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Viking Blog
  • Fast Track: Tips for Attending Your First Client Meeting


    This month's Fast Track article focuses on employees who are new to the working world and are set to take part in their first client meeting or sales pitch. Meetings with current or potential clients can often be nerve-racking for the first time. Fear not, we have a number of tips so you know what to expect and to ensure that you can deliver your presentation successfully.

  • Business Success: Magic Whiteboard


    This month we are joined by Neil Westwood from Magic Whiteboard who featured on BBC's Dragons' Den in December 2008. Founders, Neil and Laura Westwood saw success on the show after Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis invested £100,000 for a 40% stake. More recently, the founders bought back the shares and now own 100% of the company.

  • How We Built Our Giant Cardboard Castle


    Returning to work after Christmas and New Year can be a bit of a struggle. To help beat the January blues in the Viking office, we decided to ask our team to decorate their desks with fun and creative things. However, we were totally unprepared for what they did: not content with simply bringing in small decorations, our creative team decided to build a giant castle - right in the middle of the office.

  • Business Success: Rupa Ganatra and Millennial 2020


    Former banker-turned entrepreneur, Rupa Ganatra, joins us this month for our Business Success series. As co-founder of online male-grooming business Yes Sir!, Rupa turned her attention to the digital industry, in which she is now founder of the major business conference event, Millennial 20/20. Viking spoke to Rupa about her latest venture.

  • Tomorrow's Leaders: Jules Quinn & The TeaShed


    This month we are joined by Jules Quinn from The TeaShed who has shared her insights into successfully managing her own tea business. Launched in May 2011, The TeaShed has gone from strength to strength (no pun intended!) and has featured on top 100 entrepreneurs of 2014.

  • Christmas Holidays Across the Nation


    Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. It's a time to catch up with your family and friends, while truly relaxing and enjoying the holiday season. However, each year, managers across the nation face one of their toughest challenges in making sure that as many people as possible get the time off they need.

  • Office Hacks: Top Tips For Working From Home


    Over 4.2 million workers in the UK use their home as their office, according to statistics from the Office for National Statistics. Working from home is continuing to grow in popularity and over 14% of the UK workforce is considered a home worker. Approximately 1.5 million actually work within their home, whilst 3 million say that they work from home, but travel frequently to meet customers and clients.
  • 5 Tips For Creating A Better Life-Work Balance


    Last month our Fast Track series looked at how you can make a great impression on the first day at your new job. This month we have taken a look at how you can implement a better life-work balance so you can enjoy down-time away from the office.

  • Tomorrow's Leaders: Hannah Sage & Milo


    Family separation in military families is a frequently experienced but rarely addressed issue. With a father in the military when she was growing up, recent graduate Hannah Sage set out to find a way for young children to maintain a connection with their absent parent.

    Milo began as a creative and fun solution that Hannah devised during her final year product at university; however, the response has been so strong that she has now started the journey of taking Milo to market. Hannah talked to us about her university experience and being a rising inventor.
  • The Christmas Craft Challenge


    With only a few sleeps left until Christmas, it's time to get into the festive spirit and think about how you're going to decorate your desk at work.

    At Viking, we're very competitive and we take office decorating very seriously, with everyone trying their hand at a variety of exciting craft projects to try and beat the rest of the office - and Christmas is no exception.

    As a result, we've seen some fabulous ways of decorating a desk for Christmas, but we think you guys might be able to show us a thing or two and that's why, this year, we've decided to create our #ChristmasCraftChallenge so you can show off your creative skills.

  • Business Success: Sarah Greenwell and An Elf for Christmas


    Already a big fan of Christmas, entrepreneur Sarah Greenwell was looking for a magical family tradition that could grow with her children over the years. Finding very little already out there, Sarah set about creating her own tradition; the idea grew and this Christmas that tradition is going to be shared in the homes of families all over the country through Elf for Christmas. We chatted to Sarah to find out more.

  • 5 Tips For Keeping Your Online Business Data Safe


    Recent news of a significant data breach at UK internet service provider TalkTalk has brought around a timely reminder of the importance in ensuring that your online data is safe and secure.

    2015 has seen a number of high profile cases of data breaches at businesses including Sony and Carphone Warehouse. According to statistics more than 50% of Britons claim that they have been a victim of cybercrime. The internet is more prolific in the world of business than ever before. This advance has allowed employees to work wherever they choose with access to business data.

    Viking have put together a list of five top tips on how you can enhance your security and protect your office data and finances from risk of attack. Don't make data security an afterthought for your business.
  • Office Bacteria Project - What's lurking on your desk?


    Sickness season is upon us. Cold and flu viruses lurk in every corner of the office, as our colleagues cough and splutter through the day. Sometimes getting ill can't be avoided, but there are precautions you can take to avoid succumbing to the yearly sniffles. We decided to do a little experiment to grow some bacterial cultures and show what some of the weird and wonderful bugs that surround us every day actually look like when given the chance to grow undisturbed.

  • Tomorrows Leaders: Vivien Tang


    With around 150 million tons of clothing and footwear sold worldwide every year, it's no wonder that textiles make up a significant portion of the recyclable items making their way to landfill.

    With the idea of setting up a sustainable business already in mind, Imperial Graduates Vivien Tang and Caroline Wood had a breakthrough moment after realising that an unloved dress from the back of Caroline's wardrobe had become a holiday must-have for Vivien.
  • Fast Track: Making a good impression at a big new job


    In our Fast Track series, we've looked at top tips for improving your CV and acing the interview to get your first big job. This month, we've kept our fingers crossed and hope that you bagged not only an interview, but got the job.

    Some might say that's the hard part out of the way, but walking into a new workplace as a fresh graduate is a daunting prospect. You want to build on the good impression you made during the interview process and reassure your new employers that they made the right decision. Here are a few pointers from us to help you get off on the right foot.
  • Business Success: Mathew Cockroft and Pure Pet Foods


    Mathew Cockroft from Pure Pet Foods joins us this week to share his insights into successfully managing an online pet store, which has seen their award-winning products launched in Pets At Home. Along with business partner Daniel Eha, Mathew featured on Dragon's Den, where their pitch was considered by Duncan Bannatyne to be "one of the best pitches in over 10 years of the show".

  • The Walking Dead Zombie Sweepstake


    Here at Viking we can't wait for the new series of AMC's The Walking Dead. Since we're such big fans of the show, we started our very own office zombie sweepstake last season to see which character would come out on top in the fight against the undead horde. We've decided to share our game this year so you can play along with your own friends, family and co-workers.

  • 6 Tips for Making Better Lunches


    Do you take your lunch 'al desko' or head to the local cafeteria or supermarket? Are you struggling to get to three o'clock before your stomach starts to rumble? Are you feeling wiped out by a stodgy meal? We all do it differently, and it can be easy to get stuck on the same old track, week in, week out. Why not check out our six top lunchtime tips and see if you can make a change for the better?

  • Tomorrows Leaders: Olivia Bossert


    Atlas Magazine began as a hobby for two students alongside their studies, but by graduation time the fashion magazine had turned into something much bigger. So, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, co-founders Olivia and Megan decided to take Atlas to the next level and build a career from it. We caught up with Olivia to find out more about her journey from student to magazine editor.

  • Business Success: John Readman and Ride25


    John Readman, CEO of Ride25, joins us this week to share his insights into successfully managing a business and the journey he's travelled - and continues to travel. John's passion is cycling, and his aim is to help people change their life through this pursuit, raising money for charitable causes along the way.

  • 9 Office Email Hacks


    When you're trying to knuckle down and get some work done, there's often no end to the number of distractions that can break your workflow: tea round duties, office gossip - and that's before you've even opened your inbox.

    Emails might seem like they've made office life easier but they can be a major cause of stress due to the sheer number of messages we receive and the demands within them. Learning how to organise and manage this daily influx is an important step in creating a stress-free work environment but making sure you don't miss anything can be a daunting task. Read on for our top hacks for streamlining your email.

  • Tomorrow's Leaders: Tom Hatton


    Frustrated with referencing university essays as a student, Tom Hatton stumbled upon a brilliant idea. RefME launched in 2014 as a referencing tool. It scans and automatically creates references without students needing to trawl through bibliographies, publishers and dates. Last year, RefME was named The Guardian's startup of the year, and this year it bagged Best British Mobile Startup at the Mobile World Congress. Tom Hatton talked to us about his university experience and tips for success.

  • In an office far, far away


    Recently we let a small team loose in the office with a big stack of post-it notes and an imagination brimming with anticipation for the upcoming Star Wars film.

  • Top CV tips for landing that first big job


    It's that time of year again: results are out and graduates are looking to the future. It may be that you've already got an idea of where you'd like to apply to work, but you may also be actively hunting for employment. Whatever your situation is, there are a few things that are worth keeping in mind to maximise your chances of making that all-important good first impressio.

  • Business Success: Talking to Hayley Short


    Hayley Short joins us this month from The Pet Deli, a contemporary online pet food store with a passion for providing natural foods and treats for our beloved animals. Hayley started the company with her partner, Lewie, and their husky, Maya, and was kind enough to share her knowledge of starting a business and following a passion.

  • Emergency Happiness


    Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions. - Dalai Lama Over the next two months, Viking will be spreading the ultimate happiness by sending out S.O.S joy boosters. The mission is #EmergencyHappiness, and has one powerful aim... to cheer up a whole lot of folk that are in need of a smile.

  • Tomorrows Leaders: Scarlett Dixon


    In the digital world, there is money to be made in more ways than ever before. For some, blogging has become a more lucrative hobby, with brand collaborations, events and endorsements making for a glamorous affair.

  • Office Hacks To Keep You Organised


    It can be easy for your desk to get out of hand, but did you know the same things clogging up space can also be used to make your life easier? Simple pieces of stationery and everyday objects can help you keep things in order, clean and tidy. Let's get creative with these office hacks designed to make your life easier...

  • Top Tips for Holding More Fruitful Meetings


    We've all sat in meetings before and struggled to stay focused. Other times you may have felt that you weren't quite captivating your fellow meeting goers. Well, there are a few things you can keep in mind to help you and your team get the most from your meetings. Read on for our top tips...

  • Business Success: Talking to Ross Moran


    This month we're talking to Ross Moran, Managing Director of Tiger Sheds, a company manufacturing high-end garden buildings such as sheds and log cabins. Starting life as a single machine outfit in the corner of a timber mill, Ross has helped take the company forwards into a hugely successful enterprise. Here he shares some of the knowledge that has helped him, and Tiger Sheds, get to where they are today.

  • 6 Office Health Hacks


    Sitting on a drab chair in a grey office with a flickering computer screen is not the stuff of an Olympic medalist. Nobody wants to be indoors all day. But there are some super smart tricks out there that can help you feel revitalised. So, get ready to shake up your daily slog with our health kick tips!

  • Five tips for more engaging presentations


    Maximise the impact of your presentations with our five top tips

    Some people find delivering a presentation daunting. Others relish the opportunity to present to an audience but can fall short on getting the most of their floor time. Mastering presentations is undoubtedly a learning curve and requires practice, but taking a few key points into consideration can put you well on the way to becoming a more engaging speaker.

  • 7 Office Notebook Hacks


    Get the most out of your trusty notepad with our seven top tips

    If you're anything like the rest of the nation's office workers, then if you're not scrambling around your desk for a biro, you'll be ripping off notepad pages and writing down notes that you'll almost definitely never find again. Here are our quick hacks that will turn your notebook from a hindrance into a perfect little desk assistant.

  • James Bond: From HR with Love


    James Bond: From HR with Love

    James Bond has a licence to kill. He's on Her Majesty's Secret Service. He'll live and let die. But does he fill in all of his expense claim forms on time? Does he pay attention to Health and Safety regulations? We've got a feeling he'd actually be a royal pain for the HR department at MI6. We take a look at the true cost of 007's antics.

  • Printing Personal Items At Work


    Printing Personal Items At Work? Set Up an Honesty Box!

    We all do it. Whether it's a gig ticket or your holiday photos, from time to time you print off something that you probably shouldn't at work. We asked 1,500 office workers to reveal what they're secretly printing and how often they're doing it.

  • It's Official: The Most Annoying Office Habits


    It's Official: The Most Annoying Office Habits

    In the close confines of an office, finding fault with your colleagues can be unavoidable. There you are, collating the figures for Jane, when something keeps breaking your concentration. That's right - it's Dave. Again. He's humming Bond Themes. AGAIN.

  • Choosing the perfect printer


    Whether you use it to print homework, holiday snaps or work documents, every home should own a printer. But how do you know which one to choose? Read on to discover our top tips...

  • How much do you get paid to take a break?


    3 office activities that will earn you over £11,000 a year

    Imagine an office where you're encouraged to sip a coffee, surf the net and stroll around for a chat. What you probably don't realise, is that you already can! We take a look at how long we're spending on breaks in the UK and what they mean for your productivity.

  • National Stationery Week is coming!


    It's that time of year again! National Stationery Week is finally upon us and this year, the event is celebrating the written word.

    Running from 27th April - 3rd May 2015, the event is encouraging all stationery lovers to pick up their pens and send letters and cards instead of emails. To help you celebrate, we've put together a comprehensive rundown of everything you'll need....

  • April Fools Pranks That Wont Get You Fired


    Are you looking for some entertaining but simple pranks to pick up a slow day in the office?

    For April Fools' shenanigans, our team of tricksters have made it their mission to share some of their favourite printable pranks for your entertainment.

    The following pranks will well and truly be the gifts that keep on giving. After all, April Fools' is only around for one day, whilst our prank pack will wind up your colleagues day in, day out.

    IMPORTANT: Before selecting your prank pack, please be aware that these pranks are intended for the use of mischievous colleagues only.

  • Apps to help your spring clean


    Spring is just around the corner, which means it's time to grab the cleaning equipment and get your home or office sparkling again.

    Thanks to the power of technology, spring cleaning can be easier and more fun than ever before. Here's our top four cleaning apps for iPhone and iPad:

  • Office spring cleaning tips


    Are you tired of losing important items on your desk? Is your messiness making you a laughing stock of the office? If you answered yes, it?s time to change! Take a look at our top tips below and start your office spring clean today.

  • Tablet Vs Laptops


    Research from Mintel shows that over half of British consumers have a tablet computer in their homes. But should you ditch your laptop just yet? We weigh up the pros and cons of each gadget below...

  • Fairtrade Fortnight: Why choose Fairtrade?


    It's hard to remember a time without Fairtrade. For years now, the foundation has been a household name, with many of us purchasing Fairtrade goods on a regular basis. If you still don't have that Fairtrade feeling, here's everything you need to know about the ground-breaking movement...

  • Thoughtful gifts for Valentines Day


    If you struggle when it comes to selecting the perfect gift, Valentine's Day can come around all too quickly! No sooner have you sorted your beloved's Christmas presents, than it's time to rack your brains for a romantic gesture that will impress.

    Forget flowers and chocolates: this year it's time to get personal. Check out our gift guide below and you'll have your beau's heart aflutter in no time!

  • Beating the January blues


    While we may not have had a white Christmas, it seems we're set for a blue January. So you and your workmates can battle the blues, we've put together this handy guide to see you through the most hated of all winter months.

  • What to do with unwanted Christmas gifts


    If you received any unwanted gifts this Christmas, don?t leave them to collect dust. One man?s trash is another man?s treasure, so find a new home or purpose for your present. As well as preventing wastage, you?ll save space and potentially make money! Learn how below...

  • Consumer Electronics Show 2015: Our highlights


    Each year, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) plays hosts to thousands of exhibitors who are ready to share their ground-breaking gadgets with the world.

    The 2015 show was an undisputed success, spawning some incredible tech. Here's our rundown of the gadgets that impressed us most...

  • Get organised with a 2015 diary


    Today, many of us depend on apps like Google Calendar to keep us organised. However, there are a lot of benefits to using a physical rather than digital diary to organise your affairs. You can more easily record information while you're on the phone, won't forget about appointments because of a flat phone battery, and look more professional when taking down notes in meetings.

    Use our buying guide to find the perfect diary for 2015.

  • Christmas revision tips for uni students


    Do you have an exam coming up in January? Worried about fitting in revision around the festivities? Use our study tips to ensure you make the most of the Christmas holidays and properly prepare yourself for university assessments.

  • Apple iOS v Android v Windows Phone


    One of the most important decisions when buying a smartphone is which operating system (OS) you would like. This software impacts everything from the interface to the performance, so you should compare the different features carefully before making a purchase.

  • Christmas 2014 last posting dates guide


    Whether you're sending gifts to overseas relatives or popping a greetings card in the post for a distant friend, check out our Christmas delivery guide and ensure your parcels and envelopes reach their destination in time for December 25th.

  • How businesses can cut the cost of postage


    Posting products, marketing materials and other communications can be expensive, but there are ways to slash your business's mail-room budget without making compromises. Check out our guide to cutting the cost of postage below.

  • How to create a reception area in your office


    If your office frequently has guests, a reception area is a valuable addition. It will allow you to create a good first impression and maintain high levels of professionalism throughout any visit. See our guide for tips on creating an efficient and effective reception area below.

  • Halloween craft projects


    Are you and the kids gearing up to trick and treat this October 31st? Check out our Halloween craft projects and your family can have fun making everything from spooky decorations to creepy costumes without spending a fortune.

  • How to create & print your own business stationery


    You can employ a designer and printing company to create your business stationery, but there are big savings to be made with a little DIY. We've got plenty of tips that will help you create professional-looking letterheads, compliment slips and business cards from the office.

  • The best apps for small businesses


    There are hundreds of inexpensive and even free tools at your SME's disposal in application stores. Kitting out your company smartphone or tablet with apps can be a great way to save time and money, work more efficiently, and boost professionalism.

    What works best for your small business depends on your industry and a host of other factors, but the list below should help you get started with work-friendly apps.

  • Should free tea be a work perk?


    Many office workers have come to expect free tea and coffee 9-5, but should your business foot the beverage bill? Read about the pros and cons, and join the debate in the comments section below.

  • Balancing homeworking and childcare this summer


    Homeworkers are usually well disciplined in keeping home and work separate, but the task can be near impossible when the kids are on school holidays. Pupils have six weeks of summer freedom ahead, but how are you going to look after them without your work suffering? Read our guide to striking the right balance for your family below.

  • Office ergonomics: Staying comfortable at your desk


    Estimates indicate that 80 per cent of Brits have a desk job, according to the NHS. This type of work environment might seem risk-free compared to the likes of a building site, but it has been linked to a variety of health problems. If you spend long hours staring at a computer screen, or you have staff that do, read our guide to creating an ergonomic workspace below, and make the office a more comfortable place to be.

  • The 5 coolest offices in the world


    A well-designed office can improve productivity and boost employee satisfaction. That?s something the companies below obviously take extremely seriously. Check out the five coolest offices in the world, according to Viking, and try not to get too jealous.

  • How to make a good impression at a job interview


    At a job interview, it's not just the way you answer questions that counts. Aesthetics and etiquette both influence the way a potential employer perceives you, and hence your chances of landing the role. If you've got the experience and skills, we've got the finishing touches that will help you make a good impression and gain a competitive edge over other candidates. Read our top tips below:

  • 8 stationery brands that suffered genericide


    Genericide occurs when usage of a specific brand name rather than the generic product name becomes widespread: one manufacturer's product becomes synonymous with the product group as a whole. This often occurs because pioneering products firmly establish their name in consumers' minds before the generic name has chance. In other cases, a branded product dominates a particular market so much that people prefer to use its name universally. The world of stationery is one rife with genericide. Innovation and marketing too effective for its own good mean many product categories are characterised by one brand name. Check out our list below, and see if you knew that these stationery names were trademarked.

  • E3 2014: Xbox One & PS4 franchise games we cant wait to play


    The Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, is the annual event that plays host to some of the biggest announcements in the world of video games.

    As the 2014 press conference was the first since the release of the Xbox One and PS4, next-gen console owners were eager to hear what Sony and Microsoft had in store.

    As well as new video game releases, there were plenty of franchise additions that are sure to satisfy long-time fans. Check out the titles we can't wait to play below.