At McFeggan Brown, we’re known for creating bespoke office environments to fit the individual needs of each client. That said, there are some features that are widely popular at the moment – and a few that are set to break through in the near future. Here’s my snapshot of what’s setting the trends in offices across the South West and beyond.
Open-plan or partitioned spaces?
A couple of years ago, it seemed as if every office was set to become a Google-style open-plan space with very few dividing walls. And while this can offer a great way of working for some companies, it’s not suitable for all and partitioning is definitely making a comeback.
Sometimes it’s down to functionality, sometimes privacy is the issue, but often office noise is the deciding factor. We’re finding that acoustically-rated glass provides a much sought-after alternative as it delivers quiet spaces while maintaining a feeling of openness. This is particularly popular for companies with confidentiality considerations such as law firms and accountants.
What’s the hottest accessory for your acoustic glass? Electronic ‘smart film’ that transforms from clear to opaque at the flick of a switch. It’s not common yet, but it is definitely on the horizon.
In offices with large open spaces, there’s definitely a need for private conversations and quiet working areas. Individual telephone booths are becoming more and more popular (standing or seated options) and private work booths are definitely coming into their own.
Having been around for a number of years, they can offer real value in a busy office environment and can be fitted out with PC screens, electrical points and a number of different features. They can seat anything up to eight people and provide private spaces to discuss ideas or just somewhere for people to retreat to when the pressure’s on. One of our best sellers is a mid-range booth that is excellent value.
I’ve written about the importance of branding within offices before (see our piece on the transformation of the Lycra HQ), but it’s worth mentioning that your brand can be applied to anything and everything – any image on any surface. We often work with exacting pantone colours and fonts to get the precise match and companies regularly opt for branded floor coverings for the ultimate in consistency.
This is possibly a trend that’s on the decline, but companies always want to at least consider their options when it comes to recreational areas. We provide bespoke office designs that can include anything from table football to games consoles, and it’s one area where the sky is the limit. However, commercial realities often come into play and we get around it by providing dual purpose areas when space is at a premium. Talk to me about what we did for a company called Eurofins, which had tiered seating that doubled up as a meeting area.
Cut out the clutter
This is a recurring theme in almost every commercial office fit out that we work on, and it seems that firms from all sectors are in agreement – a tidy office is a productive office. One of our key roles is hiding the (often substantial amounts of) tech, adaptors and cabling that modern companies rely on, and streamlining every process and surface. The office kitchen is often at the top of this agenda and unsightly kettles are becoming a thing of the past – taps that can dispense boiling water are now the go-to gadget.
If you're relocating to new offices, or just need to refresh your current working space, get in touch. Our unique designs will reflect and express your organisation's brand, and make all the right impressions, where they count the most.