Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Office Furniture – Why the Home Office can Be Dangerous


office furniture suppliers
 If you work from home and sit at your computer for hours on end, you need to ensure you have ergonomic office furniture. It is important to look for professional office furniture suppliers that can accommodate your needs. Offices should be about security, safety and style. Just as offices understand the importance of confidential shredding in the workplace, the safety and health of employees and visiting customers is crucial also.

Home office furniture – Be ergonomic

Ergonomics may sound like a kind of theoretical science or obscure economic theory, but it’s quite simply about investing in the right kind of office furniture. If you work from home, chances are you could be using a dining room chair or slouching on the sofa with your wireless enabled laptop and not using proper office furniture. Many home workers don’t look after their posture or have ergonomic office furniture however and are more likely huddled in the spare room in a frenzied mess. But did you know that the home workplace is covered by health and safety regulations? The right office furniture is just as important at home.

Office furniture producers and ergonomics

Ergonomics experts are often employed by office furniture producers, and have expressed concern about the lack of control over home work environments. One common problem for home workers is that they overwork to prove to their boss they are more constructive – but they can suffer more sick days as a result of using non-ergonomic office furniture.

Don’t let a lack of office equipment stop you

There are many benefits of home working for the employee and employer including flexibility and more job satisfaction, so why let office equipment stand in the way? Ergonomics - comfort and functionality as well as aesthetics and style are now crucial to office furniture manufacturers.

What do you need to consider when buying office furniture?

  • Keyboard – if you use a laptop at home, invest in an external keyboard and even an external monitor. The ideal position is to have your hands above the keyboard and your monitor should be at arms length, 10cm below eye level. You can invest in office furniture accessories to help get your posture right including foot rests and monitor stands.
  • Office furniture such as adjustable desks and chairs are crucial. Ergonomic experts advise that you should spend an hour at your desk and then do something else and move around. Don’t sit in the same position all day. Did you know you shrink by two and a half centimetres by the end of the day? You should adjust your office furniture too.
  • Invest in wrist rests and mouse support mats.

All of this stresses the need for adequate office furniture and a dedicated work space in the home – not the dining room table or kitchen chair.

Be warned – Invest in office furniture

Sandra Deeble is a writer who didn’t think twice about her work station and office furniture when she first starting writing from home. But a few years later, she developed back problems from neglect, lack of awareness and inadequate office furniture. Not only does pain and discomfort affect home workers – it could end up damaging their career if they suffer severe back and wrist problems such as repetitive strain injuries. Don’t make the same mistake – if you work from home, make sure you invest in ergonomic office furniture.

Monday, 16 January 2012

What’s stopping CIOs from getting the top jobs?

Neil Pullen, Managing Director of Freestone, the Interim Management and Executive Search firm, talks about the ambitious new mood of today’s CIOs.

cv writing services
The cynics are going to have to rethink their position. These days, CIO no longer stands for ‘Career is Over’. People can become their own boss when they set up their own business with companies like http://www.completeformations.co.uk/
There has been a steady trickle of CIOs who have made it to COO/CEO. Think of Richard Hoffman at Hyundai Information Systems, Ian Cramb at Citigroup and David Yu at Betfair. A significant few, but nothing compared to the numbers from, say, Finance or Marketing who make it to the top jobs. The FTSE 100 is not yet inundated with CEOs from an IT background.

However, the mood is changing. We have noticed that firms are becoming more open to considering a CIO as CEO, and candidates definitely have this ambition in their sights. They can show their talents with a well-written CV thanks to CV writing services

We talk to a great many CIOs who have a clear ambition: to head up a company. It’s a natural progression. Anyone who can achieve CIO status has to be an ambitious and clearly very capable individual. Also, the responsibilities and pressures on any CIO’s shoulders to achieve business transformation are such that they potentially have a better grasp of key business issues than any other person in the organisation. They may understand the needs of all individuals and the importance of things like team building

And there are now more opportunities than ever for CIOs to become CEOs, due to the need for constant business transformation and evolution to keep up with today’s increasingly competitive global marketplace.

So what is holding CIOs back? The answer is a mixture of misconceptions, prejudices and – frankly – CIOs not always helping themselves. Let’s look at the evidence.

The first reason is history, or lack of it. It’s easy to forget that IT is a very young industry. There have always been people promoting the goods and people counting the money, whether you think of a Roman wine bar, a sheep dealer in Chaucer’s time or a Dickensian pawnbroker. But IT has only existed as a career path since the 1970s, and only relatively recently defined as a career option. The pioneering spirit of the early days may be over, but its legacy remains as the
industry matures.

One problem allied to the industry’s youth is perhaps a lack of consistency in the expectations of the role or even formal accreditation for the CIO. Phil Smith, the ex global CIO of Royal Sun Alliance and current Chairman of Xantus Consulting, says that whereas a Finance Director will have widely recognised letters after his or her name, there is no straightforward equivalent for the CIO and perhaps this may reduce the business credibility and perceived qualification of CIOs.

Marketing and Finance Directors are still often seen as a more acceptable choice for promotion than IT Directors. This is because marketing and finance people are frequently regarded as ‘a safe pair of hands’, as they are part of the traditional senior executive team. They are a known quantity with known skills, and you can’t argue with the power of sales and revenue.

Another factor is that IT has traditionally been perceived as a support role, rather than a strategic role. This is despite the fact that IT actually provides the backbone of almost all businesses, permeating every aspect and maintaining every connection between staff, customers, suppliers and partners.

Moving on from the misconceptions and prejudices that keep CIOs in their place, let’s consider instead how CIOs might be holding themselves back.

If you work in sales, marketing or finance, the chances are that from the very first days of your career, you will need to liaise with customers. People in these roles quickly learn the importance of communicating their ideas and generating networks. Whereas it has often been the case that people who work in IT have been able to pursue their line of work without needing to network in the same way. This can be a disadvantage when it comes to being promoted to the top job.

Another communication issue is the temptation to talk in ‘IT speak’ rather than in business terms. This works against CIOs in two ways. Firstly, it means that not everyone will understand the messages they’re trying to get across. Secondly, it means that situations are expressed from an IT point of view, rather than necessarily from a business point of view.

In addition, it may be stereotypical to say that CIOs are reactive rather than proactive, and that they see problems where CEOs see opportunities. However, these stereotypes are based on a grain of truth.

Office furniture – the politics of the office

Are you a mover and shaker or a stirrer in your office?

Has there ever been an office without some degree of office politics?  Probably not, unless you work alone.  What is it about working in an office that brings out the worst in people?  Possibly the close proximity to the same people day in and day out. Even the most rational human being can become embroiled in personality clashes, power struggles, and petty squabbles - the fact that so-and-so never offers to make the coffee, or got that new piece of office furniture or equipment or parking space that should have been yours.

steel lockers
People in offices get territorial.  Even if you’re not the sort of person who likes to adorn your office furniture with cute furry animals or numerous photos of your loved ones, chances are you still don’t like to see someone else sitting in your chair or working at your computer.  We’re Neanderthal in our protection of our territory – if you like a tidy desk and your next-door colleague keeps spilling his or her mess onto your table, you won’t be happy. Invest in steel lockers for your employees to have their own lockable personal space.

Even in the most happy-clappy co-operative office there is always some sort of power-struggle going on.  In fact offices that purport to have no hierarchy are often the worst for office bitchiness.  If decisions are taken collectively you might as well expect they will take twenty times longer than if there was a boss just deciding what was going to happen.  That’s not to say that anyone wants to work for a dictator who takes no account of anyone else’s opinions, but sometimes compromises are not going to happen – no amount of sulking or throwing office furniture is going to change that.

Is e-mail manna from heaven or the spawn of the devil?  For previous generations, bitching had to be kept to whispers or out-of-hours gossip sessions.  Then came e-mail and now you don’t have to say a word to anyone else in the office all day if you don’t want to.  You can bitch away to your heart’s content with the person sitting at the next desk, and nobody will be any the wiser.  No layout of office furniture is going to give everyone in the office a clear view of everybody else’s screen,  And most people use e-mail as a major tool for work so you wouldn’t want to switch it off. 

If you feel that you’re treated like part of the office furniture and want to shake things up, how should you go about it?  Some people like to go down the organising route.  This type of person organises activities that will encourage bonding.  The trouble with this is that most bonding takes place outside office hours, when you’d rather stick hot needles in your eyes than spend yet more time with Veronica from accounts.  And the organiser doesn’t like to share – they may seem nice and friendly but they are actually the biggest control freak in the office.

Another office ‘type’ is the entertainer. His desk will be at the heart of the office furniture so that nobody need miss out on his efforts. The best illustration of this is David Brent in The Office – the guy who knows he’s popular and amusing and loves keeping everyone’s spirits up.  This can be as simple as describing his very funny journey to work that morning to re-enacting his favourite Tommy Cooper routine that wasn’t even funny when Tommy Cooper did it.

The office ‘sage’ doesn’t say much but when he does, you can bet it will be the definitive answer to any question that could possibly come up in conversation, from the current political situation in the Middle East, the state of the National Health Service, or the re-routing of the number 37 bus, to the repositioning of the photocopier, stationery cupboard, paperclip dispenser or any other item of office furniture.

The staffroom can be even more of a hotbed of politics than the office.  Furniture is arranged so that confederacies can flourish, and once you’ve chosen your group, woe betide you if you sit anywhere else.  Nothing causes offence more quickly or with such vehemence as the person who dares to sit on a different table during teabreak.

The atmosphere in an office may appear congenial, but chances are that there is a seething undercurrent of jealousy, resentment and even passion going on just below the surface.  On the other hand, how dull would work be if there wasn’t.

Call Centre Services – Outsource with Confidence

During the financial turmoil, many companies in the UK are outsourcing their call centre services in order to cut back on spending, but in order to manage quality control, off-shoring is something to be avoided. 

 confidential waste disposal - www.simplyshred.co.uk
 The recession has seen companies desperately searching for cost-effective solutions to their sales and customer service requirements.  Although businesses, big and small, have needed to cut back on their spending, most of them still realise the importance of customer care, customer insight and marketing investment. When you have to reduce expenditure, you soon realise the essentials that you cannot afford to give up. From confidential waste disposal - www.simplyshred.co.uk to customer service Call centre services have been urgently required, but do companies really have the resources?

Outsourcing call centre services can provide an off-site solution to excellent customer care.  The growth of call centre services being outsourced has grown incredibly over the last two years.

Why Outsource Call Centre Services? 

Recruitment is an expensive and time-consuming process.  During a period when time and money are more precious than ever, outsourcing call centre services means that there are no recruitment costs, training costs, and no disruptions in the office with applications and interviews. 

Some companies make the mistake of cutting back costs in vital areas of the business. The smart ones know where to find bargains like contract phones with free laptop - www.affordablemobiles.co.uk. During a recession, it is more important than ever to strive for customer loyalty and customer retention. Call centre services can provide quality-implemented levels of customer care which help to build lasting customer relationships.

Professional call centre services in the UK can cover so many aspects of customer services, including call handling, outbound sales calls, order processing and market research. 

Call Centre Services – Avoid Off-shoring

One solution to call centre services is “off-shoring”.  Off-shoring is outsourcing cheap labour overseas, and even though it is the cheapest solution, it can often compromise on quality.  There have also been recent reports by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that off-shoring is extremely risky and is more likely to lead to financial crime

In order to get cost-effective call centre services that can enhance customer relationships, call centre services need to provide good quality management, self-regulation and abide by outbound and inbound guidelines. 

Serviced offices: What to look for

When you’re deciding between serviced offices providers, how do you know what choices to make?

As budgets become tight and cash flow more important than ever, businesses are looking for cost-effective solutions to a range of issues. One of these is property, which is why serviced offices are becoming more popular. Whether you’re a start-up or you’re looking for ways to reduce your overheads, serviced offices could be the answer. Why pay out for long, restrictive leases, when you can benefit from offices in central locations for a reduced price?

Serviced offices – your criteria

You need to know what you want from your serviced offices before you go ahead and choose a supplier. Just as with any purchase, the more you know about what you’re looking for, the better chance you have of finding it. When you’re searching for serviced offices, think about:

  • Location – where do you need your serviced offices to be? For businesses, location is incredibly important. You might need to be near a major road network, or within easy access of a train station. You might need offices with plenty of visitor parking, or within an easy taxi journey of a local airport. You might be looking at serviced offices for a part of your business that’s starting up in a new location, so proximity to where your staff members live is important.

  • Lease period – one of the biggest benefits of serviced offices is that the lease periods are considerably more flexible than traditional commercial property deals. This means that you can commit to a short lease – as short as three months in some cases – so you can decide whether these offices are working for you. Look for serviced office suppliers that offer flexible leasing arrangements and notice periods.

  • Packages – again, serviced offices come out on top when it comes to getting down to work in your office. In most cases, you don’t need to buy office furniture or telecoms equipment, and the upkeep of the office is included in the package. Whether you need self adhesive labels or envelopes, find out exactly what’s included in the price of your serviced offices so that you can compare suppliers and get real value for money.

Serviced offices – the extras

Of course, there may be requirements specific to your business that will help you decide between one serviced offices supplier and another. It’s always best to compile a specification of your needs before you start looking for serviced offices, and you should always talk to more than one supplier so that you can make some comparisons between space, location and price. If you can, take a look at the office space so that you can see whether it’s up to the standard you’re looking for.

Worcester Boilers to Advise the Government

The UK Government is being advised on environmental issues by Worcester Boilers, of the Worcester Bosch Group, and their contribution and knowledge in boilers is working towards three key targets in 2020.

Boiler Spares
The combined boilers manufacturer has reported that an incredible 75% of energy used in the home is used for heating and hot water. The 2010 International Year of Biodiversity has raised awareness about energy efficiency in the home, and this includes the installation of efficient boilers and the importance of replacing items with boiler spares.

By 2020, the UK Government wants to meet the European Union targets of:

      20% carbon emission reduction
      Similarly, a 20% increase in energy efficiency

We are a proud reseller of Worcester boilers, and they have always been recognised for their Corporate Social Responsibility, with their Head of Sustainable Development winning the Micropower Outstanding Personal Contribution Award in 2009 - and we hope that together we can all contribute to Europe's environmental targets. Another one of the UK Government’s objectives is to make up 15% of the country’s energy sources with renewable ones.

Workwear Embroidered: Choosing the Right Colour for Your Industry

Choosing embroidered workwear is inexpensive and easy, but one thing you may want to consider is the colour you choose to represent your company.

workwear embroidered
 It’s a highly competitive market for any business, so getting your branding and corporate identity right is very important. Whether you are a supermarket chain, an ultra modern, award winning hair salon, or the local sandwich shop, your image really counts. Workwear embroidered polo shirts are an inexpensive way of strengthening your brand/company and giving you an identity within your market.

Workwear embroidered or printed can be used to display your logo, your contact details, or a promotional message. Whatever you choose to put on embroidered polo shirts, the colour of the shirt is extremely significant. If you consider the uniforms / workwear already seen in your industry, you can probably detect an obvious colour choice.

In today’s highly competitive markets it is important to stand out from the crowd. All organisations understand the need to identify themselves in their market, image and branding are now, more than ever, the key element in getting your company noticed ...Image is everything.

Polo shirts are not only a simple, inexpensive and functional solution to image or brand promotion but also as a response to a need for coherency in corporate image as part of a uniform for mobile staff, engineers or the general workforce.

Polo shirts are the low cost and efficient way to brand and promote your company name and corporate identity. Many of our clients use polo shirts as a low cost alternative uniform shirts for the workforce, where there is a need to be smart but casual.

Why Pop up Displays Are a Great Investment

Pop up displays are a cost effective and professional way of exhibiting products.
Print and Display Ltd.
Companies are always looking for the best ways to advertise and market their product and the flexibility and portable nature of the stands makes them perfect for exhibitions and displays.
With a wide range of options and sizes the pop up displays can be formed into bespoke shapes and designs specifically for events in your markets. Pop up displays are becoming more popular all the time and getting it right with your design and print can save you money and make it a good investment.
You can rent or buy pop up displays from places like Print and Display Ltd. but buying your own means that you can:
·         Specify the size – it is crucial to measure up the location of the event and compare what you will need in comparison to market rivals.
·         Create your own design – when purchasing a full pop up display it is great to make sure that every part of the stand is part of your company.
·         Use your print – if they’re not your words, you’ll never sell.
·         Save money in the long term – catching people’s attention is priceless and with this you can have a recognisable stand that grabs the customer time and time again.
The need for an impressive pop up display means that you need to go to the best companies with years in the field and with other products to add to your purchase. These other products include:
·         Quick stand
·         Counter top units
·         Dump bins
·         Standees
·         Dummy boxes
·         And more…
Ultimately pop up displays never guarantee you a sale but a good one can guarantee foot traffic - so with your creative designs, professional quality printing and advice from a company you can trust, you can’t afford not to get one!

Three Reasons to Choose Refurbished Laptops

SCH Trade
Purchase refurbished laptops for all your computing needs at a fraction of the original price. There is a certain satisfaction in taking your new shiny laptop out of the box but does this beat the satisfaction of having some hard earned pennies still in your wallet after you have made a purchase. The word used can be off-putting for those who have never purchased anything second hand. It is worth remembering that once you have owned your shiny new laptop for over a week it is already older than many of the refurbished laptops out there.

Refurbished laptops-As good as new Investing in refurbished laptops is a growing phenomenon especially in today’s economic climate. Many refurbished laptops have been used for less than a month in total. Some refurbished laptops are seconds and therefore have slight faults that are fixed in the inspection meaning that the laptop has not been used at all. Choose a refurbished laptop that comes with a one year guarantee for ultimate peace of mind.

Refurbished laptops meet all your needs – SCH Trade

Prior to purchasing a laptop it is essential that you assess your individual needs and determine exactly what you want from your laptop. Laptops escalate in price with the addition of more features and memory. Many factors come into play when deciding on the ideal laptop.
 • Size
• Colour
• Memory
• Features
• Brand Embarking on a laptop purchase can be a dizzying experience. Don’t let the technical stuff confuse you into buying the most expensive model; do you really need a laptop that does everything? Decide on exactly how you will utilise your new laptop. Possible uses include:
• Creating word documents
• Surfing the web
• Sending and receiving emails
• Handling graphics
• Downloading your favourite film and TV programmes

Refurbished laptops use the latest technology so there is one to suit all. The best brands for less One of the most popular reasons to purchase refurbished laptops is the ability to own a top of the range laptop for a discounted price. Get the most coveted brands on the market today without spending a fortune. The best thing about it is there is no way of knowing that your laptop is refurbished.

Office Refurbishment – The ideal office

office refurbishment london
When it comes to office improvements – pets, office furniture that doesn’t give you back ache and frothy coffees are all top of the list. More and more businesses are thinking about Area Sq office interiors and office refurbishment London to help them create the ideal office environment that promotes wellbeing and productivity.

 Comfortable office furniture If only offices were nicer places to be we’d all work a lot harder, right? If the office furniture was as comfortable as our home sofas and there were flower pots, coffee machines, widescreen TVs and a football machine in the corner, we’d all love going to work. The office pet Pets came high on the list for the ideal office – and they weren’t referring to Colin in IT.

A survey by a major recruitment firm found that the top things that would make the office a more congenial place to be include:

Pets- an office pet such as a hamster or parrot were thought to make the office a happier place to be. Although if you’re office already has issues about who doesn’t wash up their coffee mug, than cleaning out the hamster might not be as harmonious as staff think.

• Office furniture that doesn’t make your back ache. Good office furniture can make the difference between agony and productivity. How can you be productive if you sit on office furniture that leaves you crippled?

• Games and consoles and even big screen TVs would all turn an office into a dream office.

• A cappuccino machine – with the chocolate bits on top would be too good to be true.

Love your office Although many ideal offices do belong in the world of dreams there are some simple and effective things that would make the office a better place to be.

• 80% of people questioned said redecoration would hugely improve the atmosphere. Refurbishing with comfortable and attractive office furniture can help lift spirits.

• More natural light and proper ventilation also helps create a relaxed and healthy office place.

 • The lack of office furniture that was ergonomic was also a big gripe – if the office furniture caused back problems or was uncomfortable that created resentment amongst staff. One respondent to the survey said ‘beer on tap and a huge Scalextrix kit would brighten my day’.

Although for many the ideal office would be a hip bar on a Friday night or a version of their favourite coffee bar, the reality is the office needs to be conducive to work and productivity. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a draconian place to be. The right office furniture and a few human touches can make all the difference.