Tag: Office Rentals

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.

Why Office Carpet Choice Matters

How many offices do you go into with drab looking or worn out carpets? Carpets say as much about a business as walls and furniture so it’s important to pay attention to the quality and colour of your carpets is you want to project the right image of your business to clients and customers.

Of course not every business owner will have control over the colour of their carpet. If an office is rented it can be hard to convince the landlord to change the carpet but if you do have the freedom, then a new carpet is a great way to start transforming the look and feel of your office.

If for example your business is involved in websites or graphic design, you might want to select bright bold patterns whereas if you run an accountants, then a neutral toned more conservative carpet might be a better choice.

Pattern is also important. Plain office carpet can be dull and boring so having some kind of pattern even if it’s subtle can transform an office space. The carpet can even match your company branding.

Today there are no hard and fast rules on carpet choice and lots of inspiration available on websites such as Pinterest

Is It Time You Had An Office Refurb?

In business you’re either growing or you’re shrinking so it’s important to always be moving forward and that includes the design of your office.

Taking care of the office, however, often ends up low on the priority list during busy periods or when a lot of effort is being put into growing a business. Yet appearances should never be ignored and your office will provide prospective clients and customers with their first impression of your business when they walk through the door.

If your office is looking a bit tired and dated, then refurbishing your office can freshen things up and inspire confidence. It is often the smaller details that contribute to business growth and a well maintained modern office can create the kind of lasting impression that provides a good return on your investment.

Also with the holidays fast approaching staff are likely to have their minds on their next holiday and if their surroundings are dull and drab this will only hamper productivity. So there you have it. Refurbishing that tired old office might actually pay for itself with all the benefits it provides.

If you would like to find out more about our office refurbishment services, give us a call today.

3 Ways To Impress Millennials With Your Office Design

As time moves on so does the age of your employees and most office chairs will now be filled by a generation of people collectively known as millennials or those born between the early 1980s and just after the year 2000. As millennials are now so essential to businesses, how do you go about attracting them and keeping them in your office rather than those of the competition?

Most millennials don’t like conventional offices
If you want to retain your younger staff members it’s time to ditch the traditional office layout and go for something less conventional. Millennials despite their reputation are hard working on the whole as well as being career focused. They can be trusted to work in collaborative spaces with flexible furniture.

Millennials Want To See Up-To-Date Technology
Some business owners are hopelessly out of touch with technology and these are the ones that tend to have a high staff turnover. No self-respecting millennial is going to want to work in an office and make do with poor outdated equipment when they have superior technology at home.

The days of travelling to work every day and going through the motions from 9 am until 5pm are coming to an end for many private firms. Flexible working is now demanded by many people as is a flexible approach working remotely. IT infrastructure should be set up to allow this and enable millennials to enjoy a better work life balance.

Should Workplace Design Reflect Your Branding?

How many workplaces do you know that have interior spaces that reflect their branding?

Depending on how many you will have seen the answer is probably not many. Workplaces that reflect company branding are hard to find in most business sectors unless they appreciate just how important branding is to company culture as well as perceptions from the outside.

If you business is branding then there is a good chance you already appreciate how everything present in a business from its philosophy and culture to its furniture should reflect the brand.

It also shouldn’t be forgotten, that when customers and clients arrive at your workplace, their perception of your business can be greatly influenced by what they are seeing around them for the first time.

As everyone knows first impressions are important. If an office has a nice contemporary design that reflects the branding and colours of the business, then this will make those clients and customers feel more secure about doing business with your company.

For staff too, it’s important for them to buy into company culture and the work environment should encourage this by creating a clear sense of identity. Simply spreading a few brochures on meeting and coffee tables is not enough to make those employees feel part of an organisation that is going places.

Why Sound Acoustics Is Vital to Office Design

Offices come in all sorts of layouts from sleek open plan, to period offices in city centres.

The challenge in both cases is to find a solution that not only creates a sense of space but also provides privacy and a quiet place to work for those employees who need it. So when designing an office layout, a delicate balancing act needs to be struck to ensure that everyone in the workplace will be happy.

Unlike visual distractions, which can simply be screened off or hidden by a simple re-arrangement of furniture and screens. Unfortunately, good acoustics will require a more complicated solution to reduce noise from phones, chatter and colleagues moving from one place to another.

All of this can become very frustrating for those who require peace and quiet to do their best work, which will in turn hinder productivity.

While the modern trend continues to lean towards the open plan spaces which have been seen as the best way to develop cooperation and creativity since the 1950s.

To improve acoustics in your office requires knowledge of how sound impacts on different surfaces and how it is absorbed by others.

This starts with the introduction of carpets, acoustic panels and acoustic screens which can help reduce noise dramatically. Then create separate spaces for collaborative work so as not to disturb those staff members who prefer to work in quiet isolation from time to time.

Is Your Office Layout Influencing Your Business Culture?

The more you learn about architecture and the buildings we use everyday, the more you understand just how much they can influence us.

Do you ever find yourself sitting in a room at work wondering what might be going on in the office across the corridor or do you feel excluded from management who occupy a corner office hardly anyone ever goes into?

Despite open plan offices and glass partitions now being an established part of business culture, you can still be left feeling an unwanted sense of seclusion and separation.

As a business owner, having your office laid out in this traditional manner is more likely to put people off coming to work for your organisation.

The days when people coveted the big office in the corner are now numbered as collaboration is understood to be the key to effective working.

If everyone in your office is crammed into small rooms, then it can be little wonder that conflict between staff members can begin to develop and instead of working as a team, the organisation becomes fragmented.

This can all be changed by a re-imagining of your office layout to encourage rather than discourage collaboration and a more harmonious working environment.

London Office Prices Could Fall 20%

Following the vote to leave the UK analysts are predicting that the price of a London office could fall by 20%. This news may not be as bad as it sounds for anyone looking for an affordable office in the city.

The fall in office prices is based on the assumption that there will be less demand for leasing office space if an economic downturn happens.

Another factor is withdrawal of investment from abroad, which is already happening. Commercial property investors have suddenly become more cautious about investing in the UK when it is set leave the EU in a little more than two year’s time.

Another reason for the gloomy prediction is that some businesses will relocate abroad if they feel that their needs will be better served on the continent.

One silver lining to all of this is that offices will be cheaper to purchase therefore more money can be spent on making improvements that will add value in the longer term.

It has to be remembered that the UK economy is fundamentally strong and it has more than enough in reserve to weather any future storms if they arise. Aside from a falling pound, there is little evidence of that storm arriving just yet.

Is Office Design and Layout Male Biased?

The writer of an article in the FT this month seems to think so. The article Time to end male bias in office design highlights how male dominated design teams may not consider the needs of women when they plan out office interiors.

The issues raised include temperature setting inside being geared towards males of a particular size and age and even refilling paper trays. The former is the reason why a large number of women will report feeling cold at work.

Women generate 35% less body heat in relative terms than their male counterparts. This means that women require temperatures to be turned up 3 degrees centigrade higher than their male colleagues.

Having a female-friendly work environment may not be top of the agenda for certain business owners however ignoring the little things like heating may lead to disgruntled staff members which could harm performance which is not in the interests of businesses.

Even when it comes to something as simple as filling a paper tray, it seems women are often ignored as to what they can comfortably cop with. Hand grip strength is required to pull trays out of printers and here too men are likely to have the advantage with men consistently outperforming women in this area.

The only hope for women is to be included more in office design teams so that these kinds of problems don’t get overlooked or ignored.

Canary Wharf Offices Best For Rental Growth In 2016

If you happen to own offices in Canary Wharf, London, this year will be one of the best years yet for rental growth.

Canary Wharf in Central London is London has become a magnet for service sector businesses in recent years. So much so that it will have the best rental growth in the city this year at 12.8% which puts it ahead of nearest rivals Shoreditch 10% and Midtown 9.6%.

Despite the increase in demand for offices in Canary Wharf, it still remains an affordable alternative to Central London. Excellent connections to the city centre via Crossrail have raised its appeal even further.

The increasing number of tech and creative firms setting up in the capital will be the key drivers of growth in 2016 according to the Knight Frank report. In fact the technology sector has been the largest source of demand for office space in the capital for the past 5 years.

While rising rents and increased demand will be good news for owners who let office space, those seeking more affordable offices may be forced to move further out. Vacancy rates are currently at their lowest level for nearly 14 years. In the West End of London, the vacancy rate is at its lowest level since 1989.