Five Senses Of Office Design

Within our culture we have a tendency to prioritise sight over the other five senses - aesthetics is everything and we make an almost instantaneous judgement on people, and places, based upon looks. But to neglect the other four senses, those of hearing, taste, smell and touch, is to miss out on aspects of office design that could help your workers be more productive.

How do we include all of the senses, not only that of sight, when we are designing working environments?

Hearing: We have several dedicated blog posts discussing the affect that office noise can have upon your workforce, and it is a subject that needs addressing in any commercial environment. Too much noise can cause concentration to wane and stress levels to increase, so what and how much noise people hear at work has to be addressed as integral to a great office design.

Taste: Perhaps not immediately obvious as the sense that needs tackling within your commercial design, taste still has a role to play within the structure of your work place. Nutrition can play an integral role in achieving positive interactions between your employees. Having areas where your workforce can come together to eat and drink enables staff members who may not ordinarily mingle to mix and exchange ideas.

Smell: Implicitly linked with taste, smell also has a role to play. An office that smells of wonderful, home cooked food may get your workers coming together, but a work place that smells awful will put people off their work. Smells are subjective, what one person likes another will despise, so careful planning is required here. If your office is situated right next to a fast food chain or on a busy road you will need to think about ways of preventing the unwanted smells affecting your staff.

Touch: Getting your office furniture right involves the look, the function, and the feel. Have you ever come across a magnificent mahogany desk and just had to run your hand over the surface? Then there are those awful cheap office chairs that you either gut stuck to in hot weather or come away with bits of the seat attached to your clothing. Your workers may be sat down for the majority of their working day so make sure you give them chairs and desks that feel as good as they look.

Great design is never just about how something looks, and by thinking about the other four senses you will be well on your way to creating a commercial environment your employees will enjoy working in.

Anthropomorphising Furniture

Milano 2019: Milan Design week has come and gone, and as promised in our post last month, What’s New For Salone del Mobile 2019, we have taken what we believe to be the most likely big influence on office furniture coming to a commercial property near you anytime soon.

Everywhere you looked at Salone del Mobile there were flora and fauna. Gucci showcased deeply rich blue armchairs embroidered with butterflies, owls, and flowers, and every side table or stool was covered in floral decorations. Louis Vuitton displayed an anemone glass-topped table and a chair design inspired by tropical flowers.

Yes, it was verdure and beasties in all shapes, sizes, and colours. Furniture abounded that was either covered in flora and fauna or was inspired by it. And this makes complete sense to us – office design has been on the positive biophilc path for some time now, with the scientifically backed evidence that when people feel closer to nature they are happier and more productive. So why not add elements of the natural world into your office furniture?

From desktops to office chairs, combining function and form to bring as much outdoors into the working environment means we could be looking at some really “fun” office furniture rolling onto the work floor near you before the year is out.

A chameleon chair, capable of adapting to the user’s personal requirements? A dolphin desk perhaps, as intelligent and socially aware as it’s namesake? Butterfly blinds, able to open up to reveal a stunning display of colours, then neatly fold back into itself? Who knows – however, watch this space for as soon as we start to see furniture reflecting nature we’ll be reporting back to you.

What Is Hybrimercial Design?

In last week’s blog post we spoke about Resimercial Design, what it is and how it is having a positive affect on the working environment. The word itself sounds like it’s made-up, and in a sense it is. It is a combination of Residential and Commercial, which neatly sums up what the design concept is about.

This week we bring you Hybrimercial; now this really is made up, by us here at 20six HQ, but we think the concept behind this will be something we will be seeing on a high street near you in the not so distant future.

We’re using the term Hybrimercial as the two words, hybrid and commercial, combined and it’s based upon an article we read about a new marketing firm, Buzzbar, that has set up “shop” in London. The idea behind the company is to allow drop-in marketing sessions for cash-strapped start-ups and they have taken the best elements from commercial design and thrown them all into one commercial property.

Taking ideas from a retail establishment, based on a similar design to the Apple stores, they have that fresh, open feeling with staff hovering able to assist you in your marketing journey. Then they have the best co-working design ideas to give the office feeling to the environment, with spaces for people to mix and to work individually while they wait. Then there are the Juice bars one would associate with an on-trend café, and the Wellness sessions of the likes of Yoga classes.

This marketing firm has taken all the elements of successful modern commercial properties and made a space where individuals are welcomed and are more than happy to return to again and again. We foresee this type of evolving design concept as being a way forward for several industry types.

We would like to lay claim to our own terminology for it but are pretty sure that someone out there will come up with something even better than Hybrimercial to sum up a working environment that takes elements of retail, office, fitness studio and cafe and makes the whole thing into a great space for all.

What is Resimercial Design?

Having an office that you enjoy being in helps get the best from all workers, and one design concept that is addressing this need for a welcoming work space is that of resimerical design.

Resimercial design has been a trend in new offices for some time, but since NeoCon17 it has moved from being just another design trend to a more legitimate design ideal. The word resimercial is a combination of residential and commercial, and the idea behind it is to make commercial property less sterile and standardised by introducing fixtures, furnishings and layouts that brings the homey feel of residential furniture into the workplace.

It makes complete sense that if your staff feel comfortable in their working environment, they will be more productive. Some of the Big Boys have embraced this form of design into their global offices, the likes of Google, Microsoft, Yelp and Uber for example have all invested in resimercial design and have found that it has increased employee retention, productivity, and creativity. Having an office that people want to be in increases the time spent at work and increases the connection people have with their company.

Bottom line for employers, creating a working environment that is both welcoming and comfortable means gaining maximum productivity from employees. By incorporating resimercial design elements in your office you have the win-win situation of happy, productive staff, enabling your company to flourish and grow.