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Angie Bailey Office Design April 15th, 2018 - 13:05:04
As businesses everywhere are tightening their belts optimizing productivity among employees is becoming increasingly important. In addition to obvious factors like efficient management and employee incentives the design of office space is a significant factor in increasing workplace productivity. Architects and interior designers take many factors into consideration when designing interior spaces. They are well aware that the physical work environment has a direct psychological impact on people affecting their behavior emotions and thoughts. Creating a well-designed environment is just as important as building a functional one since good design boosts creativity and productivity.
What Can a Better Office Design Accomplish? Maybe you are on the fence about whether to even change your office design. Why mess with perfectly good office space and furniture that could last a few more years? It may be standing on all four legs but is it really doing its job? Outdated office furniture limits office space and productivity. New office furniture is designed with function and space in mind. You can maximize both by updating old pieces. Consider the benefits the company and the employees would receive from by improving the office space:
Employees have difficulty working productively in noisy environments since stress levels increase and concentration is lowered. There are many design tricks architects can employ to deal with poor acoustics. Using the correct materials in the correct location is key to achieving the proper level of sound absorption. For example ceiling tiles should generally be applied at a low ceiling height. If the ceiling is very high then other methods need to be applied such as lining the walls with fabric banners or acoustical wall panels to avoid the sound bouncing off of drywall or other non-absorbent materials. To keep voices from traveling too far it is useful to places highly-absorbent materials at mouth level throughout the office. Another effective technique in limiting a noisy environment is to create a monotone background sound known as white noise. This can be achieved in a variety of ways such as through the strategic placement of fans and air conditioners the use of water fountains or by installing a sound masking audio system.
What lies ahead for occupancy ratios? As mobile technology improves as home working becomes more viable with bandwidth increases and as part-time working becomes more widespread so the need for one desk per person diminishes. Increasingly modern office design is moving towards a ratio of 7 or 8 desks for every 10 staff. The next question is then about saving money by reducing the overall office space rental or to perhaps give some of the space over to social and team purposes? One of the leading adopters of modern office design incorporating flexible working and shared desk allocation CISCO Systems works on a ratio of 160 sq ft per person. Clearly they havent used unallocated desks and mobile working as a cost-cutting measure.