Can Your Office Set-Up Help Control Stress Levels?

May 8, 2015

While some work-related stress is normal, excessive amounts can hinder productivity and have a detrimental impact on employees’ physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways in which you can keep stress levels under control at work. We all know that impending deadlines and hefty workloads can cause increased anxiety and added strain, but what is less well known is that office set up can also have an impact on workers’ moods. If you want to find out more about how workplace design can affect stress levels, this simple guide should help.
 
Break-out areas
 
Providing break-out areas where employees can forget about the demands of their job can help to alleviate work pressures. If people feel like they have nowhere to relax during the day, they are more likely to become vulnerable to stress and suffer a burnout. To combat this, offices should incorporate recreational spaces where workers can socialise and spend some time away from their desks. While this may seem counter-productive, stepping away from work to briefly relax and remove yourself from stressful situations can help to ease tension, which can in turn help boost productivity and enhance mental sharpness.
 
The importance of layout
 
When trying to stave off stress, it’s important to think about the layout of workspaces. Confined workstations and enclosed cubicles can leave staff feeling depressed and demotivated, whereas open workspaces can help to nurture a more friendly, sociable atmosphere. Breaking down physical barriers between workers can encourage collaboration and make people feel as though their workload is shared.
 
However, it’s important to bear in mind that employees will have different preferences in how they like to work, and catering to their individual needs can help to keep everyone happy. For example, if some of your staff require a quiet environment, office screens can provide them with the privacy they need.
 
As a general rule of thumb, offices that are well-ventilated, spacious and have plenty of natural light can help to increase employee morale and keep workplace woes at bay.
 
Comfortable office furniture
 
Uncomfortable, poorly designed chairs and desks can also add to feelings of stress in the workplace. If you want workers to be happy and healthy, it’s important to invest in well-crafted, ergonomically designed furniture. Not only can comfortable chairs and appropriately sized desks improve your staff members’ overall mood, it can also lead to improved work performances and reduce absenteeism – which is good news for your business’s bottom line.
 
Clear the clutter
 
A study conducted by the National Association of Professional Organisers showed that the average worker wastes approximately 4.3 hours a week searching for papers, which can cause increased levels of frustration and stress. A cluttered desk that is piled high with paperwork and swamped in office supplies can lead to feelings of mental overload and prevent personnel from staying on top of their tasks. Filing cabinets, cupboards and other storage solutions can promote greater efficiency and help people to feel more in control of their work.
 
 

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Simple Ways To Keep Your Office Organised

May 5, 2015

If your desk is piled high with paperwork, you trip over a mass of cables on the way to the coffee machine and you spend more time searching for your supplies than doing work, it’s high time you got organised. Bringing order to your office can sometimes seem like a mammoth task, but it doesn’t have to be. There are simple ways you can get your workspace into shape – and here’s a few tips to get you started.
 
Invest in storage solutions
 
Investing in storage is one of the easiest and most effective ways to organise a chaotic office. Filing cabinets, bookcases and under desk pedestals are ideal for keeping your files, folders and important documents organised while freeing up valuable desk space. To maximise your efforts, it’s a good idea to create an easy-to-use system for filing and archiving. This could be alphabetical, colour coded or numerical – whichever way suits you best. You may also want to designate separate sections for work in progress and completed projects to help you stay on top of your tasks.
 
If you think that your office is stifling productivity and could do with a sprucing-up, take a look around our site and browse our selection of office storage.
 
Declutter
 
Once you’ve invested in effective storage, try to avoid getting carried away and cramming your shelves, bookcases and filers full of junk. First, it’s important to purge your office of anything that you don’t need. Look around you – are there any items that haven’t been used in god-knows-how-long and are collecting dust in the corner? If so, chances are you don’t need them.
 
If your desk is buried under post-its, papers and other equipment, let’s face it, you’re probably not getting much work done. To cut down on distractions and give your productivity a boost, go through every item on your desk and give it a proper home. Use desktop organisers, trays and containers to help keep clutter at bay and put labels on shelves, drawers and any other type of storage to remind you and your colleagues where things go. And don’t just stop at your workstation either – empty drawers, clean out cupboards and sort through your computer’s filing system too.
 
Prioritise your supplies
 
To take your organisation to new levels, try prioritising your supplies. Keep items that you use the most within easy reach, while rarely-used provisions can be stored away to keep your space neat and tidy. To save yourself from wasting time hunting down the things you need, keep frequently-used folders and books on a nearby shelf and reserve top drawers for pens, notepads and other important equipment.
 
To help you keep on top of your workload, try hanging a memo board above your desk and attach your assignments, meeting notes and other responsibilities to remind you of important dates and deadlines.
 
By following simple tips like these, you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference a well-ordered space can make to your working day.
 

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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.

Monitors

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.
 
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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