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Krystal Wagner Office Design April 04th, 2018 - 12:29:16
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.
Legal minimum office space per person. There is no prescribed minimum occupancy level for a modern office design. Within the UK Building Regulations the section dealing with Fire Hazards (Part B of the Building Regs.) advises a minimum area of 6 square metres (64 sq feet) for each person in an office premises. This figure can be achieved by equating the total headcount against the overall net internal area (NIA) and so doesnt necessarily limit the space for a single person with a desk. In practice offices will have a number of factors - mostly relating to Fire Escape but also the provisions of WCs amount of fresh air available through a ducted system etc. - that have an impact on the legal maximum number of people accommodated within an office building. The Means of Escape is the key criteria for density of occupation. Once a workstation office design layout is defined the Building Control advisor can determine if there are sufficient escape routes for the staff numbers.
Walls: Instead of just giving your office walls a fresh coat of paint why not consider using blank walls as a canvas for expressing your companys character? A simple design can benefit greatly from creative wall surfaces as they influence the mood of the whole room. New walls can be implemented in the office design and can be made out of anything from wood panelling to frosted glass lightweight compressed wood board and portable metallic units with inbuilt storage spaces. For the existing walls paint is an obvious option and is available in a multitude of colors shades finishes and textures. Designs with a reception feature wall painted in a striking color or touchable finish will attract anyones attention. Tiling wall paper wall decals metal sheeting and wood panelling are other interesting choices for adding life to an offices walls.
Theres no question about it - an attractive office space increases employee creativity productivity and overall morale. Designer offices tend to attract and keep their employees longer than more unattractive ones and good workplace design is one of the top key factors that affect job satisfaction. In fact it has been suggested that a well-designed office can increase productivity by about 20%. Although many companies do not see investing in good workplace design as a priority (almost half) almost 9 out of 10 employees claim that the quality of their work environment directly affects their attitude toward work. It seems then that it would be foolish for employers not to try and find good design solutions to boost productivity - in the end it will be a worthwhile and satisfactory investment for everyone.