4 Office Design Hacks That Could Make Your Workers Happier

September 7, 2016

Are your employees lacking motivation? Has productivity and performance dwindled? Aside from boredom or stress, did you know that the physical office environment could be to blame for low worker morale? The good news is, with a few simple tweaks you should be able to transform your workplace into a stimulating and inspiring space for your staff. If you are looking to lift your employees’ spirits, here are four office design hacks that could make them happier.  

 

  1. Change your colour scheme

 

Studies have shown that colours can have a significant impact on our mood and wellbeing. With that in mind, if you want to boost morale and help ensure your employees thrive in their jobs, it might be time to inject some colour into your workplace. Hues like blue and green are believed to instill feelings of calm and increase productivity, while brighter colours like red and oranges can stimulate creativity and enhance energy levels. However, be careful not to go overboard with your colour scheme; using too many vibrant shades can cause stress and frustration, while too many dark colours can bring about feelings of sadness.

 

  1. Give your staff members a choice in how they work

 

Today, open plan workspaces are a popular option for office designs. However, while shared spaces can be great for boosting teamwork and encouraging co-workers to socialise, the increased noise levels and distractions can lead to frustration and stress. On the other hand, private offices or cubicles can reduce communication between colleagues and increase feelings of isolation. The solution? Strike a balance by giving your workers a choice of both collaborative and private workspaces that can be used for different tasks. Office screens can help you achieve this. By providing alternative work zones, your staff will feel like they have more control over how they work, which will in turn boost their mood and lead to higher job satisfaction.

 

  1. Get the lighting right

 

Natural light is known to help stave off feelings of depression, stress and fatigue. So if you want your staff to be engaged and stimulated at work, make the most of sunlight by positioning as many desks as possible near to windows. Glass walls and partitions can also be used to brighten up your office and make the space feel more light and airy. When it comes to artificial light, try to avoid fluorescent strip lights and instead opt for bulbs that replicate natural light.

 

  1. Provide breakout areas

 

Staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day without a break is bound to make anyone miserable. To keep your workers happy, you need to provide spaces where they can wind down and de-stress. Having breakout areas, games rooms or canteens can encourage staff members to step away from their work to socialise with their colleagues and blow off steam, which can work wonders for morale and productivity.

These office design hacks offer a simple and effective way to raise worker happiness – so why not give them a try and see what a difference they can make?
 
 

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A 3 Step Guide to Giving Your Desk a Makeover

August 31, 2016

How you set up and organise your desk can have a significant impact on how well you work. In fact, it’s well known that a messy, poorly designed workspace can slow down your performance and hinder productivity. So, if your workstation is scattered with stationary, littered with paperwork or you struggle to reach the things you need, now might be the time for a revamp. To make things simple, here is a three step guide to giving your desk a makeover.

 

  1. Get the layout spot on

 

One of the most common mistakes office workers make is not having the right desk layout. Not only can an incorrectly set up workspace impede efficiency, but it can also cause a range of health problems, such as neck pain, backache and headaches. To prevent these problems, make sure that your computer monitor is directly in front of you at eye level and about an arm’s length away. Your keyboard should be in front of you and positioned a few inches from the edge of the table so your wrists can rest while you type. Frequently used items, like your phone or stationary supplies, should be within close proximity so that you can reach them without having to bend or stretch.

 

  1. Clear the clutter

 

The average worker can lose a significant amount of time every day as a result of having a disorganised desk. If you’re wasting valuable time and not working to the best of your ability, the chances are you need to clear the clutter. Your desk should be used for essential, everyday items only, such as your computer, phone and stationary. Scan your workspace and look out for anything you haven’t used in a while. Any items gathering dust that are not used on a daily basis can be stored elsewhere. Try to keep personal knick-knacks to a minimum as well, as too many pictures, trinkets and novelty items in your line of vision can be a real distraction. It’s also worth grouping similar objects together so they can be easily located.

 

  1. Have a filing system in place

 

In addition, it’s important to prioritise your workload with an efficient filing system. As a general rule of thumb, you should only keep important and urgent work on your desk.. Anything else can be filed elsewhere, shredded or thrown away. To prevent your work surfaces from becoming piled high in paperwork, invest in desk trays and organisers so that any paperwork you receive can be dealt with in the right order. It is also a good idea to check and revise your filing system on a regular basis so you can clearly see what work you need to prioritise.
 
Keeping your desk in order takes effort and constant upkeep, so it’s essential that you assess your surroundings frequently to make sure everything is in place. By following simple makeover tips like these, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you can transform a messy, unproductive desk into an organised and efficient workspace.

 

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5 Furnishings That Can Help You Combat Common Office Gripes

August 3, 2016

When it comes to keeping your employees happy and productive, the fittings and furnishings in your office can make all the difference. After all, many workers may spend more time in the office than they do at home, so it’s important to make sure they are content with their surroundings. From cramped desks, to uncomfortable chairs, to distracting noise levels, there are all sorts of things that can get on employees’ nerves and distract them from their work. Luckily, some simple furniture upgrades and alterations are often enough to keep these niggles at bay. If you are looking to restore harmony to your workspace, here are five furnishings that can help you combat common office gripes.

 

  1. Ergonomic chairs

 

One of the most prevalent office bugbears is uncomfortable, poorly designed chairs. Not only can sitting for prolonged periods of time without proper support for the back, hips and legs cause a range of health ailments, but it can also hinder productivity. Workers who are uncomfortable can become easily distracted and frustrated, resulting in low morale and poor performance. If your staff are constantly shifting in their seats and complaining that they feel sore and stiff at the end of the day, the chances are you need to invest in ergonomic seating solutions.

 

Ideally, office chairs should be adjustable by height, have a tilting back function and padded seats. This will ensure that they provide sufficient support and fit users’ individual proportions. Chairs should also have a swivel function to ensure that workers can maneuver easily around their desks to carry out different tasks. You’ll be surprised by how much of a difference a high-quality, ergonomically designed seat can make to people’s overall health and happiness at work.

 

  1. Spacious desks

 

There’s nothing more irritating and counterproductive than a cramped workstation. If employees don’t have enough space to perform everyday tasks, it can lead to increased stress levels and, as a result, decreased efficiency. If your staff members’ worksurfaces are piled high in paperwork, their notes are spilling onto their neighbours’ desks and they have to navigate their way through clutter to find what they need, it’s time to invest in bigger designs.

 

Office desks should have enough space for key items, such as a computer, keyboard, phone and some extra room to take notes. Employees need to be able to move around the workstation freely and use the equipment without having to bend awkwardly or stretch to reach the things they need. If more space is needed, desks with incorporated storage solutions or under desk pedestals are a great option as they provide added room for everyday supplies without taking up valuable floor space.

 

  1. Office screens

 

Another common complaint from office workers is noise, especially in open plan workspaces. While open plan layouts can be an effective way to enhance collaboration, they can also result in higher stress levels and a low standard of work. Especially for tasks which require prolonged stints of focus, having the constant distraction of colleague conversations and ringing phones can be a recipe for disaster. One simple and cost-effective way to increase privacy and boost productivity is to use office screens.

 

Office screens are designed to split larger spaces into smaller, secluded work zones. Made from sound-absorbing materials, the screens help to drown out noise to make it easier for staff to concentrate on their tasks. If an employee has an important deadline coming up, or needs to escape the hubbub of the main work area for a few hours to knuckle down, office screens can come in very useful. You may also want to consider desk screens, which can be used to divide shared workspaces to create more privacy.

 

  1. Organised filing systems

 

Messy, unorganised filing systems are another gripe among office staff. When there is no order to the filing cabinet, people can end up putting documents and files in the wrong place simply because they don’t know where they belong. Not only is this infuriating for other workers who are trying to locate work, but it can also waste valuable time. To bring order back to your office and keep clutter to a minimum, you may need to re-think your office’s storage solutions.

 

One of the best things you can do is invest in a filing system which has plenty of space and integrated file holders that will keep everything neat and tidy. Files and documents should also be clearly labelled to avoid wasting time trying to track them down. As a general rule of thumb, filing systems should have an incoming, in-progress and outgoing section to help employees prioritise their workloads. It may also be worth getting a shredder or recycling bin to encourage staff to discard unwanted paper.

 

  1.  Canteen/ break-out furniture

 

It’s well known that workers eating their lunch at their desks is among the most annoying office habits. A study which surveyed 2,500 UK office employees found that over half of them were irritated by colleagues who were noisy when they eat. As well as loud eaters, smelly food, leftovers and crumbs on the desk can also irritate staff and prevent them from getting their work done.

 

The good news is, these irksome eating habits can easily be resolved by providing canteen or break-out furniture and positioning them away from the main office area. This way, staff can prepare food, eat and chat to colleagues during their lunchtime without distracting other people who are trying to work. Even if your workplace is lacking in square footage, you can use space-saving, collapsible canteen furniture which can easily be stored away when not in use.

 

By showing your team that you have taken the time to improve their working environment with simple furnishing solutions like these, you should be able to boost morale, improve job satisfaction and create a far more productive office. If you would like inspiration on how to create the perfect workspace, why not browse the collection of high-quality, practical furniture on our website today?

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5 Easy Ways to Combat Annoying Distractions in the Workspace

August 1, 2016

Hands up anyone who’s ever had to deal with annoying distractions at work. One thing’s for sure, if you’ve had to put up with these frustrations, you’re not alone. Whether it’s loud conversations, buzzing phones or co-workers eating their lunches at their desks, there are all sorts of annoying interruptions that come with office life. Not only can these common bugbears rub employees up the wrong way, but they can also lead to low worker morale, poor performance and reduced productivity – all of which can damage a company’s bottom line. Luckily, there are plenty of simple yet effective ways to minimise these disturbances and restore peace to the office. To give you some useful ideas, here are five easy ways to combat annoying distractions in the workspace.

 

  1. Use office screens

 

Open plan office spaces have become increasingly popular over recent decades, offering companies the chance to bolster collaboration and promote a sense of camaraderie among employees. However, while there are many benefits to these types of workspaces, they also come with their downsides. With increased noise levels and constant distractions, an open work environment can cause staff members to feel frustrated and stressed, which can have a negative effect on productivity. Without any privacy or quiet time, many people struggle to focus on their tasks and, consequently, the standard of their work slips.

 

Luckily, this issue can be easily resolved with office screens. These portable room dividers are made from special sound-absorbing materials and can be used to break up open plan office spaces to reduce distractions and lower noise levels. They can be utilised to create separate work zones that can be used for meetings or individual tasks that require focused attention. You can also get smaller desk screens, which can be used to divide shared workstations and provide more privacy for employees.

 

  1. Invest in plenty of storage

 

Another irritating distraction in the workspace is mess. Being surrounding by stacks of paperwork, files and folders and other office knickknacks can make it almost impossible for employees to give their full attention to their tasks. While some people are just messier than others, one simple solution that can prevent a cluttered environment is to provide more storage. Without a proper place to keep their office supplies, people often end up dumping things on desks and other surfaces and, before you know it, your workplace has descended into mayhem.

 

If you want your staff to perform to the best of their ability, streamline their surroundings by providing a variety of storage solutions, including filing systems, under-desk drawers, shelves and bookcases. Make sure that all office equipment and tools have a clear home so that people will avoid putting them in places they don’t belong. It is also worth having shredders, bins and recycling containers to keep unnecessary paperwork off desktops. Before leaving the office at the end of the day, ask employees to have a quick clear up and make sure everything has been stored away in a suitable place to prevent the clutter from building up.

 

  1. Provide an eating area

 

It’s well known that one of the most infuriating workplace distractions is people eating their lunch at their desks. Whether it’s smelly food, noisy eaters or people not clearing away their leftovers, it’s easy to see how these lunchtime habits can throw people off balance and prevent them from focusing on their job.

 

A straightforward way to avoid this problem is to provide a separate area for people to eat. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a designated dining area – even a simple canteen table and chair setup away from the main workspace can encourage staff to move away from their desks when they are eating lunch. This way, staff can eat and socialise with colleagues without getting sideways glances from people who are trying to work.

 

  1. Put a ban on personal items

 

Let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty of texting, answering a personal phone call or checking our social media notifications while at work, right? While glancing at a phone every once in awhile is harmless, when done incessantly it can be a real distraction – not only for the person doing it, but also for those around them.

 

To keep your personnel focused on the task at hand and minimise technology interruptions, it can help to provide places where workers can store their personal items and keep them out of sight, such as a drawer under the desk or a locker. You may also want to consider having a policy where no personal phones are allowed during working hours to remove the temptation to use them.

 

  1. Plan the layout carefully

 

The layout of an office can also be a distraction. Whether it’s the constant noise from printers, traffic from outside or lift doors opening and closing, a poorly planned office design can mean that employees struggle to focus.

 

If you want your staff to remain productive, it pays off to carefully plan the layout of your office to minimise possible disturbances. Ideally, you should try to avoid positioning workstations next to high traffic spots, such as by the printing area, eating spaces, entrances or walkways and instead opt for quieter settings. If you have the space, it’s a good idea to have designated zones for different activities. For example, having a separate place for printing and scanning and an area for filing can help to reduce the chance of interferences. While this might mean you have to go to the effort of reshuffling a few desks and some equipment, the benefits will make this well worth your while in the long run.  

 

In every office there are bound to be some irritating distractions that simply can’t be avoided. However, by following simple suggestions like these, you should be able to boost concentration levels, enhance efficiency and make your workplace a far more pleasant place to be. For more ideas on how to create an efficient, productive workspace, why not browse our range of high quality office furniture today?

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Your Guide To Using Colour In The Workplace

July 28, 2016

Chances are, you probably haven’t given much thought to the colours used in your workplace. However, research has shown that the shades you choose for your office could be more important than you may initially think. In fact, studies suggest that the colours we are surrounded by on a daily basis can have a significant effect on our mood and productivity levels. It’s also important to note that different hues can be used to reinforce a company’s brand. To help you make the most of your décor, here is your essential guide to using colour in the workplace.

 

Reinforce your brand

 

Colour is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reinforce your image and company culture. For example, if you want to convey a sense of creativity and high energy, you may want incorporate vibrant, fun shades like yellows and oranges into your décor scheme. If you want to be seen as a leader in the industry, dark hues like navy and purples can help to project an air of professionalism, power and authority. You may also choose to use your logo or website colours when decorating your workspace to promote your marketing message even more. Not only can using brand colours make your business more memorable to clients and customers, it can also help to stimulate your workforce and make them feel more connected to the company.

 

Improve productivity

 

Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than working in a bland, dull office space for eight hours a day. Not only are white walls and beige furniture unpleasing to the eye, but this kind of environment can also be demotivating, leading to low morale and poor performance. If you want to inspire your staff members and encourage them to work to their best ability, consider decorating your office with bright, mood-lifting hues. It’s thought that blues and greens can be particularly effective when it comes to enhancing productivity, concentration and creativity, and these colours can also induce calm feelings and lower anxiety, which can be especially useful in stressful or fast-paced workplaces.

 

Achieve the perfect balance

 

While you’ll no doubt want your office space to be stimulating and cheery, take care to use bright and striking hues in moderation. Too many bold shades can increase levels of stress and even cause eyestrain and headaches, while dark colours can make your office look smaller and more oppressive. To achieve the perfect balance, interior designers usually recommend that offices incorporate a neutral colour for the main background hue and then use more prominent shades to add visual interest. For example, they can be included in the form of an accent wall or pieces of office furniture. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to keep the main work area and reception room fairly light – but if you do want to draw attention to a particular spot, eye-catching choices are ideal.

By bearing tips like these in mind next time you come to decorate, you should be able to harness the power of colour in your workplace, boost your brand and create a happier, more efficient workforce.

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6 Essential Features To Look For In An Operator Chair

July 25, 2016

When it comes to choosing seating solutions for your office, getting it right is crucial. After all, a lot of office workers now spend the majority of their days sitting at their desks, and a poorly designed, uncomfortable seat can lead to increased stress levels, reduced productivity and a variety of health problems. To help you make the perfect choice and keep your workers happy and healthy, here are six essential features to look for in an operator chair.

 

  1. Adjustable height

 

A high-quality, ergonomic office chair should be height adjustable to suit the user’s individual proportions and ensure maximum comfort. The seat should feature a lever which allows the user to adjust the chair so that they are sitting with their feet flat on the floor, their thighs horizontal and their elbows level with their desktop. A correctly adjusted chair can help to prevent muscle aches and pains and promote healthy posture.

 

  1. Sufficient back support

 

Sitting for long periods of time without enough back support can put pressure on the muscles that support the spine, which can lead to chronic backache. To maintain good spine health, operator chairs need to have a cushioned backrest that supports the natural curve of the spine, especially in the lumbar region. Maintaining a static position is also bad news for back health, so make sure the chair has an adjustable back tilt function that allows users to adopt different seating postures throughout the day to stop them from getting sore and stiff.

 

  1. A comfy seat

 

The seat should be adjustable or provide enough room so that the user can sit back in the chair without putting pressure on the back of the legs. The seat should also be contoured at the front (also known as a waterfall front chair) to prevent blood flow from being restricted in the legs.

 

  1. Suitable materials

 

The material of the seat should have enough padding so that the chair is comfortable to sit on for long periods of time. The material also needs to be firm enough to provide adequate support for the legs, hips and back, but soft enough so that it cushions pressure points. It is also a good idea to choose breathable fabric to prevent heat from building up.

 

  1. Swivel function

 

Operator chairs are designed to allow the user to perform a variety of tasks and should feature an easy to use swivel function. This allows office workers to carry out their work efficiently with minimal effort and without causing muscular strain from awkward bending and twisting.  

 

  1. Adjustable armrests

 

If workers are going to be sitting for extended time periods, adjustable armrests are also a must-have to support their arms as they work. Armrests should be adjustable by height to suit the user’s proportions and their prefered working style.

 

While there is no one particular chair that is best for all office work, these are some useful features that you might want to look out for when you’re making a purchase.

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How To Take The Stress Out Of An Office Relocation

July 1, 2016

There’s no getting around the fact that moving offices can be a hectic and challenging time. Whether your current space is no longer big enough to meet your needs, you want to downsize or you’re simply looking for a change of scene, shifting to a new workplace can give rise to all sorts of complications. However, with a little bit of thoughtful planning and preparation, you can ensure that the transition runs as smoothly as possible. To help take the stress out of an office relocation, here are some key points to consider.

 

Choose the right place

 

Your first priority is choosing the perfect place for your new office. To do this, you’ll need to have a long-term plan and consider what kind of things you will require from your space. Not only will you have to thoroughly assess your current requirements, but you also need to think about your future business plans and growth trajectory to ensure you won’t outgrow your workplace. For example, is it likely that you will be expanding your team in the future? Will you need meeting spaces and boardrooms as well as a main work area? Is the premises flexible enough to accommodate for your changing requirements? Asking yourself these kinds of questions will give you a clearer idea of what kind of office space you need. It’s also important to think carefully about the location of your new office and assess how easy it will be for your employees and clients to get to. By taking these factors into account now, you won’t have to worry about them further down the line.

 

Decide on the best time to move

 

Once you’ve got your new office space lined up, it’s time to start thinking about the best time to move. Try to give yourself an estimated timeline to ensure that the transition stays on track and that you don’t leave anything to the last minute. Ideally, you should allow several weeks to fully complete the move, although this will depend on the size of your business. It’s also wise to try and plan your moving date to coincide with a time that will have as little impact on your business as possible. For example, you may decide that the best time to do it is after working hours or during the weekend to minimise disruptions and downtime. This could mean that your staff will be able to pack up their personal items at the end of the day and return to work as normal the next morning.  

 

Have a plan in place

 

When moving offices, it pays off to have a plan. One way to increase the likelihood that your move will be a success is to have a schedule that outlines every step of the process and prioritises events in order of importance. You may even decide to assign a project manager to oversee the entire transition and ensure everything is done within your budget and allotted time frame. To make sure nothing is left out or forgotten about, it is also worth having a checklist or inventory of everything that needs to be moved, including office furniture, IT equipment and general office supplies. To ensure all your furnishings and accessories will fit into your new premises, try to get accurate measurements of the size and floorplan of your new workplace and have a rough idea of where everything is going to be located. Not only will this help you to get the most out of the space, but it will also make the moving day run a lot more smoothly and save you from having the stress of reshuffling and rearranging when you get there.

 

Enlist professional help

 

Sometimes, certain things are best left to the professionals. Hiring a moving team can help ensure that the process is more streamlined, safe and cost effective, allowing you and your staff to focus on the daily operations of your business. Start by finding an experienced moving team that specialises in office relocations and can assist you through every step of the process, from packing and transporting to assembling your furnishings and equipment. As well as moving teams, you may also want to consider hiring an IT specialist to supervise the changeover of IT equipment, including broadband and telephone lines, and to ensure that systems are up and running as soon as possible. Enlisting the help of a commercial real estate agent can also be useful if you want to assess your new lease’s terms and conditions.

 

Don’t forget about hidden costs

 

With the stress and chaos of relocating, it can be easy to forget about the smaller details when you’re managing your budget. However, this can prove to be a costly mistake. When deciding on a spending limit for your office transition, it’s always worth setting aside some extra cash for unexpected costs. For example, you may need to account for potential employee downtime, and it is likely that you will have more expensive overheads if you are moving to a larger building. Another potential cost that you may have overlooked is renovation work that might need to be completed in your new location, including updating the office furniture and décor. To help you plan your moving budget accurately, consider speaking to a professional accountant or financial advisor.

 

Tie up any loose ends

 

Finally, you’ll need to tie up any loose ends before you make the move. For example, you should check whether you need to pay any outstanding bills from your current premises. You also need to contact all of your suppliers, including internet, phone and utility companies, and inform them of your impending move – ideally giving them as much notice as possible. Don’t forget to leave a forwarding address for mail too.

 

Moving to a new office can be a daunting and stressful experience for everyone involved. However, with some careful planning and forward-thinking, you can eliminate much of the anxiety and many of the complications often associated with these transitions.
 

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Preparing Your Office For An Important Business Pitch

June 29, 2016

Whether you’re trying to get funding from investors or win the custom of a potential client, when it comes to pitches, the stakes are high. After all, the impression you make can be the difference between taking your ideas to the next level and missing out on valuable opportunities. Your office plays a crucial role in how other people view your company, and if you want to bolster your efforts and increase the chances of your presentation being a success, a little preparation can go a long way. So, if you’ve got an important business pitch coming up, here are a few suggestions you may want to bear in mind.

 

Have the right equipment on hand

 

Once you have decided what the main points of your presentation are, you’ll need to think carefully about how you are going to get your ideas across. If the meeting is taking place in your boardroom or conference room, it’s vital to make sure you have all the right equipment set up in advance. For example, you may choose to use visual aids such as PowerPoint and flipcharts to display facts and figures in an easy to understand way and to reinforce your key points. Or perhaps you want to deliver your pitch via a short video, in which case you will need to have appropriate video technology on hand. It’s also a good idea to test all of your equipment just before you are due to deliver your presentation to ensure that it is working properly and to avoid any embarrassing technical faults. Providing a handout for the audience with a short summary of your ideas can also help to enhance your message, and you may want to provide people with pens and paper so they can jot down notes if they need to.

 

Spruce up your office

 

When meeting with potential client and investors, first impressions are essential. The way your workplace is presented can speak volumes about your company’s culture, aspirations and work ethic. A messy, poorly kept office is bound to reflect badly on your business and may signal to others that you are unorganised and negligent in your working methods. An organised and tidy office, on the other hand, will exude an air of success and professionalism and instil confidence in your guests. Before your clients are due to arrive, give your office a thorough clean and make sure everything is in order, paying particular attention to the areas they are likely to see and spend time in, such as reception rooms and boardrooms. Ask your staff to de-clutter their workspaces and remove any confidential or unprofessional paperwork from their desks. You may even want to give your walls a fresh lick of paint if the décor is looking scruffy or outdated, and replace any broken or substandard office furniture. At the very least, you should provide a variety of comfortable seating options and a suitable meeting table.

 

Show off your success

It’s not just the pitch itself that can sway a prospective client’s or investor’s opinion of your business. Giving an important presentation at your office also provides you with the perfect opportunity to show off your success and promote your brand. After all, the aim of the pitch is to sell a product or idea that your business has to offer, so it only makes sense that your surroundings should reinforce this. For example, having a branded interior can help to make your firm more memorable and create the image of an established business. You may also want to display any awards or certificates you have achieved and have a range of portfolio samples on hand to demonstrate previous work and projects you are proud of. Not only will this help to engage your guests, it can also serve to gain their trust by showing them what you are capable of achieving.

 

Let your employees know

 

It is also wise to let your employees know when you are due to deliver a pitch. Let’s face it, the last thing you want is someone interrupting you half way through the meeting to tell you you’ve got a phone call waiting. Try to give your employees and colleagues advanced warning so they know when you will be busy – and remind them again shortly before the meeting. You should also make everyone aware of the time you have booked the boardroom or conference room for to avoid any disruptions. Another important thing to bear in mind is that your clients could have chance encounters with any employee who works for your company, so make sure that everyone is clear about how they should greet guests and conduct themselves more generally. Encourage your workforce to dress appropriately and act in a professional manner when clients and investors are on site, as this will help to give an overall positive view of your business. You may also want to let your staff know the names of the clients and give them some background information.

 

Stock up on refreshments

 

Sometimes, it’s the small details that can make all the difference. If you want to leave a favourable impression and make your guests feel welcome in your office, don’t forget to stock up on refreshments. Provide a selection of hot and cold drinks and an assortment of snacks to keep your guests refreshed and help them maintain concentration. By providing refreshments, you will also show potential clients and investors that you care about their needs and have great attention to detail. Bear in mind that you may want to assign a member of staff to offer beverages so you can concentrate on delivering your pitch.

 

By giving yourself plenty of time to prepare your office and notify your workers, you should be able to leave a favourable impression and increase the chances of your presentation being a triumph. For inspiration on how to impress clients and deliver a winning business pitch at your workplace, why not browse our collection of high-quality office furniture and presentation equipment today?
 

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8 Office Design Hacks That Could Help Your Workers Concentrate

June 27, 2016

Did you know that the physical environment of the office can have a significant impact on how well people work? If they’re functioning in poorly designed open plan workspaces, it can be hard for employees to focus, and stay focused. Whether it’s constant phone calls, colleague conversations or noisy printers, everyday office hubbub can have a negative effect on productivity and performance. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to create a workplace that promotes focus, minimises distractions and boosts your bottom line. Here are eight office design hacks that could help your staff concentrate.

 

  1. Have dedicated quiet zones

 

While open plan offices can be great for improving workforce collaboration and fostering team spirit, they can also be a source of frustration and stress. Being exposed to constant visual distractions and noise can make it difficult for staff members to focus on their tasks, often resulting in increased irritability and poor quality work. To get the most out of your personnel, it’s useful to provide a choice of collaborative and private workspaces. Having dedicated ‘quiet zones’ away from main working areas gives employees the chance to have some peace and quiet to knuckle down to individual projects without any interruptions.

 

  1. Relocate your printing area

 

There’s nothing more distracting than having the continual noise of printers and scanners when you are trying to concentrate on your work. If you want to avoid rubbing your employees up the wrong way, it’s a good idea to keep your printers and other noisy pieces of equipment separate from the main workspace. If your office is lacking square footage, consider putting equipment in corridors, lobbies or any other space that isn’t used for work.

 

  1. Use office screens

 

Another easy and effective way to reduce distractions in the office and bolster worker performance is to use office screens and room partitions. Made from special sound-absorbing materials, these boards are ideal for open workspaces and can be used to lower noise levels and break up the main work area to create secluded spaces for meetings, brainstorming sessions and private work areas. As well as floor partitions, you may want to consider investing in desktop screens that can be used to divide desks, give workers more privacy and reduce colleague disruptions.

 

  1. Have breakout areas

 

A simple change of scenery can work wonders for morale and motivation. Having a breakout area, canteen or business lounge gives employees the chance to switch up their everyday routine, de-stress and socialise with colleagues. Allowing staff to briefly get away from their desks allows them to recharge their batteries, which can in turn help them to remain more focused when they return to their work. While it can be attempting to assume that downtime is bad news for productivity, it’s now widely accepted that breaks can actually increase performance in the long run. In contrast, encouraging people to do lengthy stints of work without breaks can be highly de-motivating.

 

  1. Choose the right lighting

 

Lighting can affect the way in which we work too, but unfortunately, this is an area of office design that often gets overlooked. Lighting that is too bright or too dim can cause headaches, eyestrain, fatigue and irritability. To ensure your staff feel energised and ready to tackle challenging work demands, it’s vital to make sure your office is well lit. Try to utilise as much sunlight as possible, and provide a balance of overhead lights and task lamps for workers’ desks. As a general rule of thumb, avoid very bright incandescents and instead opt for bulbs that replicate natural light.

 

  1. Upgrade your furniture

 

If your personnel are constantly shifting and adjusting in their seat, chances are they’re not getting much work done. Having high-quality, adjustable seats and correctly set up workstations is crucial if you want your staff to remain engaged with their tasks. After all, most office workers spend the majority of their days sitting at a desks, and if they’re uncomfortable, it’s unlikely that they will be functioning to the best of their ability. To ensure that workstations are ergonomically set up, there are a few checks you can do. For example, employees’ feet should rest flat on the floor when they’re in their office chairs, their backs should be well supported and their computer screen should be positioned at eye level and about an arm’s length away. Providing footstools, lumbar support cushions and computer risers to raise screens can all help to improve comfort levels.

 

  1. Invest in suitable storage solutions

 

A cluttered, messy office environment can be highly distracting and impede focus. To streamline your surroundings, invest in plenty of storage solutions to keep your workspace clean and organised. As a minimum, you’ll most likely need a selection of bookcases, shelves, cupboards and filing systems, and it’s important to make sure your workers’ desks are kept clutter-free by providing paper trays, stationery containers and under-desk drawers. Don’t forget coat hooks, bins and recycling containers either. At the end of each day, have your employees do a quick tidy up and make sure everything has been returned to its proper home before they leave.

 

  1. Choose the right colour scheme

 

Research has shown that colours can have an effect on our mood and mental function. With that in mind, picking the right colour scheme for your office could potentially help to boost morale and improve worker engagement. Calming hues, such as greens and blues, are often considered to be a good choice for workplaces rather than dark or very bright shades. Think beyond the walls too. Why not get creative and use furniture, posters and other decorative items to add a splash of colour to your office?

 

By bearing in mind office design hacks like these, you should be able to keep your workforce motivated, help them to stay on task and increase concentration. If you want to find out more about how you can create a comfortable and inspiring office space for your staff, why not browse our range of high-quality and affordable products today?
 

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Posted by Furniture@Work

 

Could A Breakout Area Or Games Room Really Raise Worker Productivity?

June 24, 2016

Fortunately, sterile, drab office spaces are gradually becoming a thing of the past. Over recent years, an increasing number of companies have started incorporating fun and inspiring recreational spaces into their office designs – and there’s a good reason for this. It is now widely understood that letting personnel relax and enjoy some downtime during the working day can promote wellbeing, inspire creativity and increase productivity. If you’ve overlooked the latest trend of having a breakout area or games room in the workplace, you could be missing a trick – and here’s why.

 

Creating a home from home

 

Today, many employees spend long hours in the office. This can lead to an unhealthy work/life balance and cause unhappiness and low job satisfaction – and there’s no doubt that the feeling of being chained to a desk all day long only adds to the problem. To get the most out of your staff and maintain high morale, providing a comfortable and stimulating workplace is crucial. By including casual ‘chill-out’ areas where employees can unwind as they would in their own homes, you can help to break down the barrier between work and leisure time and enable your employees to feel more at ease in their surroundings. In turn, this can stave off those dreaded Monday morning blues and help to make personnel feel more contented in their roles.

 

Lowering stress levels

 

It’s well known that spending long periods of time doing repetitive tasks is bad news for our mental wellbeing. Without enough breaks during long stints of work, it’s easy to become frustrated and irritable, which can lead to increased stress levels and potentially even raise absenteeism. Studies have shown that having regular breaks at work can prevent people from feeling mentally burned out and it can improve their happiness. With that in mind, employees need to have the chance to detach themselves from their responsibilities and escape the pressures of their everyday schedules to be able to work to the best of their ability. One way you can encourage this is to have dedicated areas away from staff members’ workstations where they can blow off steam. In turn, this can drive down job-related stress and improve concentration levels – both of which can enhance productivity and performance.

 

Boosting morale

 

Games rooms, entertainment spaces and lounges offer the ideal chance for workers to engage in social interactions and have fun, which is a sure fire way to boost morale. Whether it’s playing a game of table tennis or enjoying a catch up and a coffee with a colleague, a simple change of scenery is sometimes all it takes to improve people’s mood and stimulate motivation. As well as enhancing employee satisfaction, bringing a sense of informality and playfulness into the workplace can also have a positive impact on your bottom line. By promoting a company culture that values worker wellbeing, your staff will be happier and therefore more likely to excel in their roles and go that extra mile for your business. This is why increased worker morale can translate into better customer service, improved client relations and more custom for your business.

 

Preventing procrastination

 

Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about the weekend while at work? One thing’s for sure, you’re not alone. The truth is, it’s almost impossible to maintain concentration for an extended period of time, and so failing to ensure your employees take enough breaks from their work demands can lead to procrastination and boredom. When people have no time to recharge or re-energise, they become easily distracted, make more errors in their work and are less efficient. While some business owners and managers may argue that taking employees away from their tasks is counterproductive, it can in fact have a positive impact. Allowing your personnel time to step away from their duties can actually help to restore the concentration and energy they need to remain engaged. By taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, people are more likely to stay focused on their goals and be able to prioritise workloads better.

 

Stimulating creativity

 

Taking time to relax during the working day can also stimulate creativity and innovation. In fact, some experts claim that the mind is better at problem solving and coming up with innovative ideas when it is in a relaxed state. This would suggest that those ‘eureka’ moments are more likely to happen when people are removed from the stresses and strains of the normal working day. Studies have also shown that some of the most successful business ideas arise from impromptu discussions in informal settings rather than through continued periods of focus. So, if you are looking to inspire imagination and get those creative juices flowing, encouraging your employees to have some downtime could be the answer. 

 

Increasing collaboration

 

Another benefit of having communal areas in the workplace is that it increases collaboration. More and more companies are now following global brands like Google and creating playful and fun work environments to improve employee engagement, increase communication and promote knowledge sharing. However, there’s no need to spend a fortune splashing out on state of the art cinema rooms or extravagant meeting pods to get your employees to mingle. Simple improvements, such as providing a comfortable seating area, can go a long way in terms of strengthening work relationships. Even having a pool table on site can encourage healthy competition and increase the chance of workers socialising with people different departments. Remember, breakout areas can be multi-functional spaces used not only for social purposes and relaxation, but also for more productive team activities like meetings and brainstorming sessions.

 

With so many benefits associated with having recreational areas in the workplace, it’s easy to see why this is becoming such a popular trend in office design. For more ideas on how to create an inspiring and effective workplace and bolster productivity, why not browse our website further and take a look at our full range of products? If you have any questions about our office furniture, you can get in touch with our team by phone or online form.

 

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Posted by Furniture@Work

 

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