One to One Interiors
Blog One: Planning the perfect Christmas office party
December is the month for letting your hair down at work as Christmas
approaches. Done right, the office Christmas ‘do’ can be an enjoyable event
that brings workers together and spreads joy around the office. Done badly,
and it will also be an unforgettable evening – for all the wrong reasons!
By now, most of the planning will hopefully have been finalised, in terms of
hiring the venue, organizing the catering and entertainment and confirming
the guest list. Now it is time to plan the smaller, yet equally vital aspects. Here
is our last-minute guide to planning (and surviving) your office Christmas party
On your marks…
Whether your party is being held in the office, or at an external venue, you will
need to make arrangements for the evening in advance. Make sure you have
worked out how you are going to get there and back home again in safety. If
you have been involved in organising the party, do you need to arrive in
advance of everyone to help set up? Make sure you know whether there will
be food served and if not, where you are going to eat before the event.
Drinking on an empty stomach is always a bad idea.
Next, choose your outfit, making sure it matches any pre-announced themes
or dress codes. Check the etiquette on whether you need to bring anything
with you – does your office run a Secret Santa, or are you expected to bring a
bottle with you? If the party is being held at your office, do you need to bring
any food with you? Do you need to rearrange the desk and chairs to create a
make-shift dance floor, or to tuck any valuable equipment away to prevent
damage? Would the office look better with a few Christmas decorations to
brighten the room up?
When you get to the party, moderate your drinking, substituting soft drinks
every couple of rounds. Think before you speak to make sure you don’t say
anything that will offend someone else, or that you will regret in the cold light
of day. Have plenty of fun, but stay safe and remember that you are still
around work colleagues – including your boss, most likely, and even your
boss’s boss. Take lots of photos if you wish, but again, don’t post anything too
incriminating on social media, or any pictures that other people would be
upset if they saw them online. In short, if you plan well, have fun and respect
your other partygoers, you should have an amazing Christmas office party!
Blog Two: Ergonomics: staying fit and healthy in the office
It is every manager’s duty to safeguard the health of their workforce. Making
sure that the office ergonomics are correct is a simple, yet highly effective way
of doing this. In other words, ensuring that people’s desks and seats are set at
the right height for them, and that using the phone and IT equipment doesn’t
cause any injuries.
Poor ergonomics can be directly responsible for aches and pains, discomfort,
stress, fatigue and long-term health conditions, such as carpal tunnel
syndrome. Here are some ways to ensure your office is set up correctly to
protect your workers and optimise the layout of your furniture and IT.
Desks and chairs
Provide desks and chairs that can be adjusted to fit the user’s height. They
should be able to sit without slouching, and their feet should be able to touch
the floor. Chairs should have arm rests attached to allow people to support
the weight of their own arms and so protect their neck and shoulder muscles.
Monitors should be placed directly in front of the user, with the top no higher
than eye level. This will reduce neck strain. Users should be discouraged from
craning forward – make sure that the light levels are correctly set for the
screen and that the text is set large enough to read if someone has a visual
impairment. Never place a monitor in front of a window or bright light source
as this can cause eye strain.
Telecoms and IT
Tucking the phone handset between the neck and ear while speaking to
someone else is terrible practice and will cause damage over time.
Discourage the practice by investing in headsets. Have the keyboard and
mouse on each desk positioned close enough for the user to reach without
having to strain. Try to avoid people carrying our repetitive tasks too often, as
this can also cause damage to muscles and joints.
Sitting too long I one position will not do the body any good. Encourage staff
to take regular breaks and try to avoid too many instances of people taking
their lunch at their desk. A change really is as good as a rest when it comes to
taking breaks during the working day. Provide dedicated space for people to
relax away from their desks, such as a staff room, cafeteria or external
Provide water coolers so that people can drink water regularly, as well as a
kitchen area for preparing lunch or hot drinks. You might also consider
providing bowls of fruit or healthy snacks to nibble on during the day.
Consider running a survey into your employees’ exercise and work habits so
that you can plan how to better support their health and wellbeing while they
are in the office.