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5 tips for having a productive work break

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. 

3) Exercise

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. 

Workplace

How to hot desk properly

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?

Workplace

5 reasons why your office needs a touchdown area

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.

Workplace

What makes a good meeting?

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. 

Relationship building

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. 

Inclusivity

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. 

Quick solutions

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. 

Feedback

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.

Any questions?

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. 

Workplace

How to decorate an office reception

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. 

Space Planning, Workplace

Flexible workspace: What is it and why do you need it?

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. 

Collaborative areas

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. 

Quiet zones

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. 

Hot 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. 

Workplace

Laptop vs desktop: Which is better for your office?

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… 

Office laptops

Pro: Portability

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. 

Pro: Subtle

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. 

Con: Charging

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. 

Con: Slouching

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. 

Office desktop

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. 

Con: Noise

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! 

Workplace

6 office etiquette rules everyone should follow

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.

6) Punctuality

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. 

Workplace

5 creative office hacks to make work a better place

When it comes to keeping your office in tip-top shape, there are ways to maximise productivity without the faff. Although you may not think it, some seemingly useless items in your bits ‘n bobs drawer could actually become a handy contraption that will make your working life easier. From headphone holders to cord detanglers, the possibilities are endless when thinking creatively, plus it’s one way to condense (and find purpose) for all that clutter. 

1) Headphone hanger

Being one of the more hefty office items, headphones can take up an awful lot of space on your desk. Stay organised and know exactly where to reach when you’re dipping into some work tunes (or answering an important business call, of course), with this crafty alternative. To make your own DIY headphone hanger, simply arm yourself with a bulldog clip, a pin, and attach onto your fabric partition to free up some room in an instant.

2) Brightening up your office desk

When at work, your office desk will be your main hangout, so why not brighten it up a bit with a funky strip of fairy lights? It’s always important to make sure that you have appropriate office lighting to prevent eye strain, but this festive alternative makes a great addition. Stick LED lights around the rim of your desk, including a strip on your keyboard if you want to get really fancy. You can even experiment with the colours to achieve the perfect set-up, whether you prefer warm or cool tones, or perhaps an eye-catching shade of pink for something a little more vibrant. 

3) Cord detangler

Cords in a twist? Avoid any health and safety hazards by sectioning wires apart with, you guessed it, another bulldog clip. Attach to the edge of your office desk, hooking each wire through, remembering to safely tuck the bottom of the lead out of the way using a cable spine or cable tray to prevent any trips. With this creative office hack, you can get stuck into your work straight away without having to waste time figuring out which wire is tangled with which.

4) Plug labels

Office hack number four fits rather nicely with number three, because you can’t organise your cords without labels! We’ve all been faced with the challenge of having to rewire the back of our computer, helplessly fumbling with wires in the hope that one of them will fit correctly. You can eradicate this issue with some self adhesive identification labels, writing down which cable belongs to which appliance to avoid any confusion. 

5) Organising your office supplies

Looking for another way to organise your office clutter? Office storage cabinets are brilliant for this, but for items that are much smaller (think pins, paper clips and elastic bands), you can use old spice jars or milk bottles to separate them. Decorate the rim with some twine and ribbon, write out the labels accordingly, and you’re good to go! 

For some more advice on how you can make your work a better place, have a chat with our team of friendly fit out professionals today! From office seating to office accessories, we’ve got everything you need to create the perfect environment for both you and your employees, whatever your desired aesthetic. 

Workplace

Office dress code: what are the pros and cons

After the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down, our ideas about what makes a perfect working environment are changing drastically, with a running theme being to bring an essence of home into the office. Many people would dread the thought of an office dress code, rolling their eyes as they have to pull out yet another tight fitting shirt and uncomfortable thick tights. A 2018 study revealed that only one in 10 people wear a suit to work, and there has since been a rise in the infamous “Zoom shirt” – meaning attire that is only worn for a business video call then swiftly replaced with a hoodie soon after. But could it be that welcoming a more relaxed office dress code could actually benefit a business? Let’s find out whether we should kiss goodbye to the suit, and say hello to comfies. 

Pro: Staying professional

A poll revealed that 34% of respondents believe that what you wear in the workplace does matter, so there is still some indication that the idea of an office dress code enhancing professionalism remains. In some instances, an office worker’s outward appearance can affect a client’s overall perception of your business. For example, if a person were to turn up to a formal meeting with a shirt untucked and unironed, it may reflect badly and lead the client to question how proactive and organised their potential business partner could be. Some still believe that a smart office dress code eradicates this risk, and reaching for a trusty shirt and blazer is one surefire way to impress clients. 

Pro: Creating your brand identity

Similar to the previous point, people will – as much as we hate to see it – make presumptions based on an office dress code. Businesses will often use formal work attire to show that everyone is part of a united team, proving a sense of professionalism even when away from the office desk. This could be a suit complete with a company name badge, or dressing in a way that represents brand colours. It’s a constant reflection of the business, and in some ways, used as a discrete marketing tool. 

Pro: Enhancing workplace productivity

With the introduction of the hybrid working model and added workplace flexibility, using office attire to separate home from work may result in a productivity boost. Although pulling a shirt over your head may seem like a simple, meaningless task, it can actually shift mindsets and prepare an individual for the working day ahead. This is similar to the office commute, which gives people time to plug in their favourite playlist and get into the right headspace. You just need to find the right balance between work and play, whilst still allowing workers to differentiate between the two contrasting environments through office attire. 

Con: Work incentives

What is it that sets your business apart from the rest? Is it the games room? The office relaxation room? Or maybe it’s the casual office attire? When welcoming new employees to the team, they will often look out for these perks to determine whether it’s worth sticking around. Companies that don’t have a strict dress code may actually carry a more positive than negative perception, by selling an enhanced culture based on rewards, and allowing employees to feel as relaxed in the office as they do at home. Perhaps a pair of work joggers isn’t such a bad idea after all? 

Con: Mindfulness in work

There’s been a definite shift towards maintaining mindfulness in the workplace, after what has been a stressful couple of years to say the least. People have got used to spending time in the safety of their own homes, so how can employers bring these comforts into the office? The answer could be getting rid of the office dress code policy and instead encouraging employees to choose an outfit that makes them feel more relaxed. Many offices are going one step further by introducing the scientifically comforting biophilic office design, alongside using interior design to make an office more homely. When workers are happier, productivity is almost guaranteed to rise. 

Con: Individuality

Some workers may feel stripped of their identity when faced with a strict office attire, so taking a more relaxed approach will make it easier for employees to express themselves. A company culture should embrace individuality, so as long as no one’s offended and outfits permit people to do their job, office workers may start to feel an increased level of trust between them and their employer. 

Ultimately, everyone will have an opinion about whether or not an office dress code is appropriate for business. For those that would like to permit relaxed attire, it may be useful to discuss situations where this may not be as appropriate. As an example, when writing a blog at home, the cosy jumper is a yes. Whereas, when clients want to have a video call, or you’re meeting a new potential business partner for the first time, something smarter is much better suited. It’s all about getting the right balance between the two.

We know that running an office comes with its stresses, from deciding whether to introduce an office dress code policy to kitting out your space to maximise employee comfort. Our office furniture experts are just a call away, happy to work with you to start bringing your dream work aesthetic to life. Get in contact today.