Category: Custom Office Design (page 1 of 3)

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.

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.

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.

Pandemic-proofing offices

Pandemic-proofing offices could involve short-term fixes, new working patterns and long-term design upgrades that put hygiene at the heart of workplace planning.

Mitigate the risk 

The biggest priority and challenge for post coronavirus offices is controlling the infection.
How can we control contamination in open plan high density offices?
How can we control infection in hot desking environments?
Or communal and social spaces?
The challenges are many. We have to respond to COVID-19 crisis and mitigate the infection risk by introducing new safety features and measures and improving sanitisation and disinfection processes in our offices. It’s a big change that will create new work styles and build new working culture which we need to be prepared for.

2M rule

We have created some illustrations showing ways of changing office desk configurations to create greater space between your team members.

Here are some points to consider when you are thinking about re-configuring your office:

  • Can you turn back-to-back desks currently in the centre of the room around, so the operators face the walls?
  • Reducing density: Can you separate banks of desks so there are gaps between each set of two or four?
  • Can you spread workspaces around, so people are at least 2 meters apart?
  • Consider moving pedestals so that they are in the centre of the desks between two users, so they are physically unable to come together side by sideIf you have mobile pedestals, consider moving them out so they sit between the desks, increasing the space between the users
  • Consider moving filing cabinets/cupboards between desks to increase the space between the users
  • For face-to-face users, consider introducing additional barriers on top of desk top screens to increase protection from coughs or sneezes. Add screens beside and behind office workers, the higher and wider the better
  • Hot desking: Eliminate or introduce a strict clean in and clean out measures

Meetings and social spaces

It’s likely that before we start welcoming visitors to our workplaces, we can expect to spend much time meeting virtually with our customers and suppliers rather than sitting face-to-face around the meeting table.

With that in mind, we would recommend to thin out the meeting rooms to safely accommodate smaller groups with greater distancing. It’s important to remove alternative chairs and ensure there is always a 2m space in every direction between the chair positions.  There is also the potential to use these rooms to create working space for members of the team thus allowing us to provide greater distancing in office areas.  If meeting tables are modular and can be separated, do so to increase the distancing further. It’s recommended to even meet standing up in the open areas of your office. By using flexible tools, movable furniture solutions and screens you can easily create a safe and productive meeting area.

Floor plan ideas

  • Decrease density by staggering lunches and breaks in cafes or other staff areas
  • Incorporate higher space division to naturally encourage distancing by introducing barriers such as screens, storage, large plants and partitioning
  • Introduce cubicle style office to protect personal desk space with higher screens
  • Adapt an owned desk space approach and reduce shared desking
  • Reduce guest seating in reception areas and introduce individual seating in lounge spaces
  • Easy access to disinfecting stations

Workplaces will not return to normal

A report has suggested that:

The 9-5 is dead but the office is NOT: Workplaces will not ‘return to normal’ after the coronavirus pandemic but most companies will not let employees work from home permanently.

The publication warns workplaces ‘will not return to normal’ after the pandemic is brought under control – with employees having adapted to the ‘new normal’ of working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The study has advised that there has been increased stress levels among employees due to working from home since the lockdown was enforced in May 2020. It suggests workers splitting time between the office and working from home may be the way forward for many companies, even after the pandemic is over.

London-based outsourcing giant Capita have not renewed leases on 25 of their offices, while Lloyds Banking Group was reviewing its office space requirements after deciding most of its 65,000 employees have performed well working from home.

But the report says others, including social media giant Facebook, had turned against working from home models, while American mutlinational IBM had also pulled back from its staff working from home.

However the report concludes that the likely way forward for businesses will be a mixed model, with employees working from home some of the time, and in the office others.

Interiors trends to copy from your favourite influencers

We find ourselves scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram, but how can we confirm what the definitive interiors trends of 2020 are?

Rattan – Natural Materials

Made popular in the 1970s, rattan and wicker is having its revival and it’s not doing it quietly. If you spent two minutes browsing home decor retailers like Homesense and Dunelm, you’re guaranteed to see an array of gorgeous chairs, benches, lampshades, baskets, the list is endless. The rise in popularity of this natural colour and textural style recently caused H&M Home to sell-out of their iconic cane-webbing chairs, the demand is so high they can’t be restocked quick enough.

Want to feel like you are holiday? Why not decorate a bedroom in this incredible Riad theme?

The best thing about this trend is that it fuzes perfectly with rattan, wicker and weave. You’ll find the best rattan lampshades you’ve ever seen in the souks of Marrakech, if only they could squeeze into hand-luggage. By combining riad ritual, wicker or weave and throwing in a few touches of gold you’ll inevitably feel like you’re chilling in a chic version of a Moroccan palace. This trend transitions smoothly from inside the home to outside into the garden. During Summer you could throw a flatweave rug and some embroidered cushions onto your decking leaving you with an idyllic African picnic scene.

What Can Your Business Gain From Installing a Mezzanine Floor?

Mezzanine floors are beyond being able to create extra floor space or saving money on rent, and there’s a lot more. Of course, being able to create extra space in your commercial building without any major construction work is quite a benefit. However, the versatility of mezzanine floors means there’s a lot of pros to having one.

Here’s what we think your business stands to gain from installing a mezzanine floor:

A Boost to Productivity and Efficiency

An additional working place will go a long way to increase the output of your business. With mezzanine floors installed, you will have new office, lunchrooms, bathrooms, secure rooms and even a fitness centre all within the existing office space.

One of the ways to increase productivity is to look into the work space. More importantly, being able to provide specific amenities can be a morale booster. To provide these amenities, you will require extra space which you cannot afford except through a mezzanine floor.

A Cost-Efficient Approach to Expansion

Compare the cost of the building extra space in your business from scratch to having a mezzanine floor installed. You’ll always stick with the mezzanine option. Building a new structure involves a lot of investment which your business may not be able to afford currently.

However, with mezzanine floors in place, you will be getting value out of every square metre of your current business space. Mezzanine floors help you to achieve maximum and optimal space efficiency.

Quicker Installation Time

It does not end here. Mezzanine floors are made with prefabricated materials. As a business, you do not have the luxury of time to pause business activities. However, there’s no need to disrupt business activities when mezzanine floors are to be installed; the turnaround time is quicker.

When compared with building a new structure, a mezzanine floor saves you time. Depending on the size and space, installing a mezzanine floor is comparatively faster.

Customisable to Suit Your Taste and Needs

The beauty of the mezzanine floor extends to being able to create an interior environment that captures your business philosophy. A mezzanine floor can be customised for an industrial, warehouse, retail, or regular office interior.

We are referring to having a mezzanine floor with decorated walls, wallpapers, ceiling, windows, doors and carpets. What matters is knowing what you intend to achieve out of the new extra space created.

If you believe your business stands to benefit from mezzanine floors reach out to us on  (01942) 603344 or email info@millennium-si.co.uk

 

What Is External Racking?

Are you looking for a way to utilise your yard space that will be completely unaffected by adverse weather conditions? External racking could be the solution for you.

External Warehouse Racking is a storage system that has been galvanised to ensure that the racking will have the longest lifespan possible.

By galvanising the racking you are providing the system with extra protection, ensuring that rust and corrosion are not a problem that you will encounter.

If you have an outdoor space, installing an external racking system will provide useful space for your materials whilst utilising the available space.

Where Could External Racking Be Used?

There are multiple applications that external racking is ideal for:

  • Outdoor retail storage
  • Storage yards
  • Builders Merchants

Advantages of External Racking:

  • Weather resistant – the racking is galvanised to prevent any rust and corrosion
  • Ideal for cold or damp locations
  • Utilising available space in your facility – outdoor space is often under-utilised, outdoor racking allows you to use this space efficiently

Disadvantages of External Racking:

  • The racking must be galvanised to protect it from the elements – this increases the costs and often lead times
  • The products stored must also either not be affected by the elements or be protected from them – this may mean protecting the racking with some form of cladding
  • The floor area must be concreted, flat and level as in an internal warehouse

If you would like more information regarding warehouse racking solutions, call us today on (01942) 603344 or email info@millennium-si.co.uk to arrange a no obligation visit.

5 Critical Pallet Rack Safety Hazards

Physical damage to the pallet rack

Often this damage occurs from lift truck collisions. Sufficient clearance space and clear aisles are both great ways to prevent this kind of damage. Always encourage employees to promptly report all minor impacts or observable damage.

Misaligned Racking Safety Hazard

This can cause collapse or failure of your pallet racking system. During inspection, use the manufacturer’s instructions to check that racks are properly aligned, plum, and level.

Loose Floor Fittings

OSHA is clear that rack columns are bottom-anchored to the floor with column base plates secured with anchor bolts.

Suitability of forklift truck

Your material handling equipment and pallet jacks should be sized to meet your needs.

Weight of stored goods versus capacity of racking system

To prevent dangerously overloaded racks, ANSI/RMI MH16.1 suggests posting the maximum permissible unit load, average unit load, and maximum total load per bay.

In the end, whether your racks are damaged, overloaded, improperly anchored or misaligned, they’re a serious safety hazard that can result in serious injury. OSHA recommends warehouse managers develop a thorough maintenance and inspection program. Be liberal with safety audits that include everything from pallet rack signage all the way up your material handling equipment.

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