How to make your reception area more inviting in 5 simple steps

April 26, 2017

It might be a cliché, but it’s true that you only get one chance to make a good first impression. This means that when you’re designing your office, it pays to put some extra time and effort into getting your reception area just right. This is the first thing that visitors to your premises will see. Whether they’re prospective employees, customers or investors, they are bound to make judgements about your business based on the look and feel of this area.

 

So, if you’re not completely satisfied with the way your reception is presented, now’s the time to make some changes. To help you along the way, the following five simple steps should make it easier for you to whip this part of your workplace into shape and create a positive impression among your guests.

 

  1. Refresh your colour scheme

 

Peeling paintwork and a tired, lacklustre colour scheme are big no nos in office entrance areas. So, if you think your reception is in need of a little TLC, now’s the time to make some changes. A new coat of paint and some vibrant accessories could completely transform your reception and give it a more professional, attractive vibe. Branding is particularly important in this part of your workplace, so try to incorporate your company’s colours into your design scheme. As well as repainting your walls, consider replacing your flooring to reflect your new colour theme, and don’t be afraid to inject added personality with the help of some bold, attractive artwork or branded signage.

 

Refreshing your colour scheme can be one of the cheapest yet most effective ways to improve your reception. It enables you to achieve impressive results with minimal expenditure.

 

  1. Improve your furnishings

 

A high-quality reception desk and some comfortable seats are must-have items in these areas, so if your reception furniture has seen better days, it’s well worth investing in new designs. As the focal point of your reception, your desk is arguably the most important furnishing in this part of your office, so it pays to make sure it looks just right and functions perfectly. Whether you go for a curved or a straight-edged design, a contemporary desk or a traditional model, make sure it complements the overall style you’re going for and is a suitable size.

 

When it comes to your seating, it’s essential that you select products that look the part and are comfortable to use. Also, make sure that you have enough seats to accommodate the number of people who may use your reception at any given time. Bear in mind that space-saving modular designs can help you to maximise the amount of seating on offer.

 

It’s also a good idea to include a coffee table for people to rest their drinks on, and these surfaces come in handy if you want to provide people with complementary reading material. The tables are also perfect for resting vases of fresh flowers and fruit bowls on.

 

  1. Get creative with your lighting

 

The importance of attractive lighting is sometimes overlooked in reception areas. However, with a little imagination, it’s possible to create stunning visual effects that transform the appearance of these spaces. For example, you could use spotlights to highlight specific features in your entrance area, such as your most prized awards and your favourite artworks. You might also want to add dramatic flair to your reception desk with the help of some strategically placed uplights. Different coloured illuminations can also help you to create a contemporary, stylish look in this part of your workplace.

 

 

Particularly if you have high ceilings, attractive pendant lights could make a good addition to your reception too. These accessories are ideal as high-impact design features above desks or seating areas. Meanwhile, why not complete your lighting effects with some illuminated signage?

 

 

  1. Integrate technology

 

Carefully chosen technology can also work wonders to enhance receptions. For example, the simple addition of a flat-screen TV positioned so that your guests can see it from the seating area can give this part of your office a more dynamic look. You could take this idea a step further and incorporate a video wall. These statement accessories create a striking focal point and they can give your office an ultra-modern look and feel. They also show that you take your tech seriously. Of course, it’s up to you what you display on your screen or video wall. Perhaps you’ll impress your guests with soothing images or maybe you’ll take the opportunity to educate them about your business.

 

Although it won’t affect the look of your reception, providing free Wi-Fi in this area can also make it more welcoming to guests. This small gesture makes it easier for people to stay connected while they are waiting in your office.

 

  1. Ensure it’s spotless

 

Last but not least, make sure this part of your office is always spotless. A layer of dust on surfaces, crumbs or litter on the floor and overflowing bins are guaranteed to give guests a bad impression of your company. This slapdash approach to caring for your reception may suggest you have a similarly lazy approach to managing other aspects of your business. The fact is, it only takes a matter of minutes to keep your reception spic and span – especially if you clean it on a daily basis – so it’s well worth putting in the time and effort.

 

As well as keeping the area clean, make sure it always smells inviting. A plugin air freshener is one of the easiest ways to do this. Just make sure the scent you choose isn’t too overpowering.

 

Taking these five straightforward but effective steps should help you to ensure your reception area ticks all the right boxes with your guests. Bear in mind though, as well as getting the space itself spot on, it’s essential that your reception staff are as welcoming as possible to visitors. An unmanned desk or an unprofessional greeting is bound to put people off, so it’s crucial that your personnel understand how important it is to make a positive impression on guests.

 

 

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How to harness creativity through office design

April 18, 2017

 

Creativity can be vital to a business’s stability and growth. Creative thinking can help solve problems, come up with improved ways of doing things and innovate new and unique products and services. You may have hired workers based on their cool video CVs and lateral-thinking responses to your interview questions, but are you really getting the most from them on a day-to-day basis? One way to ensure they’re living up to their potential is to review your office design. Start by asking yourself the following questions.

 

 

  1. Is your office dynamic?

 
Tedious repetition and routine can stifle creativity so try to engender an atmosphere of change and energy. You could do this by allowing workers to ‘hot desk’, i.e. employees find new desks to work at each day instead of having assigned desks. This can help to break down the silo mentality that occurs in some organisations and can result in personnel sharing information, expanding their knowledge, and finding new ways to approach problems.

 

  1. Is your office flexible?

 

If you want to shake things up but aren’t ready for hot desking, why not incorporate flexible office furniture into your office. For example, you could use modular workstations, which can be reconfigured according to your needs and room space. Office floor screens could also be used to give your staff privacy and the space to work alone when necessary, as well as the opportunity to hold impromptu discussions and brainstorming sessions.

 

  1. Is your office zoned?

 

Creativity is often associated with collaboration, but it’s important to recognise that original thinkers often do their best work solo, and some creative work may need to be carried out in isolation. To ensure that every worker and every project is given the right space, you could create loud zones that allow for conversation and interaction and quiet zones that allow for concentration and separation. For example, our Harmonica breakout seating is great for giving people the opportunity to hold and join in casual and formal discussions. By placing these in a corner of your office, you could create an instant loud zone. To create a quiet zone, think small and enclosed. For inspiration, check out Google’s workstation pods in its Sydney headquarters.

 

  1. Do you encourage self-expression?

 

The days of having a professional identity and a personal identity are gone. Millennials expect to be able to be themselves in the workplace and, if you want to get the best from your employees, you need to support this. Afterall, if you encourage self-expression on a personal level, workers are likely to feel more comfortable speaking up in the boardroom. You could promote self-expression in a myriad of ways. For example, you could implement a casual dress policy, allowing personnel to dress informally throughout the week or on one dedicated day. You could also encourage staff to decorate their space as they see fit, whether that be by keeping a framed picture of the family dog on their desk or by hanging a Confucius quote above their workstation.

 

Remember that every creative worker is different so what works well for some may not be right for others. To get a better understanding of the kinds of changes you need to make in your workplace, why not ask staff what they think? You could do this through one-to-one chats, group discussions, anonymous email polls or with suggestion boxes.

 

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Are managers and employees at odds over office noise?

March 30, 2017

When it comes to office design, open plan remains by far the most popular layout – and it’s not hard to understand why. This style of work area represents a highly efficient use of space, and it’s also effective at encouraging collaboration between colleagues. However, open plan offices do have their drawbacks, and it seems as though executives and employees may be somewhat at odds when it comes to what works and doesn’t work in these environments.

 

Study findings that may take managers by surprise

 

Working in collaboration with Plantronics, Oxford Economics polled over 600 executives and 600 employees on what they perceive to be the advantages and disadvantages of open plan work areas. The study turned up some interesting results. For example, while 53 per cent of workers reported that ambient noise in their offices reduces their productivity and satisfaction in their roles, only 35 per cent of managers identified ambient noise as a problem for their personnel.

 

Also, executives seem to overestimate the extent to which workers have the tools they need to filter out excessive noise. While only 41 per cent of employees believe they have the tools they require to filter out the distractions around them, 63 per cent of managers thought their workers have what they need for this purpose. This may in part be because managers have such different experiences to regular employees in the workplace. Of the executives polled, 62 per cent had their own private offices. This compared to just 14 per cent of employees.

 

Fewer than a fifth of employees (18 per cent) said that their managers have taken steps to reduce noise in the workplace, and executives revealed that limiting distractions was low on their list of priorities when designing offices.

 

The team behind the study concluded by suggesting that noise and distraction are bigger issues than the majority of executives realise, adding that businesses should make more of an effort to understand their workers’ concerns and take steps to address them.

Simple design features that can limit noise levels

If you’re worried that noise levels are too high in your office and your personnel are struggling to focus on their tasks as a result, now’s the time to take action. After all, if your employees aren’t able to get on with their tasks properly, their productivity can plummet, which is bad news for your bottom line. Also, stress levels in your office may soar and morale could suffer, making it more difficult for you to retain your best talent.

 

The good news is, you don’t have to have a complete office refit in order to address this issue. There are some relatively simple steps you can take that should help to bring down noise levels and limit distractions. For example, if you don’t have them already, you might benefit from incorporating floor screens into your office design. You could use them to separate different departments, or you could cordon off breakout areas or your staff canteen. Meanwhile, desk screens can be used to give individual workers added privacy. Highly portable and available in a range of different colours, floor and desk screens can make a big difference to volume levels in any office environment.

 

Rethinking some of the materials you use in your office could help you to control noise levels too. As a general rule, hard surfaces cause echoes and therefore increase the volume in workspaces. So, when you’re trying to control sounds, it’s wise to use softer materials where possible. For example, carpets are better at limiting noise than tiles and polished floors, and acoustic ceiling tiles are also a savvy investment. It’s even possible to purchase decorative wall art that doubles as soundproofing. For example, you can get special panels that reduce the bounce-back of sounds. These panels can showcase anything from attractive prints to your company logo or pictures of your products.

 

Plants provide you with another simple way to turn down the volume in your office. They absorb sound and can provide people with added privacy. As well as regular pot plants, why not consider going a step further and using green walls in your workspace? These distinctive features are extremely effective at limiting sound levels and they make a style statement at the same time.

 

Be logical when it comes to your office layout

 

On a more general level, take noise into account when you’re designing your office layout. For example, try to avoid positioning loud departments (such as those that use phones a lot) next to quieter ones, and if possible don’t put equipment like printers and scanners in the middle of work areas.

 

Creating different zones can also help you to control the volume in your office. By providing your employees with an area away from the main office where they can go for discussions with colleagues and hold impromptu meetings and brainstorming sessions, you can reduce the number of potentially loud conversations that take place in the main part of your office. You might also want to provide your personnel with special quiet spaces that they can go to when they need to be away from distractions to focus on individual tasks.

 

Well worth the effort

 

As the Oxford Economics and Plantronics study reveals, not all managers are aware of the frustration that excessive noise can cause among employees. Those businesses that ignore this issue risk suffering a loss of productivity and they may struggle to keep hold of their workers.

 

In contrast, by showing that you do take this issue seriously and by designing your office accordingly, you stand to make your workers happier and more effective in their roles. Ultimately, this is great news for all concerned.

 

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5 easy ways to motivate your staff

March 22, 2017

Having a motivated workforce is a must for all organisations, so if you think your personnel are lacking purpose and inspiration, now’s the time to take action. There are many different ways to give your employees a morale boost, and here are five of the simplest and best.

 

  1. Make your office an enjoyable, stimulating place to be

 

Office design is about much more than simply providing enough workstations for your personnel to use. With a few clever touches, you can create an inspiring setting that’s a pleasure to spend time in. For example, rather than having a homogenous working environment, you might benefit from creating different zones within your office. As well as a section with regular workstations, you could include a breakout area where employees can go to have discussions with colleagues. You might also want to incorporate a quiet area that personnel can use when they want to concentrate on tasks without being disturbed. Zoning your office in this way can give your staff members greater control over their working days, and in turn this can reduce their stress levels, raise their productivity and generally make them feel happier.

 

Traditionally, office décor has been fairly dull and nondescript. However, companies are increasingly switching onto the advantages associated with injecting some personality into these places. Introducing splashes of vibrant colour can be an effective way to elevate the look of your office, and you might also benefit from displaying some attractive artwork. It pays off to bring plenty of greenery into your working environment too. Plants look great and they can improve air quality. There’s also evidence to suggest that they raise worker output. A study by a team from the University of Exeter found that in ‘green’ offices – which feature a lot of plants – productivity could be up to 15 per cent higher than ‘lean’ offices with relatively few bits of greenery.

 

  1. Offer the right incentives

 

When it comes to providing incentives that will motivate your employees, the most obvious is a pay rise. However, if you’re looking to keep your costs down, there are a range of other rewards you can offer to your personnel that should help to put a smile on their faces. For example, perhaps you could give them an extra paid day off for their birthdays. You might also want to provide awards and prizes for certain achievements. This can help to focus people’s minds and it shows them that their hard work is noticed and appreciated. On a more basic level, simply remembering to praise your staff members when they do something well is important.

 

  1. Provide opportunities for advancement

 

If your personnel know that – as long as they put in the hard work and show enough talent – they will be able to progress in their roles, they are more likely to demonstrate commitment and drive. Conversely, if they feel they are stuck in a dead end job with no opportunities to progress, your workers are likely to lose interest. So, it’s essential that you provide your employees with fair and attainable promotion opportunities. By putting in place clear targets that your team can work towards in order to move up into more senior roles, you stand a better chance of keeping them motivated.

 

Effective appraisals are an integral part of this process. These feedback sessions can help employees and managers to understand one another’s expectations. It’s also vital that your workers have access to suitable training so that they can expand their skills in order to climb the career ladder.

 

  1. Lead by example

 

The most inspiring and best managers tend to be those who lead by example, so this is something you should always try to do in your role as a boss. If you turn up to work each day with a positive attitude and lots of energy, there’s a good likelihood that your employees will follow suit. Bear in mind that this applies to the finer details as well as your general approach. For example, if you want your personnel to turn up to work on time every day, it’s worth making an effort to get to your desk nice and early. Managers who have one set of rules for themselves and another for their employees can struggle to earn respect and trust.

 

  1. Give them more of a say

 

Giving your employees more of a say in how things happen within your company can also be a big morale booster. By allowing your personnel to have greater input, you can help to foster a sense of team spirit and make them feel genuinely valued and respected. There are many different ways to bring people into the fold and give them a sense that they are more connected to the decision making process. One very simple but effective tactic is to offer them a say in how your office is designed, and enabling them to personalise their workstations.

 

You could also ensure you have regular staff feedback and brainstorming sessions to give people a chance to express their ideas and to come up with their solutions to problems. As well as helping to make people feel involved in the running of your organisation, this can turn on a tap of new ideas that help to drive your business forward.

 

There’s definitely an art to keeping workers motivated and engaged, but following suggestions like these should help ensure you get the basics right. The techniques covered here aren’t difficult, and they can have a hugely positive impact on the outlook of your employees. From tweaking your office design to empowering your personnel, there are a host of ways to improve the mindsets of your staff members.

 

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Could ‘healing offices’ be the holy grail of workspace design?

March 15, 2017

From the purely functional and often drab to the imaginative, attractive and airy, the world of office design is undergoing a period of profound change. Bosses are increasingly switching onto the benefits of providing appealing and stimulating environments for their personnel. By being more responsive to the needs and preferences of their workers in this way, organisations hope to achieve a range of goals, from enhancing morale to reducing sickness absence and boosting productivity.

 

One of the latest and arguably most interesting ideas is to create so-called ‘healing offices’. So, what exactly is this concept – and could it really be the holy grail of workspace design?

 

Healing offices explained

 

The company at the forefront of this trend is Dutch design studio D/DOCK. Its Healing Office® concept draws on research data and theories of environmental psychology in a bid to encourage positive behavioural changes, enhance mood and improve the lifestyle of personnel. The idea centres on a total of 10 indicators, including daylight, indoor climate, physical activity, nature, connectedness, autonomy, control and healthy food.

 

According to D/DOCK, its approach could reduce rates of sickness absence by up to 30 per cent, increase productivity by as much as 20 per cent and even raise workers’ life expectancies by up to a decade. The design company also suggests that it could lower organisational costs.

 

From concept to reality

 

Putting its ideas into practice, D/DOCK has created the interior of The Edge in the Zuidas or ‘Financial Mile’ district of Amsterdam. The innovative tower, which recently won an Urban Land Institute Global Award for Excellence for its environmentally sustainable approach to design, is used by a number of companies and it has a very distinctive look and feel. Described by Bloomberg as “quite possibly the smartest office space ever constructed”, it is packed with more than 20,000 sensors and over 15 smart systems to optimise everything from cleaning to lighting and heating.

 

Characterised by its soaring glass panelled walls and spacious, light-filled atrium, it is an homage to responsive technology. Individual offices light up when people enter and mobile phone apps automatically adjust temperature and brightness. Workers don’t have to worry about their phones running out of power either; these devices charge wirelessly when they are placed on desks.

 

A hot-desking system means individuals don’t have designated workspaces. Instead, an app finds them a suitable place to go based on their personal schedules. This could be a regular sitting desk, standing desk, meeting room, work booth, balcony seat or an area in an enclosed room designed to optimise concentration. With only 1,000 desks for the 2,500 people based in The Edge, the idea is that conventional workspaces are only used when they are actually needed. From large, open meeting areas to tiny rooms featuring just a lamp and lounge chair, there are a host of other environments for people to utilise.

 

The attention to detail in this cutting-edge office is staggering. A good example of D/DOCK’s meticulous approach is the mesh panels that have been installed between each of the floors to allow stale air to filter into the central open space, where it rises and escapes through the roof. The process creates a natural ventilation loop and helps to give the impression of being in the outdoors. Meanwhile, every work area in the tower is within seven metres of a window to maximise the natural light that people are exposed to. The building also contains games rooms, large flatscreens that can be synced with any laptop or phone and coffee bars with machines that remember how individuals like their hot drinks. There’s an on-site gym too, and an app that automatically tracks people’s workout progress.

 

What do users think?

 

The main tenant of The Edge is Deloitte. Speaking to the Guardian about its employees’ experiences in the tower, senior manager at the consultancy firm Harry Vlaardingerbroek said that unlike in offices previously used by the company, the new environment brings people together. He remarked: “Now no one has their own desk and we have open floors so you can work with colleagues with better comfort and climate.”

 

Deloitte also suggested that worker absenteeism has declined since the firm moved to the new office.

 

How to create your own healing office

 

OK, so having access to multiple smart systems, tens of thousands of sensors and vast light-filled spaces might be a little on the ambitious side for a regular business, but if you’re keen to embrace the general concept of a healing office, there are simpler, smaller-scale and less expensive design ideas that you can employ. For example, perhaps you’d benefit from investing in some individual desk lamps to complement your overhead lighting. This will ensure that your employees have greater control over brightness levels at their workstations.

 

You might also want to consider dividing your office up into different zones that are suitable for group meetings, informal discussions and individual work. Creating defined spaces like this and encouraging people to move between them will give your workers greater flexibility. If you have the space, it’s worth considering creating an on-site gym too. Even if it’s relatively small, this could encourage your employees to keep fit. Simple touches, like providing bowls of fresh fruit for your staff to eat, can bolster your office’s health credentials too.

 

Also, bear in mind that workplace essentials such as office desks and chairs should be high-quality and provide maximum comfort. By making sure that workstations are spacious enough to comfortably accommodate computers, phones and stationery, and by ensuring that seating offers proper support, you will help to minimise the risk of your personnel developing back and neck problems at their desks.

 

Whether or not you believe healing offices are the holy grail of workplace design, you could find you benefit from taking on board at least some of the ideas associated with this concept. As well as potentially making the working day more pleasant for your employees, these design touches could raise productivity and therefore boost your bottom line.

 

 

 

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5 office design trends you’ll see in 2017

March 9, 2017

There’s no denying the importance of effective office design. Get the setup of your workspace right and you stand to raise morale among your employees, increase productivity and even reduce absenteeism. A practical and stylish space could also help you recruit and retain the best workers. Highlighting this fact, in a global study of nearly 8,000 workers conducted on behalf of Robertson Cooper, a third of respondents revealed that the design of an office would influence whether they decided to work for a company or not.

 

If you’re determined to get your working environment just right, it pays to keep tabs on the latest office design trends. With this in mind, here are five key approaches to watch out for in 2017.

 

  1. A move away from ultra-open plan

 

In some big offices, expect to see a move away from vast open plan spaces populated by very large numbers of workstations. This impersonal, trading floor style of space can certainly help companies to make the most of their square footage, but it’s also associated with a range of potential problems, from excessive noise and a lack of privacy to increased stress levels. Open plan as a design concept looks set to stay, but sprawling work areas are losing favour. Instead, companies are increasingly opting to divide large areas into zones where smaller clusters of people are grouped together. For example, one sizeable space may be divided into four or five subsections. These areas tend not to be separated by walls or large dividers, but they are clearly differentiated to create quieter and more intimate spaces.

 

Low-level office screens and carefully positioned plants and cabinets can be used to create subtle but important divides between different sections within the same large space. This approach can still represent an extremely efficient use of space and it ensures rooms don’t lose their big, open and airy feel.

 

  1. More imaginative, flexible layouts

 

Thanks to WiFi and mobile devices, many workers are no longer tied to their desks for the duration of the working day – and this fact is set to become even more apparent this year. A rising number of businesses look set to shift towards more imaginative and flexible layouts that give their employees greater control over their environments during the working day. Forward-looking companies are seizing on this idea to create a variety of zones that cater to different needs. From breakout areas with special seating that is designed to facilitate group discussions to secluded, quiet spaces intended to promote concentration, offices can include a number of very different areas that serve distinct purposes.

 

  1. Greater use of responsive tech

 

Expect to see more responsive technology being integrated into workplaces too. The advanced solutions now available to companies are transforming the office environment as we know it. From lighting and heating systems that adjust automatically according to individuals’ preferences to desks that wirelessly recharge mobile phones, a host of innovative solutions are slowly but surely creeping into our work areas. The Edge office building in Amsterdam is at the vanguard of this trend. Among its many high-tech solutions are sensors positioned in LED lighting panels that report detailed data on humidity and temperature in a bid to perfect indoor climate control. The office also features big flatscreens that can be wirelessly synced with any laptop or phone, and it even has espresso machines that remember how individual workers like their coffee.

 

The Edge may be ahead of its time, but many other companies are starting to follow suit in terms of incorporating responsive tech into their offices.

 

  1. More of a nod to the natural world

 

Pantone has made a ‘tangy yellow-green” its colour of the year, saying the hue symbolises the connection people seek with nature. Whether this particular paint is an interior design hit this year remains to be seen, but green will certainly be a big feature of many workspaces in the form of plants. Sometimes called biophilic design, incorporating more greenery into offices is known to have a positive impact on employees’ morale. It can also improve air quality, and when done well it makes an impressive style statement.

 

An abundance of pot plants may spring up in offices this year, and watch out for the inclusion of living walls too. These vertical hydroponic systems feature plants contained in discrete panels. They can be neatly manicured or left to grow to create a wilder look. Living walls offer a relatively simple yet highly effective way to inject added vibrancy and life to a range of work areas, from meeting rooms to atriums.

 

  1. More on-site gyms and standing desks  

 

With many people working long hours and growing concern over the impact of prolonged periods of inactivity on health, more bosses may be set to adapt their offices in a bid to promote employee wellbeing. For example, a greater number of workspaces may be set to get on-site gyms. In the past, these facilities were considered a luxury and they tended to be seen only in big workspaces. Now though, even small companies with limited space are switching onto the benefits of giving their personnel a place to exercise before or after work, or on lunch breaks.

 

Standing desks will continue to grow in popularity too. These adjustable work surfaces are increasingly being seen as a necessity rather than an extravagance and many workers now expect to be offered these innovative furnishings.

 

With trends like this to look out for, you should have lots of inspiration if you’re keen to overhaul your office this year and create a more appealing, dynamic and effective space.

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First Impressions – what does your reception say about your business?

March 6, 2017

Have you ever thought about what first impression your business is giving? Research shows that we form a first impression in just 0.1 second. This isn’t a lot of time to ensure the first opinion is a good one. So, take a look at your reception furniture what does it say about your business – what would your opinion be if you were entering the premises for the first time?

 

It’s not just the place people judge but those greeting them too. What are they wearing, how do they sound? All of these are valid questions that impact people’s opinions.

 

After that first interaction our opinion rarely changes, so let’s make it a good one. Get thinking about the furniture, people, and welcome guests receive. If you get these right you are on track for a positive reputation.

 

Don’t believe us? Put it to the test watch our latest video and see what you can deduce from these snappy images.

 

 

We’d love to hear your feedback and you can join the conversation by visiting us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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How to create an organised classroom in 3 simple steps

March 2, 2017

Regardless of whether you’re in your first teaching job or you’ve been doing it for years, it can be tricky to get the hang of creating and maintaining a perfectly organised classroom. Letting your study space fall into disarray can be chaotic and unsettling not just for you, but your pupils too, so it pays to think carefully about how you can keep your room neat, tidy and clutter-free. For some handy hints and tips, keep reading.

1. Use effective storage solutions


You can’t expect to maintain an organised classroom if you’re not readily equipped with effective storage options. It’s vital that everything in your space has a place to stay when not in use, and it’s just as important that you know exactly where to find the things you need. The good news is, there are a plethora of different storage solutions that you could incorporate into your classroom depending on what it is that you need to stow away. For example, bookcases and cupboards are ideal for storing textbooks, while trays and drawer units are perfect for keeping stationery supplies. At Furniture at Work, we offer a range of high quality education furniture in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you shouldn’t struggle to find storage that fits your space and satisfies your precise needs.

2. Create an effective filing system

As a teacher, you’ll appreciate that there is much more to your role than giving lessons and marking homework. It’s likely that you’re expected to complete stacks of paperwork on a daily basis. While you no doubt try your best, it can be tricky to keep on top of the administrative side of your job, and it’s easy to let your space become cluttered and untidy. So, to make sure you’re staying on track at all times, you might find it useful to create your own filing system. From class schedules and lesson plans, to useful resources and materials, to pupil registers and reports, this is a great way to maintain order in your study space.

How you set up your system is up to you. You could go all out and dedicate an entire filing cabinet to staying on top of things, or you could arrange your essential documentation in plastic boxes or trays. You might even want to create sub-folders or colour code your work by category to make sure you’re ultra organised at all times.

 

3. Rethink your furniture layout

 

If the layout of your classroom furniture is all wrong, it’s likely the whole room will suffer. Failing to think about the arrangement of your furnishings can make the space look and feel chaotic, and you may struggle to make the most of the room you have. In turn, this can have a negative impact on your teaching and on your students too. So, if you’re keen for your lessons to flow smoothly, it pays to organise your furniture in an effective manner.

 

The size and shape of your classroom may influence how you arrange your desks or tables. Whether you choose to organise these furnishings in rows, clusters or in a circular shape, the configuration you use should enable you and your pupils to move around the room with ease, and it should also complement your teaching style.

 

As long as you’re fully prepared, creating and maintaining organisation and order in the classroom isn’t as difficult as you might think.

 

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3 workplace resolutions for 2017

February 14, 2017

Is your office décor uninspiring and drab? Are you not getting enough exercise during the working day? Do you find yourself constantly searching for missing documents? Whatever your problems in the office, the new year is the perfect time to make some changes. With this in mind, here are three useful workplace resolutions that could benefit you in 2017 and beyond.

 

  1. Move around more

Sitting is now being likened to smoking by some experts in terms of the the level of risk it poses to public health. Changes in technology and working habits mean that many of us now lead far more sedentary lives that our predecessors did in previous generations. Worryingly, research has linked excessive sitting with a range of serious health problems, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and certain cancers. Predictably, it also raises people’s risk of obesity. Sitting down for prolonged periods of time is thought to slow down the body’s metabolism, which impacts its ability to regulate blood pressure and sugar and break down fat. A study conducted by a team from Harvard Medical School and the Division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggested that inactivity causes nine per cent of premature deaths around the world.

So, given the clear dangers associated with too much sitting, what can you do protect your health in the office? One simple thing could be to invest in Sit Stand desks. These innovative furnishings give you the option of standing while you work. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of regularly taking breaks from your desk to move around the office. Why not go for a walk or hit the gym on your lunch break too? These simple but effective tactics could help to stave off a range of medical problems.

 

  1. Clear the clutter

Sick of searching for lost paperwork? Perhaps it’s time to invest in additional office storage. Having plenty of filers and cupboards to house everything from documents to books and stationery supplies will help you to keep your workspace organised. If you’re a little short on square footage, you could invest in space-saving solutions like under-desk pedestals and full-height cabinets.

As well as making sure you’re properly kitted out, it’s worth putting in place an effective filing system, and if you haven’t already done so, try to get into the habit of filing your documents as you go or at the end of each day. This will help ensure your workspace doesn’t gradually slide into disarray.

 

  1. Get serious about style

An attractive office not only looks professional and impressive when guests visit, it’s also inspiring for you and your colleagues to use. Having the perfect colour scheme and stylish design touches can be a big morale booster and it might even help you to work more effectively. So, if you’re bored of the way your workplace looks or it’s beginning to look a little tatty, why not make some improvements? Simply repainting the walls, hanging some new artwork and introducing more greenery should give your office a new lease of life.

 

Resolving to make improvements like these could help to make 2017 one of your most productive and enjoyable yet – and the benefits should last long into the future.

 

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Organised Mess – How Your Zodiac Organises You

February 1, 2017

From your love life to how successful you become, some things in life are written in the stars. But did you know that the stars are also to blame for how messy or organised you are?
 
Yes, you read that right! If you’re someone who tries hard to be organised but just can’t bring yourself to sort your wardrobe into colours or arrange your filing cabinet into alphabetical order then you’ll be relieved to know that it isn’t actually your fault because it’s all down to what star sign you are.
 
Allow the latest infographic from Furniture At Work to explain…


Filing Cabinets from Furniture at Work

Share your #OrganisedMess results on Twitter @Furniture_Work (via Furniture at Work).

 

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