All Posts By

Georgina Barkworth

office

Why is the office still important?

By Uncategorised

The impact of covid-19

During the lockdown, covid-19 left many people feeling lonely and isolated and for people who worked in offices they had to attend meetings over the phone, and although many people preferred working from home during the pandemic, working in the office can improve motivation and improve social life. Working together with people in the workplace can help people from feeling lonely as it provides an environment to socialise and connect.

Why the design of the office is important for mental health

Colour, privacy, fabrics and biophilic designs are important for people feeling comfortable in their working space. Colours are a big factor for creating different moods. For example, red can suggest leadership, blue can symbolize calmness, idealism and organization, orange can suggest energy and freedom and so on. Biophilic designs are a good way to incorporate nature into the workspace providing many benefits for employees. It creates a happier environment by making people feel like they are not trapped indoors as well as providing lots of natural light and fresh air. Those that work in a biophilic environment are said to be 15% more creative than those who aren’t. Using more natural lighting can also help people who may have been negatively affected by lockdown by making them not feel like they are stuck in like how they was during covid.

How collaboration helps

Creativity is introduced when technology and space come together to support thinking and collaboration. Working together and using teamwork can improve not only employees’ social lives but also can help build friendships with people at the workplace, and can make problem solving more effective. By working together with people, employees can learn new skills and knowledge from each other which will make people want to come to work more often if they work in a happy and engaging environment. By collaborating, workers can also work on projects quicker which will have a positive effect, satisfying customers. Other benefits of working together in the office include increased teaching and learning opportunities and can reduce individual pressure. By working with people with other abilities, it can strengthen overall performance.

Click here to find out more about how the office experience is changing

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    Quickline announces new headquarters

    Quickline Announces New Headquarters

    By Uncategorised

    Rural broadband specialists Quickline Communications has announced plans to relocate its headquarters in East Yorkshire as part of its ambitious growth strategy.

    Quickline, which recently unveiled its new brand identity, has doubled the size of its workforce in the last six months and has outgrown its current offices in Hessle.  Work has now started to transform three former mills in Willerby into the company’s new home.

    Chief Executive Sean Royce said:

    “It is an essential move on our part and a huge expansion which will also allow us to manage our next recruitment phase.  We’ve already doubled the number of staff we have to 100 and we expect to double that again very quickly to 200.  We simply don’t fit where we are anymore.

    “The search for the right property has been complex and we are delighted to say that Albion Mills fits the bill perfectly.  Whilst our team is located all over Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, the majority are based in and around Hull so we needed it to be easy to get to and close enough to local amenities. Our people are important to us and we want a happy work force.  We want them to continue  to work from home when they choose to, but also to have a dedicated workspace where they can collabarote, create solutions together and build strong relationships.”

    Hull-based Chameleon Business Interiors has been commissioned to design and fit-out the interior.  Shaun Watts, chairman of Chameleon, said:

    “We’re proud to be teaming up with a fellow Hull and East Riding business on this project and we’re delighted to get to work on creating a new inspiring workspace for the Quickline team. It’s particularly exciting given the nature of the site and the challenges of working on it.

    “More than ever, businesses are putting a huge focus on the space their teams work in. Our work prioritises health, wellbeing, safety and the delivery of inspirational work settings creating a collaborative and engaging workplace environment.

    “Quickline has embraced the future of working and I can’t wait to see the space start to take shape.”

    Quickline was drawn to the rustic brick and outdoor space at the Albion Mills site which it feels really embodies its ethos and will make the business feel even closer to the rural communities it serves.

    Meanwhile, the move is further evidence of progress in the growth of the business following the £500m investment by new owners Northleaf Capital Partners.  The investment has allowed Quickline to accelerate its impressive plans to bring lightning fast broadband speeds to over 500,000 homes and businesses in rural communities where a significant digital divide still remains.

    John Levison, from PPH Commercial, who helped Quickline in their search for a new home, praised the forward-thinking company, saying:

    ”We are absolutely delighted that Quickline is moving into Albion Mills.  It’s a local business creating local jobs and helping homes and businesses across the North of England develop in an everchanging market.  The cash injection from their new owners is really taking them to the next level and beyond. I’m looking forward to seeing the refurbishment and wish them the best of luck in the future.”

    The new headquarters is expected to be ready by August.

    Follow our LinkedIn to keep up to date.

      Clerkenwell Design Week

      Clerkenwell Design Week: Our predictions ahead of the UK’s largest design show

      By Uncategorised

      Clerkenwell Design Week is a key event in the calendar of the Chameleon Business Interiors team. Giving us a glimpse of everything from brand new product launches to hands-on workshops, this year’s three days will be all the more important, as it’s the first in-person Clerkenwell since 2019.

      It’s a fantastic opportunity to keep an eye on the competition and check out which trends are expected to be big hits in 2022 and beyond – and also assess which looks might not stand the test of time.

      With key design pillars like sustainability and hybrid working continuing to lead the way in what businesses are looking for in a workspace, our head of design, Kevin McIntosh highlights what he’ll be looking out for during the event and what delegates can look forward to during the three days.

       

      Q:What are you looking ahead to as potential highlights of Clerkenwell 2022?

      A: There are always a number of talks that will discuss relevant industry subjects and it’ll be great to have the opportunity to see them. Clerkenwell is a prime industry event that manufacturers use to release new products and it’ll be the first proper Clerkenwell Design Week since pre-lockdown. It’ll be a fantastic opportunity to see what everyone has been up to!

      Q: What themes and designs do you expect to be most prevalent this year? Will designs for social workspaces continue to dominate?

      A: The use of the current buzz phrase ‘hybrid working model’ is likely to fade over time but what it represents is potentially here to stay. Despite the government’s recent announcement, employers continue to navigate their way from post-lockdown and working from home – and they are asking more questions about what’s required from the workspace.

      They are definitely looking to entice workers back to the office but equally, flexible working has some massive benefits that shouldn’t be dismissed just because it’s been decided that the pandemic is over.

      The hours spent commuting just to go and sit at a desk – when most people will now have that set-up at home – can be used more productively and so this potentially redefines what the workspace is used for. Yes, there will still be a large requirement for desking but there also needs to be a facility to enable collaboration, flexibility, meetings and to temporarily escape from the busy work lives we lead.

      Q: How much do you expect sustainability to play a key role in the event and which areas of sustainability are you most interested in hearing about?

      A: I think the recent announcements of irrevocable climate change and the harm we are doing to our planet will have been a wakeup call and manufacturers will be looking to do more.

      A lot of manufacturers are already considering their carbon footprint and recycled content in their materials, but it will be interesting to see what further changes manufacturers are making to integrate environmentally friendly elements – not just carbon offsetting.

      We will also see a bigger focus on what happens at ‘end of life’ of a product and minimising the impact of what it takes to make it in the first place. As a designer, it’s always a tightrope walk between what the clients wants, what’s affordable and what’s better for the environment.

      Historically, ‘being green’ has always come at a cost, and so it’s always fantastic when you can help the client make better environmental decisions with products that are better as standard.

      Q: Are there any trends we’ve seen over the last year that you are expecting to see a decline in this year?

      A: I am potentially expecting to see a decline in the use of birch ply due to events in Ukraine, where a lot of those materials are sourced from but other than that, I expect to see consistency on the key themes we have experienced over the last few years.

      Q: How does what you see over the three days influence Chameleon?

      A: It is great to get to have an intensive deep dive into the industry and see what the manufacturers and our peers are up to. Along with our own unique designs and elements, this wider knowledge helps us to be certain that we are providing exactly what our clients need.

      We have a delegation heading down to London to take in the exhibits, product launches, networking events and everything in between.

      Keep an eye out on our social media channels and right here on our website to find out what we learn from our three days at Clerkenwell. We can’t wait to share our insights.

      motivate employees

      How does the office motivate employees?

      By Uncategorised

      The design of your workspace can significantly impact employee motivation and productivity. Disorganised working environments or poorly arranged workspaces can impact the way your employees work. A well-designed workspace can not only motivate employees but also enhance company culture and collaboration between employees which benefits both the employees and the business as a whole. Continue reading to understand stand how the office can motivate employees.

      Healthy Environment

      The functionality of the working environment has a massive impact on the health and wellbeing of employees.  As employees are one of the most valuable assets of an organisation, it is important that the health and wellbeing is a priority of any organisation. Creating a healthy workspace that prioritises the wellbeing of your employees will translate into a healthy business. By creating a work environment that has enough fresh air and space to move and work as employees require will support employees to feel motivated and empowered at work. It will also help to reduce stress.

      When employees understand their employer prioritises their health and wellbeing they thrive. Creating a healthy environment where employees are comfortable and can work in their preferred way will not only motivate them but also bring great benefits for the company.

      Employee Happiness

      There a big link between the happiness of employees and the design of your workspace. Employees need to feel happy at work and when they do the workplace will be a better environment and everyone will be more motivated. A functional, and aesthetic workspace design will help to create a happy environment as employees can use the office to the best of their ability.

      Valuing the Business

      It is important that the office design reflects the values and culture of the organisation. Employees will put in much more effort and will be much more professional when they value the business and the environment they work in. As a result, the office is an excellent tool to boost brand perception among employees and increase motivation.

      Want to look at some office we designed to boost employee motivation? Click here

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        hybrid working

        Why choose hybrid working?

        By Uncategorised

        Many businesses are now reconsidering the way they work. The covid-19 pandemic has disrupted established routines and changed the way we work. Many employees felt that despite some of the difficulties working from home presented, it had advantages in that they could concentrate better on certain tasks and reduced time spend communing and costs associated.

        What is hybrid working?

        Many companies are now investing into creating a hybrid office that merges elements of remote working with the traditional work setting to allow employees to either work remotely or from the office but still providing the benefits of each space.

        Hybrid workspaces are typically much more flexible spaces where employees have the option to choose a space to work from that suits their working style and the task they have at hand. For example, some employees may prefer a more informal and social working environment where as others may require a private space to concentrate. The hybrid office provides a variety of areas to suit the various working requirements of employees, empowering employees to make their own choices and as a result increasing productivity and employee satisfaction.

        The Value of Hybrid Working

        Hybrid working brings many benefits in that it allows employees to work when and how they are most productive. The flexibility it brings also allows for a better work life balance giving employees more control over their schedules deciding when they will get their work done along with all the other tasks outside of work that need to be done.

        Hybrid working also allows businesses to recruit talent from further a field as people aren’t required to be in the office for the full working week, meaning that for some businesses the talent pool is significantly increased, enhancing the competitive edge.

        Click here to find out what a hybrid working office looks like.

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          business administration apprentice

          Recruiting: Business Administration Apprentice

          By Uncategorised

          Business Administration Apprentice – Chameleon Business Interiors

          The Role:

          This role of Business Administration Apprentice provides an opportunity for a school or college leaver with an interest in the workplace design industry to establish a career within a dynamic and growing company looking to nurture their career development long-term.

          The ideal apprentice will gain skills and knowledge over a range of business areas, obtaining a good base knowledge of how the business operates and what is involved in different roles within the company, in turn enabling them to focus on a dedicated role post apprenticeship

          Our Story so far:

          Chameleon Business Interiors is experiencing substantial growth, operating throughout the United Kingdom and in North America. We provide commercial office design, office fit out and furniture to a wide range of clients, focusing on collaboration, agile working and team culture specific to each client’s needs.

          Main Responsibilities of the Business Administration Apprentice:

          • Handling telephone calls and making sure they are actioned / filtered accordingly.
          • Organising enquiries that come in to the business
          • Diary management for the team, including coordinating team meetings when required by checking availability
          • Participate in meetings and team events. This includes the taking of minutes when requested.
          • Stock control and ordering of stationery and office supplies
          • General admin duties i.e. filing, photocopying, scanning, laminating and shredding
          • Using a range of office equipment
          • Preparation of presentation materials and documents
          • Creating documents within the company guidelines and procedures
          • Helping colleagues deliver working policies
          • Sending information requests and collating returns of documents
          • Data entry and the use of Excel spreadsheets to update information systems
          • Using internal databases and computer systems for recording & retrieving information
          • Digital archiving of documents
          • Supporting the sales, marketing and project team with admin
          • Saving electronic documents to the Project Record Centre
          • Establish a contract documents library
          • Document Control of Construction Drawings
          • Compiling folders of site documents essential to the running of the project
          • Opportunity to interact with clients and suppliers

          Skills:

          • 5 GCSE’s to include English & Maths grade 5 (C) or above
          • High standard of verbal and written language capabilities
          • Ability to develop a working relationship with colleagues
          • Ability to study for NVQ independently and manage time to meet deadlines.
          • Commitment to learning within the areas of business processes and systems
          • IT competence through education
          • User of MS Office
          • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
          • Confidence to develop professional communication channels
          • Team player who is able to work independently
          • Well presented to work in a profession office environment
          • Punctual and reliable
          • Excellent communication skills
          • Self-motivated and willing to learn
          • Enthusiasm to work in the commercial interior design industry
          • Dedicated to developing a career within the business

          Click here to follow us on LinkedIn.

          Click here to look at some of our projects.

            Employee Wellbeing

            Employee Wellbeing: How are companies investing into this?

            By Uncategorised

            Since to Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in the focus on employee wellbeing with it being a main focus for the majority of companies, if not all. Companies are now working to reduce employee stress, improve physical health and provide wider support to employees surrounding childcare and home life pressures. Employees are increasingly expecting the organisations they work for to support their wellbeing with it fast becoming a non-negotiable when looking for new positions. The ways companies are investing into employee wellbeing a varied and not all high cost but the benefits that it brings are making a massive different to the workforce.

            Personalised Experiences

            Employee wellbeing within the workspace now offers a more personalised experience. More businesses are using technology to tailor employee wellbeing initiatives to the need of each individuals through the use of wearables, apps to track wellbeing and offer ways to improve health and wellbeing as well as coaching options.

            Workspace Design

            On average we spend a third of our lives at work, making the workspace a prominent area in our lives. The office needs to be able to support employee wellbeing and their health. Many companies are now investing into creating hybrid model offices that focus on collaboration, connection and social spaces providing a variety of workspaces for both quiet or group work.  The hybrid office is essentially an office that bridges the gap between home and work by creating a variety of different working environment such as social spaces, focus rooms, collaboration spaces and meeting facilities. The benefit of this style of office is that it provides dedicated areas that employees can choose based on their mood, preferred working style and task at hand. Employees are free to move around in this spaces as they see fit with no areas being dedicated to departments. Hybrid office spaces ensure that employees are empowered and engaged in their work which in turn improves wellbeing along with productivity. Workspaces can also include areas specifically designed with employee wellbeing in mind such as coffee lounges, wellness rooms, gyms, greenery rooms and more.

             Click here to read our thoughts on how the workspace can be used as a tool for supporting employee wellness

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              Office experience

              How is the office experience changing

              By Uncategorised

              The last couple of years have seen a lot of change as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. Nothing has been left untouched. While we have found ways to adapt to this change imposed by the pandemic such as zoom calls and social media, it doesn’t always replicate the exact feeling of before nor the benefits of in person communication. Many people have come to feel lonely and isolated at times as a result of working from home and others have found that its actually suited their lifestyle much better to not be based at the office 5 days a week. As a result, it is unsurprising that the office experience has changed as a result of the pandemic to cater for our experience during the time we spent working form home.

              Socialising

              Many employees have spent the last few years working from home which has significantly increased feelings of isolation, loneliness and solitude. While working from home has it benefits, the lack of interaction and opportunity to socialise has really impacted the mental health and careers of many. If you think back to the times before Covid-19, the office was a central hub where all employees came together to discuss both personal and professional problems and build relationships but lockdown and the working from home advice took this away. Many felt that their development was limited as working from home does not provide opportunities for new and engaging conversation solving problems we face. As a result, on their return to the office, socialising became a major priority for many. Now, employees are wanting more of a social office experience of the work setting where they can gather for both formal and informal meeting and collaborate on projects and find solutions to problems they face. Areas such as coffee lounges, informal soft seating spaces and collaboration suites are the perfect solution to facilitate socialising within the work environment.

              Flexibility and Choice

              One benefit working from home gave many employees was the opportunity to choose where they worked. Whether that be the garden, the sofa, their bed, their desk, the dining table and so on, employees had options to work in a way that suited and motivated them. This flexibility and choice wasn’t provided in the previous working environment before Covid-19 but many became quickly very used to it. Now employees are looking for the same choice in the work environment having the option to work outside, from informal soft seating spaces, coffee lounges or more traditional design facilities. The benefit of having a workspace that provides  variety of option is that employees can choose their work space based on the task at hand and their preferred work style. By giving employees choice around where and how thy work, it is proven to improve productivity and employee satisfaction.

              Technology

              As the world becomes more technologically advanced businesses and their working environments are having to keep up. Offices now required more than just WIFI and computers, many staff are now opting for laptops so they have the option to be much more mobile and office facilities need to be able to provide designated spaces for zoom calls. As well as this, many offices are now investing into technology for bookable meeting rooms, desk spaces and lockers which are all auto assigned when you sign into the building.

              Wellness

              Wellness has become a major focus in life not just within the world of work. People are starting to understand the importance of wellness and mental health and the office experience needs to be able to support this. There are many ways the office can support employee wellness. One of the main ways is through biophilic design elements such as natural lighting, fresh air ventilation, outdoor workspaces and plants that breathe oxygen to name a few ways. However, many businesses are now going above and beyond this by providing meditation spaces, wellness rooms, fitness facilities and healthy food cafes to further support the wellness of their teams.

              Click here to read more about the lifestyle office

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                sustainable office space

                Designing a sustainable office space

                By Uncategorised

                The meaning of sustainability can be interpreted differently with some people relating it to recycling and renewable energy and others using it in a broader sense of creating a sustainable environment to live in impacting lifestyle choices such as clothing, diet and so on. Undeniably the commercial interiors and fit out industry has had to adapt them traditional processes to make way for more sustainable outcomes to support the climate change crisis.

                Read our thoughts below on how a sustainable office space can be achieved.

                Sustainable Goals

                It is important to determine what sustainable goals you want to achieve from the start as this drives the complete process from concept to finished space. For example, you may just want to make your office as energy efficient as possible or create a space that supports mental and physical wellbeing or you may opt to go for an accreditation like SKA Gold like our University of Hull EEI project achieved.

                Many companies now have CSR strategies and ESG commitments so when redesigning an office space it is important that sustainability is considered from the outset.

                Sustainable Design Considerations

                The design of the office space will completely determine the sustainability of it. If materials and products used such as flooring, furniture and fabrics aren’t sustainable this will naturally impact the sustainability of the project.

                There are many products that can be sourced to meet your sustainability goals. For example manufacturers are now creating carbon neutral flooring, sustainable furniture by using natural materials  in way that doesn’t damage the environment and materials made from environmentally certified yarns  through a zero waste manufacturing process.

                We recommend having discussion with your interior design to discuss the ways your office space design can be more sustainable through materials and products used within the design, this may be through new products and materials that are more sustainable sourced and created or through recycling elements of your current office space that are still fit for purpose.

                Culture and wellbeing

                Wellbeing in the workplace is becoming ever more important to both employers and employees. While it is important to design your office space around the idea of sustainable materials and products, company culture and employee wellbeing should also be considered.

                Sustainability and wellbeing closely align together so decisions to involve plants, meditation rooms, areas for socialising like coffee lounges all improve sustainability of the working environment. A great way to combine sustainability and employee wellbeing is through biophilic design, which can be seen in many of our projects at Chameleon. Bringing the nature inside by designing a space that offers lots of natural light, fresh air, plants, greenery and natural colour will really benefit the business and those in it.

                Delivery

                The onsite delivery of your sustainable office space through the site and project management can impact the sustainability of the scheme. For example, when conducting a strip out, materials need to be managed correctly so that recyclable materials and products are saved from landfill and reused in some capacity if possible.

                Click here to read about how we keep projects sustainable

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                  lifestyle office

                  The rise of the lifestyle office

                  By Uncategorised

                  The lifestyle office is a workspace that is designed specifically to cater to the lifestyle goals of employees through the integration of health and wellness into the workspace. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the many benefits of working remotely with many preferring this open as it allows them to work from anywhere of their choice, it reduces expenditure and reduces commuting time. It has become a challenge for many businesses to attract employees back to the office as they have become comfortable working from home. In order to keep employees happy and motivated in the working environment, the workplace setting has had to adapt to provide for their needs.

                  What is a lifestyle office?

                  So what actually is a lifestyle office? The lifestyle office a workspace that acts as sort of a HQ hub where employees go to collaborate, socialise, innovate and solve problems. Often including spaces that can facilitate fitness classes, healthy food options, mental wellbeing spaces like meditation suites along with areas to socialise such as coffee lounges and entertainment suites, the lifestyle office is designed to  entice employees back to the central hub of the business to experience things that can’t be experienced through solo work remotely. This way overall health, happiness and job satisfaction is increased meaning top talent is retained longer.

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                  Click here to see some of our latest projects.