Category: Happiest Office

Can It Ever Be Too Hot to Work in the UK?

Can It Ever Be Too Hot to Work in the UK?

There is no legal minimum or maximum working temperature in the UK, but that doesn’t mean it is never too hot to work. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) say that working temperatures should provide ‘reasonable comfort’ to workers, and provide recommendations such as:

The temperature in a workplace should be at least 16 °C, or if the work involves rigorous effort, it should be at least 13 °C.

Other factors such as humidityair flow and worker clothing and movement also play a part in determining if the temperature in a working environment is reasonably comfortable. As there is no recommended office temperature in UK law, it is up to each workplace to determine their own ideal temperature.

If you do find the heat is making you uncomfortable, this can impact on your working ability. You may find you cannot concentrate, your productivity will drop and you may suffer from heat stress.

What is Heat Stress?

When you are too hot, your body will try to cool off by sweating and radiating more energy. Unfortunately this can lead into heat stress if the temperature continues for an extended period of time without relief from water shortage or natural processes that help regulate temperatures in a human being’s environment.

Symptoms of heat stress can include having a red face, excessive sweating, a heat rash, muscle cramps, dehydration and fainting. If allowed to continue, heat stress can cause heat exhaustion, and this is a severe disorder that can lead to death in extreme cases.

Some working environments are more at risk of being too hot to work in than others. For example, those in well-ventilated offices are less likely than those working in a kitchen to feel the effects of a heatwave. However, we all have a responsibility to stay safe and healthy at work, no matter our working environment.

What Are Employer Responsibilities During Hot Weather?

All employers have a duty to protect the health and safety of employees. Whilst there is no legal requirement to provide air con in offices, employees will work better when they are comfortable. It is therefore in everyone’s interests to make the environment as reasonably comfortable as possible.

Employers should also take extra care to protect any vulnerable people in the office. Hot weather can make people feel tired and less energetic than usual, especially for young and elderly people, pregnant women, and people who may be on medication. Vulnerable people in your office may appreciate extra rest breaks or a desk fan to improve air circulation.

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.

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.

Millennium Storage Office Refurbishments

Millennium offers you a full service to provide you with the best possible environment with minimum disruption. We believe in practical solutions and creative office space planning. As a company experienced in office fit out, we offer office partitioning, flooring, decoration, furniture (standard and bespoke). As a result you have one point of contact and dedicated project management to ensure a seamless transformation.

The Benefits of Refurbishing Your Office or Workplace

The average worker spends vast portions of their lives in their office or workplace, so it is important for the surroundings to look and feel welcoming. If your workplace needs a bit of a spruce up, you may want to consider the benefits of an office refurbishment.

Improved efficiency

Refurbishing your workplace can allow you to alter the layout of your establishment, and you may find that by moving certain aspects of your office, you can increase the efficiency of your workplace. You can even take this opportunity to invest in new, high-quality equipment for your office that can increase the speed of functions.

Increased productivity

A new, attractive, updated workplace can boost the morale of your workers, which in turn can increase their productivity.

Attracts new clients or customers

Your office is, in effect, the face of your company, and the quality of your workplace can speak volumes about how your company is run, and even how successful your business is. A high-quality establishment indicates that your company is turning a good profit, which can make other customers or clientele have faith in the success of your company and be more inclined to do business with you.

More room for more staff

When you refurbish, you can alter the size of certain aspects of your establishment – storage, hallways, etc. to create more space, which can fit your expanding workforce more comfortably. You may even find that simply rejigging the furniture into a more organised state can create the extra space you need.

Increased health and safety

If you’ve been using your office for a while, general wear and tear might have caused some damage to the fixtures, which can be a huge health and safety risk to your workers. An entire new office will be completely safe and secure, greatly reducing the risk of workplace accidents.

Millennium Storage and Interiors offer both office and commercial refurbishments, so no matter your workplace, we can provide you with the new look you want. We only use high-quality materials and fully qualified and skilled workers, to ensure that the work we produce is of the utmost quality. No job is too big or too small for our dedicated team, and we’ll be on hand at all times to manage the project, completely eradicating the stress from the procedure.

Should Workplace Design Reflect Your Branding?

How many workplaces do you know that have interior spaces that reflect their branding?

Depending on how many you will have seen the answer is probably not many. Workplaces that reflect company branding are hard to find in most business sectors unless they appreciate just how important branding is to company culture as well as perceptions from the outside.

If you business is branding then there is a good chance you already appreciate how everything present in a business from its philosophy and culture to its furniture should reflect the brand.

It also shouldn’t be forgotten, that when customers and clients arrive at your workplace, their perception of your business can be greatly influenced by what they are seeing around them for the first time.

As everyone knows first impressions are important. If an office has a nice contemporary design that reflects the branding and colours of the business, then this will make those clients and customers feel more secure about doing business with your company.

For staff too, it’s important for them to buy into company culture and the work environment should encourage this by creating a clear sense of identity. Simply spreading a few brochures on meeting and coffee tables is not enough to make those employees feel part of an organisation that is going places.

Ditch the Beach Huts And Straw Bales, Employees Prefer Better Technology!

When it comes to office furniture removals, there is a growing trend towards useless items like slides, and other non-essential gimmicky furniture and apparatus into storage as businesses slowly realise that staff consider them secondary to better technological facilities to make work easier.

Many businesses have decided to jump onto bandwagon with all manner of playful additions to the office to the extent that it is unusual to enter decent sized city centre office without seeing areas to play pool, table tennis or both.

While there is nothing wrong with adding these sorts of elements into offices, they shouldn’t be added at the expense of more essential office items such as technological equipment. At least if you’re a business owner who wants to keep staff happy.

A recent study found that 79% of workers view reliable technology as more important than how the office looks. The survey appears to show that typical workers would rather see investment in things that make their jobs easier so that they can be more productive.

If you are an office owner considering ping pong tables, hammocks and so on, spare a thought for what staff really want. Play and rest areas may well be a waste of money if nobody has the time while at work to use them.

Why Sound Acoustics Is Vital to Office Design

Offices come in all sorts of layouts from sleek open plan, to period offices in city centres.

The challenge in both cases is to find a solution that not only creates a sense of space but also provides privacy and a quiet place to work for those employees who need it. So when designing an office layout, a delicate balancing act needs to be struck to ensure that everyone in the workplace will be happy.

Unlike visual distractions, which can simply be screened off or hidden by a simple re-arrangement of furniture and screens. Unfortunately, good acoustics will require a more complicated solution to reduce noise from phones, chatter and colleagues moving from one place to another.

All of this can become very frustrating for those who require peace and quiet to do their best work, which will in turn hinder productivity.

While the modern trend continues to lean towards the open plan spaces which have been seen as the best way to develop cooperation and creativity since the 1950s.

To improve acoustics in your office requires knowledge of how sound impacts on different surfaces and how it is absorbed by others.

This starts with the introduction of carpets, acoustic panels and acoustic screens which can help reduce noise dramatically. Then create separate spaces for collaborative work so as not to disturb those staff members who prefer to work in quiet isolation from time to time.

Is Your Office Layout Influencing Your Business Culture?

The more you learn about architecture and the buildings we use everyday, the more you understand just how much they can influence us.

Do you ever find yourself sitting in a room at work wondering what might be going on in the office across the corridor or do you feel excluded from management who occupy a corner office hardly anyone ever goes into?

Despite open plan offices and glass partitions now being an established part of business culture, you can still be left feeling an unwanted sense of seclusion and separation.

As a business owner, having your office laid out in this traditional manner is more likely to put people off coming to work for your organisation.

The days when people coveted the big office in the corner are now numbered as collaboration is understood to be the key to effective working.

If everyone in your office is crammed into small rooms, then it can be little wonder that conflict between staff members can begin to develop and instead of working as a team, the organisation becomes fragmented.

This can all be changed by a re-imagining of your office layout to encourage rather than discourage collaboration and a more harmonious working environment.

Is This Office In Wales The Trendiest and Happiest In The UK?

The Daily Post recently reported on call answering company, Moneypenny’s, new offices in Wrexham revealing a trendy new multi-million-pound office to rival that of some of the world’s biggest business HQs.

Moneypenny’s aim when designing the new 91,000sq ft building was to create a happy environment for staff. The hope is that the new offices will make going to work a pleasurable for staff in contrast to the majority of offices in the UK.

The office features a treehouse meeting room and even its own village pub, which were all introduced in consultation with staff.

In addition to a pub the offices also feature a sun terrace, a triple height atrium and a restaurant featuring free breakfasts and fruit in true ‘Google office style’. These additions are likely to give staff not only plenty of natural light to enjoy but also keep them healthy and well-fed.

The cost of the new office building came in at £15 million which was according to the company owners the same price they would have paid for a standard brick built office on the same kind of scale.

The challenge for the architects was to design something ground breaking for the same price and it looks like they have achieved it.