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Working From Home: 5 Tips to Ensure Success

Life since the pandemic began has changed – and for some, it’s for the better. If you are a computer-savvy person with a role that went remote in 2020 or 2021, it might be staying that way. Many businesses have chosen to cut down on commercial real estate costs and let their employees stay home to do their jobs. The Sliding Door Company’s glass door solutions and room dividers have seen a large increase in demand as home offices are set up around the world. Through our various conversations with remote employees, we’ve found these common tips to enhance your workspace for joy, productivity, and success. 

Prepare your home and family

It’s important to set expectations for availability if you have friends, family, and even pets at home with you while you’re working. The Sliding Door Company has been creating workspaces to help with the issues of privacy and noise. You might not be able to casually transport your computer from the kitchen counter, to the living room, or travel around the house. If you don’t have a spare bedroom, you may be able to set space aside with a partition or doorway. We’ve even seen people creatively convert closets to desk workspaces!

home office room divider

Take breaks

In reality, you take time to leave your desk at the office, but sometimes your guilt might make you feel tied to your desk at home. It’s ok to grab a snack, get a stretch in, or even walk in the sun for 5 minutes much as you did at the office. You don’t have to be hard on yourself! Small breaks are proven to boost productivity and your overall mindset as you do your job. 

Maintain regular work hours

Flexibility with schedules has become a huge win for remote workers, but be careful you aren’t sacrificing your boundaries. When your job allows, be clear on your start and end availability times, to maintain a clear work-life balance. Having a separate room comes in handy when you need to start early or work late occasionally, but it is also possible to make space in a sectioned-off part of your home. 

Set up for Success

You might have left the office with little more than a laptop and mouse, but no one should be stuck 9 to 5 in a folding chair! A second monitor, standing desk, quality printer and comfortable, ergonomic chair are all reasonable requests that your employer can and should help you secure. Ask about a budget for remote equipment and understand whether things are on loan or outdated, and who is responsible for what. Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible, maybe with a support cushion, better lighting, or a laptop riser. 

well designed home office with sliding doors

Have fun with your team

Zoom fatigue is so real it’s a term we didn’t have in the vernacular 2 years ago, but is all too present now. You might dread the weekly recurring standup, so try to bring something to the table. Suggest an icebreaker question, wear a Santa hat during the holidays, or open the door and let the cat in for an introduction. Although we connected in new ways, we can still feel lonely or isolated in our remote work life. If you are a manager, be sure to check in with your team, even the extroverted members, to be sure they are getting what they need from their role and time spent online. 

Overall there are some pros and cons to working from home. It might depend on the boundaries you set and the quality of your work-from-home setup. Hopefully, you can incorporate these tips into your routine to find the joys in working from home. If finding some bonus square footage to make a home office work for you is on your 2022 list, reach out to us here at The Sliding Door Company to get started on designing the perfect remote setup! 

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The Benefits of Glass Sliding Doors – Privacy and so much more

A privacy wall or glass partition is a great substitution for standard drywall or typical fabric panels that can offer an upgraded modern look to any professional or residential space without compromising the privacy of occupants or workers. Privacy walls are available in a variety of designs and customizable—with an assortment of glass opacities to choose from to create privacy.

Types of Glass Opacities

While curtains, drapes, and blinds are the usual solutions for glass doors and windows, our glass opacities give you the privacy you want while maintaining a refined and contemporary aesthetic. We offer a diverse selection of glass opacities, which include:

  • Milky
  • Opaque Laminated
  • Frosted
  • Linen
  • Combo Glass
  • Clear
  • Smoked Clear
  • Smoked Frosted
  • Black
  • White Laminated
  • Deluxe White
  • Smoked Milky

What are glass privacy walls?

A privacy wall can be anything from a glass partition to glass sliding room dividers. Depending on your individual needs, you may need one or a combination of products to receive optimal results.

Glass Partition

Glass partitions, for example, are the perfect solution for common office buildings. Fabric cubicle panels typically leave workers isolated from their surroundings and limit the amount of natural light they get, which can result in lower productivity levels and despondency among workers.

Glass partitions with a specialized opaque finish allow workers to feel connected to their environment while still maintaining separation and privacy. In addition, regular exposure to natural light has been reported among scientists to increase individual productivity and comfort, as well as provide mental and visual stimulation necessary to regulate our sleep/wake cycle.

Fixed privacy wall for partitioning office employee workstations

Sliding Glass Doors and Room Dividers

Sliding glass doors and sliding room dividers with a combo glass or opaque finish are the ultimate solution for those who want the flexibility to create and adjust a customizable space.

For example, you can change the entire atmosphere of a conference room with sliding glass doors simply by opening or closing said doors. Completely closed doors allow the space to become a perfect spot for confidential meetings or can be left partially open to create a welcoming space for an office party or casual gathering.

Office row utilizing sliding room dividers with custom film

Benefits of Glass Privacy Walls

A glass privacy wall has a number of benefits, including:

  • Instantly gives spaces an upgraded and modern look with glass opacities.
  • Creates the illusion of an open floor plan, without compromising individual privacy or separation.
  • Offers flexibility to create and design a space for various circumstances.
  • Allows more natural light to move through the space, which can increase productivity and happiness among workers.
  • They are a cost-efficient solution that can lead to energy savings and decreased maintenance costs.

Customizable Glass Solutions

No matter what type of privacy wall you want The Sliding Door Company has the solution for every space — whether it is a residential building, classroom, office, or another professional facility. Call 888-988-5033 to request your free consultation or fill out our online form to get started today.

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Changing Workplaces for the Better: The Effects of COVID-19

If you’re a business owner you’re likely feeling both trepidation and urgency when it comes to re-opening your business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it would be alarming to resume operations after a global pandemic, there is the looming cloud of further COVID-19 outbreaks on the horizon for you to contend with as well. 

So, now that office life has changed due to COVID-19, how do you keep your workforce not only safe but productive? Thankfully safety and productivity can go hand in hand. A staff that feels secure is going to be able to focus and perform better than if they were worried about contracting a potentially deadly virus at work. 

While these new workforce trends and the changes they entail may seem daunting, they will likely improve the overall quality of your workforce’s performance.

Traditional Workplaces Compared to During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Experts agree the traditional way of working before COVID-19 is over. Before COVID-19 working from home was generally either frowned upon or a unique privilege when allowed. But now, the future of the workplace includes more options to work remotely. Before COVID-19 workers would commute from home to the office building, where they would then share space with their co-workers. Many offices are comprised of open-air cubicles where airspace and germs were freely shared. Not only was the workspace shared, but bathrooms, kitchens, and break rooms were as well. While this model allows for better communication and collaboration, with the risks of the pandemic, some of these qualities need to change to keep people safe.

How to Elevate Alternative Workspaces

To prepare your employee workstations for a return to work after the first wave of the pandemic, there are three key ways to keep your employees safe.

  1. The first way is very simple—provide hand sanitizer at each workstation. This will allow your employees to sanitize their hands regularly and is a main piece of any COVID-19 workplace guidelines.
  2. The second way to support employee safety as people return to work is to create physical distance between employee workstations whenever possible. This may take some creativity and will tie into the third piece of many COVID-19 workplace guidelines, physical barriers.
  3. The third way to protect your employees, especially when physical space isn’t an option, is to use physical dividers. This is a great example of how these new workforce trends can create improvements in the workforce. Having physical dividers between employee workstations can increase a sense of privacy and cut out distractions in the form of noise from other workers. The sense of separation may allow workers to focus better on their job, while also offering physical protection from not only the COVID-19 virus but other germs and bugs as well, such as the flu or common cold. Making these physical divisions as flexible and attractive as possible sets up both the business and the individual employee for success. Using products like the ones offered by The Sliding Door Company would allow an office to customize its design for both function and aesthetics.
Glass sliding doors enclosing cubicles

Designate Physical Separation with Partitions or Sliding Dividers 

Whether you want sliding pocket doors for your cubicles or glass barn doors to enclose a previously open conference room, The Sliding Door Company offers a variety of ethically sourced and quality-made spatial solutions for every business. From the thickness of glass to beautiful custom finishes including wood and metal framing, The Sliding Door Company can design a custom build to fit any office.

Here are a few examples of how The Sliding Door Company can work with specific businesses:

  1. Dental offices and other healthcare businesses are at the front line of the pandemic, making their need for physical dividers between their employees and patients paramount. The Sliding Door Company’s glass door solutions allow privacy when needed for patient consultations, but also can open easily to maximize space and light.
  2. Schools are also hotspots for COVID-19 but must also be able to provide space for learning and collaboration. The Sliding Door Company’s classroom solutions provide privacy and curb the spread of germs, while letting in light and their quality materials offer safety to the students and teachers.
  3. Commercial retail spaces have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, second only to healthcare spaces. The Sliding Door Company’s glass wall systems help businesses save on energy costs and create the physical separation necessary to keep retail employees healthy and safe.

Cost Matters for New Divided Floor Plan

If the cost of creating a new divided floor plan has you worried, The Sliding Door Company is here to help. With their professional team of specialists, you can be confident that they’ll work with you to create a spatial division plan that works for your budget and your space. The Sliding Door Company prides itself on client communication so that they can make the project of your dreams become reality. 

Part of how The Sliding Door Company can so confidently work within your budget while also offering materials of the highest quality is that they manufacture all their products in their own factory. This allows them to manage the quality of their products from production to installation, giving you peace of mind about the quality of this latest budget expenditure. Because they make their products with no middlemen involved, this allows them to pass savings onto their customers, while still providing products of the highest quality. 

You can also rest assured knowing that The Sliding Door Company focuses on using recycled and environmentally friendly materials, which will likely mean a lot to your staff as well. Whatever your office space needs are in this era of COVID-19, The Sliding Door Company is here to help. 

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Interior Design Push For a More Sustainable Future

As we enter into the last quarter of 2020, it feels like we’ve hit a few benchmarks however abstract or concrete they may be. Starting this year out with unprecedented climate protests around the world, it became evident that there is no time left to wait. Climate change is an all-consuming, rapidly affecting issue that we must take action against. As many have found, the transition to a more sustainable lifestyle is not a difficult one. A personal evolution of purchasing behavior and daily consciousness is all it really takes to effect positive change.
So as an interior designer in America, how can you meet the modern demand for more sustainable home goods and decor when curating a client’s home? How can you source eco-friendly products and materials, and incorporate designers that craft sustainably? Research helps. Word of mouth is also great. But research can only take you so far when you know what you’re looking for. That’s why we’ve put together a list of things to look for when researching, sourcing, and communicating about environmentally intelligent home goods and decor. Below, we’ll go over the basics, from Material Sourcing to Relationships with Local Artisans, Relative Cost, and more.

Qubiglass workstations with sliding glass room dividers


Material Sourcing

As a designer, you know that one of the main tasks of your profession is material sourcing. Your insider abilities are essentially your bread and butter. Within a whole world of textiles, materials, furnishings, and art, it’s up to you to make the best sourcing decisions and think for your client’s needs, tastes, and their best interests. More than just knowing where to source your goods from, you must know about the goods themselves. Distinguishing factors such as thread count, bamboo versus cotton, real wood versus synthetic wood, chemical-free or cost-effective? These are everyday considerations you make while material sourcing. Now, with a sustainable lens placed over your work, you have a whole extra set of considerations, worries, and awareness guiding your search. Here is what to look for:


Textiles

When sourcing textiles, try to stay away from plastic-based “synthetic” fibers. Oftentimes, department stores such as Target or Walmart will carry pillows or blankets made with synthetic fibers that are heavily processed and will literally off-gas chemicals into your home and into your body.
“Toxicity is the degree to which a substance can damage an organism. Whenever we go shopping for our clothes, we don’t know how toxic and harmful that piece of fabric could be for our health. Neither do we think of its origin nor its manufacturing process and the toxic load on our body and on the environment… because of many properties like wrinkle resistance, easy to wash, easy to store but most of them are manufactured with tons of chemicals. These are highly toxic and are increasing the negative effects on our health. These synthetic fabrics also pose a serious threat to ecological balance.” -Sunita Bhalla, Department of Fashion Designing, PCM S.D. College for Women, India
The same is true for furnishing textiles. Synthetic fabrics are used widely in drapes, pillow covers, throw blankets, tablecloths, rugs, and more. Harmful to our physical and mental health, as well as the environment, these chemical textiles are quickly being replaced by safer options. Returning to the basics of material sourcing, choose from natural fibers like wool, cotton, jute, and silk, we can safeguard ourselves against chemical toxification, allergic reactions, and environmental damage.


Processing

Material processing is perhaps the largest contributing factor to water waste in the textile industry. Heavily processed synthetic materials, and even some natural fibers like cotton, require millions of gallons of freshwater each day in order to process these fabrics. Fast growth alternatives like bamboo or hemp not only solve a resource issue, but they also require up to 10x less water during processing.


Lifetime/durability

Most of our cotton or synthetic fabrics don’t last as long as we would hope. Especially in the interior design industry, this is a crucial factor when sourcing materials and furnishings that get high use, or are exposed to harsh weather. Most outdoor furniture today is made with a lot of plastic and synthetic coverings that claim to be water-resistant and durable. Yet these end up lasting only a season or two before the wear starts to show. Hemp and Bamboo are two of the strongest fibers available, while also being regenerative, sustainable, and cost-effective!
Sourcing larger interior goods like sliding doors from American-assembled companies like The Sliding Door Company oftentimes means enhanced durability and longevity. With 17 showrooms scattered all throughout every major U.S. city, it’s no far trek to source your client’s glass wall partitions and sliding room dividers from inside the country. These spatial solutions are beautifully crafted and built to last, while also providing easy-to-install solutions that require no major construction! A win-win for you, your clients, and the planet.


Where Are You Sourcing From?

One of the newest considerations is the location of your wholesaler. Are they local to your area or your client’s area? Supporting local makers and artists is a fast-growing trend that won’t slow anytime soon. By buying local and sourcing your interior art and furnishings, construction materials, and spatial dividers from companies, brands, and individuals in your city, you sustain smaller businesses and don’t require environmentally harmful shipping and handling from outside the U.S.
Check out The Sliding Door Company online today for an assortment of sliding barn doors, accessories, and other customizable options to suit your design needs.

TSDC 1027 – A

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