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Help Us Help You

Crossing the Finish Line

By | Help Us Help You, Work Better

Help Us Help You

Part 4

Welcome to the final part of our new monthly theme – this March, we’re asking you to Help Us Help You! We’re feeling grateful to all our lovely customers for helping us get 2018 off to a flying start, and that’s why we want to theme our next posts around all the things we like to do in order to make your work day a bit brighter.

Firstly, we want to say a big…

Thank You!

…to all our customers who have decided to opt in to our mailing list! We’re getting ourselves ready for GDPR, so wanted to refresh everyone’s email permissions to make sure you’re happy to hear from us after May 25th.

If you haven’t done it yet, but want to make sure you’re on our list, it’s not too late to opt in! Just click here, and then follow the instructions for either joining the list for the first time, or confirming you still want to receive our emails.

OPT IN TO OUR MAILING LIST

In this final entry in our Help Us Help You series, we’re thinking about the end of the financial year! We always have lots of customers looking for certain products at this time, so we wanted to do a quick round-up of popular purchases before the rush (and give our blog readers a heads up about some great prices too…)

1 – Clear out your old files

You’re probably tired of hearing about GDPR by now, but we know that a big change for a lot of companies is going to be in how data is handled and either retained or disposed of.

Rolling over to the new fiscal year is as good a time as any to do a proper clear-out of any old files or information on record that are no longer required, or no longer legally allowed to be kept.

Don’t forget that your paper records are just the tip of the iceberg! If you’re carrying out data mapping as part of your GDPR preparations, you’re probably now familiar with how many digital data entry points your business has. Chances are that for every entry point, you probably have an archive of the data that’s flowed through it – and some of this data may be reaching the end of its sensible retention period.

2 – Store your new files

Once you’ve securely dealt with all of the documentation your company doesn’t want, it’s time to think about where everything that you do want is going to go.

If you’re sitting there (like me!) with a groaning drawer after a busy year, then you’re probably also sharing my desire for some new storage space! Luckily, we anticipated that this might happen for our customers at this time of year, so we’re offering some great prices on places to secure your documents.

We offer a wide range of storage solutions to suit any needs – lockable storage like a pedestal or a cabinet offers a secure way to keep documents safe (and data protection compliant!), or more conventional options like  storage boxes that can be tucked away into a cupboard or under a desk.

3 – Treat Yourself!

You made it to the end of another financial year, and that alone warrants a reward!

Why not treat yourself (and your coworkers) to some sweet treats – like a sharing-sized box of biscuits, or a coffee and a Kit-Kat from one of our Nestle break packs? One of these has been circulating our office for the last couple of days, and it was a lovely excuse to share a treat and decompress as the financial year winds to a close. It’s definitely my favourite product out of our current special offers…

Only a short post this week, as we get ready to restart the fiscal calendar for a whole new business year! We’ll be back next week with a brand new monthly topic, but until then don’t forget to place any orders early for anything needed over the Easter weekend, as we won’t be open on Good Friday or Easter Monday!

Join us next week for the first part of a new theme!

If you’ve got thoughts on what you’d like us to cover next, why not get in touch with us on social media? We’d love to hear from you!

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Want to be more productive throughout 2018?

Keep up with this blog for tips, tricks and great products to help you!

Take Back Your Hour

By | Help Us Help You, Work Better

Help Us Help You

Part 3

Welcome to the third part of our new monthly theme – this March, we’re asking you to Help Us Help You! We’re feeling grateful to all our lovely customers for helping us get 2018 off to a flying start, and that’s why we want to theme our next posts around all the things we like to do in order to make your work day a bit brighter.

In this third entry in our Help Us Help You series, we’re looking at time management – something that’s all the more important with daylight saving time about to take an hour from the day! Stay with us for a roundup of some of the efficiency tips and tricks that we find most useful around the office…

1 – Get Enough Sleep

The best preparation for the day ahead actually comes from the night before – getting a good night’s sleep! A tired mind is nowhere near as focussed as a well-rested and alert one, and getting into work with half of your brain still asleep is a sure-fire way to lose the first hour (or hours!) of productivity at work.

Commuting can be a helpful delay while your mind wakes up, and the caffeine in a good cup of coffee or tea can do wonders to help kickstart the process. If you take a bus or train to work, reading the news or something similarly ‘highbrow’ on the way is a nice low-effort way of engaging your brain without overtaxing it before its fully warmed up.

2 – Analyse Your Current Routine

An important starting point is to take an objective and critical look at your current workflow. Almost nobody is 100% productive at all times in the day – and that’s absolutely okay! – so it’s good to be aware of when and how exactly we lose time throughout each working day.

Time-traps like social media are very common features on most people’s ‘lost time’ itineraries, but you might be surprised by some of the other, more insidious ways that productivity is lost. Whether it’s simple procrastination at your desk, or getting caught up in a conversation with the guys from upstairs – time can often slip away alarmingly easily without us even knowing.

There are many various activity trackers available online that make plotting your use of time a simple and unobtrusive task, and can be a great help in identifying when you’re fully committed to the task in hand, and what kind of distractions tend to be responsible when you’re not.

3 – To Do List

Being organised is one of the most valuable tools in the workplace – and almost any other setting, too. Knowing what exactly you need to do over the course of the day, the week, or the month is the first step in turning an idea into a reality.

Setting yourself a weekly plan on Sunday night, or first thing in the morning on Monday, will help keep daily tasks on track, and can make it much easier to re-budget time if things don’t go quite to plan as the week progresses.

Once you complete a task, mark it as done on your list rather than deleting it – while a long list of uncompleted entries can look daunting on Monday, seeing the completed section growing all the way through to Friday is a real boost!

For a much more detailed look at how to most effectively manage a long list of tasks, check out our post about the 1-3-5 Rule, a simple but effective way of making multiple tasks more manageable!

READ THE BLOG POST

4 – Prioritise Tasks

This tip is so important that we wrote a whole blog post about our favourite system for doing so!

It’s incredibly important to be realistic with your time expectations when plotting a course of action for the day. This is where the previous tips all come together; analysing your routine and your current workflow should provide you with a good foundation to base your estimates on.

Always err on the side of caution, allowing slightly more time than you truly think a task will take – in any worst case scenarios it’ll give you a little bit of wiggle-room if a deadline is getting tight, but ideally it’ll mean you have at least a small breather between tasks if you can stay on track and on schedule all the way through to the finish.

Lots of tasks will have overlapping skills or mindsets. Where possible, try to group like tasks – it’ll help keep you in the zone once you get into a good flow, whilst still giving enough variety to hopefully avoid getting burned out on one long monotonous effort.

5 – Kill Your Darlings 

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever had for any kind of creative endeavour comes from the great Stephen King (whilst indirectly quoting William Faulkner) – to kill your darlings.

It might sound a little macabre, but the idea is that no idea or piece of work will ever be completely perfect, and so getting caught up in trying to make it so is a distraction that leads nowhere. If you can honestly say that’s good enough, and fits all of the brief, then you’ve reached a natural finish line in that project – while endless tinkering and adjusting can feel valuable, it’s important to be objective about your projects and recognise when you’re free to move on. There’s no need to unnecessarily add to your workload when that time can be better spent on another project, rather than sinking more and more time into a personal ‘darling’.

Never be afraid to step back, or to cut your losses, or even to simply discard a project and start again if there’s a better or more expedient way of doing it that will save you time in the long run.

There is no such thing as true perfection – so don’t be afraid to kill your darlings if they’re holding you back.

6 – Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

In our increasingly fast-paced world, there are often times when the goalposts will be moved midway through a project, or the dreaded “one other little thing” gets dropped – and inevitably turns out to actually be a rather large thing…

The main point of analysing your workflow is to know your limits – so if more work is being piled on and you know that there’s no realistic way you’ll be able to get through it all in time, be honest about it – both to yourself, and to your boss!

It might sound hard to believe for some of us, but even the management are human too – 100% effort is a reasonable expectation of your workforce, but it’s literally impossible to give any more (despite what motivational posters might tell you!), and it’s unreasonable to expect as much.

As long as you can hand-on-heart say that you’re working as hard as you can, never feel like you have to suffer unreasonable expectations in silence. Ultimately it’s only going to slow you down – either through spreading yourself too thin, or simply adding huge amounts of stress that causes quality of work to suffer.

7 – Take Breaks 

Last, but by no means least, is another topic we’ve touched on in previous blog posts – the importance of taking breaks!

It might sound strange after reading about how important it is to avoid unnecessary distractions, but the human brain generally stays focussed for around 90 minutes at a time, and performance past that point will usually see diminishing returns.

Breaks don’t have to be long – the most useful breaks are often only a few minutes – just time enough to take you away from a project long enough to let your mind move on a little, so that when you return you’ll be returning with a refreshed perspective on what you’re doing.

We wrote a blog post on some simple ways to Stay Happier in the Workplace, and taking breaks is just as important for your wellbeing as your productivity! Hit the button for more details, and some other helpful tips besides! 

READ THE BLOG POST

That’s all from me this week, but hopefully reading this blog hasn’t taken any more time out of your day than you can get back with some of the listed tips! We’ll be back next week with our final part of the Help Us Help You series – have a great and healthy week in the meantime

And don’t forget – the clocks go forward at 1am on Sunday the 25th of March! 

Join us next week for the Final Part of ‘Help Us Help You’!

If you’ve got thoughts on what you’d like us to cover next, why not get in touch with us on social media? We’d love to hear from you!

Find Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter

Want to be more productive throughout 2018?

Keep up with this blog for tips, tricks and great products to help you!

Did You Know…?

By | Help Us Help You, Work Better

Help Us Help You

Part 2

Hello!

Welcome to the second part of our new monthly theme – this March, we’re asking you to Help Us Help You! We’re feeling grateful to all our lovely customers for helping us get 2018 off to a flying start, and that’s why we want to theme our next posts around all the things we like to do in order to make your work day a bit brighter.

We’re proud to offer a wide variety of products and services, all intended to help you work better. But with so many choices on offer, we know that not all our customers are aware of the wide range of options available through Office Needs!

So here’s a run-down of our favourite products and services that you might not know we can offer you (although regular followers of this blog might spot some familiar ideas)…

1. Tech you never knew you needed… until now!

Always running low on battery when you’re on the move?

Tired of your iPhone running out of storage space?

Need to move some sensitive documents, and don’t know how to keep them secure?

We can literally help with all of those problems, for a great price! We love our range of tech products, and are always adding new and helpful additions to get you through any challenge your workday throws at you.

In fact, we’ve actually lowered the price of some handy chargers, iOS memory sticks and encrypted drives to help you out with all the problems listed above… we want to help our blog readers out, after all!

SHOP TECH SALE

Business Stationery from…

Just £19* for 250 business cards
Just £59* for 1000 letterheads
Just £29* for 500 compliment slips

2. Stand out with promotional print and business gifts

We like helping our customers stand out, and what better way to do so than by helping you create some beautiful print? We’ve currently got some great prices available on business stationery, and we always enjoy hunting out the perfect printed gifts to impress your customers with.

Plus, one of our favourite parts of now having an in-house marketing and design team is that we can offer artwork services! So if you need someone to help you create your next eye-catching business card, or help you perfect a layout, then get in touch to request our services. We’d be happy to help!

FIND OUT MORE

3. Take the weight off your mind with secure shredding

For followers of this blog, you’ll hopefully already be aware of our great shredding service, as we’ve been keen to tell you all about it as the new GDPR legislation approaches!

We know that destroying sensitive documents is a regular necessity for a lot of businesses, which is why for anyone with a high volume of confidential waste, we recommend having a chat with us about this service.

FIND OUT MORE

This stunning 501-33 series sit-stand desk starts from just £350*

VIEW THIS DESK

*excluding VAT, based on 1200mm sit-stand workstation, delivery only

4. Stand up for your health with sit – stand desks

 

You might have heard some of the buzz around sit-stand workspaces… and for good reason!

This innovative new way of working combines brilliant desk technology with a fundamental truth… human beings don’t work best when sitting down all day.

Researchers from a range of notable institutions have discovered benefits from spending your working day both standing and sitting – to find out more, why not click here to read our previous blog post about sit-stand desks?

You can also browse some of our striking sit-stand options over on our online furniture showroom, or why not get in touch to find out more about how we can transform your office into a productive, healthy, sit-stand workspace?

BROWSE SIT-STAND OPTIONS

5. Great chairs – at really great prices!

We talk a lot about finding the right chair – and we have a huge range of practical and stylish options available. But we also know that getting a great price on a chair can really make your day, which is why we’ve dropped the prices of some of our favourite ready-to-buy options!

So take a peek at our chair sale, and grab yourself a bargain now…

SHOP CHAIR SALE

Don’t forget, we also list all kinds of beautiful chair and seating options over on our online furniture showroom too…

VISIT ONLINE FURNITURE SHOWROOM

Tired of the stresses of managing your own printers, ink and toner?

Let us help

6. Save time, money and hassle with Managed Print Services…

What’s more frustrating than having an unproductive day as the result of a broken printer? Knowing you could have done something about it!

We think Managed Print Services are a real no-brainer for forward-thinking businesses. With a range of options including whether you want to own or lease your machine, ways to track your usage and automatically order consumables, and most importantly great maintenance and service packages – why not discover why MPS is quietly revolutionising the way we print?

FIND OUT MORE

That’s all from me this week, but I hope you enjoy finding out more about all the great options above – and don’t forget, we always love hearing from customers if you need any more information!

Join us next week for Part 3 of ‘Help Us Help You’!

If you’ve got thoughts on what you’d like us to cover next, why not get in touch with us on social media? We’d love to hear from you!

Find Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter

Want to be more productive throughout 2018?

Keep up with this blog for tips, tricks and great products to help you!

Make Your Inbox Brighter (and make our day!)

By | Help Us Help You, Work Better

Help Us Help You

Part 1

Hello!

Welcome to the first part of our new monthly theme – this March, we’re asking you to Help Us Help You! We’re feeling grateful to all our lovely customers for helping us get 2018 off to a flying start, and that’s why we want to theme our next posts around all the things we like to do in order to make your work day a bit brighter.

If you’re already an Office Needs customer, then hopefully you know how important good customer service is to us – and you can probably guess that we’re always trying to think of ways to make your experience with us even better.

But you may be aware that with changes to the data protection rules on the horizon, we’re making sure that we don’t lose one of our key tools in making you an even happier customer – staying in touch via your inbox!

So why is this on our minds?

We’re sure that by now you’re probably familiar with the term ‘GDPR’ – otherwise known as the General Data Protection Regulation. In a nutshell, this piece of legislation is all about protecting your data as an individual (so good news!)

However, for businesses, this does mean that we need to tighten up on who we’re sending messages to – GDPR puts the power firmly back in your hands about who should be getting in touch via your email inbox.

At Office Needs, happy customers are our number one priority. So we want to make sure that you continue to receive a great service, while respecting the rules of GDPR.

What does this mean?

Essentially, we just need you to confirm you’d still like to hear from us! That way, we can continue to send you messages.

But just in case you need persuading (and that’s absolutely your right under GDPR!) – we have some arguments lined up as to why we want to carry on brightening up your inbox.

1. We want you to be in the know

Whether it’s a great special offer, an exciting competition or some new products that we just know you’re going to love, we want to make sure you’re the first to know.

If we can send you emails, we can give you a heads up straight away!

As an example, we recently sent out a message about our encrypted drives, office shredders and increasingly popular shredding service – all tools that we know could take the pressure off GDPR preparations. We had some great prices on offer (including cashback on some excellent Rexel shredders), and we wanted to make sure GDPR wasn’t weighing on your wallet as well as your mind. So the best way for us to make sure you could take advantage of these prices was by sending an email!

2. We want to have ways that we can say thank you

When our customers are finding all the products they want through Office Needs at great prices, that makes us feel pretty great. But what we really like is being able to say thank you to our loyal customers by giving you something extra!

So if our customers are making our day by getting excited about our latest products (like our new obsession with Sit-Stand desks), we want to make their day by ensuring there’s a great offer on to match.

As a good example, everyone on our email list will shortly be receiving a message telling them that by confirming their place on our email list, they’ll be entered in to a prize draw to win one of our fabulous Easter prizes.

If you want your chance to win, and haven’t received your email, you know what to do – get signed up! That way in the future, every time there’s a great competition like this, or some brilliant discounts, you’ll be the first to know.

3. We want communication to be a two-way street

We love sending out discounts and prizes to our customers, but what we really love is hearing what would make your service even better.

So when it comes to staying in touch, we’re always happy to hear feedback and suggestions for ways to improve your experience – and that includes suggestions for our emails! If you have ideas for content you’d like to hear about, then please do send us a message and help us to make your inbox a more enjoyable place!

Thanks so much for reading this – after all, this blog is another way we like to stay in touch with you, and let you know what’s happening at Office Needs. Don’t forget that you can make suggestions for what you’d like to see here too!

That’s all from me this week, but check back next week for a round-up of the best products you never even knew we sold (and trust us, you’ll want to add some of these to your next order…)

Join us next week for ‘Did You Know…?’ – a product round-up of our favourite items you never knew we sold!

If you’ve got thoughts on what you’d like us to cover next, why not get in touch with us on social media? We’d love to hear from you!

Find Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter

Want to be more productive throughout 2018?

Keep up with this blog for tips, tricks and great products to help you!