Terri Brown Office Design July 29th, 2018 - 13:50:46
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.
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.
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.
According to a leading specialist office fit out & office refurbishment project management and cost consultancy firm in London typical 2012 fit-out costs for a modern office design can range from £45.00 psf for an office refurbishment in a logistics warehouse to £75.00 psf for a project that includes a significant upgrade to the building ventilation systems.A recently completed high specification project for a leading FTSE 100 company - at £62.50 psf - would have been at a much higher cost above £100 psf but the project re-used a considerable amount of fixtures and fittings from existing premises to achieve significant savings.