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15 Reasons Why The Office Matters

15 Reasons Why The Office Matters

  After working from home and collaborating at a distance, the importance of the...

Inspiration 18th Oct 2020
INVEST IN YOURSELF

INVEST IN YOURSELF

INVEST IN YOURSELF! What else do you spend 10,000 hours on a year? Invest in a Steelcase high-performance chair.   <b><u>GESTURE</u></b> INSPIRED BY THE HUMAN BODY Technology is the single greatest force driving the changes in the way we work, live, and behave. The new, multiple devices we deploy throughout our workday allow us to flow between tasks, fluidly, and frequently. Gesture is the first office chair designed to support our interactions with today’s technologies. Inspired by the human body. Created for the way we work today.   GESTURE INTERFACES: LIMB - The Gesture arm moves like the human arm, which allows users to be supported in any position. CORE - Gesture's back and seat move as a synchronized system, moving with each user to provide continuous and persistent support. The back cradles the user no matter the posture or device being used. SEAT - The Gesture seat brings comfort all the way to the edges. It is flexible at the perimeter to allow users to sit in a range of postures without obstruction.   <b><u>LEAP</u></b> A UNIQUE MEDICAL STUDY At Steelcase, we constantly invest in user research as part of our product design process. Leap was inspired by four key discoveries revealed in a unique global medical study we conducted over four years with 732 users. INSIGHTS -The spine doesn’t move as a single unit. -Each individual’s spinal motion is unique. -The upper and lower back regions require different amounts and kinds of support. -When you lean backward, your pelvis moves forward.   DESIGN -The flexible backrest ensures that the back is always fully supported. -The separate upper and lower back controls can be adjusted to provide full support to any user. -The dynamic seat takes the pressure off the lumbar vertebrae when reclining. Just about every aspect of Leap is fully adjustable so you can configure it to your personal workstyle

Inspiration 26th Sep 2020
WFH – how to stay productive

WFH – how to stay productive

For some people, WFH - working from home is a regular practice but for most of us, it’s a new way of working and presents new challenges - especially if you are with family who is now at home too. Isla Galloway-Gaul, Managing Director of Inspiration Office, an Africa-wide office space and furniture consultancy said: “People are all at once discovering the benefits and frustrations of remote work. But you can take cues from great workplaces. You’ll get more done and feel better when your technology, space and the ways you need to work come together. Working from home "WFH" should be no different.” Here are some practical tips about how to improve the WFH - work from home experience. <h3>ESTABLISH AND STICK TO BOUNDARIES</h3> It’s tempting to be “on” constantly when you work from home. Others find being home distracting and challenging to stay focused and productive. "Identifying boundaries can help you maintain a healthy and productive balance. Decide on your schedule each day and try to stick to it,” Galloway-Gaul advised. <h3>BE TRANSPARENT</h3> If you are not at your computer, be sure to communicate that with your colleagues. Make your calendar visible to your team, update your status in any team/collaboration software you use or even leverage your out-of-office auto-reply. Let your team know when you’re going to be away and when you’ll be back, especially when you work in different time zones. <h3>BUILD BELONGING</h3> Think about ways to keep relationships intact while working from home and practicing social distancing. Said Galloway-Gaul:” Consider creating a group chat for social interactions – during stressful times, everybody loves a good meme. Schedule coffee with a colleague over a video to catch up. Remote workers need more of these checkpoints than those who are in the office.” <h3>CREATE CONSISTENT CONNECTIONS</h3> It can be easy to slip into a siloed work experience when everyone is working on their own, especially during more socially isolating times. Institute a quick daily virtual team connect to keep work moving forward. <h3>PROVIDE A VARIETY OF TOOLS</h3> The tools available to distributed teams aren’t perfect. No one technology does it all. “Pick some consistent tools for instant messaging, video conferencing, sharing documents, file transfers, etc. to keep your team connected virtually while social distancing,” Galloway-Gaul noted. <h3>TURN YOUR CAMERA ON</h3> Video should be the default setting for any remote collaboration. Seeing facial reactions and body language lets you “read the room,” plus people are less likely to interrupt or speak over one another. “To do it well, keep the computer at eye level — put it on a stand or further back so it isn’t looking up your nose. Look into the camera and use natural light, but avoid putting your back to a window or you’ll look like a silhouette.” <h3>HEAR AND BE HEARD</h3> “Avoid rooms with lots of hard surfaces that echo - like a kitchen,” said Galloway-Gaul. “Choose rooms with rugs or other softer materials, like the living room.” Headphones provide a better experience than computer audio. Finally, if you’re late to an online meeting or not speaking, mute your audio to avoid disrupting the conversation. <h3>FIND FOCUS</h3> Not everyone has a home office, so think about establishing a territory that clearly signals “I’m at work.” Discuss protocol with other members of your household to signal when you’re “on at work,” even if you’re reading on the sofa. If you tend to be distracted by other household demands, find a way to create visual boundaries so you don’t see the dirty dishes. And, if the acoustics are an issue and you can’t shut the door, headphones may be your new best friend. <h3>BE AWARE YOUR POSTURE</h3> A risk of WFH- working from home is becoming more sedentary. Look for ways to vary your posture and the spots where you work throughout the day. “Sit, stand, perch, go for a walk — activating the body, activates the brain and can keep you from going stir crazy.” Galloway-Gaul added. Particularly important: Most people slumped over their laptop and look down onto their screens when they have converted the dining room chair and table to an office. “We strongly suggest raising the laptop, even if on a couple of books, which allows the screen to be at the same level of your face. This is much better for your body, dramatically reducing strain on the back and neck.

Inspiration 16th Apr 2020
The hot desk has turned into a hot mess

The hot desk has turned into a hot mess

Hot desking, the idea that a desk in an office is used by many people whenever they find it free, has mushroomed in use over the past decade despite growing evidence that it’s unpopular with workers – and possibly bad for them too.   Isla Galloway-Gaul, MD of Inspiration Office, says: “The idea behind the hot desk is simple: you could save a lot of money by reducing the amount of expensive office space needed by sharing the large proportion of unused desks while people are away, in meetings or working elsewhere.   “Under-used office space in England and Wales for example costs businesses R200bn a year.”   She notes that while the cost savings ambitions are admirable the second-tier effects of hot-desking haven’t been fully considered by some companies which have not adapted their offices to accommodate a style of working unfamiliar to many.   “We’ve noticed that workers often have to spend time finding somewhere to sit and can spend as much as 18 minutes a day on average looking for a spot. Clearly, this is unproductive, and particularly impacts those who have arrived later to work. It can mean once someone has finally found a desk they are already quite stressed before the workday has even begun.”   While hot-desking suits some people, it can adversely affect the many staff who have to be in the office each day and need to know they’ve got everything they need where they need it.   Not knowing where the people you need to collaborate with are sitting can impair productivity too. “Often a query can be solved much quicker by simply going over to a coworker’s desk, rather than relying on email ping-pong. But that can’t happen if you’re wandering the floor trying to find them,” says Galloway-Gaul.   “In many workplaces now, poor acoustics and lack of visual privacy are a major concern but fixable,” she notes.   Hot-desking isn’t a complete disaster because employers could be doing a lot more to make it work better for everyone – by looking into acoustic treatments for noisy open-plan offices and ensuring there’s a decent balance of collaborative and private work areas.   “Rows of open-plan space with hundreds of desks is not appealing to anyone,” she says. <div class="mid-story-ad"> <div class="g g-2"> <div class="g-single a-16"></div> </div> </div> “Companies need to rethink how people move, create, and collaborate and translate that into a thoughtfully designed place.”   Galloway-Gaul recommended companies use light-scale, light-weight, easily movable furniture which allows teams to feel empowered to take over the space and easily create a space that best suits their needs.   Another suggestion is to combine furniture and technology in a way that encourages equal contribution by all members of a team.   “Companies also need to enable privacy and control over the environment to provide a ‘safe haven’ spaces where new ideas can incubate,” she concluded.

Inspiration 10th Mar 2020
Why The Latest Office Design Trend Delivers Lukewarm Results

Why The Latest Office Design Trend Delivers Lukewarm Results

  To attract the best and the brightest, many companies are creating an “anti-office”...

Inspiration 5th Mar 2020
How the shifts in leadership attitude is altering traditional offices

How the shifts in leadership attitude is altering traditional offices

  The speed and ever-changing disruption to the global business environment has leaders rethinking...

Inspiration 5th Feb 2020
Video collaboration & privacy boosting popularity of booths in SA offices 

Video collaboration & privacy boosting popularity of booths in SA offices 

  The rapidly growing trend of video collaboration at work – as well as...

Inspiration 5th Dec 2019
Brain performance in the workplace  

Brain performance in the workplace  

  The key to better brain performance in the workplace It’s been well documented...

Inspiration 12th Nov 2019
Office workers can learn from successful soccer teams

Office workers can learn from successful soccer teams

  The business case for increased collaboration in the workplace keeps getting stronger, according...

Inspiration 15th Oct 2019
What is office agriculture, why is it a worldwide trend?

What is office agriculture, why is it a worldwide trend?

    “Office” and “Agriculture” are two words that are hard to imagine together...

Inspiration 11th Sep 2019
Can the workplace actually make you healthier?

Can the workplace actually make you healthier?

    For many, wellbeing in the workplace means physical health: ergonomic furniture, a...

Inspiration 19th Aug 2019
5 ways to make work more meaningful

5 ways to make work more meaningful

<p> </p> <p>Isla Galloway-Gaul, Managing Director of Inspiration Office, an Africa-wide office space and furniture consultancy said: ”When people are engaged, they adopt the vision, values, and purpose of the organisation they work for. They become passionate contributors, innovative problem solvers, and are a joy to work with.</p> <p>According to a Gallup poll called the <em>State of the Global Workplace</em> which studied employee engagement in 142 countries, only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work.</p> <p>“The answer to winning back disengaged employees, and keeping the engaged employees engaged, isn’t only pay, perks or promotions. It’s meaning – that is, giving work a greater sense of significance, and making work matter.”</p> <p> </p> <h2>Here are 5 ways to make people more engaged at work:</h2> <p> </p> <ol> <li> <h3><strong>Show people their work matters </strong></h3> <p>- “Make time for employees to explore the purpose--or profound why--of what they do.” So, introduce your team to their customers. Explain how their work helps others. Even in small ways, and encourage them to share their own stories. Reframe the work your team is doing so they can understand how and why they fit into that work.</li> <li> <h3><strong>Create a learning environment to encourage personal growth</strong></h3> <p>- Make space for people to create and execute their own learning plans, offering help along the way. Understand their different learning styles and attention spans, and provide experiences for growth expanding on what they already know, with immediate opportunities for putting into practice at work.</li> <li> <h3><strong>Help make people feel valued and valuable</strong></h3> <p>- “You care about your personal family and friends, but what about your ‘work family,’ whom you probably see the most? Do you ever ask how your employees are doing, and care about what they say?,” said Galloway-Gaul. By showing employees their value, they will feel valued as individuals and in turn, are more likely to live up to their value in the workplace.</li> <li> <h3><strong>Involve people in decisions to create a sense of control, and grant autonomy liberally </strong></h3> <p>- Micromanagement can be a meaning-killer. “Including your employees in decisions and giving them space to get the job done helps them feel less like numbers and more like contributors. Whether it’s where to put the new soda fridge, or how to solve a million-dollar problem, don’t manage in a vacuum,” Galloway-Gaul advised.</li> <li> <h3><strong>Allow people to bring their real self to work</strong></h3> <p>- By being your authentic self, you give employees permission not to check their identities at the door, even if they are quirkier than everyone else. Of course, this must be within the bounds of workplace professionalism.</li> </ol> <h3><strong>Help people see where they fit in the mission, and that the mission depends on them to achieve it</strong></h3> <p>- “Employees will never think their work matters if they don’t know that they matter. Achieve this by showing them the long-term vision and how they fit in it and contribute to - beyond the org chart of course,” said Galloway-Gaul.</p> <p>View our:  <a href="https://inspirationoffice.co.za/2019/03/25/6-innovative-ways-companies-are-changing-the-workplace/">6 innovative ways companies are changing the workplace</a> for more.</p>

Inspiration 10th Jul 2019
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