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Workplace Productivity

The Biggest Distraction?

We all have different levels of tolerance and needs – any professional footballer will tell you that the louder their fans are, the more likely they will be to win a match. On the other hand, an author will probably say the opposite – that to write they need total peace and quiet.

Work space acoustics are often either overlooked or not deemed as important as other aspects of design when a fit out is required for a commercial interior – and yet science has proved that the biggest stumbling block to productivity within a working environment is noise.

A recent study on how sound influences creativity revealed just how important workplace acoustics are to performance and satisfaction of employees, and that good acoustic design equals good business.

With the exception of footballers, 99% of employees cited excessive noise levels as adversely affecting their concentration levels, with another study reporting that 68% of employees become frustrated when sound levels creep just above normal conversation, along with feelings of increased fatigue and difficulty in concentrating.

The Solution?

As there is not a ‘one-sound-fits-all’ quick-fix we need to consider more advanced acoustic solutions that meet the requirements of any given workforce. As each business will have its own unique acoustic problems, to resolve your sound issues you should consult a commercial interior design company who can advise on your exact needs. Sound levels don’t have to be a hindrance to your staff’s productivity.

 

The Best Office Chair?

How To Choose The Best Office Chair

Business budgets are tight for most companies, and allocating funds to yield the maximum return is a priority for any successful enterprise. If your priority as a business is to bring in more sales, perhaps you’re not looking at splurging on office chairs – but then again, perhaps you should.

Given that the average office worker will spend as much, if not more, time sat on their office chair as they will in their bed, you owe it to your staff to provide them with a piece of office furniture that will have the least adverse effect on their health.

What, then, should you be taking into consideration when choosing the right office chairs for your employees?

Top 3 Tips For Choosing The Best Office Chair

Adjustable: The best chairs have the option to adapt to your personal shape. Just take a look around your office, we’re all different. Different heights, weights, shapes and sizes, so trying to buy a one-chair-fits-all is unlikely to suit the majority of your work force. The most comfortable chairs have adjustable arm rests, seat height, backrests and upright/reclining positions.

Movable: If you’ve ever sat in a chair that seems to stick to the carpet, you’ll know how difficult it can be to move once you are seated. This doesn’t have to be the case, there are chairs on the market that glide effortlessly across hard floors or carpeted flooring, and chairs that offer enough rotation to allow you to twist almost all of the way round and still have great back support.

Temperature: As we move away from summer, heat may not be your first consideration – but if you’ve ever got stuck to a covered chair you’ll know how uncomfortable it can be. We have to make reference to perhaps one of the most iconic desk chairs, the Herman Miller Aeron here, that has done away with foam, padding and leather. Instead it is made predominantly from woven mesh that allows air to circulate and provides initiative support. Look for chairs that won't "glue" your staff to their seats.

Referencing back to the start of this article, of course budget is going to be a big factor in choosing the right chairs for your office – but investing in your staff will help your business move forward, and with so many health implications associated with our now sedentary working life, it’s worth choosing the best office furniture that your budget will stretch to.

Branded Office Design

Companies can spend huge amounts on getting their logo design spot on – and so they should, as logos are the easiest way of recognising what the brand is. Along with the colour and design of your logo, you’ll also get your business cards to match, your website and your social media. If you’re in a physical business, you’ll probably have branded workwear, liveried, sign written vehicles – anything that potential and current clients can see, you’ll be sure they know it’s your company.

All well and good, all well known, all well done.

Now sit back and take a look at your workspace, your offices, the environment where your business operates from. Does it too match your branding, your business culture? Does it give off the same messages that you have invested so heavily in for all other aspects of your company profile?

You could argue that this is only relevant to the “big boys” – of course Google has offices that match their brand, they’ve got the money to invest. But there are ways that every business can incorporate their company branding, and colours, into their office design.

At the most basic level get at least some of your walls the same colour as your logo. If you’re not in a position to redecorate, then have a look at your furniture and fittings. Can you change your office chairs to a branded colour? How about office partitions? These can come in a huge variety of colours including partitions that can have customised images printed on them.

Designing your offices to match your branding should be as important to you as getting your logo right – having a consistent message across the board makes your message clearer to both customers and to staff.

If you would like any help in ensuring that you get this message right, please get in touch with here at 20six.

The ABC of Design | Pt 4

As August draws to a close so we visit our final section of the ABC of commercial interiors. Needless to say, we were a little worried about addressing the X, Y and Z but we've managed it! Yes, 20six different aspects of commercial interior design all the way from A through to Z.

Week Four - S to Z

S: S is for Sustainability: We've mentioned how important green office design is, and there are more companies taking sustainability into account either with new planning and design or with revamping current office set-ups. It makes sense for environmental reasons, for employee's health and wellbeing, and for long-term financial benefits. (Find out more about making your work space more sustainable )

T: T is for Trends: From treadmill desks to standing desks, from open plan offices to contemplative pods, from slides, running tracks, Yoga rooms and more, there is always something claiming to be the latest trend in office design. Quiet apart from the physical trends, we are pleased to see that more employers are recognising the need to base their commercial interiors around the needs of their staff.

U: U is for Unique: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to commercial interiors. Your business is unique, your branding, your corporate colours, your culture, and therefore all of your work place designs need to be as unique as you. Having your office fit-out match your company branding gives clients a coherent, understandable message about who you are and what you do.

V: V is for Vision: It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your office interiors – same old desks, same old chairs, same old people. Sometimes you need someone who can step outside of your world and provide you with the necessary vision to create a truly inspirational working space.

W: W is for Windows: Being diurnal creatures, we all need daylight. Several studies have concluded that especially in northern countries in winter, a lot of people don’t get enough Vitamin D, the best source of which comes from sunlight. Natural light is also linked to enhanced productivity for your staff. Whilst natural light is beneficial, windows can have the downside of allowing too much sunlight into an office so design needs to include the option of screening bright lights.

X: X is for Xerox, and Xero: Tentative links we hear you cry! Believe us, we struggled with linking X to the office. Both our chosen X's symbolise everything else that needs to be taken into account when you are designing, furnishing, and fitting out your offices. The need to incorporate the technology and the everyday essential pieces of office equipment that will enable you to do your job.

Y: Y is for Yale (other security systems are also available): Security has to be included in any commercial interior plans, as your offices need to be secure. The rise in smart security options gives you the ability to have door entry systems, alarms, cameras, and more all managed by your smart phone enabling you to have piece of mind even when you're not physically in the office.

Z: Z is for Zenith! The zenith of office design is the time when your design is most successful for you, your staff, your company as a whole and your customers; and if you’ve followed our blogs and implemented all of our advice then your office Zenith hath occurred.