Tag Archives: Brighton Fit Out

Optimising Your Office Space

Unless you have access to some serious cash, you are probably constrained by physical barriers and existing building specs when designing your office layout. It is unlikely that you will have control over the exterior of the office building and probable that you have restrictions internally.

Nonetheless, there are ways in which you can optimise the space that you do have to gain maximum productivity from your employees.

Optimising Your Office Space

Ask not what your staff can do for you, ask what you can do for your staff:

Before you move in or begin to make any existing alterations it's a wise boss who sits down and speaks to those using the office on a regular basis. What works for them and what doesn't? Are there any obvious improvements to the layout of the office that would suit their requirements better? This is not an exercise in "who gets the best office" but a way to understand what your employees need to get the job done in the most efficient way.

Planning for success will make you even more creative:

Tempting as it is to set your office up in a hierarchical order working from top manager in top office down you need to plan the layout of office and department locations with productivity in mind. Having listened to what all of your staff need you will be in a position to draw up your plans. Ensure that you place individuals and teams that need to frequently communicate with one another close together thereby assisting your employees more easily to get their work done.

Alone we are smart; together we are brilliant:

The wealth of experience and knowledge amongst your employees should not be underestimated, and bringing people together will enable you to harvest this talent. But we're not just talking about the odd conference or boardroom here. To encourage your work force to collaborate and communicate in the office,  set aside areas where employees can meet comfortably with desks, power outlets and anything else they may have mentioned (see point 1) to complete tasks as a team.

Education is the movement from darkness to light:

In last week's blog we touched on how important it is to get the lighting right in your reception area. This carries through to the rest of the office space. Spaces with brighter and where possible natural light have been shown to improve morale and overall employee satisfaction. Use any windows to the fullest by positioning furnishings away from them to let in the most amount of light possible, but if natural light is not a possibility use lighting that will emulate natural light.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but foresight is better.

You cannot neglect Health & Safety regulations. Consultation with your H&S staff member and double checking online will enable you to comply with UK laws. Are all your cables stored safely, even under desks? Is all of your electrical equipment PAT tested? Who is responsible for the over flowing bins? The least inspiring aspect of office design is no less important and has to be covered off.

Optimisation of the space that you have will help you achieve the maximum from your work force. If you would like help in planning your perfect office space then please do get in touch with us as it's something we know a lot about.

 

 

 

Happy Staff Mean Happy Customers

If you're in business you're after sales. When you consider that it costs about 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to generate new business from an existing customer, you begin to see the value of keeping your clients happy. Not only that, but happy customers are the ones who will refer you new business, and word of mouth is the most cost effective method of marketing.

Couple this with saving money by retaining staff rather than by hiring new employees - recruiting and training a new employee requires staff time and money. Frequent staff turnover has a negative impact on employee morale, productivity, and company revenue. It also detracts from being able to build strong relationships with your client base if customers are forever speaking to someone new.

To acquire loyal customers and to provide a customer experience so good that they keep coming back for more can only be achieved if your employees feel happy and engaged at work. When your employees are happier, so are your customers. And when your customers are happy, they become more loyal to your brand, spend more money with you, become brand ambassadors and help your business to make more profits.

Happy staff mean happy customers.

What has this to do with office design?

If, on average, we spend nearly 9 hours a day at work and over 7 hours asleep, then the majority of our waking hours are spend not in our homes but in our place of work.

Happy workplace, happy staff.

The working environment has a direct impact on employee productivity and morale, so it makes perfect sense to provide a workspace that is conducive to the happiness and wellbeing of your staff. The way an office is set up, along with the office furniture and accessories used, can dictate the productivity of your entire team.  It has been conclusively shown that comfortable, well-ventilated and well-lit, safe workplaces increase productivity by as much as 16 percent and job satisfaction as much as 24 percent, whilst also reducing absenteeism.

Happy workplace, happy staff, happy customers.

Your office design, fit out and furniture has a direct correlation to your workers happiness. Your workers happiness has a direct correlation to your customers' happiness. Get the working environment right and your company will prosper.

 

The 10 Biggest Office Furniture Blunders

The 10 Biggest Office Furniture Blunders:

Office furniture is an integral and essential element of your work space. You cannot function without somewhere to sit, a desk to place your computer, an area to welcome visitors and clients.

Furnishing your office is never going to be cheap so it pays to get it right from the outset.

The 10 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Office Furniture

1 – Planning: "We need new office furniture!" Great, but you also need to draw up a good plan to ensure that you buy the right furniture for the space that you inhabit.

By drawing up a comprehensive plan you can more accurately assess the needs of your workers, analyse your existing furniture to see which pieces might work fine in your new plan, and to see exactly how your new space will look once fully furnished.

2 – Testing: If you work in an office you probably spend more time sat in your office chair than you do at the wheel of your car. Would you buy a brand new car without first taking it for a test drive? How do you know that you will feel comfortable in your new office chairs and that your desks fit well with your needs unless you have sat in/at them?

Look at a variety of desk designs, and try out the chairs. Check if the chairs that you like fit properly under the desks that you want. Testing doesn't take much time, especially in comparison to the money saved in buying the wrong items.

3 - Functionality: Looks great but a pain in the, er, proverbial? Can your office chairs be moved from one area to another easily? Can you adjust the height? Do they offer enough back support? Comfort and functionality is a must. Choosing "designer" brands for the sake of the name could backfire on you if the furniture isn't functional in your workspace.

And on the other end of the scale, you get what you pay for in life. If that bargain only lasts a few months it wasn't worth the time spent sourcing it, installing it, removing it and replacing it.

4 - Materials: How durable are the fabrics? Are they clean-able? If the furniture you are buying is going into high use areas like entrance halls, lobbies and break-out areas you need them to wear well rather than quickly becoming worn and tatty.

Buying the latest trends in materials may seem a sound investment - state of the art, modern office furniture. But if you have followed all of the other advice about buying quality products that will serve their purpose for a lengthy period, are those materials going to go out of fashion?

5 – Price: We've touched on this in functionality. Buy cheap, buy twice. If you are investing in new furniture for your office it is tempting to seek out the best bargain. We are not advocating that you should always pay full price, but it's worth trying to find out why it's such a bargain. Is there perhaps a design fault? Or is the product impossible to clean? Or does the design scream "that's so 2011 darling!"

Choosing price over quality may be appealing to your wallet, but quality matters. To avoid the need for repairs and replacements, it is worth investing in good quality furniture even if it costs a little more.

6 – Homogeny: Office furniture equipment makers must meet fundamental safety and quality standards – but they don’t have to (and in fact, deliberately choose not to) have similar manufacturing and design approaches. Long gone (thankfully) are the concrete cubicles of old; what works well in one office may not translate to another workspace.

If you are keen to attract the best new talent out there a well-designed, planned and furnished office will help set you apart from your competitors.

7 – Branding: If all of your company branding is in blue you wouldn't then go and furnish your office entirely in pink - but if your branding is pink then you may well go all out for a cerise theme.

It is essential that you are giving out a consistent branding message across everything that you say, you do and in all areas that you represent yourself both to the outside world and internally to staff.  Your office chairs, tables and cabinets should all compliment your style, design, and colour of your brand.

8 – Installation: If you've ever bought flat-packed furniture you'll know it is never, ever as simple as the instructions allure to. When sourcing new furniture you have to take into consideration the time and complexities of having it all installed. If you have ordered a lot of new equipment this could cause major disruption within the office and this has to be taken into consideration for both employees and clients. This aspect has to be part of your initial planning stages.

9 – Time: As above, the install is going to take time, but so is the initial planning, the testing, the sourcing, and the negotiating. The end result will be worth your time and effort, but you have to be realistic about the time it will take you overall before you get to sit at your perfect office desk.

10 – Memory: If you’re buying more than a few pieces of furniture, it’s always a good idea to keep an organized file of your plans, your standard pieces and preferred finishes and colours. This will enable you to reference back and be assured that every order you place matches your existing furniture.

Buying new office furniture can be challenging and time-consuming, but it should also ultimately be highly rewarding. You need to decide what pieces to buy, where to buy them from, and how much to budget. If you are thinking of buying office furniture for your new business or you want to carry out a complete make-over for your existing offices then please get in touch with us here at 20six: Brighton's leading office furniture specialists.

Create, Design and Define Your Office Space | Hive

You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time." ~ John Lydgate

The UK's cities are currently suffering from a lack of quality office space as demand is outstripping availability. UK wide job creation is driving the need for good quality space in amenity-rich and well-connected regional cities, leading to a squeeze on space and rent rises.

The pressure is now on to make our workspaces be all things for all people, to utilise the space that there is available, and the office furniture, to its fullest potential.

Today's office spaces need to be areas that enable employees to collaborate, concentrate, socialise and communicate, all within the same space and at the same time.

So how do you achieve this?

Introducing The Hive Seating System from Roger Webb Associates

To achieve a truly flexible office space you need office furniture that works with you. Hive is an innovative and award-winning modular system which answers that brief. Recognising the essential role that technology has within the work space, Hive has integrated technology, including power modules and WiFi, along with options for fixed or freestanding TVs and displays.

Available in multiple heights, different shapes and with a great selection of fabrics and finishes, Hive can reflect the brand and culture of any environment.

We love this innovative and award-winning modular system, but if you need further persuasion that this could be the solution to making your office space work as hard as possible, to be stylish as well as functional, check out Hive's own video.

If you would like further information about Hive or any other aspect of office fit

out, office furniture or office design, please get in touch with us at our Brighton offices.