Tag Archives: office furniture health and safety

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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Getting rid of your old office furniture

Nowadays it is getting more and more difficult to get rid of your old or unwanted office furniture.  Transport, storage and labour costs means that second hand office furniture dealers are less likely to want your old furniture.

Charities have the same problem as well as being restricted by the ever tightening Health and Safety regulations.

Even taking the furniture to the local dump is more difficult nowadays. The charge for commercial waste  seems to escalate geometrically and the limitations on what can be accepted as non hazardous waste makes this method of disposal a very expensive option.

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Traditional reception chairs at affordable prices

Looking for office chairs for your meeting room can be difficult at the best of times, but even more so if you have left it to the last minute and need them urgently.
Most reception seating is upholstered to order which means a lead time of around 3 to 4 weeks.   And if you trawl the internet all you seem to find is very cheap wood framed chairs with limited choice of one or two drab fabrics.

Before you decide to buy these as your best option given your circumstances, take some time to consider these three well priced and, most importantly, available from stock reception armchairs.

The first a more contemporary chair that the rest, whilst still being a classic meeting chair,  The box sides and back are upholstered in leather and the wood legs are a natural beech or a dark mahogany  stain.

These chairs will grace any traditional office or waiting area and cost under £130 each. They are very comfortable without being too large and very well built

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Red tape and the small office furniture dealer

As every year passes we find ourselves spending more and more time dealing with the bureaucracy of the business and less with providing office furniture.
This is no doubt the same for all small businesses (defined as a business with less than 250 employees) and to many it may seem to be such a huge waste of time and effort.

But there is a reason for most of it, and this reason is to make sure that everyone adheres to certain business standards and codes of practice. This makes is safer for employees and gives a more level playing field for competition.

Unfortunately it always seems that it is the smaller business that it the most affected by additional legislation. Already working to their maximum capacity, the time consuming non profit making paperwork is left for another day.

Bigger companies can afford, due to economies of scale, to employ staff or even teams of staff to make sure that the business fully complies with all relevant legislation.

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First Aid regulations to change in October

Significant changes have been made to the First aid at Work Regulation with effect from the 1st of October 2009.

Businesses needs to familiarise themselves with these changes to avoid falling foul of the new regulations.

Although safety records in offices  have improved significantly over the last 10 years there is still much to do.  Many businesses comply in spirit only to the current regulations, not realising that there is a current legal requirement for first aid training, risk assessment  and to appoint qualified personal within their offices.

Full details of the changes to be implemented can be found on the St Johns Ambulance site ( where there is also a very useful online questionnaire to help you find out if you are meeting your responsibilities).

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Swine Flu and office hygiene

Swine Flu could be a computer virus.

Well not quite, but recent research has shown that the average keyboard carries up to 4,000 different germs, and swine flu could be one of them. Don’t forget that the virus can live outside of a warm body for up to 20 hours so it could be lurking there to catch you in the morning. 

A while ago we told you  about the health risks associated with dirty keyboards, computers and office telephones; you may remember that the average office desk top has been shown to have more germs per square inch than your average toilet seat.

A frightening image no doubt, but logical if you consider that most public conveniences are professionally cleaned twice a day, whereas the most a keyboard can expect is a dusting every few days, but hardly ever a good deep clean.

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Office lighting and efficency

Most businesses don’t consider office lighting as a means to improve efficiency but various studies have proved that quality light on every workstation can improve employee efficiency and reduce absenteeism by almost as much as improving the office furniture itself. Continue reading Office lighting and efficency

Sleeping at your office desk is good for you

Most people suffer the post prandial doldrums, when concentration is difficult and sleep seems to be the only thing you can think about. So you sit there, in a semi conscious daze until something snaps you out of it, or try to get through some of your work on autopilot. Very dangerous if you are a surgeon or an airline  pilot, unless you are, of course, on autopilot.

But recent studies have shown that this feeling is normal for our bodies, as more energy is directed from other functions in order to digest our lunch.

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Designer office seating

For many years office reception area seating has usually meant black leather sofas or moulded foam modular seating, covered in a basic open weave fabric. Practical and cheap but not very exciting

But more and more businesses are becoming more aware just how important their reception area is, both in terms of the statement it makes to their customers, and  the feel-good factor it has on their staff.

Indeed many businesses are now allocating specific areas of their offices for staff breakout or recreation areas, having recognised the necessity to provide social areas in order to improve staff moral and productivity.

And these areas are often colourful, modern and comfortable, giving the employee a necessary and welcome break from their desk, and an informal meeting area as well.

Although it is hard to actually calculate the benefit, various studies have been carried out and all confirm that employee satisfaction, enthusiasm and contentment are all increased in businesses where the staff are provided with quality rest and recreation areas, known as break-out areas.
Some companies are even progressing to the level of providing exercise and “forty wink” facilities in their offices, having seen the improvement in concentration and enthusiasm that these areas generate.
It really does seem that after a certain level, salary is not the most important motivator for the majority of office workers.

And motivation is the key to a successful business. A successful business allows employees to spend time chatting about ideas, sharing problems and brainstorming, in a very informal manner.
Coffee breaks are taken in these informal areas, with other colleagues, rather than sitting alone at their workstation.
Apart from the social and business advantages gained from having specific social areas, there is another advantage in that carpets and computer equipment are less likely to be damaged by hot drinks being spilled.

In addition there are specific health and hygiene advantages to taking refreshments (most importantly lunch) is designated areas rather than at the office desk, and is this is potentially one of the most germs filled areas in any office.
Office desks are never left tidy enough for the cleaners to be able to effectively kill germs and viruses which are always present, and in very large numbers if the desk or workstation is also used as a dining table.

Much of the stylish reception furniture available can be upholstered in your choice of fabric, either chosen to match your office interior or your corporate colours or logo.
Very often, in the past, the most basic of fabric was chosen in order to keep costs down, but this really is a false economy.

Whilst higher grouped fabrics are going to be more expensive, the added cost is relatively small whereas the perceived increase in quality can be very large, if the correct choice is made.  Tighter weave brightly coloured fabrics or imitation suede material can really lift what is a fairly basic piece of office furniture.

By carefully looking at different fabrics you can really add value to your purchase and create some reception furniture that is individual and unique to your business.

Many of the fabrics used in the office furniture industry are made by one of two major manufacturers and their websites are very informative and show most of the options available.
You can even request C5 sized samples to be sent to you by post.

So don’t just stick with what you see in the brochure. Dare to be different and you will be pleased that you did.