Category Archives: Office Design

Office Design Options

"The open plan office is dead – long live the open plan office!"

In all aspects of design, trends come and go. The introduction of office cubicles has largely fallen out of favour, but whereas the decriers were saying this symbolised the death of the open plan office, this has not been the case. The design leaders, often the larger tech companies, have used experts outside of the industry to ask what work space set-up best suits our needs as humans?

There has been an emphasis on collaboration and communication in recent years, and this has been reflected in corporate design trends. Movable partitions, options for working environments, open, relaxing and welcoming spaces for employees from all departments to linger and mingle have all been seen in the swanky offices we can be proud to show to our clients.

With all ying there must be a yang – and for office design trends this has been to throw the whole concept of openness out of the window and opt instead for the closed office. It may cost more in terms of set-up and floor space, and having a set room for each employee, with their own desk and a door to close on the rest of your colleagues flies in the face of work space trends in 2019. So why would you choose it? Why risk office shame at corridors of closed doors, unwelcoming to visitors, so off-trend that it looks as though you are not a progressive company? Why spend a greater part of your design budget on static walls and doors/ separate work spaces and individual desks?

It doesn’t suit all businesses, but it is the best solution for certain industries. Tying into our blog post from last week, The Silent Office, it has been proven that giving people the opportunity to access silent, or very quiet environments, can result in an increase in both their memory and their productivity. If the nature of your work requires your employees to really concentrate then having their own space is likely to ensure they are better able to carry out their work than within a noisy, distracting, open space.

Any work space design needs to look first at the purpose for which it is required – and the company using it. There is no right or wrong design in terms of trends, but there most certainly is in terms of workers. What suits one company won’t necessarily suit another, and to get the right working environment for you and your employees you need a design company that starts by gaining an understanding of your company culture and the nature or your employees work.

2019’s Pantone Colour

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere lucky enough to escape the clouds and be awake anywhere between about 1.30 and 7am this Monday, we had the opportunity to spot the rare phenomenon of a “super blood wolf moon". To any of you who were dedicated enough to get yourself up early to see this, we salute you coming as it did at the dawn of Blue Monday – allegedly the most depressing day of the year.

Now we’re no conspiracy theorists here in the 20six office, but we did see a bit of a coincidence with this super moon that was, lets face it, more of a pinkish hue than a blood red, and Pantone’s chosen colour of 2019.

And The Winner Is…

The PANTONE Colour of the Year 2019: Living Coral

With a nod to eschewing the cultural norm of a society that is increasingly dominated by digital technology and social media, wallowing in doom and gloom, Pantone has suggested that this year’s choice symbolises an “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits” and “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy”.

Living Coral is officially classed as “an animating shade of orange with a golden undertone” but to be honest, to the naked eye, we’d go with soft pink.

So, can pink work in commercial property and office design? Well, being one step ahead here at 20six HQ we discussed this very premise way back in, oh, May 2017, when we asked, "Does Pink Work In The Office": and we got a resounding positive response on our social media channels when we shared our post. Living Coral is supposed to reflect the warmth, nourishment, and shelter of coral reefs to sea life, which ties in very nicely with the movement in office design to nurture employees and recognise that their wellbeing is of paramount importance to the overall productivity of a company.

We await with baited (no “sea” pun intended…) breath to see the Living Coral Office Furniture designs as they roll hot out of the designer’s showrooms, and to see which forward thinking companies embrace this year’s colour into their overall company branding.

Office Design Ideas For 2019

As the year draws to an end and offices and commercial buildings across the land are decked out in garish Christmas decorations, we can start to think about how our work spaces are going to look come the new year when once again stripped bare of the coloured tinsel and flashing lights. Taking down the festive adornments can sometimes show just how tired your working environment is looking and highlight the need for a fresh design for your office in 2019.

5 Office Design Ideas For 2019

Colour: The near universal use of “colours” such as Magnolia in commercial property has everything to do with budget – being the cheapest option to buy and therefore touch up, it can also be paired with pretty much any other colour. But giving your work space a more personal colour can brighten the environment and bring the company branding into the office in more cohesive pattern.

Kitchen: Often cited as the heart of the home and the most popular place for people to gather at a party, the office kitchen is often overlooked. We’ve probably all come across those “kitchens” that are little more than a dark cupboard where you’re too scared to use the cups as you’re unsure of the hygiene. But this is a great space to spend some of your budget on as it should be an area where all employees, no matter what department, can come and meet up and exchange thoughts, ideas and conversations.

Furniture: Ergonomic office furniture is not a fad – it should be a pre-requisite for any working environment. From the options of sit-stand desks to office chairs that support your posterior and protect your posture, getting the correct furniture will help the health and wellbeing of your staff.

Flooring: There are a myriad of options for office flooring, and you need to take into consideration the function as much as the form, but replacing old, threadbare carpets or peeling lino can bring a whole new feel to your work space. From carpet tiles through to wooden floors, we often overlook what’s right underneath our feet.

Lighting: Arguably the most important area of your overall design plan, getting your office lighting right has been scientifically proven to improve your work force’s productivity. One of the key tenets here is to ensure that there is as much natural daylight as possible without having sunshine cause overheating or disabling computer screens due to the reflective glare.

20sixltd have extensive hands-on experience of helping a wide range of market sectors to achieve a workable office design that supports their staff and reflects their brand. If you are looking to update, revamp or completely redesign your office space in 2019 please get in touch to see how we can help you to achieve your desired working environment.

The Eudaimonia Machine

The hours that we clock up at work and the time spent actually doing work are different things. We may get to our office by 8am and not leave until 5.30 but the time in between this that we are being truly productive will be significantly less.

Two recent studies have concluded that the average worker spends less than 60% or their working day being productive and that for some only 2 hours and 53 minutes of an 8-hour workday are spent working.

Couple this with UK productivity reportedly being among the lowest in the developed world, and you can begin to see that we have a national problem. But what if we could use design to change this, to optimise those precious work hours?

Enter the new design concept of the Eudaimonia Machine. “The what?” we hear you say - the Eudaimonia Machine is a precise work space layout based upon Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia, meaning the epitome of human capability. And it’s not quite as complex as it might at first sound.

Eudaimonia describes the highest state of being – a classic example given to illustrate this is that of a kitchen knife: eudaimonia for a knife is being sharp and cutting. If it’s dull or just resting on the counter, it’s not achieving its highest state. And this concept is being applied to people when they are at work and how the environment that they work in can assist in them being fully productive.

In an attempt to reduce the distractions that we all face on a daily basis in the work place, the Eudaimonia Machine design is based on matching spaces to specific tasks and mindsets. It is about putting the “human” at the centre of office design rather than technology. Work spaces are divided into distinct zones, with areas for socialising having furniture you would be more used to seeing in your homes, and spaces where the hard work needs to be accomplished having more traditional office furniture.

Other zones are included as well, such as “well-being” spaces that may have a proliferation of plants, or showering facilities, and libraries full of books that will help staff achieve their potential, but minus technology that can be as distracting as it can helpful.

The ideas behind this design concept are still in their infancy, with a New York store trailing an experimental retail concept that has just opened, and two more projects in the pipeline in the US. Will this design concept take off? We’ll have to watch and see in 2019, but the tenet behind it makes sound architectural and commercial sense.