In our previous article London Office Interiors – How Do You Balance Me and We? we talked about finding the balance between Me and We when it comes to London office design and how many of today’s office spaces are open plan. We also mentioned that open plan offices are not intrinsically good or bad and that the key to a successful workplace is in providing staff with the right office spaces to allow them to move from working collaboratively to working individually where and when required.
In this article we are going to take a more in depth look at additional ideas to open plan design and how they may help you get the best out of your Kent or London office space. There are a number of different ways you can lay out your Kent or London office if you feel that an open plan only design isn’t going to meet your business needs or be the best way to get the most out of your staff. Below we describe some different options to consider.
The Mix/Hybrid Spaces
You may decide that a mix of open plan and dedicated office space is the best way to go when it comes to the layout for your Kent or London office design.
While considering this option look at dedicated offices as multi-functional e.g. to be used as space which can hold meetings, as an impromptu break-out space or as a place to allow staff to “escape” from the open plan space when they need privacy. You could even designate certain offices as “quiet spaces” so they could be used by more than one person while still providing an area which allows for an element of privacy and peace.
Another option to consider is setting up “office like” environments in nooks and crannies designed to provide more quiet-friendly office space options alongside open plan areas. This could be as simple as using small, out of the way areas with a couple of comfortable chairs and a small table to work on. Creating the right environment can provide an atmosphere of peace and quiet.
If you are flexible in what you keep the dedicated space for it may mean that you can find a balance between the need for collaboration space and quiet space without having to move completely back to having partitioned offices or cubicles.
Shared Office Options
Some companies prefer to have “shared offices” which house small teams of anything from 3-15 people instead of full open plan with break-out areas where staff can go to unwind and take a break.
This choice means that businesses can bring together smaller teams rather than having everyone together. With some build in flexibility e.g. a type of hot-desking where no-one “owns” a desk, individual team members can be moved around to work within other teams, if and when required.
Shared offices can help reduce the noise of a completely open plan office and restrict the distractions of other teams talking about work that isn’t relevant to everyone in the room.
By sharing an office with other team members discussions are more likely to be focussed on work that is relevant to the individuals in the room thereby increasing collaboration and allowing for impromptu idea/brainstorming when there are issues that need to be solved.
Activity Based Working (ABW)
ABW office layouts effectively look at the activities a business carries out and then designs and plans the best layout to meet those needs. In moving to more flexible working space solutions which encourage staff to move around, stay mobile and therefore be more flexible in where and how they work businesses need to think about the activities their employees undertake and how office space can be used to meet their specific needs.
ABW shouldn’t be confused with hot-desking or desk-sharing solutions instead it’s a way of providing employees with workspace that’s specifically designed to support different workplace activities. In this setup collaborative and quiet work can be accommodated.
Remote working is becoming a growing trend in many businesses and it allows staff to choose to work anywhere they find the most conducive to getting their work done and goals achieved.
Allowing staff to be mobile or to work remotely can allow them to move to areas or work away from the office when it is too noisy or when they specifically need a quiet space to concentrate.
Gone are the days when working remotely meant staff would be completely isolated, un-contactable and un-accountable. With today’s technology staff that are out of the office can keep in contact via Zoom or Skype and can still talk to team members even if they too are working remotely. Team task management software like Slack and Asana can also be used to track work so businesses know what staff are working on.
Mobile/remote working can achieve a great solution for some businesses who can then maximise the office space they have for staff that need to work within the office environment or who prefer to work with colleagues around them.
The Right Option For Your Kent Or London Office Design
Given the range of choices available to businesses when it comes to designing their office layout it can seem overwhelming. Making the right decision can be daunting. However with their years of experience in office design and layout JBH Refurbishments can provide the expertise to find the right Kent or London office design solutions which will best meet your short term and long term business needs.
By utilising Computer Aided Design (CAD)/digital rendering we can bring your office layout to life and show you exactly how it will look before any work starts on your site. Ensuring the design and layout is right prior to carrying out the work will give you the confidence that you have the right layout and keep your development on budget and on track.
Contact JBH Refurbishments on 0333 207 0339 or via our contact form to discuss your Kent or London office design to make the most of your Kent and London office workspace.