Top tips for creating a thriving workplace

To have an effective and nurturing workspace, a business must take into consideration three things: furniture, office environment and treatment of staff.

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entury Office is the perfect example of these factors working well. Wellbeing in the workplace is an important issue for Century and its products reflect this. The company provides an extensive range of ergonomic seating as well as sit/stand desks and a selection of storage solutions designed to meet any office need. Century Office also practices what it preaches as it provides its staff with ergonomic furniture to promote a healthy posture and therefore limit aches and pains.

Century Office’s chairs provide lumbar support and each one has its own features that provide other forms of body support; some also come in different frame options to cater to different demands. These chairs are then paired with one of Century’s sit/stand desks to offer employees the chance to break up the sedentary day. Each desk, as well as every other item of furniture, can be specified in different colours, sizes, and frames. Optional extras such as screens, headrests or chair covers also mean that they can suit any budget.

Your office environment should be suited to what works best for your company as well as each department. For instance, instead of following the trend of an open-plan office simply because it might save money, take into consideration whether the noise pollution and lack of privacy will actually hinder your staff productivity and therefore cause your company to take a hit financially (thus disregarding the money that was saved).

This kind of layout may work for departments that need to collaborate often and with ease, but for employees that work more individually, e.g. creatives, the need to be able to concentrate without distraction is a lot higher. Century’s office is spread over two floors. The ground floor is a working showroom where the sales team can easily greet customers and demonstrate the products. The showroom is a buzzy open plan environment that utilises every space and corner. Upstairs are the accounts and marketing departments as well as a second space where the Directors’ offices are. These offices are more spacious and quieter as they are working with numbers, content and creative design.

What could be considered to be one of the most important factors of a successful office is having a comfortable workspace that supports staff and takes into consideration their wants and needs – this could be for professional reasons or about something personal that will their affect work and productivity.

To this end, Century has worked hard to achieve a workplace that promotes a sense of family. After all, family is at the heart of Century Office; it’s what started it, and what has kept it going from strength to strength for over 40 years. The business is currently run by husband and wife duo, Steve and Sarah Bays, but was founded in the 1970s by Steve’s father and mother. Since then, Century has evolved from a company that used to refurbish then sell old office furniture, into a business that designs and sells affordable office furniture solutions.

Steve and Sarah’s son Conor recently joined the company and has become a valuable member of the team, further reinforcing the family values that Century stand for. However, family doesn’t always mean those connected by marriage or blood and this is distinctly evident when thinking about the Century Office team, so much so that Sarah has devised a shorter working hours trial in the hopes that it will boost staff wellbeing. The trial will give the team more flexibility with regards to their hours which therefore means they will have more time to pursue personal hobbies or spend time with their families.

Sarah comments: “Employees need to work in a place where they feel that they can confide in their boss or colleagues if necessary without fear of being ridiculed. They need to know that their concerns, worries and criticisms are being heard.” If your workplace doesn’t cater to the above, it becomes substantially more likely that your staff will be unhappy and this will lead to higher levels of stress (which could contribute to more sick days), lower levels of productivity and a higher staff turnover, all of which will negatively impact your business in the long-run.

Sarah continues: “We have a very low staff turnover, until quite recently we had three staff who had been employed for over 20 years. We now have quite a young team (as we are expanding), but are investing heavily in their personal development in order to allow them to grow with the business and be a part of its future successes. Our team are part of the Century family and as such we can offer them flexibility and support when they need it, in return for commitment and personal investment into the future success.”

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