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Ebony Office Interiors LLC Blog - Between the Lines

The “Between the Lines” News Blog. is a series of collected and reproduced articles from industry publications. These stories are provided in this brief format to keep you current on important and interesting industry information. You can receive more detailed information by accessing the URL provided in each article brief. You may unsubscribe by e-mailing or phoning our office.

Is Your Workplace a Source of Illness?
By: Joseph Small and Rhonda Wiess  -  10/10/2017

Did you know that your workplace could be the source of illness for your clients, colleagues, and employees? Many of the symptoms they are experiencing could be found in your work environment. Germs are one culprit and allergens are another.


Allergens are substances that can cause an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions or symptoms have the same effect on people as colds and flu. Here is a list of symptoms: 

  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Sinus pain
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Nettle rash / hives
  • Swelling
  • Itchy eyes, ears, lips throat & palate (roof of mouth)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting & diarrhea
  • Increase in secretions 

These symptoms can be caused by common allergens found in the workplace. They can be carried on peoples clothing and transported from home to work. Like germs they are passed from person to person via touch and attached to office furniture and work surfaces. Here is a simple list of allergens found at work: 

  • Mildew
  • Mites
  • Dust
  • Dandruff
  • Perspiration
  • Food Drops Spills
  • Bacteria 

The issue with allergens and germs in the workplace is that many of these symptoms decrease productivity and increase absenteeism. Therefore, they have an impact not only on the workforce but the goals your organization is trying to achieve. Being proactive to keep your workplace clear of germs and allergens will impact your production and attendance. 

There are areas in the workplace that have an impact on how allergens are shared and where they commonly reside. Here are five places that you must pay attention to: 

Lobby & Reception Area-clients and colleagues bring unwanted symptoms and allergens to your workplace every day. Those unwanted symptoms and allergens land on the furniture and surfaces in this area. 

Cubical Panels and Fabric Walls-employees bring unwanted symptoms and allergens from home, public transportation, and wherever they had lunch. 

Desk Chairs-employees share and pass the same unwanted symptoms and allergens from each other from room to room and desk to desk. 

Conference Rooms-image meetings and gatherings can house multiple people in a small room. Unwanted symptoms and allergens from around the office and outside the building are meeting here also. 

Private Offices-Significant others, kids and pets also have unwanted symptoms and allergens and they come to work too. Your office is not so private anymore! 

We have a great solution for unwanted symptoms and allergens in the workplace. Our furniture extraction service has been used by the Seattle Department of Transportation, City of Seattle- Pension Department and Planning and Development. Our success rate is 99% allergen removal! 

Please call us to schedule an assessment review for your work space. We'd like to help you increase productivity and attendance in your workplace; which can be effected by unwanted symptoms and allergens. Call us at 206-762-1676 to get started right away.

Joseph & Rhonda


11 Reasons Shopping Online Is A Great Idea
By: Joseph Small  -  10/26/2014

The holiday season is around the corner and there is nothing better than finding the perfect gift for a loved one. Better yet, finding the perfect "gift" for you! Online shopping is convenient for every day necessities like groceries, books, and music. You can even purchase your holiday dinner, the table setting, all your decorations, and gifts by shopping online. The holidays are considered the most stressful time of the year and online shopping can ease the burden. Here are several reasons online shopping is a great idea.
You Can Stay Out Of The Elements
There is no rain or snow in your home, but many planned and unplanned shopping days are met with nasty weather. There is nothing worse than navigating through the parking lots and sidewalks than during busy holiday shopping. Shopping online allows you to purchase in the comfort of your own home.
No Lines & Crowds
Holiday shopping crowds are the worst; shoppers are stressed out by trying to get their shopping done within budget. If you decide to go after work, on the weekends, or during the biggest shopping days of the year, the crowds and lines can be chaotic. Everyone who shops doesn't have manners, nor are they aware their blood sugar is low and they're taking it out on everyone else!
No Obtrusive Pushy Sales People
We live in a time where retail crime is getting worse. As part of retail security measures sales associates strike up conversations and greet customers to help ward off thieves. These days' thieves come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors. Sales associates are trained to greet not only for customer service reasons but it also sends a message that 'we know you are in the store'. Sales associates are also very chatty because they'd love to help you and help themselves to a nice commission.
Online Wish Lists
There is nothing worse than buying a gift for someone and they don't like or appreciate it. Many online retailers have wish list applications where people can select all the things they like. Family and friends can share what they love or you can share it with your family and friends. If you're not sure what someone likes ask if they'd like to share their wish list. 
You Can Research The Best Products
Decades ago when you bought something you bought it on faith, not really knowing if the product would meet your satisfaction. Nowadays most products have reviews online along with detailed pescriptions, pictures and videos. This allows you to weigh the reviews, features and benefits against the cost. Most purchases these days are made because the consumer has educated themselves beforehand. Using your smart phone as you shop is a great idea if you haven't had a chance to research at home. 
You Can Research The Best Price
Have you ever purchased an item and found that five other stores are selling the same item for far less than you bought it for? That's the beauty of online shopping you can
research the item you like and find the best deal online. Many retailers and coupon websites also have coupons and specials you may not have been aware of. Do an online search or sign up for retailer's mailing list for the best deals.

Get Free Shipping With Your Order
A current trend for online retailers is to reward online shoppers with free shipping if they
purchase a certain amount or sign up for a membership club. Free shipping is a great perk for shopping online. It's much easier to receive your order at home than to carry in a bunch of bags around the mall, or store and to your car. Especially when the weather is bad, you'd rather the professionals whose motto states that they'll bring it through the snow, rain, or dark. 
The Option To Pick Up Your Order In The Store
Some local retailers allow customers to pick up their online purchase in the store. This is a great benefit if you are concerned that your high ticket item can be stolen from your front door. Using this option can reduce or eliminate shipping costs. If you aren't satisfied with your item you can return it immediately.
Know The Inventory Before You Buy
It can be annoying when you go to a store to find your desired item and it's is sold out or not sold in that particular store. Some stores offer to search their database to see if other stores carry your item. It can be disappointing when the only store that has the item is clear across the city or state. When you shop online many retailers will let you know before you purchase how many items are in their inventory. If there is an item you want to think about and not purchase immediately; knowing the inventory count will buy yourself some time if you aren't ready to purchase.
Secure Payment Options
Identity theft may be a concern for most when it comes to online shopping but there are some online businesses and banks that work daily to protect your account. However, if that doesn't assure you,
purchase an American Express, MasterCard, Visa or retailer's gift card that allows you to put an unlimited amount of cash on the card. You can use the cards without access to your bank account.  Better yet, you can purchase those gift cards as gifts so that loved ones can shop online for themselves.

Web Chat Customer Service
If you have questions before you make your purchase many online stores have web chat or email chat. This is a much better trade off than a pushy sales person who is out for a juicy commission. The online chat or email chat beats the long line of customers who won't allow you to ask the sales associate a simple question. If you make a purchase that requires a bit of hand holding to install or start up, the web chat can be helpful. Most companies also have an option where you can print the chat if you want to keep the dialog for your records or if there are a list of instructions.
Image Credits
Autumn Leaves Image courtesy of [luigi diamanti] at
Sales Woman Image courtesy of [stockimages] at
Shopping Bags Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] at
Guy With Boxes Image courtesy of [stockimages] at
Laptop Keyboard Image courtesy of [jannoon028] at


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