Put us to the test – From Staplers to Viking Helmets: We Are Your One-Stop Shop!

In the bustling world of business, where the printer runs out of ink just as you are about to hit print on that important presentation, or where the office microwave mysteriously decides to take an extended vacation right when you are craving a warm lunch, having a reliable source for all your workplace needs is nothing short of a lifesaver. Yes, that is us! We pride ourselves on supplying “everything for the workplace” and at times we have gone to extraordinary lengths to demonstrate that.

As an independent supplier of office items we are not just about paper clips and pens (although we have those in abundance), in the past we have been described as the magicians of the mundane, the purveyors of the peculiar, and the aficionados of the absurd. Need a case of copier paper? Sure thing. Fancy a dozen inflatable palm trees for that tropical-themed event you are holding next month? We will look to source that for you. From traditional stationery staples to the whimsical, we’ve got you covered.

Got a birthday coming up in the office and you have drawn the short straw for organising the office get together? Fear not, we are here to turn your party planning woes into party planning wows! Need streamers? Check. Need party plates and cups? Not a problem. Gift tape, wrapping paper, parcel boxes, drinks, snacks… Oh, and did we mention we can arrange for a live band of kazoo-playing kangaroos to serenade the birthday boy as he blows out his candles? Ok…that last one might be going a bit far, but you get the message! If you need it for the workplace, make us your first port of call.

You will be amazed about some of the things we have been asked for in the past, we were once asked for 50 Viking helmets for a client’s themed event. Yes, you read that right. Fifty. Viking. Helmets. Well, if you don’t ask you don’t get. They asked and they got. Now, you might be thinking, “Surely they jest! They can’t possibly cater to every whim and fancy.” Sure there has been the odd time we have been unable to deliver with the very obscure, but why not put us to the test and let us fulfil our ambition to be your complete one stop solution. Whether you are in need of a battalion of rubber ducks for a quirky team-building exercise or a crate of gourmet chocolates to sweeten the deal with potential clients, we are on the case.

But it’s not just about the outlandish requests and the offbeat offerings. It’s about the trust we have built with our customers over the years and the relationships we have nurtured because at the end of the day, it’s not just about supplying stuff—it’s about creating moments, sparking joy, and making the workplace a little brighter, one Viking helmet at a time.

So, whether you need the essentials or the extravagances, the run-of-the-mill or the quirky you know where to turn – when it comes to making your office dreams a reality, we don’t just think outside the box—we shred it, recycle it, and turn it into confetti for your next office bash.

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Benefits of Biophilic Design

At long last spring is in the air and the bare trees and flooded fields are being replaced by flowering plants and a brightening landscape. Step outside, take a deep breathe, smell the freshness. Doesn’t it make you feel better, put a smile on your face and make you more prepared for the day ahead? So why confine that feeling to when you are outside.

Beyond looking pretty, there are multiple psychological benefits to having flowers and plants in your environment, whether a bouquet in your bedroom, or a “living wall” in the workplace.

Introducing flowers, plants, and other elements of the natural world into a space is referred to as biophilic design, an evergreen interior design trend many are familiar with. We work closely with furniture manufacturer Dams who previously referred to biophilia as one of their top workplace trends for 2024, and here’s why:

Plants are Positivity Pollinators

The most prominent psychological effect from flora is its mood-enhancing powers. Being in an environment with plants results in a more positive outlook and an improvement in energy and happiness. This impact has been proven to last for days, even without constant contact.

Improved positivity is contagious, prompting people to engage in better self-care and healthy habits, which reduce absenteeism in the workplace. Enthusiasm, energy, and job satisfaction also all come wrapped in the positivity package.

Studies from Exeter University found that employees were 15% more productive when plants were introduced into a workplace that previously contained no biophilia.

Plants are Stress Relievers

In hectic environments, our fight-or-flight responses are triggered, and prolonged exposure to this sort of environment results in the disruption of our nervous system’s balance, causing energy drain and fatigue. In contrast, human interaction with nature restores this balance, decreasing stress and increasing concentration.

Interestingly, the practice of ‘forest bathing’ (known as Shirin-Yoku) is popular in Japan, which is the act of making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest. Coined by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in 1982, this practice was developed as a response to the increasing urbanization and technological advancements in Japan, and has since become widely known for its reported health benefits.

Plants are Air Filters

There isn’t much worse than a stuffy office. Through the respiration processes of plants, excess carbon dioxide is removed from the air, and oxygen is released, improving the air quality in even the most enclosed office. Even offices with air conditioning can benefit from biophilic design, with many species of plant making air more humid in spaces where the air can often feel far too dry.

While one house plant on a desk may not have much of an effect on air quality, introducing a variety of living plants (even building a ‘living wall’), is sure to be a breath of fresh air.

Plants are Acoustic Absorbers

Noise can often be an issue in offices, particularly in open-plan ones. A well-placed plant can help to reduce noise pollution in an area with its leaves, branches, and stems. These natural forms absorb, deflect, and reflect sound.

As a natural consequence of this noise reduction, employees will feel less stress, in addition to the natural stress reduction felt by the mere presence of plant life.

Plants are Healing Aids

The benefits of biophilic design reach even those in the healthcare sector, with studies finding improved recovery rates and reduced reliance on pain medication in patients located in a room with a view of nature, and exposure to plants.

Of course, biophilia does not only benefit patients, as healthcare staff (a workforce known for extreme stress levels) are also positively affected by plants and the many benefits listed above.

With all these biophilic benefits, it’s no wonder that bringing nature’s beauty to the workplace is such an enduring trend.

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A Week for Stationery Lovers

In May of this year we will once again be collaborating to promote all things stationery in support of National Stationery Week. We all know that our high streets and independent businesses like ours are constantly battling for survival and looking for new initiatives to increase business, footfall and boost the local economy – and that is exactly what National Stationery Week is all about.

NSW was first launched in 2011, aiming to celebrate stationery in all its forms, campaigning to get more consumers into shops by encouraging consumers to put pen to paper. Since then it has gone from strength to strength and continues to do so under the guidance of NSW coordinator and Marple Stationery Supplies Owner, Sarah Laker, who took over the reins last year when increased social media activity gave everyone involved in stationery a real boost.

This year the build-up to the week involves a number of competitions and activities across social media before kicking into action on Monday 13th May when for that week each day will have a theme and be sponsored by a well known stationery brand.

“It’s going to be an exciting week filled with all sorts of amazing competitions and giveaways.” explains Sarah, “A true celebration of all things stationery. As an independent retailer myself I see first-hand the passion that exists for stationery. It doesn’t matter if it is for personal use at home, in the school classroom, for art or to take into the workplace, for many people the stationery they choose to use is about more than just functionality, it becomes a fashion item that can make them feel good about themselves and what they are doing.”

National Stationery Week is 13th – 19th May 2024, follow on social media to be the first to hear more campaign details.

@NatStatWeek
#National Stationery Week

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Spring Filing

Mastering Office Filing Techniques for Enhanced Productivity

As the winter chill begins to fade and the days grow longer, springtime heralds a season of renewal and rejuvenation. It’s the perfect opportunity to declutter and revitalise our workspaces, starting with the often overlooked realm of office filing and organisation. While digital solutions have become increasingly prevalent, there’s undeniable value in traditional filing methods, such as document wallets, spring files, lever arch files, and ring binders.

Embracing Tradition in Filing Methods

While technology has revolutionised how we manage information, there’s something timeless about the tactile nature of traditional filing systems. Document wallets offer a simple yet effective solution for organising loose papers and receipts, keeping them neatly contained and easily accessible. Spring files and lever arch files provide sturdy structures for storing larger documents or multiple pages, while ring binders offer versatility, allowing for effortless rearrangement and customisation. Embracing these tried-and-trusted methods fosters a sense of order and control, providing a tangible framework for managing paperwork in the digital age.

The Importance of Springtime Organisation

Just as nature undergoes a process of renewal during springtime, so too should our office spaces. Springtime organisation isn’t merely about tidying up; it’s about setting the stage for increased productivity and efficiency. By taking the time to declutter desks, filing cabinets, and storage areas, we create an environment conducive to focus and creativity.

Staying on Top of Paperwork: Benefits and Best Practices

The benefits of staying on top of paperwork extend far beyond mere tidiness. Efficient document management facilitates smoother workflows, reduces the risk of misplaced or lost information, and enhances collaboration among team members. Regularly filing and organising documents also promotes compliance with regulatory requirements, ensuring that important records are readily accessible when needed. To maintain order, establish a filing system that aligns with your workflow and designate specific times for filing and organisation tasks. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you’ll not only streamline your work processes but also cultivate a sense of control and mastery over your environment.

GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR FILING

Traditional filing methods offer a versatile toolkit for office organisation, but their effectiveness depends on proper utilisation. Start by categorising documents based on relevance and frequency of use, allocating dedicated folders or files for each category. Utilise color-coded labels or dividers to further streamline retrieval and identification. Additionally, periodically review and purge outdated or redundant documents to prevent clutter buildup. With a systematic approach and a commitment to consistency, traditional filing methods can transform your office space into a well-ordered oasis of productivity.

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The Secret Diary of a Stationery Lover 51¼

This year I have no intention of making any New Year Resolutions. It’s not because I don’t believe in them, or even think they don’t work, they are a great idea and can set you off on a positive mindset for the new year. I’m just not prepared to put myself through the same torment as I went through last year when I revealed to all my work colleagues what my resolutions were going to be.

You may be aware that I am a stickler for rules and some people even call me a ‘jobsworth’ (which I still find a compliment), so last year I wanted to get the whole office buying into my ideas. For example, it has always been me that has emptied the shredders. However, I cannot spend my whole day monitoring shredder usage so I put a note by all the machines saying “This Year. Please take responsibility for shredder management. If you fill it, empty it. Don’t expect others to do it for you.”

A simple request. Not for Bob the Accounts Assistant though, he thought it would be hilarious to take the message literally and empty the shredder bin all over the office floor creating what looked like an indoor snow scene. Not content with leaving the mess, he then thought it would be funny to come running down to my desk shouting “quick, quick, have you left a window open upstairs? The snow is pouring in and covering all the desks – we have lost Jane in a snow drift!”

As the person responsible for health & safety this immediately put me into a panic, I don’t know why I even contemplated the idea that snow had come through the window, but so worried was I about having a health & safety issue on our hands, I over-reacted and made a complete fool of myself in front of everyone.

However, my real reason for the panic was nothing to do with the shredded paper snow scene (or the thought of Jane lost in a snow drift), but the moment Bob came running down to my desk I had just that minute realised that I had not ordered a new Accident Book for the office having filled the previous one up at the end of the previous year following a spate of accidents to report at the work’s Christmas party.

Honestly, you would not believe it. I pride myself on never running out of any supplies, but who would have thought in one morning I’d be logging a head stuck in a waste bin, a photocopier burn (on a part of the anatomy that I won’t name), a staple piercing a thumb, a broken arm from falling over during a chair race and a choking incident when the apprentice tried to eat the evidence from an abusive post-it message he had been tricked into leaving on the bosses desk.

It was always my intention to order a new Accident Book in the new year, but I had been so busy implementing my New Year Resolutions that I completely forgot all about it, hence my panic when I thought I was going to be faced with a snow-covered office scenario. Somebody was bound to slip or get injured; they would take any opportunity for a day off work and it is my job to log that accident and follow company procedures.

Although last year’s situation was just a prank, it did make me realise how I had let silly New Year Resolutions get in the way of doing my everyday job. You see, top of my list of resolutions was to never let the office run out of essential supplies…and I had failed miserably within the first week!

Fortunately we buy our office supplies from a local independent source who are much more empathetic to the needs of a business like ours so I don’t really need to make any silly promises about never running out of supplies because I know that if I did ever again let a supply slip, there will be a friendly voice at the end of the phone to help me get the product delivered quickly. Or if I know what I want, their online website is excellent and convenient also.

So if you like, my resolution this year is to make no resolutions and stick to doing what I know I’m already good at, managing stationery and business supplies for the office.

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Make your brand the talk of the Town

We asked a local Social Media Influencer whether it was a good thing to invest in branded promotional items.

Let’s dive into the unsung heroes of the business world – branded promotional goodies and workwear. Now, before you roll your eyes, hear us out. These aren’t just logo-laden trinkets; they’re secret weapons that can sprinkle a bit of magic on your business game.

Imagine this: a sleek pen with your logo. It’s not just a writing tool; it’s a stealthy marketer. People love useful freebies, and that pen is your brand’s foot soldier, making an impression every time someone jots down a note during a meeting.

Now, let’s talk about turning your team into walking billboards. Branded workwear is like your own personal marketing squad. Picture your crew grabbing lunch or hitting up a conference – they’re not just employees; they’re the embodiment of your brand, turning heads without saying a word.

And guess what? This isn’t going to drain your bank account. Branded gifts and slick uniforms are like the budget-friendly superheroes of marketing. You invest once, and they keep shouting your brand from the rooftops every time they’re in action.

But it’s not just about slapping your logo on everything. It’s about building a vibe. When your team carry your logo, it’s not just clothing; it’s a statement. Happy employees mean happy customers, and that’s a formula that keeps the cash register ringing.

So, next time you’re sipping your coffee in the breakroom and spot a branded mug, give it a nod. It’s not just a cup; it’s a low-key genius move. In a world drowning in ads, these subtle touches make you stand out effortlessly.

In the wild west of business, where everyone’s shouting to be heard, it’s the unexpected moves that make you the sheriff in town. Branded gifts and workwear? Think of them as your not-so-secret weapons, ready to turn heads, spark conversations, and make your business the buzz of the block.

So, why settle for blending in when you can stand out?

Let’s make your brand the talk of the town!

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