Open-plan offices vs. closed offices
Open-plan offices are always a very popular option because they provide good layout and long-lasting design. However, many companies today are converting their closed offices into open-plan offices, or making a combination of both worlds for best results. Each layout has their own positive and negative aspects, and some combinations and layouts can work well for some specific businesses, but will not work so well for others. Here are some pros and cons of both office styles:
Open-plan offices are designed in a more flexible way. The hi-tech world we live in dominated by laptops, smartphones, and constant connectivity, have led many businesses to drop the standard desks and focus more towards open offices, where people have plenty of space to work and interact with each other. They can easily move their chairs and computers and collaborate with their colleagues. However, this office layout is not suitable for every business. Especially for bigger companies, where managers may worry that some of their workers are slacking or avoiding their obligations. However, companies today have all kinds of software available for tracking the behaviour of their employees so this can be monitored fairly well.
Open-plan offices work well for companies where managers trust the independence and skills of their employees. One worker can move around and do several tasks while effectively communicating with colleagues, instead of sitting in some corner office isolated from others.
Closed offices are great for those companies where there is no big need for the staff to constantly communicate with each other. However, sometimes closed offices can lead to time-wasting if the workers get bored from the monotonous workload and lack of interaction. In these types of offices, you will mostly hear the clatter on the keyboards instead of conversation!
On the other hand, closed offices give workers the opportunity to work peacefully and quietly, without being distracted by their colleagues. Staff can personalise their working space by playing their favourite radio station, including family photos, or adding some personal touches to their workspace so they feel ‘more at home’ in their environment.
These are just some of the characteristics of both open-plan and closed offices. It all depends on the type of business you’re in and what works for you. Consider this when planning your office space and if you need any advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
How to give your office a makeover
Companies that are looking for efficient and effective ways to boost their employees` morale should consider an office makeover. A workspace makeover is good for lifting spirits of the workers because it shows the employees that their needs are the company`s top priority. Here are some tips for creating a successful office makeover.
- Make a good plan of your office. Just like urban planners plan different zones of the city, you should treat your office in the same way. Think about what you need and where it will look best – where should the break-out areas be?, where is the main working area?, where should meetings be held etc. Rearrange your office space so that it gives you zones for concentrating, socializing, collaborating and relaxing.
- Your rearranged office should provide a welcoming environment both for workers and clients. By providing a relaxing, hospitality area you will send a message to your workers and clients that you care about them.
- Get creative and encourage the employees to personalize their working space with their own decorations, photos, and other items. That way, the office will have a more pleasant atmosphere and will produce a positive vibe.
- Provide quality furniture for your office. If there is quality furniture on which the employees can work, rest and relax, they will be much more efficient and productive in their work. Go for ergonomic furniture and you’ll reduce risk of back pain for your staff as well.
- Incorporate different fun elements in the office. If the employees are happy in their environment, then they will also become better workers. Try to add some nice things in your office such as a comfortable lounge area where employees can take breaks or maybe a pool table or table tennis table where they can play during their free time.
- Add stimulating colours in the office. Different colours can have a big effect on the mood of the employees. Paint some walls in bright colors to stimulate creativity, or go for blue and green colours to calm down the atmosphere and make them more productive. Red is ideal for spaces where intense work is required, or for tasks that require full focus and close attention to detail.
For more advice about office makeovers, please get in touch.
Tips for Kitting out Your Home Office
Any home office that is contemporary, functional and practical can also boost productivity, job satisfaction, and keep the person who is using it healthy. Use these tips to kit out your home office and make it more efficient and effective for your needs.
Think about the function of the office
Do you use a laptop or a desktop computer? Do you really need a printer and/or filing cabinets? The basic goal is to determine what you really need and maximise on the space you have available. If your job involves a lot of paper and using files, you should opt for a relatively large working surface. In addition, if you only spend a short period of time on the Internet, then maybe a laptop instead of a desktop computer is more practical. This will save you space, allow you more functionality and improve the appearance of your office.
Follow the flow of the space
There is no doubt that a huge desk looks incongruous in a small space. It will limit your space to manoeuvre and to act quickly. On the other hand, small desks and pieces of furniture placed against the wall will cause inconvenience and discomfort in most workers. Choose furniture and accessories that will follow the flow of your office space and is sized appropriately for the dimensions of the room. In addition, think about how these pieces of furniture are arranged so that you can maximise on convenience and ease of use.
Opt for classic pieces
Almost every modern office needs a chair and a desk. Select classic, yet contemporary pieces that won’t feel outdated after 5 years. Of course, these accessories and pieces of furniture must provide comfort and complement the overall appearance of your office. Desks made of wood with straight, simple lines can fit in well in almost any kind of office and they will stay looking modern. When it comes to chairs, focus on finding an ergonomic chair that is easy to adjust. Of course, the chair must look good too, using materials and colours that work well with the decor of your office space.
Use some statement items in the office
The office space must reflect your personality and, if you invite clients to your home office, then an element of company branding and identity is worth considering. In order to make your office more vibrant, simply add some colourful or unique pieces of decor or art to inject some individuality.
For more advice about furnishing your home office to a high standard, please contact us now.
How can design improve the productivity of an office?
There is no doubt that good, modern office design will have a direct impact on employee productivity and morale. Modern companies should do their best to identify the elements that affect the performance of their teams so they can optimize and simplify every single process. Numerous studies have shown that office design has an impact on employee well-being, health, and productivity.
Even though there are many people who believe that an office is just a simple space/area where a group of people conducts specific tasks, there are many small (and big) things that can affect the office dynamic.
A well-planned, modern, integrated office design will boost productivity. In addition, things like furniture, lighting and architecture and even the organization of desktops will have an impact on the overall performance. Here are three key areas to look at:
The most important thing about desktops is to keep them neat and organized. For instance, they should have enough space for employees to store items in cupboards and/or drawers. In addition, keeping the documents in folders that are easy to find is always a good idea. The desktop and workspace around it should fit seamlessly into the office space and make the best use of it.
The main objective of ergonomics is to enhance the specific conditions in which employees conduct daily activities. This is very important for the health of your staff. If you are not taking care of ergonomics in office design then your employees may experience problems with their backs, joints, wrists and hands. Forward-thinking companies place ergonomics at the top of their office design and furniture agenda.
Office environment quality
There are many things that affect office environment quality. For instance, you should use adequate ventilation systems to improve thermal comfort and indoor air quality. LED lighting and increased use of natural lighting is also a good idea. Additionally, you must take acoustics and noise, interior distribution and active design into consideration too.
By implementing all (or some) of these changes, you will notice improvements not only in productivity but in other components that will make your business more successful. For more advice, please contact us now.
2017 office design trends to look out for
In the last ten years, we have witnessed significant improvements in the world of office design. Instead of the characterless and sterile office designs that many people have become accustomed to, business owners today can choose more relaxed office design that encourage creativity and collaboration.
Thanks to the emergence of new, more sophisticated design tools, experts are able to create workplace design that guarantees ultimate productivity and employee satisfaction. Let’s highlight some of the office design trends for this 2017 and see what we can all look forward to:
Design focused on wellbeing
Forward-thinking, modern business owners are concerned about the wellbeing of their employees. This is the reason why every office design today has their wellbeing in mind. By doing this, you will get happier employees which ultimately mean healthier and more productive employees. Special areas for cooperation and collaboration, areas for added privacy, sit-stand desks, lighting, increased comfort, better air circulation are just some of the things that will be included in office design for 2017.
Technology integrated into the office premises
Technology has a direct impact on business activities and that’s why many designers deliver solutions that integrate technology with the office space. Instead of wired charging of mobile devices and laptops, employees will get wireless charging. By implementing changes like this you will get more space, boost productivity and save money too.
Modern designers are well-aware of the fact that trends come and go. That’s why in 2017 we’ll be focused on creating flexible designs that will allow users to adjust to new trends and design needs. So-called desk pods, modular workstations and seats, acoustic elements, meet point tables – these are some of the things that will be popular in 2017.
Adding natural elements
People spend more and more time in their offices so it’s a good idea to bring the outside in. By adding some natural elements in the design like floral patterns, living walls, and natural flooring as well as plants, you should be able to add a touch of nature in every office and put a smile on your employees faces.
If you want to incorporate any of these ideas into your office for 2017, please contact us now. We’d be happy to help.