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“Money makes the world go around” but it is not all about dollar bills. Once a potential worker deems the salary you are offering as satisfactory, a whole different set of factors comes into play in the final decision of an individual to accept a post in your company. It might seem trivial but office design is top of the list of workers’ priorities because this is the place where they are going to spend most of their time during the workweek and they wish to feel as comfortable as possible.
There are numerous examples of companies who are still the developing phases that have attracted the best players in the market by offering a lot of conveniences in the office. Whether it’s a paid gym membership or a simple lazy bag, the design of your office and features inside have the potential to attract or deter possible employees. If you haven’t thought about the issue before, here is a list of some of the most attractive office designs that prospective employees will love.
To be or not to be private
One of the biggest dilemmas in office design is whether to apply an open floor design or to create a separate office or cubicles. The main reason behind this issue is the fact that employees themselves cannot agree which design is better than the other. This is quite understandable, as not all workers carry out the same task, so some can benefit from increased privacy, while others prefer to have a visual communication channel with their coworkers.
You as the employers have but one option to offer to prospective employees and that is adjustable privacy. Yes, make it possible for people to adjust the level of privacy they wish by installing dividers or blinds. These are easy to manipulate and set into place, so each worker will have a chance to adjust the workspace according to his or her needs. Of course, if you are trying to secure a high-flyer in the industry, offer them a proper office instead of a cubicle.
Light is in the air
If you are having a group of workers coming for doors open days, there one single décor pieces that will take them aback and this is the lighting. They probably expect to see those old-fashion conventional light bulbs “stuck” to the ceiling, so your hanging lamps will astound them. This is a part of the industrial office design that is in vogue for 2019 and that was envisioned as a blend between traditional and novel designs feature that is present in offices across Australia.
Lamps hanging from the ceiling don’t just look cool but they have a practical side to them. Namely, they are lower than conventional light sources, which means they are closer to the area you need the light most at. This way, the light source is stronger without the need to increase the wattage of the bulbs. If your future workforce is eco-aware, then you will benefit a lot from installing LED lights that are energy-efficient. For those workers who are still not satisfied with the intensity of light, you can place desk lamps on their work area, so they have autonomy while working at night.
Just a century ago, office “ergonomics” was almost a dirty word. If you asked for comfortable chairs it was thought you were a bad worker, looking to cut corners at the workplace. Things have changed significantly at the beginning of the 21st century, so ergonomic design comes naturally today. However, there are still employers who are trying to save money on buying second-hand office equipment that is discomforting for the workers.
Office workers already know what chairs are comfortable and which are not, so there is no way of tricking them. Quite the contrary, instead of saving money on employees’ health, you can actually improve it by ordering custom-made tables and chairs according to their needs. If you are having the office fitted out, you might as well take the measures from all the workers so their respective tables fit their height and arm reach ideally. They will be deeply thankful and will be the detail that will let potential employees know that you care about your staff.
Its majesty, the break room
If a potential worker’s first wish is to see the break room in your office, have no worries, they are not bad workers but they’re merely “work hard, party hard.” That is why the break room needs to be furnished with the latest tech gizmos, as well as traditional entertainment, such as a chess board, a deck of card, and a dartboard. There should also be a variety of magazines inside, both work-related (that follow the industry’s latest trends) and those printed for light entertainment.
No break room is complete without a multi-functional kitchen. This means that there should be a well-stocked fridge if any of the workers wishes to get refreshment during those long, hot Aussie summers and a stove that tea can be prepared on. A far as coffee is concerned, you need to be more professional about its preparation as black coffee is the driving engine behind many careers, especially early in the morning. That is why a “bean to cup” coffee machine, like the ones produced by Lavazza Australia are ideal for office spaces. Furthermore, you needn’t buy the whole apparatus, as you have the possibility to lease the coffee machine, doing away with the need to worry whether it is full all the time.
Free Wi-Fi (to start with)
Another neat feature that almost goes without saying in a modern office is a free Wi-Fi signal for all the employees and visitors. This is a small thing that doesn’t really cost that much but it is the little things that people know to appreciate the most. In fact, free wireless internet should just be the tip of the iceberg of tech freebies your workforce gets.
As time goes by, you can create charging stations where workers can charge their phones together, instigating communication among workers. There could be designated areas within the office that are stocked with laptops where employees can lay back and chat with their family or do other personal online errands. Finally, you could have a digital suggestions box that would concern only the digital spatial interventions that your workers wish for. If prospective workers see that you are willing not only to implement new technologies but listen to the needs of your workers as well, they will be delighted to accept a post at your company.
A green corner
All that technology no matter how useful it can be, is in the end dehumanizing. That is why you should let workers bring photos from home and arrange their office space in the manner they find most suitable but when they bring in a flower pot that is when you surprise them. Namely, take the pot and place it in the special corner or an entire room that is entirely dedicated to greenery. In fact, each worker should be encouraged to bring a plant and place it in this green corner. Over time, this area will grow in size and you will have a mini office jungle to the delight of all the staff. Taking care of the plant life in the form of regular watering will bring everybody together and they will learn to work together.
As far as potential team members are concerned, they will be blown away with all this greenery they have never witnessed before in the office. Not only is there bound to be more oxygen inside, and office spaces can be stuffy, but the whole team will work as one to maintain the green corner. For those who are introvert and geniuses often are, this will be an ideal oasis to take their break in silence.
Not dungeons (and not dragons)
Unless your office is located in the basement, you are bound to have plenty of windows with natural light. We already discussed how much light is important but equally important is to have fresh air in the office. This is best introduced into the office through the means of an open window, as you do not work in a dungeon. However, on higher floors there is the issue of safety that entails the use of ventilations systems and air-conditioning units. If the green corner inside the office is doing its job, then the air ventilation system will have no trouble circulating evenly this air through the entire office.
Again, employees need fresh air and light, so might want to pull them closer to the windows. If you are located high in a skyscraper and the windows cannot be opened, then you can use this apparent drawback to your advantage. Place cushion right along the edge of the windows so they will form an ad hoc rest area where employees can take their breaks. They can chat among each other, check their private e-mail inbox, or just stare aimlessly through the window, whatever makes them thick. Just think how impressive must this circular seating area appear in the eyes of a new employee stepping into the office for the first time.
Outside the office but inside the workplace
Needless to say, there is no room in the office for leaving your pet, a kindergarten or leaving your bike. However, you can outsource all these things if you are located in an office building. Even if you are not, there are bound to be such and similar services in the vicinity, so you can lease them or refund the employees for using them. These might not be part of the office décor but they can be that key factor that will make prospective employees accept your job offer. Conduct pools to check what is it that people working for you require outside office hours and try to provide them with these services and commodities whenever you can.
Office design should not be underestimated, as it has the potential to increase productivity and attract good-quality workers. The latter are the ones needed if you wish to expand the business, so go all out when it comes to furnishing the office. The investment into LED lights, ergonomic chairs or a coffee machine might not seem as much, but over time these details will be the main reason why your top players stay and new stars continuously arrive.
India is known for its pickles, popularly called 'Achaar', even across the world. But who thought about the idea of pickles in the first place? Apparently, the idea of making pickles first came from the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia, where archaeologists have found evidence of cucumbers being soaked in vinegar. This was done to preserve it, but the practice has spread all over the world today, that pickles mean so much more than just preserved vegetables.
In India, the idea of pickle has nothing to do with preservation, rather pickle is a side dish that adds flavour and taste to almost anything. In Punjab, parathas are served with pickle; in the south, pickle and curd rice is a household favourite, and in Andhra, it is a staple, eaten with everything. The flavour profile of pickles in each state is naturally different, suited to each cuisine's taste. Pickles are soaked in oil and salt for at least a month, mixed with spices and stored all year round. Mango season is often synonymous with pickle season as a majority of Indians love mango pickle. In the coastal cities, pickles are even made out of fish and prawns.
The Indian Achaar Image credit: Photo by Rahat Hossen on Unsplash
In other cultures, the pickling process has more to do with preservation. Cold countries, where temperatures drop to very low levels, pickle their vegetables in brine, vinegar, or salt. Sweden is famous for pickled herring, because fishing all year round is hard with all the snow and ice. The German Sauerkraut, originally composed of rice, cabbage, and wine, is now made using salt instead of wine. This gives it a sour flavour that is characteristic of the beloved German delicacy.
In Korea, kimchi is the national delicacy. It is a pickle that is made from pickled cabbages with a distinct mix of spices. Kimchi is made with various core ingredients, and is gaining popularity these days with the Korean Wave hitting the globe. It is a practice that represents the Korean winters, which are too harsh to grow anything. The Kimchi business is one of the largest in Korea, while the individual family recipes are also well-preserved as it is believed that each is unique in its own way.
The pickles made from dill and vinegar are most famous in America. It was introduced to the Americans by the Jewish immigrants. Dill pickles are best paired with sandwiches.
Keywords: Pickles, Culture, Brine, Vinegar, Preserves
It is impossible to detail the history of bookbinding without understanding the need for it. A very useful, and yet simple invention, spiral coils that hold books together and allow mobile access to the user came about just before WWII, but much before that, paper underwent a massive change in production technique.
Beginning in China, paper was made of bamboo sticks slit open and flattened. In Egypt, papyrus was made from the reeds that grew in the Nile. In India, long, rectangular strips of palm leaves were stitched together to form legible documents. When monasteries were established, scrolls came into being. Parchment paper, or animal hide, also known as vellum, were used to copy out texts periodically to preserve them. Prior to all this, clay tablets were used to record important events, and in some cases, rock edicts were made.
But all this changed with the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg. Paper became the medium by which inscriptions, announcements, and almost everything was made. Once paper became so accessible, printing began in full scale. Newspapers and the Bible were printed every day.
Metal coils were used before the world war Image credit: Photo by Dan Bucko on Unsplash
With wads of paper, something had to be done about keeping them together. Bookbinding began as a booming business. First, the pages were just sewn together. A special sewing machine was invented just for books. When this did not suit all book types, the process of punching and binding began. Holes were punched in books, and they were tied together.
Much later, an adhesive thermoplastic strip became available by which book pages were stuck together. They sold in this format for a long time. Ideas began to flow in for notebooks when people discovered that they could attach pieces of paper together. A machine was invented that drew lines. This made it easier for people who wrote a lot.
After a while, when people got used to having their books a certain way, The Spiral Binding Company opened in 1932, which changed the way bookbinding was done. Books could now be bound by coil and this was not only economical, but also convenient, because pages could easily be turned without breaking the bind. The original spiral bind coil was made of metal, but when supplies were rationed during WWII, they were made from plastic. This trend has remained to the present day, where spiral bound books are preferred to the other kinds of binding except in cases of publishing and official documentation.
Keywords: Spiral Binding, WWII, Paper, Books, Printing
By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe
To keep the value and quality of what you offer, whether it's a romantic breakfast in bed or a royal wedding gift that will be remembered for years. The concept of gift-giving has taken on a number of shapes in today's society. Devina Singhania, the Founder of 'LE JAHAAN', a local home and decor accessories company, explains how the gifting paradigm has shifted.
Q: What do consumers expect from the gifting business and packaging designers these days?
A: Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. They are now more conscious about how their purchase affects the environment. Considering this shift in consumer buying, it's extremely important for companies to increase their commitments to responsible business practices and design products that are meant to be reused or recycled.
Today's consumers are expecting more minimal sustainable products, designs and mediums. | Photo by Superkitina on Unsplash
Q: The practice of self-gifting is being driven by millennials. What are your thoughts on the subject?
A: I absolutely agree with this. Millennials are so creative and expressive. They are more into personalized products with which they can tell the world something about themselves. We are often hired by millennials to monogram and personalize products for them. They truly believe it's the best way to stand out from the crowd and establish a signature style and we couldn't agree more.
We are often hired by millennials to monogram and personalize products for them. | Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Q: What impact do colour trends have on gift designs and packaging?
A: 'Le Jahaan' has always been very influenced by colour and trends and we hope to continue this association with colour even while we break through to more sustainable products and collections.
'Le Jahaan' has always been very influenced by colour and trends | Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Q: What has changed as a result of the pandemic in terms of how we commemorate special occasions and the gift-giving tradition?
A: It's smaller in quantity but more luxurious and thought through.
Q: What giving trends should one keep an eye on in 2022?
A: Consumers, including millennials and members of Generation Z, are especially concerned with sustainability. So, the trend is definitely to go green with eco-friendly.
Q: How does Le Jahaan keep its clients coming back?
A: Our products speak for themselves. We make small batches with exceptional quality with a personal touch.
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: gifts, le jahaan, festive, millennials, sustainable, gen z, paradigm, gifting