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Monday, 22 August 2011

How to make your office more welcoming!

Top Tips to Improve Your Office Space

We all know that we spend far too much time in the office trying to battle those mountains of paperwork, which doesn't help with our well-being. 

It is amazing how much your work environment can affect your mindset- for example, if your desk is cluttered full of paperwork you may feel exasperated at the work you need to do before you've even sat down!

Rather than dreading your next journey in to the office, here are some simple suggestions on how to make your office a more welcoming destination every morning!

Get Some Quality Lighting

Bad or unnatural lighting can be harmful to your eyes- it may be a good idea to swap the existing bulbs in your office for natural day light bulbs.  These bulbs give off more natural light, taking a lot of the strain off your eyes and they are also energy efficient!  Also, make the most of the natural light available within the office- this could save your office some pennies.

Reducing Noise

If your office is too noisy and you find it hard to concentrate, you might like to think about adding fabric desk dividing screens.  

These come in all shapes and sizes, from floor standing to desk mounted screens, and it is amazing how much sound the screens absorb.  These screens are also pinnable so that you have an extra surface to stick extra information and photos on to.

Heating and Air Conditioning

There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting at your desk trying to do your work whilst you are freezing to death in the winter with your teeth chattering, or positively melting in the summer heat.  Even if you just add a little heater or a desk fan- make sure that you are providing an environment that is comfortable enough to work in, whilst also balancing the costs.

Battle the Computer Cables!

Loose cables remind me of tangle weeds!  They can make offices look particularly untidy if they are not kept at bay, but there are ways to keep things tidy!  There are many different types of cable management at different price points to suit your needs, including cable trays, trunking and spines.  Some desks also incorporate cable management within the legs, which can also be exceptionally helpful.  

Organise your Desk

It's a lot easier than you may think to organise your desk.  If you have a tool rail on your desk divider screen, you will be able to add various letter trays, which help you to keep your desk clear and your paperwork more organised.  

Under desk pedestals are also useful for storing your equipment- though beware, the more drawers you have, the more you will fill them!  It is also possible to add pen trays inside your pedestal drawer to keep your stationary organised.  

If you are looking to gain more desk space, you may consider mounting your computer monitor on to a monitor arm.  There are many different variations of monitor arms, including tool rail (screen) mounted, desk clamped and arms which are incorporated in to the cable ports.  

The monitor arms can be made height adjustable- this is particularly useful for desks with multiple users on various different shifts, as the monitor's position can be easily altered.

Be Quirky!

Add something interesting or out of the ordinary to your office- it helps to make your office a bit more creative, fun and it's a fantastic talking point for your customers or visitors.  For example, at our new Verve head office, we had an old red telephone box sunk in to the wall, acting as the entrance to our storage room!  The light within the telephone box still works, and gives the box a lovely glow from the outside!

The telephone box looks absolutely fantastic in the offices, and strikes up a conversation with all of our clients.  We made small, creative additions such as this in order to show people that offices don't have to be boring- it is so simple to add little quirky touches and the effect on staff and customer morale is brilliant!

Choose a Decent Chair!

This is one of the most important points- do not spend hours of your time in the office sat in a cheap office chair.  Even if you work from home, please do not try and sit in a normal chair for hours on end- these types of chair do not offer the correct type of support for your back and will repay you in discomfort, aches and pains.

Cheap office chairs may look like more expensive chairs, but the major quality difference is in the things that you cannot see, such as the foam used to cushion the chair.  They may be cheaper in the short term but cheap office chairs have far shorter product life cycles, meaning that you have to replace them much more regularly, whilst chairs of a higher quality carry much longer guarantees.

You don't have to pay an arm and a leg for a decent office chair either- there are many different types available at many different price points.  The difference with well designed office chairs is that they are shaped ergonomically to 'hug' and support your back, and they are fully adjustable.  

You may also add features to them, such as lumbar support, metal bases or seat sliding adjustments.  These chairs are much more comfortable and supportive to sit in, and they last much longer too, giving you peace of mind!

For more information about how to choose the right operator chair for you, please take a look at our article here.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

May we introduce the new Verve Workspace offices?!

The Unveiling of Verve Workspace's New Head Office!

Managing Director Steve Allan (left) welcoming 
Councillor Suresh Patel in to the Verve building.
On 21st July, friends and clients of Verve Workspace Ltd. gathered expectantly for the grand opening of our brand new custom built head office in Northampton.  The building, situated in a quiet Northampton village, was designed entirely by the Verve Workspace team and really exemplifies our flair for creativity.

 We wanted to show people that offices don't have to be boring- after all, most of us spend the majority of our waking hours in the office so we should make them welcoming and engaging!

The London Map flooring in
the kitchen.
The building itself has an interesting history- it was previously an old betting shop that had been forgotten and derelict for years. Stepping in to the existing building before all of the building work started was like walking in to an episode of Life on Mars- minus Gene Hunt!  

There were old photos of race horses, old stamps, betting slips and the tops of the walls were all stained yellow from the tobacco that had been smoked in there years beforehand!  Our new building has tripled the size of the existing building and it is amazing to see the transformation in to our new head office!

A view of our woolly friends in the reception!
The walls throughout the offices are white, with a few carefully selected walls painted in a lime green shade (the Verve corporate colour)- the green walls help to brighten up the rooms, giving them a fresh look, whilst the white walls balance the rooms so that the greens are not overpowering.  

The Boardroom
The offices have lots of windows, with a few skylights in the boardroom- this helps us to maximise the natural light available to us.  Our lights also have natural light bulbs which prevent us from straining our eyes, and contribute to the light and airy atmosphere within the offices.

White office furniture
looks modern and sleek.

The furniture is sleek and white, with screens and chairs in a matching green.  Our boardroom is filled with modular flip top tables which fix together, rather than a boardroom table- this allows us to change the table configuration quickly and easily within the room depending on numbers.

We attempted to convey our own creativity around the office with a number of quirky additions, including a full size resin sheep in the reception, 'thumbs up' coat hooks, a top hat light and London map vinyl flooring in the kitchen.  

My favourite addition to the office though, is an old fashioned red telephone box which has been sunk in to the wall of the main office!  Like Dr. Who's tardis, it is indeed "bigger on the inside!" as it leads through to our storage room!  These additions aren't much, but they certainly help us to add character to the office and enjoy the office atmosphere!

The head office will act as a design studio, where clients can see for themselves a small selection of the products we are able to offer, rather than just looking at pictures.  This gives our clients the chance to see and test products for themselves, without just taking our word for it.  They can sit on two chairs and feel the differences for themselves, making informed decisions about the products that are best suited to them.

Our Sales Director Steve Cooper (left), MD Steve Allan (centre)
and John Hagerty from the Glasgow office (right)

The opening of the offices also gave people a chance to meet our new Sales Director, who is based in our London office.  Steve Cooper (yes, another Steve!) joined the Verve Workspace team earlier this year after nearly 20 years in the industry.  He has already made a shining contribution to the company with his wealth of knowledge from interior refurbishment to furniture manufacturing.      

We would like to thank everyone who came to the launch for making it a wonderful afternoon, and also for the lovely comments about the new offices.