Search Results for: office design

How our preconceptions can lead us to fail the office design bench test

How our preconceptions can lead us to fail the office design bench test

Logan Offices New YorkThe office furniture design scene certainly came alive in the early 1990s. New ideas and new technologies wove themselves into the grand narrative of new ways of working. Everything was possible and there was no longer one best way of doing things. In New York, Chiat Day’s offices featured touch-down desks, garish crimson floors and walls and a reception framed by a huge pair of plastic, glistening lips. In Helsinki, Sol Cleaning Services did away completely with ideas as outmoded as desks and working hours. In the UK, British Airways gave their staff olive groves and indoor streams to work alongside. And in London a small media company called Michaelides and Bednash had offices that consisted of a room furnished with a single 20m long serviced table for its 20 staff to share. Such workplaces were surely one-offs, mere footnotes to the grand narrative.

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Despite its drawbacks, LiFi has the potential to revolutionise office design

Despite its drawbacks, LiFi has the potential to revolutionise office design 0

LiFiDuring 2016, we can all expect to be hearing a lot more about a new technology called Li-Fi, which uses light to transmit high speed data. Li-Fi has already been trialled extensively in lab conditions and now for the first time it has been installed in an office in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. It may even be substantially quicker than standard Wi-Fi. The people behind it claim it is already able to transmit data at a rate of 1 GB per second, which is around 100 times faster than Wi-Fi. Using light as a medium, however, does mean its main drawback is that it cannot penetrate walls. Designers and managers may also have concerns that the way it transmits data – basically by flickering the light from an individual LED like a massively sped up signal lamp (pictured) – but the developers claim this is completely imperceptible to the human eye and so has no consequences for individuals.

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Insight briefing + Changing face of office design + Global cities

Insight briefing + Changing face of office design + Global cities 0

Insight_twitter_logo_2This week’s newsletter features our first Insight Briefing, produced in partnership with Connection, which looks at agile working in the public sector. Adrian Campbell says office design needs the direct contribution of its most important influencer, the end user; and Mark Eltringham welcomes a new report that debunks the belief that ‘sitting is the new smoking’. Demand for flexible co-working space looks set to soar; investment in commercial property is at its highest level worldwide since 2008, and businesses continue to find the creation of a productive workplace challenging. Sydney leads the world in Activity Based Working according to the Global Cities report; and working parents in the US are reluctant to let employers know how stressed they really are. Visit our new events page, subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news here. And follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

A review of the CIFF office design show 2015 in Shanghai

A review of the CIFF office design show 2015 in Shanghai 0

CIFF office designShanghai’s population is reported to be in the region of twenty six million, more than double that of London, and the city continues to creep outwards inexorably, attracting even greater numbers. For the casual visitor however, its vast size does somehow seem to be manageable, just. The traffic is very heavy of course, but it does move, albeit slowly. There are few commercial vehicles on the city’s roads during the day and, in an effort to control the rampant pollution, almost all of the private cars and scooters are either electric or hybrids. This means that there is an eerie near-silence from the massive volume of traffic, interrupted only by the occasional police siren or outbreak of hooting from an impatient motorist. After dark, on poorly-lit streets, pedestrians are at real risk of getting run over by the silent cars or scooters that rarely use their lights – an economy measure?

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Five essential office design trends to look for in the near future

Five essential office design trends to look for in the near future 0

Google Tel Aviv OfficeSince the early Twentieth Century, business leaders have been experimenting with office design in an attempt to improve productivity. From the sea of forward-facing desks imagined by Frederick Taylor, to the infamous cubicle of the late 1960s, to today’s open-plan office, each innovation has said something about our changing relationship to work. In a Gensler survey with more than 2,000 participants, 90 percent of respondents indicated that better workplace design and layout result in better overall performance. The greatest developments of recent times have emerged from the tech giants of Silicon Valley, where businesses have blended playfulness, company culture and the collaborative benefits of open layouts to craft unique and engaging spaces. So where are we headed? Here are five major trends that are likely to have a lasting impact on the way we work.

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Quiet at work + Office design and conflict + The on-demand revolution

Quiet at work + Office design and conflict + The on-demand revolution 0

Insight_twitter_logo_2In this week’s issue; Dan Callegari lists ten unusual ways to ensure peace and privacy in the workplace; Sara Bean says senior executives are unaware of the effects of ‘change fatigue’ in their organisations; and Mark Eltringham notes a growing acceptance of sit/stand furniture as a standard workstation option. In news; the results of a new study which found men and women are likely to react differently to specific types of office layout; the introduction of the revised version of one of the world’s most popular environmental standards and SMEs fail to embrace effective wellbeing programmes, despite appreciating their role in future growth. And why is there a growing dread of the influx of the latest generation Z into the workplace? Check out our new events page, subscribe for free quarterly issues of Work&Place and weekly news here., You can follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.

Specific types of office design could be the source of conflict at work

Specific types of office design could be the source of conflict at work 0

boxing-glovesA new study from Swedish researchers suggests that the layout of offices not only affects how people respond to noise at work but may also be a source of conflict between co-workers. According to the study of more than 5,000 office workers, men and women are likely to react differently to specific types of office layout. Perhaps surprisingly, the researchers found that conflict is less commonplace in open plan offices than it is in workplaces that apply contemporary models of office design that offer workers a choice of how and where to work. They conclude this may be linked to the type of work associated with these particular layouts. The study also claims that women are more bothered by noise in these types of offices than men. According to the study, there was also a more readily discernible link between office type and workplace conflict for women than for men.

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Neocon highlights four of the world’s most important office design trends

Neocon highlights four of the world’s most important office design trends

humanscale-office-iq-float-smartWe live in the Global Village, Marshall McLuhan’s idea from 1962 of an electronically contracted world in which attitudes, cultures and our political, business and legislative framework begin to pull together. Yet each nation is shaped by little differences. That is why the comedy programme The Office found an audience on both sides of the pond, but one that needed Wernham Hogg in Slough to become Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pennsylvania for it to work for the local audience. The central idea of the show has a universal appeal but needs a local voice. And what is true for The Office with a big O is also true for the office with a small o. This was the takeaway conclusion of a series of events staged in London and Manchester last week by Milliken and Humanscale. The touchstone for these events was a debate about the main conclusions of of June’s Neocon.

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Why Facebook and other tech giants still apply mainstream office design ideas 0

Facebook-560x480This week Facebook moved into its new offices in Menlo Park, California. As you might expect they are somewhat out of the ordinary. Designed by Frank Gehry, they are bright, open and loaded with quirky and colourful design ideas. Yet upon closer inspection their underlying office design principles are often resolutely mainstream, not least the inclusion of what is billed as the world’s largest open plan office. In fact this has the personal backing of the CEO himself and has long been the core element in the brief because Facebook sees the idea of openness as being an essential part of its mission and business model. Mark Zuckerberg announced the opening of the building on his own Facebook page (where else?). In his official statement, he explains the thinking behind the design in an interesting way and it bears reproducing.

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Sino might: a review of the CIFF office design show in Guangzhou

Guangzhou office designGuangzhou, about two hours by train from Hong Kong, is China’s third city. It is a sprawling metropolis. Apart from a cluster of skyscrapers and the busy, broad sweep of the Pearl River which carves the city into districts, it has few redeeming features. Unlike the previous years’ office design shows hosted in Guangzhou, the heavy rain stayed away and the weather was hot and humid. It would probably have been sunny, were it not for the pall of smog which constantly shrouds the city. The 35th China International Furniture Fair is too large to be held at one time in the 430,000 sq. m. China Import & Export Fair complex, so it’s split into two, five day phases, held six days apart. Billed as the ‘Fabulous Furniture Fair’, Phase 1 concentrated on residential furniture. Phase 2 was for CIFF Office and for Interzum – the furniture materials and machinery show.

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The financial services sector leads the way in how we think about office design

Office design and the cityThe office as we know it may continue to change, but that doesn’t mean its vital role at the heart of the organisation will diminish. The recent downturn meant some tough decisions had to be taken by many companies. It certainly focussed more attention on the way firms design and manage their workplace, based on a clear understanding of their economics. It is one of the most commonly cited truisms about office design that after staff, buildings are easily the second highest item of expenditure for the majority of organisations. The conclusion often drawn from this is that there is a compulsion to reduce space through new working practices or more efficient office design and management. Which may be true but the challenge is to take advantage of these opportunities without adversely affecting the company’s most expensive and valuable asset; its staff.

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The open plan remains an important office design element

office designFor half a century the default office design model in large parts of the world has been the open plan. Even though that continues to be the case, a growing number of voices are questioning this hegemony and suggesting there may be better ways of designing offices that balance the advantages of the open plan while eliminating or mitigating drawbacks. On the face of it, the case for working in open plan offices is clear cut. Not only are they believed to be more conducive to collaborative work, open plan workstations take up around half the space of cellular offices. As well as taking up less space, a crucial consideration is that fit-out costs are typically around 25 per cent lower, even in eye wateringly expensive commercial property hotspots such as London.

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