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Collaborative Workspace modern office design Office Design office redesign Office Renovation Open Offices

Open Concept Offices: Are They Right for You?

open concept offices

A top trend in office remodeling and redesign is open concept offices. Popular among those in the field of healthcare, education, tech, and more, open concept offices provide the ideal space for teams who prioritize collaboration and a transparent work environment.

What Are Open Concept Offices?

Open concept offices allow members of a team to work in one large space with no physical barriers restricting collaboration.  Unlike traditional offices that contained closed off rooms or rows of cubicles, open office spaces allow coworkers to work closely with one another, improving communication, teamwork, motivation, and productivity throughout the work day.

Benefits of Open Concept Offices

Opens Up a Room

If you are working within a smaller office space, taking an open concept approach to furnishing the room and creating a workspace can help your office look bigger and more open. Open concept offices are one of the most aesthetically pleasing and functional options for furnishing contemporary offices!

Improves Communication

Without physical barriers separating coworkers from one another, communication throughout a workplace is improved! If your workplace prioritizes transparency and communication among team members, open concept offices are a great option.

Increases Collaboration

If you work in an industry that encourages collaboration and co-creation among team members, open concept offices are the perfect design for your space. By breaking down traditional physical barriers that separate an office, coworkers are encouraged to work together and share ideas! Work is simplified, and productivity is increased.

Lowers Remodeling Costs

Open concept offices are cheaper than most traditional office structures, making them a favorable choice among executives in a variety of industries. The simple layout and lack of complex infrastructure allows employers to save money on office construction and remodeling costs.

Adds Flexibility

An open concept gives team members more variety when it comes to their day to day workstations and setups, making it a great option for those looking to break up the monotony of their day to day work life, and therefore improving overall productivity around any office.

Are Open Concept Offices Right For You?

If you work in an industry that encourages flexibility and collaboration or prioritizes transparency and communication among your team, open concept offices might be a great option for your workplace. Plus, open concept offices are cheaper than most traditional office layouts, and can save you money on construction or renovation costs!

Open Concept Offices at Key Interiors

At Key Interiors, we have decades of experience in constructing, renovating, and remodeling offices of all sizes and styles throughout the midwestern United States. To learn more about open concept offices and how we can help you create the office of your dreams, contact us today!

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office construction Office Design office redesign Office Renovation

4 Things All Chicago Commercial Contractors Should Know

Chicago commercial contractors

Commercial contractors specialize in building, renovating, and remodeling offices, retail buildings, schools, restaurants, and other business structures. In major cities like Chicago, it is essential that commercial contractors maintain a specific skillset in order to successfully complete projects and meet client expectations. From licensure requirements to knowledge about necessary financial documents, here are four things that every good Chicago commercial contractor should know.

Licensure Requirements, Zoning Regulations, Building Codes and Necessary Permits for the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago

While it might seem like state regulations would trump municipal ones, that’s not the case in construction. The State of Illinois, for instance, does not require contractors to have a professional license. The City of Chicago, however, does. Good Chicago commercial contractors know the licensure requirements for each municipality within the greater Chicago area so that they are always in compliance with local construction laws. They also are well-versed in the specific zoning regulations, construction codes and permits needed to work across all the various communities within the Chicago metropolitan area.

The Differences Among Quotes, Estimates, Bids and Contracts

The size and type of a construction project usually dictates how a Chicago commercial contractor solicits, bills and collects payment(s) for his or her services. A reputable Chicago commercial contractor will know how and when and, especially, what to submit to a potential client in order to safeguard all parties’ interests and assets.

How to Communicate

Good Chicago commercial contractors don’t just request and deliver the right type of paperwork, though; they know how to communicate effectively in other ways, as well. Most specifically, they are able to explain construction processes, materials and design options in ways that make sense to clients, laborers, vendors, suppliers and any others involved in the project at hand.

A Trusted Network Of Contacts

Finally, the best Chicago commercial contractors know a lot of different people. Having a multitude of connections in the industry enables them to find and partner with other trusted resources throughout a project’s duration, elevating the quality of the work being completed and helping to maximize the project’s schedule and budget. The more people they know, the more likely it is that they will have the help they need when they need it!

The Key Interiors Advantage

Our team here at Key Interiors has developed a unique system for moving clients easily through the commercial construction process. Whether reimagining or remodeling an existing office or fitting out a whole new commercial space, we assist our clients with everything from initial design choices to diligently working through the subsequent phases of actual construction as an experienced Chicago commercial contractor. Our guidance ensures that projects are completed to the highest standard and within a reliable timeframe. To learn more about our turn-key services, please contact us today.

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breakroom design Collaborative Workspace Office Design office redesign Office Renovation work environment

Your Checklist for Designing a Shared Workspace

shared workspace

Shared workspaces are becoming more and more common as companies, entrepreneurs, consultants, freelancers and others continue to search for flexible working options that are not only affordable and convenient, but also spur creativity, productivity, and a sense of fraternity. Here’s what you need to know about designing a shared workspace that attracts tenants and maximizes your business’s capital, both human and financial:

What is a Shared Workspace?

A shared workspace is an office where people (both self-employed and/or employed by others) share working space, such as desks or rooms, supplies and equipment. In addition to offering these types of physical amenities, shared workspaces also provide the opportunity for workers from a wide variety of industries and with many different types of interests and areas of expertise to collaborate and socialize. Research indicates it is this intangible sense of community (rather than the space itself) that provides the most value for those in shared workspace environments, with the “(1) connections, (2) solutions, (3) energy/ motivation and (4) social support” available in the shared workspace increasing employees’ chances for success and improving their respective businesses’ bottom lines.

What You Need In Order to Design an Effective Shared Workspace

The perfect shared workspace isn’t created accidentally. You need to put a lot of thought into your workspace design if you want to get the most out of it. At Key Interiors, we’ve spent much time considering the critical features of these types of spaces and believe the best designs highlight:

Accessibility

The key to establishing a highly marketable shared workspace is making it accessible to the widest range of people. As well as being centrally located in a region or city, with easy access to public transportation, really effective workspaces are spacious, with accommodations for people with all types of abilities and needs.

Appealing Aesthetics

Of course, appealing decor helps to attract tenants and works to set your space apart from the competition. Working with an experienced design team can help you accentuate your rooms and spaces with the colors, architectural elements and other design trends most likely to render the most profitable results.

An Attention to Wellness

Today’s workers expect (and deserve) a workplace that is safe, clean and calming. But because shared workspaces necessarily experience a lot of traffic, it can be hard to effectively address wellness without a good amount of forethought. Choosing certain design features for your shared workspace — like wide expanses of non-porous counters, durable, hard surface floors, and touch-free technologies — can help you keep germs at bay since they are easy to clean and sanitize. Similarly, choosing furniture and fixtures (like moveable walls and dividers) that are flexible allows your workspace to be configured in multiple ways depending on the occupancy needs at any given time, making the overall space a lot more comfortable for those using it. Other design elements that particularly cater to employee health and wellness — natural lighting; fresh (or at least well-ventilated) air; noise control measures; and access to the outside — can also be easily incorporated with a little planning.

Adequate Areas

Finally, all well-appointed shared workspaces maintain the appropriate amount of space needed to meet, move and mingle. The goal of a shared workplace isn’t to cram as many people into one spot as possible; it’s to accommodate the most people comfortably. A shared workspace doesn’t just provide a spot for everyone to sit, but a place for them to have a private meeting; to talk on the phone; to sit and socialize; to use equipment; and/or to possibly share a meal. It allows them to walk about freely without having to rub elbows with officemates or stand in a long line to make use of amenities. Taking the time to thoughtfully plan out how every inch of a shared workspace could and should be used ensures that everyone gets what they need without sacrificing convenience or comfort!

Want to Learn More?

Designing a shared workspace that is both efficient and profitable is really just a matter of intention. With calculated thought, you can plan a space with the design features that give tenants the tools they need to be productive so that they come and stay in your space! Please contact our design team at Key Interiors to learn more about designing a shared workspace that works for you, as well as your tenants.

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breakroom design Office Design office redesign Office Renovation work environment

5 Benefits of Employee Lockers

employee lockers

Today’s business world is a lot different than it was just a few short years ago. Hot-desking, hoteling and other options resulting from a Covid-related demand for more flexible work hours means more and more employees are having to share space when they do come into a physical office. But even if they still have their own desk, employees (and the companies for which they work) greatly benefit when everyone has a dedicated place to store personal belongings. Take a look at five benefits of adding employee lockers to your modern office design:

Added Security

First and foremost, employee lockers help keep the personal belongings of an organization’s staff safe. Especially when they don’t have access to a permanent desk, having a secure, lockable space to store phones, purses, backpacks, and other valuables gives employees peace of mind and allows them to focus more fully on their jobs. It also helps prevent thefts and accidental losses of important possessions, thus reducing workplace conflicts.

Enhanced Organization

Employee lockers also improve an office’s level of organization. In addition to storing the personal belongings of workers, they can be used to house office supplies and equipment so that individual stashes of stationery, electronics, etc. don’t have to be parsed out and stored separately at each employee’s desk. Indeed, employee lockers keep offices a lot tidier and a lot more efficient, providing room for the supplies employees would otherwise have cluttering their desks.

Flexibility

As mentioned, employee lockers are vital for organizations offering flex schedules. With options for employees to telecommute, job share, and broker other types of hybrid work arrangements, hoteling and hot-desking are quickly becoming the norm for many companies. Employee lockers allow employees the ability to come and go from the office as they wish and still have access to their own personalized space to store valuables.

Morale Booster

Being able to safeguard one’s personal effects is a basic human need. It’s also a basic human right. When companies offer employee lockers they are essentially acknowledging and, therefore, validating the needs of their employees and subsequently reminding them that they are valued. It’s a great morale booster.

Increased Productivity

Finally, an uncluttered work environment makes it easier for employees to get to the tasks at hand. Storing their belongings away from their desks not only creates cleaner surfaces for employees to work, but also prevents distractions and allows employees to concentrate and be more productive. In essence, adding employee lockers can improve a company’s bottom line since more work often translates into more profit!

Want to Learn More?

If your organization is considering a new office build-out or a renovation, you might want to consider adding employee lockers to your project’s scope. Employee lockers improve an office’s efficiency, promote enhanced productivity by eliminating unnecessary clutter and distractions, and accommodate a wide variety of schedules so employees are able to work more effectively while onsite. To learn more about incorporating employee lockers into your office, please contact our professional design-build team here at Key Interiors.

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Office Design office redesign Office Renovation work environment

The 5 Best Building Amenities for Employees

building amenities

While many employees don’t have to work from home anymore now that the pandemic is finally subsiding, more than 97% of Americans still want to. It’s a shift in employee mentality forcing a lot of companies who miss the synergism of in-person collaboration to think about the types of incentives they should offer to entice employees away from their homes and back to a corporate space. In many instances, these businesses are choosing to expand their building amenities, hoping that the promise of added on-site perks will persuade employees to ditch their sweats, brave the commute and return to the office. Here are five of the best building amenities your company can offer:

A Mother’s Room

Lactation rooms are mandated by federal law for all companies with 50 or more nonexempt employees. Per Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), these employers must provide a clean and private space (outside of a bathroom) for lactating mothers to pump breast milk while at work. A company of any size, however, would benefit from providing a well-equipped mother’s room as a building amenity. Not only does it demonstrate support for nursing women and help to reduce absenteeism and lower healthcare costs, it can improve the morale of all employees by providing space for other wellness needs (such as meditation, migraine relief, religious prayer, etc.).

A Well-Stocked Breakroom

Of course, every company needs a well-stocked breakroom where employees can take a few minutes for themselves. Studies indicate that 67% of employees with access to free snacks and a nice place to relax at work are “extremely” or “very” happy with their job, making this seemingly simple perk less of an extravagance and more of a necessity for companies wanting to keep their workers content while onsite. Indeed, providing free food is a win-win for everyone, since it often also keeps employees from leaving the building for breaks that end up lasting a lot longer than anticipated (which necessarily frequently decreases their productivity).

Natural Light and Green Space

Sometimes the best building amenities are the ones that exist outside an office’s front door. Today’s employees have (potentially) had two years of instant access to the great outdoors. To get them to give that up and come back to a work environment for eight (or more) hours a day, companies need to offer similar opportunities for outdoor exposure. Natural light sources and a pretty place to sit outside are two types of building amenities that can keep employees energized and engaged throughout the long workday.

Comfortable Furniture

Comfortable furniture is another building amenity that can have a huge impact on employee productivity. Unfortunately, too many companies neglect it. Taking the time to invest in quality furniture that can be customized for personal tastes and is comfortable, helps employees relax. In turn, they might just stay longer and get more done!

Collaborative Space(s)

Finally, all companies need space for employees to gather. Whether for work or socialization, large open space(s) can facilitate collaboration that, in turn, boosts employees’ moods, fosters innovation, and, ultimately, creates a dynamic company culture. It can be the best building amenity for companies wanting to grow into the future and improve their bottom lines.

Ready to Learn More?

Building amenities don’t have to be expensive to be effective. To learn more about using building amenities to create an inviting, supportive, and stimulating workplace environment, please contact our team of designers at Key Interiors.

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Office Design office redesign Office Renovation

4 Commercial Remodeling Ideas to Make the Most of Your Space

commercial remodeling

An effective training space requires more than a large room. While a decent-sized room is nice, truly effective training spaces also have a variety of other features that encourage community, collaboration, exploration, and reflection. It’s easiest to design the perfect training space from scratch, but any business can create a functional area to gather together and train personnel in an existing office by paying attention to the following elements:

Location

Like good real estate, good training spaces are all about location. To be effective, training spaces need to be in a location that is large enough to assemble the anticipated number of trainees; they need to be easily accessible, but not necessarily centrally-situated (since noise could be a problem if the room is placed in a particularly high traffic area); and they need to accommodate a wide variety of equipment and people.

ADA Compliance

Of course, the wide variety of people who will inhabit your training space makes it especially important for you to remember ADA regulations as you create your room’s layout and design. In fact, ADA compliance isn’t just a nice element for you to consider. It’s the law. Thus, all training spaces in your building must be accessible for those with limited mobility and/or dexterity and have appropriate signage to assist those with special visual needs.

Equipment

The best training spaces also have suitable equipment to satisfy a full range of possible needs. For example, while every training session might not require the use of an overhead projector, every training space should be configured in a way that ensures a projector could be used if needed. At a minimum, technological tools such as a whiteboard, retractable screen, microphone, speakers, and sound system — along with the aforementioned projector — should all be included in a training space’s design.

Lighting

You’ll need need to think about lighting as you build the perfect training space, as well. Because you’ll likely use the space in a myriad of ways, you’ll need varying levels of light. Installing a dimmable fixture will allow you to eliminate harsh glares while still permitting you the ability to illuminate the room more fully when necessary.

Flooring

Flooring is another important element since the right flooring can help reduce noise, regulate temperature, and enhance air quality. Pick a flooring type that is durable, easy to clean, and cost-effective to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.

Furniture

Finally, choose furniture for your training space(s) that is sturdy, versatile, and comfortable. Ergonomic pieces that can be configured in multiple ways will help create a functional and pleasant place to gather, allowing your employees to teach, learn and socialize in ways that are both productive and enjoyable!

Want to Learn More?

Effective training spaces make use of many different design elements that can and often do change according to a business’s own unique needs and resources. To learn more about picking the training space features that best match your company’s own goals and objectives, please contact our team of professional designers here at Key Interiors. Our experience provides insight into designing training spaces that maximize form, as well as function, thereby strengthening your brand and ultimately impacting your bottom line!

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