School environments have evolved a lot over the past year and a half. As we see schools go back to traditional schedules this fall, it’s important to remember to take safety precautions to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Each school district is different in terms of what is required. Some are requiring students to wear masks, while others are not. Whatever situation you might be in, there are additional items you can have in your classroom to help students and teachers stay healthy and safe.

Here is a list of our top 5 products to help you welcome students back to your classroom.

1. Sanitizing Stations

A lot of germs can be passed around at school. Especially when you have a full classroom. Students are sharing everything from notes, textbooks, and pencils to name a few. Placing sanitizing stations in classrooms and around the school can help eliminate germs to keep both students and teachers healthy. Parents will also be thrilled if their children don’t bring home all of those germs on a daily basis! Be sure to check out the OfficeSource Automatic Freestanding Sanitizer Dispenser. It would make the perfect additions to your classroom.

2. Easy to Clean Furniture

Each classroom set up is different and while some students might stay in the same classroom all day, there are others that will rotate rooms multiple times throughout the day, sharing desks with many other students. Having furniture that is easy to clean is essential to help limit the spread of germs between classes. Even better, the OfficeSource Mario Collection features stackable desks and chairs that are easy to clean and mobile!

3. Acrylic Barriers

If your classroom does not have the space for proper social distancing, or you are set up to have students sitting at the same table, acrylic barriers can make a huge difference in preventing the spread of germs as well as give them more separation and privacy. OfficeSource acrylic screens are the perfect solution. They come in a variety of sizes in order to fit the needs of your space and furniture.

4. Portable Barriers

Just like everyone has had to adapt to the changing world around them, your classroom should be ready to adapt as well. Portable barriers are a great way to put a physical barrier between people. Whether you are trying to keep students separated from each other or put a barrier between a teacher and their students, portable barriers are a great way to do that. OfficeSource has a variety of SafeGuard Barriers, some with clear side panels and others with solid, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

5. Cubby Storage

Another way to limit the spread of germs is to assign each student a cubby for storage. Having less at their desk that they can pass around and share will help limit how many people are touching their things. The OfficeSource Cubby Cabinet is stackable up to three high, so you can build a storage system that works best for your space and help keep personal items clean and safe.

Our Office Source furniture line offers many products that can help you get your classroom ready for school this year. Even better, most things are mobile, which means as this world continues to change and navigate this pandemic, your classroom will be able to adapt with it.

If you have any questions about our products or how they can help you, please reach out and contact us. We also love to hear your feedback!

During the COVID pandemic, we didn’t see as many cases of the common cold. Hygiene was at an all-time high between social distancing, disinfecting, handwashing and people generally staying home. Trying to find hand sanitizer at the start of the pandemic became a challenge.  So much so that you saw distilleries pivot to create hand sanitizer to keep up with demand. (We love seeing other companies innovate too!) With the introduction of the COVID vaccine and cases declining in the US, people are letting up on some of these safe practices and common colds are coming back.

Why We Need to Keep Up Safe Practices Post-Covid

Even in a post-Coronavirus environment, the importance of hand sanitizer in the office, gym, hospital, classroom (etc.) is still astounding! In a 2016 research study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, objects such as office phones, water fountains, keyboards, computer mice, and elevator buttons are home to over 10 million bacteria. (That’s 400 times more germs than found on most toilet seats!)

Hand sanitizer units are an important tool to help stop the spread of germs and prevent illness and reduce the alarming rate of presenteeism (when employees come to work despite being sick and thus are not able to perform as well) in the workplace!

Making hand sanitizer easily accessible in your workplace will not only help keep your employees healthy, but also give your customers and guests peace of mind that they are in a clean environment. When a business installs a hand sanitizer station, it is telling clients and employees that “We welcome you, and we take your health and safety very seriously.”

Our OfficeSource Automatic Freestanding Sanitizer Dispenser is small, taking up just one square foot of space, so it can easily be placed where needed.  These dispensers are perfect for gyms & public spaces, classrooms & libraries, meeting & training rooms, hospitals & health facilities, entrances & exits and other high traffic areas.

These units are freestanding, which means they can easily be moved and placed where needed. There’s no need to mount them to a wall, and they are constructed with an all metal base for added stability. The 1,000ml universal fill reservoir can be refilled with your preferred liquid hand sanitizer (solution not included). Right now we are offering a promotion, so you can buy 10 and get 1 free to donate to charity. At COE, we believe in giving back, and these hand sanitizer dispensers are beneficial in helping to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Contact us if you have any questions regarding these hand sanitizer dispensers or any other needs you may have that COE Distributing can help with. 

Courtney Gardner, our HR Business Partner, is our most recent COE Warrior. She was given the honor due to her large role in maintaining the company culture and because of her strong leadership, especially through the pandemic. We congratulate her on this great honor. Please continue below to read what winning this honor means to Courtney.
What does winning the warrior helmet mean to you?

It is truly an honor to be recognized! I strive daily to give 110% and to be chosen proves that my efforts are noticed and my work makes an impact.

What did you or what do you look for when it comes to choosing the next recipient?

Someone who demonstrates our core values, goes above and beyond and works extremely hard, but does not always get the recognition for all they do.

How has COE helped you to get where you are?

COE has helped make me a better leader by giving me all the necessary tools and resources, as well as, the empowerment to make decisions, and the encouragement that as a team there is nothing we can’t achieve.

What goals do you want to achieve and how can COE help get you there?

From a personal standpoint, COE has always been wonderful at promoting professional growth and a healthy work/life balance. From an operational standpoint, I would like to see the HR team continue to evolve over the next 5 years and ideally get to add a member or two to the team.

What is your favorite part of our employee engagement programs at COE and why?

Employee engagement has always been one of my favorite aspects of HR. I enjoy seeing people get recognized and I love that something as simple as a birthday card from the CEO or a ‘Welcome to the Team’ gift card can make someone’s day. Without employees’ companies cannot thrive to the best of their abilities and I think it is important to remind employees just how valued they are.

What are you most excited for when it comes to our Penguin partnership?

I think just being able to say that we are the first Employee Engagement Partner of the Pittsburgh Penguins is such an awesome accomplishment for COE. It truly is a testament of the great things that we are implementing for such a well-respected organization to want to partner with us. From a personal standpoint, I mean, who doesn’t love going to a game.

What COE value do you think you’re the strongest in and why?

This one is hard to chose but if I had to chose just one, especially with the state of the world at the moment, I would have to choose safety. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged me in more ways than I could have imagined but I knew I needed to be on the top of my game to ensure I was helping keep all our employees and their families safe. And if this whole HR thing doesn’t work out, I might have a calling in the medical field from all the in depth knowledge I now have that I definitely did not want (totally kidding).

Share some fun facts about yourself!

I have two beautiful daughters who are my whole world; Avery and Vivienne. I was a 1,000-point scorer in high school and was offered a basketball scholarship to play in college, but turned it down for a full academic scholarship instead. I am an only child. During the pandemic, I discovered a hidden talent and now spend a lot of free time making a variety of chocolate creations. 

Jennifer Mosier, Accounts Receivable Manager, is our newest COE Warrior! She was given the helmet due to her loyalty, dedication, incredible leadership skills and can-do attitude. She is always willing to go above and beyond and embraces all changes that will help to move the company forward. Congratulations on this deserved honor! Please continue below to read what receiving this honor means to Jennifer.

What does winning the warrior helmet mean to you?

To be chosen as the warrior helmet recipient is a great honor, because it was unexpected. Everyone hopes to do a good job at work but to know that what you are doing is being noticed and appreciated means so much.

What did you or what do you look for when it comes to choosing the next recipient?

Definitely the core values and the interaction I have with the recipient on a professional level. I would want my recipient to value the core values and work by these values each day as I do.

How has COE helped you to get where you are?

I started out as a part time receptionist so to say they have giving me what I need to succeed is an understatement. They saw something in me that I don’t believe at the time I saw in myself. They challenged me with projects and tasks that were outside of my comfort zone and with the right direction I learned all that I needed to move up to the position I have today. I am thankful for the confidence and the constant reassurance that was given to me daily.

What goals do you want to achieve and how can COE help get you there?

Personal and operational growth. Honestly, I have surpassed the goals that I made for myself with the help of my department. I do however believe that there is always room for improvement and growth so I would like to continue to break record numbers and meet KPI’s and continue to help to move COE forward financially.

What is your favorite part of our employee engagement programs at COE and why?

I love the fact that employees who would not normally be in the limelight get their moment to shine and be recognized. If you don’t interact with each department then your abilities may be unintentionally overlooked and this gives them the recognition they deserve.

What are you most excited for when it comes to our Penguin partnership?

It is just the fact that we get to be associated with such a respected organization. It gives us that edge over everyone else.

What COE value do you think you’re the strongest in and why?

Teamwork – It should not matter what department you are working in or what daily tasks you face in the end we are one unit, one team, one family…..we are COE and that is all.

Share some fun facts about yourself!

I am obsessed with the paranormal and all things spooky, scary and supernatural. When I get stressed out I bake…..a lot. The funniest thing is though in my 53 years of life I just recently learned how to pump my own gas 

5 Ways to Stay Productive Working or Schooling From Home

Whether you are working from home or schooling from home, maintaining productivity is a must! Building a better workspace in your home is key for keeping your workflow in check. When you create a workspace that fits your style, comfort needs, and organizational desires, you will become an overall more productive and successful worker.

Here are a few simple considerations that can make all the difference in your home space.
Keep it Tidy!

More than 60% of Americans have expressed that they are negatively impacted by clutter. These numbers make it clear that organization is key to a successful home workspace. With the comforts of home all around you, there’s no need to clog up your workspace with personal effects. The optimal organization goes beyond clearing the clutter. When investing in office furniture, be on the lookout for storage that fits your needs. With endless configurations of drawers, you can hide away your supplies and keep them straightened and organized. Pictured: StandUp Desk with New Open Haning Storage w/Optional Door, Pockets & Hook

Curate Your Space

Creating a comfortable workspace is all in the details. Whether you’re due for a total redesign or in need of a quick revamp, beautifying your existing accessories and furniture pieces can add a personal touch without bringing in unnecessary clutter. With design at the front of everybody’s mind, anything in your office can feature a little bit of artistic flair. Desks, credenzas, and cabinets with modern laminate finishes, along with sleek and stylish seating options, can be tailored to reflect your style. 

Get Comfortable

Don’t underestimate ergonomics when setting up your workspace at home. Reports show that physical discomfort is a driver of discontent in any workplace. As you create your ideal at-home workspace, invest in furniture and accessories that will keep you comfortable during long hours of work. Pictured: Clever Collection, Mid-back Task Chair

Choosing the right chair is the first step towards a happier and healthier workday. With a variety of features, materials and designs, there’s a perfect seat for everyone. Be mindful of Tilt – strike a perfect balance with a chair that features adjustable tilt tension or upgrade to a knee-tilt for a gentle lean that keeps your feet on the floor. Be aware of Lumbar Support – do you need extra lower back support throughout your day? Manually adjustable and self-adjusting lumbar support can create a tailored solution for every sit. Be conscious of Arms – with adjustments available to move your chair’s armrests in every direction, including up, down, side-to-side, and beyond. Choosing the right combination of features is a must.

Set a Schedule

Create a routine for your workday and stick to it. Adding structure to your day will keep you on track to meet deadlines and prevent burnout. Whether you are in the office or at school, you need to have breaks. Make sure you pencil in these breaks daily and do something that will reenergize yourself – Grab a snack from the kitchen or take a walk outside.

The Right Tech

Create a routine for your workday and stick to it. Adding structure to your day will keep you on track to meet deadlines and prevent burnout. Whether you are in the office or at school, you need to have breaks. Make sure you pencil in these breaks daily and do something that will reenergize yourself – Grab a snack from the kitchen or take a walk outside.

As you can see, the ideal workspace is not just about having a place to sit or a station to work at; the ideal workspace is about creating a unique oasis that will help you reach your optimal level of productivity and satisfaction. Luckily for you, OfficeSource has a multitude of quality products that will help turn just a home workspace into your home workspace. Fill your workspace with furniture that reflects your needs, and let us help you find those perfect pieces!