Since starting my new job here at Office Reality, I have come across several people who always seem to have the same view on Office Interiors. They all seem to have the same idea: “Furniture that is used in office interiors is “boring, plain and simple”. But it is not, of course, always like that.
Being a big fan of interiors of both commercial as well as residential properties, I have started to wonder what techniques can be used and whether the interior and use of certain furniture styles may reflect the way in which employees may work… Which has led to the title: What Makes an Office Work?
Having such a large and exciting range of furniture here at Office Reality the options seem to be endless and this has furthered my interest in the design of Commercial Offices and the use of styles. Other than the furniture looking great and modern as well as interesting and often different, it is intriguing to see that the designs also have more of a purpose if put in the right office environment, thus increasing the productivity of the members of staff.
As UKBESPOKEFURNITURE (one of my main references for this article) has explained “the office is one’s second home… where one spends the maximum time of the day”. It is therefore important that the members of staff feel ‘comfortable and invited’. The main point that is often mentioned to achieve this is the use of colours around the office space. The colours of the office and the furniture reflect the company and the personality of the individual. Colours that reflect the company that the office needs to function for (eg. Blue for Office Reality) can also be seen as a tool of promotion and even motivation for the individual, in a strange way making them feel like they are literally “part of the company”.
Making use of ‘modern looking furniture’ may represent the company being ‘up-to-date, clean and professional’. This always comes in great use in reception areas. Having a modern, clean looking reception desk (for example the use of glass and lighting) will show that the company behind the “front-line desk” is just as organised and professional. Of course, having the same effect in the workspace for the employees means that they will be comfortable at their working areas, knowing that it is a clean and professional workspace. This technique of interior planning will mean that they will want to be there at their desk, which will therefore reflect on their work as they will want to be doing it.
However, having too much clutter is not the best idea either. A ‘balance’ may have to be ascertained to avoid having too much ‘comfort’, ie; colours, furniture etc. Of course too little and you run the risk of the office becoming too ‘clinical’.
Clutter can take up too much of the workspace, which will create the illusion of ‘restriction’ thus preventing the flow of work for the individual due to a lack of space. This in time makes it more difficult to move. Mobility and space is therefore important, in smaller offices maybe the use of a glass desk could be an idea as glass furniture creates the illusion of “air”. Deskscreens that are made from a “acrylic material” could also have the same purpose. This illusion also shows a fine example of modern looking furniture having more purpose than just looking great and impressive.
On the other end, being minimalistic could also lead to, as Herman Miller has explained, the office being too ‘clinical’. This could lead to individuals feeling like they are ‘machines’ rather than individuals. This discomfort may lead to the productivity and the ‘desire’ of the individual there, to decrease.
There are a lot of ways in which an office can be set up, with a lot of it being personal choice. But for an office to ‘work’, I think the main technique needed is to mould a space into an area that is and looks ‘clean, modern and motivational’ for employees, making use of modern, different and non- restrictive furniture.