Deanna Willis Office Design April 07th, 2018 - 11:16:44
2. Collaboration Spaces Say goodbye to your private office (unless youre the boss of course) because open plan offices are becoming increasingly popular. Companies are trying to make the best use of space possible and office designers have found that giving everyone their own private area is just not the way to do this. An open plan office design also makes it possible for more employees to fit into the space allowing for expansion. Partitions are also getting lower as office designers have found that a space will look much bigger if people have a panoramic view. Some designers advise that a panoramic view whilst seated is preferable whilst others maintain that if the office can be viewed panoramic whilst standing that this is fine.
Having access to good artificial lighting or daylight is known to increase productivity. When people work under bad lighting conditions they can develop eyestrain headaches and general irritability. Particularly dark spaces can have a pronounced psychological effect and depress the brain. Employees should have access to their own lighting so that they can make the necessary lighting adjustments depending on the task they are carrying out. Well-designed artificial lighting will increase functionality however there is no comparison to natural daylight and this should be maximized wherever possible. Windows provide a connection to the outside world and should be used whenever the building design allows for it. Open plan layouts that employ low cubicle panels or glass panels can maximize the entry of natural light into the office. Skylights are also a good alternative when windows are not an option.
There are a few whiteboard and blackboard paints on the market that office designers are favouring because you can make your writing space as big or as small as you like. It isnt uncommon for entire walls to be painted so that employees have as much room as they like to list ideas or write out memos. The only hitch with this great office design trend is that it can be highly expensive. This has led to the increased popularity in the traditional blackboard (not painted just your standard blackboard mounted onto the wall). Many designers believe that blackboards are more aesthetically pleasing then whiteboards. As blackboards can be hard to find these days they are a little on the expensive side but nowhere near the cost of the paint equivalent.
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.