With a new year ahead of us, we thought it useful to highlight some of the less obvious, but highly important, benefits of casting a fresh eye over your workspace when considering how best to allocate resources in 2018.
At Paradigm Office Interiors we always aim to help our clients maximise the benefits of their office space, warehousing, commercial and industrial premises using the very latest principles in interior design and fit-out techniques. However, for clients, and potential clients, it’s important to appreciate that all levels of work undertaken – from a new floor covering to a complete strip-out and refit – have potential benefits to the workings of the organisation for whom the works are undertaken stretching far beyond the aesthetic or pragmatic reconfiguration of the workspace itself.
Adding more space within existing space
A common problem associated with businesses who carry stock and/ or equipment is space. As a business progresses, the demands placed on their storage space grows and reaches a tipping point where demand for space outstrips supply. This situation leaves a business with two options: take-on additional premises or undertake a wholesale relocation of the business to larger premises.
In terms of business disruption and expense, both of these solutions are problematic and are decisions not to be taken lightly.
However, beyond the realms of warehousing and storage requirements, with increasing success most businesses will begin to outgrow their premises at some point and face the same dilemma. In any business sector, an increase in staff can be hindered by lack of space, a new working practice or increase in the amount of machinery required are other examples of business growth being potential shackled by the physical space in which the business operates.
In such circumstances, there are two further options to consider that can facilitate the growth of a business within its existing space without the need for a physical relocation or the expense of obtaining additional premises and should be fully explored prior to any decisions being made.
The first consideration could be classed as a smarter utilisation of space. If not undertaken as part of a coordinated plan/project – and let’s face it, that’s not how most businesses grow within their workspace – the organisation of internal furniture, equipment, machinery, break areas etc rather evolves over time on an ad-hoc basis until saturation point is reached. Furthermore, a building that seemed suitable when initially occupied may become restrictive over time – particularly with older buildings and overly compartmentalised layouts with multiple small rooms/offices, corridors etc.
A potential solution here is to engage a professional company of interior design and refurbishment specialists who will gain an understanding of the problems a business is facing within their current working environment and undertake a space planning project to establish if such issues can be overcome in the square footage available. It is frequently the case that a fit-out of existing premises allows for a much better utilisation of space with the ability to factor-in more desk space and storage space, for example, and in many instances new breakout spaces and meeting areas … all within the original structure. A refit of existing space with the careful utilisation of partitioning and selection of appropriate furniture can drastically transform a workspace.
Once the above has been fully explored, another option, or one done in tandem with the above, would be to consider a mezzanine floor. Whilst this is not always a possibility – the exigencies of the current building have a bearing on the suitability of this solution – it is an increasingly popular approach to adding additional workspace.
Mezzanine floors themselves are often associated with warehousing – allowing for additional storage floors – but really should be considered as just adding another floor within a building and what you can do with another floor, in the most part you can do with a mezzanine floor. Additional office space, storage space, bathroom facilities, meeting rooms etc … the list is endless!
Take a look at our Projects and see some examples of what can be achieved with mezzanine floors HERE >>
Workplace decor: style over substance?
A very important element in modern business premises is that of office ‘decor’: here we refer to a broad palate of element such as flooring, wall coverings, glass partitioning manifestations, colours etc. There is so much more that can be achieved with office decor than just making premises look aesthetically pleasant and it is now a very large consideration in office interior design and refurbishment.
In contemporary office design thinking, there are two elements at play here: the outward impression given to customers and visiting clients and the inward impact on the workforce within the workspace.
First impressions count! When a business visitor enters the premises of another, the first impression they get can have a significant impact on their impression of that business. It’s human nature that colour clashes, poorly maintained paintwork and threadbare carpets provide for an immediate impression of the premises operator that is less than favourable. This can lead to the reluctance of a customer to make a purchase, order a service or clinch a business deal as it is seen as a reflection of the ethos and practices of the premises operator.
From the moment a visitor arrives at a business premises the impression given should be one of professionalism, attention to detail and organisation. A well furnished and decorated reception area reflecting the company branding is an essential first step. The branding and colour palate should then be followed through into all areas of the workplace with wall and floor coverings complementing the approach. If partitioning is utilised, glass partitions should be a consideration with branded, or at least themed, manifestations applied to them to reinforce the company message throughout the premises.
Office furniture is also a major consideration, as is its layout, with spacing and organisation key. Office storage is also essential and adds to the overall aesthetic of the workspace by ensuring ‘clutter’ is kept to a minimum and that everything can be organised in an orderly manner; again, a great indication to an external visitor of professionalism.
For the workforce, the impact of decor cannot be underestimated. Much research has been done in this area right-down to the impact of different colours on the psychology of workers. For example, it has been found that certain colours promote happiness and well-being and other promote melancholia while others are akin to a fast-paced approach to work and others add to a sense of time ‘dragging’. This is also true with the patterning of decor!
Whilst it can’t be expected for the businesses themselves to appreciate these various nuances, a professional office interior design company should always be consulted to ensure that the right image is projected and that the final aesthetic of a workplace is commensurate with promoting the right workforce ethos and psychological state.
This can’t really be over-emphasised and is an essential ingredient in a successful business.
While the above are just a couple of elements to be considered in the successful management of workspaces, we’d urge any business looking to rive ahead during 2018 to take a moment and consider if their premises are holding them back. If the feeling is ‘yes’, then please contact us on 01675 437 547 to see how we can help.