Lucille. Office Design. October 07th , 2017.
Marketing agencies who nowadays want to have their office designed or have their old one refurbished desperately need office spaces that eliminates barriers to team working, with personal design boards that can be alternated into a client-facing space plus the variety of brain-storming, workshop, presentation and meeting areas. Creative marketing agencies look for office work desks that can be fully customised to suit the user, by having desks and chairs to fully suit the users size and sitting position. In summary, creative agencies want to have office furniture which is completely user-controlled, meaning that the office layout can be adapted totally by employees.
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.
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.
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.
When a city is planned well, the communication channels are well-designed and accessible so that people feel a sense of community and togetherness. In the same way an office layout will dictate the sense of community that the employees feel. The office layout influences the manner in which the staff communicate with each other, the length and quality of their interactions, how they socialize, and ultimately how they learn from each other in both formal and informal ways. When planning the office design, a balance needs to be struck between the ability to interact in open spaces and the ability to work in privacy. This means it is critical to take into consideration the specific job requirements of all of the staff members when planning an office layout.
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