4 Ways To Bring Your Office In Line With Your Brand

November 21, 2016

Although it’s necessary to make sure your office space provides your employees with a safe and comfortable place to work, it’s essential that it represents your brand too. The truth is, how you present your company can have a huge impact on your reputation, and unless you bring your office in line with your identity, you’ll struggle to impress not just your personnel, but your customers and potential clients too.
 

The good news is, creating an office that complements your company’s ethos isn’t as difficult as you might think. For some tips and tricks on how to brand your space effectively, keep reading.

 

1. Perfect your office layout

First and foremost, perfecting your office layout is an absolute must. How your workplace is arranged can reveal a lot about your business, therefore it’s important that you give this some careful thought to make sure your brand is being displayed in the right way. Aside from your employees, you may have clients visiting your premises on a regular basis, so your office layout is a good place to start if you’re keen to make a lasting impression and come across in a certain light.
 

For example, you could adopt an open-plan design in your office space. This layout is ideal if you want your company to come across as friendly and forthcoming. The distinct lack of walls and partitions gives your employees the opportunity to communicate freely with one another, creating a sociable buzz and in turn, giving your organisation a warm, positive vibe which will be especially noticeable to those visiting your workplace.
 

To achieve this layout, you could start by positioning banks of workstations in a large, open space for your employees, ensuring each individual has their own comfortable area to work from. However, if your office is lacking space, you might want to consider making some major construction changes with the help of a professional planning company.

 
2. Choose befitting furniture

No office is complete without the right furniture, but it’s the style of the pieces you go for that can really help carry your brand. To make sure your furnishings truly reflect your company’s identity, it’s important to take your time when you’re picking them out.
 

Before you even start shopping for furniture, it helps to have a clear vision of what your business is all about. If the details are a little hazy, it’s likely you’ll find it difficult to get a grasp of the look and feel you want to achieve. So, to make sure you get your choices spot on, you might want to spend some time thinking about the styles of furniture that could help cement your brand.
 

For example, if your company is an up and coming tech company, you might be keen to come across as innovative and forward-thinking. So why not go for for ultra modern furnishings to help you achieve this vibe? At Furniture at Work™, we offer a range of super stylish and contemporary pieces that would look the part in this type of setting, such as our Curran mesh-back office chairs and sleek Tully II desks. On the other hand, your business might be more traditional. For instance, if you own a family-run firm that’s been in business for many years, it’s likely you’ll feel inclined to maintain a more formal style. In this case, you could go for furnishings with a solid, wooden look, such as the products available in our Canning range.
 

It’s also important to think about the storage solutions you’ll need. While it’s crucial that these furnishings are practical, why not make them befitting of your brand too? For a professional feel, you could go for metal-look filing cabinets, or if you’re keen to keep your space super stylish, you could choose slick, colourful cupboards. We stock a range of different storage pieces that could be the ideal fit for your office.

 
3. Stick to a clever colour palette

How you choose to decorate your office can speak volumes about your business and your brand. The shades and hues you go for can make or break your space, so it pays to be clever when it comes to selecting your colour palette.
 

If you’re struggling to settle on a colour scheme, simply take a look at your company’s logo. This should give you all the inspiration you need to get started. You can take the shades included in your emblem and keep these in mind when you’re choosing everything from the paint for your walls to the colour of your carpet.
 

Aside from looking to your logo for help, you could take a more psychological approach when it comes to picking your palette. Did you know that some colours can have a specific effect on the mind? For example, it’s thought that shades of blue are associated with intelligence, efficiency and trust, while yellow hues are often linked to strength, creativity and optimism. Black usually equates to power and mystery, while purple is perfect for evoking thoughts of ambition and wealth. So, if you’re keen for others to think a certain way about your brand, why not be savvy with your decor colour choice?

 
4. Think outside the box

Your business is unique, so your space should demonstrate this too. No other organisation is the same as yours, but have you ever thought about what makes you different? To really put your stamp on your office and show off your brand, it helps to think outside the box.
 

For instance, if you’re running an eco-friendly business, make it known. Up your green credentials by positioning pots of flourishing plants and vases of fragrant flowers around your space. If you’re proud of your company’s charity efforts, why not display information on the walls why not hang up photos of team charity runs and bake sales on your walls? Your brand is one of a kind, so your office design should reflect just how individual you are and communicate what sets you apart from everyone else.

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Why You Should Take That Mug Off Your Desk Now!

November 17, 2016

If you can’t make it through a day at the office without your daily intake of tea or coffee, listen up. Did you know your favourite work mug could be making you ill? To find out the dirty truth about your cup, and why you might want to move it to the kitchen sink immediately, keep reading.
 
A breeding ground for bacteria
 
Whether you believe it or not, it’s likely there are a whole host of germs living in your mug. According to research carried out by Charles Gerba, professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, a dirty cup is a breeding ground for bacteria. Gerba’s findings show that up to 90 per cent of the germs in a mug can live for up to three days – even if all that’s left is nothing more than a mere stain at the bottom. While this alone is alarmingly unhygienic, Gerber also discovered that 20 per cent of these germs contain faecal matter. So although you may not consider your unwashed cup to be a huge cause for concern, leaving it to sit on your desk containing the remnants of your last caffeine fix could be a mistake. It may be harbouring more nasty surprises than you think. Bacteria and viruses can be responsible for a plethora of illnesses, including the common cold, coughs and stomach bugs, so to keep your health in check, it’s important that you do what you can to keep your whole workstation, including your favourite cup, as clean as possible.
 
Keeping germs at bay
 
To make sure your mug isn’t posing a risk to your health, cleaning it after every use is a must. However, simply giving it a wash in the kitchen sink might not be enough. While you may think a quick rinse is doing the job, reusing the office sponge or scrubbing brush is a big no-no. It’s likely the cleaning tool you’re using is already covered in bacteria, so by wiping your mug with what’s available in the kitchen, you could actually be transferring even more germs.
 
To ensure your cup is completely germ-free, you might want to reconsider your cleaning technique. Ideally, you should take your mug home with you every day after work so you can wash it thoroughly with your own brush or sponge and hot, soapy water, or better yet, put it in the dishwasher on a high temperature cycle. Although this will require more effort on your part, you can rest assured that your mug isn’t crawling with unwanted bacteria, leaving you to enjoy your morning coffee or afternoon tea break without jeopardising your health.
It’s also vital that you keep your workstation clean. From your mouse, to your telephone handset, to the desk surface, you should frequently wipe it down with anti-bacterial wipes, and if you can, you should avoid eating at your workstation too. To keep germs to minimum, it also helps to keep your desk tidy and organised, so you might find it useful to invest in accessories such as a filing tray or under-desk pedestal.
 
Maintaining a clean, healthy work environment doesn’t have to be difficult. For help finding suitable furniture and storage solutions for your office, you can contact our knowledgeable team members by phone or email.
 
 

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A Guide To Introducing Greenery Into Your Workspace

November 14, 2016

When it comes to home decor, it’s pretty much the norm to fill our rooms with flourishing flowers and pretty foliage – so why not do the same at the office? From petite, potted succulents to large, leafy indoor trees, there are a whole host of ways you can incorporate greenery into your work areas. If you’re keen to introduce plants into your space, keep reading. Here are a few benefits of bringing the outdoors in.
 
Boost productivity
 
Having plants in the office is said to help boost productivity among workers. It’s thought that greenery can increase satisfaction and improve focus, and it’s also believed that the presence of plants can make employees more physically and emotionally involved in their work. Plants can help create a calm, comfortable atmosphere, which is generally the type of environment in which staff members feel they can concentrate best. Researching the connection between plants and productivity in the workplace, Marlon Nieuwenhuis from the School of Psychology from the University of Cardiff points out that an investment in “landscaping the office can pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity”.
 
Improve air quality
 
Indoor plants are also thought to improve air quality. Decorating your office space with some greenery can help clean the air. Plants have the ability to filter out harmful compounds, meaning you and your colleagues can benefit from a fresher, purer atmosphere while you work, and over time, this can lead to better lung capacity and improved overall physical health. So, by dotting some plants around your office, you could stand to create a much healthier and pleasant environment to work in.
 
Reduce stress
 
It’s widely believed that the presence of plants in the workplace can help reduce stress among employees. In a study carried out in 2010 by Dr Margaret Burchett, a plant scientist from the University of Technology Sydney, it was revealed that the introduction of plants can lower stress levels by up to 50 per cent, as well as significantly relieve feelings of anxiety, depression and fatigue. From her findings, Burchett claims that “just one plant can make the difference”. So, whether you position a miniature cactus on your office desk or place a potted plant nearby, you could soon be feeling much happier and relaxed while you work.
 
Add colour and texture
 
There’s no denying that plants are aesthetically pleasing, so by introducing a few flowers or a shrub into your office, you’re guaranteed to improve the look and feel of the overall space. Plants can add a splash of colour and texture to just about any area, and they’re ideal if you’re keen to give the room some extra personality. Simply placing some flourishing, leafy potted plants throughout your office could give it a much needed lift, and in turn, help you transform a sterile workspace into a more vibrant and interesting place to be.
 
Whether you decide to just decorate your office desk or you choose to fill every area with foliage, introducing greenery into your workspace could be exactly what your company needs.
 
 

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How to Create A Truly Flexible Office

November 10, 2016

When it comes to running the perfect office, it pays to be flexible. Regardless of whether your office is large and spacious or you’re struggling for square footage, creating a space that’s truly versatile for you and your employees isn’t as difficult as you might think. The good news is, there are a number of techniques you can use to transform your office into a truly adaptable place to work. In this blog, we take a look at a few ways in which you can put together a multi-purpose yet thoroughly enjoyable working environment.

Invest in fold-up chairs and tables

For an office that’s versatile, fold-up chairs and tables could be ideal. Due to their folding design, these types of furnishings can collapse quickly and easily when you don’t need to use them, and their slimline design means you can store them away neatly in cupboards. Fold-up furniture pieces can be perfect for a whole host of situations, such as impromptu meetings or unplanned discussions with colleagues, or if you just simply need some extra seating and additional surface space.

Like regular pieces of furniture, you can purchase fold-up furnishings that perfectly complement your office decor. We supply a wide range of fold-up chairs and tables in a variety of colours. We also stock designs in different shapes and sizes, including lightweight, modular and height adjustable models.

Introduce screens and partitions

Especially in an open-plan office, you may find it difficult to strike the perfect balance when it comes to keeping your employees happy. In this type of layout, it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of people doing very different jobs, meaning that distractions, such as noise levels, can often become a problem. In turn, this could leave some of your workers feeling less than impressed and frustrated, creating tension and unhappiness. In an open-plan design, it can be hard to cater to everyone’s needs, so if you’re keen to put together a more versatile environment, you could introduce screens and partitions. These dividers can be placed just about anywhere you like, helping you create privacy when and where it’s needed. Screens and partitions offer much greater flexibility than a permanent wall would, and they can be assembled as quickly as they can be taken down, giving you the chance to easily set up a temporary secluded area of the office when you need it. Whether you need to set up a private space for a quick meeting or a group of employees need somewhere to concentrate while they work on an important project, screens and partitions can prove extremely useful. They’re also ideal if certain members of staff talk on the phone frequently. From tall floor screens to short desk partitions, we offer a whole host of dividers in different shapes, heights and sizes, meaning you’ll be able to find the perfect partition for your office space.

Let your workers use laptops and tablets

In a typical office environment, employees are expected to sit at workstations for the majority of the day. So, in order to create a workspace that’s more flexible, you could give your staff the opportunity to work from a laptop or tablet instead. Allowing your personnel to work away from their usual desk setup on a portable device could help boost their motivation and increase their productivity levels, which is great news for you and your business. A simple change of scenery could have a hugely positive impact on their mood and work performance.

So that your staff members are able to work away from their desks, you could create a comfortable, relaxed space where they could retreat too. For example, if you have a separate room available, you could turn this into a breakout area full of plush seating solutions, such as comfy sofas and fun bean bag chairs. This area could also double up as a room your employees can use on their lunch breaks or for casual discussions and meetings. If you’re shore of square footage, you could simply designate a corner of your office for this purpose. On dry, warm days, you could even encourage your personnel to take their work outside. Instead of being cooped up in the office, your employees could venture outdoors to enjoy the fresh air while using their devices to get on with their tasks.

Allow your employees to work from home

Although it’s likely you’ll need to have certain members of staff present in the office every day, there might be some employees that you can allow to work from home. It’s understandable that you may be reluctant to give your workers this ‘luxury’ at first, but there are actually a variety of advantages your firm can gain by being flexible in this way. For example, some of your employees may get more work done in the comfort of their own home compared to when they’re in the office itself, which is a bonus for your firm’s bottom line. Also, it’s likely your staff will feel happier working remotely as they may have a better chance of achieving a work-life balance that suits them, and they’ll be faced with less distraction meaning they can focus better on their work. Allowing employees to work from home means you can cut back on your overheads too. With fewer people in the office, you should find that some of your overheads are much less.

Even if you have some employees working from home, you can communicate with them easily and effectively. For example, it’s simple to keep in touch throughout the day via email, telephone, instant messenger applications and video conferencing systems such as Skype.


If you’re keen to create a harmonious and pleasant work environment, flexibility is key. To suss out how we can help you put together a truly versatile office space, feel free to contact our friendly team by email or telephone. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you create the ideal office space that meets all of your needs and requirements.
 
 

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Why Your Office is Killing You

November 8, 2016

Although you might think of it as an overly dramatic declaration, your office job could actually be killing you. You wellbeing is paramount, and the chances are you probably don’t even realise just how your 9 til 5 is affecting your health. To find out more, keep reading.
 
Too much sitting down
It can’t always be helped in an office setting, but sitting down for long periods of time can be detrimental to your health. Even if you think you’re perched comfortably at your workstation, sitting down and remaining inactive can have a huge impact on your wellbeing. It’s now known that excessive sitting can increase the risk of a number of conditions, including obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as cancer and even early death. It’s also thought to slow down the metabolism, which in turn can affect the body’s ability to control its blood sugar and blood pressure levels and the breakdown of body fat. While you may be required to sit down as part of your job, remaining seated for too long could be doing your health more harm than good.
 
Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to look after your health at work. Whether you take a walk to the kitchen to make a cup of tea or you go for a leisurely stroll at lunch, you should take regular breaks away from your computer. If you need to ask a colleague a question, you could go over to their desk to speak to them rather than send an email or call them. To help you remember to keep your body moving, you could set yourself a reminder to get up every so often to stretch your legs.
 
For the times you have to be seated, it’s important to have a comfortable, supportive chair to keep your spine and back health in check. Ideally, your seat should be fully adjustable in terms of seat height and tilt so that you can alter it to suit you. Your office chair should be stable and secure, and for extra comfort, you could go for a design with armrests. At Furniture at Work™, we stock a wide range of high-quality office chairs with a whole host of features for you choose from, such as models with contoured lower back areas, weight tension controls and multi-adjustable lumbar functions.
 
Dirty desks
Even if you reckon your desk is as clean as it can possibly be, you might want to think again. The truth is, your work surface is likely to be a breeding ground for all sorts of nasty surprises. In fact, it’s thought that the average desk harbours 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. From the surface itself, to your phone headset, to your keyboard and mouse, the harsh reality is that your workspace is probably crawling with germs. Not only is this a disgusting thought in itself, but it also means you’re at a much greater risk of contracting an illness, such a cough, cold, stomach bug or even the flu.
 
To keep bacteria at bay, it’s important that you maintain a clean and tidy work environment. For example, you should regularly wipe down your desk, as well as all of your equipment. Ideally, you should use an antibacterial wipe to make sure you’re not leaving any germs behind. Also, try to avoid eating food at your desk and aim to keep clutter to a minimum.
 
Slip and trip hazards
Did you know that slips and trips are the most common cause of major injury in workplaces in the UK? Although you might be sat at your desk for the majority of the day, it’s when you’re moving around the office that you’re at risk of seriously hurting yourself. From unruly electrical cables to poorly placed furnishings, your office is probably a lot more dangerous that you realise.
 
The good news is, there are a few simple yet effective steps you can follow to protect you and your colleagues from injury. Firstly, you should make sure that any trailing wires are neatly stowed away. You could use plastic cable ties to bunch the wires together, or better yet, you could invest in a desk with a cable port feature or an inbuilt wire management system. While computer cables and telephone wires are unavoidable in this type of environment, keeping them out of the way will significantly reduce the risk of you or someone else from taking an unexpected fall.
 
You should also ensure that all walkways are kept clear of obstacles at all times. If you spot an obstruction, either move it to a safer spot elsewhere or alert a manager to the situation. It’s crucial that any spillages are wiped up immediately too, and make sure that all surfaces are clean and dry to avoid a sudden slip.
 
Unhealthy food choices
It’s no secret how important it is to make healthy food choices. But, when you’re at work, it can be easy to let your diet slip. Especially in an office setting, it can be tempting to fill up on unhealthy snacks throughout the day. Whether it’s a biscuit with your cup of tea or you gorge on junk food at lunchtime, the food you eat can have a huge effect on your health and wellbeing. Not only will it have an impact on your waistline, but it’s likely you’ll have less energy and find it hard to concentrate. Also, you’ll be at a much higher risk of developing a serious or even life-threatening illness, such as diabetes or heart disease, so it’s important to watch what you’re eating when you’re on the clock.
 
There are a number of things you can do to keep your diet on track while you’re at work. For example, it helps to start the day by whipping up a healthy, nutritious breakfast before you even get to the office. This should curb your hunger until lunchtime, meaning you’re not tempted to give in to a mid-morning snack. However, if you get peckish before noon, there’s no harm in munching on something healthy, such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. As for lunch, why not take your own tasty treats to work? Swapping junk food for a freshly made salad or wrap is a much healthier choice to make.

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What’s So Special About Your Office Chair?

October 31, 2016

We’re going to break it to you – just about everything.

 

We’ve helped you stay fit in the office but the reality is, if you’ve got a bad chair, the Eagle Pose can only do so much. So we gathered our knowledge and wits about us and dived into the important topic of – you guessed it – office chairs!

 

Your office chair is integral to your everyday work life and, as our infographic shows, you all have some pretty strong opinions about them. We asked 750 seasoned office workers about their thoughts, feelings and experiences with their office chairs and found out some amazing stuff.

 

Check out the facts we found in the infographic below, along with our top tips for getting the best out of your most essential piece of equipment. Chairs are more important than computers, right? We think so!

 

Got some seating insights you want to share? Some tips for office comfort? Or maybe want some advice on a new set of (chair) wheels? Get to Twitter and join the conversation using #BestOfficeFurniture and tagging us @Furniture_Work.

 

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Share your #BestOfficeFurniture tips on Twitter @Furniture_Work (via Furniture at Work).

 

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How to Prevent the Spread of Flu in Your Office This Winter

Is your office an incubator for seasonal flu? Do you feel like it’s only a matter of time before you or one of your team members falls ill with a virus this winter? Is morale low because workers have to take on their sick colleagues’ duties? Is money being lost to absenteeism? Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. Here we take a look at some common sense tips for preventing bugs from spreading in the workplace and, as result, keeping sick days to a minimum and productivity high.
 

Promote good hand hygiene
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes handwashing as a ‘do-it-yourself’ vaccine against illness. You may think that everyone understands the importance of cleaning their hands but apparently some of us are just not doing it, or not doing it right anyway. One study found that faecal bacteria can be found on 26% of hands in the UK and 11% of British hands are considered grossly contaminated.
 
Promote good hand hygiene habits by putting up posters in toilets and kitchen areas to remind staff of the importance of washing their hands and provide guidance on handwashing technique. These resources can be downloaded from the NHS website. You may also want to circulate emails around the organisation promoting good hygiene habits, especially during the winter.
 
Be sure that hot water and soap is available in all toilets and kitchens. You should also consider installing cleaning stations at entrance ways and providing hand gel and surface cleaning wipes on desks.
 
Set up and clean your office properly
 
It’s important to avoid close contact with people who are ill so, to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea for desks to be spaced as far apart as feasible. Floor screens and partitions are also useful ways of preventing germs from spreading through a busy office.
 
You should also ensure that all workers have waste bins beside their desks to dispose of tissues and other infected paraphernalia and arrange for bins to be emptied at the end of each day.
 
It may surprise you to know that the flu virus can survive for up to 24 hours on surfaces so it’s vital that office desks, keyboards, phones and door handles are cleaned thoroughly every day, especially during a flu outbreak.
 
Offer the flu vaccine
 
The flu jab is best way to prevent the flu and is most effective when given to healthy adults. To prevent working days from being lost to this highly contagious virus, consider using a corporate flu vaccine service. All you need to do is register your business with the service, decide how many vouchers you want, purchase them and issue them to your employees to redeem at no cost to them. Generally, the more vouchers you buy, the less they cost. Considering how much it could cost your organisation if it were affected by an outbreak of flu, this simple preventative measure is a highly cost-effective solution.
 
Encourage good general health  
 
To fight off flu, the immune system needs to be in good working order. To protect it, you need to eat and sleep well, exercise regularly and keep stress levels to a minimum. There are many steps you can take to promote a positive health culture in your office. For example, to promote better nutrition, you could provide free healthy snacks on site and replace unhealthy options in vending machines and canteens with healthier alternatives. To encourage your staff to get moving, you could sign your business up to a cycle to work scheme, enabling employees to get a bike tax-free, or offer corporate gym membership. You could also set up an after-work sports team.
 
If you are an employer, you also have a responsibility to assess and take action to control risks from work-related stress. For example, as part of your duties, you should encourage staff to speak up when their workload is too heavy, ensure that everyone in the business knows how to identify the signs of stress and provide adequate performance reviews. You could also promote flexible working so that employees can choose to work hours that suit them or work from home when appropriate.
 
Know the signs
 
Finally, it is vital that everyone in your workforce can identify the signs of flu. Unlike a cold, flu comes on suddenly, often involves fever and aching muscles and makes you feel too sick to get on with your daily activities. People suffering with flu are most infectious on the day their symptoms begin and up seven days after that. If you think you are developing symptoms of flu, it’s best to leave the office.
 
Many workers feel under pressure to go to work even when their temperature is soaring, their limbs are aching and they’re coughing non-stop. Doing this isn’t helpful for anyone. It’s much better to stay at home until you are over the flu than to risk infecting others and potentially causing disruption to the whole organisation. If you think someone is exhibiting signs of flu, encourage them to go home. If necessary, make it possible for them to access emails and work files while they are off.
 
Lead by example
 
As a manager or business owner, you should act as a model for your staff to emulate. So if you want to encourage staff to act responsibly when it comes to sickness, you should also act responsibly yourself by staying away from the office when you are ill. You should also practise good hygiene by ensuring that your office desk and workspace is clean and using cleaning stations before entering and exiting the office.
 
Of course, it’s not always possible to prevent your office from being affected by flu, but with a few simple preventative measures, you can limit how much your individual workers and organisation suffers.
 

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5 Office Design Trends Actually Worth Following

September 26, 2016

There’s no denying that workplace design is currently in the midst of an overhaul. Today, cramped cubicles and private offices are increasingly becoming a thing of the past, with more and more companies making efforts to create more stimulating, smart spaces designed to improve worker engagement, boost morale and increase productivity. However, with new trends appearing and disappearing all the time, it can be difficult to know which design direction to go down. Luckily, we’re here to help. So, if you’re planning a renovation and looking for ways to improve your work environment, here are five office design trends that are actually worth following.  

 

  1. Designated breakout areas

 

One of the growing trends over the past few years is incorporating designated breakout areas. While some people believe that having casual spaces where employees can get away from their desks slows down performance, a rising number of bosses are switching onto the idea that many of the best business ideas are born during downtime. In other words, when staff have the chance to get a change of scenery to de-stress and relax, it can actually stimulate creativity and enhance productivity – not to mention make the working day far more enjoyable. Whether it’s a casual business lounge, a games room or a simple seating area away from the main workspace, providing a spot where employees can escape the daily grind, re-charge and socialise with co-workers can work wonders for morale. It can also help employees to relieve stress and increase concentration levels, which can in turn increase productivity.

 

  1. Flexible layouts  

 

Many offices are now beginning to shun permanent layouts in favour of more flexible design solutions. After all, the way in which we work is constantly changing, and forward-thinking companies are beginning to recognise the importance of having room to grow and expand. This calls for a more dynamic, future-proof workspace. One way to do this is to use adaptable office furniture. For example, modular furniture is now becoming an increasingly popular choice for many offices as it has been specially designed to promote flexibility. The main advantage of modular chairs and tables is the fact that they can be arranged into a number of different configurations to suit specific layouts and fluctuating requirements. Collapsible and portable furniture is also being used more to create temporary meeting spaces, canteen areas or breakout spaces as and when they are needed. When they are no longer being used, the furniture is designed to neatly fold away so it can be easily stored without taking up too much space.

 

  1. Less is more

 

In recent years, minimalism has become a bit of buzzword in office design circles – and it’s unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Workplaces are now becoming more clean, simple and streamlined, with the aim of creating more efficient spaces. Companies are opting for sleek, ergonomically designed office furniture to minimise obstructions and create a seamless working environment. For example, many modern workstations and conference tables are now designed with technology in mind and include cable management systems that neatly conceal the wires within the table. Another way to streamline your surroundings is to use space-saving storage solutions. Under desk pedestals, for instance, can transform an unused area into a productive one and help you to make the most of the room available without intruding too much on the floor space. Not only can clearing the clutter help to make your workplace more practical and organised, but it also projects a sleek, professional image that is good for business.

 

  1. Bringing nature indoors

 

Another developing office design trend is bringing the outdoors in. Sterile, synthetic workplaces are becoming a thing of the past, while more rustic, environment-inspired designs are here to stay. When you consider that most office employees spend the majority of their working week indoors, bringing elements of nature inside is important to promote wellbeing. Whether it’s using more natural materials, adding some greenery or providing desks with outside views, introducing environmental aspects into your office design can be incredibly refreshing. As well as creating a more pleasant environment to work in, it can demonstrate your company’s green credentials and it may help to stimulate creativity and boost focus. For example, one study suggested that exposing employees to natural elements increased efficiency by 12 per cent due to improved concentration and productivity. You don’t necessarily have to install a giant living wall either. Simple changes, like using bulbs that replicate natural light rather than bright, strip lights or adding a few potted plants around your workspace, can make a big difference.

 

  1. Multi-purpose spaces

 

Technology giants like Google and Facebook are known for designing highly collaborative, multi-purpose workspaces. Rather than having designated work areas, conferences rooms and private offices, design experts are now beginning to see a shift towards open plan spaces which can be used for a variety of tasks in a bid to encourage interaction, collaboration, innovation and creativity. For example, rather than the traditional desk setup or designated conference rooms, many companies are are now opting for large, oval shaped work tables and benches that can accommodate multiple people and can be used for a variety of activities, such as group projects and meetings. Office canteens have also taken on multi-functional purposes and are now being used not only as a space to eat lunch, but also as somewhere for co-workers to socialise and relax. These shared workspaces help to foster a sense of community and aid the development of ideas through increased communication and collaboration.  

These are just some examples of popular office design trends you can expect to see more of in the near future. With the chance to create a more productive, motivated workforce, increase productivity and improve your bottom line, these design ideas are definitely worth considering when revamping your workspace. For more ideas on how to create the perfect, on-trend office space, why not browse our collection of quality furniture here at Furniture At Work™? You’re bound to find something to suit your needs.

 

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6 Steps To Planning A Stress-Free Office Re-design

September 22, 2016

Designing the perfect office space is not always an easy task. With so many issues to think about – from layout, to lighting, to décor – it can be difficult to know where to start. However, not getting it right can prove to be a costly mistake. A poorly designed space can lead to increased feelings of stress, reduced productivity and low morale, all of which can have a damaging effect on your bottom line. Whether it’s desks that are too cramped, a lack of privacy or headache-inducing lighting, there all sorts of things that can go wrong when re-designing your workplace. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Whether your current office needs a revamp or you’re thinking about re-locating, here are six steps to planning a stress-free office re-design.

 

  1. Carefully consider your layout

 

Perhaps the most important part of planning an office space is the layout. The way you choose to arrange your workspace can have a significant impact on your company culture and the way your workers behave on a day to day basis, so it pays off to give it some careful consideration. Open plan layouts have become a popular choice in recent decades as they can help to encourage teamwork and collaboration. However, shared workspaces can also be loud and distracting, and have a negative impact on worker productivity and performance. To keep your staff focused and engaged with their jobs, private workspaces are also needed. If you’re struggling to find the right layout for your office, you may want to consider seeking help from professional interior designers who specialise in workplaces. They will be able to help you make the most of the space available and create a layout that is suited to your specific needs and preferred working style.

 

  1. Make sure you factor in space for storage

 

Another crucial design element that many companies fail to consider is storage. An office that is cluttered and disorganised can mean that staff waste valuable time trying to locate the things they need. Studies have shown that employees can lose over an hour every day searching for lost items if they have a messy workspace, which can also lead to increased frustration. To ensure that your work environment remains clean and uncluttered, your office re-design should include plenty of space for an array of storage solutions. As a minimum, most offices need desk storage, a filing area and a range of cupboards and shelves for everyday office supplies. If you’re short on square footage, it’s worth checking out the range of space-saving storage available, such as under-desk pedestals, corner bookcases, L-shaped desks, slimline filing cabinets and high level shelving systems.

 

  1. Incorporate flexibility into your design

 

When re-designing your office, it’s also important to take your growing needs into account. Failing to plan for the foreseeable future can mean that you end up with a space that does not fit your requirements, which could result in you having to go to the hassle of rethinking your design or even relocating a few years down the line. Particularly if your company often sees a lot of changes, such as high staff turnover or frequent layout alterations, future-proofing your office is crucial. One way to ensure you don’t outgrow your office is to allow for flexibility. For example, having adaptable workspaces can help to create a more dynamic space. Modular furniture is a great option for companies that want to incorporate flexibility into their office design, as these chairs and tables have been specially designed to be arranged into various configurations to suit your exact layout and can be adapted to suit your changing requirements.

 

  1. Don’t overlook the importance of lighting

 

Another important issue that is often overlooked when designing a workplace is lighting. It is well known that natural light is best for working in as it can boost productivity and reduce feelings of stress, fatigue and depression. With that in mind, it’s important to try and make the most of as much natural light as possible and ensure that desks are positioned near or in view of a window. Workstations need to be well lit and computer screens should be free from glare. As a general rule, try to avoid using fluorescent strip lights as they can cause headaches and eyestrain, and instead opt for more natural, ambient lighting.

 

  1. Allow employees to personalise their space

 

The way you choose to decorate your office space is also important. Get it right and you stand to boost morale and have a far happier, more engaged workforce. To ensure that your employees are content with their surroundings, it’s worth asking for their input and allowing them to add personal touches to their workstations. This will help them to feel more at home and relaxed, which can work wonders for productivity and creativity. Having branded décor can also help to improve company culture and spark interest and inspiration in employees and clients.

 

  1. Invest in high-quality furniture

 

And finally, no design would be complete without the right office furniture. Chairs and desks should be ergonomic and high-quality – not only to provide maximum comfort, but also to ensure that they will stand the test of time. Buying high-quality furniture now may cost you initially, but it will be worth it in the long run. Of course, you’ll also need to make sure that your furniture is the right size for your space. Look at the floor plan and establish how you want your furniture to be laid out. For example, do you want bench desks that accommodate multiple people? Or would you rather have departments grouped on tables around the room? If you think that you might be re-locating in the near future, or you’re thinking of downsizing or employing more staff, buying adaptable furniture could also be a good idea.

By following useful tips like these, you shouldn’t struggle to take the stress out of your office re-design.

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Polished & professional or scruffy & substandard: what does your reception say about you?

September 20, 2016

As the entrance to your office, your reception area is hugely important. As clients, customers and employees enter your premises, they will start to form an opinion of your business based on what they initially see. The way you design and organise this space can speak volumes about your professionalism, company culture and attitude towards work. As such, it pays off to give some careful consideration to this area and think about what kind of signals you could be sending. Want to find out whether you’re polished and professional or scruffy and substandard? Read on to learn more about what your reception says about you.

 

Professionalism

 

When it comes to your corporate image, first impressions matter. A reception area that looks unkempt and rundown is bound to reflect negatively on your business. Poor quality furniture, parcels left on the floor and a reception desk piled high in paperwork suggests that you are disorganised and unprofessional, which can be incredibly off putting for prospective clients and employees. To project a sleek, polished appearance, you’ll need to make sure your entrance area is clutter-free and well organised at all times. Invest in plenty of storage solutions and ensure that your fittings and furnishings are of a high standard.

 

Welcoming atmosphere

 

To make your guests feel at ease when they visit your business, it’s important to make your reception area as welcoming as possible. A room that is well designed, has a comfortable seating area, plenty of space, the right lighting and inviting décor can help to give an overall positive image of your business and show others that you care about your visitors’ needs. Small touches, like plants, wall art and complimentary refreshments, can also go a long way towards generating a favourable impression.

 

Create a success story

 

It’s also important to consider how well your front of house shows off your success. As a room that receives a high amount of traffic every day, your reception is the perfect place to showcase your achievements as a company. Whether it’s framed certificates, a display cabinet of your best selling products or company literature, personalising this space with your success story can help to instil trust in others and demonstrate what you are able to accomplish.

 

Your corporate identity

 

Have you ever thought about how well your office expresses your corporate identity? If your entrance is bland and has no personality, you could be missing the mark. Having a branded reception that reflects your company culture can boost your chances of winning business and attracting prospective employees. Everything within the area needs to communicate who you are and what you do. Whether you want to be seen as fun and innovative or sophisticated and authoritative, make a statement about your company’s values and vision with a branded colour scheme and décor that reflects your firm’s ethos.

 

By putting some thought into the way in which you design your reception, you should be able to create a stylish, welcoming space that boosts your brand and leaves a long lasting impression.
 
 

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