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NEWS

 


The Currency of Trust


Today we hit a milestone by achieving our 1500th review on Trustpilot, a service we find extremely useful to connect with our customers. We are incredibly grateful that so many people who have used our services are willing to take some time to give us feedback.

As a business that has a large customer-facing element, independent reviews are enormously important to us. They offer a genuine insight into how well we are meeting our customers’ expectations, and the targets we have set for ourselves.

The fact that our customers believe we are excelling on a daily basis is of course very rewarding for our whole team. We are thrilled that we have been consistently rated 5/5 and have been top of several Trustpilot categories in each of the last five years. However, just as important are the reviews that don’t quite hit the top mark, when customers feel they have been let down, or we didn’t quite deliver on our own high standards. This feedback allows us to learn and evolve. Without these less than perfect reviews it would be much more difficult for us to determine which areas we need to work on. We are still learning and improving as a business, and it is important for us to continue to do that. 

Now more than ever, while price and speed of delivery are still important, you can now add to that the client experience. Numerous online suppliers have reacted to increased sales during the COVID-19 crisis with a decreased customer experience. Treating customers as individuals and offering them a personalised service has always been one of Wellworking’s key drivers, and our reviews are testament to that.

The retail environment is changing. We all need to listen to what customers really want, what they appreciate, and keep adapting to meet their needs so they keep coming back and bringing others with them. 

Trust is a hugely important currency, and one which cannot be ignored.

Paul Simons
Online Director

 

The New ‘Screen-Working’


With many firms slowly seeing workers returning to the office, here at Wellworking we have been testing some of the new products designed to help staff feel safer at work.

In this post-COVID-19 landscape, there is a real need for fresh thinking on office design. BakkerElkhuisen’s Safety Screens are one solution to help employees feel shielded and assist in maintaining safe distancing. As Wellworking’s leading Workplace Ergonomics Consultant, I’ve been giving one a try.

It was easy to install on my desk in minutes with the included clamps and creates the feeling of a secure, almost ‘cosy’ space due to its soft PET felt construction. Coming back to the office after lockdown may be stressful for some workers who, like me, will have protection and safety at the forefront of their minds. The acrylic windows allow me to remain connected with my colleagues but unlike the fully transparent screens this one feels less hostile and not as clinical.

While these screens are designed to be used in addition to social distancing, the fact the screen isn’t completely transparent does make you feel more sheltered and they are one way to help enforce the 2-metre separation between employees. As well as that, there is the bonus of great acoustics as the screen helps reduce noise therefore improving privacy further.

Importantly, they are also environmentally sound with the main panels made of 100% recycled material which in turn is fully recyclable itself. This soft, tactile material can still be cleaned easily with alcohol-based solutions.

While many aspects of office working will continue to be challenging for some months, there are now a vast array of products like this being designed to help staff ease back into some form of normality.

Lee Jones
Workplace Ergonomics Consultant

 

Social Distancing in the Workplace. Credit: Ltd

Getting Back To The Office – But What Will That Mean?


Later this week, the government will set out its thinking on getting people who work in offices back to their place of work.

It’s a huge undertaking, for companies and for individuals, many of whom are very anxious about how they can work safely.

First and foremost, it is about keeping colleagues safe. But if, in doing so, they have to create a hospital-style environment which is either impractical, or causes mental health issues for people and impacts upon their performance, is it worth it, or should the majority of office workers carry on working from home, for the moment anyway?

All of our clients are already thinking about what this looks like, and here’s five things that regularly come up as issues they are addressing, and possible solutions to those issues.


1.     The Commute

How do our colleagues get to and from the office in the first place? It’s suggested in London, for example, that if the public transport network climbs back up to even 15% of capacity, it could grind to a halt under the current social distancing rules.

Just one of the reasons why organisations are having to think about reducing the number of staff in the office at the same time, and staggering working hours. Providing the means for people to walk, cycle and even drive to work is another area of focus here.


2.     The Office

An office which is observing social distancing and safety rules could look almost unrecognisable to colleagues walking into reception for the first time.

Everything from getting to your desk, to using the canteen, toilets, printer and water cooler, will be disorientating. It’s a massive challenge which requires clear communication.

So companies need to look at what signage and induction processes are in place to reduce that sense of bewilderment. Design firm Ltd is already seeing a surge in demand for acrylic décor as companies look to adapt their workplaces. For example, helping staff find safe routes around the building like in the image on the left from a project they are working on.


3.       The Colleague

How do we know that colleagues are healthy when they come into work?

Until testing becomes more readily available, and the results come back quicker, organisations are looking at temperature checks as one option, both at home before people come into the office, and also in reception. 


4.     The Desk

The 2m rule will have a significant impact upon the open-plan offices that most of us are now used to. Many of our clients are trying to establish whether there is enough space for everyone to work in the office, at the same time, safely. Those which have rightly encouraged active working across different sit and stand workstations will also face challenges around people sharing workstations.

Some are looking to take their lead from supermarkets, and there are, for example, transparent screens available for individual workstations.

There are questions about whether hot desking, or “hoteling”, will be banned, but for some, this may be the only way existing offices will be able to function. People won’t share keyboards and other stationery and keeping these areas clean is paramount.


5.     The Clean

How organisations and individuals keep their working environment clean will be key to keeping people safe in the office.

Disinfecting workstations, before and after each person has used them, will become part of our normal routine. Alternating the use of particular working areas, from day to day, or team to team, is also being explored. And the practicalities of wearing masks, and even gloves, are also being considered here.


All of these factors are about safety, first and foremost.

There is so much to learn, in so little time, and we would like to hear your experiences of what might work for you and your team, as well as some of the other challenges you are facing as you contemplate the return to the office.

 

 

Wellworking Scotland's 'Bring a Pet to Homeworking' Day

From Workplace Wellbeing to Workplace Belonging


In front of our eyes, part of the workplace conversation is evolving, from workplace wellbeing to workplace belonging. 
 
This is in part a solution to a new question in the productivity puzzle. 
 
How can you keep your teams performing well when they are largely working at home, on their own?
 
Now, more than ever, colleagues need to be inspired by the work they do, and clear about the value they bring to it.
 
I’ve written before about the shift in our clients’ focus towards the mental health of their colleagues as a key driver of performance. 
 
So, at a time when more and more business leaders are looking at a working culture which needs to be more flexible and less office-based, we have to build a sense of belonging and self-worth within our teams.
 
When I started Wellworking more than twenty years ago, I actually called it something different – Home Working Solutions.
 
That reflected my view at the time that the workplace was becoming a more flexible concept, and technology was enabling more and more people to do their jobs from home.
 
Nothing’s changed – in fact that’s accelerated, and it’s done so exponentially during this pandemic.
 
But the reason I decided 15 years ago to change the company’s name to Wellworking is also more relevant than ever today.
 
I always say that we are everything about working well.
 
How we work, and how happy, healthy and productive we are when we work, applies whether you are working from the office or from home, or from anywhere else.
 
There’s an ergonomic challenge – very simplistically having the right tools to work well, and there’s a wellbeing challenge – again crudely speaking, setting the right environment for you to work well both physically and mentally. 
 
The two aren’t necessarily separate things, by the way.
 
But where things are changing is around how leaders are having to reimagine life after lockdown. Not just in the next 6 months, but the next five or ten years.
 
This week, Barclays boss, Jess Staley, described big offices as “a thing of the past” in a BBC report
 
Elsewhere, research from Colliers suggested that 8 million workers won’t be able to return to their offices under temporary social distancing measures. 
 
So how do we help staff to continue to feel like they belong to the companies they work for? And why does that matter?
 
It matters because if you feel motivated, inspired and energised, like you’re part of the team with a common and worthwhile goal, you work better.
 
Breaking silos has been a key part of productivity improvements in recent years for organisations, but that’s a big physical challenge now, when, as Jeff Staley says, many staff are “working from their kitchens”.
 
It’s also important because you want to keep your staff, and you want to attract other talented people. So they need to know that the work they do is valuable, and that you value them. 
 
At the heart of this is the ability to show colleagues that they belong to something worthwhile. Give them a clear picture of the common goal, and their part in achieving that. 
 
Keep communicating, and try to make that communication visual where possible, through video conferencing platforms, for example.
 
Of course, you need to ensure that the IT is good, and that they have the products and furniture to work well from home. 
 
But just as important is to provide them with a clear picture of what success for the organisation looks like, and measurable goals as to their own part in getting there. 
 
This is, after all, still about doing a great job and building a career, so now is not the time to shelve training programmes, but instead, to look for ones which can delivered remotely, and help the team to grow.
 
Show people what connects them to the team, and to the organisation. A person who can see the value of their work, and how much it is valued, will deliver better performance, whether that’s in the office or the kitchen table.
 
 
 

Lockdown - One Month In


My kids are now back at school. By which I mean they’re sitting at home, back at school. 
 
And it reminded me of all those years ago, when for those first few days of term, you didn’t really get much done in class. You’re all getting still into the rhythm of it. Then, without really noticing it, you are into the full flow of lessons. 
 
That’s a bit like we’ve all experienced in recent weeks, for those of us fortunate enough to be working still. 
 
And it’s why, a few weeks into this lockdown, the support our clients need is increasingly shifting, from the physical to the mental. How do we keep our colleagues inspired, motivated and mentally healthy? 
 
That first adrenaline rush of doing something new and exciting - overcoming an essential organisational challenge of having to work from home - is starting to give way to an expectation that we do our jobs from home, whatever the obstacles that presents. 
 
Some of the companies we work with are not just planning for the next 6 weeks, nor even the next 6 months, but for a whole new way of working, because no-one can honestly tell you when this will end, can they? 
 
So our conversations are increasingly focusing on far more fundamental questions for their colleagues: How do I work? How am I valued, and how much control do I have over what we do? 
 
One business leader I spoke to recently summed up her approach to providing the best environment for colleagues to thrive in two words: trust and respect. 
 
Trust and respect can only grow with regular communication. Always being in touch with the people you manage. Asking the simple questions. “How are you?” is as good starting point as any. And listening to the answer, then responding to it. 
 
Visual communication through social and video platforms is also a very useful tool here. 
 
It means trusting your team to do their jobs. And respecting the demarcations between work and home, even though the physical boundaries are currently quite blurred. 
 
For colleagues, this is about belonging. Being part of something which is worthwhile. Having structure when you worry that working from home provides only chaos. 
 
It’s about engagement, when drinks after work, or the office bowling trip are out of bounds. Virtual office choirs are one great example I’ve seen of teams keeping in touch and staying connected. 
 
Giving people the right physical tools to work from home is in many ways the easy bit. 
 
Giving them that sense of worth, of making a difference, or excelling, is the next challenge, and it’s going to one of the toughest any manager will face.
 
 
 

Changing Up Your Work Style

 
Great to see leading workplace expert @gussyphotos walking the walk when it comes to changing up work styles at home!  
 
Varying your working posture is especially important when you are working from home, as you often won't get the break prompts you might get in the office or around colleagues.
 
Love the Anglepoise Light, Vitra Tip Ton chair & Tom Dixon lighting too!
 
 
 

Working From Home - What Could It Mean?


I am not a philosopher.  I sell home and office furniture.

But I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how radically different things will be – both in how we work and how we live - once we get through this dreadful period of our lives.

We have the opportunity to embrace a whole new way of working which recognises and gets the best out of all parts of our community.

But get it wrong, and we could blur the boundaries between work and life, causing great harm to our wellbeing.

I think we can get this right. I’ve been so impressed by the speed with which some of our clients – global companies with thousands of staff – have adapted to home working with the minimum of disruption. Organisations that perhaps didn’t realise that flexible working was a viable option, discovering that colleagues are still just as productive and engaged.

That New Yorker cartoon doing the rounds – “My God…those meetings really could all have been emails.” -  feels particularly appropriate.

But the biggest prize is perhaps in how this may open up opportunities to so many people who have previously been at a disadvantage.

Dr Frances Ryan’s words last week prompted a really interesting conversation – “Suddenly everyone is housebound,” she said “and the world has adapted.”

What can a truly flexible workforce look like, which can make the most of the talents of everyone, including the chronically ill, carers, stay at home parents, for example? A more inclusive workforce would be one which I believe is also much more adaptable to the next crisis, whatever that might be.

Last month, Wellworking shared five tips on how to make the most of working from home – but these are just the foothills, really.

We are talking about a fundamental shift in the way we work, and if flexible and home working do become embedded in the national psyche, then the programmes we run with our partners, not just on assessments and compliance, but, as importantly, on creating a healthy and productive workspace for colleagues, will become one of the most important areas of design and management in coming years.

Home working doesn’t need to mean loneliness and isolation. The explosion of video platforms like Zoom attest to a need to keeping people connected. And that shared sense of common purpose doesn’t have to be driven by location. This dramatic, enforced, shift can drive a kinder, more thoughtful approach, at a time when we are asking a generation to care about people two generations older than them. To feel connected to our community. The care in career.

There’s also an opportunity to make significant improvements over coming months in our broadband systems, and in our individual IT security. These innovations will be driven by imperative over coming months, but will again, I hope, leave a lasting and positive impact upon the ability of people and organisations to work flexibly.

At Wellworking, we’ve spent more than 20 years studying how people can work well, both at the office and in their homes, and this is a tipping point.  We are seeing in real time the high performance workplace move from the office towards the home, which means a shift in emphasis from the organisational towards the individual.

Get it right, and the rewards, for all of us, could be huge.

 

 

 

Wellworking – an update on COVID-19


We want to update you on how we at Wellworking are handling the developing situation around the COVID-19 virus.

Our first priority is the health of our customers, colleagues and suppliers. So we’re following closely the advice from the government, Public Health England, and the World Health Organisation.

As a result, we are going to make a few temporary changes to the way we work and support you.

Our delivery service will continue to deliver products, and they will arrange with customers to leave products at the front door, rather than come into homes or offices. Our team will still be available to unwrap the product, and take away any packaging for recycling, and they will also be wearing disposable gloves for each separate delivery.

We will continue to offer our guidance to customers on how to set up and use the product, but again, for now, we will deliver this user training as a virtual service, with clear instructions as to how to access that service.

All of our meetings with partners and customers will be done by phone or online.

Our showrooms are closed to the public until further notice.

We know the advice from government could well change as the situation develops further, and we will update you if, as a result, our own practices change to reflect this.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us on 020 3110 0610 if you have any questions about this.

We are experiencing a significant increase in demand at the moment, and we are committed to delivering the award winning quality of service which has been our hallmark for 20 years, so we are extremely grateful to you for your patience and support.

 

 

Wellworking’s 5 Tips for Working from Home


It’s a rapidly developing situation currently around coronavirus, and we aren’t here to offer advice on this. 

But we did think it might be useful to share some of our experience for colleagues who find themselves suddenly working in a home environment, given how so many of our clients are asking for guidance around home working in the current crisis.  

Many of us already work from home some of the time, but might now be asked to do it for an extended period of time.  We don’t have all the answers, but keeping people healthy at home could be a huge area for all of us to support over the coming months, so we’d be interested in everyone else’s thoughts as well.  Please join in, and in the meantime here is our starting point which we hope will be helpful.

  1. Keep the same morning rituals as if you were heading out to work.  Working from home for an extended period of time takes discipline and needs structure. This is your home not the office, but for a while it is going to be both.  The same applies for the end of the day.
  2. Give some thought as to how you can improvise a mock office setup at home. This can sometimes be a challenge, and some good advice here is to mix up your working styles, particularly if you are using a laptop. Making use of the dining table, sofa, even the ironing board, can help you incorporate sitting, relaxing, or standing for a while. These differing work patterns will give some much needed movement and help you avoid to avoid being static and sedentary. When we work from home we often don’t have the prompts to take breaks that we naturally get from being around work colleagues, and this lack of breaks can lead to a dramatic drop off in work performance.
  3. If you are lucky enough to have an office setup and the right equipment, make sure you know how to use it and adjust it, and if you are not sure, then reach out and ask. Many of the better office chairs for example will have online materials such as videos that can help here.
  4. Ensure you stay hydrated, and that you’ve got plenty of light. Sit near a window if you can, or at least ensure you have a suitable light. Home lighting is typically not as good as office lighting, which can lead to eye strain and headaches. Another idea we like to reduce eye strain is the 20 / 20 / 20 rule, where you look 20 feet away from your screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  5. Physical isolation shouldn’t mean mental isolation. Stay in touch with your colleagues, even if it’s just to see how they are doing, as they will be going through the same experience as you, and it’s a chance to share ideas as to what is working for them and for you. At the end of the day, switch off, pack up and come home.

 

 

 


Wellbeing Matters Podcast Series in Partnership with Workplace Insight

We'll be involved in a series of Wellbeing Matters podcasts in the upcoming months on the cruical subject of workplace wellbeing in partnership with Workplace Insight.


The first podcast episode organised by experienced industry expert and Publisher, Mark Eltringham has just been published, and explores the philosophy of wellbeing with London-based Interior Designer, Sustainability and Wellbeing Expert Elina Grigoriou.


You can listen to the first wellbeing podcast episode here.


The second podcast with Anna Davison who is head of workplace wellbeing at ukactive. Anna says her mission is to develop “the value of physical activity in all workplaces, delivering value to our members aligned to our wider mission of More People, More Active, More Often.”


You can listen to the second podcast in this series with Anna Davison here.

 


Global Challenge 2019

Friday 13th December marked the end of the Virgin Pulse Global Challenge 2019, which brought together both North and South offices of Wellworking Ltd, whereby 7 venturous individuals aka 'West London Warriors' completed 9,884,756 collective steps (travelling 3,931 miles), this over 100 days.

This was the fourth consecutive year Wellworking Ltd had participated in Virgin Pulse Global Challenge and as previously, all benefited from an appreciable increase in both fitness and general wellbeing.

Here's to more of the same in 2020! 

Naughtone Product of the Year awards 2019

Naughtone have recently won two Product of the Year awards. The first was at Mixology North with their Hue seating range under the Loose Furniture category, while the second was in New York for the Lasso range in the Educational Furniture category of the Interior Design Best of Year Awards.

Proud to have Naughtone as one of our key partners and look forward to working with them for many years to come.

 

Wellworking 20th Anniversary

We had a lot of fun celebrating our 20th anniversary last month.

4 x Teams dressed as Peaky Blinders took on Cluedo around the streets of Hammersmith. Sadly the perpetrator remains at large, but any sense of burning injustice was quickly doused over a fine dinner at Bills.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all our clients, colleagues and suppliers for their continuous support over the years, and the toast was to many more successful years ahead.

 

 


Cosm by Herman Miller makes the 100 best inventions of 2019 list in TIME magazine

The Cosm chair from Herman Miller has followed up on winning two prestigious design awards in Germany by being named amongst the 100 best inventions of 2019 in TIME magazine: https://time.com/collection/best-inventions-2019/

TIME magazine described the Cosm as “the pinnacle of personalisation”, great recognition of a chair that, like so many of Herman Miller’s designs, has moved the office seating conversation forward at a single stroke.

 


ukactive New Office Project 2019

It’s great to learn how ukactive's recent office move has been planned to support a healthier and happier workforce, and we’re delighted that Wellworking have been able to help them design an office that impacts positively on their important goal of getting more people, more active, more often.

You can find out a bit more about the positive impacts of ukactive’s office move from the following film we have put together here.

Herman Miller Cube Awards 2019

We were delighted to visit Herman Miller at their National Design Centre to hear more about their plans for the future, vertical market approaches, and their impressive sustainability approach.

The afternoon was topped off with the award of our 2019 Dealer Performance cube from Herman Miller, a great achievement, and excellent recognition of a partnership between our two companies that goes from strength to strength.


The ukactive National Summit 2019

Wellworking thoroughly enjoyed being a Breakout Partner at this year’s ukactive National Summit at Westminster’s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. 

ukactive work tirelessly towards their aim of getting more people, more active, more often, and this year’s Summit focussed on the workplace.

As the dangers of sedentary workstyles become increasingly understood, we are proud to have recently worked with ukactive to promote activity within the workplace. 

You can read more about a fascinating Summit here.

 

Wellworking and Thames Bridges Challenge 2019

Wellworking recently took part in the 25km Thames Bridges Challenge in aid of Alzheimer's Society, our chosen charity for 2019.

Thank you to everyone who helped with fundraising around this event, and if you would like to support our upcoming fundraising activities then please click here.

Wellworking celebrate one year anniversary with Living Wage Foundation

Wellworking Celebrate One Year Anniversary with Living Wage Foundation - 2019

At Wellworking we are delighted to celebrate our one year anniversary with Living Wage Foundation.


Wellworking Receive First Mile Recycling Certificate - 2019

Wellworking Receive First Mile Recycling Certificate - 2019

At Wellworking we are proud to receive our recent digital recycling certificate from First Mile.

Dealer Report

The Dealer Report in the latest edition of Mix Interior (February 2018) covers a selection of furniture providers, featuring Wellworking. The Managing Director of Wellworking also tackles the Big Question, click here to read the full article.

 

Wellworking proud to make the MIX Interiors Feb 2017 Dealer Report for the third year running

 


Mix Interior’s Magazine November Edition features Headspace’s offices in Manchester. We are delighted to have supplied the furniture and to have been included in this project. To read the article, click here.

Wellworking featured in Mix Interior's February 2018 edition

Wellworking featured in Expert Reviews 2017

The well known website ‘Expert Reviews’ recently published an article covering the Top 7 Office Chairs for 2017.  Featuring the Elite Loreto chair, winning the ‘the best office chair under £300’, the HAG SoFi chair being awarded the ‘innovative chair’ and the BMA Secur24 being given ‘the best luxury office chair’ accolade. It also features a contribution from our Online Director, Paul Simons, on what to look out for when considering a new office chair both in terms of the features that the chairs offer and the all important delivery and user training provided by the retailer.  To read the full article, please click here.

 

New study suggests desk jobs double the risk of dying early, according to London Evening Standard

To read the article, click here

Wellworking featured in the Wallpaper Magazine - Jan 2017

Wallpaper magazine covered the new offices of Monotype London headquarters in their January issue in the architecture category under the title 'Type hype: Ben Adams Architects design new office for Monotype'. We are delighted to be featured as a part of this project working with Ben Adams Architects.


Monotype

Working closely with Ben Adams Architects for delivering the new offices for Monotype London headquarters we introduced a great mix of Scandinavian products, including ranges from HAY with the About A Chair, About A Stool and Icons of Denmark Bykato Table with both featuring prominently throughout.

This cool project has been creating quite a buzz in the press - Office Lovin and Dexigner

Wellworking's USM Kitos Table featured in British GQ Magazine - April 2016

USM Kitos Table and Aeron Chair in British GQ magazine

Great to see the USM Kitos table and Herman Miller Aeron chair feature in the April edition of the British GQ magazine under Workplace section. GQ suggests the electric sitting/ standing desk and a task chair to sit comfortably.


Wellworking featured in MIX Interiors Spotlight Magazine - Feb 2016

To read the full article please click here.


Wellworking ranked among the Top 44 UK furniture dealers in SPOTLIGHT magazine by MIX Interiors in April 2015

To read the article online please visit Spotlight by Mix Interiors - April 2015 edition.

Wellworking ranked among the top 44 UK furniture dealers by Mix Interiors in April 2015

Wellworking Ltd featured in OnOffice Magazine in April 2012

To read the article please visit the OnOffice website.

Wellworking in Tomorrow Facilities Management in May 2014

Wellworking tomorrow's facilities management - May 2014 issue
Wellworking tomorrow's facilities management - May 2014 issue

Wellworking Ltd featured in Archetech magazine in December 2012

To read the article online please visit Archetech magazine online here.


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Wellworking appears in Roller Mouse Ads

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Wellworking Fast Aeron Ad

Wellworking in the Fast Aeron Ad
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