Cotton Court Business Centre

Office Space

DON’T LET HOME WORKING BE A PAIN IN THE NECK!

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We caught up with Cheryle Britton, Founder of Yolo Wellbeing, who has recently launched the MSK Zoom Consultations to help employers support and manage the health of their home workers.  For as little as £5 per employee she will review their existing work arrangements and provide tips on how it can be adjusted to improve posture. She will also run through mobilisation and breathing exercises that will help ease tension in the joints and muscles.

If you are working from home you may have noticed more aches and pains than usual. Maybe your neck is stiff, or you’ve noticed your shoulders ache more; or possibly you’re experiencing pain in your lower back?

A new survey has found that a third of people working from home are experiencing musculoskeletal injuries as a result of poor posture from hunching over laptops and not having dedicated work stations set up at home.

Last year, the ONS Labour Force survey of 2018-19 found that over 6.9million working days were lost due to musculoskeletal disorders. Evidence gathered by the Labour Force Survey, over a ten year period, suggests that poor posture caused by makeshift work stations at home, will directly affect posture and the musculoskeletal health of home workers; which may result in long term absence.

What is Poor Posture, how do you avoid it?

Poor posture is caused by the joints, muscles and vertebrae being in stressful positions for prolonged periods; which results in a build up of pressure on tissues, causing tension, aches and pains.

The ideal posture is to be at right angles. Back straight, Thighs at a right angle to your body, knees at a right angle to your thighs. Wrists straight and forearms at a right angle to your biceps. Your monitor needs to be at a reasonable height so you don’t have to physically bend your neck to view your screen.

You can adjust your position using a combination of books and cushions to help raise your feet, seat or monitor, But if this doesn’t feel comfortable for you try a few of our top tips to prevent tension from creeping into your joints and muscles. 

TOP TIPS TO HELP PREVENT MUSCULOSKELETAL INJURIES

Wherever you are seated try and keep your back as straight as possible, and your monitor high enough so as you’re not bending your neck to view your screen,

Take regular breaks – getting up and changing your posture at regular intervals will alleviate the pressure on your joints, muscles and vertebrae. A 5min break after every 25mins of work is good for your health and your productivity,

Stretch. When your joints are immobile for prolonged periods of time you get a build up of Fascia, the connective tissue that wraps around your muscles; which causes tightness  and tension, and can lead to aches and pains. 

By mobilising and stretching your joints: wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, back, knees and ankles you help to clear the excess fascia, to relieve tension and make the movement of your joints feel freer.

Poor posture can also affect your breathing, try this simple breathing exercise to help correct your posture, relax and energise you.

Sit up straight and take in a deep breath, in through your nose. As you’re breathing in imagine the air going to the very top of your head. This will lengthen your neck, and your shoulders will drop. When you can take in no more air, hold it for a second or two.

Then exhale slowly through the mouth. Let your shoulders relax, but keep sitting up straight. Keep blowing until all the air is expelled from your lungs. Normally we shallow breathe which means we hold a lot of stagnant air in the bottom of our lungs. This exercise helps to remove it,  

Take in another deep breath, in through your nose. This breathe should be deeper as you’ll be able to take in more, fresh air. Again imagine it filling up your body to the very top of your head. Hold, breathe it all out.

Do this 3-4 times. Then notice how much calmer and more relaxed you feel. The fresh air in your lungs will help you feel more energised and focused, ready to return to work.

Cheryle held a series of wellbeing days here at Cotton Court, where our clients enjoyed the a well deserved treatment and break from work, and we are looking forward to booking another day in soon when Covid restrictions are lifted.  Yolo Wellbeing use our business phone system, which has helped Cheryle whilst remote working and keeping in touch with her clients about new services.

ABOUT YOLO WELLBEING

YOLO Wellbeing helps employers improve the physical and mental wellness of their employees; through a combination of massage and meditation; delivered in a customised, mobile, environment that has been created to intensify the feelings of calm and relaxation.

The service has been designed to be easy to implement, requiring minimum resource and minimum disruption to your business. All appointments are pre-booked via a secure online site; the YOLO Wellbeing environment is brought to your business premises; and employees only require 20minutes away from their desk to receive the treatment.

Whilst social distancing is in place to restrict the spread of Coronavirus, the YOLO Wellbeing service is suspended. However, we’re here to help provide support, information and tools you need to help keep you and your staff healthy whilst furloughed or working from home.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you please contact us or follow us on social media on the details below:

Cheryle Britton: cbritton@yolowellbeing.co.uk

01772 283139

www.yolowellbeing.co.uk

@YOLOWellbeing (Linkedin/Facebook/Instagram/ YouTube)

Home……and Away

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Over the last few months the way everyone is working has changed. As people are starting to take steps back towards normality, we want to help people and businesses look at new ways in which they can keep both their team safe and productivity high.We’ve been looking into some of the challenges and also the benefits that the lockdown has presented to people in business, right across the spectrum from freelancers to large organisations of many descriptions.

People have gone from being in the office full time, or nearly full time, to spending an entire working week at home and have adapted quickly. However, for some people it isn’t without new struggles; whether it is a lack of focus at home due to other distractions, concerns about client confidentiality and privacy on phone calls, maintaining team cohesion and direction on collaborative projects, or simply just desperate for a change of scene and want to separate home and work life a bit more. Not to mention the aches and pains that come with sitting on a kitchen chair for 8 hours a day, hunched over a laptop.

Businesses day to day operations have had to shift, the plans for the future may look considerably different, and they are looking at new ways in which they can maintain collaboration, productivity and focus, whilst prioritising the health, safety and wellbeing of the employees and their families.

One of the priorities for businesses of all sizes now is increased flexibility, and we want to support customers and the business community to be able to work whichever way best suits their needs.

So maybe you’re an entrepreneur who only needs to use professional services such as meeting rooms, admin services or printing for a week at a time. Maybe you’re working for a large company and your office is operating at reduced capacity so you want somewhere else to work from. Or maybe you have a small team who are happy working from home but sometimes want a change of scene or need to work collaboratively. We have introduced some new service options to help customers take flexibility to the next level.

Our new services include
Remote Working Bespoke Package – We understand that every remote working team has different needs and challenges, so our new offering enables you to build a custom, remote working package for your business and your team. You can choose as few or as many of the services you need, whether its occasional office use, printing services or a business phone number.

Socially Distanced Workspace – We are also offering offices on flexible terms, even if you just need to work from somewhere for a day, maybe you have children at home and you could benefit from a few days of quiet focus each week in our new socially distanced workspaces. We have large offices set up too, so it’s ideal if you need to get your team together.

Pay As You Go Desk Space – On demand access to a professional working environment. No contracts, so it’s ideal if people want a change of scene now and again.

Digital Training Centre – Coming Soon! Training professionals and speakers that are switching to online or blended training can come into our new digital training space, fully equipped with filming equipment and access to video communications software to deliver their courses.

Preston wins back talent from Manchester to support growth 

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Preston based group of companies hires new Interim Marketing Director to support local growth  

 

The Preston based group that operates Cotton Court Business Centre and operates a number of leisure, tech and property businesses, has appointed an Interim Marketing Director on a 6-month agreement to support a period of growth & development.  

Jack Barron, who is originally from Preston, joins the group after a number of years living and working in Manchester. The 30-year-old initially moved to Manchester to pursue a career within a city centre media agency, working his way to becoming a director in the company, and achieving his Masters from Manchester Metropolitan University.  He broke away last year to set up his own consultancy business, specialising in helping small to medium sized businesses, a business he still operates across Lancashire & Greater Manchester. 

“I couldn’t be happier taking on this role with the Cotton Court Group. There are a wide variety of businesses within the portfolio for me to get stuck into and do good work for, but I’m especially looking forward to working on the Cotton Court Business Centre side of things. My passion is helping SME’s, which aligns perfectly with what Cotton Court have been doing for many years.” The former UCLan student said. 

 

“There’s loads going on at Cotton Court in the very near future with the pods being built, expansion of our service offering, the free events and resources we’re running for small businesses and a number of things that haven’t been announced yet. It’s not just a period of growth for Cotton Court, it’s a period of growth for Preston. You only have to look at the recent investment in the City Centre and Queens retail park. I’m glad to be back and to be a part of it.” He continued. 

 

 

The Cotton Pods are a new development at the Church Street site, announced in September of this year. Utilising specially adapted shipping containers to increase the overall capacity of the site, they’re expected to be in operation early in the new year.  

Managing Director Robert Binns comments “Since the conversion of Cotton Court into a business centre, we’ve been the catalyst for a significant number of start-up businesses. We don’t intend to stop doing that any time soon, but in order for us to help more businesses we need more capacity. That’s what these pods will offer. As well as being responsible for helping us with our growth, one of Jack’s responsibilities will be to help steer the growth of our customers and other local businesses. Having worked with him before over the years, I’m confident we’ve got the right man for that job.” 

 

Big Plans: How the Cotton Pods will look at the Church Street site

Cotton Pods: Another angle

Big media hubs such as Manchester and London have historically been responsible for taking much of the young talent out of the smaller towns and cities such as Preston. The recent development and investment into Preston could prove to be a turning point for retaining & attracting that talent. The Cotton Court Group aims to build on that more by funneling new Manchester based talent through its new Media City office on Salford Quays, and back towards its other businesses in Preston. 

“It’s very positive news to learn about Cotton Court’s expansion plans.  As a city we’ve already seen the business centre grow and develop to support many fledgling businesses and the wider city community.  The organisation has actively embraced city life and are exemplary in their corporate social responsibility strategy.  2018 will be an exciting year for the city and it’s great that businesses like Cotton Court are pushing from the front to add value to Preston’s city centre” said Mark Whittle, Manager at Preston Business Improvement District. 

Already in post, Jack has started work on a number of important projects. “I’ve really hit the ground running thanks to the support of Robert and the team. I think it’s especially nice and certainly reflective of the group ethos, that my first project was working on the Barnardo’s Christmas Toy Appeal and the next one was involvement in a free event for local entrepreneurs and business owners. I’m looking forward to working across the group portfolio but especially working with local small businesses to help them develop & grow alongside the rest of the City”. 

 

 

19th Century Mill: Still home to hard working Lancastrian’s

 

Cotton Court is an old 19th Century Mill, providing incubation for start-ups and services for small to medium sized businesses. It provides physical office space, hot desks and conference space, as well as virtual & administrative services. It acts as the flagship business and headquarters for the Cotton Court Services group, which boasts a portfolio of leisure, property, tech and social enterprise operations.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Beginnings…..

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After 4 great years at Cotton Court, 3ManFactory have moved into their own premises on Preston Docks. We’ve worked on some great projects with the 3ManFactory team over the past few years and we’d like to wish them all the best in their new office. Every end is a new beginning, and we’re pleased to welcome some fantastic new clients which we’d like to introduce you to…..

 

Beyond

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Beyond are an Oracle Gold Partner, previous winners of the Specialized Partner of the Year for Business Analytics at the Oracle UKI Specialized Partner Awards, accredited with Oracle’s “BI Applications Specialization” and “BI Foundation Specialization” status, providing accelerated success of Oracle BI Applications, with a specific focus in the Public Sector.
They work as partners with many UK Councils to assist them to engender tangible transformational change through easy to use dashboards consolidating secure, trusted data from across the council.
Their Cotton Court office provides a central location for their BI R&D Centre where they seek to enable local authorities to become truly intelligent organizations

Rejuvenate

rejuvenate
Rejuvenate are working on a number of projects that focus on creating opportunities to support those who have been personally let down by circumstance and ‘the system’ from living in one chaotic world. They aim to do this by rejuvenating the approach; access and attitude to health and happiness; helping people create a more healthy, natural but realistic balance in life.
The first project is due to be launched at the end of March and focuses on nutrition in the form of healthy food selection and guidance. From 15 February they will be taking bookings for holistic treatments including Swedish and Aromatherapy massage and Reflexology here at Cotton Court along with Facials and Non-Surgical Facelifts
More information on this can be found in the guest blog from Rejuventate.

 

UK Media and Events

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UK Media and events look after all aspects of event management, from private parties to corporate functions and public events, they can manage, supply and produce in part or a complete package to the highest standard.
They also look after advertising and media including designing, printing and fitting whatever your requirements with the utmost creative skill and quality.
They can also produce print, radio and television adverts, while managing your web and social media.

 

Diecut UK

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Diecut UK are specialist suppliers of corrugated, packaging, print & print Finishing Machinery. They offer a range of solutions, either packaged or bespoke, supplying clients with a machine to suit all budgets.

Enate

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Enate create simple solutions for companies that run a shared service centre or BPO. Enate work with HR service centres, high growth service provider and companies that deal with large scale outsourcing.

Guest Blog from Rejuvenate

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I am sure we can all agree that moving is always an interesting time.  However we are very excited to now be based here at Cotton Court and have been made to feel very welcome during our first month.  Over the next 12 months we will be concentrating on a number of projects we actually cannot wait to roll out.  These focus on creating opportunities to support those who have been personally let down by circumstance and ‘the system’ from living in one chaotic world.  We aim to do this by rejuvenating the approach; access and attitude to health and happiness; helping people create a more healthy, natural but realistic balance in life.

Our first project is due to be launched at the end of March and focuses on nutrition in the form of healthy food selection and guidance.  Rejuvenate has affiliated with Lola’s, an Egyptian restaurant here in the heart of Preston to prepare and deliver fresh authentic dishes to you whilst at work or at home.  Pulses have been the staple of the national diet for thousands of years and this really has been a perfect partnership in creating light bites; main meal and desert options to serve as part of a protein and carbohydrate meal plan.  We have two sampling evenings organised in March to give you the opportunity to try dishes from the menu you may not necessarily opt for.  The evenings will also allow us to hear your thoughts and opinions; providing the opportunity for us to make those final tweaks to the menu before the actual launch.

From 15 February we will also start to take bookings for holistic treatments.  Although January may be out of the way, we still find that we are all hoping for those lighter months; so why not treat yourself and celebrate the final stretch of one long winter.  We would love nothing more than to help you relax after a hard day and eliminate those toxins helping to boost circulation.  We are able to offer Swedish and Aromatherapy massage and Reflexology here at Cotton Court along with Facials and Non-Surgical Facelifts.  Introductory offers are available with 50% off all treatments.

 

Welcome Minerva Business Women to the building

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Cotton Court is happy to welcome Miranda from Minerva Business Women to the building!

Minerva Business Women, is a business growth club launching in the North West which focuses on helping women to create success on their own terms and works through connection, collaboration and taking business learning into personalised action.

We are looking forward to having Minerva Business Women run some events at Cotton Court in the future.

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