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Office Layout

Office Layout: 6 Tips to Enhance Your Office

By Uncategorised

You and your team will spend a lot of time in the office. Planning the office layout effectively is not just important aesthetically but also to ensure the office runs seamlessly and effectively.

Due to the amount of time you and your employees spend in the office, the space you work in can have a significant impact on physical health, mental health, productivity and the overall success of the business. Research has shown, poorly designed offices can lead to friction among employees, poor concentration, poor productivity among other key issues.

Preparing your space well for your business will need more than just a few desks being changed around. Furniture will need to be specially selected based on your needs, the appropriate lighting will need to be considered among other things. Read below for our top six tips on how to enhance your office layout.

1. Plan for efficiency and functionality

Before you start to do anything to your office, you should always make a plan. Writing down your requirements, budget, facilities you need and faults with your current office layout will all help you to make an effective plan and ensure you come out with the best result. It is also important to consider at this stage both the functionality and efficiency of the office layout as while design can be nice, it is most important the your office runs successfully in the new space.

2. Facilitate collaboration and innovation

Designing your office layout to facilitate collaboration and innovation will significantly improve how your team work as well as their output. Spaces that influence collaboration and innovation can vary from large tables that teams can gather around, informal comfortable soft seating areas, presentation spaces and more. They make for much more inspirational spaces than a standard desk area and make for much better results.

3. Consider technology

Planning your new office layout with your IT support team is something to not forget about. Each area will more than likely need IT considerations so involving  the IT team will ensure that all elements necessary such as power sockets, printers, Wi-Fi routers, presentation screens, will be in the best place possible.

4. Include variety

Having a variety of areas to use such as collaboration spaces, break out areas, kitchen facilities, flexi-desk spaces, sound proof booths, presentation areas and comfortable soft seating spaces will mean that your employees will be able to use the new office layout to suit their needs. Not only does it add flexibility for your team, it will also help them to perform at their best by picking an area that suits their task.

5. Ask your employees

Including your employees in the process by asking their thoughts on the current workspace and understanding their needs for the new office layout will not only make for a better result but will also improve employee job satisfaction as they will feel more involved with key decision making that effects them.

6. Plan for growth

Where do you see your company in 6-12 month? Do you have plans to recruit new members? Considering who will be using the new space along with how your company will grow over the next few years will help so that you don’t have to reorganise and redesign the space again to facilitate expansion that could have been planned for.

To see examples of our office layouts click here.

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biophilic design

Biophilic Design – What is it?

By Uncategorised

What is Biophilic Design?

Biophilic design is a design concept used to increase the ways those who use the space connect with the natural environment through the use of bringing nature inside in whatever way possible.

As humans we have an innate connection with nature. It’s not uncommon to feel better when surrounded by natural light, greenery and fresh air, actually, we very much need nature in order to function properly.

Essentially, it is used to improve the workspace and provide numerous benefits.

Why is it Important?

As our exposure to nature is declining as a result of urbanisation, there is ever growing pressure to connect more with nature and reap the benefits it provides our mental and physical health.

Research has shown that involving natural elements into designs can have great physical benefits such as reducing heart rates and blood pressure levels and mental benefits like reduced stress and anxiety.

What are the Benefits?

  • Increased productivity, creativity and presenteeism
  • Increased employee retention
  • Noise absorbent
  • Reduction of energy requirements in terms of lighting, ventilation and temperature regulation
  • Calming, uplifting and anxiety reducing

How do we Implement Biophilic Design?

There are many ways that biophilic design elements can be introduced to your workspace.

Some key areas to consider are:

  • Improved natural and artificial lighting
  • Air quality, toxin levels and ventilation
  • Internal and external views of nature
  • Psychological and physiological effects of the space
  • Acoustics
  • The addition of recuperation spaces

Look at how we used biophilic design in our Ideagen project. – Ideagen – Chameleon Business Interiors (chameleon-business-interiors.co.uk)

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New recruits

August sees more new recruits at Chameleon!

By Chameleon, News, Uncategorised

Chameleon continue to grow with two new hires in August!

Paul Saunders has joined us as Purchasing and Procurement Lead to support the pre-construction team. Paul will be responsible for sourcing and purchasing equipment, materials and services in the most efficient way to ensure all projects are delivered successfully and smoothly.

When we caught up with Paul, he said: “I have seen Chameleon’s work and the impact is has on businesses, so I am excited to be part of the team here”.

We asked Paul what he does in his spare time and he said “ I spend a lot of my time riding my Harley Davidson and playing the guitar.”

During August, we also were joined by Sue Dobbs as our Project Coordinator. Sue will be ensuring everything is organised before the start of construction so that projects are delivered to the highest standard.

When we caught up with Sue, she said: “I’m very much looking forward to being part of the team at Chameleon and supporting the team to ensure projects are delivered to the highest standard.”

Welcome to the team Paul and Sue!

Are you looking for make the next move in your career? We are currently recruiting for the following positions:

To apply send you CV to marketing@c-b-i.co.uk

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

    Fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

    new hires

    Chameleon expands with two new team members!

    By Chameleon, Uncategorised

    Chameleon are expanding again with two new hires last month!

    Hannah Clark has joined us as Purchase Ledger to work alongside our Office Manager, Linda, to support with the processing of purchase orders, invoices, expenses and other tasks associated with the business running successfully.

    When we caught up with Hannah, she said: “I am really excited to be part of Chameleon. I love doing accounts as I’m a bit of a nerd, so I can’t wait to get started!”

    We asked Hannah what she does in her spare time and she said “I love spending time with my little girl.”

    During July, we also were joined by Georgina Barkworth, our Marketing Executive. Georgina will be looking after the marketing at Chameleon.

    When we caught up with Georgina, she said: “I’m really pleased to be back in the construction industry and I’m excited to lead the marketing here at Chameleon.”

    Welcome to the team Hannah and Georgina!

    We are currently hiring for an experienced Sales Administrator and a Business Development Manager (West Midlands based). Email your CV to marketing@c-b-i.co.uk if you are interested. 

    Trend Talk: Commercial Interiors in 2021

    By Uncategorised

    2020 has been an unpredictable year from start to finish and I think it’s safe to say no one really knows what 2021 has in store for us. One thing we do know for sure is that businesses have had to adapt rapidly to keep up with the changes in government guidance and the health and wellbeing of their employees.

    The past few years we’ve seen many organisations making the move to remote and agile working, something that the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly accelerated for the rest of the industry. With social distancing, working from home and Teams meetings becoming the new norm, we asked our in-house team of designers what they expect to see in commercial interiors in 2021…

    Our head of design, Kevin McIntosh said: “It’s been a really tough year for everyone. I think a lot of us have really seen the value in protecting our mental health and I believe that workspace design will really take this new appreciation on board, with a more honest approach to design.

    “In order to evolve, employers need to seriously consider wellness principles and biophilic design in 2021. A lot of our recent designs have looked to bring the outside in with planting and exposed natural finishes including brick, concrete and steel and muted tones. With the thought of returning to the office causing anxiety for a lot of people, this approach creates a space that people actually want to spend time in – and inspires higher levels of concentration and productivity with lower levels of stress.”

    Kevin added: “I’m noticing that more manufacturers are using recycled ocean plastics and environmentally conscious materials in their products, which is really encouraging to see. In a ‘nothing is lost, everything is transformed’ trend, upcycling or repurposing office furniture is something designers should always consider when creating a ‘new’ space.”

    “I’m hopeful that next year, we’ll see a real commitment by companies to create sustainable workspaces designed for the future.”

    Fiona Thornham, interior designer said: “This year was a huge wakeup call for a lot of people in the industry. Designing for people, not only a pandemic, with long-term sustainable considerations and a proxemics-based approach is certainly the way forward – into what will hopefully be a more stable 2021 for us all!”

    “With many of us spending so much of our time at home this year, I definitely expect to see a shift in commercial interiors towards a more domestic feel, becoming commonly referred to as ‘resi-mercial’.” continued Fiona.

    “The pandemic has reminded us of the benefits of coming into an office: the opportunity for collaboration, human interaction and idea-sharing. But our workspaces now need to give employees the freedom to work in a way that best suits them.”

     

    Thinking of transforming in your workspace in 2021? Get in touch with us here!

     

    Image Source: Pinterest + Connection

    A call centre with a difference

    By Chameleon, News, Office Design, Uncategorised

    We have recently completed the design and fit-out of FirstGroup’s newly refurbished national call centre. But this is no ordinary call centre, we have redefined the traditional ‘call centre’ look and feel using contemporary features throughout, giving the new workspace a modern and minimal feel.

    Kevin McIntosh, head of design said: “The refurbishment and fit-out of the new space was extensive – it started life as a completely empty shell! We worked with FirstGroup to put a fresh, creative stamp on the new area.

    “Yes, a call centre needs banks of desks, but we knew that there was the potential to do more and challenge the outdated ‘call centre’ model with new concepts that would inspire and uplift staff. It’s a call centre; but not as you know it.

    “The space has been rationalised, to create a free-flowing, flexible working environment for FirstGroup’s 119 staff.

    “There’s a designated collaboration space in the heart of the building, which will allow First Group’s team to take a step away from the hustle and bustle of the busy call centre to recharge and refresh.

    “A variety of different seating and lighting has been incorporated into the kitchen and breakout area, creating a light and interesting break out space. It’s so much more than a ‘call centre’.

    “We’ve negotiated all manner of challenges relating to lockdown to get to this point. But it’s all been completely worth it. We’ve completed a number of projects for FirstGroup, and this is certainly our most exciting. The finished result is absolutely fantastic!”

    Rebecca Bebbington, Director of Operations, First Customer Contact, said: “Our new call centre is not only functional and suits our team’s needs, it is dynamic and presents a refreshing new take on what a call centre ‘should’ look like. Chameleon has done a great job, presenting a creative solution which certainly fulfilled the brief we set for them.”

    Check it out here: First Group Sheffield

     

    How much office space do I need?

    By Office Design, Uncategorised

    There’s nothing worse than working in a tiny office that feels so small you can barely think. Working in too close proximity to your colleagues can cause a number of different issues.

    That being said, being so far away from your teammates that you have to take a small hike to chat to them about your latest project can make things pretty inefficient, too.

    It’s easy to miscalculate how much office space your business really needs, and if you do get it wrong, it can negatively impact productivity, employee satisfaction, and your plans to expand in the future.

    To make sure you get it right first time, here’s our guide on working out exactly how much space your business needs.

    How much do I need per employee?

    Generally, we’d recommend around 100 sq ft per employee.

    This can vary, however, depending on several factors. Those factors include plans for your business’ future, the sector you’re working in, and what kind of workspace design features you want to prioritise.

    Businesses in certain sectors can get away with a smaller office, whereas some will need a bit more space. If you’re working in a sector that generally does most things online, such as a digital marketing agency or solicitors, you’ll be able to cope in a workspace that isn’t so roomy. Generally, creative businesses such as architects, or those that need to file a lot of physical papers, should be looking for a larger sq ft per employee.

    If you’re struggling to visualise what 100 sq ft per employee looks like, a king-size bed is approximately 40 sq ft.

    What else could impact the space I need?

    When choosing an office space, there are factors other than your staff that you’ll need to take into consideration.

    For example, if you’re planning to grow and hire more people, it’s no good choosing somewhere that’s the perfect size for the staff you currently have. Instead, work out how much you’re planning to expand your workforce in the next couple of years, and account for that instead.

    Additionally, look at the layout of the square footage you’re working with. An 18,000 sq ft open space is going to be much easier to fit your staff in than somewhere that’s an odd shape.

    The extras

    After you’ve figured out how much space your workforce needs, you’re going to need to add in some room for the extras.

    From meeting rooms and co-working spaces to individual offices, a kitchen, and even somewhere to relax, depending on your workplace culture, you’re probably looking at including at least a couple of these features.

    It’s also important to think about what furniture you might want. If you’re planning on squeezing employees into less than 80 sq. ft. per person, it’d be a good idea to think of some clever ways to save space on things like storage and meeting rooms. For some examples, take a look at our work to see how we have used space to maximise employee comfort and productivity.

    If you’re planning on moving into a new workspace, let us know, and we can help you figure out how to effectively use your new office to maximise productivity and make sure your employees are happy at work!

    Hull & East Yorkshire People In Business Awards 2019

    By Chameleon, News, Uncategorised

    We are celebrating a hat-trick of successes after three of our team members have been shortlisted for an award at the 2019 Hull & East Yorkshire People in Business Awards.

    Competing against the best talent in the region, Head of Design – Kevin McIntosh, and Design Co-ordinator – Sarah Williamson, have made the shortlist for the Team Impact award. Additionally, our Assistant Project Manager Harry Gamble, is a nominee for the Rising Star award.

    The awards encompass companies from all areas of work, and across all industry sectors. The Team Impact award celebrates a team of unique, determined individuals who consistently produce great work. The Rising Star award recognises individuals who have made a notable difference to the workplace within their short time in the business.

    Shaun Watts, chairman of Chameleon Business Interiors, said:

    “We believe Kevin and Sarah’s contribution to the working environment of so many people across the region through our projects should not be underestimated.

    “Their ability to interpret the needs of our clients and convert that into a workspace that not only looks amazing, but addresses the issues surrounding health and wellbeing in the workplace deserves real recognition.

    “I am also delighted that Harry has been shortlisted for the Rising Star award. He has made an outstanding contribution to the business, receiving notable recognition from our clients in respect to his approach and ability to manage an interior design project, and taken the lead role in the ongoing development of our health & safety procedures both internally and externally.

    “Harry has a great future with us and I’m so pleased he is getting the recognition he deserves.”

    Founder of the Hull and East Yorkshire People in Business Awards, Jo Fleming, said:

    “There have been some outstanding entries from businesses of all shapes and sizes, and everyone who entered should be really proud of themselves.

    Narrowing down the shortlist was a difficult task, but we believe that we’ve chosen the best of the best that have the potential to be worthy award winners. Supporting talent in the workplace is essential, and the Hull & East Yorkshire People in Business Awards give both individuals and businesses as a whole the chance to gain recognition for their hard work.”

    Kevin, Sarah and Harry will now compete against five other finalists in their respective categories with the winners due to be announced at a ceremony in July.