Despite the trend toward electronic documents, law firms can’t avoid generating thousands of paper originals. Clients and courts demand paper documents, and state bar associations set standards for law firms’ document retention. Even when documents are filed electronically, there is almost always a paper copy that has to be accounted for. And paper seems to have a mind of its own; the one document you need is the one that has decided to wander off. However, RFID technology is corralling those pesky wandering papers. A new printer system adds an RFID tag to legal documents, allowing them to be tracked as they move through a law firm’s offices. As described here in RFID Journal, the system also identifies various levels of confidentiality and keeps a list of documents that have been destroyed when no longer needed. It’s an improvement in security and productivity – law office staff can spend less time looking for documents and more time upholding the scales of justice.
Photo © Melpomene- Fotolia
Until recently, life sciences labs were “seen one, seen them all.” However, the traditional rows of wet benches have lately been giving way to a new form of laboratory design – the next-generation lab.
In Lab Design News, Jeffrey R. Zynda, principal and academic science practice leader at Perkins+Will, Boston, points to a shift in research demands as the driving force behind next-gen lab design. Genomic sequencing, for example, relies much more on computational research than on hands-on experimental investigation. Further, the ever-growing collaboration between the public sector and the private sector encourages both specialization and flexibility. To meet these twin goals, designers must be mindful of the need for lighting, air handling, and furnishings that can accommodate specialized research while remaining reconfigurable for future projects. Flexibility in turn supports sustainability, another significant consideration in next-generation lab design.
Finally, these new labs promote the well-being of the scientists themselves. Social, collaborative environments will attract the brightest and best of the next-generation researchers, keeping these research facilities at the forefront of science.
When you are making a major business purchase, you might feel like a tourist at a foreign bazaar – too many offers of something you’re not sure you want. What’s a buyer to do?
According to these 12 tips from Renewable Energy Vermont, information is the key to being a better buyer. Have a clearly defined set of goals for the purchase, then do your research to learn about the vendors. Investigate their reputations; ask about their industry expertise, their licenses, or other credentials. Learn about their involvement in professional organizations and the community; find out if they are socially responsible toward their workers and the environment.
Ideally, you’ll find a selection of vendors who can be your partners for the long term – companies that share the same values as your business, who can provide support and advice as well as products and services. There’s more to a vendor than product and price.
Photo © Marzky Ragsac Jr – Fotolia
The neat-freaks and the sloppy slobs – we’ve all worked with them. In fact, we may be one or the other. Any business manager would agree that a well-organized workplace has benefits, including fewer distractions, less anxiety, and a reduction of the frustration brought about by files and documents lost in the “pile.” But can tidiness go too far? Is a neat-freak workplace really optimal for productivity?
A study by the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management says that a balance between order and disorder is the best of all possible worlds. Disorder seems to foster creativity, while order encourages conformity. Businesses need both innovative thinking and methodical execution. This video explores the study’s findings in depth.
What’s your experience – is business better with an organized workplace?
Toronto’s Sun Life Financial received an up-front return on investment when they installed their new office furniture – mobile workstations that could be set up in a fraction of the usual installation time. A time lapse video shows how the savings were achieved; watch the timer in the upper right to see the actual elapsed time.
Every manager knows time is money, and as a financial services company, Sun Life was particularly motivated to make a sound investment decision in their selection of office workstations. The company opted for Swiftspace workstations, anticipating long-term ROI based on the products’ reputation for durability. As it turned out, the workstations’ easy set-up allowed Sun Life to realize an additional immediate return on its investment when the new workstations were installed: an 82% savings in installation costs when compared to conventional workstation installations. The complete details of the installation and the cost comparisons are included in this post from Swiftspace; get even more information at www.aisinstallations.com