Category Archives: Advice

Cable management for your office furniture


Most businesses, when budgeting for their new office furniture, don’t always allow an amount to cover any additional cable management requirements which they may have.
Most office desks will have some form of cable management, although on some of the budget office desks, the facilities will be somewhat limited.
So you should spend some time to work out exactly how your new office desks will be used, and what level of cable management you will require.  Different styles of desk need different forms of cable management so it is important to get it right before deciding on they style of desk you like.
Also you need to look at you current office wiring, as perimeter cabling and  floor boxes need different cable management systems.

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Buy the best office chair you can afford

We have often said this but will say it again, always spend as much as you can afford on your  office chairs, even if it means reducing the amount your spend on the office desks or storage cabinets.

This is because an office chair is a dynamic piece of furniture, which can have an influence on your health and you productivity.  Bad backs are the most common cause of staff absenteeism and most of this can be attributable to unsuitable office seating.  

For most people an office chair is an office chair, but in reality there is a bewildering range of confusing mechanisms and adjustment options, some which are useful and some not so useful.

And to the uninitiated it is difficult to work out which ones are really useful and which one are just gadgets or gimmicks.
At the bottom end of the office spectrum sits a basic entry level budget operator chair.  These are typically around £50 to £60 each, and will give you something to sit on, but not much else. There will be a gas ram seat height adjustment mechanism, and probably some means of altering the seat rake, but often not much else.

More worryingly are the things that are missing which you cannot see. The gas ram for instance may only be rated for 11 stones. Also the mechanism has probably not been designed for all day use. 

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QSL tenders – important advice

A year or so ago we decided to take a proactive approach to our marketing and look at tender business, so we agreed to try out the service offered by QSL tenders. After a two week initial trial we agreed to sign up for a year and QSL duly sent us an invoice.

No problem we thought, and paid the bill for one year’s subscription.
After a few months we realised that the information that we were getting from QSL tenders was not really of any use to what we were doing, so we stopped using the service, and just let the subscription run to its normal expiry.

After all, on the welcome page of their website, its states that if you do not cancel your trial by  the agreed date, your subscription will continue for a further 12 months and we( QSL tenders) will invoice your business.

This to us is concise, straightforward and easy to understand.

However what QSL tenders should have added, is that we ( QSL tenders) will automatically renew your subscription, indefinitely, until you give notice to cancel your subscription, and this notice to be by email only.

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Office Furniture Budgets

Most of our customers have a good idea of what they have in mind or what they can afford for their office furniture requirements, but there are still those who really don’t have any idea, or  don’t really want to let us know what their budget it

This does present a serious problem to us, as office furniture  prices can vary enormously depending on specification and requirements.

For instance a basic 160cm rectangular operator desk with a steel frame, can cost as little as £100, but the same size desk, with a more stylish  desk frame, comprehensive cable management, and a thicker, better quality desk top, could cost as much as £700.

The same with call centre or bench desking. We sell entry level systems which work out at less than £200 per desk, but can offer top end systems at nearly £1,000 per desk.

In the same way as most cars are capable of getting you from A to B, safely and comfortably, some do it much better than others, and this is usually reflected in the price.

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Ten ways to improve your office environment

We all spend too many hours in the office,  with most  workers spending more of their waking hours at their office desk than at home.  So to help you we have come up with our top ten best improvements to make you happier at work :-

1) Decent Office chair  –  Most businesses do not  spend enough money on an office chair. A decent, fully adjustable synchronomic  operator chair with height adjustable armrests will only cost a few hundred pounds. Most are guaranteed for 5 years which equates to twenty pence a day to help look after your staffs back. Think about it; just a couple of days off with back-ache in 5 years would cost more than the chair did.

2) Quality lighting  –  As we recently discovered,  the cost of changing your standard fluorescent bulbs to natural daylight ones was money well spent.  The lighting is ( as you would expect) more natural, and less tiring. This means less headaches and increased productivity.

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Glass desks – form over function ?

We still have quite a number of enquiries for glass desks each week, and  always make a point of going through the issues  with glass office furniture.

To begin with we need to know why this request has been made.  Glass furniture is once again back in fashion, with many modern homes now sporting glass dining or coffee tables.  
But glass furniture at home is not the same as a glass desk in the office, where the requirements of the desk are different to that of home furniture.

Most office desks need power and data and ideally a method of keeping the power and data safely out of sight, and the ability to access these facilities from the desk top.
Most office desks also have close to hand storage space for stationery , filing and other essential items
Most office desks have a tough hard wearing surface and impact resistant edging. The desk tops are designed to be easy to clean, and non reflective.

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Office desks- don’t forget cable management

Many people, when buying office desks, just look for something they like, and  which is within their budget, without thinking how important cable management can be.

In the brochures, on line or even in the showroom the desks look great – clutterfree, with just one laptop sitting on the desk. Most of the time the lap laptop doesn’t even have a power cable attached.

There are people out there who really can just use a laptop on their desk, without having to plus anything in.  The battery is fully charged, the wireless internet and printer is working fine, and they don’t need a larger screen, but in our experience there are not many people like this.

More often than not the laptop battery is nearly dead, as is their mobile battery, and as anyone who uses the same desk for a long period of time each week will agree, eventually the small keyboard and screen on the laptop means that full sized versions are soon required, and then power will be required.

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Using office screens to improve your workspace

Most offices start out as well planned professional environments, but over the years, additional office furniture and equipment is added as more staff are taken on  and the business requirements change from that which was originally envisaged.  As a result the office looks a little untidy and the general noise level starst to increase, again over what was originally anticipated.

But instead of just allowing this natural progression to take place you should consider getting an office furniture professional in to have a look at your environment to see if there are any changes which can be made.

Quite often relatively small changes can have a major effect on the office.
If you have a number of staff in a relatively small area, with plenty of hard surfaces, then background noise is going to become a big problem, and even bigger if your workspace is mainly open plan.  

There are many professional ( and some quite expensive) ways to deal with noisy offices, and these methods have been addressed in other articles, but here we are dealing with just generally improving the workspace with a few dividing office screens.

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Bench desks – even more popular

A while ago we mentioned that more and more customers are asking us about bench desking, and it seems the numbers of enquires just keep on climbing.

The way we work today has meant the  radial or wave style of  desks are becoming less popular, mainly because they are now unnecessarily large. They were deigned for use with large CRT monitors, which in the main are now obsolete. With a flat screen an 80cm deep desk is deep enough to place the screen in the optimal position.

So saving redundant  desk space , means that more desks can be fitted into the same space, or more area dedicated to other uses, such as file storage, meeting areas, or breakout areas.  Another advantage is that the bench desks are invariably cheaper than a similar wave or radial desk.

In addition, when the desks are laid out as a long line of desks ( which is effectively what bench desking is) the intermediate legs can usually be shared, which further reduces the overall price.

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