Considering a fit-out? Don’t overlook these modern office essentials…
At McFeggan Brown, we’re acutely aware that the office environment is always evolving. And while desks and chairs seem to be here to stay, a number of new features have become the norm in many workplaces.
Interestingly, these features tend to be overlooked in the initial discussions I have with prospective clients about their upcoming office fit outs, but they often form the backbone of the modern office. Here’s my brief guide to what you’ll need to include in your next workplace plans.
This has to be top of the list as people are asking for them more and more in the workplace. We are installing some showers in an office right now in fact and, as cycling increases in popularity, I can see us squeezing them into all sorts of spaces. Bear in mind that you’ll also need space for changing facilities and…
In England and Wales, around 7% of the population cycle three or more times a week and the chances are that they’ll be using their bikes for work (especially here in Bristol, where many of our clients are based). As a responsible employer, it’s only right that you provide somewhere secure – and hopefully dry – for bike storage.
Lockers and storage
On a slightly related note, lockers are increasingly sought after and, while many see them as dead space, they can usually be easily installed in quieter areas of the office. Today’s lockers come with keypads and smart cards but, frustratingly, can be quite expensive.
Meanwhile, it’s easy to forget general storage, but it’s often critical to the smooth running of a business. The sky’s the limit as far as storage functionality goes and we can wrap the storage in any image or branding that you require.
Meet and greet
Reception areas ‘set out the stall’ of the business by embracing its ethos and presenting its public face. It’s worth investing in this area, but that’s not to say that it needs to cost a fortune. Only larger organisations nowadays will tend to have a manned desk and a well-cared for, well-lit space is a good start for many smaller businesses. Don’t forget to pick up on your company branding in reception and try and reflect your corporate colours in the fixtures and fittings (we can certainly help with this).
Flexible meeting areas
Meeting areas have been needed in offices for as long as offices have existed, but they can take up a lot of valuable space. We’re seeing a trend towards meeting rooms with concertina partitioning that enables the space to be opened up as required and, as the room expands, the seating can adapt from theatre style to boardroom (or whatever works best for the business).
It’s certainly worth asking yourself if your business needs a meeting room at all. If you’re only ever getting together with a handful of other people, a private pod is a great idea. These acoustically designed private booths are becoming the norm in many workplaces and we’re often asked to supply and fit them.
There’s been a move away from more formal meetings in recent years and people often want to just gather at a given points for a few minutes, do what has to be done and get back to their desks. Collaboration spaces can simply take the form of a high table or some bench seating and we often install them in areas such as the kitchen. Talking of which…
Admittedly, not many of our clients overlook the kitchen, but it’s interesting to note how their requirements have moved on in recent years. Recycling facilities are now essential and there’s been a big move towards multifunctional taps, which remove the need for kettles. The can supply boiling or chilled filtered water in an instant and make a big difference on productivity. Worth the investment.
If you're relocating to new offices, or just need to refresh your current working space, get in touch. Our unique office designs will reflect and express your organisation's brand and working needs, and make all the right impressions, where they count the most.