September 25, 2023 | Weekly Editorial
Continuous Industry Learning
Written By Rob Kirkbride, Editor-in-chief, OI Publications
The office furniture industry is as deep as it is wide. It took me a decade of reporting on it to finally feel as if I understood every nook and cranny. And yet I continue to discover interesting corners of the industry that I know nothing about.
One of those opportunities for continuous learning came last week, when I received a call from my friend Ryan Goor, president of Commercial Furniture Transport…
Learning and Development: Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
Consider this: More than half of Millennials, who currently make up the majority of the workforce, consider growth and learning as extremely important when applying for a job. So what kind of training and development are you doing to help attract and retain talent and when should it start?
Unless you are hiring Albert Einstein, training should begin with employee onboarding. Have you ever started a new job only to find you are given little direction or clear expectations? to work…
The Role of Onboarding in Office Furniture Careers
According to the Society of Human Resources Management, onboarding is a prime opportunity for employers to win the hearts and minds of new employees and they urge companies not to waste it. “Onboarding is a magic moment when new employees decide to stay engaged or become disengaged,” said Amy Hirsh Robinson, principal of the consulting firm, The Interchange Group, in Los Angeles. “It offers an imprinting window when you can make an impression that stays with new employees for the duration of their careers.”...
Mentorship in the Modern Workplace
We all need a little help and guidance in our professional and personal lives, someone to bounce ideas off, filter some of our crazy plans and act as a friend and confidant…
It’s difficult to find the right mentor, especially in the age of hybrid work and work-from-home plans that are keeping employees apart and isolated. How do you find a mentor at work when you never see any of your coworkers? Still, it is possible and definitely worth pursuing…
Unique Opportunities to Increase Margins
So what can you do to squeeze a little more margin from your business? First, let’s take a look at why margins fall. Profit margins are calculated as a balance between expenses and revenue. If your profits slide, your margins go down. This is often caused by sluggish sales, the economy, shifts in your customer base or a failing business model...
The Influence of SPIFs on Sales Motivation and Performance
Regardless of where you stand on sales incentives, the fact remains: Sales force compensation represents the single largest marketing investment for most B2B companies. In aggregate, U.S. companies alone spend more than $800 billion on it each year—three times more than they spend on advertising...
The Health of the Industry Hinges on Innovation and Competition
There is room for both the established office furniture makers and the emerging companies. Both make the industry better and both make it stronger.
Every business goes through a life cycle, the progression of a business in phases over time. In academia, it is commonly divided into five stages: launch, growth, success, maturity and decline...
Expanding Your Opportunities: Vertical Markets
As the market for office furniture shifts, workstyles change and commercial real estate struggles with how the workplace will look going forward, it’s time to look at other vertical markets.
For the reasons outlined above, diversification is critical. We have some success stories about diversification in this industry already...
Designing for Technology
For all the good it creates, technology also has a dark side. It can divide us, putting us into silos that separate people. It can be a huge time waste as well. Just ask any parent of a teenager how much time they spend on TikTok. Yet technology can save lives, improve productivity and help connect us, depending on how it is designed and deployed...
Amplify Customer Reach Using Technology
Simply put, it is a lot easier to reach customers today using technology. You know all the technology players in the industry and don’t need me to outline them for you here. But I’m going to suggest a few tips and tricks to better use common technology to supercharge your customer reach...
What Capabilities Are Essential in the Workplace?
Workers are seeking dynamic environments that allow for flexibility. Employers seeking to draw and retain talent are creating healthful and respectful spaces with their workers in mind. Explore trends that are driving change, forecasts future workplace attributes and provides insight into design leaders.
The Role of Technology in Spaces
The role of technology in our spaces is changing. In addition to visual inspiration, we’re sharing articles that explore how technology is at the forefront of our space solutions, how change is imminent, some creative analysis to change, and a project that embodies that change.
Outdoor workspaces are nourishing and engaging. As worker well-being continues to inform design choices and the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces are being blurred, spaces for retreating are being incorporated to revitalize workplaces and offer attractive amenities for employees.
Design the Conversation with Sustainability
Sustainability: a familiar term that has made its way into every facet of the contract design industry. Taking a hot seat at client meetings, it’s at the forefront of the conversation. On a grand scale, WELL and LEED certifications are driving the need for increased wellbeing within the built environments, through process, materials, environment, comfort, mindfulness, etc. and some of these needs are being addressed at an accelerated pace as a direct result of the pandemic.
A Look at Sustainable Materials in Commercial Interiors
A lot has been written about the need to produce more sustainable office furniture. Going green. I agree that this is an important goal for the industry. It isn’t unusual to focus on new furniture and the process of making it. I read that seven of the most sustainable materials used in office furniture are wood, bamboo, natural fabrics, steel, aluminum, recycled materials, and new innovative products.
The Results Are In from the Latest I Care Employee Wellness Survey
The I Care Employee Wellness Survey, developed by INDEAL Cares, is an annual initiative that aims to better understand the health and well-being of individuals working in the commercial interiors industry. Now in its third year, this year’s survey was securely hosted by work experience data provider, Align.
Developing and Enhancing Your Team's Potential
If you re-read the title of this article, you might be inclined to think that it’s only directed at managers or supervisors but it’s not. I’m addressing the way peers can impact the development of their team’s potential and performance, on their own. This is not about excluding a manager or supervisor but about all team members taking responsibility for the team’s success or failure.
Expanding Into Vertical Markets
This month’s topic is “Expanding Into Verticals.” On the surface this sounds simple; just identify and start selling into business types that comprise all the potential purchasers in a particular occupation or market; healthcare, GSA, education, hospitality, etc. – but there’s more to it than that.
Empowering Your Team To Live Well
We know that inspired leadership will connect, develop, and enhance healthy workplace communities. Studies show that when leaders put their thoughts and attention toward improving employee health and well-being, employers are 4x more likely to see improved health outcomes.