How Office Environments Enhance Employee Productivity

There’s no denying that the office environment plays a big role in employee productivity. After all, it’s where workers spend the majority of their time during the week. And while there are many factors that contribute to how productive employees are, the office plays an important part.


So, what exactly makes for a productive office? There are a few elements. First, the office should be designed for the specific needs of the business and its employees. It should be comfortable and stimulating and encourage collaboration and communication. Lastly, the office should be adaptable so that it can accommodate changes in the business or individual employee needs. By having a well-designed office, businesses can create an environment that is conducive to productivity.



The benefits of a positive office environment


When employees are more productive, businesses reap the benefits in terms of both profitability and growth potential. With productivity being able to reach its maximum potential, employees are free to utilise their skills and potential in contributing to overall team success. A happy employee wants to do their best work, take responsibility for tasks at hand, and be accountable for their work.


In addition, a positive office atmosphere helps build relationships between colleagues that strengthen the team, allowing them to communicate better and understand how different individuals think and respond more effectively together. This further contributes to creating a great working environment that leads toward further productivity and success.

We’ve listed below six ways to create an office environment to help improve employees’ productivity.


Well-designed office spaces and employee productivity


Some offices may be the site of stress and tension, but not all by any means. When people come in and feel good about their environment, it really boosts employee morale.


A well-designed office is all about the details – incorporating bright, colourful accents, comfy workplace furniture, natural lighting and plants. Small touches like plants or decorations, can give your office an edge over the competition when it comes to job seekers.



Ergonomic office furniture and workplace comfort


Ensuring that your office furniture is ergonomic is essential for the health and comfort of your employees. And, as a result, their productivity.


Ergonomic chairs are designed to support posture, reducing stress on muscles and joints while sitting. In addition, having the right equipment in an adjustable configuration allows employees to move in the way they’d like to, enhancing user posture.


Furthermore, a sit-stand desk helps to avoid neck and shoulder discomfort as the user can switch between seated use and standing use and discomforts associated with extended periods sitting down. With the proper office furniture selection and setup, you can promote better body alignment in your workspace and help workers achieve greater success!


A clean and organised office environment


Maintaining a clean and organised office is important for creating an environment that enables employees to work efficiently. Dust, dirt, and clutter can be distracting and demotivating.


A clean office reflects professionalism and respect for the company, its image, and its employees. This in turn can help to reduce stress levels while simultaneously increasing efficiency and morale.


Encouraging employees to take breaks


Taking regular breaks can help employees stay focused by keeping them mentally alert. These strategic pauses could involve activities such as stretching, meditating, walking outside, or simply taking a moment to gather their thoughts. Ultimately, encouraging your staff to carve out time for brief breaks throughout the day could lead to improved concentration levels, increased motivation, and productivity.


Taking time for tea and coffee in the office


In the office, caffeine can often be the difference between a productive day and a sluggish one. Furthermore, giving employees free tea and coffee encourages them to take regular breaks away from their desk. It also provides a social benefit, as it encourages interaction, collaboration, and camaraderie among staff. As an employer, providing tea and coffee is an economical way of creating an enriched environment for your employees.


Good office lighting


Good office lighting is essential for a productive and comfortable working environment. Studies have shown that LED lighting with adjustable brightness and colour can improve employee focus, mood, and energy levels. It can also help reduce fatigue, eyestrain, and headaches associated with hours spent in front of the computer.




Creating a good office environment is important for both your employees and your business. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your office / workplace is a comfortable and productive space. If you need help getting started, please contact our Interiors Team who will be happy to assist in creating the perfect office environment to suit your needs, budget and company brand.


A guide to buying office furniture

Buying office furniture is trickier than you’d think. It has to appeal to a large number of people, at the same time as being functional, ergonomic and comfortable, which means the buying process is not always a straightforward one.

This article explains everything you’ll need to know to ensure your office reflects your brand, is a motivating environment for your staff to work in, and will also impress clients and visitors.


Modern office furniture

These days there is a lot more to office furniture than just desks, chairs and filing cabinets. In fact, technology has enabled the majority of offices to get rid of filing cabinets altogether! Modern office furniture is innovative, has been designed around the different needs of today’s businesses and offers a huge range of possibilities for the way we work. For example, sit-stand desks have been developed to help our health and wellbeing, acoustic booths and meeting pods give us more privacy if we need to work quietly or have a one-to-one with a colleague, breakout furniture gives us somewhere to go and relax during our breaks, and glass partitions can create stylish meeting spaces without reducing the amount of natural light in the rest of the office.

Space planning and creating zones

The way you use your office space may need to change in order to reflect the post-lockdown move to hybrid and remote working. Begin by considering the different kinds of spaces or ‘zones’ you need, such as breakout areas, meeting rooms or meeting pods, or areas where staff can work quietly. When considering these areas, make sure you also take into account ease of access to communication for your telecoms, internet and charging points. This can also be built into some meeting room tables within hidden AV panels.

You must also take general office facilities into account, such as ventilation, printing, recycling, kitchen and refreshment facilities.

It is really important to take your time and pay attention to detail when planning your space. It will be a good idea to invest in the services of an interior design specialist who can draw up detailed CAD plans for designs and layouts that suit the needs of your business within your available budget. So decide what furniture you will need and then seek the advice of a space planning expert to ensure you can fit the desired items into the space available before purchasing anything! Many items are built to order and can’t always be returned, especially when they have been made in your chosen fabric and colour which might not be a standard finish… so ask about this too.

What are the longer-term plans of your business?

When planning your office refit, you need to take your business plan into account and allow for growth. By understanding your future staffing needs, you can make sure there’s adequate space and furniture provision for them now. This will help you minimise the expense and business interruption and ensure all your items match.

Create a clutter-free office

Storage is a hugely important part of planning your office refit, especially if space is limited. Begin by working out how much storage you’ll need and what type. You can free up a lot of space by using archive solutions that store physical documentation off-site, allowing you to make your office clutter free and a more attractive environment to work in. Alternatively, create digital archives so your company can be truly paperless.

For other storage needs such as wall storage, cabinets, cupboards, bookcases and personal lockers, there is a wide range of attractive and clever office furniture solutions that will enhance the look and feel of your work space, at the same time as helping you keep it tidy and clutter free.


Consider COVID-safe working

Unfortunately, COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast so we’ll always have to take it into consideration. Taking steps to ensure your office premises are as COVID needs to be part of your office refit planning.
It’s a given that ventilation and sanitising stations need to be incorporated into your design plans, including testing areas if necessary, as well as facilities that allow your visitors, staff and cleaners to safely dispose of any hygiene waste. There are additional facilities that you can add to increase on-site safety, such as air purifiers, protective screens and antimicrobial surface protection which protects surfaces 24/7 for 12 months.

Office colour scheme

Office furniture doesn’t have to be boring and comes in many different colours, including bright colours and pastels. This means you can make your space look more cheerful as well as match it with your company’s brand colours, whether you want to project a professional, traditional, fun or creative tone. So, when it comes to meeting booths, storage units, chairs and desks, remember they come in a variety of colours, but these can also include traditional white, grey and black as well as wood finishes such as beech, oak and walnut.


Recycle or donate?

If your old office furniture still has some life in it, don’t just throw it away – we could help you find a new home for it. It may be that you could donate your old office furniture to your local authority or a local school, depending on the quantity and condition of it. Alternatively, if your office furniture has seen better days, we can help you recycle it so it can be put to good use as something new, rather than it heading to landfill. It’s the right thing to do, and it’ll also help your company’s sustainability targets.


It may seem an obvious point to make, but if any decorating has to be done, wait until the painters have finished and are off-site before you install your new office furniture!

Assembled or flat-packed?

Assembled office furniture is the easiest and least disruptive option, but before you order it, make sure it will fit through your doors and can be manoeuvred through your site to its designated area. If this is going to be logistically challenging, then flat-packed furniture may be the better option. We have a team available to build and install your furniture, so do click for a quote or ask your Interiors Consultant.


All office furniture comes with a minimum guarantee of at least one year. However, some providers will guarantee some of their furniture for five or even ten years, so always find out how long any furniture you’re interested in is guaranteed for – it might help you decide between one range and another.

Contact us to discuss your office furniture, design and installation needs for your next project.


How will your office change in 2022?

How will your office change in 2022?

As companies have returned to the office, it’s become clear that hybrid working may be here to stay, with a mixture of days working from home and days in the office. It’s safe to say that the face of the working world has changed for good, and hybrid working looks like it’s here to stay. So, how will this change your office space in 2022?

Comfort Office Furniture

Most people tend to invest time and effort into making their office or workspace as comfortable and pleasant as possible. In 2022 this will increasingly be reflected in office buildings themselves. Take a more human, ‘interior’ design approach to the office by investing in comfortable furniture made from soft, flexible materials, and choosing calming colour palettes. Remember to take into consideration the air quality and temperature of the office too. The look is to make the office space feel more home from home rather than formal.

Providing your employees with a workspace that is as warm, enjoyable and as human as possible will mean that they can focus on their productivity and creative ideas, both at home and in the office.

Comfortable office furniture

Flexibility Home Office Furniture

When working from home, employees often like to switch between rooms. For example, you might have one room in your home that you prefer for video calls as it’s quieter and more formal, and one more cosy, relaxed room that you take your laptop into when you are carrying out individual work.

This is something that is now beginning to be reflected in the office, with formal meeting spaces alongside more relaxed collaborative spaces or soundproof areas where people can go to focus by themselves without interruption. The aim here is to provide your employees with options to help them work efficiently, as different people work well in different environments.

Flexible office furniture

Professional Video Conferencing

Many companies are finding that high quality video conferencing is just as important as it was during the height of the pandemic, if not more so. Evidence shows that video meetings improve productivity by 50%, and 90% of people find it easier to get their point across. With increased flexibility in terms of hybrid working, there will often be different combinations of people working in the office versus at home each day, so high quality video calls are essential to enable teams to collaborate with ease.

Within 2022 we will start to see more spaces dedicated specifically to video conferencing. Employers need to think about creating spaces with the perfect lighting, backdrop and sound settings for video calls. People want to feel confident while they are on video, so concentrate on soft, flattering lighting that reduces glare from glasses.

Video Conferencing

The Mews collection

The Mews landscape habitats are a fantastic solution to the requirements of today’s workplace. They offer a range of different ‘pod’ workspaces, each designed for different purposes, including video conferencing, one-to-one meetings, collaborative spaces and private, and soundproof spaces for individual work. They are modular structures that are highly functional, yet are also easy to update or modify.

Pod workspaces are quite commonplace nowadays in offices; however, these can often be rigid, uncomfortable and even claustrophobic. Design have succeeded in creating a flexible workspace that is aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and inspiring.

To find out more about workplace furniture solutions or the Mews Collection, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

AeraMax Pro for Dental Surgeries

AeraMax® Pro 2 Air Purifier - Wall Mount

AeraMax® Pro 2 Air Purifier – Wall Mount

Air Quality

Air quality has always been a concern for dental surgeries, but during the pandemic it is a vital element in helping surgeries to open and operate safely. Ventilating treatment rooms through opening the windows can be effective, but in the winter months is not a practical or a pleasant option. Many surgeries get around this by installing air purifiers like the AeraMax Pro, which has the advantage of being fitted with High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filters as they are more commonly known. The air purifier can be seamlessly integrated into the workplace and is key for rooms with no windows where it is not recommended to carry out applications which require the use of aerosol equipment.

Government guidelines are clear that ventilation reduces the possibility of aerosol transmission: “increasing the occupancy of a space increases the probability of airborne transmission by four-fold. Exposure risk may be further increased if distances between people are reduced to <2m.” Unsurprisingly, the recommendation is: “Ventilation should be integral to the COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy for all multi-occupant public buildings and workplaces.”

Dental surgeries are particularly at risk because, in addition to proximity, out of necessity, the procedures use high velocity air and water streams that create aerosol droplets leading to an even higher risk of respiratory transmission.

Post procedures that generate aerosols, the government has recommended that dental surgeries have a downtime of between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the amount of ventilation there is which affects how many air changes there are per hour (ACH). This will clearly have an impact on the number of patients a dental practice is able to treat and can cause a frustrating backlog of patients needing an appointment.

Air purifiers

Government guidance into COVID-19 infection prevention and control suggests that: “Recirculating air cleaning devices with HEPA filter systems or UV-C are likely to be effective,” concluding that the: “addition of recirculating air cleaning devices could enhance the effective air change rate. Devices should be correctly sized and the impacts on the room air flows considered. The effectiveness of air cleaning devices will depend on the flow rate of the device, the efficiency of air cleaning and the size of the room.”

AeraMax® Pro 3 Air Purifier - Wall Mount

AeraMax® Pro 3 Air Purifier – Wall Mount

HEPA filters are recommended because they can remove 99.97% of air pollutants, which includes germs, bacteria, allergens, pollen and mould. The AeraMax Pro range uses extra thick filters in a four-stage filtration process that includes an antimicrobial layer to trap bacteria and take it out of circulation.

In addition, the AeraMax has laser sensors which monitor the air quality, as well as sensors that not only detect when people are in the room but also how many people there are, using this information to automatically adjust its efficiency and increase ACH. As soon as anyone is in the room, the device adjusts the speed of the fans to improve circulation, and when the room is empty, it will go into sleep mode to save energy.

AeraMax® Pro 4 Air Purifier - Wall Mount

AeraMax® Pro 4 Air Purifier – Wall Mount

In cleaning particles from the air, purifiers have the additional advantage of reducing colds and flu, as well as the symptoms of sick building syndrome, all of which can potentially result in reduced productivity and staff absenteeism.

If opening windows is an impractical way of ventilating your dental surgery, opticians or healthcare practice, either because of the cold or proximity to a busy road, create a cleaner, safer, less noisy working environment by installing air purifiers.

For more information, to shop the Aeramax Pro range or receive a free quote, please click here. You can also get in touch at or via live chat.

Why Sneeze Guards/Protective Screens are an ideal addition to the post-pandemic office

UK employees are beginning to phase back into the workplace and are preparing for the ‘new’ way of working. Although Boris Johnson recently announced that as of the 4th July, social distancing measures will be reduced to “1 metre-plus”, the safety of employees and customers is still a top priority for all businesses and cleaning, hygiene and protective measures need to be carefully planned out and ready for employees to come back.

Protective Screens, also known as ‘Sneeze Guards’, are a favourable and future-proof solution when it comes to keeping employees protected. Not only can they be used as a physical barrier between staff, but they also have an array of other benefits which we are going to explore further in this blog.


Protective Screens allow for agile working & flexibility

The beauty of Protective Screens is that you have full control over the placement and fixtures of them. For example, you have the choice to implement full standing screens fixed to the floor between desk benches or you could opt for small, light-weight screens placed on top of desks instead. This allows for flexible working as the screens can be repositioned to where they are required i.e. breakout sessions, during important meetings or to create private spaces for employees to focus.


Keeps your employees and customers protected

Social distancing is set to be the new normal so it’s likely that implementing Hygiene Screens won’t just be a ‘temporary’ solution. It’s important that your employees and customers feel safe and are confident that their health is being protected in the workplace. They add another layer of security for your employees and visitors and act as a physical barrier to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs. 

Whether you’re working in a doctors surgery, hospital, school, reception area, hotel, holiday park, hair salon, office or retail environment, there is a huge range of screens to suit all sizes, spaces and requirements.


Maintains transparency & light in the workplace

Implementing Protective Screens in the office doesn’t have to result in a loss of space or light. The majority of these screens are transparent (made with clear acrylic or glass) which ensures that full visibility is maintained and your employees and customers are still able to see, interact and engage with one another.

Another benefit is that the clear transparent screens is that they will also prevent the office from becoming ‘closed in’ or  ‘shrinking’ and modern open plan workspaces can still be achieved.


Easy to clean 

Cleaning and hygiene is now more important than ever, especially in the workplace environment. The clear acrylic and glass screens are extremely easy to clean and are safe to use. Most screens are also made with an antimicrobial surface coating to help reduce the spread of germs and bacteria which will further help to protect the people using them.  

Businesses are also having a deep cleaning service before employees return to work and looking at long term hygiene solutions like antimicrobial surface coatings which can be applied to high traffic areas like door handles, tables, reception counters, lift buttons, handrails etc to help prevent the spread of germs?


What screen is right for me? 

Whilst Protective Screens and Sneeze Guards are designed to protect against droplets from coughs or sneeze in the air, there is no definitive answer to the question ‘what height should they be?’ We would recommend using a protective screen 660mm above desk height to provide an appropriate barrier against airborne droplets between seated people and for floor standing screens, we would suggest 1895mm high for an appropriate barrier between those people who are standing (including a standing person and a seated person).

For more information or to start exploring our huge range of Screens and Sneeze Guards, please click here. You can also get in touch with a member of the Quills Interiors team at or call 0845 078 0324. 

Alternatively, take a look at our Protective Screens brochure for more inspiration

What colours increase employee productivity

What colours increase employee productivity, well-being and satisfaction

Different colours affect employees in different ways, learn how interior design can impact office behaviour

The psychology of colour is relevant in all areas of interior design, however, it becomes especially relevant when looking to increase employee productivity, well-being, and satisfaction in an office. Every colour evokes a different reaction or emotion in a person, learning which reaction or emotion comes along with each colour can ultimately create a better work environment. Here is a list of colours that will benefit your office overall:


Blue, especially light blue, is often associated with feelings of calmness and ease. Painting an office blue, and using blue decorations or floor coverings, will allow the employees to feel relaxed and less anxious about their daily tasks. Similarly, blue is associated with productivity because it is known to stimulate the mind.

Different shades of blue around an office have been proven to induce creativity; this is especially true in conference rooms where creative ideas are being talked about and passed around with other employees.


Red is proven to increase energy in a room. Though not recommended to paint an entire office red, because the use of too much red creates feelings of anxiety, the use of red accent walls or red decorations can wake the mind up. Red also motivates people which will increase not only productivity levels but also wellbeing. According to an expert at Goldleaf Designs, custom home builders, simply by painting an office can change the entire overall mood of a workspace.

The combination of light blue and red around an office can also provide a creativity boost for employees. Combining a classic warm colour with a classic blue colour creates a visually pleasing balance for employees, making them more productive.

A popular trend in office interior design has been the use of red seating and wall hangings surrounded by an otherwise white or neutral background. This trend diverts attention to different areas of a workspace which will constantly stimulate the brain, creating new and productive ideas.


Associated with the sun, yellow creates feelings of optimism and happiness in a work environment; thus, employee well-being and satisfaction. Yellow can also create creativity in the work environment because it stimulates the mind and creates feelings of self-assurance.

However, be careful of too much yellow. Yellow, like red and orange, is a warm colour and too much of it can create feelings of anxiety and even anger. If you are using yellow as a paint colour, make sure it is a pale yellow. Neutral walls with yellow accent decorations and accent wall may be a good choice to prevent the risk of overstimulation.


Green, similar to the feelings associated with light blue, is associated with tranquillity and calmness. Different shades of green around the office can even create feelings or thoughts of nature which in turn, creates emotions of ease and satisfaction. Green also adds a sense of balance in a room which will help the well-being of employees.

Adding plants is an easy way to add green to an office space in addition to decorations and paint.

Green is often used in workspaces that work with money and finances a great deal because it constantly evokes the memory and thought of money to the employees as they work.


White is great for offices because it makes space feel bigger, cleaner, and even happier. White is practically a good choice for smaller offices because it will maximize the space. White also coordinates well with almost all other colours so it can be used as an accent wall in a room, a base, or on all walls. With the various ways in which white can be used in an office, it always adds to employee well-being by increasing overall happiness.

If white is used on all walls, it’s recommended that the walls have a fair amount of wall hangings and decorations in order to keep employees visually stimulated. Too much white can give off a “doctor’s office feel.”

A common colour theme in offices is the use of white and blue. The combination of white and blue, emulating a blue sky with clouds, makes employees optimistic and productive in addition to keeping the space lively. White walls accompanied by blue furniture is a popular way to create this colour theme.


Experimenting with colour and different colour combinations will affect employee productivity in a positive way while keeping employees happy and motivated to keep working. With proper research and planning, getting the right colour scheme for your office will be easy and beneficial. The possibilities are endless when redesigning your office space. For inspiration or to start discussing your design projects, get in touch with one of our interior experts today.

Ways to Reduce the Cost of Employee Absences

We all know that germs can be spread easily when someone sneezes and then touches a handle whether it be on the tube, a bus, the toilet or your desk phone.  Germs spread like wildfire and this, in turn, will increase your employee absenteeism.

Did you know that touching door handles is one of the most common ways bacteria spreads throughout the workplace? This is because the virus is spread by direct contact with the contaminated object and then we touch our face and so on…the everyday dangers are obvious.

In fact, there are a number of shocking statistics that may put you off of your breakfast or lunch so be careful when you read on…

80% of infections are spread by touch Copper Development Association Only 33% of people wash their hands after using the toilet British Toilet Association 1 in 4 Britons had faecal matter on their hands The Sunday Times Common microbes found on door furniture include E-Coli, Salmonella and Staph Aureus

So we’ve all heard of the NHS slogan ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ which refers to us sneezing into a tissue (catch it), and then placing the tissue in the bin (bin it!) and then wash your hands (kill it…the germs we mean!) which is one way to stop the spread of germs but we’ve got another way to share with you.

There’s a new kid in town and it goes by the name of P-Plate and P-Hold which are antibacterial push plates and door handle covers.  The innovative technology uses silver ion technology which helps kill 99% of germs on contact and in turn could help your business reduce employee absenteeism and help save your company thousands of pounds.

Antibacterial door handle – P-Hold

The P-Hold antibacterial door handle can be fitted onto a pull door handle in 30 seconds. You simply ‘snap’ it into place!

Using silver ion technology, the P-Hold handle kills 99.9% of bacteria and combats pathogens deposited onto the surface by users and then works continuously 24/7. This prevents cross-contamination between one user and another which ultimately reduces the spread of infection and germs.

The action lasts six months and has a visual indicator to advise when it needs to be changed. There are no tools required to change the handle either.

Key facts:

  • Kills 99.9% of bacteria using silver ion technology
  • Proven to be 96.4% cleaner than standard handles
  • The action will last for 6 months and has a visual indicator when it needs to be changed
  • Will fit any cylindrical pull door handle with a diameter of 19mm, 20mm or 22mm – the three most popular handle sizes in the UK and in less than 30 seconds
  • Extremely robust and sturdy
  • Available in 2 colours: ice blue and black
  • Recyclable

Antibacterial door push plate – P-Plate

This innovative door ‘push plate’ is robust and sturdy and is proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria using silver iron technology. The P-Hold technology action lasts 12 months and has a visual indicator that notifies staff when it needs to be changed.

The push plate is incredibly simple to install, it comes with the fittings required and an instruction guide and there is also no maintenance required.

Key facts:

  • Magnetically secured to backplate
  • Changed effortlessly with no tools needed
  • The action will last for 12 months
  • Visual indicator when it needs to be changed
  • Available in silver

How does it work?

So, check this out: the handles and plates are made using silver ion technology which penetrates the cell membranes of any microbes that land on the handle. The ions then suffocate and attack the cells to prevent them from reproducing. Sounds cool right? But don’t worry, we will deal with all the science stuff so that you can relax knowing that your handles are safe to touch, all the time.

How will it benefit my workplace?

Whether you’re swaying towards the P-Hold handle or the P-Plate, each handle type is guaranteed to directly benefit your business. Less bacteria will be spread through the touching of handles and this will, in turn, reduce sickness levels as well as the number of office borne illnesses. A win-win for both organisations and employees!

To put this in perspective, the annual cost of a handle or push plate is actually less than the cost of even a single day’s basic salary at the minimum wage rate.

Having the handle or push plates installed throughout the office will also help your employees recognise that the organisation cares for their wellbeing and health and safety. This means that they’re likely to work harder and be more productive in their day to day roles.

How do I find out more?

To take the first steps towards a healthier workplace, contact us for further information. We can also arrange a free site survey to identify your office germ hotspots and send across a proposal suggesting the areas that need attention. Your equipment can then be installed and our team can also help advise on education and awareness programmes for your staff. It really is as simple as that.


How to make meetings more productive

Out-of-the-box thinking doesn’t happen in a box…right? In this article, we consider some different ways to help reignite the motivation for attending those weekly or monthly meetings.

Some people might say that most meetings in the workplace are often pointless and attendees feel anxious as there are always deadlines to meet and work that needs to be done. But what if the problem isn’t the actual meeting itself but more the environment and layout that it’s being held in which can sometimes be formal and uninviting…

Take a look at our tips for making meetings more inviting…

1. Only hold meetings if they’re essential

Save meetings for projects that are a necessity and for when all the team can get involved. If it can be replaced by a telephone call or an email, don’t hold it. If the meeting does need to be held, be conscious of time and try to keep it short – schedule no longer than 45 minutes per meeting so that employees recognise that you value their time and have an agenda.

2. Don’t get into a routine

If you schedule meetings for the same time every week, in the same location; eventually employee motivation and interest is going to plummet. If you want your team to find a solution to a task or you’re working on a long project, then you need to mix it up a little, try mornings and afternoons and see which time provides the best engagement and ideas. Consider carrying out some meetings outside of the office, perhaps in a coffee shop or over some lunch.

3. Is your meeting space inviting and inspiring for ideas?

If not, it might be worth considering re-decorating your meeting room and introducing some artwork to make it a more welcoming space for being creative. According to Forbes, 78% of respondents in a survey of over 800 employees working for 32 U.S companies claimed that art in the workplace helped reduce their stress.

4. Consider standing desks

Employees spend most of their working day sitting at a desk so it’s not particularly motivating to move from one rolling chair to another. It’s been mentioned time and again that sitting does you no good… yet the same is true about standing all day! What you really want to do is alternate between the two with the help of a sit-stand desk. This will ultimately help you reduce the health risks posed by both. Consider ditching the standard table and chair set up and opt for this healthier way of working. Meetings may then seem like a refreshing change of scenery.

5. Informal workspace meetings

Sometimes a formal meeting isn’t required, have you thought about introducing informal employee workspaces where ideas can be brought to life away from your desk without the need to be in a meeting room? Curious? Take a look at some ideas here or check out this brochure for inspiration.

6. Offer incentives and rewards

Competitions and mini-games can be a great way to encourage enthusiasm and attendance for meetings. After all, everyone loves a freebie. Giving away snacks and refreshments during the meeting will generate interest and depending on your budget, consider rewards for the best ideas that are brought to the table.

How To Build A Productive Home Office – 10 Tips

With the rise of flexible working, a lot more people are choosing to work from home. However, with the rise of remote working, comes a new issue – how do you motivate yourself to stay on task when you work remotely?

When you’re in a traditional office environment, it is generally a lot easier to slip into “work mode” and stay focused than it is at home. Your house can be full of distractions; children, gaming consoles, chores, television, people dropping by . . . sometimes just being able to get into the right mindset is a challenge. (Especially if you like to work from the comfort of your pyjamas!)

That being said, if you can overcome the challenges and distractions, you can actually end up being more productive working from home. Today, we’re sharing our top tips on building a home office that will actually allow you to get stuff done.

1. Make sure everyone in your house knows when you’re “at work”

One of the largest disruptions when you work from home can be the people that live with you. At first, your presence in the house may signal availability – and you might find yourself being walked in on and disturbed throughout the day.

However, if you make it clear that you are still in the office (just your own office) and that you’re working, usually people will learn that you’re off limits during working hours. A few polite ways to say this could be:

“My company uses monitoring software on remote workers, so I need to stick to my work – could you come back at lunchtime?”

“I have a really tight deadline and I’m working at home to avoid all the noise of the office and get some deep focus. I’ll get back to you in a few hours.”

You could also have set “breaks” during the day where everyone in your households knows you’re accessible for ten or twenty minutes every few hours. That way, if they want to speak to you, they won’t burst in and interrupt you mid-flow – but they’ll feel like you’re making time for them. Or a system wherein you signal how available you are to be contacted. A good example of this is the hotel room policy: if you’re happy for people to walk in for a chat, leave the door empty; but if you need deep concentration hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the doorknob.

The key is to set clear boundaries that everyone agrees with – and enforce them.

2. Get dressed every day

A large benefit of working from home is not having to wear uncomfortable work clothes . . . but, as tempting as it may be, make sure you aren’t working in your pyjamas either. The act of getting up and dressed helps your brain to wake up and focus, otherwise there’s no signal telling you “time to work!”.

3. Have a separate space for working

Having a separate space dedicated to working helps your brain distinguish between “home” and “work”. Not only that, much like having an assigned desk in the office, having a set area to work every day can help you build a consistent routine. You know where everything is – and you know that once you’ve sat down it’s time to get down to it!

4. Invest in high-quality furniture that will help you work

When it comes to office furniture, much like mattresses, it’s well worth the investment. Both of these things are worth spending a bit extra on for the same reason: you spend so much of your time using them that they have a profound effect on your comfort and overall health.

Consistently sleeping on a bad mattress can damage your back – and so can sitting in an office chair that promotes bad posture.

We highly recommend investing in ergonomic furniture because it’s designed to help keep you comfortable, which keeps you productive throughout the day – but also minimises the risk of long-term back problems.

Remember, you’re going to be sitting in this chair for at least 8 hours a day; if it isn’t supporting your body, it’s likely to be causing problems.

5. Have some personal touches that inspire you

Much like in the office at work, having personal touches in your home office can help you stay engaged during the workday. Be careful to ensure that you aren’t allowing household clutter to encroach on your working space, though!

6. Add some plants

Plants in the office have a large array of benefits, from making you more productive to improving your health. They’re a great way to improve your office’s air quality – plus, they just make a nice aesthetic addition.

We’ve written an in depth post about the benefits of adding plants to your office and some ideas for how to on this blog before; if you’d like to learn more, feel free to read this post.

7. Build up and add storage to the walls

When you work from home, often you won’t have the luxury of space. To make the most of the space you do have available, consider building up and using your walls to your advantage by adding shelves and storage to them.

8. Consider a sit-stand desk

In recent years, there’s been a lot of research around the health risks of the sedentary lifestyles that a lot of us lead. Sitting time for a significant amount everyday contributes to a number of harmful consequences such as:

Sit stand desks are a great way to combat the negative effects of sitting for too long. We provide a wide range of sit stand desks suitable for all needs and budgets, feel free to send us an enquiry!

If you’d like an in-depth explanation of the pros and cons of sit stand desks, why they’re supposedly good for your health and some of the research behind them, feel free to read our post about whether you should buy a sit-stand desk.

9. Have set working hours – and stick to them

When you work from home, it’s easy to get distracted and not work enough or get carried away and work too much. If you set hours for work and stick to them, you’ll get into a consistent routine and find your body automatically switching to “work mode” during these hours.

10. Experiment with different working hours

If you work remotely and aren’t bound by needing to interact with your colleagues during the workday, you may want to try working different hours. Instead of 9 to 5, you may find you work better early in the morning or late at night. If you’re more productive at a certain time of day, why not take advantage?

Hopefully, you found these 10 tips helpful! If you are trying to build your perfect home office, Quills Group provides a wide range of high-quality office furniture suited for every budget, so don’t hesitate to contact us.


The Stats You Need To Know When Designing Your Office (Infographic)


  • 97% of survey respondents stated that they regard their workplace as a symbol of whether or not they are valued by their employer. HR in Asia
  • Pets in the workplace improve employee morale, productivity, and personal workplace satisfaction. – Banfield
  • Multiple computer screens were found to increase productivity up to 50% for employees.CBI Office
  • 67% of employees with access to free food at work are “very” or “extremely” happy at work. – SnackNation
  • Offices see up to 11 per cent gains in productivity from improved ventilation, up to 23 per cent gains in productivity from improved lighting design and significant improvement in employee recruitment and retention as a result of green retrofits. – GreenBuildingPress
  • 25% of survey respondents would be willing to commute an extra 30 minutes to work in their perfect office.What Workers Want
  • 76 percent of millennials, ages 18-34, feel somewhat or very strongly that that office design and aesthetic influences their impression of a company.PR News Wire
  • Adding plants to the office caused a 37% fall in reported tension and anxiety; a 58% drop in depression or dejection; a 44% decrease in anger and hostility; and a 38% reduction in fatigue.CIPHR
  • Only 24% of U.S. workers are in optimal workplace environments. Allwork
  • In international surveys from Ipsos and the Workspace Futures Team of Steelcase,95% said working privately was important to them. However, less than half (41%) said they could work privately. Worse still, 31% of employees have to leave the office to complete their work. – Quills
  • Employers who can focus are 31% more satisfied, 14% higher performing, and see their companies as more innovative.Allwork
  • Employees lose as much as 86 minutes a day due to noise distractions.The Guardian
  • In environments with white noise, or sound masking, employees report improvements of up to 38 percent for the performance of simple tasks and 27 percent for complex tasks.Hok
  • Studies have shown that in some offices the introduction of sit-stand desks increased productivity by 46%!CNN