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Linda Trim From Giant Leap On Making Your Office Work For You

Ergonomics is so much more than your chair. Linda Trim from Giant Leap explains how the right office space will boost your company’s – and your – productivity and happiness.

Tracy Lee Nicol




Vital Stats

  • Player: Linda Trim
  • Company: Giant Leap
  • Position: Director of sales and marketing
  • What they do: Office design (workplace specialists) for a better place to work, and think

On office space and productivity

We’ve built our brand and company culture on ‘workstyle’, a twist on lifestyle. The first eight hours of your day are very important, so workstyle is about providing people with an office and tools that help them have a balanced and productive day.

When people enjoy being at work, you will retain the best for longer, they’re more productive and talk proudly of your brand.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: Optimise your Work Space

On making open plan work

We have a mix of open plan, collaborative and quiet spaces, as modern offices need to be flexible.

Open plan can be disruptive and because we’re collaborative by nature, we have a flag system to signal when someone is not to be disturbed, and if a discussion is needed it’s taken to the collaborative zone.

Private phone calls are taken in our sound-proof phone booth, and if you need to chill out for 20 minutes or need privacy for work, we also have spaces for that.

On lunch breaks

Our company rule is that no one is allowed to eat lunch at their desk – it’s unhygienic and discourages mingling among staff. I tend to take a short walk to the shops for fresh air and exercise, and then I interact with staff in the canteen.

There you learn about their lives, what they’re working on, any work problems, and interact with people you ordinarily don’t speak to. This all lends to a happy, energised workspace.

What do you wish people would realise about ergonomics?

It’s not just about the chair you sit in, it’s your whole environment working together to create a comfortable space geared for work: Acoustic ceiling tiles, correct lighting, comfortable desks and chairs, the right office equipment nearby, departments that work together situated in close proximity to one another, proper ventilation, pleasing colours and textures.

Giant-LeapWhat separates a ‘cool’ office from a functional one?

Functionality is more important than the cool factor, as it’s functionality that fosters productivity.

A great office is first and foremost about understanding the company’s function, designing for that, and then promoting wellness and comfort.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: 5 Inexpensive Workspace Improvements That Boost Productivity

How do you maintain your productivity daily?

I have a to-do list and a plan made at the end of every work day so that I can switch off at home, and when I arrive at the office I know what’s important. I always do the things I have to do but don’t really enjoy, first.

I exercise every morning before work, and that energises me for most of the day. When I feel myself losing momentum, I take 30 minutes to sit in our quiet room and practice mindfulness.

I have an app that’s really helpful! After that I often feel as energised as I did in the morning.

What is meditation for you?

For me, it’s really about taking ten to fifteen minutes to clear my mind of all thoughts, and to concentrate on breathing.

I take a Feldenkrais class to learn how to breathe properly for relaxation, energising, and so on.

For example, practice breathing in through your mouth and out through your nose and note its effect on you.

On slowing down

I’ve just read a book called The Slow Fix, by Carl Honoré and it’s about the philosophy of slowing down in order to arrive at better decisions and solutions.

When you push, push, push constantly, you often get a short-term fix rather than the best result. When I catch myself becoming rushed or distracted, I pull myself back and focus on the one important thing that needs completing.

We-recommend-tickWe recommend: How To Have A Website That Works Hard For You

On getting exercise in

Exercise invigorates me mentally, it energises me, and also relaxes me after a busy day. I treat it in the same way I do appointments: I have fitness gurus for everything and I make appointments with them religiously.

That way, they can think for me, can push my boundaries, and I can’t just skip it because I don’t feel like it.

Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.


25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Company Posts

Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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