How to Choose the Best Stationery Supplier for Your Office Needs

Choosing the right stationery supplier for your business can be a tough and difficult decision. On one hand, it's a mundane task that distracts you from your main focus, on the other hand, picking the wrong supplier could leave you without essential supplies at the wrong moment. So how do you choose the best stationery supplier for your office?

Product range is a key factor in choosing the right supplier. A good supplier will leave no gaps in their product range when it comes to providing the best choice for their clients and maintain a healthy amount of stock too. A good sign of a reputable stationery supplier will have a wide range. You can find the widest range here from Office National. As you can see from the web page, they carry all the necessary business stationery to suit your needs under a very easy to use website. 

Pricing is one of the hardest challenges when it comes to finding a reputable stationery suppler. Cheap doesn't always mean the best quality, expensive sometimes leads costs spiralling; these are all factors to take into account when choosing your stationery supplier. Branding, quantity & quality are all factors that should be taken into account when weighing up the costs of a prospective suppliers' merchandise. Paying the extra for a reputable brand can cut costs in the long run if a product has notable durability. 

Getting hold of essential stationery also has another important consideration: delivery time. It's no use picking a supplier and placing an important order to find out the delivery will take weeks. Ideally you want no more than 3 – 5 working days for shipments to arrive. Whilst quicker deliveries are great, they usually come with a premium, therefore increasing costs. On the other hand, slow deliveries can be crippling to businesses and leave you without vital equipment at the worst possible time. 

The final consideration for a supplier, is how much they value you as a customer. In the world of business to business transactions you will more than likely be a repeat customer. This goes hand in hand with a prospective suppliers after sales customer support. The last thing any business wants is to find their new printers not working correctly and no support to get them running. If a company does have a dedicated after sales support team then they will usually make this very clear to any possible clients visiting their page, like this one

Obviously, this article is aimed at those who've got their footing and are preparing to launch into the world of business so if you are just entertaining the idea of starting your own business, or entrepreneurship, then it would be worth your while reading this very informative article, especially if you've just left college. Ultimately you will need stationery supplies at some point and when you do, you should have the supplies to pick the right supplier.

Student Life: Excel Doesn’t Always Have To Give You A Headache

If you are sick and tired of getting a headache every single time you open up MS Excel and you want to put an end to it then it’s now easier than ever for you to do so. Excel is a love-hate program. Some people are genuine wizards when it comes to using the software and others would rather sit in a corner and cry rather than open up the dreaded formula interface. If you are a student however then there is a high chance that you will need to learn how Excel works and you may even have to use it to complete your studies as well. For that reason, if you want some good reasons to learn Excel then take a look below.

 

Formulas are Important

Formulas will actually go on to help you in your career. If the word formula is enough to give you a migraine then you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of VBA training classes available for you to choose from. This will help you to get an edge in a huge range of jobs, and it is a great way for you to enhance your already growing career prospects.

night-theme-numbers-black-and-white-pen-74228.jpeg

https://www.pexels.com/photo/mathematical-formula-74228/

Working Solutions

Formulas are also a great way for you to try and capture a working solution. For example, if you study science and you need to account for a ton of variables then formulas are a great way for you to do this and you can easily calculate almost anything you need in seconds. This can save you a ton of time when it comes to your studies and they are ideal if you have a bad memory because you can save the formulas for whenever you need them next.

 

Your Vision

Have you ever wanted to explain what you want to do, but you can’t seem to get it done? For example, you may want to work out how you are going to plan your budget for that month or even your expenses. This can be hard when you have a faulty calculator and an A3 pad of lined paper to hand. If you want to solve all of this then Excel can help. The best thing about Excel is that you can set it to automatically update your totals as you go along. When someone deducts something from the total, all you have to do is type it into Excel and the program will then work out the final amount for you in less than a second.

numbers-money-calculating-calculation.jpg

https://www.pexels.com/photo/numbers-money-calculating-calculation-3305/

Because Nobody is Good at Excel

When you are good at Excel, you can really help to increase your productivity and you can even get more value out of the work that you do. Businesses love productivity and it is a great way for you to earn some money on the side. For example, you could build formulas for people or you could even offer a tutoring service when it comes to Excel as well. If you can get good with formulas then this will open up a ton of doors for you, and it is a great way for you to really take advantage of everything that it has to offer.

Excel may not be the most-liked MS program out there, but as a student, it really is essential to your study and even your career.

Building Fails: Common Problems in Modern Office Buildings

When we think about modern businesses, we often think about a bunch of people crammed in an office. To be fair, that statement could have been made at any point in the past three decades and it would have rung true. And, to be fair (again), modern offices certainly aren’t as dreary as they used to be. But there are now more people than ever working away each day in an office, sitting down for over eight hours for at least five days a week.

Pixabay

The problem here is that many modern offices suffer from a few building defects. Thankfully, they’re often things that can be remedied. And if these problems do affect your workplace, you should look into them as soon as you can. They affect the health and productivity of your employees, so get to it!

 

Indoor air quality

The air quality of your average interior isn’t great. Even modern homes that look clean are often filled with dusty, germ-infested air. Sturdy ventilation systems don’t seem to be as prominent in modern buildings as they once were. In offices, however, things are often much worse.

If you want your workers spending most of their week in the office, then it’s only fair that you get the air quality under control. You have to make sure the ventilation is working correctly, and that the air ducts are free from dust clogs. Any chemicals used in the building process, as well as throughout your tenure, will affect the air quality. Consider talking to the building owner, and perhaps look into getting an air filtration system.

Wikimedia

 

The lifts

Problems with lifts (or elevators) seem to be getting more and more common all the time. It seems strange, given that our technology here should have evolved. But lifts installed in the past decade or so seem to be more prone to error than the ones that have been around for a long time.

I’m not someone who feels that comfortable in lifts at the best of times. But if it breaks down, or is running slowly? Then that will cause immense stress. It will also lose you time, which will drastically cut productivity. Getting these things fixed often take way too long. But this shouldn’t be the case, nor does it need to be the case. Make sure you look up the best lift maintenance service you can get.

 

Over-illumination

Over-illumination isn’t something you may have heard of before, but you probably already know what I’m talking about. Over-illumination is such a prominent problem that it has its own Wikipedia article! An overabundance of artificial light is a problem in department stores, gyms, and - of course - offices.

Wikipedia

There’s an over-reliance on fluorescent lighting in offices. It zaps away so much energy - and I’m not just talking about electrical energy. Worker energy is also affected. There are certain things you can do to maximize the light that does come in. But, if it’s up to you, you should look into adding windows and skylights. They’re not quick, easy, or cheap solutions, I’ll grant you that. But when you consider the positive effects of increased natural light? Whatever price you pay could end up being a bargain.

 

These are just a few examples of how you can improve your office space. Being intentional and thinking about all the details of your office and how they can better support your team is important. It impacts employee productivity and retention, two crucial parts of a successful company culture. Think about the return on these investments and you should be able to get buy-in to create a physical space for your team that works for them as hard as they work for you!

Geeky Office Décor Series: Mauricio Gómez Montoya

This week we're featuring the awesome office of Mauricio Gómez Montoya, Retention Specialist with the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kansas.

Here's what Mauricio had to say about his space:

"I love my job. It’s challenging, rewarding and ultimately really fun. However, if I’m going to spend over 40 hours per week at work, I’m gonna make this place look and feel like home. I’m a huge Marvel & Star Wars fan, I also love sports and cultural artifacts. I’ve tried to blend these interests into the look of my office. Initially, I did this because of what I thought these items said about me. It made me feel “cool” and express my interests. I’ve noticed that the decoration of my office has inspired my students to trust me more if I put myself out there. I they feel like they really know me.

Over the last year, I’ve asked students if I should “rebrand”. I’m progressing in my career and it has made me questioning if there is room for a Tie Fighter or a Spider-Man poster in the office of a Senior Student Affairs Administrator. After many conversations with my students, I realize that there is. My students (and some colleagues) made me promise to not get rid of my “nerdy stuff” when I advance. They gave me a different perspective on the issue. It’s not what my office says about me, it’s about how students feel when they’re in it. One of my students said: "I feel intimidated when all I see are degrees and encyclopedias in my faculty’s office. But Spider-Man? I can talk about Spider-Man.”

Good practices in Student Affairs rely on relationships across campus. Relationships are based in trust. If your students (and colleagues) know you, they will trust you and if they trust you, they’ll listen to you. I’ve bonded on several occasions with students because of the conversation starters in my office. Whether it is the giant Spidey poster on the wall, the Gumball dispensing Yoda on my desk or the Jimi Hendrix portrait, students feel like they can relate and ultimately, feel more comfortable.

These conversations have lead me to think it’s time to redefine the idea of professionalism in student affairs."

What I really like about Mauricio's office is that it features Spider-Man (a personal favorite of mine), as well as the other diverse interests that he showcases in his space. I also appreciate how Mauricio shared the doubt he experienced as he thought about moving up professionally. I think we can all be our genuine selves no matter what we want to do professionally. Especially in our field, we should be encouraging professionals to be themselves so that we showcase a positive example for our students. I know it was transformative for me to accept that I can be myself and also be an effective leader and professional. It's awesomely poignant that Mauricio's students helped him realize that he should keep his geeky decorations up in his office.

Many thanks to Mauricio for sharing his space with us.

Stay tuned for more awesome offices in the coming weeks!

Thanks for stopping by!

Geeky Office Décor Series: Tyler Miller

This week we're featuring the awesome office of Tyler Miller, Assistant Director for Housing & Residential Services at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Here's what Tyler had to say about his space:

"As you can see my office isn’t the typical “professional” looking office. I have a ton of stuff. The reason for this is during my day. Most of the people who come into my office are students and/or people who work with students. My office is meant to be a “conversation starter.” Generally someone comes in and finds something they can right away connect with me about without me digging and asking a lot of questions. Whether it’s my Dunder Mifflin shirt, my Batman, Star Wars, Doctor Who stuff, or my sports memorabilia, there is generally something for everyone. You can’t see it in my pictures, but I even have a working 8 track player with 8 track tapes. There are also tons of pictures of my previous staffs. Again, you can’t see it, but one of my former staff members was such a Doctor Who fan, as part of a secret Santa gift exchange she designed a painting where she wrote my families name in Gallifrayen. The people who come into my office and connect with me aren’t always the people who would connect out in the halls. It is a “safe space” for discussing all sorts of pop-culture questions such as “what do you think about Ice-Man coming out?” or “Did you hear what happened with the Bat-woman comic book?” I am able to discuss social justice issues in the safe context of pop-culture and comic books, and it opens a new world for me. Finally – I love sharing the process of critical thinking as we discuss topics such as “who would win – Batman or Superman?” (Batman, obviously) or “is there anyone Batman couldn’t beat?” (No, obviously).

So there ya have it."

What I really like about Tyler's office is the diversity of interests showcased as well as Tyler's emphasis of critically analyzing pop culture like comic books (I always joke that I take my entertainment very seriously). Looking for the deeper meaning in the stories we all share is an amazing way to connect. Those emotional bonds are a powerful positive force for us to feel understood, not just through the story but also through others understanding it (and us) as well.

Many thanks to Tyler for sharing his space with us.

Stay tuned for more awesome offices in the coming weeks!

Thanks for stopping by!

Geeky Office Décor Series: Kevin Forch

This week we're featuring the awesome office of Kevin Forch, Student Success Coach at Southeast Community College.

Here's what Kevin had to say about his space:

"Dustin,

Thank you so much for showcasing my work space on your site. I've been a fan of superheroes and comics since my elementary school days when a lot of my allowance went towards Spider-Man and all those mid 90's X-books (X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Adventures, X-Force, Excalibur, Generation X...you get the idea). What I love most about these books is that (even now as an adult) they have been a great way to connect with friends by sharing books, discussing at length our thoughts about plots/cliffhangers/characters, and fiercely debating which of our favorite heroes were the best (Batman/Superman, Wolverine/Cyclops, Krypto/Lockhead).

I started acquiring a lot of the items on my desk relatively recently. Almost all of the items on my desk are gifts from friends scattered across the country. Another big contributor is my mom, who cannot control herself around the stocking stuffer aisle at Target (a lot of the smaller gifts have come with the explanation 'Your work desk doesn't have a Batman, right? I thought you needed a Batman.') (Mom, if you're reading this, you were absolutely right. Thank you!)

There are a couple key reasons I like having these figures at my desk: 1) They are awesome to look at. They're a good pick-me-up for times that I'm frustrated or lagging. 2) They make for a great icebreaker. Even for people who don't like comics, they can make for a starting point for conversation that helps to put a student at ease. Working in Retention and Student Success, I meet with a lot of students who are struggling in their classes or returning from a suspension. My office is not a place they probably envisioned themselves being when they started their academic journey. It's my hope that placing these items prominently on my desk gives a visual indication that this is a safe, relaxed place. If students are more at ease, we can easily work together to plan positive strategies for their academic success.

Additionally, working at a community college means that I work with a lot of adult students, first generation students, and other populations who may need extra support. Reading texts like 'Unequal Childhoods' and 'Educating by Design' allowed me to see how difficult it can be to get at-risk students the support they need, either due to not being aware of the services we provide or not being sure how & where to ask for help. By providing a safe/fun/at-ease environment, it's my hope that our office provides a welcoming space for students who want to get back on track and build their academic skills or find community resources that could help them.

So, that's why I have a giant Wolverine on my desk!"

What I really like about Kevin's office is his understanding of his student population as well as his emphasis on comfort. Serving adult learners and really college students in general often has us as student affairs professionals needing to make people feel less anxious and more willing to ask for help. Many people don't ask because of pride, some because of ignorance of what is available to them or perhaps where/who to go to. Kevin does what he can to compensate for this by simply helping people feel more comfortable with asking for help, which we all need sometimes. It makes me happy that some geeky toys on a desk can do this and how it also allows for Kevin to showcase some of his personality at the same time.

Many thanks to Kevin for sharing his space with us.

Stay tuned for more awesome offices in the coming weeks!

Thanks for stopping by!

A Geek's Guide to Professionalism

A Geek’s Guide to Workplace Professionalism

* This post was originally featured on the Nerd for a Living blog.

Finding your professional voice, attitude, demeanor, and style can be difficult – especially when you want to be authentic to yourself. The conventional notions of professionalism often feel stifling, and may tend to turn a lot of nerdy people off. It doesn’t help matters that, if you’re just starting out with a new job search or career, you may have to invest in clothes you might not feel comfortable in – attempting to exist in a professional world that is foreign to you.

Even if you’re someone who has worked professionally for a long time, these things often aren’t talked about head-on. You have to try to figure it all out on your own. This can lead to frustrating results, such as not being well-integrated into a team because you don’t know the dress code expectations or communication preferences.

I hope to convey a few simple concepts that will help you be the proud geek (or nerd) you are while still being professional in your workplace.

Style

How people dress actually carries a good deal of impact in the workplace. It embodies the culture of the office, and (for better or worse) is how you make a first impression on people. How you dress reflects on your work priorities. It may be advisable to follow your colleagues’ lead, at least at first. Adapting your professional wardrobe to fit the general appearance of your peers can help you avoid attention for the wrong reasons.

You might like to showcase your geeky interests with your wardrobe, letting your nerd flag fly and expressing your personality. That’s awesome, but be careful not to go overboard, particularly in a new environment. Sometimes a subtle touch is best, with something like a lapel pin or necklace, or incorporation of an understated tie, socks, or tights into your outfit. Depending on your workplace, you may be able to get away with more casual clothing. Just make sure you look clean, presentable, and wear clothes which make you feel confident – it sends a message that you have put in the effort to look professional when you come into work.

As time goes and you’ve established your workplace persona and reputation, you can evolve your look and personal presentation to closer reflect your personality and taste.

Attitude & Demeanor

How you deal with people is a crucial part of your professional identity. Whether with customers or colleagues, you need to be able to speak to people in a respectful way that properly conveys your intended message. Some people may believe that being “authentic” means having “no filter”, but you can be yourself and still have the self-awareness of what you should and shouldn’t say to people.

Your nonverbal gestures add emphasis and nuance to what you do say. Be mindful of your posture, facial responses, and just generally behave positively towards other people. Remember to treat co-workers and patrons as you would like to be treated, and try to exhibit the enthusiasm you bring to your favorite geekdom to your interactions at your workplace.

Office Decoration

We end up spending a lot of time in our offices, and I love seeing how people decorate and personalize their working spaces. It’s important to me to have a comfortable space that can foster genuine connections with those who come in. I have a bunch of geeky stuff adorning my walls, and have had numerous people come by who see something they recognize. A moment of mutual adoration for that shared passion can help create connections that may later facilitate our working relationship. Rather than having to try to form connections with no context, we instantly know a bit about each other whenever someone comes into my office.

This seems like the most natural pathway for us to bring our geeky interests into our workplace in a professional way. Empty cubical walls and shelf space are a blank canvas for fun toys, posters, and trinkets that allow for authentic bonds to be created everyday. Most supervisors won’t have a problem with people bringing in some fun personal items to spruce up their workspaces, but if you don’t see anyone else with personal items in their workspaces, it may be wise to ask just in case.

Ultimately, while it may seem like a buzzkill for many geeks and nerds to exist in a “stiff” professional workplace, I submit that you can bring your genuine enthusiasm into your work in a positive way each day – and make a world of difference for you, your colleagues, and your customers.

Thanks for stopping by!