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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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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