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TO GO OPEN PLAN OR NOT TO GO OPEN PLAN?

Advantages and disadvantages of open plan offices

When choosing how to lay out your office, you are faced with the decision of an open plan or cellular offices. This can be a difficult decision for many, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both set-ups. We looked at some of the most important advantages and disadvantages of open plan offices to help you decide.

ADVANTAGES:

  • Open plan offices are more economical. You are able to provide more work spaces and place more employees in an office.
  • Communication is made easier between workstations and departments. A lack of walls or other physical barriers in open-plan office spaces makes it easier for employees to interact with each other on a regular basis. The constant intermingling not only generates a sense of camaraderie among personnel, it also enhances the flow of information and teamwork. Colleagues can turn to each other for advice or assistance without having to knock on doors or schedule a formal meeting. Interactions in an open-plan office space generally are more frequent and informal than in closed environments where everyone has a separate office space.
  • Things are easier for the supervisors, as everyone is in a centralised area. Normally, with an open office plan, managers and senior managers are in constant contact with the staff. While running through to deal with one thing, managers and senior managers can deal with any other issues or employees. This makes handling issues and problems go much faster. With the employees being in constant contact with managers and senior managers, they are able to reach management more quickly and deal with issues. This means that issues get resolved faster, and this leads to more productivity.
  • Open space offices are more economical when it comes to installing equipment, air conditioning and electricity. One centralised area is being heated, or cooled, and lighted. This is opposed to several different rooms, each having to be heated or cooled separately. This means that the company saves money. Equipment, such as printers and copiers, can be centralised and reduces the number of equipment needed.
  • Open plan offices are flexible. If the layout of the office needs to be changed, it can be done quickly and with minimal effort.

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Open space offices are noisier than closed plan offices. Employees bundled together in one large area, causes phone and conversations between employees to be overheard easily. When there are several conversations happening at one time, it can get quite noisy. This can lead to employees becoming distracted which may lessen productivity.
  • People passing by constantly can cause distraction of employees. In a closed office plan, disturbances like this wouldn’t happen as much.
  • In an open office space, security is reduced. Each employee lacks a lockable door like they would have if each one had a separate office. This can lead to risks and issues that the company may not want to face.
  • Privacy is difficult to obtain with an open office plan. If family members call, or if a confidential call needs to be made, it can be difficult. With individual offices, these things are more possible. Employees may feel uncomfortable being in such close quarters with their co-workers when confidential calls need to be made.
  • Sicknesses and infections can spread like wildfire in an environment like an open office plan. When flu season hits, you can bet that most employees will catch it, because everyone is breathing the same, circulated air.

 

The risks need to be assessed and the pros and cons weighed against each other before making a decision.

It would also depend on the type of business you are running. In some offices, such as software developers, open plan offices have proved to be very effective. In businesses such as accounting firms, cellular offices will be the better choice.

Given the choice between a closed office plan and an open office plan, you will find supporters and people who are against both. There are ways and means to work around the disadvantages.

The trick lies in utilising the available space creatively and creating different areas for different functions when you are going the open plan route.  Providing ample areas where private conversations and meetings can be held, areas where employees can take a break without distracting their colleagues and areas where informal meetings can be held will make all the difference in an open plan office.

Ultimately, the decision needs to be about what is best for your company and the vibe and work ethic you want to create among employees.

Good lighting and why it matters

Let’s take a moment to talk about the importance of good lighting in interior design and the importance thereof.

Lighting is one of the most overlooked and yet important elements of good interior design  What is the point in  creating beautiful interior surroundings if they cannot be appreciated properly or if there is insufficient light to be able to carry out even the most basic of tasks?

Lighting in a space, changes the mood of that space as well as the perceived size of the space. The secret is the combination of available natural light and the use of artificial light to create a balance.

Natural lighting is preferred above artificial light because it shows off colours better and adds to the perception of available space of a room by bouncing off reflective surfaces.

When it comes to artificial lighting, there are different types to consider.  Accent lighting, for example, can be exceedingly effective when used to display art pieces or to accentuate focal elements. In this case, the angle of the lighting needs to be just right to achieve the very best effect. Accent lighting also serves in highlighting the architectural features of a building.

Task lighting is another type of lighting which is important. In lounges and studies, for example, it helps to avoid eyestrain when reading or working, while in the kitchen it ensures that tasks can be carried out safely.  Adequate task lighting is also essential in the bathroom for the purposes of shaving or applying make-up for instance.

Ambient lighting can enhance the design of spaces. Making use of dimmer switches can alter the ambiance of the room to achieve the look and feel you desire. Floor lamps, wall mounted lights and centrally hanging lights on the ceiling help brighten a room if natural light is not available and help create a visually larger space.

Consider skylights or large windows if you want more natural light, or use sheer curtains to allow the maximum amount of light from your windows.

 

Lighting is a very effective and relatively inexpensive tool to perfect the interior design of any space. Done right, it will not only be functional and create an optimally effective space, but it will also add to the design of your interior to make it breathtaking and exceptional.

Sandton Dental Studio – Site Progress

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. Getting back to work after the holidays (which feels like it was ages ago!) and starting new projects and ventures.

One such project has been the relocation of the Sandton Dental Studio.  Bigger premises became available over the month of December, and with this, the owner at Sandton Dental Studio decided it was time for a new, fresh look for his practice. The help of Effects Interior Design was called in and working hand in hand with the owner, we came up with a beautiful, contemporary industrial feel design for the new premises. We won’t share any details of the design just yet, you will have to wait and see!

Demolition to the existing structure has begun and the construction teams are well on their way. Sharing some pictures on the demolition stage.  Keep an eye on our blog for progress reports and ultimately the finished product!

 

 

 

 

The importance of a good office chair

With office workers spending over 36 hours a week seated at their desks, it is more important than ever to ensure you have a good quality office chair. But what defines a good office chair? And why is it so important? 

In recent years there has been an abundance of research into the detrimental effects of “sitting” on our health. Scientists have even gone so far as branding “sitting” as the new “smoking”, suggesting that sitting for long periods of time could increase our risk of developing serious health issues such as, diabetes, heart disease, muscular pain and back issues.  Furniture designers have responded to the issue with the promotion of the ergonomic “sit-stand desk”, encouraging workers to spend more of their day stood up.  The “sit-stand desk” is a height adjustable desk that allows you to either sit behind the desk or stand behind it, therefore limiting the time you are sitting each day. A simple idea that can have a big impact on your health.

However, there are times when sitting at work is unavoidable. For these times the perfect office chair is required. Finding the right chair for your body is vital for both your health and work productivity. So what makes a good office chair? Here are a few things to look out for when getting an office chair. These features are designed to reduce back pain and support your body by encouraging good posture.

  • Adjustable seat height and width: The height of your chair should be fully adjustable allowing you to position it so that your feet lay flat on the ground. (There should be a space between front of the seat and the back of your knees.)
  • Lumbar support: You should have an adjustable back that curves to the shape of your lower back. This is to prevent you from slouching and improves your posture.
  • Adjustable arm rests to allow you to rest your elbows; your forearm should not be resting here whilst typing.
  • Seat material: Soft cushioned seat material to support your weight evenly.
  • Swivel: Your chair should easily rotate so that you are able to move around to reach things easily without straining.

When you are buying a new office chair, try getting the best chair money can buy.  Look at ergonomics and adjustability before looks. Often times the most ergonomic chair won’t be the most beautiful looking chair.

Contact us if you are looking for a new office chair, but you are unsure where to start.

If you don’t have money to spend on a new chair, try adding an adjustable footrest under your desk.  This footrest takes some pressure off your back and spine. They are also ideal for shorter people.  Especially if your office chair is not height adjustable.

You can shop for an adjustable footrest here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking after your back health now, can save you time and money in the future!

Getting back into the office groove- 6 tips to get you back to work after the holidays

Ah, vacation! You just got back from a couple of weeks of complete relaxation, when the only thing on your to-do list was to not do a thing. But now you’re back to reality and struggling to muster up the strength to turn on the computer, trudge through your inbox, and jump right back into your normal work routine.

Most of us were back at the office last Monday after the holidays. A lucky few are only returning to the office today.  It may take a few days to get back into things – trust me, I know! Here are a few tips to help you ease back into the groove of work and office life.

1. Organise your desk.

Left your desk in a complete mess in a hurry to get out the of office on closing day? Start your year by cleaning up your desk.  Clean out drawers, organise files, get rid of old paperwork and start on a clean slate! Getting rid of unnecessary clutter on your desk can give you the motivation you need to get started.

Check out these helpful tips on WikiHow on getting your desk organised.

 

2.Get your self some new stationery

When I was a little girl, I could not wait for school to start after the December holidays each year.  The reason?  New stationery! I love new stationery!

With all the back to school specials currently running, you can get some awesome stationery for great prices.

Get yourself a few new items to pretty up your desk. If you like using a diary, get yourself a cool new diary or desk calendar where you can schedule all your meetings and jot down your to do lists. Alternatively, think clip boards, cute notebooks, pens, markers and highlighters, post-it notes and paper clips.

Checkout Typo stores nationwide for some quirky stationery and office supplies.

3. Move or rearrange your office

While this might not be an option for everyone, I suggest moving your office around at least once a year.  Turn your desk to face a window or door so you can have a view of the outdoors. Move your office to a different room in your house if you are working from home. Swap desks with a colleague. Rearrange the set-up of your desk so you face a different direction.  Move the entire office if you are sitting in an open plan office.

You know the saying – a change is as good as a holiday!

Contact us if you need space planning to change things up in your office.

 

4. Get a plant for your desk

Plants can transform your workspace into a more peaceful, tranquil and engaging place. Adding some greenery to your desk, will keep things fresh! Get a small orchid, bonsai tree, terrarium or air plant. Woolies Foods have beautiful small planters and plants that can live on your desk.

Scared that you will let the plant die after a few weeks? Get an artificial plant.  The effect will be the same, without you having to worry about keeping it alive.

Check out Superbalist for beautiful desk planters and plants.

 

5. Clean out your Inbox

Leave on your out-of-office reply for an extra day and start the year by cleaning out your email inbox, drafts and unnecessary mails. Unsubscribe from those annoying newsletters and spam emails. Create folders and organise your mails accordingly.

6. Get new office furniture

Does your office furniture look old and tired? Start the year by getting some new furniture to spruce up things in the office.  If your budget is constrained, start by getting some new chairs.  Have them upholstered in your company colours to bring so life to your office space. Your employees will be excited and more productive when they fell like their health and comfort are being valued by you. Keep an eye out for my next blog post where I will discuss the importance of a good office chair.

 

How hiring an Interior Designer can benefit you

Are you unsure about whether or not you should take the plunge and hire a professional Interior Designer for your next home renovation, office revamp or even that new business you are planning on starting up?

We (obviously) think that you definitely should, and here’s why…

As Interior Designers, we are passionate (read neurotic) about designing interior spaces that function well, improve user experience while being absolutely jaw-dropping gorgeous. We live, breathe, sleep, eat and dream interior design solutions.  We notice good (and not so good) design everywhere we go.

Here are a few of the top reasons why you should hire a professional Interior Designer:

  • They are knowledgeable. The mere fact that Interior Designers have studied about the field is already enough reason to trust them on interior design matters. They have the know-hows and the skills on what to do with your interior design.

  • Interior Designers know how to get you the best quality for your money. There are so many different options out there and when you’re not used to doing this every day it’s very difficult to know where to look for quality. A professional will be able to help you figure out how to get the best items for the money you have. Let’s just say – we Interior Designers know how and where to shop to get you the best deals!
  • We play the middle man.  Do you really want to spend your time fighting with Contractors and Suppliers over why things aren’t done on time or done right?  No? That’s what I thought! An Interior Designer will ensure that everything runs smoothly on your project.  We will handle Contractors and Suppliers for you and ensure that the project is completed on time and perfectly!

 

 

 

  • We speak “Architect” (and “Contractor” and “Supplier”). Sometimes it can be difficult for you as a Client to understand what exactly the Architect is speaking about when he goes on and on about bulkheads, mullions, brackets and gables.  Interior Designers have knowledge of the architectural ling and way of thinking as well as the building industry as a whole, enabling us to completely understand the full scope of the project.
  • You will save money. Like the saying goes…if you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait unit you hire an amateur!
  • You will save time. When you have a career and you have little time left for designing a new home or revamping an office, an interior designer will be a wise choice. It can surely save your time for thinking on what is the best thing to do with your interior.
  • One-of-kind decor solutions and custom made furniture. We ensure that each Client gets a custom-made solution for their interior.  No one else will have what you’ve got in terms of furniture and the look of your interior.
  • Qualified contractors/workmen=quality workmanship. Having worked with various Contractors and sub-contractors, most Interior Designers will have a trusted network of Contractors or installation teams that they prefer to work with because the quality of their workmanship has been tried and tested.

 

 

  • They are fun! Most Interior Designers I know, have a crazy streak. They will come up with way-out solutions that you never would have imagined in your wildest dreams, and you will love it!

Interior Design in the Healthcare Sector

The interior of medical suites and other healthcare facilities have an emotional and physical impact on patients and their health and healing.

Patients form their initial impression of a practice or healthcare facility when first stepping into it.  The image practice portrays, says a lot about you as a doctor and the value you place on both patients and employees. Interior design can significantly impact the well being of your patients and staff.

The importance of good interior design in healthcare facilities, be it doctors’ rooms or a hospital, is often overlooked. Your waiting room, procedure rooms and exam rooms should be more than just furniture and equipment.

Healthcare interior design can be a key factor in building long-term patient relationships and, ultimately, the success of your practice. It goes without saying that your medical suites should be representative of the nature of your practice. It also needs to be appealing and comfortable.

I believe in the concept of incorporating health-promoting qualities into healthcare facilities’ interiors through a highly holistic approach toward designing medical spaces into modern, healing environments. The overall idea is to create a more comfortable home-like feeling and a sense of hope and confidence among the patients and visitors by creating relaxing and homey spaces in healthcare settings

Engaging and calming interior design can play a big part in attracting and retaining patients and employees. It also plays a big role in the healing and recovery time of patients.

Something as simple as the right lighting, an have a significant impact on the user experience of healthcare facilities.

Your practice is where you and your employees spend the majority of each day.  Studies have shown that good interior design can improve your employee’s productivity, effectiveness and overall wellness and morale. Not to mention the effects it has on your patients and their healing and comfort. Studies have shown that even something as simple as a piece of art portraying a landscape, has a positive effect on patient blood pressure and recovery time.

KEEPING WITH THE TIMES

Is your medical practice well-established with a long history? If so, when was the last time you updated your interior design? An outdated interior can send the wrong message to both your patients and employees. It can demonstrate a lack of interest in your business and give the impression of that you don’t value your patients or employees. Updating the interior can keep your practice looking fresh and your practice, relevant.

 

THE RIGHT INTERIOR DESIGN FOR YOUR MEDICAL PRACTICE

Choosing the right colours, furniture, lighting and accessories for your practice can seem a bit intimidating. The best way to achieve interior design that reflects the character and culture of your practice, is to hire a professional interior designer.

Experienced Interior Designers have the knowledge and experience to bring different design components together to create medical suites that will enhance the success of your practice and well being of your patients.

INTERIOR DESIGN DONE RIGHT

Take a look at the patient room in the picture below.  A few elements that enhance the design of this room, are:

  • Inclusion of a window to provide views of nature
  • Utilisation of calming colours such as green and neutrals
  • Making use of natural materials, such as wood, in the design in order to make it more homey and less clinical
  • Making use of wood as a floor finish immediately gives the room a warmer feel
  • Making provision for family members and/or friends to visit by providing a big couch and not just a single visitors’ chair
  • Making use of various light sources such as natural light, ambient lighting and artificial lighting, makes the room seem airy and light instead of dark and depressing

These are only a few elements that need to be taken into consideration when designing for healthcare facilities. These factors will all enhance patient experience and ultimately, the success of the healthcare facility.

 

The importance of good interior design in the office environment

Interior design can significantly impact your business whether you like it or not…

A client forms their first impression of your business when setting foot in your offices.  The image your office portrays, says a lot about your business and the value it places on both clients and employees. The effect on each is equally important.

While most people realise the value and importance of interior design in their homes, it is often overlooked in business offices. Your offices, waiting areas, and meeting rooms should be more than just tables, desks and chairs.

Interior office design can be a key factor in building long-term client relationships and, ultimately, the success of your business. It goes without saying that your office should be representative of the nature of your business. It also needs to be engaging and secure for your employees while at the same time promoting productiveness and effectiveness.

An engaging and functional office design can play a big part in attracting and retaining clients and employees.

Your office is where you and your employees spend the majority of each day.  Studies have shown that good interior design can improve your employee’s productivity, effectiveness and overall wellness and morale.

UPGRADES ARE IMPORTANT

Is your business well-established with a long history? If so, when was the last time you updated your office design? An outdated office can send the wrong message to both your clients and employees. It can demonstrate a lack of interest in your business and give the impression of that you don’t value your clients or employees. Updating the design can keep your office looking fresh and your business relevant.

THE RIGHT OFFICE DESIGN FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Choosing the right colours, furniture, lighting and accessories for your office can seem a bit intimidating. The best way to achieve an office design that reflects the nature and culture of your business is to hire a professional interior designer.

Designers have the knowledge and experience to bring different design components together to create offices that will enhance the success of your business, well being of your employees and guaranteed loyalty of your clients .