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"Fantastic office furniture only goes so far. Here are tips for keeping your office tidy, efficient and comfortable. 

This is a HON blog, so of course we’re going to spend most of our time talking about the desks, chairs, cubicles and other essentials that help elevate a workplace from good to great. But now and then, we like to acknowledge that the real world doesn’t always look like a perfect catalog layout. Real life is usually a bit messier and less organized. After all, if there isn’t some clutter, is anything really getting done?

But somewhere between staged product shots and the chaos of reality is a happy medium where everything has its place. As the world returns to the workplace—and our desks are no longer literal extensions of our homes—it’s time to shape up. Here are some practical tips to make the “new normal” more orderly, focused and productive, without sacrificing personal comfort and style."

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Start with the Little Things

That wayward pile of pens and highlighters? Half of them likely aren’t necessary, but a handy receptacle (even your favorite mug) is a great place to house them. Those paper clips and thumbtacks rattling around on the bottom of your desk drawer? Scoop them up and put them in a small Mason jar. That tangled mess of power and computer cables behind the computer and under the desk? Tidy it up with zip ties (or better yet, cancel the cord clutter with a desk that offers wire management, like HON’s Concinnity™ collection. Feels better already, right?

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Featured Product: Workwall 

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Find Inspiration in the Kitchen

Kitchens are often wonders of organization—they’re designed to maximize storage for everyday items. So why not borrow some of those great ideas for the office? Kitchen-inspired desk organizers are a great way to maximize shallow spaces like drawers. HON offers an easy-to-install organization solution called Workwall that mixes tiles of varying materials with smart tools and accessories to make your space more intentional and functional. And just as under-cabinet lighting helps brighten cooking areas, task lighting brings focus to the desktop. Overhead light is great for general use but depending on the balance of artificial and natural lighting sources, having more dedicated light can reduce visual fatigue. Simple and adjustable is a safe bet to achieve just the right angle and illumination desired, preferably one that more closely mimics daylight. Work-related headaches, be gone!

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Re-Evaluate What You Really Need

Acclaimed organizing consultant Marie Kondo’s signature query “Does it spark joy?” may sound more philosophical than practical. But if translated less literally, try asking whether something makes your life easier. Our tendency is to accumulate instead of curate, so letting go of office items that clutter your workspace physically and mentally can be cathartic. Are those drawers full of documents necessary, or a nuisance better scanned and stored digitally? In the age of email and online collaboration, when was the last time you actually used your stapler for something other than a paperweight? If pictures of your family are more inspiring than an award you received years ago, which one really deserves to be displayed? Reclaim your workspace by making mindful decisions about what stays and what goes (and what “sparks joy”), then invest the time to declutter your desk and your mind at the same time.

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Consider Temperature and Sound

"Though studies suggest the optimum office temperature for productivity is 71° F (21.5° C), that number isn’t exclusive or absolute. Some work environments are warmer or cooler by design, so dress accordingly, even if that includes a jacket or sweater that can be added or removed. Choose a task chair that offers a bit of breathability—from Cliq™ to Nucleus® to Cipher™, HON has a variety of seating solutions with flexible 4-way stretch mesh backs, designed to keep airflow (and long-lasting support!) intact throughout the day. 

And let’s face it, busy offices aren’t exactly libraries—sometimes the office buzz feels like being stuck in rush hour traffic. When it comes to distraction, noise is an invisible obstacle. Workspace dividers like HON’s acoustical solutions by Unika Vaev make a huge difference by absorbing and controlling the flow of sound around offices of any size."

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And Don’t Forget the Chair

"Let’s admit it: Almost everyone spends a lot of time seated, even less desk-bound professionals like nurses and teachers and project managers. The ideal workspace begins with the ideal chair, perfectly suited for the user and the environment. From sophisticated adjustments to achieve just the right fit to casual and universal for client meetings and informal gatherings, HON’s extensive line of seating offers something for everyone and every office. How you work and navigate your busy schedule is personal. That’s why HON products are designed for individuals, not the masses, with seating that isn’t one-size-fits all. HON pays attention to how people sit—and move—throughout the day because intuitive support, easy mobility, and customized control matter. 

But also think about how you move in that chair—are you straining to get what you need? Consider your reach and place frequently used items purposefully. Find the ideal sightline for your display and adjust the height and angle to create a comfortable, neutral position. Use a monitor riser so you spend less time looking down and more time looking ahead. Which, if you think about it, is a nice way of thinking about your tidy, comfortable new space, as well."

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Stellar support, appropriate lighting, distraction reducers and comprehensive organization. These are the keys to a comfortable and productive workspace. Remember your first day at work, when everything felt brand new? With smart office furniture solutions and some personal reflection, you can have that “first day” feeling—all day, every day.

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