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.
Timber sourced from sustainable forests can be used in attractive floor coverings. Recycled plastics are strong and work well in all sorts of office furniture and fittings. Additionally, your office or workstations design can be complemented by using organic non-volatile paint for walls and ceilings. Unusual Options: The use of unusual materials can give design an interesting twist. Instead of choosing conventional smooth wood, plastic or metallic surfaces, consider using materials with more tactile appeal, such as textiles, in your office design to mark your office out as individual. Some offices have been known to successfully use such unconventional materials as cardboard for furniture and partitioning. Using largely ignored materials such as cardboard can be an ingenious approach to save money in redesigning an office.
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.
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