23 Aug

Mistoria Group, having been delighted with the work R & A Office Environments Ltd

Mistoria Group, having been delighted with the work  R & A Office Environments Ltd carried out at their HQ in Salford,  asked us to follow up with a smaller satellite office in Liverpool and most recently in Castlefield,  Manchester.

It is a very modern office in a prime site, so the fit out had to match the exacting standards required, and still retain the Corporate Identity image, and fit effectively  into the office.

Thanks goes to Sue the Mistoria Project Manager and Accountant, for making sure the brief was clear.

She was happy that the supply, delivery and installation of the integral desking was achieved, –on time, on budget, as usual.

Another Good Job Well Done !

Professional Products with Personal Service

10 Jun

Project to refurnish Training Facilities Middlewich, Cheshire

Project to refurnish Training Facilities at Span Set UK in Middlewich, Cheshire

Although a long term client, when Span Set wanted to completely modernize the in house training facilities at their premises in Middlewich, they awarded the furnishing part of the project after competitive tender to us at R & A Office Environments Ltd…We embraced the brief, understood the requirements of the client, arranged viewings and samples and delivered the work on time and to budget, and to conform to Corporate Identity guidelines issued from the International Head Office in Switzerland.

The transformation was stunning and all staff and management both local and international were delighted with the reception, soft seating and the training rooms which were all refurnished to a high standard. Our thanks go to all the Management and staff who were involved, especially Eunice Williams who was the main contact at Span Set Ltd

30 Mar

We need to clear our warehouse

See the bargains available now. We are running out of space so we have slashed prices to clear stock and to accommodate new stock due in. Just call Richard on 0161 641 6644 or 07710 061800 to get more details or to arrange to view.


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Examples above include meeting chairs from £10-£30 each, Filing cabinets £35 each. 6ft metal stationery cabinets from £50.00 each, mobile pedestals with keys £25 each, secure fire proof cupboard @ £255.00, Operator chairs from £20-£50 each. We also still have maple wave desks at £50.00 each. Matching pedestals are £25.00 each and operator chairs are £30.00 each. Just few of the items on sale now.


Contact Richard Clarke on 07710 061800 to get more details of all the items available

26 Feb

Testimonial from Mike Holman

Dear Richard,

I wanted to write and thank you for the desk you IMG_0757recently delivered to me and the service you provided. When we initially spoke I specified that I wanted a certain size and colour of desk to perfectly fit the room and match the other furniture within my home office. Although not a common color you sourced a fantastic match which I extremely pleased about and its fits perfectly into the limited space. Your team who delivered the desk were great. They arrived when you said they would and then assembled the desk with no hassle, positioned it where I wanted it, and were in and out within 20 minutes.

As always, doing business with you is a pleasure. You listen to the needs and then solve the problem with great ease, what else can anyone ask for?

Thank you again for your help.

Kind regards
Mike Holman
BNI Executive Director

18 Feb

Span Set UK

Span Set UK design, manufacture and supply Height Safety, Lifting and Load Control products at their custom built Cheshire plant . Over the years, R & A Office Environments Ltd have worked with the Directors to supply all their office furniture and seating requirements.When they decided to have a complete refurbishment of their Training Facility, R & A were asked to provide all the new training tables and chairs for the upper training floor, along with some great looking soft seating on the ground floor. Lastly a completely new reception desk for the new area created to receive the attendees of the training courses.

We got the plans, did the layouts and costed the requirements, enlisting the co-operation of the manufacturer, Gresham, so that the project manager could see, touch and feel all the products at their Bolton Showroom.Once the plans and layouts were agreed the orders were placed and R & A made sure it was all delivered and installed on time with the minimum of fuss. The job was on budget and the training rooms and reception areas looked spectacular.


It was a great job, well done by all concerned.


Eunice Williams, Project Manager at Span Set stated “I was very happy with the way Richard at R & A was able to manage all the furniture and seating side of the Project, leaving me to concentrate on the other aspects of the job. The end result is amazing, and we are delighted with how it has all turned out”.

16 Sep

Workplace Design has a great effect on productivity in the office, or wherever you work !

office clearance manchesterMore people are working remotely and not at their desks.

At any given time, about one-third of all knowledge workers in private and public sectors are working remotely. Only 30 to 40 percent of employees with assigned spaces are actually using them. Mobility is crucial to today’s workforce. In addition to their offices, employees are working in airplanes, in hotels, at client sites and at home. They need to be supported with technology and business processes that allow them to work effectively wherever that may be. In the workplace, mobility may require more “unassigned” or touchdown space for individuals who are out of the office for a significant portion of the day. Organizations also need flexible space for employees who might be visiting from another floor building or site.

Contact us at R & A Office Environments Ltd to discuss how we can help

Ring or text 07710 061800

Email:  sales@randaoffice.co.uk


office furniture manchester


Flexible work boosts engagement and satisfaction.
Flexible work – allowing employees to work when, how and where they choose – generally receives a positive response. Thirty percent of employees with easy access to flexible work arrangements report feeling very engaged in their jobs. Compare this to the 19 percent engagement among those with moderate flexibility and the 10 percent engagement among those with little access to flexibility. Sixty percent of employees with high access to flexibility are very satisfied with their jobs, compared with 44 percent of those with moderate access and only 22 percent of those with low access.

Contact us at R & A Office Environments Ltd to discuss how we can help

Ring or text 07710 061800

Email:  sales@randaoffice.co.uk



Activity-based work settinoffice clearancegs are on the rise.
The nature of today’s work is so complex and unpredictable, and so single, all-purpose workstation doesn’t work for most knowledge workers.7 Workplace designers need to provide a variety of “activity settings,” or purpose-built areas for specific activities accessible to all. Activity settings might include impromptu meeting areas, formal meeting spaces, project rooms, individual work spaces or break areas that make up for the shortcomings of exclusively cellular or open-plan environments.

One size does not fit all.
At R& A Office Environments Ltd we are aware of the requirements of a multi layered skill workforce. We ensure that the brief to innovate and produce great space filled with great product is fulfilled.

Contact us at R & A Office Environments Ltd to discuss how we can help

Ring or text 07710 061800

Email:  sales@randaoffice.co.uk




4 Jun

Current Trends in Office Design

The last decade has seen some big changes in the way we work. With business rent and rates on the increase, companies have become very conscious of the need to maximise the efficiency of their office space and, with an increase in remote working and flexible hours, not every desk is used all the time.

Gone are the traditional cellular offices, replaced by open-plan multi-functional workspaces and an increase in flexible working. Internal meetings have generally become less formal, increasing the need for breakout/social areas and reducing the use of boardroom space.

Studies have shown that employee productivity can be significantly increased by creation of positive working environments with flexible layouts that encourage people to collaborate and communicate. Equally importantly, the design and layout of your offices say a great deal about your attitude to business and tells existing and potential clients what you’re all about, by stamping your personality and ethos on the business environment.

So how do you go about creating your “office style”? Here’s some ideas based on the latest trends.


Keeping it Natural

This is all about going back to nature. The main colours are neutral – brown, beige and cream – with complimenting wood furniture, natural materials and laminate/wooden flooring. Although you have to be careful to pick the right shade and tone, green walls can give a feeling of getting back to nature, with grained or leaf type patterns helping to complete the overall look.

This is design in its simplest form; clean lines, soft seating, uncluttered surfaces, lots of natural light, soft artificial lighting. Inclusion of live planting is also being more widely used, not just for its visual impact, but for its contribution to the atmosphere as plants provide a natural Solution to cleaner indoor air

Creating Focus

Essentially a combination of an oversized notice board and company newsletter, many businesses are now creating focus walls in their open office space or reception areas. Filled with all sorts of company news, etc, it can be used to effectively communicate not only with employees but also clients. Containing written, pictorial and even video content, it can be a great way to engage and let everyone know what the business is all about. It’s important to keep refreshing it though; no-one wants to see the same old information week in, week out. Keep it fresh and keep it current and make it attractive and engaging to get maximum benefit.

Hot Desking

This is probably the most widespread trend within office environments at the moment, where employees do not have a designated desk and merely choose any available space to work from as and when they are in the office. Fuelled by the increasingly mobile workforce, it can be a brilliant tool for encouraging communication and collaboration and can prevent any employees feeling isolated or “out of the loop”. This has also been prompted by an increase in the cost of office space and the rising trend for remote working, meaning that it is unlikely that 100% of the workforce will be in the office at any one time and it therefore prevents space being specifically allocated and left redundant when not in use. It does take a shift in mind-set for many, however, particularly those used to having their own designated space, and so a period of adjustment should be factored in.

Let there be light

Studies have shown that, as we are not by nature nocturnal, we are far more productive when we are exposed to daylight. Therefore the more natural light you can get into your offices, the better and office refurbishments are increasingly including larger windows and skylights.

Obviously, it’s not always possible to alter the structure of your existing building to accommodate more windows, but if you’re looking for new offices, it’s definitely something you should consider when there are a number of premises to choose from. Not only will employees be happier but also, in these days of rising electricity prices, the less you have to spend on artificial lighting, the better.

To maximise the benefits of available light, ensure the most frequently used desks are placed so they get the maximum benefit of any available natural light. You should also position larger items – such as cupboards and screens – to ensure they are not obscuring windows.

Softly Softly

Hard surfaces amplify noise, and with the increase in open plan working, this can create issues.

Therefore including a large proportion of soft furnishings is becoming increasingly popular in office design. Including different textures and fabrics can also help to improve the overall working environment and create useful differentiation for areas of different use. Screens can be covered in a variety of fabrics, and are useful for delineating areas of different use. Breakout areas now contain comfortable chairs and more “relaxed” seating, but take care to ensure the fabrics are stain resistant and easy to clean to ensure hygiene standards are maintained.

Many designers also believe that the standard break-out/social areas in offices are now virtually redundant, with employees preferring more comfortable surroundings, not just for breaks from work, but also for more informal meetings. Hence there has been a rise in the inclusion of armchairs, sofas and even beanbags available for staff to use.

Going Green

Business are becoming increasingly green-aware, with more investment being made in ensuring everyone does their bit for the environment. People are demanding to know how their furniture is made and, more importantly, what it’s made from, ensuring that the wood sources are sustainable and environmentally friendly. With an eye on their carbon footprint and “furniture miles” many businesses are keen to source furniture as locally as possible, thus reducing transport costs and carbon emissions. There is also an increase in demand for more natural fabrics and materials, both in hard and soft furnishings, as businesses want to shout about their “green “credentials.

It all goes to show it’s worth putting a little thought into your office design. It can make all the difference to the way you do business.

4 Jun

Is back, neck and muscle pain hurting the UK economy?

Did you know that back pain is the second most common cause of long-term sickness in the UK after stress? In fact, around 7.6 million working days were lost due to work-related back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders from 2010 to 2011 and, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), almost 31 million hours of work were lost last year alone as a direct result of back, neck and muscle disorders. They also concluded that musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions accounted for more prolonged absences than any other ailment.

Although the UK workforce has largely swapped heavy manual labour for sitting in offices, MSKs have been the primary cause of absenteeism for the past five years and the UK has one of the highest rates in Europe. This clearly has an impact on profitability; it has been estimated that MSK pain costs the EU economy approximately 240bn euros (£200bn) every year.

So what’s the problem? Why, in an age when we are supposed to be more aware than ever of how our bodies work and, more importantly, how to keep them fit and healthy, is this an increasing problem?

Most of us will have back pain at some point in our lives and although painful, in most cases the pain usually clears up after about six weeks. However, for some, the damage is more permanent and can result in long term absence from work.

“People forget how common musculoskeletal problems are,” Prof Anthony Woolf, a rheumatologist at the Royal Cornwall Hospital has recently stated, ” With around 30% of all disability in the UK being due to these conditions.”

The most common causes of back pain are strained muscles or ligaments, wear and tear, and are often caused by bad posture and stress. As we spend more time sitting – often in the wrong way on the wrong type of chair – than ever before, it’s not surprising that our bodies are starting to suffer.

“Sitting is the new smoking,” explains Prof Steve Bevan, director of the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness at the Work Foundation, “The more sedentary you are the worse it is for your health.”


Offices, it turns out, can be harmful environments.

While there are still significant numbers of employees carrying out physical and manual labour, involving heavy lifting or awkward movement, improvements in workplace conditions and stricter health and safety legislation has helped reduce the amount of injuries incurred in those jobs.

No such legislation has been applied to “sitting” however, and the majority of deskbound workers fail to adequately address their health risks, often dismissing the “work station assessment officer” as an unnecessary inconvenience. As a result, preventative measures, such as keeping chairs, desks and computers at the right height, are often neglected.

Furthermore, when the warning symptoms start to appear, people are often slow to react, but quick, effective action can reap positive rewards. A recently completed two-year trial in Madrid showed that the timely and accurate assessment and treatment of 13,000 workers with MSKs who had been off work for five days or more, lead to their time off work being reduced by 39% in the long term. The Work Foundation estimates that more than 60,000 Britons would be available for work if the Madrid tactics were replicated in the UK.

Even the most careful among us are at risk of MSKs; indeed, alarm bells have been ringing for some time over the impact of musculoskeletal diseases.

“I describe suffering from musculoskeletal disorders as being like a Ferrari without wheels,” says Prof Woolf, who is also the chair of Bone and Joint Decade. “If you don’t have mobility and dexterity, it doesn’t matter how healthy the rest of your body is.”

And it’s not just your back that’s at risk. The onset of a persistent back condition is likely to have a negative impact on the rest of your body too. Having an MSK also dramatically increases the likelihood of suffering from depression, says the Work Foundation. And according to the ONS, depression accounts for the third largest amount of missed work days in the UK – 15 million.

It seems that taking good care of your back means you are taking good care of your body as a whole and as we always say “good chairs make good backs”. So it’s worth taking a good look at what you’re sitting on and thinking about how it makes you feel.

4 Jun

The Office; How Did We Get Here?

For so many of us, the office is where we spend most of our time. It’s practically where we live. We seem to spend the majority of our waking hours in the office and it’s true that, sometimes, our colleagues see more of us than our families do. Some think of this as a modern phenomenon, something that has arisen as a result of the growing economy and ever increasing demands on business and trade, but in fact, the “office” goes back a very long way. Look back over the centuries and there’s a lengthy history of people chained to their desks – we all, surely, know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge? A work of fiction, it’s true, but firmly rooted in the reality of the times, with clerks like Bob Cratchit working very long hours for very little reward.

So how did we get to the offices of today and what, in fact, is an office?

The best description we could come up with is that it’s wherever the work gets done. That means a skyscraper counts, as does a car, or a coffee shops and so, too, are people’s homes – and it was in just these last two places in the City of London in the 18th Century that most “office” work was done.

In the early days of the “City”, business owner, traders and merchants, bankers and money lenders, tended to live above the shop. Often the clerks they employed lived there too, although you can guarantee their accommodation was significantly less glamorous! Meetings were usually held in other people’s offices or in popular local coffee houses. Although theses have themselves changed, we all know how popular they still are for meeting up with contacts, colleagues and prospective clients. It seems that not much has changed over the centuries, then.


It was 1729, however, in Leadenhall Street, just a few hundred yards from where Lloyds of London currently sits, that saw the arrival of one of London’s first purpose-built offices, which originally housed the East India Company. Incorporated in 1600, the company grew steadily to account for half of the world’s trade, specialising in basic commodities such as cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium and played a very large part in the beginnings of the British Empire in India. Over time it grew to become a very large and complex organisation and one which necessarily generated vast amount of paperwork and so needed a purpose-built “office” to handle all of that. Now, back in those days, the paperwork moved very slowly, with mail, particularly from India, one of its main markets, taking 608 months to arrive. However, when it did arrive, the quantities were incredibly high.

It wasn’t until the late 19th century that commercial offices for conducting business first appeared in the United States. The railroad, telegraph and then the telephone were invented and enabled businesses to be established at various different locations and still communicate with each other. This also enabled manufacturing companies to set up their administrative function at some distance from where the product was actually made. Hence branch offices started to appear. Then the administrative function was divided again into areas such a purchasing, finance, etc. and offices became more and more common. The rise of the office was also helped by inventions such as electric lighting, the typewriter, and calculating machines.

However, perhaps the greatest symbol of the office is the office chair and desk. During the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, new office equipment and furniture were popular exhibits. The exposition featured fancy rolltop desks and novel new filing systems, all of which proved to be incredibly popular with businesses men who wanted to be seen as being at the forefront of innovation and development. The flat topped desk we know today evolved after the invention of the typewriter; clearly such a machine could not be efficiently used on a rolltop desk!

By 1900, many thousands of people were working as secretaries, stenographers, and typists in offices in London. With only the most important employees or management having their own allocated, private spaces, offices were generally large open spaces, with row upon row of desks. They were noisy, cluttered and badly ventilated, and there was no thought whatsoever given to Health and Safety!

This is mainly because early 20th century modernist architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright saw walls and rooms as too authoritarian and divisive. The spaciousness and flexibility of an open plan, they thought, would help office workers to feel part of the organisation and work more productively as a result. However, the rise of the open plan office was driven more by the need for business owners to pack as many people into as small a space as possible, than by any desire for the freedom and democratic ideals of their employees. Consequently, the average early 20th century office had the appearance of a white-collar production line.

Cubicles or cellular offices became popular again in the 1950’s. Driven by German design, the endless rows of desks were broken up into smaller groups and partitions put up, in an attempt to create more heart into the workspace. And cellular offices remained popular for the next 50 years or so, with everyone seeing having their own office space, preferably with a door and window on the outside world as a sign of achieving some level of status within an orgainisation.

And now we have come full circle, with open-plan offices again at the forefront of modern design. However, gone are the series rows of desks, to be replaced with smaller groupings scattered across a larger area, and incorporating relaxation areas and more formal meeting areas, all within one single open space. This is, for now at least, seen as the right way to work, fostering communication and collaboration and encouraging everyone to work together for the common goals of the business.

How long will it be, we wonder, before everyone wants their own office again?

4 Jun

How to Get Your Office Working for You

The most important feature of good office design is functionality, i.e. making sure it does the job you need it to. Unfortunately, all too often our offices are crammed with so many office machines, equipment, furniture, supplies and pieces of paper that offices are completely dysfunctional places, where too much “stuff” actually hampers, rather than helps, the efficient production of work.

For example, how many times do you have to move things out of the way before you can sit down and work? Are there so many papers on your desk that they’re spilling onto the floor? Do you need to contact a search and rescue team to find your mobile phone under all the things you’ve accumulated in your workspace? Are there so many cable snaking around the floor, the carpet resembles Spaghetti Junction? Then it’s definitely time to roll up your sleeves and organise your office.

You see, you can have the most attractive, up-to-date office design available and still not be able to accomplish what you need to do unless you make sure everyone can actually get on and get the job done.

So we’ve come up with a list of tips to help you makeover your office space to give you an environment you really want to work in.

Clear the Way

Someone we know has a table in the middle of his office. This means every time he needs to get a file or document, he has to either jump over or walk round it to get anything practical done. And does he ever use it for what it’s intended, i.e. to put coffee on? No. So we moved it. Simple. Now he’s actually just walking across his office every time he needs a file and not trying to complete an assault course.

Take a good look at where all your occasional furniture is placed. Does it really need to be there? Would it be easier for everyone if you either moved it or got rid of it entirely? You need to be able to move round the office space freely and easily, without worrying about what might get in your way


Clear your Desk

Some people are particularly bad at keeping a whole lot of paperwork on their desks. Plus they have a laptop/computer and a phone and a calculator and a stapler….. the list just goes on and on.

Our advice is to take it all off. Yes, all of it! Wow, bet you’d forgotten your desk looked that good (if it’s one of ours it deserves to be shown off, really it does). Now put back the most important things, starting with your computer, your phone and any other essential IT. But then stop and take a good hard look at all the other “stuff” and ask whether it really has to be on your desk. The general rule of thumb would be, if you don’t use it every day, it has no place on your desk and you need to find it a home somewhere else. Use this as an opportunity to deal with all your outstanding paperwork and filing. And this leads neatly into our next tip………

Get Some Storage

There’s endless ranges of small storage items to cope with the day to day paraphernalia such as pens, paperclips and rubber bands, so get some and get a place for everything. This is also an ideal opportunity to decide whether it needs to go on (or even in) your desk at all. If you’ve only got limited desk space to start with, you can clear even more by giving some of your office essentials their own separate space. For instance, your printer shouldn’t be on your desk – consider investing in a printer stand. Another great piece of furniture is what’s known as a pedestal; sliding under the desk when not in use, it can be pulled out to create additional working space when required. Most come with useful drawers for storage too. If you have more space, consider a separate small table which can be used for temporary storage, meetings, or even an additional working space. But don’t put it in the middle of the room!

If your desk is continually cluttered with files, books or manuals, consider investing in shelving or an additional cupboard that can store files as well as general materials.

Improve Your View

Sit in front of your computer with your hands on the keyboard and look away from the monitor, in all directions. Is there anything you want to see in your range of vision? If not, add something worth looking at, such as a picture or a plant. Consider a noticeboard/whiteboard where you can put up things to inspire you – family pictures, for example. Which leads us on to….

Move That Desk

Just because you’ve always sat in the same place, facing in the same direction for years doesn’t mean you can’t change it – space and logistics allowing, of course. When you’ve organised everything else and sorted your storage and moved all the superfluous furniture, take a long hard look at how your office desk is positioned within the room. Moving your desk can give you a whole new perspective and even make you more productive. If your office desk is jammed into a corner, for example, pull it out into the middle of the room. If your desk is facing away from the only window, consider turning it around so you can take advantage of the increase in natural light.

Try the Reach Test

Now your desk is oh so clean and tidy, sit at it and do some work. Is everything you need within easy reach? If not, move things around so that the things you need the most are within easy reach. You shouldn’t have to get up from your desk if you need to staple something, for example.

You should also take note of the things you don’t use; they should be moved somewhere else or put away completely in some of your lovely new storage!

We’re all individuals and so it makes sense to create a space that works for you and the way you like to work. Finding the right set-up may take time, but get it right and you’ll find you can work easier and more productively and that should make you feel happier too.

Time to get sorted.