Category: Articles

What’s the Price of Security

What price do you put on the security of your premises? If the worst happened and someone did break in to your business premises, would you still be able to function the day after or could it have catastrophic effects on your business?

Computers and tech equipment are usually the prime target of the thief, as these can be sold on relatively easily and are incredibly difficult to trace but however annoying the loss, what about the data that is stored on them? Are the machines properly protected, or have you just handed the thieves the keys to customer information, company accounts, do you stay logged in to bank accounts, Paypal accounts etc? All of a sudden, that the loss of a few computers can pale to insignificance as you realise what damage could be caused to your livelihood.

This is why it is so important for companies to ensure software, data, records etc. are backed up correctly and copies stored off-site. Additionally, computers should all be password protected (with strong passwords) and the data encrypted. It’s amazing the number of people who have their passwords written down next to their PC.

So you have taken care of security should the thieves get in to your office, but prevention can be better than cure, so are there any measures you can take?

One excellent solution that can be used is to employ CCTV monitoring of the site. During out of business hours, trained CCTV operatives monitor the site and should any unauthorised persons be located on site, the CCTV monitoring company can take the necessary actions, either giving verbal warnings over a tannoy system, contacting the business owner/site manager or informing the police directly. In this way, should the unauthorised person have less than honest intentions, the crime can be prevented long before being committed and avoids the loss of property or damage to the site.

For sites where some staff may work unsociable hours, when the site would usually be deserted, knowing that they are under surveillance by the security company gives extra reassurance of their safety.

Prospect Business Park has used remote CCTV for many years to protect the site. Outside of normal business hours, access to the site is restricted to gate fob-holders only (an electronic gate secures the site evenings and weekends) and the site is closely monitored by a CCTV company. Should an unauthorised person be seen on site, then the CCTV company will issue a verbal challenge using the on-site tannoy system. In most cases, this is sufficient deterrent and the intruder leaves the site. If the intruder had designs on trying to break in to the premises, it is immediate warning that they are being watched!

If a verbal warning is insufficient, then our monitoring company will then contact either the site manager or the police, depending upon the circumstances.

For many years, Prospect Business Park have used a company called PSM ( to monitor the site and have found their service to be excellent. Many residents of the site have also commented on their professionalism when calling to inform them they are on site. Following a recent audit on PSM by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), PSM have progressed from ISO9001:2008 accreditation to ISO9001:2015 with zero improvement needs or non-conformances identified.

CCTV monitoring is not just for commercial sites such as Prospect Business Park, but can be found on domestic dwellings and any site or building where the protection and safety of residents is paramount, such as nursing homes, hospitals, hotels etc.

Should you require any further information on CCTV monitoring or any of the other services that PSM can provide, their contact information can be found below.

Professional Surveillance Management (PSM) Ltd
Arch 11
Milk Street

Tel: 01942 366291

Walking while at work!?

How many of us spend our day at work and barely move from behind our desks, except perhaps to make a cup of coffee or grab something to eat?

In this day and age, everyone is acutely aware of the benefits of exercise, but many of us are forced in a sedentary lifestyle Monday to Friday. Continuing our fitness and health theme for just a little longer, we have some ideas to help you shift a few pounds, improve your health and help to make you feel a little better at work.

Your health:

If you’re too busy at work and keep falling back on the excuse of ‘no time’, Then a lunchtime walk could be the ideal solution for you! The health benefits of a simple, brisk walking routine are well-established – a daily walk can help you lose or manage weight, prevent conditions such as high blood pressure, strengthen your bones and improve balance and co-ordination.

Sitting all day is deadly:

Even if you do get a workout in during your day, the eight-plus hours you spend sitting at your desk isn’t good for your body and may even counteract that effort at the gym. Small bursts of activity during the day go a long way towards improving your health.

Out and About:

While moving at lunch is good for your body, actually getting outside on your break could be even better! Many studies point to a positive relationship between time spent outdoors and mental well-being. A walk outside with fresh air and change of environment can help you to feel energised and actually improve your work rate for the rest of the day!

Make it Social: 

Why not invite your colleagues along to make your walk a little more fun and socially interactive. Studies have show that meeting up with friends can boost happiness and reduce stress, perfect if you work long hours in a stressful role.

Improve Your Brain Power: 

Taking a walking break can actually help to improve focus. Exercising your body pumps more blood everywhere, including your brain and the extra blood and oxygen you get from exercising can help you to perform better mentally.

At Prospect Business Park, we are blessed with a rural site with some lovely scenery and a very secure area, so why not bring those walking shoes, or perhaps even some jogging gear to work tomorrow and start putting in a few laps during lunchtime?

How’s Your New Year’s Resolution Holding Up?

With the start of the New Year and renewed optimism for the year ahead, the start of January is often the time when we decide to set out new goals and targets for ourselves. Unfortunately, by the end of January many of us have already fallen short of those good intentions. How are your New Year’s resolutions holding up?

Psychology Professor John Norcross has published extensively in the area of self-initiated behaviour change and found that approximately half of the population make New Year’s resolutions. Most of these include increased exercise, weight loss, quitting smoking and money management.

So why do so many people often fail after a such a short period of time?

Professor Timothy Pychyl states resolutions can be a form of motivation, however the reason for such a high failure rate is that he believes people aren’t actually ready to change habitually bad habits. Other reasons also include that the goal is simply unrealistic.

So how can we make goals realistic so that we do to try to follow through and achieve the targets set?


Before looking at the components of a good New Year’s fitness resolution, it’s important to think about what a goal actually is:

Goal setting can be defined as “the process of establishing an outcome (a goal) to serve as the aim of one’s actions” (Turkay, 2014).

Understanding that there are different types of goal will also help when laying the foundations for the New Year:

  • Outcome goals
  • Performance goals
  • Process goals


An outcome goal is focussed on the end result, or as the name suggests, the outcome. This type of goal is dependent on the performance of others. An outcome goal in a sporting context would be winning a race, or finishing on the podium of an athletics event.


A performance goal sets out a certain level or specific benchmark to attain. A performance goal would be running 10K under 50 minutes, or being able to do 25 press-ups in one go without stopping. Unlike an outcome goal, a performance goal is independent of the performance of others which means there is considerably more control over its success.


A process goal, as the name alludes to, focuses on skill execution and/or technique. How an action is performed is the primary improvement area and is not associated with the external performance of others. A process goal would be for a golfer to hold the correct level and position of their shoulders during a golf swing or improving the position of a swimmers hand as it enters the water prior to the pull element of freestyle swimming.

All these different types of goal have their time and place, but a word of warning with outcome goals: they can place too much emphasis on the end result and make you overly obsessed about getting to the destination, while forgetting to enjoy and learn on the way there.

Oddly, the outcome that was the original, primary motivator becomes the cause of negative behavior and mindset.

Focusing too much on the distant outcome can prove to be incredibly divisive, as your attention may turn to what you don’t have and the goals you haven’t achieved, encouraging unconstructive behavior. Oddly, the outcome that was the original, primary motivator becomes the cause of negative behavior and mindset.

In addition, proponents of process goals would say the process is about doing the right thing rather than focussing on the end result, because the right behavior will lead to the desired outcome.


Understanding how to differentiate between the types of goal will definitely help you to formulate your plan for the year ahead, but also adding an element of structure to your goal setting will create a type of checklist and element of accountability.

The acronym SMART is widely used as an incredibly effective way of defining goals in a clear, objective, structured, detailed way. A SMART goal must conform to the following criteria Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

S – Is your goal specific – what exactly is it you want to achieve? How, when and where will it happen?

M – Is your goal measurable – what will it look like if you achieve your objective? What evidence will show you have been successful?

A – Is your goal attainable – can you realistically reach your goal? The whole point of a goal is to   be a challenge and something that will push you, but shouldn’t be impossible.

R – Is your goal relevant – is it personal and why do you want to reach it?

T – Is your goal timely – when will you achieve it? All objectives need a deadline, which will hold accountability to your actions and progress.


If a New Year fitness goal is SMART, can be categorised as one of the three types of goal, while understanding the potential advantages/disadvantages they offer, a challenging, fulfilling year awaits!

So while you’re curled up by the fire enjoying all that the festive season has to offer, take some time to reflect on what you’ve achieved in the last year and what you want to accomplish in 2018.

Choose a goal that matters to you, ensure your goals have a positive spin, don’t be deterred by setback, ensure your goal is SMART and that you know the type of goal and how that will affect the outcome. When it comes to fitness you really can achieve anything you want.

Ask yourself what it is that you want to accomplish. Be courageous, be strong, be clever, be confident in your own ability, be the hardest working person in the room and you will be successful.

Here’s to a happier, healthier and fitter 2018!


Beat the “Back to Work BLues”

Have you just completed your first week back to work? Already considered jacking it all in and heading off backpacking around the world? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Nearly half of workers admit they suffer ‘back to work blues’ according to a recent poll.

The first Monday back at work after the festive season break is ranked as the most miserable of the entire year. The Upbeat Barometer analysed more than 2.2 million January Tweets posted on Twitter over a 3 year study and found significant negative language and phrases, indicating that employees mood plummeted during that month.

According to Dr. Angelos Halaris, professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at Loyola University in Illinois, the pessimism employees experience in their first week back at work after a prolonged break is perfectly normal and has a scientific explanation.

“It’s more than likely during the 10 to 14 days of the holiday season with Christmas and New Year’s we tend to go overboard even in the best sense,” he said. “Overeating, over drinking and not sleeping enough — that all sets the stage for the post-holiday crash.”

“For many, the holiday season is like a dream world and hopefully people have had a good dream, but it is like a dream that ceases literally overnight,” Halaris added, highlighting the extra stress the body endures moving from a state of enjoyment and freedom at home to one of restriction and routine at work. “There is a real sense of loss that comes with this transition period that makes us all a little sad.”

Fortunately, here are a few tips that managers can use (or try some yourself) in order to help lift themselves and their team.


Rather than stepping straight back into a minefield of deadlines and paperwork, allowing workers to freely discuss what they’ve been up to over Christmas can help maintain excitement and create a happy atmosphere throughout the office, which can only be good for boosting staff morale and confidence.

Managers can encourage colleagues to catch up with each other through the reorganisation of work spaces, relaxing work demands on the first few days or through organised work activities.


Sounds a bit crazy? Remember how excited you were to go to school at the end of term, when the teachers would let you play board games and cards during classes? Well, a similar tactic can be used by managers to ease workers back into the office. Spending the first 30 minutes of a working day playing a game which allows the whole team to get involved, such as word association, can refresh relationships, boost motivation and stimulate greater productivity.


It’s highly probable that some of your staff will have set themselves a fitness or health-related resolution for 2018. Why not support that goal by providing bowls of fresh fruit, nuts and snacks that will help workers feel energised and give them something they will enjoy?


The New Year tends to mark a fresh start, personally and professionally. Some individuals will be questioning whether they should change employer, while others will be looking for a promotion or salary raise in their current role. Therefore, managers should find time early in the New Year to meet one-to-one with each staff member and discuss their personal goals for the year.
By doing so, managers can assess the mindset of his/her workforce and spot concerns, as well as identify any skills workers are eager to learn or projects they are keen to work on.


It almost sounds obvious, but popping outside for a quick stroll or breath of fresh air can really help re-energise staff. A breath of fresh air, or a quick walk which gets muscles moving and oxygen pumping around the body can really help staff to feel better. It may even help to shed some of those extra pounds we tend to put on over the Christmas period.


Prospect Business Park is set in an area of natural beauty, with excellent views over woods and fields. Within its own secure compound, there is ample space to have a quick stroll around the site to get the blood pumping through tired muscles and perhaps feed the horses on the way. There are also numerous shops within a few minutes’ walk that provide high quality, freshly cooked food and snacks to cater to everyone’s requirements.

If you would like to book a viewing of our high-quality office or workshop space, please click here and we will be happy to arrange a convenient time for you to visit.

Is Internet Access More Important than Office Location?

Is Internet Access More Important than Office Location?

Office location is as important today as it ever was, although not always in the same way to every business. A business which relies on footfall through the doors will always favour ‘high street’ type locations, however office environments will prefer good transport links, easy parking, security of the site etc.

However, a recent study compiled by WiredScore,  which surveyed 450 office workers found that 78% of respondents ranked access to reliable internet connection as the most important factor when selecting office space for doing business.

The study concluded: “Reliable connectivity is the #1 most important influencing factor for workers in selecting office space, ahead of transportation, location, amenities, views and environmental sustainability.”

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, since most businesses now rely heavily on the internet to generate business to some degree (email, websites, social media, online stores) and many have moved to Voice Over Internet Protocol phone systems (several of our tenants already run VOIP telephones via our installed broadband), which are extremely cost effective compared against traditional telecoms systems, but require high speed and most importantly, reliable, internet access.

WiredScore understands the importance of corporate connectivity as they provide certification for commercial office properties based on their standard of Internet connectivity and rates them accordingly. With that in mind, these are the some of the other results from their survey:

  • 97% of office workers and office location decision-makers surveyed consider high-speed, reliable internet connectivity a critical factor in choosing their office space.
  • Office workers consider reliable connectivity “critical” to doing business by a more than 2 to 1 margin over office location decision makers, 78% to 31%
  • Connectivity outages and slowness disrupt business at least once a month on average, and more than twice a week for 1 in 4 respondents.
  • More than half of office workers (61%) admit they stop working and waste time when the internet goes down.


It is safe to say that currently, reliable connection to the internet is vital in business today, as even the smallest business will require some form of connection if only to access emails or their online banking. To quote WiredScore:

“We live in a digital age. It’s no longer enough for a property owner to simply provide an internet connection for its tenants. Commercial tenants have ever-growing connectivity needs, and if a building doesn’t meet their standards, they’ll go somewhere else.”

Fortunately, Prospect Business Park can meet the demands for most businesses, large and small, looking for office space in the Durham area;

  • Fast, reliable and most importantly FREE access to the internet
  • The most competitively priced office space in County Durham
  • excellent links to the major transport routes in the area
  • a variety of sizes of offices to suit all requirements
  • lots of free parking space
  • easy terms


If you are looking for office space in the Durham area, please don’t hesitate to give us a call and make an appointment to view our newly refurbished offices and workshops. All of our contact details can be found on our Contact Page.

If you would like to read more from WiredScore, they can be found here

Benefits of Plants in the Office

In our last blog, we took a look at how to select the right office for your business. Now we’re going to look at how to make that environment most conducive to work.

Everyone enjoys some greenery in the workplace to help break up the monotony of magnolia walls that are so prevalent in the work environment. However, there are greater benefits than just aesthetics:


Reduce Stress:

In a study conducted in 2010 (you can read the study here), significant reductions in stress were recorded when plants were located in the office:

  • Tensions/anxiety – 37% reduction
  • Depression/dejection – 58% reduction
  • Anger/hostility – 44% reduction
  • Fatigue – 38% reduction

The introduction of plants appears to make the environment more calming and a nicer place to be.


Increase Productivity:

It has been proven that by introducing plants in to the working environment increases productivity. The tests showed that fewer mistakes were made, tasks were completed quicker and in the case of computer workers, productivity increased 10-15%.


Reduce Sickness & Absence:

It has been reported that the introduction of plants to offices has decreased absenteeism by up to 50% and a reduction of up to 30% in minor illnesses.


Cleaner Air to Breathe:

Plants are natural air cleaners and humidifiers. By introducing just 1 plant per 3 people, the air quality within the office can be substantially improved and CO2 significantly reduced. With the plants acting as natural filters, dust levels in the office can be reduced by up to 20 per cent and man-made toxins, created by plastics, paint, furniture, carpets and certain cleaning products, can also be reduced.

Many offices employ air conditioning to keep the environment at a steady temperature, however this in itself causes issues of dry air and contributes to an increase in illnesses such as tickly coughs. The introduction of plants can reduce the need for air con and the environment can be kept at a higher, more comfortable, humidity.


Reduce Noise:

A less commonly known fact about plants is that they are natural sound deadeners. The introduction of plants can reduce ambient noise within an office by as much as 5 decibels.


Which Plants to Choose:

Careful consideration should be given to which plants to choose; they need to be hardy to resist the environment in which they will be situated and may need to be able to survive extended periods of neglect, perhaps through holiday periods etc. Some suggestions of suitable plants could be:

  • Cactus
  • Succulents
  • Ivy
  • Rubber plants


Prospect Business Park is situated in an area of natural beauty, surrounded by green fields where horses graze and views of the rolling Durham countryside, providing a very relaxing working environment with minimum noise interference. However, we are still only moments away from all of the main transport links for the area.

We strive to ensure the inside of the offices match that of the external environment, with the introduction of plants and greenery in the corridors, landings and break-out areas.

With offices available from just £140 per calendar month, Prospect Business Park is not only an enjoyable environment to work in, it also makes extremely good financial sense too. If you would like to arrange a convenient time to view our offices, please do not hesitate to contact us by email, telephone or our online contact form which can be found >here<

6 Important Points to Consider when Choosing your Office Location


Before selecting your new business premises, here are 6 important points for you to consider:

Style of Premises:

Is this just a base from you to work from or are you going to have clients visiting? If it’s the latter, does it matter what sort of impression you give? If it’s a workshop, eg. a car repair centre,  then clients will probably expect a workshop environment, however if it’s an office, what sort of impression would you like to present to your clients?

Location, location, location:

Years old and we’ve all heard it, although this little gem still rings true. For a retail business, then footfall will probably be of paramount importance but for offices this is generally less so, however many still flock to prime or city centre locations where rents are normally far higher and commuting and parking can be difficult, not to mention expensive! Do you really need to be based in the city centre, or perhaps somewhere that is just easy to find, has good public transport links and parking is easy and free?


Are your competitors nearby? There are two schools of thought and it is down to each individual to consider this carefully. If your competitors are on your doorstep, can you attract some of their clients to your establishment? After all, this is why you tend to find many retail outlets side by side with their competitors. Yes, you may get extra footfall but it can turn out to be a double-edged sword as they can pick up your clients too.

Lease Terms:

A major consideration particularly for start-up or small business is the term of the lease. Many landlords require a minimum commitment of 12-months, sometimes with up-front deposits. If you are lucky enough to find one, some centres (like ours) will provide easy-in, easy-out terms, which means you don’t need to commit to a 12-months contract and only one months’ notice is required to vacate.

Internet Access:

In this day and age, most businesses require some form of internet access, even if it’s just for checking emails. However many companies now run VoIP telephone systems that require high speed, good quality and most importantly reliable internet. When shopping for your next premises, it is now vital to check what internet access, if any, the landlord provides and if there are any extra costs involved. Hidden extras can add up very quickly, meaning that office that appeared ‘cheap’ at first glance isn’t quite the bargain you thought it was!

Utilities and other costs:

It’s not just about monthly rent, as we mentioned in the point above, but there are still other costs involved too. Some landlords require additional payment for heating, lighting, janitorial services etc. They may be itemised or added in to a monthly ‘management’ charge. Also consider business rates charges; does the office qualify for a business rates exemption?

Prospect Business Park provides high quality workshops and offices to rent, just a few miles outside of both Durham and Newcastle with excellent links to the major routes. Other benefits include:

  • Over 200 free car parking spaces
  • 24/7 access for tenants
  • Fast, free broadband for tenants
  • Easy-in, easy-out lease terms
  • Fantastic on-site security
  • On-site manager to handle any queries
  • Offices start from only £140 per month!

For more information, or to arrange a viewing, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Office vs Working from Home

For quite some time, the ability to be able to ‘work from home’ was considered quite a perk. With the evolution of telecommunications & online meeting software, staff could work from almost anywhere in the world provided they had a phone signal and access to the internet.

In addition to that, the fact that employees no longer had the daily commute, with the stress and expense that it entailed, companies saw a decrease in staff turnover and an increase in employee job satisfaction.

However, working from home does not suit all people and indeed can be counter-productive.

When working from home boundaries can become blurred, with working hours beginning to bleed over in to non-working hours. There is often the sense that you can never ‘escape’ the work environment – do you really want to spend 24/7 in your virtual office?

And of course, there are other distractions at home, with children and pets being the most common interruptions, often at the most inconvenient of times. Imagine trying to concentrate on that crucial call with your most valued client just as the dog begins to bark at the postman! It can also been perceived by employee’s partners’ that too much time can be spent working and not enough ‘quality’ family time – many of us are guilty of working on the laptop in the evening when we should be spending time with families.

However, it is possible to strike a balance.

The ability to work from home when we require is most definitely still a perk, however, it is also extremely beneficial to have the option of an office, where we can dedicate our time to work. This can be particularly true for the self-employed, where spending time without distraction, speaking to potential new clients without interruption and growing a business is a vital necessity. Of course, this luxury comes with a cost and renting office space can become an expensive affair.

That’s where we feel Prospect Business Park can help both start-ups and established businesses so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

We have a range of office sizes, from those suitable for just one or two people, up to rooms and suites capable of housing call centres.

All our offices are supplied with easy-in-out terms and are equipped with access to our broadband and can be supplied furnished – ideal for just moving in and starting work. In some cases, people have moved in the same day as viewing! We also have plenty of parking on site (for over 200 cars) and the site is secure, with an on-site manager during the day and monitored, closed circuit cameras in conjunction with a security gate. Access for office tenants is 24/7.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information or to arrange a viewing.

Hello from Prospect Business Park

Welcome to Prospect Business Park!

As a company, we pride ourselves on providing high quality premises and services to our clients. As such, we are delighted to announce two new services for our residents.

Firstly, super fast broadband has now been installed in Prospect House. If you require broadband in your office, please contact the site manager who will be happy to assist you.

Secondly, we have the launch of the new and updated website, with extra functionality and our new Prospect Business Park Directory. As a resident, you will be entitled to a listing, which will not only help to introduce your services to tother residents, but also visitors to the website.

Please be sure to visit the Directory page and enter your listing.