Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Office Makeover Fails: 2014 Edition

Here at, we love to fill our blogs with photos of stunning offices and loads of advice on keeping it that way. But for every pretty post, we know there's an ugly office out there in desperate need of a facelift. For those of you who know the horror of paper avalanches, graveyards of decaying furniture, and the post-it note apocalypse, this article can help! Today, we're highlighting common office disasters, along with great tips on preventing them. Hunker down, and enjoy!

Not In Kansas Anymore...

Paper tornadoes are some of the most common natural disasters to plague an unsuspecting office. In places like medical facilities, where keeping old files on clients is mandatory for at least a few years, papers can stack up fast. Without organization, many people are left with a whirlwind that's enough to make them question whether they're in the office or in Oz. For this, we recommend file cabinets for organization and storage. Available in lateral or vertical cabinet options, file shelves provide a neat, designated space for old records too important to lose in a computer crash.

Bonus tip: Investing in a scanner to go paperless is also effective - just don't forget to "trash bin" the unnecessary stuff every few months to keep the hard drive clear.

Cyber Cyclone

Sometimes the messiest offices can actually look squeaky clean. Desks are clear, furniture's current, everything seems in its place - just don't sit down at that computer, or you may never get up again! Not only can built-up files, unwanted cookies, and never-ending programs slow your system to a crawl, but it can also slow response time to a virus should your computer get infected by a hacker or an unsafe webpage. Regular maintenance is mandatory for a clean, fast-running office. Taking time to delete old files, perform disk cleanups, run security scans, uninstall unwanted programs, and update software can save time and money. Don't forget to shut down your computer when not in use.

Bonus Tip: An external hard drive provides more space for backups of your files. If a disaster, such as a hacker or virus crashes your computer, the drive will have backups of everything. Adding space saving ergo products like CPU holders will keep the drives out of the way, so you don't have to sacrifice visual appeal for practicality!

Walls of Shame

Cluttered walls are pretty easy to come by, especially if you look down. In an office, wires and cables are necessary for most computers, hard drives, and lighting. Without organization, however, the floor of your office can start to resemble the snake pit from Indiana Jones. To save yourself from this predicament, be sure to unplug any wires or cables you don't use regularly and store them away. Wrapping up excess cording with a rubber band helps keep things neat. Many desks, like the desks from Global Total Office or Mayline offer modesty panels, grommets, and other useful features specifically for taming tangles of unruly cables.

Bonus Tip: Not sure which cable to unplug? Bread ties can help you keep track! Write the name of your device on the bread tie and hook them to the right cables so you always know what's what.

Zombie Furniture

"Vintage" is a style choice, not "decrepit." If you like the look of old, classic office furniture from the 40s and 50s, that's great! We love it too... but not enough suffer potential injury. If your desk or cool retro office chairs are falling apart, it's probably time to upgrade - or at least perform a makeover. There are plenty cool retro office chairs out there for sale if you know your furniture can't be fixed. If it can though, there are also tons of great DIY restoration blogs for old furniture!

Bonus Tip: The oldest furniture benefits most from a little TLC. Breaking out the tool box to tighten screws, oil hinges, and pick the gunk out of wheel casters every month or so goes a long way to making furniture last!

The Crumb-Pocalypse

According to a study by British Microbiologist James Francis, a dirty keyboard can have levels of germs five times higher than a public toilet seat - gross! Most people don't realize that the little crumbs from snacking at a desk build up quickly in unseen places like keyboard keys, door handles, and drawer bottoms. These unattended crumbs decay, attracting pests like mice and bugs who leave even more unwanted germs on your office equipment by night. For this, we recommend regular cleaning to thwart the crumb-pocalypse. Hand sanitizer, sanitation wipes, and compressed air dusters can help kill germs, and flush unwanted dirt and debris from those hard-to-reach places!

Bonus Tip: Using retractable keyboard trays can help keep keyboards out of the way when not in use. Rolling them under the desk saves them from the falling dust, debris, and snack crumbs that attract pests.

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