7 Must Have Office Gadgets to Make You Happier and More Productive at Work

Work can be tiring, stressful, tedious and often unproductive, but the following gadgets can help towards making your time in the office that much happier and more productive.

1) USB Mug Warmer
You’ve just made everyone in the team a coffee and sit down to drink yours… as you grasp for the handle you can almost taste the coffee, but mid-way through the cup’s ascent to your lips the phone goes; you put your mug down and end up tied into a 30-minute phone call. After the call has ended, you reach for your coffee only to find it is stone cold and needs replacing. This scenario will never happen again with a USB Mug Warmer.

2) Desktop Fan
Never fear a hot summers day stuck in the office again with your own desktop fan. Heat and humidity is known to cause drowsiness and affect productivity levels, so keep cool and stay on the ball.

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3) Stressball
We’re sure some of you might like to use your boss’ head as a stressball, but we really do advise against that kind of thing. Get yourself a little stressball to fidget with when you’re feeling anxious or restless and you’ll find yourself much calmer and focused in your performance overall at work.

4) Mobile Device Charging Station
So, you’ve had a long day at work and are looking forward to letting off a bit of steam at the gym after, but you realise your iPod has no battery, or even worse your phone has died so you can’t make plans for after. Get yourself a mobile device charging station to keep everything topped up with charge to avoid those annoying scenarios.

5) Mood Lighting
Whether it be a little lamp on your desk or some form of quirky USB led lighting gadget, mood lighting will make your desk feel more personalized and comfortable. You might even find you work better in your new atmosphere.

 

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6) Desktop Vacuum Cleaner
If you’re one of those workers who barely has time to stop for lunch and has to scoff a couple of sandwiches at your desk, then a USB vacuum cleaner is the thing for you. Keeping your workspace clean and organised is one of the easiest ways to make a great impression on your colleagues and employer(s).

7) Silent Mouse
This is arguably the most expendable item from this list, but a silent mouse will rid you of that familiar, mundane clicking sound that you have to put up with second after second, minute after minute, day after day. You might even find you feel more relaxed with it gone.

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Cube Company is a designer and manufacturer of soft seating and modular seating for offices and reception areas. Visit our official website to view our extensive ranges of furniture.

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Office Interior Design: 5 Brilliant Ways to Give Your Office a Makeover

Is your office in desperate need of a bit of interior design? Is it worn and tired? Perhaps it’s just overly minimalistic and boring? Use these 5 simple ideas to reinvigorate your office and, with that, your workforce.

1) Give the walls a lick of paint

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Most offices tend to have bland, neutral coloured walls like whites, magnolias and greys which can make the workplace feel dull, lifeless and boring. Jazz up your walls with some vivid colour to inject some life into the place and even boost creativity and productivity. Blues are said to increase productivity whilst yellows and oranges are supposed to work wonders for creativity.

2) Recover dull, worn office chairs

Add even more accents of colour to your office with reupholstered seat pads on all your office chairs. Either choose your company colours or go for a random eclectic mix of vivid tones to create a fresh and quirky look.

3) Create a cool breakout room with innovative modular seating

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Give your staff somewhere to go to either relax or get creative for tasks and projects. Breakout rooms are appearing in more and more offices and modular seating is the key ingredient. Modular seating can be configured into almost any layout – some even venture to say that it is only restricted by your imagination. Anyway, it’s flexibility makes it great for team tasks and it is essential for forward-thinking companies and modern offices. We specialise in modular seating, so feel free to visit our official website.

4) Throw in a pool table, football table or ping-pong table

Let your staff have some fun when they’re away from their desks. Putting in a games table will boost office-wide morale and allow colleagues to form bonds on their breaks – this can only be good for a company. Obviously, if your office is a call center then it is best not to put a ping-pong table in the middle of the workfloor, but there’s usually always a bit of space going spare somewhere else.

5) Put up some wall art

As well as painting the walls, you can put up some canvasses and pictures to bring your office to life that little bit more. Whether it be dramatic landscapes, great sporting moments or inspirational quotes and adages, use your walls to positively affect your workforce.

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Cube Company

The 7 Best Ways to Personalise Your Workspace and the 3 Worst

Personalise-desk

Your workspace is an incredibly important part of your work life. After all, you probably spend more time there per week than any other. There are so many ways to make it feel more personal to you, but here we chiseled the list down to the top 7 ways.

1) Photos

Pictures of loved ones are the best way to personalise your workspace. They can fill you with calm in times of stress and pressure and make you smile if you’re having a tough day. Be careful not to put up pictures that can distract you and whisk you off to the past too often, though.

2) Plants
A low-maintenance plant will improve your mood and the oxygen quality around your desk, thus making you more productive; not to mention they look and smell nice.

3) Colour
“Colour?” You ask yourself. Well, yes. However you do it, try to work a bit of colour into you workspace. Most people do this with posters and pieces of fabric. Choose either your favourite colours, or colours like blue and green which supposedly boost productivity.

4) PC Wallpaper/ Screensaver
This might sound like a silly one, but your PC wallpaper and screensaver are terrific little ways to stamp your own personality on your workspace. Whether it be a family photo or your favourite scenic landscape, this is a brilliant quick, easy and free way to customise your area that little bit more.

5) Books
Just having some of your books on the shelf will naturally make you feel more at home and will give you something to read at lunchtime. Books also show others what your interests are and possibly what sort of person you are. They can be a good conversation starter.

6) Themed Calendar
This is a good way to personalise whilst being organised, so it’s the perfect piece for any workspace. If you’re a fan of travel, you might want a places-of-the-world calendar; if you’re a fan of football, you might want your club’s official calender.

7) Brainteasers/ Inspirational Quotes
Get posters or wall art pieces with quotes or brainteasers that either represent you or feel relevant to your journey in life. These also make your workspace more inviting and offer talking points for people passing by.

The Worst:

1) Tat
A few bits and bobs CAN be ok, like maybe a funny coaster for your mug, but an entire squadron of figurines isn’t! Be careful with even a few bits though as your collection can soon grow and get out of hand.

2) Offensive or provocative posters, mugs or other ‘stuff’ 

This is one way you can make yourself unpopular very quickly. Putting up posters containing nudity or explicit language is likely to earn you an uncomfortable seat in the boss’ office and probably some form of disciplinary sanction. Don’t put anything up or leave anything on show that could cause offence to anyone else in the office. Even items that make your political views known are probably best being kept away.

3) Mess

Having nothing that personalises your desk is better than having lots that leave your desk cluttered and untidy. A minimal, clean and organised desk makes you look better than something that resembles a bomb site. If you’re hoping to impress the bosses for that new vacancy, your workspace is one of the key indicators of the type of person you are. Keep it clean.
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Cube Company

Choose the Perfect Restaurant Seating With 5 Simple Steps

Achieve restaurant seating that looks fantastic, functions well and even encourages your customers to spend more with these 5 simple steps.


1) Ensure you have flexibility in your seating plan

Fixed seating is great. You won’t find bigger advocates of it than us, but we know it’s limitations and are honest enough to admit them. Fixed seating limits flexibility. You need to have enough table and chair configurations so that if a large party arrives without a booking, for example, you can find room for them by pushing tables together. You can, however, still achieve a degree of flexibility with fixed seating by having straight run along a wall with tables and chairs opposite that can be configured to form 2-person tables or 12-person tables, but just make sure you have enough flexibility.

2) Have an exclusive collection of booths
It’s a really good idea to have a small amount of booth seating in your restaurant. Booths give us this sense that we are isolated from the rest of the restaurant, that we are in some way privileged. Studies have even proved that customers, on average, spend more in booths, but be careful… install too many booths and you lose that exclusivity, and your restaurant ends up looking like an American highway diner.

3) Choose a layout that leaves ample room between tables and enough room for walkways
We’ve talked about this before – it’s one of our big pet peeves. Make certain there is enough room in between tables (ideally no less than 500mm) and enough room behind chairs (800mm or more) so that your customers can enjoy their meals with a bit of privacy and comfort. There is nothing worse than cramming customers in purely to seat more people. In fact, this ends up being counter productive as it puts customers off coming back.

4) Consider your customer base when planning the sizes of your fixed seating
Know your customers. Know your positioning within the market. Your seating must reflect your brand and must cater for your customers and their intended use. For example, if you run a fast-food restaurant, you can opt for slightly smaller booths and fit more people in as your customers will be in and out relatively quickly, therefore comfort is not of paramount importance. If, however, you run a fine-dining establishment, comfort is key and you also want your customers to have plenty of room. Consider your customers and plan your seating accordingly.

5) Choose your theme and design carefully
The theme and design of your restaurant greatly influences how your customers perceive your restaurant, and seating is one of the biggest aspects of your interior design, therefore you need to ensure you choose the right design. These are the things you need to consider: seating shape (e.g. straight runs, back-to-back booths, circular booths), back style (e.g. plain backs, fluted backs, deep buttoning), colour, material (e.g. fabric, vinyl or leather), and even the finer details like kickboards and cappings. That’s where the fun begins, crafting seating to represent you and portray the image you want your restaurant to have.

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Head over to www.cubecompany.co.uk now to view our portfolio of restaurant seating and get some ideas.

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Could Your Current Table and Chairs Layout Be Turning Customers Off?

What’s more annoying at a restaurant: bumping elbows with someone at the next table, not being able to get out of your seat through fear of clattering into the person sat behind you, or not being able to have a private conversation with a partner because you’re practically sharing a table with couples either side of you?

Moo Grill in London gets it right with its tables and chairs.

Most restaurant owners underestimate the impact table configurations have on a guest’s dining experience. Guest’s not only want great food and drink, they want a nice atmosphere, a clean and well-decorated establishment, somewhere they can feel comfortable and somewhere they can have a little bit of privacy. The way your tables are laid out strongly influences a few of those factors, not least the last two.

Grid layouts (tables in rows and columns) are fine for large, formal restaurants, but it seems as though every small to medium-sized restaurant uses that layout now purely to fit in with the conventions of restaurant interior design. This often results in tables being far too close so that you can fully hear the conversation on the table next to you creating an awkward dynamic, or, even worse, bang into the poor person behind you as you get up to go to the toilet.

Restaurant owners need to get more creative with their limited space and, in some cases, even sacrifice some tables to benefit the dining experience of guests. Think about some of the restaurants you’ve been to, have you ever knocked elbows with the person next to you or needed to have a private conversation with your guest, but felt inhibited because you had people so close either side of your table? These are things that affect customer loyalty and put people off coming back to your restaurant, so you need to get things right here.

The simplest tip is to not over-crowd your restaurant. Our best tip, however, is to lay your tables out diagonally! It sounds odd, but turn your tables 45° and stagger the columns so that no table is directly behind the other and you have a great layout with ample room in between tables and a creative seating plan that many of your guests will not have encountered before. In some rooms, you can actually fit MORE tables than if you had straight rows and columns.

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Getting your layout right is about knowing your restaurant and, more importantly, knowing your customers. Fast-food outlets need not worry about slightly over-crowding their restaurants as the turnover of customers per hour is much greater than that of an up-market Italian restaurant, and fast-food guests care less about comfort and intimacy.

So, think about the typical profile of your customers and put yourself in their shoes. Think about what they want, what they like and what they might dislike about your restaurant.

Cube Company

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