Tag Archives: Commercial Interiors

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 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.

The A B C Of Design | Pt 1

There are multiple facets to office design and commercial interior fit outs – and with this in mind, for our summer blogs, we are going to challenge ourselves to cover 20six different aspects.

With 20six letters in the alphabet, we’re breaking down the office interior into the ABC of commercial design.

Week One – A to F

A: A is for Air Con. A necessity if the summer ever hits the UK but always controversial. The old adage that you can’t please all of the people all of the time is never more applicable than when it refers to office temperatures. That being said, productivity levels will decline as the temperature goes up so it is imperative that your workspace is at an ambient temperature.

B: B is for boardroom. Having a meeting space that is a pleasure to be in will encourage more collaboration between employees. It is well documented that the more your workforce engage with each other, the more productive they become, so if you can ensure the boardroom is a welcoming environment it will benefit your company as a whole.

C: C is for chair. Office based workers still spend the majority of their working days sat on their backsides. If you have a large office requiring a lot of office chairs it can be tempting to buy economy versions. But with 23 million working days lost due to office-related ill health in 2015, buying chairs that do not support your body will have a knock-on cost elsewhere within your business.

D: D is for desk; and a direct follow on from the office chair, it is as important that the desks that your staff are working on are the correct ones for both posture and for the work they are required to undertake. There are a range of different styles, surfaces and uses and it is imperative that you provide your employees with a desk that suits their needs.

E: E is for energy. If you are in serviced offices it can be a little more difficult to incorporate energy saving changes, but as a business it is worth considering ways in which you can save money on your energy costs. Access to natural light is a productivity booster as well as a money saver; insulation, water saving, temperature controls, all areas that can be looked at to see if energy savings can be made. And if you are in services offices, it makes sense for the managing agents to be more energy efficient as well.

F: F Is for fit-out. Whether you are moving into new premises or if you are refurbishing your existing workspace, a new office fit-out can be stressful, costly and time consuming for any business. It is essential that you get it right from the outset so ensure that you use the services of a highly experienced office fit-out firm who can walk you through the process from initial design ideas through to full project management and office furniture and accessory sourcing, provision and installation.

Coming next week: Office Design ideas from G to L…..

Meeting Room Design

Is It Time To Rethink The Meeting Room?

Advances in communication technology have enabled us to chat with others wherever we, or they, may be. There is no longer the need to meet up face-to-face as we can chat over Skype, or email, or groups in WhatsApp – who needs meeting rooms anymore?

Communication technology shouldn’t be used as a substitute for meeting face-to-face, but to compliment. US based studies on the behaviour of employees discovered that roughly 80 – 90% of emails between colleagues mirrored face-to-face contact. Put in simple terms, we email those people more frequently that we also frequently meet face-to-face.

In the same study, it was also discovered that meeting rooms were occupied at a rate of less than 40%.

Time To Revisit The Meeting Room?

We’ve spoken before about how you can utilise office design for more effective workplace communication, and of the benefits that this bestows upon a company’s overall productivity. Part of the issue has been that meeting rooms are synonymous with bland, stuffy, yawn-inducing spaces. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Even if you’re not looking at a total office redesign, it could be worth your while looking at how your meeting rooms are used, how often, and how anybody feels when they’re in them. A well designed communal room will help to bring your employees together – and as we’ve outlined above, the more they come together in person, the more they communicate electronically – and the more productive your employees become.

There are no one size fits all blue prints for the perfect boardroom, meeting room or communal spaces, your spaces need to blend seamlessly with the rest of your workspaces, your company brand, and your own unique business culture.

If you would like help in making your meetings rooms places where your employees actually want to go then please get in touch with here at 20sixltd.