Given how valuable Kent and London workspace can be it’s easy to see why making the best use of your office space is very important when it comes to office design and refurbishment. With this is mind single-purpose spaces are on the wane and instead businesses are adopting multi-purpose workspaces which can fulfil a number of business objectives.
Kent and London multi-purpose workspaces can either be one room with different “zones” which can cater to a multitude of different tasks or it can be a room which has flexible furniture or partitioning that can be changed quickly and easily to fulfil a range of business needs e.g. a meeting room which can be rearranged into individual smaller office areas (and vice versa); or a room with desks or workbenches with a breakaway area in a corner which has more comfortable chairs and encourages staff to take time away from their desk.
Evolution of the Workspace
Workspace in Kent and London workspace is evolving and will continue to evolve over the coming years.
We’re a long way from the 1900s when office design was very much about improving efficiency (although not in the way we understand today). Then the office space was designed to be regimented and rigid in its layout.
Desks would be evenly spaced in rows within a large open plan office space. This design concept was focussed on achieving high productivity through high occupancy levels. The more workers within the space the more work would be done. In hind sight this increase in productivity was at the expense of workers health and well-being.
In the 30s workspaces became more “open plan” with a mix of private offices and open plan workstations. This setup provided more of a balance between the need for privacy and open plan areas which encouraged collaboration. This type of office layout was less about squeezing out the maximum occupancy an office space and more about creating a workspace that catered for multiple business requirements.
In the early 60s the Bürolandschaft (which translates to “office landscape”) workspace design style was created by the Schnelle brothers. The Bürolandschaft layout was less rigid and took office design a step closer to balancing privacy and the opportunity for collaboration workspaces by using an open plan style and using natural items like plants and foliage to create partitions.
In the mid 60s the “Action office” invented by Robert Propst further built on the concept of the Bürolandschaft design style. The difference was the increased the space between workstations. Workstations became larger. A need for increased privacy was also perceived and as a consequence workstations became more enclosed over time through the use of high, three-sided vertical partitions.
In the 1980s office layouts moved towards what was known as the “cubicle farm” which saw another shift in office design. Workstations became smaller and were surrounded on three sides by cheap modular partitioning which provided privacy but stopped much of the social interaction the 1960s designs were trying to encourage.
It wasn’t until there were significant advances in technology that office layout ideas were once again revisited with a view to enabling more human centric design. Technology has also enabled the use of office space in a multi-purpose way rather than rigidly sticking to office designs and layouts which fulfil just one purpose.
Today’s Kent and London Office Space Design
Office design now reflects the changes in technology available to companies today. We now also know that the health and well-being of office staff is vital to a business’s productivity. With this knowledge in hand it’s easy to see how multi-purpose office layouts can play an important role in not only helping a business to be more productive but also in ensuring staff health and well-being is encouraged through the use of break out areas within larger office spaces.
The focus of office design is now on the comfort and wellbeing of staff, rather than being solely focussed on productivity, which in turn promotes a more healthy environment and leads to happier staff who are more productive.
How to Make the Most of Your Kent or London Workspace
By considering the way your office staff use your office space, the types of work processes they need to carry out on a day-to-day basis and factoring in advancements in technology businesses can design a more “agile” working environment. Embracing this type of workplace environment empowers employees to choose where they work rather than locking them into a “one workspace arrangement”.
Making People Mobile
Allowing people to be mobile is known to enhance creativity and productivity. A research report carried out by The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 1,865 employees across a range of businesses. The report looked at the factors that contributed to workers’ job satisfaction, creativity and productivity. The report found that 60% of employees believed mobile technology boosted their productivity. 45% stated that it improved their ability to be creative.
Today with the availability of mobile technology and connectivity including Wi-Fi, smartphones, tablets, laptops, VOIP and cloud storage the way that we work has changed too. Many businesses have taken advantage of these technological advances to utilise workspaces to be multi-functional.
Whereas in the past workers may have been tied to a designated desk nowadays staff can move around, going from workstation areas to collaboration spaces, to break out areas, even to the outside of their building e.g. onto the roof or to a patio area if available. This flexibility frees up teams to utilise whatever part of the office, inside or out that they wish to work in.
Modular and Moveable Furniture
Investing in modular furniture can give a business added flexibility and adaptability when it comes to making use of office space in a multi-purpose way. When you have office furniture that can be easily moved, broken down into smaller units or dismantled then you empower employees to mould the workspace into the layout or setup that they require at any given time.
Modular furniture can come in all shapes and sizes from collapsible desks and chairs which can be easily setup or taken down to long communal tables that can be used for large meetings or team brain storming then broken into smaller tables for individual workstations. Book cases and storage can be modular too.
Modular seating which can be used in reception areas or break out spots can also be taken apart and put together in different configurations in order to meet business needs. Seating can also be more enclosed to provide privacy.
No Space to Small
Multi-purpose workspaces don’t have to be large. With office space in Kent and London at a premium even small spaces can act as very effective break out areas. A break out area can be formed simply by utilising a small zone or section of your office space which will allow employees to step away from their individual desks to an area with comfortable seating and a relaxed atmosphere. In fact any space that can accommodate a couple of comfy chairs or even a single chair or a seating pod can act as a break out area.
Businesses whose office areas have awkward spaces, that won’t house a typical workstation, can use these areas as a space open to employees separate from their usual work area. Office corridors with alcoves can also act as another space that can be used for work, reading or downtime. In fact any space within the office can be used as a break out area with a little bit of flexibility and planning.
How We Can Help With Designing Your Multi-Purpose Kent or London Workspace
JBH Refurbishments are experts in office refurbishment with over 25 years in the industry. View some of the many projects we have carried out within our case studies section which feature multi-purpose Kent and London workspace e.g.
- West Sussex Industrial Warehouse Fit Out
- Warehouse Office Fit-Out for Music Distribution Centre
- Thames Reinforcements Office Refurbishment
- Starting From Scratch – A Complete Office Refurbishment in Kent
- Corporate Office Fit-Out
Contact JBH Refurbishments on 0333 207 0339 or via our contact form.