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Office Design office layout

Lighting As A Wayfinding Tool

 

Wayfinding Lighting

Have you ever gotten lost in a building before? Odds are, it wasn’t a very pleasant experience. Yet, established organizations often occupy very large spaces, and it can be easy for visitors and newcomers to lose their bearings in an unfamiliar building or area. This, though, can be very bad news for business leaders. You don’t want potential clients, partners, patients, or employees to feel unsettled or frustrated by a confusing layout or a difficult-to-navigate office design. As such, it’s crucial for office designers to place wayfinding aids throughout spacious work places. 

Wayfinding is a process by which people figure out their location and determine where they need to go next. While some wayfinding design elements are very straightforward –– like maps and directional signs –– others are more subtle but often just as important. Today, we’ll explain the role lighting can play in wayfinding, as well as the benefits of having a properly illuminated work area.

Light as Wayfinding tool

Using lighting as a wayfinding tool is not a new concept, but it is still an effective way to guide people through a building or space. It’s worth keeping in mind that the way light is arranged and used in a space can have a big influence on the overall nature of a built environment. Lighting doesn’t just affect the way a space looks –– it can also change how it feels

Effective and creative lighting will help people find their way through an area and experience a space as the builders intended it to be experienced. 

Here are three different ways lighting can be used to improve wayfinding:

#1 Law of Attraction

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that dramatic visuals can attract people to space. While lighting itself may not always massively factor into interior design, light fixtures can catch the eye and attract visitors. Consider how a chandelier within a large room or conspicuous lights around a reception area can change your perception of a space, to cite a few examples.

#2 Clarity of Direction

Ultimately, wayfinding is not defined by a single element. Rather, if designers want to help people progress through a given area, they need to utilize multiple factors to act as guides. Signage, maps, colors, and typography can all help people distinguish one area from another and ensure they’re moving in the right direction. However, lighting can be a very meaningful and understated way to bolster more traditional wayfinding measures. Quality design combined with the use of light to create visual cues or focal points will improve wayfinding clarity and enhance the feel of a workspace.

#3 Moth to a Flame

In simple terms, the greater the illumination of space, the greater impact it will have. People are just drawn to light. So when a space is well illuminated –– or when lighting is used to highlight certain features or signage –– people will find navigating through a space much easier.

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we’re experts in the field of interior office design, and we can help enhance your workspace setup. Whether you need lighting assistance, new furniture, or a whole new layout and design plan, our team will work with you to create an office that your team –– and your visitors –– will love. Contact us today to learn more!

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industrial office design Office Design office layout Office Renovation types of office layouts unconventional workplace design work environment

The Importance of Flex Spaces Within a Building or Workplace

 

The Importance of Flex Spaces Within a Building or Workspace

In the past, the question “where do you work?” was a straightforward one. There was no separation between where someone physically worked and which company they worked for. In other words, there was only one place where “work” occurred: the office. 

Now, though, professionals can and do work in various locations. A modern employee may split their time between a home office and several different office setups. With COVID-19 restrictions loosening across the country, more and more companies are utilizing flexible office spaces –– flex spaces –– to accommodate mobile workers, while also bolstering their organizational agility.

What Are Flex Spaces?

Flex space is a term commonly used to describe industrial space. You start with warehouse space, that is not air-conditioned and add office or showroom space that is air-conditioned. You can “flex” into larger of smaller air-conditioned spaces as you need. As opposed to traditional office spaces, which are leased by a single company, flex spaces are buildings that multiple companies may share and collectively lease. What’s more, flex spaces may have other work areas (like warehouses) that traditional office spaces don’t. Plus, companies that utilize flex spaces can typically access a wider range of amenities than a “normal” office setup can offer. Flex spaces may possess areas like game rooms, libraries, or even presentation theaters. In essence, flex spaces can function as auxiliary work areas for companies with a limited traditional office space or a large number of semi-remote employees.

Flex Spaces for Large Companies

Flex spaces provide viable secondary office areas for many small businesses and growing companies. However, larger corporations can also create their own multi-use flex spaces within their current building. For example, a business may employ a large meeting room as a cafeteria or a quiet area for wellness activities and focused work from time to time.

Regardless of the size of a company, all businesses should seek to optimize their office space. Being able to utilize areas for multiple purposes is cost-effective and essential to quality office design.

Benefits of a Flex Space

Small businesses, startups, and established corporations can all benefit from incorporating flex spaces into their broader workplace strategy. Some of the most meaningful benefits associated with flex spaces include: 

  • Little-to-no Initial Costs. Flex spaces are often much cheaper to rent than “regular” offices. 
  • Scalability. By making use of flex spaces, companies can expand at a sustainable rate and accommodate new employees as needed. 
  • Improved Networking & Sociability. The very nature of flex spaces ensures that business leaders will have to share work areas with other successful professionals in their region. This should naturally lead to networking opportunities.
  • Sense of Community. Flex spaces allow employees to interact with other people in their neighborhood and to get to know a location better. 
  • Tenant Contract Flexibility. Whether you need to quickly access more space and amenities or scale down, flex-space contracts enable tenants to make adjustments when necessary. 

Both property owners and tenants can take advantage of the rise of flex spaces. Flex spaces and multi-use areas can help business leaders plan for the future with greater confidence, while retaining key financial flexibility.

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we’ve helped design flex spaces for ambitious businesses to ensure optimal efficiency, while also creating a safe comfortable environment for its users. We have years of experience working with clients to make the best of a huge variety of office spaces –– both large and small. Contact us here to learn more or to get started on a project today.

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Office Design office layout office redesign

Acoustic Solutions For The Office

 

Acoustic Solutions

Happy employees are typically productive employees. It may seem simple, but the better your team enjoys working in an office environment, the likelier they are to perform at their best. Unfortunately, poor sound design and disruptive noise can affect productivity and create a stressful work atmosphere. Acoustics play an important role in controlling noise and limiting distractions in the workplace. Here, we’ll discuss how sound can influence design and what business leaders can do to create acoustic solutions for their office.

Acoustics and Sound

How an office accounts for sound can be just as important as how it looks. The acoustics of a room relate to how sound and noise behave in a given environment. For example, sound may “bounce around” and reverberate in a room with sub-par acoustics. Worse, unwanted sound may seep through walls or floors in poorly-designed rooms. 

In many instances, the key to proper office acoustics is to limit the transfer of sounds from outside to inside and between adjacent floors or rooms. (Put another way: less noise equals a more tranquil office atmosphere.) As such, insulation of the walls, ceilings, floors, and windows are common ways to control sound. And designers can use several sound design principles to mitigate noise and prevent distractions from affecting workplace performance, including absorption, sound dampening, and sound diffusion. Each of these principles should guide interior designers, and they can use different methods to effectively manage sound given the unique specifications of different office spaces. 

To that end, here are several quality products we use at Key Interiors to create custom acoustic solutions for our clients: 

Delta Drop 2X4 Aktura –– Acoustic Panels for Ceiling

This product acts primarily to reduce the impact of noise by dampening sound as it rises through a room. Best of all, it is incredibly easy to set up and use. It can be simply clipped into a ceiling grid system, though it is also compatible with integrated lighting. This can create a highly impactful and dynamic feature in any office.

Preserved Moss – Wall Application

Natural elements in an office can make a workplace feel more vibrant, and –– in this case –– absorb sound more efficiently. Unlike traditional office plants, preserved moss requires no soil, water, fertilizer, or regular maintenance. Just hang it up and let it improve the acoustics, optics, and vibes in your workspace.

Digitally Printed Murals – Wall or Ceiling

A great feature of a wall or ceiling mural is that it can act to beautify a space as well as enhance the acoustics. Specifically, companies like OrangePiel use “soundcore” technology to ensure optimal acoustic dampening for their products. Business leaders may also be able to customize their mural designs to suit their office needs.

Acoustic Lighting Products

Strange as it may sound, businesses like Luxxbox have pioneered lighting options that are both decorative and capable of assisting in sound management. For example, Luxxbox’s Vapor Echo Rectilinear light can reduce ambient noise by up to 40%, which can help boost productivity in open office areas. One of the single most effective ways to reduce sound is to bring in more fabrics.  Carpet instead of tile,  fabric cubicle walls instead of open desks,  upholstered seating instead of plastic chairs – all of these options can significantly reduce sound in the office.

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The future of the workplace is changing all the time.  For businesses with open and collaborative spaces, acoustic solutions can greatly enhance their team’s overall productivity.  

At Key Interiors, we prioritize every aspect of office design when we take on a project. We work with our clients to ensure their workspaces look, feel, and sound their best. Contact us here to learn more!