The best choice of office chairs in 2021

In a hybrid work environment, you’ll need one of the best office chairs not just at your company’s office, but in your home, too. After all, you’re likely going to spend as much time in front of a computer at your house as you are in an office building.

No two people are alike, so a chair should be able to conform to your body. And, it should be supportive of your lower back, shoulders, arms, and wrists, so you don’t suffer repetitive stress injuries.

What is the best office chair?

When it comes to the best office chairs, you can’t do better than the classic Herman Miller Aeron. Although this chair has been around for many years, the company has not been resting on its laurels; it has constantly redesigned the Aeron to keep up with developments, and this chair is a marvel of material engineering.

At more than £1000 for most of their chairs it’s a BIG investment, but it is by fair the most configurable and adaptable chair out there.

What is the best office chair for sitting long hours?

When you’re sitting down for long periods of time, you need to pay close attention to your posture, and the level of support you’re getting from your chair. Sitting still puts a lot of pressure on your spine, which can lead to more serious back problems if you don’t invest in a more supportive option. This is where an ergonomic office chair comes into play. Specifically designed for your comfort and health, these chairs will be far better than a wooden or metal kitchen chair when sitting for long hours. Most office chairs list the maximum recommended hours that they should be used on a daily basis, so make sure to check this matches your working hours before purchasing.

What does ‘ergonomic’ chair mean?

Ergonomic means something is designed for efficiency or comfort in the working environment, which we are, of course, absolutely here for. When it comes to chairs, this normally means that there will be some level of additional back or lumbar support, as well as the ability to adjust the seat height and angle to suit your body type, size and preferences. Ideally, this should mean you are sitting comfortably with your lower legs perpendicular to the floor.

Partitioning Systems Solutions

Create the right environment for your business with defined spaces.

Whether you want to create privacy for meeting rooms, build efficient teams with zoned spaces or simply find a new office or storage space, creating the right environment can dramatically transform your business.

Partitioning systems allow you to structure your space to suit your current business needs. If you’ve considered moving premises to find the space you need, partitioning systems could be a much easier and more cost-effective solution than buying or renting a building at a high cost.

Efficient and space-saving

One way of effectively utilising your office space is through the use of partitions. These can be beneficial for a number of reasons as they can be used as a tool to increase employee’s productivity, as well as promoting efficiency at work; your employees will be more productive when working at a comfortable and welcoming environment.

Choice of materials

There is a wide variety of partitions to choose from such as silicon glaze partitioning, steel partitioning and glass partitioning. Each design has its unique benefits compared to the others but all can be blended to improve the appearance of an office. Every partition can be custom-made to fit the user’s personal tastes such as colour, material and size, hence improving comfort and style. For example, glass partitions can be very beneficial in offices that aim to increase exposure to natural lighting whilst being able to maintain the required privacy. They also create an impression of an open space for visitors, therefore providing a positive environment.

Air conditioning

Air conditioning is also highly effective in partitioned offices. This is because the workstations are subdivided into smaller areas where doors can be closed to retain heat or opened when it is too hot. Each workstation can also have its own air conditioning system hence reducing air conditioning wars at a workplace. In addition, partitions that are raised from the floor provide a gap for air movement within different workstations.

Less distractions

Another benefit of using office partitions is less distraction at work. Partitions create a barrier between individual’s hence improving privacy and concentration scope of workers but can be easily removed when there is a need for collaboration. These barriers will also be beneficial to visitors because they enable proper subdivision of departments and make it easier for visitors to locate offices. In addition to providing ease of access, partitions can give a good impression to your visitors – as a clear design will give a modern and professional impression.

The pandemic has altered the traditional office setup

From businesses to individuals, we have all been affected one way or another by the Coronavirus pandemic. While we know that many businesses have had an extremely difficult time, some businesses have managed to turn their fortunes around. In fact, many businesses are enjoying some very positive changes that have come out of the situation.

Office Culture To Supportive Culture

For decades, we have been engrained to believe that 9 to 5, office-centric work was the best thing for business. As employees have been forced to work from home, and companies have had to embrace this change, we’re experiencing a change in productivity and employee freedom.

This shift in working life has encouraged businesses to take only the best parts of office culture, and free employees from inefficient processes and bad habits. Leaders are switching their focus from office culture to a more supportive culture, with a new focus on how to improve the lives of employees while still getting the best from them.

Virtual-First Companies

Many companies are taking steps towards hybrid working environments, where teams can work both remotely and in the office.

This shift in the way we work has seen a rise in companies becoming ‘virtual first’. This means that workplaces are being distributed across offices and homes, and employees have the freedom to choose how they work.

For companies to successfully work in this innovative way, they must be virtual-ready. Leaders must know how to effectively manage, train and evaluate virtually, and technology must be in place to enable virtual working.

Overlapping Personal And Professional Lives

For years we have been keeping our professional lives and personal lives at a distance, with little overlap between the two. With the rise of Zoom meetings and remote working, it has given us an insight into team member’s private spaces.

Every video call and virtual meeting makes the personal lives of colleagues, managers and clients visible. We are now used to seeing employees’ children and pets on-screen, interrupting meetings and phone calls on a regular basis.

While this might seem like a distraction to the working day, in actual fact, these little glimpses into our personal lives can improve workplace relationships. When working from home, it is almost impossible to keep up an entirely professional persona, giving colleagues an insight into the real, personal life of team members.

These personal interactions are not unprofessional. Instead, they allow teams to connect and get to know each other in a new way. Overlapping personal and professional lives can help teams to work better together and understand one another’s everyday challenges.

The importance of getting your Home Office right

Getting your home office storage spot on is key to creating a space that’s functional, inspiring and that will help support your productivity when working from home.

Whether you’ve a whole room, a corner in the living room or nook in the hallway, ensuring you have the best storage solutions to keep this space tidy and well organised is crucial.

INVEST IN A DUAL-PURPOSE COFFEE TABLE

Remote working has unearthed ways to work in different rooms in the home. While the bedroom offers a quiet space, the temptation to slide under the covers may be too risky for some.

Instead lounge areas probably provide the closest thing to a ‘normal’ working environment. And, while not great for your posture, coffee tables are commonly used for laptop perching and coffee nestling.

KEEP YOUR DESK TIDY BY USING WALL SPACE

Working with a tiny workspace under the stairs or using an alcove? Keep clutter at bay by making use of wall decor. Think wire boards, fairy lights to hang things off, and of course, some floating shelves.

REPURPOSE AN OLD DRESSING OR HALLWAY CONSOLE TABLE

Getting full use out of dressing and console tables by letting yours double up as a home office storage space is a wise move. And, there are lots of fine design tweaks that can make these tables easier on the eye. Consider painting yours the same color as your office interiors, or place inserts inside so that your stationery doesn’t roll about inside.

This is one of many cost-effective budget home office ideas to save you forking out on expensive furniture. Now all you need is a good office chair to accompany it.

CHOOSE MODULAR HOME OFFICE STORAGE

A great home office storage idea is to build an adaptable storage wall with floor-to-ceiling supports and brackets. Open storage systems like this Elfa storage system really do offer total control over the storage space. Not only can you get shelves of every depth, but handy pegboard-style panels, or drawers can be added too for stationery.

TURN YOUR HOME OFFICE STORAGE INTO A FEATURE

Make the necessity of home office storage into something beautiful with an accent wall of shelving or pinned pictures. This is the perfect solution for those integrating a home office in to a living room or communal space. Remember to leave plenty of space to display treasured items keeping it as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional.

How to improve hygiene in the office

As we start to move back into the office during a period of widespread virus outbreaks, improving hygiene in the office is imperative. With open plan and agile workspaces, employees tend to move around the office a lot and come into contact with more people and work surfaces than ever before. Whilst this is great for collaborating and communicating, it’s not so great for hygiene!

This article will discuss all of the ways you can make your office as safe as possible.

  1. Surface wipes & anti-bacterial gels

 Generally, it is good to have a ‘leave it how you would like to find it’ attitude towards flexible and agile working offices. However, even it is appears to be tidy this does not necessarily mean it is clean!

Keyboards, monitors, desk chairs (namely the arms and handles) and all work surfaces should be wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes on a regular basis. Workers should also make use of the anti-bacterial gel before beginning their working day.

  1. Keep the air-con off!

Coronavirus and air conditioning can be a potentially deadly combination as air ducts and vents can be a safe space for the virus to cultivate, even when the rest of the building is cleaned comprehensively.

It is key to provide adequate air flow in a working environment and the safest way of doing this whilst covid-19 is still present is by opening doors and windows. As a result of this airflow you will reduce the impact of spreading the virus.

  1. Recycling and general bins

 The NHS phrase of “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” to stop the spread of germs requires…bins! Frequent placing of office general waste bins and recycling bins throughout any workplace is important.

Therefore, it is essential that you have a number of bins around the offer to help minimise the germs that could be circulating in your office.

The Ultimate Work From Home Set-Up

If someone had told you two years ago that working from home would become the norm you would’ve never believed them. However, this has become our reality. For the best part of eighteen months we have all been sitting at the kitchen table with a bad back wondering when it will end.

At the moment it looks like many of us will continue working from home, so why not make in a space that is comfortable and makes you feel like you’re in the office?

In this article we will provide you with a few pointers on how to create the ultimate homeworker set-up. One thing that we have all been struggling with is shutting off once work hours are over as we don’t have that defined space to work, so creating a space dedicated to work will ensure you keep a healthy work and life balance.

The following items will allow you to create that perfect work environment in your home.

  1. Ergonomic chair

This type of chair has lumbar support, adjustable arms, a headset and soft/hard castors depending upon the type of floor you have.

  1. Ergonomic desk

This type of table is adjustable – change the height to suit you. This will help with both back problems and any difficulties you may have with your eyes when looking at a screen all day.

  1. Monitor arm

This will allow you to adjust your screens easily in order to suit your needs.

  1. Electrics

Set-up your desk near a plug socket – this will be essential for keeping your laptop, desktop and phone fully charged and working throughout the day.

  1. Lighting

Natural light boosts health and wellbeing. A bright room will also help reduce fatigue.

  1. Plant & Artwork

Personalised artwork and plants make the space feel nicer, more welcoming and in turn may inspire you to work!

  1. Separate Room

If possible, a separate room can help differentiate working and personal time. This will help maintain a healthy work/life balance.

  1. Work hours

Make sure you set work hours to help you maintain that work/life balance. If you go beyond these hours you are less likely to stay focused and productive.

  1. Put your office-wear on

Dressing like you would for the office helps you stay focused and motivated. Staying in your PJs all day is not good for anyone!

For more information or advice please contact us at info@millennium-si.co.uk.

 

Virtual Christmas party: ideas and games for hosting an online office party

The last thing we wanted to be doing during the Christmas season was sitting on Zoom, Skype, Houseparty or Google Hangouts instead of being able to meet up with friends and family in the flesh.

Despite a four nations agreement that allows families to meet in “bubbles” between 23 and 27 December, normal rules will stay in place for the rest of the holidays.

This means that festive parties and work celebrations are completely off the table this year, so it’s looking like a return to virtual hangouts is inevitable.

After spending nearly a whole year on Zoom, instead of meeting people face-to-face, many of us are feeling sick of the extra screen time.

Here’s a list of simple ideas that could be really fun and festive:

Cocktail making

In the same vein, virtual cocktail making is a fun activity – and who can say no to a cocktail?

Choose a tasty, but easy, cocktail recipe that participants will be able to mix, step-by-step on-screen, such as strawberry daiquiris, mojitos or espresso martinis.

Make it a competition to see who can produce the best-looking cocktail – and who makes the worst.

Christmas quiz

Zoom quizzes may be overdone, but you’ll only get one chance to organise a festive quiz so you may as well go all out.

Christmas jumper attire is encouraged, and make sure all the rounds are suitably seasonal – we’re talking classic Christmas movies and songs and festive trivia.

Virtual bingo

Bingo nights are a total crowd-pleaser, and it’s really easy to set one up virtually via Zoom or Skype.

The best part is there is no limit to the number of people who can join in, whether you have three friends or 30.

All you need to do is send bingo cards to all participants for them to print – there are plenty of free online resources.

Then, find a number generator and share your screen with everyone so they can see the numbers as they are selected.

Great Ways to Engage Your Employees This Christmas!

Decorate the office!

Surely a few Christmas decorations can’t make an entire office feel happier?

You’d be surprised how much a few bits of tinsel here, and a couple of baubles there can really pick up the atmosphere and get staff feeling excited about the holidays!

Even better… you could make Christmas decorating an annual tradition, getting the team working together and bonding over a mutual love for the festive season.

Host an Award Ceremony

Awards can be a great way to engage staff and let them know that you value their hard work.

And they don’t have to be based on targets – you don’t want to leave a proportion of your loyal workforce out – consider things like…

– The most encouraging person in the office.
– The most organised.
– The best at keeping your customers happy.
…split your awards up across teams and make sure your perceived ‘favourites’ (if there are any) don’t get more praise and credit than others.

Secret Santa

A slightly more obvious Christmas tradition, Secret Santa is an amazing way to bring your employees, across different teams, together.

Just decide on a £5-£10 limit and then pick a day for the ‘big reveal’ and you’re sorted!

Let Your Staff Leave Early

A great incentive and reward scheme that works specifically well for salespeople is allowing them to finish work early for the Christmas holiday if they hit an (achievable) target.

Whether it’s on 1st December (you’d hope not…) or 23rd, when they’ve hit the target, let them go home until January!

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way a lot of people work

Earlier this year, many companies closed their offices and shifted their staff to remote work due to health and safety concerns. And while remote work has been a mixed bag, it’s also proven itself as a viable model for companies in almost every segment of the market.

That opens the door to a world of flexibility for companies going forward. But it also puts office buildings in real danger.

Office building demand could wane to a dangerous degree

When employees were first told to pack up their desks and work remotely back in February and March, many assumed it would last a few weeks. But now, nine months later, many companies are realizing remote work is a sustainable model, with the potential for major cost savings. If workers can maintain productivity from afar, businesses can spend less on office space.

A good 68% of large-company CEOs say they now plan to downsize their office space, according to a survey by KPMG. And that’s not just in response to the pandemic.

LONG-TERM OFFICE LEASES COULD BE HISTORY

Those who are considering returning to the office are doing so cautiously due to the uncertainty of lease commitments and health protocols.

The last several months have left workers reeling as many were forced to work from home to stay safe from the ongoing pandemic. Real estate technology firm Yardi recently conducted a survey recently that revealed office users are still skeptical about what the workplace will look like in the future.

“Occupancy is around 86% nationwide,” said Rao. “It was generally flat up until a month and a half ago. In the last month, it dropped 0.3%, which is a large monthly drop. What we are finding is that for many leases that are expiring, generally what’s happening is the tenants are holding onto the space, and they are not wanting to make any rash decisions one way or another.”

The overall theme of the market is uncertainty. The demands of offices have evolved since the beginning of the year. Now, tenants want touchless technology, outdoor areas and air filtrations systems to ensure that their health is protected.

Additionally, the relationship between landlords and tenants is bound to transform as short-term, flexible leases grow in demand.

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