The UN is celebrating today under the theme ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’.

The gender gap in digital access, the threat of gender-based online violence, and an underrepresentation of women in STEM education mean women benefit from technology much less than they should.

Yet the digital world can be the key to eliminating gender inequity as technology has the potential to empower women, girls and other marginalized groups. 

To celebrate international women’s day, Katie and Debbie give a little insight into themselves and their thoughts on gender equity in tech. 

Katie Robinson 

Katie has worked her way up through the company since being an apprentice. As Production Manager, she ensures that we can be confident in our commitments to our clients through proper planning and processes.

What do you think might encourage more women to work in tech? 

I think engaging girls from a young age is key, not just in tech but in stereo-typically more ‘boy’ interests such as lego and math, so that they grow up not just thinking that certain jobs are male jobs. I think all children need to realise they really can follow any career that interests them, regardless of gender.

How do you think the tech sector would benefit from an equitable workforce? 

I think a more diverse workforce (not just gender) benefits any sector, tech included. The more diverse we are the more we are able to consider an alternative approach. This isn’t just in developing a new solution for a client or creating an amazing design, but right down to our team dynamic and balancing skills. Everyone brings something different to the team and the more diverse our workforce the better we can structure the project team to meet a client’s needs. 

What was your dream job as a child? 

I never really had a strong desire for a specific career as a child. I loved art and spent most of my free time drawing and painting. I also enjoyed photography and I would often take pictures of animals and wildlife and then come home and draw them. As I got older I became really interested in Psychology and I had considered a career in criminal psychology. I have always been fascinated by the power of our brains – there’s just so much we don’t yet know! 

  What are you most proud of in your life?

I’m most proud of my growth in self confidence. I was very shy as a child and full of self doubt, when I think about where I am today and all that I’ve achieved both in my career and personal life I think my younger self wouldn’t believe it was possible! I owe a lot of that to running, it has allowed me to push my limits and find out just what I’m capable of – I do most of my best thinking whilst on a run too!

Debbie KeatingDebbie, Head of Sales, has remarkable experience as a business development manager. We asked her the same questions…

What do you think might encourage more women to work in tech?

Most definitely awareness needs to be raised at young girls through education at school.

How do you think the tech sector would benefit from an equitable workforce? 

Each person brings with them different (hard and soft) skill sets; being a diverse workforce will always benefit companies. 

What was your dream job as a child? 

Forensic Scientist. When I was looking at careers back in the day (1980’s), this was classed as a man’s job.

What are you most proud of in your life?

Watching all my children grow up into loving, intelligent, thoughtful adults with successful careers all whilst being a single working mum with my own successful career.

Read more about gender and technology at www.unwomen.org.

There has been a lot of noise in the media over the last month over the rapid rise of AI tools such as ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Microsoft Bing’s AI enhanced search. AI is nothing new, but ChatGPT reached 1 million users in less than a week and 100 million in under two months.

What is ChatGPT?

Basically it’s a chatbot. The tool lets you provide a natural-language prompt or question, and then ChatGPT responds back in natural-sounding language. The bot will use the previous questions / prompts to assist in responding to future questions on the same thread. Surprisingly (or perhaps to avoid the SkyNet of Terminator films), the bot doesn’t use the internet for its response – it’s solely based on the huge data set it has been trained on.

You can request it to answer questions or be creative by writing a poem on a specific topic. Many are using it to write covering letters for job applications,  solve maths problems with a step-by-step breakdown of the answer, and write code that goes into websites. 

At Infotex we polled the team as to how they’d been using it. So far they have: 

ChatGPT isn’t foolproof though, and even ChatGPT’s owners OpenAI note “It’s a mistake to be relying on it for anything important right now. We have lots of work to do on robustness and truthfulness.”

Google Bard

ChatGPT’s rapid rise has prompted Google to expedite their new AI-powered search feature ‘Bard’. This uses natural language processing and machine learning to provide more relevant and insightful information to users.

I don’t expect it to replace the traditional ‘10 blue link results’ in Google but do expect the top section of the results pages to begin including AI-generated responses and answers to questions/queries.  

This could be game-changing for search in many ways:

One downside of these generated answers would be fewer clicks on the organic results, which would be frustrating for website owners looking for traffic. As it’s Google, I’d expect to see them protecting their more commercial search terms which would currently be occupied by paid ads. It wouldn’t be too difficult to keep commercial queries (“car insurance”) and general questions (“what is Newton’s third law”) separate. 

At the same time, Microsoft is also adding AI-generated answers to its Bing search results. Again, adding AI-generated responses to the search page results. 

These are just a few examples of the many applications and uses of ChatGPT. Its versatility and ability to understand and generate human-like responses make it a valuable tool for a wide range of industries and use cases.

Providing your potential website customers with an easy to use, stress-free, but informative checkout can improve your conversion rate and reduce time spent responding to customer’s questions.

The checkout is one of the most important sections of the website. It’s an essential part of a customer’s journey, and their decision to proceed with or abandon a purchase can be heavily influenced in just a few clicks.

I’ve looked at a few options to consider implementing to improve your checkout.

Stand & Deliver

Customers are no longer just looking for free delivery, though this can be a key driver in sales. Many are now actively looking for sites which use couriers they are satisfied with. There is always a balance between delivery cost and service, but we’ve seen sites that offer the consumer the choice of courier so they can pick the one that operates best in their area. Not only that, there are benefits of allowing the customer to pick the day the item is delivered on – at a fee of course.

By offering this choice a huge amount of trust can be gained, though it can cause logistical challenges. Your site management has to be on-point as well, to avoid publishing bank holidays as available dates etc. 

Checkout Options

One of the best examples of delivery choice I’ve seen is from Master of Malt. The multiple delivery options are all clearly labelled and priced. They even allow the customer to select their carrier. 

With any delivery section two things are key to clearly publish:

  1. when will I get my item
  2. how much is it going to cost

‘Hidden’ fees during a checkout can cause a high rate of abandonment. It’s not just the checkout’s job to communicate these items either – having them stated clearly on the product page and influence visitors to start the checkout process. Many sites now show a countdown timer to when you have to order by in order to receive delivery for a certain date. While some may see this as gimmicky and applying artificial pressure on consumers, it’s also providing valuable information on the product page. 

Boots Countdown

Boots.com shows a countdown timer on their product page showing how you can get next day delivery.

Provide Multiple Payment Options

The days of customers only having a credit or debit card are long gone. Customers have different preferences, and providing a choice of payment options allows them to pick their preferred method. So called ‘accelerated’ payment methods like Apple Pay or Google Pay are incredibly popular as they allow a near 1-click checkout experience. 

If you have regular repeat customers then providing a way for them to save their payment details for future use can be of benefit. Or even investigate automated repeat ordering – i.e. subscriptions – as a way for regular revenue. 

Payment Options

ASOS.com provides a range of popular payment methods

Buy Now / Pay Later (BNPL) can also be worth the investment, especially for higher ticket items. Adobe Analytics found that 12 per cent of online purchases made in the UK in January 2023 were made with BNPL. Klarna, ClearPay and PayPal offer methods for customers who wish to spread their payments, and Apple’s Pay Later will be hitting the internet “soon” according to CEO Tim Cook [as of Feb 2023]. However, legislation is currently being drafted in the UK which will likely alter what  lenders can offer.

Simplify

During the checkout you might want to find out as much about your customers as possible, but the more you ask the more likely the abandonment rate will increase. For example, asking a customer where they heard about you isn’t a good idea during the checkout as a user has to stop and think. (Asking for this in a post order feedback survey or ad-hoc questionnaires would be better). Any information that can not be reasonably associated with the essential info for purchasing is best left off.

Take It Into Account

A big turn-off for consumers is being forced to make an account before they can checkout. Ideally integrate the account registration process into the checkout – many will ask if a user wants to create an account after they have placed an order. 

Not Everyone Will Checkout 

Not everyone who starts the checkout process will finish the checkout process. Even the most successful sites will have abandoned baskets, sitting in a virtual pile gathering digital dust. 

There are a few things you can do to try and tempt them back – if they were logged in or had provided an email address you could send a follow up email a few hours after their basket becomes inactive asking them back to the site. 

You could also set up remarketing ads, which will show the visitor what product(s) they were going to purchase on ads as they navigate through the internet. This can help to keep your brand front and centre of the consumers mind while they make the decision to buy or not. 

This year, the theme of National Apprenticeship Week is “skills for life”.

Are apprenticeships really a good way of gaining “skills for life”? What opportunities can they give you? Do we recommend them? What are the benefits of hiring an apprentice?

Inspired by these questions, our team share their experiences. From Will, our current apprentice, to Matt, Katie and Kris, whose Infotex journeys began as apprenticeships and finally from our managers Cameron and Ant on what it is like to hire apprentices into the company.

Will Ridd

“This apprenticeship has been a great opportunity for me to get both hands on experience in my job role, whilst also getting the benefit of studying in order to complete my qualification.”
Will – Studio Apprentice

I help on the client support desk and with digital marketing alongside studying for my Business Administration qualification. Through this I have learnt the fundamentals of how Infotex operates, as well as specific tasks such as carrying out audits of clients’ websites and examining how to improve their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in order to drive visitors and visibility to their site. I am enjoying the apprenticeship because the hands-on experience of working while learning suits me as an individual.

It is challenging as a lot of the work is very technical, so I work closely with Tim for the digital marketing, and Matt for the support desk. They have been excellent for my development and are always available for any questions I have. Cameron, my mentor, has been very important because he makes sure I’m on course regarding both the job role and my coursework for the qualification. The apprenticeship lasts for one year minimum, and I plan to pass at a distinction level this July and hopefully go on to become a full-time employee.

I’d recommend an apprenticeship as it benefits you both as a worker, giving you vital experience, and as a learner studying about the role. This makes it a more comfortable transition to potential full-time employment. 


Matthew Adlem

If you approach an apprenticeship with the right attitude and mindset then it can be really beneficial to both the individual and the business.
Matt – Account Executive

I started my apprenticeship when I was 17, so I still had to be in some form of education.  After studying Business Studies for a year at college, I had a real drive to get out and work full time. An apprenticeship offered me the best opportunity for that, and I was fortunate that Infotex (where I’d had two previous work experience placements) were looking to fill their IT Professional apprenticeship position.

My Infotex apprenticeship started back in October 2017 and really helped shape my career. Not only did it allow me to get my foot in the door at a really exciting and friendly company, but it has allowed me to understand what I enjoy and what I’m skilled at. Our support manager Cameron took me under his wing and has constantly offered fantastic leadership, making sure that I’m given the best possible opportunities. Infotex as a whole is a team full of supportive people, which has made the transition into more senior roles as comfortable as possible!

After my apprenticeship, I was employed in a full-time support role. Over the years I have gradually been transitioning into more account and project management. I hope to continue getting opportunities to enhance my learning and focus more on account management. 

I would certainly recommend an apprenticeship, whether that’s to a young person starting a working life, or to adults who are looking to pursue a career in a different sector. If you approach an apprenticeship with the right attitude and mindset then it can be really beneficial to both the individual and the business. I personally have to give credit to everyone at Infotex, who’ve all been very generous with the time (and patience) they’ve given to help me progress as I have.


Katie Robinson

“You learn so many skills ‘out in the field’ that you just can’t learn in a classroom.”
Katie – Production Manager

Back in August 2006, I was offered a job (not an apprenticeship) at an estate agents as well as an apprenticeship position at Infotex, but I felt that the apprenticeship offered more opportunities for growth and development, and websites sounded more exciting to me than selling houses! Since the Business Administration apprenticeship, my development through the company has evolved from Production Executive  > Production Studio Manager > Account Manager and finally Production Manager which is my current role.

I’ve been at Infotex for more than 16 years, in that time I have grown hugely in my self-confidence and achieved things I never thought I was capable of. I’m really proud to have worked my way up through the company alongside many colleagues who have been here longer than me. I have recently taken leadership of our content marketing and I’ve found it’s something that I really enjoy. I’d love to grow my skills in this area and work closely with our content team to strengthen our marketing this year.

I would absolutely recommend an apprenticeship. In my opinion it’s the perfect balance of working whilst gaining a qualification, and you learn so many skills ‘out in the field’ that you just can’t learn in a classroom. 


Kris Parker

“As Fat Boy Slim said (sampling Camille Yarbrough) “we’ve come a long long way together, through the hard times and the good.”
Kris – Account Manager

I was the first ever Infotex apprentice back in April 2001. My roles included general admin duties (filing, answering the phone) and updating website content (this was before the ubiquity of content management systems so HTML knowledge required). After my apprenticeship I was employed full-time, continuing with general duties, helping the project manager, and then moved on to the support team, and finally into project and account management where I am now.

An apprenticeship provides a hands-on, practical basis in the world of work, and enables a person to become an asset to a company while learning and gaining a qualification.


The Managers’ Point of View

Cameron Wardlaw

“We’re able to offer someone a place to learn and gain experience in an industry where they might not have had the chance otherwise”
Cameron – Customer Support Manager

The main thing about hiring an apprentice is that this is not just a job for them, it’s their way into an industry and career that they want to do long term. An apprenticeship is like an extremely long interview. Not only do we have several months getting to know the apprentice, it also gives them time to see how things work and decide if this is what they want to be doing. 

An apprenticeship doesn’t always work out well, but when it does, it really does. We’re able to offer someone a place to learn and gain experience in an industry where they might not have had the chance otherwise, and hopefully offer somewhere to work once they’ve completed the apprenticeship.  It’s real work that makes them a vital part of the team.


Anthony Agar

“I will always be very grateful to those of our employees who joined as apprentices and have stayed on for the duration – you know who you are.”
Ant – Managing Director

By training our own people from the outset, the teamwork is natural.  We are able to invest the time and training needed to create an employee who knows their way round all the nooks and crannies of Infotex. There is no substitute for having a team who are deeply experienced.  

We started with apprentices in the early 2000’s because they were cheap to employ! But over time we have found that apprentices simply make the best employees and are amongst the strongest team members. Our employees who have joined at a higher level have also, I think, benefited from our apprentices, from the core culture that they help bring, by which I mean that our company values are already the truth about us, not merely aspirations. And we remain fond of and proud of those who apprenticed with us and then moved on.

I will always be very grateful to those of our employees who joined as apprentices and have stayed on for the duration – you know who you are.  Your loyalty and trustworthiness are beyond value to a small company which is handling a lot of tech and data. In just over 20 years we have counted more than 120 people employed in Infotex, some for years, some for weeks, and you are the binding force which sustains our development. 

Infotex is ready to start helping the UK public sector with its most critical challenges, with the launch of the Digital Outcomes 6 (DOS 6) framework.

What is Digital Outcomes 6?

The Digital Outcomes 6 (DOS 6) framework facilitates the procurement of digital services to accelerate the success of applying technology solutions to solve UK public sector challenges. Buyers in the UK public sector can now procure an extensive range of digital services from Infotex including bespoke software solutions, database development, website design/development, SEO, hosting and support.

In addition to this framework, we have also recently been confirmed as a supplier on the G-Cloud 13 framework too, further strengthening our offering to the public sector.

In September 2022, Infotex was named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s G-Cloud 13 framework the latest iteration of the G-Cloud Framework of 2012. As an agreement between service providers and the government, the catalogue makes Infotex’s cloud-based hosting, software and support services available to public service customers. 

Infotex team members Debbie, Jono and Alex have been working hard at completing the application since March 2022, and, after much head scratching with 100’s of questions to answer, are thrilled to have completed Infotex’s very first G-Cloud application and been awarded the contract. 

What is G-Cloud 13?

Crown Commercial Service supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2021/22, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits equal to £2.8 billion – supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.

G-Cloud 13 is a framework of approved supplier services where organisations can make purchases via the Digital Marketplace without having to go through a lengthy procurement or tender process every time. This framework is the primary service for the UK public sector, and is available for central government (the primary buyers), charities, education, health, local authority, blue light (police, fire, ambulance, search and rescue), devolved administrations and British overseas territories. 

What does this mean for Infotex?

The G-Cloud Framework went live on 14th December 2022. Once the “New Opportunities” feature goes live early this year, Debbie, our Head of Sales, will receive emails with available public sector opportunities that she will be able to respond to. This is an exciting opportunity for Infotex to be a part of an exceptional framework for public sector organisations purchasing cloud services, and we are delighted to have been awarded the opportunity.

In addition to this framework, we have also recently been confirmed as a supplier on the Digital Outcomes 6 (DOS 6) framework too, further strengthening our offering to the public sector.

Digital security is a necessity in an age where attacks and data exfiltration are commonplace. Hosting and managing hundreds of websites and systems also means handling a lot of valuable information. Keeping that data safe is a responsibility we take very seriously. 

Cyber Essentials Plus is a UK Government-backed scheme designed to demonstrate organisations’ resilience against cyber attack. It ensures our systems are up-to-date, secure and fit for purpose, meaning our clients can rest assured that they are working with a business that is confident in its digital security. 

The standard Cyber Essentials certification covers these five main areas:

  1. Boundary firewalls and internet gateways
  2. Secure configuration
  3. Access controls
  4. Malware protection
  5. Patch management

As part of the Plus version of the certification, Infotex underwent an independent external technical audit by URM Consulting, to ensure that necessary technical controls are in place for the security of our systems. A random sample of staff were selected to be audited – making sure their work environment is up to date and secured. Our in-house infrastructure team periodically review all devices, to ensure they are all configured correctly. By passing, we are proving our internal processes, policies and security controls are in line with National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) standards

Having previously completed Cyber Essentials Plus, the biggest change for this year is that all cloud services admin accounts offering multi-factor authentication must now have that enabled. In fact Infotex have gone one further and enabled it on all cloud services where that is feasible. Alongside this, minimum password length has been increased for any accounts, something reflecting the increasingly hostile online environment where password cracking tech continues to improve. We have also now disabled that stalwart browser of the last two decades Internet Explorer on all our Windows devices to bring that chapter of the web to a close.

Much like a car MOT, Cyber Essentials Plus is the minimum that we work to. We go above and beyond this with regular reminders and training, both face-to-face and virtual being provided to all Infotex staff to keep security in mind with both our practices, device configurations and website development processes to make sure we are doing all we can to maintain our ongoing cyber security knowing that forms a part of our clients also.

If you are looking at your businesses cyber security then undertaking Cyber Essentials Plus is something that we’d thoroughly recommend. It is a way to focus the company on the aspects which will give you the greatest security benefit against the attacks which are ongoing in the real world as the NCSC evolves the standard every year based upon the attack data that they witness in the real world.

Like many businesses, Infotex has embraced working from home in modern times.  The pandemic taught us to adapt and learn, and we learned that there are benefits of providing staff with flexibility and improved internal communication and collaboration.

We continue to adapt and learn, and we now operate a hybrid of homes and offices. Some of the teams meet regularly to work together, whilst the majority of us work from our homes as the default.  Plenty of hats and scarves needed at the moment, but no gloves seen yet.

Four times a year the whole company comes together for 2 days of work and play.  These gatherings are built on a tradition over the past 15 years of the annual Christmas party plus something in the summer, usually outdoors and involving boats.  We now have four company gatherings a year, the dates planned a year in advance.

Our most recent gathering was last week, based on the traditional Infotex parties, but nuanced to reflect the reality that we no longer have a large HQ office to host the activities.  So Katie found a house with 13 bedrooms to rent in Ipswich, which became our home for 48 hours. Just spending this time together, as friends and colleagues, was all the more valuable because we are not now all in the same building every day. 

For much of the time, people just carried on with their work, but also everyone took the opportunity to have meetings on specific matters, so useful conversations were had, as a group.  Being in the centre of Ipswich, we were minutes away from a wonderful pub (The Lord Nelson, in keeping with our nautical traditions) which kept the house guests well fuelled throughout their stay. 

On the main day, we held our first awards ceremony – complete with prizes – followed by the now legendary (in our world) Christmas Quiz, which is created and curated by our very own Kris Parker.

In our business update session, we took time to talk about the year behind us, and our hopes for the year ahead.  Like so many around us, it feels like it has been a year of two halves, with the optimism at the beginning quickly coming into contact with the reality of the Ukraine war, in collision with our own domestic politics so that the autumn started off with spirits low. 

However, fuelled by awards, quiz wins, food and drink, warmth and companionship, we are ending the year optimistic once again, further boosted by a spate of new orders from some long-term clients and the successful completing of some challenging technical projects.

And once again, I have been reminded of how lucky I am to work with such a great team.  Capable and competent in their work, talented in their modesty and quietly doing things which make me proud (when I hear about them!).

Time soon for a well earned break…..

 

Despite originating in the USA, Black Friday has been a staple of the UK shopping calendar for around 10 years. It was first introduced to the UK by Amazon in 2010, with the site regularly crashing due to high traffic levels. Asda then dared to introduce the first ‘in-store’ Black Friday sales in 2013 with offers of up to 70% off.

The idea spread quickly despite reports of broken bones in the shopping extravaganza. The annual shopping event planted deep roots on this side of the Atlantic, becoming a staple in the UK and global calendar.

To say a lot has changed since Black Friday’s introduction would be an extraordinary understatement. Even if we didn’t mention the obvious global pandemic, the cost of the living crisis and decreasing size of the UK economy, UK consumer shopping habits have changed dramatically.

Black Friday

Black Friday 2022 is now over, and despite the doom and gloom of strikes and energy bills, the stats are painting a more positive picture than initially predicted. With our ecommerce and digital eye, we wanted to share a few of our observations with you.

Let’s start with the overall online stats

Online vs Instore

Long gone are the days when friends became enemies on the aisles of Currys when there appeared to be only one breadmaker (Other electric goods are available… maybe), and it had a 70% OFF red sticker. The sale has been moving ‘online’, with more customers shopping every year from the comfort of their living rooms.

Despite the end of the pandemic and a return to a more normal life, consumers continue to favour online. Footfall was up compared to 2021 but failed to surpass pre-pandemic numbers. 

Lower, Longer Offers

As the popularity of Black Friday has grown and shopping habits are moving online, businesses have had to adapt. With more significant investments into ecommerce and fulfilment, the offers have significantly decreased, making the offers more in line with other calendar sales (e.g. end of season or Boxing Day).

The average discount for orders placed in 2022 was between 12%-15%, far removed from the initial sales offers first introduced in the early 2010s. The reduced offer has meant businesses can extend the sales window, with many sales now lasting most of November.

Careful Shoppers & Better Customer Experience

There is no avoiding the elephant in the room in the UK, with the cost of living crisis. While the figures are not as bleak as initially feared, there is no denying that shoppers are becoming more careful with their purchasing decisions. Mainstream publications have been offering guides to the best deals available to help with shopping.

I myself had a ‘no impulse shopping’ rule. All Christmas presents were chosen in advance, online guides were read as to where the best sale would be, and Black Friday itself consisted of knowing exactly where to get the best deal for my 4-5 purchases.

Good ecommerce businesses were, however, prepared for this, with increased newsletters and email communications to ensure their customers were engaged using tools such as countdown timers and abandoned checkout notifications. On the whole, this has worked, with clickthrough rates seeing an average uplift of around 200% from emails and messages.

Mobile vs Desktop

Every year we see more and more customers preferring to shop on their phones, and this year was no different, with 55% of all orders made on mobile. It is also expected that upto 89% of visits were from mobile devices.

Multi-Channel Campaigns

An interesting, but not completely surprising, revelation was that Shopify saw an increase of 24% in sales generated by social commerce globally across their platform.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are now mature, and following investment during the pandemic has several excellent ecommerce tools. Making it easier to adopt a more transactional-based social media strategy.


Conclusions – and what to do in 2023

While many will argue Black Friday is not as significant as in previous years because it isn’t causing a widespread shopping frenzy, I would say it is not declining but maturing. The ‘winners’ of Black Friday will no longer be those offering considerable bargains but sophisticated customer experiences that engage with and reward their audiences.

Top tips for 2023

Mobile-first

Looking at the data over the last 10 years, you will see a steady increase in mobile traffic over desktop. This is not going to stop. Look at your website through your customer’s eyes on their mobile and look for ways to improve it. More and more, we are building sites for mobile users first here at Infotex.

Engage with your customers more

Make sure that you are talking to your customers. This can be as simple as offering your long-term customers exclusive deals or early access. Another quick win would be installing instant chat on your website to allow customers to easily get hold of you while on the website.

Smarten up your social media strategy

Don’t just use social media to build your brand. Use it to promote your sales in advance. By sharing previews of exclusive deals, countdown timers, and other engaging content, you can build anticipation and drive traffic to your site.

Sell directly via social media platforms with Instagram. You can put your product right in front of your target audience.

If you want to talk about improving your website for Black Friday 2023, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

Each year for the last 8 years Account Manager Kris has hosted a quiz on the day of our Christmas party.

Part myth, part legend, they are discussed in dark corners in hushed tones. Tones such as “that was far too hard”, “we should have got a half-point for Lithuania”, and “where on earth did he get a gold sequin jacket from?” (answer: China, and it’s too small for him so it can’t be buttoned.)

As it is the season of giving we’re sharing this year’s quiz for you all to enjoy:

Quiz Questions 2022

Quiz Questions & Answers 2022


The teams discuss a particularly difficult question
Serious quizzing
Gingerbread house quiz
The teams also had to assemble and decorate gingerbread houses during the quiz
Gingerbread Houses
And here are the results… How would you rate them?

Allied Health Professionals Suffolk CIC (AHPS), a social enterprise, provide high-quality, accessible NHS healthcare at the point of need to patients in and around Suffolk. The wealth of information on their website allows patients to help themselves using the self-help guides or alternatively, visit AHPS’ self-referral platform should they need face-to-face expert care.

When AHPS approached us to redesign their website, they were looking for not only a new design but a much improved user experience to enable patients to quickly find the information they need, all whilst navigating the complexity of healthcare terminology!

As well as being a point of reference for patients, the website also provides clinician’s and health care workers with valuable resources, so it was important that the site continued to be an asset for them without impacting the experience for patients.

The new website launched in November 2022 and the much improved self-help section has a comprehensive library of tools; including exercises, videos and downloadable factsheets to allow patients to support their own journey back to optimal health.

This has been an exciting project to undertake and we are pleased to say our priority of enabling patient self-care has been further advanced. We know our website will continue to be a valued resource for our whole healthcare system with the ongoing support of Infotex.
Jo Vertigan, AHPS

We continue to work closely with AHPS, supporting them in the ongoing maintenance of their website and self referral platform and we’re looking forward to working with them on some new ideas in 2023 and beyond.

Visit the website to take a look for yourself.

 

For the majority of the time, the Infotex team are working from home. We asked some of our team what their setup looks like, and what tools they have at their desks to help them get on with work more productively. 

Cameron

When I started working from home, working at the kitchen table did not work for me at all. Working at a single screen in a non-professional space was unlikely to be productive so now I have a small home office set up in the box room. I have a shelf above my desk for my laptop and screen. It is also the dressing room, so the views are limited… but I make sure to take good breaks at lunch and walk the dog.

Cam's Desk
Cam’s desk

 

Debbie

I am fortunate that my children have grown up and flown the nest so I have set up my office in one of our spare rooms. I have a stand for my laptop, a special chair for my back, and a homemade footstool because being short I can’t touch the floor! I do not have any particular gadgets for my desk but I do take an extra-strength vitamin D tablet every morning. From my office window, I am able to see the blackwater estuary in the distance.


 

John

I work in my home office which also doubles as a bedroom. I started out with a portable table and never really liked it so over Christmas 2020 I spent a day making a custom desk – it’s one of the best things I’ve done. Being custom the height is just right and it is relatively sturdy with no wasted space. Best of all the monitors are raised giving additional space and the right height. When I was in the office I had persistent neck pain but since the change I haven’t noticed it. Next step is to varnish the desk top, which should be over the Christmas break this year. 

Desk
John’s custom desk

 

Katie

After 3 months of working at my kitchen table, I needed more space and longed to not have to pack everything away each evening. I am now in what used to be my children’s playroom, it is quite small but works perfectly.

My monitors are on adjustable arms to give me as much desk space as possible. As well as a lamp directly above my desk I have a light therapy lamp for the winter time which does help with the lack of daylight.

Katie's Desk
Katie’s tidy setup

 

Michael

I have been working from home since before it was cool, so I have spent a lot of time and effort getting my setup just right. My main hobby at the moment is video game development, so I spend a lot more time behind my desk than the average person.

Here is a breakdown of what I use:


 

Richard H

From my home office window I can see the tops of some bushes and trees with a rambling rose growing over it which looks lovely when it is in bloom. For a change of scenery, I’ll occasionally work in the living room or conservatory. 

Lighting is important to me – I don’t use anything special, just a 100W equivalent LED bulb so that there are no shadows in the room.

I’ve built a monitor stand out of some old kitchen units to support my two monitors to get them to the correct height. I’ve raised my desk to a suitable height using bricks as an adjustable desk is excessively expensive! I have a decent adjustable chair (but I do partially regret not getting a proper osteopath approved one) and a foot-stool built from more old kitchen unit pieces! Why didn’t you buy one: They are expensive and I like upcycling spare items.

Richard’s led keyboard

 

Chloe

Being a one-screen worker, and not nearly precious enough about my back, I like moving around and working from my laptop with cable headphones in whichever library, café, or kitchen will have me! Because of my work I have few meetings and so can afford to be in more bustling, noisy places, or in silent zones of a library, and find I really thrive off the changes in scenery.

On days when I work from home I have a desk that belongs more to the house plants that live there than it does to me, but they make space for me when they have to…

 

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