Why natural light should be a key office design consideration

Design your workplace for happy, healthy and productive employees by simply maximising natural light in your office.

Forget office slides, treadmills and artificial grass, the one simple thing your employees can’t do without at work is natural light.

Natural light and employee health and wellbeing

Natural light is important for our health and wellbeing. When deprived of it for long periods, many people will suffer from disrupted sleep, low moods and fatigue.

Getting enough natural light during the day is important for regulating our circadian rhythm, which impacts our sleep patterns. One studyeven found that people exposed to plenty of natural light at work slept on average 46 minutes longer than those who worked in windowless offices.

Natural light helps to improve sleep and lower stress levels to create a rested and happy workforce.

Natural light and productivity

As well as benefiting employees, business owners also reap the rewards of an office flooded with natural light.

A recent studyfound that employees exposed to plenty of natural light at work are up to 20% more productive than those deprived of it, so natural light will benefit your bottom line too.

Office design and natural light

Use these tips to maximise the natural light in your office or speak to an experienced office design company like our team here at Millennium Storage and Interiors.

Arrange furniture with natural light in mind– Take the location of windows into consideration when arranging office furniture. Avoid obstructing windows or putting desks behind furniture, instead, ensure all desks are positioned to receive maximum natural light.

Use glass partitioning – If your office currently uses solid office partitions, consider switching to contemporary glass partitions to allow natural light to flow freely through the space.

Window size– If your windows are very small or old, it is worth considering updating your office windows, the more windows the better.

For help and advice designing your office for more natural light,get in touch with our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors by giving us a call on 01942 603 344.

Office design ideas for creating a sense of community

Creating a sense of community within the workplace can help to foster a happy, engaged and motivated workforce.

Whilst teambuilding exercises and work social events bring employees together briefly, an office design that creates a sense of community is a far more permanent solution.

Feeling connected and engaged at work can result in happier and more motivated employees.

A buzzing office atmosphere and inspired workforce can also help your business to attract and retain top talent.

Depending on the nature of the work your business carries out, the size of the business, and your employees’ requirements, you may benefit from incorporating all or some of these office design ideas conducive to an engaged workforce.

Open plan– Open plan offices have long been hailed as the solution to help create a more connected workforce. Taking away the walls can help to modernise an office’s appearance and encourage employees to get to know each other and share ideas and knowledge.

Glass partitioning– If the work your employees carry out requires a quieter and more focussed atmosphere, then glass partitioning can provide individuals with their own quiet workspace without shutting them off from the rest of the office.

Break-out areas– Incorporate casual social stations into your office design to allow small groups to comfortably gather for quick discussions and brainstorming sessions.

Collaborative spaces– Create comfortable and practical rooms designed for private group meetings and collaborative work. These collaborative spaces should be kitted out with everything teams may require for a productive and efficient meeting, including whiteboards, computer monitors, and phones for conference calling.

Remember that whilst having open and collaborative spaces is great, there may be times when it is equally as important for employees to have their own quiet space to help them concentrate.

Many businesses find that a hybrid office design featuring both private and collaborative workspaces is effective at promoting both community and productivity.

For help and advice choosing the right office design for your business, get in touch with our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors by giving us a call on 01942 603 344.

Open plan or office partitioning: which is better?

Your office design and layout can have a big effect on employee wellbeing, productivity and efficiency.

Office design plays a large part in your business’ culture and success, so it’s worth taking the time to weigh up the pros and cons of the design options available before you decide which is best suited to your team and space.

Open plan offices

Open plan offices tend to be light and airy as there are no walls or cubicles between workspaces, which many people find motivating and energising.

Open plan offices encourage communication, which is great for collaborative work and getting to know each other.

On the downside, employee productivity can decrease in open plan environments for a couple of reasons. Some employees may find open plan environments distracting and stressful, and a lot of time may be wasted on conversations that are not work-related.

Partitioned offices

Partitioned offices give everyone their own individual workspace away from distraction. Office partitioningpromotes a quiet and relaxing environment that is good for concentration and increases employee productivity.

Whilst some employees thrive in partitioned offices, other individuals may find the lack of social interaction demotivating.

Many businesses find that glass office partitioning is an excellent compromise, as it allows employees to have their own private workspace whilst still letting plenty of light flow freely through the office. Glass partitioning can also feel less claustrophobic, particularly in a small office space.

The type of office design that is suitable for your business will depend on the work being carried out, the amount of collaborative work required, and the personalities that you employ.

Some businesses find that the best way forward is to employ a mixture of both partitioned areas and more open plan break out areas to give employees the best of both worlds.

For help and advice choosing the right office designfor your business, get in touch with our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors by giving us a call on 01942 603 344.

Benefits of glass office partitioning

Choose glass office partitions to enjoy the visual appeal of a bright and spacious open plan design, whilst simultaneously sectioning off and dividing your space for maximum productivity.

More and more businesses are now choosing to update their office design with functional and attractive glass partitioning. Here are just five of the key benefits of glass office partitions.

Aesthetically pleasing

Switching from traditional partitioning to glass partitioning can completely makeover an office to give it a swish, new, contemporary feel. Glass partitioning looks modern and attractive, creating a great first impression and boosting employee wellbeing and productivity.

Free-flowing light

One major benefit of glass partitioning is that it allows natural light to flow freely through the office. Natural light is extremely important to our health and wellbeing, and healthy employees are happy and motivated employees. Letting in lots of natural light also reduces the need for artificial lights, reducing your business’ electricity bill.

Divided but not alone

Glass partitioning is used to create clearly defined areas and workspaces in your office without isolating people. Employees can benefit from their own individual workspaces whilst also enjoying a clear view of the office, preventing them from feeling segregated.

Reduce noise

Whilst employees can still see each other, glass partitions make it more difficult to partake in idle chitchat, helping to improve concentration and productivity. They also offer effective sound insulation, providing employees with a peaceful and relaxing work environment.

The illusion of more space

Solid partitions can sometimes feel claustrophobic, particularly in an office that is already very small. Using glass partitions allows you to create clear sections and spaces within your office without making it feel enclosed or cramped.

For more information about glass office partitioning, get in touch with our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors by giving us a call on 01942 603344.

Office design features that increase productivity

Could your office design be holding your employees back from reaching their full potential?

The design of your office workspace could be having more of an impact on employee performance than you realise. Creating an inspiring work environment that assists productivity and looks after employee health and wellbeing is key to boosting productivity.

Does your office incorporate these five design features that are key to productivity?

Natural light – Not getting enough natural light can take its toll on the health and wellbeing of your employees. Working in an environment with poor levels of natural light can disrupt sleep, increase the risk of mental health problems, and cause health problems related to vitamin D deficiency. Fill your office with natural light and sunshine to keep employees feeling bright-eyed and healthy as well as boosting moods and productivity.

Ergonomics – No one can perform to the best of their ability if they’re not comfortable at work. Taking the time to ensure that the ergonomics of your employee’s desk spaces are correct is essential to the health, wellbeing, and productivity of your workforce.

Partitions – Office partitioninggives individuals their own private workspace, minimising distractions and aiding concentration. Partitions encourage a quieter and more relaxing work environment, reducing stress and encouraging productivity.

Social spaces – Whilst partitioned workspaces are excellent for staying focussed on individual tasks, it can be beneficial to also include social spaces in your office design. Social break out spaces are useful for employees working on collaborative tasks. Employees are more productive when they can take short mental breaks away from their desks between tasks to recharge. Social spaces provide a change of scenery and the opportunity to gain a new perspective.

Add plants – Spending time in nature is said to be good for our wellbeing, making us feel more connected and relaxed.  Most of us spend our working hours shut away in offices, so it makes sense that if we can’t be outside, we should bring a little of the great outdoors indoors instead. Bringing houseplants into the office will help to clean and oxygenate the air to improve employee wellbeing and boost productivity. In fact, a study has found that employees are 15% more productivewhen plants are added to the office.

Ready to find out more about our market-leading office partitioning solutions? Give our team of experts a call on 01942 603 344 to discuss your requirements.

Affordable ideas for modernising an outdated office

If your office has become drab and you can’t afford a full refurb, use the ideas in this blog to transform it back into a motivating space.

Your office should be a pleasant and relaxing space that inspires creativity and motivates employees. A rundown or drab office could be having more of a negative impact on morale and staff performance than you realise.

If you’re not ready to invest in a full refurb, implementing just a few of these ideas can help to bring your office back to life.

Add art and plants– Ditch the tired, old, cheesy corporate posters and invest in some bold artwork for your walls. Choose art that is personal to your business or that reflects the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Art doesn’t have to be expensive; you can pick up some great prints at affordable prices on Etsy. If you’ve got a creative team of employees, you could even make your own art as a team building exercise!

Office partitioningOffice partitioningcomes in all different shapes and sizes and is an excellent solution for revamping your office’s layout and design affordably and with minimal disruption. Glass office partitioning is particularly popular as it doesn’t block any light and has an attractive, contemporary appearance.

Add a pop of colour– Adding a few splashes of colour to a characterless office can make the world of difference to its appearance. Add a colourful rug, paint a feature wall, update the blinds on your windows, or invest in some new colourful office furniture to create a more exciting, vibrant and motivating work space.

Be creative with storage– A tidy and organised office can help employees to work more efficiently, feel more relaxed, and be more productive. Invest in some modern storage units and clear the clutter to make your office cleaner, tidier and more attractive.

Light– Natural light keeps us feeling happy, healthy and motivated. Try rearranging the furniture in your office to let more light in. If you are using solid partitioning walls, updating to glass partitions can make a dramatic difference to the light and atmosphere in your office.

Racking safety checklist

Use this handy racking safety checklist to check your racking’s condition and ensure that it is being used safely.

It’s important to have your warehouse’s racking inspected by a professional on a regular basis to ensure that it has not become damaged and still meets all building and safety regulations.

Whilst professional racking inspections are important, it’s just as important to keep up with your own regular checks to make sure that employees are always working in a safe environment.

Familiarise yourself with the different parts of your racking and then use this handy checklist to perform regular safety checks.

  • Racking use

Your racking will have been designed, built, and positioned according to safety regulations and with its original purpose in mind. It should not be used for a different purpose unless this has been cleared with an expert.

Is the racking being used as it was intended?

Is it in the correct location?

  • Check for damage

Racking can easily become damaged over time, particularly in warehouses where machinery like forklift trucks are used. Inspect the different parts of the racking for signs of damage like dents, rust, and missing or loose parts.

Parts to inspect include:

  • Beams
  • Posts
  • Base plates
  • Frame bracing
  • Beam safety locks
  • Column guards

 

  • Debris

Your racking and the area surrounding it should always be kept clean and tidy to prevent accidents and avoid it becoming damaged. Empty packaging should be removed and disposed of immediately and not left on or around the racking.

Is the racking and the area surrounding it free from rubbish and debris? 

  • Maximum load

Your racking will have a maximum load limit that should always be adhered to. Make sure that all employees are aware of what this limit is and check that it is being adhered to.

Is maximum load limit being adhered to?

Is there anything extra leaning up against the racking?

To book a professionalrack safety inspectionfrom one of our qualified personnel, give us a call on 01942 603 344 or email info@millennium-si.co.uk.

Mezzanine design safety requirements

The two most important considerations when designing a mezzanine floor are that the structure is fit for purpose and safe.

Mezzanine floors are an ideal solution for conveniently and affordably increasing the size of your business premises.

No matter how big or how small your new mezzanine floor is going to be, it will need to be designed by an expert who can ensure that it complies with all relevant building and safety regulations.

A few of the key safety requirements of a mezzanine floor are:

Guard rail– To comply with building regulations, all mezzanines must have toe boards and hand rails to provide users with protection from falling. Guard rails protect people from slipping, tripping or falling over the edge of a mezzanine floor. You will also need to ensure that the rail is installed at the right height and can withstand a certain amount of force, our team of designers will help you to ensure that your guard rail meets all relevant safety requirements.

Safety gate– Areas with stairs or access for pallets should always be guarded by a safety gate to reduce the risk of anyone falling from the mezzanine floor. Safety regulations should ensure that gates are always in operation when employees are loading or unloading pallets from a forklift or other machinery.

Stability and maximum load limit– Your mezzanine floor will need to be designed according to building regulations to ensure that it can safely hold the weight it is intended to. Your mezzanine must be a safe and stable structure that will stand steadfast even in the event of ground movement or severe weather.

Access and fire safety– Your new mezzanine will need to be carefully designed with fire safety regulations in mind. These specifications will vary depending on the size of your building, number of employees, and size of the mezzanine.

Contact our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors by calling us on 01942 603 344 to discuss a mezzanine design for your business premises.

Planning permission and building regulations for commercial mezzanines

Before having a commercial mezzanine installed, it’s important to gain all relevant approval required.

Commercial mezzanine floorsare typically raised, demountable platforms, commonly used by businesses to cost-effectively gain more space within their premises.

Having a mezzanine installed before it has been approved is risky business, as it could end up requiring changes to make it compliant with the relevant regulations.

Does a mezzanine require planning permission?

Providing that your mezzanine floor is a mobile structure and that no external changes are required to install it, then you won’t require planning permission.

You are, however, likely to require building regulation approval.

Building regulation approval for mezzanine floors

Nearly all new mezzanine floors require building regulation approval to ensure that they are safe, meet quality standards, and are compliant with safety regulations.

Mezzanine floors are required by law to be compliant with the following statutory requirements:

  • Building Regulations 2000 (England and Wales).
  • Structure: Approved Document A.
  • Fire Safety: Approved Document B.
  • Stairs, ramps and guards: Approved Document K.
  • Means of access for disabled: Approved Document M.

When you apply for building regulation approval, your local authority or approved inspector will look at the detailed plans for your new mezzanine and information about the existing building, to ensure that the new structure will be safe and complies with access and fire regulations.

At Millennium Storage and Interiors, we have 20 years’ experience in designing and installing mezzanine floors. We will be happy to provide you with everything you require to gain building regulation approval.

Mezzanine safety tips

Keep employees safe at work by implementing these four simple mezzanine safety tips.

Installing a mezzanine floorin your warehouse is a smart way of affordably gaining more floorspace.

Once you’ve had your mezzanine installed, it’s important to train employees in the safety rules and regulations surrounding how to use your new space safely.

As well as initial training, processes should be put in place to ensure that mezzanine safety is maintained ongoing.

Here are our top 4 tips for using your mezzanine safely.

Review your safety policy

After your mezzanine has been installed, don’t forget to review all existing health and safety policies and update them accordingly. Safety regulations surrounding your mezzanine should adhere to OSHA, be easy for employees to access, and actively communicated and implemented.

Keep it free of clutter and debris

Staff should take extra care to keep the mezzanine floor and staircase clean and free of clutter and debris. Workplace slips, trips and falls could often have been prevented if an area had been kept tidy and free of obstruction.

Designate a safety officer

All employees should be trained in mezzanine safety as part of their onboarding process. Having said that, it can also be useful to assign one or more people the role of ‘safety officer’, making it their responsibility to know the safety regulations inside out and ensure they are being adhered to.

Do not exceed load limits

Your mezzanine will have a maximum load limit which should always be adhered to. Make sure the maximum weight limit and person capacity are clearly visible and there are processes in place to ensure that they are never exceeded.

For more help and advice about how to use your new mezzanine safely, give our friendly team a call on 01942 603 344.

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