‘Furniture city’ planned in Pakistan

July 28, 2014

Like many industries, furniture manufacturing is a global market, with finished products and components coming from all areas of the world. If recent developments are anything to go by, a much larger percentage of those products could be coming from Pakistan in the near future.


Home and office furnishings have been extensively manufactured in the Pakistani city of Faisalabad for a long time, but this has been mainly for the local and regional market. Lack of regulation and inconsistent products have thus far impeded its attempts to reach a global market. But there are plans to turn this around, with the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company currently developing a ‘furniture city’ within Faisalabad’s industrial heartland.


Bringing Pakistani products up to international standards


The furniture city will see the transformation of the city’s production skills and resources into a cogent effort to produce and export products to an international standard. The project will see the creation of wood seasoning plants for imported wood, training centres and furniture showrooms where international clients can examine finished products and place orders.


Depending on the effectiveness of the city and others like it, such developments overseas may have significant impacts on the UK industry. For manufacturers it may result in further competition from countries where labour and material costs are lower. But for UK retailers on the other hand, it may have a positive effect, providing a wider choice of finished products.


Trade body growing


Closer to home, the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) has attracted many new members over the past year. According to trade magazine Furniture Production, 18 new members have joined over the past year, including 14 full members, an associate number and number of international members.


The non-profit organisation was created more than half a century ago and exists to provide support for all aspects of the industry. FIRA’s association director Phil Reynolds commented that, “we are delighted to welcome so many new members to the association… we have found that companies are actively seeking out the type of support and expertise that we offer.”

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The simple approach to setting up an office

July 23, 2014

Setting up an office can seem like a daunting task. After all, there is a lot to think about and the stakes are high. However, as long as you’re methodical in your approach, you will achieve your aims. This basic guide should help to make the task simple and stress-free.


Set a budget


Firstly, set a budget. It’s easy for costs to spiral when you’re buying items for your office, so it’s important to know your limits from the outset.

Before you start buying items, draw up a list of the products you’ll need along with their prices. This way, you can see if your budget will cover everything. If it doesn’t, you may need to prioritise certain items over others.


Decide on layout


The furniture you need for your working space will depend on the layout you go for. When deciding on the design of your office, it can help to draw up simple to-scale illustrations showing where your desks and seating will go.


Invest in the essentials


Once you’ve set your layout, you can start choosing furniture to populate the area. Essential items include good quality desks and chairs. Bear in mind that your personnel may spend a long time at their workstations, so it’s really important that they are comfortable.

Plentiful storage is another office must-have. You’ll need enough shelving, cabinets and so on to help keep your working space tidy and organised.

Here at Furniture At Work™ we offer an impressive selection of desks, chairs and storage items and should have exactly what you’re after.


Choose your technology


No modern office is complete without the right technology. You’ll need to think carefully about the equipment your firm needs to function properly. For example, you’ll have to decide on the computers that would best suit your workers and select the most appropriate printer and scanner. You’ll also need to choose phone and internet systems.


Get the best lighting


An often overlooked detail in office is lighting. Of course, all working environments have lights, but the quality of these products is not always high. Bear in mind that the way in which your office is illuminated can have a huge impact on its overall look and feel.

It’s important that your employees have enough light, but ideally this shouldn’t be too harsh. If possible, you should give your workers some control over the level of light they have. This can be done with the help of desk lamps.


Now for some extras


Once you’ve decided on the essentials, it’s time to pay attention to those little extras that could really boost the appeal of your office. For example, if your budget will stretch to it, why not invest in a water cooler and hot drinks machine?

Also, some artwork for the walls can add colour and personality to your office, and plants make a great addition too.

When your new office is finally complete, you can encourage your personnel to add their own personal touches to their workstations too.

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Preparing for business presentations

July 21, 2014

Having great ideas in the world of business is nothing if you can’t persuade others of their merits. This is why it’s so important to be able to deliver presentations confidently and effectively.

If you’re affected by nerves when you stand up to address a group, rest assured you’re not alone. The good news is, there are ways to improve your presentations. Next time you’re gearing up for such an occasion, it’s worth bearing these top tips in mind.


Invest in the right equipment

Firstly, it’s important to make sure you have access to all the equipment you need. Here at Furniture At Work™ we offer a host of products that could be just what you’re looking for, including notice boards, display boards, lecterns and more. Simply take a look around our website to check out the various options.


If you don’t have all the items you need to give presentations and you end up having to improvise, you risk looking amateur. Also, knowing that you’re lacking the right gear could increase your nerves and mean you’re not as effective in delivering the information.


Getting suitable items may require you to spend a bit of money. However, this should prove to be a savvy investment. After all, you will be able to use the products time after time and they could make a big difference to your presentations.


Know your stuff

There is nothing more terrifying than standing in front of a group of people and having to pretend you know what you’re talking about when in fact you don’t. Before any presentation, it’s crucial that you get to grips with all of the information you intend to share. Being well versed in the details should give your confidence a lift.


Bear in mind that you might be asked questions during or after your presentation and it’s worth anticipating these and preparing possible responses beforehand. This will help ensure your talk comes across as slick and polished.


Prepare your materials

If you plan to turn to specific pages in books or leaflets during your talk, or you’re presenting something on a laptop, make sure you prepare your materials effectively. If you find you’re struggling to locate the right information during your talk, your confidence will take a real knock and you’re unlikely to make a good impression.


Practice makes perfect

It can also help to do one or more practice run before your presentation. You could do this at home in front of your family or friends, or in the office with your colleagues. By reading through your talk, you can identify any issues with timings or content.


You’ll also ensure that when it comes time to give the presentation for real, you’re more familiar with the details. This will mean you don’t have to refer to your notes as much and you should find it easier to make eye contact with the people you are addressing. Engaging with your audience like this can make a huge difference to the way in which they respond.

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How to reduce noise levels in your office

July 18, 2014

Total silence in workplaces can be stifling, but there is a fine line between encouraging a reassuring level of background noise in your office and allowing sound levels to rise too high. Excessive noise can prevent employees from concentrating and it can also lead to increased tension.

If you think your working environment is too loud, you might benefit from following these simple yet effective noise reduction tips.


Create soft surfaces

Hard surfaces can look great and they’re big news in modern, minimalist interior design. For example, many carpets have been ripped out in favour of wood, laminate or even concrete flooring. However, hard surfaces like these don’t absorb sound well.

If you want to dim the noise levels in your working space, it’s worth turning to softer surfaces such as carpet and acoustic ceiling tiles.


Use screens

Like most offices, yours may be predominantly open plan in layout. By introducing desk and floor screens into the space, you can cut noise. Fabric-covered partitions are great at soaking up sound.

They can prove especially useful if the various departments within your firm create different noise levels. For example, you might want to separate your sales department from your accounts team.

The great thing about these items is they are lightweight and easy to assemble, meaning you can rearrange them whenever you need to.

Here at Furniture At Work™ we stock a variety of office screens. You can take your pick from a selection of different sizes, styles and colours, meaning you shouldn’t struggle to find exactly what you’re after.


Go green

Another top tip is to introduce more greenery into your office. Plants help to absorb noise and they also add some cheer to working spaces. If you want to take this to the next level, you could invest in green walls for your office. These creations make a real style statement and they are great as a means of soaking up sound.


Some careful planning

Some planning in terms of where you situate your staff is also important. If possible, you should avoid placing personnel near to loud equipment or by throughways. Especially if you’re limited in terms of the space available to you, this can take some careful calculations. However, it’s well worth making the effort.


Speak to your workers

If you adopt these measures and still find that volume levels are unacceptably high, it’s time to talk to your employees. It’s important that they play their part in combating excessive noise too. By lowering their voices and walking over to colleagues to chat rather than simply shouting across the room, they can help to control sound levels.


Boosting your bottom line

Tackling volume problems in your office does take a little effort and potentially money. However, this should prove to be a savvy investment. After all, it could may productivity among your staff members, which is great news for your bottom line.

It could also help to ensure that you and your employees benefit from a pleasant working environment.

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Keep Your Employees Fit, Healthy and Happy This Summer

July 8, 2014

Sitting down for prolonged periods of time is now thought to be detrimental to our health. As such, businesses that want to keep their employees happy and healthy should look at ways of getting them moving as much as possible.


Furthermore, if individuals are cramped up inside all day, they may feel far from productive, especially in the summer months during which they may find themselves constantly dreaming of heading outside to enjoy the sun.

The good news is that, once the warmer months arrive, there will be plenty of ways to alter your business processes to ensure that your entire workforce remains as happy, healthy and fit as possible.


Conduct meetings outside

Sourcing furniture that will allow you to hold meetings outside on sunny days will give individuals the opportunity to soak in a few rays whilst they work. Not only will this improve morale, but it will also help to focus the mind by giving your staff the chance for a change of scenery. The fresh air and the short walking commute will also be very beneficial for both health and mood too. As well as our excellent range of work furniture, we have an array of different solutions that could be utilised to great effect outside your office space.


Switch up your work furniture

Older office furniture is likely to be far from ergonomic. As such, not only might it be extremely uncomfortable for staff, causing frequent distractions, but the same poorly designed furniture may also eventually cause acute or chronic health problems amongst staff. By searching our site for quality, modern office furniture solutions, you will find that your employees can adjust their chair or desk heights to make better use of space and natural light, and that the right solutions will allow them to work in the position that will keep them most healthy.


Keep them moving

Outdoor meetings will be a great way of getting creative juices flowing and boosting morale, and adding some movement in may help even more. Whilst outdoor furniture could work wonders for your business, brainstorming sessions physically may also help. Not only will movement keep them fit and healthy physically, but it will also ensure that their minds remain sharp and don’t become numb through boredom or repetition.


Maximise natural light

Natural sunlight will help boost mood, reduce eye strain and even increase vitamin take-up by the body. As such, try not to rely too much on artificial light fixtures and instead see how you can increase the amount of sunlight entering your offices. Whether you opt for larger or extra windows or choose to install numerous skylights or light tunnels into your premises, both concentration and physical health should be improved.


Let them loose

If employees need to make numerous  calls, why not let them do so on mobile handsets? This way, they can enjoy the grounds of your premises, get some well deserved sunshine and keep fit all at the same time, and all without this impacting in any way on productivity – except perhaps for the better.


Incorporate exercise tools within the workplace

Having fun games and machines that could get workers active on their lunch breaks might help them to enjoy their downtime more and simultaneously keep their minds active. As such, by simply adding a few fun additions into your workplace, you could quickly improve job satisfaction and efficiency in one fell swoop.

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Looking after your new office furniture

Investing in new office furniture can make a huge difference to how your business is perceived as well as to the morale of those working for you. By improving how comfortable and attractive your office space is, you should be able to improve your reputation at the same time as reducing the chances of health problems being experienced by your staff. You may also find that sourcing the right types of furniture allows you to make far better use of the space available to you, and simultaneously ensures that employees can be a great deal more productive, whether working alone or collaborating with others.


Here at Furniture at Work, we have an array of furnishing solutions to help you maximise your productivity as well as the aesthetics of your workplace. However, to get the best value for money and to ensure that your business stays appealing for as long as possible to both employees and visitors, it will be important to care for your furniture in the most appropriate way.



Whilst new chairs and desks will help improve the look and productivity of your office, don’t overlook the importance of regular maintenance. From tightening screws and bolts to applying appropriate finishes to desks, not only might certain maintenance steps help you to keep your furniture functional, but certain steps may also actually help improve aesthetics too. It will also be worth inspecting furniture for damage every six months or so to ensure that small issues don’t turn into big ones over time. Don’t always assume your staff will tell you when there is a problem – many will stay silent so as not to kick up a fuss and may see their health or efficiency suffer as a result.



Ensure every employee treats furniture with respect. Don’t be afraid of putting up information or training individuals in how to best look after your office furniture. Putting too much weight or pressure on weaker parts of chairs or desks could easily lead to furniture being damaged, whilst simply having desks or chairs in the wrong position could mean that they become an accident waiting to happen.



Dusting should take place on a daily basis, using a dry cloth, whilst a damp cloth should be used to clean desks on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Avoid using chemicals on wooden desks, as these can damage the finish or leave streaks on the surface.

When in doubt about the best products to use on an item of furniture, always check with the manufacturer before diving in. In fact, it is always worth talking to suppliers about how best to clean furniture before you buy them, not only to ensure that you know the best cleaning solution from the start, but also to ensure that you are buying the right furniture for your own needs.

Always read the care instructions that come with any piece of furniture, keeping them on file to consult should you need to at a later date.



Not all desks, storage solutions and office chairs will be created equally. Consider the particular needs of your workforce and the tools, stock or assets your furniture may need to accommodate to ensure that you are not overloading your furniture and in turn, greatly reducing its lifespan as well as how safe it happens to be.

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