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Susanne Reeves Office Design June 02nd, 2018 - 17:57:52
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.
When a city is planned well the communication channels are well-designed and accessible so that people feel a sense of community and togetherness. In the same way an office layout will dictate the sense of community that the employees feel. The office layout influences the manner in which the staff communicate with each other the length and quality of their interactions how they socialize and ultimately how they learn from each other in both formal and informal ways. When planning the office design a balance needs to be struck between the ability to interact in open spaces and the ability to work in privacy. This means it is critical to take into consideration the specific job requirements of all of the staff members when planning an office layout.
Office designers have noticed that societies environmental consciousness has transferred into our offices in a number of ways. Owners and managers know that energy costs are rising so there is a need to look for alternative energy sources. They have also seen an increase in the purchase and use of recycled furniture which is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way of furnishing their office. Office collaboration means that offices are becoming more open plan with less offices and more cubicles or partitions. This type of office design means that space is being used to its maximum ability and owners are getting more for their money. It is useful in offices where there is a lot of team work as it brings people together. Office designers have seen the rise in popularity in partitioning which is a large element in the creation of office collaboration.
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.