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Open Office versus Privacy: Cubicles Offer the Best of Both Worlds

Open office workspace is the new thing with nearly 70% of offices now using open plans. But are totally open office layouts actually the best and most productive office layouts for employees? In an effort to appear “up to date” some businesses have actually created more stressful work environments for their employees. Studies show that the majority of employees prefer private space for most types of office work AND that they are more productive and less stressed when cubicles are used correctly in an attractive office layout.

Cubicle Advantages

Most employees say that cubicles give them the privacy they need to concentrate without disruption, thereby increasing their productivity. Sure, most workplaces need collaborative efforts at times, but having workspace set aside for collaborative time is a better option than having workers in an open environment all the time. By using private cubicles combined with more open benching, you can have the best of both worlds.

Employees Want Privacy

Some industries such as video game design studios might benefit from a totally open office design, but most businesses need the correct balance between private and open space. Most businesses need the majority of their office layout to offer privacy and quiet. The majority of employees say an open workspace is distracting, especially because most of the time they aren’t collaborating.

Here are some sample comments we heard:

“Hated our open office. Needed sound-proofing and privacy. Couldn’t hear myself think.”
“Clients hated hearing noise in the background, and it was hard to concentrate on them.”

Plan for you Unique Needs


Take the time to really analyze what each of your employees does and what provides them with optimum surroundings. Consider questions such as:
-Do they spend a great deal of the time on the phone where their conversations would bother others and they need quiet?
-How much room do they need to do their job well and have the space they need?
-Does their job involve quiet to concentrate on things like research or design?
-Should you group certain team members near each other but in their own workstations?
-How often do employees need to brainstorm and collaborate in the jobs they do?
-Should some employees be in an open space together to be in frequent contact and bat ideas around?
-Who needs a truly private office? Did you know that you can have a floor to ceiling private office cubicle?

Bringing Your Vision to Fruition

Once you have a clear vision of the needs of your employees, you will have a much clearer idea of your ideal office layout. That layout will be one to assure employees comfort and maximum satisfaction and productivity.

Luckily with all our new cubicles, benching and workstations, you can get the privacy you need and still have an office layout with a very modern feel. Using different combinations of cubicles and benching is the way to go. Cubicles can be very private and feature sound control. You can even include floor to ceiling private office cubicles in your layout. You can include collaborative areas also. Employees can then spend most of their time in a private space and go to workspaces designed for collaboration and teamwork when needed.

Cubicle By Design Can Help

Cubicle By Design offers aesthetically pleasing cubicles and workstations of all types and configurations. Today’s options are “Not your Father’s Cubicles.” You can have a very modern look and still have an office layout that best suits the way your business functions. Your office layout will be focused on the needs and well-being of your employees which is your key to productivity. Let us help you through the entire process, from your vision through installation so you have the office that is unique to your needs.

You are investing in your company’s future when you buy office furniture, and it’s important to get it right the first time.  These five tips will help you create a clear vision and plan.

By establishing a plan first, you’ll be more prepared to choose a company that will fully support you in bringing your vision to reality, allowing you to focus on what matters: running your business!

Before beginning, it’s important to understand that no two businesses are exactly alike so no two workspaces should be alike. Make sure your workspace tells your story and functions specifically for your needs.

1. Create a clear vision for your office

What do you want your office to say about your company?

Your choice of style, color, fabric and layout paints a picture. Is your company friendly and creative or serious and informative? Is it reserved and composed or bold and adventurous?

Traditional and contemporary furniture

Some other things you should consider in pursuit of a clear vision for your office include:

  • What brand, tone and culture are you are trying to create?
  • How important is a green environment?
  • What future needs in terms of employees, technology and equipment do you foresee?
  • How important is office flexibility?
  • What balance do you need between privacy and collaborative space?

Answering a series of questions like this will create a clear vision for your office furniture and will help you make sure that your workspace tells the story that you want it to.

2. Focus on value

When you begin your research for office furniture or cubicles, make sure that you don’t confuse price with value.

Value vs cost

Buying cubicles and office furniture is an investment that will hopefully serve you for many years.  Saving money in the short term by choosing the lowest immediate price may result in significant costs, time and stress in the long run.

To avoid a short-minded pitfall, consider the following:

  • Identify the support that will be available to you after the purchase
  • Don’t assume a well-known brand provides more value. When comparing options, be sure to thoroughly review proposals.
  • Check all warranties
  • Know all the product specifications
  • Ask if the company will provide your organization with a project manager to ensure the success of the project during and after installation

3. Recognize that employees are your key to productivity

Your office furniture and cubicles create a workspace that plays a huge role in attracting and retaining employees.  This means that your purchase will increase your business’ productivity.

Top considerations to make when buying office furniture and cubicles that will create a productive and efficient work environment:

  • Comfort is everything. Uncomfortable employees will result in unproductive employees
  • Buying ergonomic office furniture is a greater value because it will alleviate stress, increase alertness, reduce time, decrease Workers Compensation claims and helps satisfy OSHA requirements
  • Analyze worker flow: who works with whom, which teams collaborate, where should the water cooler be?
  • Include sit to stand desks

standing desk

4. Understand the logistics

When it comes to office furniture and cubicle shipping and installation, it’s all in the details. Being aware of these important aspects of buying office furniture and cubicles and having a project manager will save you time, aggravation and money.

So what details matter? Here’s a list of the top logistics you should be considering before purchasing the office furniture:

  • Allow enough lead time to have your workspace completed when you need it
  • Be ready for installation. Back up computers, purge files and pack everything
  • Consider all current and future technology and equipment needs
  • Plan for proper lighting
  • Do not overestimate the amount cubicles mask sound, additional sound proofing may be valuable
  • Buy the right size office furniture and cubicles. Know the space needs of employees based on the tasks they are responsible for.

Choose the right company

When buying office furniture and cubicles, the right company will make all the difference in the world.  Choose a company that will lift the load from your shoulders so you can focus on your business.

Here are a few tips to review to help you identify the right company for you to work with:

  • Be sure the company can take the job from design all the way through installation
  • Check reviews thoroughly
  • Ask for a project manager who is readily available to you
  • Choose a company that has a proven track record
  • Demand expert follow through during the entire process
  • Ask why buying new office furniture and cubicles offers better value if you are considering the used option

The keys to furniture buying success

Be prepared

Meet with your team to discuss all these tips BEFORE buying your office furniture and cubicles. It’s helpful to put your answers to these tips in writing.

Create a clear vision of your workspace, considering function and the needs of your employees, focusing on long-term value, and making sure to understand the logistics involved. For more information on different cubicle types and terminology, visit our cubicle resource guide.

Choosing the right company

The right company will make you confident that they will handle everything allowing you to be stress-free while looking forward to the results. You should believe that they will give you their full expertise, support and attention no matter the size of the project.

Here at Cubicle By Design, we are always happy to help you in any way we can.  Please contact us with any questions you may have.

Perhaps one of the more favorable dilemmas successful business owners are faced with is how to properly expand their office. Whether you are trying to accommodate a growing team or enhance your image for better public relation, here’s what to consider when in need of additional breathing room.

Clues That It’s Time to Expand Your Office:

Your Storage is Overflowing
Saving paperwork is necessary for business. But if your office winds up having overstuffed filing cabinets, storage supplies in the hallways, and a chaotic storage room then it possibly time for you to expand.

Makeshift Workstations
Maybe putting a few employees in the conference room is a convenient solution, but it is also a red flag that your current space is no longer suitable for the volume of workers you have.

High Employee Turnover
While a constant migration of employees could be indicative other issues, an uncomfortable office setting can definitely contribute to a higher turnover rate and can most certainly be a signal that a bigger office is needed.

Here Are Some Important Things to Keep in Mind When Increasing Your Office Space:

Plan for Continual Growth
Don’t just plan for the team you have now, plan for the anticipated future. It would hurt financially if you have to expand again within the next few years. So make sure your the space is flexible.  Ask the question, are you able to modify the space as needed?

Be Mindful of Electrical Capacity
If your company utilizes a ton of computer equipment and other office machines, you need a sufficient amount of outlets, and the optimal amount of electrical capacity. It is best to bring along a qualified electrician to examine this for you while you are scouting different areas.

Examine All the Amenities 
Make sure to be very thorough and look at everything from external amenities such as sufficient parking to internal amenities like formal and informal meeting spaces, lounges, kitchens and restrooms. It’s not just about having room for your team to work, but space to accommodate additional office features where is it doesn’t cause grid lock and lines.

Today, employee comfort is of utmost concern. Optimal space is strongly encouraged more than ever. Rather than thinking of their office as restrictive, today’s employees want to think about all the possibilities and perks that go along with working in their space.

Contact our experts at anytime if you have any questions about expanding our workplace.

 

All too often, valuable office space goes unused. Whether you are moving to smaller office or just decreasing the available square footage of your current office, be sure to maximally utilize your space. With a strategical plan you can make your workspace appear larger, and encourage employee productivity. Consider these tips when mapping out your workspace.

Be “Size Wise”

Nothing makes a tinier workspace appear more claustrophobic than oversized furniture, so aim to purchase smaller office furniture. No room in the budget for new furniture? Simply donate the furniture pieces that take up a lot of space, but are not really used.

Brighten Things Up

Try to avoid dark colors, they can make the space seem more enclosed.  Brighter colors will not only open up the space but can also contribute to a productive and positive psych. For example yellow inspires creative mind, blue stimulates sharper intellect and green offers a calm and collected temperament. Think about  the mood you want to encourage when designing your workspace. Also, don’t forget that there is power in good lighting! Open up your blinds to let in some natural light, bring a little bit of outside-inside.

Prevent Clutter

When office space is limited don’t take up valuable real estate with clutter. Plus, there is research which indicates that clutter tends to disturb productivity, while an organized workspace fuels motivation and creativity. Utilize simple tools, such as a desk organizer and labeled folders. Eliminating unessential items leads to more space and more productivity.

Embrace the Cloud

In today’s day and age, why not take advantage of our innovative technology. Rather than keeping excessive amounts of paper, digitize as much as possible. Digital storing is time efficient and extinguishes the need for bulky filing cabinets. Consider uploading your files to cloud-based programs, allowing for data backup and instant employee access both in and out of the office. Remember, if making the switch to the cloud, to keep your information secure, as information is at risk on the Internet. Take precautionary measures to ensure maximum company privacy, by frequently updating passwords and monitoring for any suspicious activity.

Veer Vertical

To save space, build upwards! Install wall shelving, and stack them one on top of the other. Hang magazine racks to store accumulated magazines, newspapers, and papers. Items, such as reading lamps, televisions, and other electronics don’t need to occupy floor space—mount them. So, don’t limit storage space to solely your desk and grounded furniture. Think vertical!

 

In a budding small business, it is important to get off to a good start and make a meaningful impression on costumers. Be economical and ecological. A greener workspace allows for a reduced ecological impact and improved productivity in the office. All too often, we forget to execute simple tasks in order to conserve energy and save money. Make it a priority. Take time to reflect on your company’s current footprint and plot strategies to aim towards a more environmentally friendly establishment. Consider these few points in getting started, and share them with your colleagues. Go green!

Let the Natural Light In
A well-lit working environment is important, but aim to use artificial lighting sparingly. On average, artificial lighting encompasses forty percent of total electricity usage in a standard office building. In addition, there seems to be a strong relationship between excess artificial lighting and minor health issues, as well as a correlation between natural lighting and increased efficiency amongst employees. So, keep the shades open and reduce the use of strong overhead lighting, which may contribute to headaches and eye- strain. Light colored walls and furniture will best reflect natural light, making the office appear larger and encouraging efficiency.

Implement “Task Lighting” and Purchase Fluorescent bulbs
Strong overhead lighting is often unnecessary. Set a plan to utilize adjustable task lighting in order to illuminate specific reading areas. Task lighting not only directs the light towards specific tasks enabling concentration, but also increases contrast and focused visibility for employees. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent. They last up to fifteen times longer and absorb only one-quarter of the energy. Observe your surroundings and take initiative. Turn off all lights in an empty room and, of course, remember to switch off all lights in the office when leaving for the day. Find our more about task lighting and other lights on our cubicle terminology page.

Digitize
In today’s technological era, there is no excuse for overusing wasteful materials. Excess materials contribute to clutter and a disorganized environment. Studies indicate that the average person wastes about four hours per week searching for papers, contributing largely to unnecessary stress and stunting concentration and creativity. Whenever possible, digitize. Categorize information into labeled desktop folders and communicate via email. Convert documents to PDF’s to efficiently share with colleagues. Digital planners, calendars, and reminders are useful tools to stay organized as well. The more you aspire to digitize, the less paper and wasteful materials you expend.

Put off Printing
Regardless of valiant efforts to digitize, all offices require purchasing paper. When shopping, choose recycled, chlorine-free paper to save money and energy and buy in bulk. When you must print, format double-sided documents and choose a smaller font to conserve. Avoid color printing whenever possible. Utilize software programs, such as GreenPrint and EcoPrint2, which locate and delete that pesky waste space at the end of documents, such as advertisements or web page listings. Aim to reuse misprints and scraps as notepaper. Recycle printer cartridges and purchase recycled new ones.

Unplug
When a machine is not being used, don’t just power it down—unplug! Simply switching the off button may send the machine into “standby” mode, still absorbing power. Neglecting to do so not only wastes energy, but also racks up your expenses. When leaving your desk for a moment, set your computer monitor to sleep mode instead of setting a screensaver. You’d be amazed at the positive impact on your electricity bill and reduced ecological impact.

Monitor Office Temperature
Even in the summer, cranking the air conditioning in the office to full-blast is not usually necessary. Monitor temperatures and find a comfortable setting, or instead of using central air conditioners, try purchasing portable ones. Portable air conditioners will enable you to efficiently fluctuate temperatures in certain areas, while saving energy in unused or unnecessary areas. Portable fans are an option as well, as they consume much less energy than installing a central air conditioning system. Of course, if weather permits, open the windows! Fresh air and sunlight will positively transform the office environment.

 

You are a diligent worker. Your natural talent and strong work ethic enables you to shine in the office. Yet, you still can’t seem to snag that promised promotion. Something’s got to give. The fact is, no one is entitled to a promotion or raise—you must earn it. Remember, everyone is working towards the same goal. Consider these few steps in order to exceed expectations in the office and climb the corporate ladder of your small business.

Look for an Opening in the Company
Always be willing to jump on the opportunity to fill an opening in your company. Studies show that about 80% of jobs are never advertised. So, stay on the lookout and do your research. If you want a change, make it happen. Look on your organization’s homepage to see what the Human Resource department has to offer in terms of training, or make an appointment to discuss your interest personally—more training, more promotions!

Scout Out a Mentor
In any business, experience is key. Aim to ascertain a suitable mentor, which will help you grow in your area of business. Observe your superiors in order to see who has significant experience in the area that you are interested in pursuing. When searching, look for the employee who has the respect of his/her boss, staff, and peers. Ask them to mentor you. A mentor will help you identify your own strengths and weaknesses while navigating the political land mines of most organizations.

Pick up the Slack
Differentiate yourself from your colleagues by aiming to complete the tasks that are commonly overlooked or put off. If given a project to be submitted in two weeks, try to complete it in one. Take initiative. A little extra effort won’t go unnoticed. Everyone is busy and can use a helping hand now and again. If a colleague is under a time crunch with a project, go out of your way to help them manage it. Time management will help you immensely when balancing multiple projects and tasks. Get to work early and leave late. Remember, this may be a distinguishing factor between you and another employee.

Keep Yourself Visibly Organized
This not only pertains to the way in which you dress and carry yourself professionally, but also the extent to which you care about keeping your desk and personal space clean and organized. Of course, appearance may not be a distinguishing factor, but it is important to put yourself together well. Put in conscious effort to stay groomed and avoid looking like you just rolled out of bed. Presenting yourself in this way sends the message that you take both yourself and your job seriously. Think of your cubicle or desk space as a reflection of yourself as well. Don’t leave a mess. Utilize your filing cabinet, and sort through digital clutter, saving and filing documents regularly.

Learn Something New and be Open to New Activities
Be curious about learning new things, and always ask questions. Never underestimate how much people enjoy talking about what they do.

Ask for feedback and accept constructive criticism. Be energetic in the office and project positive energy. Join activities to connect and network with the staff at all levels. Participating in the corporate run, or other such activities, is not only good exercise, but will possibly benefit your career as well.

Know Your Stuff
Remain up to date on relevant news and events pertaining to your industry. Send out any interesting information to your colleagues. During meetings, grasp the opportunity to speak up and showcase your knowledge. Have an educated opinion. Don’t be afraid to disagree. Fresh viewpoints are always welcomed, as long as they are informed. Show your boss that you have a solid grasp on the inner-workings of the business and an understanding of the “bigger picture.”

Cubicle By Design has over 25 years of experience aiding small businesses with their office furniture solutions. We not only provided services and products, but spent the years listening to our customers vent about all of their small business needs. These are helpful tips based off of their input and what we have learned. You can find more small business tips on our CBD Blog.

Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? Do you believe in your vision and feel confident in making it a reality? The fact is, you can. Take action. Be motivated and aim for a strong start.  Starting a business may be your pathway to financial security. It is important, though, as a budding entrepreneur, to take necessary precautions. Keep these tips in mind when taking off.

Plan before you begin a new venture
Many good ideas are not profitable—think, then act. All businesses begin with a personal vision. However, it is important to be realistic and adapt appropriately to the market. Although it is important to be passionate about your endeavor, consider what people want to buy, not simply what you want to sell. Will your business create a steady income? Research the market and similar businesses to determine their success-rate. Craft a basic business plan identifying the product or service, the target market, what the product or service will cost you, and how much you will charge for the product or service. Then, plan your method of action.

Identify target market and convert them to customers
Of course, in order to sustain any business, you will need customers. Thus, attracting their attention must be your number one priority. Begin with a list of 50-100 potential prospects and take the necessary steps to reach them. Spread your company’s message through direct phone calls, flyers, and word of mouth. Be sure to utilize all social media platforms to engage directly with your target market and promote your service or product regularly. Find creative and innovative ways to attract interest.

Be smart about your spending
The key is to bring in more money than you spend. Starting out, it is important overestimate expenses and underestimate revenues. When launching a start-up, you must keep costs down. Aim to save money by strategically budgeting. A service business is much more inexpensive to maintain than a product business where it costs money to create a certain product. Being conservative in your spending will only benefit your business down the road. Once in a business be sure to keep the benefits of your employees in mind. Set up a pension and profit sharing program to ensure a prosperous retirement for you and your employees.

Keep in mind the employee vs. independent contractor issue
You must understand that utilizing workers is a responsibility and the government is becoming more aggressive on the manner in which workers are compensated. Both on the federal and state level, there are strict guidelines regarding the treatment of workers and harsh penalties if these rules aren’t followed. Workers are classified as either employees or independent contractors depending on behavioral control, financial control, and type of relationship. Both employers and workers may ask the IRS to determine whether a specific individual is an independent contractor or an employee by filing a Form SS-8. This classification is important, as employers who misname their workers may end up with a hefty tax bill.

Look to helpful resources
There are a number of resources available to help your business get off to a great start. Your local Small Development Business Center (SBDC) and SCORE offices, associated with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), are useful assets when developing a start-up. You may also contact the IRS to receive free assistance in accounting, record-keeping, and organizational endeavors. The IRS stresses that it is imperative to keep good records in order to monitor the progress of your business and prepare accurate financial statements.

Cubicle By Design has over 25 years of experience aiding small businesses with their office furniture solutions. We not only provided services and products, but spent the years listening to our customers vent about all of their small business needs. These are helpful tips based off of their input and what we have learned. You can find more small business tips on our CBD Blog.

With the dreaded April 15th tax deadline quickly approaching, it is important for small business owners to consider options and plan ahead. In addition to gathering and organizing paperwork, it may be difficult to master all the intricate rules of tax. However, small business owners, in particular, must educated themselves regarding the “ins and outs” of paying taxes and receiving tax deductions in order to successfully tackle tax season.

In an interview with founder of R.J. Centrello, CPA Robert Centrello, we came up with the following advice for tackling this tax season.

Prepare accurate contemporaneous records and take steps to keep them confidential.

You must remember that your security, specifically online, is at high risk. Make sure to utilize passwords and security precautions to protect your data.

R.J. Centrello stressed the importance of maintaining flawless records when trying to raise capital, as the various taxing jurisdictions may request a review of your records to ensure that you are paying your appropriate share of taxes and fees. Reinforcing the importance of orderly records, Centrello warned that “state and local jurisdictions have become much more aggressive in determining tax liabilities and collecting what is due.”

In addition to keeping these general tips in mind, for some small business owners there are certain special deductions, in which they may be able to take advantage of.

Is your business a start-up?

You may be able to deduct expenses. First, calculate the expenses paid to start your business. These expenses may include transportation, training for employees, or any kind of advertising costs. These deductions are typically considered capital taxes and, therefore, the deductions must be spread out over a certain amount of years.

Do you use your vehicle for business?

You may be eligible for tax deductions as well, such as the costs of maintaining and operating the vehicle. The IRS’s standard rate is 56 cents per mile. Or, you can deduct your actual expenses, including things gas, tolls, and parking fees. According to the IRS, you can still take a deduction if you use your vehicle for both business and personal endeavors. You simply must divide the expenses based on the mileage used for each.

Do you run your business out of your home?

You may be able to collect a home office deduction. However, this is only an option if a portion of your home is used solely for managing business. If you qualify for the deduction, you have two options—to deduct actual expenses or use the IRS’s system. Only expenses acquired from the business portion of the home will qualify for full deductions. Other expenses like insurance, utilities, and repairs can be deductible based on the percentage of your home used for business. In using the IRS’s method the deduction may be determined by calculating the square footage of the area of business in your home by five dollars.

Did you know that your office furniture is tax deductible?

Your office furniture provides another chance to trim your taxes. Items such as desks, chairs, tables, and other office-related equipment may qualify for deductions. You have two choices—deduct the entire cost of the furniture during the first year of your purchase or deduct a percentage of the expense over the course of seven years. Either way, your saving money!

(In addition to considering these helpful tips, we advise companies to consult with a qualified business accountant).

We’ve all been there. It’s eleven AM on a Wednesday. The walls of your cubicle seem to be closing in on you. Your eyes are glued to the clock. You want to bolt for the door. But of course, if you did, you would find yourself searching for another job. So, with a pained look on your face, you slump in your chair and proceed with the usual routine. Fortunately, simple lifestyle changes in and outside of the office will ensure a happier workday. The things you surround yourself with throughout the day have a greater impact than you may think. Even the most dull and dreary jobs can be remedied. A happy workday begins with a happy mind!

1. Wake up just a little earlier
I know what you’re thinking—NO WAY! Who wants to give up those last precious moments of rest before starting the workday? But, your morning determines your day. So, get to bed at a decent time. Resist that Netflix urge. Set your alarm thirty to forty minutes earlier than your usual routine requires. Bolting out of bed, skipping breakfast, or bypassing your morning hygienic routine leaves your body with insufficient time to wake up. Waking up a little earlier will leave you with the necessary wiggle room to relax and prepare for the day with minimal stress. Plan to prepare yourself a hearty breakfast as an extra incentive to get out of bed.

2. Be Nice to your Body
Make sure you’re feeling nourished at work. If your stomach is rumbling you are more likely to feel irritable or unfocused. It is never productive to make important decisions while your body is hungry or dehydrated. Keep a water bottle filled throughout the day and drink more than you think you should. You’d be surprised what some cold water can do for your mood and overall productivity. Have a mid-afternoon snack to hold you over after lunch and before dinner. Healthy choices are always the best decision. Snack on fruit, yogurt, or wholesome bars. A satisfied stomach fuels a happy and sharper mind.

3. Sticky notes, sticky notes, sticky notes!
The world’s most versatile invention—the sticky note. The possibilities are endless. Think of them as colorful little reminders to maintain a positive energy and mindset throughout the workday. Jot down inspiring quotes or funny sayings that just make you feel good. Who’s your ultimate role model? Capture his/her voice and wisdom on a sticky note. Share this insight with others. Leave colleagues little reminders saying, “don’t forget, meeting at 11!,” or friendly notes reading, “stop by my cubicle later to chat!” This is an effective way to stay organized, get up on your feet a bit, and maintain a more personal relationship with your colleagues. Who doesn’t love personalized notes (not to mention on fun, colorful paper)?

4. Make Someone’s Day
Studies have shown that smiling more actually makes you feel happier throughout the day. Friendliness breeds positive energy. Bring this energy into the workplace. Be social with your colleagues. Set aside petty rivalries. Remember, you’re all on the same team. Be nice. People don’t forget it. Not only will this attitude create a more enjoyable and comfortable working environment, but also, will potentially open doors for you down the road professionally.

5. Create a Minimal-Stress Schedule
Plan ahead. Construct a list of objectives for the day and make sure you achieve them. Go at your own pace. Don’t be a slacker, but be realistic. You know yourself and your work habits. Prioritize important projects and avoid lingering on small tasks and trivial details. If you get stuck, move on. When you fulfill all your goals for the day, go back and perfect them. Always stash your cellphone and other distractions in your desk drawer. Aim to be your most productive self!

6. Take Breaks
Working diligently throughout the day takes a major toll on your mind and body. Leave room in your schedule for a mental break. Rise from your chair regularly. Find excuses to walk around. Refill your water bottle, break up your printing and copying tasks to retrieve your work sporadically throughout the day, or simply take a quick lap. Find a quiet room to be alone for a few minutes. Clear your mind. Get outside and stretch your legs. Enjoy a short walk in the fresh air. Absorb the sunshine. Briefly close your eyes and breathe. Listen to a soothing tune or calm ocean sounds—whatever transports you to your happy place.

7. Ask for Help/Lend a Hand
We all run into obstacles at work. It’s okay to ask for help. Rather than a sign of weakness, asking thoughtful questions is actually a chance to better yourself (and yet another opportunity to be social with colleagues). Be open- minded. Accept constructive criticism. Try to see things another way, and schedule regular brainstorming exercises. Conversely, always be willing to offer guidance and helpful advice to others. This back and forth process of sharing and swapping ideas will fuel creativity and teamwork in the office.

In the office, a significant, yet commonly overlooked clutter exists within your cellphone and computer hard drive. This lingering chaos causes you underlying stress and a cluttered mind.

1. Sort Through Email Junk
Make it a priority to sort through your emails. Delete or archive any non-relevant emails. Also, take this time to part with the automatic notifications from last season. You don’t want to risk re-cluttering your inbox.

2. Create Desktop Folders
Your computer desktop is the first thing you see when you sit down at your desk in the morning. Ensure that it is welcoming. Disorganized icons are not only stressful to look at, but make it extremely difficult to find anything. Create and label desktop folders by task. This simple digital filing system will immensely increase productivity and efficiency.

3. Revamp Digital Appearance!
Staring at the same screen all day can become tiresome. Update your default screen savor to an uplifting photograph, like a beach scene or favorite vacation spot. Set your screen saver to a photo montage of fun memories (work-friendly shots, of course). Replace your old grey mouse pad with something a bit more colorful. Add a keyboard cover with a funky pattern or brightly colored design. You’d be amazed at the positive results on your psyche.

Just a note: For security reasons, change your password!  It is important to be cautious with your personal and work information. The same recycled password is vulnerable on the Internet.