Monthly Archives: November 2018

Smart Office Blinds

You may recall back in May of this year we wrote a blog post on Smart Office Walls - now it's the windows turn to get a smart dressing.

The recent survey of 1,000 GB-based office workers undertaken by YouGov found that 32% would like more access to natural light - indeed, light levels play an integral part in employees well-being, satisfaction with their work place and productivity levels. So it would seem a smart move to introduce smart blinds.

What Are Smart Blinds?

The most basic smart blinds can be motorised, enabling you to click a button for them to open or close. More advanced options will give you the option to set timers for the blinds. Connecting to your Virtual Assistants, such as Google Dot and Amazon's Alexa, we get the advancement of light sensitive activation, whereby your office blinds will sense the light levels and the weather outside and open and close automatically. If you also have smart lighting installed, the two can work alongside each other so that when the blinds open, the lights go off and vice versa.

There are, of course, a couple of downsides to these types of window coverings. Firstly they are beholden to a decent, continuous internet connection. And we could argue that by having the blinds automatically open and close you are missing the opportunity of getting up and walking away from your desk, albeit only briefly.

That being said, we are seeing smarter solutions coming in for commercial properties that will make for energy and financial savings for businesses in the long term, and are looking forward to seeing what new technological developments occur to make all of our working environments better places to be.

“Smart” Office Walls

Recruitment, Retention and Design

How Office Design Plays A Direct Impact Upon Recruitment And Retention

We’re pretty certain that Aristotle didn’t have office design in his thoughts when he coined the phrase "The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts", but after reading the results of a survey on recruitment, retention and office design, we can safely apply it now. Echoing the T.E.A.M. acronym—Together, Everyone Achieves More – for any business to be a success you need the people on board to make it happen.

With this in mind, lets sit back for a moment and have a look around our own office space – and in light of this survey’s findings, even more importantly have a fresh look at the room in which you conduct interviews.

“Can’t get the staff these days”

Of the of 1,000 UK office workers questioned, almost half (48 percent) cited that the room where they were interviewed for a job would influence their opinion of whether or not to work for an organisation.  A whopping 41% say a modern office is a key factor when deciding to accept or reject a job offer, and 43% admit that they’ve rejected job offers in the past due to uninspiring offices.

But it’s not just in recruitment that your office space plays a part – 39% blamed a dull office as being a key reason for leaving a previous position, and 22% said they would settle for a 10% reduction in salary to move to a modern office.

Office design plays a huge role in the well being of your employees, and how frustrating to lose great members of staff, and to not be able to replace them. just because your work space environment is not up to scratch?

Upping the budget on creating a commercial interior fit for the best employees may not be a priority in your overall business budgeting expenses, but the evidence suggests that if you want your company to be better than your competitors, to recruit the best staff and to retain exceptional employees, then office design should be right up there as a prerequisite.


Office Seating Trends 2019

There has been an increasing demand for flexible office space over the past few years, and that demand is predicted to grow by up to 30% annually for the next five years. This year alone, one 6th of all new commercial property in London has been taken up by flexible workspace operators, and the take up has tripled outside of the capitol, with Manchester and Birmingham recording the fastest growth.

Along with the change in how many people are working comes a change in design trends, and one trend we at 20six are seeing is in office seating, particularly in communal areas.

Office Seating Trends 2019: The Rise Of Stadium Seating

Amusingly also referred to as the stairways to nowhere, stadium seating, (or bleacher seating in the US) has made a big entrance into both co-working office spaces and more progressive businesses, making a bold statement in any shared meeting space.

Of course, this type of tiered seating is far from new - go visit any Roman amphitheater and you'll see ancient versions of stadium seating. More modern versions started appearing in commercial premises in the 1960s and 1970s in American schools. It was an immediate hit with the children, being inherently social and climbable, and with the tutors for being able to see and therefore communicate better with all their students. And this may be in part why stadium seating is becoming popular with modern office space designers. This set-up facilitates productivity, communication, and embraces an element of fun.

One of our favourite examples of stadium seating in the UK is in the London offices of Morgan Lovell who say that they have used an "anti-corporate approach" in their office design to create "anything but a normal office space". Utilising recycled timber for their stadium seating, the space is inviting to all who want or need to come together to collaborate.

We predict seeing a lot more examples of this type of commercial seating and are looking forward to seeing what else 2019 has in hold for office furniture and design.

What Every Office Needs?

As an established office fit out and office furniture supplier, we are acutely aware of how office design can play an important role on employee health and well being. We all know that the sedentary nature of today's office staff is having a detrimental impact upon workers and we are all being encouraged to move more.

The insurance company Vitality has recently announced it is going to reward its customers who do a certain amount of exercise, and these incentives can become more lucrative the more you do. The idea is that as people become more active they can lower their health risk, lower their risk of morbidity and mortality, and decrease their insurance "risk".

A major stumbling block for a lot of workers is the one thing every office needs, but most offices lack - showering facilities.

What Every Office Should Have

Here at 20six when we designed our own offices we made sure that we included an office shower - this gives all of our employees the option of cycling to work, or swapping a sarnie at their desk for "runch".

Brighton has been promoting sustainability for several years, with a huge push for more people to either use public transport of cycle/walk to and from work. But Brighton is also a city that is built upon small businesses - there are one or two large employers in the city but by and large Brighton is made up of smaller offices. You may well get your shower cubicles in the likes of Google and Reebok, but they are sadly lacking in the majority of offices.

A shower and changing facility doesn't take up an enormous amount of space, and so we feel this should be pushed to the forefront of any office planning and design - a small addition that benefits the health of your workforce and the environment at the same time.