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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 Would Your Dream Office Look Like?

mbg7The truth is: my office space is cluttered. It has fluorescent lights. My chair gives me back ache and my tiny screen make my eyes strain. Sounds lovely doesn’t it. But does it sound familiar?

If so, that’s unfortunate for both you and your company. The bare facts state that the less aesthetically appealing your surroundings are at work, the less productive you are.

Quick, go tell your boss! Then hurry back and read what your dream office could look like, and how it could help you in more ways than you thought.

Layout

Let’s face it, open plan is in, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Some studies show that open plan offices lead to a 62% decrease in productivity and an increase in sickness.

The Google offices feature an open plan environment, which is effective for them because they brainstorm and team build all day long.

In smaller companies, this wouldn’t work as well. The dream office would be spacious and definitely not gray. Plain white, cream or deep greens are the winners here. They are classy and promote a better work environment.

Temperature

According to surveys taken, employees are less productive when their offices are either too hot or too cold.

That’s why temperature control is so important. There are all kinds of thermostats available for the office setup. But if it were up to me, it would be an air curtain  which keeps heat in and uses 72% less electricity, implementing climate control at the door.

Lighting

Natural lighting is definitely tops. Throw those fluorescents out the window. They lead to eye strain, headaches and lack of focus.

This means windows and lots of them. Natural light is responsible for a 16% increase in productivity. The classiest offices have circular or wall length windows, looking out on the city surrounds. Simple, elegant and effective.

Filing

Clutter and disorganization muddle up the office and the mind. That’s why a proper filing system is crucial, and I’m not talking about heavy duty grey block filing cabinets. No, something sleek and refined is what you should be aiming for.

How about a rich wood vertical cabinet or (for the more futuristic look) the Perspex cabinet which enables you to see what’s filed where?

Furniture

Let’s talk chairs. The ladder backs are out and the comfortable swivels are in. No more steel frames without cushions please, it’s time for a change which looks a lot like this:

Comfortable, adjustable, easy to get around. This chair has adequate neck and back support and keeps the occupant focused and happy. There are other snazzier versions on the market, but many of them are strangely shaped and don’t provide as much comfort.

You can’t beat the classics and this bad boy does the job as well as you’ll do yours.

Break time!

Okay, not technically part of the office, but just as important. Recent studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time can be as bad for your health as chain smoking.

This means you should get up and take a walk around once in a while.

Decorations

We’ve established that the office should not be cluttered, but one devoid of aesthetic value decreases efficiency. A conundrum, you cry? Never fear.

Minimalistic, elegant and clean is what you want. Keep the space open for your walking breaks. That’s why potted plants, wall-hangings and calmer abstract paintings are what I’d go for.

There you have it: my dream office. Clean, elegant, with lots of natural light, a comfortable swivel, temperature control, plants and abstract art, chic filing systems and vibrant, refined color themes.

What would your dream office look like? Let us know in the box below.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

Caitlin is a writer and single mum, who enjoys organizing her messy workspace once a year. That’s why she likes blogging about interior design and clean spaces. She blogs for Applied Workplace.

 

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The Office Of The Future

FE_DA_100318_FutureOffice_OpenAs technology advances, attitudes and ways of working shift over time, our perception of the modern office changes accordingly, too.  But what does the future hold for the typical office environment and what can we expect to find?  Read on for an insight.

Open spaces

In the future, office environments will be more focused on creating open spaces for their workers.  An open environment is thought to be better for allowing people to commune, share ideas, let communication flow easier and foster feedback.

There will be less emphasis on people having their own desk areas that they sit at solidly for eight hours.  Instead, workers will move to different hubs or zones within the office to complete specific tasks.

Managers will also need to show a more visible presence on the work floor, with the days of bosses being segregated into their own office areas diminishing over time.

Technology and equipment

With strides in technology, the office of the future will be less reliant on some of the bulky, cumbersome pieces of machinery that has served them in the past.  Equipment to help workers do their jobs will become smaller and more efficient.

Modular Smartphones could replace computers and tablets, and there will be greater emphasis on using mobile equipment on the go.  Virtual keyboards that fit onto any surface will make working anywhere much easier.  Cloud services will mean more workers can edit or comment on information at the same time.

Workers will be able to keep their technology skills updated with the increase in e-learning services.

Pressure to reduce our carbon footprint and conserve energy will see offices striving to achieve a paperless environment, as well as using apps and devices to monitor or control energy usage.

Flexibility

Flexibility in the workplace will become the norm and accepted way of working for the office of the future.  On the one hand, this means workers will increasingly be able to dictate the hours and environment where they work to fit in with their lifestyle.  Changes in technology will make this much easier to happen.  Workers will also have much more say in what they get involved with and how they manage projects, rather than being reliant on guidance from hierarchical superiors.

On the other hand, flexibility in the workplace will mean a less rigid and structured environment.  Workplaces will become more fluid, to meet the ever changing demands of the business.  Pop up work environments will become more commonplace, with workspace design focusing more on adaptability.

Health and safety

The office of the future will be more health and safety focused, with specific emphasis on the individual.  As more and more employers recognise the necessity for good ergonomic office furniture to boost productivity, there will be a shift towards providing an environment that nourishes the worker.  Health-conscious designs of office furniture will promote physical activity in the workplace, reducing the reliance on a sedentary environment.  Treadmill workstations and using exercise balls to sit on instead of the office chair will become the norm.

Written by Crispin who enjoys keeping up with the latest technology and this post is a prediction. Written for Automatic Access.

 

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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.

Featured images:
  •  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.

Featured images:
  •  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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