When it comes to cutting costs, most business leaders and other decision-makers focus on factors such as supply chain management, customer acquisition costs, workforce planning, product price positioning, and so on.
Regardless of whether you want to make better use of your existing space or are “bursting at the seams” because of recent hiring activity, an office renovation is certainly a good news story for your business, your employees, and even your customers who find this kind of development impressive. After all, we all like doing business with companies that visibility demonstrate that they are investing in their stability and success.
Over the last few years, one of the most important developments in the world of office design has been the emergence of “breakout spaces”. These are small areas – usually situated next to a stairwell, elevator, lunchroom or other high-traffic area – where employees can informally meet, chat, unwind, read, meditate, or even take a quick (sitting) cat nap.
Aside from the obvious benefit of allowing employees to recharge their batteries – which is great for morale and supporting employee wellness — breakout spaces boost collaboration and productivity. What’s more, breakout spaces are easy to design, affordable to create, and quick to implement.
When it comes to making office renovation-related decisions, business owners and other leaders need to focus on cost, schedule, scope, the impact on customers and brand, and how it will help employees be more productive and collaborative.
However, it is also wise, where practical and appropriate, to make the office renovation as “employee-friendly” as possible. After all, just as customers ultimately determine if a product or service is rewarding, employees will have a major influence on whether an office renovation truly achieves its goals, or falls short of reaching its potential.
In a recent blog post, we highlighted some tips for creating open offices for introverts – so that the layout works for them vs. against them. Today, we continue the discussion by focusing on how to create open offices for extroverts.
Across the country and especially in Chicago, an increasing number of businesses are opting for an office redesign that makes ample use of what are called “breakout spaces”. Below, we highlight what this term refers to, and then explore why it may be a smart, progressive choice for your office redesign needs.
It has been about a month since we ushered in 2016, and that means most folks have all tied up their 2015 loose ends (or recovered from the festive holiday party circuit!), and are geared and ready to see what interesting and noteworthy developments the new year has in store.
In that spirit, the Key Interiors team is pleased to share the 4 office design trends that we believe will shape and influence 2016, and beyond:
When you generate 66 billion dollars a year in revenue, you do not follow trends: you make them! And that is why the business world has been paying very close attention to Google’s famed “Nested Office” design (see some photos here), to see where it’s something they should adopt ASAP, or perhaps stand back and eventually “cherry pick” some of the best, coolest elements.
However, regardless of what side of the Nested Office design fence you may be on – all-for-it, or wait-and-see – there are some very insightful best practices that can be gleaned from Google’s approach:
It goes without saying that businesses constantly need to find new and better ways to deliver customer service.
Indeed, reports by both BusinessNewsDaily.com and Forbes.com, respectively, point out that good customer service trumps both price and product in the hearts and minds of most customers. Or for the “glass half empty” folks among us: a survey by Oracle’s RightNow and Harris Interactive found that 82 percent of customers will leave a company after experiencing bad customer service. And it that is not daunting enough, a survey by MarketingCharts.com revealed that customers are far more likely to share bad customer service experiences online and offline than good ones.
Unless they have just moved into a new space or wrapped up a design overhaul, most business owners and executives would almost certainly put an office renovation on their “nice to have”, “to be considered”, or “future plans” list.
Just like doctors and all other essential healthcare professionals, dentists constantly need to find new and better ways in their practices to save time and boost efficiency — ultimately, so they can reduce operating costs, increase quality and improve patient care.
And in light of this, one of the most cost-effective, yet often overlooked areas they can address is related to sterilization stations.
We are all familiar with the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Well, with over 30 years of experience in office renovation field, take it from us that prevention is worth far more than that – it can literally mean the difference between an experience that is affordable and rewarding, and one that is stressful, costly and regrettable.
Obviously, your office renovation partner will have, by far, the biggest influence on whether your experience is successful or not. But what may be less obvious, is how to choose the right one.
These days, a growing number of small businesses are ensuring that their office renovation is also a “green office renovation”, so that it does not just improve workflows, aesthetics, customer service and employee morale, but that it ultimately reduces their environmental footprint. There are many smart and inspiring reasons for taking this route, including:
Businesses are constantly investing in technology and training in order to promote office collaboration. And while both these approaches can pay significant dividends, there is another, somewhat lesser known way to dramatically increase collaboration and ultimately drive productivity, performance and profits: office design.
At Key Interiors, our clients in both the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) space frequently inquire about how we can help them create a branded office that boost sales.
That is, they want their brand to be captured by their office design, so that it is part of their overall communication and culture; both externally in how they engage customers and partners, and internally in terms of how their workforce is motivated and inspired.
For many doctors and dentists, their patient waiting room is – as the name suggests – a comfortable, functional space where patients and their family members wait anywhere from a few minutes, to possibly over an hour.
At Key Interiors, we have partnered with many dentists either to refresh their office, or lead the way on a major overhaul.
When many business owners and executives think about an office redesign, they tend to focus on “look and feel”. For example, they may begin to notice that their office is starting to look dated and faded; especially in comparison to what some of their competitors are doing.
According to research published by the World Bank, healthier workplaces also generate healthier profits. Or, to make the same point but in a rather more daunting (yet perhaps more memorable) way, a survey by the American Psychological Association found that unhealthy workplaces contribute overwhelmingly to employee stress – which costs employers across the country a whopping $300 billion each year in stress-related healthcare and absenteeism.
Many “Reality TV” shows and websites are dedicated to taking us behind the scenes of disastrous home renovation projects – which are the kind that spiral downwards and turn into a gaping, terrifying money pit!
It is a common scenario that unfolds in dental offices across the country: you and your team feel as though you are “bursting at the seams” some days, and yet you do not want to change locations – either to avoid the costs, or because your roster of patients wants you to stay right where you are. Fortunately, you can find a surprising amount of space – and make your space utilization more efficient and effective – through an affordable office renovation.
Just how important is employee happiness to the bottom-line? A study at the University of Warwick discovered that happier employees led to a 12 percent increase in productivity – while unhappy workers diminished productivity by 10 percent. As the researchers concluded: “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings“.
One of the most beneficial aspects of an office redesign, is that it gives businesses an opportunity to collaborate and integrate the opinions and needs of different groups – each of whom has a valuable piece of the overall puzzle.
As you already know, redesigning your office to go green is, in itself, a visionary decision — because as the old saying goes, “if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem”. Reducing your environmental footprint definitely makes you the former!
In your dental clinic, you may have started to notice an increasing gap between the lead-edge solutions you offer – such as invisible braces, same-day dental crowns, and so on – and the overall look and feel of your office. In other words: it may be time for a renovation!
Across the country, a growing number of businesses – from small firms to large organizations – are replacing conventional chairs and desks, with “sit-stand” desks.
First things first: the notion of “designing your office for the future” does not have anything to do with trying to reconfigure your environment, so that it might be used as a set for the next Star Trek movie. Rather, it means future-proofing your office renovation investment, so that you can continue reaping the rewards for years and decades to come.
There are many rewards of an office redesign, including improved workflows, better collaboration, enhanced customer service, and a more impressive image and reputation (which is very important for recruiting and retention).
Across the country, an increasing number of businesses of all shapes and sizes are renovating their office so that it is not just more functional, attractive and impressive, but also so that it is green and healthy.
One of the most rewarding outcomes of an office redesign is that you can literally transform your workspace into an environment that is dramatically more productive, efficient, energized and positive – which is a win for everyone: your employees, your customers, and your organization as a whole.
As you know, running a business is often rewarding, but it is never easy – simply because there is always a problem to solve or goal to achieve. Indeed, in business as in life, there is really no such thing as “maintenance mode”. You are either falling behind or moving ahead!
Whether you are planning on refreshing, renovating or re-imagining your dental office, it goes without saying that you will need to partner with a proven, experienced dental office design firm.
While enhancing brand image and impressing customers are two big reasons for moving ahead with an office renovation, there are other welcomed benefits as well, such as boosting employee morale and efficiency. And the simplest, smartest and most cost-effective way to achieve this goal is by ensuring that your office renovation supports employee health and wellness.
You may have come to the conclusion – or are heading in that direction per feedback from your employees, and possibly in light of comments from your customers/clients as well – that your office environment would benefit from a new look and feel.
As you prepare to shift addresses for your office relocation, you are obviously focusing on issues like layout, space utilization, furniture and finishing procurement, and so on. However, there is another vital piece of the office renovation puzzle that you should not overlook in the midst of your busy planning and decision-making: coordinating your staff!
It goes without saying that you know, beyond any doubt, that a successful office renovation requires forethought and planning. In other words, you and your colleagues would not arrive to work one morning and decide spontaneously or impulsively to refresh, renovate or re-imagine your environment! Obviously, arriving at this decision – and then deciding what steps to take, what to change, and what to leave as-is – is part of a process that can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months.
While dentists and doctors simply refer to them as “waiting rooms”, patients traditionally describe the area that they are obligated to wait – sometimes for hours – in much more colorful terms (that we cannot publish here on our family-friendly blog!).
There comes a time in the lifespan of every dental office – it could be several years after opening, or in many cases much sooner – when remodeling becomes less of a “nice-to-have” option, and more of a strategic requirement to grow the patient roster, shift towards the delivery of more profitable dental solutions, and ultimately boost the bottom-line.
For several years, business leaders and executives have been told that “the Millennials are coming”, and they should be ready to adjust to this unprecedented demographic shift. Well, the messaging has changed, because the Millennials are no longer coming: they are already here!
“Company culture” is an all-encompassing term that captures the essence of an organization’s values, principles, ethos, vision, and mission. It also provides the framework – formally and informally, directly and indirectly – for accepted norms and standards. Indeed, everything from the general noise/volume level in a workplace to the degree of staff diversity plays a role in shaping, and in turn being shaped by, company culture.
When it comes to making your organization more efficient, productive and profitable, you naturally focus on key aspects like technology, personnel, systems, processes, and so on.
However, there is another piece of the puzzle that is just as important, and yet is often overlooked when it comes to optimizing a work environment: space planning. Below, we highlight what this concept is, and why it matters to your business.
Refreshing, re-designing or re-inventing an office environment is supposed to be an exciting and positive experience; one that invigorates your employees, impresses your customers, and signals to your marketplace (and competitors!) that the best days for your business are ahead, not behind.
However, despite the fact that this should be a “good news” story, the fact is that many businesses undertaking an office renovation endure everything from major schedule and budget overruns, quality control issues, obstacles and issues related to permits and approvals, and the list goes on.
Today’s most productive and efficient corporate workspaces are not run-of-the-mill, generic environments that are heavy on function, but limited when it comes style, sophistication and stimulation. Rather, as noted by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, “the smart modern office is an all-round sensory experience designed to make people feel good and more creative”.
In light of this vision, here are 5 best practices for corporate office design that you may want to incorporate into your refresh, redesign, or re-invention plan:
While an office redesign or re-invention may be in your mind or on the horizon, there is no need to let budget constraints force you to wait months or even years to start reaping the rewards of a more productive and pleasing environment. According to Inc. Magazine contributor Jessica Stillman “There’s no need to spend a fortune to make your company’s space impressive.”
“What’s in a design?”
Well, if the topic is dental practice design, then there’s plenty to talk about – and much at stake, as well. Indeed, today’s patients have much higher expectations for comfort and care than previous generations; which helps explain why many dental practices look and feel more like high-end day spas than conventional health centers!
At Key Interiors, one of the most frequent – and also the most important – questions we receive is: do we need an architect for our office renovation, do we need an interior designer, or do we need both?
For starters, this is one of those questions that has an “it all depends…” answer, because every office renovation project (just as every organization) is different, and there is no one-size-fits all answer.
As noted by Forbes, creativity in the workplace is not optional, nor is it the exclusive domain of firms in “creative industries” like entertainment, arts, music, and so on. On the contrary, creative is absolutely critical for all businesses in every industry – including and in some cases especially conventional industries like insurance, banking, government and more — and directly impacts everything from turnover to profit.
A common myth that many business owners and executives believe is that an office redesign is a significantly – and as such prohibitively – costly project.
Yes, while it is true that some major office redesigns can cost hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars, this is by no means the “entry fee”. It is entirely possible to create a fresh new look and feel for as little as $10,000 (or in some cases, even less). This not only gives your employees a much-improved work environment, but as noted by Business Insider, it can also boost your bottom-line; which ultimately means that the office renovation will pay for itself, and then start generating ROI.
While all dentists know that the look and feel of their waiting room is important, many are surprised to discover just how influential it is to keeping – or in some cases – losing a profitable patient (and all of their profitable referrals!).
An office redesign is an exciting opportunity to start a new chapter of your business’s unique story. However, in order to ensure that this story is positive and continues delivering rewards long into the future, it is important that you make decisions that help – rather than hinder – your work environment. Here are 4 tips to help you achieve this key objective:
While it is true that an increasing number of consumers are spending time online to learn about new and used cars, this does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that car dealerships are redundant, or on their way to extinction. As noted by the automotive sector for TNS Global, which is the world’s leading provider of automotive marketing and insight:
While there are many aspects and elements of a successful office renovation, among the most important will be your overall office renovation plan.
This plan – which is typically comprised of several supporting documents, appendices and so on – captures scope, workflows, personnel, materials, budget, risk management, and more.
The Human Spaces global study of 7,600 office workers in 16 countries has confirmed what had long since been suspected by anyone who has ever set foot in (or been liberated from an undersized, poorly-lit cubicle: office design and employee productivity are linked, for better and at times, for worse.
Hopefully, your current office design is not undermining productivity or driving turnover. However, even if it is not working against your business, it is not necessarily working for it. That is, you may not be optimizing all of your available space, fully supporting your employees, or completely elevating your brand.
Businesses invest in everything from training to technology in order to reduce costs and improve productivity. However, despite these significant investments and best efforts, there is an element that may be pushing in the opposite direction by adding costs and reducing productivity. This aspect, surprisingly, could be the office design itself!
Below, we highlight the 3 ways that office design works against employees, instead of supports their performance and results:
Finding ways to make your employees happier isn’t just good manners – it’s also good strategy! Indeed, as reported by Fast Company, happier workers are 12 percent more productive than their (unhappy) counterparts. And a study by researchers at Kansas State University concluded that: “When employees have high levels of psychological well-being and job satisfaction, they perform better and are less likely to leave their job — making happiness a valuable tool for maximizing organizational outcomes.”
Just as dentists would never even think of advising their patients to perform “self-dentistry”, when it comes to reimagining their practice, it is important to get advice from interior solutions specialists. With this in mind, here are 5 dental office design best practices and tips from the experts that all dentists should keep in mind when it comes time to renovate, refresh or re-invent their space:
In the past, the primary consideration for workplace design was functionality. That is, as long as the space was secure and people had enough space (however barely in some cases!) to get their work done, then spending time and resources on design was seen as purely an esthetic exercise. My, how times have changed!
As revealed in a survey by Dental Products Report, 69 percent of dentists believe that patients see office design as a reflection of their dentist’s competence, and their patient’s confidence in the practice as a whole.
With this in mind, below we present 4 dental office design tips that make the right impression and send the right messages, and ultimately help lead to more satisfied and loyal patients:
While having an executive office is a lofty perk, it is also a well-earned one as well. Indeed, a study by Harvard Business Review found that 60 percent of executives have an average workweek of 72-hours, which is a far cry from the average workweek of 34.4 hours.
As such, it is definitely in your organization’s best interest – along with your roster of executives – to ensure that their work environment is productive, efficient and optimized for success. To help make this happen, here are 5 executive office design tips that can make a transformative difference:
While medicine and health care have changed dramatically over the number of years and especially the last few decades, medical office design thinking certainly has not been left behind – at least not in today’s most profitable and thriving practices.
Gone are the days when patients were clustered in cramped waiting rooms, and staff were expected to function in an environment that was built for anything but operational efficiency. Instead, both patients and staff alike are benefiting from the following medical office design best practices:
A handful of years ago, many organizations – Google being the most notable among them – implemented what has now become known as an “open office design.” As the term suggests, this layout minimizes or eliminates cubicles and other traditional barriers between employees and teams, in favor of large, singular space that promotes interaction, communication and collaboration.
Like many businesses, a new office design may have been on your agenda – or at least, in the back of your mind — for several months, or perhaps even years. And finally, after all of that thinking and discussing (and yet more thinking and discussing), you and your team ready to move ahead and refresh or re-invent your space.
However, before your interior solutions firm brings blueprints, plans and renderings to life, you will need to define the type of office design that is going to support your current operations and future direction.
All dentists know that a professional image plays a key role in attracting and keeping profitable patients. To that end, dentists invest in advanced equipment and technologies, hire experienced and competent hygienists, administrators and other staff, and take a personal interest in the happiness and satisfaction of every patient on their roster.
Naturally, these commitments go a long way to establishing the right image. But there is another piece of the puzzle that is often overlooked, yet can substantially increase profits; or unfortunately in some cases, diminish them: dental office design.
When it comes to office design, viewpoints can vary on everything from how space should be used, to wall covering materials and colors, to open vs. closed workspaces, and the list goes on. This divergence of opinion is positive and should be encouraged, and can be one of the most interesting aspects of the entire office design process.
As noted by Entrepreneur.com, the work environment is rapidly evolving, and that means office design must shift as well. Below, we highlight the key reasons how an office space plan sets up a redesign for success:
When it comes to your office renovation, naturally you want the reap the rewards and benefits of your investment, such as greater staff efficiency, higher customer satisfaction, an enhanced brand and image, and so on. Yet while end results are important, you cannot afford to overlook the process or project management. And that is where design-build firms are part of the puzzle.
There are many factors that combine to make an office design project successful. However, one of the most important factors – and yet also one that many office design firms do not offer – is value engineering.
We will discuss why offering value engineering is not standard across all firms in a moment. First, let us briefly explain what value engineering is in the context of an office design project.
While some days are better than others, and wearing multiple hats is the norm instead of the exception, being part of the startup experience is unique and exhilarating. Each day is different, the possibilities are inspiring, and the sky is the limit.
Naturally, there are many factors that drive and determine startup success, including marketplace demand, timing, competitive advantage, availability of capital (and access to more capital when — not if – it is needed!), a talented and hard working team, and of course, a big dose of good luck never hurts.
An office redesign is one of those exciting “out with the old, in with the new” experiences – except for one important detail: you are likely to wind up with used office furniture that you no longer want or need.
Naturally, storing these excess items on-site is not a welcome idea, since they will just take up space and add clutter. And moving them to a warehouse or storage facility does not make sense either since as noted, these are items that you no longer have use for.
As noted by Dental Economics: “When patients have a positive experience in your practice, they will not only be more inclined to accept recommended treatment and return for ongoing care, but also refer friends and family.”
While there are many ways for dentists to improve patient experience — such as adding new services, enhancing the practice’s website, offering financing options and so on — among the most low-cost, high-impact strategies is to upgrade your dental office design.
Executives and managers who believe that creative office design is merely an optional “nice-to-haves” should think again – because creative workspaces can reduce absenteeism and turnover, drive retention and efficiency, boost performance and productivity, and increase revenues and customer satisfaction. In other words, creative office design is great for the bottom line!
For many years, boosting employee engagement was viewed as an important, yet not essential objective; at least not as far as increasing productivity, profitability and the bottom-line was concerned.
When it comes to developing your office design plan, obviously you need to focus on aspects such as budgets, scheduling, logistics (e.g. maintaining operations during the renovation/construction or temporary re-allocating work to another site), permits and approvals (typically required for any project involving architectural changes), and the list goes on.
n today’s relentlessly competitive business landscape, finding smarter ways to increase employee productivity is not just a best practice. In the long run it makes the difference between success and survival.
However, one aspect that is often overlooked by managers and decision makers – but certainly NOT neglected by employees who must deal with it on a daily basis – is how office design impacts productivity. Here are the key factors that matter most, either positive or negatively.
While the fundamental principles of office design remain stable year after year — such as the importance of proper space planning, using value engineering to reduce costs, balancing functionality with esthetics, and so on — there are always an emerging set of styles, preferences, approaches and ideas that shape the discussion, and set the tone. With this in mind, here are 4 key and influential office design trends for 2017:
A critical – and yet often overlooked – aspect of successful office design is space planning, which is about far more than just deploying equipment, furniture and people. That’s because the operative word in space planning isn’t SPACE; it’s PLANNING. As such, businesses need to work with their interior solutions team to answer key questions well in advance of their office design project. These questions include:
As you ponder, plan and prepare for a new office design, naturally you will focus on aspects such as space utilization, lighting and HVAC, traffic flows, and so on. However, there is another critically important piece of the puzzle that is just as important: choosing the right office furniture.
To help point you in the right direction, here are 5 tips to keep in mind:
Whether you are developing the layout for a new location or re-inventing your current environment, one of the most important pieces of your office design puzzle is the conference room. Below, we highlight 3 best practices to help point you in the right direction:
One of the most innovative office design ideas in recent years is known as “hot desking.” No, this doesn’t involve desks mysteriously disappearing from one day to the next and showing up for sale on Craigslist. And for shivering employees who work in cold offices: sorry, this has nothing to do with temperature, either.
Rather, hot desking is when employees do not have assigned workstations or cubicles, and can therefore work anywhere they wish –– provided, of course, that space is available. As you might expect or have experienced, there are some pros and cons associated with this office design, and we highlight some of these below.
Developing an office design plan – either for your current location or a new one – is an ideal opportunity to evaluate priorities, refine strategies, and make smart decisions that will turn the cost from an expense into an investment. To that end, here are 5 questions to ask:
A growing number of organizations of all sizes – from small businesses to large enterprises – have implemented, or are thinking/planning of implementing, an open office design. This is a layout in which employees are co-located in a shared space and environment.
Of all elements, aspects, and features of the office-design world, perhaps no single discussion point triggers as intense a reaction than when the topic turns to cubicles. Indeed, people seem to be divided into two distinct camps: those who like cubicles and see their advantages, and those who dislike (if not hate!) cubicles, and view them as a plague on workplace landscape.
On today’s highly competitive and constantly changing business landscape, many companies – especially startups – are recognizing that the smartest way to get big is to stay small; office space-wise, that is.
If your company has decided (at least for now) that the best route to long-term success and profitability is to maintain a smaller workplace, here are three office design strategies to help your relatively small space look, feel and function BIG:
Progressive and forward-looking business leaders are always looking for innovative ways to improve their workplace; both because it is good for employees, and because it is good for the bottom-line. And over the last few years, one of the most effective and exciting introductions to the office furniture roster are sit-to-stand desks.
According to a Dental Products Report survey, 69 percent of dentists believe that patients view dental office design as a reflection of their competence as a dentist and their practice as a whole.
In other words: dental office design does not just serve a functional purpose of giving patients a place to wait and receive treatment. It also plays a key role in influencing patient experience and perception, which translates into satisfaction, loyalty, and referrals. Indeed, sound dental office design is not just beneficial for aesthetics — it’s also good business strategy!
In the past, lighting in office design was not necessarily considered as something that should, or even could be optimized. This is not to suggest that business owners and other decision-makers were indifferent or uninterested when it came to lighting-related choices. Rather, the primary focus was to ensure that there was “enough light to allow people to work.” Indeed, this explains why even today in offices that have notably different design approaches, the lighting is basically the same and rooted in a “if it’s bright enough for people to see and work, then it’s fine and we can focus on other elements” philosophy.
Blue is often viewed as calming and soothing. It is also a color that many people associate with trustworthiness and intelligence (which is why many attorneys and public relations consultants advise their clients to weak blue blouses, suits or ties when they want to cast a trustworthy image!).
It’s well known that letting natural sunlight flow into an office environment boosts employee health and increases employee productivity. And those factors are important for everything from recruitment and retention, to revenue and profits.
However, the fact remains that not every office can reap the benefits of natural sunlight. Some offices don’t have windows, and installation may prove too costly. If this is the case with your current situation, then then we heave good news for you and your employees. Here are five practical and cost-effective ways to brighten up your windowless office design:
Whether you often find yourself on the giving or receiving end of a persuasive argument – or sometimes an emphatic plea – regarding space planning decisions at home, you know that the discussion (or argument!) is often subjective, and based on personal preferences, tastes and styles. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this. As the old saying goes, your home is your castle.
While it was not necessarily an afterthought or a secondary consideration, at in the past choosing furniture for dental office design was more of an administrative than an analytical process. That is, dentists (along with their team members) typically opted for standard, conventional and generic selections.
When some businesses want to refresh their work environment so that it is more modern, ergonomic, employee-friendly, customer-centric, productive and efficient, they can focus their efforts (or more typically, direct the efforts of their interior solutions partner) on making key changes that make a big difference, but do not require any fundamental construction or reconstruction.
Open offices might be the most polarizing concept in the office design world. Some businesses love the approach and point to numerous advantages. However, some other businesses are left scratching their heads wondering where all of the benefits are and what the hype was all about.
While effective and efficient employee communication and collaboration has always been important, on today’s relentlessly fast-changing business landscape, it’s more vital than ever. Indeed, today’s robust game plan often becomes tomorrow’s agile workaround, and the only thing that all project managers know for certain before an initiative kicks off is “to expect the unexpected.”
Every office design project is unique, and each one is based on a complex set of factors, variables, details, preferences, materials, resources, and so on. However, just as there are some established principles and best practices to adopt, there are some mistakes and pitfalls to avoid. Here are four of the most common:
While it may not be as “high profile” as the corporate boardroom, the fact remains that a functional and employee-friendly bathroom is not just an important piece of the office design puzzle: it is pivotal!
If you are planning to include a break room in your office design, then be assured that this is a smart decision. Indeed, far more than just “nice-to-haves,” break rooms are strategic investments that have been shown to improve employee productivity, quality, performance, engagement, and even recruitment and retention.
Choosing ergonomic office furniture for your environment can significantly improve worker health, safety, productivity and performance. What’s more, it can also help make you an “employer of choice” when it comes to recruitment and retention, which is particularly valuable in marketplaces where the battle for top talent can be even more intense than it is for customers!
In ancient times — so we are talking before the 1990s or so — break rooms were standard office design features. True, some were better and bigger than others, but it was rare to work at or visit an office and not encounter a designated break room, usually stocked with a couple of gigantic vending machines, some plants, and of course, everyone’s least favorite break room element: “the unlabeled lunch bag in the refrigerator that someone forgot.”
Millennial-friendly office design is an approach that reflects and enhances the workplace values that are important to the group of workers that fall into the Millennial cohort (generally viewed as those born from the early 1980s to the early 2000s), and which now represents the largest demographic in the labor market. According to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Pew Research Center, there are nearly 54 million Millennials in the workforce, and the numbers continue to climb.
On today’s business landscape, it is common to hear businesses of all sizes — from small startups to large enterprises — emphasize their commitment to “authenticity.” For example, they tout their systems, practices, protocol and policies that support transparency, visibility, fairness, ethics, employee engagement, environmental responsibility, and giving back to the community.
For previous generations, the executive office was hallowed ground characterized by heavy (and expensive) furniture and, to evoke the words of Will Ferrell’s hilarious portrayal of anchorman Ron Burgundy: “a smell of rich mahogany and many leather-bound books.”
However, these days it is not uncommon for executives to work in the same environment as basically everyone else, including the intern that started last week. Often, the only real difference is some extra square footage, but even that is often occupied by files, boxes, exhibit equipment (that massive banner display has to be stored somewhere), and so on.
When it comes to refreshing, renovating or re-inventing your work environment, there are many best practices and smart strategies. And one of the most vital — yet often overlooked — elements is rooted in office space planning. Here are three costly misconceptions that quickly turn what should be a successful project into a stressful scenario:
At Key Interiors, we have been an established part of the interior solutions industry for more than 30 years. And throughout this journey, we have seen some exciting and innovative office interior design concepts emerge, such as hot desking, benching, open offices, sit-to-stand desks, and the list goes on. Indeed, the best thing about this industry is that there are always great new developments and ideas on the horizon.
In the world of sports, “benching” happens when a player earns the ire of his or her coach and is told to take a seat vs. get in the game. Fortunately, things are a lot less confrontational and controversial in the office design world!
While customers and cash flow are said to be the “lifeblood of business success,” it goes without saying that effective employee communication is not far behind. Indeed, everything from productivity, performance, customer service, quality assurance and brand reputation trace back to strong internal communication — or in some unfortunate cases, the lack thereof.
Is your office design a liability instead of an asset? Unfortunately, that is the case if it is triggering any of these three major — and common — problems:
1. Poor Space Utilization
Office design is not just about making an existing space functional and appealing. In the big picture, it is also about ensuring that space — which of course is a major expense — is utilized effectively and optimally.
Workspace is not just one of the costliest business expenses — especially in certain parts of the country like the Chicagoland area — but it is also among her riskiest. This is because unlike other costs such as telecommunications systems or computer networks, workspace is not scalable: businesses that sign a lease (or pay a commercial mortgage) for a fixed number of square feet must pay the agreed upon amount each month. The price is fixed, whether the space is optimized or not.
Whether the right word to describe it is lame, cringe-worthy or just plain embarrassing, the fact remains that most prognosticators who imagine what life will be like 100 years from now get things very, very wrong.
For example (and if your doctor has advised you to avoid lame, cringe-worthy and just plan embarrassing things you should probably stop reading!), here are some bold predictions from the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris:
Whether it’s McDonald’s choosing yellow and green for its restaurants, Intel adding the signature “ding” tone to the end of its commercials, or countless companies using celebrities to represent their products and brand, the psychological roots of business run very deep. In fact, there are several branches of applied social science that explore (and frankly, exploit!) the fact that what goes on between our ears has a direct impact on the buying decisions we make.
You may have been mulling it over for months — or perhaps even years — and now, at last, you are ready to move forward and make your dental office renovation vision a reality. To help make the experience successful and rewarding, here are three best practices to keep in mind:
As noted by DentalEconomics.com, by the year 2020 pediatric dentists are expected to comprise the second-largest group of practicing dentists — which means that competition for family loyalty and referrals will grow even more intense than it is now.
Of course, families will ultimately choose (or in some cases, change) their pediatric dentist based on a variety of key factors, such as what solutions and services are offered, billing policies, local proximity, and so on.
When it comes to residential design, it’s perfectly fine — and in fact, usually preferred — for decisions to generate qualitative benefits and outcomes. For example, adding a bay window can make a living room brighter and more welcoming, while installing decorative wall coverings can make a den (or man cave) cozier.
However, when the scene shifts to the workplace, executives typically need to justify or authorize office decisions based on their quantitative connection to ROI. To that end, here are 5 ways that modern office design impacts the bottom-line:
There is nothing wrong with having a fondness for the classics. For example, some of the greatest music, literature and art that many people around the world enjoy today was created centuries ago. And in a somewhat more practical and down-to-earth way, a number of organizations are embracing a more conventional or classic approach to things like workplace attire (i.e. “business casual” is tilting more towards business, and less towards casual).
On today’s business landscape, long-term success — and in many cases, short-term survival — isn’t just driven by sufficient cash flow and profitable customers. There’s another “C” in the mix that can be more valuable, and also rarer, than both: creatives!
Now, before you start imagining folks wearing frocks and mixing paint on a palette: today’s creatives are the skilled professionals who work across all fields and industries, and who are tasked with coming up with everything from a standing ovation-worthy speech for the CEO at the next employee retreat, to a killer marketing campaign that drives brand visibility and attracts new customers, to a training program that boosts employee engagement and productivity — and the list goes on.
Regardless of whether they conduct operations from a stylish and trendy loft or the top floors of a downtown skyscraper, all businesses need to get optimal value from their space — so that it’s an asset that drives productivity and profitability, instead of a liability that contributes to inefficiency and waste.
To help your business get the most ROI from your environment, here are 5 essential design tips from office space planners. These are experienced and knowledgeable professionals who know that “time is money” isn’t the only axiom on the business landscape — because “space is money”, too.
A design build approach is typically associated with new construction projects, such as building a new warehouse facility, commercial space or residential home. However, design build also applies to office renovations, where it delivers several important advantages.
Before answering the question “what does design build mean in office renovations?”, it is helpful to take a step back and look at the traditional project delivery model(often referred to as design-bid-build), and highlight where it falls short.
When it comes to refreshing — or in some cases, re-inventing — their work environment, many businesses need to answer important questions about their (soon-to-be-new) space, such as:
- Do we need to encourage and enable cross-team collaboration?
- What are our privacy preferences, and what are our privacy obligations per regulations?
- Do we need to occasionally accommodate remote workers and/or teams?
- Do we need or want to establish multi-purpose space for different uses?
- Do we want our space to incorporate energy efficient “green” technologies and innovations?
Every dentist, whether they have just started their journey in the field, or are thinking about life-after-dentistry, knows that dental office interior design plays a key role in both practice success and patient satisfaction.
What’s more, most dentists have translated their awareness of dental office interior design into significant improvements and investments. Indeed, gone are the days when waiting areas and treatment rooms were suitably clinical, functional, and sterile, but devoid of any “humanizing” factors such as plants, artwork, or soft carpeting. Some pediatric practices even have aquariums to soothe and engage anxious kids (and give their parents a break too).
When it comes to running a successful and patient-focused practice, all doctors regardless of their area of specialization would agree that the “5 C’s” they need to demonstrate every single day — and sometimes well into the night — are competence, communication, compassion, confidentiality and consistency.
One of the key “anxiety triggers” for people who are reluctant to see the dentist is the clinical look and feel of dental environments. Uncomfortable plastic chairs in the waiting room, buzzing fluorescent lights, PEOPLE Magazines, –– these factors can all contribute to a negative experience at a dental practice. Indeed, just thinking about it is enough to convince many patients to put off going to the dentist.
Fortunately, while this may have been the norm in the past, it certainly doesn’t need to be now and going forward — which is particularly good news for dentists who want to increase their scalability. And what dentist wouldn’t want happy, relaxed patients who look forward to their visit instead of dreading it? To that end, here are three creative dentist office design ideas that can turn dread into delight:
When exploring options for refreshing, renovating or perhaps re-inventing your work environment, you’ll likely come across the terms “contemporary” and “modern” used interchangeably in various articles, books, videos, discussion forums and websites.
However, while contemporary and modern are synonyms in everyday communication, in an office design context they refer to distinct concepts. Below, we summarize the key differences:
For decades, employees were obligated to “fit” into their office environment — which typically meant facing a daily grind of sitting in painful chairs, working at awkward desks, straining to reach inconvenient cabinets, and the miserable list goes on.
Unlike residential design space planning which is largely a matter of personal preference — for example, some people like wall-to-wall furniture, others lean towards “less is more” concept — office design space planning is a strategic function, because it impacts everything from real estate costs to worker productivity.
If you’re thinking of refreshing, renovating or re-inventing your environment, here are five best practices to steer you in the right direction:
Modern offices take the shape of a company’s needs. Plain and simple, the idea of a workspace being a square-shaped grid with matching cubicles of equal size is not only outdated, but unfeasible in many cases. That’s because plenty of companies occupy spaces that weren’t designed for them. Instead, modern businesses will often repurpose buildings and spaces that were once used for other functions –– like manufacturing, residence, or even commercial sales. As such, unconventional workplace design has become more important in the past few years. Fortunately, there are ways you can mold your workspace into a thriving office environment –– no matter how strange a space it might appear at first.