell phone or through your email.
If you’re planning to be away from the office on vacation or sick leave for any length of time, remember to ask someone to take over your plant responsibilities or bring your plant home with you for the duration of your absence.
In modern offices, it’s normal to have two or more people sharing one cubicle. When you are sharing your cubicle with others, it’s important to be respectful. Failing to take privacy and work-related needs into consideration can lead to tension in the work place and decrease productivity. If you’re sharing a cubicle, keep this list of do’s and don’ts in mind.
- Be friendly. You’re going to have to get along with your cubicle mate(s) for the foreseeable future. Instead of closing yourself off, make an effort to engage with your coworkers at the appropriate times, like during lunch and at the end of the day.
- Speak at a normal level. Speaking softly, but clearly maintains a calm and productive workspace for everyone. If you need to speak on the phone in a louder voice, consider moving away from the cubicle to another area. For work related calls, talk with those nearby to come up with the most effective communication method.
- Maintain your hygiene. Even when you aren’t feeling well emotionally or physically, you should make an effort to be clean. Confronting someone about body odor or unhygienic desk habits can be difficult, so it’s best to avoid those situations from the start.
- Always ask to use others’ office supplies. Unless it’s a communal area, ask to borrow a stapler or pencil. Even if you are very close with your colleague, asking permission is a gesture of respect and courtesy.
- Be judicious with your decorations. While it’s perfectly acceptable to express yourself at your workstation, items that are distracting or too large for the space can be distracting and unprofessional.
- Use headphones. If you enjoy listening to music while working, it’s a good idea to use headphones or to keep your music as low as possible to avoid disturbing others. Some people find it very difficult to work if music is playing loudly.
- Eat in your cubicle. Unless it is absolutely necessary, avoid eating in your cubicle. Food smells can be some of the most noxious and irritating smells to deal with throughout the afternoon. Eat outside or in the break room to avoid disturbing others while you eat.
- Come to work if you’re sick. When you work in close quarters, coming to work with the sniffles can spread infection. It can also be distracting if someone in your vicinity is constantly blowing his or her nose or sniffling.
- Wear overpowering perfumes. Strong smelling scents in the form of perfume or candles can be irritating to sensitive noses in the workplace. Leave those scents for after work or at home use.
- Be nosy. While it can be tempting to listen in to conversations, read over someone’s shoulder, or ask your cubicle mates burning questions, it is often unwelcome and rude. Try to mind your own business unless you’re invited into the conversation.
When it comes to cubicle sharing, a little discretion goes a long way. Try to be sensitive to others’ feelings and work needs to make the best of an uncomfortably close situation.
For many who are designing a home office, a computer desk can seem like an unnecessary expense if another table or work surface is available. The truth is, investing in a computer desk has many benefits that make the purchase worthwhile. From health to productivity, here are some compelling reasons why you should consider buying a computer desk.
- Health. When you sit down to work, pay bills, write, or even play games you’re likely committing to sitting for a few hours at a time. In some cases, you may be sitting for most of the day. With articles coming out daily about how sedentary lifestyles are slowly destroying our health, it’s becoming more apparent that the design of your workstation matters.
- A good computer desk can improve your posture and decrease the chance of overuse injury and strain that comes from working at a computer for long periods of time. Did you know that even the way you look at a computer screen matters? Without a computer desk that has been set up for your needs, you may be placing your monitor on a table or your lap in such a way that it is actually hurting your eyes.
- Wrist and arm pain that comes from overused typing muscles, ligaments, and tendons can be improved by the appropriate computer desk, as well. Your wrists and hands should be supported and comfortably reach your keyboard to decrease the likelihood of injury from strain. Back pain is another common complaint from regular computer users.
- Unfortunately, it is very easy to forget posture after you have been sitting for an extended period of time. Having your computer monitor placed at the right level can encourage proper posture over time.
- Motivation. Experts recommend that unemployed persons get up at the same time every day, get dressed, and complete other activities that would normally be completed by a working person to stave off depression and improve productivity. In the same way, having a dedicated area in your home to complete your work can be a driving force. Owning a computer desk improves the chances that you’ll sit down and get to work on something important instead of procrastinating or engaging in other activities.
- Productivity. Computer desks that are optimally designed and located are considered ergonomic. Ergonomic workspaces have been proven to improve productivity in workers by making it easier for them to complete their work. A computer desk setup normally indicates that you have set aside a space in your home that is specifically for work. You will likely also have all of your files and important documents centrally located and easily accessible, making your space more efficient. Even recreationally, you will be more inclined to use your computer to engage in meaningful activities if you have a space that is dedicated to computer use.
The bottom line is this: buy a computer desk to improve your health and to streamline your computer-related activities at home. It’s a purchase you won’t regret.
In the business world, your office may be the first impression you make on colleagues, clients, superiors, and employees. In addition to having a space that is well organized, you may be judged on the quality and design of your furniture. Making a good impression from the beginning requires choosing a design that represents your personal brand.
An L-shaped desk is the perfect solution for anyone who entertains guests in the office. Some of their benefits include the following.
Increased Space and Organization.
Even small L-shaped desks are generally larger than other desk designs. A large desk provides you with more space to organize, work, and decorate. Additionally, L-Shaped desks can help create an organized office environment because they provide separation in the room.
The typical setup of an L-shaped desk features one side against a wall and the other sticking out horizontally from the same wall. The computer generally sits in the corner, effectively breaking up the space into two distinct areas. Use the computer as your central point with your work processes and to-do lists radiating out to maximize your use of the desk.
Desks are subconscious status symbols, and ones that are well built with distinctive designs can influence the way others perceive you in that space. For those who need to drive difficult negotiations, the right L-shaped desk can provide support.
A desk that sits horizontally in an office space and places the businessman behind provides a line of demarcation. Anyone on the other side of that line automatically has less power in the room. The businessman has his back to the wall, and is therefore looking out the door and at anyone who passes by or enters. The guest will not enjoy the same transparency as he or she will automatically be facing the inside of the room.
An L-shaped desk also affords you the ability to use one side of the desk for your work while keeping the other free and clear for interactions with colleagues, guests, and clients. A desk that is cluttered to the point that a visitor cannot work comfortably may strain communications and make any meeting less productive. Even people who are not naturally organizers can keep one side of an L-shaped desk clear to improve the workspace for collaboration.
Receptionists who use an L-shaped desk benefit equally from the construction. They are able to keep one side of the desk for working, while presenting a clean and neat desk to anyone who enters the premises. The organizational aspect of the L-shaped desk is a time saver. For any receptionist who works at a smaller or straight desk, working while maintaining a clear desk can be difficult and time consuming.
Regardless of your needs, there is an L-shaped desk that can enhance your workspace. You’ll enjoy more workspace and be able to juggle all of the communication duties of your job with an L-shaped desk. Don’t believe us? Try sitting in one today. Swivel from side to side with ease and feel the difference that an L-shaped desk provides.
Many Americans work 80-hour weeks accomplishing tasks that can only be completed at a desk. With so much time dedicated to the office, the right desk is an important investment. You will not want to work every day at a desk that is uncomfortable, rickety, or visually unappealing. Consider these tips for picking out the right office desk for your needs.
- Choose your style. Desks come in a variety of styles, from antique and retro to modern and unique. Consider your workspace, technology needs, and personality when choosing a style.
More modern desk styles may fit better into constrained spaces and are better suited for laptop work. Traditional desk designs tend to be larger, statement pieces made out of heavy woods with intricate designs. Knowing what design speaks to you as a businessperson can actually improve your productivity by keeping you in the right mindset to get things done when you sit down at your desk.
- List your needs. Rather than going on impulse alone, it is important to evaluate how you will use your desk. Will you spend most of your time sitting or will you need to be able to stand to do some work? Will you be entertaining and discussing business matters with clients in your office space? If so, you may need a larger desk setting to work through documents collaboratively. You may also find that a desk with a solid front will inhibit any collaboration by decreasing the amount of leg space for anyone sitting on the opposite side of the desk.
Other needs may include filing space, a workspace large enough to complete paper folding and mailing tasks, built-in areas for speakers, or plenty of leg room underneath.
- Determine your space constraints. In addition to knowing how much space you have to work with in a room, you will need to consider the space you need as a person. Being taller or shorter may impact the desk height and legroom necessary for your comfort. Knowing roughly what kind of chair you would like to use with the desk can also be helpful in narrowing down your desk choices. If you need to be able to work standing up as well as sitting down, a multi-level desk might best suit your needs.
- Decide on your materials. Desks come in a variety of materials, which impact the style, durability, and functionality of the desk. Materials vary from wood and laminate to reinforced plastics, glass, and more.
Try it in person. If possible, sit at different desks in a showroom or store before purchasing. Doing so will give you a better idea of how a desk will fit your needs. You may find that some of the criteria that you had listed are not as important or that you missed something that is actually very important to you. Even if you don’t find the desk of your dreams, trying out different desks can give you a clearer picture of what you want.
Ergonomics, as defined by OSHA, is the study of work. It is commonly used to study ways in which job tools and furniture can create a more effective and efficient environment for the worker instead of requiring the worker to adjust to the environment.
Ergonomic office environments provide a number of benefits to the individual worker as well as the company. Such environments can help with the following.
- Increase productivity by providing efficient solutions that affect movement, workflow, and organization.
- Create comfort, which keeps workers from suffering from back pain or strain, making longer sitting spells less hazardous to workers’ health.
- Promote healthy habits by decreasing glare, encouraging good posture, and decreasing the need to stretch to reach items.
Most people who work in offices know the importance of having an ergonomic chair, but having an ergonomic desk is just as important to an office worker’s health. Corner desks have proven to be an ergonomic solution for many work environments.
Benefits of Corner Desks
Corner desks have a variety of ergonomic and other benefits.
- Corner desks are constructed so that all your needs are within arm’s reach. Other desks may be longer and require getting up, moving your chair, or overextending your reach to grab the phone or a stack of files.
- Work prioritization. Most corner desks are set up with the computer monitor and keyboard in the center and workspaces on either side. Having a separate workspace on each side of the computer allows you to keep an open work side and place all your urgent items on the other. You’ll be able to clearly see what needs to be done during your daily activities. Furthermore, being able to move easily between tasks will reduce strain on muscles and joints.
- Corner desks provide a variety of vertical organizational options. Workers can maximize the space underfoot by placing a PC, printer, or other bulky item below the desk without compromising foot space. Above, many corner desks can be fitted with a hutch. Featuring shelving or a small cupboard, corner desk hutches can hold notebooks, folders, or reference books.
- Space saving. In small office settings, the corner desk is ideal. Unlike a traditional, straight desk, a corner desk takes up a minimal amount of space leaving the rest of the room for other uses. It is a great solution for home offices that serve as multi-function rooms. Additionally, corner placement in a room naturally cuts down on glare by positioning the computer monitor away from direct sunlight.
You’ll enjoy the versatility, style, and ergonomic functionality of your corner desk investment. Whether your style is modern, traditional, or somewhere in between, there is a corner desk that will be both ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing for your space. Stay-at-home moms, remote workers, and office workers all benefit from the corner desk design that improves productivity and maintains movement and flow in an office setting. Pair your desk with a comfortable and ergonomic chair for the most benefit from ergonomic research and design.
Did you know that sitting at a computer desk all day may be harming your health? When sitting your body is inactive and you aren’t burning any calories or getting any exercise. But the impacts of sitting all day are much more serious than that.
If you sit at a computer desk all day, you have an increased risk of the following.
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Blood clots
- Chronic pain
Dr. James Levine has done extensive research on the effects of sitting. His studies show that people who sit all day gain more weight than those who take the opportunity to move. This may be due to actual changes in the body that slow down metabolic processes and can also contribute to developing diabetes.
Sitting is a risk for increased heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. Researchers found that sitting more than two hours a day puts adults at a 125 percent increase for heart disease. Additionally, increased rates of cancer can be linked to sitting for extended periods. Cases of breast, colon, lung, prostate, ovarian and endometrial cancer can be tied to sitting for too long.
All of these health issues lead to an overall increase in mortality. A seven-year study in Australia concluded that for every extra hour during the day subjects spent sitting, they saw an increase of 11 percent in the overall chance of dying during the study period.
What is the solution to this health epidemic? Computers are so integrated into daily activities and work that it is impossible to avoid them. The simple solution? Stand up.
Standing Computer Desks Get You on Your Feet
The simple act of switching from a traditional desk to a standing computer desk could improve your overall health and ultimately save your life. Standing automatically increases movement and encourages you to walk, shift your weight and flex your muscles.
There are two types of standing computer desks: adjustable and fixed height. Fixed height desks are generally less expensive, but adjustable desks have advantages that make them the preferred option.
Adjustable computer desks:
- Give you the option of switching between standing or sitting throughout the day.
- Let you adjust the height of your desk to meet the needs of your body.
- Are an easier transition from a sitting desk to a standing desk.
If you are switching from a conventional desk to a standing one, you may need to build up your stamina during the day. An adjustable computer desk lets you stand for a period and then sit when you need a break. Once you make the transition to the standing desk, if you are tired or having an off day, you can adjust the height to suit your needs.
There is nothing wrong with sitting for part of the day as standing too long can lead to back pain and other issues. An adjustable desk lets you find the balance that is right for you. A standing computer desk can have life-long impacts to improve your health and extend your life.
A leather chair is normally a statement of achievement or the ability to invest in quality workmanship. It conveys authority, prestige, and demands respect. However, it is also an expensive investment. Just because you don’t have excess money to use on a chair doesn’t mean a great leather office chair is out of the picture, though. Consider these alternative options.
Bonded and Bycast Leather
Bonded leather and bycast leather are both terms used in the furniture industry to refer to imitation leather products. Some companies will use sneaky sales techniques to market the leather as genuine, and the price tag may not give you a good indication otherwise.
These types of leather are byproducts of the real deal. Even though it is not 100% leather, bycast is an alternative that looks and feels similar to genuine leather and contains more of the real stuff than bonded leather. You’ll receive the same benefits from bonded and bycast leathers as from real leather, including the easy clean up and cool-to-the-touch feel. However, it won’t last as long, and it is more subject to rips and tears from cat claws and scissors.
Another way to cut down on the price is to look for a leather match office chair. It will contain real leather on some parts of the chair while matching in vinyl or another material on places that aren’t directly touched on a regular basis. All three options – bonded, bycast, and leather match – can provide the user with the distinctive feel and smell associated with top grain leather.
The brand Naugahyde was very popular as an imitation leather in latter half of the 20th century. Made entirely from a knit and PVC plastic coating, the product is still a popular faux leather alternative. It is an animal free and affordable alternative to real leather or mixed leather office chairs.
The most important aspect of bargain shopping for a leather office chair deal is to do your research. Ask multiple questions about the manufacturing process that created the material and then back up what you’re told with some internet research. Even faux leather can be marked up to a price that is unnecessary and deceiving. If possible, try out a few chairs before making your choice. A chair may feel completely different from how it looks in the store or online. Sitting in a few different chairs will give you an indication of what to look for in your ideal match.
If your heart is still set on genuine leather, you can always look at used furniture options. You may be able to find the quality and design you seek at a much more affordable price than you would have paid for the brand new version. Genuine leather will wear and stretch over time, but it should still hold its quality and tensile strength. With a little bit of research and a willingness to dig for the bargains, your leather search can end with you happily sitting in the leather office chair of your dreams.
There is something about a leather office chair that makes work more enjoyable. For some people it is the comfort, and for others it is the nostalgic scent. Regardless of why people choose a leather office chair, the continuing popularity promises they won’t be disappearing any time soon.
Genuine leather is durable and ultra-comfortable. A genuine leather sofa, armchair, or office chair is unmatched in softness, form, and quality. It is also one of the few things in life that truly gets better with age. Over time, your leather office chair will fit you like a custom made glove.
Whether you’re looking to make a statement or you just love the smell and feel of leather, we think we understand why so many people always drift back toward leather as their office furniture material of choice.
- The quality. Even though genuine leather will always be more expensive than other materials, it’s made to last a lifetime. With proper care, your leather office chair could become a family heirloom. The scent of leather and cigar smoke is a very comforting combination to family members who experience fond memories associated with the smell. There are even candles that seek to reproduce the unique smell.
- The prestige. There is a certain air of authority that comes from owning a leather office chair. The combination of the smell, luxury, and style make leather the material of choice among wealthy business owners.
- The comfort. A leather office chair is a product you will sink into time after time with the same sensation of comfort. It will be one place that you can retreat to after a hard meeting or a difficult assignment and know that your efforts are worth it.
- The style. Whether you’re looking for something modern or want to evoke a sense of a bygone era, there is a leather office chair to perfectly meet your needs. You can find ergonomic leather chairs, custom made chairs, and unique contemporary leather chairs. For a truly classic leather style, look for quality hardwood accents in the armrests and at the base.
Interestingly, leather is so popular as an office chair material that even those who oppose the source and means of producing leather have created faux leather alternatives to meet the demand of the animal rights activists.
Sit in several leather chairs before deciding to buy one that looks good online. Only testing a chair out will give you a good indication of fit. Everybody has different height and body shape needs, and testing out a few chairs before making a purchase will clue you in to aspects that you do and do not like. Keep in mind that there are different grades of leather, and those of a higher grade will stand up to the test of time better than lower grades. Instead of merely comparing costs, always ask a sales representative about the grade and source of leather to get a better indication of the quality in which you are investing.
If you work at home, you know it can be difficult to find the right chair or right spot on the couch that feels comfortable to work from. If you are feeling sluggish or tense in your back and shoulders, it would be wise to consider purchasing ergonomic chairs for your home office. Doing so can decrease pain and improve your performance, making your at-home job a more rewarding experience.
Did you know that the study of ergonomics has been around since World War II? Britain coined the term when it was trying to enhance the pilot control experience in airplanes. Now the principles of ergonomics are applied in office furniture, vehicle seating, and other areas to improve the overall user experience or interaction with a device.
Ergonomic chairs provide users with a number of health boosting benefits. Because they are so customizable, they improve and reduce chronic pain associated with sitting improperly, overuse, and overextension. To get the most pain-reducing benefits, users should practice sitting in the chairs with good posture. A great way to ensure that you are sitting with proper form is to adjust the seat to your needs while you are sitting straight with your feet planted squarely on the floor and with your knees at a 90-degree angle.
If you feel uncomfortable, chances are you are going to be taking more frequent breaks, becoming distracted, and shifting around more in general. While moving around during the day is actually very healthy, the stimulus for moving should not be pain or stress. Ergonomic chairs improve productivity because they facilitate our movements, provide stability, and support our bodies while we’re sitting. In the same way that a swaddle helps a baby feel safe and stabilized, an ergonomic chair helps adults feel empowered to complete their deskwork.
Look for these ergonomic chair features to get the most out of your purchase. Don’t simply trust that a label with the word ergonomic on it indicates that a chair will cover all your needs.
- Back support. The best chairs feature moveable lumbar support. If the chair does not have adjustable support, make sure that your lower back feels cushioned and supported.
- Adjustable armrests, headrests, and height. Depending on your height and body type, you’ll need to adjust all three areas to suit your needs while you are sitting at your desk.
- Swivel capabilities, legs, and casters. An ergonomic chair should make it easy for you to move around within a confined area and easily reach things on your desk or nearby. Five support legs provide more stability than four, and casters will allow you to move around your desk with ease.
Just because you don’t work in a traditional office setting, doesn’t mean that principles that work for large companies won’t work for you. Invest in an ergonomic chair to improve your productivity and protect your musculoskeletal system. You should be able to tell a difference in as little as a day of use, and it can save you from experiencing chronic pain in the future.