A Day In The Life Of Quills Customer Service

It’s now been three months since we welcomed the William West additions into our office! Today we’re interviewing our latest customer service addition, André, to see what a typical day in the life of our customer service department is like.

Typical day

This ranges from starting the day going through customer’s back-orders, queries, shortages and orders moving onto sourcing any ‘special’ items that someone has requested or dealing with returns. All of this but I still find some time at lunch to squeeze in a few games of pool with my colleagues in our rest room!

Best part of the role

The best part has to be the fact that no days are the same so you are not working through a routine every day, although every day provides it’s own challenge, it is refreshing that those challenges are never repetitive ones.

Worst part of the role

I don’t really think there is a worst part but if I had to choose one it would probably be having to let the customer down when we cannot obtain stock on particular items from our wholesalers, that’s a disappointment.

Funniest request

I was asked to ring Coca Cola as the customer said it was taking her longer to unpack her cans of coke as the pack size had changed.

Hardest request

Producing rubber stamps in Chinese

Nicest feedback received

You are a legend!! Thank you so much!!! This girl at work has been stressing me out all morning! I really appreciate this!

Wow! What a good price & excellent service from you as always.

Thanks André for everything

Where you see yourself in 5 years

Lisbon, if not then I will still be beating everyone at pool downstairs!

Football team the you support

Greatest club in the world, FC Porto J

Hobbies

Being a passionate supporter, travelling around Europe with friends following my football team is my favourite, not only for the football but you have the opportunity to meet and see different people/cultures some of which I still keep in contact today.

Trips to the cinema are always good, having studied film studies at A Level grade films is another passion of mine.

Add to that the normal things people enjoy, time with family, friends, holidays, late nights here and there!

Countdown To Oz . . .

The time has nearly come for us to say goodbye to Mia who is our Digital Marketing Assistant.  Sadly for Quills she will be heading off to explore Australia for a trip of a lifetime from the beginning of September.

Mia joined us at the beginning of the year and has been working on web design, social media, blogs and much more!

As part of the countdown to Mia leaving we felt it would be fun to bring in an Australian item each day! Colin the crocodile, Kevin the Koala, an Aussie cork hat (a must have for any Brit travelling to Oz!) an Australian flag, Ozzie phrase book and some factor 50 sun screen!

Mia departs at the end of August and will be sadly missed but we wish her a safe and fun experience during her travels to Australia and beyond!

Mia was asked the following…

Favourite memory of Quills:

I don’t know, there have been a lot of them! We’ve worked on loads of challenging but rewarding projects, like the new website development and designing new brochures. And everyone in the office has a great sense of humour, so there have been a lot of laughs 🙂

What she’s looking forward to most when she goes to Oz:

Ziplining through the rainforest! And kangaroos. Oh – and parties on the beach.

Can’t travel without item/s:

Earphones, my phone and comfy clothes. Skinny jeans on flights are sacrilegious.

Funniest phrase in the Oz phrase book:

 

What she’ll miss about the UK:

The people in it. And knowing where everything is.

What will you do for 24 hours on the plane!!:

Pray that all the parents dosed their kids up on Calpol before the flight, listen to music and read some last-minute-airport-buy books.

List of Must See places in Oz:

There’s too many, we’d be here all day! The top places I absolutely have to go are Melbourne, Byron’s Bay and Fraser Island.

8 Ways To Add Some Fun To Your Office!

With the World Cup over and summer coming to a close, a lot of our office cheer is taking a dive. No more pizza and beer on evenings that England are playing, no more flag decorations hanging from the ceiling, no more ice cream days . . . the summer months can often massively improve the atmosphere of the office and we’re sure that, like us, you’ll be sad to see them go.

However, while the sunny weather might leave, who says the office fun has to? Today, we’re sharing 10 ways that you can add some fun to your office even without the good weather.

1. After work drinks

One of the biggest ways you can encourage fun in the workplace is to make sure that you’re having fun out of it. After work drinks are a great way for your workforce to bond on a personal level instead of surface level, “work appropriate” chit chat.

Many studies have proven that employees with friends at work are more engaged, more productive and happier at work – so it’s worth encouraging your workforce to build relationships with one another.

2. Order food in

Nothing bonds people like food! Once a month, why not order in a pizza and have a long lunch break eating together and having a friendly chat? This is a great opportunity to get to know your coworkers better and is an effective ice-breaker for bosses and employees to sit down and have a casual chat.

NOTE: You probably want to avoid the work talk here, unless you want to use this as a way to hold informal meetings. Nobody wants to be nagged during their lunch break.

3. Friday early finish

A great way to boost morale is to let your employees go a little early on one Friday out of the month. It builds excitement for the weekend – plus, there’s a lot of research behind the fact that working shorter hours can make us more productive.

4. Bring in a fruit platter (or sweets!)

We’ve already mentioned food on this list, but it’s worth a second idea – after all, eating the same kind of food together can build relationships and boost feelings of trust, all great things for people working in a team! Not to mention the other benefits:

  • If you have a strategically placed snack table, it can encourage employees to stand up and walk to get snacks. This not only encourages people to walk a bit more – which is beneficial for their health – but this can also act as a quick break from their work. We’ve already spoken about the numerous benefits of taking breaks, but the take-home is that break that makes employees more productive and they produce higher quality work.
  • Having communal eating / breakout area can give employees a place to congregate and interact with each other away from their desk. 
  • If you’re trying to encourage a healthier workforce, providing snacks allows you to control what snacks people are eating. People snack throughout the workday; it’s inevitable. In fact, being in the office makes you snack a lot more. However, people tend to snack on unhealthy food – not only can this lead to lower productivity, it can cause health problems that can result in absence. When you provide snacks, you can to a certain extent control what’s people eat – so you can make sure your employees are eating the right thing.

5. Try some FUN team building exercises

“Team building activities” is a phrase that can send a shiver of dread down your employees’ backs. Things like ‘trust falls’ or circles where people say one fact about themselves . . . to be blunt, they’re boring and people tend to dislike them (or worse, feel patronised by them.) However, there are a large range of fun team building activities that are actually worth a try. Here’s a few:

Team building exercises don’t have to be awful; they can actually be used to help your employees get to know each other and break the ice. It’s all about picking the right activity!

6. Let dogs come in once a week!

There are a whole host of benefits to having dogs in the office – most notably: increased employee satisfaction, decreased stress and improvements in productivity – but we acknowledge that dogs are not going to be the right fit for every workplace. Issues with allergies, insurance and potential damage can all arise, not to mention the fact that some people just don’t like dogs!

A great compromise that allows you to reap the benefits of pets in the workplace, while still keeping it a treat, is to allow dogs in once a week – maybe as a Friday celebration or a Monday mood boost.

7. Get a pool table

If you follow us on LinkedIn, you’ll probably be familiar with our pool table and how much our office loves it – and, if you don’t, why not give our LinkedIn a follow? Pool tables can be a great addition to a meeting room, especially as a way to break the ice with potential clients, and they’re a fun workplace activity for all the team to get involved in.  Our pool table doubles up as a meeting room table too as it has a removable top to create the table…genious!

8. Have a silly dress up day

Casual Fridays are the norm – in fact, a lot of offices don’t have a strict dress code to start off with – so you want to do something that stands out. Why not try a dress up day? This is a great way for people to show off their personality and a great conversation starter.

Image result for office fancy dress

We hope that this list inspired you to try introducing some fun into your office!

The Benefits Of Having Friends At Work – Why Your Business Should Encourage Coworker Friendships & How

When you think about the factors that make your employees good workers, a lot of key things are often overlooked. Happiness, fulfilment, workplace design . . . all of these tend to fall to the back-burner. In fact, the emphasis seems to be on much more numerical things. How much holiday time employees take; the qualifications they hold; the number of hours they work. But what do employees think?

70% of employees say that having friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life. – Source

Today, we’re going to be talking about one of the unsung heroes of a successful office – workplace friendships – and how your business can encourage them.

The benefits of having friends in the workplace

In all likelihood, friendship is not one of the things that springs to mind when you think of productivity – but that attitude might be entirely wrong. Instead of touching on the obvious benefits to having a friendly workforce, like efficient teamwork and a better office environment, we’re going to take a look at some of the lesser-known benefits.

People with workplace friendships are nearly 3 times more likely to say that they love their companies and 2 times less likely to be poached by another company. – Source

1. Friends at work make you more productive and motivated

Work can be many things. It can be exciting, fun and fulfilling . . . however, it can also be boring, stressful, difficult and demotivating. When you’re working in the positives, you’re likely to be engaged and focused on your work. Producing high quality results and going the extra mile!

People with a best friend at work are 7 times more likely to be motivated and productive. – Source

When you’re working in the negatives, however, you’re not going to be working to the best of your ability. You’ll be uninspired, possibly making mistakes – even worse, you might just not care. When you are not happy at work, your quality of work suffers.

Having a friend at work means having support; having someone to cheer you up when you’re down, let you vent when you’re stressed and have a chat when you’re bored. It means having something to look forward to when you go into the office. This can massively improve how much you enjoy your time at work – something that reflects in the work you produce. In fact, employees with a friend have a 35% higher dedication to quality than their counterparts.

2. Friends at work boost job satisfaction

 Studies have found that close friendships at work increase employee satisfaction by 50 percent – Source

As you can imagine from our previous point, the result of all of these benefits of having workplace friends is a higher level of workplace satisfaction among employees with friends at work. A lot of businesses overlook the importance of workplace satisfaction, but it is absolutely critical to maintaining a strong workforce and retaining your top talent – plus, having a workplace that’s well-known to be good to work for (think Google or Apple) is great for attracting new hires.

Why is employee satisfaction important?

50% of employees with a best friend at work reported that they felt a strong connection with their company. – Source

58% of men said they would refuse a higher paying job role if it meant not getting along with coworkers; 74% of women said the same. – Source

3. Friends at work just make people plain happier

Again, you may not see the immediate importance of this from a business perspective, but your employees’ mental health can be just as important as their physical. In fact, it can affect their physical health – recent studies have shown a link between high levels of mental distress and an increased risk of dying from cancer. Happy employees take less time off (12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions), are healthier and generally produce better work.

People with strong interpersonal relationships are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. – Source

How to encourage employee friendships

Now that we’ve convinced you that workplace friends are a critical component to workplace success, let’s have a look at how your business can encourage employees to build them.

1. Use a buddy system to welcome in new hires

When people first join your business, it can be a daunting experience – they’re thrown into a completely new environment with people who already have strong pre-established bonds with one another and often just left to get on with it.

A great way to encourage friendships between new and existing employees is to implement a buddy system. Each new hire has an assigned “buddy” to help them integrate with the team and introduce them to everyone. This can be help new people feel like part of the team quicker and gives them a chance to develop a friendship with someone off the bat . . . which we’ve already discovered makes them a lot more likely to stay with you.

2. Have a weekly lunch together

Sometimes within the confines of the traditional office, it can be difficult to breach hierarchies and build relationships with people more senior to you, or in different departments. A weekly lunch can be a good chance to get to know your workforce in an informal setting without eating into outside hours or personal time (which people may not be keen on).

Plus, studies have shown that eating the same kind of food together can build relationships and boost feelings of trust – what better way to bring the office closer together?

3. Play office games together

Office games can be a great way to relieve tension, have a bit of fun and just get to know each other better. They don’t have to be fancy or disruptive – plus, a lot of them are quick!

A few ideas for some fun office games:

  • Have a word of the day calendar and see who can naturally work the word into conversation throughout the day
  • Office prank competition
  • Photoshop tennis (a game where an image is sent round the whole office and people add an edit or drawing to it, then the final result is printed out)

We love this list of inoffensive, silly little office games you can play throughout the day.

4. Introduce some (real!) team-building activities

Team building admittedly has a rough reputation – and it’s not entirely undeserved. After all, in all likelihood your employees don’t actually want to have to do “trust falls” into your arms all morning! However, if you take the time to invest in some real, fun team building activities the payoff can be great!

5. Allow a dog in the office

We’ve spoken at length about the benefits of allowing dogs in the office, but one big benefit that applies here? The social aspect. Most people love dogs – and nothing starts a conversation like a friendly, cute puppy running round the office.

We hope that this post has helped you to understand the value of friendship in the workplace and gave you some inspiration for ways that your business could try to encourage it.