Tag: Office Space Planning (page 1 of 10)

The pandemic has altered the traditional office setup

From businesses to individuals, we have all been affected one way or another by the Coronavirus pandemic. While we know that many businesses have had an extremely difficult time, some businesses have managed to turn their fortunes around. In fact, many businesses are enjoying some very positive changes that have come out of the situation.

Office Culture To Supportive Culture

For decades, we have been engrained to believe that 9 to 5, office-centric work was the best thing for business. As employees have been forced to work from home, and companies have had to embrace this change, we’re experiencing a change in productivity and employee freedom.

This shift in working life has encouraged businesses to take only the best parts of office culture, and free employees from inefficient processes and bad habits. Leaders are switching their focus from office culture to a more supportive culture, with a new focus on how to improve the lives of employees while still getting the best from them.

Virtual-First Companies

Many companies are taking steps towards hybrid working environments, where teams can work both remotely and in the office.

This shift in the way we work has seen a rise in companies becoming ‘virtual first’. This means that workplaces are being distributed across offices and homes, and employees have the freedom to choose how they work.

For companies to successfully work in this innovative way, they must be virtual-ready. Leaders must know how to effectively manage, train and evaluate virtually, and technology must be in place to enable virtual working.

Overlapping Personal And Professional Lives

For years we have been keeping our professional lives and personal lives at a distance, with little overlap between the two. With the rise of Zoom meetings and remote working, it has given us an insight into team member’s private spaces.

Every video call and virtual meeting makes the personal lives of colleagues, managers and clients visible. We are now used to seeing employees’ children and pets on-screen, interrupting meetings and phone calls on a regular basis.

While this might seem like a distraction to the working day, in actual fact, these little glimpses into our personal lives can improve workplace relationships. When working from home, it is almost impossible to keep up an entirely professional persona, giving colleagues an insight into the real, personal life of team members.

These personal interactions are not unprofessional. Instead, they allow teams to connect and get to know each other in a new way. Overlapping personal and professional lives can help teams to work better together and understand one another’s everyday challenges.

The importance of getting your Home Office right

Getting your home office storage spot on is key to creating a space that’s functional, inspiring and that will help support your productivity when working from home.

Whether you’ve a whole room, a corner in the living room or nook in the hallway, ensuring you have the best storage solutions to keep this space tidy and well organised is crucial.

INVEST IN A DUAL-PURPOSE COFFEE TABLE

Remote working has unearthed ways to work in different rooms in the home. While the bedroom offers a quiet space, the temptation to slide under the covers may be too risky for some.

Instead lounge areas probably provide the closest thing to a ‘normal’ working environment. And, while not great for your posture, coffee tables are commonly used for laptop perching and coffee nestling.

KEEP YOUR DESK TIDY BY USING WALL SPACE

Working with a tiny workspace under the stairs or using an alcove? Keep clutter at bay by making use of wall decor. Think wire boards, fairy lights to hang things off, and of course, some floating shelves.

REPURPOSE AN OLD DRESSING OR HALLWAY CONSOLE TABLE

Getting full use out of dressing and console tables by letting yours double up as a home office storage space is a wise move. And, there are lots of fine design tweaks that can make these tables easier on the eye. Consider painting yours the same color as your office interiors, or place inserts inside so that your stationery doesn’t roll about inside.

This is one of many cost-effective budget home office ideas to save you forking out on expensive furniture. Now all you need is a good office chair to accompany it.

CHOOSE MODULAR HOME OFFICE STORAGE

A great home office storage idea is to build an adaptable storage wall with floor-to-ceiling supports and brackets. Open storage systems like this Elfa storage system really do offer total control over the storage space. Not only can you get shelves of every depth, but handy pegboard-style panels, or drawers can be added too for stationery.

TURN YOUR HOME OFFICE STORAGE INTO A FEATURE

Make the necessity of home office storage into something beautiful with an accent wall of shelving or pinned pictures. This is the perfect solution for those integrating a home office in to a living room or communal space. Remember to leave plenty of space to display treasured items keeping it as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional.

How to improve hygiene in the office

As we start to move back into the office during a period of widespread virus outbreaks, improving hygiene in the office is imperative. With open plan and agile workspaces, employees tend to move around the office a lot and come into contact with more people and work surfaces than ever before. Whilst this is great for collaborating and communicating, it’s not so great for hygiene!

This article will discuss all of the ways you can make your office as safe as possible.

  1. Surface wipes & anti-bacterial gels

 Generally, it is good to have a ‘leave it how you would like to find it’ attitude towards flexible and agile working offices. However, even it is appears to be tidy this does not necessarily mean it is clean!

Keyboards, monitors, desk chairs (namely the arms and handles) and all work surfaces should be wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes on a regular basis. Workers should also make use of the anti-bacterial gel before beginning their working day.

  1. Keep the air-con off!

Coronavirus and air conditioning can be a potentially deadly combination as air ducts and vents can be a safe space for the virus to cultivate, even when the rest of the building is cleaned comprehensively.

It is key to provide adequate air flow in a working environment and the safest way of doing this whilst covid-19 is still present is by opening doors and windows. As a result of this airflow you will reduce the impact of spreading the virus.

  1. Recycling and general bins

 The NHS phrase of “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” to stop the spread of germs requires…bins! Frequent placing of office general waste bins and recycling bins throughout any workplace is important.

Therefore, it is essential that you have a number of bins around the offer to help minimise the germs that could be circulating in your office.

Great Ways to Engage Your Employees This Christmas!

Decorate the office!

Surely a few Christmas decorations can’t make an entire office feel happier?

You’d be surprised how much a few bits of tinsel here, and a couple of baubles there can really pick up the atmosphere and get staff feeling excited about the holidays!

Even better… you could make Christmas decorating an annual tradition, getting the team working together and bonding over a mutual love for the festive season.

Host an Award Ceremony

Awards can be a great way to engage staff and let them know that you value their hard work.

And they don’t have to be based on targets – you don’t want to leave a proportion of your loyal workforce out – consider things like…

– The most encouraging person in the office.
– The most organised.
– The best at keeping your customers happy.
…split your awards up across teams and make sure your perceived ‘favourites’ (if there are any) don’t get more praise and credit than others.

Secret Santa

A slightly more obvious Christmas tradition, Secret Santa is an amazing way to bring your employees, across different teams, together.

Just decide on a £5-£10 limit and then pick a day for the ‘big reveal’ and you’re sorted!

Let Your Staff Leave Early

A great incentive and reward scheme that works specifically well for salespeople is allowing them to finish work early for the Christmas holiday if they hit an (achievable) target.

Whether it’s on 1st December (you’d hope not…) or 23rd, when they’ve hit the target, let them go home until January!

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way a lot of people work

Earlier this year, many companies closed their offices and shifted their staff to remote work due to health and safety concerns. And while remote work has been a mixed bag, it’s also proven itself as a viable model for companies in almost every segment of the market.

That opens the door to a world of flexibility for companies going forward. But it also puts office buildings in real danger.

Office building demand could wane to a dangerous degree

When employees were first told to pack up their desks and work remotely back in February and March, many assumed it would last a few weeks. But now, nine months later, many companies are realizing remote work is a sustainable model, with the potential for major cost savings. If workers can maintain productivity from afar, businesses can spend less on office space.

A good 68% of large-company CEOs say they now plan to downsize their office space, according to a survey by KPMG. And that’s not just in response to the pandemic.

LONG-TERM OFFICE LEASES COULD BE HISTORY

Those who are considering returning to the office are doing so cautiously due to the uncertainty of lease commitments and health protocols.

The last several months have left workers reeling as many were forced to work from home to stay safe from the ongoing pandemic. Real estate technology firm Yardi recently conducted a survey recently that revealed office users are still skeptical about what the workplace will look like in the future.

“Occupancy is around 86% nationwide,” said Rao. “It was generally flat up until a month and a half ago. In the last month, it dropped 0.3%, which is a large monthly drop. What we are finding is that for many leases that are expiring, generally what’s happening is the tenants are holding onto the space, and they are not wanting to make any rash decisions one way or another.”

The overall theme of the market is uncertainty. The demands of offices have evolved since the beginning of the year. Now, tenants want touchless technology, outdoor areas and air filtrations systems to ensure that their health is protected.

Additionally, the relationship between landlords and tenants is bound to transform as short-term, flexible leases grow in demand.

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.

Tips on How to Effectively Plan a Warehouse Layout Design

Principles of an Efficient Warehouse Layout

Before you start designing your warehouse, you should understand what you’re trying to achieve with your warehouse layout design.

Here are 3 major principles to keep in mind when planning your warehouse:

Space

Consider how to maximise the space you can afford, taking into consideration storage, stock, offices, working areas, empty pallet storage, battery charging, etc.

With a wide variety of vertical racks and freestanding equipment, you should be able to design your warehouse in the way you need it initially, while being flexible enough to change it in the future if desired.

Flow

Warehouse flow can be summarised as the uninterrupted movement of materials, people, and traffic within your building.

Your first goal should be to cut down on any areas of high traffic or potential for cross-flow crashes.

So, each activity that an employee performs must be located as close as possible to the activity that precedes it and proceeds from it.

That also means materials used to perform those activities should be situated as close as possible to each workstation.

Your second goal should be to eliminate as much movement and disruption as possible.

Accessibility

Every product and all products on pallets should be accessible by everyone, usually without the need to move one product to get to another.

That means structuring your pallet racks in rows that are wide enough to accommodate pallet jacks and trucks, and stacking and stocking items strategically for minimal interference with one another.

Millennium Storage Office Refurbishments

Millennium offers you a full service to provide you with the best possible environment with minimum disruption. We believe in practical solutions and creative office space planning. As a company experienced in office fit out, we offer office partitioning, flooring, decoration, furniture (standard and bespoke). As a result you have one point of contact and dedicated project management to ensure a seamless transformation.

The Benefits of Refurbishing Your Office or Workplace

The average worker spends vast portions of their lives in their office or workplace, so it is important for the surroundings to look and feel welcoming. If your workplace needs a bit of a spruce up, you may want to consider the benefits of an office refurbishment.

Improved efficiency

Refurbishing your workplace can allow you to alter the layout of your establishment, and you may find that by moving certain aspects of your office, you can increase the efficiency of your workplace. You can even take this opportunity to invest in new, high-quality equipment for your office that can increase the speed of functions.

Increased productivity

A new, attractive, updated workplace can boost the morale of your workers, which in turn can increase their productivity.

Attracts new clients or customers

Your office is, in effect, the face of your company, and the quality of your workplace can speak volumes about how your company is run, and even how successful your business is. A high-quality establishment indicates that your company is turning a good profit, which can make other customers or clientele have faith in the success of your company and be more inclined to do business with you.

More room for more staff

When you refurbish, you can alter the size of certain aspects of your establishment – storage, hallways, etc. to create more space, which can fit your expanding workforce more comfortably. You may even find that simply rejigging the furniture into a more organised state can create the extra space you need.

Increased health and safety

If you’ve been using your office for a while, general wear and tear might have caused some damage to the fixtures, which can be a huge health and safety risk to your workers. An entire new office will be completely safe and secure, greatly reducing the risk of workplace accidents.

Millennium Storage and Interiors offer both office and commercial refurbishments, so no matter your workplace, we can provide you with the new look you want. We only use high-quality materials and fully qualified and skilled workers, to ensure that the work we produce is of the utmost quality. No job is too big or too small for our dedicated team, and we’ll be on hand at all times to manage the project, completely eradicating the stress from the procedure.

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