Choice – it’s what employees want in their workplace environments. Businesses that build flexibility into the workplace are able to hire and retain top talent, and keep productivity at a high level. Choices can take a variety of forms, from flex hours to telecommuting to benefits. Offering tangible choices is a big part of the equation, too; creating a physical workplace that people are happy to come to on a Monday morning is every bit as important as a good 401K.
Old-school cube farms and new-style open plans can both be inflexible in their own ways. By using well-designed modular casework and reconfigurable workspaces, facilities managers can easily add choices to office environments, creating an adaptable balance between open and closed workspaces. Modular, reconfigurable workspaces are re-arranged as choices shift. Work “zones” for privacy or collaboration let employees choose which kind of environment they need for maximum productivity at any given time.
Writing in Facilities.Net, Naomi Millan states, “space is not a one-size fits all proposition.” In the choice-oriented workplace, the commitment is to employees, not to the built environment. The result is a happy, productive team and a successful business.
How are you adding flexibility to your workplace? Share your story with us, and we’ll share some insider tips we’ve learned from our experience as storage consultants.
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In the mid-90’s, management experts predicted the end of paper. Twenty years later, we’re using more paper than ever. Do paper files put your business at risk?
The American Forest and Paper Association cites a number of reasons for the continued demand for paper documents:
- No paper document has ever been hacked by a computer virus.
- Paper documents are readable without electricity or internet service.
- Without ongoing maintenance, digital storage media degrades much faster than well-stored paper (the oldest papyrus in existence dates to 2600 B.C.).
While there are indisputably good reasons for continuing to use paper, there are also risks. Medical records, legal strategies, proprietary business documents – if not securely stored, these papers can create some serious problems for your business, as discussed by Eric Savitz in this story for Forbes Magazine.
With a well-designed high density storage system, you can have your paper and save on space too – the best of both worlds. Consult with your storage professional to learn how it’s done.
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Sustainability has become a part of office policies everywhere. Paper is recycled; energy usage is monitored; space-saving storage and furnishings are installed. Many businesses are now looking at additional ways to go green, and bicycle commuting is one of the options they are embracing. Here’s how businesses in some cities are encouraging their employees to ride their bikes to work:
- London – The newly refurbished Alphabeta building in central London features a “cycle-in” bicycle ramp that is a visual design feature as well as a practical incentive for cyclists. The bicycle parking area provides secure storage as well as changing rooms and lockers for commuters who don’t want to wear bike shorts to business meetings.
- Chicago – It makes sense that bicycle parts manufacturer SRAM would have a bike-friendly office. Their headquarters features a 1/8 mile test track that winds through the office area, with bike racks at every desk in the open-plan offices. Another Chicago building, the Willis Tower, provides bicycle valet parking for office workers. For about $1/day, cyclists drop their bikes in the valet zone, then call ahead to have their bikes retrieved when the work day is over.
- Toronto – The designers of office complex Bay Adelaide West incorporated bicycle storage into the overall parking plan, attracting forward-thinking businesses to their new building, Toronto’s first LEED® Certified Core and Shell Gold high-rise office building.
If you’re looking for ways to “green up” your workplace, the organizers of Bike To Work Day in Washington, D.C., offer advice for businesses that want to encourage bicycle commuting. Adequate, secure storage is always a primary consideration; a storage design expert can help you find the best bicycle storage solution for your sustainability program.
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NOS congratulates Iron Bow Technologies on being awarded the Excellence in Customer Partnering Award at the 2016 Institute for Excellence in Sales Annual Award Program. Kevin Ward, Karen Adams, and Joe Alvarez attended to support the nomination of NOS for a Sales Award.
Economists and logistics pundits are hailing the advent of the “always-on” supply chain – one in which information is as valuable as goods. From drones to the Internet of Things, smart technology is changing the supply chain landscape.
A recent report from MHI, the materials handling and logistics trade organization, listed eight technologies that are key to the always-on supply chain:
- Predictive analytics
- Robotics and automation
- Sensors and automatic identification
- Wearable and mobile technology
- Driverless vehicles and drones
- Inventory and network optimization tools
- Cloud computing and storage
- 3D printing
As information flows freely throughout the supply chain, shipping modes will be modified. Warehousing needs will alter. Training and staffing requirements will change. These changes will have a profound effect on the way we all do business. Ask yourself if your business is ready for the always-on supply chain, and consult with your storage professionals to make sure you’re ahead of the curve.
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