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Think Differently

Top 3 Summer Office Myths… Busted!

By | Think Differently, Work Better

Think Differently

Part 4

As the Met Office releases warnings that we’re in for a heatwave, we examine some of the top myths about working during hot weather…

1. Myth – you can you legally go home if it’s too hot

Sadly, no! There is no legal maximum temperature for a workplace in the UK, but there are lots of guidelines around to encourage managers to keep the workplace comfortable for employees during the summer.

For most people, 30 degrees really is the maximum temperature you would want to be experiencing at work, but if your job is very physical, that may well be too much.

Our advice? Get chatting to management now about what they can do to make work more bearable in the heatwave – get stocked with cold drinks and fans now to make sure you’re ready to beat the heat!

Beat the heat…

Shop our great deals on fans and cold drinks!

SHOP FAN AND DRINK SALE

2. Myth – fans work by making the room cooler

The honest answer is they don’t make the actual room cooler – but they do make you cooler!

Essentially, the fan moves the air across your skin, and this helps to lower your body temperature. So make sure you’ve got your fans set up in the best position to travel over you and your colleagues for the right effect.

Consider small clip fans if it’s hard to position larger fans to reach everybody in your office space!

Our advice? If the temperature outside is cooler than inside, try placing your fan by the window where it will draw in the cooler air – this will help to cool the whole room!

Even better is if you can open two windows on opposing sides of the room, and place one fan pointing outwards – this will draw the hot air out, which will be replaced by the cool air coming in from the window opposite! Genius!

Beating the heat with your water bottle? Why not add a fruity twist!

These fruity sugar-free infusion bags come in three delicious flavours… add a twist to still and sparkling water!

SHOP COLD WATER INFUSIONS

3. Myth – you should keep the windows open

Not necessarily! The crucial factor here is whether the temperature outside is hotter or colder than the temperature inside.

Sometimes, it’s better to get those windows closed and shade them with blinds or curtains, to stop the temperature climbing higher indoors.

Our advice? The hottest portion of the day is generally from 11am-3pm, so keep an eye on the climate during this time to work out when would be best to open or close the office windows!

Customised water bottles make the perfect corporate gift or office perk during this hot weather – why not get in touch to find out more about our amazing promotional water bottle range?

GET IN TOUCH

Just a quick post this week, but we hope this will help you out as you work through the heatwave (or perhaps you’re escaping on a lovely holiday?)

Have a great week!

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

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!

Do Hot Drinks Really Cool You Down?

By | Think Differently, Work Better

Think Differently

Part 3

Here in the Office Needs marketing department, we’re big fans of tea and coffee alike! However, in this hot weather, it’s not always tempting to sip on a piping hot beverage – but are we missing out on some cooling benefits?

For some time now, the debate has raged as to whether drinking a hot beverage on a hot day cools you down. We round up the evidence and present our argument…

Tea and coffee should cool you down…

When you drink a hot drink, this briefly raises your internal temperature. This might seem counterproductive if you’re trying to cool down, but in fact, this can actually help!

As your internal temperature rises, your body will respond by starting to sweat – and crucially, the output of sweat is greater than the internal heat gain, meaning that you end up cooler overall than when you started. This phenomenon was recorded by Ollie Jay, a researcher from the University of Ottawa’s School of Human Kinetics – and it sounds like an excuse for a cup of coffee if we ever heard one!

Has this post got you fancying a nice hot cup of coffee? Stock up now and get an even more delicious break!

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…but only in the right environment!

When our bodies sweat, the cooling effect is caused by the moisture evaporating. In order to evaporate, sweat is essentially using some of our body’s heat in order to turn into vapour, and therefore leaves us slightly cooler overall.

This means there is one crucial factor in whether more sweating will cool you down – can that sweat evaporate?

If you’re not wearing breathable clothing, or you’re in a very humid environment, then your body isn’t going to get much cooling benefit from sweating.

So before you reach for your cuppa to cool down, make sure you would actually be able to feel the positive effect!

BONUS TIP: is your cuppa the best hydration on a hot day?

Debates have raged for some time about whether the diuretic effects of coffee and tea are enough to outweigh their hydrating benefits (i.e. as you’ll need to urinate more often, will you become more dehydrated as a result). However, currently most thinking seems to point towards coffee and tea being fine as part of your daily hydration.

Having said this – do you really want to be consuming all of your daily hydration in the form of tea and coffee? While tempting, you’re not really advised to drink more than 5 cups of tea or 4 cups of coffee a day, and that’s not enough to keep you properly hydrated.

So while you might want to see whether your daily brew really can make you feel cooler, don’t forget to include plenty of water in your hydration routine too. See our previous blog post for tips to motivate yourself into drinking more!

Looking for a different way to enjoy water?

These fruity sugar-free infusion bags come in three delicious flavours… add a twist to still and sparkling water!

SHOP COLD WATER INFUSIONS

Beat the heat…

Shop our great deals on fans and cold drinks!

SHOP FAN AND DRINK SALE

We hope this post might have inspired you to try using a hot beverage to cool down – we certainly still enjoy a cup of coffee in the heat! Why not tell us your favourite tips for staying cool in a warm workplace?

Have a great week!

Join us next week for Part 4 of ‘Think Differently’!

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!

How to make water the new coffee in your office…

By | Think Differently, Work Better

Think Differently

Part 2

Here in the Office Needs marketing department, removing our supply of coffee would not make for a happy workforce! However, in this hot weather, it’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough to stay properly hydrated… and hitting your daily total with coffee alone isn’t necessarily a good idea.

If you know that you and your team are going to take a bit of pressure to get drinking more water into your daily routines, don’t despair! We’ve got some tips to help you out…

1. Put your best bottle forward

Depending on how your office mug system works, you may well already be rocking your favourite mug every time there’s a coffee round. But have you considered the aesthetic benefits of a great looking water bottle to brighten up your desk (and show off how organised you are in this hot weather?)

The water bottle market has really skyrocketed in the last few years, with options available that can do everything from infusing your water with fruit, to keeping it super chilled. If you want to lead the charge among your team to get better hydrated, we recommend grabbing a great looking fruit-infuser bottle and showing off a tempting infusion of fresh mint, strawberries, cucumber and orange. Who can resist a bottle of Pimms’ inspired water?

TIP: You can also tempt your team into getting hydrated by handing out company-branded water bottles to beat the heat! These also make a fabulous corporate gift during this hot weather, and really aren’t as expensive as you might think. If you’d like to enquire about getting some printed, get in touch today!

Customised water bottles make the perfect corporate gift or office perk during this hot weather – why not get in touch to find out more about our amazing promotional water bottle range?

GET IN TOUCH

2. Try to hit a daily target

You’ll find a lot of conflicting information out there about how much water to drink in a day – and the truth is, it depends! Factors like climate and the amount of exercise you’re doing will affect the amount of fluids you need to consume in order to stay hydrated.

The general advice in the UK’s climate seems to average out at around 2 litres a day – which equates to about eight glasses (although this of course varies depending on the size of glass you’re using!) If you’re struggling to measure intake, using a water bottle with a known size is a great way to keep track of what you’re drinking – the one sitting on my desk right now hydrates me 800ml at a time.

An important tip is that this target should include the water you’re taking in from ALL the fluids and foods you’re consuming. So eating a fruit salad during your lunch break is going to contribute more to this total than a stack of biscuits (not that we’re judging… we all get through Mondays in different ways!)

Also remember to adjust this upwards if it’s a boiling hot day and you’re running around a lot – but don’t overdo it too much. Overhydration is a serious risk, and comes with a lot of the same nasty symptoms as dehydration – including nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. So while you should hit your target every day, don’t overstretch too much!

These fruity sugar-free infusion bags come in three delicious flavours… add a twist to still and sparkling water!

SHOP COLD WATER INFUSIONS

3. Make the water more interesting…

So we’ve mentioned infuser bottles above, but they’re not the only way to motivate you to stay hydrated – plain water definitely isn’t everyone’s favourite beverage!

Sometimes, getting the fresh fruit/botanicals necessary for a great infusion just isn’t practical, and that’s where having a good stash of drink options in the office helps to keep the team hydrated and happy.

Having sugar-free options is important during intensely hot weather, as high sugar concentrations can act as a diuretic in a similar way to coffee. Our current favourite products are Twining’s Cold Infusions – these clever little bags give a hit of flavour to your water without the need for sugar, and at 4p a cup, it’s hard to argue with the price too!

Beat the heat…

Shop our great deals on fans and cold drinks!

SHOP FAN AND DRINK SALE

We hope this post might have inspired you to keep happy and hydrated in the office this summer, and we’d love to hear any tips you have for making sure you hit your water total every day!

Have a great week!

Join us next week for Part 3 of ‘Think Differently’!

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!

Top 4 reasons to try hot desking in your office

By | Think Differently, Work Better

Think Differently

Part 1

Here at Office Needs, we know that making changes to your space and way of working can feel a bit daunting – but often, making those changes is the start of a wonderful journey towards a more effective team! This week, we explore the benefits of switching to a hot desking system…

I’ve worked in all kinds of offices – including hot desking! Having tried it myself, I’m a big fan of this style of working for a number of reasons, and I wanted to share these with you all below… do any of them sound like things your team would like to try?

1. Unlock more space!

How many of us look around our offices sometimes and see several empty desks? Most offices have a team that comes in and out on different days – whether that’s due to part-time work, working from home or colleagues that travel between different offices.

While there can be many reasons for having a fixed desk setup (particularly paper-heavy offices that need more fixed storage, for example), it’s worth considering how much space you would open up by switching to a hot desking system.

Simply by having an IT system that can support logging on from different desks, offering lockers instead of fixed desk drawers or pedestals, and ensuring there’s enough communal storage for shared resources and paperwork, you can easily transform your current office into a hot desking paradise.

Having more space available means you could create a new, effective breakout area or meeting space – these are often at a premium in workplaces, and it’s always great to find you’ve got room for one more! Plus, you don’t need to panic about acoustic overspill if you’re fitting them into an existing office – check out our beautiful range of acoustic workspaces for some stunning (but very practical!) inspiration.

Not sure where to start on transforming your workspace? Don’t worry – we can help! Our free space planning service is a great way to get experts to do the tricky bits for you, and help you get creative without the stress!

FIND OUT MORE

2. You can still have lovely-looking desktops – and your team can work together to make it happen!

Some teams do worry that a hot desking environment can leave things feeling a bit soulless – without any chance to personalise a desk, the office might lose a bit of colour and personality.

However, this can be turned into a positive challenge for a team – why not choose key desk accessories and decorations that everyone enjoys, and would like to be communally available? For example, a nice desk plant is something that any occupant might enjoy, and could be left behind for the next user (see our previous post on great desk plants for tips on what to choose).

TIP: You don’t even need to panic too much about a watering rota if you’ve got succulents or cacti that shouldn’t be watered by every new occupant – pop a post-it note on the plant when you’ve last given it a drink, and your colleagues will know whether it’s due the next one!

3. Take the opportunity to refresh the furniture – and get some huge benefits as a result!

If you’re going to hot desk, there are a few tricky considerations you must bear in mind – if you and your colleagues are going to have ergonomically effective furniture, it needs to adapt to everyone’s comfortable body position to ensure you’re not causing extra stresses and strains on your body (especially as human beings aren’t well suited to sitting down for 8 hours a day!).

But don’t panic! There’s a pair of great solutions to this problem – namely fully adjustable desks, and fully adjustable chairs!

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know we often talk about why sit-stand working is the way forward – read our previous blog if you want to find out more about why standing is the new sitting. In a hot desking environment, a height adjustable desk means every user can find the ideal position for them – whether sitting or standing. Perfect!

Fully adjustable chairs also mean that every user finds a good position for them. While it might seem like a hassle to get your chair into the perfect combination of settings each time, the skill of knowing how to find the right seating position is crucial if you want to have good posture in the office, so practise isn’t a bad thing! And with a chair like the Office Needs Alpha, adjusting is an absolute breeze.

4. Our top reason – get to know your colleagues better!

This might seem obvious, but hot desking really is a great way to bond a team! If you always sit with the same people around you, chances are you’ll be talking to them every day, and not necessarily chatting with someone who sits across the room from you.

However, the chance to move around and sit next to someone different has all kinds of benefits. Not only does it bring your whole team closer together by giving you a chance to interact with everyone, it also means you might just find out more about what someone else is working on! The little conversations that happen naturally during the working day might just give you some helpful insight into where someone else’s project or task is at, and what it could mean for your own work.

It also gives you a great way to kickstart other useful team bonding – after all, people are much more inclined to participate in after-work socialising or volunteering on an extra task like Christmas party-organising if there’s going to be more familiar faces joining in.

Get inspired!

If you want to start thinking about your ideal hot desking space, but can’t visualise it yet, why not head on over to our online furniture showroom for some inspiration? Then just get in touch when you’re ready to get started…

VISIT ONLINE SHOWROOM

BONUS TIP: Every little change helps…

Even if you’re not up for a huge overhaul of your furniture in order to start hot desking, it’s worth thinking again about making it a nice group space – you and your team might want to take a good look at your office and consider whether adding a splash of colour or some funky upgrades might help to make it feel like everyone’s space.

We’re happy to help match fabric colours to existing pieces if you want to take a colour you already love in your office and spread it elsewhere – or help you pick a whole new scheme! Creating a hot desking office really can be as big or small a project as you feel comfortable with.

We hope this post might have inspired you to consider hot desking, and don’t hesitate to ask us for help and advice if you’d like to get your office transformation project started!

Have a great week!

Join us next week for Part 2 of ‘Think Differently’!

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!