August 2016 archive

Top Techniques for Making the Most of Your Office Space

Those who have worked in offices throughout their careers will be able to sympathise with what makes a great office and what can make one so bad it may well drive you to quit. If you have ever seen the offices of major technology companies, then it quickly becomes evident what a world away your office is and what makes those offices great is the design. Now, while installing a slide between floors does not seem wholly practical, it’s benefit for those workers is to help reduce stress and to help them to be in the optimum mental and physical condition when it comes to completing work. It’s unlikely that we will all be installing slides into our offices over the next few years, although it has set a premise which all of our office designs can be built around.

While some of these offices look complex in design, the concepts that they draw from are relatively simple. The ultimate goal is to create conditions which are comfortable and calming for staff and providing them with space which is free from distractions and allows them to completely concentrate on the task at hand. So even if your office space is fairly compact, there are a variety of techniques available to help keep noise levels down and keep your employee’s satisfaction up.

Nurture an Environment Which Helps Employees to Focus:

Open offices are great in theory as they act like melting pots for ideas, where staff can interact and collaborate throughout the working day. However, when deadlines approach and stress levels begin to rise, there is nothing worse than being surrounded by colleagues shouting down phones and drama taking place in every different direction. The solution for this is to create a space which provides privacy for employees and this means targeting both visual and audible distractions. This can be achieved through the arrangement of the space, opting to separate areas so everyone is not facing each other. An interesting alternative however is to add office screens between desks.

These are available in a variety of designs, such as with acoustic foam, glazed panels or a pinnable screen, which means they are able to adapt to a variety of different environments. At Rap Industries, we design and manufacture a variety of office screens, including our Delta Cloud Acoustic Screens as well as the more professional Morton Office Screens. Each feature different designs which can introduce more privacy where required.

Natural Light is Crucial:

Studies have revealed the medical benefits of being exposed to natural sunlight, not least because it is our main source of vitamin D. But when you consider that many employees work in offices for at least 7-8 hours every day, then it can do much more than have a physical impact. Being trapped inside an office all day can have a mental impact, especially when you are seeing exactly the same surroundings five days a week. It can also hinder staff when they get home too. A lack of natural sunlight can cause sleep disturbances and further difficulties when it is time to rest, which can lead to a whole array of further problems due to a lack of sleep. Quite simply, sleep and rest are crucial for keeping a workforce motivated.

Think Vertical:

If your office is looking quite cramped, and this is definitely a problem faced more often by small businesses, it can really begin to feel like the walls are closing in around you. Fortunately, thanks to advances in technology, most of your data can be stored in that fancy box called a computer, meaning that filing cabinets are finally leaving the office. However, if space is still restricted, there is a way to get around it. The trick is to think vertically – introduce shelving to house files and folders. Clutter is an issue not only on your desk but also in your mind, so endeavour to keep things neat, tidy and organised in order to keep your staff’s focus on the task at hand.

If you would like to learn more about how office screens can help to improve your office space, then please feel free to give our team of advisors a call on 01733 394941 or send an e-mail to sales@rapind.com.

 

delta straight

Why Introducing Office Screens Can Enhance Productivity…

Motivating staff and keeping them motivated is just one of many challenges that a business faces. At the core of any organisation is the employees who operate like the cogs in a machine and should one of those cogs ever grind to a halt, it can bring every other function to a standstill. In the business world, exterior issues affecting individual staff or whole departments can certainly hinder or even prevent others from being able to complete their work. This is why industry experts keep talking about ‘company culture’ and neglecting it can at best stifle growth, but at worst it can sign the death knell for the organisation. Regardless of how talented employees may be, if they are not motivated to contribute towards the organisation, then those skills will ultimately go to waste.

The concept of workplace culture encompasses a variety of different factors which are intertwined with the ideology of the company itself. One element which can often be overlooked by business owners is the design of the workplace. Nobody likes staring at a blank white wall all day and clinical studies have revealed that furniture, paint colour and even how big your windows are can all have an impact on how your employees operate. For some context, be sure to have a look at the Steelcase study in collaboration with research firm Ipsos which revealed how approximately only 11% of people were highly satisfied with their office environment.

Open Offices Look Great But Are Highly Impractical:

Office design has come quite a long way from the cubicles that used to litter offices fifty years ago and now the most common designs are geared towards collaboration and teamwork, rather than restricting staff to small boxes. The reality is that office design needs to strike a balance between the two. This means treading the line between creating an environment which is open enough to allow staff to communicate both professionally and socially, but also have room for privacy so that they can focus when deadlines are encroaching.

The solution is the office screen. An evolution of the office cubicle, these are designed to divide and distinguish open offices, while maintaining the open office appeal. They are no longer made out of a thin piece of cardboard either, as modern designs increasingly feature acoustic foam, pinnable boards or a variety of other accessories to enable them to be more adaptable within the overall design of the office space. If the space is available, then an ideal arrangement incorporates professional and personal working areas, offering space for employees to focus when working and another to let off steam.

Natural Light is More Important Than You May Think:

Okay, many of us are not blessed with an office which is surrounded by large glass panes which allow natural light to immerse the room, but there are lots of reasons to make the most of the light sources that you do have. In the same way that sunshine tends to boost our mood while rain can bring it down, natural light influences many physical aspects of ourselves which you probably did not realise. While sunlight provides us with vitamin D, a lack of it can also lead to issues with sleep efficiency, sleep quality, daytime dysfunction and sleep disturbances. Summarised into one, that means a lack of natural sunlight can severely hamper that one period in the day which people take to rest. Interruptions to this can lead to high stress levels, exhaustion and an ever-growing list of mental conditions caused by poor sleep.

So how can this be achieved considering open offices are also bad for employees? Well, Glazed Office Screens can be designed with this in mind, by incorporating a Perspex panel, these can be located in crucial locations by light sources to ensure the environment can look towards the outside world throughout the day.

Even The Colour Counts…

So, you’re finally committing to upgrading the design of your office and it is time to get rid of the greyscale appearance that encapsulates the whole room. However, even if your logo is pink, that is not a reason to buy all pink furniture and paint the walls the same to boot. No really, please don’t! Colour is great for subtly influencing people’s mood, and while you will want to introduce your brand in there somewhere, there are a variety of ways of incorporating colour without making the office look like Van Gogh’s pallet. One idea we have loved to see being incorporated with office screens, is them being used with different colours to indicate different departments. Yellow helps the creative juices flow, so it goes well with marketing teams, while red evokes passion which has made it a great addition to sales teams. Whatever industry you work in, be sure to research which colour can benefit your staff the most.

If you’ve been thinking that office screens could be exactly what is required to upgrade the office, then we have a team of advisors on hand who can provide more information on the various ranges that we manufacture. To get in touch please call 01733 394941 or send an e-mail to sales@rapind.com.

 

Morton Vision Top Screens

How to Create Professional Reception Areas

Reception areas are the first impression that potential clients and partners are going to have when entering your building. Even though they are likely to have prior experience with what your company does, this is often the very first time that they will experience what your organisation is all about, which is why creating a professional waiting area is important in making a positive initial impact. When people arrive, they will be expecting to find a clean space with a welcome desk clearly marked, but finding the balance between a white box with a desk in the middle and a genuinely inviting reception area can be a bit trickier.

Perfecting the design for a professional reception area will require an environment which is sustainable, comfortable and engaging. It is important to remember to allow the company’s identity to flow through into the reception area and this includes colour schemes, relevant magazines for browsing and even televisions if you have promotional content which you would like to show. Not only does this allow guests a detailed insight into your company, but it can also have a positive influence on their initial impressions.

Allow Natural Light to Flow Through:

Interior design can be quite tricky, but as any homeowner will know, there is no better light source than natural light. Now, I can appreciate that not every reception area is equipped with large glass panes or even a skylight, but that is no reason why natural light cannot be allowed in to brighten the mood. If you need to get the most from the small source of light that you have, then consider introducing Glazed Office Screens, which allow open spaces to be separated without compromising on natural light. Ultimately, at the minimum this will reduce the electricity bill as lights will not be required to be on 24/7.

Guests Like to Feel at Home:

While there is a fine line between a professional reception area and a lounge, there are lots of elements that can be taken to enhance the profile of your environment. For example, sofas can enhance not only the design of the area, but they may also come as a welcome relief for guests who have had to travel a long distance to visit you. Furthermore, plants are a simple yet effective way of adding detail to the environment without making it feel like the space is cluttered. They’ll also do their bit to help the environment outside of the office!

Take the Opportunity to Engage with Them:

Before you get the opportunity to sit down with guests, they will have already begun to formulate an opinion on your organisation before they even get into the meeting room. Even though they may only spend a few minutes in the waiting area, it is a great opportunity to occupy them with some of your promotional material or even demonstrate your knowledge of the industry that you work in. A great way of achieving this especially when you have promotional videos waiting to be used, is to introduce TV screens, providing a snapshot of the products and services that your organisation provides. Alternatively, laying out magazines (that are in date!) regarding industry news on a table gives off the signal that you understand the industry around you.

If you are looking into re-designing your reception area and think office screens could be the ideal way to make the most of your space, then please give us a call on 01733 394941 or send an e-mail to sales@rapind.com and our team of advisors will be able to advise on which will be the most effective in your space.

 

Morton Vision Top Screens

Our Top Tips for Creating a Comfortable Reception Area

First impressions are crucial and there is no way around it. Because of the ways our mind functions, just a few spit seconds can be the deciding factor for visitors, potential clients and partners when forming an opinion on yourself or your business. In the same way that when we attend a meeting, we always make the effort to be well dressed, the same applies for a company’s branding. This ultimately leaks down to reception and welcome areas which often offer that first impression for those coming to your business for the first time. If a potential client walks in to a dirty room, poorly ventilated and greeted by a receptionist who looks as though they would rather not be there, then it is not hard to imagine what that first impression is going to be like.

Let Your Identity Shine Through:

Being smart and professional is not always the answer. Of course, it is a very much tried and tested approach, but is a customer likely to purchase surfboards from a business with whitewashed walls and staff dressed in suits? Perhaps not. The design is completely in your hands and it is always important to begin integrating your branding here so that the environment is familiar and simply serves by reassuring guests that they are in the right place. As a ward of warning, if your colour scheme likes to incorporate every colour in the rainbow, then try to avoid plastering the walls in the same selection, as the organisation may start to create its own definition of ‘quirky’.

Help Guests to Feel at Home:

Simply because a guest may be in a reception area for less than five minutes is no excuse for letting the standards of the area slip. Keeping the design clean and tidy can be quite easy to do by making the most of open layouts, but making guests feel comfortable can take a bit more tact. Comfortable seating is obviously a must, but not too comfortable! Then introduce some home comforts to keep them occupied, rather than sat twiddling their thumbs and perhaps thinking too much into how your reception area represents the company behind it. Small additions like a television, a few plants and a water machine keep the eyes and the mind occupied and make the building look more than just a corporate front.

Remember The Small Details:

We’ve covered the visual impact now, but it’s as important to get in touch with how the guest is feeling to make a complete impact. Don’t worry, this does not mean delving deep into their minds, but by ensuring they are comfortable. So make sure the temperature is set correctly and the room is well ventilated. Allowing natural light to flow through can have a subtle effect and can be a simple catalyst in brightening the mood when guests walk in.

Finally…

If you are going to guarantee anything, then ensure that it is a warm and smiling face which greet guests when they walk through the door. The easiest way to make a terrible first impression is having a member of staff at the front of the company who clearly does not enjoy the job and contributes as little as possible to make guests feel welcome. These are all subtle factors which can enhance a guest’s perception of your organisation which could crucially be the deciding factor in acquiring their business or getting them to sign on the dotted line.

 

First Impressions