October 2015 archive

How to work out which office layout is best for your business?

Ok no pressure, but your office layout is VITALLY important to your business…( ok then tonnes of pressure) but how do you work out which office layout is right for your business?

The main types of office layouts are:

  • The Open-Plan office
  • A mixture of open and closed spaces
  • Cubicle Farms
  • The Row Layout Design
  • The Cellular (traditional) office

So how do you choose which layout is right for you? We’ve tried to help you figure it out below:

  • The Open-Plan Office

Open-plan offices involve everyone working in one big room that is void of dividers and everyone mixes and works under the same roof. Meeting rooms and conference rooms are often located on the outer walls in this type of office environment.

As the BBC writes, this “new type” of open-plan office “encouraged disclosure, discussion and debate” and can even help businesses reduce overheads.

“Managers were mixed in with the masses, cutting down on the expense of managerial offices and allowing organisations to manage their workforce more flexibly.”

So what type of businesses is an open-plan office design suitable for?

As this type of office design is a creative environment, open-plan offices are great for creative businesses, such as design companies or digital agencies, which often require the use of an open-plan layout to nurture communication among employees.

 

  • A mixture of open and closed spaces

Citing the downsides of an open-plan office layout, namely being noisy and germ-rendering environments.

This type of office has places where people can work alone but can be seen and accessible to colleagues and a place where different teams can potentially work together.

omega desktop screens

  • Cubicle Farms

Cubicle farm style offices comprise of partitioned rows of spaces which are separated by dividers that only reach half way up to the ceiling. The partitioned spaces are usually separated by aisles, designed for communication and negotiation amongst staff. It is important to remember that traffic flow needs to be considered in this type of office layout which is designed for a large number of workers. Aisles, particularly central aisles, need to be wide enough to accommodate traffic flow and employees passing one another.

Cubicle Farms are most suitable for firms with high volumes of middle management, such as call centres, in which managers can mix and be of assistance to staff with ease.

 

  • The Row Layout Design

By the same token a row layout office is also effective for call centres and business where employees spend their day on computers and phones. The Row Layout design is a traditional type of office space which comprises of cubicles lined up in rows.

Delta Screen

  • The Cellular (traditional) office

The Cellular layout is an office that comprise of smaller individual rooms in which a small number of employees work.

In this type of office individuals or small teams can be isolated by closing a door.

What type of business would benefit from a cellular layout?

Any business which requires staff to work routinely in a private setting is likely to be most suited to a cellular setup. For example, a law firm which requires individual rooms for lawyer and client confidentiality would require a cellular layout.

morton desktop screens

Why EVERYONE needs their own office… (we’re joking!)

This latest (alright it’s been going on for a long time) movement of open spaces, open offices and open plan is just…. boring!

That’s right, we said it…it’s boring. We’re done with open plan, aren’t you? Ok, so if you can just hang in there with us for a minute or two. This is technically hate mail….to the open office movement… but we also have a solution for you!

So, below is a list of our BIG grievances with the Open Office Movement…. Do you have any more to add? Go ahead- let us know!

  1. Doors! In the past, when we needed to focus, we shut our door. The silence was beautiful. It was calming. It made deadlines easier to meet. Out in the wasteland of open plan offices? We’re interrupted at least a dozen times trying to work.

 

That’s just speaking of the intentional interruptions, of course. Now, we’re always surrounded by chatter, which means that, like every other office worker in the country, we have to wear earphones.

  1. Time! (Get your hands off ours!?) Proponents of open offices would say all these interruptions are good: We’re in an office to work together, after all. It eliminated gatekeepers. You didn’t have to make an appointment to see someone. Which sounds nice and all, but hey, what about that “someone” you can now access so easily? Do you think that person might be busy? Might be trying to focus on something, might be on deadline, might have an idea they really need to explore before it vanishes from their minds?

Time

This is the BIG problem with open-office layouts: It assumes that everyone’s time belongs to everyone else. It doesn’t. We are here to work together, sure, but most of the time, we actually work alone. That’s what work is

  1. We aren’t close…. we just aren’t! Back when offices existed (yeah we said it!) we could get used to collaborative co-workers popping in and tapping into our creativity, ideas and management skills. It was a fantastic, collaborative way to make friends and build relationships. But out in the open? It’s harder to get to know coworkers—and that personal connection is important. That’s the kind of stuff you learn by getting personal, and that’s not something many people want to do out in the open.

Look we don’t mean to rant, but it really bugs us! So we vote we hark back to the ‘old times,’ let’s embrace the cubicle, the office…. our private space! Head on over to our website and check out all of our cost effective solutions to creating that much needed space we need!

Why 5 + 2 is Good for You!

Did you know, the average family size around the world is 7 plus or minus 2. The best sporting team size is 7. Even Google’s new offices in Switzerland and Ireland are filled with rooms that have 7 and 8 desks in them- coincidence? Nope.

seven

The anthropological research across cultures indicates that groups of seven people, plus or minus two, create the strongest trust bonds and best reinforce cultural norms.

That’s a heavy fact right?

 

How to build TRUST bonds in your team with a new office layout:

Groups of 6-8 people don’t really need a leader or a manager. Group members can operate on equal footings and guide each other. With a group that size, no one can hide. These are bonds you’ll want to strengthen by emphasising environment and values. Physical proximity will always help.

 

Your culture is your life blood:

Culture is your group’s behaviour, their relationships, attitudes to one another and environmental preferences. The idea behind ensuring that a specific culture is embedded into your team is to ‘nest’ your teams in their collective pods, groups of 6-8 individuals will ensure that a collective culture is encouraged and grown.

 

Defend your area:

Teams, individuals (and just humans) love to defend their area, when people feel secure in their ‘space’ they feel comfortable in their jobs. Giving your team a space that they can ‘define as theirs’ is a great way to make them feel secure.

 

What other methods do you use to engage with your staff? Are you using your office space as effectively as possible?

A modern solution to dividing your office

Many business nowadays have opted for the modern, open plan layout. However whilst these may look appealing to the eye, are these open plan offices actually doing us any favours? Some studies indicate that having an open plan working environment does not improve communication, morale, or productivity like first thought.

Whilst there is conflicting evidence on open plan offices, they will undoubtingly experience issues with noise and lack of privacy. So what’s the solution to keep that modern office feel, but to create a more quiet and private work place?

morton desktop screens

Office partition screens are a fantastic way to help re-shape your work space without the need of a complete office refurbishment. Not only do they look great, some of the benefits are listed below.

Privacy: an office partition screen is a non-permanent fixture that divides office space. They provide an element of privacy to employees, allowing them to be comfortable while they work.

Sound: Depending on the material used, an office partition screen can also offer excellent sound absorption properties.

Cost effective: a partition screen is a cost effective way of dividing the space without losing any of the benefits of the open plan layout or the expense of building individual offices.

Office partition screens might not be the most exciting piece of equipment for your office. But they are a great solution to the issues you might be experiencing in your open plan office. You can pin posters to your partition screens, draw ideas on them, move them around and even fold them. Our portable office partition screens are just that, don’t be restricted to walls that don’t move! Customise the shape of your office with the help of our perfectly designed partition screens.

The impact of a noisy office can also manifest itself into headaches, migraines and stress related illnesses. If you are looking for a cost effective solution to solve these issues, get in contact with us here at Rap. We have a large range of partition screens available and you can take a look at them here: http://bit.ly/1LNmby9

Delta Screens

How to create your dream office when you don’t own the building

When it comes to building your dream office you really don’t have to be an interior designer. And while you may not own the building that really doesn’t mean you cannot add your personal touch and get creative with your office space.

When deciding on colour, remember choosing the right colour and lighting scheme is one of the simplest ways to enhance your performance. Yes, really! Different colour and light levels have proven psychological effects. If its performance enhancement you’re after look for blues and greens. And if you’re seeking to let loose your creative side dim those lights!

Add plants! Plants are a great way to not only add colour to your office, they also create that relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The proven benefits of turning your office green is simply remarkable! They can reduce stress, increase productivity and even reduce sickness! Who’d thought a plant could be so powerful?

As we’ve said previously, if you don’t own the building you may be limited as to what you can do with the internal walls. But that shouldn’t stop you getting your desired look. Creating curves in the office environment has been linked with positive emotions. Our Budget pinnable Wave screens are an ideal solution to achieve this look. And as we mentioned previously your colour scheme plays a huge importance to the design of your office. Did we mention our Budget pinnable screens are available in a choice of 17 different colours? So you will be sure to find one which suits.

Our Budget Pinnable Wave screens also provides you with a notice board where you will be able to pin your own work, pictures and those all important messages to. You’ll be able to combine style, and have a fully functional hardwearing product all in one.

At Rap Industries our Budget Wave screens come with a 5 year guarantee. Good quality office furniture really doesn’t have to end up breaking the bank! So whether you know what you’re looking for, or still seeking inspiration pick up the phone and call our dedicated staff who will be able to guide you through the process.

 

Budget Pinnable Wave Screens

You’re exhibiting, what’s next?

You’ve booked your exhibition slot, now it’s time to sit back and relax right? Wrong! Your work is only just beginning. This is the time to work hard on that pre-event marketing strategy.

Now’s the time to contact all your existing and target audience to let them know that you are planning to attend an exhibition and where they can expect to see you. This is also a great time to send out pre-booking appointments to get a good idea on traffic to your stand on the day.

When you look at planning your objective and marketing strategy look to include the following:

  • Attracting attendees to your stand.
  • Making sure you make a lasting and memorable experience.
  • Interact and engage with your audience.

Keeping your existing customers up to date by using your email list is a great opportunity to contact hundreds if not thousands of people who are already interested in your business. It also gives your customers that personal touch and makes them feel special. Again the cost included into sending out these emails are minimal.

Another great idea to get your business out there before the big day is to use all social media platforms to your advantage. Again, this isn’t going to make an impact on your marketing budget and can work wonders for your business. If you haven’t yet started your own hashtag campaign, now’s the time to do so! A consistent hashtag can make you easier to find and allows your audience to look through older posts which they may have missed the first time round.

If you are not blogging, maybe it’s time to start? Blog posts and articles which are relevant to your business and exhibition attendance is another fantastic way to drive traffic to your website for maximum exposure. Again these can be linked to all your social media platforms!

And of course if you are looking for a great exhibition stand, or maybe after some high quality vinyl, lamination and inks, even some accessories to enhance your display. Here at Rap Industries we are known for our high quality products and service that makes our customers use us time and time again.

Streamline Display Stand