Balancing The Flexible Needs Of Today’s Office Design | Oaktree Interiors

Whilst Dolly Parton once sang that 9-to-5 was a way to make a living, the truth is that the workplace of today has to be much more flexible with its hours than that. With an increasing number of talented people finding traditional shift work difficult to fit around their personal lives and not to mention, locations of clients being widespread (even over international borders), the need to change their working practices and the set-up of their office design, could be vital for certain businesses.


The rise of remote/flexible working in office design

There can be no doubt that technology has transformed the look and feel of the spaces we inhabit, making them much more customisable for the individual. Remote working, for example, can see a person work on their own terms, from home or the office (or often both) by simply connecting to a central server to do their work. They can communicate by sending e-mails, making voice or videos calls, whilst fitting their personal lives and tasks around their work. What they achieve by this is a much-improved work-life balance and it’s by finding this that leads to them feeling happy and content with their daily lives. This will in turn, mean a likely increase in productivity and quality of work produced for the business.

Here at Oaktree Interiors, we are an office fit out company who have over 3 decades of experience in creating innovative workspaces. As such, we have seen much change in the working practices of the businesses we serve, primarily through the vast changes in technology through that time.

With remote working being very much the heart of modern business, how do our clients find the right balance between being able to offer their employees the capability to work remotely, with the need to still have a physical office space?

How we created a remote office for a client

Recently, this particular challenge was presented to us by a client who were seeking to downsize their UK office. Moving from their existing building into a new, smaller one was as a direct result of the majority of their employees working remotely. The balance they needed to strike was to possess an office space that would allow for easy connections to wide area networks, as well as be a useable and attractive meeting point/working space for their international colleagues and clients.

Their main office design requirement was to combine functionality with the need for less of a personal working space (that you normally expect to see in the modern office) and more of a meeting facility for people to collaborate and host. Their requirements also stipulated that there should also be storage facilities for paperwork, as well as turn certain areas of the existing shell into useable, acoustic meeting rooms.

The company’s new location was part of a serviced office building, so the existing design was very uniform and didn’t necessarily reflect their principles. As a result, we suggested that they place more of their personality and branding upon on their new location, through the use of their company colours and logo, printed upon manifestations and applied to the glazing installations that were part of the meeting room. Aside from placing a unique touch to the new office (which would contrast heavily with the environment elsewhere in this serviced office building, setting a distinctive environment) the manifestations and glazing installations will help them to balance the tightrope between being able to offer visitors private meeting spaces, remote technology, as well as functional working areas.

We are delighted to say that the client was pleased with their new office design. Overall, downsizing their office gave them a great opportunity to optimise their operation; getting the most out of their budget and more importantly, the best out of their workforce.

Why you should consider a better balance in your workplace

Not every business will have remote working as part of their working philosophy; it may need everyone present in the same building to collaborate on ideas in order to create great work. There is still always a balance to strike though.

We always stress that the modern workplace of today must be flexible; it must be able to cater for its staff in order to get the best out of their talents. Whether that’s through a clean sweep of current furniture infrastructure, offering staff comfortable and adjustable chairs and desks, to major works, such as ‘zoning’ available space into work and private areas; there is much to think about when it comes to office design.

Finding the right balance with anything in life is difficult when we can’t see what’s happening around us. By understanding what we have at our disposal can we start to put in place measures and a plan to achieve what we need to with our assets. Taking stock of how much the design of your current office impacts on your employees and the work they produce (the assets) can help to create ideas and a plan of how you can get the best out of them. A new design will turn this vision into a reality.

High quality, bespoke office design from Oaktree Interiors

If you’re looking to redesign your office space to get the best out of your workforce, why not get in touch with the office design experts here at Oaktree Interiors? We can offer you a FREE no-obligation consultation service that is designed to understand the key objectives for your project, to learn about your company culture, it’s dynamics and what direction you wish to take it to. This service includes a 2/3-D representation of your how your ideal office interiors would look, so please do not hesitate to give us a call today on 0345 21 86955 or send an e-mail to us at hello@oaktreeoffice.com.

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