Following on from the previous Ideal Office blog post, we started putting together mood boards of finishes for each area/zone of this hypothetical office fitout. We took into consideration what each area needed to express and what feelings and moods they needed to create. For example: the reception area needed to create a warm, welcoming feeling so we implemented rich, warm colours and textures as well as adding biophilic elements to promote a healthy company ethos. The other office zones are based around how colours make you feel and whether they can improve wellbeing and productivity.
We did face a few bumps along the way when designing this ‘Ideal Office’ setting. We struggled to get the different finishes and products to work well together in the varied spaces. We overcame this issue by channeling a few ways that promoted the styles we were aiming for without making the design look visually chaotic. This included reusing the same products in each area but with different finishes for continuity and also by only using a handful of fabric ranges creating a similar overall scheme throughout the office.
The individual workspaces and quiet working areas feature individual seating with high backs to create a quiet environment, with additional laptop stands to aid work and encourage staff to remove themselves from a busy setting when they find themselves stuck on a problem. This area also includes individual / two person quiet pods and booths which aids in separating the quiet areas from other areas in the offices. The Olio desks are used for more formal, confidential roles, such as accounting or HR, creating divides between the workplaces. Different forms of office storage can be found in this Ideal Office setting, with personal lockers scattered throughout to aid agile working practices. If someone doesn’t have a set position, they can confidently lock their valuables and personal items and move around the office to suit their task.
A more formal / practical approach was taken for the workstations and meeting rooms. Comfortable and ergonomic seating means the workplace furniture can be used for longer meetings and the height adjustable desks allows staff to choose between sitting and standing throughout the day. The large meeting room includes flip top tables to allow flexibility in layout and use but still looks professional and executive. The Executive leg features a nickel plated design to maintain a professional and boardroom feel. Textured flooring was selected to add warmth and create a comfortable environment in meeting rooms where employees could be spending some time.
The collaboration area includes a mixture of furniture for different sized team or group collaborations. The palisade dividers break this area from the workstations and also gives a domestic / relaxed feel whilst improving office acoustics. Booths have been included for slightly longer / more private meetings. The acoustic screens reduce noises that may transfer from the main office and vice versa.
Sofas and lounge seating have been scattered throughout for relaxing and chilling out. Textured, almost grass like flooring was chosen for these ‘relax and unwind’ areas to create a natural, outdoors, and healthy feel. The products used in the cafe/dining area have a domestic feel, creating a warm and comfortable environment. A mixture of heights and sizes of tables are present throughout for quick sandwiches or longer comfortable gatherings. Hard-wearing fabrics with a pattern / fleck to prolong the life of furniture around food is included in this area.
Once the ideal office design was finally completed everything had come together nicely. The different work areas allow for staff to adjust their environment based on their needs at the time and on the type of work they are doing. All of this is with the hope that employees will feel valued and supported in their work leading to greater wellbeing and productivity all round.