Category

Office Interiors

Office Relocation

Office Relocation: 4 Top Tips

By Office Interiors

Relocating your office is a very exciting experience for any company as it marks the start of a new era for the business as well as having the opportunity to operate out of a new and improved space. However, while you may think it may be stressful organising and executing the office move, it doesn’t need to be as stressful as you may imagine.

1. Plan Early

It is important that commercial moves are planned and prepared in detail so that they are as efficient and as smooth as possible. Make sure to plan all stages of the relocation, a time-frame for the move, a moving date and then all the finer details of what needs to be done by each point can be decided.

Once you have decided where you are moving to, you should check that the space is suitable for your employees’ needs. More and more offices are becoming employee-centric and need to be more of a destination rather than a block of desks to attract employees back to the office, so make sure to consider this. Also, having a specific budget tied to each stage of the moving process will making decision making much easier.

2. Discuss with Employees

Clear communication with your employees throughout the whole process will minimise any issues such as stress and poor-decision making. Discussing employees’ needs in terms of what they expect from the new office space, locations that would suit them, time frames that work with their agendas will ensure that the workforce support senior leadership decisions relating to the office relocation and staff will feel happier overall. They may even come up with ideas and solutions you may not have thought of!

3. Evaluate your New Space

Evaluating your new office space for functionality is very important when planning your office relocation. Having a space that easily flows from department to department and that suits your needs whether that’s meeting rooms, breakout spaces, flexi-working desks, phone booths or kitchenette areas is vital. If you evaluate the space before you get into it, it makes for a much more successful move.

4. Assign a Team

Hiring a professional team to support with your office relocation and the fit out and refurbishment of the new workspace will guarantee that you have the expert knowledge, guidance and resources you need for it to be as seamless as possible.

If you wish to find out more about office fit outs or would like relocation support, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Cat A V Cat B

Cat A vs Cat B Fit Out

By Office Interiors, Uncategorised

When moving into a new office space or refurbishing your existing office, it is important to know the difference between Cat A and Cat B fit outs and what you can expect from each.

What is a fit out?

An office fit out is the complete process from start to finish of transforming an interior space into an appropriate workspace ready for your employees to operate in. The process essentially includes everything you need to do to make the space usable such as installing lighting, meeting rooms, work stations of various kinds and so on.

Depending on the standard of the space you acquire, you will need a Cat A or Cat B fit out. We will explain below exactly what these levels of fit outs entail and what you can roughly expect.

What is a Cat A fit out?

Cat A fit outs, in industry, are known to be completed with a suspended ceiling, raised flooring, lighting and heating. The landlord would lease this functional space to the tenants who would be expected to install the rest of the design and finishes that would be needed to suit their workspace. Essentially, once this is provided by the landlord, the tenant would have to facilitate a Cat B fit out.

Fundamentally, it is a basic but usable space that can then be turned into your perfect workspace by adding all your requirements such as meeting rooms, breakout spaces, furniture, kitchenettes, greenery and so on.

What is typically included?

  • Raised floors and suspended ceilings
  • Basic mechanical and electrical services
  • Fire detection services and smoke alarms
  • Air-conditioning and ventilation
  • Basic internal finishes

View our fit out projects by clicking here.

What is a Cat B fit out?

Typically, a Cat B fit out is the second part to the Cat A fit out. A Cat B fit out includes all things needed so that your business can operate successfully within the workspace. As this type of fit out is much more personalised to the business in terms of business needs, employees thoughts and company culture, it is normally left to the business to organise.

A Cat B fit out should be very specific to the business that works within that space, for example including the correct mix of workstations, breakout areas and meeting rooms. Cat B fit outs often include space planning and workplace consultancy to know exactly how your employees will use this space to ensure it allows them to do their job in the most efficient way possible.

It is important that your Cat B fit out reflects your company culture and brand values as it will support you to attract and retain the best talent!

What is usually included?

  • Fully-fitted kitchens and non-communal office amenities
  • Partitioning; including meeting rooms, offices and breakout spaces
  • Workstations and furniture
  • Re-routing air conditioning and power points
  • IT installation and infrastructure
  • Design and brand detailing

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Office Fit Out

5 Office Fit Out Mistakes to Avoid

By Office Design, Office Interiors, Uncategorised

Fitting out an office is a big commitment that often is a big investment and requires a lot of time spent planning . It is important to get it correct as office fit outs don’t happen all that regularly and aren’t something you can quickly change. Not only that, but getting it wrong can seriously impact the way your employees work and how they feel in the office so it is important to avoid the following common fit out mistakes.

1.  Ignoring Office Fit Out Trends

Office fit out trends are constantly changing and incorporating them into your office design is important. However, you will need to be aware of many trends so you can choose a design that fits with your company culture and needs. Designs impact employees and visitors both mentally and physically so choosing the correct trend is important. If you ignore the current trends you run the risk of the office space not being suitable.

2.  Forgetting Your Priorities

Forgetting your priorities is an easy mistake to make when planning your office fit out.  It is easy to focus on the configuration of the office rather than the function of the office. However, the function is much more important as it will enable your business to run effectively and efficiently. By focusing on design rather than functionality you run the risk of creating a workspace that is very difficult to operate in.

3.  Lack of Scalability

While you may only have 10 employees now, it is likely that in the future that your business may expand or face other changes. Having the ability to scale your office in order to accommodate new recruits will be vital to ensure that the design of your office doesn’t become outdated very quickly.

4.  Lack of Nature

Artificial lighting and poor ventilation can seriously impact your health, both physically and mentally. It can also impact employees productivity and collaboration and so affecting the overall performance of the company.  Incorporating nature into the workspace through methods like plants, large windows, skylights, adjustable lighting and air purification systems will support the reduction of stress and boost employee performance and job satisfaction.

5.  Forgetting Employee Office Needs

Forgetting what your employees want is a great mistake to avoid in your office fit out. After all, it will be your employees using the workspace and everyone uses offices differently. Consulting them on their opinions and needs will be very beneficial to understand what types of spaces you will need, whether that’s meeting rooms, desk spaces, breakout rooms, informal areas among other options.

For more advice of office fit outs in the post-pandemic era, click here.

 

Contact us today if you’re looking for help with your office fit out at info@c-b-i.co.uk

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    Office lighting for wellness and productivity

    By Chameleon, Office Design, Office Interiors

    Everyone knows how lighting can impact their mood. Many employees often choose to get out the office and into the sun during the summer months because of how it makes them feel much more uplifted. It is important to provide good office lighting not only to improve the well being of your employees but to also enhance their productivity.

    Whether you opt for artificial, natural, bright, dim, cold or warm office lighting, the choice of lighting you choose will impact the mood, physical health, productivity and creativity of your employees. It is important to get the right balance as office lighting that is too bright can be harsh on your eyes, alter your sleeping pattern and trigger headaches and lighting that is too dim can strain your eyes and make you tired. Your brain shouldn’t have to be working overtime to compensate for inadequate lighting.

    Check out our previous projects here to see how we use lighting.

    What are my office lighting options?

    Fluorescent V LED

    When choosing the best office lighting for your employees deciding between fluorescent and LED is often the first place to start. While fluorescent options are typically cheaper than their LED counterparts, they are known to trigger headache and migraine symptoms among staff. Fluorescent lighting can also affect sleep patterns as it is known to hinder the production of melatonin. Alternatively, LED lighting is often seen as the more preferable option, despite being more expensive as they are energy efficient and can be dimmed to match the daylight outside which is better for both employees well being and productivity.

    Natural Lighting

    Its widely known that exposure to natural light reduces the likelihood of eye strain, headaches and blurred vision while working. Natural lighting also helps with other elements of health and wellbeing such as regulating hormones, supporting a healthy sleeping pattern and working productively on tasks.

    Incorporating windows into office design significantly benefits the workforce. If you don’t have many windows, perhaps consider the addition of skylights to your building as a way to add natural light.

    Colour and Temperature

    Choosing between warm lighting and cool lighting can be a difficult decision but should be based on the task at hand. Typically, warmer lighting in shades of yellow or orange is better for relaxing where as cool lighting in shades of white or blue are good for waking up, concentrating or working in general. If possible, it is advisable that during the morning, the lighting is best to be of cooler shades and warms up through the day supporting employees to wind down easier at the end of the day.

    Brightness

    Ensuring that your office space has the correct brightness for your employees is essential. Non-working areas such as communal spaces and the kitchen  make sense to have lots of natural light as employees aren’t looking at screens or concentrating on tasks. In areas where employees spend a lot of time at screens, supporting them by taking away more of the natural lighting which overwhelms the screen and replacing it with lighting that can be controlled more easily is a better option.

     

    Making the correct lighting choice for your employees is vital in order to look after their wellbeing and support both productivity and creativity in the workplace to get the most from your employees.

    Trend Talks: Workspace Flooring edition

    By Office Design, Office Interiors

    Earlier this month our head of design Kevin caught up with FX Magazine to talk all things flooring design for their May/June edition. Here’s a snapshot of their Q&A…

    Q: Which flooring materials do you particularly like working with and why? 

    A: I’m keen on incorporating products that have a high recycled content. There are some plastics in their products, which is a fantastic form of innovation that I hope is the future of flooring materials. We all know we need to be more mindful of the workplace’s environmental footprint, and flooring materials have a role to play in this – both in terms of products that have been recycled and are recyclable. 

    Q: How do you keep up to date with the latest flooring products on the market? Is there scope for using some of the very latest material technology in projects, or do clients tend to have a preference for more traditional solutions? 

    A: We work with a range of flooring companies who we consult with regularly, and they do a great job at keeping us in the loop with the latest products. We regularly keep up to date with industry publications where we get a lot of our intel.

    The short answer is yes, clients do often prefer traditional solutions. They look at the situation from their experience rather than the opportunity for creativity – but there’s a good reason for this, as experience tells them what works and what doesn’t, balancing aesthetics with practicality. So, this is completely understandable and we work with them to discuss the potential options and how we can make newer options work for them. 

    We completed a project last year for tech giant Ideagen, during which the client was willing to let us flex our creative muscles, incorporating new material technology throughout the 30,000 sq ft space. This was a great opportunity, and has created a really inspiring space as a result.

    Q: If budget was no object, what kinds of flooring materials would you love to use on projects?

    A: With such a focus on wellness and bringing the outside in, I’m keen to incorporate more sustainable, up cycled materials into all of our designs. And if budget was no option, I’d create a whole new product that would make the truly natural flooring materials suitable for indoors. I’d create a product that would give the look and feel of real grass, chalk or bark – but without the maintenance headache of the real thing.

    Q: How can designers look to exploit the potential of creative flooring – both in terms of design ideas and material choices – in a range of different applications?

    A: LVT (luxury vinyl tile) has a huge range of colours and patterns that are interchangeable, and so gives us space to get creative. The range of finishes meant there are a numbers of applications, and it can be used in a variety of environments to create a totally different look and feel every time.

    It also carries a lot of recycled material, which is great. A lot of the products we’re using now are recycled as standard – this should be the norm – and there are now an interesting number of options that enable designers to make environmentally-conscious decisions for clients, without them even knowing it. We have the opportunity to create not only a stylish environment but one with substance behind it as well.

    Want to chat to our design team about your workspace? Click here to get in touch today! 

    office

    Post Pandemic Office Trends

    By Office Design, Office Interiors

    While we have spent over a year working from home through the pandemic, it is not a replacement for the office. The office facilitates collaboration, brainstorming, improved communication which helps to develop relationships, build community, learn and reinforce company culture, all of which are essential to running a successful business and can’t be done as well via remote working. However, what employees need and want from the office is changing post pandemic and so being aware of new office trends will be very important in getting your workforce back to the office successfully.

    Flexibility & Variety: Employees now expect different working environments depending on their needs.

    Post pandemic, the ability to work remotely or from the office depending on the needs of the task at hand is key. As employees have become accustom to a quieter working environment being able to work from home, the flexibility to choose the appropriate workspace depending on what they feel is the right setting for them is important in order to increase both productivity and improve the mental wellbeing of your workforce.

    There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to offering both flexibility and variety in workspaces. Some employees may prefer working from home, others may be happy to go back to the traditional working environment and some may prefer more collaborative, open plan, relaxed workspaces. Its increasingly likely that as employees return to the office post pandemic a variety of workspaces will need to be offered.

    Privacy: Employees previously struggled with privacy in the workplace now this is a must for them.

    While it is increasingly thought of that the office will more likely be used as a collaborative workspace with employees choosing the home environment  as a place to get individual projects and tasks done, it is important to not neglect privacy in the workplace. Whether it be for phone calls, individual meetings, smaller projects, often a quite space to bunker down and get on with the task at hand is important in the workspace and can’t be forgotten about despite the emphasis on collaborative working. Options such as sound proof phone booths, smaller meeting rooms and break away areas a great for providing privacy for employees.

    Touch Free Technology: Hygiene is a priority in a post pandemic workplace and technology to support that is massively favoured.

    Touch free technology is a recent innovation being adopted by big businesses in the attempt to make their workplaces more covid-secure and hygienic for employees. As touch has been identified as one of the biggest ways to spread Covid-19 many companies are looking to reduce the need for touch in order to minimise the risk of exposure and transmission of the virus. At Virgin Money HQ, they have brought in gates, lifts and lights all controlled from an app on each employees phone and toilets using sensor technology. Employees also have access to automated refreshment appliances for teas, coffees and water again to reduce touch in the workspace. This is not something exclusive to big corporations now smart lighting and automated appliances are becoming very affordable. Additions like these to you workplace are without a doubt going to ease employees back into working from the office making them reassured the most is being done to support their safety.

    Comfort: Workspaces will need to cater for employee’s comfort to maximise their productivity.

    Over the last year, working from home has meant that employees have become accustom to comfortable workspaces rather than the rigid, traditional chair and desk setting. However, this is not a new trend as pre pandemic many enjoyed working from coffee shops as the relaxed seating was much more comfortable for employees. The need for comfortable workspaces within the office setting is becoming increasingly more important in order to facilitate comfortable collaborative working in order to maximise employee productivity and happiness. Options like high tables, sofas, larger more relaxed chairs along with kitchens and outdoor workspaces all contribute to employee comfort.

    It would be incorrect to assume that these trends are a result of the pandemic and its affect on the workplace, they existed well before covid. However, the pandemic has highlighted the need for changes within the workplace showing how the way we were working previous is outdated and too rigid for these times. Every employee will have different needs and ideas about how they prefer to work and so employee informed decision making regarding workspaces will be key to successfully creating the most effective post pandemic office.

    Chameleon creates contemporary experience centre for Victory Leisure Homes

    By Chameleon, Office Design, Office Interiors

    Victory Leisure Homes have been creating luxury leisure homes and lodges for over a decade and in the summer of 2020 they enlisted us to bring their customer experience centre vision to life at their head office in East Yorkshire.

    The once empty and under-utilised reception area has now been transformed into a 140m2 showroom. The bright and modern space includes: a welcoming meet and greet area, a refreshments corner and an L-shaped seating zone, where customers can look through samples and discuss design options. There are also two meeting rooms included in the design.

    Fiona, our interior designer said: “Victory wanted an experience centre that would be welcoming for customers but would also work for more corporate, formal meetings. Together, we developed a space that perfectly balances an aesthetically pleasing, relaxing customer area alongside practical, ergonomic meeting spaces.

    “It’s a fantastic project and we’re really proud to have been a part of this impressive transformation.

    “We developed a tonal colour palette, which has created a very relaxed feel to the experience centre. There’s lots of wood, planting and neutral accents that all naturally complement one another and create a really contemporary finish.

    “The meeting rooms’ foldable walls mean that these rooms are very flexible. Victory wanted the option to transform the meeting spaces into VR rooms, so the ability to reconfigure the design via the foldable walls is a great addition.

    “We designed a handleless storage unit, incorporating wooden slats to the front of the design, creating interest whilst incorporating the natural design elements Victory requested. The piece large enough to hold a variety of samples without being too bulky. It’s sleek and smart and ties all of the natural elements together perfectly.”

    Gary Corlyon, MD of Victory said: “Our new customer experience centre is exactly what we were looking for. It’s light, bright and modern, giving customers a taste of what they can expect from one of our models. We’re extremely proud of the space and truly believe that it sets us apart.”

    See more of this project here – Victory Leisure Homes

    Spotlight on: Ideagen

    By Chameleon, Office Design, Office Interiors

    In the summer of 2020 we completed the design, fit-out and refurbishment of tech giant Ideagen’s new £2 million head office located in Nottingham, creating a modern, industrial feel in the 30,000 sq ft space.

    Kevin, our head of design said: “We wanted to create a space that not only had a contemporary finish but also focused on wellness. Our designs incorporated biophilic elements to bring the outside in, providing a variety of areas for the team to relax and refresh.

    “The office is split over two floors and includes a variety of workspace settings including collaborative and agile spaces On the ground floor, we have designed Ideagen its very own coffee shop – inspired by the independent group of coffee shops: 200 Degrees – that provides employees with free breakfast and unlimited coffee every day. The space aims to transport you from the office environment to a high street coffee shop allowing employees to take a break and socialise with colleagues.

    “It is truly a workspace designed for the future.”

    You can check out more of this project here: Ideagen

     

    Savills’ new workspace at The Lumen, Newcastle

    By News, Office Interiors

    Savills’ new flagship office based at The Lumen, in the heart of Newcastle Helix – is now complete!

    Working alongside Fiona Collier at Bluesky Design and M J Phoenix & Son, our team sourced and installed the entire suite of furniture for the 3,000 sq ft space.

    Stand out pieces from the relocation project included bespoke veneered boardroom tables in Birds Eye maple with a crown-cut maple border, the tables unique ‘domino’ design allows them to be reconfigured side by side and end-on whilst retailing the same pattern.

    “It was a pleasure to be part of Savills’ relocation into one of the city’s newest and most notable addresses” said Pat, our North East Business Development Manager.

    “The finished space is an incredible mix of flexible workspaces for employees. The designs for meeting booths, lounge areas, high benches, quiet rooms and formal meeting rooms, along with detailed specifications on textures and form, meant we were able to really get creative with our choice of furniture. We sourced and commissioned some beautiful and functional pieces, many of which were bespoke to fit with fabric specifications and dimension.

    “Every interior design project has its own set of logistical challenges, especially during a global pandemic. Our team worked quickly and efficiently to ensure all social distancing guidelines were adhered to and the project was delivered not only safely but to our usual high standard. We worked closely with suppliers ensuring that the deliveries where staggered to keep contact to a minimum, without compromising on the project timeline. The finished result is absolutely something to be proud of.”

    You can view more of the completed project here: Savills, The Lumen

     

    Why your workspace is an important tool for supporting employee wellbeing

    By Office Design, Office Interiors

    Wellbeing in the workplace is something that has been raising its head for some time now, however, the pandemic has raised concerns about people’s health and wellbeing to the top of everyone’s business agenda.

    Employers play a vital role in not only protecting employees from the risk of COVID-19 infection, but also their mental wellbeing. As well as worries about becoming ill, many employees are isolated, others face income or job loss, while working parents have to juggle caring responsibilities and work. Ultimately, our workspaces will have to work harder than ever to support those working in them after the lockdown ends.

    Studies have shown that light and room acoustics have an undeniable impact on productivity, human interaction, and wellbeing.  Washington State University found people working indoors with plants in their view complete tasks 12% faster, have improved memory retention by up to 20% and are better able to concentrate than those without.

    After spending so much time indoors many of us are craving human connection and socialisation – something that the workplace usually provides for people on a daily basis. Giving your employees space to do this is a great way to not only boost morale, but encourage friendships.

    When it comes to creating a space for your team to thrive, it is important to consider how that design will affect their wellbeing, including elements such as:

    • Colour
    • Privacy
    • Biophillic Design
    • Fabrics
    • Zoning
    • Agile working

    We’ve spent the past 22 years working with businesses to understand exactly what their employees need from their space. By conducting employee surveys we are able to understand exactly how your team work and what tools they need to thrive, always putting employee wellbeing, flexibility and collaboration at the heart of our designs.

    Is your workspace ready to step up and support your team post lockdown? Or has time stood still whilst you’ve been working from home?

    Click here to get in touch with our team