The importance of taking breaks
According to research, taking regular breaks between completing tasks revitalises the mind, combating stress and exhaustion – which occur as a result of long working stints. However, it isn’t as simple as spending half an hour tapping away on your phone to take a break from work life; social media has an adverse effect, significantly ramping up stress levels, according to HuffPost. With this in mind, we’re here to help you take productive work breaks that are more likely to enhance feelings of productivity, concentration, and motivation – everything you need to get stuck back in.
How often should you take a break?
It’s recommended to take short breaks often, rather than taking a longer one occasionally. As an example, you should take a five to ten minute work break, rather than taking twenty minutes every two hours. For forgetful individuals, there is break-monitoring software out there to remind users to take regular breaks.
How to have a productive work break
1) Relax your mind
When taking work breaks, it’s encouraged that you step away from the task at hand completely, rather than keeping tabs open. We all need to disconnect from reality every once in a while, and the best way to do this is to completely relax your mind. This can be tough if you’re in the wrong environment – how can you slow racing thoughts when you’re surrounded by viscous keyboard tapping, a whirring office printer and booming voices? The answer is to break off into an office relaxation room – your go to space for evoking inner peace. From trickling water features to decorative hanging pots and plant walls, you’ll have everything you need to temporarily pause.
2) Have a healthy snack
There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a sneaky handful of goodies from the communal sweet bowl every once in a while, but did you know there are healthier snacks out there that can boost your brain and memory? Foods such as stress-relieving blueberries, magnesium heavy pumpkin seeds, and nuts – which have been linked to a reduced risk of cognitive decline in older adults – all appear on the list. The key is balance, but if you are in need of some brain power, you know what to do.
Although you may not think it possible, there are plenty of ways to stay fit with a desk job. You might decide to use a sit-stand desk to stretch your legs, or perhaps you fancy trialling out some desk exercises; prepare yourself for some desk squats and thigh squeezes as you improve your fitness on the job. Engaging in physical activity releases feel-good hormones, which contribute to making you feel better in yourself, alongside giving you an energy boost. We’re not saying that you need to become a gym junkie overnight, but a little bit of exercise every now and then will contribute to a healthier, more productive working lifestyle.
4) Go outside
There’s nothing like the great outdoors, and sometimes getting up from your chair on your work break is just what you need to boost your energy levels. Perhaps take a stroll around the office and have a chat with your colleagues along the way, or step outside and enjoy some fresh air. It’s a great way to clear your head, improve your circulation, and you can burn a couple of calories in the process too.
5) Rest your eyes
Computer vision syndrome is a very real problem amongst keyboard tappers, and sufferers complain of eye strain, headaches, blurry vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. There are now such things as office nap pods that aim to combat this, providing workers with the opportunity to catch some z’s. But, if you’re looking for an affordable solution, provide your staff with a range of books or magazines to stick their noses in. Don’t forget some comfortable office seating to complete your cosy library!
For more tips on how to create a productive office environment, get in touch with our team today. From comfortable office seating to kit out your break areas, to coffee tables that ensure plenty of room for snacking, we have everything you need to enhance your workplace.
What is hot desking?
Hot desking is a working trend where – instead of having an assigned workstation – workers take whatever desk is free and work from there. This could be in a standard office setting or in a co-working space.
The concept of hot desking has skyrocketed in popularity over the last couple of years. With post-pandemic remote working still on the rise, hot desks have become a favourite for employees and employers alike. Designated desks and workstations are a thing of the past; hot desks now provide a work space that is shared by multiple people. Not only is this a sustainable way to use office space, it offers staff a flexible working environment.
How does hot desking work?
Hot desks can either be used within your office, in a separate co-working space or as a bookable service for freelancers and remote workers. When you choose the latter, desks can be booked online through various sites by those working from home or by employers to create a rotation of the staff physically coming into the office. It’s not only desks that are bookable or available as part of the hot desking scheme, these can also be meeting rooms or enclosed work spaces that offer a bit more privacy if you fancy mixing up your face-to-face meetings.
How to introduce a hot desk into your office
Implementing a hot desking system into your office may take some adjustments for your staff. The most important part of hot desking is introducing a rota or schedule for staff, this allows people to choose their workplace and gives employees control over their work-life balance. Providing each hot desk with accessories such as plugs and other necessities is vital to a perfect hot desk.
Hot desking etiquette
Sharing desks or work spaces can sometimes get intense, especially if your business has not implemented a proper hot desking policy. Keep in mind the dos and don’t of hot desking: keep the space clean and tidy, don’t store anything in or on the desk after use, and be considerate of other employees. Proper etiquette will make the whole process run much smoother.
Keeping a work space tidy is known to improve productivity by 10% so this is a sure way of upping efficiency and creating the ideal hot desk.
Advantages of hot desking
Thinking about bringing hot desking to your office? When it comes to hot desking there are many advantages:
- It maximises and utilises office space to its full potential. No more wasted office space
- Hot desks create improved collaboration and communication between workers in an office, and bookable hot desks also create a diverse environment between professionals
- Those who don’t want to work from home or those requiring flexible hours can take control
- Hot desking doesn’t scrimp on facilities, with high-standard office desks being a big part of the hot desk trend
Disadvantages of hot desking
Hot desking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and – as with any working system – there’s a few disadvantages to consider:
- Not everyone likes sharing a desk with multiple people, and some prefer having their own space when going into the office
- When it comes to providing hot desk facilities, not all staff can be accommodated for – something you need to consider
- If your company deals with sensitive info or requires a bit more privacy and structure, then hot desking may disrupt this
Hot desking properly can bring fun and creativity into your office. So, if you think hot desks could be something new and fresh to introduce into your office, and you need some new workspace furniture, why not contact us?
What is an office touchdown area?
Catering to the modern day worker has required a complete shift in the ‘regular’ office set-up, with rigid structures and cold cubicles now a thing of the past. With the introduction of hybrid working, flexible offices are encouraged, providing members of staff with the option to choose where they complete work tasks.
It’s been revealed that 74% of gen Z’s prefer face-to-face interaction with their colleagues, followed by baby boomers at 68%, and gen X’ers at 66% – with such a split between age ranges, the best way to provide for everyone is to provide a space that incorporates home comforts, whilst encouraging collaborative efforts. This is precisely why your office needs a touchdown area; an informal setting that aims to enhance worker satisfaction and productivity.
Reasons why your office needs a touchdown area
1) Adaptable workplace
An agile workplace is built on the premise that staff members should have the flexibility to complete any given task in the area they best see fit, allowing everyone to move freely about the office. Different ‘zones’ will be assigned to complete various different tasks, for example, a collaborative zone would be equipped with suitable furniture, such as breakout tables and breakout seating. Office relaxation rooms, on the other hand, would include plenty of comfortable office seating to support mindful activities.
2) Enhance staff satisfaction
Being an informal and relaxing setting, touchdown areas are designed to bring home comforts into the workplace, providing staff with a comfortable space to complete their work. This can be achieved through warm lighting, magazine stands, biophilic office design, tea and coffee corners, and supportive office furniture where staff can sit back and reenergise.
3) Improve staff productivity
The ‘homeification’ of a workplace in the form of an office touchdown area will also improve your staff’s productivity; research conducted by the University of Warwick showed that happy employees are 12% more productive. Not only this, taking microbreaks has been scientifically proven to boost performance, so by providing your staff with a space to temporarily disconnect – such as a games room, office library or touchdown area – your business will end up benefiting in the long run.
4) Improve work culture
Alongside providing staff with a space to take a step away from their desk, an office touchdown area could also improve work culture. Establishing set workplace ‘zones’ encourages social interaction, creating more opportunities for staff to bump into those who aren’t usually sat next to them. Remember, a business with an excellent office culture will be more likely to not only attract new talent, but you’ll have a better chance of retaining long-term employees – it’s a win-win.
5) Overflow area during peak working hours
The hustle and bustle of a busy workplace can be a great motivator, however, if staff are beginning to feel like sardines in a tin, it might be time to start designing a touchdown area. This will free up space in other working areas, providing people with a comfortable – and spacious – place to get their work done, without the possibility of being distracted by noise.
If you’ve been inspired to incorporate an office touchdown area in your workplace, get in touch with our office fit out professionals today. We’ll have everything you need to kit out your space, so you can provide your staff with a place to work that’s both comfortable and stimulating.
What’s the purpose of work meetings?
So, before we delve into what makes a good meeting, why do they need to happen in the first place? When planning out your meeting effectively, you’ll be able to work towards enhancing your workplace, ticking off objectives along the way. If, however, you find that you’re creating more snores than scores, it might be time to re-evaluate your meeting plan to get back on track.
If your culture is centralised on building strong, healthy relationships with employees and clients alike, you’re automatically much more likely to succeed. Meetings should encourage open communication, allowing employees to bond over the common objective of strengthening a business, inspiring and motivating one another in the process.
People like to feel valued within a business, regardless of their authority or how long they’ve been working there. Meetings create the perfect chance to get anyone and everyone involved, embracing the chance to hear different opinions and experiences to collect a rich pool of knowledge.
Multiple heads are better than one, so if you’re looking for a quick solution to a problem, holding a meeting is the best way to go. Your answer could differ to that of others, so embracing multiple perspectives and using them collaboratively to derive a solution will prevent you from wasting time dwelling on your own.
A meeting could be held to discuss current business strategies and whether employees find these productive. By checking in regularly, you’ll be able to confirm that you’re getting the most out of your business, adapting methodologies accordingly to ensure employee satisfaction – you know what they say; happy employees make a brilliant business, so don’t skimp on this.
What makes a good meeting?
Define clear objectives
Before you even announce that you’re holding a meeting, question what your main objectives are. What is it that you want to get out of this discussion? By establishing this, you’ll be able to create a clear and orderly plan of key topics that might need to be mentioned, providing employees beforehand with the full knowledge of what the meeting’s agenda is. That way, they can come readily prepared with ideas, making for a faster solution.
Stay on topic
Do you want some syrup with that? No one likes a waffler, but when put under pressure, it’s easier to fall off track. Prepare beforehand so you know exactly what to discuss with the team, retaining their attention by making your points short, snappy, and most importantly, relevant. If certain bits of information do transition into casual chats, try to direct the conversation back to the purpose of your meeting. Sure, it’s important that your meetings remain sociable, but you don’t want to end up wasting yours or anyone else’s time.
Highlight main points
Recent research suggests that the average person can only retain four bits of information in their short term memory at any given time, which is a relevant bit of info for planning a good meeting. Attempting to cram copious amounts of detail into presentations can result in you deviating from the main topic, and listeners are more likely to switch off midway through. This is by no means productive, so make sure that you’re clearly highlighting the main points with each slide to avoid anyone desperately trying to scribble everything down.
Don’t over run
Decide how much time is needed to hold your meeting, always remembering to allow for time at the end for questions or feedback. If you do end up running over, it’s almost certain that people will start to become distracted, or it could eat into other important tasks. Set a timer if needed, or run through your meeting presentation beforehand to make sure it stays within the allotted time.
Deciding on a plan of action
Your final point in a meeting should finish with a bang, establishing how and what employees need to do to tick off the defined objective. Get them motivated to make the change by informing listeners of your plan of action, taking everyone’s feedback into consideration to determine what the next steps are for the business.
Keeping people engaged
A European survey of 2,000 employees across the UK, France and Germany discovered that the average staff member spends a total of 187 hours in meetings, which equates to a scary 23 days in a year – yikes. To avoid boring people to death, discover innovative ways to keep everyone engaged. Perhaps start off with some exciting news, use an interactive presentation, or set collaborative activities in between lengthy talks.
Always make sure to ask listeners whether they have any questions at the end of your meeting, mentioning that your inbox is always open for those who may not want to speak up. Confusion is a productivity killer, and if feedback is revealing that many are still left unclear about what was discussed, refer back to these tips to see if there’s anything you could improve.
A comfortable environment
Although you might not think it, the environment your meeting is held in could end up having a massive effect on people’s attention spans. Keep people engaged through appropriate levels of office lighting, spacious meeting tables for larger teams, paired with office seating to ensure that everyone has a comfortable place to sit for longer periods.
Keen to put these tips into practice? We have all the furniture you could need to kit out your meeting room, to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your business. Give us a call today to make your design dreams come true.
Our perception of the perfect office environment is constantly changing; new information is always being released on how best to enhance employee productivity and wellbeing, so it’s important, as an employer, to be privy to these trends. Standing desks have been a legitimate alternative to traditional desks for a few years now, and the demand is only growing. Writers such as Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemmingway and Vladimir Nabokov were all in favour of the standing desk, and recent studies show that a whopping 43% of people reported a large increase in productivity after utilising them, amongst other benefits.
What is a standing desk?
The standing desk is a relatively straightforward, yet effective, invention. It allows the user to work whilst standing upright. Also known as a sit-stand desk, most modern versions tend to be adjustable – so you can easily alternate between standing and sitting. Any potential accessibility issues can be remedied with a variety of accessories, for example an anti-fatigue mat if you tire easily, or an arm rest.
You really do get the best of both worlds with a standing desk. Office work is varied at times and you may prefer to reply to emails or notifications whilst sitting down, switching to a standing position when completing a group project or getting involved in a high energy brainstorming session. Users have complete flexibility to swap between sitting and standing at their leisure, improving both comfort and productivity.
How to use a standing desk
Using a standing desk may seem daunting at first, but it’s easy to get the hang of. You should stand fully upright, and avoid slouching. To maximise the benefits, it is important to maintain good posture, but also to remain comfortable while you work. A good standing desk should not distract you from your work, but rather help you stay engaged and productive.
How high should a standing desk be?
To efficiently utilise a standing desk, you should be aware of two key elements – the height of the raised desk and the duration you are standing for. Ideally, your desk should not be so low that it impacts your posture – that would defeat one of the purposes of standing – but also not so high that navigating and typing becomes a strain.
How long should you stand at a standing desk?
Whilst spending all day sitting may be detrimental to your health – this certainly doesn’t mean you should spend all day standing instead. Alternating between the two is most beneficial; a rough 1:1 ratio for standing/sitting will do the trick. If you work a typical 9-5, it would be advisable to stand for around 4 hours of the day, but make sure that you take a load off every hour or so.
Benefits of using a standing desk
Several studies suggest that sitting for prolonged periods can increase your risk of chronic health problems, mainly heart disease and diabetes. Comparatively, the use of a standing desk helps you burn excess calories, can lower the risk of heart disease by up to 147%, and eradicates back pain caused by bad posture when sitting. Another study showed that 87% of those who used standing desks claimed they felt more energised, so if there’s any reason for you to invest in one, it’s surely this.
A standing desk may also be a more suitable choice for someone who finds themselves spending most of their day standing up, or alternatively, for someone who can’t find much time for exercise. Although you may not think it possible, there are plenty of ways to stay fit with a desk job – it’s all about understanding how to optimise your setup.
There’s little doubt that a standing desk can help to create a happier, healthier environment to work in, so why not take a look at our collection today? Get in touch with us to find out how our experienced team of office fit out experts can help match you with the best furniture for your business.
When planning an office fit out, a crucial factor to bear in mind is the design of your reception area. It’s all about providing a comfortable yet superbly stylish place for visitors and clients to relax and wait in. This space will essentially be the first impression they get of your business, so if you don’t get the arrangement right, it could end up having an adverse effect (which you definitely don’t want). We’re here to share all the dos when it comes to designing a welcoming office reception, considering everything from bringing in an essence of the outside to setting the right mood, all to help your refurbishment that bit easier.
Brighten up your space
Making use of natural light is a certified way to brighten up your office reception, whilst carrying several health benefits; this includes combating insomnia, aiding seasonal depression and providing a significant boost in Vitamin D levels. Alongside enhancing the productivity of office staff, an office reception area that’s far from dull is certain to improve the mood of anyone who pays your business a visit, so it’s definitely a must.
Another way to design a welcoming office reception area to make it appear brighter is through choice of accessories, wall colours and furniture, all of which are completely customisable to suit your business’ aesthetic. Young, energetic start-ups may choose bold colours to fit a playful theme, or sophisticated organisations might favor a minimalistic style. Consider your values before deciding on your reception furniture, so that your space will evoke the desired emotions that you’d like to be associated with your business. We’ll leave that choice up to you.
Personalising your office reception
Give your visitors a taste of what your business is about by personalising your office reception accordingly. Featuring your company logo or bold words of inspiration are more obvious ways to do this, but you could also create the desired effect using discrete methods. For example, if your company logo is blue, white and red, you could choose office furniture or accessories (think cushions, rugs and throws) that blend in with this theme. This will help your business stay at the forefront of your visitors’ minds, enabling them to make the connection between colour and company.
Something to look at
Being a productivity enhancer, mood booster and stress decreaser, decorating the walls of your office reception with pieces of artwork is a great way to give your visitor’s a bit of visual stimulation whilst they wait. Not to mention, office artwork encourages thinking outside the box and acts as a brilliant conversation starter, which is particularly useful for those who feel the pressure of meetings and struggle knowing what to say to a new face. Choose your artwork in a way that matches the business vibe you’re going for, to ensure that your pieces effortlessly blend into their surroundings.
Something to do
What other ways could the mind be stimulated whilst waiting? By providing your visitors with something to do, of course! They can only look at pieces of artwork for so long, so make sure there’s plenty of books, magazines, or perhaps a drinks stand and TV to keep them entertained. Just be careful with the latter, as if you’re going for a more calming atmosphere, louder noise levels may not be so appropriate.
Providing a comfortable space
Comfort is key when it comes to office design, so make sure your reception provides visitors with something to sink back into. From feather soft office arm chairs to stylish office sofas, there are plenty of options out there that come in a whole variety of different colours, shapes and sizes. Regardless of your dream aesthetic, there really is something out there for every business. Most people feel comfortable in places they’re familiar with, which is the perfect excuse to bring home comforts into your office reception area. We’re talking about the leafy interior design trend that’s sweeping the nation (aka office biophilia), as well as choosing just the right amount of office lighting to create a warm and comforting glow. You can find further tips on this in one of our past articles; how to use interior design to make your office more homely.
Creating a calming office atmosphere
Fitting in rather nicely with our previous point, creating a calming atmosphere in your office reception is another way to put visitors at ease. Work environments can often be associated with hustle and bustle, so provide the chance for people to tune out from the outside world and reconnect with themselves. This could be trickling water features, living walls and relaxing music set at just the right volume to bring back a sense of much needed peace. Remember to keep back the clutter, creating a clean, tidy and organised appearance; because an organised space contributes to an orderly mind.
If you’ve been inspired by these ideas on how to decorate a welcoming office reception, or perhaps you need a hand with giving your other working areas a new lease of life, our team of fit out experts are on hand to help. Get in touch with us today to bring your dream office environment to life.
What is a flexible workspace?
The modern working world is changing. What was once regarded as being a “typical” office environment is now considered restrictive and counter-productive. Gone are the days of set desk positions, cubicles and the strict ‘nine to five’, replaced with open-plan seating that caters to employees’ ever-changing working needs.
Within a flexible workspace, there need to be different “zones” that staff have a choice to work from, giving them the freedom to choose where suits their current task at hand. This mentality has become the norm, with recent research conducted by the EY in their 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey revealing that four out of five workers desired a flexible workspace. Not only this, a whopping 47% stated that they would consider moving jobs if flexible working wasn’t available to them. If there’s ever a time to hop on the bandwagon, it’s now!
Why do you need a flexible workspace?
So, what are the benefits of flexible working? To answer, there’s plenty. Embarking on an office redesign could provide the boost your employees need, as proven by a Dr. van der Voordt’s study that aimed to shine a light on productivity and employee satisfaction in flexible workspaces. This research revealed that, when a company decided to change its office layout, an increase in productivity was felt by 51%, as opposed to a low 14% before the redesign.
When staff have control over how and where they work, it’s evident that they’re much happier being in an environment that caters to their ever-changing needs. And with the smiles comes a heightened desire to stay within the business, alongside attracting new talent.
How to set up a flexible workspace
Of course, the process of setting up a flexible workspace is made much easier when you have a bunch of office fit out professionals to help you out. By collaborating with an office furniture company, they’ll be able to turn your design dreams into reality, being able to understand your requirements and business needs, as well as offering you items that would best fit the desired office aesthetic. From minimalistic styles to cosy and kitsch, there’s something out there for every business.
The flexible workspace features various office breakout spaces, which are set zones designed to enhance staff communication and collaboration. They allow groups to participate in a brainstorming session, or provide a space for partners to work on a project together. Without these spaces, it’s likely that employees will end up tightly huddled around a desk, causing a distraction to the rest of the office if noise levels begin to creep higher. When staff are given their own breakout space to chat in, which are often complete with shielding acoustic panels for noise protection, the whole office will be productive.
Any working environment experiences moments in the day that are particularly high-energy, and sometimes employees may need to take a quiet minute to recharge away from the commotion. Incorporating an office relaxation room into your flexible workspace creates the opportunity for staff to get some “me time”, surrounded by calming plants, ambient music and of course, plenty of comfortable furniture. Our office armchairs and sofas strive for optimum comfort, allowing your employees to sink back into complete luxury. And…breathe.
Open plan office design
The open plan office design concept is a massive contributor to increased flexibility in the workspace. This allows staff to move freely through the various working “zones”, as described previously, creating a more sociable environment where it’s perfectly normal to bump into a few colleagues along the way. The open plan office design is all about using your working space wisely, contrasting against more traditional set-ups that confined staff to cramped, sectioned desks.
Another feature of the flexible workspace that goes against traditional office design is hot desking, where desks are not assigned to any particular person. With no strict seating plan in place, staff can pick and choose where they complete their work, and this also opens up the opportunity for visitors or temps to take a seat.
If you want to enhance flexibility in your workspace, our team of office fit out experts are here to help. Have a chat with us to discuss your business goals, so that we can match you up with the right furniture to suit your dream aesthetic.
Technology is advancing faster by the day, increasing the difficulty when faced with the task of selecting new office computers. As desktops get smaller, and laptop updates become more immersive than ever, how can you begin to make a comparison between the two? Of course, there will always be pros and cons to each, so we’ve saved you the job of having to do that part yourself. Let’s settle this debate…
Arguably one of the biggest strengths of a laptop is its portability, allowing users on the move to be productive from wherever they are. With popular office breakout spaces now becoming the norm, staff equipped with a laptop are able to move quickly and freely between working zones, allowing them to bring their device to a brainstorming session. Plus, if you enforce a hybrid working model, staff are able to simply pack their laptops up at the end of the day and set up their working station from home.
Pro: All-in-one system
If you find assembly instructions impossible to follow (don’t worry, we’ve all been there), another laptop perk is that it’s an all-in-one device that doesn’t require you to get your DIY hat out. Simply set up the system in a few easy steps, and you’re good to go. With this in mind, laptops are ideal for when you’re onboarding new employees, alongside juggling regular business operations, and are trying to get your office technology up and running fast.
As secure as your office may be, it’s still crucial to minimise the risk of theft as much as possible. The subtlety of a laptop makes it easy to store away in a bag at the end of the working day, without fear that it could capture someone’s attention. For additional security, you could also ask your employees to make sure that they take their laptops home with them to store away in a safe place.
Con: Damage prone
Working on the go with a laptop is a massive bonus, but it does increase the risk of damage or it getting lost. Encourage your employees to take extra care when transporting their laptops around (if you end up sticking with this option), supplying cases for additional protection.
When transporting a laptop around, your charger should never be left behind. Although their lightweight design makes them easy for work on the go, your employees should always remember to bring their chargers into work with them, otherwise they aren’t going to get very far.
Did you know that around eight million people in the UK suffer from back pain, according to recent statistics? Inappropriate seating conditions can often be one of the main causes for this, with laptops potentially leading office workers to start slouching. Sure, their portability is a massive bonus, but this also means that working from a settee is made possible. There’s nothing wrong with this when done for short periods of time (and we all need to kick our feet up sometimes), but relying on this new office setup can carry long term consequences.
If you decide that you’d rather use laptops in your office, create a comfortable, posture-supporting workplace that will enhance staff productivity. As an example, you may decide to create an office relaxation room, complete with a variety of office desks and comfortable workplace seating, or perhaps you’d rather invest in some standing desks to prevent the risk of back pain. Either way, there’s plenty of furniture options for you to choose from that’ll make your office space a relaxing (yet safe) environment.
Pro: Cost effective
As you will have to build up your office desktop computers with various different components, this allows for a wider price range that you can pick and choose from. Generally costing less than laptops, a desktop system can still be just as powerful, with plenty of space to store all of your digital files and documents.
Pro: Easy upgrades
Another advantage that comes with a desktop computer’s multiple parts is that, if you do want an upgrade or a replacement, simply switch out the old with the new. You may decide to install a second hard drive inside your computer to free up some space, or to improve overall performance, you could invest in the latest keyboard that makes typing much easier. Change up your system as you please!
Pro: Large screen
The visual display that comes with a desktop makes it all the more appealing, reducing the need to squint and stare at your work in confusion. Whether your staff will be using their computers for watching training videos, creating visual content, or are blogging on a regular basis, work is made much easier with a larger screen to look at.
Con: Limited space
When compared to a laptop, desktops can take up more space due to their bulkier design. But fear not, there are ways you can get around this to make lives, and desks, as clutter free as possible. You could use a cable spine or cable tray to neaten up the appearance of desktop wires, whilst also preventing any tripping hazards, providing plenty of space (and storage options) for staff to keep their computer accessories in.
Con: Lack of portability
A bulky design also makes portability a little more difficult than that of a lightweight laptop, however, the introduction of the mini PC (who would’ve thought it?), makes transportation simpler. With multiple ports to connect all of the accessories you desire, perhaps this could be the perfect solution for you.
Due to the fans that desktops require for cooling down the system, they can often lead to unwanted noise. There are certain high-quality coolers and anti-vibration fan mounts that are designed to reduce this, but of course they do let out a certain buzzing noise which may annoy people in the office.
Hopefully this comparison will make your decision much easier, but if you do require some extra advice, our team of office furniture installation experts are here to help. We have everything you need to make your office the perfect working environment, so give us a call today to kickstart the transformation process!
What are the benefits of a paperless office?
Where to begin? As we look for more ways to practice sustainability, one of the first places to start is evaluating current business operations, and really questioning whether they’re efficient. It’s thought that the average office worker uses around 10,000 sheets of paper each year, which is not only a major pocket burner, it’s also devastating for the environment. Not to mention, a workplace that relies heavily on their printer may start to become cluttered and unorganised. So, if you’re looking to work towards an eco-friendly office by gradually introducing the notion of paperless practices, having a read of this article is a good place to start.
The first step to going paperless in your office is to scrap in-hand documents that require an ink signature, instead choosing to go digital. Opting for e-signatures is one way to reduce clutter and paper expenditure, plus you can send signed documents across immediately without having to wait for snail mail to deliver. This method could be used for anything from contractual agreements to invoices, being a straightforward alternative that reduces the risk of human error.
By using applications such as Dropbox or OneDrive, you’re able to store any office documents in the Cloud, rather than keeping them in paper form. This is a more organised file storing method, making sharing files between colleagues effortless, and it’ll enhance your workplace’s security by allowing you to backup and restore data. Gone are the days of rummaging around your filing cabinet in a desperate attempt to find that one important bit of paper, panicking that it may have accidentally found its way into the shredder.
Virtual note taking
When it comes to meeting productivity, ditch the notebook and pen and immerse yourself in the conversation. It’s easy to become distracted by feeling as though you have to scribble everything down in record time, which can lead to certain points being left unregistered. If you do feel as though you need to make a couple of helpful notes, use a laptop instead to save on office paper. There are various apps you can download too, such as Evernote, that you can also add audio, scans, PDFs and more to, to make sure that you’re totally clued up on the task at hand. Plus, all of your notes will be saved in one protected place, to prevent any critical bits of information from getting lost.
Virtual communicative methods
Communicating via email, or by using any other online messaging platform (take Slack and Zoom as examples), is another way to contribute to your office going paperless. By sending an instant message, you avoid any time lost spent sending a letter, and you can be sure that the recipient will definitely receive it. There are now also ways to see whether people have opened your email too, so there really is nowhere to hide anymore.
Not only this, encouraging people to jump on a video call, rather than trying to write out a letter, makes the whole process more personalised, creating a reason for company and client (or your colleagues) to get to know one another.
In order to uphold an eco-conscious office culture, it’s important to firstly acknowledge and communicate any current business operations that are causing a build-up of waste. Rather than simply enforcing a rule that your office should go paperless, make sure that your employees understand the importance of sustainability and why they are making the change. Going paperless may be a gradual process, but it’s one step towards acting more eco-consciously.
If you’ve been inspired by this blog post and are aiming to make your office both as efficient and sustainable as possible, have a chat with our team of experts today. Our office furniture is both sustainably sourced and designed to last, ensuring that you can achieve your desired workspace aesthetic, without causing harm to the environment.
Maintaining a happy workplace is the key to keeping productivity, motivation and – most importantly – staff retention at an all time high. When you’re around one another for the majority of the day, it’s easy for tensions amongst colleagues to rise as small habits begin to grind gears. But by remaining considerate of those around you and communicating a few office etiquette rules that best apply to your working environment, the day seems to run that little bit smoother. Get the positive vibes flowing and show off your company culture when clients pay a visit as we walk you through six office etiquette rules that everyone should follow.
1) Keeping your office clean and tidy
With a UK study revealing that 63% of office workers get frustrated by their colleagues’ messy desks, it wouldn’t go amiss to treat your workplace as you would your own home – hopefully that’s clean and tidy. No one wants to start their day by staring down at a selection of mouldy coffee mugs or a pile of yesterday’s lunch napkins, so avoid the clutter by dedicating the last 10 minutes of your day to a spot of tidying. A clear space leads to a clear mind, so it’s worthwhile investing in an office storage cabinet to experience the real benefits that a spick and span workplace can bring.
2) Opting for open-communication
Avoid being named the office Karen and steer clear from sending passive aggressive emails, instead opting for respectful open-communication. As we mentioned previously, it’s inevitable that small things in the office will become an annoyance, but rather than gossiping about it, have a quick (friendly) chat with the culprit, without ruffling any feathers in the process.
3) Breaking breakout room rules
The benefits of office breakout spaces are endless, providing a quiet corner either for lone working, or for engaging in a good old brainstorming session. However, be cautious to not make them your regular hangout spot. No one likes a hogger, so split your time evenly between your office desk and the breakout zone to allow some time for other employees to experience their advantages too.
4) Welcoming new employees
Always be sure to welcome new employees to the team with open arms to make their first day that bit easier. Their first few weeks will act as a test to see if they can envisage themselves fitting into the company culture, so be friendly and chatty without also being nosey or too intense. To ease a new starter into the group, perhaps suggest going out for drinks or food to provide them with a comfortable environment to open up in. Who knows, they could well be your new office best friend!
5) Meeting etiquette
Meetings will always be a part of working life, but during one-on-one sessions, do you often find that you’re easily distracted? If this is the case, leave your laptop, phone, or notepad on your desk and step into the meeting empty handed. Give the person talking your undivided attention to avoid appearing bored, plus, you’ll probably find that you’re more likely to retain the information this way.
This office etiquette rule isn’t one to be missed, and although you may think that turning up on time is a given, some people may need to be reminded. A late arrival may end up distracting the rest of the office, or it could cause delays to usual business operations. Of course, there may be a good reason why someone isn’t showing up on time, so arrange a private chat with them to see if there’s anything you can do to help.
We don’t just provide advice on office etiquette either! Our team of office furniture experts are on hand to help with all of your workplace needs, to help your business consistently perform at its best. Give us a call today to get the ball rolling.