Monthly Archives: April 2018

Five Ways To Create A Greener Office

The majority of businesses understand the necessity for a greener approach, and here at 20six we have been actively encouraging and promoting sustainable solutions for all forms of commercial property refurbishment and maintenance. It doesn’t need to be a huge financial undertaking on your part to make your current office environment more sustainable but there are areas that you can look into to help make your work place greener.

Of course, if you are planning on a major refurbishment of your commercial interiors then getting the greener approach in at the beginning will make life a lot easier, but if you just want to make a few changes we hope that you’ll find at least some aspects of the list we have compiled helpful.

5 Ways To Achieve a Greener Office:

Let There Be Light: Studies have demonstrated that workers who are able to have natural day light in their offices are happier and less susceptible to fatigue. Having natural light will help shave costs of your energy bills and create a more productive work force. When daylight isn’t an option there are energy saving LEDs and you can install automated switch offs to lights when a room is vacant, or you can encourage “best practice” among your workers by getting everybody to turn off lights when they are not required.

A Splash Of Colour: A quick way of sprucing up your work space is to give it a new lick of paint. This can help brighten the space, make it look less shabby, more loved, and can give your environment a new lease of life. There are eco-friendly paints that you can use for this, the best of which are plant-based, water-borne paints, followed by plant-based, solvent-borne ones with natural solvents. Not only will they be better for the environment, but they won’t give off any unpleasant smells or cause any breathing issues among staff.

If Walls Could Breathe: Modern houses have to meet strict guidelines for insulation, but some of us are less lucky in our older offices. If an office fit out is on the horizon, make sure you think about insulation – both for temperature control and for noise. Ensuring that your offices are at an ambient temperature by properly insulating them will save you a load off your energy bills. If this is not an option for you there are still ways in which you can tackle temperature issues and address noise problems at the same time, such as eco-friendly panels, partitions and cladding.

Put Down Roots: Adding plants to commercial buildings has become really popular of late – and with good reason. In an ideal world you’d have the budget to add a living roof or wall (both of which can provide the insulation we mentioned above), or convert and outside space to create a garden, but this isn’t suitable for all companies. What pretty much most of can do though is to add more plants within the office. The addition of plants to a work space has been shown to boost productivity as well as to help purify the air.

Teach and Learn: Having everybody singing from the same song sheet will help your overall strategy for creating a more sustainable office, so ensure that all your staff are aware of the company policy towards the environment. What are you throwing away, what more can you recycle? Are we all turning lights, taps and unused equipment off? Where are we buying our products, our office furniture, our stationary from and can those who supply us provide greener alternatives? If you can get the entire company on board even the little changes will go a long way to achieving a greener office.

Five Simple Ways To Create A Greener Office:

1: Use natural light where possible

2: Utilise eco-friendly paint and other environmentally friendly office materials.

3: Ensure your offices are well insulated.

4: Add living plants where ever possible

5: Educate all staff and adopt a company-wide sustainable culture.


Types Of Office Doors

The recent heatwave experienced in the UK left many workers rather uncomfortable in their stuffy offices. Whilst bi and tri fold doors have become quite common in residential properties, office doors are on the whole less adaptable. With office design embracing biophilic aspects, how wonderful would it be if we did have office doors that opened up the entire space thereby merging inside and out?

Whilst this may not be practical for most commercial properties, we can offer some different types of office doors. There is of course a difference between the external “front” door, or main entrance, and the interior doors, and we are talking actual doors here rather than office partitions. As not everybody will have the option to change the main entrance to a building, we’re going to concentrate on the different types of internal office doors.

Three different door types for offices and commercial buildings

Wood: By far the most common form of interior door, wooden doors provide a sense of warmth and have the advantage of coming in a variety of types of wood, different colours, and variable budgets. More commonly found in older commercial properties or offices in converted residential properties, wooden doors can be a good economic choice whilst still looking stylish.

Metal: For a more industrial look, or for practical purposes, metal office doors are usually used for security or safety reasons. Providing a high-level fire rating, they are also one of the most difficult to penetrate and have been used as the door of choice for storage of sensitive data, and other products that need to remain as secure access only.

Glass: If you’re one of our regular readers you’ll know we are rather fond of extolling glass in commercial interior design, so no surprises that we love a glass door. These doors will allow light to penetrate, give you visuals across an office space, and they have a timeless classical look. Glass can be thickened for noise reduction and coloured to match branding.

In addition to materials used, there are options of solid, swing, and sliding doors. And combining glass, wood and motion, there’s the Uniform Wares door in their London work space that has a dark timber partition which pivots open to allow access to the design studio behind with a smaller door set within the wooden wall hinges that opens independently.

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5 Types of Office Partition

The big, open plan office space has had a lot of bad press of late. Offices designed in this way have been accused of causing unhappy, unproductive and unwell workers with everything from noise levels to lack of privacy being named as chief culprits.

That being said, not everyone has the means to move into a more suitable work space – and if this is the case, what can you do to break up your wide, open and noisy spaces?

Using Office Partitions:

Utilising office partitions enables you to implement temporary walls that can be mobilised around the work space. They are the quickest, simplest and most cost effective way of enabling a more productive work space. Being either temporary or permanent, these partitions can fit into just about any size room required.

5 Types of Office Partition:

Glass Partitions: Here at 20six we’re big fans of using glass walls, so much so that we have installed them in our own offices to separate our boardroom from the rest of the office. We have even dedicated an entire blog post on the reasons to use glass walls in commercial design. Find out more... 

Wooden Partitions: If you are looking to recreate a traditional, elegant look that enhances the warmth of the interior, wooden dividers may be right for you. There are a variety of timber partitioning systems available in different finishes such as solid wood or veneer finished MDF. They can come with timber faced trims, glazing sections, integrated door frames and skirting, enabling ease of relocation to another position within the office should this be required.

Aluminium Partitions: Coming in as the most cost-effective solution, aluminium partitions are very durable, quick and easy to install, demount and relocate. Available in solid units, with part or full glazing, installation will create minimal disruption. They may not have the classy look of pure glass, or the natural feel of wood, but they gain bonus points from the fire department.

Office Screens: Whilst not necessarily creating the same effect as the options above, office partition screens give you a cut-down version on a smaller scale. Screens provide you with acoustic benefits, writeable surfaces, pinnable or magnetic surfaces, and attachable accessories. They can come in a variety of coverings, including fully customisable options to fit into your overall company branding.

Office Pods: To circumvent building restrictions and to negate the need for any fixings, office pods offer a freestanding room solution.  This form of office divider also means that there is negligible dilapidation costs that are associated with fixed office partitions. Due to the modular construction of the pods, there is the choice to extend and create larger pods such as meeting room pods. The pod construction also allows for integral writable whiteboards, glass surfaces, pin boards & TV / monitor support for training or conferencing purposes.

These are the five most common options for dividing up your commercial interior work space. Whether you are unrestrained in how you can fit out your offices, or whether you are restricted by building or landlord regulations, there will always be a solution for you to reduce noise levels and increase productivity among your employees.

How To Reduce Office Noise

Workplace noise can be an issue for some offices and commercial interiors, particularly for the open plan office. If you need to reduce the noise in your work place there are a variety of things that you can do working within the constraints of your current setup.

5 Ways To Reduce Office Noise

Slippers V Clogs: Lets start by looking down – we all know that if we’re wearing slippers the sound of our footsteps are muffled. Pop on some traditional clogs and it’ll sound as if a horse has trotted in. Work space flooring has several roles to meet; it needs to be easily cleaned, it needs to allow for office chairs on wheels to move, it needs to embellish the overall colour scheme and office design. But it can also be a big contributory factor to unwanted noise. Carpet and vinyl flooring will help to muffle noise whereas hard flooring options such as tiles, bare concrete and some wooden floors can exacerbate the acoustic problems.

Behind Closed Doors: Whilst there may be rooms within your workplace that are not always used so can therefore sometimes be quiet sanctuaries, if you have the facilities its worth investing in dedicated quiet rooms. Think library here, a space where everybody knows that if you enter its to find some quiet time. Some people need quiet areas to be truly productive, and designers are catching onto this need. US-based office furniture makers, Grand Rapids, have designed an office cube especially for peace-and-quiet loving workers.

King of Thrones: You may not feel that your employees warrant a throne, but high-backed office furniture serves to dampen office noise. As with our examples of office flooring, the harder the furnishings, the higher the noise levels. Of course, we can’t work on a soft office desk, but adding in settees, enclosed booths, fabric covered partitions and panels can all help to dampen the sounds in the office.

Green Fingers: The rise of biophilic office design has seen an increase in the amount of plants seen within commercial interiors. Correctly positioned plants are effective in reducing noise levels in an open office setting. The larger the plant the bigger the impact, and there is the added benefits of an improvement in air quality and the obvious aesthetic benefits.

Get Jiggy With It: Rethinking the layout of your office may seem a daunting prospect, but by looking at the bigger picture you may find that by re-jigging your office design you not only see the benefits of noise reduction, but you may reap the rewards of a more streamlined office that will improve overall productivity among all who work there.

Here at 20sixltd we have experience of helping commercial establishments and offices of all shapes and sizes to improve their workplace acoustics as well as being able to help streamline work spaces to enhance productivity. Please get in touch with us if you would like any further help or advice: