Go Green with Irongate

Amaze your customers with our range of promotional products

At Irongate we have introduced a new range of eco-friendly, recyclable and reusable promotional products. Eco-friendly products are a great way to impress customers and clients, score those brownie points and show you care for the environment! As recently as three years ago, plastic was just one of those problems that everyone agreed was bad, but few people considered doing much about. Show your employees, customer, business partners and prospects that you’ve gone green with our range of eco-friendly promotional products.

There’s a difference between intention and action, but you could miss out on a big group of consumers if your green credentials aren’t up to scratch! Promotional products are a great way to reinforce your company’s message to customers and a great way to stand out from your competitors. Promotional products, clothing and corporate gifts are a great way to make your recipients feel special and keep your brand in mind.

A few reasons why to switch to eco-friendly products

  • Four billion pounds worth of plastic enters the ocean
  • Approximately every square mile of ocean has more than 45,000 pieces of plastic floating in it
  • Plastic is harmful to the environment as it doesn’t break down easily and is often mistaken as food by marine animals
  • If an animal eats plastic, they can’t digest it. The plastic fills their stomachs, so they starve to death

A brief idea of the products

Reusable tote bag, reusable coffee cups/water bottles, recyclable lanyard, recycled trolley token, recyclable notepad, staple free stapler, regenerated t shirts, eco-friendly clipboards, bio-degradable sellotape, bamboo sunglasses, badges, recyclable sticky notes. The list goes on and we can help you find the perfect promotional products to represent your brand just how you imagined.

What can we do to help?

We work hard to ensure that you’re getting the best out of your business. Our helpful team are always on hand to give you the support and advice you need. We will work with you to gain a full understanding about your company and together create something beautiful!

We can help you find the perfect product and personalise it to fit your brand guidelines to ensure a true representation of your brand. We can help you chose colours, fonts and designs that are right up your street!

Introducing Brook Taverner

Proudly based in Keighley, West Yorkshire, Brook Taverner is a world leader in stock supported corporate clothing. Established in 1912 as a fabric and button supplier to local tailors, Brook Taverner soon began to supply ready-made garments.

Over 100 years later, Brook Taverner now offer; six machine washable suiting collections, all offering different characteristics and price points to suit any budget and corporate environment. Wearers can complete the look with the Shirt & Blouse and Outwear collections, which are carefully designed to complement the six tailoring ranges. Brook Taverner has also recently launched their BUSINESS CASUAL COLLECTION consisting of modern chino, tweed, shirt and knitwear options. Elegantly designed and beautifully made to encourage individuality, this range allows wearers the opportunity to create a truly unique look.

 

Sophisticated Collection

The Sophisticated range challenges conventional corporate wear by blending a lightweight fabric with superior technical attributes. The wide range of fits and styles available provides the ultimate in choice, and it is little wonder why this premium collection is trusted by many of the world’s leading brands.

Eclipse Collection

For businesses looking to present a stylish edge to their staff, look no further than Eclipse. With design in its DNA, this range combines fine tailored lines, fashionable pin dot weaves and a durable Teflon coating – providing the perfect mix of form and function. The Eclipse range delivers on trend, on time and on budget.

Business Casual

The Business Casual Collection is redefining how organisations choose and purchase their corporate clothing. Elegantly designed and beautifully made to encourage individuality, this range allows wearers the opportunity to create a unique business casual look whilst retaining that sharp edge.

Shirts & Blouses

Whether looking for the classic finishing touch or a modern, up to date style across your workforce, the Brook Taverner range of shirts and blouses offer the ultimate in flexibility. Meticulously curated to perfectly complement every one of the suiting collections there is a style and fit for every taste and budget.

Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist
This post was written by
Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist

Make UV protection part of your PPE

1575 hours of sunshine, high average temperatures and low rainfall: last summer was the joint hottest since records began in 1910. Even on sunless days, up to 80% of dangerous UV rays can pass through cloud1, and UV rays can cause premature ageing and wrinkles. But that’s not all.

A painful sun burn just once every two years can triple the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer2 , malignant melanoma. 1700 people are diagnosed with skin cancer caused by occupational sun exposure in Britain every year – and around 60 people die.

Shockingly, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world1.For construction workers, the risk is obvious, with the vast majority working outdoors. The statistics speak for themselves; a huge 44% of occupational melanoma deaths can be attributed to construction workers.

The seriousness of harmful UV rays is often ignored in the workplace, and a lack of awareness and insufficient training for those who work outdoors, can ultimately lead to a poor attitude towards sun protection.

 

SC Johnson Professional recently spoke to workers who exposed their feelings towards UV rays and the use of sun protection creams whilst working outdoors…

 

“Depending on staff levels, some days I can spend up to 6/7 hours a day outside. I’ve heard before that cloudy days can be worse because you don’t realise you’re catching the sun but because I’ve got such a bad attitude towards sun cream, it still isn’t something that I’d think to wear.” Ollie, a site manager in London

 

“I’ve worked in construction for the last 30 years. I don’t always wear sun cream when I work outside. I’ve been burnt more on the overcast days than the sunny days. We have common PPE that we need to wear all the time which includes hard hat, glasses and gloves. Sun cream should be made part of the PPE.” Danny, a construction worker

 

With the weather only set to get brighter and hotter over the next few months, it is evident that both employers and employees need to make a change. So how can we protect against the risk of skin cancer?

 

SC Johnson’s steps for UV Protection

When it comes to effective protection against UV exposure, particularly for those working outdoors, Swarfega recommend using the 5 S Approach to sun safety:

  1. SLIP on sun protective clothing – Encourage workers to keep covered up. Clothing can be one of the most effective barriers.
  2. SLOP on sun cream –Apply a broad spectrum, high SPF sun cream 20 minutes before initial exposure and re-apply every 2 hours or more frequently if sweating heavily. Water resistant creams like the TOUGH by Swarfega SPF30 Sun Cream are ideal.
  3. SLAP on a hat and neck protection – Where possible choose a hat with ear and neck protection.
  4. SLIDE on some sunglasses – Slide on a pair of high quality wrap-around sunglasses to protect the eyes.
  5. SHADE from sun where possible – Encourage workers to take breaks or work in a shaded area wherever possible, especially from 11am-3pm.

 

This approach should be combined with training tools such as toolbox talks, awareness posters and educational guides for employees, in addition to professional sun cream being made easily accessible to workers around the site.

 

Both workers and employees have a role to play and although UV awareness has increased in recent years, more needs to be done at both levels to combat the issue.

For more information contact Pam, our Facilities Supplies Specialist.

Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist
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Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist

The continued rise in reusable drink wear

 Over the past half a decade, and especially in the last 18 months, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in global awareness of the issues related to “single-use” plastics. As a result there has been rapid increase in demand for commercial materials that have “eco credentials” or can be “reused”. A section of this market we have noticed a particular growth and transformation in, is the drink ware market. In the past 12 months alone, some of our suppliers have quoted increases in production/sales of over 50% due to this awareness.

 

As a result of the “Blue Planet movement (and maybe a little help from programs such as Love Island…) One section of drink ware that has been impacted significantly, is the reusable drink bottle market. Suppliers within this market are now moving away from providing low cost budget plastics and have instead moved to cost effective and “sustainable” alternatives. For example; with Aluminium being both a reusable and recyclable material, there has been a vastly noticeable spike in production and sales of bottles that a predominantly Aluminium based.

 

However, although many marketing managers are now seeing the word plastic as almost a taboo word, the biggest increase in the drink ware bottle market our suppliers have seen, has in fact been the “reusable” plastic bottle market. With many employers/employee’s still wanting to be able easily see what they are drinking and also with an increased focus on keeping hydrated. As a transparent material option, plastic bottles are still a desired, lightweight, ergonomical alternative to glass. To support this, the market is now heavy in plastics that are specifically designed to be reused and not to be discarded after only a few uses.

 

One example plastic that focuses on this is Tritan Plastic. As opposed to the “singe-use” plastic bottles market (i.e. your Evian, Volvic water bottles). Tritan plastic has been especially successful as it is specifically designed to not breakdown into your drink, thus combating the idea of “single-use”. Although many of the “single-use” bottles are widely recyclable and breakdown easily, that is also their downfall, they breakdown too easily and are not meant to be reused or stored in certain conditions. Tritan plastic however can be used thousands of times without the need to throw away.

 

Alongside these “sustainable” materials, there is one that is swiftly increasing its share of the eco-friendly market, bamboo. Bamboo is being hailed by various sources, as one of the most sustainable, commercially used materials. Like Aluminium and Tritan, Bamboo is now being widely used in the drink ware market. Many consumers are opting for drink vessels containing bamboo, as this can heavily reduce the use of plastics. Bamboo is considered sustainable due to both it’s versatility and durability as a material, but also the pace at which bamboo grows, up to 91 cm per day!

So, not only do branded reusable water bottles and coffee cups look great, but they are environmentally friendly whilst always ensuring your brand is always in the eyes of your target market.

At Irongate we offer a large range of reusable water bottles and coffee cups in various different materials, allowing you to keep your brand constantly in the eye of your target market and save the planet at the same time!

Shaun Todd - Communications Specialist
This post was written by
Shaun Todd - Communications Specialist

Tips for staying warm when working outdoors

The cold weather is here and as it gets colder, it’s very important to ensure that your employees have the clothing they need to keep them warm, dry and safe whilst working outside.

If you’re not sure exactly what garments you need to equip your staff with this Winter, read our suggestions below:

 

Hat Image result for beanie hat pencarrie

Wearing a hat when working outdoors in cold conditions is a great way to help prevent heat loss from the body. Winter work hats, especially ones that cover the ears are very important when trying to keep as much heat in the body as possible. If your job requires you to wear a hard hat, it’s important to wear a stocking cap underneath to try and keep your head that bit warmer.

Gloves

It’s vital to keep hands warm when working outside in the cold, wet weather. Although it may not always be convenient to wear gloves, they help with circulation and ensure that you have full use of your hands.

 

Reflective Clothing

Although reflective clothing doesn’t keep you warm, Hi vis clothing is vital when working outdoors, especially in the dark winter months. As Image result for hi vis vestthe nights gets darker and the weather gets colder, you are less visible. When working out doors or handling equipment, its very important that everyone on site can see each other.

Gilet

During winter it’s very important to wear layers, as it keeps you much warmer than just wearing a coat. Wearing layers also allows you to regulate your body temperate better as you can add or remove them depending on how you feel. A gilet is a fantastic option as a top layer as it allows you to keep warm whilst still being able to move freely.

Socks

It can be very hard to make sure your feet are warm during the winter, especially when working outside. Socks that are high in synthetic fibers encourage sweating and aren’t very good at keeping your feet dry. Instead try choosing thick, woolen socks which are the most effective at keeping your feet both warm and dry.

Base Layers

As we previously mentioned, layers are very important during the cold winter months! The layer you should always start with are base layers or thermal tops and trousers. These are very tight fitting and are designed to keep as much heat in as possible. Layering up with a thermal top & trousers underneath, provides you with lots of insulation and keeps you much more warm comfortable when working in cold conditions.

 

Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist
This post was written by
Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist

How to improve your energy levels at work

A lack of energy can seriously affect your concentration and productivity. The 3pm energy crash or the early morning half open eyes after a later night are very common amongst office workers, however all is not lost! There are a few ways that you can beat the office fatigue, just read our tips below;

Eat breakfastImage result for porridge with nuts and fruit

Skipping breakfast, the most important t meal of the day can leave you lacking energy and feeling drained. Its important to stock up on fruit, grains and dairy to get your morning off on the right foot. Why not try a bowl of porridge with nuts, yoghurt or fruit? This is will fill you up till lunch time whilst giving you enough energy to last you up until lunch time. Eating breakfast is important as your essential nutrients and glucose levels drop overnight, so they need to be replenished in the morning for you to feel awake and full of energy.

Image result for herbal teaDitch the caffeine

It’s very tempting to reach for a caffeine fuelled drink like coffee when you’re tired, but this can leave you with less energy than you had before!

Drinking caffeine can often leave you with a caffeine crash later on, causing tiredness and lack of energy. Instead of drinking coffee why not swap it for herbal tea? Herbal teas can give you a long-lasting energy surge which will keep you going throughout the working day!

Keep yourself organised!

A heavy workload can feel over- whelming when you arrive at your desk in the morning, draining away all your energy before you’ve even started the day. It’s important to take five minutes to list your tasks for the day in order of importance, writing things down can make your day seem less stressful and intimidating!

Move more Related image

Exercise increases blood flow, which leads it hyperoxygenation in the brain, helping you to have more energy and feel less sluggish. Try walking to your colleagues to ask questions instead of sending an email, or offer to do the tea round, anything to get you moving every half an hour. If possible, try to go on a short walk at lunch time to really get yourself revitalised for the afternoon!

Rest your eyes

Working at a computer and starring at a screen for prolonged periods can leave with screen fatigue, making you feel sluggish and heavy lidded. Its been recommended by opticians that you take a 20 second break from looking at your computer every 20 minutes. This will help with your energy levels whilst also preventing headaches.

Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist
This post was written by
Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist

The perfect recipe for how to boost employee productivity in the work place!

To be a successful business, productivity in the work place is very important. Each employee’s productivity can have a huge impact on your company’s work force and environment. By focusing on both the health and happiness of your employees this will lead to a successful business.

Create a family like atmosphere

Feeling comfortable, but not too comfortable, in the work place is vital for employees. It is important that employees are relaxed and able to be themselves without feeling judged by others. Ways to create a family like atmosphere are simple. Usually, it comes naturally because we spend as much time at work as we do at home, sometimes even more if we’re putting in overtime. However, sometimes it isn’t that easy to bond with strangers. Give staff time to get to know each other, arrange days out or even better nights out! Encourage ways for them to talk and share interests and hobbies with communal seating areas and lunch space and allow them time to chat during working hours.

Employees are people as well

Every employee has a life outside of work and this should be valued just as much as the job. To make your employees feel that they are valued provide the usual annual holidays but it’s also important to be considerate when situations we can’t control get in the way. For example, special occasions, religious occasions, doctors and dentist appointments for the kids etc. To get the best out of your employees you need to provide them with the best opportunities as possible.

Small incentives go a long way

It’s very easy for employees to feel their work is going unacknowledged and hard work is not being appreciated. This can lead to members of staff neglecting the company and their fellow employees which is no good for the working environment because it can lead to a decrease in productivity – which we don’t want! Small gifts and incentives make staff feel valued within the company, something as small as a £10 voucher can go a long way. Provide incentives for your staff which you know they will be thankful for. For example, Rachel always has the best shade of lipstick in the office and would definitely appreciate a £10 voucher for MAC.

Celebrate victories no matter how small

Without your employees you’d be out of business so make sure their victories are celebrated. Something as small as a round of applause from the entire office can go a long way, acknowledging employees victory will give them a sense of belonging, especially if they are new to the company.

Provide the right equipment

All equipment needed to do the job should be provided. You wouldn’t make a sandwich without bread, would you? Make sure your equipment works too! If you want jobs doing the suitable equipment needs to be working and provided to staff. Lack of resources and faulty equipment can lead to staff feeling frustrated and unmotivated.

Motivate and guide employees in the right direction

You want the best out of your employees. Keeping them motivated is how to do that. Everyone needs a bit of guidance from time to time so do weekly one to ones with staff members, tell them about their progress, set targets and allow them a chance to talk about any issues they’re facing.

Adam Noble - Managing Director
This post was written by
Adam Noble - Managing Director

How to make sure your work boots are comfortable

For those who work in a physically demanding environment, looking after your feet and staying comfortable at work is important. Comfort and safety are the main factors to consider when purchasing safety boots for your staff. If your employees have to work with heavy machinery, power tools or cutting equipment, safety boots are a legal requirement.

Safety boots however, are made from tough, hardwearing materials, which means they aren’t always the most comfortable. Read my top tips below on how to make sure that your work boots aren’t just protecting your feet, but are comfy too!

Good Quality Socks

It’s worth buying good quality, thick work socks. Normal socks don’t last very long and are not as long lasting or comfortable. Thick work socks dry quickly too, which helps to your feet sweat free in summer and dry in the winter!

Go half a size bigger

Buying boots that are around half a size too big , will create extra room for your feet to swell and breathe and will also allow for extra layers in the winter. When getting your staff to try on work boots, make sure you tell them to bring a pair of thick socks with them so they know which size will be best, there’s nothing worse than being on your feet all day in boots that only just fit!

Safety

Its important to provide your employees with high quality safety boots. You need to make sure your staff are comfortable and safe in the workplace, so although high quality boots are expensive, spending more money is well worth the investment!

Insoles

Another reason to buy boots a little bit too big is that they will allow room for some comfort increasing insoles. Insoles make the bottom of the boot softer adding a cushioned layer, making them much more comfortable.

Stay Dry

If you have staff working outside, its very important to make sure that their boots are 100% waterproof. Nobody wants their feet to be cold and squelching all day!

Rotate them

Many people wear their work boots until they are completely worn out. Work boots and shoes last much longer if they’re rotated in use. Providing your employees with two pairs of boots that they can alternate between is effective as it allows the boots to completely dry out between uses. Resulting in boots that last longer and feet that are more comfortable.

Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist
This post was written by
Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist

Be seen, not hurt – the importance of hi-vis clothing

Hi-Vis clothing is the best way for your employees to be seen and stay safe whilst at work. There are a few different working environments where Hi-Vis clothing is essential to your employee’s and pedestrian’s safety, these include:

-Warehouse & Construction

-Construction & Maintenance

-Rail Workers

-Those who work on Roadways or footpaths

 

What is High-Vis?

Hi-vis clothing is designed to ensure that the wearer is visible at night-time and in daylight. Although hi-vis doesn’t actually glow in the dark, the mixture of fluorescent material and reflective strips improves your visibility both day and night.

How does it work?

Fluorescent for Daytime

When fluorescent materials are exposed to daylight, they appear to glow. Which makes them effective for employees who need to be visible throughout the day. The glowing appearance of fluorescent materials make them especially effective in poor light conditions such as fog, as the glow is created when hit with the suns UV rays.

Hi-vis clothing comes in a variety of different colours and when choosing which colour to provide your employees with, it’s important to think about which colour will stand out the most against the environment the worker is in, hi- vis is available in the following colours:

– Yellow

– Orange

– Pink

Blue

– Red

– Green

 

No matter what the colour, all fluorescent materials need UV light to be effective. So, on their own, florescent materials are not effective at night.

Reflective for Night-time

Hi-vis clothing which includes reflective material is the most effective for visibility. The grey strips which are on all hi-vis garments are reflective and they glow when they’re exposed to artificial lights such as street lights and headlights. These reflective materials are made by using tiny glass beads to scatter and reflect the light.

The most effective garments are retroflective. This means that they reflect the light back at where it came from, which makes it perfect for your safety as it means that motorists will see your employees sooner than they would if they weren’t wearing Hi-vis clothing.

Choosing your Hi-vis

At Irongate we can provide you with lots of different hi-vis garments, designed to keep your employees safe across several different industries and working environments. From lightweight, hi -vis waist coats to hi-vis coats and trousers we have everything to make sure your staff are safe and seen.

 

 

Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist
This post was written by
Nicki Ambidge - Workwear Specialist

5 signs your office needs a refresh

If your struggling to remember the last time your office was updated, or if it was over 10 years ago, it’s time to consider a refresh. Keeping the workplace maintained and looking up to date and professional is critical to ensuring you have a happy and motivated workforce. Not only this but it gives off a great impression to customers and visitors too!

The following points represent common problems that many of our clients have and how we think you can solve them through workplace design:

1. Your brand and your building don’t match up

Problem: Potential customers visit your website and are really impressed with how great it looks , however when they walk into your building they think ‘Is this the same company that I saw online?’

Solution: Determine the most important aspects of your brand and ensure your office reflects these. Brand is so much more than a colour and a logo, its an image and a set of values that you need to communicate on every platform, including your premises.

2. There’s nowhere to relax

Problem: Your employees would rather sit at their desks at lunch time than sit in the office canteen.

Solution: It’s important that your break room isn’t an extension of the office. Create a fun break out area with comfortable seating, bright decoration, a TV or even a few games. Anything that can help encourage your employees to forget about the stress of work and relax.

3. You have a lot of wasted space

Problem: Many offices have lots of wasted space; banks of empty desks and areas that have become dumping grounds for boxes, folders and old technology.

Solution: You need to space plan your office, could you remove some desks and replace them with break out seating, or informal meeting spaces? Could you use the space to fit more desks in making employees more comfortable? A properly planned out office will be tidy, safe and allow for company growth.

4. Your office design is having a negative effect on productivity

Problem: Maybe you have bland décor with no colour, or poor lighting and old office furniture that’s not in the best condition?

Solution: Work on the design of your office, make sure its bright,vibrant and motivating. This will do wonders for the productivity of your employees, whilst also making them happier at work.

5. There are no areas made for collaboration 

Problem: Everyone has the space and furniture needed to work alone, but there isn’t anywhere for colleagues to collaborate.

Solution: Create two types of working areas that support both collaboration and individual work. Introducing booths and pods can allow for informal meeting spaces, enabling teams to go work together without disturbing others.

 

Simon Clark - Interiors Specialist
This post was written by
Simon Clark - Interiors Specialist

As one of our Office Interiors experts, Simon’s passion for designing dream workspaces is contagious. With over 25 years experience, you can be confident your project is in safe hands.

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Prevent colds and flu from spreading around your office this winter

Its officially Autumn and if you work in an office, the likelihood is that you’re currently sat listening to many of your colleagues sneezing and coughing. Autumn is the start of cold and flu season and when you work in such a close environment, the cold and flu germs spread fast!

The advice we are often given seems obvious, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and sneeze into a tissue to try and stop spreading your germs. But what other things can you do to stop germs spreading around your business?

Remind your employees about the importance of hand washing

Washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way to help prevent the spread of germs. Simply running your hands briefly under the tap wont get rid of them, its important to make sure hands are washed thoroughly and dried with a paper towel to rid yourself of any germs that may be lurking.

Keep your desk clean

Colds & flu are not just passed from person to person, but they are also passed from surface to surface. If your workspace is a shared hot desk, take the time to wipe down items like the phone, mouse and keyboard, to make sure you don’t pick up any germs left over by the last user. Leave hand sanitiser and surface wipes on the end of every block of desks to remind people to clean their hands and desks regularly.

Clean shared items

Many offices have communal printers, kettles, fridges and microwaves. It’s important to give the buttons and handles on these devices a clean down once a day, to rid them of any harmful germs.

Be aware of shaking hands

Make sure you wash your hands before and after attending meetings, this will help limit the spread of germs. If you’re in the situation where a handshake is necessary and you have a cold, politely refuse it all together to make sure you don’t spread your germs onto the other person.

Take a sick day

Taking the time to get better and keeping your germs away from the workplace can prevent the ‘snowball effect’ off passing germs and illness through the office. If you really don’t have the time to take a few days off, consider working from home.

Rest

Sleep is one of the most important things when trying to stay healthy. You should aim to get 7-8 hours sleep per night. If you’re particularly busy at work, try adopting a relaxing routine to help yourself wind down before you go to bed. You should turn off any electronic devices at least an hour before you plan on going to sleep and try having a long warm bath or doing gentle stretches to help relieve yourself of any stress from the day.

Eat your greens

Eating a balanced diet filled with lots of yellow, red, green and orange fruits and vegetables will help strengthen your immune system and help you fight viruses when they hit.

Relax

It’s been proven that having high stress levels decreases your immunity. As an employer you should introduce wellness programmes into your workplace, such as health and fitness classes, walking clubs and lifestyle coaching.

Regular exercise

Exercising regularly can help build up your resistance to cold and flu germs. Encourage your employees to take lunch time walks, use the stairs and go over and talk to eachother instead of sending emails. Offering discounted corporate gym memberships will also help when trying to get your staff members to become more active.

 

 

Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist
This post was written by
Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist

Maintaining Good Posture At Work

Our everyday lives ofen make it difficult to practice the correct posture. From our office desks to lounging around on the sofa at home, most of us don’t consider our posture on a day to day basis, but it’s important to understand that bad posture can lead some serious health issues.

Slouching for hours on end can lead to back pain, poor digestion, poor circulation and even arthritis. Even more surprisingly, a study found that a slouched body posture can lead to decreased energy and feelings of depression!

Although its sounds a lot of work to maintain correct posture throughout the day, the benefits of doing so will make that little bit of effort more than worthwhile!

The benefits of good posture include:

– Allowing the muscles to be used correctly by keeping bones and joints in correct alignment which decreases the risk of arthritis and joint pain.

-Helps prevent muscle pain and back strain

-Reduces stress on ligaments in the spine

-Helps muscles to work better, allowing the body to use less energy which reduces fatigue.

If you do feel achy after a day at the office, here are my top tips to help you maintain better posture whilst sat at your desk:

Ensure you have the correct seating

Ergonomic chairs take posture problems into consideration. These types of chairs have all the features including back rests, that support the natural curve of your spine and head rests that support your posture whilst you’re sitting. With adjustable height and back settings to make sure your feet are flat on the floor at a 90-degree angle and parallel to the hips at all times, ergonomic chairs evoke good posture.

Uncross your legs

Women in particular are guilty of sitting with their legs crossed throughout the day. Although sitting this way comes natural to many of us and feels like a comfortable position, it is terrible for your circulation and posture. When sat on your chair your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle, if you struggle to do this, try placing your feet on a box or a foot rest.

Stand up

Sit-stand desks are a great way to stop poor posture. When you’re feeling lethargic and slouching in your chair, they allow you to get up and stand for a while. Standing up at your desk helps with circulation and can also improve your overall health!

Stretch

It’s important to stretch throughout the day to get blood flowing around your body. Simple arm, leg and neck stretches can be done whilst sat at your desk and will help prevent you feeling stiff at the end of the working day.

Get up and move

Sitting for 8 hours a day is very dangerous and brings with it a whole host of health problems from aches and pains to diabetes. You should get up from your desk and walk around at least once every hour of the working day. If there’s lifts in your workplace- take the stairs, park further away from the building and go and speak to your colleagues across the office instead of pinging them an email. Activity gives you and instant energy boost that will make it easier to maintain better posture once your sat back at your desk.

 

Simon Clark - Interiors Specialist
This post was written by
Simon Clark - Interiors Specialist

As one of our Office Interiors experts, Simon’s passion for designing dream workspaces is contagious. With over 25 years experience, you can be confident your project is in safe hands.

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How bringing the outdoors into the office can benefit your employees

Adding nature and greenery to your office design can have both physical and psychological benefits for your employees.

Office workers spend on average 90% of their time indoors, however bringing the outdoors into office buildings, can offer some of the benefits that are lost when you spend the majority of your day inside.

Studies have found that employees are happier and more productive when their office is filled with greenery. There are many other benefits to having plants in your work place, these are:

Less Dust

Plants don’t only add oxygen to the air and reduce the levels of carbon dioxide, they also act as an air purifier and remove any toxins from paints, plastics and chemicals. As plants have a large surface area, they also help to filter out dust and impurities, which results in a cleaner, healthier working environment.

Happier employees

Bland offices with no colour, pictures or plants have been described as ‘the most toxic space’ that you can put a human being into. When employees work in a bare, dull environment, it doesn’t provide a happy, creative workspace that encourages creativity and productivity.

Research has shown that adding greenery to your office can boost your employees overall moral and improve performance. Colourful plants can help liven up an office, creating a calmer and more enjoyable working environment.

Reduced Sickness

Office workers often spend the majority of their day indoors, starring at a computer screen. This can lead to many health problems such as fatigue, headaches, dry skin and even asthma. However, research has found that offices that contained plants saw a significant reduction of the following common health related issues:

Fatigue – reduced by 20%

Headaches – reduced by 30%

Coughs- reduced by 40%

Sore throats – reduced by 30%

Dry skin– reduced by 25%


A boost in Productivity

Studies have shown that having plants around the office can boost employee productivity by up to 15%.  It has also been shown that office plants can increase the level of focus, workplace satisfaction and the air quality around the office was also seen to improve . Plants can reduce stress levels, increase attention span and increase wellbeing, whilst also removing toxins from the air, which makes for happier, healthier and more productive staff members.

 

Which plants are the best for the office? 

Rubber plant- Known for the ability to remove toxins from the air.

English Ivy – This plant can help eliminate mould and air born faecal particles. This plant is ideal for offices that don’t have much fresh air circulating.

Mother- In- Law’s Tongue – Also good at ridding the air of pollutants.

Aloe– Aloe plants are small enough to sit on desks and also have air filtering qualities.

Lemon Balm– Lemon balm plants have been proven to improve moods and boost workplace wellness.

 

As the research shows it’s worth bringing plants into your workplace if you’re looking for a way to boost productivity. Not only are office plants easy to add to your working environment and low maintenance, they also offer long-term benefits that can help with focus and overall employee moral.

 

 

 

Simon Clark - Interiors Specialist
This post was written by
Simon Clark - Interiors Specialist

As one of our Office Interiors experts, Simon’s passion for designing dream workspaces is contagious. With over 25 years experience, you can be confident your project is in safe hands.

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How to stop the spread of germs in your office

The moment you hear your colleague coughing and sneezing, you know that germs are going to be spread around to everyone else in the office. Office desks are a hotspot for germs, where they quickly fester and multiply. Water fountains, kettles, photocopiers and break out areas can be covered with nasty bacteria as well. Although the domino effect does apply to workplace illness, there are steps you can take to ensure you don’t catch the latest bug.

Keep your distance

If one of your colleagues seems like they’re coming down with something, avoid close contact and make sure you don’t share pens, snacks and phones.

Avoid touching your face

Try not to touch your nose, mouth or eyes throughout the day. Every time you do this, any germs you’ve picked up from phones, door knobs or appliances will transfer onto you and increase your chances of picking up an illness.

Clean your workspace

Having a dirty, messy desk gives bacteria and germs the perfect place to live and multiply. Make sure you wipe down your desk at least once a week and don’t leave any dirty cups or food containers lying around.

 

Use disinfecting wipes

You should always keep a pack of disinfecting wipes on your desk. Particularly if you eat lunch at your desk, it’s important to wipe down your desk before and after. You should also use wipes to clean your phone, keyboard and shared items such as microwaves and kettles.

Wash your hands with soap and water

As adults, being told by your employer to make sure you wash your hands can seem very patronising but it is one of the most important parts of stopping the spread of germs. Briefly running your hands under water won’t get rid of any germs. It’s important to wash your hands with soap and water and make sure they are properly dried before leaving the toilet.

Keep hand sanitizer on your desk

Use hand sanitizer throughout the day, especially after having used shared office supplies and appliances. This will stop you from spreading germs around the office and will help you fight off any harmful bacteria you could have picked up from your colleagues.

Don’t cover your mouth or nose with your hands

Make sure you never cough or sneeze into your hands even if you’re not ill, make sure you always cough and sneeze into a tissue or your inner arm. Coughing and sneezing into your hands can cause germs to spread like wildfire from everything you touch throughout the day.

 

Educate others

It’s a team effort to keep an office clean and free of nasty germs. Educate your colleagues about the spreading of germs in the workplace and the importan. Lead by example, take the time to clean your desk and shared appliances and ensure that you regularly wash your hands and sanitise throughout the day.

 

 

Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist
This post was written by
Pam Wakefield - Facilities Supplies Specialist

Illuminate your workspace with Rexel ActiVita desk lamps.

It’s not just where you sit, it’s the environment in which you work. Much has been said about the benefits of moving around in the day whilst at work and products such as Sit Stand desks and work platforms etc. But what about other areas of the office environment?

 What do we know about daylight?

It is clear that daylight has the power to energise us. At midday, in clear weather conditions, daylight measures at a colour ‘temperature’ of 6,500 Kelvin. At such high colour temperatures, the brain will begin to release the hormone serotonin, which actively brightens your mood and helps to increase concentration. In simple terms, daylight will trigger activity in the brain, leaving people feeling much more energised and alert.

So can daylight help us to be more efficient when we’re at work too?

A study by the Green Building Council would suggest that this is the case. It found that staff members in an office that were exposed to more daylight were 18% more productive. However, ensuring that sufficient daylight is available to everyone in order to achieve this can be problematic.

The right light for everyone

Managers strive to provide an environment that will help employees increase their output whilst supporting the health and wellbeing of their team members, reducing absenteeism where possible. Generally employees want to work in a bright, clear and comfortable environment. They also want to avoid eye strain and fatigue that is so often caused by dull overhead fluorescent office lighting.

These aims can be achieved by increasing the quality and amount of light available in the working environment. Everyone will react differently to light levels and it can be incredibly difficult to provide light conditions that suit everyone and boost overall efficiency.

A solution that works

Rexel has developed a personal lighting solution to overcome these hurdles – the ActiVita Daylight desk lamps. The innovative, affordable and contemporary lamps bring the benefits of daylight into offices, providing a much-needed boost in energy levels.

The Daylight Lamps are available in three models, each with a life of over 25 years (40,000 hours) with low levels of energy consumption. Models in the range can be adjusted for different purposes, including ‘Daylight’ that aims to boost alertness, ‘Warm’ that helps the mind to relax for activities such as reading and ‘Cool’ to brighten the workspace. LCD panels on the ActiVita Pod+ and Strip+ display a calendar, clock and temperature, with the added benefit of a USB port for charging mobile devices on the Strip+.

In ‘Daylight Mode’, ActiVita’s blue LEDs emit a colour temperature of 6,500 Kelvin, the all-important level that causes serotonin to be released in the brain. Users are able to adjust their desk lamp to position the light wherever they need it.

Boosting daylight in the office can be a challenge but with ActiVita desk lamps, it’s never been easier to work brighter.

Watch the Rexel ActiVita Pod+ video below:

 

Contact us to find out more about the Rexel ActiVita Daylight range.

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Stand up for a healthier way of working with Fellowes Sit-Stand solutions

Many of us would claim we lead a healthy and active lifestyle. From regular gym sessions and sporting activities, to scrutinising the ingredients in our favourite foods. It seems there is a growing awareness of the importance of being fit and healthy. But the minute we walk in to work we sit down at our desk, start working, and rarely move for the vast majority of the day.

Sitting is a part of everyday life. We are all sitting longer than we should, whether it’s sitting in the car on the way to work, sitting for the entire day whilst at work and then followed by more hours of sitting we get home. That is a lot of sitting, but unfortunately some people are unaware of the health risks linked to a sedentary lifestyle.

Having a sedentary lifestyle can have serious health implications as sitting is not just bad for your back; it affects your breathing, digestion and every aspect of your health, along with your brain engagement and focus. Many health experts are calling it the ‘new smoking’ in terms of health implications, after citing it as a major cause of rising obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It’s then no surprise that research shows one hour of daily gym-time is easily offset by over seven hours sat at a computer screen.

Recent Fellowes research reveals that 48% of workers suffer from back problems, 42% neck problems, 39% fatigue and 38% headaches because of this. And, troublingly for employers, a sizeable number of them are happy to attribute their ailments to the long periods of time they spend working at a computer, or a laptop.

 

What’s the solution?

Although prolonged sitting can be extremely damaging for your health, just standing instead is not a complete solution. Standing over a prolonged period can be harmful to your back and lower limbs, with aching feet and swollen legs being just two of the most common complaints. Getting the right balance of sitting and standing is essential and there are many ways to do this.

The new LOTUS™ Sit-Stand Workstation from Fellowes is designed to hit these issues head on, effortlessly taking desk working to a higher level. The intuitive Sit-Stand working solution encourages desk-based employees to work actively and introduce more movement into their day, rather than being sat in one sedentary position for hours at a time.

Such functionality is essential when you consider that 71% of UK workers believe the longer they stay sitting at their desks, the harder they find it to stay alert. While 55% admit to poor posture at their desks and 58% agree that their work would be better quality if they stood up to work sometimes.

With the LOTUS™ it only takes a few seconds to transform your desk into a height-adjustable workstation. You are provided with a large work area for all of your equipment to move with you too, without the inconvenience of needing to replace your existing desk furniture. All of this helps to make the transition between sitting and standing a seamless process.

Other key features include:

  • Parent-pending Smooth Lift Technology™ keeps workstations stable and makes changing positions effortless
  • 22 different height settings so your employees can work in a positon that’s perfect for them
  • An innovative cord management and device charging slot to allow your employee’s entire workspace to move freely with them

It also arrives fully assembled, so you can join the sit stand revolution in a matter of moments.

Check out the Lotus video:

In Scandinavian countries, such as Denmark and Sweden, 88% of office workers are already using Sit-Stand desks as a way of tackling workplace health issues and feeling the benefits, so it’s an obvious move for other European countries to follow suit.

Stephen Bowden, Chartered Ergonomist for Morgan Maxwell on behalf of Fellowes UK commented:

“Sit-Stand products can introduce the idea of how simple movements from sitting to standing can have massive health and wellbeing benefits. The Sit-Stand desk is the first step in getting people moving which is what the human body is designed to do.

“People focus on how many hours we sit for. This is incorrect. It’s how often you interrupt sitting that is good for you.

“If you do nothing else, going from sitting to standing 32-36 times per day which will help reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.”

Ultimately, a more active work life leads to more dynamic, focused and productive teams.

See how the LOTUS™ Sit-Stand Workstation can help transform your business with our unique workplace assessment process, and try before you buy. Contact us for more information.

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