How to create an office that will stand the test of time

March 11, 2015

When you’re planning your office, you’ve no doubt got issues like comfort and practicality at the forefront of your mind, and cost will be a major factor too. However, there’s another important point to consider, and that’s longevity. The last thing you’ll want to do is splash out on a workspace revamp only then to find that in the space of a few short years, your environment has become unsuitable for your firm. Redesigning and re-furnishing your office on a regular basis is not only inconvenient, it is also costly.
 
With this in mind, here are some simple design suggestions that should help you to create a work area that’s capable of standing the test of time.
 
Choose good quality furnishings
 
All business owners have money on their mind. Making financial savings where possible is crucial if companies are to enjoy long-term success. However, when it comes to office furnishings, price tags aren’t all that counts. As well as seeking bargains, it’s important that you look for products that are well designed and made.
 
Substandard items may be cheaper to purchase, but they can prove to be a false economy. If you fall into the trap of buying poor quality desks, chairs and other resources, the chances are they will start to fall apart much sooner than you’d like. Also, they could prove to be uncomfortable for your personnel to use. In turn, this may lower staff morale and reduce productivity.
 
The good news is, you don’t have to spend a fortune in order to get your hands on excellent furnishings. Our products represent great value for money and they are also designed and built to the highest specifications. Simply take a look around our website to see for yourself.
 
Design a flexible space that can evolve as your needs change
 
As well as buying furnishings that are made to last, it’s important that you ensure your office design is flexible and can adapt to your changing needs. There are many products on offer that can help you to alter the layout and function of your work area with zero expense and minimal hassle. For example, room dividers can help you to partition your office in a variety of different ways. You can enclose different departments, create temporary meeting spaces, provide your personnel with individual cubicles and much more with the help of these handy screens, and you can shift them around as you see fit.
 
Meanwhile, rather than populating your entire office with traditional workstations, you might benefit from setting aside certain sections to use for other purposes. For example, an increasing number of firms are providing their employees with breakout zones where they can gather to hold informal, impromptu meetings and discussions, or simply go for a change of scenery. Technology is transforming the ways in which we work, with employees increasingly using mobile technology like tablets and laptops in place of traditional desktops. It’s important to reflect this in the design of your working area.
 
Reap the rewards
 
By following tips like these when you’re revamping your office, you should be able to ensure that it serves you and your workforce successfully for a long time to come.

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Top tips to help you create the perfect reception

March 10, 2015

Of course, all areas of your office are important, but if you’re going to focus your efforts on revamping one particular part of your workspace, your reception should be it. This is the first thing that visitors see when they enter your premises, so it’s vital that it looks the part. A good reception can help you to impress customers and win contracts, meaning there’s no room for second best.
 
The following simple tips should help you to create the perfect area in which to meet and greet your guests.
 
Choose a top-quality desk
 
First and foremost, make sure you select an attractive, good-quality desk. This will form the focal point of your reception, so it must look the part. Luckily, you can now take your pick from an array of desks, ranging from conventional straight sided designs to contemporary curved creations.
 
Regardless of the style of item you choose, try to make sure it’s the perfect fit for your space. After all, no matter how impressive the desk is, it won’t look right if it’s too small or large. Before you commit to buying a particular product, it helps to measure your reception and draw up a to-scale plan to see how much space particular items will take up. This will require only a few moments of your time and it could help you to avoid making a potentially costly mistake.
 
Provide plenty of seating
 
Plenty of seating is another must in these areas. You don’t want to leave visitors standing while they’re waiting for their appointments. Don’t worry if you’re short on square footage. There are a host of innovative seating solutions on offer now that can help you to squeeze maximum usage out of every available inch.
 
For example, modular seats represent a compact option and you can choose from a wide selection of shapes, sizes and styles.
 
Invest in some extras
 
You may have covered the basics by this stage, but there’s plenty more that you can do to enhance this part of your office. For example, it’s worth carefully positioning a coat stand in your reception, and, providing you have space for it, a coffee table will make a great addition. For added impact, you can adorn this item of furniture with extras like newspapers, magazines and fresh flowers.
 
Attractive decor is important in this area too, and to reinforce your company ethos, you might want to include your corporate colours. Meanwhile, branded signage is a must, and you might benefit from incorporating digital displays in your reception.
 
A shrewd investment
 
Whipping this part of your office into shape might require some time, effort and money, but this should prove to be a savvy investment. It could help to bolster your company’s reputation and it may even drive sales, which is good news for your bottom line.
 
Also, it’s possible to bag yourself a bargain when you’re seeking reception furniture. Simply take a look around our website to see what we have to offer. Our prices may come as a pleasant surprise.
 

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How to create a flexible office space that meets all your needs

March 9, 2015

In an ideal world, you’d have an office with ample space and all the features you could possibly want. In reality, you might have had to make significant compromises in terms of square footage and general design when choosing your working area. The good news is, a few simple items of office furniture could help you to create a flexible environment that ticks all of your boxes.
 
Screens
 
Open plan offices represent an efficient use of space, but they can quickly get too noisy, and some workers don’t like the lack of privacy on offer in these environments. If you face such problems in your work area, you can turn to office screens for a quick fix. These simple and inexpensive products can be used in a range of ways to ensure your environment better suits your needs. They help to limit volume levels and they offer workers greater privacy.
 
These solutions are highly flexible too. For example, you can use desk screens to separate off individual workstations. This can be especially handy if your employees spend a lot of time on the phone. Floor screens, meanwhile, can be an effective way to contain different teams within your office. You can even choose different screens to colourcode zones in your work area and to make it easier for people to identify different departments.
 
Room dividers can also offer you a quick and effective means of creating additional meeting space. If you don’t have the luxury of a separate room for company gatherings, interviews, pitches, appraisals and so on, you can simply cordon off a section of your office using these partitions.
 
We offer a variety of office screens in different colours, sizes, styles and materials. For maximum sound absorbency, you can select versions finished with padded foam.
 
Fold-up furniture
 
Furniture that folds up and can be neatly stored away when not in use can also help you to create a more flexible working environment. For example, space saving collapsible tables can be neatly tucked away in cupboards when you don’t need them and then brought out for meetings, presentations and so on. You can choose from an impressive selection of foldable tables, including height adjustable and modular versions. We also sell foldable chairs that can be stored with ease.
 
Use your imagination
 
With the help of foldable furniture and room dividers, you can ensure your office meets each and every one of your practical requirements. The key is to use your imagination and see past any problems to the myriad possibilities that your workspace offers. Even if you’re short on square footage, you shouldn’t struggle to design a practical and attractive space that fulfils your requirements. All that’s needed is a little creativity and the right resources.
 
If you’re not sure how best to use office furniture in your work area, feel free to get in touch with our helpful and knowledgeable team by phone or email. We’re on hand to offer any information and guidance that you may need.
 
 

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Why storage is the unsung hero of office furniture

March 6, 2015

All offices need effective storage. Without it, paperwork, supplies and equipment can quickly mount up and before you know it, your workplace has descended into chaos. No matter what type of work is being carried out, having the right storage in place can help you to sort and organise your day-to-day essentials and, in turn, help to boost productivity and efficiency. Here’s our pick of our top storage savoirs and how they can transform the office environment.
 
Filers
 
These pieces of furniture have become something of a staple in the modern day office, and there’s good reason for it too. Used for storing paperwork and archiving, filing systems have been designed with the sole purpose of making filing and finding documents fast and simple.
 
With extendable drawers, you can easily flick through your files without having to spend time rummaging around. Most filing cabinets also come with labelling systems, allowing you to organise information into appropriate sections and stay on track. They also often come with lockable sections, ideal for storing confidential files.
 
Shelving systems
 
Often overlooked, shelves are another simple and easy storage solution. Especially useful for cramped spaces, shelving can transform empty wall space into the perfect home for storing small office items, files and books. They also offer a great place for displaying decorative objects like plants.
 
You can now get flexible shelving units with adjustable heights, allowing you to arrange the shelves in a way that suits your changing needs. Whether you’re looking for a complete wall bookcase or an individual shelf, these nifty fittings can help you store your office supplies in a quick and efficient manner.
 
Drawer units
 
Drawers that can slide under desks offer a highly convenient storage option for frequently-used items. Helping you to keep stationery and other grab-and-go items close at hand, under-desk drawers help to free up valuable desk space and keep the clutter at bay. Most drawers also come with optional tray inserts to store all of your knickknacks in an orderly fashion.
 
Noticeboards
 
Pinning up important papers, reminders and important mail on a wall-mounted organiser can help you to keep on top of your work. Not only will this help to free up desk space, it can also be used as a visual cue to remind you of what your tasks for the day are. However, it’s important to remember to get rid of old papers on a regular basis to stop your noticeboard from becoming too cluttered.

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Office screens: a good investment for your firm?

March 5, 2015

You don’t get to be successful in business by splashing cash unnecessarily. However, certain purchases are well worth making, and office screens could be among them. Depending on the layout and size of your working environment, these simple products could represent a savvy investment. If you’re unsure as to whether such screens could benefit your business, keep reading.
 
The perils of the open plan office
 
Open plan offices certainly have their advantages. Chiefly, they represent an efficient use of space. In addition, they can foster collaboration between colleagues. Given these two major benefits, it’s no surprise that such setups have proved popular over recent decades. However, open plan design is not without its flaws. One major drawback of these environments is the fact that noise levels can quickly build up within them, distracting employees and reducing productivity.
 
Highlighting this problem, an international study of workers conducted by a team at the University of Sydney found that more than half of individuals based in open plan spaces were dissatisfied with their lack of sound privacy. The team behind the research, which was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, remarked: “Distraction by noise and loss of privacy were identified as the major causes of workspace dissatisfaction in open plan office layouts.” They added: “Even though occupants are satisfied with interactions in open plan layouts, their overall workspace satisfaction will eventually decrease unless a certain level of privacy and acoustical quality are provided.”
 
A simple, cost-effective and flexible solution
 
Of course, one way to limit noise levels would be to up sticks and move to a new workspace that offers enclosed areas and private offices. However, you might not wish to do this, or it could stretch your budget too far. This is where office screens come into their own. These inexpensive yet highly effective products can dramatically reduce distractions within larger work environments.
 
We offer both floor and desk screens, and for maximum noise reduction, you can select versions that feature foam cushioning. Screens work in a number of ways. Most importantly, they limit the amount of sound that travels across offices, keeping volume levels under control. They also discourage employees from holding conversations with colleagues located far away from where they’re sitting. In addition, they offer added privacy.
 
The products are highly flexible too. You can use them to divide up your office as you see fit. Perhaps you’ll separate different teams or departments, or maybe you’ll partition individual workstations. You also have the option of creating enclosed areas for meetings and discussions.
 
The best thing is, whenever you feel in need of a change in your workspace, you can shift your screens around with total ease. You can even put them in storage for a while if you find they’re temporarily surplus to requirements.
 
Once you’ve got used to using these design features, you might wonder how you ever managed without them. If you think office screens could make a valuable addition to your work area, just take a look at our range. You might be surprised by how affordable these items are, and you can rest assured they’ll represent a shrew investment.

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How can office furniture help with brand awareness?

March 4, 2015

In the modern business world, image matters. This means that if your firm’s to stand a chance of achieving long-term success, you’ll need to establish a recognisable brand that appeals to your target audience. For the best results, it’s important to showcase your brand in all aspects of your business, including your workspace. This brief guide explains how you can reflect your company ethos through the design of your office, and why doing so is a good idea.
 
Choosing the perfect furnishings
 
Of course, the furnishings you select for your work environment serve a crucial practical purpose. However, they can also help to drive home your brand message. There are now a host of chairs, desks, storage solutions and other products to choose from, meaning you shouldn’t struggle to find versions that perfectly reflect your firm’s style. For instance, if you’re keen to present your business as traditional, conventional items of furniture may work best. Executive leather chairs and square-edged wooden desks are good examples. On the other hand, if you want to present your firm as modern and forward looking, you can turn to the chic, contemporary creations now available. Curved desks and angular mesh chairs are classic cases in point.
 
It’s also important to think about colour. Ideally, elements of your office should reflect your corporate hues, and this is something to bear in mind when you’re selecting seating, office screens and other products. As well as your furnishings, pay careful attention to the decor in your workspace. Simply adding a splash of paint in the appropriate colours could transform the look of your office and help ensure it showcases your company’s style. It’s also a good idea to use branded signage where possible, both inside and outside your workspace.
 
By focussing on these details, you can ensure your working area embodies your business’ philosophy.
 
Impressing your customers
 
This can play an important role in impressing customers and other third-parties when they come to visit you in your office. It helps to drive home your brand message and give your firm a professional appearance. After all, it demonstrates that you pay attention to detail and it helps to give a reassuring sense of consistency. Ultimately, this could lead to increased sales, which is good news for your bottom line.
 
Galvanising your staff
 
As well as impressing your customers, a well branded workspace can help to drive your company message home to your employees. This is crucial because your workers are your firms’ ambassadors, so they must be on board with your philosophy. Such working environments can also increase the sense of team spirit among your personnel because they reaffirm the fact that everyone is working for the same cause.
 
If you’re on the lookout for furnishings that could serve to reinforce your brand, you’ve come to the right place. Just take a look around our website and you’re bound to find an array of products that fit the bill. Meanwhile, if you’d like further information or advice about our offerings, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Money-saving tips for office start-ups

February 2, 2015

Starting up a new business can be tough, and one of the first hurdles you may face as a budding entrepreneur is the potentially daunting task of setting up an office. If you’re not careful, costs can quickly spiral and you might find yourself in financial strife. The good news is, there are some simple ways to save money when you’re establishing a workspace.

 

Be savvy when selecting your office

 

First and foremost, you’ll need to select a suitable office. When money’s hard to come by, it’s vital that you keep your overheads to a minimum, and this means finding a space that’s affordable. You might have to forgo offices in the most trendy and desirable parts of town, at least to begin with, and instead focus on postcodes where you can get better value for money. Also, don’t be tempted to sign a contract for a space that’s too sizeable for your needs. We’d all like large working environments, but unfortunately they don’t make sense from a financial point of view.

 

Get a great deal on your furniture  

 

No office is complete without good quality seating, desks and storage products. However, there is no need to spend a fortune on these items of furniture. By purchasing the provisions from us, you can rest assured you’re getting a great deal. As well featuring attractive price tags, our items are designed and finished to the highest standards, helping to ensure they will stand the test of time.

 

Shop around for supplies and services

 

Of course, you can’t rest at bagging a bargain on your office furniture. You’ll need a host of other supplies and services as well, and it’s crucial that you seek the best possible deals in each case. From your stationery to your web services, there is cash to be spared if you’re prepared to shop around. Even seemingly small financial savings can mount up over time, so it’s well worth making the effort.

 

Take advantage of cost-effective technology

 

It’s vital that you’re savvy when you’re selecting your technology too. There is now a dizzying array of devices to choose from, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. However, don’t let your enthusiasm for gleaming gadgets get the better of you. You should assess the business case for each product before you spend any money on them.

 

You might also benefit from arranging cloud computing solutions for your company. These services can be accessed on a pay-as-you-use basis and they remove the need for major capital expenditure on IT systems.

 

Consider hiring interns

 

The jobs market remains competitive for candidates, which is good news for companies. As well as making it easier to hire skilled personnel, this means there are many students and recent graduates out there who are looking to offer their services for free. In return for providing them with useful industry experience and contacts, you can benefit from the hard work of these enterprising jobseekers.

 

These are just some of the ways in which you stand to save your company cash when you’re setting up a new office.

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How To Improve Concentration Levels In Your Office

January 20, 2015

We’ve all been there. You’re desperately trying to focus on a task, but despite your best efforts, your mind keeps wandering. If you’re sitting at a desk for long periods of time, remaining productive can often prove to be a challenge. Couple that with an open plan office and your concentration levels are bound to dwindle from time to time. If a noisy colleague is preventing you from getting the job done, or you find yourself constantly daydreaming about what you’re having for lunch, here’s a few simple ways to help keep daily distractions under control:
 
Office screens
 
No matter what size the office, having your own space is essential if you are to remain focused throughout the day. Office screens offer an easy and effective way to section-off an open plan room and provide workers with the privacy they need to focus on their tasks. From room dividers that can be used to group departments together, to individual desk screens that can shut out distractions and reduce noise levels, there are a host of office screens and partitions available. And, because they are only a temporary solution, the screens can easily be taken down or moved around to suit your changing needs.
 
Declutter your workspace
 
Your personal environment can have a huge impact on your ability to concentrate. Having a neat, tidy desk can help you to feel more organised and relaxed while working, which can in turn boost your attentiveness. The easiest way to de-clutter is to assess your workstation and determine what you really need. Make sure that all your equipment and office supplies have a proper home and throw away any unnecessary paperwork. Investing in shelves or desk tidies is a great way to help you organise your working day and encourage you to stay on task.
 
Take regular breaks
 
As well as your environment, mindset can also play an important role when it comes to attention span. Taking regular breaks throughout the day is essential if you want to bounce back from stressful work demands. Whether you’re going for a walk, doing gentle exercises at your desk or taking a quick coffee break with a colleague, giving yourself time to regroup every now and then can work wonders for your concentration levels. Be careful though – don’t let a rest from work turn into procrastination – try to keep your breaks short and frequent.
 
Increase your comfort levels
 
Improving your physical environment can also help to boost productivity. If your desk is too high, or your chair is too low, it can cause your mind to stray from work and instead focus on your discomfort. Make sure that your chair, desk and computer screen are in a position that allows you to work comfortably – you’ll be surprised at how much longer you are able to concentrate for.

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How to improve your posture at work

September 1, 2014

Sitting in front of a computer all day can lead to all manner of different health problems, from eye strain through to a lack of fitness. We have evolved over thousands of years to spend our days engaging in strenuous physical activities, yet over the past few decades technology and our evolving social structure have lead us to a point where we now spend the majority of our time inactive.

 

With new studies showing that spending too much time sitting down can be as detrimental to our health as smoking, it may well be time for businesses to think harder about how they structure their workspace and indeed their workforce’s time to keep them as healthy as possible.

 

One of the most detrimental aspects of office work to human health is the fact that so many of us will adopt the wrong posture when sitting down, slouching into our chairs or hunching ourselves over our keyboards. Bad posture can reduce energy levels, cut off circulation and cause many different muscular issues, from stiff necks through to bad backs. However, by sourcing the right ergonomic furniture solutions and spending a little time focussing on posture, individuals could find they are a great deal more energised, have higher morale and are far less likely to be plagued by muscular niggles.

 

Posture tips

 

If you don’t want sitting at your desk to become a literal pain in the neck, you will first need to source the right furniture and ensure that your chair is positioned in the right way. At Furniture at Work™, we stock a range of adjustable posture chairs that help align the body, allowing you to get into the right position without effort. If you prefer to go for more traditional work chairs, then choose options that are extremely flexible. The desk chairs you use should allow you to easily change the height of the chair, the seat position and the angle of the backrest.

 

If you are too far back, or too far forward, your body position will be off and your muscles will be forced to overcompensate. Your ears should stay in line with your shoulders, resting directly above them. If you have to crane your neck closer to the screen to see what you are doing, consider enlarging the content so you can sit further back. Likewise, if the screen seems blindingly bright and leaves you wanting to lean away from it, reduce the contrast to make it more comfortable for you to remain sitting up straight.

 

Keep your feet flat on the ground, and ensure you are not crossing your legs. While it may feel more comfortable to splay your legs out in front of you, always try to keep them flat on the floor and uncrossed. It is also important to keep your shoulder blades back so that you do not slump your shoulders. Try looking down – If your chest is not out in front of you, there is a chance you are not sitting correctly.

 

If you struggle to make the necessary changes to your posture by yourself, try using a lumbar support to do the hard work for you. You may also want to consider looking up some desk exercises on the internet that will help you prepare your body for the rigours of stillness.

 

Keep moving

 
No matter how much time and energy you put into adopting the right body position, sitting at a desk all day can still cause your body problems, both in the short-term and the long. Try to incorporate as many breaks as possible into your daily routine. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop working, but merely that you should schedule in some time to move around. To do this, you may want to take all your calls while moving around inside or outside of the office, or you may just want to take a break every hour to make yourself a drink. Either way, it is not just your body that will benefit from the break – your morale and concentration levels are both likely to be boosted too.

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Tips for keeping your office organised

August 27, 2014

Keeping your office tidy may seem straightforward but, as anyone who has ever had deadlines to meet will attest, it is not always that easy. Many businesses spend hours every few weeks sorting out the clutter they seem to have inexplicably accrued only to find that within a day or two the workspace is back in a state of chaos.

It doesn’t have to be this way though. By subtly changing processes and ensuring you have the right storage solutions within your office, you could keep your workplace organised and tidy at all times, and your personnel as efficient as possible as a result.

 

De-clutter

 

The first thing to do when you want to create an organised workspace is to rationalise the items you have within the office. This will involve sorting clutter on both macro and micro scales. Utilising floor space efficiently is vital. Freeing up large sections of the room to use more effectively will be a huge part of keeping a space organised. However, if you don’t focus on the small things as well, the mess within your space will quickly get out of control.

 

This means that as well as organising your room to accommodate your workforce in a more suitable manner, it is also important to minimise the clutter found on each individual workstation. Be thorough and ruthless when streamlining the items within your office and remember there will be little room for sentiment.

 

Once you know exactly what you wish to keep and what will be winging its way to the skip, you need to find a home for each item you choose to hang on to. It is important to find storage solutions that suit the shape, size and style of your room, but it is also necessary to ensure that these storage units are right for the specific items you wish to store. Not utilising shelves to their full potential wastes a great deal of space within a workspace and often leaves staff unable to easily locate the things they need, when they need them. Finding taller storage units and utilising more vertical space within your office may alone significantly improve your organisation.

 

New processes

 

Forcing your staff to clear their desks at the end of each day may not be a great way to boost morale. Instead you should ensure they have the tools to take the initiative themselves. This will almost certainly allow you to get the same results without the need for nagging. The most organised workplaces will have processes in place that prompt workers to spend a few minutes at the end of each day tidying up and rebooting the office space.

 

The most important part of keeping an office organised and tidy will be the implementation of an effective organisation plan. If your offices are laid out correctly and every item in your space has its own designated spot in which to live, it will be easier to ensure that employees put things back where they belong once they have finished using them.

 

The more ordered and tidy your workspace is, the safer, more efficient and less distracted your workforce will be. You may therefore want to set times to review the state of your office. By checking how organised your premises is on a weekly basis, you should find that you are able to stop disorder in its tracks.

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