Archive for July, 2011

How to Clean Your Laminate Furniture

Chances are most of the furniture in your office has laminate tops. Laminate is a popular choice in commercial office environments because it’s more durable and affordable than wood veneer (we’ll talk about cleaning wood veneer in the next post). However, even laminate tops can show their age after a few years of regular use. 

A thorough cleaning of your laminate tops can help restore the original glossy finish and eliminate germs that can spread viruses as well. Keeping your laminate worksurfaces clean will make your office look better and your team feel better. 

Be careful when you clean your laminate furniture. While laminate is a durable material, it can still be warped by excessive amounts of water. Harsh cleaning chemicals can dull the glossy finish as well. For the best results, follow the directions below for a better looking, healthier office.



Things You’ll Need

  • 3 soft cleaning cloths
  • Non-oily furniture spray
  • Baking soda
  • Small bowl
  • Soft-bristled brush


1. Moisten the cleaning cloth until it is damp and wipe down the laminate furniture in the grain’s direction.

2. Spray the non-oily furniture spray onto the cleaning cloth and wipe down the furniture to remove dust.

3. Buff the furniture polish onto the laminate furniture’s surface to fill scratches. Wipe down the surface with a clean cloth to remove excess product.

4. Move the furniture out of direct sunlight, as the light can discolor the furniture.

5. Mix 1 tbsp. of baking soda with 1/4 cup of water, then coat a soft-bristled brush with the mixture. Gently scrub the surface of the furniture if it becomes stained. Wipe the surface with a clean cloth.


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Are Your Employees Happy?

 Around here, we spend most of our time and energy helping our clients create cool looking, comfortable and productive work environments. We do our best to listen closely to our clients and do everything we can to make sure office workers are happy with their new work space.  

But, according to Mercer’s new What’s Working survey, nearly half of all employees are unhappy with their jobs. Another 32 % of US workers are seriously considering leaving their current job, up a sharp 9 % from 2005. Maybe we should start paying a little less attention to where employees work and a little more on how they feel about their job?

The survey reflects the trend that more employees have become emotionally disconnected from their work during the last 5 years. A less loyal and more apathetic workforce means lower productivity and higher turnover for the organization.  

Leaders can do something about it by talking to their employees and reconnecting with them on a deeper and more emotional basis. By asking questions, leaders can gain an understanding of how they feel which can help build the kind of emotional connection that can create greater job satisfaction, more productivity and lower turnover. 

Learn more about engaging with your employees at the What’s Working survey website.


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Great Advice from a True Hero

Let’s take a midsummer’s break from office interiors and talk about baseball and life. 

I coach my 8 year old son’s little league baseball team. Our first basemen’s Dad is friends with former major league umpire and American hero, Steve Palermo and last Wednesday, he invited Steve to attend our final regular season game and talk to the boys afterwards. 

Steve arrived early in the second inning and watched from his front row seat. After our little Hawks pulled out another victory, they took a knee just behind the dugout and looked up at the man leaning against his cane. These boys were born 12 years after a mugger’s bullet ended Steve’s career as an umpire and they didn’t know who he was, but they did know he worked in major league baseball at one time and that was a good enough reason for them to quiet down and listen as he began to speak. 

For the first 15 minutes or so, the talk revolved around major league baseball and included the usual questions such as, “do you know Derek Jeter”, and “have you ever been hit by a baseball”? After Steve patiently answered each question, he gracefully shifted the attention from baseball to life and here is what he said: 

“Baseball is not your job and whenever you play it, the most important thing you should always try do is have fun. It’s a game and you should always have fun when you play it. If you concentrate on having fun, you’ll play better and enjoy it more.  

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do your best, because you should always do your best. If a ball comes and you just watch it go by, then you’re not doing your best and that’s not right. Always do your best and even if you don’t make the play or win the game, no one will be able to criticize you because you gave it your best shot.” 

At that point, the small group of parents and boys got pretty quiet. I looked around at all the faces staring back at this brave man, leaning against his cane and sweating under the hot June sun and thought about what great advice this was and how much it applied to the adults as well. Do your best and always have fun. Think of how much more fun and productive our workplaces would be if everyone simply focused on doing their best and having more fun? 

As I walked to the car, I wondered how difficult it must have been for Steve as he was rehabbing from the gun shot wound to his spine. He could have easily stayed inside the restaurant that night and he might still be a major league umpire to this day, but he couldn’t because that wasn’t his best. He couldn’t sit back and watch that moment roll by. Years of painful rehab followed that decision, but Steve continued to do his best and now he’s having fun again. He still works for Major league baseball and tours the country sharing his story with people of all ages. 

Great advice from a great man and it applies as much to the workplace as it does to baseball.

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