Best Places to Work: Office Furniture Outlet
By Grace Silipigni
5595 Raby Rd., Building 3, Norfolk | 757-855-2800 | OFOVa.com
Since 1989, Office Furniture Outlet has provided Coastal Virginia with exceptional furnishing services from the sales, leasing and rental of discounted office furniture to space planning, moving and design installation. The 85,000-square-foot showroom in Norfolk displays both new and used office furniture and is maintained by Office Furniture Outlet’s outstanding employees.
President of Office Furniture Outlet, Larry Iverson, explains that while providing excellent customer service and quality products is paramount, the wellbeing of his employees is of utmost concern. Iverson believes that encouragement and care must be shared from the top down. As a result, he ensures that his employees are paid well and are protected by the extensive benefits package offered by Office Furniture Outlet. “In order to boost employee morale, you have to give [your employees] less to worry about,” explains Iverson, “and that’s their families.”
A focus on family has played a large role in the creation of a positive work environment at Office Furniture Outlet. Employees feel that they are valued as individuals and that their opinion counts. “You have to consider how to create and maintain a fun environment every day so that people—your staff, your team—come to work and want to be at work because it’s a good place to be,” says Iverson. “But a company culture that is fulfilling is also challenging. You have to challenge your employees to change and grow every day, which can be done in small ways or in large ways.”
One way Iverson challenges his employees is through community involvement. Staff of all professional levels are given the opportunity to complete a certain amount of volunteer hours in exchange for vacation days. The company also participates in a slew of charitable activities including silent auctions, furniture donations and annual projects. Iverson and his general managers recently selected five nonprofits to work with throughout 2018.
In addition to charitable events, staff often celebrate birthdays, holidays and family cookouts together. Even a regular workday is made extraordinary when an employee brings their pet in for the day. “How you touch each employee every day is important,” states Iverson. He reminds fellow business managers how important it is to remain on the front edge of their culture and to remain open about the constant change that is necessary to maintain a successful and fulfilling work environment.
- Employees provided with logo’d clothing
- Frequent celebrations of birthdays, holidays and national days
- Cookouts and GreekFest hosted by owners to unite employees across departments
- Open door policy with supervisor
- Constant encouragement amongst employees
- Charitable events for local nonprofits
- Extensive benefits package
Why I Love My Job
“The work culture is fun. We are encouraged to bring our dogs to work and are provided with logo’d clothing. We aren’t micromanaged and are trusted to do what we were hired for. We can share personal matters with trust and know that if in a bind, someone at work has our back.”
—Joy Burton, Director of Marketing, one year with Office Furniture Outlet