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Office Design

How to Control Sound in Corporate Office Interiors

 

sound in office

Noisy distractions can derail even the most dedicated employees. If you’ve ever been annoyed by a coworker’s phone call, or construction from across the street, or even a squeaky chair, then you know just how frustrating certain office sounds can be. Unfortunately, not every company has the budget, time, or space to build new walls to fully soundproof their office. However, it is still possible to control sound in your corporate office interiors without breaking the bank or abandoning your open office arrangement. To that end, here are five ways you can improve the sound distribution in your office (without adding walls): 

Creative Layout

One of the most straightforward ways to control the noise in your office is to utilize creative layout techniques. For example, consider placing noisy items like copiers and fax machines far away from work zones. Alternatively, you may consider implementing designated “quiet areas” in your office to prevent unnecessary chatter. Best of all, rearranging your office setup to reduce noise pollution shouldn’t cost you a dime. 

Sound Masking Devices

Sound masking devices generate “white noise” that perfectly matches the frequencies of regular conversation. Strange though it may sound, adding ambient noise to an office can actually reduce the amount of distracting sounds your team members hear throughout the day. Sound masking devices are relatively inexpensive, and they can be used to insulate certain areas in your office from day-to-day noises. 

Noise-Friendly Floor Surfaces

The acoustic design of a room can have a big impact on how fast and far sound travels in your office. One big factor that affects sound in an office environment is the type of floor surface. Hard surfaces –– such as tile and hardwood –– can actually amplify sounds and make offices seem even noisier than they really are. On the other hand, carpeted floors can absorb sound more effectively and cut down on some of the noise pollution in your workspace. Vinyl flooring is also a solid alternative for business leaders who don’t want to invest in installing and/or maintaining carpeted floors. Even purchasing certain high-quality rugs can combat disruptive noises as well. 

Acoustic Panelling

Another innovative way business leaders can reduce distracting sounds in an open office environment is to install acoustic paneling throughout their workspace. Not only is acoustic panelling capable of absorbing sound well, but it’s also a very versatile product. Designers can discreetly hang acoustic panelling from the ceiling, incorporate it into furniture and cubicles, and even combine it with wall artwork. With professional acoustic panel installation, you can enjoy greater sound control without changing the look or layout of your office at all. 

Plants

Investing in a few plants around the office can both beautify your workspace and reduce distracting noises at the same time. Strategically placed plants can absorb sound just like other soft surfaces in an office, so consider freshening your office up with few low-maintenance plants. 

Contact Us

Creating a worker-friendly office environment that’s free from distracting noises is essential to building a successful company. At Key Interiors, we have years of experience working with a wide variety of companies, and we can help you enhance your workspace setup no matter your office size, priorities, or budget. Contact us today to learn more or to speak with one of our team members about your next office renovation project.

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Office Design

Office Lighting Design: The Best Options for Open Offices

 

office lighting design

COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of modern life, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that it has also caused business leaders to rethink their office design, layout, and –– yes –– even their lighting system. Indeed, though it may sound strange at first, the truth is that a business’s lighting system can have a big impact on employee productivity, utility costs, and even personal safety and well-being in the workplace. The choices you make in regard to your office lighting design will have meaningful consequences for your staff now and into the future. On that note, here are four lighting-related features you should always keep in mind: 

Maintaining Safe Distances

For at least the next few months, maintaining safe social distances within an office setup will be crucial for the well-being of your staff. Thankfully, connected lighting systems can allow business leaders to monitor the flow of traffic in the workspace. What’s more, employees can download certain apps that will let them identify free areas in their office. Data from sophisticated lighting systems will enable business leaders to manage their layout more effectively. 

Minimize the Spread of Germs

Decisions you make in regard to your lighting system can either act to minimize –– or facilitate –– the spread of germs in your workplace. In fact, some lights –– such as UV and Ultraviolet-C Radiation lights are capable of disinfecting air, water, and nonporous surfaces. (This includes “inactivating” the COVID-19 viral strain.) 

Additionally, moving away from manual light switches can be a great way to slow or prevent the spread of bacteria and germs in the workplace. It’s possible now for businesses to invest in apps and devices that allow for team members to adjust the lights using only their phones.  

Lighting Control & Environmental Factors

Lighting a large office area for 10+ hours every day isn’t just a massive expense for many businesses, it’s often inefficient and bad for the environment too. That’s why many businesses are switching to light systems with automated control features and motion-sensor technology. This way, when no one is currently working in an office area, the lights will go out automatically. 

What’s more, quality lighting systems will allow business leaders and managers to access key data points about their energy consumption habits. This data can also be used to create more efficient schedule choices and increase the flexibility of an office environment. 

Human-Centric Lighting

Ultimately, the lighting in an office will affect the mood and productivity of a company’s workforce. Subconsciously, humans require quality lighting in order to perform at their best on a regular basis. Investing in human-centric lighting devices –– particularly LED lights –– can help lift the morale of your team and help them focus throughout the day. Of course, it’s also important to remember just how valuable natural lighting can be as well. Though we’ve discussed many complex and advanced ways to use lighting to improve business performance, simply opening a window on a sunny day can do a world of good for your team. 

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, it’s our mission to help business leaders enhance their office setup during this very difficult time. We have years of experience creating office solutions for companies of all sizes and across industries. Contact us today to learn what we can do for your business.

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Office Design

Therapy Office Design: Where to Start?

therapy office design

The look and feel of any professional workplace will likely have an impact on the way a client perceives that business. Whether you’re visiting a restaurant or a boardroom, the design of a professional space can shape your opinion of the company at large. This is even more true of medical facilities and therapists’ offices. Indeed, it’s crucial that mental health professionals create a welcoming and comforting space where their patients can feel relaxed and at ease. Office design that in any way puts your clientele on edge can lessen their trust in your organization, make them feel uncomfortable, and, indirectly, have adverse effects on their progress. With all that in mind, today we’ll take a closer look at therapy office design and run down a few key best practices to remember at all times. 

Lighting

No one likes to feel as if they’re being examined or observed. Unfortunately, harsh fluorescent lighting can have a clinical look that unsettles visitors. That’s why therapists should strive to use lighting to set a positive mood for their office spaces. This could include soft lighting in the form of table lamps –– or even a fireplace. Alternatively, you could utilize natural light to enhance the appearance of your office as well. 

Privacy

For many people, seeing a mental health professional is a deeply personal decision. The last thing they want is to feel that their privacy has been compromised in any way. To that end, therapists should ensure that their layout allows individuals to engage in sessions without fear of interruption or exposure. Thin walls, for instance, can discourage patients from expressing themselves. Make sure that you have plenty of sound proofing in your therapy office. Additionally, keep your space for patients separate from all of your other work areas. Even something as innocuous as a ringing phone can derail an entire session. 

Invest in Quality Amenities

Have you ever tried to sit in an uncomfortable chair for 45 minutes? Or have you ever been distracted by a strange or disconcerting painting? If so, then you know that these amenities can have a big impact on a patient’s ability to focus and relax. Invest in quality, comfortable furniture and replace chairs and couches as needed. (A shabby couch isn’t going to inspire confidence in any visitors.) What’s more, keep your overall office design tasteful and understated. Generally speaking, subtle and soothing design choices are best in this field. 

Create a Welcoming Waiting Room

Before a patient ever begins their first session with a therapist, they typically have to spend time in the waiting room. This area can either put them at ease or increase their nerves, so it’s crucial that medical professionals prioritize this area. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered how businesses use waiting rooms in the short-term. However, over many years, waiting rooms are usually a good place for medical pros to invest because they play such a large role in forming patients’ impressions of their organizations. 

A Few Other Considerations

Don’t forget about your employees! They need to be at their top performance so that they can help their patients in the best possible way. Providing private offices for the head doctors help them have a chance to be alone and get some paperwork done. A staff breakroom is always a good idea, no matter what industry you are in. Keep these in mind when planning for space in your therapy office design.

Contact the Pros

Creating a therapy office design that is both friendly and professional at the same time can be a big challenge. Managing to do so while also staying on budget and schedule is even more difficult. The good news is that you don’t have to build or renovate your office on your own. At Key Interiors, we have years of experience working with medical professionals, we have an extensive catalogue of furniture options, and we can help you manage any logistical issues that may arise during the building process. Contact us here to learn more or to get started on your next project today!

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Office Design

10 Ways to Make the Most of Private Office Design

 

private office design

When creating a new office design, most business owners simply want to have something modern, yet conducive to productivity and comfort. However, many business owners don’t consider the benefits of private office designs. Traditionally, private office designs have been associated with a lack of communication between workers and general inefficiencies in office layouts. However, there are actually many benefits to private office designs that managers and business owners don’t always consider. So, let’s take a look at 10 ways to make the most of your private office design!

Implement Modern Modes of Communication

In the past, private offices made it harder for employees to coordinate on projects. Nowadays, thanks to communication software and project management tools, workers can stay in touch with less need for face-to-face interaction. Using private office design could help give more privacy to leadership, allow for social distancing, yet not harm communication as much as in previous years.

Personalizing Private Offices

Few people like to work in a bland office. So, if you have a private office design, why not let employees personalize and customize their own offices? This way, employees can add their own flair and decorations to work in style!

When Key Interiors works on a private office design,  we start with a few questions like the following:

  • Is this office just for one person, or is it for a small team?
  • How many and what kind of desk(s) are needed?
  • Tell us about the personalities of the person(s) that will be working in here.
  • Will this room be used for anything other than laptop desk space? (e.g. reviewing drawings, meetings with several people, virtual meetings, etc)
  • What kind of technology do you need in this room?
  • What is your furniture needs and preferences?

Decrease Distractions

One of the biggest barriers to office productivity is workplace distraction. While workers can still get distracted by smartphones and social media, private offices reduce the risk of getting distracted by other workers. 

Reduce Background Noise and Increase Privacy

There’s nothing worse than being on an important business call and having lots of noise in the background. Whether it’s coworkers chatting or phones ringing, open office designs can make it difficult to hold a private conversation. Fortunately, private office designs practically eliminate the issue of background noise entirely. 

Not only that, but management often needs to have a private conversation without making a scene or having to leave an open office. Private offices help this issue.

Create ‘Office Zones’

Private offices don’t have to be subdivided into dozens of different offices. Instead, you can still have a sense of organization by designating specific zones for individual teams, projects, or departments. This helps combine the benefits of both private and open office designs! You could also provide private spaces that aren’t designated to a specific person all the time.

Increase Informal Meetings

Many workers find meetings to be a waste of time and a distraction from daily tasks. Fortunately, ‘informal’ meetings are on the rise. Now, coworkers can quickly stop by individual offices when they need to exchange information without taking a lot of time out of their schedule.

Contact Us 

As businesses continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more organizations may look to create more private workspaces to protect the health and safety of their employees. Thankfully, it is possible to build a private office design that proves effective for years to come. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of private office designs, contact the experts at Key Interiors today!