Growing Green

Incorporating environmentally friendly aspects into commercial design is not only beneficial to the environment but it can help to improve the health, well being and productivity of staff. Studies have demonstrated that office workers’ quality of life can be enriched by incorporating plants within the workspace even though they have no formal work-related function.

At an entry level, adding a plant or two on your desk and dotted around the office may help. By adding one plant per square meter employee performance on memory retention and other basic tests has been shown to be substantially improved.

Office design trends have been incorporating plants as de rigueur for some time now, and one really great way to get more greenery into your work space is to add a living wall.

It has been claimed that within the space of 24 hours a living wall can remove up to 87% of toxins in the air in your office. Plants suck up the air we don’t want to breathe and produce the air we do need – oxygen. Green walls can also help with insulating your building both in terms of temperature and for reducing unwanted sound.

Creating an entire wall out of plants adds the biophilic element into your office – you are creating that all important link to nature that is often missing from a traditional, sterile work environment. Growing Green in your office will help your employees feel better and work better as well as helping you address acoustic issues and save money on building insulation. Oh, and they also provide a great conversational starter…

Office Furniture Trends 2019

In our blog post of last year outlining workplace trends for 2018, we highlighted how office design was moving towards a more informal approach, taking elements usually associated with home office spaces and incorporating them into our daily work spaces.

This trend has continued, with offices seeing the value of making their working environment a space, like our homes, that we actively want to be in. It is only logically that office furniture design has also followed this trend.

What Are We Seeing For Office Furniture Trends 2019?

Office furniture designers are extolling the virtues of the concept "resimercial", a combination of residential and commercial, ensuring that we feel as comfortable in our office chair as we do in our home office set-up. This type of furniture needs to be robust enough to survive the hours we spend at work, but also needs to be comfortable enough for us to be at our most productive.

You will see this type of office design and accompanying furniture at some of the quality co-working spaces that are popping up all over the country. In order to attract clients who would opt to work in these spaces, the design, fixture and fittings have to be on trend and to ensure that anybody using these spaces feels as happy to be there as they would be working at home.

Here at 20sixltd we are seeing this trend first hand as our clients are requesting us to provide office furniture that not only reflects their company culture and branding, but that also help their employees to enjoy being in the workplace and ensuring that maximum productivity is gained from the expense of an office refit, refurbishment or move.


What’s New For Salone del Mobile 2019?

The 9th to the 14th April marks the 58th edition of the Salone del Mobile held in Milan. Coinciding with the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, this year's world renowned furniture showcasing event will be celebrating some of da Vinci's design influences.

One of the most eagerly anticipated events will be Aqua, an installation by international events director Marco Balich that focuses on the mechanics of water. The installation will include a reflecting pool with a screen displaying video art and sound with the aim of "connecting visitors to water and technology on a personal and visceral level".

With an estimated 13,000 furniture manufacturers taking part in Salone del Mobile and 2,500 established and 700 young designers showing off their concepts and ideas at the Salone Satellite, we are really looking forward to seeing new office furniture designs. Talk in the 20six offices is all about how it would be possible to tie in the Aqua idea, that of water and technology being used together, in any new commercial designs. We will, of course, keep you posted and report on what we saw as the most exciting new concepts to come out of Milan this year.

Fair Priced Fit Out?

What is the right budget for an office fit out? It should be based upon size, scope of work, and location, all of which you would consider to be a fair reflection of the costs involved in refurbishing your offices. But not all is as it seems in the world of office fit outs.

Five office fit-out companies based in London and the Home Counties, have just been hit with a whopping fine of over £7 million collectively for confessing to participating in “cover bidding” in competitive tenders.

Being dubbed as 'cartel behaviour', the five companies have admitted that they colluded with one another on quotes for office fit outs, with some putting in bids they knew were unreasonable to ensure they would not be in the running for the work and that another amongst the group would have less competition to secure the deal.

Office fit-out is deemed part of the construction sector, and following the investigation covering allegations of offences during the period of 2006-2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) stated that:

“The CMA is concerned it is seeing a lot of evidence of anti-competitive conduct in the construction industry, and we have already taken a number of cases in this sector. Today’s fines reinforce the message that the CMA will not tolerate competition law being broken. As shown by the total of £7 million in fines agreed today, we will not turn a blind eye to illegal behaviour and we will impose penalties where we find laws have been broken. This can include seeking disqualification of company directors.”

Whilst the majority of us in the commercial fit-out, design and refurbishment industry do not wish to see our market sector come into disrepute, we are glad to see that illegal and immoral practices like this are being punished accordingly.