Commercial Interior Designs For Cutting-Edge Offices

Gauging the amount of widespread information available today may have you thinking office spaces must be metaphorical beehives — buzzing with borderline instinctual, relentless efficiency and productivity. While design commercial interior design strategy may be a common subject for the corporate crowd, actually putting that knowledge into practice is an entirely different beast.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve completed numerous interior commercial builds for our clientele. Our main goal is always to improve environmental factors that elevate office structure and growth – but it’s the little things that matter most.

Here’s our greatest hits list of three recent cutting-edge tech/law office builds that Aura Office Environments has helped transform.

 

Westside Family Law

Proudly serving the west side of Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, and New Westminster, Westside Family Law HQ lies in the heart of the South Granville neighbourhood.

They came to Aura looking to revitalize their office space to usher in a new era of customer service and project a renewed brand identity. We tackled this law office revamp using a three pillar system, addressing each issue with our trademark innovation and creativity.

Eco-Friendly

The existing Westside Family Law space wasn’t cramped by any stretch, but its footprint presented a unique challenge in that there was no buffer or transition zone from the lobby to the offices of the business. We developed a fresh and modern design using reclaimed and salvaged cedar timbers in a dynamic, angled floor-to-ceiling partition to add warmth and humanity. Using these eco-friendly and reclaimed materials helped develop a unique identity synonymous with second chances and helped to create pivotal transition zones in the space.

Detailed

It’s all about the little touches. Offices aren’t the boring, stale spaces they were during the corporate cubicle surge of the 1950s; today’s cutting edge modern spaces require a zest of life that helps differentiate them from their predecessors. Office art is a staple of any space, but we chose to present geographic representations of Greater Vancouver, the ocean, and the temperate rainforest in a unique way by suspending canvases from the ceiling, rather than have them conventionally hung on the wall. The result is a much taller space, helping the eye gaze upward and to a more modern installation process.

Materials & Linear Lines

Materials are every bit as important as the layout of a cutting edge office environment. We used a polished concrete to create a flashy focal point for clients entering this new space. Polished concrete is an incredibly hot material right now in many aspects of architecture and home design. We used strong linear lines to help create an artistic juxtaposition from the reclaimed timbers behind the receptionists’ desk for a powerful intersection of organic and industrial textures.

Owen Bird

The Owen Bird Law corporation is a full-service law firm located in downtown Vancouver. When we began working with this well-established brand, we integrated an office aura plan to maintain the traditional energy of the space, while integrating modern technology, some modern aesthetic changes, and successfully utilized the panoramic view of the city to bring the outdoors in.

Focal Points

We needed to help the space feel more open and inviting, so the team at Aura worked to select a unique carpet pattern that was both warm, modern, and assisted in carrying the eye throughout the space, rather than creating a solid block of texture on the floor. The result is an opposing linear carpet that creates a vibrant, stone-like appeal that carries throughout the lobby and private office settings.

 

Traditional Style & Modern Tech

This is an established and respected brand, and the team at Owen Bird were adamant that they pay respect to their past, and to the traditional pieces that help identify the space as a key player in the Vancouver law community. We integrated traditional pieces like leather chairs and sofa sets, dark and warm desks and wood accents, and modern neutral colour palettes with modern technology, and innovative modern accents here and there to update and differentiate the appeal of this stately and dignified space.

Utilize the View

We borrowed some of the ample daylight projected into the space via the large floor-to-ceiling glass windows in an effort to help Owen Birds’ clients feel welcome. A view from an office is rarely as stunning as the one from these windows, so we embraced the water view, the mountains, and the urban centre below to solidify a stunning aesthetic that informed much of our material choices for the rest of the space.

Brand Alliance

Brand Alliance is a North American leader in promotional marketing. They began as a Canadian grassroots company and soon expanded to work with some of the most respected and biggest brands in Canada. They hold a very strong dedication to environmental standards, strengthening community, and social compliance to develop their brand as a good neighbour involved with many local, national, and international charities.

The came to Aura invested with a belief that their space should represent their brand, and we jumped at the opportunity to work collaboratively with this like minded creative team.

Vibrancy

We used vibrant colours in furniture, and furniture accents to reaffirm Brand’s dedication to multiculturalism, diversity, and flavour in the workplace. Using colour in this regard is a surefire way to develop a reinvigorated, fresh space with little time or investment.

Open Space / Open Communication

We created more open and airy seating areas for both staff and clientele to communicate openly. With greenery and a nice view as a backdrop for our revamped seating areas, this office space encourages inter-office creativity, open collaboration, and chance encounters that build upon a legacy of close-knit teams and enviable company culture.

We built a rooftop patio to assist in developing a dynamic work-based approach to work/life balance, giving the team a place to escape the hustle of the office and recharge their batteries, while simultaneously creating an in-house lunch/break room that’s comfortable, inviting, and peppered with sleek modern touches like innovative media/tech and clean modernist lines.

Retro Style

Using an aesthetic that blends old industrial remnants found in their building like brick, exposed beams, and mortar, we integrated glass walls to keep the space open and inviting, while using warm wood accents and doors to continue a made-by-hand approach to the office design to incorporate the grassroots and human beginning of this continental powerhouse business.

Retro style played a big role in our environmental influences during this build, ushering in a sense of playfulness, humanity, and community. Littered with modern furniture pieces and comfy, warm leathers and pleasant fabrics, we think we hit the nail on the head.  

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Designs for cutting-edge offices are as varied and as engaging as they come. They’re all about integrating employee satisfaction, work/life balance, and corporate efficiency into a realm of innovation, creativity, and vibrancy.

Further to the psychology of the office, the modern landscape of commercial office design is all about bringing the outdoors in, seamlessly introducing new technology, and making a statement about your environment.

5 Breakthroughs In Commercial Interior Design Technologies

The very first iterations of a so-called modern office were rolled out to the masses in the early 1900’s. Most of them featured an open concept layout to support collaboration and communication – but they also contributed to massive levels of noise and distraction. Cue the 1950’s cubicle revolution, which went a little too far in the other direction and inspired unintentional isolation and a drop of office worker morale.

The most up-to-date commercial interior design mantra does something in the middle, option to include aspects of both to accommodate the individual working styles of different employees who need different environments to accomplish different tasks – but the biggest breakthrough of 2018 has proven to be the inclusion of more and more advanced commercial interior design technologies.

Here are our top 5 breakthroughs in commercial interior design technologies.

 

Virtual Reality Communications

Remember the hologram meetings the Empire or Rebel Alliance would host in Star Wars, with the fuzzy life-size visual of Darth? While virtual reality conferencing may not quite be on that level just yet, virtual reality communications are soon to be the mainstream choice of tech-savvy firms the world over.

With current teleconferencing, individuals can carry on with their everyday tasks, or ignoring the meeting altogether because they’re not visible to the other attendees; alternatively, video conferencing has similar issues with participant engagement – a meeting attendee can still do their own thing on-screen in privacy, rendering the meeting ineffective. Virtual reality conferencing allows users in different locations to literally meet in a room together to present CAD 3D models of new products, or share plans.

Skype and Zoom are proving to hold onto their relevancy, as these technologies have become a staple of modern office experiences, and help take meetings to new levels with reliable and high-quality face-to-face video conferencing.

 

Visual & Collaborative Brainstorming

Video conferencing and screen sharing are nothing new – but more and more offices are embracing these tech advances as the primary go-to technology for boosting efficiency in the office and communicating creative ideas in real time.

Screen sharing technologies give meeting attendees a front row view of the presenters screen from anywhere in the world, helping them gain unprecedented access to Powerpoint presentations, product designs, or brainstorming ideas for discussion.

Think back to an old school in-office presentation. Much like an elementary classroom, the presenter would use a black/whiteboard to illustrate and take notes of the topic at hand – but in 2018, these visual supports have received a much-needed makeover.

Google recently introduced a revolutionary G-Suite tool called Jamboard, a virtual whiteboard conferencing app, enabling individual employees from multiple different departments or offices to collaborate and view a singular screen for multiple meeting attendees to draw on and contribute to during brainstorming sessions.

 

Video Communication

Inbound giant, Hubspot, tells us that over 50% of marketers agree video is still the king of creative content, and it provides the best ROI for organizations, prompting some tech groups to embrace video as a means of email communication as well.

Similar to rapport building video conferencing technologies of 2018, video communications are also changing the ways people interact and exchange ideas and correspondence when they’re not live or in a meeting. Programs like Vidyard allow office employees to record and create simple, short video messages as emails, eliminating text, and adding a personal touch that text messages and voice messages can’t come close to.

Videos also help to better communicate context, voice, and tone, helping to more authentically engage workplace communication needs and eliminate any unwanted misinterpretation.

 

Gamification Culture

Gamification is a growing and expansive methodology used predominantly in education and training circles, but more and more commercial office environments are using games as a way to build company culture. Hosting a trivia, or video joke session via Slack, for example, which can be used to boost company morale as a way of introducing and familiarizing staff with each other.

From a team building perspective, gamification is easy to accommodate, fun, and a great way to connect individuals who may not get the chance to interact at work otherwise.

Advancing the fun-having identity of gamification and connective apps like Slack, Google Drive, and Google Hangouts, organizations are voluntarily employing the concept of “remote week” wherein they encourage employees to work from their favourite location — a coffee shop, the cottage, home, etc — as a way to encourage them to better understand these fun and engaging modes of communication and collaboration, but also as a way to introduce and familiarize themselves with telecommuting and the many benefits of a liberated and mobile workforce.

 

Voice Recognition & Activation

Studies show nearly half of all American routinely use digital voice assistants like Apple’s infamous Siri, Amazon Echo, and Google Home – so it’s no surprise that more and more office employees and organizations are using these computing voice assistants to accelerate tasks and minimize the impact of small tasks.

Voice assistants are excellent for scheduling meetings, sending messages, setting timeline-based goals and reminders, and typing notes; so they’re literally like an extra set of hands, and a quick and painless way to make staying on top of your day-to-day office life a breeze.

 

Easy accessibility, remote capabilities, advanced communication tools, and the rapid rise of the telecommuter demographic have prompted technology to make rapid changes to keep up with the ever-evolving office. Similarly, offices are also using consumer technologies in more professional capacities to bridge the gap between work and personal life – and that to us means people are happier; using commercial interior design office tech is making office life easier and enjoyable.

Change Management During Office Transfiguration

Change can be an overwhelming word for some, but at its core, change in an office setting means taking a hard look at processes, structures, technology, and the use and psychology of space. Managing changes to these processes and spaces can be tough for organizations that have become comfy in their approach; especially when we remind ourselves that organizations don’t change – the people who make them successful do.

Today, we’re taking an in-depth look at how change management during an office transformation can benefit an organization by leveraging adaptations and updates to how it supports people.

 

What Is Change Management?

In short, it’s an overarching discipline that guides how organizations and business entities prep, support, and supply individuals and teams with the tools they need to successfully embrace change that is geared towards the success, progression, and growth of the organization.

Change management is all about providing assistance and influencing individuals during their individual transitions. It’s a comprehensive approach that helps employees and teams to shift from familiar states of work into new territory.

 

The Benefits of Organizational Change Management

Change, in any sense, is only scary or overwhelming because it’s implied that change is involuntary, uncharted, and unplanned. People often associate change with the unknown, but the framework of change management takes the guesswork out of planned change, by implementing and using the benefits of the proposed changes as motivators and as an assessment of progress. Some of the most profound benefits of change management are as follows:

 

  • This process is heavily planned and managed, helping ensure stability and reassuring individuals that positive things are coming.
  • Helps to realign mismanaged, or underused resources within an organization to streamline operations and processes.
  • It can be implemented into practice without negatively impacting day-to-day operations.
  • It addresses the concerns and working styles of employees, improving organizational effectiveness and helping draw attention to hurdles and pain points.
  • Implementation time is reduced, as is the potential for unsuccessful change.
  • Change management creates the opportunity to develop more supportive and engaging best practices, team development processes, and leadership development qualities.

Perhaps the most profound and positive reinforcement of change management is the boosted confidence and performance of staff when they begin to understand the process is being implemented to address and support their concerns.

In a recent study, 65% of employees surveyed reported a wish for more feedback and communication at work, while a whopping 98% of employees agreed they’d feel disengaged when their organizations offer little or no feedback.

Here’s the thing, the primary benefit of implementing change management during and office transfiguration is recognizing the need for change and collectively agreeing there’s a specific way to help achieve the results you need to succeed. 78% of those same surveyed employees feel that being recognized motivates them to do good work.

 

How is it Used During an Office Transformation?

There are three major subsections of Change Management that discuss how an office would use the process. They are:

  • Individual Change Management
  • Organizational/Initiative Change Management
  • Enterprise Change Management Capability

 

Individual Change Management takes a good, hard look at what tools and support individuals need to change successfully. It includes asking and understanding what kinds of messaging people need to hear on the human side of organizational transitions, but also when the perfect time is to introduce new skills and how to coach an individual to develop new adaptive behaviours and work habits.

Individual change management is used during an office transformation by tackling the psychology and science behind what helps people want to adopt new beneficial behaviours, and gives upper management the opportunity to coach those individuals.

Organizational/Initiative change management takes those ideals one step further to support groups or teams of people and adopts a complimentary project management feel to its process. It’s all about development of a project-specific plan that prioritizes those involved get the tools, resources, leadership, and work/life balance they need to successfully transition.

Next is enterprise change management capability, which holds at its core, the means for an organization to adapt to an ever-changing consumer, digital, and organizational landscape. It effectively integrates change management principles and processes into its internal structure, its roles, leadership qualities, and projects to continually shift and roll with the punches of competitive differentiation.

 

How Can Businesses Pivot & When is a Good Time?

Timing is everything when it comes to an office overhaul, but there are other times when change management may be imperative to the success of your organization, like during a major time of economic upheaval, or during a corporate merger.

Companies that are merging often run the risk of opposing staff and working rituals counteracting each other as two entities become one, and so having a plan in place to address, support, and lead individuals and groups of employees in the right direction becomes imperative to success.

Mergers in both the private and public sector are an interesting case, because they not only involve merging business models, information, revenues, tech, etc – they involve merging spaces and staff as well. Effectively managing two groups as one can be tough for obvious reasons, especially while understanding almost 70% of mergers fail.

It’s important to implement change management during a time when is causes as little disruption to the workforce as possible, while communicating and coaching them through the perceivable changes – like adding staff, changing direction, beginning a new project, or making major changes to the occupational structures that make up their everyday work environment.

 

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During an office transfiguration, change is all about finding ways to help employees and existing systems adapt to beneficial changes — and that means finding innovative and supportive ways to support people making personal transitions to how they work, how they interact with others, and how they perceive their work environment.

Why Choose Design-Build Instead of Traditional Project Management?

So, you’ve decided to build a new office or commercial space. The big decision you will need to make concerns which is the best method to get your project from concept to construction. Various project delivery workflows can take different paths, each with benefits and challenges, and some that incorporate nuances of each system. Here we will look at the 2 most common methods that a business owner can take when starting a new construction project – design-bid-build and the design-build project management.

Traditional Project Management

As the project stakeholder using a traditional design-bid-build construction model, you will be tasked with finding and working directly with a number of entities, which include at a minimum the following service providers and tradesmen.

      Architectural consultant to complete the architectural and structural design of the new facility

      MEP design/installation services to specify and layout the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing installations

      Specialty Consultants such as civil engineering and landscape designers

      Interior designers to designate fixtures, furnishings, flooring, and wall textures/patterns

      General Contractor (GC) to take complete control of day-to-day construction management

      Sub-contractors reporting to GC after winning the bid to provide trade services

This traditional method of project management involves many different players, and it’s the primary stakeholder (or the owner of the new facility) that will incur full responsibility for any material or financial losses during construction, including poor quality installations, costly field changes, missed deadlines, and the scheduling conflicts that result. The snowball effect begins as trade crews sit idle, the schedule becomes bottlenecked, material deliveries must be delayed, and the general contractor is tasked with covering his losses – by any means necessary.

Of course, if contractual obligations were not met, the owner may not incur a loss – but will certainly have to prove during litigation or mediation that the contracted services as stated, were not provided. The downfall to this traditional method of building is that each phase of the project from landscaping and professional flooring installations to plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems – is viewed as a separate design/installation entity under the supervision of the general contractor (who reports only to you – the owner).

The GC has the power to make best practice decisions for all portions of the construction or systems installation – and can overrule the expertise of trade subcontractors.

Other challenges with the design-bid-build project delivery method is when conflict between architect and general contractor arises. The architect is married to his concept and final design for your new building, while the general contractor is focused on a timely delivery, staying within the project budget, and making a profit.

Also consider, the low bid procurement system is open to questionable performance by trade service providers who also must make a profit. The Design-Build method is a better way to delivery construction projects and will overcome many deficiencies in the design-bid-build method.

 

The Design-Build Project Delivery

The design-build project delivery method was conceived as a more efficient method for building commercial and industrial facilities. This engineering and construction workflow will transfer the entire project design, construction, and installation phases of the new facility under the helm of one service provider – the design-build firm or AEC (architectural, engineering and construction firm) which operates as the “owner’s representative”. The design/build method makes it easy to work with one group who understands the owner’s vision and goals when building a new office and/or commercial space.

Design/build eliminates the bidding process and multiple contracts while putting the owner under contract with one single entity that delivers a complete construction project – including design and engineering. The same firm will provide for and oversee all construction processes up to completion. Expect your design/build firm to handle the following:

      Quote the project cost and ensure the project budget/costs as presented, before construction begins. This eliminates the many the surprises or cost overruns while allowing the owner to maintain the power to approve any material substitutions or construction changes.

      Provides all architectural design and engineering documentation to meet project requirements upon approval of the owner and is the primary communication between supply vendors and trade subcontractor such as millwork, plumbing, interior design, electrical and HVAC design documentation.

      Stays in constant contact with the owner regarding any major field changes from the original design, any scheduling conflicts that will affect the budget, manpower deficiencies, or material substitutions which could affect project design, timeline, or budget.

      Acts as the general contractor, hiring all skilled trade service providers and unskilled manpower needed and takes total charge of the day-to-day construction operations and supervision of all subcontractors working on the project

      Will obtain all building permits and oversees all legal obligations, including building code inspections.

      Will take responsibility for all the financial contracts with subcontractors and manpower scheduling conflicts that may result from unforeseen weather or construction events.

 

Advantages of the Design-Build Project

The major advantage of design/build projects is the ease of working with a dedicated team of designers/builders from one professional firm, compared to working with multiple contractors, designers, and firms. Your design-build team provides a seamless, one-stop solution without the chaos and hassles of juggling multiple trades or relying on the general contractor to stay true to the architects design. Other benefits include:

Saves Project Management Costs

When you have one skilled team responsible for carrying out and providing a suitable remedy for all contractual concerns of the project owner, the costs of managing and coordinating multiple parties is eliminated. Your design-build firm takes responsibility for hiring qualified tradesmen, all manpower scheduling, construction equipment and material acquisition, and the daily construction tasks.

Ensures An Efficient and Effective Workflow

Design/build is a streamlined construction process. From start to finish, your one point of contact will provide a project quote and a project plan with complete information on how they will turn your construction goals into reality.  The quoted cost to the owner relies heavily on the performance of the design build firm to stay within budget and complete the project on time. They are motivated to eliminate wasted time and wasted resources to guarantee a profit for the design build company.

Less Risk for the Owner

Their expertise includes a broad knowledge of the complete architectural, engineering, and construction process – and uses that strong foundation to make sound building decisions and coordinate effective material sourcing. The contract calls for the owner to assume less risk, by allowing the AEC firm to assume more responsibility and control. The client is as active a participant as they desire to be.

Takes Advantage of Existing Partnerships

Your design/build firm has worked with and relies on established relationships between construction material suppliers, equipment vendors, and skilled tradesmen/subcontractors that have demonstrated trustworthy business ethics and have a reputation for using both time and manpower effectively. A design/build firm stands behind their work and the work of the crews they hire to complete your project.

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A design-build firm will always work on behalf of the client – and isn’t held under the thumb of suppliers or construction groups.

Contrary to being left out of the construction loop, you can expect to be involved with not only approving the design concept of the new structure, but also the intricate details like time frames, total costs, payment arrangements, and how additional costs due to unforeseen circumstances are handled.

How to Plan a Successful Office Renovation

Planning an office renovation is an exciting time for a business that’s experiencing growth, or investing in its future. Renovations mean a readjustment in attitude, identity, and a clean slate. They also mean a carefully curated interior with a fresh aesthetic at its centre – but how soon should you plan an office renovation?

It’s easy to jump the gun and begin imagining all the incredible features and amenities you plan on implementing to your new office design, but there’s plenty to consider and prepare for prior to thinking about paint colours and finishing touches.

In this post, we’re taking a close look at how to plan a successful office renovation.

 

What to Build, What to Build?

Step number one in an office pre-plan is to decide what kind of office you want to build – and more importantly, what kind of office is going to compliment your staff, your industry, and your businesses brand identity. You’ll also want to consider modern and trending office design, features and the psychology behind different office layouts and theories.

Will your business benefit from an open concept space that caters to ample collaboration, and should you be adding on a designated space for dedicated focus? What are the latest ideas in conference room design, and Eco friendly considerations?

Before you begin to get the ball rolling, the first step in any renovation plan is to always consider the financial implications of your build – can you handle the added monetary requirements of a state-of-the-art renovation? Are you renovating for rapid company growth? Is company morale and employee well being a motivating factor in your desire to renovate?

Next, couple your financial thinking to that of a space audit. By investigating your existing space you can identity its pitfalls so they’re left behind in your new design.

This planning stage should ideally be completed, or at least on your collective organizational radar about 6-8 months prior to giving a general contractor the green light to begin. With this amount of time to your advantage, you’ll have no trouble fleshing out ideas, and assembling a team that can make your vision a reality.

 

When Should You Begin Planning?

Different office structures and teams will require different timeframes from which to plan their office renovation project. As a general rule, we recommend working with your design expert to determine an appropriate timeframe based on the needs of your project. You’ll want to  consider preparation time spent researching, consulting, exploring, and gaining knowledge on the many facets of design and productivity.

 

You’ll need this half-year to investigate and detail plans that include:

    • What’s driving this renovation, and why is it necessary to supporting your goals as an organization?
  • Issues that will affect the construction schedule
    • Will your renovation spell a temporary relocation, or can you work through the intensity of project while maintaining an efficient and motivated workforce?
  • Budget
    • What’s the budget look like, and does it include funds and resources for unexpected changes, permits, insurance, etc.

Doing this type of homework prior to giving your renovation plans the proverbial greenlight is critical to ensuring the project’s success. Background work helps eliminate problems that routinely spring up in hastily planned renovations, and allows your organization to iron out projected shortcomings before they happen, eliminating downtime, ensuring internal motivation, and getting you into your new space as quickly as possible.

 

Finding the Right Design Team

Finding the right design-build team for your office renovation is all about finding a way to articulate and recognize the importance of your business identity and your brand. This always begins by communicating and collaborating with your staff to find the things that they covet the most at work, and utilizing those insights to find a design-build team that exemplifies those values.

In short, a design-build team needs to compliment your values, embody your goals, and identify with your plans for your office renovation.

You can begin this search by investigating portfolios of design work, and asking your picks to introduce you to their design-build process. This initial communication is all about connecting with the people who you are going to build your new space with. You need to discuss ideas candidly, bounce ideas off one another, and last but not least – allow each other to do their jobs. When you find a design team you trust, this is a simple matter.

A professional design team will need a solid 4 months to work with your business to evaluate your space, make a comprehensive plan, and begin preparation stages for construction. Your design team will lead the charge through discussions regarding theme, workflow and office layout, furniture considerations, tech accommodations, green/eco -friendly design considerations, features, colour palettes, and finishing touches.

 

Always Invest in Modern Ideas & Tech

When you renovate an office, you need to be constantly looking forward to the future. There’s very little sense in recreating a new space and recycling the old way you used the previous space. This means investing in new technologies, new methodologies of organizational success, and learning the psychology of the modern workforce and how office design can impact productivity, job satisfaction for employees, efficiency, and talent retention.

This also means taking an in-depth look at the square footage needed to optimize a modern office and accommodate the breakthrough ways to develop your team. Invest in modern tech and ideas to help bring your office into the new age of integrated, mobile-friendly workflows, active space planning, and organizational adaptability.

 

Minimizing Downtime

In order to minimize downtime during your renovation process, you can work directly with your design team to investigate ways to eliminate an entire workplace shut down while construction commences. This could mean relocating a section of your workforce to a different section of the businesses building while construction gets underway, or finding a suitable off-site office solution to minimize distractions and exposure to the byproducts of construction like dust, dirt, and noise.

As a general rule, plan to be in a perpetual state of construction during the duration of your projected timeline – depending on the scope of your renovation plans. Major structural changes require architect and building code approval, and rebuilding a space from the ground up cannot be rushed.

Also, keep your staff informed of progress, and when things are happening, should you collectively choose to stay put during the course of renovations. When staff are left in the dark, it inevitably creates an environment of chaos and confusion. Host weekly meetings with department heads to inform the rest of the team about processes, and assist in answering questions that your staff may have. It’s one thing to give direction and updates on construction, and another thing to provide your employees with answers that alleviate stress.

You can also invest in Move Management Software to help manage company workflows, stay up-to-date on pressing goals and targets, and stay organized. Cloud-based tech like this allows your staff to operate using mobile and remote technologies – which are likely an addition to your new space – giving them access to the office from anywhere.

 

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We recommend planning for about a year of constant discussions, and deliberations regarding your office renovation, from conception to completion.

Remember, an office renovation is a fantastic way to rekindle some of the energy, inspiration, and excitement your business may have lost over the years working in an outdated space. Newly optimized spaces are key to boosting efficiencies in the workplace, reducing costs, and improving staff morale.

Getting Over Office Renovation Budget Constraints

Today’s modern business spaces look very different from traditional offices of the past. It doesn’t matter if it’s an open work space or some combination of private offices and cubicles, corporate management clearly understands the benefits to renovating current office spaces with improved workflow patterns to encourage collaboration – along with stylish, modern, and comfortable interiors that retain top talent.

An office renovation should support the long term growth of your business, including choice of furnishings, lighting, and equipment that will directly impact your current and future workforce.

To get the maximum performance and functionality from your new space, a detailed evaluation of the current space can provide insight into the optimum use of space vs. cost. Consider performing a space audit during the planning stages to discover the maximum use of space, the best assignment of spaces to support business processes, and to understand the most effective cost per square foot.

 

Planning for an Effective Office Renovation

The first step to planning an effective office renovation is to select your team of professionals that will guide you through the remodel process.

The old school way to look at this curation would mean finding an architect, a general contractor, and a design consultancy firm that specializes in office and/or retail spaces to take the helm in all aspects of the renovation. These days, more and more businesses see the benefit in reducing the run-around by selecting a dedicated office design/build firm that makes your office renovation project easier from start to finish – creating energetic interiors, efficient workspaces, and providing for and supervising all specialty tradesmen needed to complete the project.

Plan for effective use of all space and an efficient use of your budgeted funds. Your planning should include the type and style of office desired, and what current office pitfalls you specifically want to eliminate; if you know a certain group of employees need a more private work space – plan for it. If you know your current conference room table doesn’t seat all employees for corporate meetings – detail how much seating would be optimum.

In modern offices, the answer to budget or space restrictions might include a trade-off between space and technology, such as an interactive whiteboard with video conferencing capability. You won’t outgrow the technology, but you may outgrow an undersized conference room.

 

5 Office Renovation Budget Tips

When planning for your office renovation, your vision, your budget, and the effective use of space should all work together in determining trade-offs vs. must-haves. Consider innovative ways to achieve the office you want when budget constraints are in place:

  • Sunshine is free, and plants are an inexpensive way to bring the outdoors into the office while boosting morale.
  • Be forward-thinking with modern technology that can reduce onsite data storage (remote or cloud-based storage), limit paper printing (paperless office), and change the way you do business (tablets and laptops versus desktop computers).
  • Happy employees will collaborate. Communal areas along open window areas will use under-utilized space and save money.
  • Customize each division to its space. Cut costs by limiting private offices to management, sales, and creative staff members.
  • Consult with an office interior design specialist to effectively use color, space, patterns, seating, and lighting to create a positive and productive environment – and will cost less than expensive furnishings.

Specialists in office renovations can overcome budget constraints by using workplace psychology and good ergonomic and visual design principles to create spaces that are inclusive, inventive, fruitful, and enjoyable – all while staying within your budget.

 

How a Space Audit Can Maximize Budget

After you’ve partnered with a creative office design/build consultant and pre-planned for the type of space, furnishings, and equipment that each area will need – along with allocating funds for upgrading office technology to overcome any physical limitations of space, you may find that your vision still doesn’t match your budget. The next step is to consider a space audit to maximize your budget and interior spaces.

A space audit will help make sure your office space will fit the present and future needs of you employees and your business. While a space audit should not be the only motivating factor in an office renovation, it does provide evidence-based analysis of your space, both qualitative and quantitative.

 

Company leadership – and employees – should be asked what they desire in an effective office layout. Depend on a space audit to reveal areas where spaces are under-utilized and where inefficient workflow patterns exist due to poor office layout.

The result of a space audit is a detailed report to guide your office renovation project in maximizing all office space to its fullest potential. When faced with office renovation budget constraints, you realize you won’t get everything on your wish list. But you should certainly expect your project to conclude with an office layout that reduces operating costs, uses available space more effectively, and accommodates all employees.

Pertaining to the human factor – if the project results in an office that supports teamwork, increased productivity, and an enhanced occupant experience – then consider the renovation a huge success, regardless of planning and budgetary conflicts.

 

Consider the Open Office Concept

When you partner with an interior space and design consultant, they can analyze the spaces across your entire property including storage areas, meeting rooms, main offices, reception areas, breakout rooms, private facilities, and any retail spaces.

Expect to discover not only how your spaces are being used – but also, how they are not being used. A space audit doesn’t examine square footage utilization only – it should also analyze features concerning how your employees work together, and the style of management in place.

The open office concept is a money saving office layout plan that increases communication between employees and the efficiency of business workflows. The loss of privacy – which employees may initially balk at, can be offset with large and small private spaces that contain little more than adaptable seating and tables for group privacy. It’s always a good idea to discuss an open floor plan with your employees and brainstorm ways they can more easily adapt.

New office ground rules should be discussed and set into motion – aimed at limiting noise and distractions, while respecting the privacy of your co-workers. Go one more step and discuss best practices for music and personal phone calls. An open office saves money that could be spent on interior partitions and separate decors. At the same time, a new and fresh energy is injected into the heart of your company’s culture.

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It may seem like a delicate balancing act when renovation project leaders examine corporate budget restraints. All parties expect a successful remodel to embrace quality, function, and costs. The issue becomes getting the most from your allocated funds. Start by pre-planning your project spending and look at ways to reduce costs wherever possible.

How a Professional Space Audit Can Reduce Costs

When businesses are fresh and new, they typically put in miles of extra effort to track and chart all expenses so they know where every last red cent has gone. As time goes on and growth happens, budgets inevitably increase and with them, so does spending. Every now and then a professional space audit can help reduce costs in the office, doing so by looking closely at business operations, productivity, and workflow.

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Top 5 Functional Office Ideas That Will Increase Productivity

The design of your office reflects your company’s values. Well-designed workspaces create an environment that can have an enormously positive impact on your employees’ overall productivity and morale.

Function within design elements are of utmost importance – whether you commute to the office, or you work from your home. If you’re the owner of a company, you should be encouraging and supporting all of your remote employees to carefully design their offices at home, by offering tips and ideas on how to better enjoy their tenure as a remote contributor to your company culture. As far as the onsite offices, it’s left in your hands to have them designed in a manner that enhances productivity.

A good office design will support a variety of work modes. You need spaces that support collaboration as well as individual workspaces where employees can focus and be free from distractions.

When considering office design, companies need to ask questions and listen to their employees. Leaders should consider who their employees are, as well as, who they may be in the next five years. Given the countless ways to design and plan an employee’s workspace, leaders should take a strategic approach when re-designing an office.

Studies on workplace and productivity have shown the most important element in determining an employee’s ability to focus is the physical environment in which they work. Employees must be able to filter out distractions in order to focus on the task at hand. Preferred physical characteristics of an employees’ environment will vary from one employee to the next. The individual preference is typically dependent on the task being tackled and the individual employee.

Let’s take a look at five popular office designs that are meant to increase efficiency and productivity.

Multipurpose Workspaces

Utilizing a single space for everything from multimedia presentations to casual breakout areas is a growing trend. Employers are seeking to provide employees with a more comfortable and enjoyable work environment to encourage collaboration.

Many offices are mandating dedicated lounge areas as employees now look for more interaction with coworkers. Cubicles are disappearing and being replaced by “the bench.” Many organizations are moving towards a non-assigned seating mindset and are integrating oval-shaped office desks, providing space for 4-6 people to meet.

Ergonomic Workstations

In order to stimulate thinking, creativity, and concentration, employers are incorporating ergonomic workstations in their offices. And to mitigate the effects of sitting at a desk for long periods of time, modern office workplaces are integrating ergonomic chairs. The chairs provide lumbar support and feature adjustable height and armrest settings. It’s not uncommon to find height-adjustable desks being used by people who like to alternate between sitting and standing while working.

Exercise ball chairs are being incorporated for employees who want to exercise while they work. While exercise balls may not be preferred by all employees, it’s commonly agreed that adjustable desks and ergonomic chairs are well received by everyone in the workplace.

Color Philosophy

As offices migrate toward a more open and collaborative workspace, there is also a focus on colors and the impact they have on an employee’s productivity. Color has long been proven to affect productivity, thus being a reason more offices are integrating pops of color in multiple ways, such as paint, accessories, and furniture.

Today’s companies strive to create workplaces that reflect both their brand and values. This is achieved by doing much more than simply placing logos here and there. Employers are considering the impact color plays in the workplace environment and they are choosing colors that emit a positive emotional response from both a customer and employee standpoint.

Worth noting is that people react differently to various colors, so employers will often look to hues and shades that are generally believed to promote energy, creativity, calmness, and happiness. Due to a large number of variables, employers will often hire office design professionals when choosing workspace colors. These professionals recognize the relationship between important elements, like furniture, lighting, color, and texture, and how they reflect a company’s culture.

Adding color to the workplace is about much more than painting the walls; color can be injected throughout the office through art, graphics, and more.

Nature

Reconnecting people with nature is one of the most powerful trends in workplaces across America. It’s believed when employees connect with nature, it provides better concentration, creativity, and performance. Employers are bringing sunlight into the workspace through large glass windows, glass walls, glass doors, and glass ceilings. Although not popular in smaller offices, the use of fountains, streams, and mini waterfalls are commonly being seen in building lobbies, common areas, and large offices.

We are also seeing a huge surge in the popularity of plants being integrated into the work environment. Plants purify the air of toxic compounds, and they also transform carbon dioxide into oxygen, which helps employees concentrate better and it improves their health. Employers are placing plants, trees, and rocks throughout the office environment to promote a natural environment. According to a research team in the UK, having plants in the workplace can boost employee productivity by as much as 15%

Glass Doors and Walls

One of the most popular materials being integrated into workplace design is interior glass. Aside from the advantages of glass allowing natural light to flow throughout the work environment, companies are using glass doors and walls to promote more transparency in the workplace. To reduce a feeling of being isolated, glass walls and doors allow employees to view what coworkers are doing, which encourages team collaboration. Glass doors and walls are soundproof when used in this capacity. Making use of glass throughout office design tends to encourage and promote honesty and integrity throughout an organization.

With advancements in glass systems, interior glass has become the material of choice. Many offices have glass areas where information can be written or projected onto them; this enhances functionality and augments workplace connectivity. Glass walls give the appearance of openness and are easier and cheaper to install than regular walls.

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Company leaders have an opportunity to improve their employees’ productivity, satisfaction, and engagement by improving their workspace design. Sources claim productivity can increase by approximately 20 percent when providing a well-designed office for employees.

Not only will a carefully curated office design improve employee performance, but it will put employers in a position to compete with other organizations by helping them attract top-talented employees. Today’s workforce demands creative stimulation, collaboration, and flexibility, and a well-planned office design can facilitate all three of these valuable elements.

Why Co-working Spaces Don’t Work For Everyone

Co-working spaces are the proverbial feather in the cap of modern office spaces for the simple reason they support and encourage both chance encounters between colleagues, and collaboration, inspiring increased productivity via an open, creative space. C’est la vie… Well, not always.

In this post, we’re diving into the discussion and sharing our perspectives on why co-working spaces don’t always work for everyone, while examining ways to bridge the gap to provide working environments that cater to all.

 

We’re All Different

There are many social archetypes rolled up into an office environment. You’ve got the social butterfly who always seems to have time to chat. You’ve got the ‘sorry, I’m too swamped to chat’ person who is rarely around to collaborate with; and of course, the people who sit wearing headphones from 9-5 and rarely have the time to collaborate or make themselves available for anything.

It’s estimated that by the end of 2018, over 1.7 million people will be working in some 19,000 co-working spaces globally, and the expansion of co-working ideals are still on the upswing. But people are weary. While 29% of all co-working spaces have opened in 2018, the number of people signing up hasn’t grown as quickly as initially expected.

To each, their own – it doesn’t take a psychoanalyst to tell you that people all need different things. Understanding that open, noisy, collaborative spaces isn’t the perfect elixir for 100% of the working world shouldn’t be alarming – it’s how we all strive to deal with the advance and popularity of the co-working space that should be the focal point of this conversation.

 

Distractions are Everywhere

Digital distraction is real. Remote employees and freelancers abound can attest to the ease of getting lost in a downward spiral of related content, amplified research, social time with your fellow workspace colleagues, and yes – even Instagram. It’s tough for people to disconnect when the vast majority of their professional responsibilities are online.

Co-working spaces are meant to be places of respite and refuge from the scourge of distraction, and are meant to give remote digital employees a space where they can plug in and work at the same time. When those two counter-intuitive values don’t jive well, it can feel like its impossible to meet the expectations of growing workloads and expanding responsibilities.

 

Privacy is Tough to Find

Having a place to literally go to work is important to many remote employees – the simple sensation of leaving the house or apartment every morning is enough of a routine that it helps adjust to the co-working sphere – but there’s an innate lack of privacy in shared co-working spaces. Without privacy, some people can easily become overwhelmed, anxious, and can experience real lulls in their productivity.

Growing attention is being paid to purposeful and curated interior design within co-working spaces. The inclusion of more and more dedicated focus spaces is geared at providing remote co-working employees the opportunity to retreat from the open corral of the shared real estate, so they may concentrate in semi-private zones – like conference rooms, and even phone booths.

This is often completed by co-working space owners implementing modular, mobile furniture that can adapt and provide people with ever-changing environments that complement their style of working, or a specific project.

 

Co-working Spaces are Their Own Businesses

Consider this: a lot of the time, startups and fledgling businesses opt to begin out of a co-working space to house their employees as a way to bridge a real estate gap while they find their own space. This is a good thing — the success of popular co-working startups like Convene and WeWork provide corporate real estate for employees – but they do so on their own terms.

These spaces lack the potential for companies to grow in terms of their own identity. This makes it difficult for new companies and employees to unite under a collective umbrella without the identity of a business structure that’s bred to please everyone.

In the short-term, co-working spaces are fantastic collaborative spaces to foster creativity, bursts of productivity, and to bridge the real estate gap. Over the long-term, co-working is a business, and is no true substitute for a strong office identity of your own that will ultimately inspire a much more meaningful company culture.

Physical spaces help to amplify and unify a brand’s voice and mission — working in a space that’s not your own takes away from that necessary building block.

 

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Co-working spaces are fantastic ways to help remote workers enjoy some office culture routine, but their physical structure isn’t the perfect solution for everyone, and certainly is no substitute for long-term business success.

Co-working space, by their very nature, can’t work for everybody – because everybody is a unique individual, with unique traits, unique working preferences, all while working on unique projects that require unique thinking; how on earth can one style of space accommodate the complexities of the human condition and individualized critical thought? Simply put, it can’t – and that’s OK.

 

How to Maximize Office Productivity with a Focus Space

Collaboration is a critically important aspect of successful modern office environments, but focus will always rank higher as a means of building effective and productive workplaces. Maximizing office productivity with a focus space allows employees to independently dedicate attention and concentration to tasks and projects in a way that can’t be replicated in the hustle and bustle of offices shrouded in non-stop socialization.

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