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Office Design office layout Office Renovation

How Door Frames Can Make Your Office Stand Out: The Underrated Potential of Door Frames for Office Design

door frames

First impressions are important. For businesses, they can be critical, often affecting the acquisition of new clients and customers before anyone even walks through a door. That’s why it’s crucial for companies to pay close attention to their physical surroundings. Whether we like it or not, appearances matter, and the offices in which clients and customers find themselves as they look for certain products and services can — and do — impact public perception of a business’s standards, integrity and overall value. An easy place to start making a good impression, then, is with the actual front door, the very first thing clients and customers see when they approach an office. Take a look at how door frames can make offices truly stand out:

Highlight Branding

What better way to greet customers than with an eye-catching front door! Just choosing something as simple as an enlarged door frame can help you distinguish your office’s exterior from those surrounding it. Add in your own specific logo to the door itself, and you further transform a functional necessity into an advertising opportunity, highlighting your branding so that its hard for people to forget your company or your products.

Maximize Security

Door frames can also serve a practical purpose, keeping your business safe and secure. A sturdy, well-built door frame not only defends your office contents against invasion and theft, it can serve as protection against potential debris and/or destruction should a natural disaster (like an earthquake or tornado) strike. Installing a substantial door frame (perhaps made of metal or thick wood) signals to employees and customers alike that you care about the safety of all your office’s occupants, making you further stand apart from competitors that don’t showcase a similar regard.

Improve Functionality

A door frame that is in proper working order necessarily adds to the functionality of a space, as well. The many components of a door frame — including, but not limited to, the jamb, casing, head, threshold and transom/side lights — provide structure to the door itself, supporting it so that it swings freely and evenly. And modifications to any of the door frame’s parts can be made that facilitate better hingeing, locking and security mechanisms; improve energy efficiency; and actually make it easier to move in and out of a space. Many offices, for example, choose to install features such as door pedals and remote entry devices to their office door frames in order to speed traffic into and out of their buildings.

Add Interest to a Space

Finally, door frames can be used to add interest in a space. Unique door frames make an office memorable and, therefore, increase the likelihood that customers and clients will not just remember it, but also your products and services. Impressions are especially noteworthy when they are impressive, after all. Think about designing your office with one or more distinctive door frames (maybe with imposing transoms or intricate door panels with windows) so that you catch and keep the attention of the people who visit your office and hopefully entice them to return!

Want to Learn More?

To learn more about using office design to improve your productivity and capture the interest of the people you serve, please contact our team of professionals at Key Interiors. We understand how good design impacts good business and can help you choose design options that maximize your own objectives and, thus, increase your ROI.

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Office Design office layout Office Renovation

New Office Design Trends: Faux Columns and More

faux column

The benefits of good design don’t just impact office aesthetics. On the contrary, good office design also highlights a company’s culture and helps to positively influence employee satisfaction and well-being. Studies show that a well-designed workspace can reduce stress, improve employee productivity, attract top candidates, and create a lasting impression that ultimately translates into a more robust bottom line for corporations of any size. Take a look at some new office design trends that are being used to make workplaces more interesting and a lot more fun to occupy and, thus, are resulting in happier, healthier employees and more profitable businesses:

The Addition of Faux Columns (and Other Architectural Elements)

Columns, a type of architectural element, often serve a structural function in the construction of a space, providing support for a ceiling or wall. But in other scenarios, faux columns are placed in a room as a way to focus or “entertain” the eye and serve no material function at all. Indeed, faux columns are becoming a common feature in many modern office designs because they can lend an air of grandeur to space, drawing attention to an area of an office that might otherwise seem drab or boring and/or highlighting it for a specific purpose (such as designating a specific area for seating or accentuating a piece of art). Depending on the type of material being used, faux columns can be a relatively inexpensive way to create jaw-dropping interest in a space.

Creative Use of Color

The creative use of color is another office design trend we see being used in today’s modern offices. Good design centers around four basic principles: contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. Color is a great way to focus on any or all of these principles with the added benefit of being relatively easy and inexpensive to implement. Not only can you create dramatic design effects using color, you can use it to set an office’s “atmosphere.” Studies suggest that certain hues can enhance our mood, calm our nerves and even boost our productivity. And science aside, societies around the world use color to symbolize meaning (red for passion, white for purity, etc.), allowing offices to intentionally emphasize specific elements of their company culture regardless of whether or not a certain color can actually influence behavior! Color can showcase, conceal, aggregate, and organize the elements of a space, creating cohesion and patterns that deliver a unique sense of place and purpose.

A Focus on the Organic

Many offices are moving beyond minimalistic and industrial design in an effort to capture a spirit of harmony and tranquility and encourage warm relations among and between workers and clients. The soft, fluid lines of nature-inspired designs are replacing the stark, defined edges of previous design movements, as more and more businesses realize how starved people have become for living connections. The pandemic has only intensified the shift, with companies finally understanding the value of relationships in the quest for capital gain. Instead of focusing on their own profits and worrying about cutting expenses, they are finding ways to focus on the health and happiness of their employees, bringing in plants and natural materials, encouraging collaborative spaces and even fine-tuning their green intiatives in an effort to ignite the creativity and safeguard the well-being of their employees.

Want to Learn More?

Good design matches a space to the needs and interests of the people in it. While trends can be fun and interesting options to consider during any design process, it’s always important to incorporate a trend into a design if it serves a specific function and complements the aesthetics of the overall project. To learn more about using creative design to maximize the workflow of your own office, please contact Key Interiors.

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Office Design office layout Office Renovation

4 Things to Know Before Your Next Modern Office Build Out

office build out

When leasing or otherwise acquiring an office space, it’s not unusual for it to need modification in order to make it functional for your own specific business needs. Called an “office build out,” this type of construction can begin with a blank slate — four white walls and nothing else — or it can entail reconfiguring a previously outfitted space into something else. Whatever the case, the process can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what you need to know before your next office build out to ensure a smooth process:

It Helps to Have a Budget

Unfortunately, money matters. The amount of money you’ll need to spend on an office build out will depend on the space itself and whether or not you are leasing or buying it. Some lease agreements, for example, provide the tenant with money for customizing a space. Other situations will require a business to fully cover all office build out costs. Consider your rights and obligations and then sit down and figure out a realistic budget for your office build out project.

Consider the Space

Now, look at your space and think about your employees, as well as your overall business needs. Does it make sense to have an open floorplan or would individual work areas better match your company’s focus? Some businesses need privacy for their employees; others feed off constant interaction with their team(s). In many circumstances, a mixture of the two — both fixed and common spaces — is ideal and provides versatility for unexpected circumstances (like pandemics that necessitate social distancing measures). Consider the space and see if you can get the majority of your needs met with the budget you’ve set.

Work with a Design Team

Of course, a professional design team is a good way to protect yourself, as well as your money. A commercial design firm can help you navigate the specifics of both the office build out design and construction processes. There is a lot to consider beyond paint color and basic room configuration. In addition to working with you to pick the best flooring, furnishings and fixtures, a professional design firm will assist you as you think about larger issues, like where to place outlets, windows and doors. As experts, they will know how to avoid electrical and plumbing problems and can be instrumental as you seek permits, solicit bids and negotiate pricing for various materials and jobs

Focus on the Details

Studies show that the design details in an office environment directly impact employee productivity, as well as job satisfaction. Use your design team to brainstorm the office components that will best represent your company culture while at the same time promote your employees’ well-being. Indeed, an office build out provides the perfect opportunity for focusing on the elements that truly make a space unique, with the added benefit of potentially positively influencing your business’s bottom line. Custom features, technology upgrades, special artwork, mood lighting, green initiatives and/or special building amenities can all be used as a way to maximize the comfort and contentment of your employees, keeping them happier, healthier and more productive while at work!

Want to Learn More?

These are just a few of the tips we suggest you consider during an office build out. For more advice on how to get the most out of an office build out, please contact our design team at Key Interiors.

 

You might also wish to download any of our free eBooks containing additional tips here



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Office Design Office Renovation

Purchased a New Space? Here are 4 Ways to Win Big with Your Office Renovation

office renovation

A new office space offers you the chance to increase your business’s level of productivity, as well as boost your employees’ morale. Indeed, research indicates that the right design choices actually influence workplace processes and encourage human connectedness in ways that stimulate creativity, support collaboration, facilitate efficiency, and, thus, ultimately enhance innovation. But without a clear plan and understanding of office design, a new office can be a terrifying blank slate. Here are four office renovation tips for getting the most out of your new office space design:

Consider Functionality

Productivity is defined as the effectiveness of effort. It represents the measurable outcome(s) of work and is frequently used to assess a company’s overall level of profitability. Put plainly, when businesses use fewer resources to achieve more, their profits usually increase. With this in mind, it’s only reasonable to assume that workplace conditions can —and do — impact productivity by either hindering or enhancing the ways in which employees work. Everything from their physical environment to office culture affects how well (or not) workers complete the tasks demanded by their jobs and, therefore, often determines a company’s bottom line. At a most basic level, office design can be used to improve corporate functionality by physically making it easier for employees to move about the office and get their jobs done.

Think about the distance to bathrooms and copiers; lighting and sound control; whether or not it makes sense to have kitchens, cafeterias, and/or gyms on-site (as a way to entice employees to stay — and work! — on-site for longer periods of time); the type of seating that will best support the goals of your organization; and more! Careful planning of the physical layout of a space will help your company maximize the ways in which your employees use and enjoy their time in it, making it much more likely you’ll be getting the most bang for your buck!

Consider Versatility

You should also work to make your office renovation versatile. Being able to slide back walls or pull down projectors or easily rearrange furniture means a business is better able to adapt to changing circumstances. For instance, choosing compact, moveable chairs and desks that aren’t fixed or built-in allows you to easily accommodate seating preferences should a pandemic force your employees six feet apart!

Consider Sustainability

Of course, in this day and age, green office design is becoming a necessary component of any office renovation since many social and economic initiatives reward companies that adopt sustainable standards. An office renovation is a perfect time to install energy-efficient appliances, windows, and doors; to improve insulation and ventilation; to invest in GSFT products and fittings; and to purchase furniture and accessories made with renewable or recycled materials. The benefits of even just one of these office renovations are substantial, saving your business money on its utility costs and enhancing your customer’s loyalty, all at the same time.

Consider Community

Finally, you should consider the ways in which you can facilitate community with your office renovation design choices. Studies indicate that employee engagement directly impacts a company’s productivity, with those businesses having involved, happy and healthy workers also being the ones that are the most productive. Think about incorporating open seating arrangements, break rooms and/or common areas that can be used to encourage interaction, relaxation and collaboration among employees. These types of rooms, along with carefully chosen design accessories, make it easier for people to gather together and enjoy a space (and each other). The result: engaged employees who are eager to come to work.

Want to Learn More?

A new space allows businesses the opportunity to make significant and profitable changes relatively easily. To further boost your company’s productivity and create a truly distinctive space, we suggest partnering with an office design firm that can help you understand and choose the best design features for your own unique goals and objectives. Please contact Key Interiors to learn more.

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6 Benefits of Using Door Window Coverings in the Office

Doors create physical division between spaces, both restricting and facilitating movement from one place to another. There are many types of doors, from heavy, exterior access ones that provide protection against the outside world to less sturdy interior doors that are used to separate rooms. They can be solid or hollow, paneled or plain. They can slide or swing or roll open. The variety of doors is almost endless, with 

an array of materials (such as wood, metal, fiberglass and more) used to construct any number of unique entrances and exits. In office settings, in particular, doors are frequently made of glass or have windows in them. The clean, modern look of glass is often viewed as the epitome of sophistication, signaling organic strength by physically illuminating the space it surrounds. Unfortunately, glass doors (and doors with windows in them) can pose a number of problems, effecting the way a space functions and the way people inside of it work. The good news is that many of those problems can be remedied with door window coverings. Take a look at six benefits of using door window coverings in the office:

Increased Privacy 

Doors limit interruptions, hiding people from outside distractions so that they can exist in peace. When there is a window in the door to a room, however, the people (and objects) inside are still capable of being seen. Thus, adding a door window covering is a good way to restore the door’s ability to conceal the space behind it, increasing privacy for workers both inside and outside the space.

Added Versatility

Of course, having a window in a door can be useful in some scenarios. Managers might like to see office happenings from the comfort of their desk. Visitors might like to peek in before deciding to enter. However, no one wants to feel as if they are on display all the time. Door window coverings give offices the option to change views depending on the type of window covering they choose to install.

 

Enhanced Noise Control

Door window coverings also enable enhanced noise control, insulating a space from sounds that occur around it. For instance, thick, heavy fabric has been shown to reduce noise and can be used to create various types of custom door window coverings.

Protection Against UV Rays

There are physical benefits of adding door window coverings, as well. Research shows that sun rays penetrate glass. Adding door window coverings, especially to exterior doors, helps to block harmful UV radiation and protects people from skin and eye damage and even cancer!

Better Light Control

Naturally, door window coverings offer the opportunity for controlling the amount of light in a space. Adjustable shades and blinds can be installed, allowing offices to take advantage of daytime light, yet still manage glare, as well as create a dark environment when needed (such as during powerpoint presentations). Optimal lighting conditions help boost employee morale and improve workplace productivity

Improved Aesthetics

Finally, door window coverings can be used to invigorate a space, adding color, texture and personality to what otherwise could be a drab area. Incorporating curtains, drapes, blinds, shutters or any other type of window covering into an office space is a relatively easy way to customize a room, showcasing to employees and visitors that you value design, as well as function!

The Key Interiors Advantage

Partnering with a professional office design firm is the best way to effectively meld your own business needs with creative — and useful — decor. To learn how you can maximize your budget and fashion a functional, beautiful place to work, please contact our team of design experts today.

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Collaborative Workspace modern office design noisy workplace Office Design Office Renovation Space Planning workstation design

Improve Your Office’s Privacy with a Cubicle Door

Modern office design is all about matching business needs with employee well-being. There is no one right or wrong workplace plan, as every company has unique needs that influence the choice of individual design elements. But these needs can — and do — change over time. Thus, a good office design is one that can evolve to meet new demands when they occur! At some point, an open floorplan might be suitable. At other times, it might make more sense to have individual offices or team-sharing suites. Of course, there is always the cubicle layout, a popular office design born in the 1960s that many organizations still make use of today. Indeed, approximately 60% of American workers spend their work lives inside a cubicle. And while that might have worked well without any modifications 50 years ago, today’s employees often want a different type of workplace setting to facilitate their highest level of productivity. The good news is that companies don’t have to initiate a complete office redesign to ensure employee wellness or efficiency. Oftentimes, a small office renovation can do the trick, such as adding cubicle doors. Cubicle doors can improve your office’s privacy without costing you a lot of money or downtime. Here’s why that’s important:

Privacy Often Equals Safety

Personal space is a valuable commodity. It not only helps protect us from physical dangers, it helps shield us from mental stress and discomfort. During a pandemic, personal space also helps keep us away from germs. An easy way to provide more privacy in an office, and, thus, further ensure that your employees are mentally and physically safeguarded, is to add a cubicle door to each cubicle station, separating employees so they are less exposed and are able to concentrate more fully on their work.

Privacy Preserves Security 

Adding a cubicle door to a cubicle means both corporate data and employees’ own personal details are kept confidential. Information security is a big deal these days, with federal and state regulations tightly controlling the way customer information is stored and shared. Creating a barrier between employees and the rest of the office allows companies to protect sensitive data from prying eyes, as well as allows employees the space they need to conduct personal affairs without an audience.

 

Privacy Inspires Creativity 

Privacy also inspires creativity by providing a quiet, restful space for reflection, discovery and innovation. A cubicle door closes off employees from the chaos of the surrounding work environment, permitting them uninterrupted time to concentrate on the work at hand, think outside the box and, hopefully, develop new insights. The result: increased ingenuity and productivity!

The Key Advantage

Research shows that natural sunlight improves employee health, boosting their mood, improving their sleep patterns and encouraging longer nightime sleep duration, better sleep quality and more physical activity for those with access to natural light during working hours when compared to those without it. To foster a zen office design, remove obstructive window coverings and/or arrange mirrors to reflect light where needed. You could repaint walls using white or light colors to help brighten the room, as well.

Focus on People, Not Things

The real focus of any zen office design is people, not things. Many traditional office designs center around workplace efficiency, arranging square footage in ways that maximize workflow. Zen office design, however, puts the needs of people above the needs of the company, connecting people to each other instead of to a specific area or item or any particular aesthetic ideal.

Add in Decorative Accents

A peaceful environment soothes the senses. Think about adding a water feature, artwork, and plants to generate a relaxing tone throughout the office space. The sound of moving water, coupled with living plants, evokes a feeling of serenity that science shows can “reduce stress and increase creativity and focus,” all desired results of any zen office design. To the same end, pretty artwork can also be added with little effort.

 

The Key Advantage 

Of course, an experienced office design partner helps companies explore all types of design elements, suggesting the best ones to match any and all issue(s). To learn more about adding cubicle doors to your company’s office design or other possible design features that might improve your employee’s well-being and/or efficiency, please contact Key Interiors.

References:

https://nuserve.co.uk/news/5-steps-achieve-complete-office-zen

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2014/08/natural-light-in-the-office-boosts-health

https://www.environmentsatwork.com/workplace-trends/get-zen-effective-workspace-design-fosters-well-being/

https://blog.vantagefit.io/create-zen-office/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/augustturak/2012/03/15/zen-leadership-the-toughest-best-business-decision-i-ever-made/?sh=38d9537e7c9a

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2017/06/14/how-to-master-the-art-of-zen-leadership/?sh=f5f53e433bbb

https://www.healthline.com/health/natural-light-benefits#ways-to-get-more-sunlight

https://som.medium.com/for-a-better-workplace-put-people-first-2d3dcabc5f30

https://theconversation.com/not-just-nice-to-have-nature-in-the-workplace-makes-employees-happier-and-healthier-80077

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Office Design Office Furnishing Office Renovation Space Planning workstation design

What to Do When Employees Request a Zen Office Design

Zen refers to a state of calmness where a person can be guided by his or her inituition. It has become a buzzword in the business world, with terms like “zen business,” “zen leadership,” “zen office” and the like being used when employees (or companies) want to focus on well-being, creativity and productivity. The belief is that a company’s policies and procedures — even its atmosphere right down to its physical setting, as well as its furniture — can be used to initiate peace and harmony amongst employees, thereby enabling them to be healthier, more engaged and more effective in their work lives. This is what to do if your employees are suddenly requesting a zen office design:

Don’t Panic

Fortunately, designing a zen office doesn’t have to involve a complete office overhaul. There are plenty of design options available for reimagining established spaces and using existing fittings and fixtures in new ways. None of them has to be expensive or disruptive to normal business functioning!

De-Clutter

One of the easiest ways to quickly facilitate a zen office design is to clear out all unnecessary objects and debris from the office itself. File away papers, straighten desktops and hide cables and cords. A clean and ordered space allows workers to focus on the work at hand and not the chaos of their surroundings.

Let in Light

Research shows that natural sunlight improves employee health, boosting their mood, improving their sleep patterns and encouraging longer nightime sleep duration, better sleep quality and more physical activity for those with access to natural light during working hours when compared to those without it. To foster a zen office design, remove obstructive window coverings and/or arrange mirrors to reflect light where needed. You could repaint walls using white or light colors to help brighten the room, as well.

Focus on People, Not Things

The real focus of any zen office design is people, not things. Many traditional office designs center around workplace efficiency, arranging square footage in ways that maximize workflow. Zen office design, however, puts the needs of people above the needs of the company, connecting people to each other instead of to a specific area or item or any particular aesthetic ideal.

Add in Decorative Accents

A peaceful environment soothes the senses. Think about adding a water feature, artwork, and plants to generate a relaxing tone throughout the office space. The sound of moving water, coupled with living plants, evokes a feeling of serenity that science shows can “reduce stress and increase creativity and focus,” all desired results of any zen office design. To the same end, pretty artwork can also be added with little effort.

 

Want to Learn More?

Creating a zen office design plan doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. You can start small and add in design elements based on any type of time or budget constraints; you can also partner with an experienced commercial design firm like Key Interiors. We can help you reconfigure your space to maximize zen-like qualities, or we can work with you to imagine a zen office from scratch. Please contact our office to learn more about creating a zen office design that matches your vision, as well as your resources.

References:

https://nuserve.co.uk/news/5-steps-achieve-complete-office-zen

https://news.northwestern.edu/stories/2014/08/natural-light-in-the-office-boosts-health

https://www.environmentsatwork.com/workplace-trends/get-zen-effective-workspace-design-fosters-well-being/

https://blog.vantagefit.io/create-zen-office/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/augustturak/2012/03/15/zen-leadership-the-toughest-best-business-decision-i-ever-made/?sh=38d9537e7c9a

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2017/06/14/how-to-master-the-art-of-zen-leadership/?sh=f5f53e433bbb

https://www.healthline.com/health/natural-light-benefits#ways-to-get-more-sunlight

https://som.medium.com/for-a-better-workplace-put-people-first-2d3dcabc5f30

https://theconversation.com/not-just-nice-to-have-nature-in-the-workplace-makes-employees-happier-and-healthier-80077

 
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Office Design Office Furnishing workstation design

3 Things You Should Know about Custom Millwork for Your Office

Whether we like it or not, appearances matter. First impressions go a long way, and for companies, especially, if you’re not making a good one, you’re losing the interest of potential customers, clients and employees and costing yourself valuable business. One of the easiest ways to positively influence an initial meeting with prospective clients or employees is to create a comfortable, beautiful office. Research shows that the first seven seconds of an encounter influences a person’s eventual perception of it. Apparently, the brain makes snap judgements before a person even becomes aware of his or her thoughts. Thus, consider this: it’s highly likely that any time you meet someone in your office, it will take them at least seven seconds to cross your office threshold, providing ample time for you to influence their impression of your company before they even catch sight of you, your product(s) or your brand. The color of your walls, your decor, your furniture — your office — is frequently the first thing people notice. Make it as unique and special as possible — with custom millwork, for example — and you’re on your way to a great first impression!

Custom Millwork Sets Your Office Apart from the Competition

Custom millwork includes any type of building product that is produced in a mill. Items such as doors, molding, trim and paneling, as well as specially-designed shelving, cabinets and storage units are all examples of millwork, bespoke items that add to the functionality and/or the beauty of an individual space. Choosing to add custom millwork options to your office design immediately signals that you are different from everyone else.

Custom Millwork Maximizes Your Office Layout

Tailor-made details enable you to utilize every square inch of a space, increasing the functionality of your office’s layout and design. Furthermore, custom millwork can be used to custom fit everything from desks and chairs to windows, doors and cabinetry so that the end product(s) match your exact needs, as well as your own personal aesthetics.

Custom Millwork Adds Value

Store-bought furniture and generic design elements can’t match the quality and craftsmanship of custom millwork. Adding made-to-order milled pieces to your office increases the value of your space since they will last longer and work better than those that are mass-produced. In addition, custom millwork impresses people, often adding intangible value to your overall brand, as well!

Want to Learn More?

For more information about using custom millwork in your office, please contact our team of designers at Key Interiors. As a full-service design, construction, and furnishing firm, Key Interiors can provide custom millwork, cabinetry, and finishes to fir your next project! 

Custom millwork can be added to a new construction design, but it can also be used to enhance a space, negating the need for a full-scale remodel. The possibilities are endless, and a great first impression can be just around the corner! Take a look at our Project Portfolio to get some ideas and see our latest work. 

You might also wish to download our free eBook, “Modern Office Design,” for additional office design tips, as well.

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3 HVAC Tips for Climate Controlling Your Office

 

The quality of the air inside commercial buildings, schools and other places of business directly impacts the comfort and health of the people who visit and work within them. That’s why an HVAC system is such an important part of an office’s design. HVAC systems don’t just regulate temperature, they also work to control humidity and remove contaminants, thereby contributing to the overall quality of the air that millions of workers (and patrons) are exposed to everyday. While the government doesn’t actually mandate any specific HVAC tips detailing a range for temperature or humidity control, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) recommends keeping office temperatures between 68°-76° F and humidity in the range of 20%-60%.

In addition, OHSA suggests a variety of other measures to help companies recognize and control safe levels of indoor air contaminants, as well as maximize their ventilation systems. Especially during this current time of COVID, temperate, clean air not only safeguards workers against discomfort, headaches, allergies and other troublesome issues, helping them improve their energy levels and productivity, the right HVAC system can also minimize exposure to dangerous pathogens, preventing disease. Therefore, one of the best ways to stay ahead of problems with indoor air quality is designing an office space that amplifies an HVAC system’s functionality and efficiency from the onset of a building’s occupancy. Here are three HVAC tips for better climate control:

Maximize Ventilation

One of the most important factors affecting climate control, particularly within a large space (such as an office building), is ventilation. Proper ventilation allows outside air to move inside, diluting the concentration of pollutants that might be trapped within a space and circulating air so that the indoor temperature is neither too warm nor too cool. Depending on the specific needs of a building and available resources during construction/remodeling, ventilation can be facilitated via mechanical (supply and exhaust fans), natural (windows, doors and other openings) or mixed-mode processes. Choosing the right ventilation system for the space at hand encourages the movement of clean air into a space, making it easier for building managers to keep the ambient temperature within an office regulated and less polluted with contaminants.

Consider An Energy-Efficient Office Design

The function of any HVAC system can be improved with thoughtful design choices. When laying out an office’s floor plan, think about how you can mitigate the load of its HVAC system. Adding options like automatic light sensors; lower ceilings; extra natural ventilation openings (and adequate treatments to cover them when necessary); landscaping and architectural features that naturally render shade and/or reflect sunlight both inside and around the building can all work to ensure your HVAC is not overworked and, thus, unable to maintain proper functioning.

Maintain Filters and Keep Areas Clean

Another good HVAC tip is to always keep a routine HVAC maintenance schedule that includes the periodic replacement of its air filters. Exchanging old filters for new ones ensures that your HVAC system is never compromised or overloaded and, as a result, remains fully capable of cooling, heating and cleaning the air as needed. 

The Key Interior Advantage

A good office design maximizes an HVAC’s ability to function effectively and efficiently. Even small changes — such as rearranging furniture, adding window blinds or changing the color of paint — can significantly ease the burden on your HVAC system, allowing it to work at full capacity. 

At Key Interiors, our in-house, certified design team can help you redesign your office to get the most out of your HVAC system, and our skilled trade partners can handle any necessary mechanical upgrades.

To learn more HVAC tips for optimal control of the climate in your own office space, please contact our team of experts at Key Interiors.

You might also wish to take a look at our Project Portfolio to get some ideas and see our latest design work. 

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Office Design Office Furnishing workstation design

Benefits of Using Bench Seating in Your Office

Furniture plays an important part in office design. Aesthetically, it can draw people to a space with its beauty. But it can also promote increased productivity and connectivity when carefully chosen for functionality and arranged for comfort. There are hundreds of furniture options, but in this blog we’re going to explore bench seating. Take a look at three important benefits of using bench seating in your office space:

What is Bench Seating?

Bench seating doesn’t actually refer to a bench seat but rather a bench surface. Much like a dining room table, bench seating provides a long expanse of workspace to which employees can pull up individual chairs and complete their work. Over the past few years it has become increasingly popular, although post-Covid that might change as companies search for ways to keep members of their teams further apart and less involved in communal spaces. Nevertheless, the benefits of one long work surface over many individual ones can’t be overlooked.

Bench Seating is Affordable

One of the biggest benefits of using bench seating in your office is its affordability. Not only does bench seating take up less space than individual desks or cubicles — saving you from having to pay for valuable square footage — it accommodates more people, allowing you to have more workers in your space at one time. After all, the cost of doing business is less per employee when you add more people to a smaller space. Furthermore, the streamlined silhouette of bench seating keeps manufacturing and, thus, retail, costs down since there are no extra walls or barriers to make or build.

Bench Seating Inspires Interaction

When utilized appropriately, bench seating allows employees to easily collaborate. With no dividers separating individuals, people are free to interact quickly, sharing ideas in real time rather than having to get up and walk around to collect the information they need. Indeed, the efficiency of this organic sharing of data is compounded in value by the fact that it frequently results in more meaningful insights, as well. The quicker people can communicate, the quicker they can make profitable decisions. 

Bench Seating is Versatile

Unlike many other types of workspace solutions, bench seating is highly versatile, capable of being easily rearranged to accommodate new employees and/or new office objectives within just a few minutes and with just a few (if any!) tools. It’s a lot harder to move walls and cubicles than it is to reposition a table or set out tabletop privacy dividers between employees. And in this crazy time of social distancing, being able to quickly reconfigure an office’s work areas according to changing mandates and safety needs with little effort or expense means companies can keep working and keep producing with the littlest amount of interruption.

Want to Learn More?

To further discuss the pros and cons of using bench seating in your office, please contact our team of design experts at Key Interiors. We work closely with all of our clients to plan a strategy for their office space design that best addresses their own unique needs. Our team can complete the look of your space with functional furniture and exclusive interior finishes that promote connectivity and productivity. 

You might also wish to take a look at our Project Portfolio to get some ideas and see our latest design work. 

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Office Design

What’s New in Loft Office Design? 3 Emerging Trends

 

loft office design

Loft offices are a great way to separate your work space from your living space at home, and they work just as well in a commercial office building. Often boasting beautiful views, high ceilings, and a sense of privacy or seclusion, it’s no surprise that more and more individuals and businesses are converting their lofts into fully functional offices. Their new popularity has inspired several new trends in loft office design. For inspiration for your own office loft, here are the top 3 emerging trends in loft office design:  

Industrial Style Loft Office Design Trend

The industrial aesthetic is one of the most popular trends in office design. More recently, it has become a favorite choice for loft offices due to its unique look and efficient use of space. The industrial trend consists of contrasting wood and metal to create a utilitarian atmosphere. For example, using a metal roof with wood floors creates an eye-catching juxtaposition between industry and nature. Metal roofs combined with brick walls are also a common choice. Additionally, exposed pipes and beams can help create this aesthetic at a lower cost than replacing your entire roof. 

Choosing a handful of standout elements such as the floor and ceiling can help create an industrial style without straying too far from the rest of your home or office building’s designs. If you do not want to spend on expensive renovations for your loft, you can still create an industrial appearance with metal desks and wood planter boxes, for example.  

Using Concrete Walls in a Loft Office Design

Concrete flooring has been a common low-cost favorite for some time now, but concrete walls in a loft are a popular new trend. Whether you choose to have one concrete wall as an accent feature or utilize all four walls, concrete is a modern trend that can make your office feel more industrial and work-oriented. It also limits distractions since it is rather plain. Alternatively, combining concrete walls with sleek stone or wood floors is a great way to create an industrial aesthetic. Concrete is essentially a blank slate, so it provides the freedom to choose more colorful furniture or art to display your personality or interests.  

Maintaining Privacy and Noise Control 

Because lofts tend to be above the rest of the office, noise can be a common issue. The open nature of a loft does not provide much natural sound insulation, so a new common trend is to use acoustic mineral wood within the cavity of the floor joints or to use noise-insulating sound mats to help absorb sound from the space below. Soft furnishings such as couches can also break up sound. 

To help with privacy, workstations can be made more secluded with dividers or screens between desks. Screen privacy protectors and clip-on desk dividers can be a more cost-effective solution. Alternatively, making conference rooms smaller and farther apart can help distribute noise more evenly and reduce the amount of people present in or below the loft at one time. 

Contact Us

Want to modernize your loft office design with one of these trends or your own idea? Contact us for help designing, building, or furnishing your office space. Our team at Key Interiors has years of experience performing office renovations and design projects. Request a free consultation to learn more!

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Office Design

How to Spruce Up Your Financial Advisor Office Design

 

financial advisor office design

Trust is key to any successful business-consumer relationship. However, when it comes to money management, trust between a financial advisor and a client is absolutely vital. Financial advisors have to instill confidence in their clients. As a result, financial advisors may need to prioritize how they communicate and present themselves to clients. The right financial advisor office design can put clients at ease and, simultaneously, bolster productivity in the workplace. On that note, today we’ll explain how financial advisors can effectively upgrade their office to improve their own performance and the client experience: 

Choose Color Wisely 

Color plays a huge role in how people feel when they enter your office. For example, blues and violets have been shown to reduce blood pressure, while reds and oranges tend to increase people’s pulse and respiration. Therefore, it is likely a good choice for financial advisors to choose blues and purples over brighter, warmer colors. Alternatively, financial advisors could paint their walls a neutral color and instead add color to the room with accessories such as paintings or plants. Regardless, it is important to stick to a consistent color scheme throughout the office to maintain consistency. 

Add Accessories to Make it More Welcoming

As we’ve established above, financial advisors should try to create workspaces that allow clients to relax. Of course, welcoming offices can take many different forms. You may decide to invest in newer, more comfortable furniture. Accessories are also a great way to add visual interest to an office. Plants, artwork, decorative light fixtures, and intricate wall clocks can enhance the look and feel of your workspace or reception area. Choosing pieces that represent the financial advisor’s personality or preferences can help the office feel personalized and less clinical or solely business-like.  

Note also that you may benefit from displaying your credentials somewhere near your desk. Many doctors frame their degrees in easy-to-spot locations in their office –– not to brag about their accomplishments –– but to let their patients know they can be trusted. Financial advisors could very well benefit from adopting this strategy too. 

Don’t Forget the Other Senses

Having a visually appealing office is crucial for making positive impressions on clients, but ensuring that it smells, sounds, and feels welcoming is also important. However, these elements should be subtle so as to not overwhelm visitors. For example, using a plug-in room deodorizer with a neutral yet pleasant scent can help make clients feel at ease. External sound should be minimized with either a quiet sound machine or soundproofing along the office walls and ceiling. During a meeting, it can be distracting to overhear other financial advisors or client discussions, so planning the office around sound is crucial. 

Additionally, temperature is an often overlooked but important aspect of making an office feel welcoming and comfortable. Clients will likely have different temperature preferences, so keeping the office at neutral temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees is typically best.  

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we have years of experience working with businesses of all sizes and in a wide variety of industries. We can help you enhance your office space to improve client satisfaction while also boosting productivity. Contact us here to learn more about our processes or to get started with us today!

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Office Design

The Top Colors to Use In Your Psychiatrist Office Design

 

psychiatrist office design

Office design plays an important role in the development of many organizations. For mental health professionals like psychiatrists, though, how their office looks and feels can directly influence their own productivity as well as the experience of their patients. As such, psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists need to prioritize their office design and craft spaces where their patients feel comfortable and relaxed. Given all that, today we’ll focus on an important aspect of psychiatrist office design –– the color palette. Here’s how to use color effectively in your office: 

Using Complementary Colors Effectively

Color can be an effective tool in the hands of the right designer. Indeed, using complementary colors or certain shades can significantly alter how a room looks and feels. Complementary colors are pairs of colors that create high contrast when placed next to each other. If you’ve taken an art class before, you might remember that complementary colors are directly across from each other on the color wheel. Examples include red and green, yellow and purple, and orange and blue. Complementary colors are a powerful tool for any designer because they can add boldness, visual interest, and contrast to a room. For a psychiatrist’s office, it is likely best to limit your color palette and choose only one pair of complementary colors to add pops of contrast around your office. 

Choosing less saturated (bright) colors such as maroon instead of red and sage instead of green can help add contrast while also maintaining a tranquil and calming atmosphere. When it comes to medical office design, it’s best to utilize soft, natural, and warm colors. As such, many mental health professionals use colors like brown, maroon, black, forest green, and navy blue in their office.

Consider Color Theory 

Although complementary colors can add vibrance and interest to your office, there is another consideration you should keep in mind before choosing your final color palette: color theory. Color theory explains how people perceive color and color meanings. For example, blue is associated with trust, calmness, and stability, while red is associated with love, passion, and anger. Understanding the visual implications behind the color you choose is important, because in a medical office you want patients to feel at-ease and focused. Some of the most calming colors include blue and green, while colors like red and orange can cause nervousness or unease.  

Other Ways to Create Color Harmony

In addition to complementary colors and color theory, there are many other ways to select the color scheme for an office or waiting room. Another option is choosing analogous colors, which are colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. For example, light blue, green, and light green are analogous colors. These groupings are often harmonious and pleasing to look at, making them great choices for a therapist’s office. Analogous color schemes are often found in nature, so they are typically associated with comfort, serenity, and tranquility. Alternatively, choosing a monochrome look with only one primary color and different shades, tones, or tints of it can also create a calming atmosphere. However, monochrome offices can become bland or sterile looking, so throwing in a colorful pillow or wall painting can help add interest to the room. 

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we have a long history of partnering with medical professionals to create office designs that suit their preferences and address their needs. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities associated with this field, and we can help you build the office of your dreams. Contact us here to learn more or to get started with us today. 

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Office Design

Energy Efficiency Solutions and Ways to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Office

 

increase energy efficiency

Perhaps it’s not surprising that more and more companies are prioritizing energy efficiency in recent years. Not only is reducing your carbon footprint good for the health of the planet, but it can help your company save money and create a more sustainable office setup. Best of all, you may not have to make huge changes around the office to create a more energy-efficient workspace. To that end, here are five quick things you can do to lessen your business’s carbon footprint ASAP:

Re-Think Your Lighting

One of the most effective ways to create a more eco-friendly workspace is to rethink your lighting system. Many organizations light entire workspaces for 10-plus hours every day. Not only is this very expensive and wasteful, but it’s also detrimental to the environment. Thankfully, there are now lighting systems with automated-control features and motion-sensor technology that can help your business drastically reduce its energy consumption. You can also switch fairly easily to LED or other energy-saving light bulbs in your office.

In addition, introducing more natural lighting into your office can significantly improve employee morale and productivity. Turning off the lights and opening up a few windows on sunny days can be a small, but meaningful way to make your office more environmentally friendly.

Replace Non-Recyclable Disposables

Many breakrooms are full of non-recyclable disposables like paper or plastic straws, plates, utensils, and cups. Consider replacing these items with re-usable items. Yes, it’s more work to clean plates and cups after use, but eliminating non-recyclable disposables will have a positive impact on the environment and lessen the amount of trash your office produces.

Adjust the Thermostat

Even if you can’t afford to purchase a self-regulating thermostat, business leaders can still cut down on energy costs by managing their thermostat closely. For example, it’s perfectly acceptable to change your thermostat at the end of each work day. There’s no reason to run the air-conditioning on full blast in an empty office! Be sure to inspect and seal any leaks in your windows and doors as well.

Utilize Remote Capabilities

Just because more and more employees are returning to traditional office environments, it doesn’t mean that businesses should abandon their remote strategies completely. Companies that enable their employees to work from home –– even a fraction of the time –– can lower their energy costs in the office. Savvy business leaders should take note of the workplace trend toward remote employment.

Of course, people who work from home don’t have to commute either, which also acts to protect the environment from pollution caused by vehicles. Note also that sharing items and files virtually –– and avoiding wasting paper –– is a smart green initiative worth reviewing.

Encourage Sustainable Choices

Forward-thinking business leaders can implement a number of policies to encourage sustainable behavior in the office. Simply investing in more recycling bins can make it easier for your team members to recycle plastics and papers in the office. Additionally, you can set up carpool programs to cut down on emissions, or even reward your employees for participating in recycling drives. Lastly, you may also decide to partner with local organizations that are working to protect the environment.

Contact Us

These are just a few ways you can make your office more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly. At Key Interiors, we can help you create an energy-efficient workplace that saves your company money and boosts employee morale and productivity at the same time. Contact us here to learn more about our unique process or to speak with a representative today.

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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.

Contact Us

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!

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Office Design office layout

3 Ways to Plan Your Strategy for Office Space Design

 

office space design

An empty canvas can be both an exciting opportunity and a daunting challenge at the same time. In that spirit, creating a strategy for a new office space design may not be a straightforward process. Business leaders may have difficulty managing the needs of their company within certain spatial and budgetary constraints. If this problem sounds familiar to you, then relax, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll outline three ways to plan your strategy for office space design. Check it out: 

Assess the Situation

Any time you take on a big project, it’s always important to understand the situation on the ground first. Before you start calling contractors or drawing up blueprints, determine some key facts first. 


Specifically, things business leaders will want to consider in this phase of the operation include:

  • Available budget.
  • The size and shape of the workspace. 
  • The number of employees at the business. 
  • Construction costs.
  • Construction timelines. 
  • Office space design needs. 

Taking the time out early to set an agenda will help you form a working strategy moving forward. For example, some businesses may require a complete renovation of their office space. In such a case, business leaders will then likely be required to find a temporary office space; or they may need to create a work schedule around construction hours. The only way to know that, though, is to review your situation thoroughly. 

 

Lastly, it’s often a good idea to speak directly with your team members during this phase of the process. They may have ideas or preferences that can help inform your decisions later on. 

Create a Vision

It’s no secret that the best professional workspaces have consistent themes and designs. While there are established styles of modern office design that many businesses utilize (open office design, for example), it’s important all the same to develop a unique vision for your workspace. Think about what kind of decor you plan on displaying, what kind of furniture you should purchase, what kind of artwork and branded material you may exhibit, and how you plan on arranging your space. Of course, these elements should ideally be linked by a common thread that will resonate with employees and clients alike. (An office is a shared space that should suit the needs and preferences of many different people ––  never lose sight of that.) The more detailed you can be about the specifics of your design plan, the easier it will be to implement. 

Manage the Logistics

Handling the logistical aspect of an office build out is, unfortunately, easier  said than done. Just because you have a plan in place does not mean it will be simple to execute. Indeed, external factors like unexpected costs or delays, difficulty negotiating with landlords or government officials, and changes in your business’s needs can all derail an office redesign or renovation before it can be completed. As such, it can be extremely beneficial for businesses to team up with professional design companies that can help turn a hypothetical office design idea into a reality. 

Contact Us

Unlike other companies in our field, our team at Key Interiors works with businesses through every phase of the office renovation process. We take time to consult with our clients to determine their design needs and assess their available resources and space. We collaborate with them to secure quality construction assistance and to manage logistical issues that arise throughout the process. And we supply our partners with detailed plans and renderings –– along with a wide range of furnishing options for all budgets and styles. Contact us here to learn more or to get started on a project  today!

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Office Design office layout office redesign Office Renovation

Startup Office Space: How to Make Your Dream a Reality

 

startup office space creation

Launching a startup is one of the most exciting –– and challenging –– things a professional can do in their entire career. As one can imagine, getting a startup off the ground is a big task that involves numerous key decisions and projects. And one of the most important elements to ensuring your startup success is optimizing your workspace. Perfecting your startup office space can boost your team’s morale and productivity, improve your brand image with customers and clients, and help your business grow. So let’s take a look at how you can make your startup office dreams a reality:

Finding Your New Business Home

First and foremost, startup owners should look to either buy or lease office space that can adequately support their business. Unfortunately, doing this is easier said than done. You should definitely make sure that you know your actual budget (available funds) and have both a good attorney & broker. These three things will set you up for finding a good space quicker than doing it yourself and most likely without unexpected contingencies or fees that go along with spaces. Once you have your budget, attorney, and broker, you can start looking for a space. 

Factors you should consider when looking for real estate include, but are not limited to: 

  • The size of the office.
  • The cost.
  • The location/quality of the neighborhood. 
  • The potential for expansion. 

Working with an office space that’s too small or too remote for your needs will put you behind from the very beginning. You may have to be patient to find the ideal office setup for your team. 

Work with a Designer & Space Plan Expert

Most startup owners have a some vision or idea of how they’d like their office to look. Whether you want to use a modern aesthetic, an open office design, an eco-friendly workspace, or a more traditional office, all are possible within a budget. Even if you don’t have any ideas, professional designers know how to ask the right questions to draw out the best possible options for your new home. Remember, hiring someone to help you with the design, build, and furnish of your new business startup is always a good idea and shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury or an added expense. In the long run, it will save unexpected & unnecessary costs, extra stress, and take a lot less time.  

Make the Most of Your Resources

Speaking of costs, unless you have unlimited funds to build your startup –– in which case congratulations –– we understand that you’ll likely have to watch your budget closely when you build out a new office. This means that startup leaders should try to make the most of their available space and resources when creating an office plan. It’s never a good idea to cut corners in the field of office design, but you can invest in certain measures to optimize your space. Communal desks, modular walls, and multi-purpose rooms can give your company flexible and cost-efficient solutions to common office problems. Professional designers know ways to cut corners in your budget so that you can have a clean and updated space without breaking the bank.

Plan for the Future

Just because you only have 1 or a few employees now, it doesn’t mean you should only look for small office spaces. Ideally (and I’m sure in your vision), your business should grow and evolve over the coming years. So if you’re intent on building an office for your company’s future, plan your space accordingly. As companies grow, they could have needs for new bathrooms, breakrooms, and lunch areas. 

Contact Us

Our team at Key Interiors has years of experience working with business entrepreneurs just like you. We can help you transform your office and build a workspace you, your team, and your clients will love. Contact us here for more information or to get started on a project today.

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breakroom design Office Design

12 Considerations for Office Breakrooms

 

considerations for office breakrooms

Frequent readers of our blog will note that we’ve talked a lot about breakrooms recently. However, that’s simply because the breakroom is an integral aspect of quality office design. Breakrooms provide people with much-needed space to unwind, snack, chat with coworkers, and refocus during the work day. As such, today we’re going to take another look at this important office area. Here are 12 considerations for office breakrooms that business leaders should keep in mind at all times: 

Coffee Areas

If there’s one thing that employees across all industries value in their breakroom, it’s a quality coffee station. Make sure that your team has everything they need for a good cup of joe in the morning!

Clean Up

Cleanliness is key to a positive work environment. So it’s important for business leaders to prioritize tidiness in their breakroom. Encourage your staff to clean up after themselves and hire a cleaning crew to service your office if need be. Also, installing a sanitizing station in your breakroom might also be a good idea –– for both the short and long term. 

Capacity

Successful companies sometimes undergo rapid growth. Take time to ensure your breakroom is big enough to accommodate everyone on staff. (This concern is worth highlighting particularly while COVID restrictions still apply.)

Refrigeration Needs

Plain and simple, every good breakroom should have a fridge for employees to store lunch items and leftovers. Even a mini-fridge can make a world of difference for a small business. If you choose to provide a refrigerator of some sort, consider power needs and possible water lines if your appliance has a dispenser.

Mood

The design and decor of your breakroom can have a big influence on how your team members feel about it. Remember, the best breakrooms allow people to relax and decompress when they feel stressed. 

Millwork

There’s no substitute for quality craftsmanship when it comes to woodwork such as tabletops or counters in breakrooms. 

Waste Control

Want to guarantee your breakroom stays neat and tidy at all times? Then invest in waste control measures. This can include purchasing extra receptacles for your breakrooms or merely creating a policy of taking out the trash on a regular basis. 

Warming Stations/Microwaves

Having a stovetop, oven, and/or microwave will be hugely beneficial for employees who prefer to make their own meals while at work. Heating up some leftovers can lift an employee’s spirits when they need it most. 

Budget

Creating a breakroom that everyone in your office loves is a tall task. Managing to do that on a tight budget is even more difficult. Thankfully, a little creativity can go a long way toward resolving this issue. 

Seating/Eating Areas

As we touched on before, setting out your breakroom seating arrangement can be especially challenging now because of COVID restrictions. Nevertheless, breakrooms should have plenty of spaces for your team to eat alone or safely with their coworkers.  

Easy-Clean Flooring

Breakrooms can get messy. Do yourself a favor and invest in a floor surface that is easy to clean. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did. 

Custom Appliances

No two offices are the same! Be willing to purchase custom appliances if your team requests them. Investing in a dishwasher, an oven, a blender, a TV, a video game console, or any other sort of device for your breakroom could serve to seriously boost morale around the office. At the end of the day, it’s your breakroom, and you can do whatever you want with it. 

Contact Us

No matter the size of your breakroom, your budget, or your renovation goals, our team at Key Interiors can help you enhance all areas of your office space in a meaningful way. Contact us here to learn more or to get started with us today.

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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!

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Tenant Build Out

Tenant Build Out: How to do a Renovation When You Lease

tenant build out

For many business owners, leasing an office space is an ideal way to improve their organization. Leasing may allow business owners financial flexibility as well as the chance to secure a quality location for many years without actually purchasing property. However, when businesses need to enhance their office space, lease stipulations can cause renovation challenges. Indeed, planning a tenant build out that doesn’t violate the terms of your lease –– and by extension cause you financial or legal trouble –– can be quite tricky. Thankfully, we’re going to share a few key ways to ensure you’re able to renovate your office space within the terms of your lease. Check them out here:

Review Your Lease Agreement

It is absolutely essential for business leaders to carefully review lease agreements before they sign a legally binding contract with a landlord. Even if you have a good relationship with your landlord, written agreements can make it difficult for you to renovate your office space in the future. While each lease is different, most include a clause relating to alterations and improvements. And generally speaking, these clauses allow tenants the ability to make reasonable, non-structural changes to their rented space. (Note, most business leaders will still need to get approval from a landlord to make even minor changes to a rented space.) Unfortunately, some leases use very liberal language to define “structural” changes. As such, simply changing light fixtures without prior approval may be deemed in violation of a rental lease agreement. Before you begin any renovation plans, review the language in your lease agreement and define what you can and can’t change in your office space.

Structural vs Non-Structural Changes

In most instances, businesses looking to make non-structural changes to their office space shouldn’t have too much trouble working within the confines of their lease agreement. For instance, purchasing new furniture for your office space can be a simple and effective way to improve your work environment. Other temporary measures like non-structural and/or modular walls can help tenants reshape their office space without fundamentally altering the structure of the area.

Structural changes to areas may include load bearing walls, columns, the roof, and the building’s facade. These are often not allowed to be touched by a tenant, but in some instances, landlords may give an exception if they agree to restore the structural changes at the end of their lease. This means these sort of alterations are often, but not always, cost prohibitive for businesses.

Tenant Improvement Money (TI Money)

Another important thing to keep in mind when looking at your lease agreements, is to consider Tenant Improvement Money allowance. This is when the leasing party allows a specified amount of money per sq ft and per year for improvements to your space. Be careful to understand what this money will cover, because landlords often restrict what it can be used on. Most times they only cover things that will improve the overall value of the space, but each agreement is different. When working with Key Interiors, we work directly with you and your leasing company to bill the correct amount to each party in order to eliminate any confusion.

Working with Your Landlord

Perhaps the most straightforward way to ensure you’re able to improve your office space without violating the terms of your lease is to speak with your landlord in advance in regards to tenant build out. Good landlords shouldn’t have any problem approving minor changes you want to make within your rented space. What’s more, business leaders may be able to convince their landlord to allow more ambitious renovations under certain conditions. It may be mutually beneficial to a business owner and a landlord to restore a building’s facade, for example. You may also be able to rework your lease to allow for more significant alterations.

Contact the Pros

At Key Interiors, we have years of experience helping businesses navigate rental agreements to enact much-needed renovations, redesigns, and general tenant build out examples. Before you try to negotiate with a landlord on your own, make sure to contact our team first. We can help you determine your renovation needs, put you in contact with other helpful professionals in the industry, and create a plan that will work for all parties involved.

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covid compliant design

How to Keep Your Commercial Construction Project COVID Compliant

As we’ve noted numerous times before, improving the nature of an office space can have a big positive impact on employee morale and productivity. And given the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, many business leaders have made the decision to alter their workspace for the foreseeable future. If you’re considering a new commercial construction project to improve your office design, you may be wondering how to manage such an undertaking. After all, it’s crucial that any office redesign project you start remains COVID-compliant throughout. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your team, business partners, and customers remain safe and healthy during a commercial construction project. Here are several key tips to keep in mind: 

Partner with the Right Construction Company

As one might imagine, hiring a capable and responsible construction company will go a long way toward ensuring your commercial construction project runs smoothly. Make sure that you partner with a company that adheres to COVID-19 safety best practices and standards. In addition, construction companies should designate separate entrances and exits just  for their employees and provide them with separate facilities for regular use. The less contact between different groups of people, the better. 

Follow COVID Protocols

Ideally, you should try to ensure that your team members don’t have to come into contact with professionals from other work environments. Identify certain choke points –– like hallways or elevators –– and instruct employees to maintain a safe social-distance around these areas. In addition, following basic COVID-19 hygiene protocols can help keep your team safe. Wearing masks, washing hands, and sanitizing work areas frequently can cut down on the risk of transmission. Ideally, construction crews should work in sealed, isolated areas away from your employees, but it’s best to be prepared for any possible exposure. Note that construction crews should follow these COVID best practices as well –– in addition to other measures such as alternating work-day shifts.

Build Your Plan Now

Do not try to start a commercial construction project and implement COVID protocols as you go. Instead, before you partner with a construction company or start your project, be sure to develop a plan that encapsulates all of the standards referenced above. What’s more, depending on the size or length of your project, you may elect to institute even more rigorous measures. In any case, getting this covid compliant design plan down early will allow you to communicate your expectations to your business partners and to your own staff. 

Key Fact: Keep in mind that construction projects actually work better now with reduced office staff on site. This also allows for professionals to work in their own personal spaces without experiencing any disruption or distraction associated with commercial construction projects. 

Contact Us

Key Interiors can help your company successfully improve your office design and ensure your next commercial construction project remains COVID compliant. We’ll help you create a COVID-compliance design plan, implement measures like separate facilities and isolated work areas, and enable your team to perform at their best during construction. Contact us here to learn more or to get started today.

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Office Design

Using Design, Build, Furnish Methodology for Your Office Fit Out

Improving an office environment is not a hypothetical exercise. Yet, unfortunately, many design consultants don’t help their clients address real-world issues. Business leaders looking to enhance their workspace have a number of different factors to consider, ranging from their budget, to their goals, to their available space, and even their time frame. Given that fact, it’s crucial that business leaders partner with organizations that can help them with all three phases of a full office fit out: namely, the design, build, and furnish aspects. Here, we’ll explain how businesses can translate office renovation plans into positive outcomes for their employees and customers.

Office Design

A great way to start the design process is to ask yourself these three questions: 

  • What are your current workplace needs? 
  • What are your projected workplace needs for the length of your lease? 
  • What do you want the atmosphere/culture of your space to feel like? 

Good office design should account for your goals, budget, and space. As such, beginning with an office space analysis is typically a wise idea. (This is particularly important if you have not already secured a space. Your business’s future design plans should influence this decision.) From there, business leaders can begin to focus on what functionalities they require from a new office. And, given the current situation, what COVID-19-based decisions they should make to create a safe office environment for all. 

Office Build

Once your company has decided on a working plan for renovation or redesign, the next step is to put it into action. This involves hiring contractors, managing key installation features like lighting and plumbing, and making adjustments based on changing timescales and budgets. Keep in mind that in most cases office construction may require permits or other legal documentation from local authorities that can take time and cause complication. In brief, there are a number of logistical challenges associated with this aspect of office renovation. However, as with everything, the devil is in the details, and seemingly small decisions made at this stage can have a big impact on the overall efficacy of an office fit out project. 

Office Furnish

Furniture, layout, and arrangement can influence the look and feel of a new office in substantial ways. During the final stage of an office fit out, businesses should focus on adding the finishing touches to their design plan. This includes making furniture purchases, reviewing detailed renderings, and setting construction dates. Choices made during this stage of the design process can affect the budget and schedule of your project. 

The Key Interiors Difference

Unlike other companies in our field, our team at Key Interiors works with businesses through all three phases of office renovation. We take time to consult with our clients to determine their design needs and assess their available resources and space. We collaborate with them to secure quality construction assistance and to manage logistical issues that arise throughout the process. We supply our partners with detailed plans and renderings –– along with a wide range of furnishing options for all budgets and styles. 

When you partner with Key Interiors, you’ll receive essential advice, support, and assistance through every stage of your office redesign or renovation. The right office fit out can dramatically improve employee morale, performance, and company culture. Contact us here to learn more about how we can help you make the office of your dreams a reality.

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Office Design

Workplace Design Trends: Looking Ahead to 2021

Believe it or not, 2020 is almost over. While the past nine or so months have been challenging, frustrating, and even frightening for many professionals, the arrival of the New Year offers everyone hope for a better future. Just what 2021 will bring for business leaders and professionals still remains to be seen. However, today we’re going to review the current state of office design and take a look at some key workplace design trends that we expect to see both long term and short term. 

Long-Term Office Design Trends

The long and short of it is that COVID-19 will likely dictate much of the design-based decisions business leaders make in 2021. It is worth remembering though, that COVID-19 will not last forever. At some point, businesses will be able to resume “normal” practices. And when that happens, expect a number of new trends to take hold. 

For reference, consider that in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, many businesses decided to renovate their workspace and adopt a new, restoration-hardware style. Similarly, it’s fair to predict that many businesses will be ready for a fresh start in a post-pandemic world –– whenever that becomes a reality. The design world will come up with something to reinvent itself sooner than later, that’s for sure.

Just what those long-term office design trends will be is difficult, if not impossible, to say at the moment. Some remote tech trends will probably stay in place, but employees will likely relish the chance to collaborate in person again. In the same vein, individuals may spend more time in the office in the future, but they may no longer value the residential nature of certain commercial spaces. To explain further, a big design trend before the COVID shutdown was “resimercial” (residential & commercial), meaning that new build outs were trying to make their businesses feel more like home by adding residential touches. It remains to be seen what will happen with the world when people return to offices but we have found some patterns in our research when it comes to 2021 design trends.

Short Term: Creating a Safe Workplace in the Era of COVID-19

Recent scientific breakthroughs relating to a possible COVID-19 vaccine have, understandably, given many reason to be optimistic about their professional prospects in 2021. However, for at least the next few months –– and likely through a large part of 2021 –– many businesses will need to make changes to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. COVID-19 is still going to be with us for a while longer. 

The good news on this front is that many businesses have already taken certain steps to rethink their office space to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection and spread. Some elemental design aspects that companies may incorporate moving into 2021 include: 

    • Increased separation between employees. This could take several forms. Some companies may decide to revert to cubicle-style seating. Others may decide to install dedicated workstations with temporary (or permanent) paneling. Open benching and a ton of shared space is on hold for the time being. 
    • Greater use of virtual technology. Odds are, most professionals have already adopted new tech tools to stay connected remotely. Expect this trend to continue even as more and more businesses “open up” again. If your team doesn’t already have access to spaces that allow them to comfortably communicate virtually, it may be time to create smaller meeting spaces where an employee can take video conference calls privately. Or by switching to cubicle-style seating, employees can have more privacy at their desks for video calls and virtual conferencing.
    • Contrary to popular belief, Hot-desking is not necessarily over. This is because the concept means that your space is more flexible. When you have different shifts of employees coming in on different days, you don’t need as many desks – even after allowing for social distancing. Adding sanitizing supplies to each desk will help eliminate fears of passing germs from one desk user to the next.
  • More employee autonomy & flexibility. Though professionals may not be able to engage with each other directly, new office protocols will almost certainly give employees greater personal autonomy. This means that pros may be able to set their own schedules, work remotely, and prioritize their desk as they see fit. With more employees working from home, it may be time to evaluate how much office space you really need and ensure that every portion of your office functions efficiently.

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we have years of experience working with businesses of all sizes and in a wide range of industries. We may not be able to predict the future, but we can help your organization design, build, and furnish an office space that perfectly suits your needs today and tomorrow. Contact us here to learn more and to implement the 2021 design trends.

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Office Design waiting room design

Medical Office Waiting Room Design with COVID-19 In Mind

COVID-19 has touched nearly every industry over the course of the last year. However, no group has been more directly affected than healthcare and medical service providers. Indeed, the strain placed on professionals in the medical field over the past nine months has been nothing short of massive. As a result of the pandemic, business leaders have had to rethink the way they use their office space to protect their staff and patients from infection. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine how best to optimize medical office waiting room design given the current situation. Still, it is possible for business leaders to make smart decisions about the future of their office space without taking unnecessary risks. 

The Current State of Medical Office Waiting Rooms

The reality of the moment is that medical waiting rooms are changing. Rather than having patients come in and sit down in a public space together, some medical facilities have adopted new means of welcoming and processing patients. Perhaps the most efficient way for medical facilities to schedule appointments is to have virtual check-ins. Alternatively, many medical facilities now require patients to wait in their car (or at least outside of the building) once they’ve been checked in. Further, typical aspects of medical waiting rooms –– like shared common areas, juice and snack bars, and play spaces at pediatrician’s offices –– have been shelved for the foreseeable future. 

The few waiting rooms still in use in medical facilities are likely to be very scaled back. These areas may only accommodate one or two individuals at a time. (I.E. they may only have one or two chairs spaced very far apart or chairs taped off to enforce social distancing guidelines.) Of course, any space where a patient has to wait to see a medical professional should be sanitized frequently and it should be as socially distanced as possible. 

The good news here is that many patients will expect and even welcome these measures. Few patients are going to be upset about waiting in their car, waiting in an isolated area, or going straight to a private area. Note, it is a good idea for medical facilities to inform their patients what to expect in terms of their wait when they make an appointment. Giving them information online –– or even written out on a sign near your entrance –– can help adjust patient expectations and ensure everyone stays on the same page.

Medical Office Waiting Room Design Next Steps

At this point you might be wondering what business leaders can do to improve their medical waiting rooms. Remember that waiting room enhancements are designed to improve the patient experience. However, given the current situation with the pandemic, the key to ensuring a good visit for most patients is keeping them safe and socially-distanced. So the fact that so many medical facilities have taken steps to accommodate visitors remotely is a good thing. In a way, this may even increase the efficiency of a given medical facility and streamline the process for patients. 

For now, the best way to improve medical office waiting room design with COVID-19 in mind may simply be to keep it clean, welcoming, and –– as often as possible –– empty. Adding barriers or reducing seating may help patients who do have to sit in the waiting area feel comfortable. This space can also be repurposed to accommodate for COVID-19 and temperature testing. Again, in a strange way, showing that your team is taking the pandemic seriously can act to assuage the concerns of your visitors.  

In the future, medical waiting rooms may again become a focal point for organizations. And measures like creature comforts and shared areas may again become valuable features. 

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we’ve partnered with medical facilities for many years and we appreciate the challenges businesses in this industry face. We can work with your organization to develop new office design plans that will serve you well today and into the future. Contact us here to learn more. 

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Office Design

Want a Luxurious Office Design without Blowing up the Bank?

luxury office design completed by Key Interiors

If you’ve ever walked into a luxury office building, you know that it can have a powerful impact on you. Whether it’s the vaulted ceilings, modern architecture, or marble floors, a luxury office design can send the right message to new customers or clients. Most people look at beautiful offices and assume they can’t afford something like that. Chances are you can have a luxury office design without the budget that you envision when you see a beautiful space. Let’s look at why it’s important to spend in some areas of your buildout and a few areas where you can save money in your luxury office design.

Don’t be Afraid to Invest in a Luxury Office Design

It’s important to have an up-to-date and nicely finished office space because it reflects back on your company. It is a selling point for retaining and gaining new talent, as well as visiting clients. Small things that don’t cost much like a basic breakroom and a nicely finished restroom makes a big difference and gives your space a luxury office design feel. It makes a good impression on your clients and your employees are happier – which in turn affects the level of service your team gives to your customers.

Your office is a reflection of your brand. Try to integrate elements of your branding into your luxury office design, because it helps people remember you and makes your whole brand image come together. A bland office is a reflection of a bland business; it shows that you’re not willing or able to put extra effort into your workspace. Not only does this make your business look bad at first glance, but it can also hurt the longevity of your brand. As a result, choosing a luxury office design is a long-term investment that could end up paying dividends! It’s important to impress all your clients, but especially the first time ones.

Where to Spend & Save Money

First impressions are important. Reception areas are an important area to spruce up, especially if clients or interviewees will have to spend more than 3 minutes in it. If you don’t have a reception area, pay attention to the first place people see when they come in. On the other hand, spaces like a filing room or a data room aren’t as important to invest in nice lighting and finishes. The other two places that we highly recommend making nice are your restrooms & your breakrooms.

Within your Reception area, restrooms, breakrooms, and offices, there are ways to save money without sacrificing the wow factor. Here are a few options:

  • Save money on your appliances
  • Use a designer. They know where to go for the wow factor and where to value engineer. They know what manufacturers are trying to move inventory and can negotiate pricing. An experienced commercial designer knows how to navigate a budget, and where you will get a return on investment.

Want to learn more about acquiring a luxury office design? Contact the experts at Key Interiors today!

Categories
Office Design Office Renovation

4 Ways to Stop Office Construction Issues Before They Start

Two men in hard hats discuss office construction with a laptop nearby

If you’ve ever managed a construction project, you know that there are a million potential issues that can crop up. From inclement weather to delayed material shipments, there’s no shortage of problems that can cause your office construction to take longer and cost more than it should. Though some issues are unavoidable, many common construction problems could be avoided with proper planning and foresight. So, let’s take a look at the top 4 ways to stop office construction issues before they start. 

Set a Budget Ceiling

While you should always set your budget above the initial projection, you shouldn’t throw endless amounts of cash at a construction project. Some contractors or interior designers will try to upsell you with things that you don’t need, leading to seemingly endless costs. To avoid this problem, set a hard limit on what you’re willing to spend. Don’t be afraid to share this number with your contractor or designer, as it will help them stay on track and on budget.

Get a Designer’s Opinion

You may have a very specific vision in mind for your new office. Unfortunately, it may not work with your budget. It also may not be feasible based on your location and a variety of other factors. So, make sure to get an opinion on your office design before you break ground with the construction crew. A good commercial interior design firm can usually spot poor or impractical designs from a mile away. Even better, a design build firm, like Key Interiors, can cover both pieces of the process from design to build.

Take an Active Role in the Process

A lot of business owners want to hire a construction firm, and once the process is started, walk away until it’s done. While this approach may work, you can avoid potential miscommunications and change orders by staying up-to-date on the construction. This way, you’ll be informed of any potential construction issues before they start, giving you more time to work with your contracting firm to fix them.

Hire a Trusted Office Construction Firm

All of the steps above are pointless if you don’t hire the right business to construct or redesign your office. Some interior construction firms do not have the expertise to build a modern office, while others may have a history of going over-budget. So, do your research in advance. Reach out to multiple firms to get price quotes and timelines. If you take these extra steps, you could end up saving your business a lot of time and money.

If you’d like to learn more about hiring a construction firm for your office, contact the experts at Key Interiors today!

 

Categories
Office Design office redesign

How to Reduce Potential Tax Liabilities with Capital Expenditure Projects

business and office construction leaders discussing capital expenditures

“Unprecedented” is a strong candidate for the unofficial word of the year for 2020. Business leaders have had to face unprecedented challenges, and, as a result, they’ve had to use unprecedented methods to meet them. For many business leaders, this meant –– at least in part –– applying for government assistance in the form of a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) or EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster) loan. While these loans may have provided businesses with much-needed injections of cash, capital from these loans may now represent a potential tax liability.

Given that fact, today we’ll explain a little more about how this process works, and what business owners can do to reduce potential tax liabilities with capital expenditure projects.

Loans & Profit

Numbers may not lie, but they also may not tell the entire story either. Such is the case with PPP and EIDL loans. Earlier this year, many businesses applied for government loans at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the loans required that businesses use most or all of these loans to cover essential expenses (like payroll), this income still counted as a big chunk of profit on their books without any expenses directly against it. Think about it – almost every time you make money in business, you must spend money. So each piece of income has an expense directly against it – thus resulting in some profit. But with these loans, you got a big check that was entirely profit.

For businesses that struggled through COVID and took a loss in other areas of their business, this extra profit on their books isn’t an issue. For the businesses that actually boomed in this period, such as the residential construction and supply industries, their net profit will be inflated with the infusion of PPP monies. These companies have not only made a profit on their regular business, but they also had a large amount of pure profit come with their forgiven loan.

Of course, businesses are responsible for paying tax on their profits at the end of the year. With such a large amount of profit in their business, they could be due for a whopping tax bill at the beginning of 2021.

Capital Expenditures

Business leaders can choose to invest a portion of their profits into “capital expenditures” to cut down on their profit figure. Capital expenditures are considered purchases that businesses make to improve any assets that they own. So when a business makes an investment into a capital expense like updating an office space or investing in new machinery, computers, or office furniture, this can be at least partially written off as an expense with no direct profit related to it. Because of that, it reduces the overall profit figure and, subsequently, the business’ tax responsibility. Unlike operating expenses, which can be written off the same year as their purchase, capital expenditures go through depreciating value on a year-by-year basis. If a business were to make a significant capital expenditure this year, they would be able to deduct some, but not all, of the amount on their upcoming tax balance sheet.

Please reach out to your accountant and confirm that this expenditure would help you before making any plans for capital expenditures.

A Word from Key Interiors

As we begin to wind down a very unusual year, we do like to remind our clients that putting money into capital expenditure improvements can be a great way to reduce potential tax liabilities. Some of our clients have seen this year’s tax payment jump due to receiving PPP or EIDL money from the US Government. Additionally, some businesses may have an urgent need to alter their office setup in order to meet social-distancing guidelines and ensure the safety of their staff and clientele. (For more information on this subject, you can check out our blog here.) Another reason some businesses have needed to alter their set up is because they have gotten much busier and added staff – increasing the need for updated workflows and more bathroom and break room space. Growing businesses may be compelled to rethink their workspace to accommodate this increase in employees or a larger production outlay.

If any of this sounds like it could apply to your business, then we’d be happy to have a no-obligation call to discuss possible projects that fall under a capital expense category.

At Key Interiors, we have a long history of partnering with a wide range of businesses. Our team will work with yours to improve your business’s office and subsequently boost workplace efficiency to deliver significant return on your investment. You can contact us here for more information or to get started today.

Categories
Office Design

3 Ideas for a More Creative Office Design

creative office designExecutives 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!

Categories
Office Design

3 Elements that Separate Old School from Future-Focused Office Design

Image of young businessman standing with back opening door-1-237346-edited.jpegThere 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).

Categories
Dental Office Renovation Office Design

3 Dentist Office Design Ideas

dentist office design ideasOne of the keyanxiety triggersfor 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:

Categories
Office Design

3 High Tech Office Design Ideas for Progressive Businesses

high tech office designThe most innovative work spaces are often expressions of the forward-thinking companies behind them. After all, successful entrepreneurs recognize the value of a cutting-edge office, and will take measures to equip their team with everything they need to gain an advantage over the competition. The problem many companies face when dealing with office renovation however, is they don’t know where to start. Indeed, it can be a daunting task to try and completely reimagine a workspace from scratch. So in order to provide a solid blueprint for all business owners to follow, here are three high tech office design ideas for workplaces of all sizes.

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