Vicki Benjamin Office Design April 23rd, 2018 - 13:13:21
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.
Depending on an individuals tasks some employees will need a higher level of privacy to allow for deeper concentration while others will need to be in communication at all times. For example a tight corner cubicle with high panels would not be suitable for people in a creative role who need to be in constant communication with their team. Sales people on the other hand may need to be in quieter enclosed spaces so that they can carry on confidential phone conversations or conduct meetings in private. Either way whether the office space is more open-concept or has more private offices it is always a good idea to designate rooms for coffee breaks and office equipment to an area away from the main workstations. In this way the noise level will not bother other staff members.
There are numerous factors that come into play when considering good office design: lighting temperature color noise levels furniture space layout among others. Here are a few key considerations. Space Layout By selecting ergonomic chairs and workstations to maximize physical comfort or by installing shelving and cabinets to keep the work area tidy you can help increase employee productivity. However there is something that has a much more pronounced effect on employee function and psychology: the overall space plan. Planning an office space layout is not unlike urban planning in that people need both public and private spaces to function adequately and productively. By applying the urban planning model to office space design the ideal office layout should have both private and public meeting spaces private office and more public ones(cubicles) and various passageways to allow for easy traffic flow such as hallways and corridors.
Times are changing and these changes are reflected in the current trends in office design. Designers have to change their thinking away from traditional office designs and towards current trend. Office designers are seeing the following changes in the office environment: 1. Businesses are thinking more consciously about renewable resources and recycled furniture 2. They are becoming more collaborated 3. Offices are being used as a branding tool 4. The creation of offices with employees in mind has become crucial in employee retention rates 5. Hoteling/Moteling is much more popular