Category: Office design ideas

Pandemic-proofing offices

Pandemic-proofing offices could involve short-term fixes, new working patterns and long-term design upgrades that put hygiene at the heart of workplace planning.

Mitigate the risk 

The biggest priority and challenge for post coronavirus offices is controlling the infection.
How can we control contamination in open plan high density offices?
How can we control infection in hot desking environments?
Or communal and social spaces?
The challenges are many. We have to respond to COVID-19 crisis and mitigate the infection risk by introducing new safety features and measures and improving sanitisation and disinfection processes in our offices. It’s a big change that will create new work styles and build new working culture which we need to be prepared for.

2M rule

We have created some illustrations showing ways of changing office desk configurations to create greater space between your team members.

Here are some points to consider when you are thinking about re-configuring your office:

  • Can you turn back-to-back desks currently in the centre of the room around, so the operators face the walls?
  • Reducing density: Can you separate banks of desks so there are gaps between each set of two or four?
  • Can you spread workspaces around, so people are at least 2 meters apart?
  • Consider moving pedestals so that they are in the centre of the desks between two users, so they are physically unable to come together side by sideIf you have mobile pedestals, consider moving them out so they sit between the desks, increasing the space between the users
  • Consider moving filing cabinets/cupboards between desks to increase the space between the users
  • For face-to-face users, consider introducing additional barriers on top of desk top screens to increase protection from coughs or sneezes. Add screens beside and behind office workers, the higher and wider the better
  • Hot desking: Eliminate or introduce a strict clean in and clean out measures

Meetings and social spaces

It’s likely that before we start welcoming visitors to our workplaces, we can expect to spend much time meeting virtually with our customers and suppliers rather than sitting face-to-face around the meeting table.

With that in mind, we would recommend to thin out the meeting rooms to safely accommodate smaller groups with greater distancing. It’s important to remove alternative chairs and ensure there is always a 2m space in every direction between the chair positions.  There is also the potential to use these rooms to create working space for members of the team thus allowing us to provide greater distancing in office areas.  If meeting tables are modular and can be separated, do so to increase the distancing further. It’s recommended to even meet standing up in the open areas of your office. By using flexible tools, movable furniture solutions and screens you can easily create a safe and productive meeting area.

Floor plan ideas

  • Decrease density by staggering lunches and breaks in cafes or other staff areas
  • Incorporate higher space division to naturally encourage distancing by introducing barriers such as screens, storage, large plants and partitioning
  • Introduce cubicle style office to protect personal desk space with higher screens
  • Adapt an owned desk space approach and reduce shared desking
  • Reduce guest seating in reception areas and introduce individual seating in lounge spaces
  • Easy access to disinfecting stations

Workplaces will not return to normal

A report has suggested that:

The 9-5 is dead but the office is NOT: Workplaces will not ‘return to normal’ after the coronavirus pandemic but most companies will not let employees work from home permanently.

The publication warns workplaces ‘will not return to normal’ after the pandemic is brought under control – with employees having adapted to the ‘new normal’ of working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The study has advised that there has been increased stress levels among employees due to working from home since the lockdown was enforced in May 2020. It suggests workers splitting time between the office and working from home may be the way forward for many companies, even after the pandemic is over.

London-based outsourcing giant Capita have not renewed leases on 25 of their offices, while Lloyds Banking Group was reviewing its office space requirements after deciding most of its 65,000 employees have performed well working from home.

But the report says others, including social media giant Facebook, had turned against working from home models, while American mutlinational IBM had also pulled back from its staff working from home.

However the report concludes that the likely way forward for businesses will be a mixed model, with employees working from home some of the time, and in the office others.

Interiors trends to copy from your favourite influencers

We find ourselves scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram, but how can we confirm what the definitive interiors trends of 2020 are?

Rattan – Natural Materials

Made popular in the 1970s, rattan and wicker is having its revival and it’s not doing it quietly. If you spent two minutes browsing home decor retailers like Homesense and Dunelm, you’re guaranteed to see an array of gorgeous chairs, benches, lampshades, baskets, the list is endless. The rise in popularity of this natural colour and textural style recently caused H&M Home to sell-out of their iconic cane-webbing chairs, the demand is so high they can’t be restocked quick enough.

Want to feel like you are holiday? Why not decorate a bedroom in this incredible Riad theme?

The best thing about this trend is that it fuzes perfectly with rattan, wicker and weave. You’ll find the best rattan lampshades you’ve ever seen in the souks of Marrakech, if only they could squeeze into hand-luggage. By combining riad ritual, wicker or weave and throwing in a few touches of gold you’ll inevitably feel like you’re chilling in a chic version of a Moroccan palace. This trend transitions smoothly from inside the home to outside into the garden. During Summer you could throw a flatweave rug and some embroidered cushions onto your decking leaving you with an idyllic African picnic scene.

The UK: Coolest Offices

Looks are never everything, but when it comes to the office you spend most of your time in, a work environment that is fun, easy on the eye and inspiring can make a huge difference to how you perform on a daily basis.

Take a look at a few of the trendiest offices we’ve got in the UK right now…

ASOS

The Office: ASOS’ headquarters in Camden are located in a former tobacco factory, with an art deco vibe that means natural light, modern furnishings, and funky, patterned wallpaper.

The Engine Group

The Office: Circular, spinning seating pods—like something you might see on a futuristic spaceship—and translucent acrylic display screens make this London office techy and cool.

Frank PR

The Office: This London office has a rotating fairground ride, a la an amusement park! Who wouldn’t want a spin—bad pun intended—at this office, which seems to value playing as much as it does hard work.

Millennium’s solutions are cost-effective and planned to the highest standards. The company’s strength is to understand fully client business and match it to their requirements.

If you have any questions or enquiries for us at Millennium Storage and Interiors, please get in touch using the contact details here.

Creative ideas on how to turn your home office into a stylish haven

Get a desk with built-in storage

When you have a small home office, storage tends to be an issue. Where on Earth will you store your stacks of sticky notes and cool pens? Before you know it, you’re elbow-deep in loose papers, wires. Invest in a desk that not only serves as a desk but can also be used to store all of those essentials that you don’t want lying around or in reach of your little ones!

Add a rug or cushions

This will give you a cosier feel to your work space, it can also make your workspace feel bigger.

Light it up

As well as ensuring you get as much natural light as possible we recommend turning off the harsh overhead lighting (that you don’t miss from your work office!) and instead using a mix of floor and table lamps or even candles to give off a smoother light that still does it’s job without making you squint!

Just add plants

Given that you’ll be spending a good chunk of your day at your desk, you may as well dress it up so that it’s visually stimulating and gives you a burst of energy when you start losing steam. One way to do this is with small plants. Use easy-to-care plants near your desk.

How to improve your home office

Working from home may have its benefits like getting up a bit later, wearing comfy clothes and having an oven handy for making lunch.

But you may find working, eating and sleeping in the same place each day gets a bit tiresome after a while.

Here’s a few tips and tricks for making your work environment at home that little bit brighter…

Find a comfy chair

If you have a comfortable chair you can use as your work chair, this will make a big difference if you’re sitting at a desk or table all day.

Clean up your mess (computer, papers, laptops etc)

A clean and tidy working environment can make the world of difference.

Making sure your desk or table is free of clutter so that you have space to work, and that it’s clean and tidy can leave your feeling calmer and more productive.

Make sure you also tidy up at the end of your working day so that you come away from work and enjoying the evening for yourself and the family.

Natural lighting

If possible, choose a place for your workspace environment that has natural lighting. This can be beneficial to your mood and increase productivity. We also recommend you get outside a 20 minutes or so, to give you a break from work and also get much needed fresh air.

Being near a window while working can also up your vitamin D levels, which helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, and these nutrients are needed to keep muscle, teeth and bones healthy.

Separate work and living areas

If it’s possible to do so, your workspace should be in a room or space as far away as possible from the place where you sleep if you want to increase your productivity.

Your brain tends to associate certain spaces with certain tasks, which is why it’s important to keep your work and living areas physically separate if you can.
For more ideas on office space at home or in a city office, contact us today!

How to design a disability-friendly office

An all-inclusive, disability-friendly office design creates a safer, more comfortable and welcoming work environment for all, including disabled employees and visitors to your business.

By law, all businesses should provide an all-inclusive workspace that facilitates a safe and comfortable work environment for all employees, including disabled individuals.

As well as looking after employees by helping them to feel more valued and comfortable, a disability-friendly office design attracts a more diverse workforce and a wider pool of candidates, helping your business to attract more top talent.

Whilst some disabled employees may require specialist equipment, most disabled employees’ requirements can be met by simply taking accessibility into consideration when designing your office.

Here are some key features of inclusive, disability-friendly office design.

  • Accessible sockets
  • Adjustable desks
  • Cable management
  • Low lever door handles
  • Low flat panel light switches
  • Wide doorways and hallways
  • Task lighting
  • Quiet workspaces
  • Computer monitor arms
  • Large-print equipment controls
  • Use of ramps instead of stairs where suitable
  • Climate control

Whilst these design features are all disability-friendly, many of them will make your office a safer and more comfortable workspace for everyone.

Space should be a key consideration when designing a disability-friendly workspace, ensuring that there is always enough room for a wheelchair to manoeuvre.

All trip hazards and obstructions should be removed and tidied away, especially trailing wires and cables. Cable management systems are effective for keeping cables neat and safe.

Inclusive office design by Millennium Storage

Here at Millennium Storage and Interiors we provide office refurbishments and new builds to businesses of all different shapes and sizes. We design practical and inspiring office spaces that find the perfect balance between aesthetics and functionality.

Our designs are practical for all employees, with accessibility and inclusivity always a key consideration in our design process.

For help or advice with designing a disability-friendly office, or to book a free consultation with our team, give us a call on 01942 603 344.

Office design trends for 2020

The dawn of the new decade is a good time to give your outdated office interior a makeover.

Here at Millennium Storage and Interiors we expect 2020 to see the rise of eco-friendly, multi-functional office interiors.

Offices are no longer sterile white environments, instead, businesses are seeking sustainable and environmentally-conscious designs that prioritise employee wellbeing as well as productivity.

Here are our top four office design trend predictions for 2020.

Environmentally friendly

Businesses are becoming more conscious about the environmental impact of the materials and products used in their office interiors. In 2020, we expect to see a surge in businesses requesting office interiors that incorporate recyclable and natural materials and practical and cost-effective energy-efficient products and designs.

Privacy

Open plan offices have had their day, and in 2020 we’re expecting to see more businesses embracing office interiors that offer employees quiet and private spaces to work in. Over recent years, numerous studies have found that open plan offices can have a negative effect on both employee productivity and wellbeing as they tend to create a lot of noise and can be very distracting and stressful. Office partitioning, pods, and booths are all expected to make a comeback this year.

Collaborative spaces

Whilst employees often perform better and feel more relaxed when given their own private space to work in, collaborative workspaces that encourage communication and idea sharing are also very important in the workplace. Formal meeting rooms, cosy huddle rooms, and trendy break-out spaces all allow employees the space they need to share ideas, inspire each other, and interact socially when they need it.

Bold colours

In 2020 we’re expecting to see more businesses opting for bold and clashing colours to create daring and contemporary interiors.

For help or advice regarding your office design, speak to our team of experts here at Millennium Storage and Interiors about our office refurbishment services by giving our team a call on 01942 603 344.

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.