5 Ways to Make Your Employees Enjoy Their Workplace

Productivity, commitment and innovation are all qualities which employers measure in employees, but happiness is something that often gets overlooked. But staff members who are happy at their place of work are much more likely to show the three qualities just mentioned. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few of the ways that you can create an environment where employees will want to come into work every day and give it their all.

Tidy Workspace, Tidy Mind

It is challenging to work in a place where there is a lot of clutter and little sense of organisation. One method that entrepreneurs have found effective is to divide the workspace up into five zones:

  • paper products
  • office supplies
  • furniture and space
  • electronics
  • and employee interaction

Make sure that everything is well-organised, and you have enough useful products from companies like Limitless Office Products. Take suggestions from employees of any ways that they can think of to ensure the place runs better.

architectural design, architecture, ceiling

Openness and Comfort

Open office environments are very much in vogue right now. This way, you can encourage interaction between employees. After all, everyone wants to feel comfortable when they come into work every day. To start off with, every employee needs a sturdy desk and a comfortable chair.

You should also get the other basics right including good lighting (both natural and artificial), high-quality ventilation, and a strong system that regulates the temperature.

Education, Education, Education

No one likes to feel that they are stuck in a dead-end job with no chance of progression. Therefore, it is so important that you put continual staff training high up on your list of priorities. After all, the more skills that your employees possess, the more they will be able to bring to your company.

And training doesn’t necessarily have to be hugely difficult and time-consuming. There are plenty of e-learning options out there which get your employees up-to-speed on the latest thinking in their field.

Puff Corn on Gray Ceramic Bowl

Perks of the Job

Giving employees some extra incentives to perform at their highest level can’t do any harm. The perks that you offer really depends on your company, but you could offer extra holiday days, trips outside the office or free lunch and snacks. Sometimes, it is the little things that really show your employees that you value the contribution they make to your business.

Give Everyone a Say

If your employees feel like they have a say in the way you run your business, they are much more likely to feel valued. So, try to arrange some open forums in which everyone is invited to speak and contribute their thoughts and ideas. If staff members feel like you are simply telling them what to do all the time, they are much less likely to feel that sense of job satisfaction.

These five ideas provide a good starting point in your quest to create a happier workplace which benefits you, your team and your clients.

Personalised Workspaces Is the Next Big Thing in Business

When you’re looking at pulling together the best business possible, you’ve got a lot of areas to cover off. From the product or service you sell, all the way through to the way you choose to promote your business, there’s a lot to consider. And everything will come with its own level of importance. Regardless of what areas of business seem to be the most important to you, one thing that you should look to consider is where you work. Because believe it or not, the best businesses are creating the coolest workplaces imaginable to attract the best staff. So much so, that they’re even letting employees have a say in their work station. And this is how.

apartment, apple, business

Customising For Comfort

One of the most important reasons for why businesses are doing this, is because employees need to be comfortable when they work. After all, when someone spends at least eight (but let’s be honest, it can be more like 10 or 12) hours a day at their workstation, it needs to be comfy. So you’re going to want to look into options, like the Lange Lift Co offer, for adjustable workstations and desks. As a part of this, you might also want to look into desk chairs that can offer the right comfort and support too.

Desk Design

But you’re not only going to want to consider comfort, but you should also definitely be thinking about the design on your workspaces too. Because a lot of the time, your staff are going to want to work in an office space that wow’s them. Being in somewhere cold, dark, and depressive is not ideal. But when you’ve got a stunning office space with workstations that are well thought out and desk designs that look chic, they’re going to be happy.

business, camera, communication

Top-Range Tech

Next up, we need to talk tech. When you want the best employees, whether you work in technology or not, you’ve got to give them the best. Sometimes, you might even like to let them pick out the technology and equipment that they need when they start. Within reasons of course. But if this matters to them, it could help you to bag an employee that you really want.

Motivational Extras

But sometimes, you need to go above and beyond what’s expected of you too. Because comfort and style aren’t all, sometimes you need to be motivational too. So alongside the tech and rental equipment that you’ve got, you might want to think about the motivational extras too. Whether it’s slogans and artwork, or incentive trackers and workflow details, be thinking about what you can dress your workspace walls with.

And Just For Fun

Finally, there are also the fun facilities that you might like to include in your office overall. Companies that offer cool work perks are often some of the best to work for. So think about how you can compete. Instead of just having a coffee station, but not go a step further and add in a drinks fridge and snack machine too? And instead of a sofa break-out area, go for hammocks and bean bag chairs!

Making a Great Product Page for Your Customers

Your website is one of your greatest marketing tools, and it has the power to convert passing visitors into paying customers. You need to focus on every aspect of your site, but your product page is something you should definitely pay attention to. The online shopper doesn’t have the opportunity to see the product first hand, and they can’t pick it up to feel and test the item before they buy. Therefore, the way you present the product page needs to give them all the information they need to know.

These are the aspects you need to focus on when designing your product page.

Top quality photographs

The customer is unlikely to buy something if they don’t know what it looks like. Therefore, highlight the product through high-resolution pictures, and include pictures of the item taken from different angles. While you could take some simple pics with your smartphone or tablet, you might also consider hiring a professional photographer to make the pictures stand out.

Image Credit: Pexels

Captivating wording

This is your opportunity to sell the product, so make every word count. Tell the customer exactly why they need to buy the product, listing all the benefits that will make their lives easier. Explain how your product is better than others on the market, and highlight anything that makes it particularly unique. In short, this is your sales pitch. By the time they have finished reading, the customer needs to feel excited and inspired by what you are selling.

Greater detail

Separate to your sales pitch, you need a paragraph that goes into greater detail. So try and preempt the questions a customer might normally ask in a store and list every feature you can think of that is relevant to your product. Those in the building industry, for example, will want to highlight the materials they use, such as PPGL Coils, and give a full description of the material’s benefits, including durability. There are those people who’s buying decision will hinge on the technical specifications of a product, so don’t skimp out on any important details.

Pricing information

Be upfront about the cost, even if your product is expensive. Customers appreciate honesty, so don’t smuggle the price away in the small print or a few clicks away from the product screen. However, if you have specific deals for first-time customers, or have made some sales reductions, let the customer know front and center on the product page. People like to know they are getting value for money, so even if your item sells at a premium price, the other information on the page, such as your product description, will encourage them to buy.

Shipping information

Shipping costs need to be included within the pricing information. However, you need to give the customer other essential information. For example, what shipping method are you using? What is the expected delivery time? Do you have a returns policy, and if so, what is the best method for your customer to return the product back to you? The more information you can provide, the added peace of mind you are giving the customer.

Bottom line

You may have a great product on sale, but if you aren’t giving the correct information, you may struggle to make a sale. Therefore, use our advice. The more information the customer has to hand, the more likely they are to buy when they can make an informed decision.

Think Outside the Box to Design Your Perfect Business Card

How many times a week do you get handed the same generic, laminated and tiny rectangular business cards? Once, twice or more? The chances are that these business cards are placed into your wallet and never see the light of day again unless you fumble around looking for your credit card only to take out a business card instead.

Business cards are vital tools that allow us to network with our fellow industry colleagues and make worthwhile contacts. However, the standard format of the business card is uninspiring, instantly forgettable and results in no further contact between you and the person who gave you the card in the first place.

To break this cycle, you need to take a look at a new breed of business card. Its purpose is still the same: making meaningful business links and driving your company forward. Take a look at these ideas that will inspire you to design a new business card of your own.

Anyone for a Spot of Kirigami?

The art of paper folding could see you create a new generation of 3D business cards. If you work in a creative industry or architecture, these wacky but interesting business cards could fit the bill. Complete with contact details, company logo and name, they remain simple in their content, yet sophisticated in their sleek design. This is a business card that will enable you to stand out from the crowd.

Make It Functional

This incredible metal business card is also a USB stick. By adding a useful function to your business card, you are limiting the chances of it being thrown in a drawer and forgotten about for eternity. Every time a contact of yours utilises their USB, your business name and logo will be visible to them as well as any other colleagues that may be around their desk at the time. Adding an innovative use to your card could be the difference between making a worthwhile lead and not.

Experiment with Materials

You don’t have to choose the most eco-friendly matte finish card to show off an air of sophistication in your business cards. Why not consider a different material altogether? You could look into bamboo, metal or soft woods to create a wholly new style of business card. Wood lends itself to be burned into or branded allowing you to be creative with your design. By thinking outside the box, you are making your company instantly more memorable than your more generic competitor.

Key Features All Business Cards Should Share

No matter what shape, material or form that your business card takes, it should contain your business name, contact details, social media links and your logo. By looking at the range of unique logo fonts provided by DIY Logo, you’ll be inspired to find a special font to match your specially designed business card. If you have a one of a kind business card, you don’t want to ruin its feel by plastering it with a boring Times New Roman or Courier Font. Carry the uniqueness through into every aspect of your design.

Business cards can seem like a tiny aspect of your networking strategy but get it right, and you could have a unique talking point that generates many meaningful business contacts.

James Dyson: His Inventions Have Never “Sucked”!

When you think of the word innovation, which entrepreneur comes to mind? Was one of those names Steve Jobs? Maybe even Richard Branson or hot-shot modern day “Iron Man”, Elon Musk? But there’s one man who is a leader in innovation and who in my opinion doesn’t quite get the recognition he deserves.

Sir James Dyson is a British inventor, engineer, designer, and business leader and perhaps best known for his vacuums that it “will never lose suction” and his bladeless fan under his private company, Dyson Limited (founded in 1993). The mere thought of both inventions is enough to end this blog at this line. There are very few entrepreneurs and industry leaders cooler than Dyson.

The Ballbarrow in what looks like a '70s advertisement
The Ballbarrow in what looks like a ’70s advertisement

In his early years he realised how everyday problems could be solved by coming up with better and more practical solutions. Take for instance his “ballbarrow” invented in 1974, after watching a traditional wheelbarrow get stuck in muddy ground. Why didn’t I think of that?! It was pure genius. Such a “simple” idea, but yet it required complex thinking.

Dyson is renowned for being meticulous,  he once created a total of 5,127 prototypes for what later became the DC01, his first machine, the vacuum cleaner, developed in a workshop behind his house between 1979 and 1984. You do the math on the annual average of prototypes!

Most recently, Dyson released its Dyson 360 Eye, a robot vacuum cleaner capable of cleaning any space effectively and efficiently by tracking its own movements from where its been to where its going next.

I was good just drying my hands in a public restroom with the hot air from those hand-dryers and I accepted that as the norm. Then Dyson creates the Airblade! Just like that, everything else seems mediocre. That’s what I admire most about James Dyson — he has a way of creating solutions to everyday problems. Like he once said, “you have to distinguish between what people say they want now and what people might want when they see what it can do”.

I’ll say this much, I couldn’t imagine living in a world without bagless vacuum cleaners.

Adventures “InDesign”: Creating a Promotional Booklet

InDesign CS5 copy

“A limitation is a limitation only because you’ve done nothing to move beyond it.” — S. Drowym

It’s been a while since my last blog and this time I want to write about my latest design adventure.

Last week, I was offered the opportunity to design a promotional booklet and gladly I accepted the job not realising that the best software to create said booklet would be Adobe InDesign. There was a rush on the project and the client would need to have it within three days. Now usually I’m always apprehensive about taking on these rushed jobs, but I jumped at the chance.

So back to Adobe InDesign, it’s stellar software and what it can create in terms of materials for print is beyond amazing. I knew that little fact, but I didn’t know the software. In the past I had attempted to use it, especially because I used Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop so often to create flyers, posters, programs, invitations, and such for clients.

What do you do when you’ve just accepted a job to design an 18-page promotional booklet, but you don’t know the software to execute that project? You tell yourself you can learn the software in 24 hours of course!! That’s the attitude I took, but half of the time I knew I was lying to myself to keep a steady head. Thankfully there are innumerous readings and tutorials online to get pointers and lessons from. I think my favourite might have said something about “InDesign 101” and “11 steps to learning InDesign”; not quoting them verbatim, but you get the idea.

To make a long story short, I decided my best approach would be to learn basic tips, study the commands of the software and make as many mistakes as I could. Ye olde “trial and error” (mostly the latter) never fails. I was able to teach myself how to use InDesign and successfully so, thus creating a really class act design for the promotional booklet. The design only took a mere 28 hours of my life. With so many moving parts, it’s no wonder the software is such a great tool to have. The best part is I just expanded my skill sets and can now take on design projects like creating ebooks, booklets, magazines, and newsletters.

Here’s one tutorial I’ll leave with you if you’ve been thinking about learning the basics of Adobe InDesign. It’s only 11 minutes long, but will impart a lot of good directions: Creating and Applying Master Pages in Adobe InDesign

Until we meet again! Keep designing!

7 or 8 Tips to Help You Arrive at Rates That Define Your Value

As a freelance graphic designer, you spent your time giving and gaining new design experiences, whilst creating a client list and a reputation for putting out quality work. You acquire client testimonials, because tooting your own horn just isn’t going to cut it.

Every year you question whether or not you’re charging clients the right amount for design work completed; you look at the prices and you think you have. But have you really?

In business, knowing or even discovering your own monetary worth is one of those instances that requires a sometimes really long and hard look at all that you have done and accomplished as a freelancer or entrepreneur.

Take time to do the following:

  1. Examine your present and past clientele
  2. Evaluate your portfolio of work
  3. Find someone established and positioned as an industry leader and ask for advice
  4. Look at the prices of your competition locally and globally
  5. Join forums for freelance designers
  6. Make the tough decisions on pricing your value
  7. Lose a few prospective customers who aren’t ready to pay you what you’re worth

To get your business to the next level requires a lot of effort in heavy-lifting. It’s a lot like moving your friends furniture to their new apartment that’s on the fifth floor and the place has no elevators only stairs. You know its going to be back-breaking work and sweat pouring down your face, but it’ll all be worth it knowing you’ll be rewarded (not with pizza and cold beer).

Don’t be afraid to raise your prices. Only you can do what you do and if people are lining up around the block just to work with you then that’s a good sign you’re worth more than you first thought.

How did you discover your true value as a designer? Share your story below. We could all learn from it.

From First Shipped to Mega-hit: The Adobe Illustrator Story.

It’s amazing to see how this software was developed by such visionaries that include co-founder, John Warnock. Nearly 27 years later, Adobe Illustrator has completely revolusionised the creative and publishing industries.

Enjoy and appreciate the history lesson. It’s 20 minutes well spent.