Office Space Design Planning Tips and Advice

Office Space Design

There is little doubt that the environment any one works in affects their ability to work and to concentrate on the job in hand and if that environment is not right, their efficiency will suffer, along with perhaps their health.

“To get work done a functional flexible, and efficient office space is of paramount importance.”

You only have to think back to a place you have worked, or visited to see just what terrible conditions some people have to work on, how they manage it is beyond belief in many cases.

The first stage in planning an office or work area is to check what equipment and furniture your staff use in their day to day work. Then you also have to evaluate just how many times they use it in a normal day.

The basic list for almost any office will include

  • Computers
  • Telephones
  • Filing and storage cabinets
  • Seating
  • Desks and Tables
  • Other ‘System furniture’ eg workstations with privacy panels

This is the stage where you ensure that all the really vital bits of equipment are easily accessible to all employees, this not only means in the right place in the office, but also so that the items can be reached without too much stretching or bending.

Three important issues you should ensure are:-

Desks should comfortably fit all necessary tools
Desks should be close to electrical sockets and communication outlets
Filing and Storage cabinets should be in a communal / shared space


Proper office space planning can make your employees more productuve and happier too.

There is a lot more to office planning than just deciding where to place the desks, a lot of thought into who will be using them and what sort of work they will be doing (and how much noise and moving about they will be creating / doing).

In reality it is all down to common sense, in that you are best to keep groups that are going to be on the phone all the time, or constantly getting up from their desks away from groups that have to really concentrate on what they are doing and thus need peace and quiet.

This also means keeping any relaxation areas away from the work area, as otherwise someone will just not get any break at all! Then there is the matter of telephone use, it being a real requirement to separate workers who are always on the phone frome everyone else.

Another rule to bear in mind is the ’3 Foot Rule’

Always allow 3 feet between walking and sitting areas
Always make sure walkways are 3 feet wide
Make sure that coworkers have 3 foot of space from each other at conference tables

Furniture and Ergonomics

If your employees are comfortable, they will work better

This may sound obvious, but it is an area that many employers miss out on. The three areas that need to be covered are, Chairs, Storage and Desks


There are many different types and styles of office chairs with all sorts of different fabric coverings, but not all will be right for a particular employee or task. Some staff will also require special chairs if they have health problems, back pain being a big cause of time off and something to avoid if you can, both for the business and employees sake.

Ideally chairs should have adjustable seat height, arm reat height and seat angle.


Whilst the majority of filing cabinets should be placed in communal areas, some staff will no doubt require some personal confidential storage space. Some of the other cabinets may also need to be made secure.


The basic requirement is that every employee has to have room to do their work, however some staff need more desk space than others, so if you have any member of staff that does most of their work with paper documents, it would be best to give them bigger desks.


There is a school of thought that states that a ‘transparent work environment’ allows better communication between staff, encourages trust, reduces costs and sends a better message to visitors.

This transparency is created by ensuring that any boundaries / ‘fences’ are only placed where needed, thus allowing the office space and the creative spirits of all to ‘flow’ through the office space.

As you can imagine, this is not an easy thing to design, as you have to take into account the noise and movement levels of staff as well as the available space, but it is always possible to come up with the best possible solution.

Real Time PAYE InfographVID from JLPayroll and SAGE

Sage - 3 Steps to RTI infographic
This infographic was produced by Sage




This Infographic dates back to early 2013, but the subject while old is still topical, because today you just have to make sure that you are supplying the HMRC with this ‘Real Time Information’ as otherwise even now you could be in for trouble.

When the graphic was produced, it showed that the new system started on the 6th April 2013 and that EVERY TIME you pay an employee after that date you need to send PAYE info to the HMRC, not once a year as it had been.

It seems that the research that SAGE (the providers of the data) showed that some 72% of all employers were unaware of this change in the payroll process, quite a shocking level if true and one that showed that perhaps HMRC had not done well enough in informing businesses about the change, or at least had been ineffective in getting the message across. with 1.4 million small businesses in the UK being affected, you can see this change was a BIG one.

The detailed resarch into the RTI situation also showed that nearly a quarter of very small businesses were not using any sort of payroll software and therefore could not be RTI ready, which in effect meant the end of manual record keeping.

The last section of the Infographic covers the issue of the data you need to supply. All of it is mandatory and there is no way of getting around it, you just HAVE to supply it, or risk penalties.

One interesting fact was that because of incomplete data, HMRC has 40 employees on record as being over 200 years old, something that I just think is untrue.

Still a year on things seem to be going OK, companies like JLPayroll being able to assist businesses in coping with the new system and keeping them out of trouble with the authorities.

I do hope you enjoyed this InfographVid, courtesy of Sage and JLPayroll

Canopy Walking Tours in Australia

MountainKingdoms offers a variety of trekking and walking holidays

The ones detailed below are quite unique, all courtesy of


[Source: Escape Travel, the Holiday People]

The Video explaining it all:-


The Text for those who would rather read about these unusual walking tours


Daintree Discovery Centre

This tree top centre has a facility that allows visitors easy access to every level of the Daintree Rainforest; from the forest floor to the upper most reaches of the canopy. They offer Boardwalk tours, and there is a 23 metre high Canopy Tower too. ,

Established in 1989 the Centre is widely recognised as a leader in the field of ecotourism, and in particular, environmental conservation. It provides an excellent introduction to the wonders of the Daintree Rainforest. But equally important, it demonstrates how such forests offset carbon and help to slow down climate change. Come and find out how you can help save the planet!

Wooroonooran National Park

Wooroonooran National Park offers visitors a variety of recreational opportunities. Walshs Pyramid provides a challenging hiking trail not far from Cairns, while Goldsborough Valley offers opportunities for canoeing, mountain biking, walking and camping. Josephine Falls features a cascading waterfall and the beginning of the trail up Queensland’s highest peak, Bartle Frere

There is also Palmerston (Doongan), which is renowned for beautiful rainforest, wild rivers, steep gorges, cascading waterfalls and the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway.

Skywalk onTamborine Mountain.

This skywalk is set in 30 private acres of magnificent rainforest alongside a kilometre of tumbling creek and rockpools. They offer a new eco-adventure which explores the beautiful rainforest in a different way.

With over 300 meters of structured bridge through the top of the rainforest canopy and a 40 meter long Skywalk Cantilever, soaring 30 meters over the creek below you will experience a unique look at the pristine rainforest of Tamborine Mountain. Skywalk is the longest canopy walk in South East Queensland.

O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk

O’Reilly’s Tree Top Walk allows you to walk through a canopy of flowering and fruiting trees covered by vines whilst you explore the epiphytic orchids and ferns surrounded by the many birds and animals that inhabit the tree tops.

The Tree Top Walk celebrated its 25th Anniversary on March 23 2013.

The Tree Top Walk, was the first of its kind in Australia, is 180 metres in length and is made up of 9 suspension bridges, with much of the walkway being 15 metres above the ground. Access to the decks is by a ladder that is protected by wire screens. The decks allow a close look at the orchids and ferns growing on the tree, as well as the splendid view out over the rainforest canopy.

The Tree Top Walk is a unique and innovative structure that gives visitors what can only be described as an exhilarating experience – a chance to observe life in the rainforest canopy at close range.

Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk

The award winning Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk is one of Australia’s premier treetop walk  experiences. The only walk of its kind in NSW and one of only a handful of elevated steel treeop walks in the world, the ‘Fly’ is an immersive nature experience. The gentle 1.5km return walk takes in native rainforest, the steel walkway which features two gently swaying cantilevered arms, and a central tower raised nearly 50 metres from the forest floor. Positioned 710 metres above sea level, the stunning views take in everything from the rainforest floor into the canopy and out to the Pacific Ocean.

Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, the Treetop Walk is a one of a kind experience that captures the unique beauty of the regions flora and fauna and takes approximately 1 hour to complete. Wheelchair and pram accessible with a courtesy cart available if required.

With stunning views, guided tours, a visitor centre and cafe, the Fly is a great place for a day out for families, couples or groups of friends. Located in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, less than two hours from Sydney or Canberra

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures

Otway Fly Treetop Adventures offers a whole host of experiences with the two core activities being The Otway Fly Treetop Walk and The Otway Fly Zip Line Tour.

The Otway Fly Treetop Walk is a 1 hour rainforest walk experience that is approx 2km in total and features a 600mt long and 30mt high steel structured treetop canopy walkway that takes you right into the treetops.  It’s the longest and tallest walkway of its type in the world! Included in this walk is the kids Prehistoric Path – where there is a dinosaur around every corner!

The Otway Fly Zip Line Eco-Tour is a 2.5 hour, fully guided experience and including training and simulation, 8 cloud stations, 6 flights and 2 suspension bridges. The ticket price also includes the world famous Treetop Walk.  This Zip Line Tour is the only Zip Line Tour for Victoria!

Less than 3 hours away from Melbourne (via Princes Hwy inland route) and 1.5 hours from Geelong (via Princes Hwy) makes us the ideal destination for a day trip.  To truly experience this great region we recommend that you stay and play longer in this spectacular part of the world.

Valley of the Giants Tree Top

Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk Denmark in Australia’s south west Walpole Wilderness 400 kilometres from Perth. East of Margaret River and west of Albany are the hamlets, Peaceful Bay, Bow Bridge and Nornalup. You can dive, surf, fish, canoe, walk the Bibbulmun Track along beaches, coastal ridges amongst the flora and fauna to the Ancient Empire Forest.  Discover the history, heritage, arts and Great Southern Taste.

The Tahune AirWalk is among the Hobart area’s top attractions, and is Australia’s most spectacular treetop walk – culminating in a cantilever set high over the confluence of the mighty Huon and Picton Rivers.

Tahune AirWalk Tasmania

Suitable for visitors of all ages and abilities, 50 minutes return walk.

The path to the AirWalk is uphill and includes around 112 gradual steps, but alternative access for those preferring to avoid the stairs is available.

Links to all sites:-

Online Videos – The Usage Levels are Truly Amazing !

Online Video By The Billions – An infographic by the team at Wyzowl Video Production Company



Why you should be using Video to put your message across


If ever you needed a reason to think about using video to put across your message or to share an event, be it personal or business in video format, then these figures will be sure to convince you.
We all know that video is popular, after all that favourite movie of ours is in effect a video, just a long one that has been shot in a spectacular way and that has (hopefully) a great script. Video on the web covers far more than just showing popular films, it also allows people to share those silly and sometimes very private moments with their friends.

In most cases, these events are ones that have been recorded and then posted onto Facebook or YouTube of course and here the numbers are staggering, the data collected in this Infographic from Comscord showing that each month there are over 1 Billion unique visits every month, with each viewer looking at around 4 hours of video each. When it comes to Facebook, we can see that a video is posted every 7.7 seconds, and this is all old data, heaven knows how often it is done today?

The rest of the Infographic goes on to show the huge numbers of people looking at videos online, comparing them to the populations of China and India to put across the point in an perhaps more easily understood way.

Video Advertising levels are increasing

One thing that really astounded me was the number of times people had seen (or is that subjected too) online adverts, the figure being 8.3Million and that again was for March 2012, nearly 2 years ago at the time of writing, so again the number for 2013 must be much much higher.

What the data does not tell us is how much of this video was in real time. I am not talking about video phone calls using Skype or WhatsApp, but rather when an event is transmitted live on the web. I have heard of this being used to transmit a wedding ceremony to people far across the globe, who, but for the sharing would have to wait for ages to see a recording, which is never quite the same is it?

Live Event Streaming for Business and Pleasure

This ‘Live Event Streaming’ is set to become more and more popular over time in my view, as both the web speeds up and more and more people have access to technology that allows the viewing of such material, eg tablet devices.

Share your conference or business meeting live

Of course, it is not just family members who will gain here, businesses can now easily share a conference or business meeting online, thus not only saving money, but also allowing more people to ‘join in’, with all the positive effects that can have on staff morale and ultimately the bottom line of that business.
So, online video is here to stay, all you need is help in harnessing the power, and here, I just must recommend they have the skill and knowledge to make it all happen and at very reasonable costs too.

SEO and Google – See The Changes Between 2012 and 2013


This SEO infographic is supplied courtesy of Rouge-Media a Reading Based Digital Design Agency.

SEO and Google – The Changes between 2012 and 2013

The search engine world never stops changing, and although the basics remain the same (on page / off page and social media) the mix and what matters the most is for ever evolving.

In this infographic we show what changed between 2013 and 2012.There were quite a few areas that had a positive impact, like the number of internal links, something often forgotten, with the use of keywords in these links also being important. Interestingly, some other factors like the number of External links (an area that used to be king) whilst still being important, was not as powerful as the number of words on the page, this again proving that ‘Content is Now King’.

Interestingly, the presence of Adsense adverts on a page could adversely affect the rankings, as could the use of keywords in the H1 tags, this being something of a shocker (and set it seems to be even more so in 2014).

When it comes to the way that any keywords are ranked, we see that the use of these in the Title of the pages and where they are became more important and that having them in the Domain name was good (which is something interesting again as ‘Exact Match Domains’ were said not to work anymore).

As mentioned above, the power of External links has dropped, BUT No Follow links have more power and links which are more natural (in them having a STOP word or two in them) are also deemed more useful. In fact, links with keywords can cause negative effects (bit only we think if the balance is

Social Media signal are however a lot more important than before, Facebook Comments, Likes and Shares being more powerful than Tweets. However, it would be a bad idea not to include Google Plus is growing much faster than Facebook, so is set to be more powerful in the future.

There is also the impact that the huge growth in the use of mobile devices is having on SEO, as Google have stated that when searches are made on mobile devices, they will penalise sites that do not display well, so if your business is one that could be searched for on a phone, eg a fast food outlet, or a garage, then it is a must to make sure that your site is fully Responsive.

Some large businesses have up to now not been too worried about making sure their site worked on mobile devices like phones or tablets, but the data shows that they will have to think again, some 66% of the visits to Corporate sites being made on such equipment.

So the overall picture is one of change (as expected) the biggest things to consider is that of Social Media and ensuring that your site looks OK on mobile devices.

Introducing the InfographVID

InfographVID, a page on a site that offers readers information in just the way they want it:-

Exploring Kinesthetic/Tactile Learning Styles

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


The infographic shows the different learning styles people have, whilst the video below puts across how a mixture of three mediums, images, videos and text could provide a one stop shop for anyone who want so understand the basics of, well, just about anything.


This is the first post of many and hopefully shows you the format of future posts.

The reasoning behind the idea

Any teacher knows the people learn in different ways and when it comes to the Internet, there are basically three ways in which information can be gleaned, understood and hopefully assimilated.

These are:-

  • Pictures, this including the Infographic, an image that provides data in a visual format
  • Videos, in effect, moving pictures with sound, these being very useful in ‘telling a story’
  • Words. In many cases, people just have to READ something before it sinks in, so words can for some be the ideal way by which they can be helped to ‘understand’ something.

Put them altogether and you have a page that will help anyone understand the basics of just about anything (as long as they understand English of course).