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Easy ways to rejuvenate your office this year

Few things help to stimulate your mind like a fresh environment.

So, if your office still has those tired beige walls and threadbare floor tiles, it’s probably time to bring a splash of colour into the room that reflects the passion you have for your business.

The best way to do that? You need to rejuvenate your office space.

Why it’s important to update your space

Your office space can directly affect how your employees think and feel when they’re at work. It’s why some of the world’s biggest companies have invested into transforming their office environments: Google is famous for producing offices with all sorts of quirky features, from rock-climbing walls to sleeping pods; Lego has an indoor slide and AirBnB’s offices are designed to look like homes from around the world.

Investing into these spaces has helped employees of these companies generate bigger and brighter ideas than the competition, all the while raising their happiness and boosting retention.

Now, we’re not saying you need to throw in a ball pit and an indoor fort, but if you see the value in updating your office space, you can start with a few simple changes. By changing up your environment, you’ll help to reinforce your company vision and equip your employees with the mental stimuli they need to go from good to great.

Dynamic spaces


It can be difficult to encourage teamwork when staff in different departments aren’t in regular contact with one another. Help connect your employees by bridging those gaps physically with dynamic spaces.

Dynamic spaces can be defined as environments that are constantly changing to suit the needs of those using it.

A few elements you can easily add to your office to make it more dynamic include:

  • Moveable furniture – Portable chairs and desks make hot-desking so easy that staff won’t have an excuse not to spend some time sitting with a different crowd.
  • Meeting pods – Adding small meeting pods to your office help staff have shorter, more informal catch-ups on a regular basis, and leave other rooms free for meetings with clients or senior management.
  • Adjustable-height desks – Employees can keep energised by standing at their desks when they feel the need to stretch their legs.

Biophilic designs


Biophilic design seeks to reconnect employees with the natural world to help them feel happier and more energised throughout the day. Decorating your office with bright colours and plenty of natural lighting encourages creativity by stimulating colour receptors in the brain.Unleash your staff’s best ideas by incorporating a few of the following elements into your office:

  • Plant stands – Plant stands bring flora indoors without taking up heaps of space. Keeping the room full of oxygen by using plants is a natural way to keep you and your staff alert and productive.
  • Keep the blinds open – Natural lighting keeps body-clocks ticking how they should, so employees don’t get sleepy during the day. Try keeping the blinds open whenever you can.
  • Daylight lamps – When sunlight is sparse, try “daylight” lamps instead. These unique bulbs radiate light with a UV ratio similar to that of the sun to help counter the familiar fatigue of dark winter mornings.

Homestyle comfort

Infusing your office with some homestyle comforts is a practical way of helping your staff get a moment of downtime in their day. It gives them a place to calm their mind, think over their problems and find solutions to them, without frustration getting in the way.

You can make your office feel more homey with a few easy changes:

  • Office sofas – Having a few sofas around the office gives people somewhere they can sit to read an important document, or just to catch up with someone in another team over a coffee.
  • Games – The ultimate crossover between “work” and “play” is to add a few fun activities in the office that employees can interact with on their breaks. Playing games allows employees to get their heads out of work while keeping their minds engaged and improving their ability to solve problems quickly.
  • Desk decorations – Encourage your staff to make the space theirs by bringing in decorations for their desks. These could be family photos, movie posters, or quirky figurines; anything that helps unleash their personality is great for helping them feel more at home.

Rejuvenating your office this year is more than just a vanity project: it’s an essential way to re-engage your staff and redefine your business culture.

And if you have clients visiting your office, it’s a great way for your ethos, visions and values to shine through: let them see that you’re a progressive, forward-thinking company.

Got any more tips on how to revamp your office this year? Share them in the comments below.

Workplace

5 reasons why millennials make great employees

Millennials have had more than their fair share of bad press lately. Dubbed the ‘go nowhere’ generation, they’re often associated with a lazy, risk-averse attitude.

But are they just misunderstood?

With inspirational millennial entrepreneurs making headlines and many businesses investing in a millennial workforce, it would seem so.

In fact, millennials could actually be one of your business’s biggest assets.

 

Reason 1: They crave responsibility and thrive when empowered

Coffee meeting

One of the most common criticisms aimed at millennials is that they’re self-entitled – possibly down to their parents’ openness to involve them in family decisions as children. Giving them a sense of responsibility from a young age, this kind of parenting has led many young people to feel they should also be able to have similar input in the workplace.

However, this trait can actually be of significant benefit to employers if they approach it in the right way. Give a millennial employee ownership of a particular area (no matter how small), and they’ll feel infinitely more valued, and that their work is having a real impact on the wider business.

Joshua Hebert, CEO of Magellan Jets, says:

“Give [millennials] a boring task without a reason, and they’ll give you boring results. Give them a share in the idea you’re putting into play, however, and they are more likely to turn in work you never imagined.”

Boosting morale and motivation, businesses adopting a team structure that focuses on empowering younger employees are likely to see a happier, more dynamic workforce. This kind of environment also breeds skilled workers, with further benefits down the line when these employees are able to step up to higher positions without hesitation thanks to their experience.

 

Reason 2: They’re open to change

Young people stood in a line

Thanks to their parents encouraging them to speak up, millennials are conditioned to openly question processes in a business if they think they can be improved.

Rather than starting work and blindly following the rules because “that’s how things have always been done”, millennial workers are open to change and likely to challenge things when older workers would perhaps be more reserved.

People development consultant Susy Roberts says:

“Generation Y aren’t more demanding – but they are different. They’ve been brought up in a team environment and encouraged to speak up when things aren’t right. And this, as any good business coach will tell you, is simply best practice.

With millennials, it’s definitely not all about money. An open working culture that respects individual views and opinions is essential.”

While some business owners may see this as a lack of respect for authority, that is simply not the case. Keen to make their mark and not afraid to challenge the status quo, millennials can help shape a business for the better, bringing in inventive ways of thinking that can streamline processes and increase efficiency.

 

Reason 3: They’re on a constant mission to better themselves (and your company)

NEO PR agency

Another frequently discussed millennial attribute is their desire to develop and progress.

While some people may see this as a negative thing (and the reason for a higher turnover of millennial staff), it can also be seen as highly positive. Who wouldn’t want a workforce that’s driven to improve and expand their skillset?

95% of millennials said they are motivated to work harder when they understand the importance of a particular task within the context of a company’s big picture goals. One way to harness this is to actively help and encourage them to learn everything they can about the operation at hand.  

Through learning new things, millennials can quickly become experts in their field, becoming serious assets to any business in the process.

 

Reason 4: They’re digital natives

Millennials using phones and tablets

Raised by computers and smartphones, millennials are the first generation born in today’s tech-centric world. An essential part of their daily lives, 53% of millennials say they’d rather lose their sense of smell than access to their devices.

With advancements in technology changing businesses all over the globe, the digital-savvy nature of millennials means they’re immune to change. Able to adapt almost effortlessly, the younger workforce requires next to no training when it comes to adopting new processes.

Not only does this save businesses a lot of time, it means you have a workforce that is instantly familiar with the latest tools (e.g. social media) and knows how to use them to produce results.

 

Reason 5: Their productivity is through the roof (in the right environment)

Impression Agency offices

Even if the lazy stereotypes are true under normal conditions, there’s a relatively simple solution to unlocking the incredible potential of the younger generation in the workplace.

Forward-thinking businesses are coming to the realisation that, when it comes to millennials and productivity, creating the right environment is a key factor. Gemma Spinks, Director at Neo PR, says:

“At Neo PR we love hiring young, vibrant, hard-working millennials, but we appreciate that they do like to work in a slightly different way. We have tailored our office to keep our employees motivated, engaged, active and enjoying themselves.”

Ben Garry, a 20-year-old SEO Executive, is a big fan of vibrant work spaces. Speaking about his time at Impression agency in Nottingham, he says:

“For me, working in this kind of environment has really helped me to integrate with the wider team. It makes collaborative working much easier; not only do we have plenty of spaces for meetings, but the more informal chats over a table tennis game or a beer on a Friday evening can lead to new ideas and more creative strategies.”

Whether you believe the stereotypes or not, investing in millennials is the future for every business. If you want to make your business more millennial friendly, our range of stylish office furniture can help you create the perfect environment for maximum productivity.

Workplace

DBI Supports Bring Your Dog to Work Day

Come 23 June, businesses across the UK have the chance to welcome a dog into their office. No, this isn’t some radical new hiring experiment. 23 June marks Bring Your Dog to Work Day, which celebrates canine wellbeing and aims to improve how dogs are treated around the world.
Founded by HOWND, a provider of ethical dog-grooming products, Bring Your Dog to Work Day looks to shake up UK offices with some exciting new recruits.
How will a new starter affect the workplace chemistry? Will they gel immediately or take a little time to integrate?

What do the public think?

We recently conducted a survey that took the question to the UK public. We asked what kinds of traits an employee desires most from their colleagues, and this is what they said…

dbi-survey

Clearly, honesty is high on our agenda, with 36.7% voting. We all want a co-worker who’d own up to making a mistake rather than burying the evidence (remind you of anyone?)
Honesty was closely followed by hard-working colleagues, with 27.3% of the vote. Think you know a pooch who will go back and forth to fetch that stick? Invite them into your office for a day! Persistence is an invaluable trait and will no doubt inspire your employees.
Loyalty, arguably the defining trait of our canine friends, saw a 16.8% upvote. In the workplace loyalty goes a long way and can mean the difference between retaining your employees in the long run and losing them to your competitors.

Who should you employ?

Inviting a new employee into your ranks can be touch-and-go. Will your new recruit cower in the corner or bark orders from the word go? It’s hard to tell.
Personalities in the workplace is something DBI Furniture Solutions have dealt with recently – you can read our previous post here.
Yes, recruitment can be a long and difficult road. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a few job profiles for you to look at. The following candidates have all been vetted and are ready for an immediate start in the job…

Jack Russell

lab

pug

husky

Chairs, Ergonomics, Furniture, Products, Tables, Workplace

The Next Hot Thing In Cool Office Design

In the offices of today, it is a lot more than just a bank of desks with monitors and PC’s/Mac’s being installed on each. You want it to inspire! Inspire your colleagues to push that extra bit further, think that little bit harder for that spark of creativity that gives you that one fantastic idea.

When clients enter your office you want them to be impressed. You want your office environment to represent your business. You want the look of the office to nail how you choose to market your business. Want to be seen as the cool kids on the block? Get inventive with your office design. Want to be seen as the retro kids who live for the 70’s/80’s? Where are the arcade machines? It is also true that it is the people who adopt these office spaces as their own are the ones who bring the office to life. While this is most certainly true, you must make sure that your colleagues are comfortable at their work stations to increase productivity. The best way to boost productivity in your office environments is to make sure your colleagues have the space to; eat together, play together and hang out together. The happier the colleagues, the more productive you will work.

A popular concept that small firms as well as large ones such as Microsoft, Macquarie Bank & Ernst & Young is ‘hot desking’. Hot desking is simply bring your laptop and working essentials, plunk them anywhere and you are good to go. Multiple employees can, in this arrangement, use the same desk at different hours during a day.

The image shows a Photorealistic 3d render of an office.

Accessories, Furniture, Power, Products, Workplace

Don’t Compromise — Accessorise! We Show You How…

As well as our signature range of office furniture, we also supply a select range of all-important accessories designed to help your workplace reach its very highest potential. As with our office desks, chairs, task lighting and space-planning products, all of our accessories are chosen for their high levels of quality, delivering consistent optimal performance. So, what’s in the range? Here is a taste…

Power

No office could work without electricity, a power source which has become so integral to our modern lives that we take it completely for granted. Power management is therefore of paramount importance and the range of components in this section are designed for convenience and reliability.

Cable Management

A quick peep behind our TV at home will leave most of us shuddering at the snarled tangle of wires,  making us quickly look away and wonder why we looked behind there in the first place. In the office, particularly if there are many computers, the problem is dramatically magnified – check out our range of options for cable management to prevent Spaghetti Junction!

Air Purifiers

Keep everyone in the office breathing easy by heading over to this section. You could completely change the atmosphere of your workplace for the better with one of our contemporary air purifiers.

Railex Files

The 1970s vision of a paperless office never quite came to fruition – keeping hard copy of many documents is essential practice. Railex is a comprehensive filing system and offers the perfect way to keep everything practically organised for fast and accurate location later on.

Lighting

March is Workplace Eye Awareness Month and, as the eye functions by interpreting light and the way it strikes different objects, workplace lighting is an important consideration. Getting it exactly right in each unique environment is a challenge but one that our experienced and talented team are more than qualified to take on and win.

Hotboxes

Want to save space, improve productivity and protect important documents? Use a Hotbox to do all three at once with the added benefit of being able to take it with you – the product is sturdy, durable, compact and lightweight with its own optional wheeled caddy.

Have we whetted your appetite? Then head on over to our ‘Accessories’ section to discover even more items in the range!

Awareness, DSE, Ergonomics, Workplace

Workplace Eye Awareness Month — Check YOUR Vision

Office ergonomics almost always focus on ensuring the limbs, neck and torso are maintained in a comfortable and supported position.. but what about your EYES? This part of the body is often woefully neglected when it comes to creating a healthy office environment but Workplace Eye Awareness Month, which runs throughout March, attempts to rectify this situation.

Eyes Down!

Computers, mobile phones and TV equipment are standard pieces of kit for almost everyone, whatever kind of work they are involved in. We all use these items in our free time as well, meaning that people today are spending many, many hours with their sensitive and complex eyes glued to a screen. Extended periods of screen-time can lead to:

  • General pain and discomfort
  • A feeling that the eyes are ‘tired’
  • Eyestrain from focusing on small text, leading to permanent sight damage
  • General fatigue and a reduction in the sense of wellbeing
  • Headaches, particularly in those who suffer from migraine attacks
  • Visible symptoms such as parched or red eyes

The Importance of Blinking

The reason that we blink is to moisturise and lubricate the eye and this usually happens between 12 and 14 times every minute. As we focus our eyes on a computer screen or other kind of digital display has been shown to reduce this rate by anywhere from 33% to 50%, causing the eyes to become dried out, sore and painful.

Here are some tips to avoid eyestrain in the workplace:

  • Keep your Distance – Stay at least an arm’s length away from the screen. Close-up focusing is more demanding on the eyes and increasing the size of the type on the display while keeping your distance is preferable to being close to small type
  • Beware of Glare – make sure the display settings are appropriate so this issue is minimised. Good task lighting and increased contrast can help
  • Rest & Relax – just the same as your wrists can be damaged by carpal tunnel syndrome from typing too much, your eyes can be damaged in a similar way. Stick to a 20/20/20 rule – take a break each 20 minutes and, during this, stare at an object 20ft away for 20 seconds
  • Let there be Light – choosing correct lighting for your unique premises is essential and you should seek expert help on the range of products available. DBI stock a broad selection of quality task lighting and our dedicated space planning team can provide the most competent advice

Workplace Eye Awareness Month is the perfect time to start considering your visual health and that of your employees. Start your journey with our selection of Task Lighting!

Awareness, Ergonomics, Furniture, Products, Uncategorized, Workplace

Indoor Environment Quality – Try Our Experiment!

There are a precious lucky few people who will be able to say that the air they breathe in at work feels cool, fresh and pleasant, refreshing them. An even smaller number of these people report seeing soft-edged, organic and natural shapes and tones. Instead, a worrying majority of us at work, school, university or other public buildings have to tolerate stale or artificially-conditioned air in our lungs and dull, artificial shapes & colours on our retinas. Why? And when will it change? The answer, thankfully, is very soon indeed.

The presence of plants in the indoor environment has been proven to have many benefits on humans, from a perceived improvement in air quality to higher levels of morale, productivity and health. Studies in hospitals show that patients heal quicker and experience lower pain levels when plants are around and research on a smaller scale suggests a host of practical beneficial effects from bringing the green inside – the effects range from lower levels of employee absenteeism to a reduction in energy usage.

For any business or organisation, there are financial constraints which cannot be ignored – budget is naturally of major importance and any investment must be carefully considered for its cost-effectiveness. It is here that indoor plants have met a stumbling block and hence not gained truly widespread appeal –  a new study, which will include masses of data from social organisations, research institutes and any organisation which registers its interest and is approved, aims to make sweeping changes and usher in a new, green era.

“There are as yet insufficient concrete figures on the matter and insufficient innovative and usable green solutions,” as Annemieke Smit, the Project Leader, succinctly sums up the matter. Under her expert guidance, the research team will collate data and produce a definitive, authoritative guide to use freely when deciding future strategy, policy and actions for the business in relation to interior plants and organic office design.

Do you want cleaner air, unrivalled natural aesthetics and healthier, happier employees? Find out how with DBI – browse our select range of indoor plants and call us to get the fastest, most competitive quote.

Accessories, Desks, Furniture, Tables, Workplace

The Benefits of Standing Desks

The brain. The body. How often we mentally, verbally and symbolically draw a distinction between these two things which are, ipso facto, two parts of the unique, unified you. Sit/stand desks are almost exclusively associated with beneficial effects on the body and, though these do lead to beneficial mental effects as well, the results of a new study appear to show a much more direct, organic and potentially-groundbreaking link. Ready to improve your neurocognition? Let’s take the journey together.

The most recent edition of respected scientific publication The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health contained the results of a year-long study carried out at a high school in Texas, USA. Led by Ranjana Mehta, a team of researchers followed a group of 27 young people through a year at school, administering neurocognitive tests at the beginning and end. In the interim, the students underwent a transition to ‘standing-biased’ classrooms, having never experienced such a thing prior to the study.

Five cognitive tests (evaluating decision-making, reasoning, memory, modification of cognitive strategy and cognitive flexibility) were given before and after the 27 students had been exposed to sit/stand desk options. Results of the tests, which were inspired by observational data and combined with data from a portable brain-imaging machine, indicated that using a sit/stand desk:

  • Caused or contributed to a general improvement in participants’ test scores of between 7-14%. It appears highly unlikely that education received during the year could have caused such a leap as scores from these standard tests are usually fixed around the age of 12

  • Increased activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with working memory and high-level problem-solving/decision-making

  • Is worthy of further, more detailed studies with a seated control group and including average grades and standardised test scores

Concluding, the authors of the study said: “These findings provide the first preliminary evidence on the neurocognitive benefits of standing desks, which to date have focused largely on energy expenditure. If the results are backed up in further studies, it could mean that a simple furniture swap to standing desks could lead to a rise in outstanding students.”

We have embraced the sit/stand desk concept since it emerged and can now offer a wide selection of designs to suit any office space. Start browsing the collection HERE and call us to get a fast, competitive quote!

Accessories, Furniture, Power, Workplace

Can You Guess The Hottest Office Design Trends for 2016?

‘Ripe for Reinvention’ – this is what the modern workplace is revealed to be in a new research paper by Teknion in collaboration with respected design experts. The paper, titled ‘Ethonomics: Designing For The Principles Of The Modern Workplace’, outlines new and innovative design strategies that are predicted to have an influential effect in 2016.

It is becoming more commonly recognised that the workspace should bend and flex to meet the needs of the workers that inhabit it. Many companies are doing extremely well at implementing new strategies but there is still much room for improvement. Here we look at some of the most important office design trends to watch out for in 2016.

  • Concealing Cables – power and data are clearly essential in the office environment but the problem of wires is a continuing one. Office furniture manufacturers are developing ever-more optimal ways to integrate cables seamlessly, preventing a prestigious executive office desk from looking shabby, disorganised and scruffy
  • Multitask, Multipurpose – this is one area where progress is swift. As cubicle-style offices become less common, replaced by bench desking solutions, non-assigned seating is just as quickly sweeping in. Oval desks are predicted to grow in popularity as a convenient and versatile meeting place for larger groups while sit/stand height-adjustable office desks will be put to uses during standing meetings
  • Go Green – natural decoration is high on the list of many renowned interior designers. Incorporating natural, organic patterns in fabrics is growing in prominence, as is the inclusion of green plants and foliage within the office space. Plants, both real and artificial, have a number of proven positive effects on employees from reduced absence to improved motivation and productivity
  • Love to Lounge – Jeff Miller, formerly of Herman Miller and Apple, is now Vice President of Design for Poppin, a globally-successful office furniture manufacturer. He predicts new spaces being created that are totally at odds with traditional rigid workstations. Comfort is key, suggests Miller, saying that this ‘stimulates relaxed collaboration’. This need to provide comfort mandates the need for dedicated lounge areas

We can quickly and reliably supply everything you need to transform your office ready for 2016 and the future beyond. Cable management, office desking, replica plants, soft seating – we really do have it all and also employ a skilled, talented and passionate space planning team.

Ready for 2016? If not, call DBI Furniture Solutions today and we will set you on the right path.

Chairs, Ergonomics, Furniture, Tables, Workplace

Good Office Ergonomics — The Three Biggest Benefits

Modern design can no longer treat carefully-implemented office ergonomics as an option. Awareness of the many health implications suffered by people as a result of their jobs continues to rise and those companies who fail to provide adequate ergonomic care for their employees lose out in a number of ways.

Here we look at three ways in which optimised office ergonomics can improve the health of both your employees and your business.

Health & Wellbeing

Numerous studies have all shown the same thing – sitting down for too long is bad for you, particularly when the chair you’re sitting on is poorly-designed for the individual.

Back and neck pain are among the most frequent health problems reported by office employees, with stress and depression naturally following.

Contemporary office furniture is designed to minimise the health risks of working in an office by personalising the experience for each user.

Adjustable flexibility is key and this ethos extends across everything from desking and chairs to dedicated task lighting. Every employee should have access to the best office furniture possible and many items have an extremely reasonable price tag attached so you don’t have to break the bank to improve the health and morale of your employees for good.

Productivity & Reputation

As employee comfort increases, productivity goes up right along with it.

This is true only up to a certain point – make the office too comfortable and you might send everyone to sleep!

Chairs should be firm and supportive, creating good posture and reducing exertion by restricting motions and extending reach.

Height-adjustable sit/stand desks are the perfect complement to ergonomic office chairs and further enhance productivity.

Happy employees are more optimistic, directly affecting the planning and execution of their work. As work improves, so too does the reputation of your company.

Legality and Liability

Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees and an extensive amount of older office furniture is really no longer fit for purpose.

As knowledge of the health problems directly caused by poor office ergonomics increases, we could very soon see the amount of employer liability cases sharply rise.

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