What Does Your Waiting Room (or Lobby) Say About Your Business?

Your clients’ first impression of your business and what you stand for happens as they walk in the door. What image is your lobby or waiting room conveying?

This dentist values providing his patients with the latest in dental care. He and his staff are in a constant process of continuing education ensuring that they are up to date on the latest methodologies in dental care.

As you can see in the before photo (right), his waiting room looked just like any waiting room in any doctor’s office. It was outdated and uncomfortable and in no way reflected the state of the art dental practices and equipment located just beyond the waiting room door.

The manager of the practice had very distinct ideas for how she wanted the space to function and look. She asked me to improve the layout and help her convey the image of their company.

My first concern was the small size of the waiting room – it was not going to be large enough to accommodate the required eight seats for waiting patients. I reworked the layout of the office space to add the needed square footage. This allowed us to add an additional sofa by the reception desk. The walls will have photographs in sleek frames to complement the furniture.

We chose a more modern look and added conveniences not often available in a dental office – an internet bar where you can check your email while you wait as well as a coffee/water bar tucked in a small unused space (as shown in the photos below).


I am passionate about bringing my client’s brand to bear through the design of their space. Not only do we improve employees’ productivity and the functionality of your space but we ensure that your clients experience your company’s brand through your office environment.

To set up your complimentary consultation for your waiting room or office, please contact us at info@averydesigninteriors.com or 203-273-0898.


Three Tips to Productivity at Your Desk

I am a visual kinesthetic – that is my learning style and that is how I function. I am happiest when I am looking at colors or graphing/drawing a project or touching the fabrics, tiles etc. You are probably wondering how this relates to productivity at work. For me a happy desk situation is one in which I can see my files and be able to put my hands on them immediately. I have vertical files and each has color-coded files within it – seeing a visual pattern here, aren’t you? I have yet to meet an organizer who doesn’t go insane with glee over my color-coded file system.

So I am color-coded but I am also a piler. I know lots of pilers. I also know filers and filers would tell you that the worst thing you could have is a pile of paper on your desk. In fact, they would say it is even better to scan all of that paper and only have it on your computer. But I am not sure that that is entirely true. And what do we call those folks – scanners? Hmmm…

Malcom Gladwell states that “Paper enables a certain kind of thinking. Picture, for instance, the top of your desk… The  piles look like a mess, but they aren’t… The pile closest to the cleared, eighteen-inch-square working area, for example,  generally represents the most urgent business, and within that pile the most  important document of all is likely to be at the top. Piles are living,  breathing archives. Over time, they get broken down and resorted, sometimes  chronologically and sometimes thematically and sometimes chronologically and  thematically; clues about certain documents may be physically embedded in the  file by, say, stacking a certain piece of paper at an angle or inserting dividers into the stack.”

So if Malcolm Gladwell is cool with my pile of paper then you can be too. Just sayin’. Those piles of paper are super important but sometimes they can get super big. So how do you tackle it? Here’s my methodology.

1. Set a timer. I hate filing. There I said it. It helps me to have a tongue in cheek timer if for no other reason than to have a chuckle while I set it. I have had a cow and a pig but my new favorite is this bomb timer. Really. And yes of course it’s fake. If I set a timer for 15 minutes and know that I only have to clean up my desk for those 15 minutes then I will do it. And you will too. By the way, I am a big fan of that circular file underneath my desk – aka the trash can. What you will surprisingly find is that you are likely to set that timer for another 15 minutes and keep filing because your mind is going to free up as your space does and then you will rock your work. You will. Just trust me on this.

2. Clear your desk before you leave work for the day. Grab that timer again and take the last 15 minutes of your day to organize your desk for tomorrow. Reviewing today’s to do list and then making tomorrow’s is a super productive thing to do at this time too. Overnight, your subconscious mind is going to be hard at work on some of those items on tomorrow’s to do list. And you are going to wake up in the morning with a great idea. Or maybe you will come up with one washing your face or taking a shower. I don’t know what is in the water but that is some powerful idea-generating stuff.

3. Work from left to right. The natural propensity, if you are right-handed, is to work from left to right. So sticking with the visual piles here, place your inbox on your lefthand side. Keep the center portion of your desk clear for the project you are working right now. No, not the project you are working on next – keep that in your inbox. And then on your righthand side place your outbox for your completed projects. If you are lefthanded it is the reverse.

Does your office or organization want to learn more tips on how to make your workspace more productive? Please feel free to contact me about my signature talk “How to Take Your Office from the Stone Age to the Tech Age”.

Have a productive week!

Read more…‘The Social Life of Paper’ by Malcolm Gladwell

Three Tips to a More Comfortable Day at Work – aka Desk and Computer Ergonomics

Workplace ergonomics. Sounds like this big heavy complicated concept doesn’t it? And yet nothing could be more important when you are sitting in front of a computer eight hours a day. Whether you are working in corporate America or running the latest and great entrepreneurial venture from home, it’s well worth it to consider the effect of your office setup on your health and wellbeing. Why? Because the economic costs of occupation related injuries are greater than the cost of providing an ergonomically correct workplace. Workplace injury costs can include lost wages, medical bills, insurance administrative costs and the cost to the other employees who have to pick up the slack.

Is this you?

What is ergonomics? According to Medword.com, “ergonomics is a science that addresses human performance and well-being in relation to various types of jobs, equipment, tools, and environment.”

1. Buy a comfortable chair. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. It must have the proper support, be height adjustable and have a tilting mechanism. If you are in a home office, a great ergonomic chair is the first investment I would ask you to make.

Here’s how to find the right one: Go to a local store and sit in many. Ensure that you can sit all the way to the back of the chair so that the back rest supports your lower back. Make sure your chair fits so that your knees are just a bit forward of the seat. Follow the 90-90-90 rule – that means that your hips, elbows and knees are each positioned at a 90 degree angle.

Other tips: Keeping your wrists straight when positioned over the keyboard will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive wrist injuries. Keep your feet flat on the floor. This will minimize pressure on your back. If you are a little bit height challenged (I am) a foot rest works wonders.

2. Prevent eye and neck strain by positioning your computer screen at eye level. The center should be 15% below your line of sight and no more than 20″ from your eyes, just about an arm’s length distance. The eyes lead the body – if you position the monitor so that you are comfortable you will have better body posture. Using a document holder is far better than looking down at paperwork on your desk. Every thirty minutes take a break from staring at the computer screen. Blink your eyes to prevent dry eye. Focus on something not in your immediate vicinity – look out the window or at the art across the room.

3. Get up and move around every thirty minutes. Need an excuse to get up? Place your trash can out of reach. Make sure to stretch. When you are shifting tasks, do neck and shoulder rolls or wiggle your fingers. This can help prevent repetitive task injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Finding workplace ergonomics all too overwhelming? Contact us for a stress-free workplace consultation at info@averydesigninteriors.com.

Have a productive week!

First in a series of three on health and wellbeing in the workplace

(Photo credits: pinterest.com, ehow.com, wikipedia.com, thecollaredsheep.com)

Krafting Your Millenial Message

Last Thursday evening I was invited to Kraft Your Pitch, hosted by Kraft Foods, Evol8tion and Grind. Eight companies worked with Evol8tion, a company that helps startups find their brand soul mates, to “kraft” their pitch prior to the event. According to Evol8tion “Startups are generally very good at talking tech and even funding, but what about marketing and monetization –  specifically, how their product and/or proposition will help deliver value for both consumers and brands?” The winner, PrePlay Sports received a two month membership to Grind, a collaborative workspace at 29th and Park (Manhattan) and a chance to brainstorm with some of the top brand managers at Kraft.

It was a fascinating evening. As a person born on the cusp of Generation X and a former Wall Streeter, I still have a toe firmly planted in the Baby Boomer generations. But running my own business, I have found in a weird dichotomy that the older I get the more I resonate with GenX.

Why do I bring this up? Because the majority of the eight people who presented on Thursday evening were all Millenials. I was amazed by the creative and unusual new businesses being formed around the internet and social media.

You ask what’s a millenial and why does this make a difference in my business?


Born from about 1977 to mid-2000, Millenials are also known as Generation Y, Generation We, the Net Generation and the Trophy Kids.  Trophy kids refers to the fact that kids in this generation get a trophy for showing up. They have been alternatively coddled and pushed by their parents. They are racially diverse, religiously observant and liberal, which you expect from anyone under the age of 30 but this group is even more so than the past. What else?

  • They are tech savvy collaborators.
  • They don’t talk on the phone – they text.
  • They consume information – technology is as easy as breathing air.
  • They value flexibility, family, friends and their health.
  • They are passionate about working at a job they love, where they can make a difference.
  • They value flextime over face time.
  • According to FwdNation, in the workplace Millenials want to creat value, feel valued and do work that aligns with their values.

The Millenial Workspace 

So what is the idealworkspace for these up and comers? It needs to be flexible and collaborative. They expect the latest and greatest in technology. They want to be able to personalize their space and they want workspaces that are inspiring and fun.

Because they care about their health and are more flexible about their time providing spaces such as game rooms, athletic facilities and juice bars will draw new talent to your office.

Are you ready to take your office to the next level? Avery Design can help you design an office space that appeals to all of the generations.

First in a three part series on the Effects of the Generations on Your Workspace

For more on Evol8tion and Kraft your pitch, check out jaffejuice.com.

(Photo credits: rickerwasabiroll.com, bizme.biz, dialogue.greshamsmith.com, o-plus-a.com)

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