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What To Consider When Purchasing Your Office Furniture

Selecting new furniture for your office may not be the toughest task on your long list of things to do, but if you think it’s just a case of ordering the first things you come across that seem to fit the bill; you may be missing a trick. The furniture in an office can have a big impact on the way that everyone works and the wrong kind of equipment could cause problems in the future.

So whether you’re refurbishing your office or just looking for a few items that will improve your working environment; what should you be thinking about?

Comfort

Comfort should be high up on the list when purchasing any type of furniture and it is no different in the office environment. The last thing you want is for your workers to be complaining that they are not comfortable as this could possibly lead to health issues in the future and may mean people are off work for some time.

You also need to think about your clients and the fact that they could possibly be using the furniture at some point. If they end up sitting on an uncomfortable chair then it could reflect badly on your company and it may even put them off doing business with you.

It’s not just chairs that need to be comfortable either. Things like desks and tables still need to be ergonomic so that they are easy to use.

Productivity –

You may not think it but office furniture can have a great impact on the productivity of your staff. Not just because uncomfortable furniture will mean they are less likely to be able to concentrate but there are also issues of practicality. Will chairs with wheels on mean that your staff are constantly fidgeting or will it mean they can communicate better with people from other areas of the office?

It’s also important to think about productivity when selecting storage options. If it’s easy to store things and access them when needed then less time will be wasted searching through cupboards and cabinets to find what you are looking for.

The Growth Of Your Business

You may only have a few employees working for you at the moment but it is important to think about how you are going to grow as a business when conducting your office refit or refurbishment. It may work out cheaper to buy desks and chairs in bulk now rather than just buying a few for now and then purchasing them singularly as and when more people join the company.

You should also think about how technology is going to affect your working environment in the future. Things change quickly in the technology world and so you may need to make arrangements for future develops. For example, will you be incorporating video conferencing in the future? Thinking ahead will mean you are better prepared for your company’s impending expansion.

Space Planning –

How you arrange your office can have a big impact on the general atmosphere and productivity of the workplace. Therefore when you are choosing pieces of office furniture you should be aware of exactly how much free space you have and exactly where things will be going when they arrive. Over filling your office with equipment could lead to a crammed working environment which will not prove fruitful at all.

Cleanliness –

Hygiene is important in any workplace and so you need to take into account the type of material your furniture is made from. Something that shows stains and that isn’t easy to clean may not be the best choice in an environment where cleanliness is a priority.

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Chris Mayhew works within an office environment and understands how important furniture can be to the dynamics of a workplace. He would recommend that anyone looking to fit out their office visits the Premier Office Solutions website.

 

 

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What Type Of Furniture A Company Should Buy For Its Employees

Office furnitureEmployees, equipment and even clients rely on the furniture that is in an office or other work setting every day. Chairs, desks, tables and filing cabinets contribute to productivity and comfort during working hours. It is not always easy to choose the furniture for an office. Many companies must decide between different features in order to find the right balance of size, comfort and functionality. Every business should look a few key features when choosing furniture for employees.

Adjustable

The furniture that employees use in an office or other setting should be adjustable. This means that tables or workstations can be raised or lowered as needed. Chairs should be adjustable as well. Chairs that have adjustable armrests and the ability to tilt in different directions will fit the shape and size of any body. Additionally, adjustable furniture is important in order to prevent workplace injuries that result from poor ergonomic positioning. Employees who are forced to operate in an awkward or uncomfortable position will be less productive and might even require regular medical attention for aches, pains and conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Comfortable

Comfort is very important. This is especially true for employees who will be using a few pieces of furniture for an entire day. Uncomfortable furniture will create problems that lower morale and that could affect performance. An uncomfortable metal chair will force employees to stop working and stand up or walk around frequently. An uncomfortable desk with hard edges and an overly high surface will make it difficult to stay organized. Some poorly designed furniture might even contribute to injuries because of hard edges and surfaces. Comfortable furniture will allow employees to focus exclusively on work.

Environmentally Friendly

Many offices are looking for ways to become greener. Part of this is done to lower the environmental impact of the business. It is also done to help the surrounding community and to address the environmental concerns of customers. Businesses should purchase green office furniture whenever possible. These are pieces made from sustainable materials like bamboo or recycled materials like steel or plastic. This reduces the footprint of the business. It will also encourage employees to follow good recycling and energy conservation practices while working.

Mobile Or Modular

The furniture that employees use needs to be functional and flexible. Modular office furniture is becoming increasingly popular for this reason. Modular furniture allows employees to assemble several small components into a single desk, workstation or cubicle. Employees can change the design of an area to meet personal needs and preferences. Mobile or lightweight furniture is also useful. This makes it possible to rearrange an office quickly or to move items to a new area in order to accommodate seasonal workers or construction.

 

Easily Repaired And Cleaned

Businesses will benefit from furniture that is easy to maintain and clean. Employees will be using the furniture constantly every day. This can wear down even the most durable chairs and cabinets. Furniture that has simple connections and solid construction will last for a long time and can be repaired in a few minutes when necessary. Pieces of furniture that are easy to clean because of the materials or the design are very convenient. This prevents spilled coffee or other accidents from ruining the appearance of the piece.

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  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: depositphoto.com

Eleanor Parson is a blogger and suggests Coopers Office Furniture for employers looking to build or improve their office space.

 

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Points To Consider When Organizing A Team Building Day

Business team building a puzzleTeam building days have become a tool that large and small companies use to build trust, cooperation and respect between employees and departments. New managers also use the events as a way to get to know the skills of different workers. Planning an entire team-building day takes a large amount of effort. Every detail from scheduling and reservations to catering and games must be meticulously planned. There are several points to keep in mind when attempting to organize a day of team-building activities.

Be Aware Of Employee Limitations

Every person is different. It is essential to take into account the physical, medical and practical limitations of each employee taking part in the event. This means planning activities that everyone can perform and excluding activities that might be difficult for workers with limited mobility. It also means choosing a location that is accessible to everyone with or without a vehicle. Catering needs to be considerate of any dietary restrictions or allergies. Designing the event with the limitations of the employees in mind will allow the day to flow smoothly and without incident.

Catering

Every team-building day includes one or more breaks that allow participants to think or talk about what has just occurred. Everyone taking part in the event will need to eat at least once. The best way to feed all participants is to plan for a professional catering service. The food could be simple sandwiches or a large buffet. Eating will help to reset each person and will provide the energy needed to get through the second half of the retreat. Including a catered lunch or breakfast also makes employees feel appreciated.

Maintain Focus

It is important to maintain focus at all times during the planning stages and when hosting the event. It can become easy for a group of co-workers or even strangers from different offices to become distracted by personal conversations, the decor of the location or minor unimportant details. Event organizers and hosts should develop ways to keep groups focused around the core topic or activity. This will make the entire day much more effective and will encourage participation from everyone at the event.

Time

Time is always a concern when organizing a corporate team-building day. The day should be divided into large blocks of time that are strictly enforced. These blocks should be general such as introductions, morning activities or lunch. The large general blocks can then be subdivided into smaller segments of activity that are more fluid as long as they do not extend beyond the total time allocated for the general period. This will allow flexibility while also ensuring that every important part of the team-building plan is covered.

Consider Professional Planning Services

Large corporations might want to consider using a professional event planning service for a large portion of the retreat. These services will have access to and knowledge of locations and suppliers that will make the day much easier. They also have the time to plan the event properly. Professional planners are an economical solution for large corporations because they often have access to discounts and larger venues that are not available to the general public.

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  •  License: Image author owned

This post was written by Jen McAllister, an event planner in Toronto. She has worked with ibowl.ca Family Fun Center for a few years. For other types of events, visit http://ibowl.ca/.

 

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Yelp’s In Trouble Again: The Scandal Behind The Review Site

MW-AY957_yelp_2_20130205133121_MEYelp is a popular online review site that allows customers to leave their own personal reviews on restaurants. Many customers have turned to Yelp to not only write their own reviews but to read the reviews of other users in order to decide where to eat.

But while Yelp seems like it could be a big help to your next dining decision, the popular review site is currently under fire.

Back in January 2013, over 700 complaints filed with the FTC about Yelp were made public, and here’s what some of those complaints discuss.

Yelp blocks positive reviews.

Many business owners have claimed that Yelp removes positive reviews on their business and only allows the negative ones to come through. These negative reviews have a negative effect on the company’s overall rating, and business owners are upset. Some owners don’t know why Yelp could benefit from keeping these positive reviews from showing, and others feel as if Yelp uses it as a way to blackmail their users.

Yelp blackmails businesses.

Many businesses have come forward and said that they received emails or phone calls from Yelp claiming that they would remove negative reviews on the company’s page in exchange for the company buying advertising on the site. On Yelp’s website, they claim that they do not remove reviews for any reason other than if it can be proven they were fake, but many companies are saying otherwise.

Yelp harasses businesses.

Yelp has sales people that contact businesses to see if they want to purchase advertising on the site. Many businesses have claimed that these sales people harass them on a regular basis, even after the company has told them they were not interested in buying ad space or asking the sales rep to stop calling. Some of these sales reps have also been accused of promising to remove negative reviews in exchange for their ad space purchase.

Yelp leaves libelous material on their site.

There are companies and individuals out there that write fake reviews on businesses, and sometimes this information is completely wrong and libelous. Unfortunately, the only thing that a business owner can do is to contact Yelp and ask for the review to be removed, but Yelp has a strict policy, and unless it can be proven that the review was fake, they will keep it up there. Many restaurant owners are upset because severe damage has been done to their business, and Yelp will not do anything to remove them.

Yelp encourages fake reviews.

As a reviewer, you have the ability to join Yelp’s VIP club. As long as you write a certain number of reviews every month, you can become a member of their VIP, and this will provide you with special private parties and other perks. Since most people don’t eat out all day every day, many individuals are writing fake reviews on businesses just to become a Yelp VIP member and enjoy these perks.

All of these complaints against Yelp are currently being investigated. Maybe they’re true, maybe they’re not, but the public will certainly know soon once the investigation is over.

Joshua Reynolds is a reviews tracker and reputation manager.  He enjoys sharing information pertaining to business reviews and blogging.

 

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How To Find A Reliable Air Freight Company?

images (3)If you are exporting freight from the UK to it may be necessary to employ an air freight company to move your goods. You will want to choose an air freight company that handle all aspects of the export process and will ensure that the goods get to their destination, quickly, safely and securely.

Search Air Freight Companies

Finding a good air freight company is not a straight forward process. It would be worth considering several different companies and perhaps taking a look at their websites as a first step. Look for companies that have a depth of experience and that really understand international markets.

A follow up phone call or email will allow you to get a feel for how responsive the company is and whether you feel you could work with them. The air freight business is a people business, and you will need to understand whether the person you are speaking with will be directly responsible for handling your shipments, or is just another sales person.

Packaging

Prior to preparing your goods for export you should contact your air freight company to understand any size or weight restrictions that may apply for the destination you are shipping to. There is little point packing your goods and then finding out they are too big for security measures or too big or heavy for the available aircraft size.

It is essential that you package your goods properly for air export. If you don’t you may find that your cargo may not fly or may arrive damaged. Also bear in mind that insufficient or incorrect packaging can invalidate the insurance that you purchase for your goods to have the right to travel.

If you are unsure how to package your products then your freight company should be able to guide you or suggest a suitable export packing company. The packing company will design the packaging to ensure a safe transit and make sure that packing standards such as ISPM15 are complied with.

Air Freight Options

A good global freight company will be able to offer both economy and express services and will also offer a courier option for smaller shipments. It is also important that your freight company can offer freight insurance (if needed) and a full documentation service. It is essential your goods have the correct documents to travel with or could find that you can have a considerable loss to your company.

James works on behalf of Allenco, The Freight People who are a global freight company. They specialise in a variety of different export services, you can find a list of services at http://www.thefreightpeople.com/

 

 

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Workplace Monitoring With The Use Of Technology

r-NYPD-COMPUTER-GLITCH-large570Employers can monitor your activities at work and in many situations they have the right to do it

Monitoring In The Workplace

There are many ways in which you can be monitored at work and the following are all covered by the Data Protection Law:

  • checking phone logs or recording of phone calls. This is for business calls on a business phone that is connected to a particular computer which runs checks on calls and records them. This is a great tool to help with productivity and customer service
  • computer monitoring software which will record all actives on the computer including incoming and outgoing email content, websites visited and any social network sites visited
  • videoing outside the workplace to check if anyone is taking too many smoking breaks or they are meeting with anyone suspicious. This is also a good tool in case of any accidents on company land
  • recording on CCTV cameras to check if anyone is stealing from the company or if they are doing anything untoward in the office and again this is good for recording any accidents that might become an issue

What Are The Rules?

The Data Protection Law doesn’t prevent monitoring at work, however, there are rules set down about the circumstances and the way in which it should be carried out by the employer.

Before deciding whether to introduce monitoring, your employer should:

  • have a clear idea of the reasons for monitoring staff and what will benefit the company
  • think of anything that might affect the staff in a negative way (impact assessment)
  • is there a less intrusive method or alternatives to monitoring
  • is it justified

Except in extreme situations, employers need to let staff know that monitoring is happening and the reason for it and what they are looking at. Once an employer has carried out an impact assessment

Employers who can justify monitoring once they have carried out a proper impact assessment will not need the consent of staff members.

Monitoring Electronic Equipment At Work

It is legal for your boss to monitor your use of the phone, internet, e-mail or fax at work if the monitoring is related to the business, the equipment is provided by the company for work and the employer has made all reasonable efforts to inform you that you are being monitored. However the employee cannot monitor any personal electronic equipment

If your employer sticks to the following rules, they do not need to get your consent before they monitor you, but only if it is for one of the following:

  • to find out and establish facts relevant to the business, to check processes and procedures are being followed, or to check quality and standards by listening in to phone-calls
  • to prevent or detect crime
  • to check for unauthorised use of the internet or email for personal use
  • to make ensure the electronic systems are operating effectively with no viruses
  • to check communications, such as email or phone-calls are relevant to the business. But the employer cannot record calls

Charlie Hodgson has worked with private detective Cardiff as a private detective for many years. With hours of surveillance and other investigations under his belt he has the knowledge and understanding required to gain success in his field. Spy equipment, software and spy gadgets are of particular interest to him as he has used and relied on it more times than he would like to admit to. For more blogs like this please contact http://www.privateinvestigators-cardiff.co.uk/

 

 

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Smarter Ways Of Working

cold-calling-skills1Rising fuel prices, leaves on the line, crowded carriages and traffic jams – just a few of the things which can make the commute into work every day a complete nightmare. That’s even forgetting the added complications of flooding and the way the road network grinds to a halt when it snows. Most of us see a lengthy journey into work as a necessary evil and it’s hard to see any way of making the commute easier or cheaper. But there are some things which can be considered to make life better.

Working at Home

Not all employers are happy with the idea of staff working at home instead of in the office, so whether or not this will be appropriate will depend very much on what market sector your employer operates in. If you are primarily dealing with customers on the phone or by email and can just as easily work from the spare room or dining table as you can from the office, then there is no harm in asking your employer whether you can work at home for part of the week. Being at home will save you in terms of both time and money.

Flexible Working

If working at home isn’t an option, perhaps your employer would consider flexible working. Many employers are happy to allow employees to work their 37.5 hours a week over 4 days rather than 5, or to arrive early and leave early to beat the traffic. If you are thinking about approaching your employer about working flexibly, make sure you gather all the evidence to support your claim that you will be able to work as efficiently and get the work done in exactly the same way.

Season Tickets

If you have a regular commute by train into work, it is far cheaper to buy a season ticket than it is to pay the standard fare each day. Finding the money for a six month or year-long ticket is the main obstacle to doing this and many employers offer unsecured loans to help their staff meet the cost. Even if your employer does not offer this scheme, it can be worth approaching another lender for an unsecured loan as even with interest payments taken into account, you are still quid’s in.

Car sharing

One great way of cutting the cost of getting to work as well as lessening your carbon footprint is to share a lift with someone else travelling the same route. Many companies help put employees in touch with each other, and there are also several independent websites which will help arrange lifts too. The arrangements are generally left up to the individuals concerned, but a common arrangement is to pay the driver a set amount per mile, or to take it in turns to drive. Some forward thinking companies will even give drivers who car share a preferential parking space or other perks.

Cycling

Again it’s not for everyone, but if your commute into work is relatively short, going by bike could save you a fortune, be just as quick and could also help keep you fit too. Many employers are encouraging their employees to get on their bikes by offering cheap finance or unsecured loans to buy a bike, and by providing facilities such as lockers and showers on site. Buying a new bike doesn’t have to mean a huge investment, but when taking out an unsecured loan ensure that you factor in other expenses such as lights, a helmet and reflective clothing too. Given the levels of traffic on many city roads, cyclists often find that their commute is far quicker than colleagues who drive too.

Katie Latchford is a freelance writer who is constantly researching the latest financial advances in areas such as unsecured loans, credit cards, family finance and consumer rights. For more information, follow her on Google plus.

 

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