branded goods for outdoor enterntaining

Branded goods for outdoor entertaining

With lockdown restrictions easing and the warmer weather on its way, we’re all looking forward to the outdoor dining and socialising that’s scheduled to return on 12th April. Obviously social distancing rules need to be followed, but there’s no reason why you can’t combine keeping your diners and drinkers as safe as possible whilst still making sure your brand stands out.

Over the past year, the British public has become used to socialising outdoors. Most of us are quite happy to put on an extra jumper or fleece if it means we can spend more time with friends but we would like to be sheltered from unpredictable British weather! Now is the time to boost your brand and offer your customers warmth and protection to encourage them to book in advance and more importantly encourage them to stay for longer at your premises … plus showcasing your brand is always a good move!

Branded goods for outdoor entertaining white parasols

What’s more, the expectation that the excitement of being able to eat out with friends again will surely lead to an upsurge in selfies posted on social media channels. Imagine how great these images will look with your branding in the photos which in turn could increase your footfall once they have been viewed by hundreds of people who have liked and shared the post! It’s also a great photo opportunity for your website and social channels once your branded umbrellas, crowd divides and some nice outdoor heating is in situ.

Branded barriers / dividers

Barriers and dividers are a great way to direct traffic and keep customers distanced from each other. Our fabric barrier panels are mounted on steel frames, are discreet and stylish and give you the flexibility to easily move them to wherever you need them. So, as we leave lockdown and are allowed to socialise with more people, you can create designated areas according to your needs.

branded dividers for pubs and restaurants

Branded Gazebos

Whatever size of gazebo you need, we can brand them for you. Whether it’s a 3m x 3m version to provide a small table of diners with shelter from the wind and rain as they eat, or one that’s double the width for larger tables or to support an event with your company products on display , a gazebo will continue to be useful long after the pandemic is over. They are strong and sturdy, and are easy to put up, take down and store, so you’ll get great future value for money from them by putting them to use at festivals or parties, or just to shelter customers who enjoy being in the fresh air.

branded gazebos for open-air restaurants and pubs

Branded Parasols

Outdoor tables always benefit from parasols to shade your customers from the heat of the sun as well as giving them enough protection to stay where they are if there’s a mini shower! They offer the perfect opportunity for branding, whether you’re delivering a luxurious dining experience or a colourful and cheerful one. Having individual storm umbrellas available to lend to customers if it begins to rain and they’re not quite underneath the parasol is also a nice touch. This could make the difference between your diners going home early or staying on to order pudding and another drink.

branded parasol from Quills Group

Antimicrobial face masks

Create a good impression on your customers by providing employees with quality branded antimicrobial face masks. They are washable without losing their antimicrobial qualities and will help protect your staff from possible exposure to the viruses and bacteria. More attractive than disposable masks as well as being the more sustainable and responsible choice.

facilities management winter essentials checklist

Winter Facilities Management Safety Essentials Checklist

It’s the coldest time of the year and many locations have already experienced snow, and icy paths and roads. Even though the last couple of winters have been quite mild, you can never truly predict what will happen, so you’ve always got to be prepared.

If you’re responsible for facilities management within your building, and you’ve got people working on the premises, now is definitely the time to take steps to protect your employees, visitors and property from the hazards that the winter weather can bring.

Facilities Management removing snow and ice

Keep pathways clear

Reduce the risk of injury to your staff, clients and customers – and consequent time off sick – by keeping your car park and pavements free from ice and snow. Whether you have extensive grounds to protect, or just the pathway outside your entrance, we stock all the de-icing supplies you need including snow shovels, grit bins, de-icing spray, salt and salt spreaders and more to ensure you’re ready for whatever Jack Frost has got in store!

Alternatively, save time and hard work and outsource the job to a Facilities Management provider. Facilities Management services can include winter essential maintenance, grounds, maintenance, electrical works, pest control to name a few.

facilities management removing ice

Ice isn’t the only thing you can slip on

Wet leaves on the ground are very slippery and can become a big Health & Safety concern. Even at this time of year, there are still a lot of leaves on the ground from the autumn. Check out our gardening supplies for rakes and shovels to help you keep your pathways clear and safe.

If you have grounds to look after, then this is the right time of the year to cut back plants and trees. It’ll help keep debris off the pavements which can be a hazard, as well as looking a lot neater. If you’re already ‘snowed under’ with tasks to do, you may be interested to find out more about grounds maintenance services.


grounds maintenance services


Even though the mornings are starting to get lighter, the nights are still drawing in meaning people typically finish work whilst it’s dark. So external lighting is crucial. When your staff are leaving work on dark winter evenings, they need to stay safe and be able to see where they’re going when leaving the premises, especially when there’s likely to be ice on the pathways.

Having sufficient lighting inside your building is also important and employees may find it useful to have desk lamps too for those winter evenings.

winter facilities management employees help

Be seen, be warm

If you have staff who work outdoors, then you need to provide them with protective clothing. Visibility on dark afternoons and evenings is an essential safety precaution, so kit them out with hi vis clothing to prevent accidents from happening.

Sometimes it’s necessary to ask staff members to work outdoors when they’re not expecting it and they may not have come prepared, so it’s nice to have warm clothes they can borrow to protect them from the cold, as well as spare hi vis jackets and waistcoats.

Here are our Top 10 winter essential recommendations:

  1. De-Icer Trigger Spray
  2. 110 Litre Grit Box
  3. Snow Shovel
  4. 25kg Salt Bag
  5. 22kg Mobile Salt Spreader
  6. Foldable Snow Shovel
  7. Winter Car Park Kit
  8. Handheld Salt Shaker & 2 bags of salt
  9. Grit Bin & Salt Kit
  10. Portable Expanding Sandbags
What are the real benefits of recycling

What are the real benefits of recycling?

You may have heard the phrase ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and this is a key term associated with recycling that is used all over the globe. It refers to how we should be living more sustainably and how we can be more environmentally friendly in our everyday lives.

But that still leaves us with the question: Why should we recycle? There are so many benefits of recycling and in this blog, we are going to explore some of the most important benefits that recycling has on our environment.


Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill

Every day our population continues to grow and more and more waste is being produced and going to landfill which is causing a huge strain on our environment. This leads to an increased risk of pollution, poisoning and potential health problems. By continuing to recycle, little by little we can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, as well as reduce the amount of space required for landfill sites.


Recycling creates more jobs

The recycling industry is huge and is much more labour intensive than solid waste management. In fact, Friends of the Earth said that if 70% of collected waste was recycled, it could create over 51,000 recycling jobs in the UK. Recycling is an integrated process that requires thousands of workers to sort and ship it to the right places.


Protecting wildlife

Sadly, it’s predicted that a truckload of plastic waste is poured into our oceans every minute which has detrimental effects. Not only can it take up to 200 years to decompose, it poses a huge threat to marine life and is also dangerous to birds who often mistake them as food.

Recycling reduces the need to extract new raw materials from the Earth which helps to reduce and prevent further damage being done to natural wildlife. For example, fewer forests being cut down which can harm wildlife in the process, fewer rivers being diverted and less air and water pollution.


Cheaper than waste collection

To put it simply, the more we recycle, the more money we save. In 2017, Lambeth council said that “it is six times cheaper to dispose of recycled waste than general refuse”. By recycling, we can put all the money that we save towards other vital elements within our economy such as households, business and public services. Recycling your food waste is also very beneficial as often it can be reused to generate compost for growing more food or crops.


Bring the community together

Whilst each and every one of us has a part to play in recycling, ultimately it should be a community effort. Whether you’re collecting materials for schools or picking up trash on the road, there are many ways that we, as a community, can work together to make recycling a much more enjoyable and easier process.

Most councils have now set up ‘recycling centres’ which make it easy as ever for the local community to recycle and most council websites also have free downloads to show you exactly what we can and can’t recycle and where it should go.

As we want recycling to become a part of our everyday life, this is also a great way to teach children about responsibility and taking a stance to help protect their environment.


As we’ve seen above, recycling is very important as waste has a huge negative impact on our natural environment. Not only does recycling help to reduce the pollution caused by waste, it reduces the need for raw materials so that our wildlife can be protected. As important as it is to recycle, we also need to focus on reducing the amount of plastic that we are using the first place.

At Quills, we are working hard to continue on our environmental journey and love to help our customers purchase more sustainably and reach their CSR targets. Why not be part of our journey and make a bigger impact? Get in touch today to see how we can help you become a greener business.

Find Quills in the Evening Standard & win a £50 Love2Shop voucher

Are you going to be in London on Tuesday 24th September? Pick up your copy of the Evening Standard and look out for Quills feature in the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ article (psst…it’s just past the middle pages!).

We’ve snuck a hashtag in the article and your job is to tag us in a post on Twitter or Facebook and comment what the hashtag was we used for your chance to win a £50 Love2Shop voucher!

You must also be following the account you used to submit your entry.

Entries are open until Sunday 29th September 2019 and the winner will be announced on Monday 30th September.

Good luck!


Terms and conditions:

  1. Entries should be based in the UK&I and must not be a Quills employee
  2. Closing date for entries is 11.59 pm on the 29/09/19
  3. Only one entry per person can be submitted on Twitter and Facebook
  4. A winner will be selected at random on the 30/09/2019 and the winner will be notified via the relevant social media channel that their entry was submitted on
  5. Entries must be submitted via Quills UK Facebook or Quills UK Twitter and the participant must be following the social media account used to qualify
  6. A £50 Love2Shop voucher will be sent to the winner by post and no cash alternative or prize will be provided
  7. Quills Group is a trading name for Quills Office Supplies Ltd and our registered address is Unit 2 Spitfire Business Park, 1 Hawker Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 4WD

Global Recycling Day: Key Facts and Top Tips

#GlobalRecyclingDay is held annually on the 18th March and it supports the promotion of recycling across the world. To encourage the theme for 2019 which is ‘Recycling Into The Future’, we’ve put together a list of all our recycling and energy saving top tips and some ‘Did you know’ facts on recycling…take a look below.

Did you know…

Recycling combats climate change:
• The recycling industry reduces CO2 emissions by 700 million tons per year
• This is the equivalent of offsetting the total CO2 emissions of the aviation industry each year
• By collecting just 1kg of used clothing, we can reduce 3.6kg of CO2 emissions; 6000l of water consumption; 0.3k of the use of fertilizers and 0.2kg of the use of pesticides

Recycling boosts local employment:
• 1.6 million people worldwide are active in the recycling industry
• Each year $20 million is invested by the industry into job creation
• The recycling industry has an annual turnover of $200 billion; 10% of this figure is reinvested in new technologies, R&D and in creating new skilled jobs to improve the efficiency and environmental impact of recycling

Recycling conserves primary resources:
• Recycling materials provide at least 40% of the global raw material needs
• Over 63% of aluminium cans are recycled worldwide
• A typical electrical appliance is usually made of 75% recycled steel
• Steel cans consist of at least 25% recycled steel
• An average stainless-steel object is composed of about 60% of recycled materials


Recycling Top Tips

Recycling Paper
• Paper is usually the greatest waste in the office, try and use digital formats for writing notes and sending communications
• Think before you print. Add this to your email signatures to remind everyone!
• Request online invoices and order products online
• Re-use envelopes for international communications
• Send out an email campaign to all staff boasting the benefits of recycling and word it in such a way that your employees will respect the businesses behavioural changes and support it

Saving Energy
• Turn off heating in empty rooms, making sure they are well ventilated
• Manage heating and cooling with timers and sensor controls
• Investigate taking all, or a percentage of your energy from renewable resources or ‘green tariffs’

• Recycle your office furniture by using local council schemes or call Quills on 0845 078 0324 and we will investigate the costs to recycle your furniture and help you reach your environmental targets
• Install different bins so that waste can be separated into plastics, paper and card, food waste and general waste
Recycle your toner cartridges via Quills
• Recycle your batteries via Quills
• Get rid of personal bins at desks and encourage staff to use bins which allow for separated waste
• Purchase refillable pens via Quills to reduce plastic waste through stationery usage

Reduce your carbon footprint
• Home-working
• Car sharing
• Encourage the use of public transport and provide incentives to do so such as interest-free loans for public transport season tickets

It’s clear that there are a number of quick and easy ways to improve our recycling habits both at home and at work. Quills can offer you a Total Waste Management Program which incorporates all or some of the waste streams within your business. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.

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


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.

Do your employees hot desk or perhaps are field based? If so, its time to consider a Hot Box!

How To Manage A Multi-Generational Workforce – Understanding Generations In The Workforce

With Generation Z just starting to breach the workforce, our offices are now hosting four generations. The baby boomers (1946 – 1964), Generation X (1961 – 1981), the millennials (1981-1996) and Gen Z (late 90’s to early 2000’s). Each generation has different values, different interests and different strengths – especially in the workplace. However, this can present a unique challenge:

How do you manage multiple generations in one office?

Generational Stereotypes.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines stereotype as “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.” When talking about different generations in this post, we have used a lot of stereotypes. Use them as inspiration, but don’t take them as law.

The Issue: Generational Tension

One of the largest problems your office is going to face when hosting four or five generations under the same roof is generational tension. Generational tension is loosely defined as a lack of respect for someone who’s of a different generation from you. Typical examples of this may be:

“These millennials have no work ethic!”

“Baby boomers are stubborn and outdated!”

Tension can come from conflicting values and experience. Each generation will have different perspectives and so can interpret each other negatively. If you’re from a generation that highly values a strong work ethic, the generation that refuses to work any longer than their contracted hours and wants loads of vacation time seem lazy. However, if you’re from a generation that cares about having a healthy work/life balance, the generation that thinks you should stay late and be willing to work weekends seems stodgy and demanding.

Needless to say, this friction is not something you want appearing in your office.

The Difference Between Age Gap and Generation Gap and Why It’s Important

It’s important to distinguish between age differences and generation differences.

Generations, as they are commonly understood nowadays, are social generations. Social generations are defined as cohorts of people born in the same date range and who share similar cultural experiences.

The importance in this definition is the shared cultural experiences. Each generation lives through different periods of history and develops their values from said events.

For example:

“Generation X” were born in a time where they were seeing their parents being laid off and jobs being cut, as well as being the first generation to be told they wouldn’t do as financially well as their parents. These experiences are said to have made them self-reliant and disloyal to organisations.

Each generations’ experiences are different to those that came before and after them. This results in different values and outlooks on life, which is where the different generations can then clash.

How to manage multiple generations in the office

Disregard Stereotypes

There is a wealth of information available online about different generations and their various traits. The first thing you should do when managing multiple generations in the workplace is disregard those stereotypes. Half of them are likely wrong anyway.

Don’t assume all your older workers are technologically illiterate. Don’t assume all your younger ones are lazy.

Treat all of your employees like individuals

Painting your employees with the same brush is a quick way to make that age gap more pronounced – and to upset your employees.

There may be some truth in certain generational traits. However, it’s important to remember that stereotypes are never entirely accurate. It’s perfectly reasonable to take generational needs into account when making decisions, but make sure that you aren’t treating people differently based off of them.

Besides, if you start to stereotype generations in the workplace – what stops employees from stereotyping each other?

Understand what each generation wants and needs

Due to growing up in different times, with different events and concerns, each generation tends to have different values.  They also have different working requirements and expectations. This isn’t to say that an individual employee may not go against what their generation is touted to value, but that it can definitely help you when accommodating different age groups.

Understanding where your employees’ wants and needs stem from can help you form a more complete and tolerant understanding of them. As an example, a word often used to describe millennials are “entitled”, “self-obsessed” and “lazy”. An alternative interpretation, however, is that millennials are really more focused on having the work/life balance their parents didn’t have.

Think about how different those two perspectives are. As a manager, having a lazy, difficult employee is far different to having an employee who wants to be home to feed their children.

This works for all generations. With a little understanding, most negative stereotypes have no purchase.

Most employees you hire are not going to be intrinsically disagreeable. If you can understand their perspective and what drives them, you’ll be able to resolve conflict more efficiently.

Understand each generation’s strengths – and weaknesses

One of the biggest benefits to having such a diverse workforce is the variety of skills and life experience your office is home to. Certain generations will have skills that others don’t and other generations will have experience that others don’t. If you can understand each generation, you can utilise your entire workforce to create a complete solution.

A noteworthy idea that some businesses encourage is for employees with generational gaps to mentor and learn skills from one another. This helps to bridge skills, improve employee bonds and lessen generational tension.

Support each generation

Another way to ensure your office runs smoothly is to support employees while they work for you. This isn’t to say that you need to give employees special treatment. Sometimes simple acknowledgement is enough. Understanding that certain tasks may be easier or harder; working styles could differ; benefits for one person may not be the same for another.

These are just a few ways that you can ensure that your office is ready to be hosting five different generations as smoothly as possible.

*Image credit: