What’s your workplace satisfaction?

Leading office solution supplier, Fellowes Brands, recently announced the results of its survey of over 6,000 employees across Europe, 1,000 of which are from the UK, revealing 9 in 10 (91%) of all European employees and 89% of UK employees say satisfaction is important to them in their workspace, regardless of whether working location is at the corporate office or the home office. Moreover, 88% of UK employees say satisfaction improves their productivity by more than 25%.
By helping to uncover attitudes of European and British employees towards workspace satisfaction and productivity, the survey findings help inform employers how best to navigate the new ‘hybrid’ model of working, where a portion of time is spent working within the corporate office, and a portion working from a home office.
Following a period where many Britons spent a year working almost exclusively from home, Fellowes Brands’ survey reveals that 36% of UK employees who work from home say they feel more productive in the office, and 29% say they feel more productive when working in the new ‘hybrid’ working environment.
In addition to uncovering British attitudes about the modern workspace, the survey also revealed interesting commonalities between employees across Europe — in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain, as well as the UK. In comparing results from all of the European countries, the data painted a picture of four ‘core elements’ that make up workspace satisfaction.
As identified by the Fellowes Brands survey results, the Four Core Elements of Workspace Satisfaction are:

  1. Clean Environment
  2. Healthy Workspace
  3. Secure Environment
  4. Tidiness & Organisation

Here’s what European and UK employees have to say about each of the four core elements:

Clean Environment
• 77% of UK employees say it is important for an employer to invest in clean, healthy air (e.g., using air purifiers) to facilitate productivity in their workspace.
• 54% of all European employees surveyed said that a well-ventilated space is the top ‘smell’ that gives them satisfaction in their workspace.
• A third (33%) of UK employees say they find breathing cleaner, healthier air satisfying at work.

Healthy Workspace
• 83% of all European employees (and 81% of UK employees) say having a good ergonomic environment, including a suitable desk, chair, and monitor at eye level is important to their productivity.
• 80% of UK employees say it is important to their productivity that their employer invests in ergonomics.

Secure Environment
• Two thirds (66%) of all European employees agree that being able to dispose of confidential or sensitive documents securely gives them satisfaction.
• 74% of UK employees say it is important that an employer invests in equipment to shred sensitive documents.
Tidiness & Organisation
• 81% of UK employees say having a clean, healthy workspace is important to their productivity.
• 77% of UK employees say it is important that an employer invests in effective storage and organisation solutions they need to be productive at the office.
• 79% of UK employees say having access to the equipment they need, such as an extra monitor to view large documents, is important to their productivity.
• 73% of UK employees and 69% of all European employees say it is important that an employer invests in equipment to produce high quality presentations and documents, including laminators and binders, they need to be productive at the office.

A theme running throughout the four core elements also points to the need for employers ensuring the correct equipment in the hybrid workspace:
• 50% of all European employees said that it positively impacts their productivity when satisfied with their working set-up.
• More than 8 in 10 (83%) of all European employees say that having an excellent ergonomic environment, including a suitable desk, chair, monitor at eye level, is essential to their productivity.
• 36% of all European employees prefer to have a hybrid working option; versus 24% who prefer to work solely from home.

Methodology
Fellowes Brands commissioned Censuswide, a market research and survey consultancy, to conduct an online survey between 8th – 18th June 2021 with a sample of 6,212 office workers in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Poland.

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REWILD CARBON: PUTTING NATURE AT THE HEART OF CARBON OFFSETTING

We have all assumed that nature would always be here for us and our children. However, our unsustainable use of nature is threatening our future. The crisis faced by the natural world is now at a tipping point.

Healing the harm
Carbon offsetting is one means of repairing the damage we have caused to nature.
At Durrell our mission as a charity is to save species from extinction, but in order to save species, you also need to save their habitat. Our work to restore and protect some of the most threatened habitats on the planet over the last 60 years, also captures and sequesters carbon.
We are very proud to be launching Rewild Carbon this year, our carbon offsetting programme that not only reduces carbon, but also revives ecosystems, recovers species, and rebuilds livelihoods. Nature is at the very heart of the programme.

What is carbon offsetting?
A carbon offset is a ‘credit’ for greenhouse gas reductions achieved by one organisation that can be bought and used to offset the emissions of another organisation or person, or an activity like a flight or a corporate event, so that they are considered ‘carbon neutral’. Before we offset, individuals and organisations should first look to reduce their emissions wherever possible. Increasingly, individuals and organisations are choosing to become ‘climate positive’, meaning you give back more to nature than you take. Carbon offsetting can not only reduce your emissions, but can also increase brand loyalty and positioning, and attract and retain employees and partners.

Impactful offsetting

Here is why offsetting through Rewild Carbon is hugely beneficial for nature:

  • Our ecosystems are highly threatened with many endangered species living amongst the last fragments. Species-rich forests can sequester up to 40 times more carbon than monocultures
  • 95% of the money you invest in Rewild Carbon will go straight to nature
  • We will translate tonnes of carbon into wild commodities like the number of species moving through your trees
  • Our projects are designed with local communities and benefit sustainable livelihoods
  • We work with local partners that we have long-standing relationships with. Together we can better understand the wildlife, the land and the threats they face
  • Our approach is transparent and science-driven.

The Atlantic Forest
We are launching the first Rewild Carbon project in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil alongside our local partner Instituto de Pesquisas Ecologicas (IPE), with whom we have collaborated for 20 years. This extraordinarily lush forest in Brazil, is one of the richest, most biodiverse and threatened habitats on the planet. Sadly, only 6% of it remains today, in isolated fragments, replaced by pastures and intensive farmland.
The project aims to restore 4,500 hectares of vital forest corridors by 2030, linking these isolated fragments, and thereby creating lifelines for the wildlife including highly threatened populations of black lion tamarins, jaguars, tapirs and giant anteaters. These corridors are established by planting 100 different species of native trees, which will sequester nearly 2 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the trees lifetime.
Native people are at the heart of this project. The areas to be planted are designed together with locals, the trees are grown and planted by local people. The project also involves agroforestry, thereby providing sustainable livelihoods for the true guardians of this rich landscape.

How to get involved
Our Rewild Carbon programme is being launched to businesses this year, and will be available to individuals in 2021. If you’d like the opportunity to give back to nature, we’d love to hear from you.

Website: www.durrell.org/rewildcarbon/
Contact: Rachel Hughes rachel.hughes@durrell.org

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Hot desking in the post-pandemic workplace

From open workspaces to closed offices and everything in between, there are dozens of office designs in vogue in today’s workspaces. But as companies explore new workplace strategies as they weigh up how best to bring employees back to the office after Covid-19, many are exploring reconfiguring their workspaces to meet changing employee demands.

As businesses adjust to a post-lockdown world, many are contending with what the implications of continuing remote policies will be on office occupancy rates, in addition to employee needs in the workplace. Recent surveys have shown that employees want to go back to the office for three main reasons: to collaborate with colleagues, to attend in-person meetings and to have a quiet place for individual work.

This has led to some companies taking a fresh look at hot desking, which is a popular workplace practice among co-working providers and serviced offices, for their own dedicated and private offices.

Hot desking explained

Hot desking is a workplace strategy that started in the 1990s that does away with assigned seating for employees and instead offers them the ability to choose where, and how, they work within a given office environment. There’s no ‘fixed seat’ for a person and workers are free to work at any open seat, desk, table or workstation, which offers the flexibility and autonomy to select a dedicated workspace based on the work they’re doing.

Hot desking offers companies one way to reconfigure their workspaces with a focus on collaborative spaces while offering unassigned individual workstations. Businesses can also invest in designing a variety of unique workspaces that range from private rooms to open workstations, social spaces and meeting areas. So an employee who needs a place for focused, individual work can choose to work in a private room or at a desk. Conversely, an employee who needs to collaborate with colleagues can use a meeting room or communal area.

Pros of hot desks

Hot desking enables employees to choose where and how they work across the office, granting them a level of flexibility and autonomy that doesn’t exist in traditional office settings. It prioritises employee choice whilst at the same time enables companies to make more efficient use of their space offering enough workstations to meet average demand in the office and shed excess working spaces, if the need arises.

The role of the office needs to evolve to favour teamwork over individual work, and hot desking can increase collaboration and productivity. By its very nature, hot desking forces employees to walk around the office to find a workplace, and often ensures they interact with people they might not otherwise connect with. It encourages a creative environment where people get to interact, collaborate and socialise with other teams.

Cons of hot desks

Hot desking works on a first-come, first-served basis which means if you like a particular space then you have to come early to take that seat, or else it might not be available. If improperly implemented, it can lead to employees spending too much time looking for a workspace instead of actually working. Employees could therefore be likely to face difficulties in working well with one another. If the workspaces offered aren’t well designed, lack of privacy can also then become an issue as people don’t get their personal space with lots of activity around them which causes unnecessary distractions and hampers productivity.

Security, or lack thereof, is another challenge businesses encounter with hot desking. Due to the transient design of hot desking, poor implementations can make it hard for individual employees to securely store their personal belongings. But in the age of Covid-19, security goes beyond personal belongings and private workspaces. It also extends to health. Under a hot desking model, employees can choose where they sit, and swap desks as needed. This inherently causes health-related complications and social distancing issues in the coronavirus pandemic.

Stay safe and secure

At Dams, we provide secure storage areas perfect for our hot desking and co-working environments, and it’s advisable for companies who adopt these work practises to offer similar storage areas for their employees, too. Our range of wooden and steel storage lockers cover a variety of storage solutions that cater for storing employees personal effects, clothing and possessions in all office and workplace environments. Lockers are the perfect storage solution for hot desking spaces to keep business premises not only functional but also clutter free.

With employees not having a fixed desk, this can actually lead to a cleaner, more organised, and professional-looking workspace that can help inspire productivity, focus, and engagement. Workers can finish their tasks for the day, leave the work area with their laptop and phone, collect their personal belongings from a locker and no clutter is left behind, ready for the next working day.

In addition to enhancing workplace security, lockers can also be used around pillars and posts in workplaces to help create zones in the office environment, by using the locker units as a dividing wall and a visual barrier between departments and working groups, perfect for the modern, hot desking workplace. And why not add a counter top to the standing height units for a casual standing meeting area, or even add an over-sized planter on to the top filled with greenery to complete the biophilic, natural workplace look.

Furthermore, companies adopting the hot desking model should also implement a number of health-related measures to ensure workplace safety. These include increased cleaning schedules, social distancing signage, hand sanitising stations, limited capacity in meeting rooms and place mats that indicate what workspaces are clean and available to use.

Plan for the future

The work environment is changing – both in design and purpose. Employees are re-evaluating how they would like to work – at home, in a coffee shop, in the office, hot desking, or a hybrid working model. In return, many businesses are considering what the impact will be of continued remote-work policies on office occupancy rates. More simply, as people continue to spend at least part of the week working remotely, many companies will suddenly find themselves with excess or unused office space.

Hot desking is emerging as a practical solution that provides employees with flexibility and agility in the office, and helps companies save money by making more efficient use of their office space. Like any new concept tested within a business, there are pros and cons inherent to this workplace strategy. But if it’s properly implemented, hot desking can also improve company culture by encouraging people from different teams to interact and breaking down barriers across the business.

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Meeting Tips

Meetings… everyone’s favourite office pastime! Whilst meetings can sometimes get bad press; being seen as an insufficient use of time; dragging on for too long and being somewhat repetitive – these bad experiences don’t have to become habit! Many businesses struggle with inadequate internal communications and meetings can play a major role in improving this.
So here are few tips to make meetings more productive.
Purpose / agenda
Be clear upfront about the objective of the meeting and what needs to be achieved. For meetings with high attendance or that is longer than an hour, set out an agenda; it’s easier to keep the meeting on topic and on time. It also allows for people to manage their own time, they may not be needed for the entire meeting and can drop out early to focus on other work.
If you happen to have external attendees or staff from a different division,
name badges can help to keep the conversation personal and make everyone
feel included.
Do you really need an hour?
It might be the default setting on your calendar, but consider if you really need an hour to discuss the topic at hand? If you are clear on what the purpose of the meeting is, it’s often easier to keep the meeting shorter.
Here’s another tip, try starting a meeting at quarter past the hour, it’ll cut the chit chat time!
Who needs to attend?
Frustrated by people constantly checking their phones or catching up on their laptops? Chances are they don’t need to be in the meeting. Try implementing the Elon Musk meeting rule, of no more than 4 to 6 attendees unless absolutely necessary.
Would you be ok with people leaving a meeting or dropping off a call early? Better than them wasting their time and dragging the meeting mood down.
For clarity on such project meetings, consider using the RACI matrix (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) – this will further help to ascertain who needs to be in the meeting and who should maybe just be cc’d in on the minutes.
Be present
Everyone has other work to be doing as well – so engage, leave your other projects at the door and put those devices down!

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Replacing The Water Cooler Conversations

“Have you heard the rumour that Janet in HR is applying for the new payroll manager role?”
“No way? She would never cope. I’m still waiting to get my holiday for next month signed off, I wouldn’t want to have to wait that long for my wages!”
Laughter
“I know, and Paul in marketing reckons we are going to be getting new computers because Steve from downstairs overheard Leslie being asked to get a couple of quotes together…”
The water cooler conversations, or informal conversations, has been highlighted in the media as an example of how office workers are missing out on the human interaction that you only get in the workplace on a face-to-face level. Video calls and Zoom have been a great way to stay in touch, but tend to lead to very functional conversations, dealing with the business in hand and cutting out some of the small talk.
Not such a bad thing some might say, but there is a mental well-being issue at stake here too. Humans are not machines, we have needs outside of just being functional. We need social interaction on a personal level, but also to help our businesses to thrive. It is very difficult to ping ideas off of each other in an online brain-storming session, it lacks the creativity, the energy, the talking over each other, discussing, debating, disagreeing before arriving at the most brilliant of ideas that would never have been reached without that interaction.
However, there is an expectation now that many companies are going to adopt a new “hybrid” way of working – Greater flexibility and a balance between office time and working from home. Some will embrace this; others would prefer to just get back into the office and return to a sense of normality. Everyone is different, has different needs and feelings. So, how do you create a balance between offering lifestyle flexibility and avoiding creating divisions and exclusions? How do you stop the person that chooses to work from home more often from becoming the topic of gossip at the water cooler, or excluded from spontaneous discussions and conversations in the workplace?
The first step is for the employer to recognise the importance of the informal conversations and the benefits they bring to the business and take that into consideration when finalising the hybrid arrangements for the company. Once that is realised, a simple first step would be to have all members of the team in the office on at least one particular day. In a larger company it might not be the whole team, just specific departments on specific days.
That is when the magic can happen, bringing people together, keeping everyone informed and feeling a part of the team. Companies can take further actions to facilitate these informal discussions by encouraging people not to eat at their desks on these days and maybe even make sure that coffee machines and water coolers are not in individuals’ offices but in a shared environment that encourages movement away from their own workspace and into an area of interaction; even go so far as suggesting that time is set aside in the day to make a point of walking around, talking to fellow team members and triggering those conversations that can so often lead to some of the very best ideas.
For an employer the key is to provide opportunities for informal communications to happen naturally and not to force it with rigid structures and designated discussion times – That could potentially have the complete opposite effect. We are, after all humans, with changing moods and emotions.

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Simple starting points for the Mindful Maverick

Just getting started can be tough – use these tips to help launch your list-making lifestyle.

Visual cues
Adapt your organisational style to your personality type and make your system work for you.
Are you visually oriented? Or more about seeing things than reading words? Rather than trying to use someone else’s system, lean into your outlook to create more organisation in your life. So, if you’re a visual person, keep a stack of Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, 76mm x 76mm around — with no lines, they’re the perfect place to jot down drawings and doodles that keep you inspired. Since you can stick them and re-stick them however you want, you can use them to create a visual map of your thinking and change it as often as you like.

The brain dump
Get things out of your head and onto paper! Unloading your mind helps you focus on what’s important.
If your tasks are just racing around in your brain and you don’t know what to do first, try a good old-fashioned brain dump. Using a stack of Post-it® Super Sticky Notes, 76mm x 76mm, take five minutes — no more — and write down every single thing you can think of that you need to do in the next week, one on each note. Write down whatever’s cluttering up your brain, personal or professional, and get it out of your head. Once you’ve cleared things out, you can forget about what’s worrying you and get back to what’s important.

Is something bothering you? Jot it down!
If you’ve got a nagging task that starts to take up too much headspace, get it out of there.
Occasionally, a small task that isn’t very important can be disproportionately distracting. Whether it’s something you’ve been putting off or something you’re not sure how to accomplish, this kind of task can easily become a huge energy suck, causing anxiety that gets in the way of productivity. When that happens, even though it might not seem like that task should be a priority, it’s time to make it one. Put it at the top of your to-do list on a Post-it® Super Sticky Note 101mm
x 153mm, and put it right in your line of sight so you can’t ignore it.

Thanks to the mindful maverick, www.3m.co.uk

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The Secret Diary of A Stationery Lover

It seems I am not as much of a freak as I first thought I was. Since the last edition when I confessed to being a Stationery Lover I have been contacted by a number of people who also secretly share a passion for the Rexel Easy Touch Low Force Half Strip Stapler with flat clinch technology…and all other things stationery.
It is starting to get much busier for me at work now, which is good for the company and hopefully an indication of an improving economy, but it does mean that I have less time to indulge in my passion and more often than not have to look for tenuous ways to use as much stationery as possible whilst working. My best effort was last week when I volunteered to update all the signage around the building with covid-secure messages. To be honest, I think my boss was just expecting me to quickly download a few images from the web, plonk them in Microsoft Word with a few images and then print them out – Oh how he doesn’t know me!
First off, I spent ages looking through the specialist Infection Control catalogue sent to me by our office products supplier where I selected a number of ready-to-go signs (some of them are up to a metre long – massive!) and then for the rest of the more personal signs I raided the stationery cupboard for laminating pouches – well, raid actually makes it sound like a quick in and out, I managed to spend upwards of half-an-hour digging through the piles of post-it notes, files and assorted pens, deliberately taking my time to see if there was anything else I could use at my own desk.
Once I had found enough pouches, GBC Fusion High Speed of course, I then reverted to quickly printing off some signs on the printer before preparing myself for an hour of sheer laminating delight (I kicked myself afterwards for choosing the high-speed pouches, I could easily have made the job last over two hours!). I don’t know if you have experienced the sheer delight of laminating? It is so soothing, satisfying and relaxing. Some people might choose a jacuzzi or sauna; not me, give me a pile of laminating pouches and a GBC Fusion 3000L Laminator and I am as happy as Larry.
I do sometimes wonder if there is something abnormal about my obsession for stationery. Driving home the other day I found myself trying to remember the names of all the colour ranges in the Post-it Notes Super Sticky range. Miami, Bangkok, New York and Rio De Janeiro just rolled off my tongue; Marrakesh took me a good couple of miles to recall, but I just could not remember the name of the assorted pack that contains Poppy, Neon Green and Aquawave colours (It’s the Bora Bora Collection for anyone interested).
By the end of the journey I was really quite jealous of the person who had the job of coming up with the names of the different colour collections – Where do they get New York from? I’ve no idea, but I love it! I tried to get the landlord at our local pub to include a round on Post-it Notes in the monthly quiz, but he just told me to go away and get a life! Hey, the cheek of it, him telling me to get a life? I bet he has never punched through 180 sheets of paper with a single staple.

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Productivity is in the Air

If you’re developing a corporate wellness programme, you might be focusing heavily on exercise and diet to improve office productivity. But have you ever thought about the office air quality? Research from Harvard and Syracuse Universities shows that the air circulating in most workspaces may actually be hindering worker performance.
The Average Office vs. The Office with Cleaner Air
In this study, workers conducted their regular office duties in a typical office building workspace. The same workers on other days repeated their daily tasks but in a workspace with improved ventilation and a reduction of indoor pollutants.
Results showed that employees in the clean air environment performed 61% better on cognitive tasks than in the standard office conditions. Further, by doubling the ventilation in the clean air office, cognitive performance increased by more than 100%.
Clean Air Initiatives That Help Employees Be at Their Best
Take these three steps to improve your indoor air quality in any commercial location. The best equipment, some careful observation, and a disciplined inspection routine will improve the air wherever you work.
Implement an Air Treatment System in Your Workspace
Adding an air purifier not only continuously cleans the air, but also shows employees you have their wellness in mind. To ensure you have the best air cleaning system, look for an air purifier that meets hospital-grade filtration. The best commercial air purifiers include:
• A True HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter that captures 99.97% of airborne contaminants including viruses and allergens
• Activated carbon filter that reduces odours and VOCs (Volatile organic compounds)
• Automated features that adjust to changing indoor pollutant levels for optimized clean air efficiency
Focus on ventilation
• Maintain ventilation systems through scheduled cleanings
• Check for damage in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems where VOC’s and other airborne pollutants may be recirculating into workspaces
• Check the entire HVAC system for mould and test the air for CO2 emissions
Stop Air Pollutants at the Source
• Check for common sources of indoor air pollution including paint fumes in newly painted offices or mould and mildew in carpeted areas
• Ensure chemical and other maintenance supply storage is not impacting indoor air
• Evaluate traffic areas that may introduce auto fumes from parking areas into workspaces
With these simple steps, you can boost the well-being and performance of employees, reduce absenteeism, and add a new benefit to your wellness program that is clearly refreshing.

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An All-Inclusive Office Design

Each employee has a unique set of needs, many of which are not always apparent. And businesses are now challenged with creating a post-pandemic work environment that is all-inclusive for a diverse range of employees.
Companies that are committed to competing in today’s dynamic marketplace focus on building a culture that includes engagement, productivity, and collaboration. More and more workplaces are gravitating towards flexible and creative designs, and this is what an all-inclusive office design is all about.
Inclusion in the workforce is a hot topic right now that goes beyond hiring a diverse team. In the last twenty years, there’s been a significant shift in legal and moral policy to encourage companies to recruit employees that were often overlooked or excluded despite having the skills and qualifications to perform the job. But today’s office designs have to go beyond the typical focus on physical differences alone; rather there has to be an equal emphasis on different styles of working as well as on mental health.

Features of inclusive office design
Inclusive office design is about accommodating choice, flexibility and practicality – a work environment that benefits everyone. It is, of course, impossible to design an office to suit every individual’s personalities and needs; it’s more about offering choices to people. Just as importantly, the layout and look should engage employees and inspire them. A change of scenery, as they say, is as good as a rest!
Open plan offices have been designed to help to boost collaboration, build relationships and save on costs. But most open plan offices do not accommodate the needs of every employee. Therefore it’s important to cater to individual needs and provide a flexible layout with different types of workstations to meet employee’s unique working styles. The abundance of distracting noises in a typical open plan office environment can also cause stress, frustration and animosity.
A modern office layout that encompasses private workspaces and collaborative areas, alongside breakout spaces can support how people work through freedom of choice, encouraging organic interaction and promoting movement. With a growing focus on health and wellbeing in office settings, biophilic designs are also growing in popularity, adding some plants and nature into the office to make people feel more relaxed and peaceful.

How to design workplaces for inclusivity
The aim is to use furniture to create workspaces that are easily adaptable. Height adjustable desks such as the Dams Elev8² sit-stand range are a great option, as they can be easily changed to accommodate all needs. 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. Constant sitting has also shown to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity, so providing small conveniences in the workplace can decrease that number.
For employees that get stressed out because they can’t concentrate with the noise around them, private acoustic hubs, telephone booths and meeting pods can also help to keep noise levels down and concentration levels up. Silen acoustic hubs from Dams are standalone pods which essentially create a room within a room and are ideal for small meetings, brainstorming and informal one-to-one sessions. It’s also possible to equip the hubs with features that are useful for meetings such as whiteboards, power and TV screens, together with LED lighting and air circulation units as standard to make sessions comfortable for users.
Offices are not just places of work; they’re places for interaction, engagement, and bonding. Other furniture solutions to improve health and wellbeing include communal breakout areas that encourage employees to take a break from their work, move around the office, and encourage cross-functional interactions.

A post-pandemic all-inclusive office
The importance of an all-inclusive design in the workplace has intensified in recent months due in part to the flexibility people have enjoyed working remotely during Covid-19. Now that lockdown restrictions have eased, employers are contemplating how to accommodate the flexible, post-pandemic needs of their vastly more privileged office workers and about how to entice people to return.
The wellbeing of employees in the workplace is becoming more vital, and office furniture can play a huge part in helping to keep people happy and healthy when they’re working.
Some people want full-time office life back, some want full-time home working, and most would probably prefer something
in between. But whichever category people fall into, one thing is for certain, to get the most out of a post-pandemic diverse workforce and keep everybody happy, companies need to create a work environment where people want to spend their time.
An inclusive office design nurtures a solid company culture, improves engagement and enhances job satisfaction. It helps people personalise their workplaces, feel a sense of belonging and feel comfortable, thereby reducing everyday frustration and effort, and hence increasing mental wellbeing and productivity. Implementing and maintaining an all-inclusive culture becomes far easier when that inclusivity is built into the very fabric of the workplace design.

Super Deduction Tax Relief
From 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will benefit from a 130% first-year capital allowance.
Furniture and office refurbishments will count as qualifying expenditure for this scheme.
This means for every £1 you spend, you save 25p on tax.
If your workplace is in need of a post-pandemic refresh, contact us today to discuss how we can meet your needs.

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Acting Responsibly with Recycology

Cast your mind back a year to empty shelves, queues outside supermarkets and a strange, unfamiliar world where bird song replaced the hum of traffic. As we rushed to secure face masks and hand gels, sanitiser spray and disinfectant it would be easy to assume that in our efforts to ‘stay safe’ and keep the virus at bay we’d kicked our commitment to sustainability into the long grass.
It was – and still is – disappointing to see so many discarded single-use face masks at roadsides, which might lead anyone to conclude that, in the grip of the pandemic, we’d all but forgotten our collective responsibility to protect our environment. But, thankfully, this doesn’t appear to be the case.
Manufacturers are receiving growing numbers of requests for information about refillable products and environment-friendly packaging, just as they were pre-pandemic. And there is still firm commitment from manufacturers to replace single-use plastic packaging with more environment-friendly alternatives throughout the industry.

So, what alternatives are available to help us choose more sustainable products and packaging?
Fifteen years ago, Pentel launched a range of display books, presentation files and folders, called Recycology, made using a minimum of 50 per cent recycled materials. Recycology filing products use fewer valuable virgin resources than non-recycled equivalents, without compromising quality. Ideal for projects, presentations, recipe collections or hobbies, the Recycology range is perfect for home organisation or office filing, helping to keep precious documents and photos protected.

Recycology Writing Instruments
But there’s more to Recycology than display books. Where the Recycology logo appears next to a Pentel pen, pencil or marker this denotes that it, too, is made using a minimum of 50 per cent recycled material.
For instance, two-thirds of Pentel’s quick-drying, smudge-reducing EnerGel range is made using recycled plastic material. In the retractable EnerGel X pen the figure is as high as 84 per cent – and the pen can be refilled too.
In fact, over 40 per cent of the products in Pentel’s UK range are refillable, including pens, mechanical pencils and even bottles of glue. So, there’s really no need to throw away a perfectly reusable Pentel product.
To encourage everyone who buys a potentially refillable product to do just that Pentel has developed the message, ‘If You Love It, Refill It’, to help identify those items that can be used over and again. The logo can be seen next to certain products to make it easy to select the right one.

Reducing the Impact of Packaging
We’re all aware of the need to reduce or eradicate single-use plastic in packaging and it’s no different at Pentel. All boxes of Pentel loose pens, pencils and markers are made using recycled board, and in the last year Pentel have introduced many new wallet sets made from board, not plastic.
Where it’s appropriate to use plastic in packaging – for example, to offer a higher level of protection to heavier products or multiple sets – Pentel uses recycled polypropylene, which can be recycled or reused as required.
So, if we can take a positive from the last unsettling year, some good news is that manufacturers like Pentel remain 100 per cent committed to continuing the quest to help us all reduce, reuse and recycle for today and tomorrow.

Article by Wendy Vickery, Marketing Manager, Pentel (Stationery) Ltd.

*Percentage based on total weight of product excluding consumable elements.

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