Holiday Party Tips: Office Edition

Christmas holiday party

How to survive and thrive at your holiday office party

The holidays are a busy time, and it’s easy to find yourself feeling too sick and tired for a holiday office party. Even Santa takes a good rest each year. But you deserve to celebrate all your hard work! So try to watch your health this month and take care of yourself, okay pals?

Prepare Yourself

It’s a good idea to think ahead to the day of the holiday office party. For example, if you’re an introvert, you might try not to schedule other social events in the days surrounding the party. And you could let your housemates know that your nervous system will need some quiet alone time when you come home that night. If you get a plus one, think about who will be good company. Etiquette says you should check with your significant other — but maybe they don’t actually want to attend! Maybe instead, you have a close friend who would love to see inside your office and meet your work friends.

If you get low blood sugar or have dietary restrictions, try to have a snack before the party. And if you work for a big company, review LinkedIn for a refresher on your coworkers’ names and job titles. If you experience social anxiety (or if you find your coworkers boring or intimidating), it’s totally cool to prep some conversation topics. Talk about your holiday plans and ask about theirs. Ask if they do winter sports or if they like to bake. Otherwise, make sure to hydrate, dress comfortably, and get ready to cut loose!

At the Party

When you arrive, try to talk to new people, and try not to talk about work. But mostly, focus on having a good time and celebrating all your hard work! After all, this party is supposed to be a reward for everything you’ve achieved on behalf of your company. So enjoy it! Emily Post encourages you to say hey to your boss. It’s totally okay to take the opportunity to connect with upper management who you might not usually see in person. But don’t try to impress them by reciting all your achievements. Instead, impress them with your restraint, your calmness, and your conversation skills. Try sharing what you’ve been working on all year, what you love about the company, and asking them about their career.

Christmas holiday party

This might sound lame, but try to check in with folks about social media posts. I know, I know, it’s almost 2020 (!), but you never know what people are going through. For instance, maybe someone cuts loose and drinks more than they anticipated. Or perhaps they’re stepping out with a new partner but it’s not quite public news yet.

Do not rely on alcohol as social lubricant. Some office parties don’t even offer alcoholic drinks, since it can be tempting to overindulge. Here’s a Pro Tip: Don’t interrogate people who aren’t drinking! Maybe they’re pregnant. Maybe they’re an alcoholic. Or maybe they just don’t feel like it! In the end, it’s none of your business if people choose to imbibe.

Lastly, have an exit plan, and try to say goodbye to folks before you leave. Want a real pro tip for nailing office parties? Show up at work the next day in top shape. Hangovers don’t feel nice and they don’t prove anything.

If you’re on the planning committee

This can be a really good way to make sure the party is good! Order the food you like! Bring in a bunch of adoptable puppies! Being part of the preparation process can help you feel more excited to attend. If you’re the planner, you have the opportunity to prioritize accessible activities, eco-friendly decor, and food from local businesses.

And remember, it’s really nice to let people know ahead of time what to expect from the party (dress code, food, activities, duration). Sharing this information increases the likelihood of people actually showing up to the holiday office party. It also gives you the opportunity to get credit for your hard work. Some people have kids and pets, and they need plenty of warning about parties. Ask the company if they’d consider offering a babysitter stipend. Alternately, the company may wish to cover cab fares home to ensure folks can celebrate and still get home safely.

Activities

Nobody likes to be forced to participate in games or activities. PLEASE don’t force anyone to do something they don’t want to do! It’s generally a good idea to balance high-energy, collaborative activities with low-key solo activities. For example, everyone can enjoy the opportunity to win a door prize via raffle ticket. You could give away extra company merch, or see if any coworkers can contribute tickets or goods. Maybe they have a side hustle making jam! This can be a great way to foster relationships at the end of the year and spotlight people for who they are outside of the office. Setting up a basic photobooth is another good way to encourage people to celebrate. Just set up some lights, add a basket of props, and people can take their own photos.

Too often, gift exchanges become inappropriate and awkward. If you do a white elephant or Secret Santa gift exchange, consider setting a theme like books or edible treats. No more fluffy nipple clamps for Barb the receptionist! Another option is to do something charitable as a team. Donations of canned food, socks for the homeless, or toys for needy children are a good way to give back together.

Finally, to encourage bonding and gratitude (and increase retention!), you could invite people to do some professional reflecting on their best moments of the year and their career goals for the New Year.

Food

We recommend finger food and bite-sized snacks for a holiday office party. Whether you’re getting it catered or preparing the food yourself, smaller servings reduce waste and allow people to eat exactly the amount they like. It’s really easy to buy stuff in bulk and then portion it into smaller servings (like a brownie pan cut into cubes with toothpicks, for example). If it’s a potluck, here are some ideas for easy, impressive, and inclusive dishes to bring.

You could send around a Google Survey to collect people’s dietary restrictions. Either way, try to include some halal, kosher, vegan, GF, keto foods. You could also look for a local food truck to cater your event. Winter can be a slow time for them, so this is a great way to build relationships while supporting local businesses. Cookie decorating is a fun and low-key holiday activity! Buy a bunch of premade sugar cookies (or support a local bakery) and grab some sprinkles and frosting. Remember to ask people about their food allergies beforehand, or plan to have stuff on hand that everyone can eat.

Drink

A super way to make your holiday office party inclusive is to offer non-alcoholic drinks. I’m not talking about boring cranberry ginger punch or sparkling water.

A selection of non-alcoholic cocktails from Toronto-based Temperance Cocktails.

Check out Temperance Cocktails for high-quality, beautiful, thoughtful recipes, ingredients, and party services for people who don’t drink alcohol. If you’re in Toronto, they can come to your party and make gorgeous non-boozy beverages. If you’re not, they can ship them to you! Please please please, remind your boss that you need to have non-alcoholic drink options at your holiday party.

Decor

Only put up what you feel like taking down again at the end of the night. And remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas! Wintery decor is plenty festive and more inclusive. Also, climate change is real and single-use plastic is not cool — it can be easy to put up seasonal decorations without relying on Dollar Store plastic ornaments.

For instance, you could grab your office projector and play classic movies like It’s a Wonderful Life on a blank wall. Set out paper and scissors for people to make their own paper snowflakes. Hit the thrift store for some gently used garlands and kitschy globes. We recommend a simple color scheme to keep things classy. This also makes it easier to coordinate and delegate if a group of people are buying decor separately.

Feeling Lazy?

If you really want to avoid doing any intense party planning or decorating, then just do in-office stuff. For example, you could organize a casual in-office advent calendar countdown. The company could give away gifts on each day leading up to the last of work before the holidays. Items could be simple, like tangerines, candy canes, tickets to a play, or hot cocoa packets. You could do an in-house catered lunch and invite people to wear ugly holiday sweaters. Set out a wintery puzzle for anyone to work on. Surprise your employees and decorate the conference room, Elf-style.

A woman smiles at the camera in front of her office space, which is decorated for Christmas with inflatable figures and twinkle lights.

You could also organize a desk-decorating competition, or a lunch hour cookie cocoa meeting. Or book an out-of-office activity and avoid having to clean anything up! The boss could schedule massages for everyone. Suggest taking your team to a holiday-themed escape room and then going out for pizza. Make sure that it’s an accessible space, and you’re done and dusted!

Alternatives to Holiday Office Parties

Alternatives to holiday office parties? We’re glad you asked!

Consider doing something family inclusive. Why not open up your office party to employees and their families? The holiday season is always busy, and all too often people spend more time at work than with their families. Float the idea with your team and see if they’re interested.

Or, don’t do a holiday party at all! Typically, large corporations have held their annual parties around Christmastime to celebrate the end of the fiscal year and hand out year-end bonuses. But we live in 2020, and most of you reading this probably work for more interesting companies. So why couldn’t the company plan their big annual party for summer instead of winter?

In the end, a holiday office party is all about celebrating hard work and coming together as a team. So we hope you enjoy yours! Happy holidays from Furnishr.

Is a Shared Office Space Right for Your Small Business?

working at coffee shop

For the past several years, shared office spaces have grown steadily in popularity, with more than 14,000 such spaces serving nearly 1.2 million people, according to the latest Global Co-working Survey.

And why shouldn’t they be popular? Shared office spaces offer numerous benefits that neither a home office nor a traditional space can provide.

Still, it’s hard to know if jumping on this trend is the right move for your business – and this article will help you make that decision.

relocation, job
Is your business outgrowing your home office?

First of all, why are you considering a shared office space?

Your business’s goals are the most important metric by which to evaluate if a shared office space will be a step forward.

For example, is your business currently located in a traditional office and you’re looking to cut costs? Or are you working from home or from public spaces now and looking for a more professional space to host clients and partners?

The characteristics of the shared office spaces below will apply differently depending on the answers to these questions, so it’s vital to lay out exactly which changes you would like to see for your business first.

a shared office space with stools and foosball table

Flexibility – more or less

One of the most attractive aspects of a shared office space is that most don’t require a long-term commitment. Many memberships range from hot seats to private offices, and are usually available on a month to month basis.

Payment plans are often flexible, too, and many do not ask for deposits or upfront fees of any kind – this depending on the space, of course.

An added bonus is that if your team might be changing in size very quickly, this means that you can upgrade from a desk to an office with relatively short notice.

Some aspects are less flexible, of course. For example, one drawback of shared office spaces is that they tend to have static operating hours (usually the typical 9-5). This just won’t do if your business needs to operate at odd hours or for longer days.

Still, all of this depends on the space in question and your business needs.

three white people are grouped around a laptop gesturing

Consider the costs

A shared office space can be a money-saver – but not for everyone.

If you’re working from home or public spaces (a cafe, for instance), your current overhead might be just your internet bill and electricity, or the cost of transportation.

Still, if your living space may not have enough room for your business anymore, or it’s less than ideal for hosting clients, a shared office space may be a good solution. Many shared spaces offer meeting rooms.

A shared office space can work great as a way of downsizing, too, if your business doesn’t need all the space of a regular office. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about fixing broken equipment or getting the Wi-Fi back up and running in a co-working space. This lets you spend more time running your business.

Shared spaces offer lots of amenities, like printers, the cost of which is shared by other officemates. This does mean that you’ll have to bring yourself anything they don’t have, so notebooks and other portable office equipment are absolutely essential.

With all that mind, a shared space can be a good idea if you find that it can save you money on not just your workspace, but your other overhead costs as well.

Community vs. privacy

Especially for startups, a shared office space can allow you and your business to interact with other startups and entrepreneurs. This can reduce feelings of isolation and even serve as an inspiration to your business.

The other side to this is that you surrender a fair amount of privacy by sharing a space with other businesses. This could potentially lead to interpersonal conflicts – and of course, sometimes you don’t want your competitors in earshot when you talk business.

Still, many shared office spaces offer solutions that help you decide when you want your business to interact with others. For example, private offices and boardrooms are commonly available to rent for chunks of time, whereas networking and social events are often hosted, where you can get to know and learn from your cohorts.

So, once again, it’s all a matter of what your business needs and what local shared office spaces can offer you in terms of events and private spaces.

several people sit at a coworking table

The verdict on shared office spaces

It bears repeating that knowing your business’s goals is the most fundamental piece of your decision to switch to a shared office space.

The final decision depends on what the spaces around you have to offer, but if you keep these basic pros and cons in mind, we hope it can help you make the right decision! And if you end up deciding to redo your home office, give us a call and we can help you get started.

This post was contributed by Isaac Church.

What to Budget for a Home Office In Your New Place

Home Office
Whether or not you do your job from home, it can be great to carve out space for a home office.

SERIOUSLY, YOU NEED A HOME OFFICE

Firstly, having a home office can help you avoid neck problems from web browsing in bed or on the couch. No shame, but chiropractors are costly! A designated “work” area at home, even if it’s only a corner of your living room, can help you get into that focusing vibe. It can provide you with a physical space to organize all your home projects, papers, and side hustles. Plus, a home office is a great opportunity to show off your style and display some beautiful and inspirational art (and office supplies!). After all, nothing says “you got this, bitch” more than a sleek filing system, a jar of highly pointy pencils, and your favorite badass motivational graphic. That being said, your first step is to decide how much space you need, and for which activities.

Home Office

 

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MOVE

Now before you start budgeting for fancy stuff, this step is really important. If you’re relocating to a new place, it can be tricky to figure out how your current home office set-up will translate. You may already have a desk, a chair, office art, and various containers for papers and supplies. Maybe you already know the dimensions and layout of your new space! Or maybe all you know is that you want some place to set up your laptop and put a couple plants.

The good news is that this moment right now, pre-move, is the perfect moment to take stock of what is / isn’t working in your current home office. Take a moment to evaluate which items (and habits) should make this move with you, and which are okay to leave behind.

DREAMING AND PLANNING – WHICH TYPE OF PERSON ARE YOU?

If you are starting a fancy new job as part of your move, it’s worth giving some energy to redesign the vibe of your new home office. After all, this space will see you into the next stage of your career development! It should be designed to support you and keep you balanced as you pursue those professional dreams.

Remember to consider your technical requirements. For example, your home office may require a full-size monitor or even a podcasting nook. If you do regular video calls, you should also think carefully about how to light your home office. You also need to think about the best spot to setup (and conceal) your WiFi.

So. Start the dreaming! Imagine yourself sitting down at your beautiful new home office, and take some notes. Is it morning? Are you typing on your laptop on a small table or reaching for your watercolors on a larger surface? If your imagination is struggling, Pinterest is really great for all kinds of home office inspo.

> The Home-Based Entrepreneur

Maybe you’re redesigning your home office because you’re making the leap to full-time entrepreneurship. You will be working full-time from your home office. Maybe you’re someone who enjoys sitting at their desk in the mornings while enjoying a cup of coffee and reviewing a to do list. In this case, you may already have a big enough desk to hold your laptop and your business notes. If this sounds like you, then you may wish to spend your budget on more soft furnishings (lamps, art, rugs) rather than furniture. You could create a special spot for your morning cuppa (hello, clever coasters!) and choose desk art that reflects your early bird mentality. If you want to host meetings, you might want to set a chunk of cash for a stylish couch and an end table.

a non-binary person using a laptop at work
Credit: Gender Spectrum Collection.
> The After-Work Hustler

Alternatively, perhaps you’re moving across the country to take a corporate job. You just need a small designated spot in your new place to put office supplies and electronics. Are you someone who struggles to make it to your desk at the end of a long workday, and your laptop always ends up on the floor by your bed? If this sounds familiar, think about splashing out on a smaller-footprint desk that lives right in your living room. Look out for materials that make your desk space feel luxurious and attractive. What about a faux sheepskin rug for your tired feet? A tea station, complete with electric kettle, could be an inviting addition to your new home desk. A classy shelf, designed specifically for storing your laptop and charger, goes a long way in encouraging tidiness.

The key to furnishing success is being intentional about connecting design with ritual.

PRIORITIZE YOUR SPENDING

Congrats! You should now have a rough idea of the activities you’d like your new home office to support. We at Furnishr are big believers in furnishing in the proper order. What do we mean by this? Well, you’d never buy a chair for your desk before buying the desk itself, right? By starting with bigger furniture pieces, and considering layout and lighting, you can save yourself so much time and energy. Trust us.

Okay! Now you’re ready to attach some cash to your vision. Your home office budget should go towards meeting your most essential needs. And you should have a good idea of which furniture will or will not be making the move with you.

Here’s how a home office budget could play out.

simple home office with a small desk with black chair and artwork by a windowsketching at home
 
 
Small Nook / Den

If you just need some quiet time at night to check emails, then a small nook or den area will do. This is the most basic setup. You will need a desk, chair, table lamp and some storage piece.

Nook/Den
Desk – Best with at least one small drawer
Chair – Use a dining chair for style
Task Lamp (not the bedroom table lamp)
Storage Piece – Since this is likely in a shared space, make this a multi-purpose storage piece, like a bookcase and bar!
Total$800 to $1500
a low console with open shelves with books, and paintings on the wall
Work From Home / Solopreneur

If your work requires constant creativity, then more sunlight is necessary. A ‘thinking’ accent chair with a laptop side table might be needed for some inspo time. Painting the walls or having inspirational artwork could be good for this setup. A convenient window treatment solution can help block the sunlight when needed. You will need a desk (sit/stand?), office chair, accent chair, side table, storage, window solution, a decor budget, and perhaps a tree or plant.

Solopreneur
Desk – Choose one with storage
Office Chair – Make it comfy!
Accent Chair – For reading (optional)
Side Table – For reading (optional)
Storage – Choose pieces with drawers rather than open shelves to contain clutter.
Window Solution – Flexible for light control
Decor Budget – Use personal items (low cost / free)
Tree or Plant – Choose low-maintenance ones
Total$1800 to $3500
 
Home Office for Clients

If this home office is actually a client receiving office, then the location of the office should be as close to the entrance as possible. This can spare you from cleaning the entire house everyday. Your budget will of course be determined by the size of your space, but there are a few items most spaces will need. You will need an executive desk, nice office chair, two guest chairs, perhaps a sofa+chair combo for casual meetings, a meeting table if space allows, closed storage pieces, ample lighting, a decor budget, and a tree or plant.

 
Home Office for Clients
Executive Desk – Make sure there’s a modesty panel
Office Chair – Make it comfy!
Two Guest Chairs (or sofa+chair combo) – Style over comfort
Meeting Table – Round tables are more collaborative
Closed Storage – Yes!
Ample Lighting – 1) Pot lights are best to light up all corners of the room. 2) Use sconces (more $) to minimize clutter in the room, or 3) tall table lamps in different corners of the rooms.
Decor Budget – Choose conversation pieces, maybe a large photograph of your fav vacation, or a piece collected from travel, or artwork that illustrates your company’s motto
Tree or Plant – Choose low-maintenance ones
Total$2500 to $5000+
big windows, yellow couch, assorted seating

BUDGET SPECIFICS

Okay, okay. We know you came here to start getting specific about the budget for your new home office.

If you are setting up a full room office space totally from scratch, you’re looking at $2500 to $5000. The price comes down a little if you are designing a desk nook within a larger room, like a bedroom or living room, or if you already know your current furniture will fit in the new space. In these scenarios, you’re looking at between $800 to $1500.

Alternately, you may find that a shared office space is a better solution for your business needs.

We hope this has been helpful!

Do remember to set aside money for framing art and hiring someone to install any larger pieces of furniture. Or just call us, and we’ll take care of it all in a single day. Our designers are here to make your space stylish and functional.

We do big and small home offices, and we also do actual commercial office spaces! So if you show up to your new job and their office needs a facelift, you’ll know who to call ;).

Improve Your Productivity with Office Interior Design

Shared Office with desks in common area

You’ve probably heard about the offices at Google and Facebook. They’re magical places full of good food, nooks for collaboration, and games to play when the coding gets tough. We can’t all work in startup offices. That’s why the interior design style is important, so let’s learn from the best office furnishing trends.

But first, a question that needs to be answered once and for all: Why are open space offices so popular?

Open Office Design

If you ask Mark Zuckerberg or Frank Gehry, you’ll hear that open offices are the way of the future. They increase opportunities for chance encounters and cross-collaboration. But if you ask the employees who have to sit in them, open offices are the scourge of the earth. They prevent focus and privacy, which is especially bad for programmers. Open offices are infamously terrible for women, too, and other people who tend to be vulnerable to interruption.

The biggest challenge in office furnishing is balancing the needs of different teams.

Think of it this way. In a startup environment, people are constantly discovering new ways to do business. This requires the ability to check in with other teams. Startups typically have a bit of money to burn, too. Startups need to attract and retain top talent, hence the presence of ping pong tables and kombucha on tap. On the other hand, if your job requires more individual focus and less conversational decision-making, then an open office would clearly be detrimental to doing your best work.

Here are some contenders for the worst office interior design style trends ever, and some suggestions for doing it better.  (For bonus points, share this with a co-worker or with your office administrator. Or just send them this article on the health & wellness benefits of good interior design. Who knows, maybe they feel the same way you do?)

Worst Office Environments

1. Distracting Work Space

Hey, we’re just the messengers on this one. Unless you’re Google or a scrappy early-stage startup, open offices tend to be bad for focus. A study by Gensler in 2013 found that workers spend 54% of their time on activities requiring individual focus.

Open offices also spread disease more quickly. Plus, they’re not actually that good for equity and inclusion. People who are already vulnerable to interruption (like women) tend to be interrupted even more when they’re out in the open.

two people sit opposite each other with a laptop between them in a semi-private meeting area

How To Do It Better: Hybrid spaces. Offer a mix of spaces, including soundproofed private workspaces and open, collaborative picnic-table style spaces.

 

 

2. No Access to Nutrition

It’s a recipe for disaster to ask people to sit still and focus for eight hours without providing a nearby spot for eating and drinking. If the kitchen is dirty or too far way, people just won’t use it. This leads to dehydrated and hangry employees, stuck with stiff limbs after not getting up all day. And when employees get stressed and sick, they do bad work or miss work altogether.

an orange sits on top of a laptop keyboard beside a mug

How To Do It Better: Google solved this very efficiently with its micro-kitchens strategy. They provide clean, minimalist eating and drinking spots scattered throughout the office. Be sure to take nutrition into account when designing office furnishing. A simple placement of a fruit bowl and water cooler can encourage people to get up more frequently and take a sip of water or an apple when they pass by.

3. No Natural Light & No Air Flow

The emotional and physical effects of being stuck inside are exacerbated by the absence of natural light. In fact, one study showed that office workers in a space with windows slept for an additional 46 minutes per night, compared to workers without access to natural light. Light regulates our circadian rhythms, which helps our bodies feel balanced and productive. Fresh air keeps the brain fresh, after all. A lack of windows can make it difficult to imagine the outside world — which is where your customers are.

a single window is open visible from the outside of a buildingHow To Do It Better: Short of remodeling to add more windows, this is a tricky one. If you don’t have access to natural light in your office, look for ways to enjoy it throughout the day. Take a short walk at lunch, or sit in the atrium. Even 10 minutes of fresh air can make a big difference.

 

4. No Office Plants

Bare walls, drab paint — and no greenery to be found! There’s really no excuse for this office furnishing trend.

a person sits smiling next to a windowsill with a plant
Credit: The Gender Spectrum Collection

How To Do It Better: Look for some really affordable low-maintenance office plants. And if no one in your office has a green thumb, just get some fake plants! The appearance of greenery can be enough to make a difference. Looking at plants produces mental and physical benefits. The presence of plants in the office can help reduce stress, reduce sickness, reduce noise levels, and increase creativity.

5. No Flexible Seating Options

If your back aches and your wrists hurt, you may be suffering from not enough flexible seating options. This isn’t just for fidgeters anymore. Yoga balls, adjustable desks and chairs, sofas and coffee tables: the more options you have for changing posture, the better your health and productivity will be. There is a danger here of making a space feel too comfortable. If your office furniture includes couches, candles, and rugs, you may feel like you’re home and be struck by a sudden desire to curl up on the couch and nap.

a person sitting in an office stretching their hands overhead

How To Do It Better: Hop on Craigslist to find some additional seating options. Look for different sizes of tables and chairs, and maybe one sofa.  If there is no room for more furniture, try switching up your meeting location to get people out of their seats. Try a stand-up meeting.

 

6. Generic Office Art

The cardinal sin of office furnishing is generic art. Seriously, when was the last time you were inspired by a generic skyline print?

a gray office with cubicles and fluroescentl lights

How To Do It Better: Luckily, this is easy to fix. Think about what art fits nicely within the interior design style you’re going for within the office. Find a local artist who wants to display their work. Host an office party to create an abstract piece together. The wellness and productivity benefits of looking at original art are immense.

7. Distracting Perks & Furniture

Controversial, we know. But as fun as it is to play pool in the middle of the day, games can be a major distraction. Ping pong tables, slides, and other classic startup furnishings are visually distracting, and they create noise which can inhibit focus. It’s a case of design over function. Your foosball table and hammock may entice a new hire, but does it help your team produce the best work?

Two non-binary friends play video games

How To Do It Better: Locate distracting games away from the main workspaces. Board games are a great substitute for ping ping tables, as they take up less space and don’t make as much noise. Check in with colleagues about the office furnishing. Maybe they’re ready to swap out the foosball table for an Xbox.

8. No Obvious Recycling & Compost Containers

It’s 2019, people, get with the program! Out of the way containers, or badly labeled containers, are often culprits of bad waste disposal practices. Some offices do have a compost bin, especially if it’s required by law, but it isn’t easily accessible. Poor waste management practices create additional cost for the company, and they burden the planet.

a hand holds a plastic bottle over a green recycling bag

How To Do It Better: If your office isn’t willing to take on this task, well, that sucks and you should keep pestering them until they agree. All you need are clearly marked green and blue bins. Find some pretty ones! Recycling bins don’t have to be ugly. Lots of companies have had success turning sustainability into a friendly interoffice competition. Otherwise, you could maybe do it yourself if you’re part of a small office? For those of you who weren’t Earth Warriors in elementary school, look for small ways to reduce your impact. Pack your lunch in tupperware. Bring your scraps home to start a compost pile, and then donate it to your community garden.

 

9. Too Much Smart Technology

Some companies swing too far into high-tech land, relying on smart technology to manage shared office space. This can prevent people from actually providing their input about the space. A recent article in The New York Times pointed out that most thermostat systems are controlled by men. It may not be intentional, but smart office tech can actually be bad for equity. People can’t be productive when they’re uncomfortable.

a surveillance camera hangs from the ceiling

How To Do It Better: Studies show that when people have some degree of control over their environment, they’re happier and more productive. So have a conversation at the office, and make the lighting and temperature controls available to everyone. Even better, have localized systems so that different areas can be specifically adapted to match the sensory preferences of their occupants.

If your workspace is committing one of these interior design style faux-pas, don’t panic! Many of these office furnishing mistakes can be quite easy to fix.

When it comes down to it, office furnishing is a simple equation: how do you balance design with function? And the good news is that no matter which space you’re in, interior designers are equipped to help you out.

So drop the Furnishr team a note if you’re furnishing an office space and need a sidekick 💪

The Design Process – How to Best Plan for an Office Space

Office reception area with sofa and chairs

Office Design Process

Regardless of the industry, designing a proper office space is crucial to the success of your company. With the right design, it can increase employee productivity, satisfaction, and collaboration, ultimately raising profits in the long run. Since most startups have limited capital funding to spend on their office, here’s a series of steps on how you can furnish your startup office on a budget.

Have an Open Concept Workspace

starup office - open concept
Source: http://www.conceptcupboard.com/blog/2011/03/office-space-for-startups/

Instead of the traditional closed-off cubicles and hidden-away offices, build a workspace where employees are able to communicate face-to-face and be mobile throughout the office. Allowing employees to move around the office as they please establishes a sense of community and encourages the exchange of ideas. This collaboration between team members also brings invaluable fresh perspectives to the company.

A startup office with an open concept design saves costs as well. Purchasing furniture, such as tables and chairs to be shared among the office as opposed to individual desks appeals to any startups tight budget.

Dedicate an Area for Inducing Creativity

startup office - Inducing Creativity
Source: http://www.conceptcupboard.com/blog/2011/03/office-space-for-startups/

Google is well-known for its fitness rooms, ping pong tables, nap corners and more. While the average startup may not have the means to emulate all of these perks, having one area in the office for employees to take a break from their work by exercising their minds and bodies will boost not only their personal health but productivity and job satisfaction as well. No one likes staying in one spot, staring at their screens, for long periods of time.

This “creativity area” doesn’t have to be expensive either. It could be anything from a foosball table to adult coloring books to board games. Employees will return to work re-energized and inspired to produce great work.

Set the Proper Ambience

Working in the same office, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, can become tiresome after some time. That’s why it is very important to set the scene for a space that employees look forward to coming to each day.

startup office -ambience

The key to setting the proper ambiance is to match it with the theme of your company. A playful, contemporary startup can use bold and bright colors to display energy and excitement, whereas a more serious, modern company might opt for neutral tones to show calmness and professionalism.

There are two very budget-friendly items that can instantly liven up any office regardless of the theme: plants and lights. They are low-maintenance and instantly gives the room a fresher and cleaner look. Whether it’s an elegant floor lamp or a simple desk lamp, adding more lights to the workspace will surely brighten up your employees’ day!

There you have it. A simple, cost-effective guide on adding not only furnishing but personality to your first startup office.

>> Comment down below your favorite interior design ideas for a commercial space. If you’re interested in furnishing your commercial space efficiently. Furnishr handles all the designing, furniture deliveries, and assembly. Take a look at our past office projects.

7 Tips to Refresh for Less with a Quick Room Makeover

By Alexa Caruso 

Trends come and go but your space is yours forever. It can be costly and unreasonable to be constantly purchasing new decor or furniture. However, your room seemingly becomes dull over time. After all, you are staring at the same white walls and ceilings from when you wake up to when you go to sleep. So how do you switch-up your home style without breaking the bank? Here are some quick and easy tips on how to refresh your room with a new look for less.

Room Makeover Ideas

1. Get Crafty

how to refresh your room - get crafty

Who said decorating your room had to be tedious? This is your opportunity to showcase your unique style while incorporating your favorite trends. And if you’re willing to put in some elbow grease you can change your space for pretty much next to nothing and don’t forget you’ve got the whole online world willing to help (hi, Youtube tutorials).

Suggestions run the gamut, but this option tends to suit those looking for a more rustic or industrial style since you’ll be repurposing items. For example, discarded crates + fresh coat of paint = super cute and stylish stackable storage containers. You can even use discarded wood to create rustic new shelving or a whole new backboard for your bed! The point is, you’re only limited by the depths of your imagination, so think outside the box.

2. Grab a Paint Brush

how to refresh your room - grab a paint brush

While it might sound intimidating at first, painting a whole room, just a wall or a piece of furniture can work wonders to refresh a space. Your local paint store might even be able to help you out with trendy (and inexpensive) wall treatments. Just make sure you select the right color to accent your style and don’t be afraid to be bold!

3. Get Moving

how to refresh your room - get moving

Get moving. Well, your furniture that is. Revamp a space by moving things around. Perhaps your chair used to be sitting beside your bed facing the door, and now you’ve shifted it by the window. Through playing with the furniture layout, it creates movement in your eyes throughout the room.

Not only that, but it allows you to utilize the space in new ways. For example, perhaps the window wasn’t very utilized before but now that the chair is by the window, you are able to enjoy the natural light and look out at the view. You’d be surprised how different your space will look and feel just by changing the layout. And of course, it won’t cost you a single dollar.

Section 4. Declutter, Glow-Up and Go Green

how to refresh your room - go green

Organizing a cluttered space can work wonders. That’s why minimalism has become such a huge trend over the past year. You can declutter the room by throwing away or donating items that you haven’t used or worn in the last year.

It can also make a significant difference when you tuck away all your electronic cords. Suddenly this can make the room feel and look brighter and airier when there’s less stuff in the room distracting your eye.

Once you’ve tackled that, make your space feel even bigger by adding a few mirrors. Mirrors can make the room feel bigger and brighter as it creates more depth and reflects light within the room. You can do this by clustering some smaller mirrors in a space for an interesting focal point, or put in one big one to make an impact. Also, add a plant or two to make space feel even fresher. Just remember to water it!

5. Thrift, Thrift, Thrift!

how to refresh your room - thrift

Everyone looks a good steal! If you’re interested in purchasing some “new” pieces for your space, consider hitting up online classifieds, antique or thrift shops, and garage sales. You’ll find some unique pieces for prices that won’t hurt your wallet. Just remember to be patient! The best items might be tucked away and scattered around the shelves!

6. Accessorize

how to refresh your room - accessorize

Pillows, throws, a stack of books, a new table arrangement – all make for an excellent way to give an old piece of furniture a fresh new look.

Arrange your favorite souvenirs or trinkets from your travels. This can be a fun talking point when your guests come and visit — oh this? I got it as a keepsake when I was scuba diving in the Bahamas.

 

 

 

 

7. Shop Smart

If you’re going to splurge and spend a bit of your hard-earned dollars, then try to invest in pieces that give you maximum impact.

how to refresh your room - shop smartA full-length mirror might cost a pretty penny, but it will definitely make a statement in your space. If you’re going to buy a new future, look into items that can do double-duty – essentially anything that can be used as a decorative piece but can be used for storage too. It will help keep clutter to a minimum (see no. 4!).

 

>> Hopefully, you find all of these tips helpful, and for those of you moving into your first 1-bedroom space, check out our article THE COST OF FURNISHING YOUR 1-BEDROOM APARTMENT next week. Comment down below what tip completely transformed your space, and how your bedroom or living room makeover went!