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Tag Archives: Open plan

What Would Your Dream Office Look Like?

mbg7The truth is: my office space is cluttered. It has fluorescent lights. My chair gives me back ache and my tiny screen make my eyes strain. Sounds lovely doesn’t it. But does it sound familiar?

If so, that’s unfortunate for both you and your company. The bare facts state that the less aesthetically appealing your surroundings are at work, the less productive you are.

Quick, go tell your boss! Then hurry back and read what your dream office could look like, and how it could help you in more ways than you thought.

Layout

Let’s face it, open plan is in, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. Some studies show that open plan offices lead to a 62% decrease in productivity and an increase in sickness.

The Google offices feature an open plan environment, which is effective for them because they brainstorm and team build all day long.

In smaller companies, this wouldn’t work as well. The dream office would be spacious and definitely not gray. Plain white, cream or deep greens are the winners here. They are classy and promote a better work environment.

Temperature

According to surveys taken, employees are less productive when their offices are either too hot or too cold.

That’s why temperature control is so important. There are all kinds of thermostats available for the office setup. But if it were up to me, it would be an air curtain  which keeps heat in and uses 72% less electricity, implementing climate control at the door.

Lighting

Natural lighting is definitely tops. Throw those fluorescents out the window. They lead to eye strain, headaches and lack of focus.

This means windows and lots of them. Natural light is responsible for a 16% increase in productivity. The classiest offices have circular or wall length windows, looking out on the city surrounds. Simple, elegant and effective.

Filing

Clutter and disorganization muddle up the office and the mind. That’s why a proper filing system is crucial, and I’m not talking about heavy duty grey block filing cabinets. No, something sleek and refined is what you should be aiming for.

How about a rich wood vertical cabinet or (for the more futuristic look) the Perspex cabinet which enables you to see what’s filed where?

Furniture

Let’s talk chairs. The ladder backs are out and the comfortable swivels are in. No more steel frames without cushions please, it’s time for a change which looks a lot like this:

Comfortable, adjustable, easy to get around. This chair has adequate neck and back support and keeps the occupant focused and happy. There are other snazzier versions on the market, but many of them are strangely shaped and don’t provide as much comfort.

You can’t beat the classics and this bad boy does the job as well as you’ll do yours.

Break time!

Okay, not technically part of the office, but just as important. Recent studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time can be as bad for your health as chain smoking.

This means you should get up and take a walk around once in a while.

Decorations

We’ve established that the office should not be cluttered, but one devoid of aesthetic value decreases efficiency. A conundrum, you cry? Never fear.

Minimalistic, elegant and clean is what you want. Keep the space open for your walking breaks. That’s why potted plants, wall-hangings and calmer abstract paintings are what I’d go for.

There you have it: my dream office. Clean, elegant, with lots of natural light, a comfortable swivel, temperature control, plants and abstract art, chic filing systems and vibrant, refined color themes.

What would your dream office look like? Let us know in the box below.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

Caitlin is a writer and single mum, who enjoys organizing her messy workspace once a year. That’s why she likes blogging about interior design and clean spaces. She blogs for Applied Workplace.

 

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Standard Partitions or Glass Wall Panels in the Office?

notes

There have been hundreds of studies done by psychologists and business strategists in order to find out how they can optimise office space/decor with productivity in the staff. A small but significant part of the atmosphere created in an office comes down to the partitions by which it is divided.

 Listed below are the advantages of using wooden boards and glass screens as office partitions with regards to working environment and employee productivity.

 

Standard Partitions  

  • There is a defined area in which staff can call their own.
  • If the material is made out of chip board or a thick cloth, staff can spruce up their work space by pinning personal items on there. This gives them an identity rather than just another username and login number.
  • You’re less exposed and, when you need to, can get your head down and finish by those important deadlines.
  • There are far less distractions around the staff that will sway them from their tasks.
  • There is also more privacy for those days when you just want to be left alone and not get involved in other activities around you.

 

Glass Panels

  • Firstly, glass panels give a more open-plan feel to the office, making staff feel less stuffy and enclosed.
  • They can lead to a brighter working area, ensuring any tired eyes early in the morning can properly wake up.
  • There can be a more social vibe to the office which can lead to better working relationships, although this comes with the caveat that staff may socialise too much!
  • There is a sense of belonging in that staff may feel more involved on tasks which they may not necessarily be assigned to, but are aware of its presence. Stops any feeling of isolation.
  • Finally, the glass wall panels look stylish. A vibrant, interesting and modern office helps to perk up the spirits of its staff, even if it’s just a little.

Research has suggested that office design greatly influences productivity. For example the colour scheme of an office can dictate the mood of staff i.e. reds make staff more tense and alert whereas blues make them feel calmer and more serene.

If there is less interaction between staff, through standard partitions dividing the office, then productivity will increase. However, motivation and job satisfaction tends to decrease which, in the long run, is bad for productivity.

 If there are glass partitions, coupled with a more open plan office design, then there will be more interaction between staff for problem solving and an emphasis on team work. Of course, this could lead to the staff having more social conversations rather than work problem solving.

If you work in an office with either of these partitions, feel free to comment below to share your thoughts on how productivity is affected by it!

James Duval is an IT Support Manager during the day and an Applied Workplace blogger in his spare time.

 

 

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How Writing a Book can Help Your Business and Other Vampires

SYEP-Logo-Banner-SiteSome of the most prolific books written today are paranormal romances. There are thousands of them, all trying to be the next Twilight. There are other vampires also, those that haunt the Internet and pop up regularly, like bar girls who steal or kidneys or how sending a chain letter to Bill Gates will make you rich. One of those vampires is the one about business ebooks. According to many experts, if you write an ebook for your business customers will beat a path to your door. Let’s hope that they are not there for your kidneys!

Nobody may to ready your business ebook. Have you ever read one? Did you download it before that long airplane ride to have something to read on the trip? There were 200,000 books published in 2011. According to Fast Company, the following were the best selling business books of 2012:

1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

2. How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, and Karen Dillon

3. Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours, by Robert Pozen

4. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail–but Some Don’t, by Nate Silver

5. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown

6. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg

7. Renegades Write the Rules: How the Digital Royalty Use Social Media to Innovate, by Amy Jo Martin

8. Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur and Build a Great Business, by Anthony K. Tjan, Richard J. Harrington, Tsun-Yan Hsieh

9. The Click Moment: Seizing Opportunity in an Unpredictable World, by Frans Johansson

10. Wait: The Art and Science of Delay, by Frank Partnoy

11. The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner

12. 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era, by Nilofer Merchant

How many of these have you read? Do your customers read them? What products did you buy because you read one of these books?

Writing a book is about telling the world a story and why it is important. You write because you have a story to tell and because you love to write. You write to entertain your readers.

Your story about your business and what it took to start it and how you keep it going may become a bestseller. But, not if you write it, or have a cheap ghostwriter hack it out to help visitors to your website buy new lawn furniture. But, if the lawn furniture is haunted and the garden gnomes are wise gurus of life in the suburbs, then maybe people will read it.

The Staples Easy Button is a great marketing idea. The story about how it was created, and how American pop culture seized on it might very well make a great chapter in a business book about advertising. If you can write that story, then write it and promote that book on your web site.

Writing a bad, throw-away ebook to sell your business may do more harm than good. Vampires are like that. The writing quality, story quality, format quality, and grammar quality of the book reflect your business.

Write your business book because you have to write it and are willing to spend the months and months needed to write, edit, rewrite, package, and promote the book as something more than your business, not to just sell lawn furniture. The gnomes know when you are faking it. Just remember that.

About Mike Macartney

Mike Macartney is the publisher at Shoot Your Eye out Publishing. SYEO Publishing is a new book publishing company for writers who wish to publish their work today, in a very different publishing world than was the case even a few years ago. You can follow the world of books and publishing at SYEO on Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shoot-Your-Eye-Out-Publishing/164919843554977

 

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