Cotton Court Business Centre

Workplace

Working 9 ’til 5: Is it Time for a Change in Working Hours?

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With flexible working now becoming increasingly popular we take a look at what UK workers think about the standard 9-5 day

More than half (58.6 per cent) of UK workers believe that the traditional 9-5 is an outdated concept, with three quarters (77.2 per cent) admitting that they work better at certain times of day. This is according to a recent study from CV-Library.

The survey of 1,200 professionals explored how the nation’s workers feel about 9-5 working hours, and whether these are still fit for purpose. The data revealed that two thirds (67.6 per cent) would prefer to work hours that suited their natural pattern and when they work best. When asked what time of day they are most productive, respondents cited the following:

In the morning – 64.2%

In the afternoon – 20.9%

In the evening – 9.3%

Late at night – 5.6%

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘There are ongoing debates surrounding the traditional 9-5 and whether this ‘one size fits all’ approach is still beneficial. It’s clear from the data that UK professionals know their own work patterns and would prefer to tailor their working hours around when they’re at their most productive. Allowing for more flexible hours could be hugely beneficial, not only to employees but also their employers. Something as simple as letting staff start an hour earlier or later depending on their needs could be all it takes.‘That said, flexible working does tend to bring with it issues of work-life balance. Doing away with the structured 9-5 could further blur the lines between work and private life”

By taking this approach, it’s vital that you monitor your employees contracted hours and not putting in too much overtime. According to the study, a whopping 86% of working professionals believe that all companies should offer flexible working and of these 86% only one quarter have the opportunity to work from home when they would like too.

Biggins concludes, ‘Flexible working is becoming increasingly popular, and is, in fact, something many professionals take into consideration when applying for jobs. Businesses need to consider carefully whether they should be offering this style of working, as this could be the key to securing and retaining talented members of staff. Not only this, but with such a huge percentage saying they work better, or just as well, at home, employers can feel safe in the knowledge that they’re getting the most from their workforce, even when they aren’t operating under the traditional 9-5.

Flexible working is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the debate of working hours, with more and more people choosing to work remotely is it time that your company embraces the future?

2017 Our Year in Review

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As 2017 has to come to an end we look back on all the amazing things our clients have done. Some of the memories and achievements have been so amazing we had to share with you what they have been up to…

Alys Stuart – Together we balance ~~ “The best part of my 2017 was in making the decision to take on staff. Having Tracy an then Bea join me in Together We Balance was the beginning of a major stage of growth for the company. Made easier by working at Cotton Court as all the facilities are in place and renting an extra desk was very simple to do.”

Daniel Fisher – Tienda Digital ~~ “Another Christmas comes, another Christmas party, another secret Santa and another year of delivery amazing projects for clients. When we look back and reflect on this year, a few things do stand out.

Relocation
This year we relocated back into the heart (city centre) of Preston to where it all began. Tienda Digital is proud to be in the heat of Lancashire and will continue to grow the digital sector here for years to come.

Awards
This year we came close to winning ‘Small Business of the Year’ (twice) but missed out to ome amazing winners. We are proud to be finalists in any award as it shows what we do is not only recognised but appreciated. Our very talented Eleisha Cartlidge only went and won ‘Employee of the Year’ at the Women In Business Awards. This is testimony to her hard work and dedication over the last few years.

TOOLi App
Our client TOOLi was voted the number 1 in the “Top 6 Apps For Tradesmen That Are Revolutionising The Industry” during 2017 which again is great news for not only ourselves for developing the app but for the guys at TOOLi.

Drop App
Tienda Digital worked with our client Drop to develop a new social connect app which has now launched and will be promoted to universities throughout the UK in 2018. The app has the potential to be huge and we will be supporting the guys at Drop to make sure this happens.

retailTRUST
It’s always nice to end the year on a high and this one is no different, Tienda Digital has been appointed to develop a mobile app for retailTRUST, a national trade charity that supports everyone involved in retail and the related service industries.

We would like to thank our clients, friends, family, business associates and even everyone who has liked tweeted or shared our social profiles this year. We wish you all the luck for 2018 and beyond.”

Roger Singleton – Riscon Solutions ~~ “My yearly highlight was the training of 10 staff at CARE International, an NGO based on the remote island of Tanna in the country of Vanuatu in March 2017. The training content was in Drinking Water and Sanitation system assessment in rural communities. Since that date, the team has undertaken over 50 system assessments and upgrades on the island.”

Danny Bee – UK Media And Events ~~ “We have delivered some fantastic events across the country for some of our clients, and being asked to produce Grace Davis’s performance in Cathedral Square, Blackburn for the x-factor semi-finals week (in less then 48 hours) was an amazing experience, achievement and honour. To top the event of the outcome and support shown towards Grace was phenomenal!”

Mark Drage – Ambledene ~~ “Ambledene was all about change this year whether that be the new logo or the fact we have added a new gin related monthly newsletter which allows people to see the best tried and tested gins of each month. Our new logo consists of two A’s combined to subtly create an ‘M’ this allowing us to showcase the Ambledene Accountancy Director Mark at the forefront of the business. To top the year off Ambledene Accountancy has helped their clients Vibe Tickets secure immense investments. Vibe tickets allows fans to exchange and negotiate on the price of tickets for live events. It has built a following of more than 70,000 users across eight countries since 2013. The investment will help them potentially become the number one destination for live events for fans across the globe.”

Craig Davis – Wise ability ~~ “My personal highlight was earlier in the year 3 of my candidates began work on the same day. This was particularly pleasing as the candidates had worked very hard to develop their skills and overcome their disabilities in order to find full-time employment. All 3 remain in work and have moved to unsupported employment, highlighting their individual capabilities and motivation to succeed.”

Jilly Jackson – Digital Touch ~~ “The highlights of the year for Digital Touch have been plentiful, including offering Photoshop training alongside our main Retouching work. This seemed to happen overnight and by chance and though it is not a lucrative part of the business, time is made, because a huge amount of pleasure is gained when sharing knowledge with people who are equally as enthusiastic when exploring the amazing world of Digital Art.
This year we have also taken on another retoucher Luke, who specialises in complex fantasy style artwork. He is incredibly patient with an exceptional eye for detail when taking on any task, making him a huge asset to Digital Touch.
The driving Force for what we do is the positive feedback we receive every single day from our many clients. However, due to the privacy required it is difficult to translate these to valuable online reviews, but nevertheless we still sit proudly in the top 5 of our all-important TrustPilot.
Towards the end of the year, we joined up with the guys at Manchester’s Digital Garage, who are assisting with improving our Adwords account and Analytics. Blogging on Social Media and Networking on Business groups have been incredibly beneficial and again Digital Garage will be working with us to maximise the use of LinkedIn as we look forward to generating additional B2B work in the New Year.
This year has been wonderfully empowering and 2018 has been tasked with the challenge of surpassing expectations.”

Andy Neale – Global Amigos ~~ “2017 was an amazing year for Global Amigos we: offered work experience, helped with CV’s and gave a reference which

allowed one of our first supporters to achieve employment after just one month of full-time volunteering!; our Podio magazine was shortlisted for the ‘Start-Up Social Enterprise Of The Year Award’ – for the annual SELNet Awards (Social Enterprise Lancashire Network) The ceremony alone was a highlight itself; Our founder Andy volunteered in India during the summer, supporting international communities. When he returned to England he had a clearer long-term vision for Global Amigos as a result; later on in the year, we won the project management contract for Preston At Night, enabling us to further share our passion for all things Preston. To top the year off it was an honour to have Podio PR1’s name and Christmas message shining brightly on the big screen at Preston’s Christmas Light Switch on, for the second year running.”

UK Media and Events Welcomes a New Team Member!

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UK Media And Events Limited are super excited to be able to announce Carly has joined the company!

Carly has a background in Events, Promotions, PR and Marketing. She will be based at Cotton Court looking after the Office and a variety of events we are producing this year and events already booked in for 2017.

After a sustained period of growth and a a plentiful amount of events bookings, director Danny Bee has decided to take on another member of staff.

We wish Carly a warm welcome to Cotton Court and to UK Media and Events!

 

Cotton Court Welcomes Two New Staff

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This month we’ve welcomed two new members of staff- Ella joins us on reception as the centre administrator and Gavin joins us as the new resident photographer.

Here’s what Ella had to say…

“Hello everyone, I’m Ella Worthy, Cotton Court’s Business Centre Administrator, and I can’t wait to get going and explore even into the ins and outs of everything that’s going on in and around the building.
I began my journey with Cotton Court a few days ago and have thoroughly enjoyed every moment so far. I have prior experience of working within office environments through working as a digital marketing assistant and as an administration and accounts assistant at a nursery. I also have a level Three Diploma in Social Media and Digital Marketing for Business and three A-levels.
I am no stranger to Cotton Court as I have attended many courses and have even taken part in the studio’s camera club on several occasions.
I feel like I have really slotted well into the team and so far Amy and Jon have really helped me understand the business as a whole. I’m really looking forward to working with Amy on the accounts as this is something I take a keen interest in.
Outside of my the office bubble, I have been an adult leader for Girlguiding at St Andrews Brownies and Guides for just over five years and my love of the outdoors has made me a keen photographer.”

And here is a little insight into Gavin…

“Gavin has been taking photographs since he was a teenager, but became a full time professional photographer about 5 years ago, and for the last 2 years he ran the photo studio at Ribby Hall Village. He loves taking photos of happy people with natural smiles whether it be in the studio or at weddings which he cover throughout the North West. He can also help you if you need some commercial work either for your website, or just want to improve your profile pictures.”

 

PENNY HOWARD – WOW! TIME FLIES AT COTTON COURT

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A year ago today, I started working at Cotton Court as a Receptionist/ business admin apprentice.

In the past year I have learnt new skills to do with administration, customer service and business operations. I am hoping to learn more about the financial side of things, like invoices and billing.

At the moment, the main jobs I do day to day include receptionist duties like call answering, mail handling, and greeting customers, sorting out the office and studio admin and also checking the conference rooms when they are in use.

I like being part of the Cotton Court team because it is a great place to work as it always has a nice atmosphere, whoever is in the building. I especially like doing the administration in the office and answering the phones as well, whether it’s for Cotton Court, or for other businesses.

Currently, I am completing my Level 2 apprenticeship course, and I am also considering moving onto Level 3 in October.

I love working in business, so in the future I am hoping to pursue working in a business environment, like being a personal assistant for someone.

office environment is more important than you think

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When workers talk about their ideal job, they’re usually concerned with two main concepts: the pay and the people. But there’s a third that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, and it’s one that can have a profound effect on your business and its workforce: the place. No one wants to spend forty hours a week in a windowless dungeon, shuffling across a grey carpet from one grey cubicle to the next. And if businesses don’t start to realise the value that their workers put on their environment, they may struggle to attract and retain the best staff.

virtual office1

Recent research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that nearly half of the UK’s workers want upgrades to the properties they work in – and that a team’s surroundings can have a huge impact on how they feel about their job.

“With numerous industries currently fighting a war for talent, capable staff and skilled new joiners are like gold-dust for many companies,” says Paul Bagust, UK Commercial Property Director for RICS. “On that basis, businesses should be doing everything possible to recruit and retain the best people.”

“It’s disappointing, therefore, that many employers seem to be under-estimating – or perhaps not realising – the power of property in motivating, attracting and keeping staff. A well-constructed, designed and utilised office or workplace can pay huge dividends for the business that inhabits it.”

We took a look at a few of the highlights from the study: how your office can affect your workforce, and what the UK’s employees really want from a modern workplace.

The right workplace can boost recruitment

According the RICS’s survey of 1,000 UK employees, nearly nine in ten (89%) Brits who work indoors believe that the property is a major deciding factor in whether or not they’ll accept a new job. Behind pay and people, place was the third most important factor, beating “progression opportunities” (40%), “company culture” (36%) and other perks, such as gym memberships.

At a time when unemployment is low, self-employment is high, and a continuing skills gap means that many businesses are still struggling to get the staff they need, companies of all sizes should be taking every opportunity to present themselves as attractive employers. That means offering competitive pay, demonstrating a rewarding culture, and having the right space for their workforce to thrive and be happy.

A positive environment creates a positive team

Let’s face it: life in the office isn’t always an action-packed adventure. And while spreadsheets and invoices definitely have their charms, working in comfortable, stimulating surroundings can make even the most dreary or stressful work a little bit more bearable.

It’s certainly something that UK employees are aware of. RICS’s research found that an overwhelming 88% of workers said that high-quality offices and workplace facilities have an impact on their overall job satisfaction.

But it’s not just a case of seeking the elusive concept of an ‘engaged workforce’. The quality and design of your office space can also have an effect on your team’s health and well-being. According to Lindsey Dugdill, a professor of public health at the University of Salford, even inexpensive features – such as the colour of the walls or the presence of plants – can make a difference.

“Certain colours, like green and blue, are seen to be less stressful,” she says, “so even quite simple things, such as the colour an employer paints a wall, can have quite a pronounced effect on the way staff feel”.

And a positive team becomes a loyal workforce

According to recent research by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), more than a third of UK workers are hoping to leave their current job in 2015 – a figure that’s doubled since 2014, and tripled since 2013. While it’s encouraging to see what the ILM calls “the return of ambition to the UK workforce”, it also means that employers need to work harder than ever if they want to keep their most valuable employees from looking elsewhere.

But according to the RICS’s survey, it’s not just better pay or promising career opportunities that are making UK workers jump ship. Four fifths of the survey’s respondents said their workplace had an effect on whether or not they intend to stay in their job, which means that businesses need to think carefully about their premises if they want to give their workforce what they want.

So just what do the UK’s workers want?

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating the most productive, engaging and comfortable workplace possible. But from the RICS’s pool of 1,000 employees, we should at least be able to get a representative clue. Here are the top 10 most desirable workplace traits:

01. Lots of natural light (63%)
02. Good heating/ventilation (62%)
03. Regular cleaning (52%)
04. Good kitchen facilities (44%)
05. Good security (38%)
06. A café/bar/restaurant on site (31%)
07. A space to work away from the desk (26%)
08. A gym on site (15%)
09. A good colour scheme (13%)
10. High ceilings (13%)

Attracting and retaining the best talent for your business isn’t an overnight fix – but finding the ideal premises might be. Find out how a smart, flexible, fully-equipped workspace could give your business the boost it needs.

To find out more about what we have to offer please call: 01772 507 767 and speak to one of the team alternatively you can email info@cottoncourt.co.uk