Lucille. Office Design. October 20th , 2017.
As businesses everywhere are tightening their belts, optimizing productivity among employees is becoming increasingly important. In addition to obvious factors like efficient management and employee incentives, the design of office space is a significant factor in increasing workplace productivity. Architects and interior designers take many factors into consideration when designing interior spaces. They are well aware that the physical work environment has a direct psychological impact on people, affecting their behavior, emotions and thoughts. Creating a well-designed environment is just as important as building a functional one, since good design boosts creativity and productivity.
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.
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.
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.
Combining Materials: With the multitude of useful materials available for your office and workstations design, it could be tempting to either take a very enthusiastic approach or try to use them all, or get overwhelmed and stick to the simple choices. It pays, however, to take a considered approach to using different materials in an office design. Too many clashing materials and the office become visually crowded and messy, too little and the office can seem dull. Often choosing one or two interesting materials to use throughout your office design can be very effective.
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