It’s August in Edinburgh, and love it or loathe it, this means only one thing, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Granted it can be near impossible to manoeuvre your way down Princes street and getting to work on the bus in the mornings can be a touch frustrating but it’s also great fun and there is so much to see and do. With this in mind and as a big fan of the Fringe I’ve narrowed down my top 3 recommendations for this year:
Men with Coconuts (comedy/improv)
The only time I’ve ever gone to see a show after politely accepting a flyer on the Royal Mile and I’ve been every year since! Two members of this group also have a sideshow called ‘Improvised Directors Cut’ which promises to be good and is free.
David O’Doherty: Ultrasound (comedy/stand-up)
I managed to grab a ticket to one of his previews shows and it was brilliant. This was the third time I’d seen him, and it was just as silly as ever. Be prepared for a little live music.
Guru Dudu’s Silent Disco Walking Tours (comedy/interactive)
I haven’t taken part in one of these (yet) but I’ve seen the groups carelessly dancing their way through the Grassmarket having a good old laugh – what a way to explore the city.
A few other suggestions made by our team and connections included:
- Scott Gibson: White Noise
- Matt Forde: Brexit, Pursued by a Bear
- Ivo Graham: The Game Life
- Choir of Man
- Trainspotting Live
Enjoy the next few weeks and the madness that comes with the festival. Just think it will be Christmas market time again before we know it and we can all relax (joke).
- Olivia, Strathmore
Have you ever felt body and eye fatigue while working on a computer for a whole day? Is there a way to reduce or even eliminate it?
Let me start with the law and as according to the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations from 1992 every employer should plan work activities for computer users in a way that reduces their workload on display screen equipment by periodical interruptions or changes of activity. This basically implies that an employee who spends all day in front of a computer should take short breaks away from the computer to perform different work-related activities or take breaks to allow the body and eyes to relax, helping the employee to work more effectively. The law then says that breaks are there to allow the person to vary their body posture so exercise routines such as stretching the whole body, blinking and focusing eyes on objects in the distance are advisable.
Sounds do-able, but how can you do that and how much time can you allow for these activities?
Timewise the law suggests that shorter and more frequent breaks are more beneficial than occasional and longer ones, so taking a 5-10 minute break after 50-60 minutes of nonstop screen work is better than a 15-minute break every 2 hours.
Here I would like to give suggestions on small exercises you can do in 5 minutes to relax and awaken your body:
Start with the best sitting position for exercises at the desk which is the posture of the body where the back is straight, feet on the floor, and the angle in the knees is 90 degrees. Do a minute of each exercise.
Neck: To loosen the tense neck muscles, do some slow circulations to the right and to the left. Now, tilt your head to the right as if you wanted to touch your shoulder with your ear. With your right hand, lightly press your head. Do the same exercises on the left side too.
Legs workout: Sit straight. Raise one leg at a hip height and hang for 10-15 seconds, straining your muscles. Lower your leg and change the side. Alternate legs for one minute.
Legs stretch: Lift your right foot and place it sidewise on your left knee. Slightly lean to the front keeping the back straight. You should feel a gentle stretching of the outer part of the right leg. Do the same exercises on the left side. Stretch for 30 seconds each side.
Time to stand up, stand facing your desk and your posture in standing is with your back being straight and legs hip width apart.
Arms and ABSs: Place your hands on the desk so that the handrail rests against the border of the countertop, and your fingers rest on it. Move two or three steps back and lean down so that your body creates a straight line. Now tense your abs muscles and bend your elbows by bringing your chest closer to the desk with breath in then lift up with breath out. When you lift up breath out bringing your bellybutton in and tighten your abdominal muscles. Repeat for one minute.
Arm stretches: Stand upright, take a deep breath and exhale, then raise your arms over your head as high as you can. Alternately, extend your arms even higher. Do the exercise for 20 seconds. The second part of this stretch is the cross-body shoulder stretch. Grab one arm above your elbow with your opposite hand and pull it across your body toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Hold for at 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
This series of ‘behind the desk’ exercises do not replace real relaxation and longer workouts but are definitely a good start to keeping active!
Guest blog from Kasia Wypiorczyk – Fitness and Life Coach based in Edinburgh who offers tailored 1-2-1 personal training and life coaching sessions. Kasia also offers a Wellness-Fit Corporate programme for office workers to help boost their productivity. Check out her website www.risadalifestyle.com for more information and to book your sessions today.
Let’s set the scene, you’re at your desk, the days tasks in front of you, coffee in hand and you’re ready to go, but your mind begins to wonder. I’ll just check Facebook quickly or have a scan of today’s news … heads to terrible tabloid newspaper to read celebrity headlines. It’s all too easy to find distractions and quickly find you’ve procrastinated the morning away.
We often come across and share articles concerning productivity in the work place from some of the best to-do list apps to making sure you leave work ‘on time, every time’. With this in mind we wanted to find out what helps you get the most out of the working day and asked via social media and at our last networking event for your favourite and most effective productivity tips and advice. Let’s find out some of the feedback we received:
- Start your day by writing a list of achievable tasks
- Exercise first thing in the morning and clear your head for the day
- Schedule frequent breaks and time away from your screen
- Give yourself less time than you need and switch off notifications
- Plan for just 60% of your day – leaving extra time for phone calls, replying to emails, last-minute meetings etc
- Use automation software such as Zapier to automate routine tasks
- Start! If your feel stuck make S.W.O.T (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
- Understand your main challenge and acknowledge it – use asana for task management
Of course, we had lots of ‘strong coffee’ suggestions and we can’t argue with that, but our favourite goes to our director who swears by his daily afternoon walk and snack break.
A big thank you to everyone who contributed and offered an insight into their working routine. Here’s to a productive week!
– The Strathmore Team.
At the end of last year Strathmore welcomed three new recruits to our team. All three have settled into their new roles brilliantly and we’re excited that our team is growing. Let’s get to know Mary, Ragda and Sammy a little better and let them introduce themselves;
‘’Hi, I’m Mary. I’ve only recently started working at Strathmore, Hopetoun Gate as a receptionist although for the past 15 years I’ve been working with law firms in a Legal Secretary capacity. I’m looking forward to taking on this new and exciting challenge.
On a personal note, I’m studying horticulture with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and trying to learn all there is to know about plants and how to design gardens – trying to learn and remember Latin names is proving to be very difficult! If I’m not studying for exams, then you are most likely to find me working in the garden or else with a book in hand. Favourite authors are Janet Evanovich with her laugh-a-minute Stephanie Plum series about a female bounty hunter and all of her mishaps in her investigations or anything by Patricia Cornwell or Tess Gerritsen.’’
‘’Hi, I am Ragda Elhag, from Leith in Edinburgh. I’m a 23-year-old graduate from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee. I have a wide range of experience from studying BDes (Hons) Interior & Environmental Design, these include working both single handed as well as in a group. I’m passionate about design and solving spatial problems through creative concepts and ideas.
I’ve recently started working as a receptionist at Strathmore Business Centre, York Place. This new chapter begins, and I look forward to taking on this fresh and stimulating opportunity and continue to develop and expand my existing skillset.’’
‘’My name is Samantha, I am from Edinburgh but have lived in West Lothian for the last 12 years. My background is finance and accounting in which I have worked in over the last 20 years working in all sectors including Edinburgh University and most recently was freelancing with a gin and beer company which gave in-depth experience in a new start company and was invaluable to gaining knowledge in handling any CX experience issues and creating policies in line with this.
I love going to the gym, reading and spending time with my family and my two little sprogs Tia and Tullulah(my cats).
Recently I have started with Strathmore as a part time receptionist and look forward to using my skills and being part of the team.’’
Welcome to Strathmore, we’re happy to have you all on board!
Can you believe we are coming to the end of 2018? It’s been such a quick year but a busy year too and busy is good. With the Christmas break in sight we’ve rounded up the key projects and challenges taken on by our team over the last 12 months.
The Big Rebrand
The year began with a rebrand and the launch of our new website. We are very proud of our new look and the website has been a big hit, providing us with a fantastic platform to spread the word about our services and those of others – including guest blogs from local charity Fresh Start, tips and advice from Happy Body Pilates and pointers on email marketing from Ticketyboo Marketing. Overall the website and rebrand combined have proved to be a huge confidence boost and we definitely aren’t shy about showing off our new look.
Strathmore has been feeling very Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen this year (minus the 90’s wallpaper) and office renovations have been in full swing. It’s been fun to completely re-do some office spaces and spruce up others ready for new clients – our handyman has definitely been kept busy!
Of course, the biggest project of all was the opening of our Holyrood Lounge. Recognising that office workers sometimes need a little break from their desk, when the right space arose, we took the opportunity to create a relaxed business lounge. Designed as a quiet break out space when you need some time away from your screen or a one to one with a colleague, the room can also be booked internally and externally for private events. We’re definitely pleased to have such a versatile space at our disposal having already used it to host coffee mornings, a Pilates class and networking events. Speaking of networking…
After a networking ‘sabbatical’ our sales and marketing team plucked up the courage to get back on the scene. We began, a little sheepishly perhaps, to attend regular networking events – notably the ever popular Coffee Connections. With advice from those we met along the way, from mortgage advisors to magicians, we learned quickly that our time networking was best spent building and maintaining relationships, showing a genuine interest and always taking the time to follow up.
Attending such events has definitely given Strathmore a real nudge in the right direction and we look forward to inviting you along to more of our own Networking @ Strathmore events soon.
With that said, we are very much ending the year on a high. Our team has enjoyed working on new projects, meeting new contacts, welcoming new companies and also working together. We look forward to the fresh challenges 2019 will bring, but of course, before all of that we can enjoy the run up to Christmas and all of the sweeties which come with working in an office at this time of year.
From everyone at Strathmore we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
– The Strathmore Team.
SIGN UP to our mailing list and keep up to date with news, events and office availability.
A 10 person office space is currently under renovation in our centre at 10 York Place and will be available to rent come the beginning of next year. The ‘Strathmore’ office is 482 square ft. and located on the ground floor of a traditional Georgian townhouse. Once complete the room will offer a bright and spacious working environment with high ceilings and large windows allowing plenty of natural light.
The city centre office space is just a 9 minute walk from Edinburgh’s Waverley train station and with bus and tram stops right outside the door you are very much connected to the city. Not to mention the ever growing selection of restaurants and bars across in St Andrew Square, and choice of nearby coffee shops.
Our centre at York Place has two onsite meeting rooms and you also have the option to use the facilities in our other city centre locations, including the Holyrood Lounge. The lounge is designed as a breakout area when you need a little time out of the office or a private one to one with a colleague or client.
As the office is currently being renovated, we don’t have a picture just yet but would be more than happy to show you around and discuss your requirements for the space while we work on it.
• Reception Services
• Kitchen Facilities
• Desks & Chairs
• Telephone Handsets
• Cleaning & Maintenance
To make an enquiry please click here or why not call us directly on 0131 523 1400 to arrange a viewing.
– The Strathmore Team.
It’s time for another round of ‘Meet the Strathmore Team’ and Jill is up next.
Jill joined Strathmore back in May 2011 and is one of the longest serving members of our team. She’s our reception manager and the go to person for any questions, not always work related – we’d be lost without her.
So, let’s get to know Jill a little better and find out more about her role at Strathmore …
Can you tell us a little more about your day to day role at Strathmore?
As reception manager I’m tasked with making sure all four of our receptions are running smoothly. This includes making sure our reception staff are supported, clients are happy, taking care of any telephone or IT issues and dealing with any tricky situations that may arise. I also assist our director, Sami, with his projects and help where I can.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
The people! My colleagues are great to work with – so friendly and helpful and we get along great. Our office based clients are also a joy to work with. Everyone is so chatty and friendly, and our receptionists have a great relationship with them.
And what’s the trickiest part of your job?
Managing conflict. It’s never fun but luckily something I very rarely have to do.
It’s 9am, you have just sat down at your desk, what’s the first thing you do?
Once I’m at my desk, or setting up in the business lounge, I check my emails and voicemails with a cuppa!
What is your go to office snack?
Cup of tea and a banana – at 3pm on the dot every day.
Where is your favourite haunt for a post work drink?
If I’m finishing up in our Scott House or York place buildings’, then Tiles on St Andrews square. It has a good atmosphere and is reasonably priced.
And your favourite place to eat in Edinburgh?
Vittoria – great pizza and pasta.
Favourite TV series to binge watch? Be honest…
Parks and Recreation, which I have binge watched many times and will never get old.
Favourite childhood TV show?
I used to love Rainbow and Funhouse.
What is your top holiday destination to date?
Currently it’s a tie between Orlando and New York. Both completely different but amazing and I love them both.
And one last question, which 3 items would you take to a deserted island?
Pillow, cat, husband.
Top tips for improving posture at work
My name is Daire Guilfoyle and I run Happy Body Fitness and Pilates. Below I introduce the style of pilates I teach and also some tops tips for better posture whilst seated at your desk. I do hope you find it useful!
Happy Body Pilates:
Happy Body Pilates teaches a ‘realistic’ method of Pilates, meaning it is suitable for any body, age, ability. Based on the original principles developed by Joseph Pilates, the class is taught on a ‘less is more’ philosophy, focusing on positioning the body in optimal alignment and challenging the core muscles to perform a series of exercises whilst maintaining this alignment. A key alignment which many people are faced with executing for long periods of time is seated alignment. For many, their day job (myself included as I write this) can mean we spend the majority of our day sitting at a desk. The strain of sitting for long periods can cause us to develop poor posture, usually hunching over a computer and desk which leads to postural issues and muscle imbalances and both can lead to lower back pain. The good news is we can make small changes to our body alignment as we sit to improve our posture. It may seem uncomfortable at first as your muscles are not used to holding your body in a correct form but by applying the points below, you will achieve a correct posture which will help your lower back in the long run.
How to improve posture whilst seated:
I hope the above helps you to improve your posture whilst sitting at your desk. To learn more about Happy Body Fitness & Pilates you can follow the links below.