Monthly Archives: September 2014

5 Important Workplace Productivity Considerations

Workplace productivity depends on more than pep talks, motivational speakers, and the occasional pat on the back. While these can help, there are five important Workplace Productivity Considerations to consider when selecting office space that can help boost productivity. As you view your office space, or as you shop around for new space, think about your employees and these five factors:

  1. Furniture

While no sensible worker expects to have the ultimate in creature comforts at their work station, furniture should be comfortable enough for an employee to work in reasonable comfort for their entire shift. Chairs and desks should accommodate people of vastly different sizes, especially if you have a very tall employee. A worker who is 6’4 will have a hard time sitting hunched over at a workstation that is too short for him. Likewise, an employee who is under 5′ tall will be uncomfortable at a workstation that requires her to have to crane her neck to see see anything. Both of these situations can increase downtime for health issues and result in both reduced workplace productivity and workers’ compensation claims. A height-adjustable workstation is the best solution, but if that’s not possible, furnish your office with chairs and desks that can be adjusted to a great degree.

  1. Spatial Awareness

Hand-in-hand with the comfort level of office furniture is the amount of space your furniture and other fixtures are going to take up. Many employees do not work well if they are crowded at their workstations. They lose time having to maneuver through a maze of cabinets and cubes just to get to the printer. You need to have ample storage, but you also need to have ample room for that storage. Also be sure you have a conference room for groups to meet in. In a crowded office, even the simple act of three people stopping in a pathway to exchange and compare notes on a project can cause a serious road-block.

  1. Noise Levels

You can’t get away from noise. Every office has at least a low-level of ambient noise. While noise affects everyone differently, and low-level noise isn’t enough to cause hearing loss, it can still lead to stress. While there are numerous ways to help an employee deal with this, such as allowing personal decor in their work space to help create a “sanctuary”, you can also help matters by making sure that no unnecessary noise intrudes. Noisy areas such as equipment rooms and server rooms should be able to be sound-proofed or have the attendant noise greatly muffled. (Larger server rooms can have decibel levels that exceed those put out by rock concerts measured right next to the amplifiers! Make ear plugs available for those who have to go into your server rooms!)

Noisy areas such as equipment rooms and server rooms should be able to be sound-proofed or have the attendant noise greatly muffled. (Larger server rooms can have decibel levels that exceed those put out by rock concerts measured right next to the amplifiers! Make ear plugs available for those who have to go into your server rooms!)

To support leisure and relaxation within the office, it’s good to have a separate entertainment room for all employees, where they can unwind and take a break without affecting others with their noise. A simple setup of the latest Samsung Smart TV, some speakers and sound bars for the Samsung TV, some music gadgets and instruments, plus a comfortable seating would make the room work, given that the room would be soundproof to retain low noise levels in the actual rooms where people do their work.

  1. Lighting, Natural and Artificial

The relationship between lighting and productivity is well-known. A study published at NCBI shows that a difference of 400 lux (a unit of lumens, or visible light, within a square meter) can affect productivity to a significant degree. A mixture of natural light coming in through windows and artificial light, especially in the form of desk lamps, will help improve productivity. When searching for office space, consider how the light enters at various times of the day.

  1. Temperature, Actual and Relative

Temperature has the biggest effect on productivity. However, it is quite the juggling act. An employee who spends a good part of the day seated at a desk will most likely feel colder than the employee who is constantly up and moving, who will feel warmer. Some seated employees can feel cold with the room at 84 degrees Fahrenheit! While allowing personal space heaters or fans might not be cost effective (especially when considering energy costs), you might consider this Cornell University study that shows an effective temperature of 77F (no warmer or cooler!) increases productivity and reduces errors by 150% and 44% respectively.

In Conclusion

The trick to finding an office space that will suit your needs without sacrificing workplace productivity is to find a partner with the contacts and the know-how to help you get the office space you need. To see how we can help you, contact us today!

More information on the latest in office designs and The Agile Workplace.

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Efficient Office Space Design: It’s About Your Employees

A new age is upon the business world when it comes to office space design. Efficient use of office space is the name of the game when it comes to developing an office that really gets things done. However, the efficient use of office space may come in more creative ways than you have imagined.

The Example Of GlaxoSmithKline

One modern example of a company that has changed the way in which business is done is GlaxoSmithKline. Listen to what has to say about what goes on at GlaxoSmithKline,

“Many employees work at computer terminals standing. Everyone is encouraged to float — in the cafeteria, on top of the deck beside a green roof filled with indigenous plants, on a sofa in a quiet room or in the lobby.”

If a company as large as Glaxo is embracing the idea of a more open and efficient office, then shouldn’t you?

Employees That Are Happier

Resources should be spent to make employees happier. A happier employee is a more engaged and productive employee. Believe it or not, employees are dramatically impacted by the physical environment in which they work. They want a place where they feel comfortable and where they can focus at the same time. Creating an office around this idea is what is necessary to create a happier workplace.

An Office Redesign Does Not Have To Be Expensive

Contrary to popular belief, a redesign of the office does not have to be expensive. Instead, office redesigns can be rather minimalist in their design as less clutter has been something praised and admired in modern times. After all, the fewer distractions in an office, the better. Starting from scratch may be an expense now, but it pays dividends down the road.

More information on the latest in office designs and The Agile Workplace.

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Gensler Models its Design in Their Own Atlanta Office Space

999 Peachtree Atlanta Office space

Gensler Atlanta Office Space

Gensler is a global design firm that works in over 100 countries with almost 2,500 clients, and their Atlanta offices are a model of the good design that they seek to foster in an amazing range of client work. Here are some of the things that make the Gensler designs great Atlanta office space.

  • Outdoor space to work or relax. Despite being located midway up an Atlanta skyscraper, they have found a way to work outdoor space into their offices. Complete with Astroturf and stylish teak furniture, the “sky terraces” make a comfortable location to work in the midst of a busy Midtown location.
  • Sunny social space. Dubbed the Tea Room, this break space has colorful chairs and a fun designer lamp, along with a television built into the wall alongside the fridge and other storage amenities.
  • Few enclosed, and bright, offices. There are only four enclosed offices in the entire 22,000 square feet, and they are lined with glass to make it easy to see if someone is available.
  • Glass-enclosed team rooms. Meeting spaces are glass-lined, keeping noise in but allowing light to flow easily around the entire office space. Workstations with bright, upholstered visitors’ stools, are broken into smaller “neighborhoods” by these team spaces.
  • Well-lighted project rooms. These smaller spaces are lined with walls which can support idea boards and are firm enough for writing and drawing as projects develop.
  • Expandable conference room. This room can be separated into smaller meeting spaces with easily-movable glass (of course) walls, allowing light to flow through while muffling sound.
  • A sense of place. The elevator lobby is decorated with reclaimed pine boards, showcasing the LEED nature of much of Gensler’s building design work. The reception area is designed to resemble the lobby of a boutique hotel, providing an inviting place in which to relax.

So if you’re looking to build the perfectly designed office space, Gensler might be a good team member for your project. And if you’re looking for great office spaces in Atlanta, contact us today.

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Unique Houston Office Space at Spencer Ogden Energy: Astroturf and Basketball Hoops

Bringing the outdoors inside was one of the goals for Bonita Spencer-Percival, decorator of the Houston office space of London-based Spencer Ogden Energy. “We wanted the Houston space to be organic and earthy, too, not cold and sterile. We wanted the employees to feel energized by the office environment.” There’s no question that she succeeded in her goal. Here are some of the unique elements in these great Houston office spaces:

  • AstroTurf has become the signature flooring for Spencer Ogden’s offices, here and around the world. The main work area, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, allows the sun to brighten the green of the AstroTurf, and a large map of the world on one wall reminds everyone of the global nature of the organization. Televisions are built into the map to make the latest world news instantly accessible.
  • Huge, high-tech, custom-made tables use reclaimed wood and a hollow circular center to hide all the cables that allow up to 17 meeting attendees to remain plugged in at all times. The round table harkens back to Percival, one of the Knights of the Round Table, connecting this global business with its British roots.
  • Tucked into an edge of this same work area is an old-fashioned soda fountain (complete with modern microwave) where staff can enjoy lunch or a coffee break. In addition to the high-topped tables, there are café-style tables near those floor-to-ceiling windows, giving workers the chance to imagine they are lunching outdoors.
  • The unusual employee lounge includes one chair each upholstered in British and US flags, along with a smart leather couch, a hairdryer-turned-lamp, and retro chrome and glass tables. A sporting theme is behind the framed prints and newspaper clippings which line the walls.
  • An elegantly formal conference room includes antique table and chairs, coats-of-arms prints, and vintage barware. At the opposite end of the room is a classic steer skull surrounded by black and white photographs of early Texan workers in the oil fields.
  • The workday at Spencer Ogden includes a “power hour,” where no one may work sitting down. They may shoot basketball at convenient hoops, mingle, take a walk, or jog around on that AstroTurf—but they must be active.

So if you’re looking to keep your employees active and engaged, consider some of these tactics. And if you’re looking for great office spaces in Houston, contact us today.

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Green Denver Office Space

outdoor space for officeColorado is known for being on the cutting edge of both sustainability and entrepreneurial innovation, and Denver Office Space is no exception to the rule. When it comes to thinking outside the typical cube farm box, Green Spaces has created an office environment that is good for the environment as well as being a community for those who work there. We think Green Spaces, which is also a coworking location, is a great Denver office space. Here’s why.

  • Their work space is completely solar powered, which means they are walking the walk when it comes to living out their commitment to sustainability.
  • Their work spaces are also filled with green plants, which make for a healthier breathing environment for those who work in their building. The offices are also dog-friendly, which is proven to help reduce stress.
  • Another way that Green Spaces supports sustainability is by requiring all businesses who cowork at their location to be certified by Denver’s green certification program. This helps to ensure that the businesses sharing the space have similar ideals, even if their products and services might be very different. And in fact there is a wide variety of businesses using the space—everything from attorney, accountant and real estate firms to design, photography and plantscape companies.
  • Green Spaces promotes community and collaboration with a number of unique features, including town halls, a monthly speaker series, open houses to help introduce their businesses and office space to the community, and a weekly Stretch and Sip—early evening yoga, followed by a glass of wine.
  • Among their half-a-dozen partners, they have included a nonprofit, GreenLeaf, which engages youth in urban agriculture. This is an illustration of their commitment to social sustainability as well as environmental.
  • Photos

If you’re looking for great green office spaces in Denver, Green Spaces could be an answer—especially as they are adding additional space in 2015. To learn more about this and other great office space in Denver, contact us today.

Tips to Green-up Your Office Space

Unique Orlando Office Space

It’s become quite popular to make offices stand out for all sorts of reasons. Whether you’re looking to attract employees, enjoy unique locales, or trim back on the spending without sacrificing workflow, there are some great Orlando office space making things work. Here are some examples:

  • The balcony. Jones Lang LaSalle is a real estate brokerage firm downtown, and not surprisingly, they’ve got the connections to find great office space. One of the best things about their office, however, is the nice wide balcony. With comfortable chairs and cool tables, it’s a great place for staff to have lunch or al fresco meetings, as well as awesome receptions and other events, complete with a view of the other great buildings in the downtown area.
  • The boxcar. If you’re a train lover, this is the office for you. Complete with colorful awnings and conveniently located near the CSX railroad tracks in downtown Winter Park, six of these boxcars were converted into office spaces. A great conversation piece, these 440-square-foot offices are appropriate for a solopreneur—or you could splurge on the double-car 880-square-foot version for a bit more leg room.
  • The hotel room. Maya Angelou rented a hotel room by the month, wherever she lived, and used it as her office. Orlando hotels have been known to remove the bedroom furniture and set up office spaces to rent when times were tough; perhaps they got the idea from her. Certainly the free wifi and morning coffee from the breakfast bar are great incentives to get to work on time.
  • The free range. Siemens AG downsized their offices from 70,000 to 55,000 square feet two years ago, providing only 77 work stations for every 100 employees. This allows employees to set up shop for the day in whatever office space is available, and keeps anyone from developing a sense of territoriality or superiority about having a corner office.

So if you’re looking for unique or quirky office space, consider some of these unusual options  and if you’re looking for other great Orlando office space, contact us today for some help.

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By: James Osgood