Millennial Office Design May 23 2017, 0 Comments
We were downright inspired by a recent article at bizjournals.com by Laura Fries. It tackles the issue of how to create office designs and layouts that millennials will find inviting, flexible, and conducive to productivity. Millennials tend to think differently about work - including the process of getting work done, the settings where they can be most productive, and the level of collaboration vs. privacy they desire.
This article tackled some very important points about how businesses today can arrange and design their offices and workplace policies, and promoted ideas like these:
- Making the office feel more like a home, with couches, lounge areas, fireplaces, big screen TVs, and a stocked kitchen area
- Changing policies around working hours, so that workers can work whenever and wherever inspiration strikes, without having to "turn off creativity" when they leave the office
- Creating "collaboration zones" where workers can gather to tackle a project or brainstorm a presentation; zones could be booths for 3-4 or medium-sized conference rooms with white boards
- Offering flexible workspaces so employees can move around to different parts of your building to work, depending on whether they need quiet, want to stand, need to collaborate, etc. (Many have called this set up a "hot-desking environment" where workers can grab any workstation or area to work on any given day, which seems to be the set up for the innovative new office for Sky News in London).
- Better aligning your workplace with the mission of your company; if your company is focused on the environment, your workplace should reflect that (perhaps with the methods for trash & recycling, or with sustainable office furniture like bamboo desks, etc.)
These ideas are excellent and can go a long way toward increasing worker productivity, satisfaction, work/home balance, and even health!
We don't say "health" lightly, either:
- Mental health is improved as workers feel more valued at work, and also when they feel better about their work/home balance.
- Physical health is improved as workers are able to move around the office, using standing desks or standing while meeting, or even walking on a walking trail at the office while discussing an idea.
- And our physical and mental health certainly impacts our emotional and spiritual well-being, so changing the ways offices are arranged can have a positive impact on employees on basically every level! (And healthier, happier employees are typically much more productive employees).
As more and more companies are filled with fewer baby boomers and more millennials, altering workplaces to reflect this changing demographic will become less an eclectic luxury of the technology company and more a necessity across industries.
New Products from Mobital Now Up! Plus a Discount! April 26 2017, 0 Comments
Well, we have been working hard to get the Mobital lineup added to the site, as more and more demand comes rolling in for modern conference table options. And Mobital has some excellent options. They aren't cheap, but they are premium, high quality pieces that will really turn some heads! They will take any office up a notch, toward a high end, modern office! One example is below.
This one-of-a-kind, gorgeous piece is 100% solid wood and would be a perfect centerpiece conference table for a modern office. It's totally unique top looks like this:
And its edges are "live" so they fluctuate in and out with the natural wood that the table is crafted from. Sweet.
Here's another example:
Does this table not look like what a tree would look like if it became a table?!? So cool! The "branch" like legs are actually made of solid steel, and the top (also with "live"edges) is made of solid ash & solid rowan and finished in dark cocoa! This is perfect for a CEO or entrepreneur's desk at a start up tech firm, or somewhere they value innovative, fresh designs.
If you're looking for something made with glass, then the option below is also a great new addition to our lineup:
This new offering combines unique legs made of polished stainless steel with a premium clear glass top that extends in length from 62" to 94"! If you want a desk/table that doubles as an executive desk and a place for your team to meet, this is a great choice! As with all of Mobital's units, it's made with premium materials and is sure to last for the long haul...
We have added several other chic choices from Mobital, and you can see them all by going here.
Oh, and the discount... If you purchase a Mobital unit in April or May, take 10% off your purchase with discount code MOBITAL10. We hope we are able to serve you!
Another Study on Sitting vs. Standing at Work February 21 2017, 0 Comments
CNN published an article this morning, detailing another study about the potential risks of too much sitting. Author Emmanuel Stamatakis explains that there are a multitude of factors that go into whether sitting at work is harmful, including how much exercise you get outside of work, how much exercise is incorporated into your daily routine, whether or not you are obese to start with, and even how much time you spend watching TV.
He says, "Adjustable desks that allow a sitting and standing option (sit-stand desks) could be a good first step, especially for very sedentary and unfit workers. But these aren't a complete solution as people don't expend much energy, or exert themselves, using them." We would say it probably depends on the person. There are folks who would sweat and get their heart rate up just by standing at their desk for a couple hours during the day, and the other articles we have posted have suggested a link between standing for a couple hours and a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.
But either way, he does admit that it is a good first step - perhaps a helpful way for folks to get started. And it is crucial that this first step not be our only step; standing at our desks must take the place of more vigorous exercise, or make us feel we have done our exercise and can now sit in front of the TV the rest of the day!
Perhaps even better for those who need the nudge into exercise would be a treadmill desk or bike desk, which don't only get us standing while we work but actually get us burning some serious calories. If feasible at your workplace, one of these could be the perfect answer to the improvement of your health, even though you must spend long hours at the office.
Proven Benefits of Standing Desks! August 25 2016, 0 Comments
Leslie Barker wrote an article this week for the Dallas Morning News, where she described the results of a recent Texas A&M study. This study looked at the effects of one group of children sitting at traditional desks, while another group used standing desks for a portion of the day. Over the course of two years they saw amazing impact!
The group at the standing desks burned more calories and had a significantly better BMI, and this study links up with a host of others that suggest we significantly decrease our risk for a host of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, when we stand for at least a portion of our day.
We have cited such studies on OfficeDesk.com before, and the reason is because we've become convinced that when buying office furniture you ought to consider buying furniture that enables you to stand! Such sit-stand desks enable you to sit for a while, then raise your desk top and stand for a while. We sell several such desks, and also sell some new units from Bestar that have both a stationary desk top and a second desk top that goes up and down electronically.
We have become convinced ourselves! We just bought from this very collection for our staff, knowing it will make a huge health difference over the years to be at desks that enable us to stand! We hope you'll consider joining the party!
4 Ways Your Office Can Save the Planet July 23 2016, 0 Comments
Shipping Guide July 19 2016, 0 Comments
Anatomy of the Perfect Office Space July 11 2016, 0 Comments
By Kevin Scott
Many of us either work in an office, have worked at an office, or will one day work at one. Offices vary widely in how they are run as well as how they are laid out. From the type of desks to the color of the walls, office space design is a trending topic. Grab a bag of popcorn and get ready to devour some awesome facts about where we spend roughly 90,000 hours of our lives.
What Are Freight Shipments, and How Are They Different From FedEx? Tips to Guide You... January 13 2016, 0 Comments
Since this is a common question we get asked, and the source of some confusion in our industry, we thought it would be wise to write a blog article about it, and try to cover the main bases briefly for the sake of our customers and potential customers.
So here are the most important points you should know about freight shipments:
- Any shipment over 150 pounds cannot ship "small parcel" (i.e. FedEx or UPS) and must ship as a "freight shipment" or "LTL shipment."
- Freight shipments are different from small parcel shipments in many ways. Some of the most common are that they take a bit longer, they ship wrapped on wooden pallets, they come in larger trucks, they require a signature to be delivered, they are MUCH more expensive for the shipper, and they provide less services (see next bullet point).
This is what a typical freight shipment might look like - boxes on a wooden pallet, wrapped in plastic and tied down.
- A standard LTL shipment only includes pick up from point A (from a warehouse or loading dock) and drop off at point B (to a loading dock). Everything else is an additional charge, including help getting the pallet off the truck (lift gate addition), help getting the boxes inside (inside delivery), call ahead for scheduling (phone call request), removal of pallet or packing materials (debris removal), and the list could go on. There is even a significant upcharge for a freight shipment to go to a residence (residential delivery) - as they want to drop off at loading docks of companies whenever possible. These companies try to do NOTHING extra so they can go quickly from drop off to drop off and not lose money or miss deliveries - so if you want extra, they make you pay for it.
- Some might say FedEx & UPS aren't the best at service, but they are the mavens of the service world compared to freight companies. These companies are used to dealing with large companies and their warehouse employees, not with individuals in homes. So they are often gruff, and rude, and inconsiderate. They are good at saying "No" and "We don't do that."
- This lack of service experience plays out often when these shipments are delivered. The delivery agents will not assist in any way they don't feel comfortable with, sometimes even if the required extra services have been paid for! They also want you to sign off on the delivery immediately so they can leave and go to the next delivery, but this causes problems for items like the furniture we sell, which needs to be inspected before the customer signs.
So what should you do with this information? Well, it certainly doesn't mean you should stay away from freight shipments. Buying furniture (and other large items) online is one of the most cost effective and convenient ways to buy. You just have to know what you're dealing with, what to ask for, and how to handle the freight company employees. Here are some useful tips:
- When ordering large items, make sure to request from the company you are buying from that your shipment include a call ahead for scheduling, lift gate service, and inside delivery. If it is going to a residence, make sure they add residential delivery as well. They may balk at the inside delivery, as this is usually quite expensive (although we provide that free of charge on every shipment here at OfficeDesk.com). But the others are sort of no-brainers. If they refuse to add those on for you, run from that company!
- If the items are going upstairs, like inside a residence, we would suggest having 2 or 3 strong folks to help get them where they need to go. Even when inside delivery is added on, almost no freight company will help you get boxes up inside stairs. The most they will do is help you get them onto an elevator if you are in an office suite. So if you have folks ready to help, it will make the whole process go a lot smoother.
- When they call you to give you a delivery window, don't be surprised if they are a few minutes after their designated "time window." LTL companies are notorious for running behind, so if you expect it you will be less frazzled when it happens (or pleasantly surprised if it doesn't).
- Make sure to fully inspect the items before signing off on the delivery. Once you sign that paper, the delivery agent(s) will be gone, and it makes claims on any damages that occurred near impossible. So it's okay to tell the delivery guy he is going to have to wait a few minutes while you inspect for damages. We recommend at least opening up all the boxes and looking for any obvious damage to the outside edges of the piece. **While inspecting, though, do not ruin the boxes or a return might become impossible. Carefully cut the boxes along the tape lines.
- If you find damages, you should probably refuse the delivery. Just don't sign, and tell the delivery team that you do not accept the delivery and they must take it with them. In this scenario the shipper (in our case that would be us) will make a claim for damages with the carrier (freight company) and will send you a replacement. Finding the damages first and refusing the delivery makes this process a lost simpler.
- If you have a wonderful experience with the company you buy from, and with the freight company, that is not an accident. A lot of work went into that, and it required putting customers ahead of making maximum money. So express your gratitude, and tell your friends or co-workers about your experience.
If you have any more questions about freight shipping, or how a particular shipment should be handled, don't hesitate to reach out! We'd love to serve you!
How to Balance Open Office Plans with Introverted Personalities, or the Need for Solo Work Time November 02 2015, 0 Comments
Jonah Engler recently offered some helpful insights in his article at everything-pr.com, where he offered some thoughts about how the design of your office can play an important role in the productivity and reputation of your business. He explains that mazes of cubicles and other outdated office designs lead to employee demoralization and to constant interruptions that decrease productivity. Further, for customers or clients of the business, an outdated cubicle-centered office design communicates that your business is not on the cutting edge but is lagging behind, likely in ways that go beyond mere office design.
Perhaps most importantly, he offers in this article some ideas for how businesses can set up their offices to maximize productivity. He suggests having different areas and types of furniture available for employees to work at - perhaps some tall tables where employees can stand while they work, other large tables for collaborating, and some solo desks for grinding out individual work. Rooms can be focused on different types of tasks, with a "quiet room" where employees can work without anyone stopping by and interrupting them, and other collaborative spaces of various sizes intended for team members to put their heads together. He suggests that by "opening up the cubicles" and moving to an open office plan with more collaborative spaces, employees will feel less trapped and will be more productive.
We agree! We think having a mixture of individual desks and mid-to-large conference tables around your office space will enable employees to work in whatever fashion they need to. It will enable them to collaborate when they need to, without simply being interrupted at inconvenient moments that might take away their train of thought and halt their progress. We also love the idea of having "quiet zones" where employees know not to interrupt each other. This seems to have been the idea around private offices with doors, but folks still interrupt those with private offices, and dedicating so much square footage to one employee is often not practical for businesses today.
This type of office design, though, is often difficult for those who thrive on solo work time - introverts. Elan Morgan, in an excellent article about how introverts can thrive while working in an open office plan, offers five helpful tips. Karl Stark and Bill Stewart provide more tips for staying productive within an open office, particularly for the introvert. Both articles provide similar tips for how individuals can stay productive - by providing visual cues to show your fellow employees you are working on a solo project and need privacy, by setting aside chunks of alone time (perhaps over lunch), by capitalizing on times that are typically quieter around the office, and by setting aside time to socialize.
These tips go perfectly with Mr. Engler's suggestion for companies to set up various spaces for various tasks, including a space for solo work, spaces for collaboration, and even spaces intended for socializing. We agree that if an open office is done right, with all personality types and particular roles in mind, it can be a wildly successful strategy for increasing productivity, creating a friendly and collaborative work environment, and impressing clients or customers with your progressive and forward thinking!
Color Psychology July 13 2015, 0 Comments
What color should you paint your office? Red? Green? Blue? Maybe just keep the walls white? It seems like such a simple question with such a simple answer. It should be as easy as picking any color, hiring the painter, and going from there. As long as the color matches the rest of the interior decorations it should be fine, right? Wrong!
Colors elicit emotions, and scientists have studied how different colors impact the ways we think and act. This color wheel can provide a good introduction to how different colors commonly have different impact on our brain waves and ultimately the way we think and act.
Before you go into the Home Depot and pick a color, there is a lot you should know about how colors can impact a work environment. Amy Morin, contributor for Forbes Magazine, interviewed Sally Augustin, Ph.D., to gain insight on color psychology (read the full article here). Augustin is known worldwide for her knowledge on person-centered design. At her website Design with Science, she teaches people and businesses how to advantageously use color in their office.
She explains that color has the ability to elicit different reactions. It is important to know these based on the type of office you are decorating. Tailoring the interior décor to the purpose of the company is crucial for success. For example, companies that revolve around a creative mindset should consider painting their walls green. This color is linked with nature and regrowth, ultimately igniting “thinking outside of the box” thinking and productivity. It's why you're seeing offices like these:
On the contrary, the color red hinders analytical thinking. Red makes people act impulsively and have short bursts of energy, reducing concentrated work. The disparity between these two colors illustrates why it is necessary to think about which color to paint your office. Read about the impact of other colors by reading all of Amy's thoughts here. The bottom line is that colors create connections in our brain and stimulate responses that can translate to positive or negative work ethic, productivity, and outlook.
Next time you go to pick up that paint brush, think about if the color you’re painting will yield the results you want in your office! Choose carefully!
Bring the Gym to the Office June 25 2015, 0 Comments
Let me guess, your daily routine includes waking up, getting ready for work, scarfing down a mediocre breakfast and heading to the office where you sit all day. Before you know it, it’s 10 o’ clock and you are wondering where your day went, not to mention you have no time to exercise. What if I told you that you now have the option to combine both work and exercise?
WebMD). Exercising while working would be the ideal setup, and it is now possible with the treadmill and stationary bike desk that Office Desk offers.
A new trend in the workplace is to get up and do mini-workouts to get the blood flowing and the body moving, but these exercises halt the work process and can reduce efficiency. The two desks that OfficeDesk.com has to offer both have desks attached to the standard treadmill and stationary bike that would be used at a gym. Therefore, you can simultaneously work AND work out! The gym is now being brought to the office!
I know what you’re thinking though. A treadmill and bike… in the office? That can’t look too appealing. But these desks will fit right into the office setting with their sleek silver design and modern look. Also, there is plenty of surface for your laptop and other work essentials as well as the ability to alter the desk height to match yours! These are desks that cannot be passed up. Invest in your health and well-being with these desks and you’ll never have to worry about your missed gym time again.
Death of the Corner Office?!? March 31 2015, 0 Comments
We have recently been digesting a fabulous article on the shifting trends in office design by Lana Bortolot of Entrepreneur Magazine. Here is a link to the article if you want to read the whole thing - it's entitled "Designing a Better Office Space."
Above picture borrowed from this article; it is a picture taken at the office of Pandora, the music streaming giant.
What stood out most to us from the article is that the trend toward "incubation, cross-pollination, symbiosis and co-working" in the actual design of office environments is growing, and not only in startup and technology companies. Across the map in companies of every type and size, offices are tending away from cubicles and even private spaces in general and toward more collaborative environments. This includes small meeting spaces, flexible work space assignments so that people can work in whatever area suits their current project or focus, and open meeting spaces through the office.
Many offices are also getting even more creative about designing spaces where workers can connect in natural ways, from including ping pong tables to coffee bars to even incorporating outside space where workers can walk and talk. This might still seem very "hippie" to large swaths of corporate America, but this trend is not just taking off with the millenials and technology gurus. What was so interesting about the article is that this trend is spreading to all sorts of more traditional industries as well, from real estate to finance and even to law firms!
The fact that law firms, built on privacy and confidentiality and studying the ins and outs of the law, have made even one step away from the traditional office set up ought to be proof enough that this movement away from traditional, private work space and toward collaborative, open work space is here to stay. Or at least that it is going to make an impact on the way offices are conceived, across the slate of industries.
Will it lead to the death of the corner office? Will this trend eventually make the vast majority of offices "open" so that the sought after work location is not the corner, private office but the spot with the most potential for creative collaboration and progress? It's hard to tell, and certainly there is always going to be a need for private spaces. But overall it seems that even to attract the high level workers coming out of college today, businesses need to begin thinking in a new way about designing an office from the ground up. It seems that today's young workers are more interested in a walking trail, a coffee bar, and ping pong than they are in the elite corner office with the huge oak desk.
We tend to think this shift is a good one (though one article we read disagreed). It will lead companies of all types to more collaboration and less isolation among team members, more cooperation and less cut-throat competition. Related to office furniture, we have certainly seen the shift away from the traditional, heavy, wood furniture toward lighter, cleaner, more modern designs that are focused on dual functionality (can serve both as a private desk and a meeting location). It's simplest to see this in our conference tables, which often serve as the buyer's executive desk and double as the meeting location for their team.
In the recent Workplace of the Future 2.0 Competition, the winning designer, Organic Grid +, took this notion of the shifting conception of office layouts and flipped it a bit. They saw the need for spaces to be able to be constantly modified based on the needs of the worker. In other words, the office needs to be built for the worker, instead of only hiring workers that fit with your office plan. They confronted the fact that not all workers are extroverts, so there must be the ability, within an open office plan, for workers to get some privacy or to meet one on one. Their winning design envisioned such a space.
As the pendulum swings, this is a great reminder that office designs always need to keep in mind that some people are best at working collaboratively and some people need a mix of isolated work time with their collaborative time. The ability to have an office with optional workspaces, depending on what a worker needs to accomplish on any particular day, is probably ideal.
Current Specials! March 09 2015, 0 Comments
Our current specials were just announced! You can take $29 off any order by entering 29OFF as your coupon code, or you can get 6% off your entire order by entering 6PER. You can get unlimited savings with the 6% off discount, so if you're ordering several desks or outfitting an entire office, this coupon code is a great option for you! If you have any questions, or just want to confirm we are really going to be there for you, reach out and we would love to serve you!
Top 10 Coolest Office Spaces February 24 2015, 0 Comments
By Kevin Scott
If you're thinking about taking a step in the right direction when it comes to your career, then keep in mind the future space that you'll be working in. Whether you're a mahogany lover or more of a futuristic neon fan, your office space can mean the difference between snoozing after lunch, or being rejuvenated and ready to start each day with the impressive perks and accessories your new office has to offer. Here is our list of the top ten coolest office spaces to get your creative juices flowing.
LivingSocial | Washington D.C.
Living Social's offices are just as fun and colorful as their awesome deals. If you find yourself employed in their Washington D.C. office, you'll be delighted with their casual atmosphere, free chair massages, theater tickets, beer tastings, yoga, CrossFit, and other weekly activities that take place in their corporate office.
Getty Images | Seattle, WA
Getty Images' corporate office in Seattle brings the rich and warm wooden colors that are inspired by the vast forests of Washington. Not only do more than 400 employees enjoy the warm woods of the interior, but also the terrific laid-back and fun atmosphere!
Epic | Verona, WI
The best part about the Epic offices in Verona, WI are probably what's surrounding the offices and not what is inside of them! After crossing the moat to get to the Epic headquarters, the software company boasts an waterfall outside of its cafeteria, a treehouse for conferences. Their offices definitely live up to their name!
ValueClick | Chicago, IL
This three story office space is color coded with over half a dozen color schemes, with network cables to match. ValueClick's offices also host over fifty scrum areas for better efficiency and communication with their employees.
Autodesk | San Francisco, CA
If you find yourself working at Autodesk, you'll be part of an incredible team of innovation and design, with offices to match! The Autodesk gallery regularly holds 20 different exhibits to showcase the talents of their workers!
Avon | New York City, NY
In such a culturally rich city filled with art, fashion, and nightlife, Avon's Third Avenue offices in Midtown will make any employee proud to call them home. The offices have salons and samples of every product sold by Avon, making for some terrific employee perks!
Pallotta Teamworks | Los Angeles, CA
Working in a 47,000 square foot building would definitely be something to brag about on its own, but with all the benefits that Palotta Teamworks has to offer, its employees have one amazing story to tell! Looking more like an unfinished warehouse than a corporate office, Palotta Teamworks offers its employees one of a kind offices with love sacs, pebbled ponds, and catwalks.
Kuehne + Nagel’s | Atlanta, GA
This high tech logistics company has offices on most continents, but it's the Atlanta office that is really a reflection of the company. The futuristic building offers the best in technology for their employees, along with an incredible work atmosphere!
DocMagic | Torrance, California
The mortgage industry may not seem like the most exciting business atmosphere, but DocMagic provides incredible accommodations for their employees! This futuristic corporate office in California has Jetson-era seating, along with vibrant offices with carpet in crazy colors like purple and royal blue!
Zappos | Las Vegas, NV
Zappos really raises the bar in terms of office design. The company quickly set the standard for employee perks and extracurricular activities. Their corporate office in Las Vegas, NV is truly employee centered. You'll normally find it decorated in preparation for the next activity or according to the supervisor's dreams with vines, trees, and stuffed jungle creatures hanging around.
Looking to spruce up your work or home office on a budget?
Wasting Time at the Office February 09 2015, 0 Comments
This post is brought to you by timedoctor.com. Enjoy!
Modern Conference Tables Are Blowing Up February 09 2015, 0 Comments
We have been a bit surprised by this trend, but we have tried to stay out in front of it for our customers nonetheless. Modern conference tables are seriously blowing up! It seems nearly every customer we speak to on the phone asks us about conference tables to go with the modern desk they are buying, and many are buying extendable conference tables and using them as their desk and as a conference table when the need arises.
It makes sense if you think about it, since our tastes for large desks have been expanding over the last few years. The majority of buyers has also been shifting away from the traditional, saying that the more modern and clean the design, the better. So we have sold countless conference tables like this one below, and many of our customers are using them as their primary desk that also can serve as a meeting point if necessary...
There is also a boom in extendable conference tables, where you can have a smaller desk sized piece that then expands into a large scale conference table when necessary. There are many examples of this on our site's conference table page, but here is one of the larger scale options, a piece that extends all the way from a small 49" in length to 167" in length!
This explosion in the types of tables that can serve as conference tables is, well, cool! It will mean many offices are looking less and less traditional, with the large wooden conference tables - and many more are looking stylish! Not only that, but these new offices will be light on their feet and so much more functional, able to shift a conference room into something totally different, maybe something like this from Zappos!
So if you are looking to add a modern look to your office, consider adding one of our conference tables as a permanent meeting spot, a piece that can be shifted around the office and contracted or expanded, or as your large scale modern desk. Our customers are raving about them...
Holiday Coupon Codes! December 03 2014, 0 Comments
Enter HOLIDAY1 for 7% off your entire order, with unlimited savings! If you are buying a bunch of desks or conference tables for an office, you can save hundreds!
Or enter 29OFF for $29 off any order, no matter how small. We look forward to serving you, and please reach out with any questions!
Standing Desks are the Rage November 03 2014, 0 Comments
So I just visited the NeoCon conference last week, where many of the top furniture manufacturers showcase their newest designs and pieces. We went there to assess who might be good new partners to add to the site (so you our customer always have the best options to choose from). As we browsed the different manufacturers and the pieces on showcase, it struck us how few traditional wooden desks we saw! Instead, the transition to clean, modern pieces seems to have moved forward at a great pace than we even envisioned! We have offered the most modern designers we can find on our site for some time, and those have been our best sellers--but it was still surprising how fully this shift has occurred.
Along with this shift, it seemed that the vast majority of manufacturers we visited were showcasing sit-stand desks, desks that offer the ability to electronically raise and lower the height of your desk top so you can sit or stand while you work, whatever is more comfortable. There are also health benefits to standing desks, so that many people who are super busy at work but need to get their hearts pumping for various reasons are transitioning over.
We have sold many sit-stand desks recently to those in large offices--attorneys, salespeople, and technology groups have been the most well represented. These people need to spend long hours at their desks but need the ability to stand and still get work done.
We have also sold some treadmill desks to executives looking for the ability to actually get a little exercise while working, and our Managing Partner was actually able to try out this treadmill desk while at NeoCon. He said that with the smooth treadmill walking surface and the soft wristpad, it was actually a breeze to type while walking! Mark Cuban apparently agrees, as he also bought of these from us! We haven't gotten feedback from him yet, but we're working on it!
We highly recommend giving a sit-stand desk or treadmill desk a chance, as they have the potential to not only help with health but also to increase productivity!
Monarch Specialties & WhiteLine Modern are here! Take 10% off now! September 23 2014, 0 Comments
Just this week we have agreed to list two new manufacturers to the site and wanted to introduce you to them. First, we added Monarch Specialties, a manufacturer with some great options for small to mid-size desks that are affordable but good quality. They offer several finish options on most of their pieces to help fit your décor, and a range of styles from small workstation to L-shaped to writing desk.
For the first month on our site (until the end of October), we are offering a 10% discount off of any Monarch desk! Enter the coupon code MONARCH to get your 10% off…
We have also added WhiteLine Modern, which offers many high end modern desks, mostly either small “fit anywhere” desks or large executive desks. They are all of a premium quality and offer a great look.
We will also be offering 10% off any WhiteLine purchase. Enter WHITELINE as your coupon code to get the 10% off, only through the end of October.
Customer Service Matters September 23 2014, 0 Comments
So our entire company, throughout our history, has been focused on providing the best customer service in the industry. We pride ourselves on it. If you are in the market for office furniture for yourself or your business, we are simply the best place to go if you want help. We know our products; we answer the phone; we work with you on price; and we follow through until you are 100% satisfied. Our customers return to us, tell their friends about us, and know that if they go elsewhere they are going to lose on customer service, even if they might save a few bucks.
All of that said, we ran across this article that showed what we already knew to be true: when customers receive bad customer service, they do something about it. They go elsewhere, they seek out a company that actually cares, and once they find a company with top-notch service, they stay there.
Personally I would rather pay a bit more and get top-notch service, particularly if something goes wrong. We strive to not only offer the best service in the industry but also ridiculously good pricing. But if we are a bit more than a giant like Amazon with zero customer service, so be it. We will beat the pants off of them in service.
Check out the article I am referencing here: http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/13/customer-service-rightnow/
Speaking of customer service, let us know if we can serve you!
NFL Pick 'Em Invitation September 03 2014, 0 Comments
The NFL is about to begin and that is exciting! So we thought it would be fun to invite the OfficeDesk.com community to join an NFL Pick 'Em Group! It's just for fun, but if the winner needs any office furniture we'll throw in a $50 gift card.
It's very simple. Pick who you think is going to win each NFL game each week. If you get the most right, you win! To play, go here: http://football.fantasysports.
Then enter the group id 47675 and the password play. (If you don't have a Yahoo account, you'll need to create one).
We look forward to playing & competing with you!
September Coupons September 03 2014, 0 Comments
I hope you have had an awesome summer! As Fall begins this month, we are offering two great discounts to save you money! You can either enter coupon code
25OFF for $25 off any purchase, regardless of what you buy
6PER for 6% off any purchase, with unlimited savings!
We look forward to serving you, and please give us a call (888-405-9787) or shoot us an e-mail (email@example.com) if we can help you out!
August coupon code is AUGDIS - 8% off any purchase! August 05 2014, 0 Comments
Don't forget to use our 8% off coupon this month to save yourself a bunch of money! Enter AUGDIS in the coupon code section during checkout and your order will be instantly discounted! You can save a bunch off our already great prices!
As always, if you have questions about our desks, shipping, time frame, or whatever else, please feel free to give us a call at 888-405-9787. Have a great August!
July Office Desk Discounts Posted! July 02 2014, 0 Comments
So for the month of July there is still the opportunity to get 10% off any purchase from our store, though we are requiring you spend $1299 during July to get the 10% off. So if you are looking to buy a high end desk, or several desks, this is a great opportunity to purchase at a steep discount (the largest discount we ever offer)!! To get this discount, use coupon code JULY2 during checkout.
If you are not planning to spend $1299, you can still get 5% off any order just for finding this blog post. Just enter JULY1 during checkout for your quick 5% off and simple savings.
We at OfficeDesk.com continue to grow and attract a loyal following, particularly among small businesses looking for great service. We specialize in meeting your needs well, getting you the office furniture you need at great prices and with world class customer service. We look forward to serving you!
10% off EVERYTHING in June!!! May 30 2014, 0 Comments
Many times it's hard to find the right discount, so we're helping you out and making it simple. Buy one desk in June: get 10% off. Buy twenty desks in June: get 10% off. As long as you buy from us in June, you can use the coupon code 10JUNE at checkout (or call us to place your order) and get 10% off! Save a little, or save hundreds! But either way, June is the time to buy!
Post a picture of your desk on our Twitter account! May 19 2014, 0 Comments
We at OfficeDesk.com are very interested in learning more about what all the hundreds of thousands of office desks out there look like.
So... we are asking that you Tweet to us (@OFFICEDESKCOM) a picture of your office desk on Twitter. Use the hashtag #mydesk.
Don't clean it first (unless you will have a complex about not doing so)--just submit a picture of your desk. We will give prizes for a few categories: most interesting looking work space, most organized, coolest looking place to plop down and work, messiest space, most likely to be a government desk, and a few others. Spread the word about this fun deal to your friends and co-workers. The more pictures of desks, the better!
Oh, and we will give you free publicity for your company or business if you are one of the winners (we'll post it here and also tweet it out), and we'll also give you a significant gift card to our store!
To get us started, here is a picture of my office desk as of right now. :)
Update: there are four or five pictures up so far--keep them coming! Here is our Twitter page in case you need it: https://twitter.com/OFFICEDESKCOM
Benefits of Standing Desks April 09 2014, 0 Comments
There is growing research that shows a great health benefit related to standing desks. Of course there are other ways to stay in shape, but for many the cumulative effect of sitting all day for years on end will be seriously detrimental to their health, and science is learning more about the ways standing for at least a portion of your work day can help keep you healthy.
Joseph Stromberg's recent article at Smithsonian.com even mentions that utilizing a standing desk can decrease your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer! How much of that research will prove accurate will "come out in the wash" over the years, but for now this is research worth listening to!
For many, due to both established work routines and the required tasks associated with their jobs, they simply cannot stand all the time. I fully identify with that, and need to sit for at least part of the day while I am writing a blog post, or going through invoices. But for much of my day, standing while I work would be simple, and if it has even a portion of the health benefits mentioned by Mr. Stromberg, I need to consider adding a desk with the option of standing.
For me and many others in this situation, a sit-stand desk would be probably be the best option. With the simple push of a button these desks are raised and lowered via an electric motor. We have some great options in our Standing Desks Collection. Check them out--for your health!
Here's my personal favorite. I need to start saving. :)
Advantages of Small Business March 25 2014, 0 Comments
By Kevin Scott
I used to work for a large business, and now I spend my time working for OfficeDesk.com. Big difference. I have found there are advantages to each, but I want to focus in this post on the advantages of the small business, both for owners and employees. Since some of our best and most loyal customers are small businesses, this post is for them--for a dose of encouragement!
We'll start with the owners of small businesses. While there seem to be a mounting list of disadvantages for owners of small businesses (new health care reform regulations, new overtime pay regulations, potential new minimum wage regulations, the self-employment tax), they still have it good in a few ways.
First, they don't have to clock in and clock out! While they may put in more hours than they would at a traditional job, they choose when they work and how much they work for the most part. It is easy to forget in the midst of the stresses and pressures of running a business what it was like to have to be in the office by exactly 8:30am, or stay and work until 5:00pm (even if your work for the day was done). But that is the situation most employees deal with on a daily basis, so the small business owner should be thankful for his or her flexible schedule.
Second, when they work, they aren't making money for someone else! Their work affects their own bottom lines and how much money they have in the bank. That's a huge psychological bonus! When you are busting your butt for an entire year to add value to your company and then at your annual review you get told the company is in a financial bind and cannot afford a raise for you this year, that stings. Now small business owners can go years with a shoestring budget, barely making it, but they can rest assured that if the company starts clicking and profits are rolling in, they will benefit! That's something to be thankful for.
Finally, they are free to dream, change course, end one endeavor and start another, allocate resources differently, or pursue some totally different angle at the drop of a hat. Those in the corporate world know how difficult it can be to get funding for something that wasn't in the budget, or to cut a program that may be wholly ineffective in favor of a new initiative (because it's always been done that way). This freedom to dream and pursue those dreams is something the small business owner must appreciate.
How about for the small business employees? What are some advantages they enjoy? First and foremost, they enjoy a relaxed working atmosphere. Anyone who has walked the halls of corporate America or dealt with the dreary confines of government offices knows what a delight it is (or would be) to walk into a relaxed office atmosphere where you can take a break and play some ping pong, or have an impromptu meeting over coffee in your relaxed attire and talk through issues at the drop of a hat. Many of these workers enjoy a flexible working schedule, so as long as they get their working hours in, precisely when they arrive and leave is not as important. The beauty of this flexibility cannot be overstated, and small business employees should appreciate it daily.
Second, small business workers have an open line of communication to the boss. If something is going wrong (a manager is treating people unfairly, or you feel unappreciated), at large businesses it is often impossible to voice such concerns. Often the only choice is to deal with it or leave. But in the majority of small business environments, you see the “boss” every day. You can ask him or her to grab a coffee because you have some concerns. This is also an invaluable asset.
Finally, small business employees often (though not always) get to enjoy the benefits of the company’s success. Perhaps it means the business expands and you get more responsibility (and a raise). Or perhaps it means that as the company succeeds and can hire more people, you can take more vacation time. Whatever the benefits, any good small business will reward its best people (hardest workers) when things start clicking. Again, this is just often not the case in the big business world.
So be thankful. Despite all the challenges, despite not always knowing if you’ll be in the red or the black, despite having to always have a “backup plan” in case things with this business don’t work out…be grateful for where you are sitting right now. It’s a good place. Even if it doesn’t get any better, trust me—it could be a lot worse!
QUIZ: What Type Of Desk Should You Be Sitting At? February 21 2014, 0 Comments
By Kevin Scott
Which desks were right for you? Check out the great deals we have below!
Super Bowl Survey Time! January 25 2014, 0 Comments
Every year our customers and friends of the store like to compete in a little friendly competition! Fill out the Super Bowl Survey at the link below and compete to win varying sizes of gift cards! Win a gift card worth anywhere between $20 and $200 if you get the most correct answers! We look forward to competing with you! :)
49 Office Hacks to Get You Through the Day January 24 2014, 0 Comments
By Kevin Scott
Hey, when it comes to getting through the work day, we need all of the help we can get. So, in the spirit of making 9–5 just a bit more bearable, here are 50 hacks for use in the office (or wherever it is that you might need them).
1. Binder clips to organize wires
Dozens of tangled and intertwined wires have you down? With the help of some friendly binder clips, you can make sure that they stay where they’re supposed to
2. Hair straightener on wrinkled collar
If you’ve ever made it to work, only to find that the collar on your shirt is doing it’s best to take flight, you know how difficult it can be to iron those things down. Use a hair straightener on it instead of an iron, and you’ll have it laying flat in no time.
3. Mirrors for more light
If you find yourself crammed back into a cubicle, with dozens of twists and turns between you and the light source, don’t fret. With a few well placed mirrors, you can reflect all the light you’ll need right down onto your workstation.
4. Kitchen basket under desk
Another great way to corral all of those loose wires is to buy a simple plastic kitchen basket, and to attach it to the underside of your desk for easy, out-of-the-way storage.
Face it, the pocket on the front of your dress shirt is practically useless . It looks ridiculous when you have it stuffed full of pen and pencils, and it never misses a chance to spill out its contents whenever you have to bend over to pick something up. However, with just the most basic sewing skill, you can add an easy to access pocket that’s also nice and concealed.
6. Spice-rack office supply organizer
Repurpose any old spice rack to serve as an organized and accessible way to keep track of all the little things that you can never find when you need them.
7. Spring to organize papers
It’s not fun to have to dig through piles of paper to find that one important memo or note hidden among the junk, but by removing the spring from a pen, laying it on its side, and using it to hold your important papers, you’ll be able to see at a glance what’s in your pile.
8. Sunglasses as a rearview mirror
If you work with your back to the door, it can be hard to know when the boss is looking over your shoulder. Consider getting a pair of mirror-tinted sunglasses and leaving them propped up on your desk to use as a handy and unobvious rear-view mirror.
9. Herbs to freshen the air
Sometimes working in an office really stinks. When this is literally the case, don’t waste time trying to mask the stench with environmentally unfriendly aerosol sprays; instead, fill a few cup with fragrant herbs and place them around your desk.
10. Use nail polish to help identify keys
If you have a hundred different keys for home and work, you probably know what it’s like to be standing around in the cold while trying desperately to find the one that unlocks the door. You can make it easier to identify which is which if you paint the ends of the keys with nail polish.
11. Sock on vacuum (to find small dropped items)
Drop something small at the office, like an earring or a contact lens? Just place a nylon sock over the end of a vacuum cleaner hose, and turn it on. You lost item should stick to the front, but be kept from going down the tube.
12. Use twist ties to organize wires
With all of the wires that we use every day, sometimes you need to store some of them in a drawer. Keep them from turning into a rat’s nest by using twist ties to keep them separate and organized.
13. Keep supplies in a clear, hanging shoe-rack
These cost almost nothing,,and can really save you some space for more important things.
14. Use whiteboard/blackboard paint
If you’re sick of countless notes, or you need a way to jot down information for everyone to see, consider painting a wall in whiteboard/blackboard paint. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it will allow you to write right on the wall.
15. Google as a timer
Most of us have watch timers or alarms on our phones, but when you’re really concentrating on work, it can be easy to accidentally ignore your alarms when they go off. Instead, have google keep track of the time for you. Just enter “Set timer for ____” in the search bar, and a handy countdown clock will appear right on your screen.
16. Paper clip to mark spot on packing tape
There’s nothing more invisible than the lost end of invisible tape. Make it more easy to locate by stick a paperclip to it once you’re done.
17. Velcro to hold things in place
If you find that things that shouldn’t be moving are getting lost or misplaced, buy some adhesive velcro strips, and attach them to your objects and the desk. Now, things should stay put until you need them.
18. Cardboard form old cereal box to help organize a desk drawer
With a cereal box and some scissors, you can create useful dividers in your desk drawers.
19. Old CDs to fix wobbly furniture
Chances are, there are a few software CDs left over from the 90s laying around the office that no one will miss. If you have a wobbly desk or chair, place one of these CDs under the short leg to even everything out.
20. Cassette case for smartphone stand
Remember cassette tapes? Well, they used to come in these handy clear-plastic cases, and although you may not have much use these days for the cassette itself, the cases can be used as smartphone stands.
21. Wrap your computer monitor in clear plastic wrap
Office computer screens have a tendency to get really dirty. Keep yours clean by wrapping it in plastic sanitary wrap. When it gets too dirty or starts to tear, simply replace it.
22. WD40 to get rid of ink stains
When you carry around inkpens in your pockets, eventually one is going to betray you. Ink stains on clothing can be difficult to remove, but by using a spray of WD40, you can loosen the stain and possibly even remove it. Just make sure to test an out of the way corner of the material first, to make sure it doesn’t react badly to the spray.
23. Fabric softener sheet for stinky shoes
Smelly feet are unforgivable in the office, so if your shoes are stinking, stuff a dryer sheet into each one, and keep it in there while you wear them.
24. Clear nail polish to stop a run in stockings
A small run in a stocking can quickly become a big problem for a woman in the office, but a dab of clear nail polish can stop that snag in its tracks.
25. Bounce batteries to see if they’re still good
When something stops working, you can test the its alkaline batteries by holding them about three inches above a hard surface. A dead battery should land with a thud, while a full battery will bounce.
26. Silica gel in drawers to prevent moisture damage
If you live in a humid area, you might notice that moisture gets into your drawers and causes damage. You can absorb this moisture before it can make any trouble by keeping silica gel packets (such as the kind that come in shoeboxes) in the drawer.
27. Heal paper cuts with lip balm
A paper cut can hurt far worse than it has any right to, but by rubbing lip balm across the cut, you can simultaneously speed up the healing process and relieve the pain.
28. Close gushing cuts with superglue
For real gushers in the office, consider using super glue to close your wound. It’s perfectly safe, and can actually work better for sealing deep cuts than stitches.
29. Clear tape to clean keyboards
It’s probably better if you don’t think too long about all of the dirt, grime, and dead skin cells that end up between your computer keys. However, you should clean it out every now and again. Just get a strip of clear tape, and then run it between the keys.
30. Change monitor brightness to decrease eyestrain
One of the worst thing about staring at a computer all day is the potential for eye strain. Help reduce your risk by adjusting the brightness on your monitor.
31. Freeze candy for a fun office treat
For a fun treat at work, try freezing some of your favorite candy. Atomic Fireballs are especially good because, when you pop a frozen one in your mouth, it tends to explode into shards of flamingly good shrapnel.
32. Use a mug to create levels in a microwave
If you’ve got a full office and only one microwave, lunch time in the break room can get a little crowded. Well, here’s your solution.
33. Clean microwaves by cooking a bowl of water
And once you multilevel microwave inevitably results in a spill, you’ll need a good way to clean all of that baked in grease from off of the inside. Just heat a bowl of water for 2–3 minutes; the steam should loosen the grease and make it easy to just wipe away.
34. Mount your tablet with self adhesive plastic hooks
If you’d like to be able to see your tablet while you work, but don’t want to have to hold it, just buy some plastic adhesive hooks, and mount it on the wall.
35. Lazy susan for office supplies
If you find yourself working at a large table with several other employees, a great way to make the office supplies available to everyone is to place them on a lazy susan in the center of the desk.
36. Clothespins to keep chip bags closed
Office snacks are great until they spill everywhere. Keep your bag of chips closed with a clothespin.
37. Binder clips for wobbly keyboards
A wobbly keyboard can be a real annoyance, but you can even it out with help from a few binder clips.
38. Use half of an egg carton to cool laptop
If you find that your laptop computer has a tendency to overheat, try lifting it off of the desk so that its fan has a chance to do its job. Half of an egg carton can provide a level pedestal that also helps to keep everything cool.
39. Attach an empty tissue box to a full one so you have a place for your garbage
Instead of letting used tissues build up around your desk, just rubberband an empty tissue box to a full one, and you’ll always have someplace to put used tissues.
40. Write random letters over words to make them illegible
Sometimes you need to cross out something on a handwritten note. If you want to make sure that what you cross out is completely unreadable, don’t just scribble over it; write random letters over it.
41. Dryer sheet over vents to freshen office
Another way to freshen up a stinky office is to tape dryer sheets over the middle of some of the air vents (unfortunately, this one only works in summer when the AC is being used. Try it with a heater and you’ve got a potential fire hazard on your hands).
42. Iron button-up shirts inside out
Buttons on shirts tend to get in the way of the iron, so turn that shirt inside-out and iron it without having to fear snagging a button.
43. Pants hanger to hold open book
If you need to keep a book open without using your hands while you work, consider using a pants-hanger. You can even hang it up, as demonstrated in the image.
44. Use a spring from old pen to keep your charger from bending/breaking
Phone chargers are most fragile near the ends by the plugs. Keep these areas safe by wrapping the springs from old pens around them.
45. Toilet paper rolls to organize cords in a drawer
Another way to keep wires from tangling in a drawer is to use old paper towel rolls.
46. Cut open an empty bottle of lotion to make secret item storage
If you have to leave valuables in the office throughout the day or overnight, consider converting an empty lotion bottle into a secret storage case.
47. Use cup as impromptu smartphone speaker
Want a louder volume setting on your smartphone? Don’t buy speakers; just get a cup. Place the smartphone in the cup, and you’ll be amazed at how much louder it sounds.
48. Open blister packs with a can opener
Blister packs are the worst things in the universe, but you can get into them without lacerating your hand by using a can opener.
49. Bread clips to label wires
All of the wires that feed into the back of a computer can get kind of confusing, especially if you need to locate a specific one. Bread clips with the name/function of the wire can help keep everything straight
9 Biggest Office Meltdowns January 14 2014, 0 Comments
By Kevin Scott
Hey, we’ve all had a bad day or two at the office. Maybe you forgot to save an important document before closing everything down. Maybe an important client decided that you were the only thing standing between them and happiness. Maybe a coworker decided to help himself to your leftover Olive Garden that was clearly marked and waiting for you in the break room refrigerator. Whatever the case, chances are you reacted to the situation better than anyone on the following clips. If not, then you at least had better hope that no one captured your impotent rage on video, otherwise you might just find yourself on a list of the nine biggest office meltdowns captured on film.
1. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry
Now, I’m not sure what it is that finally transforms the poor wage slave in this video from a mild-mannered data-drone into the living embodiment of destructive fury, and I’m not even sure that I want to know (it looks like it might have something to do with a few papers being knocked off of a desk, but somehow that just doesn’t seem like enough). I just hope that no one around me ever stumbles onto the same secret formula, because I don’t fancy getting a monitor smashed into my face like the poor woman at about the 25 second mark. What really interests me is the way that the psychopath has his run of the office for about 3 minutes while everyone else just sort of mills about. Fight or flight, people! Did evolution teach you nothing?
2. Beware the Fury of a Patient Man...
What gets me with this video is how calm the guy looks when the copier/printer decides to flock his work shirt and tie with a fine inky dust. He takes a step back, sighs, and then goes back to his desk. For a moment, it looks like that will be the end of it. But no, like the mobster who attacks an informant’s family, the employee decides to take out his frustration on his own innocent computer. Why it is that his revenge takes the form of him trying to copy the monitor, followed by smacking the copier control panel a few times, is a mystery that we may never solve.
Come on. Which of us hasn’t wanted to introduce some server maintenance to an unresponsive computer via a solid smack with the keyboard? Still, the two best parts of the video are 1. The employee in the adjacent cubicle who twice stands up to see what is going on, and twice sits right back down as though everything seems to be in order, and 2. The quick, almost sheepish glance that the attacker gives the security camera as he gets up to go finish the job. Nope. No way out of this now; might as well see it through to the end.
4. The show must go on
There’s someone in your office who just doesn’t know when to quit. You know who I’m talking about. This is the guy who intentionally irritates everyone around him, but gets mad when anyone tells him to stop (can’t you take a joke?!). Well in this case, the poor guy who was just trying to finish a call decided that the best corrective measure for the A-hole sitting across the table who had been throwing things at him for the past few minutes, would be to climb over said table like an enraged bear and lay down a whooping so hard that the guy’s children are going to be born with computer keyboard imprints on their faces. And what do the other employees do while this totally justified act of curb-stomping enfolds before their eyes? They continue their calls. Now that’s dedication. Bravo.
5. Inside voices
Hmm. I can’t help but notice that the attacker in this video chose the least effective method for disconnecting the phone conversation. Come on, buddy. All you had to do is press down on the receiver, and that would have been that. Of course, I have to add that the fact that the man ends up chasing the talker off screen makes this video a little less humourous. Here’s hoping she made it home that day.
6. You dropped this
Yawn. Just another frozen computer getting a reboot courtesy of a nearby wall. The real gem in this video is the helpful neighbor who decides to return the computer after the tantrum has subsided. He’s got your back, bro.
7. There can be only one...
When you decided not to do your job, you didn’t know that you were messing with a modern samurai warrior, did you copier? My favorite part here is not how the guy misses on his first stab, despite the complete lack of movement displayed by his foe. No, my favorite part is how he leaves the sword impaled into the guts of the disobedient machine, to forever serve as a reminder and a warning to any other office tools who might dare to oppose the office shogun.
8. Did you try shouting at it?
If I understand this video correctly, the proper procedure when dealing with faulty hardware is to 1. Draw on the screen. 2. Smash the computer on the ground. 3. Rip out the computer’s innards and do your best to snap them in half (but only succeed in bending them). 4. Storm out of the room while giving the camera the “double bird.” 5. Shout “Die! Die! Die!” throughout the entire episode.
9. Just because you lose it, doesn’t mean you can’t have class
Ok. Wow. This guy is my new hero. Like so many on this list, he has a bad day and decides to do something about it. But unlike everyone else on this list, he does it with style. He gathers his things, says his goodbyes with a smile, and even apologizes to his boss for having to go. And, as a cherry on top of this awesomeness cake, he even tells a lovely young female co-worker to call him as he makes his exit. And you know what? I can guarantee you that she did. How could she not after witnessing the coolest “meltdown” in office history? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to pick up some smart new “Jordans.”
What is Manufactured Wood? January 13 2014, 0 Comments
By Kevin Scott
This is one of the questions we get asked most often. Making furniture is expensive, and requires complex manufacturing processes that take raw materials like wood, metal, or glass and turn them into precise pieces that fit together to make a piece of furniture. This article is focused on the manufacturing of wood furniture, specifically wood desks.
The most common question we get asked before we get asked about manufactured wood is: "Is this desk solid wood?" What a customer typically means when they ask this question is, "Is this desk real wood or is it that flimsy, light, fake wood stuff that falls apart after a few months?"
Well to answer either question we have to untangle the questions and the underlying assumptions, and hopefully in a few words we will all be on the same page about what solid wood furniture is, what manufactured wood furniture is, and what the cheap fake wood furniture is.
First, solid wood furniture is furniture that is made of only the wood of a tree and the hardware to keep it together--it is crafted out of large hunks of wood into smaller portions in the manufacturing process, and then assembled to form an impressive piece of furniture that is very heavy and very sturdy (and typically quite expensive). Here is a picture of a solid wood desk we have on the site:
What is manufactured wood, then? Manufactured wood desks, like manufactured (or engineered) wood flooring, consist of a top layer of real wood (often called wood veneer). Typically this top layer of wood veneer is covered with a thin coating of melamine to protect the wood surface and prevent scratching, staining, or burning of the wood. Under this top layer of wood veneer is pressed board, sometimes called MDF (medium density fiberboard). This substance is made of wood also, but it is wood composite--different pieces of wood combined and pressed together. It is very similar in appearance and quality to plywood, which is one of the main building blocks of most homes. Using this wood composite has a couple main advantages: it is considerably cheaper, and it is lighter. This means it makes furniture more affordable and easier to ship (as well as easier to move around for the users of the furniture). However, don't make the mistake of thinking that manufactured wood is light or flimsy. Manufactured wood desks are quite heavy, and the wood composite under the wood veneer is not cheap or light. It is lighter than solid wood, but it's still made of wood and is quite heavy. A typical 60" desk will weigh 100 pounds or more. The manufactured wood desks we offer on the site are quite heavy and very sturdy. In fact, any desks that get negative reviews we take down immediately, so that we offer only the highest quality manufacturers. So although these manufactured wood desks are not "solid wood," they are very high quality (and much more affordable).
Here is a picture of what a cross-section of a manufactured wood desk might look like. See the real wood (wood veneer) top coated to protect the top surface, and underneath are typically layers of pressed board or wood composite that is typically light in color like plywood.
Below is a picture of the desk I am sitting at while I write, from Bestar, one of our best selling manufacturers. It is made of manufactured wood and I will tell you this desk is very sturdy, quite heavy, and very well-made.
So what is that cheap, light, flimsy, fake wood stuff you were thinking of? That furniture is made of something most people call particle board. There is a huge difference between particle board and manufactured wood. One is made of real wood (manufactured wood) and the other contains no wood whatsoever. They call it particle board to make it sound like it has wood, but it does not. You will find very cheap furniture at Walmart or other inexpensive stores made of this, and typically such furniture will not last more than a year. We sell nothing made of particle board on the site. I hope that explains a bit better what manufactured wood is, and gives you more confidence as you search our site!
What is LTL Shipping?!? Is it a cheap version of FedEx?? January 11 2014, 0 Comments
By Kevin Scott
One of the most common questions we get asked has to do with shipping. Before I got into this business I was incredibly naive to shipping and all the details and requirements that go into it, but after having been in this industry for a few years I feel like I have a few things to share. I hope these thoughts will be helpful to you as you try to figure out what is going on with your shipment or potential shipment.
Our customers often want to know how their desk or chair or file cabinet will get to them, so they can plan for the arrival and the logistics of getting it into their office or home. One issue that often comes up is how the product is going to be shipped and/or delivered. When a product is shipped with LTL, we always alert the customer to that so they can be ready for that particular type of delivery. So what is an LTL shipment? By definition, an LTL shipment is a less-than-truckload shipment.
Wow, that sure helps a lot, doesn't it?!? Actually, this does tell us something important about this shipment--it means it is coming via a large semi. LTL shipments are part of a truckload, a large semi-truck load of smaller shipments, gathered together by that particular carrier based on size and location to fill up a truck. Sometimes each smaller LTL shipment within a truckload is delivered by the semi to all the different stops, and at other times the semi delivers to smaller local agents to do the final leg of your delivery. This is typically the case when an LTL shipment is being delivered to a hard-to-reach location that a semi would not work well for, and is often the case when a shipment is going to a residence.
So LTL shipments are different from small parcel shipments, which are shipments with FedEx or UPS. People have become very accustomed to receiving shipments with one of these carriers, and know their standard practices. Typically they will bring the shipment to your door and ring your doorbell, especially if the shipment requires a signature. At times, if no signature is required, they will just leave the shipment outside, by the garage or in some other inconspicuous place.
LTL shipments are very different. First of all, they always require a signature. Because they are heavier and are typically more expensive shipments, the delivery companies always require a signature showing that the shipment was received and in good condition when it arrived. This is why it is so important for customers to check the shipment carefully for damage, even to the boxes, when they are receiving an LTL shipment. If you sign that it is all in good condition and then later find damage, you may be up a creek! Because LTL shipments are both more expensive and more intensive, carriers want to make sure you will not later make a claim on the shipment. So they require your signature. Don't forget: check the shipment carefully when you receive it and write down anything you see that looks like it might be damage before you sign. And if the whole things looks damaged, don't hesitate to simply refuse the shipment.
Secondly, because LTL shipments are heavier and are usually on a wooden pallet, the delivery driver could not pick up the pallet and bring it to your door even if he wanted to. So LTL shipments are typically delivered either to a loading dock at your place of work or to your curbside if it's a residential delivery. That's simply the closest to your door a delivery driver can often get a shipment.
So if LTL shipments are more expensive, and more of a hassle for the carriers and for customers, why would we ever ship an LTL shipment?!? Why not send with small parcel every time? The answer is very simple, and it's twofold. The biggest reason is that FedEx and UPS have a 150 pound limit on shipments, as well as a size limit. So many of our desks simply cannot be shipped with a small parcel carrier because they are too large. The second reason is that if they were allowed to be shipped with small parcel, they would show up completely destroyed. One huge benefit to LTL shipments is that, because they are usually shipped on pallets, damage is more rare. The pallets keep the boxes tied down and in place so they don't jostle around and move in the truck. And that is very important since they are so heavy. So despite the hassles of receiving an LTL shipment, damages are typically avoided.
What are some tips for receiving an LTL shipment we could offer? Here are a few:
- Have 2 or 3 relatively strong folks ready to receive the shipment when it is scheduled to come, so they can pick up the boxes off the pallet and carry them to wherever they are supposed to go. This will make receiving the shipment 50 times simpler.
- Carefully inspect each box on the pallet when it arrives, prior to signing the delivery slip. Make sure you don't see any damage to any of the boxes. If you do, either open the box right then to inspect for damages or mark clearly on the delivery slip that there was damage to a box or boxes.
- Don't expect a delivery driver to "do you a favor" and bring the shipment into your home, or up to your third floor office. Perhaps a local delivery person might help you out like this, but LTL drivers are trained never to do such favors because those are extra features the customer must pay for ahead of time. To bring a shipment inside, to the first floor, is called inside delivery and is an extra charge. To bring a shipment up higher than the first floor is another charge and usually requires a freight elevator. So if you don't have enough strong folks who can pick up the boxes when the shipment arrives, make sure to ask about adding these features on ahead of time so you get just what you need.
- If you don't get a call about a delivery time, ask questions until you get a delivery time. Call the company who sold you the product, or the carrier, until you get a delivery time scheduled. Often when no delivery is scheduled, bad things happen (like the wrong person signing for the delivery without being aware to check for damages).
Any other questions? I'd be glad to offer my thoughts. Just give us a call at 888-405-9787 or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!