Fellowes Brands Acquires ESI Ergonomic Solutions.

Itasca, IL November 14, 2017-Fellowes Brands, a global leader in business products since 1917, announced today its acquisition of ESI Ergonomic Solutions, of Phoenix, Arizona.  ESI is a leading provider of monitor arms, height adjustable tables, sit-stand workstations, lighting, and other ergonomic. solutions which promote a healthy working environment. The combination of Fellowes Brands and ESI advances Fellowes Brands’ strategic expansion toward broad business solutions that help professionals be at their best through organization, productivity and wellness.

Earlier this year Fellowes launched the Lotus Sit-Stand Workstation which was recognized with an Industrial Designers Society of America Award for its innovative design. In July, Fellowes took an equity position in Posturite, a U.K. Based Ergonomic Furniture Company. The ESI acquisition represents Fellowes’ commitment to further strengthen its position in the growing office wellness space.

“We are excited to welcome the ESI Ergonomic Solutions team into the Fellowes Brands family.  ESI is a high-growth company serving the increasingly health conscious professional who is seeking a work environment which promotes wellness.” notes John Fellowes, CEO of Fellowes Brands. “ESI principally serves the contract furniture market which nicely complements Fellowes strength in the business products channel.  ESI strategically expands our portfolio and further establishes Fellowes as an emerging leader of workplace wellness solutions both in the US and internationally.”

Carol and John Keogh have been owners of ESI for the past 20 years.  They have built a culture of dynamic growth and strong partnerships.  “We are very pleased that we have been able to find a partner like Fellowes which shares common business values and an entrepreneurial spirit to drive the business forward. As we move into the next phase of life, it gives us confidence that the business will continue to grow and prosper and our people will have great opportunities”, commented Carol Keogh.

ESI will continue to operate from Phoenix, Arizona, under the leadership of Mark Rhoades, who joined ESI as President 2 years ago. “The ESI team is proud to be a part of the Fellowes family of brands. We look forward to the continued leverage of ESI’s outstanding independent rep sales force and strong dealer relationships.” stated Rhoades. Fellowes envisions ESI continuing as a channel specific division serving the contract office furniture segment.

About Fellowes:

Celebrating its 100th year under the ownership and executive leadership of the Fellowes family, Fellowes Brands is a global leader of broad based business solutions which help office workers be their best. Based in Itasca, Illinois, USA, about half of Fellowes revenues come from international markets.  For more information, please visit: www.fellowesbrands.com

Media Contacts:

Jeff Dryfhout, Vice President, Global Branding

1789 Norwood Avenue Itasca, IL 60143-1095

Phone: 1-630-539-5642

jdryfhout@fellowes.com

Are You Less Active Than Your Grandpa? You might be if you work in an office.

standing desks keep you young

We think of our grandparents to be at a stage of life where a sedentary afternoon spent sitting down is understandable and acceptable. Yet with the growth of digital technology at the workplace, sitting still for long hours is no longer reserved for the elderly.

Recent research from Edinburgh shows that many desk jobs lead office workers to spend up to thirty minutes more sitting down each day than members of our  retired population. That means most of us with desk-bound careers are more sedentary than those over 75.

The study revealed that middle-age men especially vulnerable to senior-level immobility, spending close to half an hour longer in their desk chairs every day of the work week. Working women under 45 are not far behind their male cohorts, spending only six minutes less than seniors sitting away the work day.

Don’t Let Your Body Take an Early Retirement

Take short, active breaks. Go for a walk. That pedometer app on your smartphone comes in handy for helping you realize how little you move. Use it to motivate extra steps throughout the day.

Engage with a standing desk workstation all day long. Standing up gets the blood flowing and keeps the body stimulated. When you feel that two PM slump coming on after lunch, stand up and work. The body intuitively associates stillness with sleep. Standing up with a sit-stand desk prevents you from nodding off like grandpa.

Stretch, bend, and move in place. You don’t have to run a marathon around the office to stay active. Use micro-movements like stretching exercises to stay flexible and keep feeling productive.

 

A Green Shredder Solution That Saves Consumers Money

paper shredders on sale

Fellowes Brands was looking for ways to manage paper shredder inventory with greater sustainability in mind. Here is how their refurbished paper shredder program improved sustainability and offered consumers savings on paper shredders.

A Greener Solution That Saves Green

The United States produces more electronics-based waste (also known as e-waste) annually than any other country. Americans throw away 9.4 million tons of electronics every year. According to the EPA, only 12.5% of that waste is recycled. The remaining 87.5% of that e-waste ends up in landfills across the country.

In an effort to help combat this wastefulness, Fellowes Brands began refurbishing returned shredders, instead of disposing of them, and offering these machines to consumers at a special price. This initiative has greatly reduced the number of shredders that end up in landfills and gives savings opportunities to shredder users. Due to the success of this program, Fellowes now offers a variety of refurbished shredders in their online outlet store, allowing consumers to get a quality shredder at a great price.  Select a Refurbished Paper Shredder.

Quality Intact

Refurbished machines are often new shredders that were returned because the original purchasers changed their minds about the model they bought. Without a refurbished policy, these new shredders would end up in the trash. By establishing a strict testing standard for all returned shredders, Fellowes Brands can ensure the same reliable quality for refurbished shredders that has become to be expected from new machines. Each refurbished shredder is rigorously tested by Fellowes technicians to ensure lasting performance and comes with a one-year warranty.

A Recent Refurbished Shredder Review

“I purchased this as a refurbished unit directly from the Fellowes online site. It was shipped right away for free, and I received it in just three days. I was very pleased with the packing and condition of the shredder… it didn’t look at all like a refurbished unit, but like a brand new one.”   Dzpilot

A Win For Consumers

Small businesses and start-ups on a budget can now get quality shredder protection for less. Consumers with a commitment to sustainability efforts can feel good about purchasing a Fellowes Brands refurbished shredder purchase.

Learn about other  Fellowes Brands Sustainability Efforts

 

Adjustable vs. Static Standing Desks

adjustable standing desk

Many static standing desks seem to be a simple and economical fix for those who want to stand and work. However, a lack of adjustability can do more harm than good. Here’s why:

Pain Points of Static Standing Desks

  1. Static standing desks cannot adjust to your height, leading to a stooping posture if you are to tall or an unnatural positioning of the arms to reach “up” to the keyboard if you are of shorter stature. In both instances, back pain, neck pain and arm pain may be the result.
  2. Ergonomists recommend that when at a standing desk, elbows should be at a 90 degree angle, virtually impossible if your standing desk does not adjust. Eventually incidents of elbow, wrist and arm strain may start to occur.
  3. Your fingers should be gently touching the keyboard for optimal comfort. Without the freedom to adjust your keyboard tray at a static standing desk, you will be adjusting to your keyboard’s rigid position, leading you down the path of carpal tunnel issues.
  4. Even with standard workstations, monitors should be adjusted so that your eyes look across the top third of the screen. Most likely, with static standing desks, you will be raising or drooping your head and neck to see your computer screen, which may explain persistent neck pains and headaches you experience when using your desk.

Adjustability Should Be Effortless

Standing desks that effortlessly adjust to any position allow you to position your work surface to you, not you to it.  The Lotus Sit-Stand Workstation features Smooth Lift Technology, which allows you to easily and effortlessly adjust to 22 different heights and 17″ of vertical height adjustment. Perfectly match your height and stature so you can avoid the pain of a fixed work surface.

 

 

 

Fellowes Brands Wins Industrial Designers Society of America Award for Lotus Sit-Stand Workstation

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The Fellowes Brands Lotus™ Sit-Stand Workstation won the bronze level award from the Industrial Designers Society of America. Winning in the office and productivity category, the Lotus Sit-Stand was judged on the excellence of its functionality and design by a panel of professionals in the product design field. The distinctive Smooth Lift Technology™ feature that transitions the workstation effortlessly from sitting to standing positions set the Lotus apart from other standing desks. The innovative cord management and device charging slot, which allows the entire workspace to move freely with the user, was another remarkable benefit that earned the Lotus recognition from this respected design organization. Learn more about the Lotus Sit-Stand. 

About Industrial Designers Society of America
Founded in 1965, the nonprofit Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is one of the oldest and largest membership associations for industrial design professionals. IDSA has thousands of members in dozens of Student Chapters, Professional Chapters and Special Interest Sections in the United States and internationally. IDSA sponsors the annual International Design Excellence Awards® (IDEA), the world’s most prestigious and rigorous design competition. IDSA

 

The Benefits of Micro Breaks

micro breaks with standing desks

What are micro breaks? Rather than take a long lunch or 15 minutes during the day, imagine a short five-minute rest from work that could involve a variety of activities. It’s like the joke: “I told my doctor it hurts when I do this. My doctor said, then don’t do that.” It’s actually that simple. Stopping what ails you helps your body bounce back. You can also apply micro breaks to specific deskwork related issues.

A Break from Wrist Pain Relief

Typing and data entry tasks 8 hours a day can inflict long-term pain on wrists, including the lasting effects of carpal tunnel. Take 5-second micro breaks every 30 minutes. If you use extra padded wrist supports for your keyboard and mouse, you may extend your typing periods to 45 minutes before taking a micro break.

Simply Stand Up

Sitting glued to your computer terminal eventually leads to back pain and leg pain. Standing up for 5 to 10 seconds every 30 minutes keeps your muscles from becoming frozen in their sitting positions. If you feel that 5-10 seconds is an absolute loss of productivity, incorporate a standing desk into your routine. Recent Smooth Lift standing desk technology makes it easy to rise and sit easily throughout your day, making micro breaks effortless.

Take a Break and Stare

Long periods staring at your computer monitor means your eyes are probably adjusting too much to the screen’s illumination and possible glare. Most likely you will feel eye strain and headaches later and not relate it to your long day engaged with your flat screen.  Take micro breaks to literally stare off into space for 5-10 seconds every 30 minutes to help your eyes adjust to something more than digital two-dimensional space. Do you notice dry eye? Working at a computer actually reduces how much we blink, which can lead to eye dryness.  Your eye refresh micro break will do wonders.

Need More Micro Break Ideas?

Creating Small Biz DIY Shop Signs On A Budget

laminating signs for business

While in-store marketing is essential for your retail business, it doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor.  You can personalize your retail environment with laminated signs you make yourself.

Why Signs?

  • 68% of customers believe that signage reflects the quality of a business and their product
  • On average, one additional on-premise sign results in an increase in annual sales revenue of 4.75%
  • 68% of American consumers have made a purchase because a sign caught their interest
  • At-retail advertising drives additional sales 70% of the time

 

Advantages of DIY Signs for Small Business

  • Laminated signs are easy to make: a computer, a printer, a laminator, and scissors is all you really need
  • Save money- no costly sign shops or generic store-bought signs
  • Go customizable and creative- create signs that are unique to your shop’s look and feel

What Kind of Signs You May Need

Directional

Directional signage leads customers through your store and guides them to key locations

Branded

Branding your unique product offerings with a distinctive sign sets your products apart. Also, use branded signs to promote well-known brands you offer in your store.

Informational

Along with knowledgeable salespeople, easy to read signs that help customers make purchasing decisions keeps patrons engaged.

Sales

Announcing sales with window signage brings customers in. Make sale signs clear and simple with specific dollar-off or percentage off statements.

New Items

New arrivals in the store need to be promoted. Words like “fresh”, “just in” and “new” get the attention of customers.

Themes

Keeping your store environment in sync with seasons and annual events harmonizes your product offering with customer expectations. Holiday store signs remind customers of gift purchases they need to make and seasonal signs for spring and summer sales put customers in the right mood for buying.

Five Steps To Making Your Own Signs

Design

Word processing software or art software on your computer allows you create any customized sign to fit your promotional purposes. Think creatively and put yourself in the shoes of your customer when writing and designing the sign.

Print

Print the sign on your computer printer. You don’t need to use heavy stock paper, as laminating the sign will make it durable.

Laminate

Laminate the sign so it lasts. If you have frequent or seasonal sales that are similar, laminating keeps your most heavily used signs in good condition, so you don’t have to create new ones. Also, laminating is ideal for creating weather-resistant signs displayed outdoors.

Use a laminator with at least a 9″ wide entry for laminating larger documents

Cut

Trim the edges of the sign after laminating so you have a clean, crisp edge.

Display

Decide where and how you will display your sign. Dangle it from the ceiling, tape it up in your store window or display along with a grouping of products. For shelf displays, use card size laminating pouches and fasten to the edge of the shelf just beneath a special product offer.

Pouch Thickness To Use For Signs

3 mil laminating pouches are rigid and durable enough for signs. Any signs that may encounter frequent handling should be laminated with 5 mil pouches. If displayed outdoors, a more durable 10 mil pouch is best. Select from a variety of pouches.

Choosing a Laminator for Making Retail Signs

How many signs you make determines the laminator you need. Heavier usage laminators are more expensive but hold up under frequent use. For moderate laminating, the Saturn 3i 95 has received good reviews from business owners who make their own signs.

Great purchase for my business!

“Out of the box to first finished laminated sign in under 10 minutes! Easy instructions and very easy operation! I would recommend this product to anyone who needs a laminator for small-business use!”

 

Sources: Point of Purchase Advertising International

 

Mail You Should Always Shred

shredding junk mail

The endless flow of junk mail we receive daily may seem harmless, yet much of it contains information useful to identity thieves. By casually discarding these materials into the wastebasket, you increase your risk of identity theft. A personal shredder is an easy, safe way to prevent mail containing sensitive information from ending up in the wrong hands.

Overlooked Identity Details In Your Mail

While we may be ready to shred any mail containing Social Security numbers, we may overlook other details such as phone numbers, date of birth, or details relating to employment or vehicle registration. Identity thieves use this basic information to create victim profiles. Personalized mail is a stepping stone toward a deeper dive by identity thieves toward accessing more valuable information. Make sure you shred any documents containing these often overlooked details.

The Risk of Pre-Approved Offers

Pre-approved credit card offers you receive in the mail have already established most of your critical information to make activating a new card easier. This convenience, however, brings a skilled identity thief closer to acquiring the last few pieces in the identity puzzle to open a card in your name.

Children and Identity Theft

Children are becoming one of the highest targeted groups by identity thieves, as their credit history is completely clean and thus extremely valuable.  Documents from schools, medical documents or any other mail that contains your child’s name, address or age encourages identity thieves to focus on a child’s vital data.

Need a Personal Shredder? Use this guide to help find one that fits your needs: Home Shredders

Creating A Corporate Wellness Strategy: Six Key Points to a Healthier Employee

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Research has revealed that healthy employees are not only more productive but also save a company money in healthcare costs.  A study by Harvard University researchers who reviewed 36 studies of corporate wellness programs found that for every dollar spent on wellness programs, the company’s absenteeism-related costs fell about $2.73. One meta-analysis of 42 corporate wellness studies also found a 25% reduction in sick leave and absenteeism, a 25% reduction in health costs, and a 32% reduction in worker’s disability costs and compensation. These significant findings have led many HR specialists searching for the ideal wellness program to fit their company.1

Selecting a Wellness Program Provider Who Customizes

Whatever program you choose, it is important that the wellness provider has the flexibility to adapt to your company’s needs. Health guidelines and motivational wellness objectives have to fit workers within every specific company. Goals that are set too high can discourage employee engagement and expectations set too low can fail to inspire. All wellness program parameters, however, should include some form of these six key points which have produced some of the most successful wellness outcomes for corporations.

Redesigning the Workplace for Wellness

Incorporating sit-stand workstations and ergonomic upgrades into the office contributes to greater productivity and comfort–all of which improves mood and energy levels. Adding healthy snacks to workplace cafeterias and break rooms can also help transform a  grazing mentality to greater awareness about nutrition. Offering performance incentives such as a FitBits and pedometers and organizing company sponsored “group walks” also integrates wellness into the corporate culture.

standing desk usage

Seeing the World in a Healthy Light

Much of wellness is helping employees become enlightened about their personal health. By offering cholesterol screenings and BMI evaluations, employees can learn where they are falling short in terms of healthy choices. Many may not even visit a doctor regularly. Educating staff on healthy guidelines in terms of cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar is the first step toward a healthier life for a company’s workforce.

The Perks of Prevention

Helping employees take preventative steps for better health may include offering free seasonal flu shots, recommending certain age-based tests like colonoscopies or gender-based tests like breast exams. Defining how often they should consult with a physician for regular exams makes healthy living a year-round goal that not only benefits them but also reduces absenteeism and keeps healthcare costs low for a company.

Stamping Out Smoking

Though smoking has drastically declined over the years, there are still many who remain shackled by the unhealthy habit. Punishing them with higher health insurance costs only keeps them on the fringe of wellness. Instead, offer free cessation programs with counseling and incentives to help them embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Ending Obesity

Obesity continues to be one of the leading causes of many serious diseases in the US. Many employees struggling with a weight problem may wish to lose weight but may not know where to begin. Weight loss programs including Zumba classes, nutrition consultation and even discounts to weight loss clinics and fitness centers can help motivate employees towards a fitter life.

Diffusing Unhealthy Stress

Extreme stress can offset all the efforts of even the healthiest individual. Providing methods of stress management including meditation, yoga, or professional assistance with personal matters outside the workplace all contribute to the well-being and loyalty of your employees.

 

  1. https://www.bcidaho.com/_assets/Employer/2010-Harvard-Wellness-Program-Meta-Study-Health-Affairs.pdf

Father’s Day Home Office Gift Guide

father's day home office gifts

Not sure what to get Dad for Father’s Day? Here are some home office upgrades that will enhance his personal workspace.

A Sit-Stand Workstation

For dads looking to get into shape or just be more active while they work, the new Lotus™ Sit-Stand Workstation brings flexibility and movement to the home office. Standing burns up to 50 calories more a day than sitting, so the Lotus is the ideal addition for any dad who works frequently at his desk. The Lotus features Smooth Lift™ Technology so transitioning from sitting to standing and back again is effortless. Twenty-two different height settings and 17″ of vertical adjustment make the Lotus ideal for accommodating any stature. The Lotus also arrives fully assembled­­—no complicated instructions, no mounting. Just unpack and get started.

standing desk for Father's Day

A Personal Automatic Shredder

The Fellowes AutoMax™ Autofeed Shredder, initially designed for large offices, offers the ease and productivity of automatic shredding with a deskside personal shredder option. The 130C shreds up to 130 sheets of paper at one time, automatically. This includes paper with paper clips, staples, and wrinkles. Simply fill the bin, lock it and push the button. The Accufeed™ Technology shreds away while Dad gets back to other work.

automatic shredder for home office

A Plush Touch Back Support

Back pain is one of the most common complaints by anyone who sits at a desk. Offer Dad the gift of back comfort with the new PlushTouch™ backrest. The Innovative FoamFusion™ technology features memory foam infused with gel beads for maximum personal comfort and support. The adjustable strap with durable buckle also easily fits most office chairs.

backrest for Father's Day

An iPad Case with a Ballistic Nylon Cover

If Dad is an iPad fan, the MobilePro™ Executive Folio iPad Case is the perfect gift, not only protecting his iPad, but also offering a variety of productivity features enclosed in one case. The ballistic nylon exterior also features business card holders, a pen loop, a file folder, a refillable writing pad pocket and a magnetic closure for a complete, slim, all-in-one mobile workstation.

The SmartConnect Case™ allows for an iPad Air®/Air® 2 to be used in-folio, free-standing or hand-held, in vertical or horizontal orientation, and at three viewing angles. The case also includes a  removable Bluetooth® keyboard (iOS®, Android™ and Windows® compatible) with integrated wrist support for increased comfort and productivity.

iPad case for Father's Day