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What is the Best Copier for My Office?

 

Sharp copiers

To best answer this question there are a few more questions that need to be asked first. The answers to these questions will hopefully guide you in the right direction to acquiring the correct copier/s for your office.

Should I Lease or Own?

The first question you want to ask is whether or not you are in the position to buy or lease a copier machine. Your business's CFO or an accountant will be a good person to consult when trying to answer this question. There are both pros and cons to owning and leasing office equipment. Here is a table to better help you decide:

Owning

Leasing

PROS

CONS

PROS

CONS

Less expensive in the long-term

Harder to upgrade from year to year

You can pay on a monthly basis

Can be costly in the long-term

You own it

Hard to get rid of

Easy to upgrade

You do not own it

Higher discounts when purchasing multiple units

You will need maintenance support

Usually sold with a maintenance contract

Contracts could have hidden fees/ unfair stipulations

 

What Will my Usage be per Month?

The next question to ask is how many copies you think your office will make in a month. This number does not need to be exact. A rough estimate will be enough to point you in the right direction. Your usage will also help in determining the speed your copier will need to operate at to keep up with your usage. Copiers are ranked by how many copies they make in a minute, or their CPM (Copies Per Minute). Here is a table to help you determine what CPM your new copier needs:

Copies Per Minute

Application Size

20 CPM or less

Small or Home Offices (< 5K Copies Per Month)

21 – 35 CPM

Small Offices or Workgroups (< 10K Copies Per Month)

36 – 50 CPM

Mid-Sized Offices (< 20K Copies Per Month)

51 – 65 CPM

Large Offices and Copy Centers (< 50K Copies Per Month

66 – 80 CPM

Corporate Copy Centers (< 100K Copies Per Month)

81+ CPM

Production Print and Copy Centers (100K – 250K Copies Per Month)

 

What do I Need the Copier to Do?

The last question you'll want to ask is what you'll actually need the copier to do. Modern copiers come with a wide array of accessory options and knowing a little about these different accesories should really help you in finding the perfect copier for your office.

Accessories/Options:

  • Color - This allows the copier to print copies in full color. Color copiers are generally more expensive than thier black and white counterparts.
  • Document Feeder - This allows the user to copy multiple-page documents without having to hover over the copier, copying each page, one-by-one, off the glass.
  • Duplex - This allows the copier to make double sided copies in one pass.
  • Extra Paper Supply - These are extra trays you can add to the copier so it can hold more paper.
  • Cabinet - A cabinet adds extra storage space for things like copy paper, toner, and staples.
  • Finisher - The finisher can have different functions like the ones listed below:
    • Stapler - A stapler automatically staples a group of pages together after copying them. Very useful if you copy multi-page documents.
    • Folder - A folder will fold your pages for you after copying
    • Hole Puncher - The hole puncher will punch holes for two and three-ringed binders.
  • Networking - This means the copier is connected to your business's network, giving it the ability to email copies to your employees at their desk.
  • Scanning - This allows the copier to scan documents.
  • Faxing - This allows the copier to fax documents.

Once you know which accessories your copier will need to meet your requirements, the last step is to contact your local office equipment dealer and provide them with the specifications you decided on in this blog article. They will be able to provide you with the most current prices for the models that best fit your needs.

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How to Choose the Right Office Chairmat

 

Protect Your Office's Flooring

Not many people know how important having a chairmat is for increasing the life of your office's carpet, vinyl, tile, and wood flooring. Wheel marks can cause permanent damage to your floor over time, creating an unpleasant mark on the floor in that area. Chairmats prevent this wear and tear by providing a protective barrier between your chair and the flooring.

Choose Wisely

After realizing that you really should be using a chairmat to protect your floor, choosing the right one is very important. First, you must determine which floor type you have.  Here are the different types:

  • Economy - 1/4" thick, including padding such as commerical or backed carpets
  • Berber/Standard Pile - 3/8" thick, including padding such as Berber carpets
  • Medium/High Pile - 1/2" thick, including padding and high pile carpets
  • Plush/Medium Pile - 3/4" thick, including padding such as plush carpets
  • Deep Plush Pile - 3/4" thick, including padding such as deep pile and shag carpets
  • Hard Floor - Hard floors such as vinyl, wood and various tiles

Here's a quick tip to help you determine your carpet thickness:

  • Straighten the end of a paper clip; stick the straightened end into the carpet so it penetrates the carpet backing and reaches the floor below; grab the paper clip with your thumb and index finger at the point that it is flush with the top of the carpet; then measure the distance between your fingers and the end of the paper clip.

There are many different styles and sizes of chairmats to choose from. There are also quality differences between manufacturers as well, but if you choose a polycarbonate chair mat you will find they are extremely durable, environmentally frinedly, safe and odorless, fire-resistant, and easily maintained.

Here are a few examples:

chairmat 1chairmat 3chairmat 4

Tips for Caring for your Mat:

  • Upon Delivery - Unroll your mat as soon as it is delivered and leave for 24 hours at room temperature without anything on top of it.
  • Re-sizing - Floor mats are precision cut to size so do not cut or alter mats as this can impair performance.
  • Moisture - Don't use your mat in wet areas and clean only with a cloth or a sponge soaked in mild soapy water.
  • Harmful Products - Avoid contact with solvent based paints, inks, varnishes, alkaline cleaners, bleaches and oils.
  • Extreme Temperatures - Placing in temperatures below 50 degrees F can damage and reduce the life of polycarbonate mats.
  • Flooring Style - Make sure you choose tge polycarbonate mat specially designed for your type of floor covering. A mat intended for another texture or depth can cause damage and may crack due to the lack of support.
  • Avoid Heavy Loads - For example, chairs with metal caster wheels can cause damage to mats, especially when placed on rough textured floor tiles.

 



A Quick Guide to Buying a Shredder

 
paper shredding
Offices today use shredders  for several reasons:
  1. The Disposal Rule - The disposal rule provides, "Any person who maintains or otherwise possesses consumer information for a business purpose must properly dispose of such information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information in connection with its disposal."

  2. Identity Theft - According to the Federal Trade Commission, some 9 million people become identity theft vicitims every year. You can prevent that from happening though by using a paper shredder to get rid of any document that contains your private information.

  3. Cost Savings - You can save money by having an in-house shredder rather than using an off-site shredding service, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Not all shredder machines are created equal and some can run you as much as a few thousand dollars so it is important to know what you are looking for first. Follow the quick guide below to help you choose which shredder is best for your needs.     

Identify Your Usage
  1. How many people will use the shredder?

  2. What is the volume of paper each person will shred in a day?

  3. What is the length of time the shredder needs to run without stopping?

Description

Users

Run Time

Usage

Heavy Duty

Up to 10 or more users

Continuous

Over 500 sheets/job

Medium Duty

Up to 5 users

15-45 minutes

Up to 500 sheets/job

Light Duty

1 user

Up to 10 minutes

Up to 250 sheets/job


Determine Your Security or DIN Level
  1. Level 2 (Strip-Cut) - 34 strips per 8.5"x11" page; Non-confidential documents

  2. Level 3 (Cross-Cut) - 300 particles per 8.5"x11" page; Credit/College Applications, Insurance Papers

  3. Level 4 (Micro-Cut) - 3,000 particles per 8.5"x11" page; Medical Records, Employee Files, Bank Documents

  4. Level 5 (High Security) - 6,700 particles per 8.5"x11" page; Classified/Confidential documents

  5. Level 6 (Top Secret Security) - 13,000 particles per 8.5"x11" page; Top Secret documents, Financial, HR documents

Other Features to Consider
  1. Jam Prevention - Eliminate frustrating jams to shred more effeciently, saving valuable time

  2. Safety - Advanced protection for yourself and your employees

  3. Energy Savings - Energy savings feature optimizes shredder effeciency to reduce energy costs

  4. Noise - Noisy shredders can be a distraction to workers in the area

If your business does not currently have a shredder or any document disposal procedures in place I would highly recommend making the small investment now. Not only to prevent any potential losses from identity theft in the future, but also from fines you could receive from the government for not following the disposal rule.
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8 Office Decorating Tips

 

We spend half of our waking day, five days a week, (some of us more) in our office at work. Why not make it a space you love to be in? Here are a few office interior decorating ideas to spruce up your office:

flowers

Foliage (Helpful Video) - Plants and flowers add different shapes, textures and colors to an office. If the plants are real, they can add wonderful scents and can help clean the air. If you do not have a green thumb, hand-crafted artificial flowers are just as lovely.

Chairmat 1

Chairmats - Designed to save your floor from the constant wear-and-tear of roll-about chairs, custom designed chair mats can be a practical way to add a luxurious touch to the office.

coat racks

Coat Racks - In the reception area, an attractive coat rack with umbrella holders make anyone who walks through the front door feel welcomed.

Desktop organizer Desktop organizer 2 Partition Organizers

Desktop Organizers and Partition Additions - Desk accessories are designed to organize and add a streamlined look to your desk. Partition organizers also make great use of vertical space while giving a unified look to all of that work in progress!

Picture frame  Cubicle keeper

Picture/Award Frames and Cubicle Keepers - What better way to communicate to others your personal achievements and memories than in an appealing display in your office? Picture/award frames are great for walls and desktops, while Cubicle Keepers are designed to stick to the fabric surfaces of cubicle walls with velcro.

Lamp

Lamps - An easy way to bring beauty and more lighting to your office is by introducing a decorative lamp on your desk or on a side table in a waiting area.

achievment poster

Motivational Posters - These are a popular way of adding décor and uplifting words to the walls of your office.

air freshener

Air fresheners - While these normally do not add visual interest, air fresheners are an easy way to make the atmosphere of the office much more pleasant.

If you have some decorating tips feel free to leave them in the comments section. Happy decorating!

 

Eat Healthy at Work

 

It’s Monday morning, 10am. Your boss just called a company-wide meeting. You enter the room and are greeted by a gigantic silver platter of doughnut heaven. Your tummy says “yum!” but your mind and sore muscles know that if you cave you’ll undo all of your hard work at the gym this week.

Alright, you made it to Tuesday afternoon without undoing your healthy eating habits. You said “no” to those Monday morning doughnuts, but now you heard that delicious sound of your coworker’s soda opening. You guzzle water and pretend it is soda.

Now it’s Thursday afternoon and your coworker’s daughter just brought her mom (who happens to sit next to you) a stack of just-baked cupcakes for her birthday. How can you say no? You don’t want to be rude so you take one. Plus, they’re your favorite kind. Wow! You had forgotten how good cupcakes can be! “Ok,” you say, “one slip is not so bad”. But a little voice says, “I want another one”. You know that on that plate there are more cupcakes than the department can eat. “I want another one” says that voice. You pretend to go to the bathroom, rationalizing that you’re just going to look at them on your way out. But, on the way back you end up grabbing a second one (“I hope no one saw”). Since you already broke your diet, you figure, how bad can eating another one be? So you eat a third one when half of the department has gone on break. Then you eat a fourth one, pretending it’s only your second, when you go on break. Meanwhile, all of the hard work you did at the gym unravels.

I know that this has happened to many of us before, but unlike “before”, this time we are not going to devour four cupcakes in thirty minutes! “How?” you ask? By learning about alternatives to cravings and knowing the best healthy snacks for work.

healthy office snacks

How to deal with cravings:

UNHEALTHY FOOD CRAVING

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE

Soda

Iced tea-teas will give you the same caffeine and sweetness boost plus provide antioxidants

Frappes, mochas, lattes, etc.

Have a regular cup of coffee but cut back on the cream and sugar.

A regular cup of coffee

You really shouldn’t drink so much caffeine during the day as it will disrupt your sleep pattern, but if you have coffee, switch to low-fat milk as creamer and try cutting all of the sugar.

Sweets

Yogurt with a bit of honey. Sweet fruits (cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.).

Chips

Apples and peanut butter- still enjoy the saltiness and get the added bonus of protein. The Nabisco 100-calorie snacks are great too!

Sports drink

Coconut water- contains more electrolytes, has less sugar, and is more hydrating

Fatty foods

Can eat in small portions, but add vegetables and fruit in the mix. Ex: Carrots and celery with dressing, apples with cheese.

Chocolate

Two to three 1oz. squares of dark chocolate

To learn more about what foods to snack on at work click here.

Veneer vs. Laminate Office Furniture

 

When selecting furniture for your office, you want everything to look great and make the best impression with your associates, clients and business partners. With so much out there to choose from, how do you decide what is right for your needs and your budget?

It just so happens that veneer and laminate office furniture are both affordable and can give you the sophisticated style you are looking without breaking the bank. In this article I will go over the main features of each type of finish to better help you decide what is best for you and your office.

Veneer Office Furniture:

veneer workstation

 

 

 

 

 

 


Veneer office furniture offers a look that projects the image of elegance and success. Veneer is thin, decorative slices of wood affixed to a durable substrate material that resists warping and moisture much better than solid hardwoods. Veneer surfaces are stained in a multi-step process that produces a warm, rich finish. It's popular in the executive offices of financial, insurance, legal and heathcare organizations.

  • "Executive" look and feel

  • An attractive alternative to solid wood...looks like solid wood, but is more affordable

  • More expensive than laminate with higher-quality production

  • Durable, but more delicate than laminate and can scratch

Laminate Office Furniture:

laminate workstation resized 600

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laminate office furniture is known for its durability, reliability and high value-to-price relationship. Laminate is made of printed sheets, often a wood-grain design, adhered to a durable core material. The surfaces resist scratches and stains, making them ideal for high-traffic areas. Laminate furniture is often favored by the managers, supervisors and support staff of small-to-medium sized businesses.

  • Value, price-point alternative to veneer

  • Virtually maintenance-free

  • Extremely durable

  • Provides a rich look with less expensive materials

  • More styles and colors to choose from

How to Choose the Right Type of Office Copy Paper

 

paper stack

There are many types of printing devices today, representing a wide range of devices and technologies. Selecting the right paper for the devices you use, and for the types of documents you are producing, is key to getting the results you want. In this article I will review the different types of paper you can purchase and what the best uses for each are.

 

Copy Paper: 

It's lightweight and inexpensive - perfect for file copies, faxes and other routine office documents. It's NOT the type of paper to use for documents that will be seen outside your office.

Multipurpose Paper:

These papers are made to run in virtually any type of printing device - copiers, printers, and fax machines. They are brighter than copy paper so documents look sharper. The main advantage though is in the convenience of being able to order one grade of paper you can be confident will run in all your equipment. But be advised: multipurpose paper isn't the optimal choice to use when you're printing important documents that need to impress.

Inkjet Paper:

Created specifically for inkjet printers, inkjet papers have surface characteristics that allow water-based inks to dry quickly without bleeding, producing brighter colors and bolder text than multipurpose papers. Heavier weight inkjet papers are perfect for important presentations, reports and other documents that need to impress.

Laser Paper:

Laser papers are super-smooth to allow toner particles to bond to the sheet. General-purpose laser papers are great for everyday use in black and white lase printers. Heavier, brighter laser papers enable color laser printers to deliver breathtakingly realistic colors that make important documents, such as presentations and marketing materials, look super-impressive.

Color Copy Paper:

A special coating allows these papers to withstand the heat generated by color laser copiers. The result is the vibrant, professional-quality colors your expensive color copier was made to produce. Color copy papers are available in a wide range of sizes and weights.

A Short Word on Basis Weight & Brightness:

  • The heavier a paper's basis weight, the thicker the sheet. The thicker the sheet, the more impressive it feels.
  • A paper's brightness is the amount of light its surface reflects. The more light the sheet reflects, the higher the contrast of the images it produces. In other words, the brighter the sheet, the better your printed documents will look.

Ergonomic Laptop Accessories

 

Laptop painThe laptop and the netbook have become the preferred means of mobile computing now that their prices have dropped to more reasonable levels. Their size and portability make them extremely usefool tools, but what many people fail to recognize is how ergonomically challenged they are. If you've ever burned your leg from a hot battery or got a cramp in your back from huddling over your laptop you know what I'm talking about. In this article I will recommend a few relatively inexpensive products you can buy to alleviate some of the ergonomic problems laptops and netbooks have.

  1. LAPTOP STANDLaptop Stands - Most stands are elevated and angled to provide the optimum and ergonomically correct viewing level. They block heat from your lap and provide cushioning for your legs. Cooling vents and fans are sometimes included to prevent the computer from overheating. Fans usually require a USB chord to be powered. Cooling the laptop extends battery life the and the life the of the computer. Price with fan: ~$50; Price Laptop tablewithout fan: ~$35
  2. Laptop Carts - These are usually small platforms that ride on wheels about 3-5 feet off the ground. They are extremely adaptable to almost all environments. What makes them ergonomic is the fact that they require you to stand while working. This prevents spine injuries because you maintain good posture more often while standing. Price: ~$125
  3. keyboardFull-size keyboards - Most laptops and netbooks have small, uncomfortable keyboards that lack any ergonomic properties. To remedy this I suggest purchasing a wired USB or wireless full size keyboard with a number pad. This will allow your arms and shoulders to take a better position, alleving pressure on your spine and decreasing all around stress. Price for USB: ~$10; Price for wireless: ~$25

laptop ergonomics

   laptop ergo example  laptop stand

As technology progresses at a faster and faster rate the barrier between humans and machines will start to diminish and the need for ergonomic products like the ones mentioned above will become unnecessary. But until the day that happens we will still need to recognize the importance of good posture and the advantages of stress relief from ergonomics.

Office Makeover Ideas

 

Most people spend the majority of their day at their workplace. For some it's like a sanctuary, but for others it can resemble a disaster zone. For this reason I will outline some simple makeover ideas for your office that will help in making it a better place to spend your time.

RE-ORGANIZE

Office Reorganize

  • Orient your furniture to accommodate visitors (i.e. add reception seating) and maintain privacy (i.e. incorporate systems furniture)
  • Examine traffic flow in the office and adjust the furniture layout to bring resources closer together
  • Remove unneccessary clutter by grouping like items together with organizational products like letter trays, pencil cups, and compartment racks
  • Schedule a routine time to clean your work area with non-toxic cleaning products like Sun Gold® and use a compressed air can to clean out tough to reach places like your keyboard

ADJUST LIGHTING

office lighting

  • Use natural light from windows and skylights as much as possible
  • Use traditional lamp lighting for more intimate or private spaces and to add to the decor of the room
  • Use flourescent lighting for task oriented areas 
  • Use track lighting to give your office a modern feel and to accentuate items on the floor or the walls
  • Use mirrors to give the illusion of a bigger space

ADD LIFE

office plants

  • Try to incorporate some kind of indoor plant or tree into your office to breakup the layout and to create a more pleasant ambience (Bamboo is a great looking plant that strives indoors)
  • Try an office tabletop fountain for a relaxing sound and something interesting to look at

COMFORT IS KEY

Office comfort

Hopefully by using some or all of these ideas you can help your office become a more pleasant and in turn a more efficient place to work.

High-Tech Home Office Ideas and Trends

 

Did you know that over half of all U.S. business are home-based? Many people today are choosing to work from home for many different reasons, but most do it because it is more economical, more convenient, and less difficult than it used to be. Nowadays there are high-tech tools that allow a person to do their job at home. In this article I will point out some of these new ideas and show how they might revolutionize the workplace.

describe the imageThe first thing the home office worker is going to need is GoToMyPC. This new software allows you to access your work Mac or PC from any computer with an internet connection. The installation is very easy and all your data is protected with AES encryption. Some other features included are cut, copy and paste between computers, remote printing, free 24/7 support, keyboard locking and screen blanking for privacy, and guest invitation. It costs $9.95/mo or $99.00/yr for one computer and one user. They also have plans for more users and computers if you are thinking about buying it for your entire company.

The next thing that has shifted the workplace to the home office is the drop in cost of multifunction (Print, Scan, and Fax) officeHP OfficeJet Pro machines. It used to be that you had to buy each machine separately, which was costly and impractical. Now you can purchase a machine that will do everything you want except make coffee for around $250. Granted, these machines don't print and copy as fast as a high output BizHub would, but they work great for home offices.

VoIP systemVoice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is one of a family of internet technologies that allows for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over the internet. This new technology is mostly recognized by the VoIP software creator, Skype. The key advantage to using a VoIP phone service over a traditional phone service is that it is cheaper. It allows the home office worker to stay in contact with their collaborators and customers without having to pay for a phone bill. Other advantages include the convenience and portability of VoIP services and the advanced communication features that are available at no extra charge.

The place we work will start to change as new home office technologies continue to evolve. Before you know it you're cubicle will be a thing of the past and your new office will just steps away from your own bed!

   

 

 

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