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Office Design - Finding the Right Balance

Helping to increase productivity and creativity within the workplace more and more, businesses are adapting their office design to help create the ideal working environment for staff.

Initially, businesses thought taking down walls and creating an open plan office would be enough, but that isn’t the case. Instead, careful office space planning is needed, providing more variety and more space for workers to facilitate their different requirements. From quiet, secluded pods to open, collaborative areas, finding the right balance between open office design and a completely closed office is key to productivity and positive results.

Peter Fowler, vice president of Workspace at West Elm, said: “We have to be really clever with how we use space these days.”

An open plan office design encourages team work and promotes friendships among staff. But on the flipside an increase in noise can provide huge distractions and reduce productivity. Meeting pods, which are easy to construct, are perfect for meetings and privacy.

Using sound reduction products in open plan spaces can help provide some privacy without the need for walls or segregation. This can help improve staff morale and team bonding without causing any distractions or compromising on efficiency.

Allowing people to be next to features they use most is also effective. For example, those who are constantly on the phone or in meetings should have access to private rooms or phone pods.

A recent study by research company Leesman looked into activity-based working environments and their impact on staff behaviour. The study found that despite employees having more communal space to choose from, they opted to work in one fixed area rather than float from station to station.

With this in mind it is important for businesses to take into account the type of work staff are tasked with before making any major changes to the layout of an office. More traditional roles, which are typically less creative, may require a quieter more confined fixed space. Whereas group tasks or creative jobs will require communal areas to help brainstorm and encourage discussion within your team.

Finally, if you would like help with redesigning your office space or concept visuals if you are relocationg, give our in house design team a call. Using the latest in 3D visualisation software we can help bring your ideas to life. Embellishments and unique features can be displayed which will help to identify any potential conflicts between departmental adjancies and give you a clear understanding of how your transformed office will look.

Posted by: Josh Seddon

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