Three Steps to Furnishing Your Office in a Rush and on Budget ­— and Making it Awesome

Imagine this: You’re the office manager for a company with 50 employees. You come into the office one Monday morning to a note that reads, “We have a training class starting next Monday. Please have the new training room set up and ready to go.” What?!? Deep breaths. You can do this.

Our team at Workspace Interiors deals with scenarios like this every day. In fact, we’ve done it enough times to know that we can help you keep calm and furnish on — and be the hero in your office.

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    Now comes the time to break things down, so we can make this happen. Below are things to think about in order to dot the i’s and cross the t’s without breaking a sweat.

    1. Confirm the specs.

    How many people does the space need to accommodate? What seating arrangement is preferred? What A/V and technology elements do you need? Once you have outlined the must-haves, you can begin to slice and dice the budget.

    2. Establish your budget — and how much wiggle room you have.

    Pre-Check

    We’ve all been there: being asked to do something great with a seemingly impossible budget. It helps to know where the guardrails are. Is the first budget you were given the bottom line or is there wiggle room? If so, how much?

    3. Set your due date and work backward to schedule interim tasks.

    First things first: Order the hardware — office furniture, plus computers if needed. Prior to delivery and installation, you can complete other work that may need to be done. Think about whether the following need to be addressed:

    - Painting

    -Electrical

    -Carpeting

    -Phone lines and internet access

    -Projectors, screens or whiteboards

    -A solid speaker phone

    -TV or monitor

    -Frosted glass

    -Coat hooks

    Although we specialize in office furnishings, we also offer project management services, so we can assist with as much of the project as you need. Because we are a division of Office Depot®, we can be your white-glove one-stop shop and connect you to our technology or office supplies division to make sure that everything else you need is lined up...fast.

    Make Carol from Workspace Interiors at your first call at 440-452-3199. She can help with office space planning and can confirm on the spot which furnishings are available in a rush — plus we’re nationwide. You may be surprised by the selection of sleek styles that are available.

    If your rush project isn’t a training room but instead requires desks for a new employee or a group of employees, you may want to think about other options like sit-stand desks. A design trend in workspaces is flexibility in general. Desks that can be reconfigured on the fly have obvious benefits.

    Whether you need desks, a training room or a conference room, let us help you through your next workspace furnishing emergency. You’ll be glad you did.

    Grasshopper
    Next up: Tips and Strategies to Retain Employees
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  • Tips and Strategies to Retain Employees

    It’s one thing to attract the employee to your company and then hire them. It’s another to then keep that employee for the long-term if you don’t have retention strategies in place to keep them.

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    It’s one thing to attract the employee to your company and then hire them. It’s another to then keep that employee for the long-term if you don’t have retention strategies in place to keep them.

    Pre-Check

    When you find yourself someone that you feel like fits the company and shows that they are willing to give you optimal output for the company and its customers, it’s time to start thinking about ways to you can keep that person around for the long-term.

    Tip #1

    Performance. The benefit of having measurable objectives for employees is fairly obvious to most business owners and managers, but this perception usually stops short of relating performance metrics to employee retention. Study after study confirms that people have a deep desire to feel they're succeeding and that their talents and capabilities are being used in a way that makes a difference to the business. When people sense their actions are fulfilling this desire, they begin to develop a sense of belonging and a feeling that your company is their company.

    Performance should be rewarded not with gift cards or a company car, but with projects that can give the employee opportunities to work with others. They should be given high-level priority pieces to be viewed as an investment.

    Tip # 2

    Communication. The second essential element in a retention strategy is communication, specifically a communications process that's structured to inform, emphasize and reaffirm to employees that their workplace contributions are having an impact. Since we're dealing very directly with how employees feel about their performance, the company and their work environment, the question becomes, "How do you know how they feel about these matters?"

    Seems simple right? Tell the employee that they are important to the organization, but ask them how they feel too. It needs to be a two-way street. It’s one thing to tell them how much they mean to the organization, but give them no clear path as to how they fit or where they can go. Just keep that in mind when communicating things.

    Tip # 3

    Loyalty. The third element in a successful employee retention strategy is employee loyalty. True loyalty is not an enforced requirement but an earned response to the trust, respect and commitment shown to the individuals in your company. When you demonstrate loyalty to your employees, they'll reciprocate with commitment and loyalty to your business. Remember that people don't begin their employment with you as loyal employees, but will develop loyalty over time as they're trusted, respected and appreciated by you.

    What does loyalty do for the life of a company? It’s maybe the best way to create a culture of trust that your employees will go the extra mile for the company without even being asked. When there’s an opening for a position that requires maybe a year more experience than someone at the organization, it’s probably best to look internally only and give it to the employee that’s given you everything they have. It’s a win for you, the customers and this person can grow with the organization. Save the new hires for the entry-level positions so the current employees can train them and bring them into the organization the way they were.

    Tip #4

    Competitive advantage. The fourth and final element in your strategy to retain employees has to do with your competitive advantage. While that may seem odd at first, think about it: People want to work for a winner. What sets your company apart from your competition? How are you--and as a result, your employees--making a difference in your industry, in your community, and for your customers? Take the time to identify and inform your clients and your employees about your unique competitive advantage. If your product is similar to others in the marketplace, your service can be what distinguishes you (and probably should in any case). People want to be with a winner...and that includes employees.

    Apply these tips as soon as you can if you haven’t done so already. They are important to keep your organization vibrant and employer of choice within the competitive IT industry in Northeast Ohio.

    Reference: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/76456

    Grasshopper
    Next up: Top Tech Companies Honored at 11th Annual Best of Tech Awards
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  • Top Tech Companies Honored at 11th Annual Best of Tech Awards

    Here’s who came out on top at the Nerd Oscars.

    Seven different companies took home Best of Tech Awards on April 27, 2017, during OHTec’s 11th annual Best of Tech Awards night held at Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland.

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    Awards were handed out in the categories of: Tech Team of the Year; Tech Company of the Year; Most Promising Startup; Best Tech Workspace; Best Software Product; Best IT Services Company; and Best Healthcare Tech Product.

    RELATED: Check out what attendees had to say about the “Nerd Oscars” on Twitter

    Pre-Check

    “This year’s crop of finalists shows the deep bench of tech talent that exists in Northeast Ohio,” OHTec’s Executive Director Dean E. Brainard says. “At OHTec, we’re proud to support the work of these innovative companies and individuals and connect the fabric of the region’s IT community together through a variety of collaborative and educational efforts.”

    A list of the winners and finalists are below:

    Tech Team of the Year
    Winner: PolyOne

    With its world headquarters based in Northeast Ohio and through the dedication of 7,000 employees in more than 30 countries, PolyOne Corporation (NYSE: POL) is a leading global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and solutions. The company’s IT Department focuses on transforming technology into value as a high performing member of the PolyOne team.

    Finalists

    • Accellis Technology Group
    • Dakota Software
    • n2y LLC

    Tech Company of the Year
    Winner: Futuri Media

    Futuri Media is a global leader in audience engagement technology and tools to help broadcasters and publishers drive audience and revenue growth. Launched in 2009 with its award-winning Listener Driven Radio (LDR) audience engagement platform, Futuri Media now holds 11 published or pending patents and has been named to the Inc. 5000 List of America's fastest-growing private companies for three consecutive years.

    Finalists

    • MRI Software
    • n2y LLC
    • Hyland

    Most Promising Startup
    Winner: Wheedle

    Wheedle is a ticketing and marketing platform, designed specifically for the hospitality industry, which allows businesses to get more customers in the door by promoting their events and experiences. Wheedle ticketing turns ordinary experiences into in-demand events, allowing event hosts to create and sell tickets, promote the event, and manage the guest list.

    Finalists

    • Votem
    • Heureka Software
    • Revenue Conduit

    Best Tech Workspace
    Winner: Accellis Technology Group

    Founded in 2001, Accellis Technology Group, Inc. has built a tier-one nationally recognized technology services business by focusing on one simple principle—deliver great service first. The company hires bright, friendly technology resources and backs them with the tools and resources to make their jobs simple and let them focus on service. One customer, one business, and one person at a time.

    Finalists

    • Technology Recovery Group
    • FIT Technologies

    Best Software Product
    Winner: OEC

    Founded in 2000, OEC develops parts ordering solutions for the global automotive industry. The company’s customer base includes more than 13,000 auto dealers and more than 100,000 repair facilities in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. Nearly 100% of revenues are generated domestically; 1% internationally.

    Finalists

    • MRI Software
    • Hyland
    • Dakota Software

    Best IT Services Company
    Winner: Bluebridge Networks

    Headquartered in Cleveland, BlueBridge Networks boasts best-in-class Datacenter Services, including Work Group Recovery, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Disaster Recovery and Managed Storage and Security Services, maximize the opportunity for businesses to get their messages across, save on costs and remain highly available for their customers. With a network of state-of-the-art, geographically diverse collocation facilities located in Cleveland, Mayfield Heights, and Columbus, BlueBridge maintains the highest standards for uptime, quality and service, backed by the most powerful Service Level Guarantees in the industry.

    Finalists

    • FIT Technologies
    • Vizion Solutions
    • Level Seven

    Best Healthcare Tech Product
    Winner: OnShift

    OnShift delivers cloud-based human capital management software and proactive services to solve every day workforce challenges in healthcare. Its suite of products for hiring, scheduling and employee engagement drives quality care, lower costs and higher performance by empowering providers to staff consistently and efficiently. Intuitive design, predictive analytics and customer success management are why thousands of post-acute care and senior living organizations rely on OnShift.

    Finalist

    • iRxReminder LLC

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    Next up: Trust Can Lead to Employee Retention
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  • Trust Can Lead to Employee Retention

    Most organizations focus on salary as a major reason people stay or leave their companies. In most cases, it’s not even in the top five reasons for an employee leaving the organization. According to a study done by Deloitte, one third of employees will look for a new job as the economy continues to improve. Even more unsettling, 48% of the reason people say the reason for the move is the lack of trust in their employers.

    Most organizations focus on salary as a major reason people stay or leave their companies. In most cases, it’s not even in the top five reasons for an employee leaving the organization. According to a study done by Deloitte, one third of employees will look for a new job as the economy continues to improve. Even more unsettling, 48% of the reason people say the reason for the move is the lack of trust in their employers.

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    So how does lack of trust occur at an organization? Those answers aren’t that simple. But, it does show up in many forms. How about when someone does an excellent job on a major project and doesn’t receive the appropriate credit? During the interview process they were told the organization is growing and will have opportunities for growth but doesn’t have anything happening over the long-term? When a manager says to their group that they want something done a certain way and won’t limit the amount of creativity to get to the end of the project, but in the next meeting tells everyone to stop doing it that way and do it their way? Or when someone comes up with a great idea to bring new revenue streams to the organization and better help the customers, but it’s viewed as ridiculous and unattainable?

    Now what? Maybe it’s time to look at your organization in the mirror and ask yourself some tough questions and make some changes to meet the loss that will continue to occur while the economy recovers; especially in IT. You must quickly restore what has been broken.

    Pre-Check

    Start with being consistent. If you say something, don’t change your mind and do a 180. If you happen to feel a change needs to be made, make it with the group and get a consensus as to whether or not to make the move. When you say to someone you want them to grow, help them grow. You are not in the ivory tower and must be accessible. Great leaders know how to make time for their employees.

    Care for them like family. Be a servant to your flock. This doesn’t mean be a push over, but it means live and work to serve others. When you are treating your employees like you’d want to be treated and are serving their needs, they will trust you more to be their leader. If you ever happen to go to war, there will be people behind you. Your flock will also begin to help each other and become your problem solvers when times get tough. They will also go the extra mile for you because you do the same for them.

    Lastly, communicate your mission and translate the company’s mission as well. Employees inherently want to always try and do their best for the organization, give them the benefit of understanding the mission and what’s expected of them. If they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing or why, what do you expect them to accomplish? They’d just be working for themselves and would feel lost as to why they should try harder for you and the company. In this communication role, listen to the employees too. You need to adjust to their needs as much as you can. Remember, this isn’t about you anymore; this is about serving others and their needs.

    Bottom line on this, be authentic and start seeing retention through the lens of trust rather than on more money and benefits. If you see that your retention analytics have continued to get lower and lower, then it’s time to make a change.

    Reference: http://www.6seconds.org/2013/09/11/trust-retaining-talent/

    Grasshopper
    Next up: Turning Doubt into Confidence: Women in Technology
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  • Turning Doubt into Confidence: Women in Technology

    Doubt – that sense or feeling of uncertainty you get when thinking about the future. Especially that rush of doubt you feel when taking a leap of faith to change careers. Doubt in oneself, doubt in one’s financial state or doubt in the ability to live outside one’s comfort zone. It’s a common thing everyone struggles with when making decisions about the future, specifically the right career path. Turn your doubt into confidence on October 8!

    Doubt – that sense or feeling of uncertainty you get when thinking about the future. Especially that rush of doubt you feel when taking a leap of faith to change careers.

    Doubt in oneself, doubt in one’s financial state or doubt in the ability to live outside one’s comfort zone. It’s a common thing everyone struggles with when making decisions about the future, specifically the right career path.

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    Turn your doubt into confidence on October 8!

    While some of these examples are out of our expertise to lend a helping hand, one thing we can help you do is turn doubt into confidence when it comes to choosing a career path.

    Pre-Check

    I know, you are probably thinking, “Wow, did Hyland add ‘therapist’ to its portfolio along with developing award-winning software?”

    No, we didn’t. However, working at a leading technology organization, I’m excited to share that we’re hosting our inaugural “Women in Tech” event at Hyland Software’s headquarters on Saturday, October 8, from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.


    Explore your technology career options

    The free conference is open to collegiate and career-level women who are interested in learning and exploring degrees or careers in Information Technology (IT). The conference will educate women in Northeast Ohio (or if you happen to be visiting the region) about different career paths in the technology industry and provide an outlet to hear from and network with women about what a day in their roles looks like.

    We’ve planned an informative half-day event, in partnership with the Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWiC), with presentations and panels from software developers, testers and IT specialists to answer questions. Our goal is to help educate attendees and promote female leadership in the technology industry. By hosting this event, we hope to spark interest in technology careers and help women break the glass ceiling by having an open dialogue about different career paths and opportunities.

    Again, registration for the event is free. Sign-up today and confirm your seat!


    This blog originally appeared here

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    Next up: Twitter Chat: Equity, Economy and Climate Resilience
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  • Twitter Chat: Equity, Economy and Climate Resilience

    As an advisory council member of the Cleveland Emerald Cities, I recently participated as one of several panelists in a Twitter Chat that addressed Equity, Economy and Climate Resilience. The Chat focused on the importance of infrastructure in community resilience and in building community wealth.

    As an advisory council member of the Cleveland Emerald Cities, I recently participated as one of several panelists in a Twitter Chat that addressed Equity, Economy and Climate Resilience. The Chat focused on the importance of infrastructure in community resilience and in building community wealth. The Twitter Chat was hosted by the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab), a center for planning and development within MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

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    The questions we explored during the chat were:

    • What are some examples of resilient infrastructure and technologies that are contributing to community climate resilience?
    • How might resilient infrastructure contribute to community wealth?
    • What are some examples of resilient infrastructure that are contributing to community wealth?
    • What are some examples of local hiring, contracting or other policies that support the development of resilient infrastructure?
    • What partnerships around local hiring and contracting are contributing to community wealth while building resilient infrastructure?
    Pre-Check
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