Category Archives: How-To

How to – Office Furniture Outlet

Tips on Buying Green Office Furniture

discounted green office furniture for saleThe Four R’s in Recycling and Office Furniture: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Restore


Does it really matter if businesses choose to follow the four R’s of recycling? Well, there are many green steps a business can take that will make a big difference for a company business, the community and the planet.

The first of the four recycling R’s is to reduce. When considering office purchases ask yourself: is there an option that is more recyclable, or has less packaging? For example, when looking to buy office furniture consider used office furniture for minimizing packaging. Buying used also saves the furniture from ending up in a landfill. In fact just (40) cubicles will divert one tractor-trailer load of furniture from the landfill.

Your business may be due for a move, often this means new furniture to fit the new building. Instead of eliminating existing furniture, consider having it refurbished with new paint and fabric. Electrostatic painting can refinish any metal furniture such as filing cabinets and cubicle frames. Cubicle fabric is easily replaced to accommodate new building design aesthetics. Use a space planner to ensure the best fit of your newly refurbished furniture in your new space. A CAD design of your office is also helpful to design optimal work-flow for office efficiency

If you decide to abandon your old furniture consider selling it back. Often you can get money or store credit when working with an office furniture dealer. The main goal would be to keep the furniture from going to a landfill. Remember to look for used office furniture when buying for the new office. You will find that you will save 40%-80% off retail list when buying used.

Restore the forth “R” in recycling is relatively new to but very important. A good business will protect their assets. Consider repairing, refinishing, re-purposing, or refinish assets before you decide to throw them away. All surfaces like metal and wood can be refinished and refurbished to like new conditions. If you have chairs, cabinets or desks that are broken look to have the repaired. Office Furniture Outlet has an on site repair service, which saves you time and money.

Office Furniture Outlet of Virginia has been providing affordable new and used office furniture and services to business for over 20 years. Call us today to let us know how we can help you with your office furniture needs (757) 855-2800.

Adjust Your Task Chair with These 4 Simple Steps

Ergonomic desk chairs are more than just additions to a workspace: The Occupational Safety & Health Administration recommends the use of ergonomic chairs that foster a neutral, comfortable working posture. Ergonomics not only promote good posture and, in turn, physical health, but can create a more pleasant work environment that promotes productivity.

1. Adjust the chair to your height

One of the most important aspects of ergonomic seating is the height of the chair. Sitting in a chair that is too low can force one to raise the arms to reach the keyboard, causing strain in the neck, shoulders and upper back. It also encourages rounding of the spine and places added tension on the tailbone and buttocks. Adversely, seating that is too high places pressure on the thighs and back of the knees, cutting off circulation in the lower extremities.

A good chair height supports the thighs evenly and allows the feet to sit flat on the floor. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety outlines suggestions for adjusting the chair to your height:

  • Stand up in front of the chair and raise or lower it so that the top of the seat cushion when parallel to the floor is at a height just below the knee cap.
  • Sit down on the chair with feet flat on the floor. Ensure there is about 2 inches of clearance between the front edge of the seat and the calves. Achieving this may require you to adjust the tilt.
Herman Miller Aeron chairThe Herman Miller Aeron chair has a tilt function that echoes the natural body mechanics.

2. Tilt according to your task and comfort

In general, a slightly forward tilting chair is the most comfortable for basic computer usage. However, variation is key to avoid placing continuous pressure and strain on certain parts of the body. A backward tilt allows the user to recline slightly, and a horizontal seat is ideal for sitting erect and upright.

“The key is selecting a highly flexible ergonomic office chair.”

Since tilt should be adjusted regularly to mix up position, the key is to select an ergonomic office chair that is highly flexible and easy to adjust quickly while still providing a frame that disperses pressure and allows the feet to sit flat on the floor. For example, the Herman Miller Aeron chair is designed with a tilt action that echoes the body’s mechanics and provides support that stabilizes the pelvis for a natural curvature.

3. Alter the armrests

Adjustable armrests are an important feature to ergonomic office chairs, as improper arm positioning can lead to strain in the neck and shoulders. When armrests are too low, the user might be more inclined to slouch forward to rest his or her limbs. If too high, the user may be forced to hunch the shoulders when placing the forearms on the rests.

The proper armrest height for good ergonomics should be at around the same height as the point of one’s elbow when bent at a 90-degree angle, according to OSHA. This positioning allows one to place his or her forearms on the rests with the arms slightly lifted at the shoulders, taking weight off the shoulders and shifting it to the elbow.

Adjustable lumbar support allows you to easily alter the chair back to conform to your spine's natural curvature.Adjustable lumbar support allows you to easily alter the chair back to conform to your spine’s natural curvature.

4. Adjust the backrest for optimal lumbar support

Perhaps the most essential feature of an ergonomic office chair is lumbar support, which minimizes tension on the back and prevents slouching. The aim is to match the backrest to the contour of the spine when seated in a neutral position. You may need to adjust the backrest by raising or lowering it so that it fits snugly in the natural curvature of the spine and pushes the back forward. However, high-end chairs such as the Herman Miller Celle provide a lumbar adjustment function. The lumbar support should feel firm, and you should not feel any pressure points in the back.

– See more at:

If you need help picking out the perfect office chair, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (757) 855-2800.

Interesting Use For a Filing Cabinet

Yes, You Can Build a Smoker from a Filing Cabinet

Day breaks over the backyards of Brooklyn. The birds in the trees are tweeting the morning gossip. The sky is unblemished except for the faint but steady upward trickle of smoke puffing from the top drawer of an industrial filing cabinet standing, incongruously, among the flowerpots and planted herbs of my little urban garden.

The displaced piece of office furniture is an improvised smoking chamber: a junky old cabinet I’d bought and hacked according to loosely described plans I’d found in various BBQ-curious corners of the Internet. The bottoms of the metal drawers have been ripped out and grill grates set in their place. On the racks are laid sides of salt-cured salmon; below, a tray of wood pellets slowly burns to ash, filling the drawers with fragrant cumulus clouds of transformative smoke.

Read the full article here: You Can Build a Smoker from a Filing Cabinet – Bon Appétit

20 Ways to Create an Impressive Office Reception Area

It may be a cliché, but it’s true: You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. The old but wise adage rings particularly cutthroat in business.

Within milliseconds of entering your office, potential clients make up their minds about you and your company. In a glance, they instantly decide how trustworthy you are, if you’re broke or in the money and, oftentimes, if you’re good enough to do business with.

While you can’t control what people think, you can pad the first impression deck in your favor – and not just with a bowl of M&Ms and a comfy padded couch in your reception area. There are countless ways you can convey the success and professionalism of your business right in your entryway.

From offering a welcoming smile (this should be a given) to sprucing your space up with lush (real, not fake!) plants, to lighting up your logo to offering free Wi-Fi, here are 20 ways you can make a positive, lasting first impression with your office reception, all neatly tucked into an infographic by U.K. interior design firm SEC Interiors.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 2.15.32 PM

View the original article & full infographic here: 20 Ways to Create an Impressive Office Reception Area (Infographic).


Ergonomics Explained

The below article details ergonomics in the workplace.


How to Shop for an Ergonomic Task Chair | Dwell

written by:
Diana Budds
Associate Editor at Dwell

We sat down with ergonomics expert Sacha Burn to ask how we can avoid cubicle-based back aches.

Can you explain a little bit about your work and what you do?

Ergonomics is really the science of fitting the task to the user, rather than the user trying to fit themselves to their tools or their task. Part of my specific role is to be able to provide ergonomic design recommendations for the designed product. It’s about working with our clients and studying at the employee level to improve the fit between the environment and the user. But largely what we spend our time doing is reactively addressing ergonomics, perhaps after someone has developed discomfort or even an injury. We work to improve the fit between environment and that user to make sure that we’re reducing their risk of developing [further] discomfort and injury, improving their comfort but also in turn improving things like their productivity, their efficiency, their satisfaction, and their overall health.

If you invest this much into creating an ergonomically correct workspace, are you really saving money down the line in these other costs?

One of my favorite studies was one that was actually published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. What the researches did was survey about 30,000 employees across many different industries and found that over half of them, almost 53% of them, reported some sort of discomfort. This specific study found that of those people who reported discomfort, they were losing about five productive hours a week to their discomfort. Taking longer to get started in the morning, having to leave early, maybe having to change their job tasks, sometimes even having to take breaks to complain to their co-workers about their discomfort. So we’re losing about five hours a week, but really this adds up to 30 or 40 working days every year, and if you take out weekends that’s almost two working months that we could be paying employees who are there but are not actually working.

What are the most common problems in a workspace from an ergonomic perspective?

The number one challenge of most office space work environments is that standard desk height in the U.S. is set at about 29 and a half inches from the ground. The reason this is a problem is that we want the work environment to be set to fit the employee, and not the employee to fit their body to the work environment.

Another challenge that we had is that growing up we had mothers and fathers and teachers who told us that we have to sit up straight for our posture, but really, what we know from ergonomic research these days is that sitting up straight and leaning forward puts an immense amount of pressure and stress on your body. It increases compression on your spinal disc, and it means that the muscles of the core and your lower back have to work all day long to hold you up. Even for someone who has abs of steel, those muscles aren’t going to be able to work that whole time without taking a break. The best thing to do in your office environment is to allow your back and your body to relax into the back of your chair—it reduces the pressure on your spine, and it reduces muscle activity in your back.

[There’s also] the fact that there’s nothing to govern the word ergonomic—anyone can label any product ergonomic. Even a few years ago Taco Bell came out with quesadillas and they advertised as having an ergonomic grip. I don’t know how that works.

So there is no formal oversight over companies labeling their products as ergonomic.

Absolutely not. What we teach is that instead of reaching for the product labeled “ergonomic” but looking for the criteria that will fit the tools to the body.

What are some important desk accessories to have?

I’d say that first of all I would encourage not calling it an accessory, because it implies we don’t actually need it—but it’s really one of the most important parts of the work station. The whole goal of fitting the tools to the user are to accommodate two things, our hands and our eyes. So really whatever you’re typing on should lie in the hands in lap position. And whatever you’re looking at—your documents, your monitor, or your laptop screen—we call that the height of your eye. If you can do this and move all the tools close to your body, you’re not going to be overusing specific muscles and you can actually sit back and recline in your chair. One of the big messages is to relax, be comfortable at work.

We advocate keyboard trays is because it allows your hands to work in your lap. It can change your posture so much more than a task chair can. You can give someone a kitchen stool, or you can give someone the most ergonomic chair in the world, but if they’re working at a desk that’s too high for them, they’re going to be working in the same [bad] posture. But if you give someone a keyboard tray they can change the height, the depth, the angle of where their hands are they can move the tools according to their body and completely change their posture for the better.

The other is to get your screen up to the level of your eye. The basic guideline is if you’re using a standard monitor, to set the top line of text at or just below the height of your eye. The reason is that as humans we naturally look down at about a negative 15 degree angle below the height of our eyes. And the reason this is important is you want your gaze to fall in the middle of the screen so your neck can stay neutral and relaxed and you don’t strain your neck. We recommend lowering the screen to match your neck line.

via How to Shop for an Ergonomic Task Chair | Dwell.


5 Things Anyone Can Learn from the Coolest Offices in the World

This article is from our friends at DailyWorth, a premier site on all things related to money, career, and entrepreneurship. Cutting-edge companies like Google and Pixar have been celebrated for their unconventional office spaces, which focus on fostering collaboration by bringing workers together in unplanned encounters—on strategically placed stairways, for instance, or over lunch or snacks in on-site cafeterias or snack bars. “Physical space is the biggest lever to encourage collaboration,” Ben Waber, PhD, author of People Analytics, told The New York Times when asked about Google’s office space. “And the data are clear that the biggest driver of performance is serendipitous interaction. For this to happen, you also need to shape a community. It’s the antithesis of the old factory model, where people were just cogs in a machine.” The benefits don’t have to lie with Googlers alone. Seventy percent of office workers and managers say that today’s employees are more productive than they were five years ago, according to a recent survey by Staples Advantage. Those gains are partly due to conveniences like mobile technology and telecommuting opportunities, but while in the office, workers’ productivity often depends on their environment. Companies of all sizes are now finding ways to boost worker efficiency through their office design and décor. Here are five trends for successful workspaces and how you can incorporate their principles into your own workday.

1. Let the Sun In

Frontiers’ office has plenty of natural light—even in interior rooms!

The Concept: Recent research shows that when employees are exposed to more natural light, they work better and produce more successful results. In Action: At Shutterstock, which recently opened new offices in New York’s Empire State Building, huge windows line the entire perimeter of the company’s space, and constant natural light has been an inspiration to employees. “Getting outdoors during the workday can recharge our batteries, but so can taking a moment to stand by the window, look out, and appreciate the beauty of the landscape,” says Danny Groner, manager of blogger partnerships and outreach at Shutterstock. “It’s a constant reminder of life beyond these walls. A desk inside a row of cubicles simply can’t rival that view.” What You Can Do: Try to sit near a window that allows natural light to shine in as you work. If your office (or cubicle) doesn’t provide access to natural light, spend some time near windows in common areas so you can get exposure to natural light. Take breaks and go outside. When the weather is nice, consider working outside (if you’re a freelancer or telecommuting).

2. Incorporate Play

Employees at Yelp love to take a midday break to play some ping pong, foosball, pool, or even corn hole.

The Concept: For children, play is a primary method of learning and developing. For adults, taking time to be playful can inspire creativity and new ideas. In Action: At Klick Health, a digital healthcare communications agency, workers can be active even during meetings, as boardroom chairs are equipped with stationary bicycle wheels and pedals. The space is also “filled with gadgets and gizmos that our team can go play with to find inspiration and help produce more creative solutions for our clients,” says Jay Goldman, managing director of Klick Health. “That injection of the unforeseen can help people step outside of their normal thought patterns and find entirely new ways of looking at a problem.” What You Can Do: Incorporate the value of play into your work environment by finding new and interesting elements into your space, even if it just means filling a cabinet in your office with squishy toys or silly putty, Goldman says.

3. Add Variety

HomeAway’s office has different spaces inspired by the company’s vacation rentals around the world.

The Concept: The current trend is to create offices that are designed for easy collaboration and flexibility, while still providing workspaces that allow employees to quietly focus on individual work, says Sherry Gaumond, director of interior design at Larson & Darby Group, an architecture and engineering firm based in Rockford, IL. “One of the key factors in worker productivity is for companies to provide different types of workspaces to accommodate the varying needs of its employees,” she says. In Action: Larson & Darby designed offices for Field Fastener, a distribution company in Machesney Park, IL, that accomplishes the goal of variety through its fireplace nook, “a warm and inviting area where planned and impromptu meetings can take place,” Gaumond says. “This area is used by employees who need to step away from their desks for quick, informal meetings and is also utilized as a lounge space where employees come together for free flowing interaction and brainstorming sessions.” As a separate meeting area, the setup allows “heads down” employees to continue their work without distraction and offers a less formal conference area where creativity can thrive, Gaumond says. Field Fastener also offers one centralized eating space, which includes a pool table and a grill, and encourages the gathering of workers from various departments. Such common areas “are essential to productivity as they offer an opportunity to take a break, convene with others, recharge, and have a little fun,” Gaumond says. What You Can Do: Examine your space and think about ways to provide variety. If you’re in management, maybe you could include both office chairs and bean bags in meeting rooms to provide different perspectives, as Klick Health does. Try to mix up your environments, rotating between your office or cubicle (e.g., a quiet workspace) and larger, shared spaces if they’re available.

4. Use White Space

Method likes to keep its workspaces as clean as its products.

The Concept: While certain paint colors have been shown to boost productivity for some workers, don’t underestimate the power of white space.  Some office designers incorporate whiteboards on the walls and clear, uncluttered white surfaces such as tables and desks to ensure success. “A less cluttered environment helps employees manage stress,” says Megan Kent, director of marketing and communications at Washington, DC-based architecture and design firm Marshall Moya Design. “Having notes on the walls allows employees to stand up and interact with their work environment and transfer tasks and notes to their walls, then wipe them clean at the end of the day.” In Action: Marshall Moya incorporated plenty of white space in the offices of inNuevo, a product design firm in Washington, DC. Workers use dry-erase board wall spaces to plan, brainstorm, and organize projects, Kent says. inNuevo’s quiet room offers employees a calming space with natural light and tranquil, blue walls to complete quiet work or make calls while relaxing on the couch. A clear, uncluttered white desk allows employees to spread out in their workspace with tasks when needed, but having filing cabinets and storage helps them organize and eliminate clutter. What You Can Do: Focus on de-cluttering your workspace to boost productivity. Use filing cabinets, drawers, and other storage solutions to stay organized. Consider incorporating whiteboards on the walls to get you and your co-workers out of your seats and interacting with your environment and your ideas.

5. Open Up

Atlassian’s office is one big open space—meaning employees always have the chance to connect.

The Concept: Growing numbers of employers are eliminating private offices and high-walled cubicles in favor of open offices that encourage collaboration. “Today’s workforce is more team-based, collaborative, and dependent on more social skills and technology,” says Nick Ybarra, architect at Shlemmer Algaze Associates in Culver City, CA. “Workers are no longer dependent on a stationary desk location but are more mobile. Office hierarchy has also changed as CEOs are embracing the open workspace for themselves.” Ybarra says space is utilized wisely when creating the right context for concentration, learning, communication, and collaboration becomes the basis of productivity. “It simply means designing for flexibility to enable space to change as work groups, activities, and projects evolve,” he says. In Action: Front Porch, a California nonprofit senior living and affordable housing provider, recently moved to an open-office environment with the help of Shlemmer Algaze. Gone are the doors that once kept executives isolated in private offices, and gone are the high cubicle walls that discouraged conversation and collaboration among workers. The organization’s goal is to meet and anticipate emerging needs, and “the open, imaginative, and collaborative workspace will help us achieve the kind of disruptive innovation needed in our field of human serving,” says Mike Martinez, director of communication for Front Porch. “An open-office environment is part of that commitment, as it provides more ‘we’ space and more opportunities for collaboration.” What You Can Do: Martinez recommends getting out of your own space as much as possible and engaging with co-workers and partners. “The results could be amazing,” he says. 5 Things Anyone Can Learn from the Coolest Offices in the World | The Muse.

Embrace The Chaos: How To Reduce Stress In 5 Easy Steps | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Stress is one of the biggest causes of health problems in many people’s lives: it can cause heart disease, depression, anxiety attacks, sleep problems, auto-immune diseases, weight problems and more.

But we’re busy–how do we drop the stress levels down while still getting our jobs done, taking care of ourselves and our families?

The busy person might have no time for weeklong meditation retreats, mini-vacations, or weekly counseling sessions. So what can be done?

I’m going to be brief about this: there are five small things you can do. A few shifts in mindset, a couple actions that take only a couple minutes. These won’t solve the most severe stress problems, but they’ll help most of us.


Instead of being in the stressful task-switching mode, take your next task, let everything else go, and just be in the moment with this one task. Let yourself be immersed in this one task, letting go of the feeling that you need to quickly rush through it, that you need to get on to the next task. There will always be a next task–the nature of task lists is that they’re neverending. So let those other tasks come later. Just be in this one task, like it’s your entire universe.


Fear is causing you to be stressed, not external factors like your job or family problems. Those external things are just a part of life, but they become stressful when you fear failure, fear people won’t like you, fear you’re not good enough, fear abandonment, and so on. This fear is based on some ideal (and you fear not getting that ideal): you have an image that you’re going to succeed, be perfect, have people like you, be comfortable all the time. These ideals are a way to be in control of the world that you don’t actually control, but they’re hurting you by causing fear and stress. Instead, let go of control. Be OK with chaos and uncertainty, and trust that things will work out. You’ll fear less and be less stressed.


We get upset at other people because they don’t meet our ideals of how they should act. Instead, try accepting them for who they are, and recognizing that, like you, they’re imperfect and seeking happiness and struggling with finding happiness. They’re doing their best. Accept them, smile, and enjoy your time with this person.


When things are getting stressful, take two to three minutes to take a walk and clear your mind. A short walk does wonders.


You don’t have to meditate for 30 minutes to get the benefits of mindfulness. You can do a quick body scan (see how your body is feeling right now) in 10 seconds. You can pay attention to your breath for 30 seconds. You can watch your thoughts, fears, ideals for a minute. You can walk mindfully, paying attention to your body, your feet, your breath, your surroundings, as you walk. You can do each of these kinds of mindfulness practices in little bits throughout your day.

And beyond: If you have extra time after doing those things, I have a few other recommendations that will help. Eliminate unnecessary tasks on your to-do list, reduce your commitments by saying no to people, start a regular 5-minute meditation practice, eat healthierexercise regularly, spend some quality time with loved ones, get more sleep, drink tea.

I should note that many people cope with stress in unhealthy ways: alcohol, smoking, drugs, unhealthy eating, lashing out at people, watching TV, procrastinating. Ironically these cause more stress. Instead, learn to cope without these crutches.

Embrace The Chaos: How To Reduce Stress In 5 Easy Steps | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

Tips on Preparing to Buy Office Furniture

What to do before you come in to buy office furniture:

Measuring-Tape1. Measure Your Space

Take measurements of your room and also sketch out your space before you come in to the showroom. Be sure that the furniture you buy will fit in your office, or bring us the measurements so that we can determine what will and won’t fit. We can’t stress the importance of measuring enough! Click here for help on how to measure.

2. Do A Walk-Through

Walk through the room and visualize the layout: Where are the phone jacks and electrical outlets? Where is the best place to put a desk?

3. Match Your Theme

Consider what fits with the colors of your office and what style of furniture you want; Is it traditional or contemporary?  Match it to your existing office theme; make sure the furniture will complement your office. If you are looking to match your existing furniture items, snap a picture of them on your camera phone.

4. Think Of Functionality

Style is a great plus, but what are your needs? Do you need to be looking at ergonomic solutions only? Make sure the furniture will serve a purpose in your office.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to end up with an office you’ll love!

Visit our showroom: 5595 Raby Rd. Building 3 Norfolk, VA 23502

Call us today: (757) 855-2800

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Flooding – Could water damage cost your business?

With Hurricane season almost upon us it is time to start preparing our business’ for possible water damage from flooding.  The article below is very informative.

Flooding – Could water damage cost your business?

Winter has now passed and we have survived the freezing temperatures, but as we have seen recently, despite having a drought, many commercial business premises can still be susceptible to water damage from flooding.

Quite often we don’t take the same care and responsibility over our commercial premises as we do our homes yet they are just as susceptible to flooding. Taking a few precautionary steps such as checking the insulation and condition of your pipes can be time worth spent if it will help you avoid major damage to your premises as well business interruption.

If the unthinkable occurs, the impact on profit and business productivity can be just as severe as the water damage itself. It is critical businesses act quickly to resolve the issue and get back on track at the earliest opportunity but negotiating commercial property insurance claims are notoriously lengthy and unless you’re experienced in dealing with claims handlers, you may not receive the full settlement required which will ultimately leave you out of pocket.

Resolving water damage claims can be incredibly stressful. This is partly because insurance companies have fewer loss assessors than in the past and there are simply not enough to go around, especially when demand is exceptionally high as is the case in very cold winters.

Businesses can significantly increase their chances of a swift resolution and appropriate settlement by hiring their own loss assessors who will chase the claim on your behalf and challenge any reluctance from the insurance company to pay out.

Independent loss assessors understand how to correctly mitigate a claim and what evidence needs to be gathered so as not to prejudice a policyholder’s position with their insurers. They are also experienced in assessing the financial cost of any damage or business interruption to maximise any payout.

Geoff Williams, director of Manchester-based loss assessors Cherry and Griffiths, said: “Time is of the essence when dealing with water damage claims. Salvaging work and damage restoration obviously needs to take place quickly to have the best possible effect but businesses can jeopardise a potential insurance claim if the work carried out isn’t in line with the insurance company’s requirements or destroys any evidence they require.

“Our experienced professionals will manage your water damage insurance claim from start to finish so there’s no danger of any mistakes which could cost you your settlement, relieving you of the stress and frustration of dealing with insurance companies. With winter now on our doorsteps it would be wise to not only check your pipes but also familiarise yourself with an experienced loss assessor in case the worst should happen.”

via Property Aspects Manchester » Flooding – Could water damage cost your business? » Property Aspects Manchester.