Creating an office to suit the needs of today’s worker

March 20, 2015

Technology has changed the way we work. Up until a few short years ago, people were tied to their desks, relying on PCs and landline phones to complete their tasks and communicate with the outside world. Now, people are much freer in terms of where they do their work, and this has had a huge impact on the way in which offices are designed. Also, employees’ expectations have evolved. Individuals are no longer prepared to put up with dull, dreary working areas. Instead, they want dynamic, appealing offices.


Given the huge developments that have taken place in the world of workplace design over recent years, you might feel unsure about how to create the perfect base for your business. However, help is at hand. This brief guide talks you through the basics of modern office design.


Focus on flexibility


Instead of populating most, if not all, of your working environment with conventional workstations comprising standard desks and chairs, it’s worth considering incorporating different zones within your office. For example, a rising number of organisations are adding designated breakout areas to their workspaces where employees can go to have informal meetings and discussions with their colleagues.

We offer a selection of products that can be ideal in these zones, including our Harmonica breakout seating and Cubist modular seating. If you’re worried about noise carrying across to the rest of your office, you can use floor screens to cordon it off. For added volume control, we offer versions with 40mm foam cushioning.


Introduce fun elements


Many people are spending longer than ever at work. To help break up the monotony of the daily grind, many companies are introducing fun elements to their offices to boost staff morale. Tech firms like Google are leading the charge. The web giant has included a range of innovative features in its workspaces around the globe, including games rooms and even slides.


OK, so slides might be taking things a step too far in your office, but a small games area could be a savvy investment. There is some sound logic behind the addition of these recreational spaces. After all, when personnel have the opportunity to really unwind and relax during their breaks, they tend to be more productive once they get back to their desks. Games areas can also help colleagues to bond, and they can help companies to recruit and retain the best personnel.


Never compromise on quality


The days when firms could get away with providing their staff members with shoddy workstations have gone. Now, people expect their employers to protect their wellbeing, and good quality chairs and desks play an important role in this. Substandard furnishings can be uncomfortable to use, and over time, they can even cause injury. According to figures provided by the Health and Safety Executive, there were a total of over 500,000 reported cases of musculoskeletal disorders in the UK in 2013-14, and many of these may have be caused or compounded by poor quality furniture.


With this in mind, it’s well worth investing in quality products like the chairs and desks included in our impressive range.

As long as you get these office design basics right, you should be able to create the perfect environment for your workers.


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Workstation health and safety: what you need to know

March 16, 2015

If you work in an office environment, you may be unaware of the impact that a poorly arranged workstation can have on your health. From postural problems, to eyestrain, headaches and fatigue, there are numerous health problems that can arise from an unhealthy desk layout. The good news is that many of these problems can be avoided. By arranging your workstation to allow for maximum comfort, you can prevent these troubles and benefit from a more healthy and productive working environment.

Desk and chairs

First and foremost, it’s important to have the right chairs and desk. An ergonomically designed chair that has an adjustable back, height and tilt can help you to avoid back pain. To prevent postural problems from developing, adjust your chair so that your lower back is properly supported. Chairs with high backs and contoured lower back areas are particularly effective at providing all-important support and comfort. As a general rule of thumb, your knees should be level with your hips, your elbows at a right angle and your feet flat on the floor. Try to avoid crossing your legs, as this can cause your posture to become twisted.


Computer screens that are too high or too low can cause you to strain your neck. To stop you from having to raise and lower your head, position your screen so that it is directly in front of you and the top of the monitor is at eye level. It’s also important to make sure that your computer is at a comfortable distance – roughly an arm’s length away.

To avoid headaches and eyestrain, your screen needs to be as glare-free as possible. To stop reflection from inside lighting and sunlight, you may need to use blinds or reposition your desk.

Mouse and keyboards

Just like your computer screen, your keyboard should be directly in front of you when you are typing. Try to leave around six inches at the front of the desk to rest your hands and wrists after long periods of typing. To maintain the right posture, keep your elbows at your side while using the keyboard. For added comfort, you may want to use a padded wrist rest. Your mouse should also be as close to you as possible so that you can keep your wrist straight.

Workstation arrangement

If you work in an office environment, your workstation is where you will spend a large chunk of your day, so it’s important to get the layout spot on. To avoid repeatedly twisting and stretching, make sure that frequently-used objects, such as your telephone and stationery, are within easy reach. Meanwhile, your desk must be spacious with adequate room to allow for easy movement.

If you think your workstation is having an adverse impact on your health, take a look around our site to see our ergonomically designed furniture.

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Boardrooms: the design basics

March 13, 2015

Your boardroom is a place where contracts can be won or lost, deals struck and vital decisions made. This means it’s vital that the space looks and feels the part. If you’re determined to create the perfect boardroom, take a look at these basic design principles.
Pick the perfect table
The focal point of your boardroom will be your table, so this piece of furniture must exude style and sophistication. It must also be a suitable size and meet your firm’s practical needs. Ideally, it will be in perfect proportion to the room, and it will comfortably fit enough people around it.
Depending on your requirements, you might want to opt for one single table. To create an intimate setting, circular versions can be ideal. Meanwhile, if you will need to accommodate large groups, a more sizeable rectangular design could be better. For a flexible solution, you can buy modular units that interlock with each other to enable you to create a range of different shapes.
Whatever type of table you choose, make sure it has a finish that complements your decor.
Invest in luxurious seating
If you want people to be able to concentrate while they’re in your boardroom, and if you want to impress your visitors, comfy and attractive seating is a must. You can take your pick from a range of chairs, including everything from traditional leather versions to modern looking seats featuring mesh.
The important thing is that the chairs you choose look the part and offer plenty of support to help people get through potentially long meetings and presentations without starting to feel fidgety.
Integrate your tech
Think carefully about the technology you want to integrate into this space too. You might need everything from video conferencing solutions to white boards. You will also require plenty of power points so that your colleagues and visitors can plug in their laptops and other devices if necessary. Meanwhile, you will benefit from setting up a good audio system that enables people to hear one another clearly. Ceiling or boundary microphones can come in handy for this purpose.
Think about how your lighting will interact with your technology too. You should be able to eliminate glare on screens and create the perfect viewing conditions at the touch of a button.
Pay attention to detail
In addition, make sure you pay careful attention to detail when you’re designing this part of your office. The decor should reflect your company’s brand and be visually appealing. As a general rule, less is more in the world of boardroom interior design. After all, you don’t want too many distractions. However, the addition of a few well placed plants can help to bring the areas to life, and some branded signage can work well too.
It’s also important to make sure all your wiring is tucked neatly away, and you should keep this area clean and tidy at all times.
By following simple tips like these, you should be able to dress your boardroom to impress.

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Why effective display and presentation equipment are a must for modern firms

March 12, 2015

Rising to the top in the modern business world isn’t simply a matter of having great ideas. It’s also about presenting these ideas in a convincing manner. No doubt some of the very best initiatives ever conceived of by would-be entrepreneurs have not come to fruition simply because the masterminds behind them didn’t have the persuasive force needed to get others on board. If you want to win contacts, entice investors and generally make your company a success you need to convince people that your products or services are worth backing.
This is why effective display and presentation equipment is so important. Without these resources, you could struggle to win others round to your cause and your efforts may prove to be in vain.
Take your pick
The good news is, there’s no shortage of superb display products to take advantage of now. You can take your pick from a host of items, including flipcharts, projection screens, whiteboards, folding displays, lecterns and much more.
We offer a variety of these products at great value prices, meaning you needn’t spend a fortune to get what you’re after. Whether you’re looking for resources to help you attract attention at exhibitions, equipment to enable you to give slick presentations in your boardroom or anything else, we can help.
To ensure you make the right purchasing decisions, it’s important to think carefully about the purpose you want these products to serve, as well as the environments that you will use them in.
The business case
OK, so you will have to part with a little cash to get your hands on these items, but this should prove to be a savvy investment. Having the right equipment will help ensure that your firm looks professional, which will in turn instill confidence in potential customers, investors and any other third parties that you deal with. In contrast, if you make do with tatty, old or inappropriate display aids, you risk alienating your audience.
Also, being able to use high-quality screens, boards, lecterns and more will help you to present your ideas in a slick, polished way. Most people feel nervous when they give pitches and talks, but when they have the advantage of being able to use the best possible equipment, they tend to be more self-assured. This can make a big difference to the quality of their performances.
It’s often said that only a bad workman blames his tools. However, the fact is, without the right display equipment at your disposal, you’ll find it very difficult to create a positive impression when you’re trying to convey your ideas – no matter how good they are.
To sum up, spending a little money on suitable display and presentation products could give your bottom line a major boost over the long-term. If you’re interested in stocking up on resources like these, you can peruse our website to see what’s available. You shouldn’t struggle to find what you’re after and, if you need any help, our friendly and professional team are on standby to answer your questions.

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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.
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.
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.
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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