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Angie Bailey Office Design April 14th, 2018 - 10:09:17
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.
How does this urban planning model play out in terms of office productivity? Office assistants for example are generally situated in spaces that are more public often close to the main passageways so that they are more accessible to their supervisors and other staff members. In contrast more senior management tend to have offices with doors so that they are able to hold private meetings or work in seclusion if their tasks require a deeper level of concentration. Of course the company culture will ultimately dictate where senior management put their offices. It is a trend among some types of companies for managers and CEOs to sit in open workstations along with their staff so as to appear more accessible.
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.
Furniture & Fixtures - Take time to research all solutions available in terms of office furniture and fixtures. Nowadays there are a lot of different innovations in regards to office workstation and furniture designs that actually add tremendous value. Examples could include non standard shaped furniture that enhance office floor area and low hanging roof fittings for space saving and cord management; Natural Elements - Employ all accessible natural elements efficiently - pay specific consideration to direct light sources as it is one of the most valuable assets within a great office design. It really has been scientifically proven that the amount of natural light in an office has a direct impact on productivity and staff comfort. The proper way to guarantee effective natural light utilization is linked to properly designed open space planning alongside workstation design and configuration;