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How to Improve Productivity at Your Home Office

How to Improve Productivity at Your Home Office

Business Man Working from Home with Mask On

As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, more and more employees are given the flexibility of working from home. Others telecommute a few days per week. Working in a home office offers perks as well as distractions. Here’s how to improve productivity at the home office.

Perks of Working from Home

Work environments have dramatically shifted amidst the coronavirus era—some permanently. Staff now communicate, connect, and produce via a hybrid model. A small number of employees welcome this change, while most long for the social interactions found next to the water cooler.

Once commuters who currently work from home have gained an extra hour to dedicate to the workday, and many work-related tasks can be accomplished at home without losing quality or productivity. Still, distractions in a home office can detract from an employee’s concentration.

Common distractions include children, a spouse, and neighbors. Those who work from home may find themselves diverted by pets who need care or laundry that must be done. Loved ones do not always grasp that non-emergency disruptions are not permissible in a virtual office.

Although working in a home office provides an employee with flexibility, a negligible commute to the home office and the comfort of working in pajamas, remaining productive demands attention, focus and a few proven tactics, like the ones that follow.

6 Tips to Improve Productivity when Working from Home

1. Design a Functional Space

A home office does not require a grand oak desk and a view of a calming pond in order to be functional. However, design does have an impact on productivity. The first task is to find a quiet space in the home in which to focus attention on work projects.

Select a room with windows. Natural light improves the work environment, boosting mood and overall wellbeing. An employee whose wellbeing is fulfilled tends to be more engaged and performs better. Plus, daylight reduces eyestrain, headaches, and drowsiness. Add plants for an optimal workspace.

2. Create a Schedule

Devices constantly send notifications; the neighbors call, and dishes pile up in the sink. While certain distractions require attention, it is important to prioritize responsibilities when working from a home office. One way to achieve this is to create a schedule for daily tasks.

Define blocks of time in which to check in with a manager and socialize with colleagues. In a virtual office, casual chats with coworkers are missing, making it important to be intentional about making up for the loss. Also schedule times to call loved ones and walk the dog.

An ideal work-from-home schedule starts at the same time each day. Rather than be tempted to do yardwork, stick to a pre-determined schedule—similar to working in the office. Without a familiar work schedule, sleeping in or performing housework diminishes productivity.

3. Turn Off Devices

Modern Creative Workspace at Home

An important part of staying focused is turning off devices. Social media notifications and online ads constantly appear. Work-related stress can cause an employee to distract himself by responding to devices. Instead, resist the urge and remain disciplined in order to stay productive.

4. Hang Do Not Disturb Signs

Especially in a household full of children, an employee working from home must establish clear boundaries. Visual cues that indicate availability are useful. Hang a sign on the office door that lets housemates know available times as well as specific time frames to not interrupt.

5. Schedule Breaks

Breaks from work activities offer relief and encourage improved engagement upon return to tasks. Keep items, like apps, books, or exercise equipment, within reach. However, ensure these favorites are stored out of sight so as not to be drawn to them during working hours.

Exercise equipment, including a treadmill or resistance bands, kept in the home office will facilitate short breaks. Bursts of physical activity re-energizes employees mentally and physically and helps them return to work activities with renewed focus. Exercise also reduces stress levels.

Brief blocks of physical activity during work hours boosts work performance, enhances creativity, allows employees to learn quicker, sharpens memory and improves concentration. Employees who schedule exercise into their workday also manage their time better and experience greater work satisfaction.

6. Prepare Meals in Advance

Balanced meals enhance cognitive performance, supplying an individual with the essential vitamins and minerals necessary to function throughout the workday. But meals and snacks can be distracting when attempting to figure out what to eat, how to prepare it and when.

Instead of unintentionally losing time during the workday to figure out what to eat, prepare meals and snacks in advance. Graze on foods, like almonds, protein bars and fruits, throughout the day to prevent a drop in blood sugar, and, consequently, a reduction in work performance.

Optimum work performance is readily achieved in part by consuming nutrients that foster the production of dopamine, which plays a key role in motivation and engagement. Healthy foods are beneficial for not only the physical body but the creative mind.

Once the current health crisis ends, employees will have the option to return to the office. Some staff will jump at the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues. When they return, however, the physical office may need to be redesigned to accommodate new coronavirus health safety guidelines.

Work with an Office MoverMovers Moving Furniture Down Stairs

Chicago Office Movers is prepared to provide the moving services for office renovation and remodeling to facilitate an upcoming project. Prior to the office renovation, our moving crews will carefully relocate furniture and equipment. We pack and label boxes and disassemble appliances and equipment.

Once the office renovation or update is complete, the moving crews at Chicago Office Movers will set up the new equipment and reinstall appliances. We also provide unpacking services. Our goal is to ensure your office space is ready for your employees as quickly and affordably as possible.

Whether your company is considering an office renovation, remodeling, or relocation, choose Chicago Office Movers for your moving needs. Our reputable moving company serves Chicagoland businesses with dedication, and countless satisfied customers can attest to our professionalism.

Call us at 312-244-2246 for a free estimate.

Color Labeling Moving Box

How to Color Code Moving Boxes

Color Labeling Moving Box

Relocating an office is a major event. A lot goes into packing and unpacking the office goods. When you are looking to reduce the stress associated with relocating an office, consider color coding the moving boxes. Here are five practical tips to smoothly transition from office to office.

Before packing up the office, make a conscious decision to donate or sell any unused office equipment or items that will no longer serve a functional purpose in the new space. Moving fewer items will be more organized, less stressful—and preferable.

Importance of Color Coding Boxes

Also prior to the move, business managers should communicate the contents of the boxes to the commercial mover. When surrounded by mountains of plain cardboard boxes, it can be challenging to correctly identify each one. Color coded moving boxes are the solution to this common predicament!

Unpacking is manageable when the movers and office personnel know what box belongs in each room. Each color assigned to an individual moving box should represent a particular zone. The copy room, for instance, should be assigned a certain color, and the breakroom kitchen a different one.

A piece of red tape, for example, may be placed on all the boxes containing storage items. The office supplies may be packed into multiple boxes with purple tape adhered to them. Color coding in such a way helps to quickly identify the contents of the boxes without unpacking them.

Such a tactic is extremely useful since the items that require immediate unpacking can be quickly identified. Knowing what is inside the boxes helps office managers seamlessly continue business operations without experiencing the disruptions caused by the avoidable hassles of unpacking.

1. Gather the right supplies.Business-Woman-Packing-Office

First and foremost, colored duct tape is necessary to color code moving boxes with ease. Large selections of colored duct tape may be found in local retail stores. Choose solid colored duct tape, as opposed to patterned ones, to facilitate quick and easy legibility.

Waterproof permanent markers are needed to write on the colored duct tape. If opting for colored duct tape, choose black permanent markers. The waterproof feature of the markers prevents the ink on the labels from smudging during rainy weather. Offices can always re-use the markers later.

2. Pack the boxes smartly.

In order for the color-coding process to work effectively, the boxes must be packed properly. Smart packing simply means packing similar items together in each box. Office supplies belong in a separate box, while important records should be packed together in a different one.

Mixing up the contents in each box may save on the number of boxes utilized during the move, but it also makes unpacking much more difficult than necessary. Labeling is also easier when the box contains only the items listed on the colored duct tape.

3. Label each box with details.

Each box should be labeled with descriptive information. Noting the contents of the box and what room it goes into is important. Write down the general weight of the box and whether or not it is fragile. Draw arrows to show which way the moving crew should hold the boxes.

4. Place the labels strategically.

The colored duct tape ideally should be adhered to the sides of the boxes. Some moving companies recommend only one side of the box needs to be identified with the tape. However, office personnel might go as far as placing the color-coded tape on multiple sides of each box.

Avoid placing the labels solely on top of the boxes. When the boxes are piled on top of one another in the moving truck, office employees will be unable to see the labels. Adhering the labels on the sides of the boxes allows staff to see them at first glance.

Upon arrival at the destination, the office manager in charge will be better able to direct moving crews as to where to place each box. Depending on the label, some boxes may not require unpacking right away. The color-coded strategy will thus serve its purpose.

5. Create a master list.Man-Writing-on-Clipboard-in-Storage-Warehouse

Creating a master list of the colors assigned to each box is extremely helpful. Keep the master list in a safe place or with the office team member in charge of the move. Be sure the master list can be readily accessed upon arrival at the destination.

Consider using Google Docs or Google Sheets to create the master list. The ease of online programs allows users to access the document anywhere and on any device. Office managers may also want to print out a hard copy (but remember this can get lost during the move).

Another tip is to print several copies of the master list. Hang one master list in a highly visible spot on each floor of the new office space or in each room. Moving crews will reference the list, which facilitates the correct delivery of each box to the appropriate room.

Work with a Professional Mover

Packing up your office can take time away from business operations. Instead, assign the task of packing to an experienced and office mover, like Chicago Office Movers. Our highly efficient packing services are top notch and trusted by many local businesses.

Commercial Move Chicago

When choosing Chicago Office Movers to pack your office goods, you can expect careful handling of your fragile office equipment. Each item is organized, wrapped, and securely packed in sturdy boxes to ensure a smooth transition to your new office space.

Our union movers are trained and background checked, allowing area businesses to place full confidence in our professional packing services. As a part of our comprehensive moving services, we also unpack office goods. Our moving crews will place each box in its correct location at the destination.

Chicago Office Movers has served Chicagoland for the past 35 years. When you need an office relocation company to handle every aspect of your move, count on Chicago Office Movers.

Contact Us

We offer a free estimate for our moving and packing services to businesses in the Windy City. Give us a call at 312-244-2246.

The Future of Business Travel After the Pandemic

Business Lady In Front of Airport Screens

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the airline industry doubly hard. Approximately two million passengers had passed through the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) checkpoint on March 30, 2019. On the exact day this past March, a meager 154,000 air travelers did the same.

Business people travel for either work or other professional reasons. But since the coronavirus pandemic peaked in the first quarter of 2020, airports had seemingly turned into ghost towns. Rather than concourses filled with people, just one or two individuals were present.

How the Pandemic Affected the Airline Industry

Adding further tension to the already worrying situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic were the increased stress levels of flight attendants, customer service personnel, and pilots. Shops in airports were also closed, leaving only the solitary coffee stands to provide air travelers with a jolt of caffeine.

As the worst of the pandemic seems to be over or at least somewhat under control, more business people are choosing to fly now than during the height of the pandemic. This past May, 14 percent of consumers say they will board a plane once flight restrictions are lifted.

Changes within Airports

While airline executives believe it could take years for air travelers to resume flying as frequently as they had done in prior years, planes are still taking off—albeit with significant changes. Basic adjustments are being made, but major changes will take some business passengers by surprise.

The changes to business travel are likely to be permanent. These alterations will be apparent as soon as the air travelers arrive at the airport. Large international hubs will see drastic changes. All these efforts are intended to help passengers feel and remain safe from COVID-19.

1. Changes to Flight Experiences

Measures to reduce contact between airplane passengers, crew members and airport employees are being enforced. While social distancing is a key factor in preventing the spread of COVID-19, doing so on a 186-seat Boeing 737 airplane is difficult. However, airlines are exploring new seating arrangements.

For instance, airlines might reduce cabin capacity by leaving the middle seat empty. Future design enhancements to seating could include facing the middle seat backwards or adding a plastic shield around seats. But such retrofitting is expensive and could affect ticket prices.

Occasionally, packed planes will fly, angering passengers. New airline policies are in place, where passengers are notified if their flight will be over 70 percent full. But most major airlines limit the passenger capacity to 60 percent, and more flights are being added to meet demand.

2. Modifications at Airports

Business-People-Walking-in-Glass-Building

At the airport, the TSA will limit contact between air travelers and airline personnel by having the former scan their own boarding passes, whether paper or electronic. Efforts to reduce touch points while screening also include passengers placing phones, keys, and wallets into carry-on bags.

Food items are known to set off the alarm in the x-ray scanner. To prevent TSA officers from removing and handling the food, officers now request that all food items be placed in clear, plastic bags. Passengers should remove the bags of food from carry-on luggage.

When checking in, business travelers can expect to see sneeze guards at the counters. TSA officers will be wearing face masks, and passengers are encouraged to do the same. More touchless kiosks will be added to US airports to allow passengers to print bag tags with a smartphone.

3. Implementation of Health Screenings

Health screenings at the airport will be commonplace. Airline personnel are exploring thermal scanning and temperature checks at airports. While the risk of exposure to the coronavirus is not fully avoided, airlines can request that travelers with elevated temperatures reschedule.

Airlines will prevent travelers with temperatures of 100.4 degrees or higher from flying. Temperature checks are done safely using touchless thermometers prior to passengers boarding. Temperature screenings are imperfect, given that a small percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients have fevers.

Passengers boarding major airlines will be required to complete a checklist prior to entering the aircraft. The checklist displays COVID -19 symptoms, and the traveler must declare to not have experienced any symptoms or been in close contact with an infected person within the last 14 days.

With the addition of health screenings, business passengers can expect longer lines. The coronavirus may be sniffed out by dogs in the foreseeable future. The rationale is to train bomb-sniffing dogs to detect the coronavirus. Research on these capabilities is currently underway in labs.

4. Assessments of Business Flights

Virus-Downward-Graph

Not every part of the world is equally affected by COVID-19, making air travel to some regions safer than others. However, the situation can change rapidly, as researchers uncover more details about the novel coronavirus. Business travelers are urged to assess all business trips for risks.

If a business trip has multiple risks, consider canceling the flight. Business professionals should also consider national and international guidelines prior to booking their trips. Those evaluating whether or not to fly should give significant weight to their comfort levels in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Also consider business travel insurance in the event flights are canceled due to the coronavirus. Certain companies offer specialized travel insurance to businesses, given the fact that business trips occur more frequently and are thereby subject to cancellations more often than leisure travel.

Need Help with Moving Your Business?Chicago Office Movers Truck Highway

Company executives may have plans to scout a new business location, necessitating business travel. When it’s in your company’s best interests to relocate, consult a premier office relocation service, like Chicago Office Movers. We are open and ready to relocate your company in the safest ways.

Chicago Office Movers takes care during the coronavirus pandemic to disinfect moving trucks, practice social distancing and take employee temperature checks prior to each shift. Our moving crews are trained, licensed and background checked to ensure a secure commercial move.

Free Estimate

Consult the Windy City’s most reputable commercial mover, Chicago Office Movers. We provide quality corporate relocation services, whether you are moving internationally or interstate.

Call our friendly representatives at 312-244-2246 for a free moving estimate when you are preparing for an upcoming relocation.

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Chicago Crating Services

8 Qualities of a Trusted Commercial Mover

 

Commercial Moving Services in Naperville, IL

The instances of fraudulent movers across the country are rampant, making it especially important that offices and companies seeking to relocate hire a trusted office mover.

Beware of Rogue Movers

Recognizing a rogue mover is just as key as knowing the characteristics of a reputable one. Spotting a dishonest mover at first glance may be a challenge, since some moving companies rack up hundreds of poor reviews and still manage to attract unwitting customers.

Bad experiences with incompetent movers include losing thousands of dollars during the moving process as movers arbitrarily hike up the moving costs after they load customer possessions, holding items hostage until additional funds are supplied and simply failing to deliver.

Given that 38 percent of corporations use professional moving companies to relocate, it is crucial to recognize an honest commercial mover. Here are a few characteristics that point the way to an ethical moving company.

1. Good Reviews5-Stars-Reviews

Online review sites are a treasure trove of information that could lead to doing business with a reputable moving company. Most moving companies will have a handful of negative reviews, some deserved, and others based on petty matters. Red flags should fly up when the majority of reviews are poor.

A reputable commercial mover will feature mostly positive reviews. Potential customers should actually read the full reviews, rather than merely glance at low or high grades or stars, to determine if the information is applicable to their situation or can be judiciously disregarded.

Various social media sites also offer a wealth of opinions from actual customers who willingly voice their experiences with the commercial mover in their service. Dig through the reviews to paint a clearer picture of the company you are considering dealing with.

In addition to online review sites and social media reviews, investigate further by having staff ask their friends and family members about any experiences they had with commercial movers. Responses from employees’ contacts can lead to hiring the right commercial mover.

2. Professional Sales Representatives

The first point-of-contact with a commercial moving company should be indicative of future interactions. Did the sales representative arrive on time? Was the individual appropriately dressed? Trivial as they seem, these signs can hugely relay the company’s level of professionalism to potential customers.

Interview administrative personnel thoroughly. Honest commercial movers will have no qualms about confidently answering any and all questions to your satisfaction. Their livelihood, after all, depends on good customers. Sketchy and unsure answers are likely to point to a fraudulent mover.

3. Fair Prices

Lowball quotes are a solid indicator of subpar service. As with any industry, customers receive what they pay for. Obtain several written estimates when hunting for a legitimate commercial mover. The idea is to compare several quotes to properly gauge the market average.

4. Accurate Quotes

In order to receive a correct estimate, representatives from ethical moving companies will visit the commercial space and assess the weight of the goods to be shipped. If you receive a quote over the phone without an onsite assessment, an incorrect quote is likely to be presented.

A mover who attempts to persuade a customer to sign a blank or incomplete estimate, especially on the scheduled move date, is a definite sign of an unethical company. Such a deceitful practice is utilized to add surplus charges and extract more money than initially agreed to.

5. Professional GearCommercial-Packing-Services-Chicago-IL

Safely transporting sensitive machinery and office equipment, like computers and other electronics, is essential to any relocation process. An experienced and reputable company moves items with care, using professional equipment, like dollies, padding to wrap and protect goods as well as clean moving trucks.

When the moving van arrives, it should clearly display the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) number. The lack of a DMV number on the moving vehicle should raise a red flag. The moving truck should also feature the company’s name; an unmarked truck is a sign of an illegitimate mover.

6. Dedicated Crew

Quality commercial movers wear company uniforms. Honest professionals will be fully engaged with their customers while loading the goods onto the truck. Rogue movers are likely to waste time texting or wandering away from the truck when they should be invested in preserving the security of its contents.

7. Licensed and Insured

Licensed, legitimate commercial movers provide insurance for the goods being relocated. Moving office equipment is risky and can lead to high financial losses if items are damaged during the process or while belongings are held in storage. The written estimate spells out the type of insurance offered.

8. Inventory Checklist

Commercial movers with a solid reputation provide a full inventory list of the office equipment being moved. Before the relocation, be sure to review a copy of this cube sheet for accuracy. The list should also include the quantity of boxes being moved.

Work with a Reputable Commercial MoverCommercial-Planning-Phase-Three

Hiring a trusted commercial mover is as easy as contracting Chicago Office Movers to relocate your office equipment. With a professional team of licensed union movers, our staff will ensure a seamless commercial move, whether it is across the country or to the other end of town.

Chicago Office Movers is experienced in securely moving a wide range of office equipment, including lab equipment, electronics, HVAC equipment, assembly lines, machinery, and libraries. We also specialize in office decommissioning of all sizes in the event of remodeling.

A distinct feature that separates us from the competition is our dedication to the environment. As a green company, we utilize recycled packaging and employ best practices to significantly reduce energy consumption—all while ensuring peak performance from start to finish.

When an office relocation is on the horizon, consult Chicago Office Movers. Our commercial moving services include help with planning, guidance throughout the move and assistance with identifying contents of packed boxes once the move is complete.

Contact Us for a Free Estimate

Reasonable prices, industry expertise and assistance with every step of the journey are just a few of the benefits when you work with Chicago Office Movers. Contact Chicago Office Movers at 312-244-2246 for a free estimate and the Windy City’s most efficient office relocation service.

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People-Biking-Sunset-Fort-Myers-FL

America’s Fastest Growing Cities

People-Biking-Sunset-Fort-Myers-FL

Fort Myers, FL is America’s fastest growing city, according to Thrillist. Big surprise, right? This was based on the reports from WalletHub, measuring 515 cities in the U.S. based on size and population.

In sum, the factors measured from these reports include population and economic growth. In this case, Fort Myers, FL took first place, followed by Midland, TX.

After analyzing the past 7 years of data, WalletHub concluded the study with a list based on a total of 15 different criteria. In addition to population growth, growth of median household incomes, housing prices, number of startups, and businesses moving to the area were measured. Declines were also taken into account, such as poverty rates and unemployment.

Why Fort Myers, FL?Tropical-Beach-Palm-Trees-Ocean-2-Chairs

Fort Myers, FL wasn’t always at the top of the list, according to the reports; it didn’t reach the top of the list until 2018. In 2017, the Mayor of Fort Myers, Randy Henderson, told the local News-Press the reason for the boom in economic growth was because of the efforts to attract private investment, build affordable housing for Millennials and young professionals, and update the city’s infrastructure.

Growth in Nearby Cities

Also experiencing high growth is Miami and Lehigh Acres (also on the list of top 15). It’s quite possible that the area in general is experiencing growth, due to the number of families and businesses moving to the same region.

Growth in Other States

What the cities on the list share in common is that many are in the same state. So it may be safe to say that not only cities are growing, but the states too.

Check out the top 20 list of America’s fastest growing cities:San-Antonio-TX-Skyline

  1. Midland, TX
  2. Pearland, TX
  3. Bend, OR
  4. McKinney, TX
  5. College Station, TX
  6. Lehigh Acres, FL
  7. Mount Pleasant, SC
  8. Enterprise, NV
  9. Irvine, CA
  10. Milpitas, CA
  11. Pleasanton, CA
  12. Murfreesboro, TN
  13. Meridian, ID
  14. Redwood City, CA
  15. Frisco, TX
  16. Round Rock, TX
  17. Austin, TX
  18. Miami, FL
  19. Saint George, UT

What to Conclude About these Cities

So what is actually attracting people and businesses to these cities? The weather? For some, it’s true but most commonly, it’s the job opportunities and affordability of housing. While cities like Chicago and Los Angeles continue to become more expensive with taxes and costs of living, others are booming as people flock to the south for an easier, more enjoyable lifestyle.

Looking to Move Your Business?

If you’re looking for a change, always be sure to do your home homework and research all options before moving. Just because it’s growing and there are many opportunities, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your company; what may be right for every other industry may not be for yours.

One of the best ways to research cities to move your business is to research the economic growth as well as any vendors in the area, culture of the city, local leasing or investment rates, and target market. Surely there’s no place for a snow plow company in Fort Myers, FL.

Contact Chicago Office MoversCommercial Moving Services in Naperville, IL

After deciding where you want to relocate your business, rely on the professional services of Chicago Office Movers, based in the Chicagoland area. When working with our experts, you can expect complete care while handling your assets. We have moved everything from desks to machinery to even libraries.

Chicago Office Movers also provides a number of specialty services, including storage, packing, paperwork storage, crating, furniture assembly, office decommissioning, server room moving, and more. Each of our movers is also experienced, trained, background-checked, and insured for your peace of mind.

Get a Free Estimate

To get a free estimate on your next business move, contact Chicago Office Movers at (312) 244-2246.

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  • How to Improve Productivity at Your Home Office

    Relocating a business involves risk, and, therefore, several months of planning, negotiating with landlords and ensuring the transition causes the least disruption to operations. While small businesses can relocate sooner, large and average-sized offices can expect the following moving timetable.

  • How Long Does it Take to Move an Office?

    Relocating a business involves risk, and, therefore, several months of planning, negotiating with landlords and ensuring the transition causes the least disruption to operations. While small businesses can relocate sooner, large and average-sized offices can expect the following moving timetable.

  • 5 Things Needed in Every New Office

    Productivity increases when companies holistically support the well-being of their staff. Consider including a wide range of functional and design elements to today’s workspace to effectively promote employee wellness and productivity. Here is what every new office needs in the 2020s.

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