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Wendy Frost Office Design April 21st, 2018 - 13:03:53
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.
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.
Break Free from Cubicle Design A recent trend is to have everyone working in an open floor plan model. This means doing away with window offices for managers and cubicle offices for other employees. Upper management is seated in a large room and shares their space with every other employee in the company. This allows for open communication between employees and their managers. It is just one way to improve communication in the workplace. Remove cubicles and take down the barriers that prevent employees from open communication. Base your new office design on functionality ease of use purpose of office space and a mobile work style model. Create small hubs where employees can gather and discuss ideas.
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.