Care of Office Furniture
Wood and lacquered surfaces, especially tops
If finished with an acid-catalysed lacquer, properly applied.
Modern Office Furniture will be resistant (but not proof against) moderate heat and limited exposure to alcohol.
The only cleaning necessary for Office Furniture is a wipe with a slightly damp cloth, followed by a soft, dry duster.
Do not useabrasive cleaners on Office Furniture they will scratch the surface.
Table tops should be protected from hot, damp items (such as the unglazed bottoms of coffee cups); spillages, especially of alcohol, should be wiped immediately with a damp cloth and should never be left for long periods or overnight.
For more stubborn marks (in the lacquer and which have not affected the timber below), rub in the direction of the wood grain with a soft cloth and small quantities of either hot water and vinegar, soap and warm wateror industrial alcohol. Another polishers’ trick is to use ‘000’ wire-wool (but nothing more coarse than this). Alcohol is a solvent; it must only remain on the surface of the furniture for verf brief periods.
Prolonged contact with vinyl compounds (such as a polythene-covered ring binder left in the sun on a table-top or bookshelf) may also react with the lacquer
BEWARE silicon spray polishes, such as "Mr Sheen"! These build up an unsightly film and will react with the lacquer and cause irreparable damage; the only remedial action is to strip the whole top and respray – even then, the results are unpredictable
Keep Office Furniture out of direct sunlight; the colours of all timbers will mellow with time and exposure to ultra violet light. It is wise periodically to move desk accessories to even out exposure.
For brass and other non-ferrous metal Office Furniture a proprietary cleaner is ideal but avoid contact with the wood or lacquered surface; apart from the occasional wipe with a duster, stainless steel needs no cleaning, nor does anodized aluminium or powder-coated mild steel.
Proprietary glass cleaning fluids are most suitable but avoid contact with the wood or lacquered surface.
Moving Office Furniture
- Damage to Office Furniture frequently occurs when it is moved, so:
- Beware of dragging Office Furniture, it should be lifted clear of the floor.
- Disconnect the sections of large tables and lift the tops clear of their bases.
- Folding-leg tables are best handled by two people and should be turned upside down on a carpeted floor or protective blanket before dismantling.
- Avoid dropping the corners of office tables onto the floor and beware door architraves when moving office furniture from room to room.
- Purpose made trolleys and storage racks greatly help extend the life of office furniture that is moved regularly.
Levelling Office Furniture
If doors or drawers do not align, the unit is probably not level; the hinges can be adjusted but an easier way is to use levelling wedges to compensate for uneven floors.
Leather Office Furniture & Office Chairs
Virtually all consumer complaints with upholstery leather arise through well intentioned but improper, over-enthusiastic, cleaning. The principal cause of deterioration is dust worked into the pores. For regular cleaning, simply vacuum and take a soft cloth, wring it out in a warm, mild, soap solution (but not detergent); wipe the leather using a light circular motion taking care not to soak the leather; repeat using clean water. Do not attempt to ‘feed’ upholstery leather in any way; spray polishes, saddle soaps, waxes and so-called ‘hide foods’ may create a sticky surface attracting dirt and causing irreversible damage.
Wool fabrics, As a rough guide weekly vacuuming greatly extends the life of wool fabric. Annual cleaning can also help; in the absence of professional help, use only reputable brands of upholstery shampoo and be sure to test the solution on an inconspicuous part; never use soap, ammonia, bleach or other cleaners intended for hard surfaces.
Spots and stains:
- Act quickly! Most will vanish if they are treated immediately and not allowed to dry in.
- Mop up excess liquid with white absorbent tissues or a clean cloth; scoop up solids with a spoon or blade of a knife.
- Use small amounts of cleaning fluid at a time and blot between each application, avoid pressing liquid through the fabric.
- If possible, place a wad of white tissues between the fabric and filling
- Never rush! Work patiently and thoroughly.
If the first stop does not work, leave to dry and then try the second and, if necessary, third method.
Our place of work is where we spend a good part of our time and must be as comfortable as possible. Office Furniture and in particular office chairs play a vital role in ensuring a pleasant ambience in the workplace, thanks to the ergonomic, elegant and comfortable designs that are replacing the concept of functionality that existed previously.
Although the human body is designed specifically for activity, a seated posture seems to be more our main body position. And not just when we are at work either - this applies whether we are eating, sitting in the car or even in our leisure activities. More than 10 million people in the UK carry out their activities in a seated position which could be around 70,000 hours during their working life. Changes in the working environment, together with ever-increasing technology in the office is creating new risks to health. The muscular activity, which is so essential for our health and well-being, is disappearing rapidly from our daily life. Lack of physical movement is one of the causes of many illnesses.
The design of Office Seating has therefore had to change from simply providing comfortable chairs of various sizes, to the provision of a sophisticated tool that will provide dynamic posture support in the many different tasks now required to be undertaken at the workstation.
Ergonomics is "The Study of Efficiency of People in their Working Environment". However Ergonomics only really gains its teeth when there is an understanding that by practising good Ergonomics it is possible to pull together a plethora of ideas and designs that will, "….optimise loyalty, productivity and thereby… profitability.
Office Chair Seating is significantly important, ergonomically, because of the physical contact that individuals have directly with seating. Office Chairs can also have a significant psychological or emotional impact on employees. The choice of office chair can also indicate status, the employer’s willingness to invest in the employee, in the employee’s welfare or the company’s image.
In a standing position the human spine adopts an ‘S’ shape curve, and may be divided into three main regions;
The cervical curve (neck) has seven small vertebrae, which have good movement, but are not designed to transmit large amounts of weight or force.
The thoracic curve carries an intermediate amount of weight or force and is a relatively inflexible part of the spine. Its mobility is affected by the rib cage, to which it is attached.
The lumbar spine is built for strength and designed to absorb forces, transmit weight and is quite mobile in forward and back bending.
The S-shape of our spine enables it to maintain a stable equilibrium, whether walking, standing or sitting. The flexibility of the spinal column is achieved by the vertebral joints and the discs or cartilages which lie between the individual vertebrae. The lumbar region is of particular importance, where optimum support must be provided by the backrest so that the spinal column can maintain its natural S-shape regardless of seating posture.
In conclusion, if we can maintain the lazy ‘S’ curve which is present in the standing position, when sitting, the additional strain on the intervertebral discs caused by the act of sitting, will be limited.
In addition to the support offered to the spinal column, it is also important to provide positive support to the muscles and other tissues used to maintain a correct posture.
An effective prescription is to sit in an office chair which provides dynamic support, meaning that the chair safely allows the change in sitting position, varying between forward-leaning, backward-leaning and sitting upright. This prevents strain and ensures the healthy interplay of stress and relaxation between the muscles and the spinal column.
In addition to the changes given by the movement now provided by the underseat mechanism, there have also been changes to the overall design of the seat and back cushions. The office chair seat has changed to provide a smooth 'waterfall' front edge to reduce the pressure under the lower thigh and a contoured 'posture' seat to spread the weight of the upper body over as wide an area as possible.
The back of the office chair has also changed, almost beyond recognition, with positive adjustable lumbar depth and positioning becoming almost standard on many modern chairs. The key here is to once again provide control of the users spine, often directly by the curvature of the back pad itself, but once again on a few newer chairs, by the control of the pelvis and in particular the prevention of the backwards tilt, retaining the lazy S curvature of the spine and a better posture as a result.
Of course it is important here that, in all cases, the back is adjusted to each individual user so that the back pad fits naturally into the curve of the spine.
The very best technology and engineering skills have been employed in the design and manufacture of our office seating to provide ergonomically correct chairs, able to offer safe and comfortable seating for many years to come.
However while the correct ergonomically designed seating can be of great assistance in the preventing the exacerbation of musculo-skeletal problems it is vital that the office chair is adjusted to the users particular requirements.
A correctly adjusted chair is important to long-term comfort whether the user works with a PC or not. It is important that time is taken to get to know the office chair when first used. Find out what the levers do and ensure the chair is adjusted to you’re your individual requirements. If possible try to adopt a "dynamic posture" which encourages active movement.
Regulations and Standards
The changing office environment and the rise in health-related problems associated with the increasing use of personal computers, led to the introduction by the European Commission of Directive No: 90/70/EEC of 29th May 1990 on the minimum health and Safety Requirements for Work with Display Screen Equipment or Video Display Terminals (VDTs).
This was implemented in the UK by the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 and was incorporated in the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. These regulations were amended in 2002.
Before selecting an office chair ensure that it has been manufactured to all UK and European performance standards and has been manufactured under a recognised and registered quality assurance standard to maintain the quality levels.
These performance standards include:
BS EN ISO 9241 - Part 5 – Ergonomics of design and use of visual display terminals (VDTs) in offices, Part 5: 1999 Specifications for VDT workstations.
BS 7176 – Specification for resistance to ignition of upholstered office furniture for non- domestic seating by testing composites
The manufacturer should comply with a recognised Quality Management System as part of ISO 9000 series
Office Seating is significantly important, ergonomically, because of the physical contact that individuals have directly with seating. Office Chairs can also have a significant psychological or emotional impact on employees. The choice of chair can also indicate status, the employer’s willingness to invest in the employee, in the employee’s welfare or the company’s image.
It is wise to involve users in the general choice of office chairs and to have several sizes of office chair available to meet the needs of the different body sizes and shapes found in today's modern office.
Power Management for Office Furniture.
Our under desks standard range provides an economical and discreet way of providing power to the desk. Units can be linked together using Wieland connectors to a max of six outlets. The units all provide fully segregated power, voice and data options available in a wide range of configurations to suit your requirements.
These products provide the solutions to provide more free space under the desk. The CableWay is an ideal way of keeping all loose cable neatly together. Our range of CPU supports cover a variety of budgets and most are available with a slide and rotate mechanism on request.
Our through desk range of products offer the convenience of power and data at the desktop when you need it and an uncluttered work surface when you don't. The units pull up from the desk surface to allow quick and easy access.
A through desk power and data module that pulls up from the work surface and pushes back down to a flush position when in use. Standard finish is anodised silver body with black power and communication fascias All UK power sockets feature integral fuses, accessible only when equipment plug has been removed Choice of fuse ratings available to comply with BS 6396
Leasing Your Office Furniture
Your Questions Answered
What is leasing?
Leasing is a well established, tax efficient method of financing a wide variety of capital equipment Including Office Furniture, Office Desks and Workstations, Office Chairs, Reception Furniture, Reception Seating, Reception Units, Reception Counters, Reception Desking , Office Storage, Office Screens, Office Partitioning and Storage Wall/Storagewall
Who leases Office Furniture ?
Practically every sector of the British economy takes advantage of leasing. Organisations which lease can be found throughout industry and commerce, in business large and small. For example, a recent survey shows that around 8 out of 10 accountancy firms use leasing and 85% of the Times Top 100 UK companies lease equipment.
Why not buy the Office Furniture outright?
The benefits of leasing provide a strong case against a cash purchase of Office Furniture. If you buy the equipment or Office Furniture outright the money is effectively tied up in an asset that will lose value over time. Leasing, on the other hand, allows you greater flexibility to invest your capital in other business needs, as well as having the required equipment. Moreover, the net cost of leasing the equipment or office furniture maybe less than you think due to the tax relief on rentals.
What about borrowing the money to buy the Office Furniture instead?
Using an existing credit line will prevent you from being able to use it in the future for unexpected needs or short term funds. Indeed, the business which borrows to finance Office Furniture is still vulnerable to changes in interest rates. Leasing, however, is not affected by fluctuations in interest rates and allows you to plan your budget accordingly. Financing equipment through a loan is unlikely to offer the same flexibility to change equipment by upgrading or adding other items.
Will the rental amount change during the lease?
Your rental payments are agreed at the outset of the arrangement. Your payments will not change unless the Government chooses to increase the rate of corporation tax or makes amendments to VAT.
Are payments affected by inflation?
Payments made throughout the life of the leasing arrangement are not affected by inflation. The real cost of leasing will reduce over time as the value of money depreciates.
A lease is a hire contract where a leasing company agrees to purchase Office Furniture from a supplier and then hire it to a customer or lessee for an agreed price over a specified period of time. It allows the lessee to make use of the Office Furniture or system without depleting capital resources or using existing lines of credit.
Behind this simple description are many benefits for users who sometimes mistakenly see leasing only as an alternative when purchase of Office Furniture is not viable. In fact, as any leasing company can demonstrate, the lease option is often a better choice than purchase even if cash is available since the acquisition cost is spread into the future over the useful like of the equipment or product and is paid at a fixed rate, unaffected by fluctuations in interest rates.
Most users can appreciate that forecasting when that cash reserve might be needed in the future is particularly difficult. The lease provides the user with potential to finance the upgrade or changes to the Office Furniture or equipment simply by making changes to the payments and/or time periods.
- Lease rentals are 100% tax deductible
- Conserves working capital
- Upgrade of Office Furniture is simple
- Fixed rentals allow more accurate budget planning
- Acquire equipment or Office furniture when it is needed using revenue budgets as opposed to capital budgets
For further information or to discuss your exact requirements please contact us on 01823 668428. or read the following
Contact us and we will put you in touch with Philip Mills of Leasing Programmes to discuss your financial needs.
How to reduce stress at work
Imagine working only four hours a day, nine months a year and earning all the money you need to do exactly what you want with all your free time. Does that sound like your life? That's the life a futurist of the early 20th Century predicted the average worker would be living by the 21st century.
Yet despite the introduction of many labour-saving devices in the workplace and home, Harvard University Economist Juliet Schor found by the 1990s people were working the equivalent of one month a year more than they did at the end of World War II.
As an example, Schor explained in her book Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure how the introduction of automatic washers and dryers resulted in an increase in time spent doing laundry. Laundry that had previously been sent out now stayed home, and standards of cleanliness went up. Laundry isn't the only task that has grown over the last century. It seems that whenever a significant new "labour saving" product or service is developed we use it so much our workload actually increases.
After all, wasn't our work supposed to be made easier by voice mail, fax machines, cell phones and email? On the contrary, many of us find we are constantly on-call, frequently interrupted, and overwhelmed with communications that people expect to receive immediate responses to. That's on top of the already heavy workload existing in most organizations. For an employee, the consequences of this overload can be stress, burnout, and illness. For an employer, it can result in high turnover and poor performance. Addressing the problem of overwork can help companies keep good employees. A recent study by AON Consulting found that management recognition of an employee's need to balance work with personal life is one of the top five drivers of employee commitment to a company.
To help overworked employees, managers should be trained to notice signs that employees are overburdened. Such signs include consistently working late, working through lunch, coming to work even when sick, taking work home, rushing to meet very tight deadlines, expressing frustration, and not taking vacations.
Employees who are overwhelmed with work may not always tell you how they feel so make the effort to ask how they are doing. For some employees, having the opportunity to express their concerns and hearing appreciation for their extra effort may help alleviate stress during a temporarily busy period. If an employee's heavy workload is more than temporary, you can assist them in brainstorming solutions to relieve their situation. And if you are the one who is overworked, you can try some of these solutions yourself.
Here are some steps you can take to get your workload under control:
Spend your time working on things that are important. This may sound obvious, but many of us are tempted to work on easy tasks first so we can have a sense of accomplishment. Time spent on those "easy" tasks can quickly add up, creating even more stress when there does not appear to be enough time left for the important work.
To find out what your time is being spent on, start keeping an "activity log". Every time you start and end a new activity, including taking a break,make note of the time. Most workers who charge by the hour have learned to do this automatically. If you are not used to tracking your time it may be a bit of an adjustment, but within a few days you should be able to notice any time-wasters you might not have been aware of.
Set daily goals. When scheduling your time, assume that something unexpected will come up and build in a cushion of time to deal with it. To minimize the stress of meeting self-imposed deadlines, avoid making promises about when tasks will be completed. If you must commit to a date, be conservative. If you consistently under promise and over deliver you could earn a great reputation while reducing your stress. Aim to meet or even exceed expectations, but don't try to achieve perfection. Wherever possible, delegate routine tasks even if you think you can do them better than someone else.
Unless you are expected to be on call, work on eliminating interruptions. Select a time of day when you will return phone calls and emails. During other times, let your voice mail take messages for you. You can also create an auto reply for your email to let people know their message has been received. If your email says you will respond within 24 hours if a reply is required, it may deter someone from repeatedly trying to contact you in the meantime.
Avoid letting other people's problems become yours. As Richard Carlson, author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work, says "If someone throws you the ball you don't have to catch it." Some managers find themselves solving their employees' problems instead of empowering employees to find solutions themselves. When someone comes to you with a problem that isn't yours, try limiting your contribution to advice instead of taking on the task yourself. When you are feeling overwhelmed, say so. Companies want to keep good employees so most bosses will want to know when you are having difficulty. However, instead of saying "I can't do it," offer some possible solutions.
For example, if you won't be able to get a major report completed by a particular deadline, perhaps you could tell the boss you can either complete a condensed version of the report by the deadline, complete the entire report by a later date, or meet the deadline if you get some help from co-workers or temporary staff.
These techniques probably won't help you enjoy the life of leisure envisioned by those early futurists. But they can cut down on your stress and may make your work both more manageable and more enjoyable. Good luck !
The unspoken word is normally heard the loudest !!
Why- Electric Sit-Stand desks
Changing your working position regularly helps to prevent back problems. An adjustable desk is essential for this.
- If you have an existing back problem then standing at a high desk for parts of your day rather than sitting all day at a standard desk can offer great relief and help the recovery process when back problems occurs.
- People of various height can easily adjust their desk according to specific needs - Particularly beneficial for those of a taller stature, in the prevention of stooping.
- Electric operation means that people can adjust their own desk height which is also very useful for wheelchair users.
- Ideal for people where sitting all day is not an option, ie individuals returning to work after back surgery.
- Easy up and down operation with the added safety features that 2 buttons must be pressed together to avoid accidental operation.
- Advantageous for groups who share the same workstation-ie "Hotdesking" or shift working environments. For desk workers of different height.
- Comfort to everybody.
Because Somercourt only deals with manufacturers who make their both their own: Lift system, adjustable leg columns, and frames we can offer Adjustable Height Computer Desks at a fraction of the cost of other adjustable computer desk products. Whether model you choose, no other manufacturer can offer the ergonomic value that we do. The benefits of an integrated supplier are obvious:
An adjustable height Computer Desk is not a big investment anymore.
Our Adjustable Height Computer Desks are available in Pedestal (1-Leg), 2-Leg and 3-Leg versions and feature the highest cost benefit level in the business. Adjustable Height Computer Desks adjust quickly and easily with the touch of a button.
The height-adjustable-desk is synonymous with good ergonomic practice in the workplace. Electric height adjustable desks that operate through a full sit stand height range are the solution that will get used to full potential and can also be essential for full DDA compliance
Reception Furniture is used in so many businesses from professional practices to beauty salons. The Reception, Foyer or Entrance to your business is the first impression that your client has of the standard they can expect from your organisation. The friendly approach of your staff, the welcoming smile of your receptionist or counter staff will create a sense of wellbeing in your clients mind relaxing them and setting the right atmosphere to conduct business that is of benefit to you both. Reception Furniture is not restricted to stylish Tub Seating or Smart Coffee Tables the Reception Counter needs to be functional and effective to allow the operators to conduct their administrative tasks effectively.
Reception Units or Reception Desks are a vital component of Reception Furniture in all commercial premises from,Doctors Surgeries , Dentists, Solicitors, Lawyers, Accountants , Engineering Companies , Consultants , Hairdressers, Beauty Salons, Supermarkets ,Hotels, Bed and Breakfast houses, Travel lodges, Holiday Parks , as well as large corporations including Banks Building Societies and Financial Services organisations where the standard of finish is most important to reflect the stature of the company. Reception Counters are available in a variety of finishes including, wood effect melamines, fine wood veneers, aluminium, glass, chrome or plastic. A Reception Counter can be designed to fit exactly with a bespoke craftsman made Reception Piece.
At Somercourt we can help you to design the best solution to reflect your corporate desires, at Somercourt we can assist with planning the best image all within budget and on time. We can plan deliver and install your reception Desk or Reception Area. Why not call us and speak to one of our industry trained designers who will provide the guidance and expert advice to assist you to achieve your corporate image.