Monthly Archives: February 2016

The A, F, U(x) Of Office Design

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” ~Steve Jobs

What Are The Three Pillars Of Office Design?

Design is never static but in a constant state of motion and transition. What was “hot” in office design ten years ago now looks staid and jaded. We’re seeing a shift towards more co-working spaces, a downsizing of floor space leading to a more creative use of existing areas. The cubicles have given way to the playgrounds, the grey concrete is being replaced by branded designs. The office is in a state of flux.

Whatever the latest design trends are there remain three core elements that need to be addressed before we decide on the best office furniture, the colour scheme or where the printers will sit.

Not A, B, C But A, F, U(x)

There are three core elements in any design process: Aesthetics, Functionality and User Experience. Whatever the current whims or fads are, all office design needs to have these three pillars at its base.

Aesthetics: How pleasing is the environment to the eye? Aesthetics here refers to the initial WOW factor, how the office looks to you both on initial impressions, and on a day to day basis. This isn’t just playing to the ego though; studies have proved time and again that if you are happy in the work space you will be more productive. Beautiful boardrooms make for brilliant business.

Functionality: Pretty much as it says on the tin, the functional aspect of the design process is to make sure that the work space is useful and is fulfilling the function for which it was intended. There has been a tendency in the past to place functionality above aesthetics, or even to the exclusion of aesthetics. Of course it plays a major role in the sense that you are likely to be restricted by the physical space and location of the building but it cannot be seen in isolation.

User Experience (UX): If you’ve ever come across a website that has left you practically in tears of frustration because you cannot find out the simple peace of information that you went there for you will understand how important it is to get UX right. User Experience is the process of converting the need to use a product or service into a pleasure. This is the third dimension to the design process - it goes beyond the design working properly, being aesthetically pleasing and being fit for purpose.

Successful office design will incorporate all three of these processes and you, as the end user, will have a work space where you, your colleagues and your employees are productive, proud and professional.

Treadmill Meetings?

The negative effects of sitting down all day on our health have been well documented and publicised. There is a growing market for desks that are multi-purpose and multi-functional. Here at 20six HQ we all have desks that we can alter with a simple touch from sitting to standing, helping us get a bit more...

What Your Office Colours Say About Your Business

As we are frog-marched ever closer to another marketing phenomenon, sorry, we mean the most romantic day of the year, it begins to feel as if we are drowning in a sea of red - yes, Valentine's Day has invaded the shops, the restaurants, the mass media. Whether you are a cynic or a...

The ‘Workplace of the Future’

The Future For Office Design?

Who would have thought that an Accountancy firm would be leading the way in the future of office design?

And yet the accountancy giant, Ernst & Young, have introduced us to the concept of the 'Workplace of the Future' and are gradually rolling this out across all of the group’s offices.

So what does the 'Workplace of the Future' look like in the eyes of EY?

The 'Workplace of the Future'

The two key words here are fluidity and collaboration.

"You will not be assigned your own desk, but will typically use five or six different work settings throughout your day. This set up is designed to reflect your working journey through the day which might include the school run, visiting a client, and working on a new project."

Along with no permanent desk, laptops and smart phones are the norm rather than static desktops, so connectivity and mobility of all forms of tech are a prerequisite.

"Flexible working is part of the culture, with the concept of people working in ‘neighbourhoods within the office’, moving around the office according to the client or project that they are working on at any given time."

Most of Ernst & Young's London offices have embraced the 'Workplace of the Future'; The Birmingham office was converted last year and the Manchester offices are next on the list. All in all, 60,000 of the 220,000 people EY employs in 150 countries operate under the new style of office.

Will the 'Workplace of the Future' be successful? Is this a model of office design that will work for all market sectors? Only time will tell. And would you be happy to work in an office environment where you had no permanent work station? Does this fluid style of working suit the job that you do?