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How to Arrange Office Furniture

Posted by Frankye | Posted in Furniture: Style+Function | Posted on 23-09-2013-05-2008

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Not sure which types of office layouts maximize space without impeding  your ability to get around your office? Office Ink shows you how to arrange office furniture in such a way that allows for:

  • plenty of room to maneuver;
  • easy access to  files, reference materials, supplies and peripherals;
  • adequate surface space so you can work comfortably.

Our wheelchair accessibility guide provides good guidelines on the amount of clearance, or space between walls and obstructions, needed to move comfortably around your office.  Keep those clearance space requirements in mind when choosing an office desk layout.

Types of Office Layouts

While the possibilities for arranging office furniture are as limitless as your imagination, there are some time tested office space layouts that work well in a variety of office environments and sizes:

  • U-Shaped Office Layout
  • L-Shaped Office Layout
  • Open Office Layout

How to create a U-shaped office space layout plan.

U Shape Desk Plan U-Shaped office layouts are created connecting two office desks, two credenzas or a desk and a credenza with an office desk bridge.

U-shaped office layouts offer:

- increased privacy for workers.
- abundant surface and storage space.

How to create an L-shaped office space layout plan.

L Shape Desk Plan Create an L-shaped office space layout by connecting one desk or credenza with a return, or simply with and L-shaped desk.

L-shape office layouts:

- maximize floor space by fitting neatly in corners
- are the most economical type of office layout, requiring fewer and less expensive office furniture pieces than other configurations.

How to create an open space layout plan.

Open Desk Plan Create with two desks, two credenzas, or a desk and credenza.

Open office layouts:

- are perfect for executive offices
- offer abundant storage space for frequently referenced files and reference materials.

You can find more information on office desk sizes and styles at On Time Supplies.

Got some advice on how to arrange office furniture without sacrificing space and maneuverability? Leave your tips in the comments.

Vertical vs. Lateral File Cabinets: a quick guide to upgrading your file storage system.

Posted by Frankye | Posted in Furniture: Style+Function | Posted on 19-11-2012-05-2008

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We posted a file cabinet buying guide a couple years (and a name-change) ago. We’ve gotten a few requests during that time to update and streamline the post. Office Ink aims to please. So here are we are with the highlights: a quick guide to office file cabinets.

Lateral File Cabinets: best for small offices; frequently accessed files.

Horizontal lateral files are take up little interior space, so they are the best choice for small offices. Lateral file cabinets are available in a wide range of widths and heights. You can get lateral files big enough to divide a room, small enough to fit under your desk, or sized just right to to do double-duty as a new work surface.

 basyx Vertical File Cabinet

Lateral File Cabinets: best for small offices; frequently accessed files.

Vertical cabinets take up less wall space than lateral files, but they are too deep and bulky for small work areas. However, vertical file cabinets provide a ton of file storage. Use them to archive files you don’t need to get at every day.

Metal Cabinets: best for busy offices.

Metal file cabinets can take a lot of abuse, so they are best for choice for frequently accessed files.

Wood Cabinets: best for home and private offices.

Wood cabinets are usually more attractive than metal options, and relatively more expensive. However, they are a beautiful option if you don’t need to store a million file folders. Use them in your home office, or in a private office.

Check out the previously posted buying guide for a more in-depth look at your file cabinet options.

Coat racks and hooks: use garment racks as space savers in small offices.

Posted by Frankye | Posted in Furniture: Style+Function | Posted on 12-11-2010-05-2008

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Office ink is back with more free ideas for organizing clutter in the office. Now that the weather has turned cold and wet, you have to make room for your bulky winter coat in your office. Your office looks cluttered and untidy you don’t have a place to hang your coat. Plus, you need to hang your coat to dry it on rainy and snowy days. Reduce clutter in your office and give your coat a place to hang and dry with garment racks, coat racks and coat hooks. They make great space savers and add a decorative element to your office.

So, garment rack, coat rack or coat hook – which should you choose? Well, that depends on the size of your office and workspace.

Small office and shared workspace: hang coats on coat racks

Coat racks come in a range of capacities and styles. Wall mounted coat racks work best in smaller offices with shared work areas. You also add a little style to your office with coat racks. Metal coat racks look great in contemporary office settings, while wooden coat racks work well in offices with a homier feel. You may also want to consider a hat and coat rack - a wall mount coat rack with a shelf.

If you’ve got a small office all to yourself, you might prefer an elegant clothes tree or standing coat rack. Standing coat racks are nice because they hold more than just your winter coat. You can hang your hat, scarf and even your office sweater on a standing coat rack. Many standing coat racks have built in umbrella stands for added convenience.

Cubicle: hang your coat on cubicle coat hooks.

If you work in a cubicle, hang your coat on a specially designed cubicle coat hooks. A cubicle coat hook slide over cubicle partitions, so you can mount them without putting any holes in the wall. In addition to being great space savers, decorative cubical coat hooks are a great way to personalize your work space.

Large or medium sized office: hang coats on garment racks.

If you’ve got the floor space, consider a free standing  garment rack. Wheel a couple garment racks into a corner or empty workspace , and voila, you’ve got a cloakroom. You can get a garment rack in practically any size. Remember to overestimate or size up your garment rack. Many days, employees will be coming in from the rain or snow, so you can’t over pack the garment rack. It needs to big enough to leave a little rack space for ventilation. Otherwise, wet coats won’t dry.  Many garment rack come with special security hangers that can’t be removed and can’t be lost.

These space savers will reduce clutter in any office. You can find inexpensive coat racks, garment racks and coat hooks for sale at OnTimeSupplies.com, as well as a discount office product selection that numbers in the thousands. OnTimeSupplies.com ships most orders the same day, so your new coat rack, garment rack or cubicle coat hook arrives in just a day or two.

Office ink is back with more free ideas for organizing clutter in the office. Now that the weather has turned cold and wet, you have to make room for your bulky winter coat in your office. Your office looks cluttered and untidy you don’t have a place to hang your coat. Plus, you need to hang your coat to dry it on rainy and snowy days. Reduce clutter in your office and give your coat a place to hang and dry with garment racks, coat racks and coat hooks. They make great space savers and add a decorative element to your office.
So, garment rack, coat rack or coat hook – which should you choose? Well, that depends on the size of your office and workspace.Small office and shared workspaces: hang coats on coat racks
Wall mounted coat racks work best in smaller offices with shared work areas. Like garment racks, coat racks come in a range of capacities and styles. You also add a little style to your office with coat racks. Metal coat racks look great in contemporary office setting, whil wooden coat racks work well in offices with a homier feel. You may also want to consider a hat and coat rack – a wall mount coat rack with a shelf.If you’ve got a small office all to yourself, you might prefer an elegant clothes tree or standing coat rack. Standing coat racks are nice because they hold more than just your winter coat. You can hang your hat, scarf and even your office sweater on a standing coat rack. Many standing coat racks have built in umbrella stands for added convenience.

Cubicles: hang your coat on cubicle coat hooks.
If you work in a cubicle, hang your coat on a specially designed cubicle coat hook. Cubical coat hooks slide over cubicle partitions, so you can mount them without putting any holes in the wall. In addition to being great space savers, decorative cubical coat hooks are a great way to personalize your work space.

Large or medium sized office: hang coats on garment racks.
If you’ve got the floor space, consider a free standing  garment rack. Wheel a couple garment racks into a corner or empty work space , and voila, you’ve got a cloakroom. You can a garment rack in practically any size. Remember to overestimate or size up your garment rack. Many days, employees will be coming in from the rain or snow, so you can’t over pack the garment rack. It needs to big enough to leave a little rack space for ventilation. Otherwise, wet coats won’t dry.  Many garment rack stands come with special security hangers that can’t be removed so can’t be lost.

These space savers will reduce clutter in any office. You can find inexpensive coat racks, garment racks and coat hooks for sale at OnTimeSupplies.com, as well as thousands of other discount office products. OnTimeSupplies.com ships most orders the same day, so your new coat rack, garment rack or cubicle coat hook arrives in just a day or two.

The Pink Wishbone Project – Cool Chair Cushions Raise Funds for Breast Cancer Charity

Posted by Frankye | Posted in Furniture: Style+Function | Posted on 12-10-2010-05-2008

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On Time Supplies isn’t the only retailer raising money for a breast cancer charity during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. SUITE New York is doing its part with the Pink Wishbone Project. The fancy New York furniture store asked twenty of the world’s top female interior designers to design seat cushions for Hans Wegner’s legendary Wishbone chair. The cushions will be auctioned off at the end of the month with 100% of the proceeds going to Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The designers all submitted awesomely cool and arty cushions. Though I don’t know how comfortable some of the cushions would be to sit on, but they sure do look amazing! I covet them all!

Sara Rotman's Pink Wishbone Project CushionKelly Wearstler Pink Wishbone Project Cushion

The nice thing about National Breast Cancer Month is that so many people from so many walks of life unite under the banner of a great cause! On Time Supplies is happy to do it’s part with the Pink Ribbon Giveaway. Enter the Pink Ribbon Giveaway and you could win a complete set of pink ribbon office supplies. Best of all, On Time Supplies donate to Living Beyond Breast Cancer for each contest entry! Basically, you tweet and we donate!

Every office worker needs a good office chair with lower back support.

Posted by Frankye | Posted in Ergonomics & Comfort, Furniture: Style+Function, Product Reviews | Posted on 24-06-2010-05-2008

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The new Weekly Deals at OnTimeSupplies.com continue to make your workday run a little smoother. We’ve talked about the importance of a good, supportive office chair before here at Smart Office, but I can’t emphasize the point enough! Read the rest of this entry »

How to choose a file cabinet: Smart Office shows you how.

Posted by Frankye | Posted in Furniture: Style+Function, Helpful Hints, How-To Guides | Posted on 01-05-2010-05-2008

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Maybe you’re tired of stacking the important files in your home office in piles on your desk, or worse yet, your floor. Or perhaps the file cabinets in your office are aging as gracefully as Ms. Havisham. You nearly dislocate your shoulder every time you yank one file drawer open, and can’t remember the last time any of them closed completely. In other words, it’s time to buy a filing cabinet.Now that you’re ready to properly store, organize and protect your office files and documents, don’t whip out the company credit card just yet. There a few important considerations to make before you buy. How much room do you have in your office? How many files does the cabinet need to hold? How long do you need your file cabinet to last? If you like making significant office furniture purchases only once, slow down and pay attention. Smart Office is going to show you how to choose a filing cabinet.
First decide whether your office needs a vertical or lateral file cabinet. Vertical file cabinets are the most traditional, and offer between two and five drawers. Files run front to back in vertical file cabinets and face the user. Vertical file cabinets are nice because they take up little wall space, but aren’t the best office file cabinet if you need to access your files every day, or don’t have much walk around room. Your office needs to be able accomadate the depth of vertical file cabinets, usually around 29 inches, plus the length of the open drawer, another 29 inches. If the the area you keep your office files in is crammed already, vertical file cabinets aren’t the way to go.
Lateral file cabinets take up more wall space, but less interior space than vertical file cabinets. That’s because lateral file drawers are usually only about 20 inches deep, so require less room to open. Lateral files are great for high volume offices that need to access files several times a day, and for crowded work areas. Lateral file cabinets are also extremely versatile. You can arrange your files so they face the sides of  the file drawers and run left to right, or face your files toward the front of the cabinet to create organized rows of files. Many two-drawer lateral file cabinets are small enough to fit under your desk, supplying a great way to expand the storage capacity of small offices. Or place a lateral file cabinet against your desk to create a new work surface.
Once you’ve settled on the type of file cabinet your want, check out how the cabinets are put together. File cabinets come in two varieties: metal file cabinets and wood file cabinets. Metal is the most popular choice for file cabinets because it can handle heavy use and still look good. Metal file cabinets are the best choice for busy offices that need to access files often. Plus, these days you have a lot more color options that drab olives and khaki. For example, you can get great heavy duty metal file cabinets from HON and Safco in colors like black, gray and putty. Ok, metal file cabinets are will never be the flashy office show pieces, but they do offer a long term storage and protection for your office files and documents. Just make sure you choose a file cabinet with a protective coating to prevent rust. If you want to bring the beauty of wood furniture to your office, be aware that wood file cabinets are less resilient that metal cabinets. They work best and last the longest in home and small offices. The sturdiest metal and wood file cabinets are designed with double–walled steel sides.
Your new file cabinet should be as safe as it is sturdy. Shoddily constructed file cabinets can tip over on users, causing injury or death. Choosing a file cabinet with a few key safety features is worth the investment. Look for file cabinets with an anti-tip mechanism, such as  interlocking drawers that prevent your file cabinet from tipping over when multiple drawers are open. File cabinets designed with ball bearing suspension systems, and other strong drawer suspension systems, open and close smoothly even when fully loaded  to prevent frustration and injury. Fire and impact resistant file cabinets are also available for offices that need the extra protection. Look for file cabinets with the Underwriters’ Labratory Class 350 rating. UL Class 350 rated file cabinets will maintain an interior temperature of 350 degrees in fires of up to 1700 degrees for one hour. They can also withstand the impact of a 30-foot drop. However, a Class 350 rated file cabinets costs hundreds of dollars more than standard file cabinets, so you might just want to get an office safe if you’re concerned about fires.

Cabinet style, construction and safety are the most important considerations while shopping for a file cabinet, but these days, there are a range of other features available. If you regularly transport a large number of files, consider a mobile file cart. Most offices file storage needs expand over time. If you select your file cabinet from a furniture collection, you can always get a matching cabinet if you need to, as well as complimentary hutches, bookcases and other storage and display options.

If you’ve got more questions on choosing an office file cabinet, or office furniture in general, fell free to call on the experts at On Time Supplies. They can be reach toll free at 1-866-501-6055, or via the live chat feature at OnTimeSupplies.com

Article: Better Posture Means More Energy at Work

Posted by chase | Posted in Ergonomics & Comfort, Furniture: Style+Function | Posted on 26-10-2009-05-2008

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The always-darling folks over at LifeHacker have linked me to an interesting article that says that, among other things, slouching or otherwise holding poor posture can deprive the body of up to 30% of its oxygen.

Next time you you’re feeling a little down in the dumps or need a little boost at work, check to see if your chin is up and your shoulders are back (or try other methods to fix your PC posture). It could mean the difference between making your workday frumpy or fabulous.

Check out the rest of the energy saving tips from Real Simple, and of course, thanks as always to LifeHacker. For more on ergonomics and posture, click here.

How to set up a home office space

Posted by chase | Posted in Customize & Personalize, Efficiency & Organization, Furniture: Style+Function | Posted on 07-07-2009-05-2008

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The Indianapolis arm of Examiner.com has posted a neat little article that gives a crash course in designing a home office.

In addition to helpful tips like placing your office away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the house (avoid the kitchen or bedroom office; these are places you’re meant to be thinking about your home, not your work), there is one section I of course find particularly noteworthy:

Furniture:  Start with the basics, a desk, a small filing cabinet, a book shelf, and a comfortable computer chair, then personalize your space depending on your working needs.  Place the desk in an area where you can see the door.  Also, if you are easily distracted, avoid placing your desk directly in front of a window.

Add items to your office that compliments your work.  A reading corner, with a comfy chair and an end table, a conference or work table and chairs, a credenza, storage/supply cabinet, small table and chairs for your kids, a dog bed, anything that makes your space its own.

None of these tips are necessarily earth-shattering, but it’s nice to see them collected in one place. I think too often people setting up a home office take pieces from the existing house and rearrange them into a place where they feel they can get some work done. The flaw in this is that you feel like you’re “working from home”, and not owning “a home office.” There is, in fact, a difference.

A home office ought to feel like an entirely separate entity from your house itself. Sure, it’s nice that you can go to work in your PJs and slippers, but the fact is: you’re at work when you’re in your office, no matter where it is. Purchase office furniture and office supplies rather than co-opting things from the rest of the house. Make sure it’s comfortable, of course, but make sure it is distinctly “your office.” And as always, when you’re out constructing your perfect workplace-away-from-home, be sure you use a reputable office supplier who can help you meet your needs.

Big Box Watch: Bad business? Blame the economy!

Posted by chase | Posted in Big Box News, Effective Management, Furniture: Style+Function, Government Purchasing, Office/Business Resources | Posted on 28-04-2009-05-2008

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The Nashville Business Journal just posted an article regarding Office Depot and their most recent disastrous financial unveiling. According to the Journal:

Office Depot Inc. on Tuesday reported a loss of $54.7 million, or 20 cents a share, in the first quarter, down from a profit of $68.8 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago.

Total sales for the Boca Raton, Fla.-based office supply company for the quarter fell 19 percent to $3.2 billion.

The retailer attributed the loss to one-time charges related to its decision to close 107 underperforming stores during the quarter. Office Depot has 1,160 stores as of March 28.

…Company leaders said the battered economy and the resulting dip in demand for office products was a major factor.

“Resulting dip in demand for office products?” I don’t think so, Office Depot. Internet retailers of office products are doing just fine, thanks. Maybe it’s time to admit that the era of the big-box dinosaur is over when it comes to office supplies? Or maybe that the constantly increasing reports of wrongdoing might be having some effect on your business? Just a thought. But you go ahead and blame everyone else, I suppose. I’m sure we’re the crazy ones for not buying from you.

Space-saving: The Office Desk Under The Stairs

Posted by chase | Posted in Customize & Personalize, Ergonomics & Comfort, Furniture: Style+Function | Posted on 03-04-2009-05-2008

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Our good friends over at Lifehacker are showcasing a pretty impressive setup with one of their user’s home offices. Lacking space, one of their readers decided to use the opening under the large metal staircase leading up to his terrace as the ideal location for a compact workspace. Looks like a simple table desk, a standard metal filing cabinet, and his computer and knick-knacks on top of the desk, and it’s ready to go. Oh, and a pretty nice-looking chair as well.

All in all, an innovative approach to the all-too-common problem of not having enough space to suit your needs. If you’ve got a similarly compact home office setup you’d like to share, by all means forward it on to me at chase@ontimesupplies.

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