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Move Away from Traditional Floor Plans

Sep 4, 2008
The concept of office design is a comparatively modern one. Since the beginning of "the working day" and "the office", little attention has been focused on the way an workplace was laid out. If any thought was considered, it was normally kept to the visual appeal of an work space and this has, regrettably, remained the normal assumption when a company considers an office design. Whilst visual aesthetics stay as a vital aspect of office design, modern companies now see office design embodying the much broader idea of space management. Modern office design not only creates a visually beautiful interior, it also aims to create an efficient and practical working space.

Office design is integral for a variety of reasons, for both employees and the business as a whole. For the company, excellent office design gives the opportunity to create a place of business that announces a strong corporate identity. It is here that visual aesthetics reach their most paramount function as they exist to show a visiting client about the business, what it values, what its priorities are and what it thinks of itself. First impressions count and the visual appeal of the area that clients see initially is especially crucial.

For employees, too, exceptional office design is exceedingly important. Visually, a well-designed work space will raise staff morale. An workplace should be an inspirational area to work and not just a "working space". Just as for clients, usingoffice refurbishment to brand an office with a strong corporate identity can encourage a positive work culture and encourage employees to work in a way appropriate to the values of the corporation.

Excellent office design also has a more practical function as it takes into account how an office space will be used and uses that information to plan a practical and useful space. It should also include elements that will aim to support employees with unique needs, such as employees with disabilities. In this regard, office design works harmoniously with workplace health and safety in order to build a cohesive, practical and workable environment for all employees.

It is important to know that office design is an ongoing practicality, rather than a one-off design event. The office refurbishment must keep up to the demands natural in a working space, where how an office is utilized is regularly changing. New workplace and safety laws must also be factored in. Finally, the evolving nature of a company's brand and corporate identity is an additional reason why it's crucial to keep office design modern.

There are two options when contemplating an office design: whether it will be a new fit-out or whether it will be an office refurbishment. A new fit-out should be contemplated for existing premises, as well as new ones, as it lets a business the unique ability to create a tailor-made design that works in perfect harmony with a company's workplace requirements. The other choice is an office refurbishment, which is an economical choice if the essential structure of the workplace is still appropriate for employees requirements and provides the opportunity to update and modernize economically.

There are a multitude of aspects to think about in an office design. Priority should be given to thinking about how a office will be used. What are the traffic flows in the workplace? Where should meeting areas be placed? What are the unique needs of employees who may have disabilities? All of these questions must be met by the office design if a office is to work practically. Additionally, consideration should be given to the storage needs of an workplace, what equipment will be used and where it should be placed, where the power and data points are (or should be), what kind of light sources are in the workplace and where they are coming from and any sound or sound-proofing requirements. Visually, consideration should be given to color schemes, logos and finishes that work together to develop a professional effect that strengthens the corporate brand and identity.

When considering how to develop and execute your office design, a company can hire a professional design business. There are many companies that specialize in corporate design and a company can use this specialist knowledge to develop a unique plan with a minimum of fuss. Another option is to use office design software. This is an option that has only become available to the general public relatively recently. It has the potential to allow a business to economically redesign or refurbish their space. Whichever option is chosen, however, it should be the option that will meet a businesses design goals within budget.
About the Author
Author details: Bob Johnson has many years property development delivery. For office design for more details on office interiors
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