Tag Archives: Office Fit Out

Office Floor Options

Which type of flooring is most suitable for an office space?

We are pleased to introduce you to Luxury Flooring & Furnishings who have been kind enough to submit a guest blog - this article explores the various types of flooring available and their suitability for use in an office space.

"When furnishing an office space, it is not uncommon for businesses to neglect the floor, or more specifically, the type of floor, with greater emphasis often placed on staff amenities, office furniture, office technology etc.

A common mistake is of installing a relatively cheap, dark carpet based on budget constraints. However, this can soon turn out to be costlier than first anticipated since carpet has to be frequently replaced; spillages and stains quickly render it the “shabby” look, and carpet can retain unpleasant odours and bacteria. Investing in a more robust, long term solution such as an engineered wooden floor or a laminate flooring solution could end up saving you money in the long run.

There are several advantages to installing an engineered or laminate floor in an office space, with one of the main benefits being how easy they are to clean and maintain. Regular cleaning will help restore the desired finish, removing any soft marks from the surface.

If you’re considering laying an engineered floor in your office space you will also have to consider the type of finish, for example an oil or a lacquer, to apply to the raw material. In the interest of practically, a matt oiled finish tends to work better in heavily trafficked office spaces as opposed to a shiny, lacquered finish. This is because any small marks or scratches are less apparent on matt, oiled surfaces whereas natural light reflects off a lacquered surface drawing your attention directly towards the scratch or mark.

Both lacquered and oiled products offer an extra shielding coat that makes the timber more resistant to scratches and marks which are bound to occur over time in a commercial setting. With an average lifespan in excess of 50 years, engineered wood flooring is a great solution for a busy office space.

Laminate flooring is another option you may wish to consider, being particularly suitable for areas such as kitchens, restrooms or utility rooms within the office building as it is more resistant to water spillages when compared to real wood. Depending on your choice of style, laminate flooring can look very similar to a real wood floor and even share a comparable surface texture. Laminate flooring is typically cheaper than real/engineered timber.

There are many different flooring options to choose from, but we personally recommend both engineered and laminate for office spaces due to their durability, and their ease of installation and upkeep."

If you would like to learn more about Luxury Flooring & Furnishings their products and services you can visit their website, follow them on Twitter or check them out over on Facebook.

Creating a Healthy Workplace

"To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear" ~Buddha

Statistics on working days lost due to sickness made for sobering reading, but when you hone those stats down to working days lost due to work-related incidents, be that work-related illness or workplace injuries, you begin to see that your office design, fit out and furniture are not all about design.

UK workers take an average of nine days' sick leave each year, more than four times as many as other Western European countries and this costs UK employers about £29 billion a year in lost productivity. Making the workplace a safe, secure and healthy environment could save you a great deal of lost working time and of money.

3 Healthy Workplace Ideas:

Office Furniture: Musculoskeletal problems, including upper and lower limb disorders, repetitive strain injuries, osteoarthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, can be alleviated and/or prevented by ensuring that you have suitable workstations for each employee. There's been a lot of debate about standing desks, the latest 'hot' new office chair has been created by Box Clever that aims to get you standing and moving, and there are some firms who have introduced treadmill meetings. Get the basics right and you will help keep your staff healthy.

Office Fit Out: The need for an office fit out can be the catalyst for considering workplace optimisation. The design and layout of your offices have to take into consideration functionality, fluidity and form - and they also have to be safe working places. Everyday equipment needs to be safe, cables need to be stored, furniture has to be functional. Recent research conducted by the British Council for Offices (BCO) found that the most important factors perceived to be driving employees’ sense of satisfaction with their workplace can be bracketed under ‘getting the basics right' - and you can go a long way to achieving this if you get your fit out spot on.

Office Design: There has been a 20% increase in office workers saying that they would prefer their own dedicated desk space since 2013 - now up to 60%. Does this signal a move away from the open plan office design? It remains important to incorporate open spaces, work places where employees can come together, but there is a trend for needing "my space". Office design has to reflect and reinforce the functionality required by your workforce, and designing with your staff's needs at the forefront will help to create a happy, and healthier, company environment.

Creating a reassuring, communicative, healthy workplace where employees are happy and confident in their employer’s support can have a positive effect on absenteeism.



Office Design: Five Frequent Faux Pas

"A...faux pas is what happens when you're not confident with yourself."

~Loulou de la Falaise

Whether upgrading your office, refurbishing or going for a full fit out change, you need to get things right from the onset. Lets face it, whilst it's great to get the finished product there is a huge upheaval in changing your office - not something you want to be doing too often.

In an attempt to help you get it right first time, here are 20sixltd's five most frequent office design faux pas.

Office Design | Five Frequent Faux Pas

No Meeting Space: There is a quiet (no pun intended...) backlash in some quarters against the big, gregarious, open plan office space due in part to the need for areas to work quietly in (see below). That being said, you don't want to end up in a situation where everybody has to try and crowd around a single desk in a tiny office cubicle if you need to have a group meeting. If open plan isn't for you don't forget that you will still need a working area for meetings with both staff and clients.

No Realism: You may fancy a roaring Harley-Davidson but you need to see if that's what your finances can stretch too. You can expect a lot from a great office design firm but you cannot expect miracles. If your budget is going to limit you to a 50cc two stroke scooter then you need to be honest with yourself about what you can expect from the design, the fit out and the furniture.

No Quiet Space: Offices can be noisy environments, but some of us need a quiet space to work in (see more in our Office Noise Solutions post). Collaboration and group meetings can bring out the best in productivity, but not for everyone. There are times when we get out best ideas when we are alone and in a peaceful place. If you only have a huge boardroom unoccupied for that quiet space it becomes a wasted space. And a little cupboard off the beaten track with a flickering light and camping table doesn't count as a decent quiet working space....

No Function: Have you seen Google's office slides? Or LinkedIn's lovely long inter-office desk in Sydney? How about including a cycle track? Or an office chair made from a Vintage Vespa Scooter? As great as all of the above would be, we still to create a space in which people can carry out their work obligations. Knowing what you need your office space to be goes a long way to making your office space do.

No Collaboration: Who is going to be using your office? Will it be the design company? Is it just for yourself? Will you have both regular staff and those who will be on the road a lot or working from home? Will you be entertaining clients? Meeting potential partners? Your office revamp has to take into account the needs of those who will be using it most and/or those who will be bringing in the most revenue. By asking everybody involved what they need from their working environment you are more likely to achieve a happy, and productive, workforce.

Of course this does not cover all of the elements that you need to take into consideration when looking at a new office design, a refresh fit out or just updating your office furniture - but it's a good starting platform to get things right from the onset.

If you would like help with your office fit out, furniture or design please get in touch with us here at 20six


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.