One of the more stable office fit out trends throughout the last decade has been without question, the focus on flexibility and space efficiency in the workplace. Organisations of all kinds have been led away from traditional set-ups and instead, are embracing more informal meeting spaces. But what has been behind this change and how is it of benefit? Let's dive straight into it…

The rise of informal office fit out

Office space comes at a premium, especially if you're based in a busy town or city centre whose notability, transport links and/or amenities can be utilised to attract your employees and clients. In many of these workplaces though, space just isn't being used efficiently enough; the business will be paying for space they simply do not use. This is why it has become increasingly important for firms to know how to make the most of their floorspace; as a result, many are looking at alternative options when it comes to evaluating their office design.

Here are some of the benefits that have seen the informal workplace rise to prominence:

Bringing the workplace together.

In many forward-thinking companies, the shepherding in of the informal office fit out has seen the end of the hierarchical structure dictating the design. No longer are CEO slocked away from the 'rank and file', being unaware of what they're up to. The design of an informal office is flexible, therefore it helps the lines of communication to flow and opens a stage for collaboration.

Meeting the need.

These days, most companies will need to hold a range of different types of meeting, so why have the same atmosphere for each of them? Whether it's an AGM, a performance review, team meetings or on-the-spur gatherings, being able to have a meeting area for every eventuality will ensure that everyone's needs are met and crucially, that the meetings happen in the spirit that's intended.

Speaking of meeting the need, with home working growing year-on-year, having a fixed design won't be conducive because it's not known precisely how many people will turn up every day, when and how long for. With an informal space, a business can carefully calculate how much space it will need to use for its work stations, with the beauty being that more chairs and desks can be rolled out or packed away if needed.

Dealing with distraction.

An increasing number of firms are becoming aware that the traditional open plan office fit out doesn't lend itself well to cutting down on productivity-effecting noise and distraction. Employees will also often complain about a lack of privacy and request 'quiet areas' in which they can get on with their work, relax and recharge or sort out a personal issue in peace. Noise-reducing acoustics, quiet rooms and singular pods/booths are part-and-parcel of most informal office spaces.

office fit out

Catering for activity-based working.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the informal office fit out, is that it helps to cater more towards activity-based working practices. This allows employees to benefit from the areas they decamp to, as each supports a different aspect of their working process. This is why we're seeing a more 'zoned' approach to office design, with quiet rooms, team spaces and breakout areas (amongst others) become the norm in offices around the world.

informal office

These informal spaces will need to be agile and be able to accommodate grounds of different sizes, in different ways. Having spaces like 'huddle rooms' will increase usable space elsewhere and give a chance for workers to engage properly, instead of them having to shout across the open office, creating noise and distractions for others. Similarly, the installation of acoustic booths/pods will allow people to hold private meetings/make phone calls but also double as a quiet working space too.

So those were the factors behind the rise of the informal office layout; if you're interested in learning more about how your business can benefit from taking such an approach, why not get in touch with our office fit out team today?

Improve the effectiveness of your office design, with Oaktree Interiors

Having been creating bespoke work environments for the best part of three decades, we have established a leading office design business based on our drive to constantly keep pace with the latest trends and innovations.

This is why we can offer you a dedicated client-focused service that is designed to understand everything that you and your employees need, what your business wants to achieve and how you want to appear to your clients.

Please feel free to take a look around our website to familiarise yourself with our service; our pages contain various examples of our design work in high-resolution imagery and informative text descriptions. Do also check out our case studies page; much of our previous work is featured here and can be separated by industry and/or floor size.

If you would like to speak to us directly about how you can improve your existing office fit out, do not hesitate to call us on 034521 86955. Alternatively, you can send any e-mail enquiries to hello@oaktreeoffice.com and we'll bein touch as soon as we can.

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