Category: Office Environment (page 1 of 2)

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.

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.

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.

How to improve your home office

Working from home may have its benefits like getting up a bit later, wearing comfy clothes and having an oven handy for making lunch.

But you may find working, eating and sleeping in the same place each day gets a bit tiresome after a while.

Here’s a few tips and tricks for making your work environment at home that little bit brighter…

Find a comfy chair

If you have a comfortable chair you can use as your work chair, this will make a big difference if you’re sitting at a desk or table all day.

Clean up your mess (computer, papers, laptops etc)

A clean and tidy working environment can make the world of difference.

Making sure your desk or table is free of clutter so that you have space to work, and that it’s clean and tidy can leave your feeling calmer and more productive.

Make sure you also tidy up at the end of your working day so that you come away from work and enjoying the evening for yourself and the family.

Natural lighting

If possible, choose a place for your workspace environment that has natural lighting. This can be beneficial to your mood and increase productivity. We also recommend you get outside a 20 minutes or so, to give you a break from work and also get much needed fresh air.

Being near a window while working can also up your vitamin D levels, which helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, and these nutrients are needed to keep muscle, teeth and bones healthy.

Separate work and living areas

If it’s possible to do so, your workspace should be in a room or space as far away as possible from the place where you sleep if you want to increase your productivity.

Your brain tends to associate certain spaces with certain tasks, which is why it’s important to keep your work and living areas physically separate if you can.
For more ideas on office space at home or in a city office, contact us today!

How to design a disability-friendly office

An all-inclusive, disability-friendly office design creates a safer, more comfortable and welcoming work environment for all, including disabled employees and visitors to your business.

By law, all businesses should provide an all-inclusive workspace that facilitates a safe and comfortable work environment for all employees, including disabled individuals.

As well as looking after employees by helping them to feel more valued and comfortable, a disability-friendly office design attracts a more diverse workforce and a wider pool of candidates, helping your business to attract more top talent.

Whilst some disabled employees may require specialist equipment, most disabled employees’ requirements can be met by simply taking accessibility into consideration when designing your office.

Here are some key features of inclusive, disability-friendly office design.

  • Accessible sockets
  • Adjustable desks
  • Cable management
  • Low lever door handles
  • Low flat panel light switches
  • Wide doorways and hallways
  • Task lighting
  • Quiet workspaces
  • Computer monitor arms
  • Large-print equipment controls
  • Use of ramps instead of stairs where suitable
  • Climate control

Whilst these design features are all disability-friendly, many of them will make your office a safer and more comfortable workspace for everyone.

Space should be a key consideration when designing a disability-friendly workspace, ensuring that there is always enough room for a wheelchair to manoeuvre.

All trip hazards and obstructions should be removed and tidied away, especially trailing wires and cables. Cable management systems are effective for keeping cables neat and safe.

Inclusive office design by Millennium Storage

Here at Millennium Storage and Interiors we provide office refurbishments and new builds to businesses of all different shapes and sizes. We design practical and inspiring office spaces that find the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality.

Our designs are practical for all employees, with accessibility and inclusivity always a key consideration in our design process.

For help or advice with designing a disability-friendly office, or to book a free consultation with our team, give us a call on 01942 603 344.

Designing an environmentally friendly office interior

Look after our planet by incorporating these eco-friendly design features into your office interior.

As the effects of climate change become more obvious, businesses of all shapes and sizes are becoming more conscientious about the impact that they have on the environment.

If you’re looking for ways to make your office more sustainable and energy-efficient, why not give it an eco-friendly refurbishment. Here are four basic elements of an environmentally-friendly office design.

Energy-efficient lighting

Keeping the lights on in your office can use a lot of energy, which is not only detrimental to our planet, but to your business’ budget too. Reduce your office’s energy bill by designing an interior that lets in as much natural light as possible to minimise the need for artificial light. Using energy efficient LED lighting can also reduce the amount of energy you use to light your office by 50% or more!

Sustainable furniture

Make environmentally friendly decisions when it comes to office furniture by only buying high quality, long-lasting furniture made from sustainable materials and preferably sourced locally too. Where possible, try to upcycle, repurpose or reuse existing furniture rather than buying new.

Sustainable flooring

Your office’s flooring should not only be made from a sustainable material, it should be energy efficient too to lower your office’s heating bills and keep employees feeling warm and comfortable. Reclaimed wood flooring and eco-friendly carpet made from recyclable materials are both popular options. More unusual eco-friendly flooring materials include cork, bamboo and concrete.

Recycling bins

Encourage employees to get involved and start thinking about the effects that their actions at work have on the environment. Install central recycling and waste management zones that require employees to separate out recyclables and promote less wasteful ways of working.

For more help designing an environmentally friendly office interior, speak to our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors about our office refurbishment services by giving our team a call on 01942 603 344.

 

Office design trends for 2020

The dawn of the new decade is a good time to give your outdated office interior a makeover.

Here at Millennium Storage and Interiors we expect 2020 to see the rise of eco-friendly, multi-functional office interiors.

Offices are no longer sterile white environments, instead, businesses are seeking sustainable and environmentally-conscious designs that prioritise employee wellbeing as well as productivity.

Here are our top four office design trend predictions for 2020.

Environmentally friendly

Businesses are becoming more conscious about the environmental impact of the materials and products used in their office interiors. In 2020, we expect to see a surge in businesses requesting office interiors that incorporate recyclable and natural materials and practical and cost-effective energy-efficient products and designs.

Privacy

Open plan offices have had their day, and in 2020 we’re expecting to see more businesses embracing office interiors that offer employees quiet and private spaces to work in. Over recent years, numerous studies have found that open plan offices can have a negative effect on both employee productivity and wellbeing as they tend to create a lot of noise and can be very distracting and stressful. Office partitioning, pods, and booths are all expected to make a comeback this year.

Collaborative spaces

Whilst employees often perform better and feel more relaxed when given their own private space to work in, collaborative workspaces that encourage communication and idea sharing are also very important in the workplace. Formal meeting rooms, cosy huddle rooms, and trendy break-out spaces all allow employees the space they need to share ideas, inspire each other, and interact socially when they need it.

Bold colours

In 2020 we’re expecting to see more businesses opting for bold and clashing colours to create daring and contemporary interiors.

For help or advice regarding your office design, speak to our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors about our office refurbishment services by giving our team a call on 01942 603 344.

Is the colour of your office affecting employee productivity?

Colours can affect our emotions and influence our actions, so you should select the colour scheme for your office carefully.

Have you considered that the colour of your workplace could be influencing the mood, wellbeing, and subsequently, your employees’ performance?

Your office’s colour palette sets the tone for the mood within your office. A bright and colourful environment can stimulate and energise the mind, inspiring creativity. Whilst cool and muted colours can create a calm and peaceful environment.

Research into the psychology of colours has shown that different colours can elicit particular emotions and behaviours within us.

Consult our guide to the psychology of colours below to discover how your office is making employees feel and which colour you should paint the walls next.

Blue– When used in moderation within a professional environment, blue is said to be a stable and calming colour that encourages productivity.

Red– If you want to motivate and energise employees then red is an excellent colour to add to your interior’s palette. Red is said to create a dynamic atmosphere and can help employees to work more efficiently.

Green– Green is a calming colour that we associate with nature.

Yellow– Yellow is an uplifting and positive colour that can encourage creativity.

Purple– If you want to create a calm and thoughtful zone, then purple and violet can be excellent colours for encouraging spirituality and creativity.

Rather than going overboard with any of these colours, its best to introduce them to the office in muted tones or splashes of colour.

Why not use colours that reflect the different actions and behaviours you want employees to show in different zones within your workplace.

Need help designing an office interior that will motivate employees? Speak to our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors by giving us a call on 01942 603 344.

Mezzanine safety tips

Keep employees safe at work by implementing these four simple mezzanine safety tips.

Installing a mezzanine floorin your warehouse is a smart way of affordably gaining more floorspace.

Once you’ve had your mezzanine installed, it’s important to train employees in the safety rules and regulations surrounding how to use your new space safely.

As well as initial training, processes should be put in place to ensure that mezzanine safety is maintained ongoing.

Here are our top 4 tips for using your mezzanine safely.

Review your safety policy

After your mezzanine has been installed, don’t forget to review all existing health and safety policies and update them accordingly. Safety regulations surrounding your mezzanine should adhere to OSHA, be easy for employees to access, and actively communicated and implemented.

Keep it free of clutter and debris

Staff should take extra care to keep the mezzanine floor and staircase clean and free of clutter and debris. Workplace slips, trips and falls could often have been prevented if an area had been kept tidy and free of obstruction.

Designate a safety officer

All employees should be trained in mezzanine safety as part of their onboarding process. Having said that, it can also be useful to assign one or more people the role of ‘safety officer’, making it their responsibility to know the safety regulations inside out and ensure they are being adhered to.

Do not exceed load limits

Your mezzanine will have a maximum load limit which should always be adhered to. Make sure the maximum weight limit and person capacity are clearly visible and there are processes in place to ensure that they are never exceeded.

For more help and advice about how to use your new mezzanine safely, give our friendly team a call on 01942 603 344.

Why Office Carpet Choice Matters

How many offices do you go into with drab looking or worn out carpets? Carpets say as much about a business as walls and furniture so it’s important to pay attention to the quality and colour of your carpets is you want to project the right image of your business to clients and customers.

Of course not every business owner will have control over the colour of their carpet. If an office is rented it can be hard to convince the landlord to change the carpet but if you do have the freedom, then a new carpet is a great way to start transforming the look and feel of your office.

If for example your business is involved in websites or graphic design, you might want to select bright bold patterns whereas if you run an accountants, then a neutral toned more conservative carpet might be a better choice.

Pattern is also important. Plain office carpet can be dull and boring so having some kind of pattern even if it’s subtle can transform an office space. The carpet can even match your company branding.

Today there are no hard and fast rules on carpet choice and lots of inspiration available on websites such as Pinterest

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