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Work Smarter

Winter is coming – and so is flu season!

By | Work Better, Work Smarter

Work Smarter

Part 3

With colder weather on the way, and the school term back in full swing, it’s unfortunately time to start preparing your workplace for all the extra germs that are flying around at this time of year.

Here’s our top tips…

1. Think about a germ’s journey around your workplace

It’s worth having a good look at the space you work in, and working out how to prevent germs spreading in the highest traffic areas.

For example, is there a door that everybody has to travel through at some point during the day? Maybe consider a dispenser of alcohol gel next to it to prevent germs spreading every time somebody touches the handle.

Bathroom areas are an obvious candidate for spreading germs, but you might not have realised all the potential hazards. For example, if you have toilet roll and paper towel holders that leave them all openly exposed to the air, they’re potentially going to end up exposed to a lot of airborne germs in the toilet space. Adding a properly enclosed dispenser to your wall is an easy way to keep things a bit more hygienic.

2. Colour code for a cleaner workplace

The other easy step to keep things properly clean is to adopt a colour coding system, and only use products of a certain colour for different areas of your workplace.

The advised system goes as follows:

  • Red – Sanitary Fittings and Washroom Floors: This colour is for high-risk areas in the washroom, like toilets, urinals and washroom floors.
  • Blue – General Low Risk Areas: This colour is for general areas like desks, hallways, and general dusting and polishing.
  • Green – Food Preparation Areas: This colour is for food and drink preparation areas, including not just kitchens and bars, but also like factories where food is processed.
  • Yellow – Wash Basins and Washroom Surfaces: This colour is for all other washroom surfaces, such as sinks, mirrors, cubicles, tiled walls, glass and metal. Having two colour codes for high risk areas like washrooms ensures the same products are not used, for example, on toilet seats and bowls as on sinks and taps.

If you use separate mops, buckets and cloths for these areas, you can help to prevent cross-contamination between areas, and massively reduce the spread of germs.

Need colour coded supplies?

If this post either has you thinking about colour coding for the first time, or reminded you to stock up on colour coded products, why not grab them at a great price now from our excellent value 2Work range?

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3. Be smart about your re-stocking

The last thing you want during flu season is to run short of cleaning supplies – and while the temptation is often there to quickly grab something from the corner shop when you’re running low, cleaning products designed for home use won’t come with the necessary data sheets to make them COSHH compliant.

We recently had a chat with a supplier who pointed something out to us about the big 5-litre concentrated versions of everyday products like multipurpose cleaner. By popping one of those in your cupboard (you just need a handy pelican dispensing pump and spray bottle to use with it), you actually have the equivalent of 166 trigger sprays! So for stocking up purposes, those big sizes are pretty perfect, and take up nowhere near as much space (or cost as much) as their trigger spray equivalents.

Want to take advantage of these great space and time savings?

Check out our range of concentrate cleaners, pelican pumps and spray bottles from our great 2Work range…

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We hope these tips help to keep your office as germ-free as possible this winter – and that you all get through flu season without any nasty bugs spreading around the workplace!

Have a great week!

Join us next week for Part 4 of ‘Work Smarter’!

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!

Why a physical diary will never go out of style

By | Work Better, Work Smarter

Work Smarter

Part 2

Over the last few years, plenty of people have tried going paper-free when it comes to their planning. However, we think there are several good reasons to consider keeping physical copies of your essential planning – so the desk diary is here to stay!

Here’s our arguments…

1. Writing something down is better for processing

It is now a well-established fact that writing something down by hand is a much better way for your brain to process a piece of information, compared to typing it out or adding it to an app.

Therefore, the electronic reminder coming from your Outlook or Google calendar is all very well, but if you haven’t really engaged with the details of the appointment you put in it, that reminder is likely to come far too late to be of practical use.

For example, you need to go to an important meeting, where you’ll need to raise several key points. When you go to add it to your digital calendar, it’s done in a couple of taps, and you don’t really think about what those key points are, or the other things you therefore need to prepare. But if you’d taken those extra few seconds to write it out by hand, it could have inspired that quick and all important to-do list of research topics that you needed to check out prior to heading in (and the 30 min warning from Outlook didn’t give you enough warning to do it!)

2. You can get more creative with the format

Once you’ve selected the basic format for your physical diary, the only limit to your creative formatting choices is your imagination!

Using different coloured pens, sticky notes, writing some appointments larger, using differently shaped bullet points for types of appointment… whatever helps your brain process your plans, you can do it easily with a physical diary.

If you really want a beautiful planner, we love seeing what people are up to on Instagram with fine-liners, pastel highlighters and even washi tape to make their appointments really pop.

Order now to avoid disappointment!

Diaries always sell out towards the end of the year, so make sure you pick up your perfect planners by ordering early…

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3. Think pocket/desk/wall for perfect planning…

Sometimes it’s good to have a different place to put certain information, in order to make sure it’s always to hand at the right time. For example, if you have the following three items to hand, you can optimise your planning perfectly…

  • Pocket/Bag-sized Diary: Get all your time slots written down in here to help you keep track of your day. This is also a great place to keep anything confidential you might not want a colleague spotting, like reminders relating to doctor’s appointments or social plans.
  • Desk Diary: A bigger format, perfect for including all the details of your meetings and appointments, such as what to prepare or bring.
  • Wall Planner: Ideal for helping you communicate with your team, as well as providing an easy visual reference point for big events and milestones (see our previous post on why planning on your wall is such a useful approach).

Want to get something useful for your wall?

If this post has you thinking about buying a wall planner for your office, why not check out this brilliant offer from Sasco? You can claim a FREE Odeon Cinema voucher with your purchase!

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4. And finally… you don’t have to charge a diary!

In this age of portable chargers and longer battery life in devices, finding that your laptop or phone has died at the worst possible moment is at least becoming rarer. However, it’s still worth considering that a physical diary can’t let you down in this respect.

While of course you should still make sure you have more than one copy of crucial appointments (see the system above… its perfect for that!) your physical diary will always be ‘on’, and it’s never going to be an issue to have it available to you, even in an environment where you need to have your technology switched off.

We hope these arguments help confirm that physical diaries and planners should be part of every business’s shopping list, ahead of the big rush to buy 2019 diaries at the end of the year! If you’re not sure which product would be best for you, get in touch with our friendly team who would be happy to help!

Have a great week!

Join us next week for Part 3 of ‘Work Smarter’!

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!

Make Your Walls Work Harder

By | Work Better, Work Smarter

Work Smarter

Part 1

We all have things we’d like to change about our daily routines, whether it’s clearing out your inbox more consistently or getting more sleep each night. Sometimes it’s easier said than done – but by following certain techniques, you can make it more likely that your new habits will last!

1. Nothing has to be permanent

Of course, any good planning tool is designed to be added to, changed and easily removed if needed. Whether it’s a dry wipe noticeboard, pin board or chalkboard, designating an area of your wall to planning doesn’t mean committing it to only one project or team.

When choosing your tools, also remember that these products come in a huge variety of easy-to-use formats that you might not have thought about – for example, if you’re put off buying a dry-erase board because you know your facilities team don’t currently have time to mount it, why not try a Dry Erase Roll that simply unrolls and sticks wherever you need it?

2. You can use it to replace meeting time…

Be honest, how many meetings do you end up attending that are simply used to communicate the progress of a certain project? How many times have you wondered whether there was a better, more convenient way to keep a team updated (without clogging up everybody’s inbox?)

What about a team project board? Draw out your project timeline, then grab yourselves some Post-it notes in a variety of sizes and write up those deadlines and milestones in an easy-to-read format that your team can visually keep track of, every time they walk into the office. You could even implement a system of signing your name on the milestone you last moved – so everyone knows who to check in with if they need to confirm something!

Now you can free up team meeting time for more valuable discussions and exercises!

3. It can be a great motivational tool

We love using a visual reminder of targets to keep track of how we’re doing every month, and it really is a good way to keep everyone feeling fired up as a deadline approaches.

Why not put together a visual tool that your team would enjoy using together to hit regular milestones? For example, in our office we put together a little magnetised board that looks like a road, with a repositionable van that gets closer to a finish line every time we approach our monthly targets. It’s satisfying to watch it cross, and motivating to see how big the gap is as we approach the end of each month!

Want to get something useful for your wall?

If this post has you thinking about buying a board for your office, why not check out our huge selection of products? Make sure to get in touch with our team for a competitive quote!

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4. It’s good to ditch the digital from time to time

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it many more times on this blog – it really is good to have an excuse to get up and away from your computer every now and again.

If every scrap of your team planning is done electronically, your team will be more glued to their screens. If you have a focal point in your office where people go to update timelines and scribble ideas, then your workforce are more active, collaborative and ultimately more productive!

We hope these arguments help you decide whether adding a physical planning tool to your office would be beneficial to your and your team. If you’re not sure which product would be best for you, get in touch with our friendly team who would be happy to help!

Have a great week!

Join us next week for Part 2 of ‘Work Smarter’!

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!