Top 10 strangest things found in office cupboards

April 22, 2014

When you think of the contents of office cupboards, what springs to mind? You probably conjure up images of files, books, pens, post-its, staplers and so on. However, it turns out there are a host of other, more unusual, items lurking out there.  So, next time you open up the cupboards in your office, you may be in for a surprise!

1)   Nail clippers

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We all like to have tidy nails, but it seems some people are taking their penchant for delectable digits to another level. When asked by the community weblog Metafilter what items they take into the office, a number of seemingly well-groomed individuals said nail clippers.

Although it might be convenient to trim your nails while you have a spare few moments at your desk, we’re not sure this is a trend that should catch on. Surely the bathroom is where these clippers belong!

2)   Salt and pepper shakers$web_zoom$&/1308302308/monterey-salt-and-pepper-shaker-set.jpg


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Like lots of people, you might eat at your desk occasionally. Perhaps it’s because you simply don’t have time to get away from the office, or maybe it’s because you like browsing the web while tucking into your lunch.

However, some workers are taking desk dining one step further by bringing salt and pepper shakers to their workstations. If these seasonings can make otherwise dull sarnies or salads that little bit more palatable, we say why not!

3)   Booze


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It seems as though bottles of booze are some people’s guilty office cupboard secret. Perhaps they’ve been inspired by the swanky hit US TV series Mad Men, where charismatic characters including Don Draper and Roger Sterling seemed never to be more than two feet from a bottle of the hard stuff.

Let’s face it though, while reaching for the bottle may have been OK in workplaces during the ‘60s, things have changed. If you’re clocked taking a swig behind your desk, you might find yourself in deep trouble!

4)   Wrapping paper


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We’ve all bought last-minute presents. Whether it’s a rush to pick up an anniversary gift, a Valentine’s offering or a birthday present, this can be seat-of-your-pants action. Maybe it should come as no surprise then that some people store wrapping paper in their workplaces.

We think this is a great idea. You can nip out of the office at lunchtime to pick up your present of choice and then simply head back to your desk and set about wrapping it. In fact, why not take this a step further and keep some gift cards at work too?

5)   Swiss army knife


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One office worker revealed he kept a Swiss army knife in his office, saying it comes in handy for pulling corks, opening cans, getting into packages and more.

There’s no denying the versatility of these small objects, but we think they might raise a few eyebrows in workplaces. The blades seem more at home among camping equipment in the great outdoors than nestled by paper clips and printer paper in offices.

6)   Dental floss


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Multitasking is the name of the game in modern workplaces, and some individuals are taking this principle very seriously indeed. For example, dental floss seems to be a popular workplace accessory. Although you might get a few strange looks from your colleagues, we can see the appeal of this. You can floss away while reading documents, checking your emails and more.

7)   Perfume


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Sticking on the theme of personal preening, perfume is another product that’s making its way into offices. As long as it’s not overused, we like this idea. A quick spray every now and then doesn’t do any harm, and it’s handy to have a bottle to hand if you’re heading straight out after work.

8)   Tool Kit


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Your first instinct when you’re at work if things break might be to call an expert. After all, you’ve no doubt got enough on your plate without having to deal with dodgy printers, broken doors, busted lights and so on. However, not everyone takes this approach.

One man revealed he keeps a tool set at work because he loves being the “go-to person” when his colleagues need a pair of pliers.

9)   Sewing kit


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Similarly practical, another worker took a sewing kit into the office. We love this idea, although we think most people would struggle to find time to test their needle skills at their desks!

10)   Wind-up toys


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Let’s face it, things can get a little stressful at work, so we approve of one worker’s idea to take wind-up toys into the office. The individual claimed the items are great to give to restless colleagues, and they’re bound to put a smile on people’s faces!

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Top Tips for Choosing Office Furniture

April 11, 2014

At first, finding furniture for your office may seem simple: you might think it’s just a case of buying a few tables, some chairs and maybe even a couple of conference tables, but there’s so much more to it than that. To give your business a unique flavour, you should be a little bit more creative: your office should be a comfortable space your staff will be happy to work in and your visitors will remember fondly. What should you keep in mind when buying furniture?


Focus on function first


While aesthetics are obviously key, your priority should be functionality. How many desks will you need to make sure each employee has their own space? How big and sturdy will they need to be to support their equipment (computer, phone, etc.)? How many of a particular size and shape will fit into your office? You should consider each of these points until you have a firm idea of the essential practical needs, and be sure to think about expansion: if you’re likely to take on more staff, you’ll need to leave enough space.


Mix it up


If your office is separated into various areas—by department, for example—each one could feature a different style of furniture. On a functional level, this could suit the different needs: a creative team may need larger tables or space for drawing boards, while a sales team will need room for a phone and paperwork. On an aesthetic level, mixing furniture styles can make for an eclectic design scheme.


Consider comfort for staff and the wow factor for clients


Your staff’s comfort should be of paramount importance. To be happy, efficient and productive, your employees should be able to feel relaxed in their work environment, and the furniture they use all day should contribute to this. Quality chairs and desks should provide enough support and freedom to remain comfortable throughout each shift, and your visitors should also be comfortable throughout their stay. The furniture should also match the décor to leave them impressed.


Why not give ergonomics a try?


Ergonomic furniture is becoming more and more popular, as it offers more comfort and less strain on the body when sitting at a desk for long periods—sitting in an uncomfortable position, on seats offering no support for a proper posture, can lead to health problems.


Here at Furniture At Work, we have a huge range of office furniture suitable for all decors and needs. Feel free to get in touch if you need more information and buying advice.

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Space saving solutions for the home office

As Britain witnesses a rapid increase in the number of people starting up their own businesses from home, more and more people are faced with the prospect of creating home offices for the first time. This often means working out of a very small space as whatever part of the home gets the least use is converted for work purposes. Furnishing a space to provide everything that’s needed can be tricky. Fortunately we are able to offer some neat solutions to help you get that space just right.


Plan before buying


You’d be surprised how many situations we encounter where people buy all their office furniture first and only then start thinking about how to fit it in. Sometimes they succeed but it leaves them with little room to move. Making a plan first makes a big difference. The first thing to think about is light. If there is a window in the room, the desk should be arranged so that light won’t be shining directly onto the computer screen. This provides the first piece of the positioning puzzle. If some light comes in sideways and you think it light be a problem, blinds are a great way to control it.


Once the position of the desk has been decided, think about the position of peripherals like the printer and scanner or any other essential equipment. Some of our PC workstations are designed to accommodate these within the same space; alternatively, you could choose broad shelving to fit along the side of the desk, keeping peripherals in an easy to reach position, as well as providing extra room for storage. Remember that you’ll need to be able to run cables round the furniture you buy unless you are relying on wireless for your computer and phone connections. Cables are generally considered a more secure bet and it’s good to have the modem in the same room so you can quickly address any issues with it.


Storage solutions


In a small office, shelving can often provide the most efficient method of storage for your books, documents and supplies. Using clearly labelled plastic boxes rather than storing documents in piles keeps things safer and makes them easier to find in a hurry. All our furniture is fully assembled and built to last so you won’t have to worry about the headaches that come with self-assembly. Alongside the shelves, we offer filing cabinets in all sizes, so you may find something that does fit into your space even if you can only use it for your most important or current documents.


Seating solutions


In a small office, a big, luxurious chair isn’t always practical. We have some very comfortable slimline chairs that will let you enjoy one of the big advantages of a small space, being able to turn around and reach whatever you happen to need. We’re price leaders in this market, well give you a 30 day trial offer on anything you buy and our phone lines are open 8am to 8pm, so getting started couldn’t be easier.

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What your furniture says about your business

Whatever your company, whether you’re a SME working in B2B, or you’re part of the local council or education sector, your office space is vital to how people see you. In particular, the furniture you choose speaks volumes. It could be you work from a home office, or you have a large premises in a dedicated office block. No matter your office’s size or location, you should take great care in choosing furniture, both for the sake of your clients and your employees.


For a start, your furniture is what gives people their first impression of the company. Think about your overall business culture, and how you can tie your furniture into this aesthetic. Muted or dark colours and sleek lines exude a corporate feel, while the bright and quirky suggests an artistic and creative mindset. Antique style and imposing furniture give an air of an established and authoritative company, but would look out of place in a tech start up, where a bold and futuristic egg chair would be more at home. Neutral colours and comfortable cushions can work well in a reception area to make clients feel more relaxed, compared to primary colours that are more startling and less inviting.


However, your furniture is not just about the impression it gives to clients; it’s also important for creating a positive working environment for you and your employees. For example, you should ensure office chairs are comfortable and promote good posture. The space should encourage inspiration and focus, and a large part of this is ensuring the office is free of clutter and not too cramped. This feeling of a light and airy space is good both for the workers’ state of mind, and for convincing clients you are in control.


To achieve this uncluttered look, you’ll need the right storage. Invest in some good filing cabinets and book cases, and make sure there are lockers readily available for staff use. Using smart space-saving solutions is especially necessary in a home office environment, where space is often at a premium. Consider options such as folding tables, which can be stored away when not in use.


You should also base your furniture choices on practicality as well as style. Think about your business needs – do employees need plenty of surface space to complete their work? Are noticeboards or whiteboards necessary for a meeting or boardroom? Would your reception benefit from display and presentation products to showcase company literature?


Whatever the individual needs of your company, we at Furniture At Work can help. The UK’s largest suppliers of office and executive furniture, we have everything you need to kit out your place of work, whether that’s a school, an office or your home. Our furniture comes fully assembled, and you can chose between next day delivery (to any floor) or our collection service. With flexible payment terms, you can also take advantage of instant credit facilities if you’re a government department such as a council, school or the NHS, and we offer very attractive discounts for all bulk orders. Why not subscribe to our free monthly catalogue to see what products we have on offer, and get an instant quotation over the phone once you know what you would like to order. Our call support centre is manned by furniture specialists, and you can call any time between 8am and 8pm. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Setting Up Business from Home

April 10, 2014

A daunting part of starting a business can be the cost of getting everything up and running, so what better way to keep costs down than by starting your business from home? Even though you are working from home it is still vital to create a comfortable, smart and professional space. Create the right atmosphere for yourself and your business, starting out with the best and most useful accessories, to help you create the perfect home office.


To begin your home workspace you will need the basics.


A Desk and Chair


The desk should be the correct height and size and it should feel right and comfortable for you as you may be spending a lot of time at it. For practical purposes, a desk with a drawer and a keyboard shelf would also be beneficial.


The correct chair is just as important as the desk. It should offer you the support you need, as the last thing you want is a sore back. The chair should be height adjustable, have a tilt-able seat and should be able to be adjusted to suit your weight, height and the way you sit.


A Lamp and Clock


A good, flexible lamp is important, especially if you will be staying up late. Eye-strain makes you more tired and relying on a ceiling light is often not enough, especially if you are going to be doing lots of reading and focusing on the screen.


A clock should also be a key part of your office. Choosing one with clear, visible numbers will make it easier for you to be aware of the time as often as you need to be. It should also be one which is wall mountable so it is out of the way in what may be a busy and crowded space.


Storage Space


A solid bookshelf with deep shelves would be helpful as well as boxes for items that you way want kept away from prying eyes. Magazine files are also great for storing invoices, books, receipts and post.


A lockable drawer unit would be perfect for storing away laptops and sensitive material.


A Laptop and Printer


If you are taking your laptop out and about, you will want something light and small. The screen size does not need to be an issue if it is a more practical size and can be plugged into a large screen.


It is not advisable to look for the cheapest option when buying laptops and printers, instead look for value and quality.


An all in one printer would be helpful, especially if you are short on space. Try and find one that scans, prints, copies and faxes and uses cost effective ink cartridges.


In the end you will have a great looking, professional and functional office. Some of the world’s biggest businesses began in their front room, and two thirds of new entrepreneurs are now taking the same steps. A tidy, organised and fully functioning office will help you keep a clear mind and work in a productive atmosphere without spending excessive money on office space.




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The importance of buying quality furniture

April 7, 2014

Whether you’re replacing worn out old furniture that has served its time, or you’re kitting out a new premises entirely from scratch, it can be tempting to try and cut costs. You might work from home and not see the point of splashing out on yourself, or you may be buying for a large institution like a school or the NHS and looking to minimise expenditure, but ultimately purchasing very cheap furniture can be a false economy.


For a start, the main issue with buying cheap furniture is the quality. You might feel you are being savvy with what looks like a bargain deal, but when that office chair breaks within the first few months you’ll be wishing you had invested more. Cheaper pieces of furniture are likely to break or wear out sooner, meaning more costs in having to replace them.


Not only that, but such cheap furniture that is liable to break can be a real hazard. If it’s just you that ends up getting hurt because a bookcase has fallen on your head that can be bad enough, but even worse is if an employee or client ends up getting injured. In these situations, and especially if you’re responsible for the safety of pupils or patients as a school or the NHS, you have a duty of care, and there can be serious consequences if someone gets hurt.


The other issue with the quality of furniture is simply comfort. A very cheap price tag is usually indicative of poor design, and the last thing you want while trying to get on with work is backache from your chair, or from a desk that is an awkward height. This applies to your workforce and clients as well – you want everyone to be as productive and comfortable as possible.


Another issue with cheap furniture is convenience. A lot of the time, that bargain you picked up means your furniture will come flat-packed for self assembly. Not only is this incredibly time consuming and often frustrating – imagine how long this will take you with a bulk order for a school! – but there is also the danger that you could assemble the furniture incorrectly. Again, this leads to the potential for causing injury. Thankfully, Furniture At Work offer a large selection of assembled items and can even offer full installation an packaging removal on certain products.


Perhaps not quite so hazardous to your well being, but just as important, is the issue of style. Sure, you saved money on that reception sofa, or on the tables in your meeting room, but what do they say about your company? (Could possibly link to previous article on ‘What your furniture says about your business’ here) You want your furniture to leave a good impression with any clients, with a welcoming atmosphere, and to create a positive working environment for your employees. Cheap, ugly furniture in out of date styles and unflattering colours simply won’t do that.


Thankfully, buying quality furniture does not need to break the bank to be a good investment. At Furniture At Work, we are price leaders, supplying high quality and attractive office furniture at excellent prices. We offer big discounts on bulk orders, and our flexible payment terms and instant credit facilities for government departments make covering the cost of the furniture you need even more manageable. Why not call our telephone support call centre for an instant quote – it’s manned by office furniture specialists from 8am – 8pm.

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