By Aveline. Office Design. Published at Tuesday, October 10th, 2017 - 07:59:32 AM.
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.
Office designers have noticed that societies environmental consciousness has transferred into our offices in a number of ways. Owners and managers know that energy costs are rising so there is a need to look for alternative energy sources. They have also seen an increase in the purchase and use of recycled furniture, which is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way of furnishing their office. Office collaboration means that offices are becoming more open plan with less offices and more cubicles or partitions. This type of office design means that space is being used to its maximum ability and owners are getting more for their money. It is useful in offices where there is a lot of team work as it brings people together. Office designers have seen the rise in popularity in partitioning which is a large element in the creation of office collaboration.
Having access to good artificial lighting or daylight is known to increase productivity. When people work under bad lighting conditions, they can develop eyestrain, headaches and general irritability. Particularly dark spaces can have a pronounced psychological effect and depress the brain. Employees should have access to their own lighting so that they can make the necessary lighting adjustments depending on the task they are carrying out. Well-designed artificial lighting will increase functionality, however, there is no comparison to natural daylight, and this should be maximized wherever possible. Windows provide a connection to the outside world and should be used whenever the building design allows for it. Open plan layouts that employ low cubicle panels or glass panels can maximize the entry of natural light into the office. Skylights are also a good alternative when windows are not an option.
Depending on an individuals tasks, some employees will need a higher level of privacy to allow for deeper concentration while others will need to be in communication at all times. For example, a tight corner cubicle with high panels would not be suitable for people in a creative role who need to be in constant communication with their team. Sales people, on the other hand, may need to be in quieter, enclosed spaces so that they can carry on confidential phone conversations or conduct meetings in private. Either way, whether the office space is more open-concept or has more private offices, it is always a good idea to designate rooms for coffee breaks and office equipment to an area away from the main workstations. In this way the noise level will not bother other staff members.
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